The Hippo


Jul 22, 2019








Two cosplayers at last year’s Free Comic Book Day at Double Midnight Comics. Courtesy photo.

Comics to look out for

We asked the state’s comic book people which limited-time, one-day-only titles they were most excited to hand out. You can see all the titles at, which also includes free preview downloads.
• Archie #1 FCBD 2016 Edition #1
• Sonic Sampler FCBD 2016 Edition
• DC Super Hero Girls #1 FCBD 2016 Edition
• Con Man’s Spectrum FCBD 2016 Edition
• One Punch Man/My Hero Academia FCBD 2016 Edition
• Assassin’s Creed FCBD 2016 Edition
• Avengers #1 FCBD 2016 Edition (Civil War II #1)
• Bob’s Burgers FCBD 2016 Edition
• Doctor Who: Four Doctors Special FCBD 2016 Edition
• Grumpy Cat (And Pokey!) Special FCBD 2016 Edition
Captain America: Civil War mini-comic con
At O’Neil Cinemas, Brickyard Square, 24 Calef Highway, Epping, on Thursday, May 5, from 4 to 7 p.m. before the premiere of Captain America: Civil War, you can attend a pre-screening party in the company of many area comic book people, including the staff from Double Midnight Comics, Jetpack Comics, Krypton Pop Culture Emporium and Pop Culture. There will be trivia, giveaways and cosplayers; masks, props, face paint and fake weapons will not be permitted in the theater. Thursday screenings that night are at 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Visit or call 679-3529.
The Toxic Avenger
Jetpack Comics is sponsoring the stage production of  The Toxic Avenger, which won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical, at the Rochester Opera House, 31 Wakefield St., Rochester, with 7:30 p.m. shows Thursdays through Saturdays, May 5 through May 15, and 2 p.m. shows Saturday, May 7; Saturday, May 14; and Sunday, May 15. The musical is a love story that stars an unlikely hero, his beautiful girlfriend, a corrupt mayor and two guys who play everyone else, and at a few shows audiences have a chance to meet Lloyd Kaufman, co-founder of TROMA STUDIOS — on Friday, May 6, at the post-show party at The Garage, 76 Wakefield St., Rochester, and at Free Comic Book Day at the Rochester Opera House. Show tickets are $18. Visit Call 335-1992.
Get your comic fix
• Double Midnight Comics, 245 Maple St., Manchester, 669-9636, and 67 S. Main St., Concord, 669-9636; visits by guest artists Andy Price, Robbins Studios, Zeke Savory, Amanda Howlett, Wicked Little Studio, Hamiltoons, Dennis Burke, Jason Casey, Scott Ambruson, Nicole Hansche and Emily Drouin; huge costume contest with more than $2,000 in prizes; raffles; door prizes to the first 100 people 
• Jetpack Comics, 37 N. Main St., Rochester, 330-9636,; most events will be at the Governor’s Inn Hotel, 78 Wakefield St., Rochester, but this event also includes a downtown scavenger hunt, with a map available online, a costume contest with $1,200 in prizes, and visiting artists Georgia Ball, Matt Frank, Jeremy Robinson, Jeffrey Kline, Matt Talbot, Thomas Sniegoski, Bob Raymond, Rich Wooddall, Jennifer Omand, Randy Buccini and writers Greg Bastianelli, James Moore, Tyler James and more than a dozen other creators
• Collectibles Unlimited, 25 South St., Concord, 228-3712, 
• Newbury Comics, 777 S. Willow Plaza, Manchester, 624-2842; and 436 S. Broadway, Salem, 890-1380; 293 DW Highway, Nashua, 888-0720
• NeonBomb, 710 Somerville St., Manchester, 505-8098, coloring contest for the kids, costume contest
• Merrymac Games and Comics, 550 DW Highway, Merrimack, 420-8161; Comic book artist signing with Ed McGuinness (Spiderman, Deadpool), Elias Chatzoudis (IDW), Christopher Uminga (Living Dead, Ghostbusters) and Adam Hughes
• Pop Culture, 66 Rte 27, Raymond, 244-1850
• The Comic Store, 115 Northeastern Blvd., Nashua, 881-4855
• Nex-Gen Comics, 122 Bridge St., Unit 3, Pelham, 751-8195
• Chris’s Cards & Comics, 341 S. Broadway, Salem, 898-4151, and 919 Lafayette Road, Route 1, Seabrook, 474-2283, cosplay artist Harley Quinn will greet customers
• Stairway to Heaven Comics, 105 Gosling Road, Newington, 319-6134, comic book artist Katie McMahon will demonstrate her craft
• Krypton Pop Culture Emporium, 103 Water St., Exeter, 997-2107, includes cosplay visits and will be accompanied by town-wide event Exeter Kids’ Day on May 7
See all participating stores at, which also contains a list of the comics available and more details on the event.


15 years of fandom
Suit up for Free Comic Book Day

By Kelly Sennott

 New Hampshire takes Free Comic Book Day pretty seriously.

The national holiday for comic book lovers of all stripes — from the occasional fan of the Marvel movies to the longtime collector who has issues still in plastic sleeves — is this Saturday, May 7, just in time for a superhero movie release (Captain America: Civil War). On this day, bookstores across the country purchase one-day-only FCBD titles and give them away to customers, making it the perfect opportunity to either try comics, or try new comics, at no cost.
The event turns 15 this year, and New Hampshire stores are still finding growing crowds. Some event attendees experience the day like a tour, stopping at each of the state’s participating locations and picking up comic books like candy on Halloween. Others camp out at the businesses throwing the biggest parties — which, in New Hampshire’s case, are Double Midnight Comics in Manchester and Jetpack Comics in Rochester.
Double Midnight co-owner Brett Parker said he sees thousands at the store every FCBD, hundreds who dress in cosplay. Some comic-lovers will stop at both the Manchester and Concord locations that weekend for the stores’ free comics, enormous costume contest with $2,000 in prizes, raffles, door prizes and local artists showing their work and drawing live. Some people, he said, camp out the night before, bringing along a table and busting out Dungeons & Dragons, Magic the Gathering or Settlers of Catan to pass the time until morning, when the first 100 in line get their winnings: packages of comics.
“It’s definitely become an entity unto itself,” Parker said. “Every year gets bigger and bigger. … The first year we ordered [FCBD comics], we had a bunch of extras. Every year, even though we bump it up, we’re left with less and less. … Last year, we went through just about everything. People are taking advantage of the free goodness.”
Ralph DiBernardo of Jetpack Comics said the Rochester shop will have, in addition to the 50 FCBD titles available that day, 500 free comic titles the store has been collecting all year long. Staff there involve the entire city in FCBD, with downtown businesses participating in a sort of scavenger hunt. 
New in Rochester this year is a costume contest with about $1,200 in cash prizes. DiBernardo said event-goers may catch glimpses of Deadpool, Superman, Batman, Hellboy, Wonder Woman, Thor and Captain America, and, for the first time ever, Fiammetta, the new Jetpack Comic character/mascot, whose name means “Fiery One” in Italian. She has red hair and is dressed like a World War II fighter pilot with a jetpack backpack.
Ariel Case will dress as Fiammetta. The regular cosplayer approached the shop about six months ago with the idea of creating a Jetpack character and an online cosplay community centered about the shop. Thanks to her, the business is now a hub for cosplayers, with regular workshops on costume sewing and prop building.
“People who do the cosplay competitions are very passionate about it and spend a lot of time, effort and money to show off their looks,” DiBernardo said via phone. “We’ll have a completely new crowd here this year.”
The comic store moved the main event to an indoor-outdoor venue at the Governor’s Inn, which is also where its after party happens. 
“Normally Jetpack is one of the stops on the scavenger hunt, and sometimes there’s a three- to four-hour wait to get in. We’re opening a second location just to handle Free Comic Book Day. It’s three doors down from us, and we’re unofficially calling it the Free Comic Book Day Store,” DiBernardo said. 
Staff have been busy getting ready, to say the least; there were so many people planning to stay at the Governor’s Inn for the event, DiBernardo had to arrange for overflow guests at the Holiday Inn a couple miles down the street. A week before the big day, the website went down thanks to overuse.
Rochester isn’t the only town rallying around the event. Owner of Krypton Pop Culture Emporium Joe Galvin said 2015 was the first time the store participated, and it was so successful the whole town’s holding its inaugural Exeter Kids’ Day from noon to 4 p.m. at Founder’s Park, with free admission to the American Independence Museum, a Touch-a-Truck event at Swasey Parkway and demos by the New Hampshire State Police Canine Unit, a magician and a juggler.
“It brings in so many different types of people, and some who haven’t read comics in a long time. So it’s just terrific to ... be able to bring more exposure to the great media of storytelling that is comics,” Brad Gile, owner of Stairway to Heaven Comics, said. 

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