Spoiler Alert!

I think it’s safe to say that while I love comics, and I do, there are maybe a few things about the Comics Industry that drive me absolutely nuts. I can take most of the silliness with a roll of the eyes and snotty commentary, but there are a couple of things that keep happening that make me genuinely angry.

Sideways books? Infuriating (I’m looking at you Batman Superman).

The current comics marketing “system?”  Extremely frustrating.

The way people treat each other in this industry? Maddening.

But nothing, nothing, makes me grit my teeth harder than the way Marvel seems to love to blow it’s own storylines in “mainstream” newspapers before the book has hit the stands. Granted, DC has done this on occasion too, but it seems so utterly backwards to me that I simply become overcome with fury.

You want to do an article on a big change in comics? Please! Using press and media coverage that gets more eyeballs on this stuff is a good move. But do me, and everyone else who is trying to make a living selling this stuff, a favour and put the article out the day OF the book’s release, not before. I feel that if that one little 24-hour period was put in there, it will cause two things to happen:

1.) People who read about it and go to the comic store looking for it will ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO BUY IT instead of being turned away because of the street date being the next day. (PS – NewsFlash, those people don’t come back the next day.)

2.) It lends credibility to this stuff being considered newsworthy. It at least makes it seem like the news outlet in question bought the book, read it, found something newsworthy and then filed a story. When you do it the day before, it’s blatantly apparent that it’s a PR move by a Marketing Department in conjunction with said news outlet. Look, I’m not naive enough to think that 24 hours would change the reality of that, but it would at least lend some credibility to the idea of it.

So, Comics Industry, you wan’t those elusive “new readers?” First, re-evaluate your quantity vs quality mindset and focus on story telling. Second, Tell them about the stories you want them to read on a day that they can actually buy and read them.

Just a though. Or series of thoughts, as it were.

Today’s totally spoiler-free page comes to us from Doug Hills:

Doug Hills has been drawing comics for himself and for others since about 2001. He has also dabbled in writing guide books about the art program, Manga Studio. He wrote Manga Studio For Dummies in 2008, and is currently working on a new book covering Manga Studio 5. Doug is the artist/co-creator of the webcomics Place Name Here and Chibi Cheerleaders From Outer Space (with his wife, Stacey Hills). He has worked on several independent comics, including the short story King Pete (with Josh Flanagan and Jordan Boyd), and a four-issue series currently in development, Dixon’s Notch (with Josh Flanagan and Charles Pritchett) and is a founding member of Ten Ton Studios. Doug was also a professional wrestler at one point in his life.

Have a great weekend, everyone! See you back here Tuesday!


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