Masks required, spandex optional: Free Comic Book Day continues in 2020

Tim Hanson / West Edmonton Coin & Stamp

Superheroes weren’t the only ones masking up for this year’s version of Free Comic Book Day.

Like most events in 2020, Free Comic Book Day looked a little different than the past 18 years – first of all, it normally takes place on the first Saturday in May.

“Obviously it’s been a bit of a shaky year for any kind of event,” said Tim Hanson with West Edmonton Coin and Stamp.

Back in March, distributor Diamond Comics postponed Free Comic Book day due to COVID-19. In June, they announced that it would be going ahead as Free Comic Book Summer, allowing individual stores the flexibility to hold events any time between July 15th and September 9th.

“We ended up settling on August 29th to have one last hurrah… before kids head back to school,” Hanson said.

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And of course, all COVID-19 safety measures were applied.

Customers wear masks and use hand sanitizer before selecting a free comic. Tim Hanson / West Edmonton Coin & Stamp

“Masks are obviously a must in the store. We’re offering people hand sanitizer, and frankly insisting they use some before they come in,” Hanson said. “And we’ve spaced the comic books and giveaways out so that people aren’t bunching up, and there’s a limit on how many people can be in the store.”

A variety of comics were available, from large distributors like Marvel and DC to independent and local artists. Hanson said that whatever their customers were after, it was just nice to be able to go ahead with the event and have some fun during these uncertain times.

“Whether you’re a comic book fan, or bringing your kids to have a little fun before the end of summer, I think it’s a really great thing for the community to be able to get together to celebrate something when they can, as safely as they can.”


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