6:43 p.m. PDT September 26, 2015
As a young child, Bruce Wayne witnessed the murder of his billionaire parents. Wayne swore to avenge their deaths.
A seemingly ordinary man, he trained himself physically and mentally, disguising himself as a bat to prey on criminals’ fears. Soon, Wayne became known as the hero the city of Gotham needed. He became the legendary Batman.
The fictional comic book character first appeared in Detective Comics No. 27 in 1939. Now, fans of the hero celebrate the Dark Knight with annual events.
Borderlands Games, a comic book store in Salem, celebrated Batman Day on Saturday with games, contests and movie screenings.
But it wouldn’t be an authentic Batman Day if it didn’t help people, too. Attendees had the opportunity to donate food, or “punch hunger in the mouth” as they put it, to Marion-Polk Food Share, a local nonprofit that works to fight hunger. Each donation of three or more items earned a special prize.
Camille Jones, 40, is one of the owners of Borderland Games. She said this is the first year they have taken part in a Batman Day celebration. She said DC Comics made the first Batman Day last year to commemorate 75 years of the character but, because of the success of the event, has decided to make it a yearly celebration and is encouraging stores like Jones’ to partake.
Jones said her customers were excited about the event. After all, “Who doesn’t love Batman?” she said.
As the event got started, families and individuals came into the store and played various card games. Some were in costume, with Batman masks, Joker makeup, or wrappings around the face to portray Hush, Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend turned criminal.
Later, participants had a coloring contest and watched different Batman movies. Deals and prizes gave people even more incentive to get into the day’s festivities.
Attendees celebrated the caped crusader with a cake-cutting ceremony. The marble cake was fit for the Dark Knight, with the words “Crushing Crime” across the top.
“I like that there is a variety of characters in the Batman series,” Jones said. “There’s something for everyone to love.”
As for the food donations, Jones said she saw it as an opportunity to give back, just like Batman would do.
“Hunger is a big deal, and with the holidays coming up, what better time to collect,” she said. “Batman was all about making Gotham a better place.”
Jones said they definitely want to do the event again in addition to their existing annual events.
npate@StatesmanJournal.com, (503) 399-6745, or follow on Twitter @Nataliempate