This Saturday marks the 15th Free Comic Book Day, a borderline holiday when select retailers unload pounds of sequential art goodness to the masses at no charge. At its heart, this annual event offers a huge amount of goodwill for the medium—publishers and the retailers (who still pay a fee) are reaching out to new audiences to enjoy an art form that receives criminally less support than the millions-grossing films based on its characters and storylines. There’s literally no downside to venturing out to this comic party; it’s gratis to its core.
That said, most stores (reasonably) have a limit on how many books one visitor can take—usually two or three. And the books range drastically in content and maturity. Marvel and DC will unleash superhero fare to match their multimedia output, but other publishers offer horror, education, indie slice-of-life and all manner of paneled storytelling. Across that huge spectrum, here are the comics we found the most intriguing, representing an array of genres to mirror the richness of the medium.