Tuesday, July 06, 2004

FCBD reactions: At ICv2.com, retailers check in with reactions to Free Comic Book Day.

Hafeez Amin of the Genesis Foundation for Literacy in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: "This year we started FCBD3 early by distributing hundreds of comics to the children at the pediatric wards of the hospitals. I guess if they can't come to us then we'll go them. We plan to make this a regular event for them. We have also gone into the youth detention facilities for teenagers who have gone afoul of the law. Together with the local Rotary Club we've provided some appropriate titles to the inmates, together with building a small library for them of novels, encyclopedias etc."

Jim Crocker of Modern Myths in Northampton, Mass.: "We're in a predominantly college town. Though we certainly have plenty of customers who are locals as well, most of them fled to the beaches for this beautiful holiday weekend. As a result, traffic was down substantially from last year (probably about 1/4 what we saw in 2003), despite that being our first FCBD ever. As far as sales go, we ended the day at a total that equaled what we had done in the first hour of last year's event."

Rich Biedrzycki of Dreamland in Schaumburg, Ill.: "While looking through some of the books as we unpacked them last night, I noticed Gemstone felt the need to put a subscription card in all the Mickey Mouse Comics. The card read 'if you can't find a comic store,' which is totally stupid as anyone having that book obviously found a comic store. After all MY hard work and advertising dollars I spent to get these people in my store, I refuse to give them a subscription card soliciting them to buy direct from the publisher. I took every card out of the books and in the garbage they went.

"The worst offender by far was Arcana Comics who had a great looking preview book. We at Dreamland worked hard selling their new titles the past 6 months. The folks at Arcana, for some reason, felt the need to place a full-page advertisement at the back of the book for an on-line comic site offering discounts to MY customers. Well no one in my store got those books and the folks at Arcana can look forward to getting hundreds of copies of their FCBD book returned to them on Tuesday."

Ned Stacey of Cosmic Cat Comics & Games in Tallahassee, Fla.: "Free Comic Book Day at Cosmic Cat Comics, for the third year, was a huge success. Leading up to the event, the local paper ran a joint article concerning the opening of the Spider-Man movie and FCBD. We also were in the local calendar of events and there was a reminder for things to do on the weekend on the first page of the local section. Can't ask for more than that can we?"

Marsha Giroux of All About Books and Comics in Phoenix, Ariz.: "We have to say the naysayers were all wrong about the fear that moving FCBD to July was going to hurt. We were with the majority that felt it was a good sound plan to have it in on a holiday weekend after the opening of Spider-Man 2. With the huge success of the movie it did spill over into tremendous sales on Spider-Man comics and merchandise."

Chris Karch of Redrum Comics in Scottsdale, Ariz.: "Planning any kind of event in front of a national holiday is never a very good idea. With the 3-day weekend and 110-degree heat, most families left town for the weekend. We had maybe about 15 people come in for FCBD this year. Last year we had about 50 people."