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Free Comic Book Day 2020

May 2, 2020 seems like a long way off, but Free Comic Book Day is right around the corner, and librarians and comic book readers can start planning now. The full line of comics has been announced and you can view them at the Free Comic Book Day website. With 47 titles to choose from, you might be wondering where to start!

Diamond Comics Distributors, which sponsors FCBD, has added a new feature this year that will help you choose: A color-coded logo that corresponds to the recommended age rating. A green logo means the comic is rated for all ages, blue is for teens, and red is for mature readers.

I’m going to be a bit subjective in what I choose to talk about. I’m going to go with what I think my students or my own children would like. Once you look at the entire line-up, I would love to hear (down below in the comments) what you’re thinking readers should check out or what titles are exciting you. 

InvestiGators Take the Plunge: Just last week, my son was asking me about the InvestiGators (01: First Second)  by John Patrick Green. He was reading my advance reading copy of the graphic novel and wanted the rest of the series. Since this one just came out, I told him there weren’t any more. So a sneak-peek free comic coming out in May will surely make him happy.

Invincible: This Image Comics series is an old favorite of mine. Image is re-issuing the first issue to rev up excitement for an Amazon Prime series that will be coming out. 

Archie Blue Ribbon Presents: Later this year Archie Comics will launch its Blue Ribbon YA graphic novel imprint, and they are teasing it on Free Comic Book Say with this teen-rated sampler. The Riverdale TV show continues to be popular with my middle school students, so a glimpse of the characters with Archie, Betty & Veronica will be a surefire hit. And the comic also includes a preview of their Betty and Veronica graphic novel, with art by Goldie Vance artist Brittney Williams. I really do look forward to reading this comic. I have such fond memories of reading Archie behind textbooks while in school… They sure have come a long way.

Sue and Tai-chan: Chi’s Sweet Home was so insanely popular in my library that my books just fell apart or never came back after a while. I had a lot of use and tons of requests for this series. Sue and Tai-Chan (Kodansha Comics) is from the same creator and about an aging house cat who has a pesky friend that won’t stop bothering her. This will probably have the same mega appeal and a good pick for readers of all ages.

Stepping Stones/Max & the Midknights: And in case you didn’t know, Random House Graphics has finally launched its first titles. Their free comic will include new material in Nate the Great creator Lincoln Peirce’s Max & the Midknights series (the first book came out last year, and the next one is due this fall) and an excerpt from Lucy Knisely’s upcoming graphic novel Stepping Stones.

The Weirn Books: There’s also a preview of Svetlana Chmakova’s Weirn Books series which is a followup to her earlier series Nightschool. (JY) The super creepy cover looks nothing like her Awkward trilogy, but her name certainly has recognition.

Manga fans will want to check out Naruto and Legend of Zelda (VIZ). There are so many great titles to choose from! So much more, so check out the full line here. And mark your calendars for May 2. Make sure you get to your local comic book shop.

Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. Her collection is also the model for all middle school libraries in NYC. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library, and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.

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