Stores use Free Comic Book Day — started by Joe Field more than 10 years ago — as a way of presenting different comics to both established and new comic buyers. It also drives extra foot traffic to stores so they can showcase other items such as trade paperbacks, games and collectibles.
In addition, it allows the stores to present the original creations that have inspired hit TV shows like The Walking Dead and movies such as the upcoming Superman movie Man of Steel and Iron Man 3.
“That really is the crux of Free Comic Book Day, inviting people into these shops that are really social hubs for people who like anything that’s going on in popular culture,” Field told the Associated Press.
Comic books, almost uniquely for printed materials, are still growing in sales. According to analysts, sales of single issues grew more than $60 million last year to $474.6 million.