May 1, 2009

Publishers giving comic books away

The U.S. comic book industry says it's capitalizing on the release of the new Wolverine movie by giving away free comic books this weekend.

Saturday will be Free Comic Book Day, industry officials say, hoping the release of the $130 million movie based on the Marvel Comics character and the free product will lure new readers into the fold, USA Today reported Friday.

Even with all their entertainment choices, kids still love comic books when they can get ahold of them, Steve Geppi, CEO of Diamond Comics, the industry's primary distributor, told the newspaper, adding that he's anticipating retailers will have given away millions of free comic books by the end of Saturday.

Each book costs shops about 20 cents, but the investment will be worth it, Geppi said.

The amount shops give away is returned many-fold, sometimes that same day, he told USA Today.

Among the titles to be distributed free of charge will be Marvel's The Avengers and a Wolverine special issue, DC Comics' Blackest Night, Oni Press' Resurrection and Matt Groening's Bongo Comics Free-For-All, the promotion's Web site said.