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POW! Columbia shops bring Marvel Comics artists and much more on Free Comic Book Day

First appearance of Iron Man featured in USC’s new collection

USC received 180,000 comic books featuring superheroes from Marvel and DC.
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USC received 180,000 comic books featuring superheroes from Marvel and DC.

Comic books hold the origin stories of some of the most culturally relevant films of today. With Marvel Comic’s Avengers: Endgame nearly doubling the former worldwide opening box office record and upcoming films and shows like Joker, based on DC Comics’ notorious Batman foil, and HBO’s new Watchmen series firing up the masses, Free Comic Day is a time to get back to the roots of these massively entertaining experiences.

As the name implies, on Free Comic Book Day, which happens Saturday, May 4, shops hand out a variety of costless paper books. Shops around Columbia and the Midlands have a host of other events to lure you in quicker than Thanos can snap his finger. Here’s what’s happening around town.

Scratch N’ Spin - 513 12th St., West Columbia

Scratch N’ Spin has one of the most extensive events on Free Comic Book Day. The day will include cosplay, trivia, giveaways, and guest comic makers. Chuck Brown — who worked with Marvel on an edition of Black Panther, and penned books Image, Dark Horse and others — will be in store. Also in the shops will be Ethan and Rachel “Bird” Mongin of Pretty Weird Art, Trevor Tate, Corey Mikell, Kristin Keely (AKA Shellsweet), Mike Sudduth and John Pading from Frank Comics. The artists will do sketches and signings. Probably the largest of the three Columbia area stores, Scratch N’ Spin is a pop-culture hub, stocking music, movies, comics, games, collectables and other merchandise. Some comics will be 25 to 50 percent off, and used DVD, CD and Blu-Rays prices will be cut in half. Toys, video games, vinyl records and even cassette tapes will also be on sale. If you cosplay or come in a costume, you receive “a special prize.”

Heroes & Dragons - 1621 Broad River Rd., Columbia

Heroes & Dragons is moving out in style. Free Comic Book Day is the store’s last day at its current location in the Boozer Shopping Center before the shop moves to 1807 Bush River Road. Check it out on Saturday if you want to see some of the folks who make comics. Chad Bowers, one of the creators of Marvel’s X-Men ‘92, will be in store as well as local artist Corey “Roc Bottom” Davis, who drew and wrote Jet Boy. Vic Carrabotta, who helped create horror and war comics for Marvel forerunner Atlas comics in the 1950s, will be doing sketches, commissions, and prints from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.. The store will also open up it’s “vault” for a sale. The store will also hand out free comics, of course.

Cosmic Ray’s - 4427 Devine St., Columbia

Cosmic Ray’s is a shop in the weathered strip of stores on Devine Street near the Walgreens. The store will have plenty of Free Comic Book Day exclusives as well as raffles, giveaways and other free books. Wanna cosplay? Ray is cool with that.

2nd and Charles - 275-1 Harbison Blvd., Columbia

The Harbison store will have comic giveaways. Also, the store is running a special if you buy five used comics, you get five other comics for free. An artist will also be in store who hasn’t been announced yet.

The Fine Art of Baseball - 7201 Two Notch Rd., Columbia (Columbia Place Mall)

The Fine Art of Baseball sells alternative and used retro comics. They have a buy one get one deal on books starting at $3.99. They don’t have the free books associated with Free Comic Book Day but they’re a unique shop with a unique story.

Galactic Comics - 1641 W. Palmetto St., Florence

If you’re in the Pee Dee, Galactic Comics has a day full of entertainment. On top of the free comic books, the store will have body paint demonstration done by Ashley Newitte on cosplayer Amber Poston. 99.3 FM, The Cat radio personalities Mudflap and Palmer will be at the shop. Local artists Miranda Gainey and Scott Harrell are scheduled to be at Galactic and a fire demonstration happens around 8 p.m.

Legends Comics - 702 S Irby St., Florence

Legends Comics is open for Free Comic Book Day. Cosplayers in Batman, Green Arrow, and Spiderman will be on hand as well as an Iron Man themed vehicle. Local artists Chris McJunkin and Ernie Suggs will be sketching, signing and selling art and possibly taking commissions. The store will also have a raffle to win Daredevil merchandise.

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