Thursday, May 2, 2013


Since around the beginning of the 21st century, retailers have been trying to figure out a way to boost sales, and also to get more people into their stores. One retailer, I can't remember who, came up with the idea of giving away free comics. He had noticed that the resurgance of comic book movies, which had just started getting going with XMEN was drawing people into their shop, so why not connect it with a comic book movie. If a comic book movie is coming out, let's make it the date after. They worked on selling the idea to the comic companies, and Diamond worked out how it would work. It took off like a dream and is now a yearly event on the 1st Saturday of May every year, regardless if a comic book movie is out or not. It has surpassed being attached to a movie and has grown into an all ages fun time at your local comic stores.

It's also a way to get laxed readers,or people who are interested in Super heroes to come into the Local Comic Store. For years they have had to live with the stigma that most people thought comic stores were places were nerds would debate who was stronger Superman or the Hulk, who was faster, who was smarter. And that they were all dank, dark, dirty stores that no one would be caught dead in. However people would soon learn that these stores are big, airy, well lit, and may have those conversations, but sometimes it's just shooting the breeze about anything, sports, other movies, tv shows, music. The people who run them are not the nerdy comic book guys, they are normal men and women who are married, or have kids, or are single also. And yes more women are getting into comic book stores, so it is not all men.

But it is also an opportunity to get younger kids excited about comic books, because let's face it. Nowadays with your smartphones and computer games, kids are no longer really interested in comic books. And that could be bad because now the stores are surviving on grownups like myself who are lifelong fans, but soon we may have to stop buying, or are going to stop buying for whatever reason, and they need younger generations to get excited about comics. So the Free Comic Book books that are available cover all ages and alot of comic companies. All the big names do at least one, sometimes 2, and they also try to catch things that are popular now.

This year, we have a Superman book, a Star Wars book, A Grimm book, A Walking Dead book, TMNT, Disney Faries, Smurfs, Sesame Street, Strawberry Shortcake, Spongebob, Simpsons, Archie, Pippi Longstocking just to name a few. Some have reprints of stories, some are special stories you can only get in this book, some like the DC and Marvel books are prequels to their big company wide crossovers, they also have independent books that maybe some fans of other types of stories besides pop culture can get into also. They even have a website where you can see all the books they are offering and also a locator of which stores are involved in FCBD.

Stores go all out. They get popular writers and artists to come and sign books or do drawings, some have drawings for prizes, some have games, some have people dressed up as superheroes so you can get pictures with them. Some go all out and have crazy parties.

The way it's supposed to work varies with each store, but the one thing that covers all is that they cannot say you get this free comic book with purchase. NO. It is supposed to be away to get people enticed into the comic world. Each story varies, but they have to give them away for free, no exceptions. They can make a rule how they do it, can only pick one, or as many as you want. Each store will let you know their rules. My store says we can take as many as we want. They also offer previous FCBD books for free also, so if you missed FCBD last year or the year before, you can still get the books from that year. That is just my store. Cards, Comics, and Collectibles in Reisterstown, MD. So on Saturday, go out to your local comic store. Get a free comic, meet the people who work their, browse the store, who knows you may find something you would like to buy. Have fun! Let me know if any of you go and get good stuff and or service. FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!!!

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