Thursday, May 02, 2013

Free Comic Book Day 2013

Guess what's happening this Saturday, May 4 2013? If you guessed Free Comic Book Day, "Face it, Tiger, You just Hit the Jackpot!"

XDantheManX illustrated this amateur art piece for Free Comic Book Day this year
Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE to anyone who comes into their stores. This event has been held annually
since its inception in 2002 and it's no different this year. Diamond Comic Distributors, in collaboration with the various publishers and the many comic retailers, come together to create special complimentary Gold and Silver Comic Books for the public. Everyone loves a free lunch and what better way to draw people into the riveting world of comics than to drop one into their very own hands. It's just like Ben and Jerry's annual Free Cone Day, except we're getting comics gratis instead of ice-cream and that sounds like a prospect that's a hundred-fold more exciting.

Several interest specialty stores will be celebrating Free Comic Book Day in the sunny island of Singapore where I hail from this Saturday and they are Singapore's premier local comic book shop GnB Comics, Books Kinokuniya, Invasion! Toys and Collectibles and Paradigm Infinitum. It's so serendipitous that Free Comic Book Day happens to fall on the same day as Star Wars Day this year so don't be surprised to see the 501st Legion marching into your comic book shop or Sith Lords getting their free fix of comics.

GnB Comics will be hosting the triple threat of Sunny Gho, Sami Basri and Garrie Gastonny. Sunny is a prominent Jarkarta-based cover artist and colourist who has worked on best-selling Marvel titles such as the acclaimed Secret Warriors and The Indestructible Hulk and also my favourite comic creator, Mark Millar's Superior and Supercrooks. Sami Basri, another Indonesian artist is well-known for his high-profile work on DC Comics's Power Girl and Voodoo, one of the original titles in DC's New 52 reboot. Lastly, the final Indonesian artist, Garrie Gastonny has worked with one of the industry's most prolific and illustrious writers, Warren Ellis on Avatar Press's Supergod and illustrated numerous jaw-dropping covers for Boundless Comics's Lady Death relaunch.

Catch them at GnB Comics, Rochor Centre, #02-500 (Bugis MRT Exit A) from 12pm onwards this Saturday, along with local-based Fillipino comic artist Rey Villegas for free signings and sketches before they head over to The Cathay, Handy Road from 5pm to 8pm.

Over at Books Kinokuniya's main branch at Ngee Ann City, as part of their celebrations for FCBD 2013 and "Meet The Writer" program, local fans will receive a rare opportunity to meet Adam Glass, the writer and executive producer of the internationally famed television series Supernatural and also three-time New York Times bestselling author of Marvel's Deadpool: Suicide Kings and DC Comics's New 52's Suicide Squad reboot. He will be at the main store in Ngee Ann City this Friday, on the eve of FCBD 2013 to meet his fans and conduct an exclusive book-signing session from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Don't miss it!

Adam Glass, writer of DC Comics's Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad #1 cover art by Ryan Benjamin

The fun does not stop on Friday as there's more lined up for you. The day after will see the launch of local publisher, Epigram Books's The Girl Under The Bed. This original graphic novel, written by Dave Chua and illustrated by Xiao Yan, is a coming-of-age tale about Jingli, a Secondary One student who discovers a ghost named Xiaomei sleeping under her bed during the Hungry Ghost Month. The two develop a friendship and, together with Weizhong, a boy who is also a medium, set about to solve the mystery of Xiaomei’s haunting. Dave Chua is a well-known Singaporean author, whose first novel, Gone Case, received a Singapore Literature Prize Commendation Award in 1996. Xiao Yan is currently studying at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University.Seeing as it incorporates local culture and the supernatural, it is bound to be a spine-chilling and intriguing page-turner as Singaporeans can easily resonate with the experiences and fears of the protagonists. XDantheManX has yet to get a copy of the book for a review but he'll be sure to write one for you when he does. This event will be taking place on Saturday, from 2.30pm to 3.30pm  at Kinokuniya's main store in Ngee Ann City.

Invasion! Toys and Collectibles's line-up for FCBD 2013 includes up and coming local comic artist Shawn Yap, Stanley "Artgerm" Lau, highly popular and lauded for his vivid and stunningly striking cover art for many DC Comics titles and Keatopia, a Malaysian animator whose real name is Ong Ean Keat. Invasion's FCBD celebrations will begin slightly later than the other places, kicking into high gear at 2pm and lasting on till 7.30pm. You can grab some vibrant and adorable art prints featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy and "The Iron Butlers" by Shawn Yap, commissioned exclusively for FCBD 2013. In addition, a plethora of activities and promotions await you at Invasion!, where they will also be launching their membership drive with an annual fee of $12. Existing comic buyers who have has pull-lists with them since 2012 will be entitled to complimentary membership for a year. Head over to Invasion! at Funan DigitalLife Mall, #05-36 this Sat!

Invasion!'s Triple Threat: (from left) Shawn Yap, Stanley "Artgerm" Lau and Keatopia

"Guardians of the Galaxy" by Shawn Yap
"The Iron Butlers" by Shawn Yap

Last but not least, in line with Star Wars Day falling on May 4, Paradigm Infinitum will be rejoicing in their main store at Midpoint Orchard, #03-01. In conjunction with the launch of Star Wars's X-Wing Wave 2, the public can choose to join either the ranks of the Rebel Alliance to fight for freedom and liberty or the Galactic Empire lord it over everyone with their tyranny in an epic battle for supremacy. Celebrations commence at 1pm sharp so don't be late. Paradigm Infinitum commemorated FCBD by giving away free, albeit unofficial FCBD comics last year which sent comic fans into a stampede as these comics were usually sold at the standard cover price but were given away gratis. PI have yet to announce their plans for FCBD this year but I'm sure they'll be bringing us yet another bounty of surprises. Keep watching this space as we keep you abreast on the latest news.

That's all I have on FCBD 2013 for now. XDantheManX will be heading down to Kinokuniya in Ngee Ann City on Friday evening to meet Adam Glass in person so don't hesitate to say "Hi!" if you spot him around. He will also be trying to attend the various FCBD celebrations on Saturday with his motley crew as they wander around town in search of savoury food and free comics. For the first time, XDantheManX will be streaming the events on the ground live occasionally throughout the entire day so do remember to click on the "LIVE!" button at the top of the page to check for any updates.

Enjoy your Free Comic Book Day!