Books Free Comic Book Day is a Bunch of Bullshit
posted by May 2 at 16:43 PMon
Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) is, in concept, a great thing. Tomorrow, you can walk into just about any comic store and walk out with an armful of free comics. The event is supposed to pump more money into the long-stagnant comic industry by drawing in new readers and get people to see that (some) comics are more than just a bunch of big dudes in spandex punching shit.
Well, FCBD’s supposed to help change that perception. There are plenty of great independent, non-superhero books on the market right now, but FCBD isn’t doing doing much to push those books on the public and, unfortunately, FCBD is really set up to benefit the big two: Marvel and DC
For FCBD, comic shops can order batches of books at cost—about 12-40 cents a book, depending on the title—but in order to get a break on independent books, retailers first have to buy about 250 copies of ten different mostly superhero books. At cost, that only works out to about $50, plus shipping, but according to one local retailer, that pricing scheme is keeping comic shops from promoting indie books.
Aaron Tarbuck, owner of The Dreaming in the University District—full disclosure: that’s where I get my comics—says he’d rather promote books like Atomic Robo than give Marvel and DC more money. “The independent, [who is] probably not even drawing a profit, he’s the guy who needs me to be buying these from him,” Tarbuck says. “The big guys can write this off.”
It’s unfortunate FCBD doesn’t put as much of an emphasis on indie books, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hunt something down when you’re in a comic store tomorrow.
Look for Ganges by Kevin Huizenga, Glamourpuss by Dave Sim or anything by Oni Press. Or just ask your friendly neighborhood comic book guy for a recommendation.