Free Comic Book Day 2013 Coverage

 

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I’m usually ambivalent and apathetic about holidays that don’t mean double pay at work, like Valentine’s Day, but this year’s first Saturday of May is a special exception as the whole world celebrates Free Comic Book Day. Unlike other holidays, this one means what it says and that is enough reason to be happy about. Yes! Free comic books at participating bookstores all around the world.  No ifs or buts.  It was started in the US in 2002 to promote comic book reading: to draw in new readers while calling back old ones and to thank all the people supporting the industry.  Since then, Free Comic Book Day has become a huge success and has spread to many countries.

In the Philippines, there were three different events where comics were given away last May 4.  The first one was at Fully Booked and Comic Odyssey at Bonifacio High Street, which gave away comics as well as sample editions from local artists.   Planet X in Glorietta also gave away free comics to the public.

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The biggest event in terms of attractions and activities was held at the 4th floor of National Bookstore on Quezon Avenue, entitled Setting the Record, as invited artists aim to set the record for most number of sketches at a comic book event.  Luckily, this event was the closest so I was there around 8 in the morning with only about 40 people in line before me, some coming in as early as 6.  They started letting people in around 9.

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Lots of things were in store for those who attended.  The biggest draw of all would of course was the free comic books, and each attendee got to take home three of them. THREE.  Three special edition comic books of popular titles published just for this very occasion.  Different titles are apparently made available at different locations.  I chose a rather flashy Superman, Last Son of Krypton comic, Aphrodite and Bleeding Cool.  There was no catch.  I didn’t need to buy anything to claim them.  I just got in line like the others and waited my turn to choose from among the twenty to thirty titles on display.  That unbelievably simple.

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Besides the free comics, there are also many other booths that gave away freebies.  I got two pins/badges, stickers and a limited edition comic book created by local artists.  There were lots of comics on sale as well, most were on huge discounts including special covers and editions, signed copies, and back issues.  There were also comic book-themed merchandise, toys and collectibles on display or on sale.

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Probably the most important aspect of the event was the presence of local comic book artists presenting their work to the public.  There are booths and sections dedicated to showing off locally-produced work, which can be viewed and purchased as well. I personally got to see and was amazed at the quantity and quality of work that our homegrown artists can do, as well as the creativity and hard work they have put in to their craft.  There was quite a number of these independent artists, creators, publishers  at the event, and their works were absolutely astounding.

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There was a particular booth that caught my eye.  It was the Wacom booth, which had a really fancy pen tablet and interactive pen display, the kind of devices professional artists use.  They gave me a great demonstration and tried it briefly myself.  I can just imagine how easy my life would be with these babies helping me improve my site, but I guess I’d have to wait a while.  Wacom, by the way, is the world’s leading manufacturer of pen tablets, interactive pen displays and digital interface solutions.

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It was quite unfortunate that I had to go to my regular job after just an hour at the event, so I was unable to stay to catch the part where famous artists working on US-based titles along with prominent local artists talk about the industry or about their work and do sketches and autographs.

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Not much in the way of cosplay today, with only three individuals spotted in the event, but their efforts are well appreciated in this blog, of course.  I got to take snapshots of a father and son duo as a young Robin and the Red Hood, and there was Green Lantern as well.

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It was a great day for me and all the others who participated. Got to go home with lots of freebies and was agreeably the most loot I’ve received at any event in quite a while.  Already looking forward to next year’s Free Comic Book Day, and I’ll make sure to bring more friends along.

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Please click on a photo to view slide show.

Author

Xtian Mack

Xtian Mack

Xtian Mack took up AB English Studies, Major in Creative Writing at UP Diliman. Currently works for a medical transcription company. He is the Creative Director of The Cosplay Cafe: arkadymac.com, doing photography, writing, and reporting for the website. His line of photography specializes in cosplay event coverage, having covered 300 events in a span of 3 years. Loves cute and furry things.

Comments

  1. Jonathan says:

    thanks for posting our pics!