Top 10 L.A. Shops to Celebrate Free Comic Book Day

Comic Book Fans Assemble!

"The Avengers" FCBD 2018 Gold Comic
"The Avengers" FCBD 2018 Gold Comic | Photo courtesy of Free Comic Book Day

Once a year, the comic book industry organizes Free Comic Book Day, a massive event involving 50 titles that are distributed for free at participating stores. The comics here are essentially sample-size, enough for you to decide whether or not you want to jump into the whole series, and the variety ranges from kid-friendly stories to more mature reading material.

This year's Free Comic Book Day is on Saturday, May 5 and offers a good opportunity to check out the local shops near you. Some stores will be hosting related events, including signing sessions with artists and writers and sales. Following are 10 Los Angeles comic book shops that are celebrating Free Comic Book Day 2018.

1. Secret Headquarters

Free Comic Book Day at Secret Headquarters
Photo courtesy of Secret Headquarters

Secret Headquarters is giving back to the community this Free Comic Book Day. On Saturday, May 5 the comic book shop will be taking new book donations for Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The store will have books that are appropriate for all ages available to buy and donate and those who chose to participate will receive 10% your purchases. Hustle & Dough will be on hand with donuts from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m.

3817 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, 323-666-2228

2. Golden Apple

"Barrier" #1 from Image Comics
"Barrier" #1 | Photo courtesy of Image Comics

In addition to free comics, Melrose Avenue mainstay Golden Apple is hosting a 20% off sale on May 5. There will be multiple autograph signings over the course of the day. Brian K. Vaughan, the superstar comic book writer behind series like Saga and Y the Last Man, will be signing in support of his latest series, Barrier. That's the day's big event with 200 line passes that will be distributed beginning at 10 a.m. Also signing during the day are Richard Fairgray and Paul Eiding of Blastosaurus, Michael MicMillian (Adventure Van) and David Clarke and Walter Bryant (Starburns Presents).

7018 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, 323-658-6047

3. Blastoff Comics

Free Comic Book Day 2018 at Blastoff Comics
Free Comic Book Day at Blastoff Comics

North Hollywood's Blastoff Comics is giving away vintage comics in addition to the 2018 FCBD titles. As for the regular stock, you'll find trade paperbacks, hardcover release and new comics marked down by 30-50%. Jerry Frissen (The Metabaron, Book 3) will be signing, as well as David Tipton, Scott Tipton and J.K. Woodward (Star Trek: The Next Generation - Through the Mirror). The store will also be donating a portion of their Free Comic Book Day proceeds to FirstBook.

5118 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, 818-980-2665

4. Earth-2 Comics (Sherman Oaks)

Free Comic Book Day at Earth-2 Comics
Free Comic Book Day at Earth-2 Comics

Brian K. Vaughan fans will have a second chance to grab the writer's autograph on Free Comic Book Day. He's heading to the Sherman Oaks location of Earth-2 Comics on Ventura Boulevard and will be signing from 4-7 p.m. Fans will be allowed to bring up to four items to have signed, in addition the FCBD release of Barrier.

15017 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818-386-9590

5. Galaxy of Comics

Free Comic Book Day at Galaxy of Comics
Free Comic Book Day at Galaxy of Comics

Want to get an early start on Free Comic Book Day? Wipe the sleep from your eyes and head out to Galaxy of Comics, which will be opening at 6 a.m. on May 5. If you're not the sort who can get up with the sun on a Saturday, don't worry - they'll keep the doors open until 8 p.m. and will have prizes and visits from cosplayers throughout the day.

17306 Saticoy St., Van Nuys, 818-578-8559

6. Earth-2 Comics (Northridge)

Wolverine mural at Earth-2 Comics Northridge
A young fan outside Earth-2 Comics Northridge | Instagram by @joel.dagang

Located a short distance from California State University Northridge, Earth-2's Reseda Boulevard location also has events planned for Free Comic Book Day. Artist Lea Hernandez will be on hand from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Later in the afternoon, from 2-4 p.m., artist Sebastian Kadlecik (Quince) and writer/artist John Bring (Penguins vs. Possums) will sign.

8967 Reseda Blvd., Northridge, 818-993-7804 

7. Alternate Universe

"Starburns Presents"
"Starburns Presents" | Photo courtesy of Free Comic Book Day

Echo Park's Alternate Universe will have signings at noon on Free Comic Book Day. Stop by to meet artist Ramin Nazer (Strippy Comics) and writer Eric Esquivel (Starburns Presents). There will also be a selection of items on sale inside the store, ranging from 20-50% off.

1498 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park, 213-537-0992

8. A Shop Called Quest (Arts District)

A Shop Called Quest in the Arts District
Photo courtesy of A Shop Called Quest, Facebook

A Shop Called Quest's Los Angeles outpost is the pop culture hub of the Arts District. They will be participating in Free Comic Book Day and are opening at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Store rules specify that customers can select one of each of the FCBD titles they have available this year.

300 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Unit B, Arts District, 213-680-2737

9. Comics vs. Toys

Comics vs. Toys
Photo courtesy of Comics vs. Toys

Comics vs. Toys pits two nerdy obsessions against each other in their fun Eagle Rock shop. They're also participating in Free Comic Book Day this year and will be opening an hour early, at 10 a.m., for the event. In addition to the available selection of free comics, there will be other items on sale.

1613 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, 323-258-2300 

10. Collector's Paradise (Winnetka)

Free Comic Book Day at Collector's Paradise in Winnetka
Free Comic Book Day at Collector's Paradise in Winnetka

Collector's Paradise in the Valley is celebrating Free Comic Book with a special offer: if you stop by the store on May 5 and get a stamp card, you can bring it back for free comics and sales on the following Saturdays that month. On FCBD itself, the store will also be hosting a "buy 3 get 1 free sale." There will also be special guests dropping by during the day including Mike Kunkel (Herobear & the Kid), Chris Moreno (Disney's Toy Story comics), Ray Friesen (Pirate Penguin vs. Ninja Chicken) and Jason Reeves (One Nation).

7131 Winnetka Ave., Winnetka, 818-999-9455