The first Saturday in May is always celebrated as Free Comic Book Day by thousands of comic book stores around the country. As the name indicates, shops give away comic books on this day, making it a dream event for comic fans. A search tool at the link above will help you find out what shops in your area are participating.
Customers can’t simply walk in and grab any comic they want, however. Participating stores generally have a select few titles they give away—among the potentially free comics this year at shops in your neck of the woods are books featuring characters like Spongebob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Cleopatra in Space, the Avengers, Pokemon, Lady Justice, and Doctor Who. It’s expected that more than 5 million free comic books will be handed out on Saturday.
Why would stores and comic book companies want to give away their products at no charge? In the long run, the idea is that a comic giveaway will serve as something of a gateway drug—a small freebie that’ll help get young readers hooked and turn them into lifelong customers.
Free Comic Book Day works as a successful business ploy in the short run as well because giving stuff away—ice cream, donuts, pretzels, 7-Eleven Slurpees, supermarket food samples, etc.—is generally considered a great way to immediately boost sales. Customers who come for freebies often wind up opening their wallets to buy other things, and Comic Book Day is always one of the biggest sales days of the year for comic shops.
Anyway, Saturday is your chance to snag some comic books for free. In order to get the best selection of comics, show up at your local shop early. At some locations, fans have been known to line up outside before stores open.
For more about what Free Comic Book Day is all about, this promo video offers explanation:
You might also consider the Free Comic Book Day sales pitch below from Mark Hamill, who is not only Luke Skywalker from “Star Wars” fame, but has also served as the voice of “The Joker” on “Batman: The Animated Series.”