This Saturday, Muse Comics & Games will host one of its busiest days of the year, even though many of its customers will be getting their comics for free.
Free Comic Book Day is a national event held in stores around the country on the first Saturday in May and Muse is once again taking part in the event, said general manager Jason Benner.
Every year, the major and indie comic book publishers release special books that are given out free to readers at local comic shops during the event. This is the 15th year of Free Comic Book Day, and the seventh time Benner has hosted it at his store.
This year, he’s focusing on comics for kids as the giveaways he’ll be offering when the store opens at 11 a.m. Saturday.
“I have noticed, strongly, that it’s the little kids who are the most excited for it. They can’t just come in and buy comics whenever, so getting them for free is a big deal to them,” he said.
That doesn’t mean Muse is going to forget about its older customers, though.
“I get the mom or dad who brings in their 6-year-old and then says, 'Oh yeah, I’ve heard about this other series, do you have any of that?'” Benner said. “We have hundreds of books, so that everybody leaves with something they are interested in.”
In January, Muse moved from its longtime location in the Stephens Center to a new building at 2301 S. Higgins Ave.
“I’m really hoping everyone finds us. I imagine more than a few people will be showing up at the old spot on Saturday and think we went out of business,” Benner said.
In addition to the free comic books, his store will have discounts on trade paperbacks that collect a series of issues, and are a good way for newcomers to start reading comics.
The rise of the blockbuster comic book movie has put superhero comics in even more demand, and Benner said it’s no coincidence that the release of “Captain America: Civil War” is the same week as Free Comic Book Day.
“The big publishers, like Marvel, they always try to integrate the characters from the movies, like Captain America, into their free books,” he said.
On Saturday, Muse will also host local comic artists Tony Gregori, Bryce Hansen and Dwayne Harris, as well as writer Tim Daniel, as part of its Free Comic Book Day celebration.