Shazam! Get your free comics on Saturday in Florence
FLORENCE, S.C. – Saturday is not a national holiday, unless you’re a serious collector, in which case you might think Free Comic Book Day should be.
And it is extra special this year, as it falls on Star Wars Day – May 4. (Say it out loud: May the Fourth be with you).
The annual event, which falls on the first Saturday in May, started in 2002 as a way to promote the business and comic-book-related movies.
This year Free Comic Book Day follows, by a week, the opening of Marvel’s Avengers End Game.
“The publishing companies, Marvel and DC – the major ones – they really wanted to promote new titles and new characters that were going to be introduced, and instead of doing them in an issue, they decided to start up what was called free comic book day,” said Dale Poston with Galactic Comics on West Palmetto Street in Florence.
Poston was in the store on April 11 preparing to merge a recently purchased collection into the store’s collection ahead of the day, which is usually a big business day for comic book stores.
In 2018 the store had been open only two months and had more than 500 people come through on that Saturday, Poston said.
“It gets people coming in the door,” Poston said. “People always come for free comics.
“We get comics from the distribution company; we purchase them out of our pockets and we give them away as part of the promotion to introduce any new titles that are coming out or maybe a new character getting ready to be introduced.”
This year, as in years past, the event contains a little bit of something for everyone.
“They are reintroducing a lot of the old titles,” Poston said. “They have a current Archie series that’s been running a couple of years now. They’ve started bringing back the Pink Panther. They’ve been doing all kinds of stuff. They are trying to reintroduce the old stuff that used to be real popular 40-50 years ago, reintroduce it back into the market to get young readers back into the fold again.”
Free comics this year include Archie, Cat Woman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Deadly Class, The Avengers, Dr. Who, Casper, Lady Mechanika, Lumber Janes, Captain Canuck, Little Lulu and Vampirella’s 50th Anniversary, among others.
In keeping with the spirit of the event, there will be cosplayers at both of Florence’s comic book stores.
“We’re going to have two local artists, Chris McJunkin and Ernie Suggs,” said Jay Harrison of Legends Comics on South Irby Street in Florence. “We’ll have several different cosplayers: Batman, hopefully Bat Girl, Spiderman, Green Arrow, Michael Myers, Jason.”
Harrison said the store will also break out 20-plus boxes of “unsorted” comics that will be on sale for $1 to $2 each and offer 25 percent off the store’s wall comics, cabinet comics and action figures.
Legends also is raffling a statue for a cause.
“We have a Daredevil premium format statue, and we’re selling tickets for that, and all the proceeds are going to benefit a young lady here in town who has to have a double hip replacement,” Harrison said.
Legends will have food on hand and door prizes every hour.
Both stores will have live-radio remotes, and Legends will have a second live remote on Friday morning ahead of the event.
Galactic Comics will have a body painting demonstration, and Lee Hyundai will have its Iron Man Edition Kona on display outside the store.
Legends Comics is at 702 S. Irby St. and opens at 10 a.m. Galactic Comics is at 1641 W. Palmetto St. and will open at 8 a.m.