Comic Books for Kids Young and Old

We love Montclair for its dining, shopping and cultural activities. Now there's another reason to visit…a fun comic book store.

East Side Mags shop owner Jeff Beck has been a die-hard comics fan since he was 12. Before opening his New Jersey shop last year, he worked in Manhattan selling technology services to Fortune 500 companies. But it was time to turn the page. Now Jeff makes comics his career and he’s living the dream.

Each month, East Side Mags hosts fun events in downtown Montclair. So if you’re a kid, or if you used to be a kid, you’ll be happy to know that Free Comic Book Day is on May 2. Jeff, 34 years old, plans a full day of artist/writer signings, a podcast, a community art project and, of course, a complimentary comic book for anyone who stops by.

If you’re a fan of the genre, you might be familiar with Paul Castiglia, who writes for Archie’s Weird Mysteries, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Rise: Comics Against Bullying. Paul will be signing copies of his work, while Stephen Coughlin, artist/writer of Original Graphic Novel Sanctuary, will do some sketching for customers.

Meanwhile, Matt Cipoletti of Big Kev’s Geek Stuff podcast will be on hand to chat about movies, TV shows and all things comic-related.

In support of the Montclair Public Library and its summer reading program, the shop will erect a 6-foot by 8-foot canvas and invite members of the community to paint their own super-heroes. The completed work of art will be donated to the library.

Jeff’s personal collection of comic books spans more than 20 years. “As a kid, to read about the adventures of Batman, Spider-Man and the Avengers was great, but the comics world has seriously evolved to include a ton of other amazing titles from Saga to Sex Criminals to Chew to Walking Dead, offering diverse characters and storylines beyond the usual super-hero comics,” says the entrepreneur who grew up in Wayne and now resides near his shop in Montclair.

For more info, visit eastsidemags.com/events or call 862-333-4961. East Side Mags is located at 7 South Fullerton Avenue.

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