PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)– The spirit of the comic book store endures at Acme Comics in Peoria, and the upcoming Free Comic Book Day is emblematic of that.

Occurring on the first Saturday of May for over 20 years, Free Comic Book Day is a celebration of the medium, with publishers sending out free issues ranging from kid-friendly to mature reading.

The owner of Acme Comics, Bob Gordon, believes one reason the medium remains relevant is because the customer base is so wide.

“We get everybody. Everyone thinks its just all a guy crowd, but we have a lot of women, we have little kids.” said Gordon. He continued, “We have retired people, we have people who are 14 just getting into comics, doctors, attorneys, construction workers, office workers, just all kinds of walks of life.”

Comic books were originally seen as a disposable medium like newspapers or magazines, to be read and discarded. Yet comics that were once seen as disposable are now one of the most collectible hobbies out there. Another reason Gordon thinks the medium has endured.

“Comics hang in there, I think, because people keep them. You don’t throw away your comics like you would a newspaper or magazine. It’s a nostalgia piece also, you’re buying Batman now because you bought it 30 years ago when you were 10.” Gordon continued, “We know 80% of the people that come in the door. I’ve known these people 30 years. It’s one of those things where it’s ritual. And its a fun thing to do. ”

Acme Comics will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 6 for Free Comic Book Day.