This is a community service. Or possibly an unhealthy obsession. Either way, we find we have no option but to plug a really cool initiative by the worldwide comics publishing industry: Free Comic Book Day, an annual event whereby comics publishers and retailers work together to promote this fantastic medium of visual storytelling and – hopefully – entice a few new readers into the fold.
We’re lucky enough to have three wonderful comics shops in easy reach of Gollancz Towers – Forbidden Planet, Gosh! Comics and Orbital Comics – all of which will be taking part with free comic bags and various events. But this isn’t just a London thing. There will be Free Comic Book Day events happening all over the country (and, indeed, the world), and you can find local participating retailers at the Free Comic Book Day website. Check the individual shops’ websites for details – or just show up tomorrow and see what’s happening. What’s the worst that could happen? You walk away with a bag full of cool stuff. Back of the net!
If you’re a comics fan, it’s likely that you already know about tomorrow’s festivities – but if you’re not a fan – if you’re here for your regular dose of classic SF goodness and are wondering why we’re wittering on about comics, we humbly ask you to consider the following (far from comprehensive!) list of authors who have turned their hands to both prose and graphic storytelling:
And that’s only a sampling of the classic writers. If we were to list the recent writers who have a foot in both camps – the likes of Lauren Beukes, Mike Carey, Paul Cornell, Marjorie M.Liu, Brad Meltzer, China Miéville, Richard Morgan, Simon Spurrier and, of course, Neil Gaiman – well . . . we’d still be here long after Free Comic Book Day had come and gone.
So, there you have it. Science fiction and comics: two sides of the same fantastical coin.