Fun Goods. Awesome Living.

It’s National Comic Book Day!

American comics

Piles of classic American comics in their original single issue form.

Not to be confused with Free Comic Book Day (which takes place yearly on the first Saturday in May), National Comic Book Day celebrates the history and ongoing popularity of comics in all its forms. Comics tell stories in words and pictures, and—like other great reading—they tell a story, provide humor, and offer intrigue and suspense. Plus, single comics issues are a great collectors items: they’re easy to store and often rise in value as they age, so if you’re collecting a series, don’t throw them out!

Evangelion

“Neon Genesis Evangelion”—a Japanese manga issue translated into English.

The oldest comic book (that I could find information for) is probably The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck, published originally in Switzerland as Histoire de M. Vieux Bois in the early Nineteenth Century. It was first published in English in 1837. In the United States, however, comics really came into their own in the 1930s; by the mid-1940s, comic books were outselling traditional books!

Doktor Strange

“Doktor Strange: Der Magier”—an issue title in German.

How do you celebrate National Comic Book Day? Buy and read comics, obviously, and trade them with your friends! Never cracked open a graphic novel or omnibus before? There are plenty of places you can read comics legally for free on the internet! Check out Comic Book Plus and the lists at TechCoveredComic ProspectorExaminer.com, and gizmo’s freeware.

Japanese manga

Stacks of Japanese comics, known as manga, in their collected graphic novel form.

One of the writers at PaperBlog explains, “A comic book is more than just a picture book; it’s a book that contains fantasy, science fiction, adventure, and comedy rolled up into a work of art. It’s an escape from today’s world, once a month, that takes twenty minutes of your time and a couple of your dollars.” Think comics are just for kids? Not so, the writer says: “The storylines and dialog are for much more mature readers than that of an eight or nine year old kid. Marvel and DC Comics [and other companies that produce comics and manga] have done a great job creating kid-friendly comic books, but the majority of titles out there are for an older audience.”

So grab your favorite comic book, or buy a new one. The possibilities are endless for celebrating National Comic Book Day!

How will you be celebrating? What’s your all time favorite comic book? Leave us a comment below!

About V.E.

author, poet, editor, human

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