Residents embrace Free Comic Book Day

The sign at Comix Connection in the West Manchester Mall

The special day for comic book lovers arrived Saturday, and York County residents came out to support the art and reading pastime of many.

Retailer Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics in Concord, Calif., started the initiative at his store in 2001 in order to gather interest in comic books again and help the business. Ever since that day, the event took off around the globe and has introduced comic books to millions.

Krypto (also known as Grace) greeted visitors at Planet X Comics and Collectibles

According to its site, Free Comic Book Day has three goals: To introduce the joys of reading comics, to call back former comic book readers and to thank comic book buyers for their continued support.

In York County, at least four shops held day-long events to celebrate. In addition to the free comics (anywhere from one to three for each person), most shops held special sales for all other merchandise. Fans dressed up as their favorite superheroes or comic book characters. Even the dogs got involved at Planet X Comics and Collectibles in York Township.

Other areas of geek things were introduced, such as HeroClix, which is a collectable miniatures game. In recent years, Free Comic Book Day has been tied to recent releases of geek movies, such as “Spider-Man,” “X-Men,” “Iron Man,” “Thor” and this year “The Avengers.” At Comic Store West in Springettsbury Township, the store was playing all the movies that tied to “The Avengers” throughout the day. Most of the shops also gave away Thor HeroClix. Some stores also played comic trivia, with winners gaining prizes for their geek knowledge.

Artist Dirk Shearer inking a sketch.

Comic books would not be what they are without artists. The shops hosted a variety of talent on Saturday. At Comix Connection in West Manchester Township,  Dirk Shearer, Brad Samuelson and John Kovaleski handed out personal sketches to those who wanted one.

Now, onto the loot. I picked up “The Hypernaturals,” “Zombie Kid,” “Spider-Man,” “Valiant 2012” preview and “The New 52!” preview.

I know I had fun running around, part reporter and part geek. I had fallen into this scene about three years ago at the hands of my boyfriend and I have to say, it is a very welcoming — and talented! — community. I hope all the kids enjoyed the day, too, because life isn’t fun without a bit of fantasy.

About Bethany Fehlinger

Bethany Fehlinger is a journalist in the Design Center at the York Daily Record. She is a graduate of Penn State University and has been a vegetarian and geek for more than six years. Twitter: @Wonder_veggie
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