Sunday, May 01, 2016

The Origin of Free Comic Book Day

 From the pages of Comics & Games Retailer magazine, August 2001 issue.

I wrote the column (seen here, click on the images to enlarge)) in April 2001 after seeing the success of Baskin-Robbin's "Free Scoop Night." 

After the column was published in June 2001 (the mag was dated ahead by a couple of months), there was considerable discussion in the comics' biz whether this was an idea worth pursuing.

In October 2001, Diamond Comic Distributors had one of their retailer meetings attached to a comic-con in Las Vegas.

It was there that a meeting was put together with executives from the largest comics companies, with Diamond execs and the editor of the Comics Buyer's Guide (the industry's newspaper, published by the same company that published my retailer-directed columns).

When we all decided FCBD was worth pursuing, it was (then) Image Publisher Jim Valentino's suggestion to put Free Comic Book Day on the same weekend as the opening of the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie. 

In the years since, FCBD hasn't always been on a big comics-related movie opening and, in fact, wasn't even the "First Saturday in May"---once!

I like to think that Hollywood has seen the powerful synergy of movies & comics by scheduling a comics-spawned movie on the first weekend in May every year... and it looks to be that way for many years to come!

Since 2002, comics retailers have given away more than 30 MILLION FCBD comics. 

From left: Libby, Cindy, Michelle, Joe Field, May 2002
Flying Colors 1st FCBD guests: Mick Gray and Jason Dube
Each year, well more than one million people attend FCBD events at more than 2300 comic book specialty stores in more than 60 countries all over the world.

To find a FCBD participating shop near you, please go to

Join our event at Flying Colors HERE!

Hope to see you on May 7th! 

Peace 'n' Comics!

Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field

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