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Free Comic Book Day 2023: How (and where) to get free comic books from Marvel, DC, Scholastic, and more

When is Free Comic Book Day? What titles are free? The answers you're looking for are here

Spider-Man FCBD 2023
Image credit: Marvel/Sony

It’s beginning to look a lot like Free Comic Book Day 2023, with this year’s event taking place — as is traditional — on the first Saturday of May, celebrating the comic book medium and comic book industry alike, with almost 50 comics being released from publishers including Marvel, Image Comics, Boom! Studios, Viz, Kodansha… and even DC, despite that last company not being on the best terms with Free Comic Book Day's organizers at Diamond Comic Distributors. (More on that in our comprehensive article about comics distribution.) Want to know more? You came to the right place.

First off -- we've already read the big three books of Free Comic Book Day 2023 - DC's Knight Terrors, along with Marvel's Avengers/X-Men and Spider-Man/Venom - and have explained what happened in each (and what it means) in case you missed out on the free book.

Is there a day that you can get comics for free?

Why, yes, there is! As pointed out above, Free Comic Book Day traditionally takes place on the first Saturday in May each year; FCBD 2023 doesn’t break from this pattern, taking place Saturday, May 6, 2023. (Technically, there are other days you can get comics for free entirely aside from FCBD; there’s also Halloween Comicfest, which sees multiple publishers release horror-themed titles for free, as well as Batman Day, an annual event which includes DC giving away Batman comics for free every September. But we’re here to talk about Free Comic Book Day, so let’s stay on topic.)

How to get comics for free?

Taking part in Free Comic Book Day is pretty easy; you simply have to make it to a participating store on May 6. You can find your closest store by visiting this page. Really, that’s all it takes, although individual stores might have their own rules and requirements. (Some stores limit the amount of free comics any one person can pick up, for example.)

Why is Free Comic Book Day a thing?

Simply put, Free Comic Book Day was created to remind people who aren’t regular visitors to their local comic store that there’s no reason they can’t become regular visitors to their local comic store. It was the brainchild of retailer Joe Field in 2001, inspired by Baskin-Robbins’ “Free Scoop Night” promotional efforts at his local ice cream parlor. The first FCBD took place the next year, giving away more than two million comic books from just four publishers — each a reprint, unlike today’s event which commonly features all-new material, and was such a success that it quickly became an annual event.

How often is Free Comic Book Day?

Free Comic Book Day is an annual event happening on the first Saturday of May every year, organized by Diamond Comic Distributors designed to promote comic books and comic book retailers to the general public, with over 2,000 stores taking part. The early May date was chosen to allow the event to be timed close to the release of a summer superhero movie’s release; 2023’s event will happen the day after the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

THe next Free Comic Book Day will be Free Comic Book Day 2024 on May 4, 2024 - coinciding with the release of Captain America: New World Order.

What are the free comics of Free Comic Book Day 2023?

This year, the Free Comic Book Day Committee — made up of more than 20 comic store retailers — have selected 13 Gold Sponsor titles, and 31 Silver Sponsor titles, for the 2023 event, from publishers distributed by Diamond Comic Distributors, which organizes the event. DC has snuck into the proceedings however, adding 3 more titles to the list, as has Sony - making a grand total of 48.

“Every year, we strive to bring fans a memorable Free Comic Book Day experience, and we know comic book retailers are looking forward to treating everyone to a day of fun and discovery, so we hope fans will visit their local comic shops to celebrate,” Ashton Greenwood, Free Comic Book Day spokesperson, said in a statement about the 2023 event. “The variety of this year’s comic book selection is really exciting! There’s something for every kind of fan, from the long-time reader to the comic book curious.”

Those titles are:

  • Marvel's Spider-Man 2 #1 (Tying into the Sony videogame of the same name.)
  • Dawn of DC Knight Terrors Free Comic Book Day Special Edition (DC), which you can read about here
  • Girl Taking Over: A Lois Lane Story Free Comic Book Day Special (DC)
  • Clark & Lex / Fann Club: Batman Squad Free Comic Book Day Special Edition (DC)
  • Seismic Stories (AfterShock Comics)
  • Archie Horror presents: The Cursed Library (Archie Comics)
  • Ranger Academy (BOOM! Studios)
  • Umbrella Academy/The Witcher (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Red Sonja: She-Devil With A Sword #0 (Dynamite Entertainment)
  • Dog Man and the League of Misfits (Graphix/Scholastic)
  • Star Trek: Day of Blood Prelude (IDW)
  • Fishflies #1 FCBD 2023 Preview Edition (Image Comics)
  • All Ages Gold Sampler (Kodansha Comics)
  • Amazing Spider-Man/Venom and Ultimate Invasion (Marvel Entertainment), which you can read about here
  • >Avengers/X-Men (Marvel Entertainment), which you can read about here
  • Conan the Barbarian FCBD 2023 Special (Titan Comics)
  • Choujin X/Rooster Fighter (VIZ Media)
  • Animal Castle FCBD Edition (Ablaze)
  • Princeless (Action Lab) (Although there's some issues with the book's release)
  • Tom Holland’s Fright Night (American Mythology Productions)
  • Kotto Kotorra (Arcana Comics)
  • Mech Cadets FCBD Special (Boom! Studios)
  • Star Wars/ Avatar: The Last Airbender (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Mexikid (Dial Books)
  • Madballs Vs. Garbage Pail Kids (Dynamite Entertainment)
  • The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers (Fantagraphics Books)
  • Investigators: All Tide Up (First Second Books)
  • The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Comics (Gemstone Publishing)
  • Baby-Sitters Little Sister: Karen’s Haircut (Graphix)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW Publishing)
  • The Sacrificers #1 FCBD 2023 Preview Edition (Image Comics)
  • Shaman King Flowers & Welcome To Demon School Iruma-Kun (Kodansha Comics)
  • Crimebuster Season 1 #1 (Lev Gleason Publications – Comichouse)
  • Marvel Voices #1 (Marvel Entertainment)
  • Spidey And His Amazing Friends #1 (Marvel Entertainment)
  • Punch Up! Preview (Oni Press)
  • Frazettaverse #0 (Opus Comics)
  • Smurfs 65th Anniversary FCBD Special (Papercutz)
  • Sweet Valley Twins: Teacher’s Pet (Random House Children’s Books)
  • 2000 AD Regened Presents: The Best Comic Ever (Rebellion)
  • I Am Stan (Ten Speed Press)
  • Runescape: Untold Tales Of The God Wars (Titan Comics)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Battle For Pumpkin King #1 (Tokyopop)
  • Street Fighter 6 #0 (Udon Entertainment)
  • Shadowman Dark Legacy FCBD Special (Valiant Entertainment)
  • West Of Sundown #1 (Vault Comics)
  • The Last Comics On Earth (Viking Books)
  • Animal Crossing/ Kirby Manga Mania (Viz Media)

Here are the covers released thus far:

Will the Free Comic Book Day comics be available online?

The answer to this question depends on the publishers involved. Usually, the majority of FCBD releases end up either available through ComiXology or subscription services such as DC Universe Infinite or Marvel Unlimited, after some kind of delay from the actual event — again, though, how long that delay is is also up to the publishers in question.

You can find Free Comic Book Day and more in a comic shop. Never been, or has it been awhile? Read our guide on how to comic shop.

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