April 11, 2008

Free Comic Book Day - Coming Up

This was an interesting reminder in the Post-Journal in New York - they highlighted a comic book store, Chautauqua Comics. Already, this event is shaping up to be a big one for the 501st. There are around 30 or so events planned by a number of garrisons across the country.

Here's the article:

Local Store To Participate In Free Comic Book Day
By Jessica Wasmund jwasmund@post-journal.com

4/11/2008 - For the millions of people across the globe who have grown up reading comic books, and those who have always been curious to pick one up, there is a chance to celebrate.
The seventh annual Free Comic Book Day will take place again this year on Saturday, May 3.
‘‘Anywhere in the world there’s a shop, free comic book day is happening,’’ said Al Steffens, owner of Chautauqua Comics. ‘‘This is an attempt to get people not only excited about comics, but back into reading through comic books.’’
Last year, Steffens said, more than 1,200 people came through the door of his shop, located at 214 Fairmount Ave., to partake in the event.
‘‘Since the shop is only 1,500 square feet, we’re talking a lot of people — the line was out the door and around the corner with people waiting to come in,’’ he said. ‘‘This year we’re hoping to do it all over again.’’
Each year to celebrate, the comic book industry produces a number of brand new comic books for the occasion. The distributor will then send them out at an inexpensive price, and the shops will in turn give them away for free. Steffens explained that anybody who comes to his shop that day will get two books for free. If they choose to donate $.50 or more toward St. Susan’s soup kitchen, they will receive an additional third comic.
‘‘We really want to make a difference and this is our second year working with St. Susan’s,’’ Steffens said. ‘‘I realize there’s a lot of people out there who aren’t as fortunate as others, and I want to make a difference. Jamestown has been very good to me, so I want to give back. Also, if they sign up for our Web site, they can get a fourth comic book, also free.’’
To commemorate the event, the shop will be running a series of events throughout the day. There will be door prizes, a raffle for a lithograph, a Narauto tournament and for those who deem themselves experts of comic trivia, Comic Book Jeopardy.
Chautauqua Comics will also be grilling hot dogs outside, and special guest appearances will be made by a few of the most well-known superheros, including Spider-Man, Iron Man and Batman.
‘‘What makes this year a little more special is we have Roger Stern,’’ Steffens said. Stern is the author of The New York Times bestseller ‘‘The Death and Life of Superman.’’ Stern has been writing comic books for more than 30 years, composing stories for characters such as the Green Lantern, Spider-Man and Captain America. Steffens said Stern is also credited with writing the story on which the third installment of the Spider-Man movie was based.
‘‘We are also going to have members from the Star Wars 501st Legion, which is a group of guys who spend large amounts of money to replicate the Star Wars costumes,’’ he explained. ‘‘They’re all around the country and sanctioned by George Lucas. We’ll be having four of them coming down from Syracuse and Pennsylvania — a couple storm troopers and maybe even Darth Vader. They’ll be outside entertaining the crowds while people are waiting to get in.’’
Full Article

I'm going to be at Earth Prime Comics in Burlington Vermont, hopefully with another trooper or two. I know the New England Garrison will be at several locations, as well as a bunch of others.
Oddly, I've never been able to participate in Free Comic Book Day - There's always been something that's precluded me from attending. Not this year!

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