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This year’s Free Comic Book Day falls on May 4, noted Star Wars holiday (May the fourth be with you, etc.). But whether the force is with you or not—-and no matter how you feel about J. J. Abrams—-just about any flavor of nerd could probably get behind 50-plus free comics.
Local purveyors aren’t messing around for this year’s edition, either. “Frankly, we’re pretty good at what we do, so we kinda view it as our Super Bowl,” says Fantom Comics’ Devon Sanders. “You may not see it the other 364 days of the year, but we’re going to make you aware of it that day.”
Fans will want to hit their local shops early to grab the most anticipated titles, including the Superman special edition, a taste of Marvel’s new Infinity series, and a collection of Walking Dead short stories.
At the Silver Spring shop, customers are invited to take part in an “infamous” trivia contest at 1 p.m. Kids’ trivia goes all day long. Even better, everything in the shop is 20 percent off all day. “It’s kind of a no-brainer that we like it and go all out in every way that we can,” says sales associate Gerry McNeal. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 8317 Fenton St., Silver Spring.
Festivities will be “very low key,” says an employee. Select trade paperbacks and graphic novels will be on sale for 50 percent off. Noon to 6 p.m., 11242 Triangle Lane, Wheaton.
At the store’s Gaithersburg location, Star Wars fans can meet members of the Rebel Legion, the costumed squad of heroes who saved the galaxy. If galactic struggles between good and evil aren’t your thing, stop by to speak to artists Rafer Roberts, John Shine, Mike Imboden, and John Watkins-Chow. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 18749 B North Frederick Road, Gaithersburg.
This year, local comic book creators Andrew Cohen and Evan Keeling will be in-store. The artists will be pretty accessible too, according to Big Planet co-owner Jared Smith. “Usually they’re sketching for free or just talking about comic books,” he says, but this year, expect a little more interaction. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., 1520 U St. NW.
After almost a decade of Free Comic Book days, Fantom has pretty much got this down. Events include a costume contest, giveaways, a trivia contest, and an appearance from National Public Radio’s Glen Weldon (whose byline has also appeared in Washington City Paper over the years). Between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., Weldon will be signing his book Superman: The Unauthorized Biography. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE.
At this small store in Falls Church, there will be comic-related T-shirts for purchase. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 905 West Broad St., Falls Church.
Rebel scum beware! Members of the 501st Legion will be here on Saturday. So, too, will local artists who promise to draw free portraits for kids 12 and under. A few art pieces drawn that day will be given away. Discounts range from 10 to 50 percent on select items and 25 percent off trades. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 586 South Washington St., Falls Church.