Last month, Bleeding Cool reported that for the first time a major brand like Coca-Cola was to sponsor Free Comic Book Day through Diamond Comic Distributors. We also got the first look at the branding choices in the trade magazine press. Now their ads have started to appear in comic books in the lead up to Free Comic Book Day on August the 14th, for the twentieth anniversary of the event started by Joe Field.
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.