Free Comic Book Day a bid for new fans

WILLOW GROVE, Pa. —Fans of comics basked in a bounty of free issues as retailers from Los Angeles to London handed out thousands upon thousands of free copies Saturday for the 10th annual Free Comic Book Day.

Some stores opened early while others arranged for artists and writers, including top names like DC Comics' chief creative officer, Geoff Johns, Marvel writer Jonathan Hickman and IDW's Joe Hill, to not only show off their own titles but autograph and chat with fans on hand.

"I think it's the single best thing retailers and publishers are doing to bring new fans to the medium," said Joe Brusha, who writes the titles "Grimm Fairy Tales" and "Neverland" for Zenescope Entertainment.

He spent Saturday visiting several comic shops in Pennsylvania that were participating in Free Comic Book Day.

"I'm really looking forward to it this year because we have our Discovery Channel books that will really appeal to younger readers and I can't wait to see their reaction, which I'm hoping is overwhelmingly positive," Brusha said.

At Brave New Worlds in Willow Grove, a rack of assorted comics was set up on a wall with many people, including some with younger kids in tow, plucking issues of interest.

The store's manager, Eric Loyack, said that was a key part of the event: bringing in new and young readers.