On Saturday May 2nd an event of epic proportions will occur in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport — as well as in comic book shops all across the U.S. and throughout the world —it will be Free Comic Book Day! That’s right, kids, on the very same weekend that the new Marvel Comics movie, The Avenger: The Age of Ultrons, hits the theaters Rogue Comics (3000 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06605, 203.334.5566) will be celebrating annual Free Comic Book Day (FCBD). This event is an industry-wide celebration which was began in 2002 and is coordinated by Diamond Distributing (the major distribution venue of comics in the U.S.) to bring attention to this uniquely American form of entertainment which has spread out from the U.S. to the world. Here in Bridgeport, Free Comic Book Day will be hosted by Michael Fuller — the owner of Rogue Comics.
Free Comic Book Day is an industry-wide event where essentially all of the major U.S. comicbook companies plus quite a few mid-sized and Indie publishers participate in the event. This year, the comics that are to be given away free to patrons number as much as 50 comics which come from dozens of publishers. These comicbooks tend to be either special promo comics promoting what readers can expect over the coming year, reprints of previously issued popular comics, or comics containing new stand-alone stories promoting a specific event. Fuller indicated that Free Comic Book Day is like a great big celebration in the comicbook industry, and he loves hosting such an event at his shop. He stated, “This event allows fans to check out comics from publishers that they might not have ever picked up before.” He then went on to state that the comics that have been specially-produced for FCBD are specially designed to promote that publisher’s line of comics in the attempt to (hopefully) hook new readers, both from within and from outside the industry, into picking up new material. “It’s a really great idea, and it not only helps bring new customers into my store, but new readers to comics themselves.”
Comic companies providing books this year supporting FCBD include: IDW, Archie, Transcontinental, Archaia, Bongo, Boom!, Mad Engine, Dark Horse, DC, OmniPress, Image, WhizKids, and numerous others. Fuller believes that the fact that there is always a blockbuster comic book film released the weekend of Free Comic Book Day helps (this year it is The Avengers). In addition to stocking his store with tons of comics and comic-related merchandise, he also has trading cards, toys, models, and much more.
Comicbooks as we know them were originally created in the early days of the 20th Century as an outgrowth of syndicated newspaper funnies. Today, comicbooks feature a wide variety of diverse storylines featuring everything from Superheroes to zombies, to funny animals, to sci-fi, and more, all of which is designed to capture the imagination of readers. For what it’s worth, comics have survived the rise of radio, the ubiquity of TV, the spread of color and sound movies, the dominance of videogames, and the immediacy of the Internet. To learn more about comics and Free Comic Book Day come on out to Rogue Comics (3002 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06605, 203.334.5566) and talk to Michael Fuller on Saturday May 5st.
For more information about Free Comic Book Day or to arrange an interview with Fuller at Rogue Comics located at 3000 Fairfield Avenue, call him at 203.334.5566. Store hours for Rogue Comics are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: from Noon to 7 p.m.; Tuesday 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday Noon to 7 p.m.; and Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m. Free Comic Book Day begins at Noon on Saturday May 2nd and continues all day until closing at 7:00 p.m.
Robert J. Sodaro has been writing for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web.