Pittsburgh Comic Shop Owners Prepare For Free Comic Book Day
For comic book fans, it's the equivalent of black Friday, only much more fun.
photos by neil strebig
Get your Captain America shirts ready. Put on your Batman cowl. The first Saturday in May is almost here. For those of you who are outside the inner geek circle, the first Saturday in May is “Free Comic Book Day,” an annual holiday for comic fans nationwide.
“It’s kind of like adult trick-or-treat,” said Bill Boichel, owner of Copacetic Comic Co. “You load up on free comics. People like it.”
Many local comic shops have learned to prepare for a tsunami of customers and collectors.
“It’s our busiest day of the year by far. It’s our Super Bowl Sunday,” said Jeff Bigley, owner of Arkham Gift Shoppe. “Pretty much 90 percent of the stuff in the store will be on sale.”
In addition to sale items, more than 50 comic book titles will be up given away. Fans are expected to visit their favorite stores not only for the free comics, but also for the surplus of deals many shops will be offering.
David Bishop, owner of Big Bang Comics in Sewickley expects upwards of a thousand customers.
“It’s huge. It gives a lot of people exposure to new comics,” Bishop said, “(We) end up with quite a few new customers out of it.” Big Bang Comics will also be featuring sketch work by comic book artists Pat Olliffee and John Davis in addition to their store-wide sales.
Even non-traditional stores like Copacetic Comics in Lawrenceville will be capitalizing on the influx of customers. Despite not being a routine DC and Marvel product outlet Copacetic Comics will be giving away discounted bundles/sets of comics. “You can basically get a hundred comics for ten dollars,” Boichel said.
Free Comic Book Day coincides with the highly anticipated weekend release of Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War.” With the growing popularity of such comic book-inspired films, the first Saturday of May has become one of the most important days for both fans and retailers.
Here’s a look at a few of the local comic book shops that will be participating Saturday:
Big Bang Comics
437 Broad St. Sewickley, PA 15143
Arkham Gift Shoppe Comics & Collectibles
3973 William Flynn Highway Allison Park, PA 15101
Phantom of the Attic Comics
411 S. Craig Street Pittsburgh, PA 15213
South Side Comics
1819 E. Carson Street Pittsburgh, PA 15203
1121 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
New Dimension Comics
3075 Clariton RD #940 (Inside Mall) West Mifflon, PA 15123
Copacetic Comic Company
3138 Dobson St. #3 Pittsburgh, PA 15219