Whether you’re an avid collector, a closet junkie, or simply a fan of the X-Men movies, this Saturday, May 3, is your chance to embrace your inner comic lover. Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., the fine folks at Santa Barbara’s own comic book haven, Metro Entertainment, are inviting the community to come celebrate the seventh annual Free Comic Book Day. Started back in 2001 by a team of publishers, suppliers, retailers, and distributors, the yearly event is now celebrated at comic stores around the globe. (We kid you not; there are locations in Manila handing out free loot.) The festivities, which are estimated to generate more than two million giveaways in 2008, are meant to celebrate all things awesome in the comic book community, as well as lure fresh meat into neighborhood shops. The catch? Well, there really isn’t one. Anyone is invited to swing by, pick up a free book or two, and maybe even make a couple new friends. For a short rundown of just some of the things Metro is offering up, check out the list below. Metro Entertainment is located at 6 West Anapamu Street; call 963-2168 or visit metro-entertainment.com.
1) Meet and Greet: Along with the obvious draw, Metro will be playing host to writer Bob Gale, who’s currently hard at work on The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as artists Bill Morrison and Nathan Kane (read: the guys behind The Simpsons comic collection). All three will be on hand to sign autographs and chat with fans.
2) Community Spirit: Though Free Comic Book Day is recognized worldwide, you won’t see big-name corporate book peddlers handing out free comics. That’s because the celebration was created to honor small, local shops. S.B.’s Metro Entertainment has been providing graphic goodness to the community since way back in 1991 when it opened its doors right across the street from the current location. “We : want to spread the word that comics are alive and well in 2008,” store manager Hank Romero explained. “Comic books and graphic novels are considered hip, hot, and smart.” (They’re also a fun-and often overlooked-way to support the arts.)
3) Inside Editions: While the list of titles being pilfered this weekend is far too vast to list, it also means that there is sure to be something for everyone. The special Free Comic Book Day edition titles range from the kid-geared (Owly and Friends, Tiny Titans #1) to the action classics (All-Star Superman #1, Transformers Animated) to the super stylized (Gegika: A Drawn + Quarterly Manga Sampler, I.G.N.A.T.Z.: International Graphic Novels at Their Zenith #1), with many more, less easily categorized titles rounding out the event’s exhaustive list.