This year's Free Comic Book Day was a smash hit, with over 5.2 million comic books distributed worldwide. The joint efforts of comic book retailers, publishers, Diamond Comic Distributors Inc. and fans resulted in an estimated $4 million in free publicity for the comic book industry and about 1.35 million people taking part in the event.
Over 2,200 comic shops around the world participated, giving away special FCBD issues from major American comic publishers. Retailers, of course, were very satisfied with the flock of visitors, with an estimated 1.4 million customers stopping into a comic store in celebration of the event. In fact, a survey of participating comic stores held by Diamond reports that 92 percent of retailers felt “extremely positive” or “positive” with how the event turned out, and more than half said May 4 was their highest sales receipt of the entire year.
"This year’s Free Comic Book Day received top-notch press coverage from a variety of media platforms, allowing the event to grow and reach a larger audience than ever before," Ashton Greenwood, Free Comic Book Day spokesperson said in a statement. "We appreciate the support from the press, but this event wouldn’t be what it is without the support of the local retailers and fans who help spread the word about Free Comic Book Day and come out to celebrate and make the day a huge success!"
The press support for the event was notable as well, as FCBD was covered by over 700 TV broadcast stations and thousands of news outlets. The festivities were also shared on social media by the press, comic stores, publishers and fans alike. Free Comic Book Day became a trending hashtag on Twitter and the event was even promoted by celebrities such as Krypton actor Cameron Cuffe and legendary soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. All this attention effectively spread knowledge of the comic industry and generated about $4 million in free publicity for stores and publishers.
"Free Comic Book Day is more than an event; it’s the collaboration of an entire industry putting forth its best effort to welcome new and returning readers to the world of comic books," Greenwood continued. "The industry will use this year’s success as a springboard for what’s to come for next year’s FCBD on May 2, 2020."
Free Comic Book Day 2019 was celebrated May 4 in comic shops across the globe. Next year's event falls on Saturday, May 2, 2020.