Patch's Getting Graphic column is back for a special edition this week, to preview Saturday's national celebration of Free Comic Book Day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Fair Lawn’s very own Joker’s Child on River Road, right across from Friendly’s and Dunkin' Donuts.
Actually, Free Comic Book Day is more than national. The first Saturday of May each year is “a single day when participating comic book specialty shops across North America and around the world give away [two million] comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops,” according to the Free Comic Book Day website. This has been going on since 2002.
While the celebration is intended to attract the attention of non-comic book fans, it's also an excuse to get people excited about reading, Darren Davis—publisher of Bluewater Comics—told Patch.
“We have published bio-comics on the famous and politicians and we do so because they are fun, but we do them for an educational benefit as well,” said Davis. “Those have proven to be so successful that we have branched out to our a new super hero line—The Wave. Our goal is to get kids excited to read.”
Davis explained that growing up, the reason he was able to learn to read was thanks to comic books. Len Katz, co-owner of the Joker’s Child, agreed, saying that he enjoys giving out the free comic books for that purpose. Katz said that comic books are a fun medium that will attract children’s attention.
Leading up to Free Comic Book Day, Katz gave Patch his top five picks for fans to check out. You can read his picks below, or watch Katz explain his choices in the video attached at right.
“Action Comics has been around since 1939 and in this issue Superman renounces a citizenship as an American and announces he is a citizen of the world,” said Katz.
Does this mean that though Superman fights for truth and justice, he is no longer a representative of the American Way? It appears so.
One commentator believes this is a marketing ploy.
However, DC Comics said, “Everything [creators] Paul Cornell and Pete Woods have been building to over the last year culminates here in the ultimate Superman vs. Lex Luthor battle! But that's not all - this story will lay the grounds for an insanely epic story coming out this summer in the pages of ACTION!”
According to Marvel Comics, “Long ago, the seeds of a vampire cataclysm were planted in the Marvel Universe. One lone vampire rose above the rest and operated in the shadows as the world around him changed. Prepare for a clash of steel, blood, and the undead… as Marvel changes the way you see vampires…and shows you the meaning of Fear Itself.”
“This is kind of cool as it reintroduces Dracula into the Marvel Universe,” said Katz. He said Dracula popped up in the “X-Men” comics and will play a key role in Marvel’s crossover series “Fear Itself.”
DC Comics plays it up this way:
“In the extra-sized issue #24, a new age for the DC Universe begins! A long shadow is cast across the world in a finale that will have everyone talking! Twelve heroes and villains were resurrected, but that doesn't mean it will remain that way as the new champion of Earth is chosen!”
Katz said this is a return for a popular DC Comics character.
“It reintroduces the Swamp Thing to the DC Universe who has been missing for awhile,” said Katz. The Swamp Thing became popular thanks to his 1980s series which was written by “Watchmen” creator Alan Moore.
With the new Thor movie coming out the day before Free Comic Book Day, Katz said Marvel is trying to push it for all it is worth.
“They will reissue a comic as a number one to give it more detail or when there is a movie coming out,” he said. He believes this will be fun issue.
Marvel Comics said this comic will reintroduce fans to the mighty God of Thunder.
Katz’s final and fifth pick is from Dynamite Entertainment and features a meet up of the two most famous masked men in comics—Zorro and the Lone Ranger with their comic
“Zorro is dead. As Don Diego's widow struggles to cope with the loss, help arrives in the form of two younger heroes: The Lone Ranger and Tonto. In part two of this five issue series, the source of the link between Zorro and The Lone Ranger is revealed. The Ranger has personal ties to the legend known as Zorro—ties that demand vengeance,” said Dynamite Entertainment.
Katz said this is a great issue.
“You don’t see this everyday,” he said. “The Lone Ranger and Zorro sort of have a team-up and it’s actually pretty good reading.”
Katz said these comics merely scratch the surface of what Joker’s Child has to offer fans. For more information on Free Comic Book Day, call the store at (201) 794-6830.