Jen King, owner of Texas comic book shop Space Cadets Collection Collection, wrote an op-ed published on Bleeding Cool in which she complained about Free Comic Book Day and the people who show up at her store expecting to receive free comic books. Imagine that.
From Bleeding Cool:
It seems to happen every year. A customer comes in and wants to pick up 20 copies of one of the FCBD titles being offered. When they are informed that they are limited to one per customer, they loudly yell that the comics are supposed to be free and how dare we limit the amount they can grab. What’s even worse, in my mind, is that even though we clearly advertise our FCBD as a charity fundraising event (and have been doing it this way for 6 years), there are still attendees who get red-faced mad when we ask them to donate a canned good or one dollar for every 3 titles that they pick up. These donations go directly to a food pantry a block away from our store and directly benefit our community.
It seems hard to believe that every year, someone comes into the store and tries to take 20 copies of a single book and when they are denied, they then begin yelling. That seems a bit hyperbolic to me. Then again, this is Texas. Hyperbole is as common in Texas as armadillo roadkill or inaccurate license plates.
I didn’t realize shops participating in Free Comic Book Day could require people to donate canned goods or money in exchange for books. According to the official website for Free Comic Book Day, participating comic book shops give comic books “absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops.” It’s Free Comic Book Day, not Exchange a Can of Soup for Comics Day.
That’s not to say collecting canned goods for a food pantry is necessarily a bad thing. Just don’t make it a requirement for Free Comic Book Day. That’s not what the day is supposed to be about.