The first known comics appeared in 18th century Japan, by the 1930’s they became popular in the United States. On the first Saturday in May free comic books are given out at select comic books stores across America (And Europe) by the North American Comic Book industry. (No, you can’t just go in and get which ever comic book you want.)
The idea came from an article written in the August 2001 issue of Comic & Games Retailer by Joe Field. He operated “Flying Colors Comics” in Concord, California. The idea caught on and put into practice by the Diamond Comic Distributors (The worlds largest comic book distributors) in 2002. Today over 7,000 retailers participate in some 30 countries.
When comics first came out they were basically for children’s entertainment. Basically every super hero the world has ever know came out of comic books. Some have been the pure imagination of the author, others are based on actual historical characters (with a few alteration) or mythological legends.
While most are pure fiction, some mix historical facts into their pages. They are entertaining, but can also be educational, a sly way of teaching kids while they think they are having fun.
But some comics are definitely not for children at all! (Some are even a little mature for most adults!) Like practically anything originally designed to be innocent and fun, it can be taken to a very dark side perverting what was originally intended.
Some of the top producers of comics in the world are Dark Horse, Top Cow, Marvel, Image Comics, Mad Magazine, Blank Slate Books and Drawn & Quartered.
How to celebrate – Go to a comic book store and get your free comic! (I am sure the very first ones are already collectable) Re-read any comic books you may have saved from your youth. Make sure the comics your children are reading are what you think they are.