[Cartoon Via American Elf.]
Retailers around the world report that Saturday’s Free Comic Book Day was a big success. Lots of kids came in, happy to be getting their free comics, potential new customers came out in large numbers, and it was a big event in and of itself. In Dearborn, MI, the Mayor even made a proclamation. All of the Image founders (including Whilce Portacio!) signed at Atomic Comics in Phoenix, AZ, an event recounted in pictures by Andy Khouri. Matt Brady went to Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find in NC. Lots of people went all over the place!
Scanning FCBD blogs entries, the majority pretty happy and upbeat. Scanning them , many are from people who dressed up as superheroes to partake in the promotions. Tim O’Shea rounds up more quotes and reports. Eric Trautmann co-owner of Olympic Cards & Comics in Lacey, WAwrites at Whitechapel:
Our big winners were OWLY, which a whole bunch of kids instantly fell in love with; oddly, the GYRO GEARLOOSE Disney issue did well for us, as well. The grownups gravitated toward Dan Dare, Hellboy, and All Star Superman, so that was nice. Good books all. Other retailers’ mileage may vary, but FCBD is always a shot in the arm for us, and a great form of community outreach, if properly marketed. If I had one gripe, it was the very short-sighted move by Marvel, not having a standalone IRON MAN for FCBD, because a rather large number of people came in looking for Iron Man. The trio issue of Iron Man, Spider Man and Hulk was okay, but most of the younger crowd were really in the throes of Tony Love after the movie–just didn’t WANT Spidey or Hulk getting in the way. Sigh.
LA Mood Comics, in London, ON, does what we’ve thought some smart comics shop should do someday and puts the Simpsons in the window.
Despite the rain, what a great day it turned out to be! Thank you Great and Loyal Customers for making Free Comic Book Day a huge success! I know we had way more people through the door than ever before! We gave out FCBD bags to each person who came in and went through 500 of them by 1:30! whew!
Here’s a picture from later in the day from the same blog:
Not everyone was COMPLETELY happy, of course. Matt at Alert Nerd writes:
Call me the Grinch What Stole FCBD, but I think a limit on the number of comics you can get sorta defeats the purpose of Free Comic Book Day. As it’s evolved, FCBD has basically come to serve two audiences: Diehard comics readers who want to get free stuff and maybe check out material they might not otherwise see, and non-readers of varying descriptions who turn up because they heard about the free stuff. Neither of these audiences is served by a limit, because no one gets to really TRY anything they don’t already WANT. Like most fans, I went into FCBD with a small list of titles I knew I wanted to check out, and it was way longer than three. So it’s possible I would have just gotten material I already was reading, like DC Universe Zero, which this store had for free (admittedly, a nice move) but which isn’t really gonna convince me to try any additional DC books, since I’m already gonna get most of them anyway.
Where there will always be questions and cavils, it sounds like comic books are now child-safe, well-liked and socially acceptable. So maybe a comic book is as good as an ice cream cone.
PLUS: Critical round-ups of this year’s offerings:
¶Douglas Wolk at Salon (you must watch a short film to read.)