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A marvelous day to read

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | April 30, 2010 9:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - Tim Boal wants to give you a comic book. In fact, he'll give it to you for free between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday. All you have to do is stop by his shop at 411 Haycraft and collect your copy of an Ironman, Superman, Green Lantern or other superhero comic books.

COEUR d'ALENE - Tim Boal wants to give you a comic book.

In fact, he'll give it to you for free between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday. All you have to do is stop by his shop at 411 Haycraft and collect your copy of an Ironman, Superman, Green Lantern or other superhero comic books.

Boal, owner of Lightning Comics and Games, said Free Comic Book Day, along with the day-after Thanksgiving parade in Coeur d'Alene, are two of his favorites.

"These are the two days I get to dress up as Santa Claus and pass out gifts," he said with a smile. "It's neat to give to the community."

Along with free comics, there will be free sketches by the Spokane Comic Smiths Guild. Just tell the artist what you want in your sketch, and they'll take care of the rest.

Boal said it should be a day of fun and reading and a chance to introduce folks to the hobby of comic book collecting.

"If you want to find out anything about comics, stop by," Boal said.

The first Free Comic Book Day event was held in 2002. In the past, thousands of shops around the world have given away millions of free comic books to interested readers.

Comic books are an original American art form, created in the early days of the 20th century.

"They are fun to read, featuring a wide range of diverse story lines that capture the imagination of the readers," said Karen Yother, youth services coordinator at the Hayden Library

Besides the fun of reading, the value of older comics is "greater than ever before," Boal said.

In the past year, he has sold Ironman No. 1, X-Men No. 1, Avengers No. 1 and No. 4, and Spiderman No. 1.

"These pieces of history are worth more than my GE stock," he said with a laugh.

Some issues of newer comics have passed the $1 million mark in sales.

"It's still good to get involved," Boal said.

He said that print runs tend to be lower now so there aren't millions of copies floating around the country, driving down their value.

But the high-energy Boal said reading them is more important than collecting.

"They're not worth anything if you never read it," he said.

Boal has been collecting comics since he was 4 years old. Among the first he recalls reading were Captain Action. He never lost his passion for comics and at one point, owned and operated three different comic book stores in Las Vegas before moving to North Idaho.

He said comic book readers and collectors range from teens to seniors and tend to be the types who are creative and positive.

"I get to interact with people who like to be fun-minded," he said. "They don't come in here all mad and depressed to pay bills."

Boal has been expanding the number of items he carries at the store. His store is also filled with posters, shoes and figurines of comic book characters, from the Joker to Batman and Daredevil.

"This can be a good escape," Boal said.

Free comics at libraries

POST FALLS — While supplies last, comic books will be given away at area libraries on Saturday to celebrate Free Comic Book Day and promote reading.

The Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene libraries will be giving them out from noon to 4 p.m. And from 10 a.m. to noon, the Hayden Library will be giving away free comic books to children and adults as part of Free Comic Book day, which is a national initiative aimed at getting more people reading.

Free comics are also available at the Athol, Harrison, Pinehurst-Kingston, Rathdrum and Spirit Lake libraries. Each comic also has a coupon for an additional free comic book at Lightning Comics.

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