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'It's really great to pass on a passion': Celebrating Free Comic Book Day in Cambridge

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Comic book shops in Waterloo region joined in on one of the comic book industry’s biggest yearly celebrations.

Saturday was ‘Free Comic Book Day,’ a day when shops across North America give away a selection of free comic books to fans and newcomers alike.

The event is held on the first Saturday in May and features titles from titans of the industry, like DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Dark Horse Comics, as well as some independent publishers.

Millions of books have been handed out since Free Comic Book Day first began in 2002, with thousands of shops choosing to take part.

For many fans, it’s a day they look forward to all year long.

“I opened [the store] two hours early and there was a lineup at the door!” Andrew Salter, owner of The Hero’s Tale in Cambridge told CTV News Saturday morning.

“The first two hours have been very, very busy,” he laughed.

Passing on a passion

Several people who stopped by The Hero’s Tale came with young family members who are just starting their journeys into the world of comic books.

“I’ve been reading comic books most of my life. It’s really great to pass on a passion to the next generation,” Harold Bost said after he helped his three-year-old son Jude pick out a couple of free books.

Jude was all smiles as he held up his selections, Spidey and His Amazing Friends and Barkham Asylum.

“It’s really cool that we have a local comic store now,” Bost said. “We didn’t have one before, and ever since this place opened it’s been so great for the community and the hobby.”

For other young fans, it was a chance to pick up some books from their favourite series and consider diving into some new adventures.

“I really like reading. Sometimes I’ll stay up until midnight reading,” ten-year-old Ezri Patten said while holding a stack of manga and comic books in her arms. “I really enjoy comic books, manga, and it’s really nice to have this place.”

“It’s really great to have this in the community. It’s nice to be able to come down to downtown Preston. It’s a lot more alive then it used to be a few years ago,” Rebecca Patten said. “Manga and comics have been a great way to get them excited about reading.”

Picking just two free comic books was a bit of a challenge for eight-year-old Koda.

“It was pretty hard!” he said. “I went with some stuff that I thought looked cool and some stuff I’ve seen trailers [for],” he said, showing off a comic book tie-in to the upcoming Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes movie.

“I was really young when I first started reading, and I couldn’t stop reading, and I started with comic books,” Salter said. “Then I went to novels, and still maintain my comic books as well. I’m still a ferocious reader to this day, and it all started because of comic books.”

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