In the early 1930s, a true American artform burst onto the scene: the comic book. Now, in 2011, Amazing Fantasy Books and Comics is helping young and old alike appreciate this diverse medium.
Lori Gentile and her staff at Amazing Fantasy have run their comic book specialty shop in Frankfort for nearly 20 years (the Frankfort store is one four locations--along with Calumet City, Tinley Park and Lockport--in the Amazing Fantasy chain, which has been around since 1978). While the store is known for its vast selection of comic books and graphic novels, Amazing Fantasy also stocks unique board games, role-playing games, toys, alternative hobby items and other related products.
"We are fortunate that the industry is always coming out with something new," Gentile said. "And when it comes to comics, there is truly something for everyone out there."
It is true that comic books have often been thought of as child's play, but this is not the case. Comic books are available for every age--from young children to teens to adults--in every genre: romance, sci fi, mystery, horror, adventure and more. And Gentile prides herself on having employees who can easily guide customers to possible favorites so no one need feel overwhelmed.
"If people come in and express an interest in a certain comic book hero or even a particular novel they love, we can almost always find a comic they would enjoy."
And for those who have not ventured into comic waters, Saturday offersthe perfect chance to do just that ... for free.
Comic book stores around the world will be celebrating Free Comic Book Day. Since 2002, millions of comic books have been given away. Amazing Fantasy is proud to have participated every year since the day's inception. With all of the superhero movies coming out this summer--Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America: The First Avenger and X-Men: First Class--now is the time to get caught up on all of the storylines.
"Our stores will be offering 20 different selections--comic books created just for this day," she said. "Guests can choose six from those featured, completely free, no purchase necessary. It is a great way to get a comic book and see what it's all about."
In addition, Amazing Fantasy will host to three incredible comic creators:
- Shawn Smith: Creator behind the Shawnimals and Ninjatown toy lines will be on hand signing autographs, selling his toys and doing free ninja sketches (time permitting).
- Aaron Shaps: The writer of Zeroids, Captain Jack Cosmo and Phantom Detective will be on hand to chat and sign comics.
- Mike Beazley: The writer and artist of The Grimm will also be on hand to sign and sketch for fans.
Plus, there will be character appearances from Spider-Man, Green Arrow, Huntress and Hawkman. Creators and characters will be at the store from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
NINTH ANNUAL FREE COMIC BOOK DAY
When: Saturday, May 7. Comic book creator and character appearances run 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
What to expect: Along with the special appearances, you'll be able to select six free comics from a wide variety of books available. Go here for a list of the comics that are a part of Free Comic Book Day.
Amazing Fantasy Books and Comics
Where: 20523 LaGrange Road
Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
More info: Call 815-469-5092 or visit the store online at its website, Facebook page and Twitter account.