At these local shops, every day is Comic Book Day – MetroWest Daily News

Whether you realized that Saturday was National Comic Book Day or have never read a comic book in your life, comic book shops are happy to help experienced enthusiasts and novices with finding everything from superhero stories to crime thrillers.
Every day is national comic book day at Bedrock Comics,” said Jack Lefevra, owner of the Framingham comic book store. “We live and breathe comic books.”
The comic book industry has some major dates. The first Saturday in May is free comic book day, and every Wednesday is busy because that’s when new comics hit shelves.
“I just wish someone had told me,” said Jay Pillarella, owner of Rubber Chicken Comics in Bellingham. “It’s like every single day is National something day.”
Pillarella said Free Comic Book Day started small, and is now the biggest event the shop celebrates. This year, the event was rescheduled to August.
“Next year, it’ll actually be back to the first Saturday in May,” Pillarella said. “That should be when National Comic Book Day is, in my opinion.”
The comic book industry is very different than it was just a few decades ago, Pillarella said. Rubber Chicken Comics has been around since 1990, and Pillarella took over the store from his father in 2000. “The Chicken,” as he calls it, sells both comics and collectibles like statues and vinyl records.
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“We live in the golden age of comics right now,” Pillarella said. “We’re so spoiled, with some of the best television and movies coming out.”
In the early 2000s, when the first X-Men trilogy and Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy were being released, each blockbuster movie would mean a “crazy surge of people coming in,” Pillarella said. “Fast forward 21 years later, and it’s not as big because everyone’s just expecting it.”
Lefevra said it’s good for everyone — comic book stores, creators and shoppers alike — that it’s not just major superhero stories getting made into films and TV shows now, like Netflix’s “Umbrella Academy” and “Locke & Key” and Amazon’s “Invincible” and “The Boys.”
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“It’s nice because some of these younger artists or writers that start out on these independent books don’t get the acclaim that some of these writers get on some of the bigger books, like Spider-Man,” said Lefevra. “It’s more available to kids today. When I was a kid, you were pretty nerdy reading comic books.”
Lefevra admitted that, after decades of reading superhero comics, he looks more to independent-type stories for entertainment, like “Oblivion Song,” created and written by Robert Kirkman. Kirkman also co-created the comic that inspired the popular AMC series “The Walking Dead.”
“It’s a little off the beaten path of superheroes, but it’s an enjoyable book,” Lefevra said. “When you’ve been doing this for 40 years, it’s hard to find something that really is going to capture my attention.”
“We’re in a different world right now with what’s going on, but if you can still hang on to some sort of normalcy — that’s what people are looking for here,” Pillarella said. “It’s escapist entertainment, and I serve the best around.”
Pillarella said one of the great things about comics is that they can be short.
“If you just want to check it out, you’ve got this 24-page comic that can be done in a matter of minutes, and then it’s like, ‘Wait, I want another one,’” Pillarella said. “It’s very easy to get hooked on comics, especially if you’re a reader in general. They’re bite- sized.”
Recently, Spider-Man made headlines with the record-breaking sale of a 1962 comic featuring the iconic character’s debut. Amazing Fantasy #15 sold for $3.6 million; the previous record was from a sale earlier this year of a Superman comic for $3.25 million. 
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“This is not what this industry is about,” said Lefevra of the selling and trading of comic books, saying he didn’t like the speculation of them as though they are commodity on the stock market. “It’s about having a good time, having some escapism, and just imagining yourself being the superhero — or maybe even the villain within the story.”
Pillarella and Lefevra agreed the best part of running a shop is the customers, new and old. 
“When you come in here, we just want you to feel like this is your comic book store,” Lefevra said. “I want this to be enjoyable and fun for everybody.”
Lefevra said he was hoping to stock more backorder comics — since the comics are used and not new releases, one can purchase a stack for the same price as one new comic.
“A lot of people are intimidated by comic book shops, just because you walk in and it’s just really overwhelming,” Pillarella said, adding that’s why shops are a good destination for everyone. “We will show you everything you need to know … there’s literally countless pieces of product in here that we can get you in to what you want to be enjoying.”

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