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Visit local comic book shops and partake in Free Comic Book Day. (Image: Thinkstock)

Today is free comic book day

When I was a kid, comic books were my jam. I loved 'em. It started with my dad who read the old Classics Illustrated comic books and as he read those, he introduced my brother and I to the DC and Marvel comic books of yore. The exploits of the Fantastic Four, the Justice League of America, and Batman were parts of our youth. When I was around nine years old, I dove into the deep end of the pool with comic books and have never looked back. Today is Free Comic Book Day and it's a chance to dive back into comic books.

With the popularity of superheroes in pop culture, comic books are the new cool. From movies to TV shows, the reach of comic books is ubiquitous. The ability of comic books to tell stories in a visual manner and spark imagination makes those movie experiences feel even bigger. If you liked Captain America: The Winter Soldier on the big screen, know that comic book fans knew that Steve Rogers already existed like that in their minds. How about the mental turmoil that Bruce Wayne goes through in the Christopher Nolan Batman movies? Readers of Batman or Detective Comics already knew the anguish that the World's Greatest Detective experiences.

As I was a kid who fell in love with comic books, this weekend is a great way to introduce kids young and old to comic books. Free Comic Book Day is when participating comic book shops give comic books free to people who visit their shops and celebrate comic books. It's a fun way to introduce new readers to comic books, grab some of the free issues or dig through the back issues for stories they want to reconnect with. (My recommendation; get the X-Men Days of Future Past graphic novel and related comic books to prime yourself for the upcoming blockbuster movie of the same name). Free Comic Book Day started in 2002 and has only gotten bigger. Besides, who doesn't like free stuff?

What's fun about this year's Free Comic Book Day is that some of the titles tie in directly to some of the summer movies coming down the pipe. Want to learn more about the Guardians of the Galaxy? There is a Guardians comic book and Rocket Raccoon comic book that you could get for free. Ready for the new Tom Cruise action movie, Edge of Tomorrow? There is a comic book about that storyline. Check out the list of the comics up for grabs.

Seattle has some great shops that are participating in Free Comic Book Day; Golden Age Collectables, Zanadu Comics, Comics Dungeon, Arcane Comics, and Dreamstrands are a few of the shops involved with Free Comic Book Day. (Go here to find other participating stores)

I love comic books and hope Free Comic Book Day can kindle this enjoyment for others. Follow along with their Twitter and Facebook for more Free Comic Book Day information.