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Zap! Pow! Ka-Blam! Free Comic Book Day returns in full force

Brian Bull
A young Spider-Man (left) - obviously comfortable sharing his secret identity - talks to Corydon Cailteux as MCU's Deadpool (right) during the 2022 Free Comic Book Day at Radar Toys in West Eugene.

Superhero and anime geeks packed the nation’s comic book stores and libraries today -including in Oregon - for Free Comic Book Day.

It’s the first time in two years many businesses have observed the annual event, including Radar Toys in West Eugene.

Brian Bull
Radar Toy's assistant store manager, Brittnie Nasedkin, shows her approval for the turnout at today's Free Comic Book Day.

“There’s comic books for all ages, it promotes reading which is always amazing,” said Brittnie Nasedkin, the store’s assistant manager.

“Just getting the family together to do something exciting, is something everybody really needs right now.”

Besides graphic novel artists, cosplayers also greeted kids and families in force. Cory Cailteux was dressed as Marvel Comics’ Deadpool. For him, it’s the first public appearance in roughly two years since COVID-19 hit the state.

“I still have my mask on underneath my mask, so just keep up the work with trying to stay safe, and hopefully we’re actually towards the end of all of this exciting pandemic.”

While Oregon’s mask mandate has been lifted for weeks, roughly half the crowd at Radar Toys –not counting superheroes - wore face masks.

The turnout at today's event showed an increasing desire by the pandemic-weary nation to resume normal activities, which includes group gatherings and public events. Many Americans are now boosted, and while COVID-19 cases have seen an uptick, hospitalizations are on the decline. Still, health officials are advising caution as people beging to gather and travel more, noting there are still people becoming seriously ill and dying from COVID.

Copyright @2022, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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