The first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day, with aims similar to Record Store Day: raising the profile of an important cultural medium and get more people into independent shops. It’s a chance for smaller, independent comic book companies to butt heads with Marvel and DC on a level playing field and introduce punters to characters both new and old. Plus, as the title suggests, comic book shops across the country – including Travelling Man and Forbidden Planet in Manchester – will be giving away free comics, all day. In terms of what’s on offer, many of the issues are glorified commercials but there are always a few gems. One of these is the indomitable 2000AD, a refreshingly British take on the medium which has never shied away from social commentary, horror, sci-fi and character with depth: Dredd, for example, has aged a year in the comic for each year since his inception in the year punk broke (he hasn’t mellowed much, though). The FCBD edition is a 40th anniversary special and a solid jumping on point if you’ve ever pondered dipping your toes in. Other highlights include Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess from manga superstars Viz Comics; IDW’s foray into the mirror universe for Star Trek: The Next Generation (worth it for the evil, goateed and sleeveless Picard alone); Rick and Morty (Oni Press) and a 30 page excerpt of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius’ legendary The Incal (Humanoids Inc). Unfairly decried by many as a superhero-exclusive domain, any comics fan knows that infinite worlds await the keen reader. The Northern Quarter’s Travelling Man and Forbidden Planet are only steps away from each other so choose your queue, stick to one copy each, be polite and remember: every day is comic book day!

Sat 6 May, Travelling Man, 4 Dale Street, M1 1JW, from 8.30am; Forbidden Planet, 65 Oldham St, M1 1JR, from 9.30am,

Thanks to Groovement.

Sat 6 May
Agent J
Published on:
Fri 5 May 2017