In the last decade, more and more special event days are cropping up, cooperative efforts between publishers and retailers to draw new or lapsed readers into their local comic shops and put comics in their hands. Free Comic Book Day is by far the industry standard, but over the last five years, Halloween ComicFest has gained more and more attention. This year’s event, happening Saturday, October 29th, looks to be the biggest yet, with organizers reporting the number of total comics ordered up 33% from 2015.
Participating retailers will have 32 free comics on hand for Halloween ComicFest from publishers such as Marvel, DC Comics, Dark Horse, IDW, and Archie Comics, among others. Readers will have a section of 19 full-sized comics, as well as 13 mini-comics, perfect for sticking into your little trick or treater’s goodie bag!
This year will also feature “The Greatest Halloween Contest Ever”, where anyone snapping a pic of themselves in costume holding their Halloween ComicFest 2016 comic can be entered in a contest to win a $500 or $1000 shopping spree from their local comic shop, among other prizes.
[FROM THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE]
In its fifth year, Halloween ComicFest 2016 is set to be the largest fall event yet for comic book shops. Comic book and Halloween fans of all ages can go to over 1,900 participating locations, which will give away more than 2 million free Halloween-themed full-size and mini-comics during the annual Halloween event taking place Saturday, October 29th.
“We’re ecstatic about the 33% increase in total comics ordered from last year, which signals to us that Halloween ComicFest continues to grow as one the industry’s major annual events,” said Halloween ComicFest spokesperson Michael Moccio. “What’s especially exciting is that the mini-comics increased almost 50% from last year. As an industry, turning the next generation into comic book fans is paramount and we’re happy we can contribute to that initiative by distributing the all-ages mini-comics that are perfect to give to trick-or-treaters. No doubt, this year’s increase in mini-comics orders is due to all the great properties featured, such as Archie Comics, Dynamite’s Grumpy Cat, VIZ Media’s Pokémon X&Y Pocket Comics and more.”
During Halloween ComicFest (HCF), participating retailers will give out 32 free comics, including 19 full-sized comics and 13 mini-comics, ranging from Marvel Comics’ Darth Vader: Doctor Aphra #1, Spidey #1; DC Comics’ DC Super Hero Girls #1 and Scooby Apocalypse/Hanna-Barbera Sampler; Dark Horse Comics’ Harrow County #1; and IDW Publishing’s My Little Pony: The Haunted Dungeon among other great titles for comic readers of all ages.
Retailer pre-orders for the HCF mini-comics totaled over 1.5 million copies (50% increase from last year), while full-sized titles reached over 825,000 (10% increase from last year) in pre-orders in 2016.
Individual stores will host their own special events during the day with activities such as costume contests, appearances by local artists and costumed characters, trick-or-treating, games, giveaways, and more for the whole family to enjoy. Comic shops will also have the HCF mini-comic polypacks available for purchase starting September 28th, containing 25 mini-comics which are great for passing out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.
In addition to hosting their own costume contests, stores will also promote “The Greatest Halloween Costume Contest Ever” taking place on the HalloweenComicFest.com website. Anyone who takes a picture in costume holding their free designated HCF comics can enter to win a $500 or $100 shopping spree to their local comic shop plus other great prizes for categories winners. More details will be announced in late September.
Comic fans are encouraged to check out www.halloweencomicfest.com over the coming weeks for more information on the event and local retailer activities. Also visit Halloween ComicFest on social media on Facebook www.facebook.com/halloweencomicfests, Pinterest www.pinterest.com/halloweencf, Twitter @halloweencomic and Instagram @halloweencomicfest.