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Free Comic Book Day 2022 is on Saturday May 7th from 10am to 7pm at CNJComics!

If it seems like we just did this, we sort of did. Last year free comic book day was pushed to August due to the pandemic. This year we’re back on schedule though, returning to the classic date of the first Saturday in May! This year’s big announcement is that we will be having Jim Shooter as our guest of honor!

Jim started writing for DC comics when he was on 13 years old in the 60s and went on to be Marvel’s Editor in Chief from 1978 to 1987. During this time he wrote some of my favorite Avengers comics, as well as the classic “Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars”, which introduced us to Spider Man’s Black costume. You can read more about his career here.

Jim will be autographing comics in the foyer next to the shop from 10 am to 6 pm. In the spirit of the day, the first signature is free! We even have four hundred copies of Avengers #211 (released in 1981) that we’ll be handing out for free so you have something to get signed!

After that, you can pay $10 a signature, or buy a five-pack of signatures for $30. It’s important to us that everyone gets a chance to meet Jim, so please limit the number of books you get signed to eleven. (1+5+5) We highly recommend reading Secret Wars beforehand, and we have copies of the complete graphic nvoel for sale at the shop right now!

John Shearer and I will be hosting a Facebook Live Video on Monday, May 2nd at 8:30 pm talking about what we love about Secret Wars, so be sure to tune in. I will also be hosting a Q and A with Shooter the night before FCBD at 6 pm on May 6th during our VIP event, so be sure to tune into that as well. The VIP event is sold out, and thank you to those who bought a ticket. You have helped to fund Jim’s appearance so that everyone gets a chance to see him on the day.

This year’s FCBD poster is an homage to Secret Wars #8, with a little Cleveland thrown in there for good measure. Unlike years past, this poster is free and you can pick it up at the shop right now!

Our resident graphic designer Jameson Campbell will be on hand at FCBD signing copies of the print from 10 am to noon.

FREE COMIC BOOKS!

The free comics are handed out in the same space as previous years, in an empty storefront about 200 feet from our shop. (we will have everything heavily signed so you know where you’re going, but the address is 17430 Loran.) Everyone is allowed to take 12 books from the 49 that are available. Books are broken up into three age categories, Green (All Ages), Blue (Teen+, meaning 13+, so nothing too crazy but parents should keep their eyes open for stuff they don’t care for.), and Red (Mature, meaning 18+, there are only four books with this designation.) We keep the books clearly marked and in these groupings.

You can check out all the books here. In addition to the books listed in that link, there is also another Spider-Man young readers comic and three titles from DC: Dark Crisis, Galaxy, and DC League of Super-Pets. (This disconnect is due to the current fractured state of the comic book publishing industry.)

So you Dog Man fans can grab a Dav Pilkey sampler…

Spider-Man fans have two books to pick from…

…and Winston will likely be picking up a Max Meow!

We always say, “Come early for the best selection!” We had to order books this year in January when the pandemic was flaring up, so we weren’t quite sure at that time what kind of event we would be able to have. This also affected our decision to not have a full-blown midnight event this year. We have over 20,000 books coming in but the early bird gets the worm!

Numerous cosplay factions will be walking about Saturday morning starting around 9:30 to make waiting in line more bearable. Dress up yourself and be sure to take some awesome pictures with them! Tag those photos with #cnjcomics #fcbd2022 for the most traction. We will also have Laura Wimbels back on photo duty this year, walking around and taking pictures of everyone.

While the art show was put on hold this year, we will have some cool photo op areas, as well as some spaces for kids to play after waiting in line. Jeff Ritchie is even designing a backdrop that looks like the cover to the aforementioned Secret Wars #8, without the Spider-Man in it. We will also have some local artists and vendors set up for you to check out, stay tuned for more details on that.

The Rust Belt Monsters will be doing a live mural outside the shop again, and this time we’ve got the sponsorship!

Every year this six-member art conclave creates a twelve-foot-long mural throughout the day. This year we decided to have a black light theme, inspired by the old Marvel blacklight posters from the ’70s! (it is Doctor Strange the Multiverse of Madness movie weekend too!)

We got sponsorship from DayGlo <www.dayglo.com> right here in Cleveland! They donated special paint for the RBM’s to use in the project! Thank you, Day-Glo! They have never used the paint in a live mural before and are excited about the challenges it offers!

Also, did you know that CNJComics sponsors numerous events at libraries around the county on FCBD? Both Westlake and Rocky River City Libraries, as well Mike Pawuk’s big event at the Cuyahoga County Brooklyn Branch. We also provide books to every Cuyahoga County branch and they participate at different levels, so check with your local branch to see what’s up!

Okay, everyone, that’s all we’ve got for now. Stay tuned for updates in the weeks to come! The staff and the Dudas family are looking forward to another successful year! Thank you as always for your support!

Hi there, Carol and John’s Shoppers, and welcome to Free Comic Book Day week! It’s the most exciting time of the year at the shop, and this is our biggest event of the year; we’ve got a few other fun things going on at the shop this week too. We’ll get to all that in just a bit, but we’ve got another Wednesday full of new comics to go over first.

Marvel Comics

“Fast approaches the ultimate destiny of one of the Jedi’s most renowned masters! As he spends his final days in the remote deserts of Tatooine, Obi-Wan Kenobi takes time to reflect on — and record — key moments of a heroic life long-lived. Writing in old leather-bound journals from his hermit’s hut, Obi-Wan remembers his days as a young Jedi Initiate, his trials as a Padawan, the crucible of Jedi Knighthood, and The Clone Wars, as well as some of the earliest challenges he faced as a true Master of the Force! In this tale, Obi-Wan considers a watershed Youngling adventure he narrowly survived on Coruscant when he was but eight years of age… This is just the beginning of his Jedi journey!” Just in time for the debut of the Disney+ show later this month, Obi-Wan (my favorite Star Wars character) gets his own miniseries. On “May the Fourth be with you” too no less.

DC Comics

A few weeks ago, we had the epic #0 issue, and now this week it’s the proper #1 for Flashpoint Beyond. “Batman’s hunt for the Clockwork Killer brings him to Europe and face to face with the mad king, Aquaman. On the eve of Aquaman’s sinking of London, Batman infiltrates his stronghold and goes on the warpath for answers. Nothing matters to Batman, whose world is already dead, but if he can track down the Clockwork Killer, Thomas can save his son’s world and put everything back together again.” If you were a fan of the original Flashpoint story, you’ll definitely enjoy this issue. There are some major payoffs from that previous series just in issue #1 alone.

Small Press Header

New from Image Comics and writer Zack Kaplan comes Metal Society. “In an inverted future, evolved robots have resurrected humans for manual labor. When a tribalistic cultural clash breaks out, a fearless human fighter and a frustrated, displaced robot will square off in a public MMA-style sport fight of epic stakes to determine once and for all who reigns supreme: man or machine.” It’s Blade Runner meets Rocky in this exciting sci-fi miniseries.

Writer and artist Skottie Young (I Hate Fairyland, The Me You Love In the Dark) is back again with a new epic fantasy adventure miniseries, this time joined by series artist Kyle Strahm (Spread, Unearth). A love letter to strange and imaginative stories like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, Twig is a hesitant hero on a quest to save his world. Skottie Young’s work speaks for itself, but Kyle Strahm’s artwork is bright and colorful with great monstrous character designs. This is the sleeper hit this week, that’ll we’ll be getting more of back in stock soon.

“Following the big action of the regular Frontiersman series, our hero now faces the consequences! When Frontiersman is thrown in the county jail to await trial, he’s visited by an antihero who wants to free him-whether Frontiersman likes it or not!” This Image superhero series was one of my highlights of 2021 and I’m excited for more. There are a bunch of spinoff miniseries to come later also, so this one-shot is great for returning fans and new readers alike (we’ve got copies of Volume 1 for only $9.99 too!)

Vault Comics was the latest publisher highlighted in my featured small press publisher article series (you can find more on those here and also at my own personal site). They’re one of my favorite small publishers out there and specialize in funny, weird, and scary sci-fi and fantasy. This week we have a new #1 from them in Quests Aside. “A skeleton, an apprentice mage, and an exiled princess walk into a bar… for another shift at Quests Aside, the local watering hole run by once legendary, now retired adventurer Barrow. When the King privately explains that he plans to shut the place down, Barrow must find a way to hold onto his business and the family he’s built around it. It’s always sunny in the realms!” We now have a dedicated section for all of the small press publishers featured and written about at the back of the shop. We’ll be getting a fresh restock of Source Point Press books also too, there’s plenty more out there!

Free Comic Book Day Header

And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Free Comic Book Day is back!

Free Comic Book Day will be this Saturday, May 7th from 10 am – 7 pm. If you’ve been to the shop before during FCBD, you know the drill, but otherwise, if you haven’t, you can’t miss it. We’ll have big signs outside both the shop and the event space designating where the free books will be. It’ll be in Kamm’s Plaza with the shop. You’ll notice the traffic and lines of people. For the first 400 people, we’ll be giving away copies of Avengers #211 also!

Our special guest this year is former Marvel writer and editor Jim Shooter! Secret Wars is a shop favorite and one of the best Marvel books PERIOD, so we’re very excited to have him in the shop for FCBD. Jim will be here signing all day in the foyer next to the shop. We’re excited to announce his signatures will be FREE, with a limit of FIVE PER PERSON. There’ll be two lines, one for Free Comics and another for Shooter, so make sure you’re in the one you want to be in first.

In the event space with the free comics, we’ll also have twenty vendors set up for you all to meet. John calls it a fun pop culture “farmers market” and we’re stoked to have some new and familiar faces back for the day. You can find out more about who we’ll have here at John’s last FCBD Update.

But wait, we’ve got one last surprise also: we’ll also be having a big 50% OFF BACK ISSUES SALE! This will actually start this Thursday, May 5th, and run all the way through the weekend until Sunday, May 8th. These sales are awesome and it’s fun to watch back issues fly out of here. We always have our books at 25%, but that jump to 50% really makes a difference.

WOW. I told you it was the biggest event of the year! We’ve got plenty of coffee here at the shop to make it all happen, so we’ll be ready. We hope to see you all and have a great time. Until then…

Hey, Carol and John’s Shoppers! It’s a huge week here at the shop for the final week of April. There’s a new Amazing Spider-Man #1, the death of the Justice League (no seriously), and plenty more. Also Previews too! Let’s see what’s good this week.

Marvel Comics

It’s a brand-new Amazing Spider-Man #1 and the return of John Romita Jr.! “WHAT DID SPIDER-MAN DO?! Peter’s on the outs with the FF. He’s on the outs with the Avengers. He’s on the outs with Aunt May! No one wants to see Spider-Man – except for Doctor Octopus. Ock’s on Spider-Man’s tail and the Master Planner has something truly terrible planned for when he gets his tentacles on Spidey. All that, and what does Tombstone have planned?” This year marks the 60th anniversary of the web-head also, and this new #1 is legacy issue #895, so BIG THINGS are coming this year for Spider-Man fans! We’ve got tons of variants too this week, so pick up your favorite, while we still have plenty to choose from.

While Spider-Man has a new beginning this week, there’s an end to things in Donny Cates’s Thor with the finale to the God of Hammers story arc and the funeral of Odin (spoilers, but it happened the last issue sooo). Another legacy issue, this week’s Thor #24 is also issue #750 overall, featuring stories from Walt Simonson, J. Michael Straczynski, Jason Aaron, and more. This issue is jam-packed with stories at $8.99, but it’s our last chance to catch our breath before the epic Hulk vs. Thor Banner of War crossover begins next month.

DC Comics

The cover says it all; this week in Justice League #75 it’s the DEATH OF THE JUSTICE LEAGUE. Written by Joshua Williamson, this is the first major prelude to this summer’s Dark Crisis event. The full might of the Justice League comes face-to-face with Pariah and his Dark Army in a battle that’ll leave only one survivor to warn everybody about what’s coming. This is a big, brutal finale to the current Justice League series and is a must-have for any DC fans eagerly awaiting Dark Crisis.

One of our favorite series at the shop is back with issue #6 of Dark Knights of Steel. Each issue has been ramping up the action and has had a lot of fun reveals for medieval versions of our favorite DC characters. This week sees the cold war between the Kingdom of Storms and the House of El heat up with the Amazons forced to pick sides. This series is awesome and is the first DC book we all read as soon as we get our weekly shipments in. You should be reading it!

Small Press

FINALLY! After plenty of delays across the whole series, we finally have the last issue in the TMNT Last Ronin miniseries. This final issue has the showdown between the last turtle and the Foot Clan with the fate of New York City in the balance. I’m way behind on this series, even after all the delays, but I’m curious to see how things finally wrapped up for this fan-favorite series.

Image has been putting out a lot of great new #1’s this year so far, and it seems like every week or so there’s another new hit. This week it’s Blood Stained Teeth #1. “Atticus Sloane- misanthrope, criminal, *sshole, and vampire -lives in a world where blood isn’t the only thing vamps crave. And for the right price, he’ll make you a vampire too. After all, immortality isn’t cheap.”  Written by Christian Ward (ODY-C) and drawn by Patric Reynolds (Hellboy & The B.P.R.D.), Blood Stained Teeth is an “a fast-paced 100 Bullets-style crime saga with fangs.” Nice!

Where Dark Knights of Steel is our first read when we get our DC books in (we get DC a few days early), Saga is our first read Tuesday morning when we receive Diamond. It’s all of our favorite series, and we all love watching and seeing everyone’s reactions while they read it. This week it’s issue #58; there are more mysteries about Bombazine, Hazel and Squire’s hidden talents, and some familiar faces (both good and bad).

There’s plenty more coming out this week, but those are just some of the bigger titles. We’re in the home stretch of our Free Comic Book Day prep. We’re bottling the beers we brewed this week, and we’ve got just about all of our free books in and accounted for. Don’t forget that Free Comic Book Day is next Saturday, May 7th and that it’ll be the perfect time to support local artists also as we’ll have 20 vendors set up for the day.

And I have big news to report, that we’ll be having a huge back issue sale that weekend also. We’ll be having 50% off back issues from Thursday, May 5th through Sunday, May 8th. Don’t try to sneak one by us, back issues aren’t free also, but they’ll certainly be heavily discounted for the weekend.

And that’s it for this week. Back to the grind. We’ll see you all around.

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