But one aspect of obtaining free comics often gets overlooked, and I'm here to enlighten you all and help grow your collections more cheaply! The key to getting more books for free is: contests.
That's right, contests.
Now, you're thinking, "Contests? What contests? There aren't that many comic book contests -- how is that going to help me get free comics?"
Actually, I've been keeping my eye out for a little while, and there are in fact any number of contests going on in comicdom all the time. Some require a modicum of creativity (Geek Syndicate is now judging their Atomic Robo and the Crazy Ass Titles Competition entries), some require artistic talent (IDW should be announcing the winner of their 10th Anniversary Logo Contest any day now), some just require a little knowledge (Blog@Newsarama just gave away a number of copies of Brave and the Bold #23), and some don't need anything beyond some plain ol' luck (Kevin Church just passed out three copies of Potter's Field). There're also contests pretty regularly on Marvel Masterworks Resource Page, Dark Horse Comics' site and Graphic Novel Reporter's site.
It's mostly a matter of keeping your eyes and ears open, and jumping in on them as soon as you can. Many require nothing more than simply posting a comment or sending an email. Most answers to trivia questions can be Googled easily enough. The only real reason NOT to take advantage of them is that you don't care for the comics they're giving away.
"But, Sean," you protest, "how many free comics can I get really?"
Well, here's a sampling of comics and comic-related material I've won in contests...
Yes, I said "sampling." This doesn't include anything I bought with gift certificates that I've won, and I know I've left off a few things that I can't find images of online. I expect I've also forgotten some others entirely.
Now maybe I didn't enjoy each and every item there as much as I'd like, but there's also quite a few that I enjoyed very much. And a good number of these I wouldn't have bought on my own to try, but was quite pleased to sample a new or different creator.
My point is that there are PLENTY of opportunities out there, and they're often well worth taking advantage of. Especially in this economy!