Arts & Entertainment

Local Comic Shop Day 2016: What to get and where to get it

File: Kip Henniquan, who is in costume as a Jawa character from
File: Kip Henniquan, who is in costume as a Jawa character from "Star Wars", restocks a shelf at the New Dimensions Comics store in Cranberry, Pa., Butler County, as part of Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 5, 2012.
Keith Srakocic/AP

It's Local Comic Shop Day! What does that mean? Comic shops around the world, including here in Southern California, are inviting friendly neighborhood fanboys and fangirls to come check out a store near them.

"Local Comic Shop Day is a day to celebrate the local comic shop and everything that it entails. We're the firestarters of pop culture in many communities," Marco Davanzo, who represents the comic book retailer organization that puts Local Comic Shop Day together, told KPCC.

Local Comic Shop Day exclusives

To entice the pop culture vultures to check out those stores, comic companies are offering 28 different exclusives, only available at participating stores.

Some of the coolest exclusives, according to Davanzo:

The exclusives also include items like special statues and toys. You can view the full list here. But unlike May's annual Free Comic Book Day, you're going to have to cough up some dough to get your hands on these items.

Comic shops vs. The internet

The event tries to drum up business as comic shops face increasing competition from venues like digital comics and internet mail order.

"It does help us though when the comic movies come out, because it reminds people that a lot of these stories come from the comic shops," Davanzo said. "

A major key to fighting back: making visiting your comic book shop an experience.

"A lot of people like to go somewhere where they can discuss things with either the store owner or other fans, and there's also a lot of people who like something physical — they feel that digital is just not the best experience," Davanzo said.

While he believes that there's room for everyone, Davanzo said it's still important to go support your local shop.

"Without the local comic shop, everything sort of falls apart, because we're on the forefront of the industry. So, please visit," Davanzo said. The local shop "is where it all happens, where the magic happens. Because you are surrounded, you go in there, you can see all these different choices, you can pick up things, you can talk to the owners, you can talk to other fans, and a lot of times artists and creators come to these stores and have signings."

Where to enjoy Local Comic Shop Day near you

You can support Davanzo directly — in addition to representing the nonprofit ComicsPro, the retailers group behind the celebration, he also owns a comic shop in Irvine called Alakazam Comics.

View a list of participating Southland retailers below, or check out the entire list with a searchable map here.