It’s today! Around the world, comic book stores will give you comic books if you pay them a visit today. And it’s also “Independent Bookstore Day” — a new event started last year which has since expanded to over 400 bookstores across the U.S.A. Amazon is keeping quiet about both events, but many of the free comic books also eventually become free Kindle ebooks! You can still find some of last year’s free titles in Amazon’s Kindle Store — plus a chance to pre-order this year’s free preview of the D.C. Universe’s upcoming “Divergence” storyline.
It’s an interesting moment in time. “Instead of heralding the industry’s doom, the death of Borders may have helped clear away competition,” writes The Washington Post, explaining the origins of Independent Bookstore Day. Comic book stores have been celebrating their event for over a decade, and this year both Marvel and D.C. Comics are using it to promote upcoming storylines in their comic books. But they’ll be joined by dozens of independent publishers who are giving away 50 free comic books today. Here’s some of the more interesting titles.
– D.C. Comics offers a comic with three different “previews” — 8-page excerpts from actual upcoming comic books (Batman, Justice League, and Superman). It’s promoting a new ongoing storyline about a war with “the biggest villains in the D.C. universe” — and on Monday, you’ll be able to download it as a free Kindle ebook!
– Matt Groening contributed a comic book featuring The Simpson’s. Its title is “Bongo Free-For-All”, and its cover shows Bart and Lisa Simpson (plus his friends Nelson and Milhouse) fighting four other children over their favorite comic book, “Radioactive Man”.
– Marvel comics is releasing a special “Avengers” comic book, celebrating the release of the second movie in their blockbuster franchise. And they’re also giving away a free “Secret Wars” comic showing “the final days of the Marvel Universe as you know,” teasing an upcoming storyline that they’re promising will be “the biggest comic event of the year.”
– Chuck Palahniuk is even contributing a free “Fight Club” comic book (which also includes a new story by Guillermo del Toro based on his vampire novel, “The Strain.”)
– Neil Gaiman’s “Lady Justice” returns to comic book stores. (“Back in print for the first time in two decades!”) It’s a full reprint of the very first issue of the comic book from 1991, in a series that was created (though not always written) by science fiction legend Neil Gaiman.
– There’s also a Dr. Who comic for fans of the long-running (and recently-revived) science fiction series. (“Take a blistering trip through time and space with three stunning ALL-NEW short stories featuring Tenth Doctor, Eleventh Doctor and the brand-new Twelfth Doctor by the ongoing DOCTOR WHO creative teams.”
– Boom! Studios is releasing a special compendium with 10 stories using several different famous characters including Snoopy, Garfield, and the fanciful muppet characters from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth.
– Bob’s Burgers gets commemorated with this special collection of the best stories from its first run as a comic book, written by the writers and animators of the popular FOX cartoon. (“Thrill to Tina’s Friend Fiction, Louise’s Unsolved Mysteries and Curious Curiosities, Gene Belcher Presents: The Musical, and more!)
– Steampunk Goldilocks. Author/illustrator Rod Espinosa continues his re-imaginings of classic stories by bringing a retro-geeky to the story of Goldilocks. (With a special cameo by Ms. Muffet)
– There’s also comic books with The Tick, SpongeBob SquarePants, Scooby Doo, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
It’s the perfect time to introduce your young family members to the joys of reading comic books. (And the perfect time to enjoy it yourself!)
Remember, for a shortcut to Amazon’s “Free Comic Book Day” ebooks, point your browser to