Free Comic Book Day is the biggest Comic Book holiday of the year! It is celebrated by thousands of comic shops and fans all over the world each year on the first Saturday in May. This year is May 6th- This Saturday!
It’s hard to argue with free comic books, or free anything really, but why does Free Comic Book Day exist? What is it all about?
What is Free Comic Book Day?
Free Comic Book Day was inspired by Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors in Concord, California. The event is designed to help comic book shops connect with their communities and gain new readership. With the surge in people gaining interest in superheroes through blockbuster movies and hit cartoons, an event to get more information about direct market comic book stores was only going to benefit the industry. Fans of comic-inspired films and collectibles would have a chance to pick up some free books, experience their local shops, and get hooked on comics for good!
In the past 15 years, Free Comic Book Day has only grown in success and popularity. Fans line up outside shops in the morning on the first Saturday in May. Shops participate in the festivities in many ways. You can walk in and get free comics, but many shops also take this opportunity to host creators for signings, serve treats, have sales, organize raffles or giveaways, and more! Try contacting your local shop to see what fun events they have happening for Free Comic Book Day.
Is it Really Free?
Participating shops will have special free comic books to hand out to anyone who walks in their shop! Publishers create specific comics for this event, so many of the offerings are comics you can’t get any other way! If your shop is selling comics, that’s not in the spirit of this fun, free event.
Free Comic Book Day is free for you- but it’s not quite free for the shops who are participating in the event. Retailers have to purchase the comics, sometimes thousands of them, to give away for free.
You can help make Free Comic Book Day fun for everyone by supporting your local shop in appreciation of this fun event! Bring a friend, purchase some cool comics or toys, or come visit again on the second Saturday in May! Many of the Free Comic Book Day offerings are previews of ongoing series- try setting up a subscription to the series if you like what you read!
But don’t take it form me- take it from Comics Writer Gail Simone:
“FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, YOU GUYS!
This is something I remind people of every years, so forgive me if you have heard me say this stuff before. But this past few months have been a bit hard on even some of the BEST comic book retailers, so please take a moment and check this message out, okay? Let’s help them make 2017 an amazing year so they can keep bringing us wonderful nerd junk all year long.
Free Comic Book Day on Saturday!
I know I say this every year, but a lot of people believe that the comics the comic shops give away are given free to retailers.
They are not. Retailers have to pay for the books. They pay a reduced fee, but they still pay for them. They also have to pay shipping. They have to pay for ads and they have to usually pay for extra employees, and many shops pay to have guests or other special events. It can end up being a huge expense, and even though a lot of new readers might come by, part of it is also a celebration of comics, and a lovely little bonus for the shop’s loyal customers.
It’s a great deal of effort, as well, in most cases, with many retailers working TONS of extra hours just to make the day great for you.
What I would ask everyone to do is, when you go to get your free comics, please take a little bit of extra time, even if it’s crowded, to shop in the store. Try a couple new comics off the rack or a new trade collection you have been thinking about. Maybe if you buy Magic cards or game supplies somewhere else, usually, think about buying some at the hosting store while you are there. It will add up and make their Free Comic Book Day much more successful and everyone will be happy, and it’s a nice way to say thank you. It helps if you buy ON THE DAY of Free Comic Book Day, so that they know it makes a difference and they continue to participate.
Just a thought, but when picking up your free comics, please send a little bit of shopping love to the store that is putting on the event for you. Do it ON Free Comic Book Day so that they know the day is a success and that all their expense and effort is appreciated.
Your comic store will love you and I will love you!
This year more than most, okay?”
To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.
Check out other comic book news, previews and reviews here!