Tuesday, May 06, 2008  
Free Comic Book Day Reports

:: Posted by BK @ 5/06/2008 04:42:00 p.m.
This past Saturday, May 3, was Free Comic Book Day across the U.S. and Canada, an event intended to promote comics through local comic book shops. I largely agree with Kevin Boyd that the event should be an opportunity to reach out to the larger community of people who might not venture into comic shops normally or even read comics. This is a great time for local shops to get some free press coverage and lots of potential new customers. With few exceptions, I don't really see this happening. For the most part, the people who show up for this event usually have found out about it in one of their weekly visits to the shop. No press releases are sent out and no outreach or cross-promotion with other organizations is ventured. When I wandered into my own local comic shop around 5 pm to ask how things went, the teenage clerk painting a role-playing model at the large table that takes up the front window of the empty store informed me that most of the free comics vanished in the first hour of the promotion, around 9am, gesturing to a pile of brochures and 3 copies of the VIZ/Shonen Jump giveaway to indicate all that remained. As far as I could tell, the sole message to the outside world that something unique was happening today was a lone poster in the window, competing with the other posters.

The events that I heard of before hand include the signings at the Silver Snail and the Beguiling event at the Toronto Public Library (which began at noon).

Here are some reports and pictures:

Stuart Immonen
Jason Truong reports
Chris Butcher reports on the Beguiling event
Strange Adventures in Halifax got some press
A picture of Elfsar in Vancouver

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