Free Comic Book Day is now August 2021

Banner image showing the Free Comic Book Day artwork; says Celebrating 20 years of free comics

Free Comic Book Day is exactly what it sounds like -- a day full of free comics!  Each year, hundreds of comic book shops across the country (and even worldwide) dedicate one day to giving away free comic books to anyone who comes into their shops.  Traditionally, FCBD has been held on the first Saturday in May each year.  Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused a little bit of a schedule distruption.  Instead, FCBD 2021 will be held Saturday, August 14, in hopes that much of the concerns surrounding the virus will have passed.  This year's celebration marks the 20th anniversary!

Created by comic book seller Joe Field, Free Comic Book Day started in 2002.  The event was started to help get comics into the hands of customers who would otherwise not be reading those comics, either because they couldn't afford to buy them or because they lacked interest in certain titles.  The event was so popular and such a boost for the industry that it became an annual event!

Want to know more about comics and the history behind the artform?  Check out the rad titles below, or visit our catalog:

 

Book Cover: Invisible Men by Ken Quattro

Invisible Men: Black Artists of the Golden Age of Comics by Ken Quattro

Hear the riveting stories of Black artists as they broke through into a world formerly occupied only by whites. Using primary source material from World War II-era Black newspapers and magazines, this compelling book profiles pioneers like E.C. Stoner, a descendant of one of George Washington's slaves, who became a renowned fine artist of the Harlem Renaissance and the first Black to draw comic books. Then there is Matt Baker, the most revered of the Black artists, whose exquisite art spotlights stunning women and men, and who drew the first groundbreaking Black comic book hero, Vooda!

The book is gorgeously illustrated with rare examples of each artist's work, including full stories from mainstream comic books to rare titles like All-Negro Comics and Negro Heroes, plus unpublished artist's photos. Invisible Men features Ken Quattro's impeccable research and lean writing detailing the social and cultural environments that formed these extraordinary, yet invisible, men!

Book Cover: Why Comics by Hillary Chute

 

Why comics?: From Underground to Everywhere by Hillary Chute [2017]

The massive impact that comics have had on our culture becomes more and more clear every day, from the critically acclaimed musical Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s groundbreaking comic, to the dozens of superhero films hitting cinemas every year. What is it that makes comics so special? What can this unique art form do that others can’t?

In Why Comics?, comics scholar Hillary Chute reveals the history of comics, underground comics (or comix), and graphic novels, through deep thematic analysis, and fascinating portraits of the fearless men and women behind them. As Scott McCloud revealed the methods behind comics and the way they worked in his classic Understanding Comics, Chute will reveal the themes that Comics handle best, and how the form is uniquely equipped to explore them.

Book Cover: Powers of a Girl by Lorraine Cink

 

Powers of a Girl by Lorraine Cink [2019]

Using her in-depth knowledge and passion for Super Heroes, Lorraine Cink explores the lives of the exceptional and diverse women of the Marvel Universe. Filled with inspirational lessons and clever observations, each section digs into what these relatable women can teach us all about growth, bravery, and the true meaning of strength. Paired with over one hundred original, vibrant, and emotive illustrations from the talented Alice X. Zhang, this book balances the responsibility and the fun that comes with being a hero.
Featuring popular characters including Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Shuri, Okoye, Squirrel Girl, and more, this book has something for everyone.

 

 

 

Book Cover: Slugfest by Reed TuckerSlugfest: Inside the Epic, 50-year Battle Between Marvel and DC by Reed Tucker [2017]

The most bruising battle in the superhero world isn't between spandex-clad characters; it's between the publishers themselves. For more than 50 years, Marvel and DC have been locked in an epic war, tirelessly trading punches and trying to do to each other what Batman regularly does to the Joker's face. Slugfest, the first book to tell the history of this epic rivalry into a single, juicy narrative, is the story of the greatest corporate rivalry never told. It is also an alternate history of the superhero, told through the lens of these two publishers.

Slugfest will combine primary-source reporting with in-depth research to create a more fun Barbarians at the Gate for the comic book industry. Complete with interviews with the major names in the industry, Slugfest reveals the arsenal of schemes the two companies have employed in their attempts to outmaneuver the competition, whether it be stealing ideas, poaching employees, planting spies, ripping off characters or launching price wars. Sometimes the feud has been vicious, at other times, more cordial. But it has never completely disappeared, and it simmers on a low boil to this day.

Book Cover: We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust by Rafael Medoff, Neal Adams, Craig Yoe

 

We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust by Rafael Medoff, Neal Adams, Craig Yoe

Crucial comic book stories about the Holocaust and interviews with their artists and writers, with a cover drawn especially for this book by Neal Adams.

An amazing but forgotten chapter in comics history. Long before the Holocaust was taught in schools or presented in films such as Schindler's List, the youth of America was learning about the Nazi genocide from Batman, the X-Men, Captain America, and Sgt. Rock. Comics legend Neal Adams, Holocaust scholar Rafael Medoff, and comics historian Craig Yoe bring together a remarkable collection of comic book stories that introduced an entire generation to an engaging and important subject. We Spoke Out is an extraordinary journey into a compelling and essential topic.

 

Book Cover: A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee

A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee [2019]

The comprehensive biography of Stan lee, father of Spider-Man and The Avengers, beloved comicbook writer and editor, and former president and publisher of Marvel Comics, by Lee's colleague of over four decades.

Danny Fingeroth writes a comprehensive biography of this powerhouse of ideas who changed the world’s understanding of what a hero is and how a story should be told, while exploring Lee's unique path to becoming the face of comics.

With behind-the-scenes stories and interviews with Stan’s brother Larry Lieber and other industry legends, The Marvelous Life has insights that only an insider like Fingeroth can offer.

Fingeroth, himself a longtime writer and editor at Marvel Comics and now a lauded pop culture critic and historian, knew and worked with Stan Lee for over three decades. Due to this connection, Fingeroth is able to put Lee’s life and work in a context that makes events and actions come to life as no other writer could.

Book Cover: The Joe Shuster Story by Julian Voloj

 

The Joe Shuster Story: The Artist Behind Superman by Julian Voloj [2018]

Everyone knows Superman, but not everyone knows the story of two youngsters from Cleveland who created Superman. Based on archival material and original sources, "Truth, Justice, and the American Way: The Joe Shuster Story" tells the story of the friendship between writer Jerry Siegel and illustrator Joe Shuster, and puts it into the wider context of the American comicbook industry.

 

 

 

Book Cover: The Ten Cent Plague by David Hajdu

 

 

The Ten-Cent Plague: the Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America by David Hajdu [2008]

In the years between World War II and the emergence of television as a mass medium, American popular culture as we know it was first created--in the pulpy, boldly illustrated pages of comic books. No sooner had this new culture emerged than it was beaten down by church groups, community bluestockings, and a McCarthyish Congress--only to resurface with a crooked smile on its face in "Mad "magazine.

 

 

 

While we not-so-patiently wait for the rescheduled event in August, use the time to catch up on some of your favorite comic book superheroes with our collection of graphic novels -- we also have them in electronic format on Overdrive

Need even more FCBD info?  Our Gale in Context eSource has various local news articles and videos about the event from all over the country.  Want to know more of the sordid and controversial details of the industry?  Our Issues & Controversies eSource has all sorts of thought-provoking articles to browse.  Check out the CreativeBug eSource for fandom related craft ideas, like cosplay creation or how to draw manga!

There are lots of great comic books out there, and not nearly enough time to read them all.  Hopefully you can find some good ones to entertain yourself with until this year's Free Comic Book Day!

 

Comic book style text reads See Ya!

 

 

Posted by Sean on April 23, 2021