The Hippo


Apr 24, 2019








Got a hero costume? These kids dressed up for last year’s event at Double Midnight. Anita Johnson photo.

Free Comic Book Day

Saturday, May 3
Contact stores for hours
Participating stores
• Chris’s Cards & Comics, 341 S. Broadway, Salem, 898-4151; 919 Lafayette Road, Seabrook, 474-2283,
• Updog Comics, 160 Plaistow Road, #12, Plaistow, 819-5528,
• Merrymac Games and Comics, 515 DW Highway, Merrimack, 420-8161
• Newbury Comics, 777 S. Willow Plaza, Manchester, 624-2842; 293 DW Highway, Nashua, 888-0720; 436 S. Broadway, Salem, 890-1380,
• Double Midnight Comics, 245 Maple St., Manchester, 669-9636; at 67 S. Main St., Concord, 715-2683,
• Comics Plus, 3 Church St., Goffstown, 321-3083,
• Shield Comics, 1 High St., Meredith, 707-6067,
• Collectibles Unlimited, 25 S. St., Concord, 228-3712,
• The Comic Store, 115 Northeastern Blvd., Nashua, 881-4855, the
• Nex-Gen Comics, 122 Bridge St., Unite 3, Pelham, 751-8195
• Pop Culture NH, LLC, 66 Route 27, Unite B, Raymond, 244-1850,
• Stairway to Heaven Comics, 121 Water St., Exeter, 580-4682,
• Jetpack Comics, LLC, 37 N. Main St., Rochester, 330-9636,
A Ninja Turtle reunion
Jetpack Comics in Rochester is often visited by faraway comic book lovers during Free Comic Book Day, as the downtown spectacular is more like a festival than a singular event, with an exhibition hall and 20 participating businesses.
This year, Jetpack owner Ralph DiBernardo knows for sure that a few attendees will trekking from places as far as California and Colorado, Nova Scotia and Florida. This year’s special event? A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creators’ reunion.
The creators of the young, crime-fighting reptiles lived on the New Hampshire seacoast when their comics were first printed, and what’s more, DiBernardo knew Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird before they were famous. 
“When they first started their book in 1984, I was their comic book dealer,” DiBernardo said. “When it came out, I bought 500 copies and sold them at the convention where they first premiered the book. … I was just out of high school, and I retailed comic books at a flea market in Newington.”
Last year, Eastman made a trip to Jetpack on Free Comic Book Day and had “such a good time, he asked if he could come back next year, and promised he’d get Peter to come, too,” DiBernardo said.
Sure enough, he did, and with impeccable timing, as this reunion occurs just one day before the 30th anniversary of the convention in which they first premiered the turtles. It’ll be 20 years since they were last together. 
They’ll be at the exhibition hall to autograph a special issue cover along with a handful of other vendors and demonstrators. 

Get them while they’re free
Free Comic Book Day is May 3

By Kelly Sennott

 If you’ve never participated in Free Comic Book Day, it works something like this: Go to a participating shop. Get free comic books.

There are no loopholes, no hidden costs or anything like that — the participating stores are the ones who end up footing the bill, and they do so hoping to spread love and joy for comic books, particularly to those who wouldn’t normally buy them. 
“We just love comics,” Double Midnight Comics owner Chris Proulx said in a phone interview. “And we want to get as many people in the store as possible, to get them exposed to comics, whether they pick up the free comics and head for the hills or, hopefully, come back to see us and get some more.”
This is Free Comic Book Day’s 12th year, and it’s happening Saturday, May 3. The event began in 2002 by Joe Fields of Flying Color Comics in California to raise people’s awareness of the original American art form and has since expanded dramatically. It’s a worldwide event, and locally, New Hampshire has three times the number of shops for this year’s Free Comic Book Day as it had three years ago, Jetpack Comics owner Ralph DiBernardo said in an email.
Many of those shops are also holding big bonanzas for the occasion — this is the first year that Double Midnight Comics will have two spots to give out free comic books (they opened their second location in Concord in late 2013), and they’re celebrating with more than 40 artists and special visitors.
Double Midnight doesn’t do Free Comic Book Day lightly; in addition to a handful of extra special guests (Gail Simone, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb, Sara Richard, Marjorie M. Liu, Alex de Campi, Ransom Getty, Blair Shedd and Roger Andrews), it will be holding the “ultimate DMC FCBD raffle,” which includes a chance to win gift cards, a VIP pass to Granite State Comic Con and signed items. Those visitors in line extra early — last year, the earliest person began waiting at 6:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. opening — will be rewarded with extra comic book packs. 
There will be free barbecue during lunch hours in Manchester, plus face painting, coloring contests and a costume contest whose prize includes free entry to the 2014 Granite State Comic Con and a handful of other New England conventions.
Proulx is particularly excited for visitors to check out the free Guardians of the Galaxy selection.
“We’re going to have a couple of comics based off the Guardians of the Galaxy, which is Marvel’s next big movie. It ties into Captain America, Ironman, Avengers. … You can pick up a couple of comics to get a primer on who these guys are,” Proulx said. (The film comes out in August.)
“It’s a free taste of what comics are all about. It’s also for people who might not know we’re here or who have never read comics before, or people who have fallen out of comics and don’t realize they’re not just Spiderman and Batman anymore,” he said.
Local stores will likely hold different titles; visit the businesses’ websites (above) or call for details. Visit
As seen in the May 1, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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