Free Comic Book Day   4 comments

Saturday, May 1, was Free Comic Book Day this year. It’s a minor holiday, but I like it a lot more than I like, say, my own birthday which happened on April 28. Comic book store owners spend their own money to provide giveaways to get people into their stores and interested in comics.  It’s a good idea, imho,  and it has spawned Free Role-Playing-Game Day which has helped introduce a lot of people to role-playing also.

So, I took the long, slow way home and stopped by my two favorite comic stores in Phoenix. At All About Books and Comics I had a nice chat with my old friend Alan–the store owner–and picked up half a dozen comics. The limit there was supposedly three, but the day was over, and he told me to take whatever I wanted.  Frankly, the offerings this year  were junk, or else, because I got there late, I missed all the good stuff. That’s probably more likely.

I asked Alan if the day was a success for him, and he said it was. The store made a profit for the day, and that’s both good and important. I want to see comic stores flourish.

Then I went a mile and a half down the road and visited Samurai Comics. Again, I got to speak to the owners, Mike and Moriya. Their day had been even more successful. So successful that the place was virtually cleaned out of free goodies to be taken. There was nothing left there that I even wanted to pick up. Oh well.

The important thing is that both store owners said the day accomplished its purpose. Lots of people came into the stores and were exposed to comics. Both stores made money on the celebration. That’s what I call a Win-Win situation for everyone involved.

I wonder how far this idea can be extended. We have Free Comic Book Day and Free Role-Playing Game Day. What other geek concepts could be promoted?  How about Free Miniatures Day?  Go to your favorite game or toy store and  pick up some promotional minis. Maybe get a lesson on painting them? Buy some brushes and paint? You think it would get kids interested in the subject? I think it would.

Free Puzzles Day?  Free Boardgames Day? Free Hats Day? Free Toys Day? Free Dice Day? Free Tarot Decks Day? Free Card Games Day? Free Movie Pass Day?  I’m just brainstorming here, but don’t you think we could have free goodies days scattered throughout the year? Maybe one different one every month? (Do you have an idea for a good new Free Whatzis Day? Post it in the comments down below, please.)

Free Comic Books Day is a winner for comic book store owners. With the right kind of promotion behind it, all these other free types of days could also be winners.  I wonder if it wouldn’t even have a salutary effect on the recession. These celebrations get people into stores where they spend money and acquire new spending habits. The way to beat recessions is to get money flowing again. Free Goodies Days just might be a way to do it.

–End

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Posted May 5, 2010 by atroll in Uncategorized

4 responses to “Free Comic Book Day

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  1. I would be totally down for free minis day!

    I took part on FCBD by holding a drawing workshop for kids in my local comic book store. It was such a good experience. 🙂

  2. Free trading cards day would probably be a lot easier to get started because it has a big enough diversity to appeal to a lot of different groups, and trading cards are cheap. Some of your other ideas don’t pan out for that reason. Plus, comics and trading cards are more an ongoing type of collectible. you can be given a free pack of Batman or Baseball cards and you would be tempted to buy the rest of the set. Get a free tarot deck or a free toy and you want to go home and play with them.

    • Well, clearly you wouldn’t give away a whole tarot deck–maybe a pack of 5 cards with representatives from different tarot decks in hopes that you’d like the art so well for one or more of them that you’d buy that whole deck. Perhaps the card could have image on one side and coupon on the other. Turn this in to get 10% off the cost of the deck. Our tarot practitioners would be at the store giving free 3 card readings and coupons for better readings later. We could bring in a few more of the mystic arts. I’m just sayng, it could be done, Keith.  

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