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Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby Chesscub » Mon May 07, 2012 8:40 am

I went to two different stores Saturday.

At Larry's Comic Store in Lowell, they had the Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore from "Luther Strode" and David Petersen of Mouse Guard. The lines were decent for both, but what amazed me was the number of kids wandering around getting kid friendly books. Tradd Moore was doing sketches on a blank variant cover for Luther Strode. When I mentioned the Outhouse, Justin (the writer) perked up and mentioned this site was the early adopter for the book.

For Mouse Guard, they had a special tip in book plate. David was gracious as always and appreciated the Roomba advice I gave. :lol: He'd mentioned that Archaia had taken a hit on the publishing of their offering but felt it was the right thing to do a hardcover as a lot of their sales come from hardcover collections.

I ended up spending up the yin yang at Larry's. They had a half off sale and I took advantage. Bought a bunch of hardcovers that I wanted plus a sketch cover from Godzilla King of the Monsters and the first appearance of Mockingbird (I needed to replace my old copy)

Larry's let you pick 6 issues and any after that was $0.50. I picked up 8.

My brother called and said his shop only let you pick 2 so he got the DC and Marvel offerings (War of Ultron and the New 52)

For the second store, I dragged my husband off to That's Entertainment in Fitchburg. It was a nice shop. A good mix of comics and gaming stuff. Paul Ryan was there doing sketches for people. He took time to chat with each person. Man he's a chatty Cathy. I got to learn how he broke into comics and how he got involved with the Amazing Spider-Man wedding annual. It was funny that how he got roped into it. Essentially two other artists couldn't do it. Jim Shooter then yelled out that the next artist who turns him down on the issue would never work at Marvel again. He then turned to Paul who'd only done a few issues then and asked him to do it and he's like "Yikes!" The rest is history.

Paul did a head sketch of the Black Knight for me on an Avengers Assemble blank cover. And he did a head sketch of Namor for my brother (as played by my husband) My brother is ecstatic that he's getting the sketch. :-)

I bought two pages from Paul. One Avengers from the issue where they fought the Mandarin during Acts of Vengeance. A little Black Widow, Hellcat and Captain America action on it. And one page of his West Coast Avengers run with the new Legion of the Unliving where they're doing the roll call. I never thought I'd be able to find his artwork to buy. It seems like finding hen's teeth.

I picked my brother up a few other FCBD offerings at the store plus one that I didn't see at Larry's (the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) for myself.

I bought the game Munchkin and a couple of comics I didn't have.

This store didn't have as many kids but it could be that it was later in the day.

Then we saw the Avengers. It was a nerd-splosion on Saturday.

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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby Rikk Odinson » Mon May 07, 2012 8:40 am

Um....We did have FCBD at a major chain here in Flagstaff. Hastings had a table set up right as you come in the door and they greeted you with a "Happy Free Comic Book Day!" when you went in. The table was almost completely empty at noon. :smt102

The LCS did really well too.

edit to add....

So, I don't see how this article makes sense. A major chain DID have FCBD and it did really well here with no impact to the LCS so I don't understand how FCBD was a "fail"?

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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby BlueStreak » Mon May 07, 2012 8:45 am

Cool to see that Justin remembers us. We helped set him up with a few other promotional avenues that seemed to enjoy Luther Strode a lot.

I'd love to bring Petersen back on the site, but Black Axe still hasn't finished yet.
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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby Juan Cena » Mon May 07, 2012 11:57 am

Victorian Squid wrote::smt102 I saw huge lines in most of the local shops, with brisk business being done at the registers as well. Saw tons of people with their kids getting their faces painted, or posing for pictures with superheroes. And they probably had a better time than if they'd gone to some ghetto Walmart (and I don't care where your Walmart is located, they are all ghetto.)

Looked like a success to me!


And how many of those customers were actually new? Or people who don't necessary buy comics or shop at an LCS?
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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby holtom2000 » Mon May 07, 2012 12:03 pm

Giving free comic books to people who already buy them? Yah, not a great idea

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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby GHERU » Mon May 07, 2012 12:04 pm

Victorian Squid wrote::smt102 I saw huge lines in most of the local shops, with brisk business being done at the registers as well. Saw tons of people with their kids getting their faces painted, or posing for pictures with superheroes. And they probably had a better time than if they'd gone to some ghetto Walmart (and I don't care where your Walmart is located, they are all ghetto.)

Looked like a success to me!

me, batman, the joker, and 'lilRuRu at FCBD
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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby BlueStreak » Mon May 07, 2012 12:05 pm

The Nacireman wrote:
And how many of those customers were actually new? Or people who don't necessary buy comics or shop at an LCS?


From what my LCS manager said, there were plenty. Plus a bunch of kids who came with their parents. Plus lapsed readers drawn in by the Avengers. I'll try to get an exact number of how many new pull lists they got out of it, but I remember there were at least five people working on forms when I stopped in.
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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby GHERU » Mon May 07, 2012 12:07 pm

holtom2000 wrote:Giving free comic books to people who already buy them? Yah, not a great idea

at least 4 books on my current list got there because of FCBD offerings in the past
many a HC/TPB were purchased because of what I got for free

I've given some away to parents because I thought their kids would like them, and they did enough that they now have started a collection

seems to me to be a great idea
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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby Doc Jon » Mon May 07, 2012 12:07 pm

GHERU wrote:me, batman, the joker, and 'lilRuRu at FCBD
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Those 2 really let the success of DK go to their bellies...
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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby Doc Jon » Mon May 07, 2012 12:09 pm

There's also the digital realm.

Great way to get new people on board with FDCBD.
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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby Juan Cena » Mon May 07, 2012 12:22 pm

BlueMole wrote:One reason this wouldn't work:

It would require these big box retail stores to take a pretty substantial loss in order to help out an industry that they're not directly affiliated to.

As mentioned by several other people in the thread, Free Comic Book Day is a way for comic retail stores to draw large crowds and then benefit from them. It requires them to invest a not-insignificant amount of money to bring in product in the hopes that these customers will buy stuff in addition to the free comics. This is something that's nigh impossible to do in a large retail chain, as it probably wouldn't reap the same benefits for a store that doesn't specialize in comic books.

In fact, there's a totally different purchase model you'd have to go by as well. Unlike small retailers which benefit from FCBD as much as the publishers, I'd be hardpressed to find a major retailer who'd think that giving away comics instore would significantly boost their sales. In fact, since it's a promotional thing, I'm willing to bet that the retailers would charge Marvel/DC/Diamond Comics to promote the thing. Since Nac is a saavy person, I'm sure he's aware that distributors/manufacturers pay either a fee or give a lower margin to every item that's promoted in-store. That Coke cooler by the cash register? Paid for by Coke on top of a yearly fee to keep Pepsi from replacing it. That special endcap dedicated to Britney Spears' Greatest Hits? Paid for by the record label. For a nationwide one-day promotional campaign, there'd be a significant fee involved.

Would it be worth it? Probably not, since no one's done it yet. It's not as if these multi-million dollar companies have never thought "Let's put comics in Wal-Mart" before. They probably ran a few cost analyses and decided that it wasn't enough money to be made there. Or even better yet, decided not to play hardball and drop their margins to a near-unprofitable level to get their stuff in Wal-Mart.


IIRC the reason comics aren't in Walmart had to do with a parent (or parents) complaining about occult themes in Spawn. Walmart pulled comics from the stores soon afterward. (You have noticed a lack of Spawn toys at Walmart, haven't you?)

And yes, promotions cost money, and the publishers should be doing more to promote their books outside of the LCS. Feeding off the current pool of readers only works for so long (most Nu52 books are or have already lost the sales bump from the relaunch). Will DC lose its shirt if it creates a display for Book-A-Million to promote the next JMS Superman OGN, or for Superman books in general?

If anything, your argument shows the current system isn't working.
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"I have my heroes, but no one knows their names"
- Sons of the Desert

Strict31 wrote:I'm not sure that combining the nigh-uncontrollable power of LOLtron with the Nacireman is a good idea. Some years from now, when mankind is on the verge of extinction, we'll be able to look back and remember this moment, and say, "DANG."


http://www.shirtswithrandomtriangles.com/

Check out Christmas in Nacirema
http://www.pandora.com/?sc=sh619160960893481469&shareImp=true#!/stations/play/619160960893481469

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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby Doc Jon » Mon May 07, 2012 12:24 pm

The Nacireman wrote:
IIRC the reason comics aren't in Walmart had to do with a parent (or parents) complaining about occult themes in Spawn. Walmart pulled comics from the stores soon afterward. (You have noticed a lack of Spawn toys at Walmart, haven't you?)

And yes, promotions cost money, and the publishers should be doing more to promote their books outside of the LCS. Feeding off the current pool of readers only works for so long (most Nu52 books are or have already lost the sales bump from the relaunch). Will DC lose its shirt if it creates a display for Book-A-Million to promote the next JMS Superman OGN, or for Superman books in general?

If anything, your argument shows the current system isn't working.


I'm gonna mostly agree. :groucho:
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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby Juan Cena » Mon May 07, 2012 12:28 pm

Rikk Odinson wrote:Um....We did have FCBD at a major chain here in Flagstaff. Hastings had a table set up right as you come in the door and they greeted you with a "Happy Free Comic Book Day!" when you went in. The table was almost completely empty at noon. :smt102

The LCS did really well too.

edit to add....

So, I don't see how this article makes sense. A major chain DID have FCBD and it did really well here with no impact to the LCS so I don't understand how FCBD was a "fail"?


Which major chain are you talking about, since it sure wasn't Books-A-Million.
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"I have my heroes, but no one knows their names"
- Sons of the Desert

Strict31 wrote:I'm not sure that combining the nigh-uncontrollable power of LOLtron with the Nacireman is a good idea. Some years from now, when mankind is on the verge of extinction, we'll be able to look back and remember this moment, and say, "DANG."


http://www.shirtswithrandomtriangles.com/

Check out Christmas in Nacirema
http://www.pandora.com/?sc=sh619160960893481469&shareImp=true#!/stations/play/619160960893481469

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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby BlueStreak » Mon May 07, 2012 12:33 pm

The Nacireman wrote:
IIRC the reason comics aren't in Walmart had to do with a parent (or parents) complaining about occult themes in Spawn. Walmart pulled comics from the stores soon afterward. (You have noticed a lack of Spawn toys at Walmart, haven't you?)

And yes, promotions cost money, and the publishers should be doing more to promote their books outside of the LCS. Feeding off the current pool of readers only works for so long (most Nu52 books are or have already lost the sales bump from the relaunch). Will DC lose its shirt if it creates a display for Book-A-Million to promote the next JMS Superman OGN, or for Superman books in general?

If anything, your argument shows the current system isn't working.


I've noticed a lack of Spawn everything in everywhere since I turned ten, which is about when Spawn stopped being cared about by anyone besides 15 people. Anyways, they manage to sell Spawn DVDs at Wal-Mart, so they can't have that big of an issue with the company.

Anyways, DC and Marvel do spend money at major bookstores. Those endcaps with books on display have been paid for by the publishers. I see them at Barnes and Noble all the time, with some combination of Superman, Batman or whatever the current superhero in vogue is. Bookstores aren't going to accept more than a dump (that's a cardboard box with colors) that's seperate from an aisle) for any one book.
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Re: Why Free Comic Book Day Fails.

Postby BlueStreak » Mon May 07, 2012 12:34 pm

The Nacireman wrote:
Which major chain are you talking about, since it sure wasn't Books-A-Million.


Hastings, which is Diamond's largest customer, FYI.
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