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Free Comic Book Day, Saturday, May 4

Apr. 30, 2013 @ 03:15 PM

HUNTINGTON — Iron Man is returning to the big screen May 3, but that’s not the only place where people will be checking out superheroes this weekend. Saturday, May 4 marks the return of “Free Comic Book Day,” an annual promotion celebrated by comic shops across the nation.

Huntington stores Comic World and Purple Earth Comics will both participate in the event. Today each customer will receive a choice of a free comic book.

“We have lots of great stuff,” said John Horst, owner of Purple Earth Comics. “Marvel and DC are wisely choosing to launch their big projects with Free Comic Book Day. I think the “Walking Dead” comic is also going to be very big.  The success of the show and the comic is keeping a lot of doors open now. Free Comic Book Day is also heavily aimed at kids and getting them something to read in their hands. I realize that not everyone can make it on Saturday, so I’m going to keep doing some giveaways throughout the month.”

Just up 4th Avenue, Comic World, which celebrated its 33rd anniversary on April 5, is gearing up for the promotion.

Pretty much all of the major publishers, Marvel, DC, Image, IDW, Valiant, etc., are taking part,” said owner Cathleen Miller. “If you like to read at all or even if you don’t like to read there’s some kind of comic out there for you. No matter what your age is there is something you can read and have fun. It’s always a fun day.”

Comic World will be having a number of promotions going on throughout the day. There will be a drawing for a $25 gift certificate and a costume contest. The store will have 20 percent off on back issues and trade paperbacks.

“Last year’s costume contest was a big success,” Miller said. “People really had fun showing up in their costumes. We are working on having an outside judge. There will be three different age groups, an overall winner, a people’s choice winner who will be voted on our Facebook page. The prizes are gift certificates and a subscription to a title of their choice.”

Marvel is giving away a book called “Infinity” which previews an upcoming storyline about the villain Thanos who made a cameo in “The Avengers” film. Another giveaway will be a flipbook for younger readers based on two upcoming cartoons “Hulk & The Agents of S.M.A.S.H” and “Avengers Assemble.” D.C. is following suit with a book called “Superman: The Last Son of Krypton” which will preview an upcoming graphic novel written by Geoff Johns and Superman movie director Richard Donner.  They also have a sampler comic based on two new cartoons, “Teen Titans Go!” and “Beware the Batman.”

One of the most eagerly anticipated comics to be given away is Image’s “Walking Dead” which will feature an exclusive new story. Dark Horse is publishing anthology featuring a new “Star Wars” story, a story from Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” and a new superhero named “Captain Midnight.” Valiant Comics has one-short story tying into an upcoming event called “The Harbinger Wars.” Many publishers are also releasing family friendly titles featuring “The Smurfs,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Sesame Street,” “Pippi Longstocking,” and “Spongebob Squarepants.”

The owners are hoping the giveaway will get customers to give a number of new books a try.

“We want people to try new things and broaden their entertainment palate,” Horst said. “Marvel recently had a promotion called ‘Marvel Now’ where they relaunched a lot of books with new storylines and new creative teams and it has worked. The books are fairly new and easy to get into. They are also running a big storyline called ‘Age of Ultron.’  Archie Comics has a crossover between Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man. I love projects that not only appeal to kids but bring the inner kids out of adults. One of the most surprising hit comics of last year is IDW’s ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.’”

Purple Earth Comics is located at 1115 4th Ave., and will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 304-697-6120.

Comic World is located at 1204 4th Ave. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 304-522-3923.