Every year, on the first Saturday in May, is Free Comic Book Day. On this annual, nation-wide publishing event, free comic books are brought to local shops and distributed for free. Over five million comic books are expected to be given out this year, according to news website Caldwells Patch.
According to the day’s official website, freecomicbookday.com, “Every year, on the first Saturday in May, the industry comes together to give away free comics and encourage fans, both old and new, to flock to the best place in the comic book community: local comic shops. These are the hubs of our community, where fans can come together and discover new comics, make lifelong friends, and find a sense of commonality.”
The Free Comic Book Day panel, which is comprised of retailers, publishers, suppliers, and Diamond Comic Distributors, created this event in 2002 and have continued it every year since. Every year, as their website says, “publishers apply to provide comic books at cost to retailers, who in turn give them away for free. Diamond handles marketing and logistics for the event, shipping comics to shops and handling marketing and PR for the event.”
It is important to note that not every store that sells comics is participating. This event is focused specifically on celebrating “independent comic-book specialty shops” instead of their larger retail chains. These smaller stores are receiving the focus because “Each one is unique in its community, with a style and personality all its own, and each one carries a full line of comics, graphic novels, toys and related products.”
Even then, while the panel hopes that every local comic shop will participate, each individual shop must determine whether they want to participate but worry not, my fellow geek.
To find a participating independent comic book store near you, you only need to go to www.FreeComicBookDay.com to use their shop locator service. Then when Saturday rolls around, go to your nearest local store and brace yourself for some free comics!