Free comic books, anyone?

MANILA, Philippines - The Avengers, Justice League, Transformers — these are just some of the well-loved comic books that readers can get to have for free on Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) this month.

FCBD is a day when participating comic book stores across North America and around the world give away free comic books to anyone who comes into their shops. The event aims to introduce everyone to the joys of reading comics, call back former comic book readers, and thank buyers for their continued support.

This event started in the Philippines 10 years ago when local book shops and comic artists banded together to give away free copies of graphic novels. It was then held every first and last Saturday of May.

Promotional strategy

Today, organizers choose to hold FCBD every May, when movie adaptations of comic books are usually screened in theaters. This year, FCBD coincides with the showing of Marvel’s The Avengers movie (In 2005 and 2006, though, FCBD took place without any comic-book-adaptation movie).

Organizers usually invite a comic book artist or writer to the event for signing. Comic sketches are given away; collectibles like action figures and t-shirts are sold.

“(FCBD is) a big deal because this is an activity that promotes not only comic books and comic book stores, but — more importantly — it encourages reading and therefore promotes literacy,” says comic book writer and artist Gerry Alanguilan in his blog.

WITH OR WITHOUT MOVIES. FCBD is a tradition that will continue with or without comic-book-movie adaptations in theaters. Photo from FCBD Philippines' Facebook page.

WITH OR WITHOUT MOVIES. FCBD is a tradition that will continue with or without comic-book-movie adaptations in theaters. Photo from FCBD Philippines' Facebook page.

Comic book storesunite

In the Philippines, not all comic book specialty shops and bookstores will join the event. There are only select stores who will participate on the following dates:

May 5 - Comic Odyssey, Robinsons Galleria; Planet X Comic Shop, TriNoma and Glorietta 

May 19 - Fully-Booked (Check their website for participating branches)

A special sketching event will take place in Comic Odyssey for the benefit of comic book legend Tony De Zuniega, creator of the characters Jonah Hex and Black Orchid for DC Comics. He is also the first Filipino to ever do illustrations for Marvel. The 70-year-old legend suffered a stroke last month and is now also suffering from pneumonia. Artists will accept on-site sketch commission for the Mr. Zuniga. - Rappler.com

 

(For a list of other participating stores, check FCBD Philippines' Facebook account.)

Click on the links below for more.