According to Diamond Comic Distributors, this year’s Free Comic Book Day had record attendance at comic shops around the country. This is really good news for the industry, and though I saw no one else picking up comics at our local Hasting’s during my short visit, I do know people came in for free books. Over 4.6 million comics were handed out on May 04, 2013, and that is big news.
Not only did Free Comic Book Day break attendance records in 2013, but it also generated more publicity than ever before. An estimated $2.2 million dollars in free publicity was created, from news articles in USA Today, to blog entries on NPR, IGN.com, io9.com, MTV Geek, and a four-minute piece on CNN about the event and the culture of comic books in America. Superstar artist and Co-Publisher of DC Comics Jim Lee was a special guest on FOX News’ Saturday morning show Fox & Friends, where he talked about the origins and reasons behind Free Comic Book Day. Ultimately, the event was covered by over 240 TV news programs, over 460 news outlets, and over 740 online sources.
“Free Comic Book Day was a monster success this year,” said Jason Blanchard, spokesperson for Free Comic Book Day, in a prepared statement. “People all over the world couldn’t wait to visit their local comic shop and see what all the excitement was about. One retailer in Baltimore, MD, Collectors Corner had over 5,500 people visit his store. The line started the day before and by 5:00 AM on Saturday it was 3 blocks long. The best part about all the articles, links, and mentions about Free Comic Book Day was how many people it drove to our web site. We helped almost 620,000 people find the local comic shops in their neighborhoods and hopefully they’ll continue to return for more of what the comic industry has to offer.”
Though it is nearly a month old, I have to wonder if you’re experience at your local store was as big Diamond Comic Distributors is reporting.
If you want to mark your calendar, Free Comic Book Day 2014 takes place on May 03.