Free Comic Book Day Bay Area: A Superpowered Guide

The Bay Area has more comic shops than any other region of the United States. Within a 15-mile radius of San Francisco’s City Hall, there are no less than 10 stores pushing funny books on impressionable youth (and adults). Free Comic Book Day returns on May 4 and due to the close proximity of Bay Area stores, it’s possible to hit five or six in a single day (if you’re so inclined). That equals a lot of free comics. Here’s our guide on how to do Free Comic Book Day right in the Bay Area.

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If you’ve never participated in Free Comic Book Day here’s a quick guide.

1. These comics aren’t free for the stores. They get them at low cost from publishers. If you do participate in FCBD don’t simply grab your free comics and run. Peruse the shelves and buy a couple of items. A good rule of thumb is one free floppy equals one paid floppy or three free floppies equals one trade paperback.

2. Most shops limit the number of comics you can pick up. But you live in the Bay Area so if you plan your day right by going to multiple stores you can pick up nearly every free comic being offered.

3. There’s usually a decent selection of FCBD books just for kids. Smart shops separate the titles into little kid and mature piles. Unless it’s late in the day and the shop is near closing time consider leaving those comics for kids.

4. The list of available free comics can be found on the FCBD website. Some stores go all in and other stores only order a few.

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Comic Shop Hop 2019

This year the Cartoon Art Museum has organized the “Comic Shop Hop.” Nineteen comic and comic adjacent shops are taking part in the event. You can read more about who’s taking part and how to get a passport here.

Bay Area Comic Shops and Free Comic Book Day

Below is a list of Bay Area comic shops which we’ve divided into two comic book trails. San Francisco is the San Francisco Comic Book Trail while Oakland and Berkeley make up the East Bay Comic Book Trail. We’ve included handy trail maps of each region in case you want to be a superhero and try to hit every shop. All of these stores are likely participating in FCBD in some capacity, but some haven’t specified on Facebook or websites. When possible we’ve listed any special events planned (signings, sales, special hours, etc.). We’ll update as we get closer to Free Comic Book Day.

Last update: April 3, 2019


Amazing Fantasy
650 Irving St.

Regular Saturday hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Comic Experience Outpost
2381 Ocean Ave.

Typical Saturday hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Comix Experience
305 Divisadero St.

Typical Saturday hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Isotope – The Comic Book Lounge
326 Fell St.

Typical Saturday hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Mission: Comics & Art
2250 Mission Street

Open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Mission Street comic shop makes children’s writing center 826 Valencia the focus of their FCBD fundraising.

2275 Market Street

Typical Saturday hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Alameda Sports Cards and Comics
1515 Webster Street
Alameda, CA
Facebook: Alameda-Sports-Cards-and-Comics

Free Comic Book Day participant. Hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cape and Cowl Comics
1601 Clay Street
Oakland, CA

Typical Saturday hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

You can find more details about how Cape and Cowl plans to celebrate FCBD on Facebook.

Dr. Comics and Mr. Games
4014 Piedmont Ave.
Oakland, CA
Facebook: Dr-Comics-Mr-Games

Typical Saturday hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Escapist Comics
3090 Claremont Ave.
Berkeley, CA

Typical Saturday hours: 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Fantastic Comics
2026 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA

Typical Saturday Hours 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Flying Colors and Other Cool Stuff
2980 Treat Blvd.
Concord, CA

Hours 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Miryam & Jane’s The Comic Shop
14837 Washington Avenue
San Leandro, CA

Stand Up Comics
10020 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, CA

Treasure Island Comics
5018 Mowry Ave
Fremont, CA

Hours 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Zeppelin Comics
191 E H Street
Benicia, CA

Hours 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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