Not many days on the calendar provide adults and kids alike with an excuse to dress as superheroes and get free stuff, but the first Saturday in May is one of them.
Comic shops all over the United States, including four in the Columbia area, threw open their doors and hosted sales, author and artist appearances, and costume contests for Free Comic Book Day.
“We’ve seen a lot of our regulars, but even more new people,” Dan Stuckey, co-manager of Punk Monkey Comics on Forest Drive, said.
Long lines at registers showed that more than just the free comics appealed to the customers, and comic creators were kept busy by a steady stream of requests for autographs and sketches.
Punk Monkey opened last summer, spinning off from West Columbia’s Scratch n’ Spin, and Stuckey said things are going well. The shop offers movies, music, t-shirts, and more along with comics.
“We try to be very diversified,” Stuckey said. “We have a little bit of everything.”
Organizers of a new comic convention coming to Columbia this summer, ValhallaCon, were also on hand and in costume to let people know about the next big local event for comics fans. Though organizer Ashley Bell was dressed as the trickster god Loki, no tricks were involved, just treats in the form of free comics and a chance to support local businesses.