The month of May has a ton of awesome attributes!
- It means warm weather is on the horizon (My toddler loves the park)
- Motor City Comic Con!
- Mother’s Day is upon us (Don’t forget to get her a gift!)
- Star Wars Day! (Always a fun time at the ball park!)
- And my favorite: FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!!!!
This year is a special year because Star Wars Day and Free Comic Book Day are both on the same day: This Saturday May 4th! (For some Star Wars fans, this will be a full weekend event thanks to Sunday being ‘Revenge of the 5th’)
For those that are new to this wondrous occasion, Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) is an annual event where participating comic book specialty shops around the world give away free comic books to anyone who visits their location.
Here are a few of the titles available this year:
To see which comic book retailers near you are participating in Free Comic Book Day, visit the Store Locator Here.
While comic book inspired properties have been doing well in other verticals (such as the movie industry), the comic book retail industry itself has been a shrinking market for quite some time now and is a fraction of the size that it was in the early 90’s.
FCBD was founded in 2002 as a way to try to attract new readers and new customers to the independent comic book retail shops, which have been hit particularly hard by the shrinking demand for the published product.
Aside from free comic books, on FCBD shops often also provide free snacks, door prizes, raffles, sales promotions, cosplay contest, gaming tournaments and other activities.
Obviously, on Saturday you can’t just waltz into a comic book shop and grab a Detective Comics 27 off the wall. That would still be considered “Grand Theft.”
There are 51 new FREE Comic Book Day issues being produced this year from nearly every publisher (Including Marvel, Image and Dark Horse) and starring some of the most popular characters (Including Spider-man, The Avengers, Star Wars, Archie and Dr. Who) from some of the most well established creators in the industry (such as Jason Aaron, Mark Waid and Todd McFarlane)!
There are lots of new sci-fi TV titles this year as well, including Stranger Things, Firefly and Deadly Class.
The FCBD titles I am most excited to for Joss Whedon’s Firefly, Ian Nichols’ The Tick, and Simon Furman’s re-imaging of the incredible 1980’s anime classic: Robotech
See the entire list of all 51 new FCBD issues available here or click the image below.
While these issues are absolutely free to consumers, they are NOT free to the comic book stores. The stores still need to purchase these comics (at a discounted price) from the publishers.
For this reason, here are some Geeky Daddy Golden Rules For FCBD Common Courtesy. (These are not official rules from the organizers of FCBD, just from me)
Don’t Grab multiple copies of issues. Remember that the retailer is still paying for these comics so quantities will be limited. Some locations may not even order any copies of certain titles if those titles don’t sell well in their market. So please don’t greedily horde issues. Let everyone have a chance at getting a hold of the titles they enjoy.
Most shops will limit you to a couple free comics. Again, the shops are still paying for the merchandise they are giving away for free, so please don’t snatch every single issue you see. Obviously feel free to explore new titles, hopefully you will find some new characters, artists or authors you enjoy, just leave some for other fans as well.
Be courteous to the children and young readers. There are a lot of titles this year that are directed towards young audiences, such as Pokemon, Minecraft and Go Fish. So please don’t be that guy who snags the last copy of Star Wars Adventures while a 5-year-old girl in her Rey Halloween costume is left teary eyed because she missed out.
Please Buy Something. As a former small business owner, this one is near and dear to my heart. Specialty retail shops, such as comic book retailers, have been dwindling away over the past couple decades for multiple reasons, including the rise of e-commerce. Please don’t simply stop in, snag a bunch of free merchandise (that the store paid for) and sprint for the exit.
The retailers absorb the 100% of the cost of these activities on their own, so support them!
Stay for awhile, meet the staff, browse the new release and trade paperback shelves, check out the sales promotions, tell the employees what characters and genres you enjoy and ask for recommendations for new titles to explore.
I love purchasing mystery boxes at the events. It is a great way to inexpensively sample and discover new titles, characters and creators.
I hope to see as many of you as possible enjoying your local comic book stores on Saturday!
Please share this Free Comic Book Day information with as many of your friends as possible and support your local comic book store!