May the Fourth be with you! Now, have some free comics. For the third time since Free Comic Book Day started in 2002, the two days are meeting on the first Saturday of May, giving pop culture fans and comic geeks plenty to celebrate. Star Wars Day is celebrated on May 4th of every year, hence, May the Fourth Be With You, and Free Comic Book day is always the first Saturday in May. The first time the two geek-centric days converged was on the first ever Free Comic Book Day on May 4, 2002. It happened again on May 4, 2013.
Free Comic Book Day was created by the industry as a way to introduce new fans to comic books and comic book collecting. The first event was timed to coincide with the release of Sony’s Spider-Man 2 in 2002. Comic shops give away specially marked comics, which makes them very collectable, and many of which introduce the big upcoming storylines, especially for companies like Marvel and DC.
This year’s FCBD books from the “big two” will kick off the War of the Realms for Marvel, and the Year of the Villain for DC Comics. There are over 50 free books offered on the day, and most shops work to make the experience of getting the free comics a festive one. Shops can offer huge sales, character cosplay, on-site artists offering sketches, and more.
It seems like the perfect opportunity for shops to get some synergy with Star Wars Day. Pete Kilmer, one of the owners of the Downtown Comics chain in Indianapolis, Indiana, spoke about how they handle the influx of both comic book and Star Wars fans.
“We really don’t see any uptick,” Kilmer said in regards to Star Wars fans celebrating their day on Free Comic Book Day. “Because it’s so huge already, it’s tough sometimes to gauge that kind of activity. I will say that being in Indianapolis, the home of GenCon (an international gaming convention held every August in Indianapolis), that I do see more gaming stores, bars, and movie theaters having events on this day when the two holidays combine.”
“And I do see more Star Wars Cosplay for sure at our locations,” Kilmer explained. “We don’t change our activities, we’re already so busy with customer service and outside-the-store activities, but we are happy to include anyone and everyone in the fund raising we do.” Downtown Comics works to raise money for local charities during Free Comic Book Day.
Star Wars fans can enjoy their day with a handful of free comics and some good times. We asked Pete Kilmer is there’s a free Star Wars comic that will be handed out.
“Yes there are over 50 FCBD books on this day, and one of them is indeed an all-ages Star Wars comic from IDW Publishing that will be a hit!”
May the Fourth, or Star Wars Day, as it is officially known in California, according to HuffPost, offers fans opportunities to partake in fun and games and cosplay. Many baseball teams are holding events with neat giveaways, and stores have sales themed for Star Wars merchandise, and bars accommodate fans who want to get their Wookiee on. It’s become a fan favorite day that grows each year.
Star Wars Day 2019 is even more special as the last episode of the Skywalker Saga is scheduled to be released this December.
It’s rare that both Free Comic Book Day and Star Wars Day coincide on the same Saturday in early May, but when it happens, its a chance for fans, geeks, nerds, and more to come together and celebrate their favs as one.