Rebellion Publishing, the owners of 2000AD, have confirmed in a statement that the title has NOT been selected to participate in next years FREE COMIC BOOK DAY event by the FCBD Board.
The event organised by Diamond Comic Distribution and ComicsPRO, features book selected by a panel made up of representatives of Diamond, along with retailers, publishers and suppliers. Their decision to not include the biggest-selling UK title is particularly baffling, considering the year-on-year growth in popularity of the entry and in light of every consession that Rebellion have made to bend to the specifications of the event, in terms of book height and width.
It’s especially stinging to learn that 2000AD won’t be taking part, seeing as the editors had organised some incredible talent to include work for the 2016 FCBD release. Laura and Mike Allred, as well as Joelle Jones, were to be included and an Eric Powell JUDGE DREDD strip were all to be found inside.
The Rebellion statement reads:
2000 AD is very proud of the success of our FCBD issue, which saw orders grow in huge jumps every single year, exceeding 60,000 units in 2015. We value FCBD, and the effort Diamond and the retailers put into making the day so successful, for the opportunity to support comic book stores, reach out to new audiences both within and beyond the UK, and to give something extra to readers. As such, we have proudly and routinely commissioned original content from top flight talent for our FCBD issues and increased the page count to a hefty 48 pages.
It is therefore very disappointing to not be taking part in the 2016 event, particularly since we were so excited about including work by such huge talents as Eric Powell, Joelle Jones, and Laura and Mike Allred.
We don’t want to keep that from our readers, so we have therefore taken the decision to still bring this amazing work out in May 2016 in a new Summer Special issue, full details of which will be forthcoming.
Meanwhile we hope readers and retailers who are disappointed not to be able to pick up a 2000 AD FCBD issue next year will give their support to us and the Summer Special. We very much hope to be back in FCBD in 2017 and will be working hard for that to happen.
Free Comic Book Day began in 2002 as a primarily North American promotional event, created to promote readers to visit independent comic book stores and has gone on to encompass stores worldwide. However, the new page size restrictions, along with strict cost-to-retailer costs, set for 2016 at 20 cents or below (something which has already forced some smaller publishers to drop out of the event), may be more than some can bear. And the fact that Rebellion made every effort to conform to these restrictions – repackaging their FCBD entry to suit, from a British-standard sized comic to an American one – makes it seem that the Selection Board has had it in for our favourite zarjaz mag.
We can’t see that there’s any way that public pressure can encourage the Board to change their minds or reassess the 2000AD entry, considering that Rebellion appear to have resigned themselves to not taking part. But here at AEISD, we feel it can’t hurt to vent some spleen towards their Twitter account – the swines…!