Comic Book / Comics

When Did Free Comic Book Day Begin?

Free Comic Book Day is an annual event that has become a beloved tradition for comic book enthusiasts and collectors around the world. It is a day when participating comic book stores give away free comic books to their customers, encouraging new readers to explore the exciting world of comics.

But have you ever wondered when this fantastic celebration began? Let’s take a closer look!

The Birth of Free Comic Book Day

The concept of Free Comic Book Day was first introduced by Joe Field, a comic book retailer from Concord, California. He proposed the idea during a retailer summit held in 2001. Field’s vision was to create an event that would attract both old and new readers to local comic book stores, promoting the industry as a whole.

The First Free Comic Book Day

The very first Free Comic Book Day took place on May 4, 2002. Numerous publishers, including Marvel, DC Comics, Image Comics, and Dark Horse Comics, collaborated to produce special edition comic books specifically for this event. These free comics allowed readers to sample different titles and genres and discover new stories and characters.

The response from fans was overwhelmingly positive. People lined up outside comic book stores in anticipation of snagging their favorite titles or discovering something entirely new. The success of the inaugural Free Comic Book Day ensured that it would become an annual celebration.

Evolution and Growth

As years went by, Free Comic Book Day continued to grow in popularity and significance within the industry. More publishers joined in, offering an even greater variety of free comics for readers to enjoy.

To make each year’s event more exciting, many publishers began featuring special issues with significant storylines or introductions to upcoming events. This strategy not only attracted existing fans but also enticed new readers with captivating stories that left them eagerly wanting more.

Impact on the Industry

Free Comic Book Day has had a profound impact on the comic book industry. It serves as a platform for publishers to promote their titles, increase readership, and generate buzz around upcoming releases. The event has become a crucial marketing tool for both mainstream and independent publishers alike.

Moreover, Free Comic Book Day has played a vital role in fostering community and bringing together fans of all ages. It allows readers to connect with local comic book stores, interact with fellow enthusiasts, and share their passion for comics.


In conclusion, Free Comic Book Day began in 2002 as an initiative by comic book retailer Joe Field. Since then, it has grown into an annual celebration that attracts fans worldwide.

This event continues to be an excellent opportunity for readers to explore the diverse world of comics, discover new titles and characters, and support their local comic book stores. So mark your calendars for the next Free Comic Book Day and embrace the magic of storytelling through this beloved medium!