There's a myth that nothing free is worth having. Tell that to the thousands of comic book fans who will stand in line for hours to get their paws on complimentary comics on "Free Comic Book Day," happening Saturday, May 7. More than 3,000 comic shops worldwide will participate in the great giveaway, including all four of the Valley's Atomic Comics locations. Owner Mike Malve is even bringing in some renowned comic creators to spice up and sign the swag. Dead at 17 author Josh Howard will be at the Chandler Fashion Center location, DC Comics artist Darick Robertson will visit the Paradise Valley location, and the Metrocenter mall location will host Top Cow artist Tyler Kirkham and Raven Gregory, a local writer who penned the comic series The Gift. But Malve's particularly excited about his guests at the Atomic Comics location at 1120 South Country Club in Mesa, John Romita Jr. and Reginald Hudlin. Romita's father was one of the Spiderman artists in the '60s, and John Jr. has carried on the legacy, drawing for Spiderman and a number of other Marvel comics. "I've been trying to get Romita for five years," Malve says. Romita's currently working with movie director/comic writer Hudlin (House Party) on a new series called Black Panther. Fans can meet them both from noon to 5 p.m. Call 602-649-3489. -- Niki D'Andrea
Back Ted N Ted packs the Welcome Diner
Considering the cramped -- but cozy -- confines of the Welcome Diner, 924 East Roosevelt, we suggest having the short stack on Friday, May 6, when Ryan Breen's Back Ted N Ted performs at 7 p.m. Sure, you might be able to squeeze in some hash browns, a BLT, or maybe even a bowl of chili. But that leaves little room for Breen's sideshow -- which, in the past, has seen painters painting and cooks cooking while BTNT's electronic blips and bleeps set the mood. And with only nine seats available at the Diner, expect a standing-room-only crowd. Admission is free. Call 602-495-1111. -- Joe Watson
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