Free Comic Book Day 2023: Everything you need to know

This 2023 will mark the 21st edition of Free Comic Book Day. Fans and newcomers can enjoy these titles in their nearest specialty store

A client in a Philadelphia comic specialty shop checks out back issues on Free Comic Book Day, on may 4th 2012.
A client in a Philadelphia comic specialty shop checks out back issues on Free Comic Book Day, on may 4th 2012.Matt Rourke (AP)

Comic fans are getting ready for Free Comic Book Day. The event, where millions of comic books are given away without any cost, was born more than 20 years ago with the idea of increasing attention to the medium, taking advantage of the popularity of comic-book films. Joe Field, a California-based comics retailer proposed the event in a column in Comics & Games Retailer Magazine which received positive reaction, leading to the first event coinciding with the opening weekend of Spider-Man, directed by Sam Raimi.

The event has grown every year, with thousands of retailers ordering millions of comic books for fans and for people who are just getting into the medium. The comics released are usually 32-page single-issue stories, which sometimes serve as an introduction for newcomers to a new series or an established comic book. Even though the event is mostly to promote independent comics, Marvel and DC also release several books. Here’s all the info you need for this year’s event.

What is Free Comic Book Day?

Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book specialty shops across North America and around the world give away comic books for free to anyone who comes into their shops. Over 2,000 participating stores give away millions of comic books annually. While giving out free comic books, retailers often run additional promotions, which include sales on selected merchandise, creator signings, raffles, cosplay contests and other activities.

When is Free Comic Book Day 2023?

Free Comic Book Day 2023 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 6. The event is traditionally held the first Saturday in May each year. In some editions, the event is cross-promoted with the release of a superhero film. Last year’s took place following the release of Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This year it comes following the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Which comic stores celebrate Free Comic Book Day?

The event celebrates the independent comic book specialty shops, but not all of them participate. You can look for a nearby participating comic store on the Free Comic Book Day website directory.

Enter the website and look for the ‘Find a Shop’ section. There you can type in your zip code to see nearby participant comic shops. Most of the participant shops are in the U.S. and Canada but there are other countries that celebrate it. “Any comic book shop in the world can participate in Free Comic Book Day, although there may be some limitations on which titles are available in which countries due to licensing and other considerations”, the event states.

Free Comic Book Day 2023 List

The comics that are released on the Free Comic Book Day are divided in two categories: Gold and Silver. These tiers reflect the availability of those titles at participating comic shops.

The Gold sponsor titles will be available at every participating comic shop, while Silver sponsor titles may be available. The website states: “Because all participating shops are free to order as many (or as few) Silver sponsor titles as they wish, a participating shop may not have all the Silver sponsor titles available in their shop. However, a participating comic shop will always have all the Gold sponsor comic books available (while supplies last)”

Gold Comics

Silver Comics

How many comics can I take home?

The amount of comics from both tiers that you can take home will depend on several factors, especially the policy of each shop. Some stores allow buyers to choose more than three Gold titles and a few Silvers, but it also depends on the store availability and if you go early to the event. We recommend finding a local comic shop and checking its policy.

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