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Shown is an advertisement for Free Comic Book Day at Fat Jack’s Comicrypt, Friday, May 4, 2012, in Philadelphia. Like hundreds of other comic specialty shops in 46 countries, the store is participating in Free Comic Book day on Saturday, May 5, which sees shops give away free copies of new and reprinted comics from some 40 publishers, including Marvel, DC, Archie, Image, Dark Horse, Valiant and Dynamite, among others, to promote the growth of the medium and garner new readers, some of whom may have been exposed to heroes through television and films. Free Comic Book day started 11 years and continues to expand, said Joe Field, who helped organize the inaugural event. This year, some 3.5 million free comics will be handed out. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Buoyed by big-budget superhero films this summer, retailers and publishers are poised to give away more than 3.5 million free comics at events aimed at building communities among longtime fans and at capturing new readers.