Good morning – Free Comic Book Day is upon us!

I’m writing this post while stood in line outside one of my local comic book stores in Manchester. The sun is shining, there are a lot of people stood in this line and everyone seems very excited.

I am one of those very excited people.

In recent months I’ve started to go digital, meaning it’s become a bit of a rarity for me to get excited over paper comics. However, I’m a fan of freebies (who isn’t?) so the opportunity to kick-start my Saturday with a couple of comics is just too good an opportunity to pass up!

OK, so there are another couple of reasons.

Reason one: I’m currently reading BOOM! Studios’ Power Rangers crossover event, Shattered Grid – and lovin’ it! As part of Free Comic Book Day, BOOM! Studios is giving away a comic which plays into the event, so naturally I need to pick it up to see what happens.

Reason two: One of my friends is in town today and is after a Transformers comic that is also being given away as part of the event. He won’t make it into town until later in the day, so I’m kind of on a mission for him too.

It’s at this point that I should mention that I’m not flying solo. Today I’ve roped my husband in to join me… in this queue. I’m not entirely sure being stood in a queue on Saturday morning is high on his list of priorities, but he’s a good egg and has (for some reason) agreed.

I didn’t even need to bribe him!

I’m not sure how many comics will be given out to each person today. Last year it was eight, but every year it seems to vary (three, five etc).

While we’ll happily choose however many comics we’re allocated, there are a handful of books I’d really like to come away with – so the hubby has already been given set instructions about what he should and shouldn’t choose. Hey, I don’t want him wasting his choices on books that won’t get read.

Don’t worry, we’re not here to rinse the store dry – I firmly believe that everyone should get a shot at getting their chosen comics. This means picking up the essentials but not trying to ram-raid the store!

In addition to picking up a comic for my friend today (and one for his friend), we will also be picking up a comic for my brother. It’s not easy for everyone to get to a comic shop (I live like ten minutes away), so now that the hubby is in tow I can get comics for others too.

Once I’ve read the comics that are for me, I’ll happily gift on a few. Again, share the wealth, people.

*Time check*

The store is now open.

At present, the queue is snaking around the corner and I’d say there are probably around 60 people stood in front of me. This could take a while.

A bunch of people are behind, so I expect the queue to grow a little more before the doors open. It’ll probably snake around another corner.

The queue has a good mix of people. Sure, there are lots of your average comic book readers in the queue (20s-30s), but there are also parents with their kids. And that’s why I LOVE and champion Free Comic Book Day as it encourages people and families to come outside and share an interest in comics.

I’d like to think that some of the kids in this line will see days like this as an inspiration to continue reading comics throughout their lifetime. At the end of the day, the comic book industry will only continue if people keep getting into comics and that means the next generation and the next and so on.

With Infinity War riding high at the box office at present, I’ve no worry about the comics industry going anywhere soon. It’s just, events like this remind us that we need to continually reinvest in the source material.

New interest in comics means new comics. New comics means new source material. New source material means new (hopefully decent) films. Yay!

See? Winner winner.

*Queue progress check*

The queue is moving, but not very fast. I guess we’ll be here for another 30mins.

If you’re heading out to your local store today, expect it to take you a while to be served. Bear in mind, it’ll be an even longer day for staff, so remain patient.

So, who is taking part in Free Comic Book Day today? Is your local store holding any other events as part of the day? Giveaways? Cosplay competitions?

More importantly, what comics do you have your eye on today? Let me know in the comments section.