Comic book fans celebrate free comic book day
It's the twentieth anniversary of the unofficial holiday.
The first Saturday of May is free comic book day, with comic shops across the country handout out free comics to fans of all ages.
The line to get outside Paradox Comics-n-Cards stretches across the block, with eager people lining up for their free comics.
Richard Early has been running the show at Paradox for nearly 30 years, and free comic book day is always a special time for him.
"The first Saturday in May is our Nerd Christmas for Free Comic Book Day," Early said.
Comic book enthusiast Ace Baker-Steele says she's been getting free comics for the unofficial holiday since she was a kid.
"Just go as a kid and you're like, wow, I get all this free stuff is pretty cool," she said. "So I'm trying to go any chance I can get."
Customers pile into the store to check out the latest from DC and Marvel, but free comic book day also gives the little guys in publishing a chance.
"Every unique publisher in the industry gets a day where they can put a book out so that they can show off what they do," Early said.
He also says it's one of the best ways to get young people hooked on books.
"We had a family here and their kid," he said. "And this is what he reads. He reads comic books."
Comic Junction is also seeing big crowds today. Owner Kip Marvig says getting kids into comics is always the highlight for him.
"Kids expressions when they come and get some, you know, they get a free comic and then go home," Marvig said. "That's always my favorite."
One thing is clear. For Early and many of his customers, it's a great day to be a comic book fan.
"I'm happy that people are here," Early said. "The sun's out. I'm just grateful."