July 26 -- Free Comic Book Day 2005 will happens, organizers promise, it's just the when that's up in the year. The industry promotion whereby direct market retailers can offer free material to potential readers on an ostensibly heavily-promoted day of drop-ins and tribe-gatherings came under fire in 2004 for having taken place on a day linked to a Marvel Comics movie tie-in (Spider-Man 2) that took place on a July 4 holiday weekend which proved brutally slow and light on traffic for many stores. The discussion that erupted around this year's event and which has been ongoing debates the virtues of placating the larger publishers' cross-promotional agendas and thus risking their continued participation with securing for the comic book shops a promotion that is more about their product than Hollywood's.
Thus divided, organizers are taking the event to a vote. The two dates to be voted upon are the first weekend of May -- the date of the event the first two years, and June 18th, the expected release date for the DC Comics-related summer superhero movie Batman Begins. The results will be tabulated by Diamond Comics Distributors, who handles product for the promotion.