Free Comic Book Day 2021: Everything You Need to Know

Today is Free Comic Book Day. After a strange rollout for the annual comics celebration in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the tradition is back in 2021 to celebrate its 20th anniversary. It's taking place later in the year than usual. Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) typically takes place on the first Saturday of May (usually when a new Marvel Studios film is debuting). This year's event was delayed into August to allow for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Free Comic Book Day is a big deal for local comic book stores. Showing up is a great way to support your local comics shop and maybe start a regular weekly reading habit.

The offer of free comics helps get customers in the door, increasing foot traffic to these specialty stores. Once inside, customers often buy additional products to compliment the free offerings they picked up.

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(Photo: Diamond)

How do you participate in Free Comic Book Day?

Each store handles the event differently. Generally speaking, you can show up at your comic shop and pick up any Free Comic Book Day offerings the store has in stock. Many stores put a limit on how many free issues each customer can grab to make sure they last longer throughout the day, meaning you should choose widely.

Still, many stores often run out of copies of some issues early in the day. If you're looking for something specific or have to make a long trip to get to the store, it may be worthwhile to call ahead and see what they have on hand.

DC Comics Free Comic Book Day 2021 FCBD
(Photo: DC Comics)

What comics are available on Free Comic Book Day 2021?

Most of the major comics publishers have something to offer on Free Comic Book Day. This year, Marvel is offering two double features: Avengers/Hulk and Spider-Man/Venom. Both set up Marvel's high-profile upcoming relaunches. DC Comics has various offerings for varying age demographics, including a Batman title and a Suicide Squad issue featuring King Shark, hot off his appearance in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad film.

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Dark Horse Comics appeals to gaming and fantasy fans with its Critical Role/The Witcher double-feature issue. IDW Publishing is offering a free sampling of its Star Wars comics. Boom is promoting its upcoming Something Is Killing the Children spinoff House of Slaughter. Image Comics is offering a free issue featuring steampunk hero Lady Mechanika. Other free offerings include Assassin's Creed and Blade Runner comics, a Zom 100 offering from Viz for manga fans, and more from AfterShock, Archie Comics, First Second Books, Penguin Workshop, and others. You can see the complete list here.

Free Comic Book Day only comes but once a year. You can find a participating comic book store here. Happy reading.