Star Comics was among many other local comic stores and other businesses to host Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 4. This event allows fans to go to any participating store and get up to five free comic books.
Robert Mora, owner of Star Comics, said the event started 18 years ago and was originally designed as an invitation open house for introducing comics to the general public.
“Knowing that we had an existing audience of comic book fans, there was a group of retailers, publishers and creators that wanted to try and find a way to introduce comics into a non-comic fan household,” he said. “We wanted to find a way to bring people to the comic books and the comic books to the people.”
Stars Comics has been participating in the event since it first started in 2001, Mora said. The event always falls on the first weekend in May and is usually centered on the release of a comic book-related movie to add to the entertainment aspect, with this year’s being "Avengers: Endgame."
Mora said Free Comic Book Day is a great opportunity for people who may have previously not been fans of comics to explore and see if it is something they are interested in. It is also a good time for publishers to get their names out to fans and introduce different genres of comic books.
“People will get to see all different genres of comics as well as get introduced to their local comic book shops,” Mora said. “It’s also a really good open house opportunity for the participating stores, and we are able to promote and participate what we do day in and day out.”
Todd Gray, the social media manager for Star Comics, said he thinks this event is a good way to share the company's love of comics and reading with the community.
Free Comic Book Day is also to celebrate the comic book world while promoting reading with adults and kids alike, he said.
“We want people to have fun and get some free comics while also promoting reading in general,” Gray said. “This event really helps get our name out to people and brings them into the comic book community.”
Tommy Vernon, a recurring volunteer at Free Comic Book Day, said he has been volunteering at this event because he was a friend of Mora’s and also a comic book fan. The more involved he got over the years, the more he kept wanting to come back every year and help.
Vernon said Free Comic Book Day is for people who enjoy the same thing to get together, and it is also a way to bring out people who may be on the fence or who have never read comic books before.
“I’m hoping people see that there is a lot of people who are into that same kind of culture as they are,” he said. “Hopefully we can start them down a path where they’ll start reading comic books on a regular basis.”