Chico stores invite fans, newcomers for Free Comic Book Day

A variety of comic books on display at Collector's Ink, which will be hosting events Saturday for the annual Free Comic Book Day. Photo credit: George Johnston

Who doesn’t love free things? This Saturday, the comic book industry will be holding its annual Free Comic Book Day.

The event is held every year on the first Saturday in May, when the major publishers offer one or two specially published comic books for free.

It was started in 2002 after San Francisco retailer Joe Field wrote a column in an industry magazine.

He suggested the industry should give away free comic books to coincide with the major superhero movies that always seem to come out in the first week of May.

“It’s a nice way to try and get new people into comic books.” said Brett Booth, the current artist working on “The Flash” comic book. “With all the flashy video games and Internet videos and apps, free might be the only way to get people’s attention.”

Bat Comics and Collector’s Ink, two stores which have been operating in Chico for more than 20 years, will be participating.

These two stores have become Chico’s own DC and Marvel Comics. People debate which is better, flip-flopping between the two, but always agreeing that Chico is better off having two stores instead of none.

Both will be open at 11 a.m. on Saturday. They will offer the free comic books the major publishers decided to produce this year, like DC Comics’ preview to their Convergence storyline.

Collector’s Ink will be holding special events all day at its store. Each person who enters will be given a ticket and will have a chance to win more than a $1000 worth of prizes.

Most items in the store will be on sale and cosplayers from the 501st Legion, an international group of individuals who cosplay as Imperial Stormtroopers, Sith Lords, Clone Troopers, bounty hunters and other villains from the Star Wars franchise are scheduled to make an appearance. A costume contest will take place too while a HeroClix tournament will happen later in the evening.

“Everybody seems to have such a good time, and that’s why we do it. ” said Beverly Kranz, owner of Collector’s Ink.

If none of the free comic books offered by DC and Marvel are appealing, check out the free books offered by the other publishers or walk around the store and see what is alluring.

There is always a comic book out there for everyone and Free Comic Book day only comes once a year.

George Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or @gjohnston786 on Twitter.