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Free Comic Book Day

Updated on July 20, 2012

Everybody Loves Free Comic Book Day!

Well, well, well! You've just managed to arrive at the number one -- Numero Uno! -- most important event that ever registered on the scale of any comic book enthusiast and graphic novel reader.

What's that, you say? How did I get here? I just wanted free stuff!

Hold up, you young whippersnapper! There's free stuff to come, but it only happens once every 12 months, when the House of Mars is in the...(Ok, it just happens every 12 months.)

Whether by chance, or an extraordinary stroke of fate, you are about to learn, to gainfully glean, the esoteric information of those chosen greats who have ventured into "Stan's Comic Shack" and the "Comic Book Bargain Basement". You are about to be inducted into the Secret Societies of Superhero Scriptures!

What is this mysterious day called "Free Comic Book Day"? Read Further! Now you will know!

FCBD 2012 Movie Premiere: The Avengers! - Earth's Mightiest Heroes debut on the big screen for FCBD

Free Comic Book Day 2012 corresponds with the upcoming release of The Avengers, opening Friday, May 4, 2012. Don't miss Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, the God of Thunder and Earth's mightiest heroes fight for truth and justice as they land in theaters everywhere.

Free Comic Book Day 2012

The Releases

* January 30th, DC Comics released information about their FCBD contribution: DC Comics-The New 52 Free Comic Book Day Edition. It will feature art by Jim Lee and others and a new story by writer Geoff Johns. It will also preview material for the DC Second Wave titles including Batman Incorporated, Dial H, Earth 2, G.I. Combat, The Ravagers, and World's Finest.

Gold-Level Sponsors

Archaia Entertainment: Mouse Guard, Labyrinth & Other Stories HC

Archie Comics: Mega Man: Let The Games Begin

Bongo Comics: Bongo Comics Free-For-All/SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies Flip Book

BOOM! Studios: Peanuts/Adventure Time Flip Book

Dark Horse Comics: Star Wars/Serenity Flip Book

DC Comics: DC Comics-The New 52 #1

IDW Publishing: Transformers #80.5

Image Comics: Image Comics: 20 Anthology

Marvel Comics: The Avengers #12.1

Oni Press: Yo Gabba Gabba! Free Comic Book Time!

Silver-Level Sponsors

Antarctic Press: Diary of a Zombie Kid

Arcana Studios: Arcana Presents: The Intrinsic #1

Archie Comics: Sonic The Hedgehog: Two Steps Back…Special Edition

Aspen MLT: Worlds of Aspen 2012

Boundless Comics: Lady Death: The Beginning

Bluewater Productions: Burt Ward, Boy Wonder #1

BOOM! Studios: 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: Buffy The Vampire Slayer/The Guild Flip Book

DC Comics: DC Nation Super Sampler/Superman Family Adventures Flip Book

Drawn & Quarterly: Marble Season Preview

Drawn & Quarterly: Moomin Color Special

Fantagraphics Books: Walt Disney's Donald Duck Family Comics

Fantagraphics Books: Crockett Johnson's Barnaby Sampler

Gemstone Publishing: Overstreet's Comic Book Marketplace 2012

Hermes Press: My Favorite Martian Special Edition

Image Comics: Witchblade: Unbalanced Pieces

Liquid Comics: FCDB 2012 Dinosaurs Versus Aliens

Liquid Comics: Graphic Elvis Preview

Marvel Comics: Spider-Man: Season One

Oni Press: 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

Zenescope Entertainment: Animal Planet Presents: The World Most Dangerous Animals 2012

How did Free Comic Book Day begin?

A promotional idea catches on and takes hold as FCBD.

Free Comic Book Day is hosted by Diamond Comics Thanks be to them for this great event!

Originally, the idea to promote an annual event for comic books occurred in Concord, California, in 2002. The hero that conceptualized this event is recognized as Joe Field of Flying Color Comics. The objective was simple: Let's bring new people into comic books and let's bring back our former readers.

In no time at all, what started in North America took off and has spread globally, with stores all across the world showing their appreciation to those who love the comics.

What is Free Comic Book Day?

Free Comic Book Day, (or FCDB) is a yearly event, occurring the first Saturday of May, wherein Comic Book Distributers give out free comic books.

Important Notes for Free Comic Book Day - Some extra advice to make the most of the event.

Here are some interesting, as well as important, hints for Free Comic Book Day. Follow these rules and "Thy Will Shan't Be Thwarted":

1. Call ahead, just to be sure. Call your local comic book retailer to determine if they celebrate the event. It would be a shame to show up and find out nothing is going on. (And on a side note, if they don't, let them know what they're missing out on.)

2. Note the movies premiering that weekend. The tradition now includes a big movie premiere (typically a superhero movie). So now, you can pick up your comics and head over to the theater!

3. Bring the kids! Free Comic Book Day was never about one person. We want everyone to enjoy the fun! There's going to be stuff for the young and old, newly curious and already brainwashed!

4. Not only free, but many discounts. Ever since the beginning, Comic Book shops have also been competing for your business. Look around, because many places are going to offer discounts on a number of other items as well as back-issues of your previous titles.

5. Have a blast! (But don't be greedy.) Just remember this: those free comic books actually cost the store up to 50 cents per copy, so don't be greedy. Let everyone join in and get some free stuff!

Above: Even Chuck Norris and Mr. T like Free Comic Book Day!

Free Comic Book Day: 2011 - These were 2011 releases.

On May 7, the following was released for FCBD 2011:

  • The Last Airbender/ Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Dark Horse Comics): A great introduction to the two imaginative worlds, The Last Airbender corresponds to a spin-off television miniseries Avatar: Legend of Korra. The Clone Wars book introduces us to two new characters: Savage Opress (from The Clone Wars TV show) and Breakout Squad (from Grosset & Dunlap's Clone Wars: Secret Missions novels).
  • Darkwing Duck/ Rescue Rangers (BOOM! Studios): A reprint of Darkwing Duck's acclaimed sold-out first issue and Chip n' Dales Bestseller First Issue of the Rescue Rangers
  • Betty and Veronica (Archie Comics): Betty and Veronica stumble upon the old Archie Club House and become inspired to bring back their clubbing days! But when the new club splits in two it's a battle of friendship! With Jughead pushing her buttons can Veronica let go of her competitive spirit in order to save her greatest friendships?
  • Kung Fu Panda/Richie Rich (Ape Entertainment): Includes a never-before-seen sneak peek at the upcoming Strawberry Shortcake series and more!
  • MouseGuard/ The Dark Crystal (Archaia Entertainment): This prelude begins the epic creation story of the world of Thra, and explores the origins of the world of the Dark Crystal!
  • Locke & Key (IDW Publishing): The acclaimed comic book series correlating to the upcoming new Fox Television Series to be released in 2011!
  • Spider-Man (Marvel): A prelude to the upcoming Spider-Man epic, featuring Madame Web and Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu.
  • Green Lantern/ Flashpoint (DC): This is a reprint of Green Lantern #30 with an introduction to the new DC event Flashpoint. DC is using Green Lantern comic to promo their upcoming movie, Green Lantern with Ryan Renolds.
  • Geronmo Stilton/ The Smurfs (Papercutz): Includes a full color Smurf's story with a samping of their best-selling characters!

FCBD Movie Premieres for 2002, 2003, 2004 - The First Round of Movies for Free Comic Book Day

When Free Comic Book Day began, it started off as an event which corresponded to big "Comic Book" related movie premieres. The following is a list of the movies that released for 2002 - 2004:

Spider-Man (Widescreen Special Edition)
Spider-Man (Widescreen Special Edition)

From 2002, Spider-Man. Peter Parker is a mild-mannered high schooler. Or is he? Bitten by a radioactive spider, he can now cling to walls and shoot webs across the city. Prepare to see the origin of Spider-Man!


From 2003, X-Men 2: United. Mutants are getting a bad wrap. This time the President has authorized an invasion into Xavier's Mansion. Will the X-Men be able to withstand a sinister, secret agenda plotted within?

Spider-Man 2 (Widescreen Special Edition)
Spider-Man 2 (Widescreen Special Edition)

From 2004, Spider-Man 2. Having foiled the Green Goblin, Parker is now at odds with daily life. He can barely afford rent, he's doing terrible in his studies, and his best buddy, Harry Osborn, hates Spider-Man. Meanwhile, there's a new villain on the scene, Doctor Octopus. This promises to be one of the showdowns of the century!

Spider-Man: The High Definition Trilogy (Spider-Man / Spider-Man 2 / Spider-Man 3) [Blu-ray]
Spider-Man: The High Definition Trilogy (Spider-Man / Spider-Man 2 / Spider-Man 3) [Blu-ray]

If you enjoyed the Spider-Man movies, here is a High Def, Blu-Ray version of all three. Crystal clear, you're jam-packed with hours of extras, following director Sam Raimi, as the wall-crawler embarks on his most enterprising adventures ever.

X-Men Trilogy (X-Men / X2: X-Men United / X-Men: The Last Stand) [Blu-ray]
X-Men Trilogy (X-Men / X2: X-Men United / X-Men: The Last Stand) [Blu-ray]

If you enjoyed the X-Men movies, here is a Blu-Ray version of all three. Follow Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, and the host of mutants as they band together, facing Magneto and other terrible threats, all in the name of humanity and mutantkind.


FCBD Movie Premieres for 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 - Wait, where's 2005 and 2006?

Here is a list of the movies that released with Free Comic Book Day from 2007-2010.

"But wait a sec," you say? Where's 2005 and 2006?

Good question. During those years, there was a question as to whether Free Comic Book Day could stand on its own, without syncing up with a movie release. It turns out it can! FCBD is doing great and has had great response over the years, with and without a corresponding movie release.

Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3

From 2007, Spider-Man 3. Peter Parker finally has things going his way. Or does he? Sandman is robbing banks, Mary Jane is feel dejected, and now, some strange sticky symbiote is turning his sour. What happens to Spider-Man?

Iron Man (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition + BD Live) [Blu-ray]
Iron Man (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition + BD Live) [Blu-ray]

From 2008, Iron Man. Profiteering from war, Billionaire investor Tony Stark gets captured by terrorists and struck a near fatal blow. Somehow, in the midst of obstacles, he invents life-preserving technology coupled with powerful armor.

X-men Origins: Wolverine Blu-ray
X-men Origins: Wolverine Blu-ray

From 2009, X-Men Origins. Tracing back from his childhood, this movie depicts his early encounters and constant struggles with the supervillain known as Sabretooth.

Iron Man 2 (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy)
Iron Man 2 (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy)

From 2010, Iron Man 2. Now facing a technological virus from his power battery, Tony Stark has to come up with a cure. All that, and an enemy's son from the past arrives seeking vengence.

Thor, God of Thunder, FCBD 2011
Thor, God of Thunder, FCBD 2011

The FCBD 2011 Movie: Thor

The God of Thunder Film

With the 2011 Free Comic Book Day event, came the arrival of Thor, the God of Thunder, starring Chris Hemsworth (as Thor) and Natalie Portman (as Jane Foster).

The Thor movie is a prequel for the upcoming 2012 release of the Avengers movie.

In this movie, most expectations were exceeded; it turned out that Director Kenneth Branagh's vision for the Asgardians in a 21st century Earth could work out and coexist.

For a more detailed review of the movie Thor, you can head on over to The Superheroes List and read "By Odin's Beard!" an accounting from a superhero fanatic. This won't be some "elite" critique, but a down to earth viewing.

Squidooman Wants to Know! - A plea from "The Tentacle of Justice"...

Above: Squidooman shows he has two opposable thumbs. Thumbs up, Squidooman!

What do you think about Free Comic Book Day? Has your crime-fighting tastebuds been tantalized? Sound forth, my Furious Fighters of Fortitude!

What do you think about FCBD?

See results

Want to enjoy more comics?

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Comic Book Enthusiast.

Be sure to come back every from time to time; Free Comic Book Day isn't going anywhere! If you have any comments, speak forth; let me know if you see any interesting information, or hear any rumors.

FCBD will be updated yearly (and monthly precluding the actual event release information). Check in often!

Feedback for FCBD 2012 - Thanks for Dropping By!

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    Post Comment

    • FloridaDino profile image


      6 years ago

      very nice lens, always enjoy FCBD in London!

    • BlakeCzirr profile imageAUTHOR

      Blake Czirr 

      7 years ago

      @EMangl: That's one of the better stores I've seen. That's what I'd like to see in my area. Nice!

    • EMangl profile image


      7 years ago

      Thought I show you one of my favorite shops in Vienna, Austria - hard to pass by without going in:

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      haha! What a great lens!!!:) i love the way you presented it.. I love comics and i didnt know there was something called FCBD! yay!

    • I-sparkle profile image


      7 years ago

      Totally awesome lens. I am impressed every time that I read a lens of yours. Are there any books in your future?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I really like this lens, I,m running around in circles as I write this.



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