Oh, and a happy birthday wish too!
I’m not a comics retailer or that much of a Captain America fan, but it’s pretty darn hard to venture out onto the comics blogosphere without running headlong into the continuing trickles of fall-out from last week’s events. Accordingly, even a mostly disinterested by-stander like your Eddie-tor can find himself with some impressions to share and lots of pontificating to do.
One of these days, it would behoove Marvel to remember that their customer base is the comics retailers. Making vague statements about how “big” a book is going to be is not the same as giving your customers information they can actually use.
I wonder how many non-Cap readers took a chance on ordering this issue based on Marvel’s vague solicits? If retailers didn’t see a massive boost in pre-orders, why would they want to take the risk without more information?
The Direct Market is, what, thirty years old now, and there are still comics readers who don’t have a clue about non-returnability and how it affects what a store will order? That boggles my mind.
If Marvel wanted to keep the story itself under wraps, could they not have at least shared some info about their pr/marketing plans? “We’re planning a major PR push for this one, including CNN, the NY Post, and many other major news outlets. We anticipate that this will greatly increase demand for this issue from the general public, so you might want to get ready for it.” That’s a little more concrete and specific than “Trust us. It’s going to be big. Order lots.”
Yes, I know that a major news happening could very well have scuttled all those PR plans, leaving retailers with unsold issues, but that’s beyond Marvel’s control. At least my way, Marvel would have tried to work with their customers.
And would it have really hurt Marvel to say that any increases retailers made in their orders before FOC would be returnable? “We don’t think you’ll need it, but every issue you increase your original order by will be 100% returnable. Take a chance on this one! We’re standing behind you!” If I were a retailer, that’s the kind of vote of confidence I’d be looking for from Marvel.
I don’t understand the grand fear of spoilers that pervades this little hobby. Is it really that bad to find out what happens before getting a chance to read the comic? Knowing what happened in the story is still not the same as actually reading the story. I’m always as interested in how the story was told as I am in the story itself. No spoiler can tell me that.
Lots of fans are perturbed by the whole thing. Some are pissed. Some are cynical. Still, there are responses, and then there are responses. Long live the little stuffed bull! Huzzah!
And what does Batman think of the whole thing?
Batman image from Dorian, of course.