COLUMBIA - Comic book fans had a chance to pick up some classic comics nationwide Saturday for National Free Comic Book Day.
Hundreds of comic book fans flooded downtown shops like Slackers on Broadway and Rock Bottom Comics on East Walnut Street in Columbia. This year represents a new record with over a million more comics being printed for sale than last year.
Rock Bottom Comics Manager James Cagle said the store ordered close to sixty titles to be given away for free Saturday, including Superman, Infinity, and the Walking Dead.
He said within hours of the store opening, most of the titles were sold out.
"There weren't any titles that were selling quickly that weren't surprising. You have your classics, you have your Walking Dead, so I was very pleased with our numbers for today," Cagle said.
He also said there was much discussion between the store's owner and himself as to how many comic books to order to prepare for an event like this.
"We look at how much we sell per month basically, and then triple that. So if you sell, let's say, 45 copies of Batman in a month, you aren't going to want to order just 50 copies for Free Comic Book Day. That would be stupid," Cagle said.
Free Comic Book Day is always held on the first weekend of May because of the opportunity it gives the comic industry to put out its best product without any competition from the movie industry.
"In the movie industry, nothing happens the first weekend of May, so let's put our big thing out there and see what it does. And then Marvel just claimed the first week of May, in the way that Star Wars is always the third week of May," Cagle said.
According to a study published in the Journal of Child Language, comic books introduce children to nearly twice as many new words as the average children's book and more than five times as many as the average child-adult conversation.