If ever there was an example of the comic book industry’s inability to understand the “Quality Vs Quantity” debate, this is probably it.
I like free stuff as much as the next guy. Even as we speak, I’m wearing a pretty sweet t-shirt that touts the release of Iron Man on DVD because it came in a press kit. But I have two problems with Marvel’sSEVEN HUNDRED free comics offer.
First, offering someone 700 free comics to choose from is kind of like offering 700 flavours of ice cream. It’s pretty overwhelming and will more than likely end up giving you a stomach ache. It’s exactly what people getting into comics (who I presume are the target of this promotion, the elusive “new reader”) don’t like. To someone on the outside one of the biggest stumbling blocks is getting past the sheer number of titles, characters and stories to choose from. Just because it’s free doesn’t make it less daunting.
Second, since the promotion was initially offered for only a couple of days, how did they not see it crashing the Comixology servers? Comics fans are borderline hoarders and if you offer them 700 freeANYTHINGS, you can darn well bet they are going to take all 700 of them and rightfully so. The idea that anyone could download that many comics in only a couple of days, or that people would only download a few at a time is staggering.
So, a word of advice for next time, Marvel. Stick to maybe 100 free comics. Or 70. Or better yet: 52. That number seems to resonate for some reason.
Today’s page comes to you free from us and Matthew Allison:
In 2010, after a brief career as a manic-depressive alcoholic, Matthew Allison began drawing a web comic entitled Calamity of Challenge. He has since had pin-ups included in an issue of Skull-Kickers as well as Mike and Laura Allred’s Madman 20th Anniversary Monster. He recently finished an 8-page story that appears in issue #12 of Dark Horse’s Creepy relaunch. Matthew lives in Denver with his gorgeous, extremely patient wife.
Have a great New Comics Day! See you back here Friday!