EDMONTON -- It’s a bit later than usual but West Edmonton Coin & Stamp is celebrating Free Comic Book Day just in time for a return to classes.

Jay Bardyla, a manager at West Edmonton Coin & Stamp, said the event, which usually occurs on the first Saturday of May, was put on hold because of COVID-19.

 “We’ve taken the opportunity to accumulate the Free Comic Book day books throughout the summer and have a big event just before everyone goes back to school,” said Bardyla.

Comic book fans of all ages were able to come through the store, with masks, to pick from a variety of comics including Spiderman, Blade Runner 2019 and Little Lulu.

“It’s all about the celebration of comics, getting people invigorated and enjoying the medium that is, in my opinion, the greatest medium in the world.”

Bardyla said comics are uniquely creative in that they don’t cost much money, often have both an author and artist working together and aren’t just for kids or fans of superheroes either.

“More than 50 per cent of the comic industry today is more kind of focused to the non-superhero market which is really, really good. It’s bringing in a whole new crop of readers, especially young readers when we look at the YA (young adult) market.”

Free Comic Book day was started in 2002 as a tie in to the upcoming Spider-Man movie and an effort to raise interest to comics.

The event is on until 4 p.m. at West Edmonton Mall.