Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day, so here I am with this year's edition of the FCBD guide! For those of you who have never participated, it may be helpful to have a few of the details clarified. Generally, FCBD goes something like this: You enter your local comic shop-- if you're unsure where the nearest one is, you can find out right here-- and the FCBD comics are displayed on a table or shelf, usually separate from the rest of the merchandise. Some shops place a limit on how many free books you can choose, while some let you grab as many as you like; it's all up to the owners of each store. Whatever the case, make sure to buy something while you're there, because while the comics are free to customers, the stores have to pay for them. They pay much less than they do for a normal comic, but it's still money out of their pockets.
FCBD grows each year, and so does the selection of free comics. It can be a little overwhelming, particularly with all the extra traffic most shops experience during the event. It helps to have a few key comics in mind that you're interested in. Lucky thing you happened across this, eh? (Of course, keep in mind that not every comic shop will have ordered every single comic. Generally, the majority will be offered, however.)
The owners of Hattiesburg's own Southern Fried Comics graciously allowed me to come by a few days early and read through this year's comics. Thanks to their generosity, I'm able to bring you a much more thorough look at this year's FCBD offerings! Let's start by taking a look at my top picks.
Bongo Comics Free-For-All: Bongo's Simpsons comics are always great fun appropriate for all-ages, and this year's FCBD offering is no exception.
Secret Empire: This tie-in to Marvel's big summer event includes a twist I can't believe still hasn't been spoiled. It also includes a preview of the upcoming Spectacular Spider-Man series.
Wonder Woman: This is a reprint of last year's Wonder Woman #2, part one of the Year One story. It's not only a damn good comic, but a great introduction to the character for anyone interested in reading about her. If you're excited about the upcoming movie, definitely pick this up!
X-O Manowar: Valiant has been publishing some of the most consistently good comics available since their return several years ago, and this continues that tradition. Previews of several other Valiant series are also included.
World's Greatest Cartoonists: Fantagraphics has compiled a thick issue packed with short stories from a variety of creators, spanning several genres. If you're feeling like somethinf off the beaten path, pick this up!
Tex- Patagonia: Westerns used to be one of the most prominent genres in comics, but they have become increasingly rare over the years, so it's always nice to see more.
Keyser Soze- Scorched Earth: This prequel to the classic The Usual Suspects promises to be very interesting indeed!
Betty & Veronica: Archie has completely revitalized their comics in the past few years, and this issue is a great sampler for anyone curious about what they're doing.
2000 A.D: The long-running British anthology is always interesting, and this year's FCBD offering is as great as ever.
The Incal: A thirty-page excerpt from the classic graphic novel by Moebius, one of the all-time greats.
The Tick: It's the Tick! What more needs to be said?
Rick and Morty: The comic delivers the same subversive, biting sci-fi humor and adventure as the animated series. A must for fans of the show!
Star Trek: The Next Generation- Mirror Broken: I've never been a huge Star Trek fan, but even I found this interesting. A story set in the mirror universe, with evil versions of the ST:TNG protagonists, is a Trekkie's wet dream. Plus, it has Patrick Stewart in a tank top with a rockin' beard. What's not to love?
Catalyst Prime- The Event: a threat from space gives rise to a wave of superhumans in this story by Christopher Priest. It's an intriguing setup for a new universe of superhero adventures.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: I haven't had much interest in the TMNT since I was 10 or 11, but this is an engaging issue that made me interested in checking out the ongoing series.
Spongebob Freestyle Funnies
DC Superhero Girls
Fresh Off the Boat
Bad Machinery (more appropriate for older kids)
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: Explains what the CBLDF is, and why freedom of expression in print is important in a kid-friendly format.
Boom Studios' Summer Blast
Those are the comics that jumped out at me for one reason or another, but there are still more! You can peruse the full list of FCBD comics here. No slight is intended to the comics I didn't mention here; these are just the ones that stood out a bit more. Whatever you're interested in, the important thing is to support your local comic book shop tomorrow, and have fun!