My First Free Comic Book Day


Samantha Phan, Associate Lifestyle Editor

As someone who has been mildly interested in comic books for several years, Free Comic Book Day has always been on my radar. Ever since my uncle mentioned it upon gifting me my first comic book, FCBD has been on my bucket list. However, due to my extreme lack of planning skills and lack of a car, this longing remained nothing but a distant wish. That is until last Saturday when I attended my first FCBD here in San Diego, the home of Comic-Con.

I will not lie, I was a little bit nervous going in. While I had been looking forward to it all week and planning it out for even longer, part of me worried that it would be too overwhelming or that I would be exposed as a “fake comic fan.” These fears had absolutely no corroborating evidence; my comic book store experiences have always been filled with nothing but fun and kindness. And yet, I could not get rid of my anxieties telling me that I should just stay home. Instead, I asked a friend to go with me, and I faced my fears head-on. 

And I am so glad I did. If I had not, I might have missed out on one of the best weekends of the year. 

The first store we went to was Southern California Comics in Convoy. When we arrived, not only did they have plenty of comics still available, but they also had tons of vendors outside their doors. There were Funko Pop figurines, giant posters, and even small artists selling their own comic books. We stopped by to talk to some of these artists as we made our way around. They told stories of kaiju monsters, unlikely heroes, and kung fu. Some also sold their own art prints of everyone’s favorite icons: Batman, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and more. 

But the thing that really hooked me was the store itself. They had such a wide variety of comics available that I am sure I could have spent the entire day looking at just the covers. I had to remind myself that I could always come back to this part whenever I wanted, and we managed to leave within an hour with most of my budget still intact. 

The second store we went to was Comickaze Comics in Mira Mesa. This is the place I usually buy my comic books from, so I felt like I was heading into familiar territory. Unsurprisingly, I felt as though I was receiving a warm welcome home. As always, it felt like a spot where I could just vibe and enjoy comic books. We caught them at the end of their FCBD celebration, so they said we could take whatever comics looked interesting to us. 

We then made our way into the store. Comickaze sells more than comics: they also have manga, figurines, and other comic-related merchandise. We spent some time looking at all the awesome pieces, eventually making our way to the new comics section. I picked up some recent issues that I had not gotten the chance to buy yet, and just like that, the day was over. 

Although I was hesitant at first, FCBD was an event that I really enjoyed. It’s a great way to appreciate the joy of comic books and the communities they foster. I recommend that everyone try going to FCBD at least once. It does not matter if you are young or old, shy or outgoing, a comic book connoisseur or a novice, you’ll have a lot of fun either way. Do not let your worries stop you from having a great time. So mark your calendars for the first Saturday of May 2024: the next FCBD awaits!

Photo by Waldemar, Courtesy of Unsplash