Son of the Graphics Giveaway

Coming Soon: More Free Comics

Son of the Graphics Giveaway
Illustration By Robert Faires

The X-Men may indeed be a strange collection of heroes, but stranger yet may be the superteam that's coming together the day after the X-Gang's second movie debut: Batman, Archie, Robocop, Donald Duck, and the Transformers! These fantastic figures are joining forces to give away millions of comics on Saturday, May 3. Yes, it's Free Comic Book Day, Part II.

Just as the success of the first X-Men film has spawned a sequel, so has this promotional event for graphic literature -- or funny books, if you will. The giveaway was conceived last year to take advantage of the opening of the Spider-Man film, when the attention of the media and a huge mainstream audience would be turned toward comics. An unprecedented alliance of more than 30 comic-book publishers and more than 2,000 retailers in 29 nations -- talk about your superteams! -- took part in the day, and the result was not only crowded shops but an encouraging upturn in sales in the months after. The response may not have been enough to reverse the decades of decline in comics' readership, but it was plenty to justify a second giveaway in 2003 -- especially with two more big-budget Marvel superhero movies to ride the coattails, er, cape of: X-Men 2 on May 2 and The Hulk on June 20.

More than 35 publishers are onboard this year, offering books that cover the comic front from guys in tights trying to save the world to schlubs in offices trying to hold on to their jobs, martial artists in combat to girl magicians in mysteries to high schoolers in hijinks. DC Comics is launching a new all-ages Batman book based on the animated series, Gladstone is offering a classic Carl Barks Donald Duck book unseen for years, and Marvel is giving away -- what else? -- the X-Men. See above for is just a sample of the comics available; at right is a list of area shops where you might find these gems. Learn more by visiting

The Comics

Archie & Friends -- FCBD edition

by Angelo DeCesare and Jeff Shultz (32 pp., Archie)

Batman Adventures #1 -- FCBD edition

by Ty Templeton, Dan Slott, Rick Burchett, and Terry Beatty (32 pp., DC)

Frank Miller's Robocop/Stargate SG1 -- FCBD edition

by Frank Miller, Juan Jose Ryp, and Renato Guedes (32 pp., Avatar)

Leave It to Chance -- FCBD edition

by James Robinson and Paul Smith (32 pp., Image)

Metallix #1 -- FCBD edition

by David Michelinie, Ron Lim, and Bob Layton (32 pp., Future)

Rocket Comics: Ignite -- FCBD edition

by Keith Giffen, Greg Titus, Stuart Moore, Jerome Opeña, Tom Peyer, and Jon Sommariva (32 pp., Dark Horse)

Transformers: Armada -- FCBD edition

by Brandon Easton and James Raiz (32 pp., Dreamwave)

Ultimate X-Men #1 -- FCBD edition

by Mark Millar and Adam Kubert (32 pp., Marvel)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck Adventures -- FCBD edition

by Carl Barks (32 pp., Gemstone)

Way of the Rat Movie -- FCBD Special #1

by Chuck Dixon, Jeff Johnson, and Tom Ryder (48 pp., CG Entertainment)

The Locations

Austin Books, 5002 Lamar, 454-4197

Capitol Comics & Collectibles, 2525 W. Anderson Ste. R-5, 302-4090

Comic Castle, 6700 Middle Fiskville, 451-4024

Comics and More, 2104 S. Lamar, 440-7373

Dragon's Lair Comics & Fantasy, 4910 Burnet Rd., 454-2399; 117 Louis Henna #140, Round Rock, 512/279-8888

First Federal Comics, 8440 Burnet Rd., 419-0044

Funny Papers, 2025 Guadalupe #132 (Dobie Mall), 478-9718

Junior's Comics and Cards, 2110 W. Slaughter, 282-1302

Southside Comics & Sport Cards, 6400 S. First, 326-8525

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Free Comic Book Day, X-Men, Batman, Archie, Robocop, Donald Duck, Transformers, X-Men, Spider-Man, X-Men 2, X-2, Hulk, DC Comics, Gladstone, Carl Barks, Marvel, Archie & Friends, Angelo DeCesare, Jeff Shultz, Archie Comics

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