Free Comic Book Day, the annual promotional event held across the country that distributes millions of free comics to children and adults, will once again sweep across Northeastern Pennsylvania with several participating locations.
This year, Free Comic Book Day falls on May 3, coinciding with the nationwide May 2 release of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Jamie Foxx. The free comics, in limited supply at each participating location, will feature a wide range of characters, including Batman Beyond, Guardians of the Galaxy, Teen Titans, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Judge Dredd, Buck Rogers, Archie, Bart Simpson, Hello Kitty, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Smurfs, Sonic the Hedgehog, and many more, along with several independent comics that may be new to readers.
Since 2002, the event has served as a way to introduce new readers to comics, spark renewed interest in old readers, and celebrate independent comic shops and the fans that support them.
“I love Free Comic Book Day!” Rubber Mallet Comics owner Chuck Rowles exclaimed in a press release. “It’s a great way for people to see that comics aren’t just superheroes and to sample the wide range of genres and stories that can be found in comic books.”
Some stores, like Rubber Mallet Comics (802 Wyoming Ave., West Pittston, 570.655.5522), will also offer additional discounts and activities. The shop promises costumed heroes, sales, prizes, and custom sketches provided by local artists Gaylon Bain, Justin Coggin, and Matthew McGlaughlin.
Comics on the Green (307 N. Washington Ave., Scranton, 570.342.5960) will have local DC Comics artist Tom Derenick on hand to sign autographs and draw sketches along with face-painting, hero and villain character appearances, and sales.
“We at want to spread the word that comics are perfect for today’s times,” owner David Romeo, Jr. said in a press release. “Comic books and graphic novels are considered a hot form of entertainment that are fun and a smart pick for readers to dive into as imagination comes to life with the turn of every page. Comic books have propelled to the front ranks of pop culture, many being adapted into movies. The first Saturday of May has been and will continue being a big day in the comic book world.”
America’s Most Wanted Comics & Collectibles (218 S. Market St., South Williamsport, 570.327.1486), responsible for the Scranton Comic Book Convention, will feature live music by the Keystone Ska Exchange, a guest appearance by the State College Area Roller Derby Team, and signings with artists and creators Mark McKenna, Darren Auck, Scott Beatty, Jason Lennox, Dani Kaulakis, Brian Allen, and Beau Schemery.
White Dragon Comics (315 Goodwin St., Tobyhanna, 570.807.8227) will also be participating in Free Comic Book Day.
In other local comic news, Letterhead Comics, which closed last November “due to underperformance” according to a video posted on the shop’s Facebook page, will be moving from Carbondale to Honesdale, with an opening date set for June 18. The next Scranton Comic Book Convention is scheduled for Sunday, July 20 at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel (700 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton).
For more information on Free Comic Book Day and a full list of free comics that will be made available, visit freecomicbookday.com.