Saturday, May 2, 2020

Dave Sim Saves Free Comic Book Day 2020!

It was supposed to be Free Comic Book Day today, but the event, like nearly everything else recently, was canceled.  That was a bit of a bummer as it's a fun day.  Though the free comics are usually never that great (hey, they're free, so you get what you pay for), it's still a fun day to celebrate the comics medium.  Some comic shops really get into it and basically throw a party while for others the day is more low-key.  It's all designed though to share the love of comics with those who might never otherwise read a comic (though people who already love comics join in to celebrate that love and get some free comics of their own).  At some point, comics retailers realized that a large percentage of the population would never buy or read comics because they never caught the habit, so the industry works up some special free comics to give away each year in hopes of getting new readers hooked.  When I was a child, comics were sold in drugstores, convenience stores, newsstands, and so forth, and they were cheap (a quarter, though the price steadily grew as inflation did from the 1970s on and advertising revenue dried up).  Now comics are $3 if you're lucky and are basically only sold in comics specialty stores, though "graphic novels" can be found in bookstores and some other places, but those are even more expensive, so it is unlikely a kid will get into the comic habit.  Free Comic Book Day seeks to change that.  Well, this year's was a bummer.  I even looked at Comixology the other day, and they also seemed to be no Free Comic Book Day there (though they had their usual assortment of free digital comics, just nothing for FCBD).

Thankfully, Dave Sim of Cerebus fame stepped in to save the day from being a total loss.  I doubt if any kid will get into reading comics from reading Sim's free comic (one needs a basic understanding of current events, Alan Moore comics, The Silver Surfer, and Dante to get most of the jokes), but I sure enjoyed it.  Sim apparently thinks the response to COVID-19 is as way overreactive as I do, so it was nice to know that a few other freethinkers are still out there.  The jokes are also really funny as well, regardless of how one feels about the COVID-19 panic or Sim himself, who is a controversial figure in the comics world, having grown more religious and politically conservative over the years.  I met him once at SPACE 2003 in Columbus, Ohio USA when he took a bunch of small press cartoonists out for dinner, and he was quite a nice guy.  He is a very unique individual no doubt though.  In any case, it's good to know that when even Superman's cowering inside, Cerebus will step in to save the day.

You can check out the comic here and the blog devoted to Sim here.

And it's not a comic and not free, but if you need something else to read, my latest novel is here.

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