Superman Fan & Collectors Convention of Hawaii


by Napua Ahina

The 5th Annual Free Comic Book Day is on May 6th. While retailers are trying to reel-in new customers, publishers are seeking promotion for their top sellers and upcoming works. This is a great opportunity to check out the cornucopia of one of America's rare indigenous art forms: the comicbook.

So here's your chance to get a full 32 page comic without having to pay $2.50. And, if you're lucky, you could even get a free Wolverine Heroclix. Hey, just because something's free doesn't mean it's junk! New stories are being printed (X-Men/Runaways) and great issues are being reprinted (Superman/Batman #1). There will even be compilations from multiple titles (Future Shock: Images of Tomorrow!) and preview samplers (Tokyopop Sneaks).

There's a total of 28 free titles being offered and this is the perfect time to try something you've never read before. On May 6th you can be brave and stray away from your regular titles to get a taste from independent publishers. A free comic means you won't have to be afraid of making a bad investment of your hard earned money. Last year I took a chance and tried Owly: Splashin' Around from Top Shelf.

Owly is a friendly (and sometimes lonely) owl who stars in very touching stories that you really can't find with "mainstream" publishers. Sure, Owly's a cute little guy drawn in animation-style and the stories are told wordlessly... but don't be fooled - regardless of your age, Owly's sincerity and genuine humanity will truly warm your heart. This year, he's making a return to FCBD with an all-new story, Owly: Breakin' the Ice. Since Owly's debut book in 2004, creator Andy Runton's been receiving a lot of media recognition and even winning awards. We were lucky to snag a moment of Andy's time and ask a few questions:


What's your favorite aspect of Free Comic Book Day?

Well I guess my favorite part is all of the new fans we make. Lots of comic fans get to meet Owly for the first time and we also get to introduce new people to comics. For instance, the last "Free Comic Book Day" I attended, a few people didn't really come out specifically to get free comics. They were just shopping on a Saturday and stopped by to see what the commotion was about. That was really fun.

Your FCBD story this year is Owly: Breakin' the Ice (I can't wait!). What other titles are you looking forward to picking up on May 6th?

I need to do a better job of getting my comics this year. Last year I was so busy signing that I completely missed out on the comics! Most of them vanished rather quickly. Looking over the list, I'd say I'm most excited about the offerings from the indy publishers like Adhouse Books and Oni Press. I also have to pick up the latest Amelia Rules and Buzzboy comics.

2006 must be a very exciting year for you... Owly had a special appearance in Wizard last month, next month will mark your second year contributing to FCBD and in July you'll be at the Eisner Awards again. What other big things are planned for you and Owly?

Probably the biggest thing is that the Owly plushy is finally under production. We hope to have a few on hand for sale in San Diego and the rest will be available later in the year from a comicbook store near you. Other than that, I'm starting on the fourth Owly graphic novel and we'll be putting out another Free Comic Book Day story in 2007. Owly still has lots of friends to make and lots of adventures to go on.


On FCBD Andy will be signing at Cards Comics and Collectibles in Baltimore, MD. And although we won't have any creator signings here in Hawaii, many local comic shops will still be handing out the free stuff: Other Realms at Ward Warehouse, Ryan's Sportsworld in the Aina Haina Shopping Center, Jelly's in Aiea, also Gecko Books and Collector Maniac's in Kaimuki.

So get out there to support your local retailer, give independent publishers a chance, and celebrate comicbooks! (P.S. Don't forget to pick-up Owly: Breakin' The Ice while you're at it.)

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