published Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Chattanooga: Library feeds comic frenzy

by Laura Galbraith
  • photo
    Staff Photo by Gillian Bolsover Mei Li Zuber sits down with a comic book during free comic book day at the Hamilton County Bicentennial Library Saturday. The event was part of the library's teen programing, which includes a monthly anime show.

Comic book fans demonstrated their own superpower speed and agility on Saturday at the annual Free Comic Book Day at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library.

In a matter of minutes, comics ranging from “Star Wars” to “The Archies” were swiped off the tables by eager readers of all ages.

“We had quite a rush, so we’re very pleased,” said Ali Banks, one of the main organizers of the event.

This is the fourth year the Chattanooga library has participated in the giveaway, which takes place on the first Saturday in May at several comic book stores and libraries worldwide.

“It’s fun, it’s creative and it’s just another facet of the library of what we have to offer, and that’s why we take part in it,” Ms. Banks said.

The celebration happened to coincide with the big-screen release of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” which opened this weekend.

Mei Li Zuber, 14, is a part of the library’s Teen Advisory Board and helped out with the event.

She said there is a lot people can take away from reading a comic book or graphic novel.

“They’re fun, and it’s something to take (people’s) mind off everything else,” she said. “It’s kind of an escape to somewhere else.”

Attendees also got to try their hand at drawing their own comic book characters, thanks to the some of the library’s instructional books.

A superhero movie that played in the auditorium also kept visitors busy.

Ms. Banks said one reason comics are so popular is because they make up a part of American culture.

“The stories are usually very well told,” she said. “If you’re maybe not ready to read a thick novel of some kind, graphic books, graphic novels and comics are a good way to get involved with the characters.”

Dicehead Games & Comics helped supply free comic books for the celebration at the library.

Local stores such as B&M Amusement Co. and Comic Hound also participated in the event at their own locations.

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