Nationwide annual Free Comic Book Day 2014 happening Saturday, May 3
HUNTINGTON -- Saturday, May 3 marks the return of Free Comic Book Day, an annual promotional event in which comic shops nationwide distribute free books to raise awareness of the medium and reach out to the community.
Two local stores - Purple Earth Comics and Comic World, both located on 4th Avenue in downtown Huntington are planning on participating in a big way. With "Captain America," "Spider-Man," the "X-Men," and the "Guardians of the Galaxy" all hitting theaters this year, now may be a time to enjoy them in print.
Last year retailers nationwide gave away more than 3.3 million comic books, according to a news release.
"Free Comic Book Day is the annual holiday of comic books," said John Horst, owner of Purple Earth Comics. "For participating stores it's an exciting time, especially for kids. I encourage parents to have their children read something they enjoy. This way parents get to try something for free, and children get to try something new and exciting. It's a great time to stop by the comic book shop and a good excuse to drop in if you haven't been in in a long time. It's like comic shops are throwing a party and everyone is invited. I'm going to try to keep the spirit of Free Comic Book Day going throughout the month with give-always for the customers who can't make it in, and I'll be selling additional comics that day for cheap. We will also be heavily promoting the area comic convention Tri-Con which is May 31. We are lucky to have it. It's an event that gets bigger and bigger each year."
Kathleen Miller, owner of Comic World, is also excited about the event.
"Free Comic Book day is always a lot of fun for us," she said. "You can come in and pick up a comic for free of your choice out of a selection of titles, and we also give a lot of extra away. We're hoping to give away a thousand books this year. We are also having a costume contest again this year. This is the third year we've had the costume contest. We will be giving away trophies and gift certificates to the winners. Also we will have a 20% sale on old back-issues and trade paperback."
Marvel is giving away two books both tying into the upcoming sci-fi-adventure film "Guardians of the Galaxy." One is an all-new "Guardians of the Galaxy" one-shot which will guest star Captain Marvel and Venom as well as a "Spider-Man" backup story. Another give-away will be a "Rocket Raccoon" one-shot comic featuring the "Guardians of the Galaxy's" unlikely hero.
DC Comics also has two books they are giving away. One is "Futures End" featuring Batman Beyond battling an army of hideous cyborgs. The other is "Teen Titans Go!" based on Cartoon Network's slapstick superhero parody.
There will be a wide variety of books given away aimed at younger readers. Kaboom! Studios has a "Summer Blast" anthology title featuring Cartoon Network properties like "Adventure Time," "Regular Show," and "Stephen Universe" as well as old favorites like "Peanuts" and "Garfield." Perfect Square has a "Hello Kitty" comic. There are also comics based on "Spongebob Squarepants," "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers," "The Smurfs," and Uncle Scrooge.
"There are all kinds of great comics out there for kids," Miller said. "This is one of the best times in history for kids and comics because there are so many ones coming out all the time. DC has a comic based on 'Scribblenauts' and they're bringing back 'Tiny Titans.' IDW has books based on 'My Little Pony' and 'Rocky & Bullwinkle.' Kaboom Studios has 'Adventure Time' and 'Peanuts.' We're also excited about the new Hello Kitty comic because there's never been one before. I've had a lot of people call and ask if we're going to get it."
Horst thinks this is a great time to jump on board for comic readers.
"Peter Parker just returned to the pages of 'Spider-Man' with a new 'Amazing Spider-Man' series that began Wednesday before Free Comic Book Day," he said. "Both Marvel and DC have their major storylines every summer. In Marvel's there's a book called 'Original Sin' which is a mystery. A cosmic being called The Watcher saw something he shouldn't have and was killed for it. So the heroes are trying to find out what he saw and who killed him. Marvel also launched a bunch of new titles including new versions of 'Ms. Marvel' and 'Ghost Rider.' The new 'Moon Knight' comic by Warren Ellis has been one of the hottest books in the store right now. It's been a surprise hit for us. A lot of people were waiting for 'Moon Knight' to return. Hawkeye's ongoing book is really popular and still going on right now. Any DC Comic featuring Harley Quinn has been really popular. DC Comics is also starting a number of weekly titles including their 'Original Sin' event and 'Batman Eternal.' Last but not least lets not forget 'My Little Pony' is still going strong. There is truly a little something for every pop culture enthusiast."
Purple Earth Comics is located at 1115 4th Ave., and is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Free Comic Book Day. It can be reached at 304-522-3923.
Comic World is located at 1204 4th Ave., and is open on Free Comic Book Day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It can be reached at 304-522-3923.
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