This Saturday is "Free Comic Book Day" and some 2,000 comic book shops around the world are planning to hand out free comics to customers that day. I remember having quite a large comic book collection as a kid and I kept it safely tucked away until I joined the army in 1968. Of course, like the stereotypical mother that she was, my mother decided to clean out some of the "junk" I left behind and she gave all my comics to some of my younger cousins. I never really missed them but sometimes I do wonder what some of those old comic books would be worth today. We won't even talk about all the baseball cards that she gave away with the comics.
Now in its sixth year, the event asks comic book shops to distribute free comics to customers in hopes of sparking interest in the genre. It was set for Saturday in part to coincide with the Friday opening of "Spider-Man 3."
Al's is one of about 2,000 stores around the world that is expected to participate, said Joe Field, the event's founder and owner of Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff in Concord.
I'm pretty convinced that most people who are readers, at one point or another, have experienced reading comics," Field said.My collection included all the usual Superman and Donald Duck type comics of the fifties and early sixties but I particularly remember the series called Classics Illustrated because those comic books have a lot to do with the love for classic literature that I have today. Each of these comics offered a capsule version of one of the world's classic books, perfectly illustrated in comic book style, and summarized in a way that could easily be understood by a child reader. I'm sure that I'm not the only one of the thousands of kids who collected those comics who couldn't wait to read the real books for themselves. I discovered some great books and authors as a result.
He added that comics can use illustrations to catch the interest of young people who then become engaged in the text. For the past two years, Stockton has ranked last in a national study of whether residents read.
Little research has been done on the effect of comic books on reading. A 1996 study conducted in part by a University of Southern California professor emeritus showed that, among seventh-grade boys at two Southern California schools, those who enjoyed comics read more books than their classmates.