Participating comic shops around the world will be a part of Free Comic Book Day, giving away copies of comics specifically prepared for this day. You can see the titles here (freecomicbookday.com). The first Saturday in May has used the release of a big comic film each year to garner FCBD interest, and Iron Man 3 is out now.
It's a great way to get people into the store and see what your local shop has to offer. Many will have artists to offer sketches (some for free), and those artists may have their own comics for free or for sale. This is a nice way to support your local comic person. Like me. Cheap plug (robotwonderboy.com)
There may be folks in costume there so consider taking your kids for fun pictures. If your kids dress up, they'll be right popular with the local pop-culture gang.
Supplies will be limited, and some comics will go quicker than others. Marvel and DC, for instance, like to use their FCBD issues to lead into Big Doings later in the year.
If you go in, in addition to the free comics, consider picking up some comics for sale. FCBD is not free for the store; they have to pay for the comics they hand out. Support your local business and artist types and try out a genre or comic you might otherwise not pick up.
Not sure if there's a comic store near you? Try this site (comicshoplocator.com)
Also, May the Fourth is Star Wars Day. So be contrary and Trek out. Or Who it up. Or, what the hell, rock your Wookie stylie.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
I took pictures of the people who asked for sketches with their finished pieces. I did about 25 pieces from 11-6 and sold some of my comics. It was a huge, quick blur of smiles and geekery. You can see them here (flickr.com)
I did a warm-up sketch before I left home and offered it on Facebook to the first person who came to the store and requested Loki. A local rollergirl broke every driving law known to man to get it first.
(edited by Matt Tracker on 6.5.13 1228) "To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Did anyone else pick up the 2000 AD FCBD issue? That's my first hard copy of a British comic and I'm impressed that it's printed in the larger magazine(?) format. Got the copy from Midtown Comics' site, BTW.
On the other had, I have IDW Judge Dredd FCBD color reprint of the Judge Death story (1st Anderson appearance) and I'm slightly disappointed that there must be so much empty white space to fit our comics format.
Back in the early 90s, I wrote my own DOS pascal program to catalogue them. After we got windown 95, I converted my database to Excel. Excel just seemed a natural choice at the time. I could setup fields as I needed them.