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Get your fix Saturday on Free Comic Book Day

May 2nd, 2014 8:31 am by Matthew Lane

Get your fix Saturday on Free Comic Book Day

Dewayne Chase, owner of Dewayne's World of Comics and Games in downtown Kingsport. Photo by David Grace.

Whether you're a DC or Marvel fan, think the X-men are a better team than the Justice League or believe Batman could take them all without breaking a sweat, this Saturday is going to be a good day for comic book fans.

That's right, it's Free Comic Book Day.

Free Comic Book Day is an annual promotional event held nationwide on the first Saturday in May in an effort to help bring new readers into comic book stores. The event began in 2002 and is coordinated by Diamond Comic Distributors — the industry's largest comic book distributor.

The event is often tied to the release of a major motion picture, such as one of the Spider-Man, Iron Man or the X-men movies. This year, the event falls one day after the release of "The Amazing Spider-man 2." 

"It's one of the biggest days of the year," said Dewayne Chase, owner of Dewayne's World of Comics and Games in downtown Kingsport. "The first three hours are chaos, pretty much. Last year, we had a line completely through the store and all the way to the corner building." 

Dewayne's World of Comics & Games has held a Free Comic Book Day event every year since the promotion began in 2002, giving out hundreds of free comics throughout the day.

In addition to Dewayne's store, other participating stores in our region include G2K Games in Kingsport and Johnson City, Mountain Empire Comics in Johnson City and Bristol and Fiction Addiction Comics & Toys in Erwin.

Free Comic Book Day showcases specially printed copies of free comic books, many geared towards younger children (Archie, Disney, Smurfs and SpongeBob), some for traditional readers (Marvel and DC Comics) and some who fancy the independent titles, such as issues from Boom Studios!, Dark Horse, IDW and Valiant.

This year's line-up of free comic books includes more than 50 titles, including The New 52 Futures End, Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket Raccoon, Archie, Avatar, Hello Kitty, Rise of the Magi, Power Ranger, SpongeBob and the Transformers.
Chase said he will have all 12 of the gold sponsor books (plenty to go around) and a selection of the silver and bronze sponsor books.

"We'll have refreshments and comics until we run out. We're starting at 11 a.m. and hopefully we'll have stuff all day," Chase said, noting 300 to 400 people will likely come to the event, some even in costume.

The Kingsport Public Library started offering comic books about four years ago and hopes to add more to its collection in the future.

Director Helen Whittaker said the library will hold a free showing of "Red" at 2:30 p.m. in connection to Free Comic Book Day.

"I don't care what kids read, as long as it's something that interests you. That's something you'll build on," Whittaker said. "Libraries are serving more teens these days and we've been developing our teen collection for the past few years. Graphic novels and anime are an important part of that." 

Last year, more than 4.6 million comic books were given away during Free Comic Book Day.

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