The Outhouse: The Greatest Comic Book Website - For All Your Comics and Entertainment News, Reviews, and Other Insanity

Shopping Around: Laughing Ogre Draws Crowds with FF Sketch Promotion

Find out what The Laughing Ogre, a Columbus, Ohio LCS, is doing to bring in customers!


Shopping Around is a new feature to the Outhouse which highlights what various retailers are doing to bring in new customers in this uncertain economic period.  If you know of a store who is finding creative ways to sell comics, contact Christian Hoffer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Every day seems to bring more worrisome news for comic retailers across the country. With gas and oil prices rising or reports of historically low comic sales figures, local comic book stores are finding unique ways to drive sales and bring in new customers.

godff1
Godzilla and Cthulhu Drawing by Andy Bennett
The Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio came up with an innovative way to promote both mainstream comics and local comic artists at the same time. Last Wednesday, the store held a special promotion in which local artists provided free sketches to customers who purchased a copy of FF #1 with a blank cover.

Store manager Jeffrey Stang explained the inspiration behind the event. "We get blank covers in all the time. I know people love them at cons. They buy them and take get their favorite artist to do a sketch on them. I figured why not get some local artists in and give them exposure while doing something for the customers."

The store was able to secure commitments from eight local comic book artists: Andy Bennett, Craig Bogart, Tim Fischer, John Lara, Michael Neno, Justin Ryan, Uko Smith, Tom Williams and David Willis. On the day of the event, the artists sat at tables throughout the store and drew sketches, mainly of Fantastic Four characters, throughout the day. Occasionally, the artists received requests for popular characters such as Wolverine or Batman. Some artists handled even odder requests. Andy Bennett drew a picture of Godzilla and Cthulhu doing shots of liquor, while David Willis sketched pictures of the Fantastic Four dressed as Batman as well as My Little Ponies.

nenothing
Thing drawing by Michael Neno
The event helped to push sales of the new Fantastic Four series. "A lot of people who don't usually pick up the book got it just to get a free sketch," said Stang. It also brought in new traffic and including people who had never been exposed to comics before.

The artists were enthusiastic about the event as well. The Laughing Ogre provided copies of the artists' published work on their tables and gave them time to interact with customers. Artist Andy Bennett, whose published work includes a story in the IDW anthology Lifelike, believed the event was a great success, despite an unexpected hailstorm hitting the area in the afternoon. "Those who did brave the weather were friendly and excited," said Bennett. "Everyone was receptive to having us attending artists vandalize their comics! It's always nice to see an event bring people into a comic shop who would ordinarily never think to stop by."

All in all, Stang considered the event to be a rousing success. Not only did The Laughing Ogre sell a large amount of FF issues, they also sold a significant amount of small press comics and built their customer base as well. Stang was enthusiastic when asked if the store would hold a similar event in the future. "Definitely," he replied. "However, we'd only do one or two a year. Otherwise, the artist's hands would get tired."

Written or Contributed by: Christian Hoffer
The Outhouse is sponsored this week by Late Nite Draw. Recently featured on ComicsAlliances' Best Art Ever, he is a Chicago-based commissioned artist with a self-published Digital+Print one-shot coming out in October about the abominable snowman called ABOBAMANIMABBLE, and is also available for commissions. Check out some amazing art by clicking here or by clicking the banner at the top, and support the people who support The Outhouse.


Enjoy this article? Consider supporting The Outhouse, a fan-run site, on Patreon. Click here for more info.


Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:



Comment without an Outhouse Account using Facebook

We get it. You don't feel like signing up for an Outhouse account, even though it's FREE and EASY! That's okay. You can comment with your Facebook account below and we'll take care of adding it to the stream above. But you really should consider getting a full Outhouse account, which will allow you to quote posts, choose an avatar and sig, and comment on our forums too. If that sounds good to you, sign up for an Outhouse account by clicking here.

Note: while you are welcome to speak your mind freely on any topic, we do ask that you keep discussion civil between each other. Nasty personal attacks against other commenters is strongly discouraged. Thanks!
Help spread the word, loyal readers! Share this story on social media:

About the Author - Christian Hoffer


Christian Hoffer is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Hoffer is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.

 


More articles from Christian Hoffer