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Thursday, May 06, 2010 

Is FCBD really helping?

The Austin Chronicle talks about Free Comic Book Day, and says it's helped the industry, but has it?
It was a massive gamble for a shrinking industry: Give away a couple of million samples of your product the day after one of your industry's biggest characters makes his major motion picture debut. The people who make and sell comic books had no way of knowing whether the public's interest in Spider-Man onscreen would generate any appetite for the wall-crawler in his four-color form, but this seemed like one way to find out. So, on the first Saturday in May 2002, more than 2,000 retailers handed out free comics from 30 publishers to anyone who came into their shops.

The gamble paid off, so much so that eight years later, Free Comic Book Day has become as firmly established an institution as, well, comic-book movies kicking off the summer blockbuster season. And each year, public response just multiplies.
Challenging question: just what has FCBD done for those pamphlets that actually cost money? It's easy to go for something that's free; the question is how many of these same people have invested seriously in whatever's not given out free of charge? Because the sales charts today don't look promising. Indeed, how many are willing to spend nearly 4 dollars on current comics?

And that's why this article is just another in doubt. And crossovers events, which have taken up a considerable amount of Marvel and DC's output, are another reason why FCBD may not be doing what they claim. Some of their own offerings for FCBD, like War of the Supermen #0, are just gimmicks to try and lure people into spending far more money than need be on overblown mishmash. Not really a good way to encourage people to get into their books.

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Well, at least some kids still want to be superheroes, as this sweet story proves.


Unfortunately, the local shop had a big reprint closeout going on Comic Book That Nobody Would Actually Want to Pay For Day, so I had to wade through the crowds.

A lot of people brought their kids with them, not sure why, as there's nothing much they could read anyhow. Hey Kids! It's Captain Brubaker! Yay, the X-Rated Men! Golly, how fun.

Go there any other day and it's dead as a doornail, no kids there either...maybe see one random middle-aged dork in there if you're lucky. Just scratch my head at these guys, they ignore piles of good classic material and buy a stack of Ennis and Fraction crap instead. Idiocracy is upon us...

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