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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 05/ 1/2010

TEN FREE LINKS: Your @ComicRiffs guide to today's 'Free Comic Book Day'

By Michael Cavna

Green Hornet. Iron Man and Thor and Toy Story. Owly and Archie. Shrek and the Simpsons. And -- ooh-la, ooh-ma-ma -- Lady Gaga.

Today, of course, is that most national of holidays for cartoon fans 'cross the land: Major imprints and hole-in-the-wall shops alike celebrate Free Comic Book Day.

So as a Comic Riffs reader service, we offer "Ten Free Links" to help make the most of the holiday. (Plus, searching the hashtag "#FCBD will lead to fans' Twitter updates throughout the day; @ComicRiffs will be among those retweeting today's more interesting #FCBD tweets.)

Here 'tis. And happy holiday!

1. FREE COMIC BOOK DAY: *THE* SITE: From news to interviews to local-store locator, this is of course the site that it is the day's "true North" online. Bonus fun: Follow the featured tweets from #FCDB staff.

2. KEVIN SMITH TALKS UP FCBD: Over at, for one, they feature Silent Bob being not-so-silent for the good cause.

The explainer: "Kevin Smith has provided a voiceover for the last-minute Free Comic Book Day ad above. Do feel free to retweet, facebook, blog, report or simply spam the video in question around to everyone you know. Go on, annoy them just one more time."

And here, natch, is Smith's pitch itself:

3. TECHLAND'S DOUGLAS WOLK: Wolk, the noted comics scholar, helpfully writes:

"Most of the participating stores will limit the number of freebies you can walk away with. Also, life is too short to read bad comic books. So here's a quick guide to the FCBD-specific titles you'll find in participating stores this year.

"(Note that you can read previews of most of them here; all the stores will have copies of at least some "gold" titles, and they may or may not have particular "silver" titles.)"

4. NPR'S GLEN WELDON: I always enjoy Weldon's colorful prose for National Public Radio. And as a walk-up blogpost to FCBD, Weldon writes:

"So consider stopping by a shop on Saturday to see what they have to offer. Yes, even you, Ms. I-Wrote-My-Graduate-Thesis-On-How-Superheroes-Are-Puerile-Exercises-In-Adolescent-Wish-Fulfillment. FCBD is an attempt to show even the most spandex-averse among you that (sing along with me) comics are a medium, not a genre; and that, at the end of the day, comics stores are bookstores, not hobby shops."

Well-said, Mr. Weldon. Well-said.

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5. MILO VENTIMIGLIA's FCBD PITCH: The "Heroes" star takes to YouTube to help publicize this, our national holiday:

6. THE DC SCENE: Are you in the Washington area? Then ComicsDC blogger Mike Rhode is your man for breaking down which comic shops to hit. Writing for Washington City Paper, the ever-knowledgeable Rhode highlights in-store artist appearances 'round the region, including Beyond Comics, Fantom Comics, Laughing Ogre Comics -- as well as Big Planet Comics's giveaways.

7. NEWS ASKEW-ED News Askew offer its FCBD highlights. Sample: "You can get a copy of Green Hornet, issue #1, for the low low price of 0. That's right, free."

8. THE JOHN ROMITA JR. INTERVIEW: The FCBD hub page offers more than a dozen event-tied interviews -- and this is one of the must-reads. The man who literally gives us "Iron Man/Thor" (and the hand of "Kick-Ass") also gives his take:

"Now, maybe we aren't always reaching the audience intended when Free Comic Book Day was first devised. Everyone wants that all-elusive new reader, people that never picked up a comic before.

When it first started, that may have happened in dribs and drabs, but I think that Free Comic Book Day works exceptionally well now on top of the success of movies, as comic book movies help establish our super-heroes. So on top of that success, you have Free Comic Book Day."

9. MATT PRICE'S LIVE BLOGGING: Over at Nerdage, Price -- who owns Speeding Bullet Comics -- promises to live-blog today's FCBD events from his neck of the woods. We're staying tuned.

10. THE MATT FRACTION INTERVIEW: Another must-read over at the hub page: a Q&A with the great Matt Fraction. For a different take on the day, here's a sampler: Since FCBD has now been a yearly event since 2002, do you, your creator friends and/or your family have any annual FCBD traditions?

Fraction: Not really - for any number of weird reasons, that weekend has historically been a bad one for me. I think I maybe did one signing, once... weird, weird, weird...

You indeed might encounter the weird-weird-weird today. Or the fun-fun-fun. Either way, support Free Comic Book Day. It's one day when by banding together, the geek shall inherit the earth.

If you've got other FCBD links you think are useful, feel free to mention them below.

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By Michael Cavna  | May 1, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Geek Buzz  | Tags:  Comic Art, Comic books, Comics, Douglas Wolk, Glen Weldon, Iron Man, John Romita Jr., Kevin Smith, Lady Gaga, Matt Fraction, Mike Rhode, National Free Comic Book Day, Toy Story  
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