For millions of comic book fans across the globe, the first Saturday in May is the most important day of the year. It has been since 2002, when it was declared Free Comic Book Day (FCBD). Tomorrow is the one day they can walk into a local comic book shop and get free preview issues from all their favorite publishers.
FCBD is coordinated by Diamond Distributors who make sure all the stores throughout the world keep your favorite books, toys, and collectibles on their shelves for you to purchase. They partner with comic book publishers like DC, Marvel, Boom, Image, Dark Horse, IDW, and more to give everyone free previews of what each of them offer readers throughout the year. The event has also become a way to introduce new characters and books to readers.
For comic book enthusiasts, it’s become a holiday of sorts. Many of the stores only allow you to take one or two different comics per location. This has caused a mass exodus by fans to hit several different stores throughout their city to collect all the books they’re looking for. Some stores have superheroes present for children to meet and take pictures with. Cosmic Comics in the Grand Prairie, TX area grills hot dogs and hamburgers in the parking lot and gives them away to customers.
It’s not only a big day for fans. Comic book retailers love it as well. FCBD encourages people who don’t usually frequent their stores to come in and see what else they have to offer to new patrons. Store owners never can tell what sort of impulse sale they could make off of a new visitor who originally just came in to grab some freebies. With all the buzz about “The Avengers” movie, sales could skyrocket if stores happen to have a large stock of Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, or Thor merchandise displayed out in the open.
The comic book publishers excitedly gear up every year for FCBD. It’s a day they take very seriously and see as an opportunity to grab new readers. They also see it as a way to thank the many millions of people who buy their comic books throughout the year.
“FCBD is a celebration of the medium we love and a great opportunity to reach out beyond our core readers. I’ve always believed that you don’t know what you’re going to enjoy reading until you try it, so having the opportunity to sample titles like the “DC Comics-The New 52 FCBD Edition” is not only fun, it may get you coming back for more,” shared DC Entertainment Vice President of Marketing John Cunningham.
“FCBD represents the best opportunity Marvel has year after year of grabbing all those Marvel moviegoers and giving them some of the best content we have to offer and hopefully make them lifelong comics fans! This year Marvel has provided three comics to retailers: “Avengers the Age of Ultron” Point 1, “Spider-Man Season One” #1, as well as “The Avengers” #1. There are three great chances to get customers excited about Marvel and reading and collecting comics,” stated Marvel Senior Vice President of Sales David Gabriel.
“FCBD represents an opportunity for us as a publisher to give something back to the people who have supported us for the last 20 years. To give them something special, something new, something exciting. It’s a promise about the health of our company and the strength of our industry and a commitment to our retail partners that we support them. In our business, it’s probably the single most important day of the year and Image has been committed to it since its inception. I personally sat on the very first FCBD steering committee representing Image,” Image Vice President and co-founder Jim Valentino said.
“FCBD is a great way to give back to the comic community and show our appreciation for all of their support. It’s also a really fun way to reach potential new readers, too. It’s great to see that FCBD has grown bigger with more impressive offerings each year. We’re happy to be a part of that every year,” remarked IDW Publishing’s Chief Creative Officer / Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall.
For a list of the comic books available you can go here.
You can get more information on FCBD and stores participating in your area at the official website.
Be sure to check out a preview of DC Comics’ Co-Publisher and artist Jim Lee’s 4-page gatefold for the “DC Comics – The New 52 FCBD Edition” by clicking here. It’s available as a pull-out to hang on your wall if you get a copy while supplies last.
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