Since tomorrow is the annual nerdgasm known as Free Comic Book Day, we decided to tab local comic book expert Clay Fernald (AKA Clay N. Ferno) about which local shops should be hit up for the best events. Obviously, as the host of League Podcast and chief scribe of all things comics, Fernald had a tough time choosing only five joints to pimp out, so he recommends using the store locator to select the best spots for freebies around your area. But, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to meet some of the city’s best graphic novel talent and swipe some gratis page-turners, they’ve got the hookup to make this year’s event the Best. Free Comic Book Day. Ever.
New England Comics
316 Harvard St., Brookline
New England Comics is a Bay State institution and, of all the NEC locations, New England Comics Brookline boasts the best signee in attendance, League Podcast co-conspirator Matt Dursin, who will be John Hancocking his comic Robin Hood: Outlaw of the 21st Century. “When this is over, we go across the street to eat pizza,” says Fernald, “and you are welcome to come!”
37 N. Main St., Rochester, NH
Though Fernald is stretching the term “local” with this pick in the Land of No Seatbelts, the featured guests at Jetpack Comics are original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, who are re-uniting for the first time in 20 years. But wait, there’s more. “Free Comic Book Day at Jetpack, if you can make the drive, will be like a mini-convention,” says Fernald, “Indie creator Tyler James is signing his popular The Red Ten ComiXTribe comic there as well.” So, yeah, get a Zipcar, and, as Fernald recommends, pick up Epic and Scam from ComiXTribe.
407 Highland Ave., Davis Square
Comicazi is a great place to go hunting for the best new comics, and on Free Comic Book Day, they’ve got signings in spades. Fernald notes Amy Biddle and Paul Axel among his most anticipated, but the real gem of the day is local Nefarious Twit author Tony McMillen, who will be pen-in-hand with his dastardly piece of children’s lit.
19 Bow St., Union Square
“While you are touring Somerville, swing on over to Hub Comics,” says Fernals, “where owner and G.I. Joe expert Tim Finn is offering not only the major publisher’s Free Comic Book Day offerings, but a sale on select Volume 1 graphic novels.” The free swag will go early, but Fernald notes that Hub is open ’til 9 p.m. “It’s a great place to hang and talk comics and pop culture,” he says, “I know, I’ve spent countless hours there doing exactly that!”
The ‘Free Comic Book Day Triangle’
Total value move – Fernald recommends getting ravenous and hitting up Newbury Comics, Million Year Picnic, and New England Comics in Harvard Square, all of which are within walking distance from each other. Fernald notes that Newbury clears fast and that most stores offer a two per customer limit, but this is basically FCBD cheat codes. Just check out the video below from last year. The triangle works, so use it.