Alter Ego gearing up for Free Comic Book Day

May 3—LIMA — Alter Ego Comics has been celebrating Free Comic Book Day since it opened 20 years ago, and owner Marc Bowker is just as excited to celebrate it this year from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday as he was the first time.

"Seeing the crowd and the number of people who are interested in comic books and comic book characters is great," he said. "We see a lot of kids, and if we can get a small percentage of them to become lifelong readers and comic book readers, then it is mission accomplished. We also see a lot of people dressing up in costume as their favorite character so cosplay has become a big part of it just as it has become a big part of attending comic book conventions."

Bowker said that the nationwide event is worth experiencing for everyone.

"It's basically the best day to come experience what a comic book store is like, what comic book culture is like, and there's really something for everybody," he said.

Celebrating 20 years in business at the same time is not lost on Bowker either.

"As a comic shop, a company that deals with paper products, to still be around after 20 years is something we're proud of," he said. "It's an accomplishment and we hear a lot of thanks on that day. We sometimes only see some people on that day and that's okay, but we'd like to see them become regulars ideally and introduce their kids to reading and possibly convert people who already love Marvel movies and shows on Disney Plus to check out the source material that these characters like Superman and Batman come from from up to 80 years ago."

Other than keeping up to date on how to get your free comic book, Bowker had a few words of advice for anyone preparing to come to the event for the first time.

"If you're looking for a specific title, you might want to get here early," he said. "Don't be afraid of the line you're going to see because it does move pretty quickly. Just come out prepared to enjoy the day and interact with the people that are around you and grab some photos with our cosplayers that will be here, and then maybe go see the new 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movie."

Comics fans can stay up to date on the event by following along with the Alter Ego Facebook page and find the list of available titles on freecomicbookday.com.

Also, only four books are allowed per person in order to allow as many comics to be given away as possible.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Free Comic Book Day

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Alter Ego Comics, 230 N. Main St., Lima.

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.