For comic book lovers young and old, the first Saturday of May is like a springtime version of Christmas. Since 2002, Free Comic Book Day has used the date to celebrate this all-American art form, giving longtime fans and genre newbies the chance to get a free issue or two. Other than the freebies, FCBD has grown into a popular culture event. Local shops around the U.S., including our own Merlyn’s and the Comic Book Shop, host costume contests, local comic artists/creators and photos with famous characters. See the 60 free titles — including Guardians of the Galaxy, Hello Kitty, Archie, SpongeBob and Transformers — offered this year at freecomicbookday.com.