It's Free Comic Book Day

The where, what and how of comic collectors' favorite Saturday

A selection of 2012's Free Comic Book Day titles: 'Star Wars', 'Mouse Guard' and 'Peanuts'. Don't worry, there are super heroes too.
A selection of 2012's Free Comic Book Day titles: 'Star Wars', 'Mouse Guard' and 'Peanuts'. Don't worry, there are super heroes too.

Every comic fan knows to put the first Saturday in May on their calendar, because it's Free Comic Book Day. No, really. Today is the day that comic stores around the world will be giving away 45 specially printed titles, from big name publishers and the best of the indies, and all you have to do is visit your local comic store.

All you have to do is visit your local store and pick up some free comics. No, this is not a test or a trick. It's just a great way to sample some of the finest titles on the market today for free. Really.

LOCAL PARTICIPATING STORES

FCDB is almost a national holiday for comic stores, so a lot of them will be adding extra entertainment just for the day. Here's a full list of all the local shops that are taking part, as well as any special events that they have posted so far.

Austin Books and Comics, 5002 North Lamar. 8am-7pm www.austinbooks.com
– Austin-based artist David Marquez will be signing copies of Ultimate Spider-Man and Fantastic Four: Season One, 12-4pm
– Special appearances by the Star Wars cosplayers of the 501st Legion, plus Catwoman and ABC's own Sidekick Girl
– Free sketches from CCP Comics
– $100 Austin Books/Guzu Gallery gift certificate door prize

Dragons Lair, 6111 Burnet. 10am-Midnight. www.dlair.net
– And you thought yesterday was Star Wars day! The one and only Peter Mayhew, aka the walking carpet Chewbacca, will be signing autographs and taking pictures. 10am-2pm
– Aaron Alston, author of 15 Star Wars novels, including the beloved X-Wing: Wraith Squadron trilogy, will also be signing. 10am-2pm.
– And that 501st Legion gets everywhere.
– Also, come in costume and get a special Star Wars poster.

Tribe Comics & Games, 2919 Manchaca, Ste. 102. 10am-8pm www.tribecag.com.
– Storewide sale: Minimum 10% off all stock, 50% off Manga, 50% off selected trades. – Get your photo taken with Black Widow, Mockingbird, Moon Knight, and other cosplay classics.

Capstone Comics, 2121 W. Parmer, Suite #107. 11am-8pm. www.capstonecomics.com

Junior's Comics 2110 Slaughter, Ste. 124

Rogue's Gallery, 1601 S I35, Ste. 360, Round Rock, 10am-9pm www.roguesgallerytx.com

Comic Relief, 1330 Aquarena Springs Dr., San Marcos

COMICS

As always, Free Comic Book Day runs the gamut from hardcore cult indie (The Censored Howard Cruse) to exactly the kind of all-ages material that gets kids excited about comics (Moomin Color Special.) Obviously with a little film called The Avengers in cinemas this weekend, expect the Age of Ultron issue from Marvel's mightiest heroes to assemble right off the shelves. That said, the really hot item may be from Archaia, who have really outdone themselves: Not only does Mouse Guard, Labyrinth & Other Stories feature six short stories from their best titles, but this is a hardback edition. No, really. If you can't get off your couch for a beautiful, four-color hard cover, then what kind of fan are you?

Seriously, the titles on offer provide perfect jumping on points, containing either a first issue, an opening chapter, or even a self-contained story of what could be your new favorite books.

Here's the complete check list (* denotes gold sponsor title):

Antarctic Press: Diary of a Zombie Kid
Arcana Studios: Arcana Presents: The Intrinsic #1
Archaia Entertainment: Mouse Guard, Labyrinth & Other Stories HC
Archie Comics: Mega Man: Let The Games Begin*; Sonic The Hedgehog: Two Steps Back … Special Edition
Aspen MLT: Worlds of Aspen 2012
Bongo Comics: Bongo Comics Free-For-All/SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies Flip Book
Boundless Comics: Lady Death: The Beginning
Bluewater Productions: Burt Ward, Boy Wonder #1
BOOM! Studios: Peanuts/Adventure Time Flip Book*; Dune: Origins #1
Capstone: The Incredible Rockhead & Zinc Alloy 2-For-None
Caption Box: Muqtatafaht: A Middle East Comics Anthology
CBLDF: The Censored Howard Cruse
Dark Horse Comics: Star Wars/Serenity Flip Book*; Buffy The Vampire Slayer/The Guild Flip Book
DC Comics: DC Comics-The New 52 #1*; DC Nation Super Sampler/Superman Family Adventures Flip Book
Drawn & Quarterly: Marble Season Preview; Moomin Color Special
Fantagraphics Books: Walt Disney's Donald Duck Family Comics; Crockett Johnson's Barnaby Sampler
Gemstone Publishing: Overstreet's Comic Book Marketplace 2012
Hermes Press: My Favorite Martian Special Edition
IDW Publishing: Transformers #80.5
Image Comics: Image Comics: 20 Anthology*; Witchblade: Unbalanced Pieces
Liquid Comics: FCDB 2012 Dinosaurs Versus Aliens; Graphic Elvis Preview
Marvel Comics: The Avengers #12.1*; Spider-Man: Season One
Oni Press: Yo Gabba Gabba! Free Comic Book Time!*; Bad Medicine #1
Papercutz/NBM Publishing: The Smurfs/Disney Fairies Featuring Tinker Bell Flip Book
Radical Publishing: Under The Faerie Moon
Rebellion: 2000AD Judge Dredd Special
Red 5 Comics: Atomic Robo & Friends 2012
Th3rd World Studios: Finding Gossamyr & The Stuff of Legend IV
Top Shelf Comics: Top Shelf Kids Club 2012
12-Gauge Comics: Anti #1 Preview
Valiant Entertainment: Valiant Comics 2012 Preview
VIZ Media: Voltron Force: Shelter from the Storm
Yen Press: The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel
Zenescope Entertainment: Jurassic Strikeforce 5 Preview; Animal Planet Presents: The World Most Dangerous Animals 2012

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Comics, Free Comic Book Day

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