A Super-Hero Stimulus Plan
Using comic books to boost South Orange's economy
Saturday was "free comics day" at Peters' store, but he spread the business around with an innovative plan that encouraged kids (and adults) to visit six other downtown businesses, plus the South Orange and Maplewood libraries, to get free comics.
Each shopper at Peters' store started off with one free comic. If they visited at least seven of the eight other locations, picking up a free comic book from each, they got a ninth free if they returned to Commuter Comics.
Plus, they could get their photo taken with Batman (a Newark detective who's involved with the D.A.R.E. anti-drug program) or Spiderman.
It may not have involved as much cash as the $800 billion federal stimulus plan, but for the dozens of folks who showed up, it seemed like a lot of fun.
"What I tried to do is pick the mom and pop stores, because they're the ones that need help," said Peters, who asked retailers Mia Cose Bella, Kitchen a la Mode, Sparkhouse Kids, Ye Olde Curiositie Shoppe, Cait & Abby's and the South Orange Frame Store to participate, as well as the South Orange and Maplewood libraries.
Free Comic Book Day—was started by the comic industry in 2002. Though the date of the event shifted during its first years of existence, the first Saturday of May is now settled upon. "There's always a big superhero movie that first weekend in May," Peters said.