Diamond has just released a new video designed to promote this year’s Free Comic Book Day – May 4, for those who haven’t already memorized the date – and it’s… Well, it’s somewhat confusing, to be honest.
It’s not that it’s a bad video, per se – But I can’t quite tell what the point of it is, or who it’s actually aimed at. It features lots of comic creators (and publishing executives – How often do you actually see Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson appear in something like this?) say the words “Free Comic Book Day” before they talk about their love of free comic books and/or mention the date and suggest you visit your local comic book store, but… Aren’t the only people who would recognize these people the audience who is already aware of Free Comic Book Day and therefore not likely to need this kind of online outreach?
You would think, perhaps, that a FCBD trailer of this sort would be better aimed at new or lapsed readers – You know, the sorts of people that Free Comic Book Day was originally created to attract. But this video fails entirely for that audience; the captions don’t attempt to explain who each talking head is, and capitalize on whatever brand name recognition is available (“Kieron Gillen, writer of Iron Man” would surely be something that would grab the attention of non-comic readers than simply “Kieron Gillen,” after all. Sorry, Kieron). Even more confoundingly, there are no women in the video at all – or, for that matter, men under the mid-30s age-range. Shouldn’t this kind of thing attempt to be at least a little bit more inclusive…?
Perhaps I’m racing to judgment; for all I know, Diamond has another video (or videos) up its sleeve featuring female creators that will be released soon, and plans to promote the celebrity endorsements for FCBD that are already online. I hope so; Free Comic Book Day is a pretty great form of outreach for the industry. It’d be sad to see it the bulk of its promotion ending up aimed at the audience that’s already planning to show up for the free swag.