Tired of Derby hoopla? Come to Free Comic Book Day and discover a new world. | Opinion

Lovers of superhero movies, horror movies, or even young readers can all unite at a comic book store on May 6 for Free Comic Book Day.

On May 6, comic book stores across the country will participate in Free Comic Book Day, offering over 40 different comic books for free to anyone who visits. This annual event was first organized 21 years ago on May 4, 2002, by Joe Field, with 2,200 stores and two million comic books distributed. This year, approximately 2,300 comic shops are expected to participate.

Russell Battaglia, the owner of A Plus Comics in Lexington, said Free Comic Book Day is very much a community event. His store will offer sales, but to him, Free Comic Book Day is more than just a promotional event. “The most important thing is bringing the community together,” he said. “To me, it’s about seeing happy faces.”

This year, Battaglia’s shop will feature six people in superhero costumes.

Free Comic Book Day’s mission in 2023 is to bring both long-time comic book readers and first-time readers into local comic book stores and demonstrate that everyone can find a story they will love. It’s an opportunity to attract new customers and let people join a community.

Sean Hussey has been in the comic book community for a few years now. “There is a great sense of family within the comic book community,” Hussey said. “I think this stems from a shared love of the characters and the art form, but it also stems from a mutual shared experience.”

Battaglia says that visitors to his shops on Southland or Locust Hill Drive in Lexington can receive up to 10 free comics, with five available for anyone and an additional five offered for those who spend a certain amount (either $10 or $20).

This year’s event features 44 different titles from publishers including DC Comics, Marvel, Image, IDW Publishing, Boom Studios, and independent publishers. Comic books are also rated by age appropriateness, with green indicating all ages, blue for readers 13+, and red for mature 18 and up. “A few years back, I went to a Free Comic Book Day and was really surprised by the variety of fandoms that were represented in the free books,” Hussey said.

There are 20 titles rated green for all ages. Marvel offers “Spidey and His Amazing Friends,” DC has “Clark and Lex Fan Club,” and Dial Books offers “Mexi Kid.”

“When it (Free Comic Book Day) brings in young readers, then that perpetuates the success or failure for Free Comic Book Day,” Battaglia says. Young readers and new ones can keep the comic book industry alive.

The writer of “Mexi Kid,” Pedro Martin, said “that comic books are a great way for young people to learn how to read and develop a love for books.”

“Mexi Kid” tells the story of Martin’s childhood memory of traveling to Mexico to bring his grandfather back to the United States, but he discovers that the stories of his grandfather do not match up with who he really is. Before his grandfather comes home, he must complete a mysterious task.

“The idea of ‘Mexi Kid’ is that somebody who’s born of foreign parents lives in the United States, but their heart belongs to both sides,” Martin said.

Free Comic Book Day promotes comic books, but more importantly, the day brings the community together, and memories can be made with your family.

If you are interested in Free Comic Book Day, check out www.freecomicbookday.com or check out APLUS Comics’ locations.

Kendel Sizemore
Kendel Sizemore

Kendel Sizemore is a student at EKU majoring in journalism. He loves writing and coffee.