July 4 is the United States' Independence Day holiday, and is now pegged as one of the biggest release dates of the year as far as comic book goes - but will your local store stay open for the holiday?
On Wednesday, July 4, DC's Batman #50 (the climax of Batman and Catwoman's wedding arc) and Marvel's Captain America #1 (the "Fresh Start" relaunch by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu) will go on-sale worldwide. Those aren't the only titles going on-sale that week, as the two companies - as well as Image, Dark Horse, IDW Publishing, BOOM!, and Dynamite - have all confirmed to Newsarama that they'll be releasing comic books on July 4. And Diamond, for their part, said that they plan on it being a Wednesday like any other.
But for comic stores, it's not so cut and dried.
Historically, many stores close for major holidays - but when major holidays happen to be on a Wednesday, it gets tricky. In some cases, Diamond has adjusted release dates to have a rare Tuesday or Thursday 'New Comic Day' - but for recent holidays falling on a Wedneday, comics have been released as usual on Wednesdays.
For Editor's Note Comics of Hallowell, Maine, however, they will be closed on July 4.
"In past years the shop has been closed on on the Fourth of July. Having Ta-Nehisi Coates writing Captain America is really exciting, but ultimately I'll still be closed on July 4," said owner Zack Bowen. "I've tried being open on some holidays in the past, and the sales just weren't there to justify opening on those days. The shipment will come in on Tuesday, so everything will be ready for sale when I open on Thursday. That book is going to sell really well, and I don't think taking the holiday off is going to affect sales."
At the recent ComicsPRO annual meeting, DC's Senior VP of Sales John Cunningham did an informal poll of the retailers in attendance if the on-sale date should be Tuesday, July 3rd or keep with their previously-announced Wednesday, July 4 date. With a show of hands, roughly 90% of the retailers were in-favor of the July 4 sale date.
When asked about possible store closures due to the holidays, a representative of Diamond Comics Distributors said they weren't aware of any stores planning to close on July 4.
But Bowen's Editor's Notes Comics does plan to close for the Fourth of July holiday, seeing it as a day his customers in Maine will be busy with holiday festivities.
"It's always unfortunate when a holiday falls on a Wednesday. The majority of the customers who come through here have always been understanding when things like holidays come up," Bowen said. "It makes me cringe a bit to be closed on a day with major releases, but I have to imagine most customers will have other plans in mind. The vast majority of people getting those books will have them pulled in advance, so there's no real urgency."
Ryan Higgins of Sunnyvale, California's Comics Conspiracy has a different strategy - and often uses the Fourth of July as a day for sales.
"We don't normally close [for July 4]. Often we'll have a sale," Higgins told Newsarama. "Releasing a new Captain America #1 on Fourth of July is a good idea, especially for stores that do big events. I'd assume very few stores will close that day, it's a Wednesday, after all. One thing about small business, sometimes you have to change up your normal plans or routine to better serve your business."
But comic books aren't just for those in the U.S. - or those who buy in comic book stores. For those that buy their comics digitally on comiXology or another service, the books will go on-sale July 4 like any typical Wednesday.
And for stores outside the United States such as Dublin's Big Bang Comics, the patriotic day is a big hook - even if its a patriotic day of another country.
"I think we can use the date to help promote Captain America #1 over here, and it’s cool it’s out July 4, it’s a bit of a hook," said John Hendrick of Big Bang Comics in Dublin, Ireland. "But it’s going to be massively overshadowed by Batman #50 that’s out the same day, sales and promotion wise for us, hopefully a lot of those Batman customers try this new Cap series too."
In an informal poll, 61% of Newsarama's Twitter followers said they usually buy comic books on the day they come out - while on Facebook, only 49% were self-described Wednesday regulars.