If you’re struggling to find something to do with the wet and windy weather, you should consider making a trip to the Stomping Grounds.
Today is Free Comic Book Day. It’s an event that takes place on the first Saturday in May. The concept was launched in 2002 as a way to bring new readers into comic book stores. For the Stomping Grounds, the timing couldn’t be better as it settles in to its new location above the Medicine Shoppe on Willow Street.
“This also serves as a great way to get comic books into the hands of younger readers,” said Andre Myette, adding it’s not an event just for children. “It’s a great way to promote literacy to young people. I hear from people all the time who have children who don’t particularly care to read books but they enjoy comic books. So this is a great way to get them reading at a young age while making it fun and interesting.”
Stomping Grounds has a wide selection of free comics to choose from. As Myette flipped through the large box, he kept listing off different titles.
He adds they’re all-ages comics perfect for all readers, male or female.
“There’s Zelda, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Street Fighter, DC Super Hero Girls, The Secret Empire, Rick and Morty and more,” he said.
Now in its 15th year, Free Comic Book Day is being used as a great launching pad by some of the major comic book companies.
Marvel and DC Comics actually produce comics specifically for the event.
“The year, Marvel is kicking off its big event involving the Secret Empire. It’s a pretty huge story where we discover Captain America has been secretly working as a Hydra agent the entire time. It’s unveiling to the Marvel universe that a big battle is coming. The first issue of that series, which is sure to be the new game-changing story for Marvel, starts on Free Comic Book Day. It will be a number zero issue.”
For girls who have always showed an interest, Myette says now is the perfect time to make the leap into the comic book world.
Now, more than ever, the industry has shifted and as a result, he says we’re seeing a lot more women writers.
“There are a lot of comics being created that are geared for girls,” said Myette. “They’re well written and they’ve done a great job of attracting more girls to the comics. There’s a book called Lumberjanes which is for kids. It’s a about a group of girls who go to summer camp and fall into a bunch of different adventures. It’s pretty popular.
“I still think it comes back to the fact we’re seeing a lot more women creators,” Myette continued. “I’m not sure why it’s happened now and not before but it’s a great shift for the industry. There are a lot of really good writers and that includes some women from right here in Nova Scotia.”
In the end, Free Comic Book Day is a fun but casual day at the Stomping Grounds. Myette says it’s not uncommon for children to dress up as their favourite character when they come to get there free book.
For those who spend $10 or more, they have a chance to spin the wheel for some great prizes including a free graphic novel or a discount off their purchase.
For more information visit www.stompinggroundsgc.com or find them on Facebook at Stomping Grounds Truro.