Here’s a day that qualifies as a national holiday among some aficionados: Free Comic Book Day.
That will be Saturday, and there will be several local events in conjunction with it:
•Merlyns, 19 W. Main Ave. – They’ll have thousands of comic books from Marvel, DC and other publishers to give away between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Everybody can get a couple of comics just for coming in.
Then, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., a host of “Star Wars” villains will make an appearance. Come and get your picture taken with them. Also, local comic book artists will be on hand doing sketches for kids.
•Lightning Comics, 411 Haycraft, Unit C1 (Northern Lights Mall), Coeur d’Alene – Chris Claremont, author of “X-Men” and “Wolverine” comics, will do a signing event from noon to 4 p.m. He wrote “X-Men” for decades and invented many of the characters.
Everyone will get a free comic book. This store, too, will have more than a thousand comic books to give away.
•Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave. – They’ll also be giving away free comics beginning at noon until the supply runs out. On Friday, they will also have Claremont doing a question-and-answer session and signing in the library’s Community Room beginning at 4 p.m.
Claremont will also do a signing and meet-and-greet for fans at the Regal Cinemas at Riverstone at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by another meet-and-greet prior to the 7 and 8 p.m. screenings of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” On Saturday he will do another question-and-answer session for those coming to the 7 and 8 p.m. showings of the movie.
•Kootenai-Shoshone Area Libraries – They’ll be giving away free comic books on Saturday on the following schedule: Athol, Hayden and Rathdrum, 10 to 11 a.m.; Harrison and Pinehurst, 11 a.m. to noon; Spirit Lake, noon to 1 p.m.; the Bookmobile at Worley City Hall, 10 to 11 a.m. The Post Falls Public Library will also be giving away free comic books from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
•The Comic Book Shop, 1401 N. Division St., NorthTown Mall and Spokane Valley Mall – All three outlets will be giving away comic books on Saturday, too.
That’s a lot of free comic books. You can expect other comics outlets to be doing the same.
‘The Tangled Line’
Gonzaga University teacher Tod Marshall’s new volume, “The Tangled Line” (Canarium Books, $14), includes more than just his own award-winning poetry – it also features cover art by Spokane artist Ryan Hardesty.
Canarium, which is associated with the University of Michigan, says that Marshall’s poems incorporate “myth, history, landscape, pop culture and aesthetics.”
Many of the poems deal with grief, yet “in the brutal high desert of basalt spines and coiled rattlers, the speaker seems to find acceptance.”
And Hardesty’s abstract cover art? It’s a tangled line, indeed.
This is Marshall’s second book of poetry. The first, “Dare Say,” was a 2002 winner of the University of Georgia’s Contemporary Poetry Series.
He’ll be reading at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave., on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.