Costumes, capes and free comics brighten up a rainy Saturday in the Triangle :: WRAL.com

– A light rain didn’t stop comic book fans across the Triangle from enjoying Free Comic Book Day on Saturday.

The event is held at comic book stores across the country each year on the first Saturday in May. Free Comic Book Day is meant to celebrate comic books and highlight local stores like Ultimate Comics, which has four locations in the Triangle.

Siena Fallon, COO of Ultimate Comics, said Free Comic Book Day is everyone’s favorite day of the year for Ultimate Comics because they’re able to help share comics with people. people who may never have read it before.

“There really is nothing better than throwing a big party and celebrating something you love and that’s what Free Comic Book Day is for us,” Fallon said. “There are so many special moments throughout the day. Helping a kid choose their first comic book. Watching them have their picture taken with Supergirl or Spider-Man. Helping someone who hasn’t been in a comic book store for years remembering how much they love the medium.”

Comic book publishers usually release specific books for Free Comic Book Day, often previews for major crossover events or storylines of the year. There are also kid-friendly comics on offer, and Fallon said they make sure to have plenty on hand for these events, as many kids get their first comics on Comic Book Day. free.

Sylvia cosplay (Loki)

But for Ultimate Comics and many local stores across the country, Free Comic Book Day isn’t just about getting a new book, it’s about community.

On Saturday, Ultimate locations in Cary, Durham and Raleigh hosted local comic book creators and artists who were able to showcase their art to everyone who stopped by.

And you can’t have comics without cosplay. Fallon said a group of local The Variant cosplayers were at all four Ultimate Comics locations on Saturday taking pictures.

“These cosplayers take time out of their busy days to show up in our stores with amazing costumes and take free photos with our guests,” Fallon said. “It’s always great to see kids excited to meet their favorite superheroes in person.”

Cosplayers with The Variant

At their biggest event in Cary, a giant tent was erected above the parking lot and tables showcased local businesses and nonprofits. Blood Connection was also on hand in Cary, accepting blood donations from those who wanted to give back.

Fallon said Ultimate Comics has participated in Free Comic Book Day every year since its inception nearly 19 years ago. Like many events in 2022, this is the first year the event has restarted since the pandemic. This is also Ultimate Comics’ first event since opening its new location at the Crabtree Valley Mall.

In years past, Fallon said he might see between 1,000 and 2,000 people at all of his stores, but this year Fallon said he believed more than 3,000 people came to enjoy the day of free comics.

Miles Morales cosplay

“Our new location at Crabtree Mall was a huge success, and we definitely saw a lot of newcomers there who otherwise might not have found the event,” Fallon said.

Anything else to explain the high turnout? Fallon said the comics are having a huge impact right now.

There is no doubt that comics are all the rage. Four of the 10 highest-grossing movies of all time are based on a comic book property.

“We get new customers in the store all the time who are excited to check out comics because they just saw a Marvel movie or saw something like Heartstopper on Netflix and want to check out the source material,” Fallon said. . “It’s great for us because it gives us the chance to introduce them into the larger world of comics from there.”

The Variant cosplayers pose with kids

But what about the comics that inspired thousands to brave the rain to get out? Ultimate Comics responds with its mission statement: “Comics are for everyone!”

“There are comics in every genre imaginable for every reading level, and our goal is to get great stories into the hands of people who will love them,” Fallon said. “We’ve designed our entire business to be friendly and welcoming to everyone who walks through the door, whether it’s an inveterate collector coming to browse our giant selection of back issues or someone one who may have never read comics before, but loves superhero movies.”

At the end of the day, Fallon said it’s the magic of comic books that makes days like Free Comic Book Day possible.