When: Sat., May 5 2012
Area Comic Shops—Hooray! Hooray! Free Comic Book Day! The Happiest Day of the Year! It's the annual event where comic book companies create free sampler books to get people to go to comic shops and hope some stay hooked, inevitably tied to the release of a big superhero summer movie (in this case, The Avengers).
A few local comic shops will have creator signings. Chapel Hill Comics hosts Greensboro artist Thomas Boatwright doing ink-brush sketches from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Durham's Ultimate Comics presents a "mini-con" with live music, a costume contest and a dozen or so creators, including Chris Burnham, Tommy Lee Edwards and Brian Clevinger.
As for the actual free comics, there are more than 40 offerings this year, many of which are all-ages friendly. Our recommendations include Archaia's mini-hardcover featuring such books as Mouse Guard and Jim Henson's Labyrinth, Fantagraphics' reprint of Barnaby and Mr. O'Malley, the cult comic strip from Harold and the Purple Crayon author Crockett Johnson that was a major influence on Calvin and Hobbes, and Moomin Color Special, Drawn & Quarterly's reprint of the Tove Jansson comic strip based on her international hit characters. For parents, there'll be plenty of books with the likes of Spongebob, Charlie Brown, Adventure Time, Yo Gabba Gabba and Owly. And yes, there's plenty of superhero material as well, including a new Avengers book to tie into the movie. —Zack Smith