Your Guide to Free Comic Book Day

This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics

Free Comic Book Day is coming up on May 2, 2015, so it’s time to make sure all you awesome Panels readers don’t miss out.

The point of Free Comic Book day is to celebrate how awesome comics are and to get more people reading them. It’s exactly what it sounds like: when you walk into a participating comics shop that day, there’ll be free comics on hand (while supplies last) for whoever wants or asks for them. There’s a specific set of comics that are made for the occasion, and different stores may have different titles. The easiest way to check what books will be available, find a store near you, and perhaps even get a phone number so you can ask if they’ll have a title you want, is by checking the official event website. We’ll also have a guide to the comics being handed out for tomorrow.

Before I go on, here are some quick dos and don’ts.

Do take the family and have a ball. The selection each year is always geared towards there being something for everyone, which means there’ll definitely be all-ages books as well as more niche stories.

Don’t be greedy. The books are for everyone, and rather than grabbing everything in sight, maybe just grab a few that you’re actually interested in. The comics shop wants (nay, needs) to reach as many folks as possible. Don’t you want more folks to love comics?

Do share your books with pals when you’re done reading them, or pass ’em on to kids or other family members. You didn’t pay for them, so it costs you nothing but the time you spent at the store to spread the love even more.

Don’t feel left out. FCBD is for everyone, and comics are for everyone. Don’t worry about being a newbie or feeling out of place, or picking up books that don’t look serious or this or that. Look at the selection and pick out what genuinely intrigues you! While you’re at the shop, maybe ask some staff or fellow shoppers about specific titles to get a better idea of it.

Do ask questions if you’ve got ’em. Ask anyone in the store, fan and staff alike. There are no dumb questions, so don’t let anyone make you feel bad. If you can give someone a solid look at your favorite kinds of movies or books or anything, they should be able to recommend comics for you to read. FCBD is a great way to discover new artists, characters, and stories. If you find something you love in that selection, then you’ll have something to build on later when you want to read more.

Just have fun.

If this is your first time going to a comics shop or just heading to one for FCBD, don’t be scared! Everyone’s there because they love comics, and you might even make a new friend or two. It’s a big event for comics shops each year because it means potential new customers, too. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to check out that store you’ve been meaning to go to but haven’t wanted to wander in alone on a random day. Free comics is the best excuse to get your butt in that store and grab a few new books without even having to take out your wallet.

Some quick recommendations:

If you’re into Doctor Who, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, Fight Club, and some other not-just-comics properties, there’s something for you for FCBD! Manga and anime fans, there’s something for you too if you want to check out Kodansha’s sampler (includes some Attack on Titan goodness, along with one of my personal favorites, Fairy Tail, and more) or a Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure book. Heck, there’s even a “Worlds Unite” book featuring Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man. And I’ve only just scratched the surface. See the full list at the FCBD website, call your local store to check stock, and have a fun time!

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