Yesterdays in downtown Mount Airy will celebrate Free Comic Book Day again this year with free comic books handed out on May 3, while supplies last.
Free Comic Book Day is held on the first Saturday in May each year, when participating comic book specialty shops across North America and around the world give away comic books for no cost to anyone who visits their shops. The event began in 2002, and is enjoyed by many people of all ages, not just children and not just comic book collectors, Yesterdays owner Steve Martin explained.
Each retailer choosing to participate in Free Comic Book Day purchases their own comic books to distribute, Martin said, and he plans to give away about three comic books to each person who visits, from a limited selection they received, including titles such as “Judge Dred;” “Archie Digest;” “Kaboom Summer Blast” which contains “Adventure Time,” “Garfield,” and Snoopy” among others; “Transformers vs. G.I. Joe;” The Last Airbender;” “Hello Kitty & Friends;” “Sonic the Hedgehog;” “Spongebob;” “Guardians of the Galaxy;” “The Simpsons;” “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers;” “Rocket Raccoon;” and more.
“I really love to see the look on people’s faces when they come by, especially children when they get their free comic books,” Martin said.
Today, the Internet contains so much information, and people can choose to read comic books and regular books on digital devices, but nothing beats a printed comic book — “one you can touch, feel, and smell,” Martin explained. “You just don’t get that same feeling with a computer screen. Plus, we want people to read, and it doesn’t matter what they are reading, as long as they are reading on the printed page…I like to tell people, none of our books or comics require batteries,” Martin said with a laugh.
“People of all ages, from all walks of life, they love this type of graphic storytelling medium…We have many regular customers who come in here each week, people who have been reading comic books since they were kids,” said Martin, and at that moment, one of those long-time comic book customers walked in the door of Yesterdays, to pick up his latest comic book order.
Customer Chris Johnson shared that he has been reading comic books for a long time, since he was a little kid. He explained that he reads all kinds, but got started with “Sonic the Hedgehog” when he was young. Martin said he remembers Johnson’s mother bringing him to Pages when he and his wife used to run the store and sell comic books there. His comic book shop is located in its own room at Yesterdays, with comic books that would appeal to many different interests, as well as Manga and graphic novels.
Johnson said he loves Mega Man, Spider Man, and Batman comic books, and said he visits Yesterdays each week to pick up and place orders, as well as browse the shelves. “It’s a great place to come; I love it,” Johnson commented.
Comic books began in the early days of the twentieth century, and are considered an original American art form, according to the Free Comic Book Day website. Free Comic Book Day celebrates this art form, with comic books containing a wide range of diverse story lines that capture the imagination of the readers.
Readers of comic books often get hooked on reading them as a kid, for various reasons, but Martin explained that it isn’t all about superheroes, although the superhero comic books are quite popular. Comic books contain varieties of story lines, from dramatic, to adventure, mystery, horror, humor, romance, and more. Reading comics often evokes a feeling of nostalgia and a tie back to the days of youth, but modern comic books are often known for forward-thinking storylines.
“We really appreciate all the support we have had over the years for free comic book day and we love our customers. We love to see people come in, especially kids, who realize they really are free, with no strings attached,” said Martin.
For the best selection of free comic books, Martin said to arrive early, since all comics are first come, first serve.
Free Comic Book Day 2013 begins Saturday at 9 a.m. in Yesterdays, located in downtown Mount Airy at 160 N. Main St., Unit 100, on the lower level below Mayberry Antique Hideaway. Yesterdays is accessible by a stairway inside of Mayberry Antiques, or customers can drive around back to park beside the main entrance. For more information, call 755-3558.
The Free Comic Book Day website is running a contest for people who want to share their experience. Customers are invited to upload a picture of themselves, such as a selfie, or a picture of the comic books shop they visit on Free Comic Book Day, and they will be entered to win a gift certificate to the comic shop of their choice. Pictures should be uploaded to Facebook wall on “Free Comic Book” Facebook page with the hashtag #fcbd or uploaded to Twitter by tweeting the picture to @freecomic book and using the #fcbd Facebook page. For more information about the contest, visit freecomicbookday.com
Reach Jessica Johnson at 719-1933 and on Twitter @MountAiryJess.