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Valley retailers to give out free comic books on Saturday

Samurai Comics in Phoenix will be participating in Free Comic Book Day. (KTAR photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- Saturday may be the day for you to grab a new comic book.

That's because comic stores everywhere will be giving them away for free during national Free Comic Book Day.

It's the day that comic retailers try to attract new fans to heroes like Superman, or to newer comic books like "The Walking Dead."

Yvette Arteaga, a manger for Samurai Comics in Phoenix, called it the "Fun Black Friday" for comic retailers.

"They'll make a huge event where they'll bring in creators, artists, face painters," she said. "It just becomes a huge party."

Samurai has three stores in the valley. Arteaga said her store on Camelback Road will have lots of giveaways. The location in Mesa is also planning some special things.

"They're actually doing this thing called ACME-con, so they're actually doing a convention on the same day as Free Comic Book Day," she said.

Arteaga said she already expected a busy weekend in her store because of this weekend's release of the new movie "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."

She said that children and other people who may not usually be exposed to comic books want to give them a try after seeing a superhero movie.

"They want to know about Hulk. They want to know about Batman. They want to know about Spiderman," Arteaga said.

Other Valley stores are planning special events for Free Comic Book Day. One of them is Jesse James Comics and Collectibles in Glendale, which is planning giveaways for 72 hours instead of just one day.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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