It's a great time to be a comic book fan in Chicago. Last weekend, C2E2 rolled through town, bringing a cavalcade of cosplayers, creators and bagged-and-boarded back issues to McCormick Place. Tomorrow, Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in theaters, depicting another epic clash between Marvel's most popular superheroes and a dastardly robotic foe. On Saturday, some of Chicago's best comic book stores will be participating in Free Comic Book Day, a nationwide celebration that allows customers to take home select books free of charge. We've rounded up the best places in town to grab your free comics (and maybe an autograph or two) on May 2.
Aw Yeah Comics
Bring the kids to Art Baltazar's Skokie comic shop and get a picture with Spider-Man after snagging some free books. Vader and Son artist Jeffrey Brown will be signing his books from 11am–1pm and Blatazar will be sketching throughout the day. 10am–5pm.
This Wicker Park shop (located on the third floor of the Flatiron Building) will have plenty of free books, video games, cosplayers and sale items for visitors to enjoy. 11am–8pm.
Challengers Comics + Conversation
In addition to stacks of free books, Challengers will be welcoming two creators to this year's event. Transformers vs. G.I. Joe artist Tom Scioli and Top 10 artist Gene Ha will be on hand to meet fans and sign books. You can also say "Yo Joe!" and snap a photo with some G.I. Joe cosplayers. 11am–5pm.
Visit this classic Chicago comic shop to take home a pile of free books and enter a raffle to win great prizes throughout the day. 11am–8pm.
First Aid Comics
Both the Hyde Park and Little Italy stores will be celebrating this comic book holiday by offering a 20% storewide discount to customers. There will also be face painting, drawing and free comic books (duh). 11am–7pm.
Be one of the first 50 people through the door at this Logan Square shop and you'll walk away with a free doorbuster prize. Those who come wearing a costumes can grab 10 free comics instead of 5. Everyone can enjoy sales, refreshments and costumed guests. 11am–7pm.
Graham Cracker Comics (Loop location)
Head downtown to select three free comics and meet local artists Josep Blas and Alex Rosado. 11am–6pm.
Third Coast Comics
Get a sketch from a local artists and pick up some gratis books during this Edgewater shop's annual Free Comic Book Day bash. 11am–7pm.