THUNDER BAY -- Nothing beats free stuff.
For the 13th year, local businesses Comix Plus and Music Exchange and Hill City Comics participated in Free Comic Book Day, a phenomenon celebrated across the continent.
Both stores had a select inventory of giveaway items, including popular titles such as The Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Archie series to celebrate their customers.
“The premise is give it away for free and hope they enjoy it and see the value in it and become a repeat customer,” said Comix Plus owner Gary Gummeson.
The day is not just about giving away comic books, as stores circle the date on their calendar knowing it generates their largest sale volume.
Hill City Comics owner Robby Quinn projects that by 1 p.m., this year’s Free Comic Book Day eclipsed the sales he saw on last years. He estimated he had a total of more than 1,500 people come through his store on the corner of Court Street and Park Avenue.
He attributes part of the reason for the record breaking day to a revival of the fandom of superheroes, as seen from movie theatre box office totals every time a new superhero flick is released.
“The biggest movies that anybody is seeing now are Marvel superheroes,” Quinn said. “The awareness of the event itself seems to have really grown in the past few years.”
To go along with seeing their favourite heroes on the big screen, Gummeson believes comic books present parents with a great opportunity to get their children interested in reading.
With stories featuring the exploits of the larger than life figures, comic books have the potential to captivate the attention of children more than a conventional novel.
“I think it’s challenging for parents to get their kids to start reading,” he said.
“I think it’s good for reading and the artwork for drawing. It gets them to be creative and thinking about storytelling.”
Both owners said that every year they always see a collection of new faces who they hope become part of their regular clientele.
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