Feeling charitable? Eat Your Art Out is putting the "art" in party so be prepared for an atypical, but amped-up, silent auction. If you're still itching for some high-energy vibes, watch a screening of the thriller Manhunter. Or maybe you just want to enjoy all things green and gorgeous at the annual Pasadena Earth & Arts Festival. Whatever it is, we hope you have a great time.
Comic books are the source material for what feels like 99 percent of movies these days. Many a brooding crimefighter first appeared in benday dots before Hollywood figured out how to get people to watch him through 3-D glasses for a surcharge. Thankfully,Free Comic Book Day
is a nice little refund on all those cinematic investments. On the first Saturday of May a network of shops offers a selection of free comic books, ranging fromHello Kitty
toThe Hip-Hop Family Tree
. If all goes according to their diabolical plan, once inside the store, you will have an overwhelming compulsion to buy all the exploits of mild-mannered reporters and fantastically equipped quartets. This year, the shops participating include local favorites Meltdown and Thank You, which urges you to show up early if you want your free stuff. After all, there's no shortage of comic book geeks in this city! (Checkfreecomicbookday.com
for more outlets.)Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sat., May 3, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; free. (323) 851-7223, meltcomics.com
2. Attend An Action-Packed Silent Auction
Figuring that there's a fairly high crossover among fans of ladies' flat-track roller derby and enthusiasts of the extreme camp of '70s grindhouse cinema, the organizers of silent auction party Eat Your Art Out are turning up the volume on the art and the atmosphere. For the seventh year - the third at Titmouse Animation Studios - the Derby Girls describe the vibe as "the charred aftermath of a vengeful rumble gone terribly right." So, good times. It's all-ages, but there will be plentiful adult beverages, food trucks (of course!), live art, DJ action and an impressive array of auctionable offerings, donated by artists from around the world, who heard the call to support the cause with questionable taste, dark humor and strength in beauty. In a salient gesture for this year's benefit, the Angel City Derby Girls team up with the Keep-a-Breast Foundation, plaster-casting a dozen of the angelic torsos and adding to them customized art; proceeds go to the foundation's important work fighting breast cancer. There's no better reason to throw a rumble than for such good causes. Titmouse Animation Studios, 1121 Seward St., Hlywd.; Sat., May 3, 7 p.m.; $5. (323) 466-7800, angelcityderby.com. - Shana Nys Dambrot
See also: 30 Free Things to Do in L.A. Any Time
3. Check Out Olvera Street's Cinco de Mayo Festival
Forget that cheesy bar offering 2-for-1 margaritas. For a more authentic way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, head on over to one of Los Angeles' oldest calles, Olvera Street, which is hosting a weekend celebration to honor Mexico's 1862 victory over French forces in Puebla. At the marketplace's 84th annual Cinco de Mayo Festival, the colorful street will be packed with activities, vendors and performances. Two stages will feature a mix of traditional and urban music acts, including mariachis, DJs and folkloric dancers. There will be plenty of cafés, restaurants and food trucks to feed your appetite, and if you're not down to dance, check out the Artisans Village and browse museums, art and vendor stands for gifts. A Kids Zone is available with free games and entertainment. While the festival promises to be a fun celebration, it also serves to promote Latino culture, arts and education, with part of the proceeds earmarked for the El Pueblo Park Association. So whether you come for the philanthropy or the festivities, you're bound to get a taste of the beautifully rich Mexican culture. Olvera Street, 845 N. Alameda St., dwntwn.; Sat.-Mon., May 3-5, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; free. (213) 485-8372, olvera-street.com. - Kellyn Kawaguchi
Turn the page for more fun things to do this week, including a film screening with Tool's Maynard Keenan.
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4. Watch a Thrilling Screening
With all the attention rightly paid to the ultra-stylish Hannibal crime series currently airing in primetime, it's helpful to return to the purity of the current with tonight's screening of the film that started it all: Michael Mann's Manhunter (1986). For some strange reason, Maynard Keenan from the band Tool is talking about it with Modern School of Film founder Robert Milazzo, but they both seem pretty sincerely interested in the whole thing, so even if you were going to come see The Exorcist and got mad because they canceled that movie (also originally planned for a talk with Keenan), just keep telling yourself: It's only a movie! An awesome movie about various kinds of maniacs with that soundtrack that's just so bonkers amazing and Joan Allen is so fucking luminous that you'll just want to shit. Oh, and there's a tiger! Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Tue., May 6, 7:30 p.m.; $10/$12/$15. (323) 461-2020, american?cinemathequecalendar.com. ? - David Cotner
5. Celebrate The Earth And Art
For more than a decade, the city of Pasadena has been partnering with the Armory Center for the Arts to celebrate Mother Earth and promote the arts with the annual Pasadena Earth & Arts Festival. This Saturday, two stages, one inside the Armory and one on Raymond Avenue along Memorial Park, will be alive with dancers, rock bands, storytellers, drummers and musical instrument builders, all day long, for free. The event formerly was split into two days, a family arts festival and a celebratory Earth Day, says Armory spokesman Jon Lapointe. But the Armory and the city work so well together on other projects that they decided to combine the two: "It's been a natural fit that gets better each year," he says. This year's festival features the work of visual artist Jeff Cain and his project with 30 college and high school students, "What Can You Build With a House?," in which Cain and the students work collaboratively to create temporary sculptures and structures with all the 2-by-4s it takes to build an average-size, middle-class house. Also on deck: the return of the sustainable beer garden, featuring Pasadena's Craftsman Brewing Company, and Blackwater Jukebox, a carnival band of L.A. musicians who mix their love of traditional music with a darker and more savage flair. Armory Center for the Arts and Memorial Park, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; Sat., May 3, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free. (626) 792-5101, armory?arts.org. - Rena Kosnett