Free Comic Book Day Expands to 9 Weeks This Summer

X-Men FCBD Cover - Publicity - H 2020
Pepe Larraz/Marvel Entertainment
The annual one-day event is reimagined as a staggered weekly program in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Months after its initially scheduled date was postponed because of COVID-19, Diamond Comic Distributors has announced that Free Comic Book Day 2020 will now run a little under two months, from July 15 through Sept. 9.

According to Diamond, retailers will receive staggered shipments of Free Comic Book Day 2020 titles across nine weeks, with retailers encouraged to make them available to customers as they see fit. Traditionally, Free Comic Book Day is — as the name suggests — one day when all releases, typically numbering above 40, are available for free.

“Every year, Free Comic Book Day is our big event to thank current comics fans, welcome back former fans and invite those new to comics to join the fun,” retailer Joe Field, who came up with the initial idea of the annual event, said in a statement. “In this very different year, Free Comic Book Day is more like Free Comic Book Summer. … and there’s so much fun to discover in this year's FCBD comics! So many cool stories are available for this stretched-out Free Comic Book Day 2020. I'm confident longtime fans and newcomers alike are going to find a story that'll make them want to visit their local comic shop every week!”

Publishers participating in the event include Marvel Entertainment, DC, Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Boom! Studios and more; in total, 45 issues will be distributed across the FCBD 2020 period, along with two additional “educational support” releases. The announcement of the staggered release schedule follows Marvel’s decision to release its titles in July, which itself came after Vault Comics releasing its own FCBD title on The Hollywood Reporter.

More information about the event can be found here.