Comic fans have a super time on Free Comic Book Day


Free Comic Book Day attendees patiently wait for artist, Ethan Van Sciver to sign their comic books and on the spot drawn sketches. Photo credit: Nicolette Aguirre

Lauren Torres

The excitement in Bellflower on May 2 was palpable; sun, sweat, super hero t-shirts and a line that went around the corner and down the block were all surefire signs that Free Comic Book Day had arrived.

The unofficial, but all-revered, holiday hit comic shops across the nation, but one shop in particular, Metropolis Comics, went above and beyond with not only free comics, but also a chance to see the 1966 Batmobile and to meet famous comic artist Ethan Van Sciver.

Michael Rice, manager of Metropolis Comics, said, “Free Comic Book Day is a gathering every year, all the companies get together and release free comic books to [give] some interest in the comic book industry. People that want to come in have heard about the movie, seen the T.V. show, and it gives them a free opportunity to come in, pick up an issue, find out what that’s about, and maybe turn them into comic book customers.”

While the shop has been open for eight years, this was Rice’s first year managing the busy event. With every comic company, big and small, putting out free comics, Rice was confident with his picks for most popular.

“This year it’s going to be Secret Wars, which is going to be the big Marvel event […] DC’s Divergence will be another one because of the big Batman twist this year.”

One customer, Rob Ernest, said, “This location is known for doing extra stuff, most comic stores just have the free comic day, but this is the one that’s notorious for bringing someone special.”

For Ernest that someone special was artist Ethan Van Sciver, who is known for his work with big super heroes, such as X-Men and The Flash. Ernest’s favorite of his works is Green Lantern: Rebirth. “I have the whole mini-series,” he said proudly, “I came to get it signed today.”

Along with the signing of his comics Ernest also stood by for a sketch done by the artist.

The other star of the day, the Batmobile, sat shining in the parking lot under the sun while fans posed for pictures with it.

“I’m here to see the Batmobile,” attendee Tawny Wombolts said while clutching her free comics. “I got Sonic and the Avengers,” she said of her picks.

Wombolts attended the event with her husband, Shane, and their son, who was dressed up in a super hero t-shirt.

“We come every year,” Shane said, “I grabbed Transformers and Attack on Titan.”

“It’s just something we like to do with the community,” Rice said.

“Bring people out, it gives them a sense of something to look forward to every year, kind of like an anniversary, or birthday or something cool. As you can see by the excitement of all the people we have, you know it works.”