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Up up and away! Free Comic Book Day returns on May 6 at Carry-On Comics in Waterloo

Free Comic Book Day always fills me with nostalgia for The Incredible Hulk, Bat Man, Flash, Spider-Man, X-Men, Aquaman, Fantastic Four, Black Panther, G.I. Joe, Wonder Woman, The Mighty Thor, and Superman, writes Marshall Ward.

My Bonn Park Podcast co-host Sara, knowing I'm a longtime collector of comic books, recently gifted me some gems featuring Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, and Avengers comics.

For me, one of the only things better than buying a great comic is getting one for free!

So I'm excited for the return of Free Comic Book Day on May 6.

I’m usually one of the first people in line at Carry-On Comics and Books in uptown Waterloo, waiting for the doors to open.

It’s an annual promotional effort in the North American comic book industry to help bring new readers to independent comic book stores like Carry-On Comics.

Free Comic Book Day always fills me with nostalgia for The Incredible Hulk, Bat Man, Flash, X-Men, Aquaman, Fantastic Four, Black Panther, The Mighty Thor, and of course, Superman, who debuted in Action Comics #1 in June 1938.

The Action Comics #1 issue includes the story of Superman's origins and is considered to be the start of the superhero genre, and of the fledging comic book industry.

In my favourite book about classic comics, “1000 Comic Books You Must Read,” author Tony Isabella writes: “There were comic books way before Superman, though most didn’t look much like Action Comics #1. Yet it remains my firm conviction that it was the son of Jor-l who took what could easily have been a passing fad and made it a permanent part of our national scene.”

Superman was and is an American story, and I’ve always been fascinated by the origins of its creation.

“Superman was a bridge between comic strips and the true comic books,” writes Isabella. “The last son of Krypton was created by Cleveland teenagers Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster in 1933. The high school buddies, who teamed on their school paper and various science-fiction fanzines, tried for years without success to sell Superman as a newspaper comic strip.”

In Isabella’s book, he chronicles how Siegel and Schuster were determined and eventually broke into the new medium of comic books with Superman, that led to “The Man of Steel” appearing on the cover of the landmark Action Comics #1 issue.

A rare edition of Action Comics #1 sold for a record $3.25 million last year, making it the world's most valuable comic book. It is believed that only about 100 copies of the comic still exist.

“The Man of Steel’s fame and subsequent fortune led to the creation of hundreds of other costumed champions with powers and abilities far beyond those of ordinary men and women,” writes Isabella.

Comic books are a playground of the imagination. Whether you're a collector or a complete newcomer, you're likely to find something you'll love at Free Comic Book Day. Look for me there -- at the front of the line.



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