Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Free Comicbook Day is Coming!

Yeah, yeah, it is still better than six months away, but rest assured, it IS coming! (This year’s was May 6th, while the 2007 event will be May 5th). So I want everyone to know that it is on its way.

Personally, I’m what you would call a big fan of Free Comic Book Day. Mostly for, you know, the obvious reason, that I get free comics out of the deal, but because it is such a fun event. Of the two comicbook shops in my area, one participates in the event, and the other does not.

The owner of the store that does not participate has — what I feel — is a perfectly valid reason for not participating. He believes that everyone benefits from Free Comic Book Day except for the store owners.

Publishers make out because it is an opportunity for them to (possibly) get their comics into the hands of people who might not ordinarily receive them.
Distributors make out because they receive payment for distributing the comics.
Pros make out, for much the same reason as both publishers and distributors; they a) get their work into hands of people who might not usually see it (and that is self-promotion), and b) they get paid (by their publishers) to create the work (or have previously-created work reprinted).
Fans make out because they get free comics.

However, all of this works because of the comic shop owners who fare the worse, because, well, while you and I get the comics for free, they actually have to pay to purchase and distribute the comics.

Now while you may counter-argue that the comic shop gets the benefit of established clients getting hooked on new books, and (possibly) pick up new customers as well. Only, according to this one shop owner (as well as others to whom I’ve spoken), that’s not so much the case. In fact, many of the shop owners to whom I’ve spoken to (and this is by no means anything close to a scientific, or all-encompassing survey), there is little (if any) payoff for the comic shop owner in the form of increased product sold, or new customers.

I’m inclined to believe this, as I (as a typically average reader/fan) am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have never really gone out of my way to acquire (read: paid) for any “regular” versions of the Free Comic Book Day comics. Still, I like the event, and wish more publishers would participate. Further, having said all of the above, I also whish there was some way to help promote the event in such a way to direct more potential (and actual) patrons into local comic shops.

A conundrum if ever I heard one, eh?

No comments: