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Everybody knows America’s best holidays are free holidays, and Free Comic Book Day could be the king of them all. After all, free pancakes come and go, but a comic book is forever. Every first Saturday of May, shops across the country celebrate the art form by stocking up on freebies. That includes over 30 titles encompassing everything from Green Lantern to Betty and Veronica—even a comic penned by thriller writer James Patterson (if that’s what you’re into). Free comics will be labeled “Free Comic Book Day,” so pocket-stuffing freeloaders don’t incur the wrath of local comic book guys. Locally, a couple of our favorite shops are celebrating the occasion with discounts and extra festivities.
Big Planet Comics: Free comics and normal hours. 11 a.m.–6 p.m., 3145 Dumbarton St. NW.
Fantom Comics: Shop employee Devon Sanders says they’ll offer “pretty good discounts,” and experienced staff will be on hand for newbies. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE.
Aftertime: Books out on a first-come-first-serve basis. 11 a.m.–7 p.m., 1304 King St., Alexandria.
Alliance Comics: Celebrating with a trivia contest and 20 percent off graphic novels. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., 8317 Fenton St., Silver Spring.
Hole in the Wall Books: Nothing special, says a shop employee: “We’re just going to give away lots free comics.” 10 a.m.–6 p.m., 905 West Broad St., Falls Church.
Victory Comics: Local artists Jamie Rambo, Josh Lyman, Chris Scott, Elvin Hernandez, and Dustin Wilson will draw sketches in the shop throughout the day. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., 586 South Washington St., Falls Church.