Free Comic Book Day aims for new readers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Buoyed by a pair of big budget superhero films this summer, retailers and publishers are poised to give away free comics at events aimed at building communities among long-time fans and at capturing new readers.

Free Comic Book Day is held annually on the first Saturday in May.

It is more than a marketing move by comic book publishers and retailers aimed at drumming up new readers. It's also become a chance for readers to find a sense of community with fellow fans who are blending the appeal of caped crusaders and arch-villains on screens with the printed page.

Mike Ferrero, who owns Fat Jack's Comicrypt in Philadelphia, said Friday he's seen the number of new readers grow each year.