Comic book lovers of all ages crowded into Rogue Comics on North Union Avenue Saturday to select from the 22 free issues offered for this year's Free Comic Book Day.
A national event celebrated by comic book fans and retailers, Free Comic Book Day marks the once-a-year moment when major comic book distributers release special comics for free. The spirit of Free Comic Book Day wasn't lost to Cranford, as the freebies were displayed in front of the cash register, and laid out on a small table where eager patrons sorted through the various issues.
"Free Comic Day is great for people," Rogue Comics owner Pete Mandel said, while handing out books to the readers. "Avid readers get to try books they wouldn't normally read, and kids get to experience comics, sometimes for the first time."
Zack, 9, was perusing the store's wares with his family. The Cranford boy is a fan of comic books featuring the characters and worlds made famous in the Star Wars movie franchise.
"Free Comic Book Day is great, because you don't have to pay for the comics," he said.
The annual event started in 2002, the brain child of Joe Field, of Flying Color Comics in California. Since then, it has taken place around the world on the first Saturday in May.
This year, many classic characters were featured in the giveaway, including Superman, Iron Man, Thor, Sonic The Hedgehog, The Simpsons, Green Hornet, the cast of Fraggle Rock and many others.
Dan, 9, took a break from stocking up on free issues to sum up the reactions of the store's customers, "I like it!"