Independent comic shops celebrate the 15th year of Free Comic Book Day on May 7, by giving away free books from some of the largest comic publishing houses. Scranton’s Comics on the Green and West Pittston’s Rubber Mallet Comics are taking part in the event.
“Hundreds of people come through here, sometimes we have a line halfway down the block,” said David Romeo Jr., owner of Comics on the Green.
Romeo hopes to attract regulars with limited edition free comics, special sales on priced comics and the opportunity to meet DC Comics artist Tom Derenick (“Injustice,” “Secret Six,” “Justice League”). He’s also hoping to attract new customers through family-friendly FCBD releases.
“There’s something for everybody, it’s all ages, it always is,” Romeo said. “There’s probably more kid-friendly comics out now than there’s been in a long time, and Free Comic Day’s going to reflect that, too.”
Rubber Mallet Comics hopes to attract customers with sales on merchandise, but Owner Chuck Rowles is excited about the free comic books he’ll offer to customers.
“The big thing is the 40-plus free comics that are offered by different publishers across the entire comic spectrum,” Rowles said. “DC is putting out a free ‘Suicide Squad’ issue. Marvel is putting out the new ‘Civil War 2’ story they’re running this summer. (They’re) also previewing the return of Steve Rogers (as Captain America) and an upcoming Spider-Man story called ‘Dead No More.’”
Rowles recommends a free “Sponge Bob” book for young readers, and a large book from Boom! Studios that collects stories from “Adventure Time,” “Lumberjanes” and other comics in one volume.
Romeo said to look for reprints of ’70s-era “The Phantom” issues, along with offerings from small presses like “Z2 Comics Lab” and “Love and Rockets.”
“In an ideal world, what we hope for is that Free Comic Book Day will introduce some of these books to people who may not have tried” them, Romeo said. “In the end, a good story will keep you coming back.”
Comics on the Green is open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. May 7. Rubber Mallet Comics is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. For a complete list of free comics available visit freecomicbookday.com.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts