Free Comic Book Day – A Look at the Phenomenon

FCBDFree Comic Book Day
2nd May 2015

Organised by the Comic Industry
Logistics by Diamond Distribuution

Check out locations near you
here are locations around the world

Free Comic Book Day, popularly abbreviated to FCBD, started in 2001 when Diamond Publishing had the idea to get more people in to comic book stores. They timed it to coincide with the US release of Spider-man starring Tobey McGuire, 4th May 2002. The following year it coincided with the US release of X2 on 02/05/03. The date shifted to July in 2004 to coincide with the release of Spider-Man 2.

From 2005 the day became set as the first Saturday in May. Some think linking FCBD to a major film release re-inforces the idea that all comics are about superheroes; they aren’t. But it is interesting that it seems major comic book related blockbusters now tend to have US release dates on the first weekend in May. Coincidence? I suspect not as these have all been Marvel films.

The whole point of FCBD is to get people in to their local comic store (LCS) to keep the industry thriving. Yes more comic readers are slowly converting to the digital age. That’s established readers, few jump straight in there. It is with paper comics that people usually first encounter the medium. It is also likely that the paper version will draw back lapsed readers.

My interest in FCBD was minimal when I first came across it; I read comics and have for years. But then 2000AD got involved.; and how! The FCBD 2000AD Prog is a mix of selected reprints and brand new strips. ?Obviously a ‘must have’ issue for me.

Other publishers tend to use reprinted material or release Issue 0 of a forthcoming series. However there are others that release exclusive material, Mouseguard for example often release a hardback with brand new material.

Different stores have different policies. Most will obviously insist on one copy of any book per person. Some may have wider ranges of comics, they pay for the books they are giving away and there are different bundles at different costs so smaller stores may bot stock the full tange. However in some stores there will be extras, they may have ‘goodie bags’ with comics not in the FCBD range or toys, posters, bags, etc.

The idea is to get people in to their LCS. And it is an inclusive event aimed at Adults and Children.

And in the spirit of the event, consider passing on some of the comics you pick up at FCBD to others who didn’t make it.

FCBD banner


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