Free Comic Book Day 2013: Your Comprehensive Checklist

FCBD13 horiz with date

We all know comic books are expensive these days, right? Well, on the first Saturday in May, the industry comes together to try to make amends, by offering new and old readers alike free comic books that you can pick up right at your local comic book shop. That’s right, free.

Now, just hold your horses for a moment… not EVERY comic book in the store will be free. But a wide assortment of publishers do produce special edition comics for Free Comic Book Day, as it’s known, and you are the lucky beneficiary. So what do you need to know to reap the rewards of this bonanza?

First off, every store is different, particularly in just how many free comics they’ll let you have, beause the dirty little secret of Free Comic Book Day is that for the retailer, the comics aren’t REALLY free. They do pay a small amount for each comic they order, so they can have them on hand for comic book fans of both the young and the young at heart variety. So be kind to your hard-working funnybook merchant; if they say you can have as many comics as you like, by all means, dig in, but if there’s a one comic per person policy or some such, you can always go shop-hopping to round up the other comics you want to grab and help spread the comic book love around town.


Remember, only special FCBD comics and flipbooks are free. You don’t get to just roll in with a shopping cart yelling, “Fill ‘er up, Johnny!” I mean, you can, but you’ll probably get kicked out of the store and then you’ll end up on all the blogs and people will yell your catch phrase back at you for the rest of your comic book life.

Here’s a checklist of free FCBD issues to look out for:

2013 Gold Books (Most Likely To Be Carried By Every Store)

2013 Silver Books (Less Likely To Be Carried By Every Store)


If this is your first trip to a comic shop (That’s awesome but what are you doing here? I assume Google. Was it Google? It wasn’t Bing, was it?) you might need to track down your local retailer and luckily there’s a handy dandy tool you can use called the Comic Shop Locator Service to find your local shop. It’s not perfect and it doesn’t list every single store but it’s not like you’ve got the Yellow Pages anymore. (Kids, use Bing to look up “the Yellow Pages”.)

One last note. Free Comic Book Day is a great day for everyone who comes into a comic book store, from regulars to new customers. Have fun. Make friends. Talk about your favorite comics. Thank your shop for any great promotions or sales that they might be running (the smart stores will), and please, leave the place with a little less money in your wallet than you came with. You’re getting some free books and that retailer paid to get them to you so reward them with a great day of actual sales. Buy a trade or two–pick up one of our Books of the Month you’ve been meaning to try–and leave with those and a pile of free stuff. Everybody wins.

Question: If you had to pick only five of these books, what would you get? Once you’re back from the big day, let us know what you picked up–free or otherwise!


  1. I’m going to pick up Infinity. Already bought all of Valiant’s 1 dollar comics 😀

  2. The Atomic Robo book is a must grab for me every year. Consistently one of the best FCBD issues.

    I recall last year’s 2000AD being pretty cool.

  3. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Nothing’s really jumping out at me this year. Most of the titles on my shortlist are simply previews of things I look forward to reading in OGN or ongoing form (Marble Season; Superman Unchained) or reprints of older works (Buck Rogers, Prince Valiant).

    • Yeah, I think this is the weakest FCBD line-up yet. Some fun books, but nothing really cool. The DC reprint sucks. Just lazy.

  4. Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    It blows my mind that DC’s FCBD issue is a reprint of a pre-New 52 comic. It features Zod and all, but you’d think they’d want to promote their current books. Seems like an odd choice.

  5. The 5 I’m going to get for sure are:

    1. Star Wars/Captain Midnight/Avatar
    2. The Walking Dead FCBD 2013 Special
    3. Superman Special Edition
    4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventures
    5. The Tick

    Might grab a couple of others if they look good. Now I just need to decide what trade I’m going to buy while I’m there……

  6. My shop has a three book limit, so my plans are…

    1. The Strangers — Swinging, Sixties Supernatural Super Spies! What’s not to love?
    2. 2000 AD or Dredd of some flavor.
    3. Fubar — I don’t read zombie comics, don’t really like zombie movies. Heck, Rob Zombie kinda bores me! But this book sounds absolutely fascinating. I guess it tickles the part of my brain that enjoyed all those alternate history books.

    I may see if I can fill the few remaining holes in my Jonah Hex TPB collection as well or Captain Britain and MI: 13 or one of Steranko’s Nick Fury collections…

  7. I want to say that the Gold books are titles that your LCS is pretty much guaranteed to have. The Silver ones are slightly more iffy.

  8. I always enjoy the Mouse Guard stories every year. I keep telling myself I’m going to start buying the trades.

    • How long have the Mouse Guard FCBD issues been coming out?

    • There are 3 FCBD MouseGuard comics previous to this year, so 4 in total. Note one of the FCBD Mouseguard offerings was a small HC that was very popular.


    • Ah, I’ve only got the hardcover (imagine the cost of just giving those away!) and this year’s flipbook. Thank Matthew.


  10. What’s the difference between a gold and silver comic?

  11. Probably just going to get superman, infinity and the walking dead special.

    Thanks for the checklist Conor!

  12. The only one I think I’ll grab is Atomic Robo. I bought the Vol. 1 TP at the Calgary comic expo last weekend and it was great.

  13. My store has a ten book limit (thank you Central City Comix!), and subscribers order well ahead of time and have the books bagged and ready for pick up, i believe i’m getting:

    Infinity, mouse guard, Walking dead, 2000AD, atomic robo, sw/avatar/cap midnight, dredd classics, superman SE, prince valiant, buck rodgers. If i had to pick five, it would be the first five.

    I’ll also be using FCBD as an excuse to stock up on supplies (bags, boards) and maybe grab a Kirby Omnibus:)

    Also worth noting that all or most of the books will be available digitally as well at some point.

  14. I’ll have you know, I did arrive here via Bing… It has chime.

  15. 1)The Tick, 2)Atomic Robo, 3)Bongo Comics, 4) DC Sampler, 5) The Walking Dead.

    So looking forward to FCBD 2013, just like every year. I think this year I will buy a few trades; maybe Aquaman or Azzerallo’s Wonder Woman vol.2 or hopefully Frankenstein Agent of SHADE.

    • I picked up every fCBD I could; Mouse Guard, Sonic, Atomic Robo, Judge Dredd, Strangers, Damsel Mermaids, Fubar, etc. My LCS let customers get every book as long as you just got 1 copy. Good haul plus my pullfile and Atomic Robo volume 2.

  16. Infinity most likely and then whatever else catches my eye. Dredd/2000AD maybe.

    And, a long box.

  17. My shop usually allows us to take one of each comic so I should get a good haul this year.

    Definitely looking forward to:

    Bongo Comics
    The Tick
    Atomic Robo

    I was hoping that NFL comics would be a return of NFL Superpro….No dice.

  18. 1. Superman Special Edition
    2. Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant
    3. Ramayan Reloaded
    4. The Strangers
    5. Atomic Robo

    Plan on picking up a couple of trades – The Walking Dead (vol. 6) & The Sixth Gun (vol. 2)

    • At the end of the day, my LCS would only allow 3 free comics per customer, I happily ended up with…

      1. Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant
      2. The Strangers
      3. Marble Season

      Oh, and I purchased The Walking Dead Vol. 6

  19. It looks like DC just doesn’t care anymore.

  20. My Top 5:

    1. The Walking Dead – I am so excited for this comic
    2. Infinity – After Inferno, The Infinity Gauntlet is my favorite Marvel crossover. The follow-ups never lived up to the original, but if anyone can do it, I feel Hickman can.
    3. The Tick – I’m glad to see I’m not the only one here putting The Tick in their Top 5
    4. Star Wars/Captain Midnight/Avatar – But only for the Star Wars story
    5. Mouseguard – I liked last year’s FCBD book a lot. Is this one also going to be a hardcover?

    The Superman comic is right on the bubble for me. Is it a new story? Or just a preview of this summer’s Snyder/Lee comic?

  21. Is there no FCBD Heroclix this year?

    • There is, it’s an Iron Man piece. It’s always hit and miss whether shops have it, though. If it’s a shop that has games regularly they should have it, but otherwise it’s a gamble.

  22. I more excited for the big sidewalk sales on trades than any of these freebies. I always get a few awesome books for cheap and they always appreciate the business with those. If there is a giant stack of the freebies, i might pickup the Walking Dead or a Superman book, but prob leave em for kiddies or the curious new people.

    I’m kinda shocked that the first time any of my local shops mentioned they were participating in BCBD was a little shout yesterday on Facebook. Step up your game with the social media and website updates comic shops!

  23. The stuff I picked in my DCBS order, which allows you to throw some stuff in a couple months in advance:

    Atomic Robo
    Judge Dredd
    Walking Dead
    The Tick

    At the shop I’ll probably grab Sesame Street/Strawberry Shortcake for my daughter.

  24. I picked up the Walking Dead and the Buck Rogers reprint (looks lovely). If anyone is interested, my publishing company is doing free downloads on a couple of our books.

  25. I’m excited to see how Hickman handles Thanos and his motives involving any ties from other things in the Marvel U leading up to this and love that Cheung is on art duties. Children’s Crusade is a must read Marvel event if you ask me and is completely self contained with one Young Avengers :Children’s Crusade one-shot. The 12 issue/two trades/ one ultimate collection of Young Avengers goes hand in hand with it as well and gives one of the best perspectives on Kang, Scarlet Witch and many others in a story that to me is the classic Marvel epic legacy stuff that made them iconic. Age of Ultron, Apocalypse and Kang are all connected to Thanos in this Infinity somehow and I love it. Time gem missing in New Avengers, Kangs a time traveler and has the Apocalypse at wins right now while Ultron attacks from the future, then Thanos and ‘”Infinity”?! I mean c’mon, it’s all too awesome not to be connected. I seen it like Kang is behind Ultron and Apocalypse and Thanos is behind Kang. Would be sweet but if none of its connected it just seems like too many rabbit holes they’d be wasting.

  26. Steampunk Original Presents: The Steam Engines of Oz (Arcana Studios)
    The Walking Dead FCBD 2013 Special
    Grimm (Dynamite Entertainment
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventure
    Stan Lee’s Chakara the Invincible (Liquid Comics)

    My LCS has a 12 book limit (years past had no limit, but this year they wanna make sure certain titles are there for people who cant get in early).

    IronMan3 last night and FREE COMIC BOOK DAY today, what a good weekend. May the 4th be with you!

  27. Well just got back & they did not have the OZ (Arcana Studios) BOOK. Oh well free comic books are awesome.
    There was a 15 book limit.
    I got….
    The Walking Dead FCBD 2013 Special
    Grimm (Dynamite Entertainment)
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Animated Adventure
    Stan Lee’s Chakara the Invincible (Liquid Comics)
    Bongo Comics Free-For-All! FCBD 2013 (Bongo Comics)
    Infinity (Marvel Comics)
    It’s The Ugly Doll Comic & Other Stuff (Viz Media)
    Avengers Assemble / Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. #1 (Marvel Comics)
    Bleeding Cool Magazine (Bleeding Cool)
    Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (Hermes Press)
    Kaboom! Summer Blast (Boom! Studios/Kaboom!)
    Kizoic Presents: Sesame Street/Strawberry Shortcake (Ape Entertainment)
    The Smurfs (NBM Publishing / Papercutz)
    World of Archie Digest (Archie Comics)
    Judge Dredd Classics (IDW Publishing)
    Kellerman / L’Amour FCBD 2013 Sampler (Villard Books)
    Star Wars / Captain Midnight / Avatar (Dark Horse Comics)
    The Red Ten #0 (Comixtribe)
    Fubar FCBD Special (Alterna Comics)
    The Tick (New England Comics)
    Spongebob Comics Freestyle Funnies (United Plankton Pictures)
    Superman Special Edition (DC Comics)
    DC Nation Super Sampler #1 (DC Comics)
    Disney Fairies (Papercutz)
    Atomic Robo & Friends (Red 5 Comics)

    Between myself and my 3 oldest kids.

    • Wow! A 15 free book limit??? That’s completely mental – Good for you, Reform! I was only able to choose 3 from my LCS.

      What is the normal limit for stores?…anyone?

    • I think it varies store to store, and year to year, mostly on how much stock they have. Last year my LCS only let me have 10 books. This year they let me grab as many books as I wanted as long as I only got 1 copy each, but another store I went to this year only let me grab 8 books.

    • My LCS planned on giving away 7,000 books. It is a pretty small store but the best out of the 5 in this part of Ohio. The biggest shop around deez parts only gives books to it’s loyal customers in a private showing another fancy shop does not participate at all. My LCS owner said you never know what book may make a person there for a free book a returning customer / life long fan.

  28. My free comic book day was awesome!!!
    First off I live in a small town with only 2 comic book shops.
    Last year had a steady flux of people most of the day but nothing like this year. The owner of the larger comic book shop had people working, dressed as Darth Vader and some storm troopers, and we even had a pretty convincing Iron man! It was great to see the kids stop and get pictures taken with them! Even saw some parents picking up some Walking Dead trades. I tried telling as many people as I could about SAGA as well.

    For myself I scored, Starwars (Darkhorse) Walking Dead (Image) and Mass Effect/Kiljoys/Avatar(Darkhorse)

    The shop did it right by limiting books to two per person (3 if you made a donation to a local kids club) so there was enough books for everyone.

    Even scored some killer deals on Y: The last man TPB Vol 1-3, The killing joke Hardcover and Superman Red Son Hardcover. All in all a great day! So happy to see so many people interested in our hobby!

  29. My shop didn`t have a limit on the ammount of books which seems cool but after the shop was only open for an hour all the Star Wars issues were gone same with the DC Superman. Luckily got my hands on the last copy of Star Wars, Infinity and Bongo Free For All. Also got an amazing deal on the Season One hardcovers of Spiderman and Hulk. Really great day!

    Also my shop had a beginner artist there who was accepting donations to the food bank and would sketch anything you want so I got me a really nice Deadpool sketch. Made my day for sure 🙂

  30. When I got to my shop, they had given away every single book they had. They set limits for how many FCBD items people can take and they still went through all of them. Surprising, since this is Mile High Comics, big-ish chain that it is.
    Long story short, I got nothing.

  31. Here is what I picked up FCBDwise:


    I also got two trades of Fables vol. 16 & 17 plus the DC Millennium miniseries tpb (from the ’80s) & Jack Kirby Omnibus Vol. 2 HC (Super Powers goodness!)


  32. I went to my store at 1 PM, 3 hours after opening and they had already sold out of all their big name books and just had Archies left. I did pick up the valiant bundle for 5 bucks. Pretty sweet deal, all things considered. Really wanted Infinity though… 🙁

  33. What a great day. Was able to get all the freebies I had set my eyes on. I am very fortunate to have 6 LCBS within a 30 minute walk from each other, so there was plenty to go around. Ended up picking up Walking Dead, Infinity, Ugly Doll Comics, DC’s superman, Dark Horse, Valiant, IDW, and Bongo, plus a ton of single back issues my stores love to give away. Can’t wait till next year, it just keeps getting bigger and better each go around.