Free Comic Book Day gets more and more exciting in the Philippines!
Beginning 2002, Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) has been an annual promotional event done on the first Saturday of May by the North American comic book industry in an effort to introduce comics to new readers. With its popularity, it reached the Philippine shores and now, Filipinos get to enjoy the same freebies as long as they are patient enough in falling in long lines at their favorite participating bookstores.
Last year, a friend and I accidentally participated in the FCBD of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street since we were really headed to the store, got a free comic book each, and met some of the great graphic artists of the country together with their sketches. Not on the first, though, but third Saturday of May (That was a May 19 and I don’t have any idea why).
This year, I went with another friend, Claa, a fellow blogger, at National Book Store Quezon Avenue, Quezon City for the Free Comic Book Day of National Book Store (NBS), CASTLE GEEK, and Neutral Grounds wherein we received not just one, but three free comic books! With the theme “Setting the Record”, the event aimed in setting the highest number of sketches done on a blank cover comic, a record they hope to beat every succeeding year.
The three establishments combined seemed so hyped-up with this event. In fact, aside from the increased number of freebies, they also came up with a Survival Guide, which was used for the event’s promotion, great discounts on comic books, and added comic-related items and more on sale, to make it more exciting to the fans and would-be fans.
Claa and I arrived at the NBS branch at 9am and were surprised by the number of fellow participants already waiting outside. This just proved that comics in the country already established a wide fandom, and of course, the industry is ready to welcome more.
Right after writing our details on the registration form, the freebies started with these:
Then we headed toward another long line for, what else, but our much awaited three free comic books! Yey!
The comics were spread out on a long table and the participants chose three from this collection.
After checking the number of items we got, we were stamped with CASTLE GEEK logo and we were good to roam around the area.
The first to see upon entering the place was National Book Store’s discounted local and international comics. Great deals to greet everyone!
Then on the stack of 200-peso comics was where I found Stephen King’s N., which was from the author’s short story collection, Just a After Sunset. Its original price was 789 pesos and I can’t wait to read it!
Back issues were also on the event for only 75 pesos each, courtesy of CASTLE GEEK.
Aside from the comic books, souvenirs, and comic- and movie-related stuff were also sold at the event.
Faber-Castell joined the fun, too, and featured its artist pens which anyone can try by sketching for free!
Speaking of sketches, an FCBD isn’t complete without any graphic artists in the vicinity, especially in this one since the record to be set was about drawing. Because of that, an area was allotted for the artists, although at the time we were there, there were not that many of them yet.
Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street also gave three free comics this year, while its other participating branches (SM Mall of Asia, Greenbelt 5, Power Plant Mall, EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Greenhils’ Promenade, Gateway Mall, and SM North EDSA) gave only one. Establishments Druids Keep and Planet X Comic Shop also took part on this exciting day. Hmm… Looks like the FCBD competition of our local bookstores are getting fiercer and fiercer.
I don’t know if NBS, CASTLE GEEK, and Neutral Grounds reached their goal, though, but I hope they do.
May the third be with you on next year’s Free Comic Book Day! 😀