Earlier this week on the Free Comic Book Day Facebook page there was a big announcement about the 10 Gold Sponsor books that will be part of the 10th Annual Free Comic Book Day on May 7, 2011.

Here is what was announced and some personal thoughts:

APE Entertainment will offer the Kung Fu Panda/Richie Rich flipbook. While I didn’t care for the Kung Fu Panda concept I’m interested in seeing Richie Rich return to comics. It seems he’s been gone for a while and with his updated look I hope he will be around for years to come.

We get another flip book, this time from Archaia Entertainment. They only released the cover for one side thought. They offer another Mouse Guard story, this time it comes with a Dark Crystal story. Archaia will start doing graphic novels based on the Dark Crystal in 2011. I know as many people who like this movie as don’t. Myself, I’ve always been kind of indifferent about it. But I love the cover.

Dark Horse offers up yet another flip book. They usually have a Star Wars book and this year is no exception, the other side of the book, thought, is a but of a surprise: Avatar, The Last Airbender from Nickelodeon! Seems Dark Horse snagged the rights to the series. I don’t know if it’ll be reprints or original stuff but it’s kind of cool. Especially if your a fan of the series!

The next flip book comes from Papercutz. Now, I’m not really a fan of this publisher after their mistreatment of the legendary Tales From The Crypt comics but that’s just me. Their offering for Free Comic Book Day is Geronimo Stilton, which I’m not familiar with and The Smurfs! Again, not a fan but it’ll be interesting to see how a Smurfs comic goes over especailly with the live action movie coming to theaters next summer.

Some cool stuff and we’re not even half way through yet! Who’s next? Archie Comics! They have participated in every Free Comic Book Day and next year will be no different. They offer an all-new Betty & Veronica story. I don’t read Archie on any kind of basis but I do like to grab the FCBD issues for some reason. I actually read last year’s offering and it was very entertaining!

There are two announcements that are still under wraps. First up, Image Comics will be offering an ALL AGES title from the creator of The Walking Dead and Invincible: Robert Kirkman! I’m very curious about this myself. From DC we get a book but it’s part of something bigger (my impression) so they are not giving much information about it. Below is all we got from them for now.

IDW gives us a Locke & Key story. People who are interested in the upcoming television series based on this comic should check this out to get an idea of what to expect.

BOOM! Studios pulls out one of their break through hits from this year, Darkwing Duck, and teams it with Chip N Dale’s Rescue Rangers! I’m excited about this because I LOVE Darkwing Duck. I mean, how could you not like this character, right?

And finally (remember the Image Book was announced without an image so that makes this the tenth and final announcement for now) comes from Marvel Comics. The Big Time team of Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos (Both are AMAZING on the Spider-Man series) gives us, well, Spider-Man! And like the Spider-Man: Swing Shift book from FCBD 2007 this one will be the beginning of  a major story that will happen in Amazing Spider-Man later in 2011. Marvel promises this will be the biggest Spidey epic in years. If it can top Brand New Day and Big Time I’m all for it!

So there you go, we still have 153 days, as of this posting, before the 10th Annual Free Comic Book Day and we have some very big and very exciting books to look forward to. Over the next few months there will be more announcements about other books and sponsors will will be covered on the Free Comic Book Day website and, if I have any say in it, here as well.

For those who don’t know: Free Comic Book Day is the First Saturday in May every year. It’s the day you can go into your local comic shop and, depending on how the store does it, you can pick from a selection of FREE comic books. Yeah, that’s the most important part: FREE comics books. You don’t have to buy ANYTHING to get them for free but keep in mind your local store owner has to pay for these books to offer them for free, they don’t pay much but it’s coming out of their pockets. My point is, PLEASE go to your local comic shop on May 7, 2011, take your kids or nieces and nephews or grand kids whatever, and let them get some free comics and look around the store and support them buy purchasing something. Remember: No comic book store means no FREE comics on the First Saturday of May every year! Okay, I’m getting off my soap box now :)

For more information on Free Comic Book Day check out their website: FreeComicBookDay.com

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