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Comic Shops Expect High Demand On Free Comic Book Day

Wednesday May 4th, 2016, 2:31pm


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2015 file photo

Although a superhero civil war is on the way, readers are gearing up to get a free treat.

In the wake of Batman and Superman’s Hollywood dust-up, Captain America: Civil War opens in theatres on Friday. Pitting team Cap against team Iron Man, things are sure to get ugly. With comic book fans coming out as the real winners though, that won’t be the case for them this weekend.

Taking place across North America, Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) will descend upon shops in the region on Saturday. As advertised, comic book retailers will be offering free selections from a range of publishers including Marvel’s Captain America FCBD 2016 edition #1, DC Comics’ Suicide Squad FCBD 2016 edition #1, Dark Horse’s Serenity/Hellboy/Aliens FCBD 2016 edition #1 and Archie Comics’ Sonic Sampler FCBD 2016 edition #1.

Beyond this, all three comic shops in Windsor have several deals and events to celebrate.

Serving the area for decades, Border City Comics, located at 4449 Tecumseh Road East is one such store with a lot to offer. Opening an hour early at 11 a.m. to meet demand, they will have free Tim Hortons coffee, donuts, soft drinks and water. Fifty cent back issues will be on sale, along with 50% off all in-stock trade paperbacks, hardcovers and graphic novels. Newer releases on the shelves will be marked down to $1 with all variant covers being sold for $2.

Several door prizes will be available to win in addition to a raffle benefitting the Windsor/Essex County Humane Society: First prize is a $100 gift certificate to The Cook’s Shop restaurant. Border City will be open all day until 5 p.m.

Paper Heroes: Comic Book Lounge & Collectables located at 2857 Howard Avenue, the relative new kid on the block is also joining the FCBD fun. Offering more than 40 free comics (with a limit of three per person,) their events for the day include a BBQ supporting Muscular Dystrophy Canada, a magic show by Dr. What?, Crimestoppers (handing out a free Captain Canuck comic featuring The Crimestopper) and a costumed appearance by superhero event planners, the Hero Academy For Kids.

If that wasn’t enough, Paper Heroes also has some big deals for items in-stock, not on layaway or already on sale. These include 30% off all graphic novels, 25% off all toys, statues, collectables, clothing and 50% off all artwork.

Everyone who makes a purchase on FCBD will also be entered into a Civil War prize-pack raffle. In celebration of the movie, it includes an original Captain America/Iron Man sketch by Phil Sawyer, Civil War graphic novel, Civil War coloring book, $25 Paper Heroes gift certificate, two $10 Cineplex gift certificates along with an Iron Man and Captain America Pop pen.

Max Convenience has also donated coupons for free Frosters which will be handed out by Crimestoppers while supplies last. Paper Heroes FCBD hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Right in the heart of downtown Windsor, Rogues Gallery Comics located at 327 Chatham Street West is taking full advantage. Partnering up with Chimczuk Museum and Adventure Bay family water park, people can get Bongo Comics’ Free-For-All 2016 edition (featuring The Simpsons characters) and Boom! Studios Summer Blast at each location respectively. On top of this, the museum will offer all-day free admission.

Superheroes are ready to welcome visitors at all locations, including Spider-Man, The Flash and stormtroopers at the store — Aquaman will be at Adventure Bay.

As for Rogues Gallery itself, back issues downstairs, trade paperbacks, apparel, toys and games will all be 50% off. All regular pops will be $8, heroclix upstairs will be $0.25 and loose toys will be available for $1. Statues are set to be marked down, variant covers will be $2 with comics from upstairs priced at $0.50. You can also fill a long box with your picks for $95.

FCBD comics are limited to three per person, but customers can get an extra issue or cupcake from Border City Cakes if they have a loony to spare. For risk-takers however, a $1 raffle is being held to win every FCBD title: All proceeds go to Ronald McDonald House. If you don’t have the money to spend on an extra comic though, wearing a costume will get you am FCBD title and entry into a costume contest.

Au Natural Day Spa is scheduled to provide face-painting again while Tim Hortons hands out free refreshments for those standing in line. Rogues Gallery will open an hour early at 11am and serve up sales until 8pm.

Taking place since 2002, the event was first thrown around as an idea by retailer/comic book columnist Joe Field. Capitalizing on media attention for the first Spider-Man film, Image Comics publisher Jim Valentino suggested having FCBD the day after its release. Aside from switching to July in 2004, comic shops everywhere have celebrated the event on the first Saturday in May ever since.

Conceived to help boost comic book sales, it’s only grown in popularity. Coinciding with a big movie from Marvel Studios, there also comes an increased interest.

“It happens every year,” said Rogues Gallery owner, Shawn Cousineau. “Marvel puts out a movie every Thursday before Free Comic Book Day — for the last five years in a row they’ve done that — and it definitely brings people to the door. The movies, the TV, just the fact that nerd-culture is socially acceptable whereas it got me wedgies as a kid, it’s kind of common-place today. I think it’s a little bit of all those things that equals up to comic sales on the rise.”

Of course, all comic shop owners must pay to receive free comic books. If you plan on grabbing a few off the shelf, many fans suggest being courteous by spending some money and thanking your local store that way.

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