Deep in the belly of his headquarters, the formidable Christopher Rupp is plotting away to secure his rightful place in a grand scheme that promises to consume a great many young and innocent lives this afternoon.
Shazam! Let’s just cut the Marvel melodrama and get to the point.
It’s Free Comic Book Day today, and there’s no better place to be than 335 N. Ohio Ave. in Fremont, home of Rupp’s Comics.
•WHAT: Free Comic Book Day at Rupp’s Comics
•WHERE: 335 N. Ohio Ave., Fremont
•WHEN: All day today
•CONTACT: Call 419-334-4959, email email@example.com or go to ruppsworld.com .
“We try to make it as parentfriendly as possible,” said Rupp, 42, an unassuming fella who employs a vast army of workers in his quest for world domination.
OK, he has six employees helping him with Free Comic Book Day today. But still, it would not be an overstatement to call Rupp a powerhouse in the comic book industry.
The humble exterior of his Fremont warehouse-cum-store belies the true wonders playing out within the confines of these walls. The place is chockfull of comic books, comic-book figurines, comic-book statues, comic-book posters.
You name it, he’s got it.
And for good reason: About 80 percent of his business is tied to warehousing, merchandising, online and trade shows. In other words, the “walk-in-and-buy-a-coolcomic” side of his business only accounts for about $2 of every $10 he earns.
He spends about half the year traveling to trade shows and conventions in the United States and overseas. He’s been to Italy, France and other far-flung places, all in the name of the almighty comic.
So, Rupp has serious street cred in this industry.
Which means that, today, Rupp’s Comics is the epicenter of Free Comic Book Day, at least in northern Ohio. Every visitor who walks into his store will receive three free comics, not to mention a buy-four-for-a-dollar offering, if you so choose.
“We try to make it easy for anyone who wants to get into collecting,” Rupp said. The freebies include comics for all ages — kids, teens and adults. Rupp also invited two artists to the event to sign autographs: Fremont native Brian Level, an illustrator for the comic “Lazarus,” and Michigan artist Alex Konat, an illustrator for Aspen Comics.
This is the 13th annual Free Comic Book Day. It’s a national event aimed at promoting the industry and getting kids interested in reading. About 3,000 stores nationwide are participating.
Last year’s event at Rupp’s Comics drew upwards of 450 people.