Image Collections has been a staple of Streetsville for 28 years, along with Free Comic Book Day, on the first Saturday in May.

The annual comic book giveaway, which began in 2001, takes place May 5 at the Image Collections location, 181a Queen Street South.

It’s a day-long event that begins with activities at 9:30 a.m. The store opens at 10 and the giveaways start at 10:30. However, this is such a popular event that people start arriving between 6-7 a.m. There are prizes for the first 100, who are given numbers instead of having to stand in line. Tents are set up in the parking lot.

“It is a promotional tool for not only getting people to read, but also exposing them to an art form that they may not be familiar with,” said Image Collections owner/manager Todd Mara. “It’s grown into a really huge event, almost like a Christmas celebration for comic book fans, especially with Marvel Movies and TV shows. It’s been an invitation for people of all ages and all types to come into a store like ours.”

The free comic books are supplied to comic book retailers at a reduced price to give out to customers.

“It provides an opportunity to stand as a diverse entertainment medium similar to TV and movies,” Mara added. “The first industry-wide Free Comic Book Day was in 2002 and was centered on the first Spider Man movie.”

The event features writers and artists as well as discussion groups and debates on various topics. Daniel Wong of Streetsville, who is also known by his pen name Oshouki, will be in attendance. He is the co-creator of the fantasy-action series Celtic Shaman. He also published the eBook called Riftworld Legends that is doing well.

Photo: Hop Ho and his three-year-old “superhero” son, Zachary, hang out with Spider Man outside Image Collections’ Free Comic Book Day.

Photo credit: Perry Lefko

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