brings a great day in the life of comic book fans. No, not
the opening of X2, but a marketing ploy so simple in
its genius that it's a wonder this is only the second time
it's happened. For on Saturday, May 3, after everybody gets
deservedly worked up over the aforementioned X2, it's
Free Comic Book Day.
the success of last year's event (timed with Spider-Man),
publishers have planned their efforts to bring even more attention
to their lines. The big two, Marvel and DC, have differing
with its strategy last year, DC offers up a title from its
television animation division, bringing back The Batman
Adventures with a new number one. What makes it different
this year is that this same issue also sees a regular store
debut today. While it's likely that the two editions have
different page counts, the content looks to be the same in
both. Or DC will have suckered me into owning 1 and a half
of the same.
however, is using the day to bring new readers to a flagship
title, with a twist in their hometown. Teaming with the New
York Post for publicity, Marvel has inserted 500,000 copies
of Ultimate X-Men #2 into the papers going out to subscribers.
If you subscribe, you'll either get it in today or tomorrow's
paper, depending on your borough.
with that insert is an ad telling you where to go to get Ultimate
X-Men #1 on Free Comic Book Day. Remember, kids, only
the first two are free.
too, will offer up one of its key books: Way of the Rat
#1, which has also found its way into the pages of Cinescape
magazine. A book that echoes the feel of a Jackie Chan movie
(a good Jackie Chan movie), Way of the Rat seems
a wise choice from Florida.
publishers are launching entire new lines: Dark Horse, for
example, will spring into their new sci-fi Rocket imprint
with Ignite, the story of a future robot learning too
much about its culture's origins. Last year the Oregon publisher
offered a Star Wars tie-in with more character development
than the entire Episode II.
publisher taking the biggest risk is Second
2 Some Studios, with Christa Shermot's 100% Guaranteed
How-To Manual For Getting Anyone To Read Comic Books!!!tm.
It's easy to guarantee a free item. But writer
Myatt Murphy and artist Scott Dalrymple really have taken
an ambitious step.
characters and excerpts from their regular book Fade
From Blue, the creative team make not so much an argument
for their own company as comics in general. It's a noble effort,
but one that has a built-in drawback: how are you going to
get this into the hands of someone who doesn't read comics?
you do, can you force them to read it? If it's a loved one,
they will. And they'll find some decent arguments for the
The book tends to be on the wordy side, and as Scott Mccloud
once pointed out, some readers simply don't know how to follow
the order of word balloons. From that perspective, Murphy might
have tried to cut them down a bit. But then it's not much in
Christa Shermot's character to use one word where ten will do.
the book does have is a good, if simplistic, breakdown of
the various arguments people have against reading comics,
which the team refutes. Beware, though; some guys are not
going to be able to get past the appearance of a "chick book."
valuable feature, though, is in the back. Murphy has put together
a cross reference of television shows and movies matched with
comic books that convey some of the same feel. While he doesn't
really explain where to find these books, chances are the
comic book store you got this book from would be a good
place to start looking.
recommend that you pick up a copy to pass over to a carefully
selected naysayer. For yourself, take a shot at something
from a smaller press that you normally wouldn't. And if you
have children or know children, pick up The Batman Adventures
(Ultimate X-Men for older kids, maybe).
got to start the little nippers young, and teach them there's
more to reading than Harry Potter. There's also a guy who
dresses up like a bat.