Bleeding Cool has reported (a few times) about Coca-Cola sponsoring the upcoming Free Comic Book Day being held in comic book stores on Saturday, the 14th of August, social distancing rules willing. As well as advertising in the comic books themselves, Coca-Cola is also creating a free 16" x 24" poster to every FCBD-participating store. The poster serves as an Augmented Reality "trigger" that customers can interact with by hovering their phone's camera over the logo (similar to a QR code), which will then open up an "art gallery" on the customer's phone where they can scroll through larger-than-life versions of unique pieces of art illustrated by Taurin Clark and inspired by comics, gaming culture, otaku obsession, community, and Coca-Cola, of course. At the end of the gallery, customers will see a digital prize wheel that they will be prompted to "spin" for a chance to win a digital prize. Winners are randomly selected by the digital prize wheel, and all prizes are awarded and fulfilled by Coke – though there is no mention of any geographical restrictions at this point. Customers will have to enter their contact information to play and collect any prizes, but Diamond promises that data will not be collected for marketing or any purpose other than prize fulfillment. And not side-stepping the comic store in question to sell directly to customers, honestly. They expect the poster to appear in comic stores in a couple of weeks before the Free Comic Book Day Saturday, the 14th of August. Bleeding Cool will certainly give that a go.
This year's Free Comic Book Day was rescheduled to Saturday, the 14th of August, 2021 – fifteen months since the last one and will be sponsored by Coca-Cola. Coke will serve as the Presenting Sponsor of FCBD and will be featured on printed promotional materials and branded merchandise distributed to local comic shops in advance of the event. The other sponsor will be Diamond's own Pullbox subscription service that allows comic shop customers to manage their preorders and subscriptions online in partnership with their local comic book shop. This will be the twentieth anniversary of Free Comic Book Day and the first time the event has had such a famous soft drinks sponsor. How far the sponsorship will go, what costs of Free Comic Book Day on the retailer it may alleviate, and how many products, posters, of promotions will bear the famous logo has yet to be specified. The fifty titles directly involved with Free Comic Book Day 2021 were first revealed on Bleeding Cool. However, there have been a few changes since then, and DC Comics has also thrown in its own non-Diamond-distributed selection of free comic books to be given away as well. Coca-Cola has attracted plenty of controversies and criticism over the years. Given the social and economic concerns of many comic book fans and creators, this may just be the kind of occasion to stir up one or two of them. But then, to be fair, so have some of the comic book companies and their own corporate overlords. Still, it should make for some interesting social media commentary on the day.