Every year the first Saturday in May (that’s May 2, this year) is Free Comic Book Day, when participating comic book shops around the world give away comic books for free. No strings attached; it’s all about spreading the love of comics far and wide. In LA we like to do things up big, so here are some super hero sized events where you and your sidekicks can do way more than just get a free comic.

Free Comic Book Day

photo credit: Jenn Fujikawa

Blastoff ComicsFest
Blastoff is taking over The Federal in North Hollywood for the first annual Blastoff ComicsFest, where there will be themed booths for Superman, Batman, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, Doctor Who, Guardians of The Galaxy, Transformers and more that will feature vendors and award-winning artists and writers from each genre.  There will also be a DJ, photo ops, food and even a beer garden for parents. Head here for all the festivities, plus your free comic, between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more about this event, check our event listing.

Tip: Make a day of it for your little superheroes by heading down the street to the Laemmle Theater where Avengers: Age of Ultron will be screening for its opening weekend. Costumed superheroes will be handing out free comics at the theater, too.

The Federal Bar
5303 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood
Phone: 818-980-2555
Online: blastoffcomics.com

FCBD-BraveNewWorld

photo credit: Brave New World

Brave New World
The Eisner Award winning store in Newhall is hosting a day filled with games, signings, art lessons, crafts and gourmet food trucks. DK Publishing and LEGO are sponsoring a costume contest so there are sure to be fabulous prizes for fans of all ages.

Fun fact: This store is female owned and operated and full of family friendly collectibles. Be sure to check out the unique store-within-a-store, the Geek Boutique, that sells handmade fan-made geek crafts.

Brave New World Comics
22722 Lyons Ave.
Newhall
Phone: 661-259-4745
Online: bravenewworldcomics.com

FCBD-TheComicBug

photo credit: The Comic Bug

The Comic Bug
The Comic Bug is giving away comics at all three locations for Free Comic Book Day. The main event is shaping up to be a mini Comic-Con with over 46 writers and artists scheduled to appear in their artist’s alley. Creators from publishers Marvel Comics, DC Comics, BOOM! Studios and Image Comics will all be on hand to meet and with fans young and old. In addition to that here will be lots of entertainment for little ones with an abundance of cosplayers, contests and food.

Tip: The Comic Bug’s big main event will be at the Culver City Teen Center from noon- 5 p.m. but they will still be handing out free comics at both of their other storefronts in Manhattan Beach and Culver City.

The Comic Bug
4153 Overland Ave.
Culver City
Online: thecomicbug.com

FCBD-Meltdown

photo credit: Meltdown Comics

Meltdown Comics
Another wonderful award winning shop, Meltdown Comics is the granddaddy of them all. At 9000 square feet, the floor is packed with comics, toys and collectibles. On Free Comic Book Day the store will also be packed with kids, as staff hands out free comics, has artist and writer signings as well as a cosplay contest.

Tip: After a day full of comics and heroes, head just one mile west on Sunset to Carney’s for hot dogs and burgers. Your little ones will think you’re a hero, when you bring them to a real full-sized train where they can chow on their favorite foods.

Meltdown Comics
7522 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood
Phone: 323-851-7223
Online: meltcomics.com/blog

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If none of these locations are near you (or you’re looking for something a little calmer for your new comic reader) check out our list of the best comic book stores for kids in Los Angeles.  Where will you be on Free Comic Book Day?

—Jenn Fujikawa