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Free Comic Book Day (Updated for 2024!)

Free Comic Book Day 2024 is happening on Saturday, May 4. Check out this post to find out details, local participating comic book shops, and more.

For more ways to save, check out all of our frugal posts.

A poster about free comic book day in a store window with the words "Free Comic Book Day" digitally written on top.

If you’re into comic books, you know that the first Saturday of May is Free Comic Book Day. 

The annual event is a great way for a new comic book fan to begin his collections and for current comic book collectors to get together with another fans, discuss what’s new, and basically have a party. Because many comic book stores have a bunch of events happening at the same time, like artist autographs, small pop up shops, and more.

A calendar open to June 2023 with the words "Top 20+ National Days For Freebies And Deals" digitally written on top.

Free Comic Book Day is just one of the fun National Days that’s celebrated annually. Check out our list of the Top 20+ National Days For Freebies And Deals to make sure you don’t miss any fun days this year.

Free Comic Book Day

Each year, the first Saturday of May is as Free Comic Book Day. Participating comic book shops have a limited number of free comic books to give out to visitors.

The selection of free comics vary per year. In the past, we’ve seen Star Wars, Archie, Avengers, and Spidey and Friends among the titles. You can see the complete list here.

You can search your zip code at the free comic book day website to see if there’s a local comic shop in your area that’s a participating store. If you’re local to me in Wilmington, NC, you can check out Memory Lane Comics (201 Princess Street, on the corner of Princess and 2nd) or Fanboy Comics (419 N. College Road, Suite #32, near Rose Brothers Furniture).

Memory Lane Comics is only a couple blocks away from the Riverfront Farmers’ Market where we used to sell Pete’s marinara sauce every Saturday. So a couple years ago, I took a break from the market and ran down to the comic book shop to pick up some comments.

It was packed. Super organized, but very crowded.

Keep in mind that a lot of people like free stuff. So you’ll probably end up waiting in line. You won’t be able to just run in the store, grab your free comic, and run out.

Your local comic book shop may be having other events happening as well, so you might not want to just run in and out. The shop may be having giveaways, sales, classes on how to play card games like Magic: The Gathering, and more. Once you find your local shop, check out its social media pages to find out more.

Keep in mind that these comics aren’t full comics. Generally, they’re the first chapter of graphic novels or a few pages of new comics. I mean, this event is really the annual promotional effort for the comic book industry to encourage graphic novel and comic book sales. So, in order to complete the stories, you’ll need to purchase the full-length versions of the new titles when they’re available.

A comic bubble saying "Comics Toys Collectibles" on the side of a building.

Free Comic Book Day: Frequently Asked Questions

When is Free Comic Book Day?

Free Comic Book Day is always the first Saturday in May, which coincides with the first of two Children’s Book Weeks during the year. The first is the first Monday of May until the following Sunday. The second is the first Monday of November until the following Sunday.

When did Free Comic Book Day start?

The first Free Comic Book Day was held in 2002, so the event has been happening for over 20 years now.

How did Free Comic Book Day start?

Free Comic Book Day is the brainchild of  Joe Field who owned a local comic store in California. His shop was near a Baskin-Robbins, which held free scoop day, so it inspired him to see if there was any interest in doing so for comics. There was.

He held the first event in 2002 with a title from Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics/Top Cow Productions, and DC Comics. The following year, 29 publishers came on board to offer titles. And the rest is, basically, history.

Is Free Comic Book Day only for one day?

​Yes, Free Comic Book Day, in its entirety, happens on a single day in May.

How often is Free Comic Book Day?

Free Comic Book Day happens annually.

However, there’s also Halloween Comic Fest, which happens on the last Saturday in October. Free comic books are always given away on that day, but, even though it’s very similar, it’s technically different events.

Does every shop have every title?

Comic Book shops don’t have to participate in the event, of course, but over 2,000 do annually. It’s not free for them, though. The comics are separated into two tiers: gold sponsor comics and silver sponsor comics. Shops have to order all the titles at the gold level and can order any (or none) of the silver level.

Prices for the comics vary (the gold tier ones are cheaper than the silver tier), so the total cost for the shop itself varies. It was discussed a few years ago on a comic book retailer forum. It’s a pretty interesting discussion, if you’re into that. You can read about it here.

And, just a quick note. There is an age rating on all of the comics that are made specifically for Free Comic Book Day. The Free Comic Book Day logo appears in three colors: Green for all ages (children and older), blue for teens (13 and up), and red for mature audiences (18 and up).

If you're looking for a great geek gift idea, these DIY Comic Book Coasters are perfect. Find out how to make them on

Looking to upcycle old comics?

If you’re done with these comics from Free Comic Book Day, or you have some old comics you want to upcycle, check out our DIY Comic Book Coasters and DIY Comic Book Decoupage Picture Frame (which we actually made from a comic from Free Comic Book Day a few years ago).

Have you been to a Free Comic Book Day event? Let us know in the comments.

Waren Jean Go

Saturday 4th of May 2019

Wow! Free comic day book sounds interesting. I would very much love to give it a try.

Alexandra Cook

Friday 3rd of May 2019

I go to my comic store every year! I have boxes of comics!

Scott Gombar

Friday 3rd of May 2019

Sounds like a day my son can get involved with. May the Fourth be With You

Angela Ricardo

Friday 3rd of May 2019

I am such a nerd for comics ever since. Yay for this free comic book day and I’ll definitely check this out.

Hannah Marie

Friday 3rd of May 2019

It is actually the first time I heard about this. Sounds pretty good and exciting to try. Certainly something I am looking forward of attending.