Comic book fans everywhere celebrated this year’s worldwide Halloween ComicFest on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Halloween ComicFest is one of the two major times per year, along with Free Comic Book Day in May, that various comic book publishers – such as DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW and more – create special comic book issues made to be distributed for free to patrons of local comic shops.
Comic shops that wish to participate order the books at a discounted price and then give them away the day of the event. Not every comic shop participates, but some, such as Hattiesburg’s Bombshell Comics, did.
To prepare for Halloween ComicFest, Bombshell Comics cleared an entire wall to place the free issues on, held storewide sales, hosted a costume contest and had hourly raffles for prize giveaways, some well worth over $100. In addition, tents were set up outside the store with tables filled with boxes of comic books customers could search through and buy for 50 cents per issue.
In the past, Bombshell has had many different guests appear to these types of events, including comic book writers and artists, actors and renowned cosplayers. At this year’s Halloween ComicFest, Bombshell invited cosplayer Elisabeth Dennis, who goes by the stage-name “Niresse.” Dennis appeared dressed as a humanoid Absol, a character from the “Pokémon” franchise – a combination of makeup and wardrobe that took her three hours that morning to assemble.
“It’s rewarding when fans, especially children, recognize the character I’m dressed as and get excited,” said Dennis.
Dennis sold prints of herself in her many costumes over the last few years at the event while customers browsed through the store and selected their free and reduced-cost comic book issues from the shelves.
Not all comic shops offer such an array of deals and giveaways, which is largely fine, given that it is not always profitable for every comic shop across the globe to do so.
“You get what you put into it,” Bombshell Comics manager and owner Justin Adcock said.
By doing what Bombshell does for Halloween ComicFest, Adcock cites that the shop makes about as much profit in one day as it takes to make in two weeks of regular patronage.
“Bombshell treats its people well,” Hattiesburg resident Cameron Pugh said. “Most of these comics and figures and such can be purchased online, but with all that the store puts into [Halloween ComicFest], it’s cool to return the favor and support your local shop.”