So... another first Saturday of May and another Free Comic Book Day down. When you stop to think about it, it's amazing that it's gone on for so long, I don't know how many years it's been now?
I keep thinking I'll skip this year's, but I always seem to make it down to the shops to grab a stack of freebies-- despite already having a sizeable backlog of paid-for comics I've yet to read..... but this year I tried to read as many as I could right away, and I've gone through most of them I think.
I try only to pick up titles that I think will interest me; and titles that look interesting but I wouldn't pick up normally just to see if I'll be surprised. Honestly, it hasn't really happened yet.
One comic in particular, it was called The Puppy Sister and I grabbed one on the chance that it might be nice for my nephew & 3 year old niece. The art was not awful but it definitely looked not-quite-ready-for-primetime. The story itself, what little there was, was a bit.... creepy. I dunno, it's about a dog that thinks of itself as a human sibling or something? And the FCBD version of this comic was merely a teaser so there's not much substance to it. What I didn't realize when I grabbed the comic was that it's a flip-book-- and the other half of it is Bluewater Production's Fame comic series. Specifically, A Lady Gaga comic.... I assume these are supposed to be biographical comics, but this story was... odd. It's about a guy who likes only classic rock yet he finds himself strangely compelled to Lady Gaga's music. It's a bizarre story-- almost so-bad-it's-good, but really, it's just bad. Again it's only a teaser, but I have to admit I'm curious where this trainwreck's heading. Like what does this story have to do with Lady Gaga, is it going to be how her music changed his life or something? Or is it going to dovetail into a Lady Gaga bio, but seen through this fanboy's eyes??? I have no idea. What really bugged me was the art isn't bad--except the artist draws insanely oversized forearms on his people. It's ridiculous, if I can find a sample I'll post it, but man.
I actually threw the comic into the recycling bin, basically threw it away. I rarely, if ever, have done that before... but I don't want it. And I don't feel comfortable giving it to my niece & nephew... so what was I going to do with it?
One of the few surprises was the G.I Joe #155 1/2 comic. I believe this is a continuation of Marvel's G.I. Joe run... which I never collected. I've never been all that big a fan of G.I. Joe, but if I had, this would be awesome. As it is, it actually looks quite cool, the art seems pretty good.
One of my big concerns about Free Comic Book Day is that it's been going on for years now. There's lots of media coverage; I heard about it on the radio a couple times, and I've seen it mentioned on the local news, etc. This year even the local public library participated; giving away free comics! (I didn't check that out though) So the media exposure has been growing steadily-- a good thing, and one of the intended goals of FCBD.
BUT..... we see crowds & crowds of people rush to the comic stores to get their free comics.... these crowds of people *only* come into the comic stores once a year, yup on Free Comic Book Day. They don't buy any comics, only pick up what's free and it's "see you next year".
The other major goal of Free Comic Book Day is to hook new readers, get people back into the comic shops and re-aquaint them with new titles or introduce comics to readers who've never been into comics before. And I suspect that FCBD is *FAILING SPECTACULARLY* at that goal. I don't know what it's like on a national or international scale, but I just don't see new comics readers coming back the next Wednesday, when the comics aren't free.
I'm not sure.... has FCBD's time passed? Should FCBD continue? Is it working? I never expected it to work right away from the first time... I'd always hoped they'd continue it every year to grow the idea & promotion gradually. They've done that, but is it enough?