It was another busy afternoon for Bill’s Bullpen Baseball Cards and Comics owner Bill Mifsud, who handed out a little more than 2,400 comic books at this year’s Free Comic Book Day on May 6.
Mifsud said he thought they were up against the wall because the Great San Juan Bautista Rib Cook-Off and the Beer and Wine Stroll in downtown Hollister were coinciding.
However, the turnout was beyond his expectations, hosting people from different cities including Gilroy and Morgan Hill who found out about the event through the Comic Shop Locator Service website.
“We got some people that came from out of town, which was great,” he said.
The Marvel comics such as Spider Man and Venom or the Avengers were the two that were sought after the most.
Mifsud—who has been hosting the annual event for the past 22 years—offered a pair of independent comic books in The Fabulous Freak Brothers and the Umbrella Academy that people were looking for, as well.
Mifsud said he enjoyed watching the kids as they sat on the ground next to the light pole in front of the shop at 207 Fourth Street to read their free comic books.
“Reading is fundamental,” he said.
One parent pulled Mifsud aside to tell him that their son has a difficult time reading in school, but that he enjoys reading comic books.
Mifsud said if this is the way to get kids to read then he feels like he’s accomplished something.
“I just want to drop the mic and walk away,” he said.
The longtime comic book and sports memorabilia shop owner also gets a kick out of seeing children’s faces when they turn the corner from East Street onto Fourth Street to see the superheroes in person.
This year Misfud invited Mario of Super Mario Bros., Spider Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pikachu and a pair of Star Wars characters including an Imperial stormtrooper.
Misfud had the idea of bringing in other superheroes such as Wolverine or some of the scarier villains but he doesn’t want to frighten the kids.
Instead, he goes with what’s popular and sells at his store such as Sonic cards and Super Mario Bros. books.
Mifsud said he plans to continue the tradition of having the freshest free comics ready for that first Saturday of May.
“We’re going to be having Free Comic Book Day whether it’s the Kentucky Derby or the Rib Cook-Off, the Burning Man or the Hollister wine stroll, we’re here first,” he said.