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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

New Englanders celebrate Free Comic Book Day

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The first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day. Location: New England Comics in Allston, MA. 

On May 3, comic book stores worldwide handed out free comic books.
Free Comic Book Day, which occurs annually on the first Saturday in May, was created by Joe Field of Fly Colors Comics in Concord, California in 2002.
Much of the comic industry has embraced Free Comic Book Day in an effort to give back to longtime readers, to bring in new ones, and to introduce the next generation to comics, according to the Free Comic Book Day website.
Diamond Distributors, North America’s largest comic book distributor, teams up with publishers, independent comic-book stores, as well as fan volunteers, to make the day happen.
At noon in New England Comics’ Allston branch, people circled a table stacked with colorful comic books, contemplating which four they wanted to walk out with. Titles included “X-Men,” “Spiderman,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Tales of the Crypt,” and more.
Standing at the door greeting people with a smile and a heroic power stance was costumed store manager Lulu Bonanza.
“The numbers [of people] have been pretty good and it is still early… I’ve seen lots of new faces — and old.”
When asked if Free Comic Book Day increases interest in comic books, Bonanza said, “Oh, yeah — it brings attention to artists and publishers,” and that she sees “children come in who experience comic books for the first time, end up loving them, and keep coming back.” Often, they will “graduate” to graphic novels.
She says the entertainment factor and art of comics gives children incentive to learn how to read through them.
Allston resident Mike O’Shea says about Free Comic Book Day, “It’s fun. It’s my third year doing this.” O’Shea likes “hopping around and seeing what the different stores have.”
Allston resident Alecks Fletcher says, “[You get] to dress up — and of course, free comic books, can’t complain about that! Fletcher was dressed as an Armistrice Soldier from the Japanese manga, Fullmetal Alchemist, and stood outside the store, flanked by two men in Captain America and Rocketeer costumes.
A man driving by in an SUV yelled out his window approvingly, “Clean it up ‘America, clean it up!”
The costumed man nodded and his starred shield dipped in an appreciative gesture.
When asked why people should read comic books in this modern age prolific with different types of media, Bonanza said, “It’s a refreshing change from computer stuff,” and the combination of art and writing makes for powerful storytelling that “pulls you in” and “gets people attached to characters.”