Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Free Comic Books!... kind of.

Every one loves free comics, which is evident by the success of Free Comic Book Day. Unfortunately this event only happens once per year. However, I have found a way to have Free Comic Book Day nearly every day. WOWIO offers free digital comic books to anyone that wants them. There are hundreds of comics you can search through and read at absolutely no cost, but (there’s always a but) there is a catch. Actually there are a few minor “catches”.

First, to get your free comics you will need a “real” email address. Internet based email accounts like Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail are not accepted. Well they weren't when I tried it anyway. They say you may get some email solicitations in return for your free books, but I have yet to get one. Secondly, you are only allowed to read them online, though you can pay to download the pdf($.99-1.50). Finally, you won’t find any DC, Marvel, Devil’s Due, Dynamite or Image comics on this site. Though you can find some of the issues of Supreme published by Awesome. That’s about the extent of the down side of this site.

Now on the plus side there are tons of books to choose from. You don't have to pay the subscription cost to read them online like with Marvel's site. All of the comics are from smaller companies like Heroic Publishing, but there is still a wide variety of titles from a wide range of genres. So far I have read most of the available Champions books on the site and have barely touched on all the available titles. There are naturally plenty of superhero books, but fans of sci fi, fantasy and horror are represented as well. Some of the titles you can expect to find are Alien Legion, 10th Muse, Dead Sonja, and Oz: the manga. While many of the available titles are from the 80’s and 90, there are plenty of titles published in the past few years available as well, with new books being added from time to time.

Now for those of you that like a little more to read than just comic books you are in luck. With your account you also have access to fiction novels, biographies, and a whole slew of other types of books. Pretty much anyone who likes to read can find something on this site that will interest them.

Wowio is definitely worth checking out. You may not have access to as many titles as you would at your local comic shop or Barnes and Nobles, but there is enough here to keep you busy for quite some time. That is if you don't mind reading them on your computer screen.

Wowio isn’t the only place you can find free or even very cheap comics. RPGNow offers free or reduced comics in pdf. Some of the titles, such as Oz, are also on Wowio, but they have enough diversity to make it worth checking out as well.

While you’re at RPGNow gamers should also check out the gaming freebie section. There are a slew of gaming goodies there to download. From NPC and Zombie cut outs to use in your game, quickstart rules for games you want to try and even a few full campaign settings.

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