What’s better than free candy for Halloween? How about free comic books for Halloween? For the fifth consecutive year, Cleveland’s favorite comic book oasis, Carol & John’s Comic Book Shop (CNJComics) is hosting its annual Halloween Comicfest. Taking place during store hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 29, the 5th annual Halloween Comicfest at CNJComics includes free candy, free comics and free photo-ops for anyone in costume.
“Being on a smaller scale than Free Comic Book Day, Halloween ComicFest allows the staff and myself to have a lot more fun with the attendees personally, taking pictures together and mashing up costume genres,” says shop owner John Dudas. “I changed costumes four times last year to get the right photos with people.”
With thousands of free comics to give away, this year’s event features 19 full-size comics (including titles for all ages, as well as mature readers) and 13 all ages mini comics. Costumed guests may take one of each title (up to 32 free comics!), but those not in costume won’t be left out – anyone not in costume can still select five free comics. Although CNJComics will have thousands of free comics to give away, the shop always recommends guests arrive early for the best selection.
"This year has a great blend of all ages and adult offerings, with some really creepy horror titles like Harrow County and Black Eyed Kids,” Dudas elaborates. “I think people are going to be very happy about the reads they’re walking away with this year."
Free all-ages full size comics include: Spidey (a new Spider-Man title), Darth Vader: Doctor Alpha, DC Super Hero Girls: Hits and Myths graphic novel, My Little Pony, Action Lab Presents, Adventures of the Aspen Universe, Disney’s Haunted Mansion, Kitaro Strange Fun For Everyone, Scooby Apocalypse Hanna Barbera Sampler, Three Stooges Halloween Hullaballoo, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Choose You Choose Story and Wraithborn.
Free full size comics for mature readers include: Evil Dead 2: Beyond Dead by Dawn, Harrow County, AfterLife With Archie Season Two, Black Eyes Kids, Junji Ito Tomie, Quilte and Zombie T- Dollfaced Witch Hunter.
Free ashcan titles (smaller preview comics) include: Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas Manga, Pokemon Pocket Comics, Grumpy Cat (And Pokey!), Archie Madhouse, Boom Box Halloween, Carpenter’s Travellers Tale, Johnny Boo, Little Tails, Lunch Witch 2, Mickey’s Inferno, Mummy’s Always Right, Peach and the Isle of Monsters and Zombie Camp.
In addition to the free comics and candy, costumed guests can have their photographs taken red carpet style in the foyer attached to the shop.
Cleveland-based photographer Heather Campbell is back again from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Campbell’s work has been featured in publications such as Cleveland Magazine, LiveWell and Inside Business. Photos will be posted on CNJComics’ website and Facebook page within two days of Saturday’s event. The shop encourages guests to use the opportunity for (costumed) family photos, as well as getting professional photos taken of cosplay costumes.
Dudas adds, “We know that a lot of people put a tremendous amount of work into their costume but might not be able to afford a professional photographer to capture all that effort for posterity. We aim to fix that problem for them."
Guests can request a second photo holding their comics to enter “The Greatest Halloween Costume Contest Ever.” Guests are responsible for uploading their photos to the contest’s website by Nov. 7. For more information, ask a CNJComics associate on Saturday or click here
Of course, free comics aren’t free for the comic book shop, and you can support Carol & John’s by making some early holiday purchases or just stocking up for yourself. On both Saturday and Sunday, all back issues will be 50-percent off, and the already discounted graphic novel bins will be 75 percent off.
For 25 years, Carol & John’s has used comics and pop culture to impact generations of its community. The store has received national praise for its charitable and community-based events. It has even received a Diamond Comics Best Practices Award for Best Halloween Comicfest event.
Halloween Comicfest at CNJComics takes place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 29, but the weekend sale continues on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
(Carol & John’s Comic Book Shop) 17462 Lorain Ave., 216-252-0606, cnjcomics.com