No, you didn't misread that: A day for Free Comics.
Q: Free comics? I must have misread that!
A: What did I just tell you? It's real: 2006's Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday, May 6, at comic book stores around the world.
Q: So how does this work? Do I get any comic I want for free?
A: Oh, if only. No, the various publishers will release on that day special free comics through Diamond Distributors. Depending on your store's specific policy, you may be allowed one free comic, several, or all of them. Check with your store for details.
Q: But I don't know where my store is! I suck!
A: Not to worry, schmuck; simply go to this website or call 1-888-COMIC BOOK.
Q: What if there are multiple stores in my area? Can I hit them all and get a whole shitload of free comics that way?
A: If you don't, you're a filthy communist.
Q: Cool. So what comics will be coming out?
A: Lots. Let's go down the list really quick. First the Gold Sponsors:
ARCHIE COMICS: "Archie's 65th Anniversary Bash." All the redheaded teen's pals an' gals show up to celelbrate… Archie's departure from Riverdale?
BONGO COMICS: "Bongo Comics Free-For-All." Kooky Komix from the creators of The Simpsons and Futurama!
DARK HORSE COMICS: "Star Wars/Conan Flip Book." Two comics in one, with a Clone Trooper story and the Conan original "The Spear."
DC COMICS: "Justice League Unlimited #1." Reprinting the first issue of the comic based on the popular (and kick-ass) Cartoon Network show.
DEVIL'S DUE PUBLISHING: "GI Joe: Sigma 6." Based on the new Saturday morning cartoon.
GEMSTONE PUBLISHING: "Disney Comics Presents Donald Duck." Three modern duck tales by Don Rosa, William Van Horn, and Pat and Shelly Block.
IDW PUBLISHING: "Transformers/Beast Wars Special." Flip book previews of IDW's series starring everyone's favorite Robots In Disguise, by Simon Furman, EJ Su, and Don Figueroa.
IMAGE COMICS: "Future Shock." 4-page sneak previews of upcoming storylines from Image's hottest titles, including Savage Dragon, Invincible, and Noble Causes.
MARVEL COMICS: "X-Men/Runaways." Marvel's newest teen susperstars meet the original "Strangest Teens of All" in a story by Brian K. Vaughan and Skottie Young. Plus, an 11-page recap of Ultimate Spider-Man, more adventures of Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius, and a sneak preview of Marvel Adventures: Mighty Avengers.
TOKYOPOP: "TokyoPop Sneak." Previews of three upcoming manga series: Kat and Mouse, Mail Order Ninja, and Sea Princess Azuri.
Now, for the Silver Sponsors…
Q: What's the difference between a Gold Sponsor and a Silver Sponsor?
A: They gave Diamond more money. Now shaddap.
ADHOUSE BOOKS: "The Preposterous Adventures of Ironhide Tom!" Joel Priddy presents strangeness.
ARCANA STUDIO: "Arcana Studio Presents #3." All-new stories of Arcana series Kade, Ezra, 100 Girls, and El Arsenal.
ASPEN MLT: "Worlds of Aspen #1." Michael Turner takes a break from drawing covers for Marvel to present Fathom, Soulfire, Shrugged, and more.
CASTLERAIN: "Jack The Lantern: 1942." Being a prequel (and finally, someone uses the term right!) to the cult horror/fantasy series of the same name.
CLAYPOOL COMICS: "Soulsearchers & Company/Deadbeats Flipbook." Read the series Diamond refused to carry because they're assholes! Peter David writes.
COMIC GENESIS: "Comic Genesis: Generations." A sampler of dozens of webcomics of all styles and genres, from one of the largest webhosts around. Plus, a special webcomics "How-To."
DC COMICS: "Superman/Batman #1." Yes, *another* DC comic, this one reprinting Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness's debut on the high-selling team-up series.
DRAWN & QUARTERLY: "Mr. Jean." The perennial Eisner Awards favorite presents the popular French series by Dupuy & Berberian.
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS: "Funny Book #2." A wide-ranging sampler from the premiere alternative comics publisher.
F&W PUBLISHING: "Impact University Volume 2." Practical comics creation lessons from Peter David, Colleen Doran, Greg Land, and more.
HEROIC PUBLISHING: "Liberty Girl #0." A special preview of the upcoming series by Dennis Mallonee, Daerick Gross, & Jeff Brennan.
KEENSPOT PUBLISHING: "Keenspot Spotlight 2006." More webcomics from the *other* biggest comics host on the web.
NARWAIN SRL: "Bluff & Tales From A Forgotten Planet." Family comedy or sci-fi adventure, take your pick.
ONI PRESS: "Free Scott Pilgrim #1." The hipster's choice for comics finally comes to floppies in this all-new story.
TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS: "Owly: Breakin' The Ice." Another original short starring Andy Runton's infectiously adorable li'l owl.
RENAISSANCE PRESS: "Amelia Rules!" The breakout star of FCBD 2005 returns.
SKYDOG PRESS: "Buzzboy: Sidekicks Rule!" Introducing the Most Upbeat Superhero Ever.
VIPER COMICS: "Viper Comics Presents Dead@17 and More." Thousands of angsty teenagers can't all be wrong!
WIZARD ENTERTAINMENT: "Wizard Presents The Top 100 Trade Paperbacks of All Time." Expect 95 of them to be stories from 1980-1987.
Q: Yeesh. That's a whole buncha comics.
A: Yeah? Well, there's more. Select stores will also have a free sampler from Viz Comics, an exclusive Wolverine Heroclix, and a Stargate O'Neill action figure from Wizkids.
Q: Wow! I can finally act out the X-Men/MacGuyver crossover I've always dreamed of!
A: Yes, you can.
Q: So what will you be doing on Free Comic Book Day?
A: What else? Reading free comics!