There is a lot of good that can come of this years Free Comic Book Day, in which people can go to their local comic book shop and get one or a few free comics!
FIRST…to the stores…
There is an interesting window of opportunity opening now that Endgame has been released. I don’t know how long it will stay open, but it’s here. It’s here for any stores, publishers, conventions and pros who can capitalize on it.
We have/had a wave of interest in general of comic books by people because of the MCU movies (people previously uninterested in comics, or only vaguely aware of them, or hadn’t given them much thought since 5th grade). These people who have been swept up in the MCU and become interested in comic book content have now seen “endgame” and for lack of a better way to put it, are ready for something else, now. They are ready for a break and are in no mad hurry to see anything from that genre for awhile. Satisfied or not, they are relieved that the long journey is over. They are accepting that this is the end of that chapter and that they can close the book if they want to. In short, their interest has reached and then rolled back from it’s apex, with this movie.
SO…for the brief period of time that these people are still wandering into conventions and comic book stores, they will need to be shown something ELSE. THAT is the window of opportunity. We can keep them or lose them. They can be kept interested in comics but they will more and more give a pass to anything MCU or DCU related. They need to now, more than ever, be shown that this medium is a MEDIUM and NOT a genre. They need to be shown the best story telling we can show them. They need to see books and TPB’s that are the best of the best, and tell stories in a way that cannot be told a well in another form.
It’s like someone (…let’s call him Douglas. No relation ) going to a Florence and the Machine concert because she’s hot and clearly screwed up, possibly with a lot of Daddy issues making it well within the realm of possibility that she could fall prey to his natural chemistry should they ever meet…but then realizing her music is powerful and beautiful. That realization is what turns a guilty pleasure into something you spread the word about.
But I digress…I say all this knowing FULL WELL how busy you comic books stores are going to be leading up to and during FCBD…but… it’s in all of our best interest if you could nudge people towards the free books you think are good examples of how good comics can be. I know you you have tricks up your sleeve as far as that goes, or you wouldn’t sill be in business. Product placement, making one stack of books smaller so it seems more in demand, making it the “staff pick of the week”…whatever, I’ve see you work you magic…you know your job better than me. In whatever way or time you are able to spare, getting those new people interested in comics that they have not yet heard of is your sword and your shield when they inevitably realize that capes and tights type comics don’t hold much interest for them anymore.
I also know full well that the majority of those people might not come back until next FCBD. So, as far as making the the percentage that will and/or can be made into regular customers as large as possible…steering them towards books they will reread and enjoy and remember is your best.
I know FCBD is like herding cattle, I know. I’ve seen it. But try to keep your eyes on the prize. FCBD a week after the biggest opening in movie history was about a comic book is as good as it may EVER get for you to flip as many people as possible into regular customers.
NOW for the rest of you…
I say this now to everybody who’s going to go to FCBD. Anything Marvel or DC related…with all due respect to those books…you’ll be able to find that anytime, and you’ll hear about it if it’s good. BUT those other books, the ones you’ve not heard of before…you might not see that title again, you might not hear about it from your circle of friends, and you might forget you were curious about it AND so SADLY you might miss out on something you would have really liked. Each store’s going to let you have a few free comics…use those picks on something you wouldn’t normally try. It’s free, after all. You’re risking nothing.
This link here has a list of this years free comics distributed to stores by Diamond Distribution…
I’m actually a bit fuzzy on the mechanics of this, I believe each store orders the titles they want, so not every store will have every one of these. But don’t quote me on that, I could be wrong, I haven’t looked into this in a couple of years…Arsenic Lullaby ain’t exactly the type of comic you’re going to leave out for free to an unsuspecting population, hahahaha…seriously though, don’t do that.
ANYWAYS…here’s a link to the comic shop locator …you can use it to find a store near you.
and as for you fellow pros and publishers out there…
that window of opportunity needs to be seized by us. This is going to be, for however brief a moment of time, the best shot you have of getting mainstream type readers interested in an indy comic, or any non super hero comic for that matter. There’s about to be a lot of people looking around to see if there might be some OTHER type of comic book that holds their interest. Make good use of this time, I will.
When Douglas is not complaining, he and his work can be found here
Have friends who might like Arsenic Lullaby?…tell them to sign up for the Arsenic Lullaby Email HERE. Thanks in advance.