GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After hanging his suit up during the pandemic, a local friendly neighborhood Spiderman is back for his first event in over a year.
Our webhead wallcrawler is Frank Gillen from Guilderland. He says that, like every good superhero, he has an origin story to tell: in 2012, a group of friends asked Frank to join them to dress up for a local comic book event.
“At the time, I was fresh out of high school didn’t have much self confidence. You know, that usual story. I was like, ‘Sure I’ll do it but, here’s the catch, I don’t want to show my face. I’m not really confident. So give me a Spiderman costume and I’ll hang out in the background,'” Frank said.
“And then first thing, people were like, ‘Look! Spiderman! I want a picture with Spiderman!’ Tons of people shouting for me. And then from that point forward, I realized how much this character means to other people and it means to me,” he said. “It gave a new perspective on who I could be and what I could be for other people.”
Frank started doing outreach by visiting his local library in Guilderland, showing kids that even Spidey thinks books are cool. Word spread, and Spiderman started visiting libraries across the Capital Region, then sports events, parades, and even the children’s hospital at Albany Medical Center.
Frank has spent the last nine years giving back and shooting webs with kids across the Capital Region and many who need it most. “That’s kind of the great things about being Spiderman. Even if it’s like a five hour event, if you make five minutes of someone’s day, that’s what makes it all worth it,” Frank said.
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