Saturday, May 3 is set to be the day when thousands of people around the world will flock to their local comic book stores to celebrate Free Comic Book Day, an annual event for comic enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
Downtown Hattiesburg’s Southern Fried Comics (SFC) will be hosting its own Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) event featuring nerd core hip-hop artist Adam WarRock and artist Chris Haley, co-creator of the webcomic “Let’s Be Friends Again.”
University of Southern Mississippi alumna Taylor Meyers has been working at SFC since the shop opened in 2010. She said FCBD provides the local community with the opportunity to experience something new.
“I think that FCBD definitely offers Hattiesburg residents a view of a different side of the city they might not have known existed before,”
“We get people who wander in all the time who say, ‘I had no idea people still read comics.’ So FCBD offers to shed some light (on) that. Yes, comic book fans do still exist and are thriving, and they are right here in Hattiesburg.”
Owner and manager of SFC Barry Herring echoes the international praise that Free Comic Book Day has received on the event website. He said that in his personal experience comic books can be beneficial to people
of all ages.
“Opening a comic shop was always a dream of mine,” Herring said. “I’ve loved comics since I was a little kid, and I credit them with inspiring my life-long
love of reading.”
For the past three years, SFC has connected with a local charity on FCBD to raise money and supplies for various causes. This year’s FCBD charity partnership is with the United Blood Services of Mississippi.
Co-Founder of SFC Jayme Foster explains that her store chose this charity because they saw that Mississippi was an area with a high demand for blood donations.
“Mississippi is a blood import state,” Foster said. “That means that we don’t donate enough to supply our community with the lifesaving blood it needs.”
“A few recent incidents like the SXSW tragedy brought it to our minds. After looking into it and discovering how low our local supplies are, and how many myths keep people from donating blood, it just really made us want to shine the light
on blood donation.”
What are those myths exactly? Foster said many people think they cannot donate because of certain medical conditions, because they take certain medications or because they have a tattoo and so forth. Yet in reality donation restrictions are constantly being updated, and it is important to let people know if these restrictions no longer apply to them.
Those who attend FCBD, who decide to donate blood or platelets can put their name on a VIP list which will give them access to extra perks and freebies in addition to their free comic book, courtesy of SFC.
The event is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 3. For more information, visit the Southern Fried Comics Facebook page or the Free Comic Book Day at SFC events page on Facebook.