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As the name suggests this is the day when participating comic book specialty shops give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who walks into their stores. It has been running annually since 2002.
The day has many purposes. Firstly it seek to introduce everyone to the joys of reading comics. It also wants to reconnect with those who haven't read comics in awhile and lastly it is a thank you to current comic book buyers for their continuing support.
Stores usually give away special edition comics as publishers release new issues just for the occasion.
Lots off stores do a lot more than just give away comics. They have big sales, parties, and giveaways for customers and lots of customers get dressed up as favourite comic characters with prizes for the best costumes. This means a double chance to get some wear out of your Cosplay costumes.
You will often find that staff also come in great costumes and there are often opportunities to have your photo taken with them.
Minotaur, in Melbourne announced that Dean Rankine (Simpsons/Futurama) and Michael Bradshaw (co-host of Whatcha Podcast and regular Clerks Choice artist) will be part of their festivities this year.
Sydney's Kings Comics and Melbourne's All-Star Comics are particularly famous for their cosplay competitions.
Luna Park Sydney and Books Kinokuniya bring you Free Comic Book Day After Party- tickets which are $25. This entitles you to UNLIMITED RIDES, the chance to win over 250 great prizes and giveaways (from film studios and publishers) a dance party in The Big Top with Scott Tweedie of The Loop, an incredible cosplay parade and interactive displays by Sin City, X-Men and more. You can purchase your ticket here.
Blue Mountains residents can head over to the Katoomba Library which will not only offer free comics but from 10am - 12pm, comic artist Glenn Misztal will be drawing sketches on request for a gold coin donation. From 2pm, Tad Pietrzykowski (creator of The Dynamic Dark Nebula) will do a Q&A session. Bookings appreciated. To book, ring (02) 4782 5750 or book in at your local library branch.
Not to be beaten Melbourne Library Service is holding a huge day called COMIC-OLOG. From 10am Melbourne Library Service will give away a free comic to each child 16 and under who borrows a book.
You can also look in or become involved in the 'cosplay'
championship, trivia challenge, colouring competition and comic workshops when Bernard Caleo tells of how he got in to the comic industry and then shows you how to make your own three panel comic.
North Melbourne Library, Saturday 3 May 11am. Book here.
There will also be comic book workshops with Adam Wallace who is holding a drawing worship.
Southbank Library, Saturday 3 May 11am
Book your place
While North Melbourne Library has a Cosplay competition (you must be dressed as a comic book character) where you can win a voucher to purchase comics at Minotaur. You must be aged between six and 16 and be one of the first thirty to register by 12pm. There are categories for those aged 6-11 and those aged 12 to 16. There are also colouring in and trivia competitions.
North Melbourne Library from 10am to 12pm.
The costumes will be judged at 12.30pm.
The following comic shops are also known to run events or offer free comic books on this day. I suggest you check out their websites for more information.
Ace Comics and Games, Brisbane
Ace Comics and Games, Annerly
Comics, Etc, Brisbane
Comics Plus, Southport
Daily Planet Comics and Manga, Brisbane
Gametraders, Logan Hyperdome, Shailer Park
Kaboom Comics, Toowoomba
Urban Fiction, Nambour
West Coast Comics, Townsville