All across North America today, over 2,000 comic book stores are celebrating Free Comic Book Day. As it enters its third decade — the event started in 2001, according to Wikipedia — there’ll be over two dozen free comic books to choose from this, and enthusiastic stores trying to dial up the fun even more.
16 stores are also giving away Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania in special “ant-sized” boxes — the size of penny — with tiny versions of the cover art from the full-sized Blu-Ray disc boxes (along with a code for a digital version of the movie). The Bleeding Cool site has a running list of stores doing additional special “cool stuff,” including cookie giveaways, discounts on paperbacks and comic books, and personal appearances by comic book writers and artists.
Geek-friendly free comic books this year:
- Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars/ Avatar: The Last Airbender
- D.C. Comics is offering Dawn of DC — Knight Terrors
- Marvel is offering several multi-character books, including Spider-Man/Venom, the Avengers/X-Men, and a sampler of the upcoming graphic novel biography of Stan Lee
- IDW’s free comics include the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- There’s also the official prequel to the new Street Fighter 6 video game
- Also available: Runescape: Untold Tales/God Wars
- Fantagraphics even has a preview of its upcoming Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers book.
- Archie Horror Presents: The Cursed Library
Bleeding Cool also has previews the artwork from Star Trek: Prelude to Day of Blood, a teaser for a coming “comic book crossover event between IDW’s main Star Trek comic and the Star Trek: Defiant series” (that’s also accompanied by a Lower Decks comic book story).
Just remember, in 2017 NPR had this advice for visiting comics fans. “While you’re there, buy something… The comics shops still have to pay for the ‘free’ FCBD books they stock, and they’re counting on the increased foot traffic to lift sales.”