Friday, May 13, 2011

Free Comic Book Day - Our Experience

I was very impressed with Free Comic Book Day which took place on Saturday, May 7. Uhn Gi, Monkey Georgia and I went to 3 comic book stores in the Louisville area: The Zone, The Great Escape and Comic Book World.

On the website, it said that each location would have its own rules about the giveaways. I expected to only be able to get 1 book.
  • At The Zone, we were allowed to get 1 copy of each comic, but we had to buy something. (We got Monkey Georgia a Spiderman Fairytales comic because she's suddenly obsessed with Spiderman.)
  • At The Great Escape, each person was allowed to get 5 comic books with no purchase required. Uhn Gi  found something for me for Mother's Day, though, so we still made a purchase.
  • At Comic Book World, we were allowed 6 comic books. I don't think we got that many because we had most of the ones they were giving away at that point. Monkey Georgia did get 2 temporary tattoos though.
I kept looking for Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Firefly comics (any Joss Whedon comics, really), but had trouble finding them. I prefer to get them in graphic novel form instead of in comic book form just because they feel more shelf stable, but I had trouble understanding the shelving system at the stores.

I did find a graphic novel of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen and I was thisclose to buying it. I really enjoyed the movie, and even reading the first page or so of the graphic novel was fun. (I really should read this book!)

At the last store, I finally asked someone where the Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan) comics were. Dark Horse (I think) started publishing them years ago, but stopped and we did not have all of them. To our surprise, another company has started making the comics from the very beginning of the series (and are publishing them very slowly).

While showing my husband this incredible find, I looked up and saw the Joss Whedon endcap: Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse and Dr. Horrible all in one place. I left him to his own devices (I love Wheel of Time, but a girl's gotta have priorities), and started browsing the Whedon shelf. Immediately my eye was drawn to the hardcover Firefly graphic novel about Shepherd Book.

I apologize if you have NO idea what I'm talking about. Just know that Shepherd Book is one of the most complicated characters I've seen on television and I've waited 8 years or so to figure out what his deal was. This book ended up coming home with me. I may end up becoming a comic book girl after all. (I did see all 7 of the current graphic novels of Buffy season 8, but I figured they aren't going anywhere anytime soon.)

I also learned that the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet also have comic books. How fun is that?

A few things surprised me about comic books. I had read that because comic books have become such an art form that there aren't really very many for kids anymore. And it is true that the kids' section was small. I was pleased to see lots of Disney comics (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pixar, etc), the Smurfs, Darkwing Duck (I loved him when I was in high school!), and Scooby Doo. I even saw Archie comics.

We found an Animaniacs comic book in the "older issues" section and it was being sold for $10. I wish I had known back then that they were being published (I could have handled paying $1.50 - I think).

Another surprise? History comic books. One of the free books that I picked up was Civil War Adventures published by History Graphics Press. I think it's awesome that someone is trying to help history come alive for people. That's what history is: stories. Stories that inform us about the past, and help learn for the future, yes. But first and foremost, there are stories. If history is approached as a set of facts that have to be memorized, it is not nearly as interesting as it should be.

Did you get to participate in Free Comic Book Day? What was your experience? I've already marked my calendar for next year!

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