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If you didn’t get to one of your local comic shops last Saturday, you missed out on one of the greatest geek holidays since HalloweenFree Comic Book Day.

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What is¬†Free Comic Book Day? It varies from shop to shop, but pretty much it’s a day (first Saturday in May) when you can walk into your local comic book shop and get free comics.¬†How cool is that..?!!

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This year’s selection was another fine group of comics to choose from- some comics are geared towards kids, some are more “grown up”, and some are all ages friendly.

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Some of my favorites from the ones I picked up (above) were Gronk, The Phantom, and Doctor Who.

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This year Nicki and I started off Free Comic Book Day a day early on Friday night. I got off work early so I did some shopping at Target (a copy of Cosplay Culture Magazine and a couple of Batman and Robin wind-up toys).

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We then met up for dinner at Corky’s BBQ and then caught a 7:00pm showing of Avengers: Age of Ultron¬†at the Olive Branch Malco.

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We really enjoyed it, and I picked up Nicki a Captain America and Black Widow cup topper- her two favorite Avengers. One of the first FCBDs I remember was seeing a Spiderman movie the same day. That was awesome, and glad we got to catch another superhero movie again.

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The next morning we got up early, hit Starbucks for a quick breakfast, and headed into Memphis to make our first FCBD stop at Comics & Collectibles. The shop opened early this year (6:00am), but we didn’t get there until around 9:30am- 30min before their normal Saturday morning opening time.

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Last year there was a looooong line at the door, but this year since they had opened earlier folks were already inside shopping when we got there. They added an extra cash register for the day, and had extra staff on hand to help out with the crowds. I got my freebies, picked out my purchases, and hopped in line. I was happy that the line moved fairly quickly, and it gave me a chance to walk around and enjoy the event.
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“Free comics books? Facinating…live long and read comics.”

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Several folks came out in costume…

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…including the Star Wars costuming group- the 501st Legion, who were a big hit with fans of all ages.

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We ran into several friends like Carlin Stuart from MidSouthCon, and a couple of my Mid-South Cartoonists Association buddies Mr. J himself- Chris Jowers, and Ghostbuster/Muley The Mule Kevin Williams.

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There was a constant flow of folks buying comics- which is great, since the comics aren’t free for the retailers. They purchase the comics from Diamond (the comics distributor which actually has a warehouse here in Memphis) and then give them and other promo items out to customers. Each shop has different rules on how many comics you can get for free, or which comics are available. It’s been a hugely successful event each year.
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Nicki and I both dropped some coin at the shop. I needed a couple more short boxes to store my blank sketch cover comics in, and picked up a Frank Cho art book, a Rocketeer/Spirit hardcover trade, some Avengers Mystery Mini Figures, a¬†Batman: Arkham Knight Harley Quinn and a birthday present for Nicki. ūüėČ
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We hopped back in the car and headed across town to Comic Cellar out in the Raleigh/Bartlett area- which is the birthplace of my wife’s blog Fangirl Wednesday.

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We were greeted by another MSCA buddy Lonnie Easterling and his kids when we arrived.

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There were also two local artists- John¬†“Vampyr”¬†Martin and Larry Paul Cathey, who were set up doing sketches and selling comics and sketch cards at the front of the store.

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Nicki and I had a great time digging through the long boxes of discounted trades and hardbacks.

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We both ended up getting a few each, along with some of our monthly single issues- including a couple new blank sketch covers to work on.

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I picked up a couple new Eaglemoss Batmobilia Batmobiles¬†while I was there, and apparently my wife turned into¬†the “goddamn Batman“!

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Once we left Comic Cellar, we headed out toward Arlington to Bricks & MinifigsРa Lego store that recently opened up in the Memphis area.

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I picked up a few mini-figs for us (couple Minions, an Oracle/Barbara Gordon, Scarlet Witch, a Beetle, and a pair of black legs for a Batman figure I already had). Saw several more I wanted including some Jokers, Batman, and Robin. There was also a LARGE Batmobile that I reeeeeaalllly wanted!

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After shopping for Lego stuffs, we grabbed a quick snack and drinks and drove back towards Memphis/Cordova to the Wolfchase Mall to kill some time before catching up with some friends for lunch. We went into Hot Topic, Spencer’s, fye, and the Disney Store. I tried to find some kind of Black Widow merch for Nicki at the Disney Store, but the only thing I could find was an Avengers: Age of Ultron¬†gift bag! For shame…¬†#WheresNatasha

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Did see more super-women featured at Spencer’s and fye. I picked up a cool “Evolution of Batman” bat-logo pint glass at Spencer’s.

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We met up with our friends at Red Robin for lunch, then jumped back in the “Black Widow” to head up the road to see¬†Avengers: Age of Ultron¬†for a second time that weekend. Picked up an Avengers popcorn tin and a cup with Hulk¬†topper. Again, we both enjoyed the movie- and I think I dug it more a second time. Nicki wasn’t crazy about the Bruce/Natasha relationship and a line she says to him in the movie about being “monsters“. We both felt the relationship was¬†a bit rushed, and that some of the fighting scenes could have been trimmed a bit to flesh the characters out more. I was also disappointed that Falcon didn’t show up in a big rescue scene towards the end of the movie. We both did¬†agree that James Spader rocked as Ultron, and that the Vision was awesome! After the movie we headed up the street to the Flying Saucer for after movie drinks and pretzels with our friends, then called it a night.

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It was¬†another great¬†Free Comic Book Day, and I brought home a great haul¬†again this year. Hate we couldn’t get out to Jupiter Comics in Collierville- just too far out and not enough time to get across town to it.

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Thanks again to the all the shops that participated in it- here are the ones in the Memphis area.

4730 Poplar Avenue #2
Memphis, TN, 38117
(901) 683-7171
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563 West Poplar Ave
Collierville, TN, 38017
(901) 552-6860
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3620-2 Austin Peay Highway
Memphis, TN, 38128
(901) 382-8623

To find a local comic shop, book store, or library participating in your area, check out the FCBD website.
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Hope to see you all at Free Comic Book Day next year!

Lin