I’ll be celebrating this year’s Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) where every comic fan or creator hopes to be… at work.
In case you can’t read the resigned disappointment in that opening sentence, know this: I do not work at a comic shop.
So I’m begging you to go out there and enjoy the heck out of it for me. I will live vicariously through your experiences (shared pics are requested!).
As you venture out to enjoy FCBD, I wanted to let you know something. I’m not sure if it’s a secret I’m revealing, but I certainly had no clue about it until I started speaking with managers and owners of Local Comic Shops over the last few years.
FCBD is pretty much only free for the consumer. Now I’ve never had a book in Diamond Distribution, and therefore never been eligible to offer a book for FCBD, so I have no clue about it from the Publisher/Creator side. But I do know the book you’re handed for nothing on FCBD is bought and paid for by the shop doing the handing.
A more accurate name for FCBD would be “Your Local Comic Shop Bought you a Comic Book Day” (YLCSBYACBD). Something tells me YLCSBYACBD is not going to catch on as a hashtag.
So let me reiterate that point. In order to participate in FCBD, your Local Comic Shop has to shell out money. The more books they give, the more money it costs them.
Please note: I’m not crying for your Local Comic Shop. FCBD – or as you know doubt have been convinced, YLCSBYACBD – is a great marketing tool for them. It reminds people the shops are there and hopefully introduces those people to series or creators they can come back to later. If done right, FCBD can be the start of a virtuous circle.
What I am doing is asking you to come to your shop with a couple dollars to spend ($5, $10, $50 whatever fits your budget). Accept the free books with open arms, but return that favor by purchasing something of equal or greater value. Most people do this anyway. But others don’t. I get it. They think the books are given to the shops by Marvel or DC and therefore there’s no need.
Believe me, there is a need. Your Local Comic Shop is in a tough business. Operating in a tough environment. By all means head out on Saturday. Grab the free comics that interest you. But buy some books off the wall and/or back issues as well. Help the people who foot the bill for YLCSBYACBD do it again next year.
Next Post: I’ll try to find out which books I would choose for FCBD/YLCSBYACBD so I can at least pretend I’m involved. I’ll put it up here so we can see if our tastes match.