Free Comic Book Day (aka FCBD, the 1st Saturday in May) gets a lot of press, but have heard about Halloween Comic Fest? This one kind of crept up on me this year, but thanks to my favorite local shop (Comics Toons’n’Toys in Tustin, CA) and the event they threw last weekend I was reminded of this “comics holiday”.
This works similar to FCBD, sample comics are available to be purchased by comic shops at a nominal price and they’re meant to be handed out free to customers as promotional items. They’re free to you, but not to your shop, keep that in mind. That said, when used properly they can be a great way to drive business into a shop, especially when done in conjunction with a sale and some other type of event.
For example, Comics Toons’n’Toys had a store-wide sale as well as setting up ‘easy-ups’ and tables where local artists were able to set up and do sketches, comics, and prints.
I showed up several hours after opening so I missed the longest lines, but there were still a decent number of people around and plenty of comics for all. I picked up some freebies and also bought extras that I’ll be giving out myself on Halloween night along with candy (hey, I’m not going to make the kids choose between a comic & a chocolate bar, at my house they’ll get both….) I’m very much on board with giving out comics on Halloween, I’ve been doing it myself for a number of years and I love getting the little ashcan comics that fit into the kids candy bags a bit easier. I got some variety packs from the local shop and also ordered 25 issue bundles of Adventure Time and Itty Bitty Hellboy to make sure I have plenty.
Halloween Comic Fest a great idea. 6 months offset from FCBD and associated with a holiday where kids are used to getting free stuff. Smart shop owners can use it to drive additional business into their shops and build a sense of community. Even the cosplay that a lot of fans love to engage in is holiday appropriate and fits right in with events built around the event. What we really need as a comics community is to get the word out more and build even more awareness. Next year, this will be on my calendar (I just added it to the ComicSpectrum Convention Calendar). In 2014 I’ll be pushing this comics holiday in advance, just like FCBD.
I hope you will too.
Bob Bretall: email@example.com
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