I have a strange relationship with comic books. It’s similar to my sorted past with sci-fi/fantasy books, television and movies. I like what I like (Star Wars books, Star Trek and Spawn television series, almost every movie with an Avenger), but I am not married to any canon or author or artist or producer. I have huge gaps in my knowledge base even if my bookshelves rock (or don’t. I have no idea):
I love the people and places and art which comics have introduced into my world, but I’ve wondered if I belong in a comic book store. Will I wander around aimlessly and ignored? Will my questions be mocked? Will I buy something I hate because the artist can’t even draw boobs right? I already know I could never go head-to-head with a comic book aficionado, but I would appreciate his recommendations without condescension. (I’m thinking of start the Constantine series. What do you think?)
So I’ve mostly avoided comic book stores unless I had a very specific comic to find or (later on in the Internet world) I couldn’t buy online. However, my 7-year-old son shares my love of graphic novels and comics, and I’m softly encouraging my 5-year-old daughter to do the same. But I feel even more ill-equipped to help them find age-appropriate comics that won’t disappoint. We’ve gotten a few from the library and my son read a few off my shelf (I think he’s read every one of my Calvin and Hobbes books and I own them all), but I want my children to feel like a comic book store is their stomping ground, too, no matter what questions they have or series they love.
Comic books changed the way I saw the world by introducing me to characters and plot lines which gave voice and beauty to my confusion and struggles as a teenager and young adult. They continue to make me think and discuss and think again on who I am, what the world is like and what it should be like. I want everyone, whether they’ve read their parent’s extensive comic book collection or only enjoy Superman movies, to experience the wonder and shock which only a comic book can offer.
This year Velocity Comics Free Comic Book Event isn’t geared towards the usual 18-44 male that I envision yelling at me for not understanding Batman. They are focusing on younger readers and embracing the expanding all-ages (and all-sexes) market. So many cool kids comics will be available from Hello Kitty! to Avatar: The Last Airbender and more.
WHEN: Saturday May 3rd from 10am to 7pm
WHERE: 819 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23220
So bring the family and expand your world.
PS. It should be noted that no one has ever yelled at me about Batman, but I’m sure they’re waiting in a dark alley to strike.
PPS. If you don’t live in Richmond, find out where in your town free comic books are waiting by click here.
Disclaimer: Velocity Comics reached out to me about their event probably because I’m cool, and I was happy to partner with them because I love the genre. Although they did imply if I was paid, it would be comic books, I wrote this hoping to encourage a new generation of young readers, and some hesitant adults, into this amazing world of stories and art.