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Columbus store to issue free comic books

Courtesy of MCT

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The Lantern will have daily coverage this week of “The Avengers,” which is scheduled to hit theaters Friday.

The increasing hype around Marvel’s “The Avengers,” in theaters Friday, has been boasted about on pizza boxes, in insurance commercials and through special events.

One such event, the 11th Annual Free Comic Book Day, is scheduled to be held Saturday. One comic book store that will participate in the event is Laughing Ogre Comics, located at 4258 N. High St.

Laughing Ogre Comics will hand out free comic books, have characters from “The Avengers” walking around, and face painting in its store, said Jeff Stang, store manager.

“(Free Comic Book Day) has been growing every year,” Stang said. “We have lines out the door, and it just gets crazier and crazier.”

Only a few select issues in the store are free. Comic books available for free include “The Avengers Age of Ultron Point One.”

Free Comic Book Day began because the hobby of collecting comic books became more popular, said Joe Field, creator of the event.

It aims to supply entertainment to three types of readers, Field said.

“First, we want to bring in new readers and give them their first taste for free,” Field said. “The second is to bring back the people who used to be reading comics and the third, to thank current fans for their support over the past year.”

Comics Professional Retailers Organization, the independent comic book retailers trade association, designed Free Comic Book Day to attract the three markets of people, Field said.

Stang and Field agreed collecting and enjoying comics is a hobby for children and adults.

“For way too long, comics have sort of been pigeonholed as this thing for kids,” Field said. “But there is so much good material out there for different audiences that I really feel that anybody who does enjoy pleasure reading will enjoy something in comics.”

Jared Gardner, an associate professor in English and film studies at Ohio State and the director of the popular culture studies minor, said he grew up loving comic books and that liking comic books is an enjoyable pastime.

“The pleasure of comics for me has always been the fact that comics require the reader to be so actively involved in telling the story, in filling in the spaces between the panels,” Gardner said in an email. “So the process is a highly interactive and imaginative one. That is part of the reason, I believe, why hardcore fans get so deeply attached to their favorite titles and creators.”

Stang said he expects turnout be just as successful as past years.

“We are expecting this year to be as busy, if not busier,” Stang said. “Especially with so much hype around (‘The Avengers’), people are going crazy for it.”

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