South Florida Geekagogs, Dorkarellas and Dweeblets will be celebrating a national holiday on Saturday: Free Comic Book Day.
"It's Nerd Christmas," says Gene Hoyle, manager of Past Present Future Comics and Games in Lauderhill, of the annual May event.
Fans can score free comic books and have adorkablefun at free events from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.at PPF stores in Lauderhill, Davie and West Palm Beach.
“We will be giving out 10 free comic books at all three locations,” Hoyle says. “This is a great way to bring in new readers and celebrate what we love. Allen Bellman, who drew Captain America in the 1940s with Stan Lee, will be at the Lauderhill store signing autographs and sketching. He lives in South Florida.”
Appearing in West Palm are Marvel and DC Comics artist Jose Delboand Cindy Morgan, who starred in "Tron" and "Caddyshack." Marvel artist Jeff Dekal, of Fort Lauderdale, will be at the Davie store.
If you visit Tate's Comics in Lauderhill, you'll get five freebies from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Each comic is worth $2.99 to $3.99.
"We pass out little menus where you can pick five books from about 50 free comics," says Anthony Ruiz, 28, of Coral Springs. He's worked at Tate's for about five years.
The timing of Free Comic Book Day, which started nationally in 2002, could not be better, with Friday's opening of “Iron Man 3.”
Marvel's free "Infinity" comic will be at the top of most lists, Ruiz says. "Thanos, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and other popular Marvel characters will be featured in this new story line. That's going to be a very popular pick."
Geekachus and gamers can play a life-size "Star Wars" game at Tate's Gaming Satellite (three doors away) and get two patches from the 501st Legion, an international “Star Wars” costuming organization, Ruiz says.
Iron Man and other superheroes, demigods, villains and “Star Wars” characters will be roaming stores, too. Hoyle says he'll be dressed as DoctorWho.
Shop owners and workers says it's their busiest day of the year.
"We had a poop-ton of people here last year, so we are expecting thousands on Saturday," Ruiz says. "This is ultrasuper geekdom. It's going to be so much fun."
For more information, visit FreeComicBookDay.com.