The Austin Chronicle

Revenge of the Return of the Son of the Graphics Giveaway Begins!

By Robert Faires, May 6, 2005, Arts

Scrooge McDuck isn't ordinarily one to give things away, but this Saturday he's giving away millions and is happy to do it, as are his fellow gazillionaires Bruce Wayne and Veronica Lodge. What they're being so generous with are their own adventures, of course. They're on the front lines of what has become an annual freebie of, well, heroic proportions. Yes, it's Free Comic Book Day, Part IV.

Just as those comic-book movies keep on comin', so does this promotional event for the four-color literature from which they spring. Launched in 2001 to take advantage of the opening of the Spider-Man film, the giveaway generated a large enough response – getting thousands upon thousands of people jamming into their friendly neighborhood comics shop – that the industry's publishers and retailers felt justified in cranking out a sequel. And another. And another. Once again, more than 30 comics publishers and some 2,000 retailers will participate, offering plenty of capes and cowls for your crime-fighting entertainment, but also a host of nonsuperhero material, everything from a samurai take on Robin Hood to the Riverdale gang in high school hijinks to GI Joe kicking terrorist tail to a Simpsons/Futurama free-for-all to Star Wars and a classic Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge duck tale. More and more of the giveaways appear aimed at all ages. DC Comics has a new all-ages Batman book based on the latest animated series, while Marvel is giving away a Fantastic Four/Spider-Man book for younger readers. Naturally, those publishers also have their eye on promoting their superheroes on the silver screen this summer: Batman Begins on June 17 and Fantastic Four on July 8.

The Comics

The following comic books will be available at all participating stores:

The Batman Strikes!, by Bill Matheny, Christopher Jones, & Terry Beatty (DC Comics)

Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, by Todd Dezago and Michael O'Hare (Marvel Comics)

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, by Miles Lane and Nicola Scott (Dark Horse Comics)

Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge, by Carl Barks (Gemstone)

Gimme! Gimme! Giveaway!, by Matt Groening (Bongo Comics)

Betty & Veronica, by Dan Parent (Archie Comics)

Devil's Due Special Edition, by various (Devil's Due Publishing)

Ronin Hood of the 47 Samurai, by Jeff Amano & Craig Rousseau (Beckett Comics)

Flight Primer, by various (Image Comics)

Impact University, by Will Eisner, Dick Giordano, Vincent Giarrano, David Okum, Lea Hernandez, and Peter David (Impact Books)

Dozens of other comic-book publishers will be providing free titles as well, covering the entire spectrum of genres and styles. There will be something for everyone, no matter their age or interest.

The Locations

Austin Books, 5002 Lamar, 454-4197

Bee Cave Comics & Games, 3636 Bee Caves #109, 306-9114

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

Cool Comic Collectibles, 2121 W. Parmer Ste. 114-B, 339-4251

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

Dragon's Lair Comics & Fantasy, 6111 Burnet Rd., 454-2399; 1601 S. I-35 #360, Round Rock, 512/279-8888; 302-A University, San Marcos, 512/353-4386

First Federal Comics, 8440 Burnet, 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

Thor's Hammer, 12636 Research, 326-4332

For more information, visit

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