Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 6, 2007

CWR: Free Comic Book Day Evolving?

Johanna Draper Carlson has a nice write-up on retailer discussion of the Free Comic Book Day promotion, scheduled for this year on May 5. The promotion, now in its sixth year, initially offered up an easy to grasp concept: on that day, anyone can go to the local comic book shop and walk away with a free comic book. It hasn't always been that simple. There was a lot of discussion over whether the promotion should have its day during a non-vacation regular traffic time of the year or whether it should be tied into that year's big comic book movie release. There has also been some discussion about certain retailers choosing not to participate, which kind of works against verbal contract portion of the concept's simplicity. Within many stores, Free Comic Book Day became less about new customers leaving with one free comic book each but regular customers showing up with an eye on scoring all of them, or at least the ones that interest them.

Anyway, the upshot of the latest round of talks is that because the cost of Free Comic Book Day falls to retailers, many are picking and choosing what they'll offer according to what will please their perceived customer base. That sounds pretty benign and logical to me, and doesn't say anything particularly interesting about the shape of the entire market other than different stores have different needs and all national plans are eventually going to have work locally or not at all.
posted 8:10 am PST | Permalink

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