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Graphic novel lovers rejoice! Saturday, August 14, 2021, is Free Comic Book Day (FCBD). This means you can walk into any one of the 2300+ participating retailers and obtain a copy, or two, of the 50 comic books specially published for the event for free! The annual celebration usually takes place on the first Saturday in May. However, this year it was postponed to August due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now celebrating its 20th year, the global event is the brainchild of comic book retailer Joe Field. The proprietor of the Concord, CA-based Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff came up with the idea in 2002 after noticing the popularity of Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day. Field thought giving away comic books would introduce a new generation of readers — both young and old — to the magical world of graphic novels. He suggested the idea to fellow retailers, publishers, and distributors, and FCBD became a reality. To make the event even more meaningful, publishers began creating unique titles for the event.
This year, Marvel Comics will offer two graphic novels featuring the Avengers and Spider-Man, respectively. DC Comics will celebrate the recent theatrical release of The Suicide Squad with a 32-page comic book dedicated to the dangerous supervillains. Batman fans will be able to get a sneak peek at Jace Fox, the new Dark Knight, with another special comic.
Offerings for younger kids include The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids from Scholastic and Penguin's Who Sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott? Rosa Parks. "This year’s lineup of titles has something for every kind of comic fan,” said FCBD spokesperson Ashton Greenwood.
A visit to your local comic book retailer may be worth the time, even if the free titles do not interest you. Most vendors will discount all comic books substantially on this fun day. They will also offer special FCBD collectible merchandise. This year, the choices include a four-pack black and white set of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Minimates Box Set.
Don't forget to mark your calendars and get some free and discounted comics on August 14. To find a participating merchant closest to you and see a list of all the free titles that will be available, go to: freecomicbookday.com.