Eat.Enjoy.Live.: Free Comic Book Day promotes literacy

5/4/2017 | G. Michael Dobbs
G. Michael Dobbs

Category: May 2017

Reminder Publications submitted photo

They are the inspiration for hit movies and television shows and Free Comic Book Day is designed to actually get people reading comic books.

This year the Springfield City Library is among the locations that would be giving people free comic books.

Librarian Liz Meier from the East Forest Park Branch explained the library has not always participated in the worldwide event that first started in 2002.   

This year she said the library is collaborating with Comic N More from Easthampton and the partnership has meant the free comics would be available at all branches of the library.

A limited number of free comic books will be available. The book offered would be suitable for readers of all ages, she added.

According to the Free Comic Book website (, there will be 12 different comics published specifically for the give-way. They range from “Betty & Veronica” – from the long-running “Archie” comics – to Wonder Woman, an edition of Bongo Comic featuring “The Simpsons,” comic book adaptations of “Dr. Who,” “Star Trek” and “Rick and “Morty” as well as the manga – Japanese comic book – inspired title “the Legend of Zelda.”

She explained the promotional day for the comic book industry helps brings people into comic book shops and into libraries.

“It’s raising awareness of the art form,” Meier noted.

Comics can help “reluctant readers” getting into the habit of reading and discovered other genres of fiction, she added.

The East Forest Park Library host a comic book creation group aimed at young people ranging in age form 8 to 19. The group meets on the second Wednesday of the month and includes writers and artists interested in making their own comics.

Free Comic Book Day is conducted the first Saturday in May and according to the website “is a single day when participating comic book specialty shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops.”

Different retailers offer many events during that day. The following is a roundup of regional locations participating in the day:
• Most Excellent Comics, 481 Enfield St, Enfield CT will be hosting a cosplay contest and a drawing for passes to ComiConn as part of its Free Comic Book day.  The promotion will also include the appearances of local artists – inker for both Marvel and DC Jack Purcell’ artist and restoration expert Michael Kelleher; Jim Taylor, a 30 year veteran of the comic’s scene, primarily in the independent realm; and Bing ComicCon co-founder and artist Mark Masztal. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Matt’s Sports cards and Comics 169 Elm St. Enfield will have a “Magic The Gathering Tournament” as part of its activities and will be hosting a food drive that day. Participants are asked to being a canned food donation. There will also be a cosplay contest.
• Besides partnering with the City Library, Comics N More 31 Union St. Easthampton will be having door prizes, a costume contest during its event from 10 am. to 8 p.m.
• Bob’s Hobbies and Collectibles, 659 Union St., will also be participating in the event as will Newbury Comic 38 Pleasant St., Northampton and Modern Myths, 34 Bridge St. Northampton.
• The Greenfield Public Library celebrates Free Comic Book Day  from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is free and open to all ages and will be take place throughout all public spaces in the library.

Highlights include a demonstration by professional comic book artist Andrew DelValle, screenings of classic Saturday morning cartoons, Raina Telgemeier and Manga fan clubs, “make your own comic” workshop free comics and much more.

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