Annual nationwide event is Saturday, May 5, at participating retailers

The buds are on the trees, the birds are singing and the bees are listening, and there’s a new “Avengers” movie in the theaters.

Free Comic Book Day must certainly be upon us.

Taking place the first Saturday in May since 2002, Free Comic Book Day is a chance to get a free select special edition comic book at participating retailers.

Since its debut, FCBD has become a huge industry-wide party for many stores, with special guests, giveaways, contests, cosplaying, and specialty vendors all adding to the fun and atmosphere.

Each of the participating stores in our region has something different to offer, from low-key sales to a straight up weekend-long shindig, and we’ve got the lowdown on some of the action.

For a peek at the titles available for Free Comic Book Day, or to find other retailers, visit freecomicbookday.com.

‘Parks and Rec’ fun at CBH

Captain Blue Hen Comics
280 E Main St Suite 101, Newark

Sure there are the free comics, the costumed guests, and artists and authors by the score, just like every year for Free Comic Book Day at Captain Blue Hen in Newark.

But this year, according to Jason Colatriano, there’s one special guest that has owner Joe Murray giddy as a school girl – a guest appearance by “Li’l Sebastian,” of “Parks and Recreation” fame.

Okay, it’s not actually THE miniature horse from the NBC smash hit starring Delaware native Aubrey Plaza – it’s actually a local horse named Charm who will be cosplaying as Li’l Sebastian instead.

“Joe is still excited – he’s a big ‘Parks and Rec’ fan,” Colatriano said. “The owner even made a saddle blanket and other things to really make it work. There’s even a little ‘Parks and Rec’ costume contest. Who else is doing something like this? Nobody!”

They’ve even tried (unsuccessfully so far) to lure Plaza into making an appearance – even if it’s a nondescript one.

“We’ve been tweeting her – feel free, she’s @evilhag on Twitter,” Colatriano said. “If she wants to show up in costume and just be one of us, we’ll be cool about it.”

For more information on guests, sales, and other fun stuff, visit captainbluehen.com.

Local Talent at The Comic Book Shop!

The Comic Book Shop!
1855 Marsh Rd, Wilmington

At The Comic Book Shop! in Wilmington, owners Sarah and Titus spread their event out over two days, with guests and special deals Saturday and Sunday.

For Sarah, however, local artist Bryce Bullock’s appearance on Saturday is particularly exciting.

The nine-year-old from Wilmington is the writer and creator – along with his mom and dad – of “Inch worm and Daddy Long Legs,” a crimefighting superhero father-and-son duo and the stars of Bullock’s self-published book.

“We’ve had lots of people posting about him since he was in the news recently, about how great it is, especially since it’s him and his parents together,” Sarah said. “They have a great energy together, so it’s something nice to show the public.”

She’s also excited about an appearance from Boom! Studios, which produces titles for “Power Rangers,” “Adventure Time,” and “Steven Universe,” among other current pop culture nuggets.

For more information, visit thecomicbookshop.com.

‘Keep Calm and Get Comics’ at Between Books

Between Books 2.0
3203 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont

At Between Books in Claymont, owner Greg Schauer – whose store is in a “transitional period” – said that this year’s FCBD will be the “mellow alternative” to the hullabaloo other stores have to offer.

“Some of the guys have a big blowout, and that’s always fun,” he said. “I’m in the middle of building a space where we can hold events, and I’m hoping that will be done by the summer, so next year we’re planning on a big thing.”

Instead of Ghostbustermobiles and costume contests, Schauer is having the usual free comic giveaway and some other sales and promotions.

“If you just want to get in, get your book, maybe browse a little, this is the place to be,” he said.

For more information, visit betweenbooks.com/wordpress.

Other participating local retailers include Comicmania, 4381 Kirkwood Hwy., Pike Creek, and 2nd and Charles, 101 Geoffrey Drive, Newark.