Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) is always the first Saturday in May, and there are so many fun programs and activities that can be done to celebrate! At Pikes Peak Library District, we have joined forces with our local comic book store, Escape Velocity, to organize great events throughout the district. This year celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of FCBD! The comic book industry uses FCBD to promote the joy of reading and learning through comics: Comic book fans can get special issues of comics, and people new to comics can try them out—all for free! Escape Velocity donates the comics to the library for us to give out.
Pikes Peak Library District has fourteen locations and a very active mobile library service. The way each location participates varies. Some locations put comics on a table with a sign that talks about FCBD and to only take one. Other locations have passive programs like superhero coloring pages, Make Your Own Comics, or Cubeecrafts (super fun, but time-consuming!).
At one of our larger libraries, we have an annual event that brings in over four hundred people! For the event, we try new activities every year, but some things just work especially well! Our program takes over the teen center, and readers of all ages are welcome. During our three-hour celebration, we have stations with activities, or patrons can grab a comic and head out. This year we will have a professional face painter, cookie decorating, Cubeecrafts, Sphero, Make Your Own Comics, a superhero name generator, magnet-making, and games on the XBOX Kinect! That takes a lot of work from three staff members and five volunteers. Staff and volunteers take turns staffing the stations and making sure that everyone gets comics.
Do you want to get in on the action, but you want to do more or hear about different ideas? Never fear—there are other things that you can do! Try a photo booth with props for all kinds of comics, and when people take a picture, ask them to post it on Facebook or use Twitter and a hashtag. Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion will visit in costume, but often require a long lead time. Many cosplayers are excited about sharing their knowledge and passion; ask them to share and lead a program. Panel discussions about superheroes, villains, and other comic book-related topics are really fun.
Getting the word out about events is always tricky. Fortunately, on the FCBD website, they have provided many marketing materials for print and social media. They will even provide generic press releases when asked.
Post your ideas below, and we’ll see you at FCBD 2016!