Record number of books shipping for Free Comic Book Day -- and some are pretty cool

By Andrew A. Smith

Scripps Howard News Service


Absolutely free!


Comics, that is, because Saturday, May 4, is Free Comic Book Day, when participating retailers give away comic books that publishers have specifically created for the event.  Many retailers turn FCBD – sometimes referred to as “Nerd Christmas” –  into a sort of party, with creators doing signings, and customers cosplaying, and other comic-book-related events. If nothing else, it’s usually a participating comic shop’s biggest traffic day of the year, with lots of crowds and excitement.


Go to for a list of events and participating retailers in your area. Meanwhile, we can anticipate the comics by their online descriptions – and there’s a lot to anticipate. This year a record 4.6 million comics will be given away, according to Diamond Comic Distributors Inc., consisting of 53 titles. Some of them look so good, it’s hard to believe that they’re free. (But they are, honest!)


Whatever the Big Two publishers come up with is always popular, and both Marvel Comics and DC Comics have offerings that dovetail with their other media properties.  


For example, DC’s Man of Steel (who has a movie of that name coming June 14) stars in Superman: Last Son of Krypton #1, written by  Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and former Superman director Richard Donner. Drawn by fan favorite Andy Kubert, this special issue features the Metropolis Marvel battling General Zod and his minions, who happen to appear in Man of Steel as well. There’s also a preview of Superman Unchained, a new series by Scott Snyder (Batman) and Jim Lee (Justice League), which will debut the same week as the movie. Talk about synergy!


Meanwhile, Marvel offers Infinity, which sports a big purple puss on the cover that fans will recognize as Thanos, the mad Titan, who happens to be the villain in Avengers 2, coming in 2015. But coming even sooner – this summer, to be exact – is a Thanos miniseries, culminating in an event called Infinity, which will cross over in a bunch of Marvel titles, especially those starring Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy, who also have a movie coming next summer. (Yes, you do need a scorecard to keep up with all this.)


Meanwhile, neither publisher is neglecting their cartoon blocks, which are found on Cartoon Network (DC) and Disney XD (Marvel). The DC Nation Super Sampler offers a sneak peek at two new shows coming from Warner Bros. Animation, Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go! Marvel, meanwhile, gives a glimpse of Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. in a book of that name, which also contains a sneak preview of Avengers Assemble!


Speaking of TV, fans of a certain zombie show on AMC shouldn’t miss The Walking Dead Special, with four solo stories starring The Governor, Michonne, Morgan and Tyreese. That last story has never appeared anywhere before, and none of these stories, says TWD creator Robert Kirkman, will ever be reprinted in the trade paperbacks. Completists, to your vehicles!


Needless to say, parents should probably keep the kiddies away from anything involving The Walking Dead – I mean, seriously, that is one scary book – but most FCBD offerings are distinctly kid-friendly, and for the most part, girl-friendly. For example, The Little Mermaid appears in Dynamic Forces’ Damsels, Tinkerbell stars in NBM’s Disney Fairies and an old favorite surfaces in the Pippi Longstocking Summer Special. And be sure to steer the kids to the Bongo Comics Free-For-All (starring the Simpsons), Boom’s Kaboom! Summer Blast! (with the Peanuts gang), Ape Entertainment’s Sesame Street & Strawberry Shortcake, United Plankton’s Spongebob Comics Freestyle Funnies, NBM’s The Smurfs, IDW’s TMNT New Animated Adventures (starring the martial-arts Turtles), the World of Archie Digest, Antarctic’s Action Time Buddies (starring Kid the Adventurer and Bro the Kung Fu Pegasus), Oni’s Rated Free for Everyone (starring Crogan), Hermes Press’ Scratch9 (the world’s greatest superhero cat), Archie’s Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man Flipbook, the Top Shelf Kids Club (with six stories, one pitting Pirate Penguin against Ninja Chicken), Action Lab’s Molly Danger  and Capstone Presents Mr. Puzzle (a fellow who likes solving puzzles).


But what about grown-ups? Comics aren’t just for kids any more!


So older readers might tuck into Dark Horse’s Star Wars/Captain Midnight/Avatar, an accurate title referring to the three features in the book. Or Alterna’s FUBAR (more zombies) or IDW’s Judge Dredd Classics. Valiant provides two books, one with current material (Harbinger Wars Special) and one from their storied past (Valiant Masters Showcase Edition). Dynamite’s Grimm! details the characters, creatures and inspiration for the ABC series, while Image’s gorgeous robot assassin returns in Aphrodite IX.


Unfortunately, there’s not room enough to describe every book – I could spend a considerable amount of time just on the wild, wonderful weirdness of Archaia’s The Steam Engines of Oz and Mouse Guard. And I’d love to muse on the return of venerable old favorites like Fantagraphics’ Prince Valiant and Hermes’ Buck Rogers.


But, alas, you’ll all have to experience the rest yourselves at Free Comic Book Day. Where, remember, you get comic books. Absolutely free!


Contact Captain Comics at


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Comment by Captain Comics on May 3, 2013 at 12:49pm

Press Release

Hugh Jackman, The WolverinePromotes Free Comic Book Day in a Video Greeting


(BALTIMORE, MD) — (May 2, 2013) —Hugh Jackman, the star of the upcoming blockbuster film, The Wolverine, recorded a video to promote the 12th annual Free Comic Book Day, set for Saturday, May 4th, 2013. Free Comic Book Day is an International event where the entire comic book industry works together to raise awareness of comics and local comic book shops. Almost 2,000 comic shops all over the world will give away over 4.6 million comics published specifically for Free Comic Book Day to new and returning customers just for coming to their shops.


 “This is the second time Hugh Jackman has supported Free Comic Book Day with a video and we are so happy to have his involvement,” said Leslie Bowser, Free Comic Book Day spokesperson. “With his success portraying the Wolverine in the X-Men and Wolverine films, we feel his involvement gives our event an added awareness boost and his encouragement of people to visit their local comic shop is exactly the kind of message we hope to achieve with Free Comic Book Day.”


 The Wolverine will be in theaters on July 26th, 2013, in 3D. Directed by James Mangold and based on the celebrated comic book arc, this epic action-adventure takes Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the most iconic character of the X-Men universe, to modern day Japan.  Out of his depth in an unknown world, he will face a host of unexpected and deadly opponents in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed.  Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality.



Look for more FCBD news and updates on the FCBD website,; become a fan at Facebook (; and follow us on Twitter:


For more information about The Wolverine, visit



Comment by Captain Comics on May 3, 2013 at 12:53pm

Press Release

Wayward Raven Announces Free Comic Book Weekend!

Free comic book day? Try nationwide free comic book weekend!!!!

At Wayward Raven Media, we believe that one day simply isn’t enough to enjoy free comics. That’s why we are giving away one of our flagship books The Ascendant issue #1 for free digitally from
Friday 5/3 at noon until Monday 5/6 at noon!

The Ascendant has demons, an ancient conjurer, and epic battles in Rome including one at the Coliseum itself. The story follows a Duke of Hell named Cail who has changed his ways and gone on a crusade to vanquish the evil he once let slip upon the mortal realm. Demons, both personal and real, stand in the way of his redemption as a great threat stirs in the fiery pit.

You can get a digital copy of The Ascendant #1 at all weekend long! Download it here The Ascendant #2 is now available through the Wayward Raven Media website along with other comics, prose and the webcomic Damn Heroes. Ars longa, vitae brevis,

Wayward Raven Media

Soaring on the winds of imagination…

Follow: @Waywardraven


Comment by Captain Comics on May 3, 2013 at 12:56pm

Press Release

DC Entertainment celebrates Free Comic Book Day

It’s that time of year again!


This Saturday, it’s Free Comic Book Day! In addition to picking up your free copies of SUPERMAN: LAST SON OF KRYPTON SPECIAL EDITION #1 and DC NATION SUPER SAMPLER #1, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to meet some of your favorite DC Entertainment writers and artists.


That’s why we’ve published a list of signings that’ll be happening across the country. The signings are also all collected in an interactive map that allows you to not only visualize what signings will be happening in your neighborhood, but also in its surrounding areas!


Head over to our comprehensive list to take a look at where and when your favorite DCE writers and artists will be appearing on Saturday. And Happy Free Comic Book Day!

Comment by Captain Comics on May 3, 2013 at 12:59pm

Press Release

Oni Press celebrates Free Comic Book Day

Saturday, May 4th is Free Comic Book Day around the world, and Oni Press has two titles available from participating retailers: The Strangers & Oni Press: Rated Free for Everyone Presents The Crogan Adventures and Mermin.

The first title is the debut issue of a brand-new ongoing series by Chris Roberson, Scott Kowalchuk & Dan Jackson, called THE STRANGERS. Full of action, adventure, and strange science, it’s a new monthly that we’re so excited about that we’re giving the first issue away for free!


Writer: Chris Roberson

Artist: Scott Kowalchuck

Colorist: Dan Jackson

The Fate of the World is in Good Hands. Protecting the planet from the strange is what Verity, Michael, and Sandoval do best, and on the island nation of Hidalgo, things have been getting very strange indeed. The president has declared martial law, sending everyone to excavations in the jungle. But the strangest thing of all is the involvement of the mysterious organization O.C.C.U.L.T. What could they want with an island with no strategic value? It’s up to the Strangers to find out!

Get a sneak peek at The Strangers #1 on Free Comic Book Day, and preorder #2 while you are at it! The story continues on July 17th, 2013, when both #1 and #2 retail editions go on sale.


Meet the creators of The Strangers on Free Comic Book Day!

Chris Roberson will be signing at Beach Ball Comics in Anaheim, CA from 11am to 3pm.

Scott Kowalchuk will be visiting two shops in Calgary, Alberta. Alpha Comics from 10am-1pm and Phoenix Comics SW 1:30pm-4pm.

2013 Eisner nominee Chris Schweizer and Mermin creator Joey Weiser, have paired up for this all ages offering sure to delight kids and parents everywhere!

Writers: Chris Schweizer & Joey Weiser

Artists: Chris Schweizer & Joey Weiser

Featuring two stories by two incredibly talented creators, a new Crogan's Adventure by Chris Schweizer, and an introduction to Mermin, a new story by Joey Weiser! In the Mermin Adventure, Mermin goes with Pete and his human classmates to the zoo. And in the Crogan's Adventure, you’ll get an epilogue to the story of one of the brothers from Crogan's Loyalty.


Meet Chris and Joey on Free Comic Book Day!

Chris Schweizer will be at Rick's Comic City in Nashville, TN.

Joey Weiser will be at Crimnal Records in Atlanta, GA.


Comment by Captain Comics on May 3, 2013 at 1:01pm

Press Release

Saturday, May 4th is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY and Archie Comics is once again proud to participate, offering up a flipbook featuring both Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog and, for the first time ever, a WORLD OF ARCHIE DIGEST.  

We’ve also got Archie creators doing signings and sketches in eleven different states all over the country!

Archie is providing a FREE WORLD OF ARCHIE DIGEST. At nearly 100 pages of FREE content, it’s the most FREE content you can get on Free Comic Book Day!

The free SONIC THE HEDGEHOG AND MEGA MAN flipbook is the prelude to the epic WORLDS COLLIDE crossover where the video game icons cross paths for the first time! It is scripted by Ian Flynn and features brand new cover art by Ben Bates.

For more details on what the Free Comic Book Day issues have in store, read on below:


Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead! The world’s most famous teenagers for over seven decades are all here in this FREE digest! Packed with non-stop laughs and gaffs that the Riverdale gang is known for, we challenge you to find a Free Comic Book Day offering with more pages than this! The perfect introduction to the world of Archie and friends, this digest is a great primer to the double digests that Archie Comics are known for. Filled with stories from some of the best creators in the business, this is the one to pick up on Free Comic Book Day!


(W) Ian Flynn (A) Ryan Jampole & Various (CA) Ben Bates
“Worlds Collide: PRELUDE” – It’s TWO free comic books in ONE! Just in time for the start of the epic Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man crossover event, “Worlds Collide,” comes a primer issue exclusively for Free Comic Book Day! Witness the journey these two epic heroes from both Sega and Capcom took to finally meet each other – Mega Man’s journey chronicled on one side, and Sonic the Hedgehog’s on the other! This is the must-have primer for the biggest comic book event of 2013 – as video game icons Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man meet for the very first time anywhere – featuring art from both Sonic and Mega Man comic book fame!

For more information and the signing schedule visit Free Comic Book Day on the Archie Blog. 
Comment by Captain Comics on May 3, 2013 at 1:02pm


Ape Entertainment and Sesame Workshop release Sesame Street Comics for Free Comic Book Day

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -May 1, 2013 - Ape Entertainment today announced in partnership with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization, the release of the first comic book featuring the cast of the beloved children’s show Sesame Street to coincide with national Free Comic Book Day on May 4. The new and original comic book series emphasizes educational and entertaining content for younger readers.

A Free Comic Book Day edition of the standard comic will be made available for free from participating comic retailers.  The premier issue of Sesame Street comics will be available in stores nationwide on Wednesday May 1. Produced in full color, the standard Sesame Street comic edition features 5 interlocking covers, which when placed side by side depict an “on the Street” scene featuring Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grover and the whole Sesame Street gang. Each of the 5 editions is full color, 28 pages, includes 5 Sesame Street stories and retails for $3.99.

The premier issue also includes the first in a series of “How to Read a Comic” features for parents to help new comic readers. Each “How to Read a Comic” highlights aspects of reading a comic aloud.  The first in the series describes how speech bubbles provide the narration and dialogue of the story. The “How to Read a Comic” features will be part of each Sesame Street comics issue and are also available online at

"We are so excited and proud to release our very first Sesame Street comic in time for Free Comic Book Day and to bring the Sesame Street characters to comics,” said Ape Entertainment COO Brent E. Erwin. “Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grover, and the whole Sesame Street gang have made the jump to the comic book page thanks to our talented comic creators here at Ape and we could not be more proud, it’s simply amazing."

“Comics have always seemed a natural extension for Sesame Street because they reflect the banter and humor that's such an iconic element of the TV show,” said Betsy Loredo, Executive Editor at Sesame Workshop. “We want to offer kids great content in every type of book that might attract them and to bring families together over a good story. We know comic book aficionados want to share their favorite format with their own preschoolers, so we are excited to offer an age-appropriate Sesame Street comic with stories that are designed from the start to be read aloud.”

Ape Entertainment’s mission to grow the comics industry by increasing awareness about comics among a new generation of readers takes a giant step forward with the release of its new Sesame Street comic this month.  Ape Entertainment hopes young readers and their parents will discover the exciting world of comics and start visiting a local comic book shop.  Parents can find a local comic shop in their area and plan a trip for Free Comic Book Day by visiting the Comics Shop Locator service at

For more information, please visit or

Comment by Captain Comics on May 3, 2013 at 1:05pm

Press Release

National Free Comic Book Day Hits Saturday, May 4th; Over 4.6 million comics to be given away free to comic shop customers

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On May 4th, over two thousand comic book shops across North America and around the world will share the magic of comic books with their communities when they give out over 4.6 million comic books—free of charge—during Free Comic Book Day. Comic Book Specialty Retailers expect record breaking attendance and have been preparing their shops for this event for months.

“Free Comic Book Day is a perfect occasion for customers to discover comic books”

There’s literally a free comic book available for everyone’s taste, including favorites such as Superman, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Walking Dead and Star Wars…there’s even a comic book on Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time.

Comic book publishing heavyweights Dark Horse Comics, DC Entertainment, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, and Marvel Comics are among the many sponsors creating special titles for Free Comic Book Day 2013. The free books are designed to appeal to a broad range of tastes, including action-packed super-hero stories featuring Superman and Marvel’s Infinity; sci-fi adventures set in the Star Wars universe; horrifying stories of survival in a zombie apocalypse The Walking Dead; and great kids comics for younger fans-The Smurfs, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Sesame Street to name a few.

“Free Comic Book Day is a perfect occasion for customers to discover comic books,” said FCBD spokesperson Leslie Bowser, “especially if they’re new to the wide variety of titles that are being published today. On May 4th, we encourage everyone to use Free Comic Book Day as an opportunity to learn about the great comic books and pop-culture merchandise that can be found at their local comic book shop. Hopefully, they’ll walk away with free comics they can't wait to read, then keep coming back to their local shop for more!”

Along with free comics, many comic book shops will feature events during the day including creator signings, appearances of favorite super-heroes or cosplayers and great deals on exclusives and sale items.

Customers can check out the full list of available titles on the Free Comic Book Day website,, and use the FCBD Store Locator to find a participating comic book shop in their area.

Look for more FCBD news and updates on the FCBD website,; become a fan at Facebook (; and follow us on Twitter:

(B-Roll Video, Cover Artwork, Book Previews, and Photo Images available upon request)

ABOUT FREE COMIC BOOK DAY— Celebrating its twelfth year, Free Comic Book Day is an annual event where participating comic book specialty shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops. The event is held the first Saturday in May and is the perfect opportunity to introduce friends and family to the many worlds of wonder available at local comic book shops. From super-heroes to slice of life to action/adventure and beyond, Free Comic Book Day has a comic book for everyone!

Comment by Captain Comics on May 3, 2013 at 1:50pm

Press Release

Photos from previous FCBDs

FCBD comics

Comment by Captain Comics on May 3, 2013 at 5:41pm

Press Release

Marvel’s INFINITY Comes Alive on Free Comic Book Day With Marvel AR!


This Saturday, Free Comic Book Day hits stores worldwide and Marvel wants fans to take the experience to a whole new level…using the Marvel AR app! First, dive into the biggest book for Free Comic Book Day, with Free Comic Book Day: Infinity! That’s right, the year’s biggest FCBD offering offers fans a sneak peek at the most anticipated comic event of the summer with an all-new original story by Jonathan Hickman & Jim Cheung – two blockbuster names in the industry! Thanos, one of the Marvel Universe’s greatest threats, has his sights set on Earth and he’ll do anything to take it…including destroying the Avengers! Utilizing the Marvel AR app (for iPhone®, iPad®, iPad Touch® & Android devices), fans can dive even deeper into the issue by activating exclusive behind the scenes clips that shed more light on the red-hot event! But that’s not all! Free Comic Book Day: Infinity also includes Thanos’ first solo story, and a preview of Avengers: Endless Wartime – Marvel’s first original graphic novel by Warren Ellis & Mike McKone!


Can’t wait for the newest addition to the Marvel Universe block on Disney XD, Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.? Love the Jade Giant and his friends? Well Marvel has you covered because if you pick up Free Comic Book Day: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., you’ll be treated to a preview of the first episode before the show hits your TV screen! In advance of the show’s premiere on August 11th, no fan can miss out on this great offering, including an exclusive interview with the voice of Hulk himself, Fred Tatasciore, when you use the Marvel AR app! Free Comic Book Day: Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. also includes a first look of the new animated series Marvel’s Avengers Assemble before the one-hour preview on May 26th, and series premiere on July 7th on Disney XD.


“This year, we’re proud at the sheer amount of orders we’ve received for our offerings, as they’re our highest Free Comic Book Day offerings yet,” said David Gabriel, Senior Vice President of Sales, Print & Digital. “Never before have we offered fans so much fantastic content and with the extras available through the Marvel AR app at no additional cost, this is one Free Comic Book Day nobody can miss!”


Marvel encourages all comic book fans to check out Free Comic Book Day: Infinity, Free Comic Book Day: Hulk And The Agents Of S.M.A.S.H. & all the other great offerings from all over the industry on Saturday, May 4th, as the historic Free Comic Book Day arrives at your local comic shop! For more information on FCBD, please visit


iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.  Android is a trademark of Google Inc.




Pencils & Cover by JIM CHEUNG





Comment by Jason Marconnet (Pint sized mod) on May 4, 2013 at 12:13am

Thanks for posting all the info, Cap. I'm looking forward to FCBD. I'll be volunteering at my LCS for at least part of the day. I volunteered two years ago and had a blast.


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