MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Modern Myths will celebrate its first Free Comic Book Day in its Mamaroneck store Saturday.
Free Comic Book Day started 10 years ago. The national promotion helps build the brand of new stores, like Modern Myths, Jim Crocker, store manager, told The Mamaroneck Daily Voice.
“It’s been going enough years now that people start to expect it,” Crocker said of Free Comic Book Day. “Especially for a new store like us, it’s getting people in the store for the first time. That’s the big challenge and that is what this does for us.”
Comic book stores are, for the most part, independently owned, something Crocker said is the industry’s biggest strength and weakness. It means most stores have dedicated comic book fans behind the counter. But, it also means there are few stores that have a budget for large-scale advertising.
Enter Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in California. He saw a long line near his building for Baskin Robbins’ free scoop of ice cream promotion. The idea for Free Comic Book Day hit him as sudden as a brain freeze; only the national event has lasted 10 years.
Each year on the first Saturday in May, stores that want in on Free Comic Book Day buy the required amount of comics from the publishers that sponsor the event, like DC Comics, Marvel, Archie Comics and others. Those stores turn around and give away these books for free. Crocker said it is an investment.
“Kids are always interested in comics, but getting them to find comic book shops and find what they like is challenging,” said Crocker, co-organizer of Westchester Geeks , a White Plains meet-up group.
Free Comic Book Day gives those kids a reason to find a store. It also makes people more likely to share those free comics with friends, further increasing the store’s visibility.
In addition to free comics, many stores bring in big industry names for signings. Crocker said stores get competitive with who has the best displays.
“Everybody is egging each other on to make their Free Comic Book Day more awesome than their competitors,” he said.
Modern Myths opened in November of 2012. While he said he doesn’t know what to expect at Modern Myths’ Mamaroneck location, Free Comic Book Day has been a big success at its North Hampton location.
Its North Hampton store is in a college town where Free Comic Book Day coincides with a Pride parade also held on the first Saturday of May each year. This drives a lot of foot traffic, Crocker said.
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