Free Comics!

May is an amazing month.

Not just this May, but every May!

Forget the solstice in June and Memorial Day at the end of the month, I mark the start of my summer by the arrival of the first popcorn flick to hit theaters – such as “Iron Man 3” this May 3.

Add to that the fact that Free Comic Book Day happens on the first Saturday of May each year and, yeah, you’ve got what amounts to being an amazing month.

So much lies in store for us this summer! Will all the comic book films live up to their hype? Will they boost the sales of actual comic books? How will “Game Of Thrones” wrap up? Why is the return of “The Walking Dead” so far away? So much to anticipate. So much to nerd out about!

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY

Every year, comic book shops around the world give away millions of free comic books.

The freebies come on on the first Saturday of May each year and are given away as part of what’s called Free Comic Book Day, an event that’s been happening annually now since 2002.

Locally, Chautauqua Comics in Jamestown is the county’s one source for buying comic books off the rack. And each year, owner Al Steffens hosts a daylong party at his Fairmount Avenue store as part of Free Comic Book Day.

Of course, just because the comics are free, doesn’t mean they’re not quality. The books handed out will be brand-new comic books to store visitors, books which were written, drawn and printed by those in the industry for this special day.

The event at Chautauqua Comics begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. A $50 gift card will go to the best-dressed superhero in the shop’s costume contest. Everyone will receive at least two free comic books as part of the event, but Chautauqua Comics will also be giving away hourly door prizes such as graphic novels, posters and Green Lantern collectibles.

As in past years, there will be hot dogs for sale, a comic book Jeopardy game, sale items available and money will also be collected for charity.

Chautauqua Comics is located at 214 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown and can be reached by calling 664-2287.

RON FRENZ

Artist Ron Frenz will return to Chautauqua Comics this Saturday for Free Comic Book Day.

Frenz is known for his work drawing the Marvel superhero Thor and for having co-created Spider-Man’s symbiotic black costume. His work on Marvel’s “Amazing Spider-Man” title happened before the existence of Venom, back when Peter Parker was wearing the alien symbiote.

In addition to Spider-Man, Frenz co-created the character Spider-Girl, who he got to draw in a comic written by Tom DeFalco. Spider-Girl exists in an alternate future where, as the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson, she’s being raised by a now retired Spider-Man and has taken up the Spider-family crime fighting duties.

Look for Ron Frenz’s artwork this summer on the new book “GI Joe: A Real American Hero.”

And speaking of Thor, which I mentioned at the start of this section about Ron Frenz … Anyone seen the trailer for “The Dark World”? Thor’s solo sequel looks like it’s going to be good stuff: Epic battle scenes, maybe the death of Natalie Portman and, of course, the return of Loki!

STAR WARS DAY

More than just Free Comic Book Day, this coming Saturday is also Star Wars Day.

That’s right, Free Comic Book Day falls on May 4 this year … Or May The Fourth.

Yep. May The Fourth, as in “May the force be with you,” that famous line from the Star Wars films, which people will purposefully misappropriate all day Saturday as a cute little play on words.

The first organized celebration of Star Wars Day apparently took place in Toronto, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema in 2011. The event included an “Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show,” a costume contest with celebrity judges and an internet tribute of films, mash-ups, parodies and remixes. A second event was similarly held last year, which gives me an idea! Star Wars Day in Jamestown next May 4, 2013! Let’s brainstorm, people! Somebody get a hold of the DJDC or Jamestown NOW!

ROLLER DERBY

This is what I love about Chautauqua County. When it rains, it pours.

Summers here are just so chock full of things to do and events being held.

Not only is this Saturday Free Comic Book Day, but there’s another big event being held on May The Fourth!

The Babes of Wrath, Chautauqua County’s roller derby team, will present their 2013 season home opener against the Niagara Roller Girls at the Allen Park Ice Rink.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with the first whistle at 7 p.m. So strap on your best Star Wars garb and try to win a prize while you cheer on the Babes this May The Fourth!

Presale tickets are $8 at the Labyrinth Press Company or $10 at the door the day of the bout. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Reg Lenna Civic Center’s Digital Projector fund, which is raising money for a digital projector to continue screening films in downtown Jamestown.

The Allen Park Ice Rink is located at 200 Elizabeth Ave. in Jamestown. Food will be available to purchase from Flantastic Foods. For more information, call 3200-JAM or visit www.BabesOfWrath.com.

TRIVIA QUESTION

What superhero gained his powers after being exposed to an Egyptian artifact known as the Orb of Ra? Skip to the “Assorted Etceteras” section at the end of this month’s column for the answer.

TRINITY WAR

At a loss for what to do after all the excitement of derby dies down this weekend? Well the answer’s simple, friend. Bury your nose in a book.

Falling behind on DC’s three Justice League titles? Get caught up, because the three teams cross paths this summer in what the company’s calling “Trinity War.”

That’s right, the three Justice League teams will apparently go at it fighting this summer, but for what reason? We don’t yet know.

Not familiar with DC’s New 52? Well, there’s the classic Justice League with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and more big names. Then there’s the Justice League of America with Martian Manhunter, Hawkman, Catwoman, Katanna and others. Plus you’ve got the Justice League Dark, DC’s supernatural team of people like John Constantine, Zatana, Frankenstein, Black Orchid and others.

The six-issue story starts in issue number 22 of “Justice League.”

ASSORTED ETCETERAS

It’s C2E2 this weekend. Can’t make it to Chicago? Neither can I. Damn out of town comic book conventions. Watch for news headlines and pine away with me as we all wish we were there.

More from me in a month’s time, but first, in answer to this month’s trivia question: The character known as Metamorpho gained his powers after being exposed to the Orb of Ra.

Nerding Out With Nick Dean is a monthly column about comic books, movies and more. For more, visit Nerding Out With Nick Dean.blogspot.com.