Enthusiasm Builds for Free Comic Book Day, now in 29 countries

Official Press Release

In 29 countries around the world and in all 50 states, over 2,000 retailers are preparing for Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) and the two million free comics they will give away on May 4. Of those comics, an astonishing 1.46 million are published by Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, and Marvel Comics.

All of the FCBD comic books provided by these four publishers sold in the hundreds of thousands of copies, in quantities that exceeded that of any non-giveaway title offered in February. With the heat of the Spider-Man movie (opening the day before FCBD) behind it, Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man FCBD Edition topped sales for the FCBD editions.

Please note: As they are intended for giveaway and feature no cover price, the FCBD editions have been categorized as promotional items and thus will not appear on Diamond's monthly Top 100 Comics chart to be published in the April edition of Dialogue, which reaches retailers on April 3. Had these editions been categorized as comic books, they would have taken the top 4 positions, with Ultimate Spider-Man FCBD Edition ranking as the #1 comic of the month in terms of units sold, and with Dark Horse's Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones: A Jedi's Weapon FCBD Edition, DC's Justice League Adventures #1 FCBD Edition, and Image's Tomb Raider #1/2 FCBD Edition placing second, third, and fourth respectively.

Other evidence that the word is spreading about Free Comic Book Day:

  • The hit count on www.FreeComicBookDay.com is steadily rising as more and more information is released.
  • More than 2,000 stores in 29 countries (and all 50 states in the U.S.) have signed up to participate.
  • Diamond's "Pulse of the Marketplace" feature article in the April 2002 Dialogue asked retailers how they were promoting FCBD, and received the biggest response in the history of the publication.
  • The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has come on board to promote Free Comic Book Day through its member libraries. The organization is encouraging libraries to contact local comic book stores in order to arrange for cross-promotion on May 4. Diamond is also helping to match retailers who have expressed an interest in coordinating with a local library to do so. Furthermore, Dark Horse Comics has donated 10,000 copies of its Star Wars: Episode II-Attack of the Clones Free Comic Book Day Edition for YALSA to distribute to interested libraries for use on May 4.
  • With the help of El Capitán, the website WhatIsTheMatrix.com-the official website of the The Matrix series of movies-now links to FreeComicBookDay.com. As anticipation over the movie sequels (currently being shot in Australia) continues to build, traffic to this website grows, exposing more and more people to Free Comic Book Day. Furthermore, El Capitán's contribution to FCBD-a flip book containing a Stray Bullets story and David Lapham's never-before-printed Matrix story from the website-will serve to draw in Matrix fans who may not be comic book readers. (Participating retailers will receive quantities of this comic in proportion to their orders for the Premier Publishers' FCBD editions.)
  • IDG Games Media Group, publishers of GamePro Magazine and the GamePro.com website, is providing the event with editorial coverage in the May issue of GamePro in exchange for free advertising in Previews. The coverage in GamePro will reach an estimated monthly audience of 3.4 million readers.
  • In conjunction with the New York chapter of the Friends of Lulu, Diamond will be promoting Free Comic Book Day at I-CON, a major science-fiction and fantasy convention on Long Island that boasts a large number of female attendees - the major potential growth market for comics. Friends of Lulu volunteers will hand out FCBD stickers and fliers that list participating stores in the Long Island/New York City area.
  • A story about Free Comic Book Day is slated for publication in an April edition of the New York Daily News, reaching New Yorkers and the millions who read the paper online.
  • Diamond's Comic Shop Locator Service is also promoting Free Comic Book Day with a special message that tells consumers who call the Service at (888) COMIC-BOOK about the event, and encourages them to visit the Free Comic Book Day website to find the participating retailer near them. As a result, all past and present promotion for the CSLS now promotes Free Comic Book Day as well.
  • Publications such as the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, and U.S. News & World Report have expressed an interest in Free Comic Book Day as well.

Please note: By its very nature, the mainstream media tend to add and subtract stories and ideas up until the last minute. As a result, stories may show up in venues with no notice, or may need to be cancelled without notice due to breaking news in another field. Please bear this in mind when mainstream media are mentioned with regards to Free Comic Book Day.

Another announcement regarding promotion for Free Comic Book Day will be released in the second week of April.

For updates on the event, please point your browser to www.FreeComicBookDay.com.

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