Batman, Superman and those mighty Avengers will be up for grabs at no cost to you Saturday, also known as Free Comic Book Day. Sure, you might be planning a night of margaritas and salsa dancing, but clear your day for local comic stores’ festivities. They’re offering lots of free comic books, discounts and special guests, welcoming diehard comic fans and newcomers. We checked in with five stores.
ARCADIAN COMICS & GAMES
627 Monmouth St., Newport. 859-291-5071, www.arcadiancomics.com
Hours: noon-7 p.m. Monday and Thursday; noon-8 p.m. Wednesday; noon-10 p.m. Friday, and noon-6 p.m. Saturday.
Special guests: "Local artist Russell Ihrig," says owner Steve Struharik, "and possibly a few others."
What does Free Comic Book Day mean to you? "Participation in FCBD is something we do to increase awareness of the comics medium," says Struharik, "both to bring new readers in and show current readers there are books outside the superhero spectrum. Far and away our favorite thing about comics is helping people find things, read new stories, and find out there's a whole new world of options in comic books."
Deals and other promotions: Donations will be accepted for the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides walk on May 19. Mothers will receive 20 percent off all purchases on May 12. Arcadian's first anniversary party is June 27.
COMIC BOOK WORLD
7130 Turfway Road, Florence. 859-371-9562, www.comicbookworld.com
Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday
Special guests: "From 11 a.m.-3 p.m.," says manager Mark Craddock, "we will have the Black-n-Bluegrass RollerGirls, Travis Fessler of the Pickled Brothers Magic Show and KITT, a Knight Rider Replica car."
What does Free Comic Book Day mean to you? "We've participated in Free Comic Book Day since it began in 2002," Craddock says. "It's a great way to showcase what comic books have to offer everyone, promote reading, and is simply a great treat for the whole family."
Deals and other promotions: 20 percent off all of your purchases and other specials throughout Free Comic Book Day. Look for more as Comic Book World celebrates its 30th anniversary.
COMICS 2 GAMES
8470 US 42, Florence. 859-647-7568, www.comics2games.com
Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday
Special guests: "No guests … just great deals," says manager Mike Viox.
What does Free Comic Book Day mean to you? "Our philosophy about FCBD is simple: community," Viox says. " This day gives us a chance for everybody, whether they have the funds or not, to get free comics, 42 in total. Reading and imagination are important."
Deals and other promotions: "Great deals on practically everything in the shop," Viox says.
QUEEN CITY COMICS
6600 Dixie Hwy., Fairfield, 513-860-5805, 6101 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, 513-351-5674; www.queencitycomics.com
Hours: For both stores, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday-Friday; 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday
What does Free Comic Book Day mean to you? "I believe it's something that is good for our industry as a whole," says Geoff Hoffman. "It's kind of a change for us to give something back to our customers, and it does something that attracts new readers by giving them the opportunity to try comics in general — maybe something they haven't tried."
Deals and other promotions: Hoffman says his stores are planning specials on toys and comics. He also says the Pleasant Ridge shop is planning its 25th anniversary events happening Memorial Day weekend.
UP UP & AWAY!
4016 Harrison Ave., Cheviot. 513-661-6300, www.uuacomics.com
Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily but 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Opening specially at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Special guests: "We're very pleased to welcome ‘The Walking Dead’ co-creator and original artist Mr. Tony Moore," says owner Kendall Swafford. "Tony is currently a freelance artist working for Marvel Comics. … Interest in ‘The Walking Dead’ has exploded with the second season of the hit AMC series, and who better to feature in our store than one of the architects of ‘The Walking Dead’?"
What does Free Comic Book Day mean to you? “For visitors new to the store and new to comics, there's never a better chance to sample all that the comic book medium has to offer," Swafford says. "Comic books are simply illustrated fiction, and the subject matter is more broad and diverse today than it’s ever been. And what better opportunity to sample all that comics have to offer than on a day when you can choose from over three dozen comics absolutely free?"
Deals/promotions: 50,000 comics, all at 50¢ each. "Free Comic Book Day also brings with it our biggest savings of the year, as we empty the warehouse for incredible savings on tens of thousands of comic books, both new and old! Members of the Ohio 501st Garrison will be dressed as everyone's favorite ‘Star Wars’ characters, and a certain amazing web-slinger might just stop by!" Up, Up & Away! also holds Comic Book Trivia every Thursday at Maury's Tiny Cove.