What Will Happen to Free Comic Book Day?
With all that’s going on in the world, and the recommendation that people should avoid groups of more than 50 for the next eight weeks (which means through early May) to avoid infection, the question arose: what does that mean for Free Comic Book Day?
Comics’ national holiday, scheduled for May 2 this year, often attracts crowds bigger than that, although not all at the same time. And it’s a big moneymaker for many shops, with sales and guest appearances and a general air of festivity that gets people to spend money and attracts new visitors.
All of the Free Comic Book Day comics — the 12 gold titles and 35 silver titles — have already been ordered by comic shop retailers. And that’s not cheap. Comic shops don’t always have a big reservoir of resources to draw on when sales are down or business is interrupted.
I reached out to the organizers, who sensibly responded, “We are discussing contingency plans to ensure we are able to celebrate the event in a way that is safer for all involved.” That’s all most people can do right now, wait and see and plan sensibly.
In the meantime, please work with your comic shop to purchase any pre-orders and buy what you can, safely.
Update: Now we know. There will be no FCBD in May. It may happen later this year. An email went out this morning:
Diamond Comic Distributors has made the difficult decision to postpone the event to a date later in the summer.
“The severity and timing of the impact of the COVID-19 virus can’t be predicted with any certainty, but the safety of our retailer partners and comic book fans is too important to risk. As always, we appreciate your enthusiasm for and support of the comic industry’s best event and look forward to celebrating with you later in the summer,” said Diamond Founder and CEO Steve Geppi.