Free Comic Book Day is an annual promotional effort by the North American comic book industry to help bring new readers into independent comic book stores.
What is it?
Free Comic Book Day, aka FCBD, occurs every first Saturday in May. Participating comic book shops in North America (and other places around the globe) give away free comic books. The event was first proposed in 2001 by retailer Joe Field. Jim Valentino suggested holding the first Free Comic Book Day on the same weekend as the opening of Spider-Man in order to take advantage of that films heavy promotion. Not all events have corresponded with the release of a comic book movie. It is administered by a panel which represents all parts of the comic book industry: retailers, publishers, suppliers, and Diamond Comic Distributors. The day has seen an increase in interest over the past years.
Each year, publishers apply to provide specially printed copies of comic books at cost to retailers, who in turn give them away for free. Diamond handles marketing and logistics for the event, shipping comics to shops and handling marketing and PR for the event. The event does not solely give out Marvel related comics.
In addition to comics, some retailers also give away other items, such as mini posters or other memorabilia.
Comics are normally handed out until supplies are diminished.
When is it?
The first Saturday in May.