For comic book fans around the world, the first Saturday of May marks an annual holiday — Free Comic Book Day. Started by a small shop in California, the event has spread around the world as a way of thanking customers and encouraging new ones.
The comic book give-away is just one way comic book shop owners are fighting the sales drops that have threatened traditional book stores. Dan Merritt, owner of Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, Mich., says his shop picks up anywhere from 5 to 10 percent more revisiting customers from the event alone.
Still, despite the rise of e-readers, the comic book industry has managed to grow — over the past decade, sales have jumped from $330 million to as high as $430 million. Sales are boosted by the public rivalry between the biggest comic book publishers, Marvel and DC Comics, and by the slew of comic book-based movies that have become box office hits. Rob St. Mary reports on how Free Comic Book Day aims to pull in even more fans. Copyright 2011 WDET-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wdetfm.org/.