Business / Economy

Bill’s Bullpen to hand out free comics for Halloween ComicFest

Saturday event includes costume contests and cosplay characters.

Bill’s Bullpen is participating in the seventh Halloween ComicFest and will be giving out free comic books this Saturday, Oct. 27, starting at 10 a.m.

The annual fest takes place on or before Halloween where about 400 participating comic shops celebrate, Bullpen owner Bill Mifsud said.  

Fans can obtain Halloween-themed comics from major publishers like Marvel, DC and Dark Horse Comics at Bill’s Bullpen, located at 207 Fourth St., Hollister.

“We’re just promoting reading,” Mifsud said.

Through comics, some parents have sparked their children’s interest in reading, which Mifsud said makes his day.

He said along with receiving free comic books, fans can participate in the local and national costume contests. For the local contest, he will accept participants all day and a panel will choose the winner the next day.

To enter the national contest, participants take a picture in costume showing the ComicFest bag and upload it to the Halloween ComicFest website. One category is based on age, while another is based on genre: gory, superhero and girl-themed, Mifsud said.

There was one local national contestant winner two years ago, Mifsud said.

Prizes for the Bill’s Bullpen costume contest include gift cards, a $50 comic shopping spree, Halloween gift bags with comics and San Francisco 49ers tickets.

Winners of the national contest recieve $500, while others who place get $250, $50 and merchandise.

Three cosplay characters will attend the event from noon to 2 p.m. Mifsud said he wasn’t sure which characters will show up, but advises fans to attend during that time frame so they can participate in three events at once: pick up a free comic, enter the costume contest and take pictures with the characters.

At previous events, characters such as Deadpool, Wonder Woman, Spiderman and Star Wars stormtroopers have made appearances.

Mifsud said at past events, comic collectors from nearby cities have also attended. He expects that to continue this year.

“We’ll get people from out of town that day too because some of these comic books that we’re giving away are from this day only,” Mifsud said. “You can’t pick them up, you can’t get them somewhere else.”

There have been times where Bill’s Bullpen has run out of specific themed comic books during the event, Mifsud said.

As Hollister continues to grow, Mifsud has seen an increase in new customers.

“They are surprised Hollister has a comic book store,” Mifsud said.

The year-round genres offered at the store fit all ages and preferences. For children, there are “My Little Pony” and “The Incredibles” comics. For other audiences there are the classic superhero comics. The adult-themed comics usually include mature language and violence.

Bill’s Bullpen, in its 30th year of operation, also offers trading sport cards, comic-and-sports-themed toys, sports apparel, posters, and San Francisco 49ers tickets.


Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is BenitoLink Co-Editor and Content Manager. He joined BenitoLink as reporter intern and was soon brought on staff as a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. He is a San Benito High School alumnus with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily. He is a USC Center for Health Journalism 2020 California Fellow.