Maybe it's the economy. Maybe it's the weather. Maybe we're all just greedy bastards.
But reports from around the world consistently agree that the audience for Free Comic Book Day was up. Publicity was out there, with coverage across national and local media, and celebrity twittering to boot. Retailers stepped up events, with big name signings, cosplay and free cookies.
But even stores that admittedly didn't do any promotion at all, saw their numbers up on years where they had.
Ralph Mathieu of Alternate Reality Comics in Las Vegas told Bleeding Cool;
I had an UBER FANTASTIC 2011 FCBD! First one at my new location (at 2200 sq. ft. it's twice the space of my old store). I haven't done real comparison numbers to previous years, but the day was easily the BEST one yet, with business and traffic being up at least 20% from last year.
Tom Flammer of Clem's Comics & Games of Lansing said;
Perhaps a little less promotion than we did last year, but roughly the same…
Customer traffic was up 10% from last year (over 500 for the first time), and sales were up 20% from last year. Overall, about 5x a normal Saturday's sales. Every year is a new record now. Just amazing.
Paul Eke of Amazing Fantasy in Hull says that it was the
first FCB to have any real effect here. 2.5 times a normal saturday in £ and transaction numbers. fair few new faces too.
Steve of Third Eye Comics of Annapolis in Maryland, reported that they had people queueing from half three in the morning, one hundred and forty lined up when they opened at nine, and up to fifteen hundred visitors through the day, significantly up from last year, which was still their biggest of the year. During which they sold sixty copies of volume one of Stuff Of Legend and fifty of volume two on the back of the free comic.
Collector's Paradise reported that their old store in Canoga Park advertised on Facebook with 200 RSVPs and passed out flyers at the queues for the Thor movie on Thursday and Friday.
And were wall to wall full through the day, even the late afternoon when they would usually wane. Their singin/sketching party for Hero Initiave was equally packed and they sold over eighty sketches in two hours before having to curtail it. While their business was similar to last year, but not running as drastic a sale as last year, their income was much higher.
Their new store in Pasadena which they bought ten days before FCBD got about 50 RSVPs through some last minute Facebook marketing but they had a massive crowd, higher than expected, with Len Wein and David Petersen providing a draw, and they burned through the long back issue bins they'd inherited, selling almost two thirds of it, raising enough money to renovate and remodel the comic shop into more of a "book store" model.
Tim Stoltzfus at More Fun Comics in Dallas reported that they;
ordered 10% more books than last year, were practically out in half the time of last year. Sales up 12% over last year!
While Scott Dercks of House of Heroes in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, tells us;
Once again I get to say it was the best FCBD ever with sales up 28% over last year, making it our third or forth best sales day ever-only our once a year sale has better totals. It also breaks the record for most transactions in one day. In the end all we had left were four copies of the Bongo book which absolutely blew my mind since I always order extra to give away throughout the year. Hopefully they have some left over at Diamond!
They haven't, Scott. Roll on FCBD 2012!