Free Comic Book Day promotes America’s favorites worldwide

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

On Free Comic Book Day, May 7 this year, participating bookstores around the world are giving away American comic books absolutely free.

Titles include some popular series usually sold as regular merchandise.

Held on the first Saturday of May each year, Free Comic Book Day aims to expand the fan base of American comic books. Started in 2002 by industry leader Diamond Comic Distributors Inc., the annual event has rapidly raised its profile, attracting more independent book stores and publishers to participate.
In the United States, Hollywood adaptations of U.S. comic books, such as “Iron Man,” have been box-office smashes.

However, that success has not always translated into higher sales for the original comics, which are often viewed as aimed at enthusiastic fans and offering less appeal to regular readers.

Free Comic Book Day was begun as a means to shake up the status quo. The event is held outside the United States and Canada as well.

In Japan, Blister Comics, an import comic book store in the Nihonbashihamacho district of Tokyo’s Chuo Ward, is participating from May 7-8. Visitors can receive up to five U.S. comic books ranging from major and minor titles provided by publishers.

Monster Japan, a toy shop dedicated to U.S. toys in Tokyo’s Ebisu district, will give away an American comic book to anyone who buys at least one item at the store from May 3 through May 8.

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