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Holy special-edition still-in-the-Mylar-bag graphic-adventure, Batman! Captain Nemo is giving away free comics! This is almost as big as the death of Superman, except this happens every year in the first week of May. Still, free is free, and shop owner Raymond Hanson contends that comics are more fun than ever. The free comics are a collaborative effort between publishers, distributors, and independent comic stores nationwide to give back to customers and bring in people who've fallen out of the comic book world. Everyone who shows up will receive three free titles featuring Spiderman, the Justice League, Archie, the Astounding Wolfman, and many more. Since Hanson started reading comics more than three decades ago, he noted, they've become more sophisticated, with greater synergy between artists and writers, and plots that reflect current social and political issues. While some comics' story lines have grown up with the readers, others aim for newer audiences. Stop by Captain Nemo at 563 Higuera in SLO on May 5 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more info, call 544-6366 or visit freecomicbookday.com.

EOC and the Liberty Tattoo Removal Program are holding a fundraiser at the Corner View restaurant in SLO to support their monthly tattoo-removing clinics. Come by Corner View Bar on May 9 from 5 to 9 p.m., when all tips will benefit the program, which assists about 25 people every month in the removal of anti-social or gang-related tattoos. For more information, call 781-1285.

Bel Frites, SLO's only late-night fry shop, recently expanded its menu to include a selection of Belgian beers. They now carry, for your drinking pleasure, Chimay Blue, Wittekere, Mardessous 10 triple, and more with daily specials. Belgian fries and Belgian beers on Garden Street in downtown SLO life is good.

Kylie Mendonca compiled this week's Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to rmiller@newtimesslo.com.

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