MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS -- Free Comic Book Day is a national program that takes place on the first Saturday in May every year. It was started in 2002 with the purpose of introducing participants to comic books, attracting old comic book readers, and thanking current comic book enthusiasts for their continued support.
“Comic books are one of those things that make it easier for kids to get into reading,” said Remmington Stewart, library technician, Marine Corps Community Services. “When there are super heroes and game characters involved it makes reading fun for those who would otherwise struggle and it’s a great way to find out if comic books are something that you’re into.”
More than 125 people attended the event, which was open to all Combat Center patrons. Those who attended were given one free comic book and an additional one if they checked out a book from the library. They were also allowed to take more comic books if they wore a T-Shirt that was related to comic books in some way.
“Because of our location, getting access to events like Free Comic Book Day can be difficult,” said Jim Mallard, library technician, MCCS. “Participating in these things is important to members of the Combat Center because we are able to bring what they enjoy to them.”
In preparation for the event, a request for comic books was given to Diamond Comic Distributor; who delivered approximately 2,500 comic books in support of the event.
“I was eight years old when I got my first comic,” Stewart said. “We had a special guest who gave handouts to everyone and to this day I still have that book.”
The Combat Center library hopes to continue hosting the annual celebration. The library also hosts a series of similar events throughout the year. The remaining books will be available to anyone who missed the event and still wants a free comic book.
“I think comic books have a better opportunity to fully immerse the reader than plain text books do,” Stewart said. “Reading comic books is like putting your imagination on auto-drive. There are a lot of things that you see when reading comic books that you wouldn’t be able to envision otherwise.”