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Tuesday April 28th, 2015

Posted at 11:00am

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Approaching faster than a speeding bullet, local comic book stores are preparing for a big day.

Taking place on Saturday, May 2, Free Comic Book Day is right around the corner. Designed to get people into their local comic shops, this year’s event will compliment a big weekend for the medium. With Avengers: Age Of Ultron hitting North American theatres the day before, comic books will be in the mainstream and fresh on everyone’s minds.

Locally, stores in Windsor are ready to meet the demand.

“Somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 people came through our doors,” Rogues Gallery Comics,  located at 327 Chatham Street West owner Shawn Cousineau said of last year. “It’s a huge day for us. It’s equivalent to the bars at St. Patrick’s Day… for nerds.”

With long lines expected all day, the store has plans to keep customers comfortable. Working with Tim Hortons, free coffee and hot chocolate will be served in a nearby parking lot. Store hours are also being extended because of the demand, running from 11am to 8pm.

With a limit of three free comics per customer, extra copies from their selection can be purchased for $1 each: All proceeds will go to The Beer Store’s Returns For Leukaemia. Selling cupcakes from Border City Cakes, those profits shall benefit the fundraiser as well.

Partnerships for the event don’t end there either. Staff from Au Natural day spa is set to do face painting at the door and, for the first time, Adventure Bay is playing an important role.

“The Adventure Bay family water park is going to have one comic at their place that is exclusive just to them,” said Cousineau. “So if people want the Scooby Doo/Teen Titans Go comic, they’re going to have to go over to the water park. At the water park we’ll have people in costume, we’ll have a stormtrooper at the front door — there will be a couple superheroes popping by throughout the day.”

Those wanting to save cash are in luck too. Rogues Gallery will have many deals, including 50% off everything downstairs — comics, trade paperbacks, shirts, games and toys. Taking a long box from upstairs, customers can also fill one with comics for $75

Speaking of deals, more can be found at a well-known store in Windsor. Border City Comics located at 4449 Tecumseh Road East has served the community for decades and Free Comic Book Day is no different. Hardcovers and trade paperbacks can be purchased at the comic shop for 50% off, along with $1 back issues.

Beyond this, door prizes will be awarded and customers can take part in a raffle. The prize will be a Jason Fabok (Justice League) prize-pack with proceeds benefitting the Humane Society. Comic book character Ms. Marvel will greet fans in addition to a live-taping by Windsor’s own Comic Book Syndicate. Those interested can swing by from 10am to 5pm.

Last but not least is the newest kid on the block. Celebrating their second Free Comic Book Day from 10am to 5pm, Paper Heroes: Comic Book Lounge & Collectables located at 2857 Howard Avenue will have plenty of family attractions. This includes a barbecue from 11am to 3pm. (with proceeds going to Muscular Dystrophy Canada) and a magic show by Dr. What? at noon. Special guests include creators of Windsors The Underground”, Paul Reaume and Dave Rocha, The Space Between Houses author, Christian Laforet, Jason Uszynski from Incredible Creature Designs and the creativity of Heather Thibert.

Several activities have also been planned such as face painting, cosplay and a raffle. The latter’s prize is valued at 145 and includes an Iron Man Artfx statue, a $50 Moxies Gift certificate and three $10 Cineplex Odeon gift certificates.

That’s besides in-store deals as well. Back issues ranging from $0.50 to $1,, statues marked down from 10-50% and artwork for 30% off will all be available.

If those savings weren’t enough, even more can be found across the street. Despite a three comic limit for free titles, children can use one to get a little bit extra.

“I am working with the Wendy’s across the street (2850 Howard Avenue.) to provide treats for the kids,” said Paper Heroes owner Scott St. Amour. “Any kid who brings their free comic to Wendy’s across the street will receive a free kids size Frosty with a limit of one per child. This promo is ONLY for kids with a free comic from Paper Heroes and is only valid at the Wendy’s across the street on May 2nd.”

With several comic book publishers taking part, the annual event continues to grow. Some of this year’s 50 offerings include DC Comics’ Divergence, Bob’s Burgers, Doctor Who Special, Marvel’s Secret Wars #0, Avengers #1 and Savage Dragon: Legacy.

Still, with great power comes great responsibility. While there are plenty of free comics to choose from, it’s best to arrive early to get what you want. Also, while titles are free for consumers, store owners must pay to carry them. The best way to support shops and the industry is to put down a little bit of cash too.

Luckily, those participating have plenty to choose from.

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