All of Santa Clarita’s comic book shops were prepared for casual shoppers and avid comic book readers to stop by during Free Comic Book Day on Saturday.
“The cool thing about today is people who don’t know much will come on in and say, ‘Oh, just want to check it out,’” said Lisa Simonian, owner of Kimzar Kollectables. “So part of what we do today is also educate them about comics. Earlier today, I was able to talk to someone who quite understand what a variant cover was, so I was able to talk about what variant covers are.”
Along with Paper Hero’s Comics and Brave New World, each store displayed a variety of comics made especially for Free Comic Book Day, along with discounts for countless other comics over the ages.
Simonian spoke with guests as they walked into her store. As a way of also celebrating “Star Wars” Day, she welcomed guests with “May the Force be with you.” She also helped families with children who wanted to read comics by referring to age appropriate books for sale. Not only did they serve as a way to help reading, she said comic books also give children the ability to learn and appreciate artwork at a young age.
Brave New World featured several activities along with picking up free comics. Guests won prizes if they submitted their name in a raffle, walk to the second floor of the building for small tattoosor they could receive free copies of signed comics, such as “Blastosaurus.” The shop also featured “Star Wars” actor Kevin Thompson, Stranger Comics writer and editor-in-chief Joshua Cozine, “Ducktales” creator Jymn Magon and members of the 501st Legion, a “Star Wars” charity group.
For Zachary Erberich, an art major about to graduate from California State University Northridge, looking through each comic was a way to become inspired and learn new drawing techniques. He walked out of Brave New World with free copies of “Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale,” “X-O Manowar” and “Astronauts in Trouble,” as well as an issue of “The Batman Who Laughs.” Each of his books came from different publishers, including Image Comics and Valiant Comics.
“The Image ones are really cool,” Erberich said. “I like Valiant too, a lot of the Valiant covers are like a hardcover. They feel like a really nice quality.”
With her friends tagging along, Tara Takhar and her family walked into Paper Hero’s Comics. She looked through cardboard boxes of free comics, looking for stories about Disney princesses or Wonder Woman. Carrying a bag, she also looked for pins to include with the growing collection already on her bag.
As a comic reader, it’s the villains that pull her in, she said. She’s a fan of The Joker from DC Comics and Loki from Marvel.
“Villains and how scary they are, how much power they have,” she said, “usually the really strong villains – those comics are the ones I like to read.”