For those of us on the retail side of Free Comic Book Day, the event is always an exhausting one. This year's was no different, but as always, there was plenty to enjoy about it. Moreso than previous years, this year I made a conscious effort to keep my eyes open, look around, and really take in the enthusiasm folks have for comics. It's hard to be too negative about the state of comics when you see little kids light up and laugh as they read their free books. I'm not entirely naive, and know that FCBD might be the only time all year that some people actually stop by a comics store. That said, it would be smart for us who actively work in the industry (be it on the retail or creative end) to really appreciate days like FCBD. Not only do we get a chance to share our enthusiasm for comics with great crowds of people, but hopefully we'll at least gain a couple of new readers in the process. After all, that is what this event is about.
We can debate the finer points about whether or not the industry is really that inviting or accomodating to new readers young and old, but such arguments aren't going anywhere anytime soon. We should make a conscious effort to really capitalize on the continuing popularity of comics films, and be mindful of the importance of turning new readers onto quality books. There is great value in discussing the critical value of comics, but sometimes it's important just to sit back and appreciate days like FCBD for the opportunity they represent. It's not everyday we get the opportunity to share our love of comics with large groups of people. Even when comics are really badly made, we're doing ourselves a great disservice if we only focus on the negative. Why allow ourselves to dwell on and thus perpetuate the idea that bad comics are abounding, if we fail to see great art be it in the present or the past? Tastes can change, appreciation of different styles might alter, but if we take anything at all away from FCBD, why not just allow ourselves to bask in comics joy?