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Updated: Free Comic Day 2 Details
By B. Jacks


The Empire Strikes Back. The Godfather, Part II. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Sometimes the sequel is better than the original.

That will be the case on May 3, 2003, when the comic book industry celebrates its second Free Comic Book Day.

The first Free Comic Book Day – in May of 2002 – made history as the first industry-wide promotion of comic books around the world. More than 2 million comic books were given away in more than 2,200 worldwide retail establishments. The event raised awareness of comic books as a unique artform, and connected new and returning readers to the medium.

Fittingly, Free Comic Book Day 2003 is tied to another sequel – X2, the follow-up to the box office hit X-Men.

"X-Men took the market by storm when it came out," said a Free Comic Book Day spokesperson. "Its success was due in no small part to its loyalty to its comic book roots, and helped pave the way for more Hollywood versions of time-tested comic book characters. With the full backing of Sony, a returning cast, and the same potent visionaries behind the cameras, X2 promises to be even better...and Free Comic Book Day will be, too!"

X2 is scheduled to open in theaters in the U.S. and UK on May 2, 2003. Free Comic Book Day follows on the next day. On May 3, anyone who walks into a participating comic book specialty store will receive a free comic book, with no purchase required (while supplies last).

Article continued below advertisement

The available comics will vary by store, but all are special editions published specifically for the event. They range from all-ages-friendly titles to more mature fare intended for sophisticated readers. "Our selection of titles truly reflects the diversity and depth of subject matter available in the comic book medium," said a Free Comic Book Day spokesperson. "A primary goal of Free Comic Book Day is to boldly proclaim there really is something in comics for every reader. This year's variety of available free titles proves that."

The complete listing of participating publishers includes:
GOLD SPONSORS (new or reprint editions that will be in every participating store)
Archie Comics (Archie & Friends)
Avatar Press (Frank Miller's Robocop/Stargate SG1)
CrossGen (Way of the Rat Special #1)
DC (Batman Adventures #1)
Dreamwave (Transformers: Armada)
Future Comics (Metallix #1)
Image Comics (Leave It To Chance #5)
Marvel Comics (Ultimate X-Men #1)

Please nore that Dark Horse Comics is also a Gold Sponsor, and will reveal its Free Comic Book Day book after Christmas.

SILVER SPONSORS (Check with individual retailers for availability of these new or reprint editions)
A-Bomb (Landis #0)
Alternative Comics (Peanutbutter & Jeremy #4, Alternative Comics Anthology)
Avatar (Avatar Graphic Novel Sampler)
Broken Tree (Big Bad #1, Superheroes Inc. #1)
Dork Storm Press (The Best of Dork Storm #1)
Keenspot (Keenspace.com 2003, Keenspot Sampler 2003)
Oni Press (Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things, Skinwalker #1)
Second to Some (Christa's 100% Guaranteed How-To Manual For Getting Anyone To Read Comic Books!)
Slave Labor Graphics (Slave Labor Stories)

Also participating are the following Bronze Sponsors, who have donated free quantities of previously published titles to the event: Angry Dog Press, Colburn Comics, Colonia Press, CPM Manga, Humanoids, Insight Studios, Landwaster Books, Lone Star Press, NBM, Sharkbait Press, Studio Foglio, Terra Major, and Top Shelf.

More information and regular updates – including a information on participating publishers' titles – are available at the official Free Comic Book Day website, www.FreeComicBookDay.com.


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