Remember: Free comics aren’t really free

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Don’t be one of those people.

You know the kind I mean: Free Comic Book Day freeloaders.

The first Saturday in May is widely known as Free Comic Book Day across the U.S. Last year, after a pandemic disruption, the event returned to a single-day format Aug. 14, 2021, for its milestone 20th anniversary. This year, it’s back on the traditional May date.

But none of this means you should feel “free” to take it literally.

Oh, do go — by all means. But don’t just show up at your nearest comic book store(s) on Free Comic Book Day and take the free comic(s), then leave.

Buy some comics. Graphic novels, even. Hardcover, deluxe versions. Or a hat or a T-shirt.

Buy something. Especially this year.

That killer trade edition of The Killing Joke you’ve been meaning to add to your collection forever? Buy it.

Want to enjoy the Dark Phoenix Saga as it was before it got ruined on the big screen (twice)? Make it so.

Do the back-issue bins have what you need to fill the gaps in your long-ago-started Conan collection? Dive on in.

These stores depend on our patronage, and we’ve seen far too many of them fade away in recent years (if even to ultimately come back in some form, for a lucky few). The industry is struggling as consumption goes digital, like so many are. The ones that can afford to innovate and adapt will remain — but only if they can count on a customer base to be there for their signature events.

So, if you like reading print comics, get the “F” out there — and take the “Free” out of Free Comic Book Day while you’re at it.

If you’ve never been a regular, this is a perfect time to start.

If your area is blessed with more than one comic book store, make a day of it and do the circuit until you find the one that’s right for you. It will be a lot of fun, if nothing else.

Editor’s note: Any ads you see on this post or this website for Free Comic Book Day are either run for free as a courtesy or were incidentally included in programmatic network advertising; Nerdvana was not directly compensated. (We get the same free comics you do on FCBD — no more, no less!)

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About the author

Jayson Peters

Digital, social and print media pro. Nerdvana's founder, curator and editor.

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