Today is International Read Comics in Public Day, a day when hundreds of comics fans will take their favorite books out into the world and then post the evidence online. Though only in its third year, the movement has already spawned offshoots including Women Read Comics In Public and Men Read Women in Comics (presumably also in public.)
Last year’s event inspired cosplay, photoshoots, comic book recommendations, and more. This year’s Tumblr for the sub-movement, Women Reading Comics in Public (Again), has already received a flurry of responses.
Creators Brian Heater and Sarah Morean, who write for comics website The Daily Cross Hatch, had the idea two years ago. Posting about the upcoming event on August 15, they wrote:
“For as long as people sneak comics home from the shop in unmarked brown paper bags, we will be there. As long as men and women conveniently fail to mention their love of sequential art until the third date, we will be there. As long as we’re content to use any excuse to celebrate — and read — comics, we’ll be there.”
Held in honor of Jack Kirby, legendary creator of Marvel characters Captain America, The Hulk, and many more, the holiday aims to promote the joy of reading and a display of comic fan pride everywhere.
Californian comics fan Rebecca told the Daily Dot she’s reading with a friend later on today. “She’s bringing [Scott] McCloud’s Understanding Comics and I’m probably bringing Spider-Men. Or Ultimate Spider-Man.” She said that for her, Read Comics Day is all about visibility, and that she would be submitting her own pictures to the Women Reading Comics Tumblr:
“Honestly, for me at least, it’s less about being seen as Person Who Reads Comics and more about being a Woman Who Reads Comics. Because I want to keep representing for disabled geek women in as many facets of geek life as I live in.”
Australian comics fan Kiyala told the Dot that because she and her friends are unable to participate in the event today, they’re holding an event of their own on Sunday. “I think it’s important to get it out there, that comics can be enjoyed by anyone, of any age,” she told the Daily Dot.
“Some people (my parents for example) see it as something childish, when a lot of the content in comics is really NOT suitable for kids. I honestly think it’s just like any other book. If it gets more people willing to give comics a go, then it’s great.”
Don’t know anything about comics? Don’t know where to start? Here are five comics you can read in public today.
- Y: The Last Man: This Eisner-Award-winning comic envisions a post-apocalypse where all men are destroyed and the female human population fights for survival—along with the last man alive.
- Enigma: This short, brain-bending series explores the mythos of a super-hero created out of the detritus of human misery—and the fan who needs him to exist.
- Not Love But Delicious Food!: Fumi Yoshinaga is renowned for her humorous, human stories of food, love, and more. This hilarious, charming story stars Yoshinaga herself as the 30-something manga artist who just wants to have fun and eat good food, not worry about settling down.
- Maus. This masterpiece is both harrowing and universally human in its narrative of an aging Jewish man telling the story of the Holocaust to his son, artist Art Spiegelman. Maus was the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize.
- 20th Century Boys. Dazzlingly epic in scope, this Eisner-winning manga about a group of rock fans trying to save the world from an evil cult leader will enthrall you.
Photo via Read Comics in Public / Facebook