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We woke up in St Louis on Cinco de Mayo, Eric’s Half Birthday, SUPERMOON Day, and Free Comic Book Day!! I’d checked out some local St Louis comic book shops on-line the day before, so we were all set. We arrived at Star Clipper, a comic book shop that looked particularly excited about FCBD on their Facebook, about an hour before they opened. One of their employees was expressing his excitement for the event in chalk on the sidewalk outside. Eric and I killed some time at the 37th annual Junktique Sale at Grace United Methodist Church down the street. Those United Methodists, they’ve treated us really well on this tour! We got some cool stuff for some nickles and dimes.

Twenty minutes before Star Clipper opened we decided to head over, and there was already a good-sized lineup down the sidewalk! And it grew twice as long just as we were standing there!!

Now, I need to confess something: As nerdy as we can be and despite the fact that we have attended a Web Comic Con and I have and am currently the illustrator for a running comic series (The Black Meat, check it out!), Eric and I had never actually been to Free Comic Book Day. So we were excited, and a bit confused. I had no idea it was such a big deal!! Plus, Eric and I almost primarily read indie comics and don’t dabble into the superhero comics at all. This thing is a huge deal!

Once the doors opened and we shuffled our way in with a couple hundred other people, we were herded towards a couple large tables stacked with mounds of comic books of all genres! And you could just take whatever you wanted!! Eric and I tried to only take what looked like stuff that’d really interest us (or that we might be able to read and pass along to 5 year old Jaiden or something). Oh, and there was a free hardcover MouseGuard book!! One of our favorite comics and the series that originally really got us into comics! What-tha-whaaaat?! So exciting!! Hardcover!

We pretty much doubled our comic collection. The one comic book we did actually buy was the most recent compilation of the Chew series, a comic we’ve been keeping up with. One of the huge reasons I love Chew and MouseGuard is just the incredibly beautiful art styles in both. These are both art styles I admire and strive towards. (As a matter of fact, later this very day while Eric was talking with a guy from the band we played with that night, the guy mentioned how my art reminded him of the art in Chew. Such a great compliment!)

Besides the free comic books at Star Clipper, they had Jason Aaron signing autographs (he’s one of the writers for Wolverine, Ghost Rider, and a whole mess of other Marvel comics)…

…a table outside of local artists doing free sketches and promoting their own comics (possibly something I’ll try to get in on for next year), and a handful of people in Cosplay, from Superman, the Punisher, and Bat Girl, to Voltron:

Eric has actually written a pretty sweet graphic novel script, so we’re thinking (hoping) that maybe by next year we’ll have our own little sampling of a free comic book to give away and promote. Comic book illustrating is one of my favorites arts to do. We’ll keep you posted!

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