#FreeComicBookDay #Marvel #DCComics #Superheroes #Avengers #StarWars #SeanStone #TheSpot518
By SEAN STONE
On Saturday, May 5, superheroes and villains will descend, bringing costumes, gifts, and charity to the Capital District. It’s not a bird, a plane, or even the new Avengers movie — It’s this year’s Free Comic Book Day.
The free comics come from both the DC and Marvel universe, featuring characters like The Avengers and Batman that have exploded onto the big screen in recent years. Other comics featuring Dr. Who, the Star Wars universe, and The Tick will also be available at stores like Earthworld Comics on Central Avenue in Albany.
The day, “Reintroduce(s) everyone to comics, and free is a good entry point,” Earthworld owner JC Glindmyer laughs. Glindmyer grew up a few blocks down from the store, frequenting it himself before buying it 33 years ago. The store’s slogan is “Rotting minds and seducing the innocent since 1983!”
According to the Free Comic Book Day website, the event started in 2002 and is organized by publishers, distributors and other parts of the comic world. The books are selected from by the publishers, which are in turn sold to retailers at cost price, who then give the books to attendees for free.
More than books
Many of the participating stores coordinate events and special offers to go along with the exclusive books made available on Saturday.
Store patrons at Comic Depot in Saratoga Springs will be introduced to artists who bring beloved characters to life. The list of talent expected to attend includes Nikkol Jelenic, Steve Orlando, Jeff Bonesteel, Paul Harding and Ron Marz.
“It gives new readers an opportunity to come in here and see what’s been going on with comics,” said Chris Kaminski, manager at Comic Depot. “Not only that, it gives people who used to collect an opportunity to come back in and take a peek at what it has evolved to.”
Earthworld’s event will include appearances by Captain Marvel and the store’s own Earthgirl, but Glindmyer said that customers get into the spirit as well. He often sees people wear homemade costumes in the store, sometimes with their pets done up as characters as well. One notable hero is local cosplayer Kelly Cary, who makes costumes and has been appearing at Earthworld events for the past 8 years as various characters.
The store also uses the event as an opportunity to give back to the community. The store usually has a charity set up a stand by the building to raise funds. This year it will be the Sister Maureen Joyce Center Soup Kitchen, which helps low income and homeless people, located just over a mile from the store. Glindmyer said he also helps local school set up their own Free Comic Book Day, putting in orders for the schools to his distributor, and charging them cost. “We have been around because of the community and we feel obligated to give back to them,” Glindmyer said.
Glindmyer notes that his customers rotate about every three years, and high schoolers go off to college, and a fresh wave of teens come in. He said that he finds one of the nice things about comic book day is to see families coming to store; old frequent customers bringing in their children to pass along the tradition of comic book reading. Whether a new or returning reader Glindmyer is confident about the day.
“Everyone loves comics, they just don’t realize it,” he said.