Free Comic Book Day is right around the corner, giving geeks their day nationwide the first Saturday of May -- or this Saturday, if you're keeping score.
Whether you're a diehard comic book fan or just getting your start, this is a perfect day to grab some sweet comics for dirt cheap and even win some free loot. We visited a couple of Miami's favorite comic book stores to see what they have to offer year-round, as well as what they have in store for the special day.
On the northern side of Miami-Dade? Villains Comics and Books is your shop of choice. For Free Comic Book Day, you might be likely to find free books suitable for comic book lovers of all ages. The FCBD website boasts selections from familiar faces such as Archie, Hello Kitty, and The Tick, as well as Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, the group that will soon take movie theaters by storm. We recommend getting to Villains early (noon-ish) on Saturday to see what freebies they have in stock and get first pick!
Mac's Comics won last year's Best of Miami award, and we can see why. It's a purist when it comes to the comic trade. The shelves are neatly organized with new hotness from powerhouses like Marvel and DC, as well as an excellent selection of independent comics.
If you want to make sure you don't miss out on your favorite book, they have an online pull list (the only one in the county, they say). Just go online, give them your name and e-mail address, and pick your favorites each week. When you come in, they'll be set aside and waiting for you. The best part? Mac's rewards you with a discount for using their pull list system.
In Free Comic Book Days past, Mac's has offered up freebies, deep discounts, shirts, and even contests for one-year subscriptions to the book of your choice. This year, you can expect some of the same, along with limited edition Scotty Young t-shirts and posters especially designed for FCBD. Go check out their newly spruced up layout!
On the other end of the streamlined spectrum, we have A&M Comics and Books (and toys and collectibles and magazines and things you never knew you needed), just a couple of doors down from vintage hot spot Miami Twice. The store is built like a TARDIS: it looks small and unassuming on the outside, but inside, it's a whole world full of fun.
A&M proclaims itself Florida's oldest comic book store, and the history extends to the treasure trove of vintage finds in comics, magazines, collectibles, and other rarities. The oldest thing there? Probably the Charles Dickens book set, which dates back to the 1800s. If you hit up their Free Comic Book Day extravaganza on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., you'll be treated to everything from free comics to baseball cards. They will even have a selection of comics for $1, with part of the proceeds going to charity.
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We would definitely stay the couple of extra hours until they close at 7. Everywhere your head turns, you're bound to find something from your childhood (or your parents' childhood) worth scooping up.
For more information on Free Comic Book Day, and to see what other store near you is taking part, visit freecomicbookday.com.