For us, this week was our most successful week in comics since the Death of Superman nearly a generation ago. Free Comic Book Day remains for us an event best promoted on the large screen and that screen was Spider-Man 3. We led into FCBD with the usual calls and interviews, but Friday, well... that was something else. We continued our relationship with our local Marcus Theater by setting up several tables of Spider-Man comics, trades, pins, posters (whatever we had on hand) for the opening of Spider-Man 3.
People were standing 6 to 8 deep the entire night throwing money at us... and getting invited to FCBD at our store the next day... and they excepted the invitation. We gave away nearly double the amount of books we had given out in any previous year, in the process having a retail Saturday only comparable to the previously mentioned Death of Superman. We had bought-out a number of dealer inventories over the last year -- all of which included remnants of FCBD books from previous years; those books added to this years offering, plus a large number of unsolicited giveaways provided to us by various publishers and manufacturers made for the best FCBD displayed we had ever been able to provide. Surprises? A few:
1) The previously mentioned unsolicited giveaway items sent to us by publishers and manufacturers -- keep 'em coming guys!
2) The highest level of enthusiasm I had ever seen for a FCBD -- very little of the 'It's Free, I'm entitled, gimme' gimme'' attitude we had seen in other years.
3) A 'competitor' that didn't participate -- Thanks for the Business!
4) A large number of people (we met at the theater) that had been into comics, quit collecting when their 'local' dealer folded during the bust of the mid-late '90's and hadn't thought much about getting back into books until they saw us at the theater. There is an untapped revenue stream of people like this, but it's up to us to go out and find them... better books, neat/clean stores, knowledgeable staffs aren't enough... we need to find more ways to bring comic shops back into the mainstream.
FCBD 2008? Already planning for it; but hoping that it coincides with something like Spider-Man 3.
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