Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Strategy session for those who hate "Brand New Day"

A few people I talked to wished that they could do more to protest what they see as a pretty retarded decision by Marvel Editorial and wiping out Spider-Man's marriage thanks to a deal with the DEVIL. And a few people have said "Nothing we do will matter"

First, to the "It doesn't matter". Well, I half-agree with that sentiment. If there's one thing that we all should realize that by now is that "the power of the internets" is only as effective if the targets in question choose to pay attention to them. I doubt the online blograge will change Joey Q's mind or even Dan Buckley's. 2000 letters, some with returned issues, delivered to their doorstep? Might be a tad more effective. Remember that Jemas lost his job in large part over the letter writing done after the Mark Waid FF debacle. So, something to keep in mind. I'm not saying it's hopeless, but it would be a longshot. Now, that said, to the "these people are only spider-man/Marvel Fans" thing. Look, we need to save who we can here, and win over those we can, so you have to target your arguments and pitches where it will be moderately effective. With that in mind, here are just my thoughts on how you can use other books to lure Spider-Man fans away from the relaunch named after a particularly bad decade old Sting Song. The key element for those of you whom post on other threads (I really don't; my online presence is pretty much here and nowhere else) is to use good marketing tools. I recommend Scans Daily, as it pretty much has scans from bloody everything, and then putting up small chunks and teasers of the best of the last few issues to hook people in. Similarly, Motivational posters like the ones I make and post at the Parodyverse wouldn't be a bad promotional tool.

Now, here are what I think are some good titles to promote, and for whom;

For the Die-Hard Spider-Man Marvel Zombie

The Book: Spider Girl

The Line: This is now the REAL Spider-Man book. Nevermind ASM.

The Sinker:To the line "Well, it's not in continuity! It's not the REAL Peter parker!", the response is simple "Sure it is: it's the continuity JQ just washed away. Peter and MJ are together, there's even the daughter that's the best of both of them that Mephisto mentioned in OMD. Joey Q is saying that if you really cared about MJ and Pete you would be buying this book. Wouldn't you like to ram those words down his throat by dropping ASM and increasing this book's sales?"Rich Johnston and a few other Bloggers have already commented on Joey Q's comment and making him shut his yap. After all, what would he say if Spider-Girl's numbers took a spike as The-storyline-named-for-a-bad-Sting-song took a dive? Wouldn't that be a nice little egg on his face? And anyway, Spider-Girl features all the classics of the Spider-Man mythos and enough extras to be enticing. Go! now!

For the Spider-Man fan who is thinking about quitting Marvel (and maybe trying out a DC book):

The Book: Blue Beetle

The Line: This is the book Spider-Man WISHES it could be.

The Sinker: It's got the strongest supporting cast created in YEARS. It's a DC book that doesn't require you to have half the DCU entries on Wikipedia bookmarked so you can look it up and figure out what the hell is going on. The Protagonist is likable, trying to be heroic, and suffering from a lot of everyday problems (best Friend having lost her family, trying to create a future for himself, family issues) while dealing with super-issues (Alien invasion, Super-Villains, not-crapping-yourself when faced with Batman) and sometimes a problem that combines both (like his sorta long-distance girlfriend Traci Thirteen). He makes mistakes, he saves lives, he's getting mentored by someone with a mysterious and dangerous past; he's got half the super-people on earth looking at him funny because he's got the name of a dead friend of theirs. He has to be honest with his parents, and his parents have to do the hardest thing a parent can do; make ends meet while providing an upright example for their child and stay stoic in the knowledge that their son fights supervillains and monsters. And just to top it off, they have to help their son struggle with the emotional and moral challenges of something that is almost beyond comprehension. And they do it with humor, honor and integrity. Aunt May has it easy by comparison.(And a side note: the writer John Rogers has a great blog. Perhaps we can make a deal with him; if we can add a certain number of readers, he'll write a story in which Traci Thirteen and Black Alice have a catfight that Jamie has to try and break up, only to result in hijinks?

For the fan looking to get away from Marvel and DC

The Book: PS238

The Line: It's the comic you wish you read as a kid

The Sinker: It has a MODOK Analog and a a Dr. Doom Analogue (as children) fighting to see who can become evil overlord of a school full or superkids, staffed by a bunch of former superheroes with a dark secret, and the one kid who has a clue as to some of the larger mysteries of the series is the one kid without powers at the school whom is currently training with a psuedo-Batman (but with a sense of humor) and is targeted by a rival school of super-fascists. What more would you like with that? Oh, and early issues are on the book's website. So there's that accessibility thing covered.

Now, if the fan in questions wants to drop superhero comics altogether, it becomes a different story; you'll have to target specific genres (say, horror, or crime, or sci-fi, or what not) and that becomes a much broader topic.Just my thoughts.


Anonymous said...

"With that in mind, here are just my thoughts on how you can use other books to lure Spider-Man fans away from the relaunch named after a particularly bad decade old Sting Song."

Isn't this a little too late?

The relaunch already happened.
And the first issue of the relaunch was the #1 book for all of January.
More than Hulk #1, the first appearance of the New Cap, Mighty Avengers, and Whedon's last monthly issue of Astonishing X-Men.
The other two issues of Brand New Day also placed in the Top 10.

Isn't Brand New Day already a success?

MrCynical said...

Well, yes and no.

Keeping in mind that I just restarted this blog after a long abscence for various reasons, but that this was (and still is) a topic I wanted to weigh in on (see also my thoughts on Civil War and the Initiative from last week), and that, well, nothing in comics is truly permenant.

Are the retailer orders up? Yes. It's a new run, with a hot team (McNiven and Dan Slott), so initial retailer orders are up.

Now, will the next month of Spider-books keep that up or will there be a drop off on the names alone? We don't know that yet. Nevermind what will happen come Slott's next story arc on the title.

And even if retailer orders are up, are purchases at the checkout that way? Again, don't know. Again, something that can be influenced.

According to Slott, pre-OMD Spidey was doing about 106,000 a month. Now, his first issue did about 132,000, but by the end, they'd gone back to about pre-OMD levels.

Is it success to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic? Oh yes, he points out that if you were to combine the sales of the monthly titles pre-OMD day, then BND is a raving success, but...

Well, how many fans are just buying because they don't want to break a run?

Again, these are just my thoughts.

No such thing as too late.

Anonymous said...

So the first issue sold really well and the other two issues sold at around Pre-OMD levels for Amazing Spider-Man.

But Marvel was only putting out 1 issue of Amazing Spider-Man a month before.

The other two Spider-Man books they put out (Sensational Spider-Man and Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man) sold around 40,000 and 50,000. But they were canceled in favor of putting out two extra issues of Amazing Spider-Man a month, right?

That means that Marvel is selling over 100,000 more copies of Spider-Man comics a month.

So for Brand New Day to fail (earn Marvel less money) the sales of Brand New Day would have to go down to Pre-OMD Amazing + Pre-OMD Sensational + Pre OMD Friendly Neighborhood divided by 3.

And, if I've got the math right, that's around 63,000 to 65,000.

Do you really think Amazing Spider-Man will sell below 65,000 anytime in the near (or even distant) future?

MrCynical said...

in the near future? No.

On the other hand, the fact that Marvel is reduced to such cynical exploitation kind of defeats the "success" of Brand New Day, doesn't it? I mean, if it's atrophied to the point where the only way they can claim success is to effectively grab from the type of people who won't break their runs, even if it's costing them three times as much, isn't that kind of circling the wagons?