The business news and analysis site ICv2.com leads with a story this morning that the Free Comic Book Day 2007 promotion will be held on May 5 this year. This is also the same weekend the expected-to-be-gigundus Spider-Man 3 movie is scheduled to hit theaters. Free Comic Book Day is a promotion whereby giveaway comics are made available to shops at a reduced cost and attention is called to local shops by letting media and potential customers know that people showing up at the shop on that day will take away something for free. It began in 2002.
Why this date is noteworthy is because there had been discussion in previous years whether or not the promotion should be moved so it could be paired with a superhero-related movie opening. Despite the inroads of manga and a few select art comics in bookstores, superhero remain by far the dominant genre in Direct Market comics and hobby stores. Also, a big-time franchise movie opening provides an easy local media hook. Others felt that moving FCBD away from late Spring simply to pursue a movie opening risked putting the event squarely in the path of regular summer weekend shopping disruptions like university students heading home or people heading out of town to the lakes or whatever, and diminished the stand-alone nature of the event. My gut says that with last year's event doing well without the movie tie-in, proving a point for the long-term, that not so many will complain if the movie is just sitting there on one of the good late Spring weekends waiting for a dance partner as opposed to demanding pursuit into the hotter summer months.