Ed Kachke, owner of Monarch Comics in south Toledo, expects hundreds of people to line up Saturday for free comics and events at his store on Heatherdown Boulevard.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Ed Kaczke worked with Monarch comics since 1991. It’s a job he’s always been passionate about.

“It’s a completely different way of getting stories,” Kaczke said. “Unlike movies, TV shows or novels, you really have a unique blend of words and images that you can’t find in any other form of entertainment.”

Thirty years later, Kaczke became the owner of the store, and a lot has changed during the decades of working there.

“When I started in this industry, there was no computer, no computer files, nothing like that. Everything was done with pen and paper,” Kachke said. “So now everything is accessed over the Internet, or via e-mail, or whatever.”

He saw a surge in the popularity of comics. Major film franchises evoke nostalgia for some, while for others it encourages them to check out the source material.

Free Comic Book Day it’s an annual tradition for fans old and new. It’s about inspiring new readers and empowering old ones.

“They can see what kind of stuff I’m selling and hopefully they’ll remember that when it comes to birthdays and Christmas gifts and things like that,” Kaczke said.

Longtime customers like Sal Pezzino will be in line Saturday. He started reading comics at an early age, remembering a Godzilla comic his parents gave him. Pezzino says movie fans may come and go, but true fans will always be there.

“As a medium, it (comics) will always be here. That’s the thing: with the movies, such fans will disappear,” said Pezzino. “But the true fans who enjoy and enjoy what they read and what they see, they will come here, and it will be generations of people.”

Monarch Comics opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday for Free Comic Book Day.

In addition to the standard Free Comic Book Day offerings, customers will have the opportunity to take a photo with the Monarch Avengers cosplay team and receive a free ice cream cone from nearby Shivers Ice Cream.




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