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Comic book lovers, or anyone who enjoys free things, will be pleased to know that Saturday, May 4, 2019, is Free Comic Book Day. This means that you and your friends can walk into any one of the 2300+ participating vendors worldwide and obtain a copy of one, or more, of the 51 graphic novels that have been specially published for the event, without paying a cent.
Now in its 18th year, the global event, celebrated annually on the first Saturday of May, is the brainchild of comic book retailer Joe Field. The proprietor of the Concord, CA-based Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff came up with the idea in 2002, after observing the success of ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day. Believing giving away comic books would expose a new generation of readers, both young and old, to the magical world of graphic novels, he suggested the idea to fellow retailers, publishers, and distributors. Not only did everyone agree, but the publishers also volunteered to release special issues in honor of Free Comic Book Day.
Since this year's event coincides with the release of Marvel's blockbuster movie Avengers: Endgame, it is only fitting that a special comic featuring the superhero team be among the free offerings. While the details of the plot have not been revealed, Marvel promises that the issue, which will feature two stories, will be "one of the most dynamic and deadly versions of the Avengers ever." Select retailers will also be handing out a button featuring the comic book's cover art.
Spider-Man fans will be thrilled to know that the superhero will be featured in his own special free issue. Those who prefer the DC universe can grab a copy of the Dear Justice League Special Edition, in which the superhero team answers questions posed by young fans.
Other noteworthy offerings feature characters from Netflix's Stranger Things, The CW's Riverdale and Disney's Descendents. Young comic book fans will enjoy Caspers Spookville, featuring Casper the Friendly Ghost, and Go Fish, a fun graphic issue inspired by the popular card game. Sports fans can look forward to Cristiano Ronaldo's superhero comic book debut based on the soccer phenom's upcoming animated television series, which is currently in production.
A visit to your local comic book retailer may be worth the time even if none of the free titles appeal to you. That's because most vendors also discount all comic books, as well as other merchandise, substantially on this fun day. So don't forget to mark your calendars and claim a free comic book, or two, on May 4. To find a participating merchant closest to you and see a list of all the free titles that will be available, go to: freecomicbookday.com.