It's Free Comic Book Day on Saturday at Muse Comics, where at least 2,500 special comics are there for the taking.
Publishers from the majors to the indies have produced more titles than ever, according to Jason Benner, co-owner and general manager.
The lines at the shop at 2301 S. Higgins Ave. seem to reflect that enthusiasm.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 4, and it's advised that you come early, Benner said. Last year, they stopped counting at about 330 people, the point when they didn't have a line anymore. This year, they're opening an hour earlier "to keep the line as small as possible and keep wait times down," Benner said. (It was about 30 minutes last year.)
Publishers create special comics for the nationwide event. Marvel made an Avengers book. Also you might find a Pokémon book, a "Stranger Things" comic and a D.C. Justice League title, among others.
(There's a "Star Wars" comic, too, as the event coincides with "May the Fourth Be With You," the fan holiday.)
Missoula-based comic artist Tony Gregori will show his newest work and sign copies. Vault Comics, an indie publisher based in Missoula, will be on hand with its creators and new titles. The relatively young company has garnered national critical attention for its work. One of its titles, "Failsafe," is listed as in development with actor Michael B. Jordan ("Creed," "Black Panther") and Netflix. On Saturday, Vault will be giving away copies of a title, "Interceptor."
Benner said the flood of comic-book movies and TV shows has translated into an increase in business from younger readers "which is really cool, it's good to see that," he said.
The event usually ends at 3 p.m., but any leftovers will be out for the taking, although he warned that by then, the selection is slimmer.
While the day is "more of a celebration of graphic literature" and less about commerce, they'll have a sale on graphic novels and back issues, he said.