This year's Free Comic Book Day won't be held the first Saturday of May - or any time in May, as (seemingly prematurely) announced Wedneday - but has instead been postponed until later in the year. Diamond Comic Distributors chairman/founder Steve Geppi has informed retailers that the annual tentpole event has been postponed "to a date later in the Summer" due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Diamond plans to ship the intended FCBD 2020 titles to retailers over the course of the next few weeks with regular shipments, with billing said to be delayed until the first week of August. While retailers are suggested that all FCBD titles be given away for "free" (hence the name) on Free Comic Book Day, retailers themselves buy each issue (and pay any applicable shipping and handling charges).
Here is Geppi's full letter, reprinted with permission:
With restaurants and other businesses closing and many areas implementing event restrictions, we know that Free Comic Book Day will be impacted to varying degrees throughout the world. The severity and timing of that impact can’t be predicted with any certainty, but the safety of our retailers and fans is too important to risk. With that in mind, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the event to a date later in the Summer.
To minimize the impact on our primary distribution operations and prioritize the distribution of weekly new comics and restocks, a number of FCBD titles will be included with each regular weekly shipment for the next several weeks. These titles will be invoiced at no charge, as we extend the billing out approximately 90 days, to the first week in August. The books may not be in separate boxes from the rest of the shipment, except when full cases are shipped.
We will follow up with more information soon regarding FCBD non-comic merchandise soon. We will also update our consumer-facing pages with this information and provide further information via email and Diamond Daily as it becomes available.
As always, we appreciate your enthusiasm for and support of the comic industry’s best event and look forward to celebrating with you later in the Summer!.