FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS - Free Comic Book Day is slated for Saturday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at all four Fantasy Books Inc. stores, including their Fairview Heights and Belleville locations, as well as Heroic Adventures in Edwardsville. Visitors can get three free comics of their choice, and one lucky person at each store location will also win one free comic book per week for one year.

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Tony Favello, general manager and co-owner of Fantasy Books Inc., said their current locations include their flagship store, Fantasy Books & Games in Fairview Heights, Star Clipper in Fairview Heights, Fantasy Books in Belleville, and Heroic Adventures in Edwardsville, which they acquired in 2011 but kept the original name in place.

Participants must be in line before the stores open to receive a raffle ticket for the year of free comic books. Fantasy Books & Games opens at 9 a.m., while Star Clipper, Fantasy Books, and Heroic Adventures all open at 10 a.m.

Becky Hollingsead with Heroic Adventures said there will also be several more activities at the event.

“Honestly, there’s just so much to do. There’s going to be a Design A Superhero contest for the kids. Anybody 12 and under, they get to use their imagination,” she said, adding that the winner’s design will be featured in their promotional material throughout the year.

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“We’ll have some artists there doing caricatures, as well as a few surprise guests that you might be surprised to see,” Hollingsead added.

Favello said as a long-time comic book collector himself, it had always been a dream of his to own his own comic book store.

“I’ve been collecting comics since I was about 12 years old,” Favello said. “As a comic book geek and nerd, your dream is to own a store, right? … in 2004, my business partner Steve Steve Unverferth and I bought the last remaining Fantasy Books, which was in Belleville - Steve was actually the manager of the store and I was a customer.”

Dan with Heroic Adventures said the atmosphere of each store is inviting as people with common interests share the things they’re passionate about.

“We’re all about the community in the store, and everybody is just so passionate about the games they’re into, about the comic books they like,” he said. “Everybody wants to hear what you have to say … I get to do that every day and it’s an amazing job.”

The full Our Daily Show! interview with Favello, Hollingsead, and Dan is available at the top of this story on Riverbender.com/video. To learn more about Fantasy Books Inc., visit fantasybooksinc.com.

Comic books line the shelves at Heroic Adventures in Edwardsville

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