CLEVELAND, Ohio – In another sign of return to normalcy after the pandemic, Free Comic Book Day will return to its normal date on the first Saturday in May for 2022. The 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19 and was postponed until August in 2021.
Saturday, May 7, marks the return of the annual event, which began in 2002, and many local stores are planning to make a selection of free comic books available to existing customers and new readers alike. In addition, many stores plan to hold additional activities, including hosting visiting artists and writers, and special promotions and sales throughout the day.
We’ve compiled a list of 20 locations in Northeast Ohio that are participating in the promotion this year. More information about the books that will be available can be found at freecomicbookday.com.
Cleveland and Western Suburbs
Carol and John’s Comic Book Shop
17462 Lorain Ave, Cleveland. 216-252-0606
10am – 7pm
The store is giving away thousands of free comics (maximum 12 per person). Numerous cosplay groups will be on hand to entertain fans from 9:30am. In addition, there will be areas for fan photos and areas for children to play while they wait in line. Graphic designer Jameson Campbell will be on site from 10 a.m. to noon to sign copies of his FCBD print. Additional vendors and performers will also be part of the day’s events.
Writer and former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter will be signing autographs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (1 free per guest, $10 for additional signatures, or 5 for $30. Max 11 autographs per person). The Rust Belt Monsters Collective will paint another live mural this year, featuring Doctor Strange.
Comics are Go!
5214 Detroit Road, Sheffield; 440-695-8401
11am – 8pm
A full range of free books will be available (maximum one of each book per family). Independent comic creator Rick Lozano of “American Knight” will be visiting. In addition, the store will organize various sales (25 percent discount on toys and statues, 50 percent discount on sets and 50 percent discount on current old issues). The store will also raffle special variants and other books.
Ground Zero Comics
15139 Pearl Road, Strongsville; 440-572-9599
11am – 10pm
Maximum of 8 free books per guest.
394 Broad Street, Elyria; 440-323-2000
11:30 am – 7:30 pm
David Spencer, illustrator of “The Epic Adventures of Huggie and Stick,” will create free sketches, as will local artist Al Sharp. Artist Richard Hooper will also create free caricatures. Maximum 3 books per guest.
103 Voorstraat, Berea; 440-239-7777
11am – 6pm
All guests receive a grab bag with 3 free strips while supplies last. The grab bags are drawn up per age category. Also sell items in the store.
Nostalgia on the North Coast
5853 Ridge Road, Parma; 440-845-7040
11:00 am – 6:00 pm
You get a 30% discount on selected comic bundles. Plus, the $2 and $3 totes are $1 off the regular prices each. 3 free titles per guest, while supplies last.
Superscript Comics and Games
13361 Madison Avenue, Lakewood; 216-712-6231
10am – 6pm on Saturdays; special opening hours Friday evening (see details below)
The festivities kick off Friday night at 6:30 PM in Bottlehouse Lakewood with a Magic the Gathering Conspiracy Draft, followed by a pop-up board game night starting at 8:00 PM. The evening will also feature a cosplay competition where the winners will receive tickets to Colossalcon. The evening will conclude with a midnight opening at Superscript (until 2am) with over 40 free books to choose from. Maximum of 15 books per guest, subject to availability.
The store will then reopen at 10am Saturday morning with Superscript, Rising Star Coffee Roasters and Lakewood Art Supply featuring local comic bookmakers and artists until 6pm. Members of The Apollo Base of the Star Wars Rebel Legion will be in the shop from 2pm – 7pm for photo opportunities. With all purchases made on Friday evening and Saturday, guests participate in a raffle for a chance to win comics, games and raffle baskets. The lottery starts Saturday evening at 7 p.m.
4847 Robinhood Dr, Willoughby; 440-942-6960
12.00 – 18.00
Each guest can select up to 6 free titles. Additional books available to guests who make a donation of at least $3 to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
Comics and friends
7850 Mentor Avenue, Suite 1054, Mentor; 440-255-4242
11am – 8pm
Free books will be available. Local artist Jason Bascom will be in store displaying his artwork.
5917 Andrews Rd, Lakeside Mentor; 440-290-0773
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
In addition to free comics, there are sales and surprise guests throughout the day. Limit one copy of each title per person.
23 W Main St, Geneva; 440-415-1228
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The sale will run all day, including 50% off wall strips and back-stock and 20% off the rest of the store (certain restrictions apply). Professional artists The Art of Mark Welser, Martin Dunn and DrBen Anthony of Thick Comics will be in store, including a performance of Grim Ghastly Gallery’s The Ghoulish art.
Akron/Canton and Southern Suburbs
Bill’s Books & More
2215 6th St SW, Canton; 330-453-3996
11am – 7pm
Multiple specials throughout the day, including select back issues $1.25 percent off action figures and toys and 20-50 percent off other select items. Guest artists include Darryl Banks, Brandon Franklin and Landon Franklin.
Comics, Cards and Collectibles
724 Cleveland Ave SW, Canton; 330-456-8907
10am – 6pm
Over 40,000 back issues are on sale for $1 each. Selected action figures, paperbacks, posters, card sets and more will also be available for purchase. Maximum 3 free books per guest.
Hazel’s Heroes Comics and More
1664 N Main St, North Canton; 330-244-9988
10am – 5pm
Store-wide sales all day. Maximum 5 books per guest. Guest artist Matt Horak will create sketches in the shop and sell his art.
JC Comics and Cards
2609 State Road, Cuyahoga Falls; 330-929-1929
Doors open at 11am
The store will be giving away a poster featuring characters from SHE-RA or VOLTRON’s Netflix series.
Johnny Scott Comics & Games
1703 E Main Street, Kent; 330-474-7049
11am – 7pm
Each guest may help themselves to one copy of each book on the FCBD tables.
Kenmore Comics & Games
1020 Kenmore Blvd, Akron; 330-745-5530
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
In addition to the comics, the store will also be holding a sale on most items in stock. Please note free strips are limited to 5 per person.
Rubber City Strips
74 E Mill St, Akron; 330-548-5992
Opening 10:30 am for Team 25 Members; Doors open to the general public at 11 a.m. Shop closes at 19:00
Local artist Jay Fife is a special guest in the shop all day long. Special offers for the day, including all back issues marked $6 or less, are just $1.00; 50% off paperbacks and vinyl records, as well as all toys under $20; additional sales on Pokémon Packs and Funko Pops.
Sweets & Geeks
342 E. Smith Road, Medina; 330-662-4272
10am – 9pm
All guests can receive one gold or two silver strips for free (see website for list). Guests in superhero-themed outfits can compete in a competition for cash prizes. There will also be a costumed superhero to pose for photos. All comics and superhero merchandise is discounted by 15 percent (excluding LEGO). In addition, there will be a treasure hunt in the store from 12.00 to 16.00 and a Swenson’s food truck on site
The toy that time forgot
137 Cherry Street, Canal Fulton; 330-854-1700
10am – 7pm
The day, with a street market atmosphere, includes face painting, music, food, cosplay, raffles, thousands of free comics and much more. Special guests for the day include Ghostbusters from Northeastern Ohio; local artists and writers and a painter.
Is your store missing from our list? Please email [email protected] with your store information and event details.