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Despite its relative obscurity, National Comic Book Day seems to be getting a bit of traction. With apparently zero support from the big publishers or Diamond Comic Distributors, it’s really a grass-roots holiday. As I mentioned in my post Wednesday, these sorts of occasions are useful for reporters who want to write about comics but need a news hook. Perhaps something similar is going on in the marketing department of Jo-Ann Fabrics. Here’s a roundup of National Comic Book Day observances, which may provide a rough map to geek presence in unexpected quarters.
• While it hasn’t achieved the same prominence as, say, Presidents Day, in the retail world, NCBD did spur a couple of prominent chains to offer some sales. Howard Koplowitz rounded up the NCBD deals for the International Business Times; they included markdowns on comics-related merchandise at Target (“Today we offer deals on all things comic book. We thought it would build character,” they explained) and Marvel-patterned fleece at Jo-Ann Fabrics. While comics shops have yet to jump on the NCBD bandwagon, the folks at Midtown Comics were encouraging their customers to pass on comics to other readers who might be interested in some new characters.
• Kelly Schwarze at Geek Sugar gets double points for tying NCBD to Banned Books Week and coming up with a list of the five most challenged graphic novels.
• The Huffington Post celebrates with photos of a comics-themed wedding.
• Here’s one of those news articles I was talking about, as reporter Katie Sobko uses NCBD as an excuse to interview local comics retailers for what would be a pretty interesting article any day of the year.
• NCBD does seem to be gaining some traction on social media; a search of the #NationalComicBookDay hashtag on Twitter turned up tweets from A&E Network, Verizon, and that harbinger of cool, JC Penney. The Denny’s folks even Tweeted a photo of their own comic, Diner Tales, which I now desperately want a copy of.