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Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day Logo. (Photo: Ayden Poynter)

Free Comic Book Day is an international event that occurs on the 1st Saturday of May every year and had its 15th anniversary on May 5th  2018. The day includes pop culture stores across the world giving out a total of 2 million comic books in over 30 countries.

Impact Comics in Civic, Canberra, always gets behind the day and makes the most of the flocks of enthusiasts and newcomers looking for a free comic. Other than free comics, the team at Impact Comics hosts free face painting, live comic sketches and local author signings. The store itself had 7 thousand free comics to hand out and this drew a large crowd from early in the morning.In

The Comic Book Community is linked to many others and encourages Cos-Play, local artistry and pop-culture fans to take part in the celebrations. A few of the early arrivals were asked if they think the comic book culture is dying or growing. Will Scott, a Cos-Play and Pop Culture fan said “the culture is growing now after a bit of a lull. The new live action movies have re-invigorated the communities interest.” Louise Ingoe and Phillip Mueller agreed; “the culture is developing after the movies were released and the last few years have really seen the comic culture get bigger.” “The Pop-Vinyls have also attracted more people who are interested in the films and the comics” said Mueller.

In 2016 and 2017, Crowds have started lining up from 7:30 for a 9AM beginning. In 2018, two dedicated, young readers convinced their parents to get up in the wee hours of the morning and arrived on site at 5AM. The next visitor arrived at 6:30AM and was shortly followed by a few more enthusiasts at 7AM. By 9AM there were more than 100 people lining up across Garema Place courtyard in Civic, with a few thousand more to walk through the doors during the day.

The Comic Book Crowd at Garema Place. (Photo: Ayden Poynter)
A few comics books up for grabs. (Photo: Ayden Poynter)

The 2 Million Comics were made up of 45 different titles including a new Avengers comic, a Dr Who comic that produced the first look at the 13th Doctor and a continuation on the popular Riverdale comic. There were many other popular titles including Spider-Man, Pokemon, Overwatch, The Simpsons and Avatar: Legend of Korra. Due to the recent release of the highly-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War, the Avengers comic was a popular prize for enthusiasts and first time readers alike.

The team at Impact Comics has put on special events for Free Comic Book Day every year to attract every visitor. Manager, Mal Briggs says he always enjoys the excitement the day brings as well as the crowds of comic fans.

“We always get a few people who’ve dressed up; this year we have two Tie Fighter Pilots, a Cyberman and some Avengers Themed Roller-Derby girls” said Briggs.

The earliest visitors were rewarded with a goody bag and a $50 voucher to spend at Impact Comics, which heightened the excitement for the opening of the store.

The local comic book shop logo. (Photo: Ayden Poynter)

Comic books, to many, are a thing of the past or a throw-back to their childhood. However, with the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC television shows and storyline themed video games, comic books are more popular than some would assume. All in all, the day was another big hit for many fans and newcomers and the crew at Impact Comics had a successful day bringing happiness to old and young fans alike.

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