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Calling All Collectors: Free Comic Book Day in L.N. Today

It's time for the annual event that includes a visit from a professional comic book artist and special sale at Nuclear Comics & Skate Shop.

Whether you like your comic book pages adorned with Superman or space invaders, Saturday is the day to head out to "Free Comic Book Day" at

Owner Kenny Jacobs said Free Comic Book Day is an annual event that begins at 9 a.m. and it has been running for more than a decade. It is held on the first Saturday of May.

"We give away more comics than any other shop in Orange County," he said. "We have a big sale the entire weekend and for the past 2 years, we've had a professional comic book artist at the store, doing free sketches and signing comics. This year the artist is Drew Edward Johnson."

Johnson's work can be seen in such comic books as Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Spiderman, to name a few. 

Johnson started drawing comic books in 1995 with Dark Horse Comics'/Lucasfilm's STAR WARS X-WING: ROGUE SQUADRON. His work has since been published by DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Top Cow, DDP and Wildstorm.

Last year, the shop hosted famed comic book creator and illustrator James Silvani, a former Laguna Niguel resident.

He has provided cover artwork for BOOM Studios' Muppet titles including  Muppet King Arthur and Muppet Snow White. Another fan favorite is Darkwing Duck, a Disney character from the 1990s who returned to the world of comic books in June 2010.

The Store

In business since 1999, Jacobs said he hosts the event to help promote comics by getting people in the comic book store.  

"Also to promote comics as a source of quality reading for ALL ages, not just for children," Jacobs said. "I'd like people to come that might have an interest in checking out comics and especially people with kids because most of the FREE comics are for all ages."

Get to the shop early as the line tends to start before the doors even open, he said.

"It's usually so busy that I can never tell how many people show up but we usually go through more than 2,000 comics on Free Comic Book Day," he said.

What's the continued fascination with comics book anyway?

"People are passionate about comic books just as they are passionate about reading books or watching movies or even watching or playing sports. People get into things for so many different reasons and comics are no different," he said.

"Although most comic books are fiction, almost every possible genre of story is represented in comics today so that there is something for everyone."

Most Sought After

And while collecting comic books can be expensive, there are books available for every budget.

The most expensive comic that Jacobs ever sold is a Walking Dead No. 1, which he just sold last month for $600.  

"Walking Dead is currently my best-selling monthly comic book. It's a black and white 'zombie' comic book which is also a TV show on the AMC network. The comic book started years ago but the TV show just finished its second season and is already the most popular basic cable show in the history of TV. The comic book and the TV show are both equally amazing."

The most sought after books these days are very old books from the late 30s and 40s. In the last two years, two individual comic books, Action Comics No. 1 and Detective Comics No. 27 have both sold for more than $1 million.  Action Comics No. 1 came out in 1938 and is the first appearance of Superman, a copy just sold last year for more than $2 million and Detective Comics No. 27 is the first appearance of Batman and came out in 1939. A copy of Detective sold for 1.5 million in 2011.

As for Jacobs he said he got into the business because he loved comic books, and: "I wanted to own my own business and I thought that I could do it better than the competition."

And if you thought he might have his own personal collection, think again.

"I have no need for a personal collection because everything in the store is mine so I get to buy it, read it and then sell it," he said.

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