Free Comic Book Day in Chicago is a single day – the first Saturday in May each year (May 7, 2011 this year) – when participating comic book shops in Chicago and across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE* to anyone who comes into their stores (click link at bottom for more information). Once a year, independent comic book stores shell out between 12 and 50 cents per book to publishers, and then graciously give them to you for free. And for cash-strapped college students, who make up a large chunk of the comics-reading populace, no greater word exists. (Except perhaps for Wow! Pow!, Wham! or Bang!) Or as Chicago Comics manager Eric Thornton put it, “There is no better way to get people in the store than with a sign that says ‘FREE.'”
May 7 marks the ninth annual Free Comic Book Day, a promotional event that celebrates independent comic book stores across North America — mostly geared toward kids and new collectors, but also seen as a special “thank you” to those who’ve collected for years. Nationwide stores are celebrating with celebrity appearances, music, and most importantly free comics!
This weekend’s Free Comic Book Day is a way to introduce the rest of us to the wonders of these stores — and as the name implies, everyone gets a complimentary comic just for checking ’em out. This year, you can expect to see Amazing Spider Man, Darkwing Duck, Betty & Veronica from Archies Gang, Kung Fu Panda and Green Lantern, as well as characters from Captain America, Inspector Gadget and Young Justice in the comics at participating stores.
Curious? Check out the list of comics at the link below, then using the handy store locator on the left side of the Free Comic Book Day homepage, you can check your local stores for their participation and rules, as guidelines vary from store to store. Yet, one rule stays the same: In every participating store, you will have a chance to receive free comics.