My comic store, Comix Connection in Mechanicsburg, PA, does Free Comic Book Day especially well. Most stores give you a choice of one free comic. CC gives you three. Unless you bring in a food donation for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. Then you get another one. Bring in two cans? You get two extras. Bring in forty? You get forty extra. Bill Wahl, the co-owner, always makes sure that he has enough books on hand to accommodate a truckload of food donations -- books that he pays for out of his own pocket, they ain't free to him. Also, for several years Bill has booked the services of the local chapter of the 501st Legion, Garrison Carida -- these are the guys who make their own screen-accurate Star Wars costumes and props and visit sick children to whom they give brand new Star Wars toys. You can meet and greet Darth Vader at Bill's store, and bring a toy donation for them. We brought a bunch of both food and toys, not for the free books per se, but for the good work that is being done. Charity, to me, is feeding the hungry and visiting the sick, not necessarily donating to the opera or a museum or a church (apologies to Bill Maher, who says it better, but I agree whole-heartedly with the sentiment nonetheless.) If Bill Wahl ever figures out how to include Habitat for Humanity in Free Comic Book Day, he'll have the trifecta of sheltering the homeless, too. I wouldn't put it past him.
So today we donated a case of food, a half dozen toys, and had great fun in the process. I also took advantage of Bill's sale to pick up one of my Holy Grail comics, a beautiful copy of Green Lantern #4:
So if you're reading this on Saturday, May 5th, it's not too late to find a comic store and have yourself a little fun. And if you're a little too late, well, save the date for next year.
Free Comic Book Day. It's always the first Saturday in May.