It hasn’t been the best couple of years for the last surviving book super-chain Barnes & Noble, but they are still in it to win it, and to tap into the big month of nerd-esque excitement surrounding San Diego, they’ve just announced “Get Pop Cultured” a month of events celebrating popular books, comics TV shows and movies. Events include Frozen sing-a-long, Matman Day, Marvel Day, and Comic Convention Collectibles weekend.
The event runs from July 18th through August 10, and include a Get Pop-Cultured Sweepstakes from NOOK with the chance to win a $1,000 Barnes & Noble Gift Card. More information on everyhting is available at local stores or online. A bunch of authors and celebrity writers will get spotlighted, including Jim Starlin (!), Chris Colfer, Deborah Harkness, Christopher Paolini, Sherrilyn Kenyon, James Dashner, John Scalzi, Alyssa Milano, Buzz Aldrin, James Patterson, Malcolm Gladwell and the utterly ubiquitous Grumpy Cat. Here’s the line-up of events, but if you poke around on the above link you’ll find stuff going on near you.
A quick take: looks like B&N is taking a page from the Book Con/ Comic-Con culture to enliven their stores. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
- Preview Weekend and Get Pop-Cultured Costume Contest – July 18 to July 20
Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble kicks off with a Preview Weekend designed to provide fans with exclusive sneak peeks of hot new titles by their favorite authors and illustrators. All Barnes & Noble stores will have limited quantities of free, never-before-seen chapter samplers from upcoming releases, posters and digital downloads, and customers can enter for a chance to win prizes and more for the most buzzed-about authors, books and DVD titles of the summer. On Saturday, July 19, all stores will host a Get Pop-Cultured Costume Contest. Customers of all ages are invited to come to their local stores dressed as their favorite characters. Costume-wearing customers can post their pictures on social media using the hashtags #GetPopCultured and #Contest for a chance to win special prizes. Additionally, the Barnes & Noble Café will give costume-wearing customers $1 off any beverage on the day of the Costume Contest. Greeters will hand out the $1 off coupons to customers dressed in costume as they enter the store. For more information, visit www.bn.com/GetPop-Cultured.
- DC Comics Spectacular – July 23 to July 27
DC Comics is the creator of a pantheon of massively popular characters including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, Hawkman and The Green Arrow, as well as superhero teams the Justice League, The Watchmen and the Teen Titans. The DC Comics Spectacular from Wednesday, July 23, to Sunday, July 27, offers fans the opportunity to celebrate DC Comics with fun activities, special giveaways and a 5-day only offer on all DC Comics graphic novels. The DC Comics Spectacular kicks off with Batman Day on July 23, a celebration of the Caped Crusader’s huge influence on pop culture.
- Batman Day – July 23
It’s been 75 years since Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27. Since his auspicious debut in 1939, Batman has become one of the most popular superheroes and cultural icons of the last century. Barnes & Noble is celebrating the Caped Crusader’s enormous influence on pop culture on Batman Day, Wednesday, July 23, in all stores nationwide, with exclusive Batman merchandise. Highlights include a Batman exclusive comic book giveaway (limited supplies) of a special edition 75th anniversary collector’s issue featuring the original Batman story (issue #27) and Brad Meltzer’s re-imagined story of Batman’s origins (#27 New 52 series); giveaways of bags, bookmarks and buttons and the chance to win a Mini Bat Signal.
- Comic Convention Collectibles – July 24 to July 27
Barnes & Noble has partnered with FUNKO, creator of POP!, the Legacy Collection and ReAction Figure Lines, to offer customers the opportunity to purchase never-before-seen exclusive collectibles that can only be found at this summer’s premier comic convention. Barnes & Noble is thrilled to be able to make convention exclusives more accessible to fans from Thursday, July 24, to Sunday, July 27. In addition, 25 lucky customers per store will receive a FREE Funko POP! TV Collector’s poster with the purchase of any regularly priced POP! collectible.
- Frozen Friday: Cool Off with Olaf! – August 1 at 7 p.m.
Barnes & Noble is celebrating Disney’s Frozen, the highest-grossing animated film of all time, with“Frozen Friday: Cool Off with Olaf!” a sing-along and Storytime event on Friday, August 1. Barnes & Noble stores nationwide invite fans of Olaf, everyone’s favorite summer-loving snowman, to a sing-along of Olaf’s “In Summer” song, a special Storytime, and crafts and activities such as building a sand castle and making a snow cloud and snowflakes so Olaf can go to the beach. Frozen Friday will thrill fans of all ages and prove to be the coolest summer celebration this year!
- Marvel Day – August 2
Marvel is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and Barnes & Noble is honoring that milestone with a special Marvel Day in stores nationwide on Saturday, August 2, featuring fun activities, giveaways and product offerings. With the release of Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, customers will want to explore Barnes & Noble’s vast Marvel offerings and will have the chance to win a variety of merchandise including Marvel tote bags and Marvel 75th Anniversary posters.
- James Patterson Day – August 3
James Patterson has broken just about every record there is for a bestselling author. He is the first author to achieve 10 million eBook sales, and holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. Since Patterson puts the pop! in popular fiction, Barnes & Noble stores nationwide are hosting a James Patterson Day on Sunday, August 3 with fun activities, special giveaways and prizes and a special one-day only in-store offer on James Patterson books and audios.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Jr. Ninja Training Academy Event – Week of August 4
After numerous adaptations, book series and merchandise spinoffs, America’s favorite “crime fighters on the half shell” are back with the August 8 release of Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. To celebrate, Barnes & Noble stores nationwide are hosting a Turtles – Jr. Ninja Training Academy Eventduring the week of August 4, with exciting activities and crafts, plus a fun-filled Ninja Training event, where participants will be trained as ninjas and receive a special Jr. Ninja Training Academy certificate. For more information on the timing of this event at your local Barnes & Noble store, visit www.bn.com/GetPop-Cultured or ask a bookseller.
- Page & Screen Weekend – August 9 to August 10
The Get Pop-Cultured campaign concludes with a celebration of some of the hottest products in pop-culture. The Hobbit, Doctor Who, The Fault in Our Stars, The Maze Runner, A Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead are just a few of the great properties that have appeared on both page and screen and this fun-filled weekend celebrates the relationship between books, eBooks, movies and TV shows.
More ways to Get Pop-Cultured include:
- Get Pop-Cultured Sweepstakes from NOOK
Customers can enter the Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $1,000 Barnes & Noble Gift Card and an exciting Studio VIP Tour for two at the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, CA, plus many other great prizes. To enter, customers can visit the NOOK boutique at their local Barnes & Noble store anytime between July 18 and August 10, where they should look for the specially created Get Pop-Cultured NOOK App™ on the NOOK devices displayed.
- Get Pop-Cultured on Social Media
Pop culture fans should follow Barnes & Noble on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and like Barnes & Noble on Facebook for the very latest information on Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble, including announcements about upcoming events and promotions. Pop culture fans can also follow NOOK on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
Barnes & Noble will be announcing many more exclusive events, including exciting author appearances and signings, as well as giveaways and exclusive content and products, throughout Get Pop-Cultured month. For a full schedule of local events and author appearances, and for more details regarding giveaways, competitions and sweepstakes, visit www.bn.com/GetPop-Cultured.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.