Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day. As has happened in previous years, I did not attend. Unlike previous years, my absenteeism was not the result of prior, unavoidable engagements–I had a rare day off from class, in fact–nor did it slip my mind. Rather, I found myself with an abundance of free time, but without the interest to manage a trip down the hill to my LCS. Does this make me a bad enthusiast?

For the uninitiated, Free Comic Book Day is a fairly widely recognized industry holiday, always the first Saturday in May, on which participating comic shops will hand out an assortment of free comics, and may have some other festivities–discounts on other merchandise, cosplay contest, industry pro appearances, and the like–all in the interests of celebrating and promoting the medium. It’s a loss-leader for the shops–the “free” comics do cost the stores money to order, so not all of the official FCBD books will be available at every shop, and many have rule limiting how many you can take–and likely the publishers as well, judging by the ads-to-original-content ratio in most of the books. (I wonder if it has an adverse financial impact on Diamond? Certainly it’s all one to UPS.)

Maybe I’ve become too circumscribed in my tastes, but the prospect of scooping up a random assortment of free comic books seems more of a hassle than it’s really worth. It doesn’t help that the list of offerings can be perused beforehand and found wanting. But even without knowing that, “Hey, DC’s just shilling the snooze-fest that is Flashpoint,” I’ve still got little piles of past FCBD offerings taking up space in my apartment, never opened, standing silent witness to…what, exactly? Not my lack of interest in comics. I love comics. Some comics. And I wouldn’t say the whole day’s pointless, either. Lots of folks get enjoyment out of it, and I understand plenty of retailers do quite well. Maybe just witness to the fact that FCBD and I need to see other people. Nothing personal.