Free Comic Book Day this Saturday, May 5.

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Free Comic Book Day is an international event held annually on the first Saturday of May. The event has been active since 2002, and is one of the most heralded days in comic book culture.

Publishers release comic book issues made specifically for FCBD. Each issue has the FCBD banner displayed on the cover. The publishers then sell the comics to retailers for a fairly cheap price, and the retailers who participate distribute the free comics to patrons.

Shop-goers can find free issues made by DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW, Image, Boom! and plenty more.

FCBD benefits both sides of the market. Consumers get free books, where they get to sample stories they may would not have ordinarily sought out. Meanwhile, publishers get more people to browse their products, and retailers get more customers into their stores.

In Hattiesburg, local comic book shop Bombshell Comics is participating in FCBD, and anyone in the area is welcome to visit the store Saturday and pick up some free books.

Bombshell Comics will be having sales throughout the day, with people being able to buy trade paperbacks and back-issues at fair discounts. Outside of the store, Bombshell will have tents set up with boxes of comics stacked on tables for customers to browse through and purchase for cheap prices.

In addition to the free comics and sales, Bombshell Comics will also be hosting hourly raffle drawings. By purchasing a certain dollar amount, customers can receive a ticket, with a duplicate of the ticket entering a bowl. At the end of every hour, a ticket is drawn from the bowl, and the person with the matching ticket number will receive a prize.

The prize for the next drawing is announced at the beginning of each hour so that customers can decide whether they want to enter that specific drawing or wait for a later one. Prizes will range from a rare comic to bundles of merchandise.

Bombshell Comics will also be pairing with T-Bones, which is right next door so that those who come to Bombshell for FCBD can receive a coupon to use at T-Bones.

All-in-all, FCBD is expected to generate a significant amount of business for Bombshell.

“We make a month’s worth of business in just the one day,” Bombshell owner and manager Justin Adcock said.

Retailers have a say in how many free books a customer can get at one time – preventing people from hogging everything and allowing other fans a chance to get the comics they want. In the past, Bombshell has allowed patrons to get 10 free comics, although that number could be different this year.

This year, there are 50 different comics created for FCBD, including stories for “Overwatch,” “Doctor Who,” “Adventure Time,” “The Legend of Korra,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “My Hero Academia” and more.

To see more of the many free comics available for FCBD, see the event’s website at https://www.freecomicbookday.com.