Runemaster Exchange Program

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In their latest attempt to get comic books into the hands of kids, Runemaster Studios, Inc. has partnered with Phoenix, Arizona comic retailer Samurai Comics and Phoenix area libraries to start Comic Book Exchange programs in local libraries. Runemaster and Samurai Comics stocked the first Exchange in early June and officially launched the program on Saturday, June 25th when Runemaster writer Mike Bullock held a comic book discovery workshop for local children.

“When I was a kid, my local library had a similar program, which enabled my friends and me to read thousands of comic books we otherwise would never have been able to read,” stated Bullock, writer of the all-ages hit Lions, Tigers and Bears. “However, with the comic book becoming less and less accessible to children, once they began vanishing from convenience, drug and grocery stores, so to have the exchanges.”

When Lions, Tigers and Bears was picked up by the Arizona Library systems for their Summer Reading Program, Bullock’s wheels started turning, which led him to contact Mike Banks, owner of Samurai Comics in downtown Phoenix.

“It’s a great idea and Samurai Comics is all too happy to help,” commented Samurai Comics owner Mike Banks. “Kids still love comics and as long as we can make them aware that comics are out there, they’ll keep on enjoying them for a long time.”

The program began with the first fifty children in the door receiving free sets of the entire Lions, Tigers and Bears mini-series and judging by the excitement on the children’s faces, it won’t be ending anytime soon.

While many children had been exposed to Lions, Tigers and Bears in the Arizona Republic, many had no idea how to get their hands on those, or any other comic books.

“Some of the kids were a little confused at first, they weren’t sure if they had to buy them or just how they would get the comic books, since most of them had never seen comics in stores or libraries,” said Daphne Purchase, Children’s Librarian at the Avondale, Arizona branch library. “But once we explained to them how it worked, they’ve just been all abuzz with excitement over this program.”

Knowing that not all comics are for everyone, Samurai and Runemaster Studios made sure the program was stocked with a diverse number of titles and genres, including super heroes, fantasy, science fiction, and even a large quantity of Manga digests.

“Not only did we donate many copies of LTB, we also stocked the library with copies of Spider-Man, Batman, Star Wars, Masters of the Universe and many other books children are already familiar with, as well as some new things they may not have otherwise been exposed to,” added Bullock. “Hopefully, this sort of thing catches on nation- and world-wide, allowing children everywhere to get into comics the same way the existing comic readership did oh so many years ago.”

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