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Diamond Comic Distributors has announced that Free Comic Book Day, the annual event to promote the comic book industry, has been indefinitely postponed from its planned May 2 date as result of the coronavirus.
This year’s Free Comic Book Day would have seen participating retailers offering 47 special titles from publishers including Marvel, DC and Image Comics for no charge; among the titles announced was an issue intended to herald projected changes to DC’s comic book canon that would lead into a series launching in May. Despite a new date not being announced for the event, it has not been officially cancelled, but will instead take place at a date “later in the summer,” according to Diamond.
A new graphic was attached to the announcement, with a “Coming Soon” banner replacing the previous version of the logo that had the May 2 date.
In a statement Thursday announcing the change, Diamond founder and CEO Steve Geppi said, “The severity and timing of the impact of the COVID-19 virus can’t be predicted with any certainty, but the safety of our retailer partners and comic book fans is too important to risk. As always, we appreciate your enthusiasm for and support of the comic industry’s best event and look forward to celebrating with you later in the summer.”
As a sign of how quickly things are changing, the postponement comes a day after Diamond told retailers that Free Comic Book Day would be extended through the entire month, instead becoming “Free Comic Book May.” Those plans were dropped within hours, following outcry on behalf of retailers.
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