Last updated: August 25. 2013 6:01AM - 296 Views

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LIMA — As comic books grow in popularity, everyone has a chance on Saturday to join the comic book craze at the national Free Comic Book Day. In Lima, Alter Ego Comics will celebrate the day with everything from costume contests to author presentations. Oh yeah, and free comic books.

“Last year we had 800 people on this day. The popularity of comic books is growing every year,” said Marc Bowker, owner of Alter Ego Comics, as he prepares nearly 30 different comic book titles for readers of all ages.

As Bowker points out, the highest rated show on cable TV is “The Walking Dead,” while the highest grossing movie of 2012 was “The Avengers.” Both are based on comic books, as are 11 feature films being released this year, including “Iron Man” which opened this past week.

And those stopping by the store from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday will get five free comic books per person.

“We really do have something for everyone. We have ‘The Walking Dead’ to ‘Sesame Street.’ I always say that comic books are not just for kids, and they’re not just for adults. There are of variety of genres aimed at a variety of ages,” Bowker said.

But this day is more than books.

Comic book artist and writer Lora Innes, creator of “The Dreamer” will be present to sign copies of her book and draw sketches. “Her book takes place during the American Revolution. It’s very historical, but it has romance too. I enjoyed it, and I think a lot of people, especially high schoolers, will also like it,” Bowker said. Also, Innes will discuss how to pursue a career in comic book writing for anyone interested.

For the characters in attendance, a costume contest will be held, online. “We will take photos of those coming in costume and post them on our Facebook page for a week to let people vote on their favorite. The top vote-getter will receive a $100 comic book package,” Bowker said.

But that’s not all.

Local bands, The Radio Pilots and The Van Develdes will perform, and people can get their photos taken with costumed characters that will be on-hand throughout the day.

“We want to spread the word that comic books are a viable form of entertainment,” Bowker said.

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