Enjoy free comic books, safely, in this revamped celebration of All Things Comics
Free Comic Book Day is becoming Free Comic Book Summer.
The beloved event that celebrates the joys of comic books has been rescheduled and reworked to span from July into early September in order to accommodate social distancing and store capacity regulations across the country.
Free Comic Book Day, held annually on the first day of May, was canceled this year due to stay at home orders and other challenges presented by COVID-19. By extending the event through the summer, shops can manage the event to increase safety and decrease crowds.
G-Mart, a Champaign comic book store for 25 years, will participate in Free Comic Book Summer. Each Wednesday, starting July 15 through September 9, a selection of five books will be available.
The books will stay in the store through the entire week, and patrons can pick them up as they are able (while supplies last).
G-Mart, which is located in downtown Champaign, is also offering curbside service; more information about location, hours and curbside service is available on the G-Mart Facebook page.
The impact this event will have on the store is hard to measure, said G-Mart’s Enki Nyberg.
“This is all new territory, but normally Free Comic Book Day is a massive boon.”
Founded on the belief that for every person out there, there’s a comic book they’ll love, the annual event offers a huge selection of free titles designed to appeal to a broad range of age levels and tastes.
Most books are designated for all ages, but some are designated for teens or “mature” audiences.
In a typical year, participating comic shops receive all titles at once for Free Comic Book Day. This year, each shop will receive five comics a week.
“Free Comic Book Day not only brings together comics fans of all ages together, but lets families and friends come out, get a bunch of good, free comics, perhaps try something new they normally wouldn’t try,” Nyberg said. “This is the one comic event that gets massive, worldwide media attention and it’s always fantastic to see the excitement of everyone coming out just to get some comics and see others who are just as excited.
“A lot of parents also use FCBD to get their kids their first comic which is always such a joy to see.”
G-Mart is located at 205 N. Market St. in downtown Champaign. Masks are required to enter the store, and no more than five people are allowed in the store at once (at this writing).
Kids love reading? Be sure to check out our article on summer reading programs.