Until recently, I didn’t realize that Free Comic Book Day is a “thing,” like Black Friday or something. Not a holiday, but still a nationally recognized day when comics people stop what they’re doing and celebrate comics. Yay comics!
I’m equally passionate about the idea that art (ideas, knowledge, inspiration) should be free as I am about the idea that artists should be able to support themselves doing their art. Public funding for the arts is incredibly important, but there are only so many grants to go around. I address this in my work with a pay-what-you-want model, which allows the comic to be open to everyone who wants to see it and allows those who have the means to contribute to the creation of more art.
Free Comic Book Day aims toward the same goal. Go to your local comics shop(s) today and pick up whatever free comics look interesting. Then browse around to see if there’s anything else in your budget that might be fun. Buying a comic from a local brick-and-mortar shop not only supports that independent retailer, but it also supports the publisher (can you find a small press producing comics you like?) and everyone else who contributes to the comics creation, such as the writers, the pencilers, the inkers, the colorists, the letterers, the editors, the publicists, etc. (I should also mention that you can catch Michael Neno, artist of The Outbreak, at Pack Rat Comics all day.)
But even if you can’t make it to a physical store for some reason, take some time to check out the amazing free/pay-what-you-want comics online, most of which are available all 365 days of the year! Pay attention to the names of the creators, and try to find other work they’ve done. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few of my favorites:
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