For the last 18 years, indie comic stores have used Free Comic Book Day to bring in new patrons. The rise of COVID-19 cast a shadow over this year’s event, which was supposed to take place on May 2. But now that stores are beginning to re-open, Diamond Comic Distributors has shared plans to salvage the festivities. Via The Hollywood Reporter, Free Comic Book Day will now be held over the course of several weeks, from July 15 to September 9. As a result, the event is now called Free Comic Book Summer.
According to Diamond’s new plan, free comics will be sent to retailers in “staggered” shipments consisting of 5-6 titles apiece. Once stores receive them, they can distribute them to customers in whatever order they please. This strategy is similar to how independent record stores are now handling Record Store Day, which is usually held on a Saturday in April and was also impacted by the coronavirus earlier this year. The organizers behind that event will now spread out vinyl releases over three days to encourage social distancing.
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Retailer Joe Field, who came up with Free Comic Book Day in 2002, issued his own statement about the change:
“Every year, Free Comic Book Day is our big event to thank current comics fans, welcome back former fans and invite those new to comics to join the fun,” said Field. “In this very different year, Free Comic Book Day is more like Free Comic Book Summer. And there’s so much fun to discover in this year’s FCBD comics! So many cool stories are available for this stretched-out Free Comic Book Day 2020. I’m confident longtime fans and newcomers alike are going to find a story that’ll make them want to visit their local comic shop every week!”
Will you be participating in Free Comic Book Summer later this year? Let us know in the comments down below!
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