Monday, July 18, 2011

Stupid chase covers.. AND the re-numbering you rode in on..

I'm not really a fan of all these variant, incentive or gimmick covers to get retailers to order more books. The reason is really quite simple. 

My brain is too-small to follow all of the moving parts from version to version of alternate covers of the same book. It confuses the royal snot out of me I cant remember if I have all the SEQUENTIAL issues for the STORY. It throws off my mental check list.

Also highly annoying adding to my frustration level and general lethargy are the series re-numberings. I don't want to bother with expending the effort to follow this anymore. I know that low numbers sell more and that a long running series might be overly intimidating for new readers to jump in at issue #786. But really...

The SEQUENCE is part of the point to collecting. Otherwise why bother with individual comics? You may as well just make everything a Trade Paper Back focused on the title of the story arc du jour if the numbering doesn't make a damn. 

And to that end? Are comics the comics themselves essentially just a loss leader to keep the character property viable in games, tv, film, pajamas, toys and other licensed bits? Is that what it has come down to?

Well OK, we've heard all this before but it bitching about it doesn't change anything.

Flip the script.
It strikes me however, that the variants could be a lot of fun and imminently more useful if they were drawing NEW people into the hobby. As is it, selling variant covers to OCD collectors is preaching to the converted.

IF the variants were cross marketed with business partners and advertisers to create some buzz and put a interesting if not somewhat desirable comic in the hands of folks who wouldn't ordinarily consider stopping in at a comic shop, how could that NOT be a win?

I think some of you will recall the promotions that Image and Valiant ran a few years back with coupons redeemable for a "Special Issue" of some book. 

Why not extent that to Advertisers? Test drive a Jeep Liberty or Dodge Neon, or Kia Cube. Get a coupon to mail in for special promo issue. The got milks ads? Buy 8 milks and with proof of purchase get some limited edition whatever it is. Buy 2 new x-box games same premise. SOMETHING. People love the value add freebie. 

Now will all the people who test drive cars, drink milk and play games care, no. Will some of them care, sure. Will comic buyers rush out and soak them up. I expect some of them will try. But not everyone will have the time or money do EVERYTHING to get every cross promotion premium book. I expect that these will wind up in more than a few consumers hands. They will save them for their kids, give it to a friend or find a comic shop to sell it to.. 

Remember NFL Superpro? What if in conjunction with the Yankees Marvel did a Story with Spider-man to Find Derek Jeeter. He is missing or his 3k hit ball is stolen and has to be solved. Give that away or postcard to redeem for that issue.. So if the seating capacity of Yankee stadium is 57545 the for the 14 home games July alone would be: 805630. That's not counting the Met's or the cubs... you get the idea.

I don't know if any of these things is the right thing.... but something IS better than nothing. 

Give people a reason to think about and re-consider/ rekindle their interest in comics. 

I think the industry could do more instead of escalating prices to the captive audience they currently have.  C'mon guys take a risk; be bold.

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