National Free Comic Book Day

Young woman wearing a superhero costume, surrounded by comic books and posters, striking a heroic pose..
National free comic book day illustration

Pack up your superpowers and tighten your capes, because we're diving headfirst into the action-packed universe of National Free Comic Book Day! Remember when heroes used to save the day in the nick of time, villains planned to take over the world before tea-time, and the only currency that really mattered were the little speech bubbles and illustrated panels? Yes, you guessed it, Comic Books!

When is Free Comic Book Day?

It's national free comic book day on the 7th May.

A Day for Superheroes and Their Fans

National Free Comic Book Day finds a special place in the hearts of comic book enthusiasts, both old and new. From superheroes to out-of-the-world adventures, this day is all about appreciating comic books as a unique storytelling medium. But, the pages of a comic book aren't just adorned with pretty pictures and speech bubbles. They hold adventures to distant galaxies, timeless tales of good and evil, and life lessons that resonate with us, instilling tremendous values and inspiring millions around the globe.

The Origin Story

Believe it or not, our own superhero day rose to prominence as a simple marketing event. The first National Free Comic Book Day happened on May 4, 2002, and on that day, comic book publishers decided to give away an estimated 2 million comic books for free! Since then, the National Free Comic Book Day takes place on the first Saturday of May each year, aligning with the superhero movies' release dates, which typically happen in summer.

A Journey on the Digital Express

While free comic book day started as a physical experience, the digital age quickly embraced it. With the rise of social media platforms, comic book enthusiasts started voicing their experiences online. On May 7, 2018, there were a whopping 3430 online mentions of National Free Comic Book Day, creating quite a buzz in the virtual world of comic book fanatics. This was the highest number of online mentions ever recorded for this day, indicating that even in the digital era, comic books continue to charm the socks off their fans.

History behind the term 'Free Comic Book'


The Birth of Funnies on Parade

In 1933, the first official free comic book was published called 'Funnies on Parade.' It contained a variety of comic strips showcasing popular characters of the time, such as Joe Palooka and Dixie Dugan. This landmark publication laid the foundation for the concept of a free comic book, enticing readers with a wide range of entertaining stories.


Superhero Boom with Superman

The year 1940 marked the golden age of comics, with superheroes gaining immense popularity. 'Superman' burst onto the scene, captivating readers with his incredible powers and compelling narrative. Publishers realized the promotional potential of giving away free comic books featuring these extraordinary characters, thus solidifying the notion of free comic book promotions.


Marvel's Fantastic Four and the Start of Free Comic Inserts

Marvel Comics revolutionized the industry in 1963 when they introduced the 'Fantastic Four.' As part of their marketing strategy, Marvel began inserting free comic books into other periodicals, such as magazines and newspapers. This innovative approach allowed non-comic readers to experience the thrill of these characters, broadening the reach of the medium.


Free Comic Book Day

In 2001, the first Free Comic Book Day was celebrated, initiated by Joe Field, a comic store owner. This annual event, occurring on the first Saturday of May, aims to promote the comic book culture and attract new readers. Publishers and retailers worldwide participate by giving away specially created free comic books, making it an exciting day for both enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

Did you know?

The first National Free Comic Book Day actually fell on a Star Wars Day (May 4th). In a galaxy not-so-far away, fans embraced both Star Wars and comic books, making it twice the fun!


awareness fun fandom superheroes comicbook

First identified

2nd May 2015

Most mentioned on

7th May 2018

Total mentions


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