Panama City to celebrate free comic book day

Local News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — They’ve taken over the box office and they remain royalty in specialty shops across the country… and on Saturday, you can get in on the action for free.

“It’s a great medium it’s a visual medium that does a lot to educate you,” Arena Comics and Gaming Owner, James Finlayson said.

In America — the comics industry is a 1.2 billion dollar business. And that’s before they even make it to the movies. But fans say the hobby is about more than what the books are worth.

Librarian Katharine Kan said comics can play an important role in education.

“They’re a fun form of reading. They’re also what the educators like to call intermodal. In that you are using several different ways of reading because you are interpreting the pictures as well as the words,” Kan said. “I like to say you are exercising your whole brain.”

On Saturday the library will offer gift bags with free comics.

The two local comic book shops in Panama City, Arena Comics and Comic Emporium, will let customers pick out a few from a wide selection.

“It’s really gonna by your flavor what you like. Do you want a horror book? Do you want a sci-fi book? Do you want a superhero book? So you kind of a feel-good all ages kind of vibe to it? There’s a lot of different books spread out for a lot of different readers,” Finlayson said.

This year, the familiar faces of Spider-Man, Archie, and The Smurfs are joined by a few real-life heroes– like civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

And if on free comic book day you or your child finds a new passion, they can come back to buy comics at the comic book shops and borrow them at the library.

“And just be open to comics as just another form of reading. Cookbooks even we have graphic novel cookbooks in here,” Kan said.

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