FCBD09dateBy Kat Riddler, Editor-in-Chief

Free Comic Book Day (FCBD)- the name seems pretty self-explanatory.

FCBD is a collaboration of the North American comic book community coming together for the love of comic books. It is also the cooperation of local comic book stores working together to distribute comic books to the surrounding community while gaining national coverage. The first FCBD was in 2002 and was associated with a release of a comic book movie, “Spider-Man.”

FCBD is always the first Saturday in May, so this year it will be Saturday, May 7 and is associated with the movie release of “Captain America: Civil War.” This year, the organization is celebrating 15 years of bringing free comic books to the community.

FreeComicBookDay.com has a store locator on its website to help people find a participating store near them. While some stores may limit the number of comics given out, everyone is guaranteed one free comic book. The retailers receive a heavy discount on each of the comic books that they give out for free, and some stores give out merchandise for FCBD. It is all on a first-come, first-served basis.

Some stores hire professional cosplayers to appear the day of for pictures and the love of comic books. Attendees are also encouraged to attend in cosplay as their favorite comic book character.

According to FreeComicBookDay.com, “FCBD is administered by a panel representing all parts of the comic book industry: retailers, publishers, suppliers, and Diamond Comic Distributors. Each year, publishers apply to provide comic books at cost to retailers, who in turn give them away for free. Diamond [Comic Distributors] handles marketing and logistics for the event, shipping comics to shops and handling marketing and PR for the event.”

Besides just supporting the art form of comic books which has been around since the early 20th century, this day is a great way to promote comics to children. Comic books can be a great way to instill a love of reading into children as well as a motivator for them to get into the habit of reading. Comic books are also a great way for parents to bond with children as they read the books together.

But the bonding over comic books is not just for children and parents. Comic books vary by artists, writers, concepts, topics, humor, and more. With comics, it is hard not to find something to enjoy. This is easy to see on any FCBD at any local retailer, as crowds of people of all ages bond over the comic books available. FCBD tries to provide comics that are both different and entertaining for avid comic readers and inviting for novice comic readers.

To further community bonding on FCBD, attendees are encouraged to take pictures of themselves enjoying the event and tweet @freecomicbook using hashtags #FCBD2016 and #FCBD.

The list of comic books to choose from can be found at freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/981. There are even downloadable previews for some of the comics. Follow FCBD on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates.