East Coast Comic Stores Celebrate Free Comic Book Day 2024!

By Ben Gritz | May 22 2024 | GeneralComics

Free Comic Book Day Logo by Amanda Conner, 2015

Free Comic Book Day Logo by Amanda Conner, 2015


For those “not in the know,” the biggest comic book celebration of the year occurs annually on Free Comic Book Day.  An alliance of participating comic retailers, publishers and distributors share the cost of handing out (literal) tons of comics, for free, to customers!  This event typically runs on the first Saturday in May, which was May 4th this year.  This also made it “May the Fourth,” an annual moment to celebrate Star Wars, which only added to the excitement this weekend.

Retailers reported a fun, exciting, and tiring day!  For many stores this is their biggest shopping day of the year, which involves a lot of intricate set up and staffing management.  Many locations even combine their event with cosplay, signing or sketch events with local comic writers and artists, adding to the festive atmosphere.

All told, it was a highly successful event with the consensus opinion being this was one of the most successful FCBDs in many years.  I’ve posted below some anecdotes from some of the stores up and down the East Coast sharing their story about their Free Comic Book Day!  I am already starting to get excited about what’s in store for next year!

  • Galactic Quest, Lawrenceville & Buford, Georgia
    • They partner with the city of Lawrenceville and the other merchants in their square who turn this into a large event for the city – even advertising it in their utility bills.
    • Showcase video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtQcpa1FmdQ
    • Interview they did on a podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtzckfwTmCo
    • Free Comics are distributed amongst all the different vendors and merchants to create a “scavenger hunt” atmosphere.
    • Based on cell phone data analyzed by the city they believe 10,000 or more people visit the stores participating in this event and they believe this may be the largest FCBD event in the nation.
    • Both stores ran out of books by the early afternoon!


  • The Amazing Comic Shop, Fairfax, Virginia


  • Aquilonia Comics, Troy, New York
    • FCBD was a great day and they are grateful for all the publisher support with lots of good titles this year, especially the quantity of new story material on offer.
    • They host creators local to their area for FCBD which helps make it a great for fans, the creators, and the store.


  • Atomic Books, Baltimore, Maryland
    • They held a store sale, had free giveaways (including bowls of cereal!), and offered mimosas at their bar attached to the store (Eightbar).
    • Gave away anywhere between 350-400 pounds of comics!
    • They are looking forward to seeing if next year’s event will be timed around a new movie release or receive additional national promotion, which they always find helps their event attract more customers.
    • Social media posts can be viewed here, and also here!


  • Blackbird Comics and Coffeehouse, Maitland, Florida
    • Blackbird saw a great increase in foot traffic and customers at their location.
    • Highlight features for their event included $1 back issues, a costume contest, and a local artist creating sketches for kids.
    • They gave away well above what they ordered for 2024 and had to resort to using extra copies from previous years to satisfy all their customers.


  • Comics on the Green, Scranton, Pennsylvania
    • Held a great event despite many other local events coinciding with the same weekend and they really felt the enthusiasm of their customers for Free Comic Book Day.
    • They held many in-store sales and felt that their customers purchased a TON of graphic novels in addition to the free comic offerings.
    • Gave out around 6 long boxes worth of comics!


  • East Side Mags, Montclair, New Jersey
    • Gave away a lot of books this year and sales were absolutely amazing too!  Foot traffic was strong, the lovely weather in their area for that day really helped motivate people to visit the store.
    • They ran a store-wide sale, had a BBQ vendor, a cookie vendor and hosted two different local artists, Paul Belliveau and Ava Schrager.


  • Empire Comics, Buffalo, New York 
    • They had a successful FCBD with a steady stream of people coming in throughout the entire day.
    • They held a CGC raffle, comic packs & grab bags, and a discount off all Star Wars product for Star Wars Day.
    • They had special guests, Buffalo’s Wolverine & Captain America stop by for photos with fans.
    • Gave away hundreds of comics easily!

Empire Comics FCBDEmpire Comics FCBD


  • Fanboy Collectibles and Comics, Macon, Georgia
    • They had a super busy event on Saturday, combining FCBD with Star Wars Day/May the Fourth.
    • They had guest artist Dan Fraga signing and several Star Wars guests, including R2D2!
    • Local radio station The Creek 100.9 FM came out and posted a great video of the store during the event. https://www.facebook.com/thecreekfm
    • Saw constant traffic all day (people loved buying toys and back issues the most), and in honor of Star Wars Day, everything in the store was “19.77%” off.
    • Gave away roughly 100 lbs. of books!

Local comic artist for FCBD R2D2 @ FCBD

  • Friar Tuck’s Comics, Brookline, MA
    • This was the store’s very first FCBD, having opened around 5 months ago.
    • Best day yet for the store, people waiting in line for them to open to celebrate comics!
    • Completely ran out of free comics by the end of the day!
    • See video here!


  • Main Street Geek, Front Royal, Virginia
    • FCBD 2024 was a huge success this year!  They saw increased foot traffic from last year and hosted two guests.  Drew Edward Johnson, cover artist for Justice League vs. Godzilla vs. Kong, and his wife KC Johnson, who works on The Simpsons.
    • They had a member of the 501st Garrison Tyranus (Star Wars cosplay) on hand along with Dylan O’Connell and his superb Iron Man suit.
    • They held many store sales including a special promotion for Star Wars merch in honor of Star Wars Day.
    • They also had several giveaways of which they do video-streamed drawings for after FCBD.
    • At least 150 pounds of books given away!
    • Pictures can be viewed on their FB page.


  • Manifest Comics, Bayonne, New Jersey
    • They saw a definite increase in foot traffic compared to last year for their event.
    • They like to do their best sales of the year around FCBD, along with setting up additional clearance items outside their store and a doorbuster sale related to card products.
    • Probably gave out around 100 pounds of comics to tons of visitors, and noticed that customers were most interested in purchasing back issues and graphic novels.


  • Memory Lane Comics, Wilmington, North Carolina
    • Enthusiasm was AMAZING at their store, with a line leading out into the street all day until 6 PM. Felt like this was their best attended event yet.
    • They also rent out a music venue across from the shop every year and locate most of their free comics at that location, along with a mini artist-alley of local comic creators.  People love visiting it and pick up free comics along with buying art and stickers from the creators.
    • Saw lots of customer interest in comics, action figures and graphic novels!
    • It sure felt like they gave away close to a ton of free comics too.


  • New Wave Comics and Collectibles, Skippack, Pennsylvania
    • They definitely consider this to be their best FCBD since before the COVID19 pandemic and one of the best of the last ten years with incredible foot traffic.
    • They held a store-wide sale and had two additional vendors to make their event extra special: a drink vendor, Spirochete, and a costume designer, StarFaux.
    • They gave away virtually everything they ordered with only a handful of titles remaining.

FCBD attendees


  • NYHC Comics, Dobbs Ferry, New York
    • They had an incredibly busy FCBD, seeing a mix of regular faces, new visitors, curious passerbys, and the classic “FCBD Hunter” that all comic stores know well.
    • They held special giveaways, discounted items, and held raffles.
    • They estimate they gave away 500 pounds of free comics, including some of last year’s, along with some posters.


  • Queen City Bookstore, Buffalo, New York
    • They hold FCBD as an entire weekend and saw at least 250 people waiting for them at the door for their events.
    • They host a local artist alley, which makes for a wonderful connection with their local customers.
    • Probably gave away at least 300 pounds of comics in addition to customers buying popular categories such as Marvel and DC.

Queen City Bookstore FCBD

  • The Secret Lair Comics, Harrisonburg, Virginia
      • FCBD was as good if not better than last year, the busiest day of the year for them.
      • The event was so popular there was about a thirty minute wait to enter the store when they first opened.
      • They held a store-wide sale, had giveaways, goodie bags, and some cosplay guests.
      • They also collected donations for the International Rescue Committee.
      • They hosted Marc Deering who is a professional comic book inker and Erik McConnell who is an independent creator and alum of the nearby college.
      • Here’s a link to some pictures from the event.


  • Ssalefish Comics, Greensboro, Concord, & Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    • Free Comic Book Day was a strong success, even though one location had to contend with construction in their parking lot and some bad weather rolled through the area. The weather forced more people inside and made things a little more chaotic, but they still managed to hold a wonderful event!
    • They offered a Buy 2 Get 1 Free on all toys, graphic novels, and back issues and had a selection of $1 comics as well.
    • They hosted Matthew Roberts (Creature from the Black Lagoon Lives, Manifest Destiny), Chris Giarrusso (Officer Clawsome Lobster Cop, Mini Marvels), and Brian “Smitty” Smith (Pea Bee & Jay, Band Camp).
    • Gave away at least 350 pounds of comics!


  • That’s Entertainment, Worcester & Fitchburg, Massachusetts
    • Free Comic Book Day went great for them, had a big day, but they wish they had ordered even more free comics!


  • Top Dog Comics, Augusta, Georgia
    • FCBD went great for them, one of the best in the last nine years for this store.
    • They run an in-store sale as part of their event and felt like all store merchandise categories were very popular with their customers on the day.


  • Yancy Street Comics / Six Strings & Superheroes, Port Richey, Florida
    • Officially opened their new store: Six Strings and Superheroes to coincide with FCBD, previously held their ribbon cutting on April 27th.
    • Store has been remodeled personally by the owner over a period of months, at a dream location for his new vision.
    • The Mayor visited the location and they gave away free comics for over 10 hours.
    • Local news coverage available at this link!

Six Strings & Superheroes FCBD