Free Comic Book Day sees record-breaking turnout

Retailers gave away a record 4.7 million comics on Free Comic Book Day, up slightly from the more than 4.6 million handed out in 2013. According to Diamond Comic Distributors, more than 1 million fans -- an attendance record -- showed up at more than 2,100 participating locations on May 3.

“Free Comic Book Day was a tremendous success this year,” FCBD spokesperson Jason Blanchard said in a statement. “A large percent of participants celebrated FCBD for the first time and loved it! The fans were pleased with the variety of comics available and commented on the fact there were numerous kids comics, making FCBD an even bigger family-orientated event.”

As usual, Diamond also breaks down media coverage of the event, noting a 45 percent increase in publicity from 2013; in all, that amounts to an estimated $3.2 million in free publicity across print, broadcast and online outlets.The company attributes much of the growth to the approaches retailers took to their own FCBD festivities. “Comic shops were pleased with the large turnout as 40 percent of participating retailers said they had over 500 participants attend their event," Blanchard said, "with 87 percent of them rating their FCBD as extremely successful.”

Free Comic Book Day 2015 is scheduled for May 2.

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