Bookseller T.W. Adair of Barnes and Noble Lincoln Triangle in New York City prefers X-Men 2 as the anchor event for FCBD 2003 (for essays on both sides of the issue, see 'Field and Quesada on FCBD'), but also sees potential for The Hulk.
The following is a letter I sent to Diamond a few days ago, and I make some suggestions mentioned my Mr. Field, and some which were not.
I cast my vote for the Saturday following the opening of the X-Men 2 movie for the following reasons:
-It's the same weekend as last year (the first weekend in May).
-In 2004, Sony has already scheduled Spider-Man 2 for that weekend, thereby making it 'comic book movie day', in much the same way that mid-May is now 'blockbuster sci-fi movie day' (Star Wars: Episode I, Star Wars: Episode II, Matrix 2).
-It coincides with the anniversary of the newspaper comic strip, May 5th. (Remember the centennial a few years ago, the postage stamps? If this project steamrolls, comic book retailers and the industry can team-up with our friends in the comic strip industry and really put on a show! And if you doubt the power of strips, just remember that A LOT of people showed up to SPX a few years ago because Frank Cho mentioned it in his strip 'Liberty Meadows', which ran in the Washington Post).
-There is less competition for publicity in early May, compared to mid-June.
-Teens are still in school (allowing for libraries and schools to participate).
-The weather is nicer.
-Fewer people are going to the beach, or on vacation, or doing other things.
-More importantly, comicbook creators will be more likely to NOT have scheduling conflicts for store events.
(One last idea, which I just thought up... why can't we use X-Men as Free Comic Book Day, and then use the Hulk as a follow-up? Get the publicity ball rolling in early May, and then use the Hulk to keep it rolling through the summer? For retailers, they can sell X-Men merchandise until the Hulk opens, and then sell Hulk merchandise. Smart retailers can also give out coupons to customers on FCBD to have them come back in June for a 'Hulkbusting' sale! (Wear green clothing and get 10% off! Wear green face paint, and get a Hulk movie poster!)).
Now, a little brainstorming:
- 2003: As many store signings as possible, possibly even including Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Booksamillion.
- 2004: Comic book festivals across the country, using libraries as organizers. (See the American Library Association's Teen Read Week in October).