Free Comic Book Day: The Grad-School Thesis

Congress has not seen fit to OK a national Free Slab Of Hot, Crisp Bacon Day. But the comics industry has Free Comic Book Day, which is a step in the right direction.

I’ve just made my rounds of my usual shop: The Outer Limits in Waltham, MA. They had a great turnout in the past hour…and of all the right people. Lots of parents were bringing their kids in, which was a cheery sight.

Best quote of the hour, overheard as a father pored through back issues of “Iron Man” with his son. “Look for ones where the armor is simple red and gold,” he counseled. “The ones where they do weird things with the armor are usually the bad ones.”

It brought a tear to my eye and made me wish I had a child to share my accumulated life wisdom with.

I also liked the sibling dynamics on display. The shop imposed a limit if six free comics per person. Most of the big publishers produce an array of Free Comics for the event, which this store augments with some of it’s own inventory. Call it 18 to 20 different free comics

So here comes the child psychology. You’re here with your two siblings. If you pool your resources, you can run the table and come home with the whole library.

OR…you can come home with just a third of them. AND you won’t have to share them with anybody.

I honestly don’t know which response indicates a better-adjusted kid and family.

11 thoughts on “Free Comic Book Day: The Grad-School Thesis”

  1. My daughter is just about the right age to start schooling on the ways of four color goodness. Right now she gets a Scrooge McDuck or Mickey comic.

    I’m old enough to have looked at Eastman and Laird’s first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and have thought it was a really stupid idea and who would ever buy that. The twenty-fifth anniversary reprint of TMNT #1 was a free comic today. That thing still stands up.

  2. I’ve had enough experience (and watched enough tv) to know that you never share comic books. It never works out in the end.

  3. Andy: Don’t bother regretting not having little clones with whom to share the joys of comix. It turns out that kids hardly ever like what the parents like. In fact, they go for the opposite. Don’t you remember when you were a kid?

  4. Ya know, children are hereditary, if you parents didn’t have any, odds are you won’t either.

  5. After a long day at a conservative christian homeschool ren-faire (don’t ask, it will only depress me), I took my boys to our local shop and picked through the remaining free comics. The highlight for the 5 year old was the toy collection on the high shelf. The highlight for me (aside from the girl behind the counter still remembering my name even though I’ve not been in the shop since they moved a year ago) was seeing the rather large gentlemen (over 6 feet tall and around 300 lbs) who was dressed up as a member of KISS, complete with make-up, who was lounging in a folding chair holding a sleeping infant. Made me wish I had a camera handy.

  6. My boys are 3 and they’re absolutely fascinated with my comics — They pick up an issue and point to each character on the cover, demanding “Who’s THIS guy?” So at Free Comic Book Day I got them the first issue of Boom Studio’s Cars comic. They loved it, but were even more excited by the Incredibles preview in the back.

    It’s so gratifying when you can see them heading down the path you hoped they’d pick.

  7. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  8. I remember an era of free and regular blog posts by Andy. Now I guess we can only read Andy where he is paid–but isn’t quite as free in what and how he writes, or in 140 character snips. Big sigh…

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