Man has always sought reasons to celebrate and in order to add to those reasons, unusual holidays have found their way into our calendars over the years. There’s International Surfing Day (June 21), Cannabis Day (April 20, to be followed by Surprise Drug Test Day the next day), Sex & Pornography Day (Jan. 18), Towel Day (May 2, for you Douglas Adams fans), and now…Free Comic Book Day!
Free Comic Book Day falls on the 1st Saturday in May, and what happens on that day? You guessed it…FREE COMICS!
Started in North America (one of the birthplaces of the medium…the other one is Japan), Free Comic Book Day has spread around the world!
This May 5 comic shops around the metro open their doors and let their zombie-like, comic-hungry patrons shuffle through the door and allow them to wreak havoc! Just kidding. What originally started as a day for people to share their own comics has mutated into something much more!
The big imprints such as Marvel, DC, IDW now create comics specifically for this day. These are even categorized into Gold and Silver comics. You can see a complete list of titles to be given away on the website of Free Comic Book Day.
When In Manila, you can get your free comics from these publishers at the shops listed at the end of this article. Filipinos are known for their talent and love of comics (and of all things free!) and a lot of big comic companies and animation studios hire Filipino talent. Gerry Alanguilan, Leinil Yu, Carlos Pagulayan, just to name a few. The legends who paved the way, Alfred Alcala, Francisco Coching, Alex Niño, Tony DeZuniga, etc, established the Filipino’s mark as an outstanding and lightning quick illustrator (if only we could be so punctual with all things!).
Komiks All-Star edited by Andrew Villar available at Comix Hub. Cover art by Carlo Vergara and colors by Amos Villar
It bears mentioning that Tony DeZuniga, living legend, creator of Jonah Hex, and one of the first Filipinos to work in the international comics industry, was just recently hospitalized, and that a lot of local comic creators are pulling together to help him cover his medical bills.
Art by Rommel Estanislao
A tight-knit group of comic fans, artists, shop owners like Sandy Sansolis of Comic Odyssey are using Free Comic Book Day as a way not just to celebrate their love for comics, but as a fund-raiser for Tony DeZuniga. On-the-spot sketch commissions and comic sale proceeds will be donated to him. This is proof that comics is not just low-brow entertainment or an excuse to make blockbuster movies, they can actually create change!
Hulk vs Thor by Jose Gamboa. 10.5 x 15″ pencil on paper. A portion of the sale will go to Tony DeZuniga’s medical fund.
That’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to create comics too. For Free Comic Book Day, I’m releasing The Man Who Wanted to be the First Politician Who Didn’t Harm Anyone & other stories. This online comic containing five never-before-published comics can be downloaded for FREE and may be the longest comic book title yet!
Here are some of the other Filipino-created titles being given away on Free Comic Book Day: Lukso, penned by Trese creator Budjette Tan with art by Andrew Villar, Komiks All-Star, edited by Andrew Villar, and FCBD Komiks by various artists. To see a full list of contributors as well as details on the fundraiser for Tony deZuniga, go here.
Art by Allen Geneta
Art by Allen Geneta & Andrew Villar
In the glorious tradition of Kazu Kibishi’s Flight anthologies, the Quarterly Bathroom Companion Comic Compendium (or QBCCC for short) by DJ Legaspi and Josel Nicolas, compiles works from different local artists and is now on its third volume. I’ve not read any of these, but I’m interested to pick it up just by looking at the cover!
QBCCC # 2 cover art by Teddy Pavon
Fully Booked plays by their own rules! Why? Because they can! You can get free comics at Fully Booked branches on the third week of May.