Free Comic Book Day, the first-ever industry-wide promotion for comics, was held May 3, 2002 across North America and around the world.  We asked comic retailers to tell us how it went, and they did! 


Anthony Furfferi, owner of EMPIRE? COMICS, Rochester, NY

I guess we don't qualify for this story since we didn't participate in it, but we did ride the shirttails of the promotion for the sake of being good guys.  My take is the promotion should have been tied into the release of the Spider-Man movie.  Let's face it, that's what the hype really was about.  The idea of Free Comic Book Day basically preached to the choir.  Parents that read comics brought in their kids.  That's great.  We had plenty of comics to give to them (despite these were funded by Marvel and DC past promotions).


Was it successful?  Minimally, at best.  The promotion was more promoted by Diamond than anyone else.  Sure there were sporadic articles in newspapers but the idea was 'Free', not promoting reading etc. as the hobby.  If anything the stories by newspapers were more so regarding the decline of the industry since the 1990's... (like we didn't know that already).  Thanks, to the reporters that took that slant.


The way cooler promotion though is the 'Get Caught Reading' promotion that's going on.  Thanks to Diamond's site for at least plugging that.  And, thanks to Marvel and DC for having books available for other promotions that were handed out during the day... Bravo to Joe Field though for trying and Diamond for listening.  Now, if the publishers could promote the movies in the stores as well, and then tie them together, then we'd have an industry that flourishes again.


Next time, a better thought program could be what our industry needs to shed itself of the darkness that hovers.
For reactions and comments by Joe Field, the retailer that came up with event, see 'Joe Field on Free Comic Book Day.'
For other comments, see:
'Comic Kings, The Bookshelf, All-Star Comics & Games and Atlas Comics on FCBD'
'Ron's Collectors World and Acme Comics on FCBD'
'Captain Comics, World of Comics, Amazing Fantasy and Alternative Factor on FCBD'
'Tim Davis of Alternate Reality on FCBD'


For background on the event, see 'Free Comic Book Day on May 4' and 'Expectations High for Free Comic Book Day.'