Another annual National Comic Book Day today (May 4, 2013) descended upon us with a glorious cloak of comic titles that most comic book stores around the country passed out, first-come first-served, to comic book fans and patrons of all ages!
Almost everyone in our house is some sort of comic or graphic novel fan. Tim was previously a huge collector, and now he’s still an avid reader (and is a wealth of factual comic trivia) and me…well, I’ve always loved how a comic in print captured my visual senses with the vibrant and beautiful art and action-packed emotional stories.
With all the superhero and comic-based movies coming out over the last few years, most people at least are enjoying superheroes…but there are so many other great comics to enjoy out there now, no matter what age you are. My son mostly enjoys the movies, but my daughters (age 9 and 5) love our almost annual treks to a random comic store (where we generally pull out the google search in lieu of map, point, and search….then embark on a laughable twist and turn, stop and back up, scenario down side streets until we find the store, which generally is tucked back away in the not so common areas of town, decide if it’s safe for kids, and then scout it out).
This year we found a rather nice store in Canton called Bill’s Books and More. He had lots of comics, great sales, and even had a comic book illustrator on-hand signing autographs (more on that below!).
Tim and the kids at Bill’s Books and More
Once there the girls love getting to pick out their free comics. Our middle daughter likes a wide variety, as she picked out Hulk today, Smurfs (did you know it started out as a comic in Belgium before coming to the US through Hanna Barbara?), and Superman! Our five-year-old also chose Smurfs, Disney’s Tinkerbell, and Batman (her fave guy). She enjoyed reading Tinkerbell all the way home at which point she declared “Whew! Can you believe I read that whole comic already? It was awesome.” This is the first year she has been able to read them to herself!. I’m a proud mom that she’s reading and enjoying comics.
Seriously worn out, but intent on her comic.
I have to admit that Tim and I enjoy choosing some titles too. We might not be looking as die-hard collectors, but just enjoy the experience. Tim got a Walking Dead title they distributed for the day and Marvel’s Infinity, and I got Dynamite’s Damsels Mermaids ( a new original story) because simply…I like Mermaid stories. Mermaid #1 will be in stores next week.
Also, I had read for review the comic for children called Mouse Guard with Addie last week. They had a Free Comic Book Day title of Mouse Guard, a Flip Book that also featured Rust, Jim’s Henson’s Labryrinth story, and another short. The art and type in this comic is just right for little people and extremely well-done. I love the bigger font with fewer words so they can read on their own. Mouse Guard reads like a picture book. The art is adorable in them all. This compilation is from Archaia Entertainment.
Our stash of free comics from the day…
Then, there was the excitement of getting to meet longtime comic book artist of the Green Lantern series, Darryl Banks, and having him sign a comic for us! He lives in Columbus and works as a freelance illustrator and commercial artist now, but I’ve read he still loves comics the best. He is best known for working on the Green Lantern Vol. 3 for a seven-year stint, but he also created costumes, characters, and conceptualized. If you want to see more of his amazing art you can go here: http://www.comicartfans.com/gallerydetail.asp?gcat=11377.
Darryl was so very nice to the kids. Soft-spoken and kind, when Emma asked him, “How did you start to become an artist?” he smiled and told her he’d been drawing ever since he was even smaller than she. He told her to keep at it and not to stop pursuing her dreams. My daughter was beaming after this meeting. Thank you very much, Darryl for encouraging her!
Darryl Banks, with my kids, at Bill’s Books and More
For me, nothing has even beaten the feel of a glossy comic with all this splendid art igniting my senses and now nothing beats watching my girls sitting back, comic in both hands up to face, legs crossed, and deep intent on reading.
Thank you to Bill’s Books and More, Darryl Banks, and everyone nationwide who is responsible for bringing us National Comic Book Day!! It’s a great way to promote literacy and art!
See last year’s National Comic Book Day 2012 Guest Post by author Hunter Shea by clicking HERE!
See my post on how graphic novels help kids read by clicking HERE!