Free Comic Book Day Bay Area: A Superpowered Guide

The Bay Area has more comic shops than any other region of the United States. Within a 15-mile radius of San Francisco’s City Hall, there are no less than 14 stores pushing funny books on impressionable youth (and adults). Free Comic Book Day returns on May 5 and due to the close proximity of Bay Area stores, it’s possible to hit five or six in a single day (if you’re so inclined). That equals a lot of free comics. Here’s our guide on how to do Free Comic Book Day right in the Bay Area.

Free Comic Book Day 2018

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Oakland’s Cape and Cowl Comics Burglarized

Oakland’s Cape and Cowl Comics was burglarized early Saturday.

Photo from Cape and Cowl’s Facebook page

Employees arrived to open the shop for business Saturday morning to find the front door had been smashed and nearly 50 comics stolen from the high-value comic wall.

Cape and Cowl Burgled

Many of the titles stolen were in CGC slabs. CGC slabs are each individually numbered, so if a slabbed book does turn up it could be traced back to Cape and Cowl. The store is working on an inventory of which issues are missing.

In case the above Facebook embed here’s the list of titles with CGC numbers as of April 28 at 5 p.m.

Walking Dead #171 Pink Sig Variant (9.8) 1243657006
MMPR #0 Green (9.8) 1255498009
Batman Who Laughs #1 (9.6) 1249036006
Star Wars #1 (9.4) 1254485001
Strange Tales #110 (2.0) 1249035003
ASM #1 Golden Record Reprint (8.5) 1249035010
Batman #232 (6.5) 1249035007
Ninja-K #1 (9.8) 1249036004
Luke Cage #166 Lenticular (9.8) 1249624008

20 Eye-Catching San Francisco Murals

Murals are seeing a sort of renaissance in San Francisco. Some business owners continue to wash away street art in an effort to raise property estimates. But an increasing number of business owners are seeing the benefit of showcasing and supporting the creation of murals.

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Signing: The Black Monday Murders Artist Tomm Coker at The Escapist – April 22

I don’t make end of the year best comic lists, but if I did The Black Monday Murders would have easily made it into the top 10 the last two years. Written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Tomm Coker, Image Comics describes the title as a “crypto-noir series about the power of dirty, filthy money… and exactly what kind of people you can buy with it.”

Tomm Coker - Black Monday Murders Issue 6The story by Hickman is complicated and intense making it a perfect compliment to the beautiful haunting artwork by Coker.

Tomm Coker visits The Escapist, 3090 Claremont Avenue in Berkeley, on April 22 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. He’s signing copies of The Black Monday Murders volumes 1 and 2. The second volume is released on April 18. The Black Monday Murders vol. 2 will also feature as the Escapist’s title of choice for the April book club. The club will meet at 7 p.m. after Coker’s signing. The artist plans to join the discussion.

 

East Bay Comic Book Trail – What Is It?

The Bay Area is lucky to have more than a dozen comic shops within a 20-mile radius. We’ve split a bulk of those shops into two trails: The San Francisco Comic Book Trail and the East Bay Comic Book Trail. Now you can treat comic book shopping like a pub crawl! This map is especially useful for comic book tourists and on Free Comic Book Day.

Below you’ll find our suggested path for the East Bay Comic Book Trail running through Oakland and Berkeley. Click here for our suggested path for the San Francisco Comic Book Trail. Want to see them all? Click here to see a full list of Bay Area Comic Book Stores.

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San Francisco Comic Book Trail – What Is It?

The Bay Area is lucky to have more than a dozen comic shops within a 20-mile radius. We’ve split a bulk of those shops into two trails: The San Francisco Comic Book Trail and the East Bay Comic Book Trail. Now you can treat comic book shopping like a pub crawl! This map is especially useful for comic book tourists and on Free Comic Book Day.

Below you’ll find our suggested path for the San Francisco Comic Book Trail. Click here for our suggested path for the East Bay Comic Book Trail (including Oakland and Berkeley). Want to see them all? Click here to see a full list of Bay Area Comic Book Stores.

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Signing: Emily Pearson Signing “The Wilds” at Cape and Cowl on March 10

If you pay attention to the comics media you know Black Mask‘s newest title The Wilds is the critical darling of the month.

Writer Vita Ayala described the book to Geek.com:

…humanity was ravaged by a plague that killed half the population, and turned a number of the remainder into essentially flower zombies. Humanity, to survive, has formed these walled-off city-states like settlements. We follow Daisy Walker, who works for a specialized settlement called The Compound – which is basically a mashup of the USPS and Black Market. Daisy is a Runner, which means her job is to find salvage to bring back to the Compound, and also to ferry cargo (which can be goods, people, or just messages) between settlements. Being a Runner is a brutal job and few make it to retirement. Runners are basically exploited, but without them, society as it stands, could not work.

Thematically, the book is about how marginalized people (PoC, and especially WoC) are exploited. How PoC are expected to perform massive amounts of physical and emotional labor with no reward, and often until we are used up or die.

Artist Emily Pearson and colorist Marissa Louise work together to compellingly illustrate a world where the bleak reality of the end times can co-exist with the beauty of flowering undead.

If you live in the Bay Area you can talk to Pearson about her vision when she makes a stop on March 10 at Cape and Cowl Comics in Oakland. She’ll be at the 1601 Clay Street comic shop from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. both signing the first issue and creating sketches. Check out the Facebook event here.

The Wilds team includes lettering from Jim Campbell and editing by Danny Lore.

If you can’t make it to Cape and Cowl to pick up a copy and meet Pearson please check out our list of Bay Area Comic Book Stores. Most will likely have a copy unless, of course, the book is sold out.

Black Panther Inspires Disney to Fund STEM Initiative in Oakland

At this point everyone in Oakland has had a chance to catch Black Panther, right? In case you haven’t, but plan on doing so, I should note everything below in this post is a spoiler for the final Oakland-based scene of the film. Okay?

Black Panther is breaking all sorts of records and that means plenty of dollar bills for the Walt Disney Company. According to ComingSoon.net, the House of Mouse has decided to put some of that money back into the communities that have no doubt helped make Black Panther one of the most successful superhero films ever.

Disney plans to donate $1 million to the Boys and Girls Club of America to help expand the organizations STEM programs. Part of that investment includes helping to establish an Oakland-based STEM Center of Innovation. The move is a clear nod to the film’s ending where Wakanda starts making contact with the rest of the world by establishing a science center in Oakland. T’Challa’s wicked smart sister, Shuri, is tapped to lead the science outreach initiative.

Black Panther - Shuir smiling

The majority of the film takes place in the fictional nation of Wakanda, but it is an Oakland film at heart. The Bay Area city is the birthplace of director Ryan Coogler who made his Hollywood debut with the critically-acclaimed indie film Fruitvale Station. That film told the story of Oscar Grant who on New Year’s Eve 2009 was shot in the back and murdered by BART police.

In a statement, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger noted that Black Panther is “sparking discussion, inspiring people young and old, and breaking down age-old industry myths.”

Disney’s money will additionally support STEM programs in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Harlem, Hartford, Memphis, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Watts.

Signing: Liam Sharp at Escapist on February 24

The Escapist Comic Book Store, 3090 Claremont Avenue, will host comic artist and writer Liam Sharp on Saturday, February 24. Sharp, who most recently came off a critically acclaimed run illustrating Wonder Woman with writer Greg Rucka (and alternating artistic duties with Nicola Scott) is embarking on a new journey with DC’s Amazonian. Sharp is both writing and illustrating a six-issue miniseries of The Brave and the Bold featuring Wonder Woman and Batman.

Liam SHarp Brave and the Bold

A new, six-issue miniseries written and illustrated by Liam Sharp (WONDER WOMAN)! When a Celtic god’s murder leads to a war between the fairy folk and a possible breach between worlds, Wonder Woman must find the murderer and keep the peace while Batman investigates strange occurrences in Gotham City. As Diana must turn to the World’s Greatest Detective for help, the two heroes quickly learn their cases may be connected.

Sharp will sign copies of issue one between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on February 24.

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