After the pandemic canceled Free Comic Book Day entirely in 2020 and moved the event to August in 2021, the annual event returns to its traditional May spot this weekend on Baton Rouge and national calendars.
Held on the first Saturday of May, the event has been hosted at more than 2,000 comic book stores since its inception in 2002. Over the years, the national celebration has offered complimentary comics created just for the event, ranging from previews of Marvel and DC Comics’ upcoming crossover events to jumping off points for readers of all ages.
“That’s the point of it really,” says Eric Davis, the general manager of Louisiana Double Play, a local comic book shop. “They give us really cheap stuff that is a good introductory point, and it allows people, without risk, to try something out … And that’s the primary purpose, to bring in new readers.”
Free Comic Book Day offerings this year include previews of Marvel’s crossover between the Avengers, X-Men and Eternals entitled “Judgement Day,” along with a sampling of adventures from Spider-Man and Venom and a Pride anthology celebrating Marvel’s LGBTQ+ heroes.
As early as its inception in 2002, the event has been associated with attracting new readers interested in comic books, and giving comic book stores new customers.
“The big movies usually help cross promote the whole thing,” Davis says.