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'Lumberjanes' Harnesses Tumblr, Hand-Selling Power

Beware the Valkyries

Published: 08/01/2014 04:03pm
Austin Books & Comics Tumblr post
At San Diego Comic-Con, ICv2 caught up with BOOM! Studios publisher Filip Sablik to discuss the breakout success of limited-turned-ongoing series Lumberjanes (see "'Lumberjanes' Ongoing Series"), and how they utilized social media and enlisted the help of the online female comic store employee group Beware the Valkyries to turn the title into a top seller.
 
"We knew that Noelle Stevenson, who is one of the creators on the book, was really involved with the Tumblr audience," Sablik explained.  "Noelle was actually an intern for us three years ago; she was an art intern while she was still in school.  We were at San Diego Comic-Con, and all these people kept coming up and asking for her, and immediately we were like 'who is this intern that everybody wants to meet and get her to sign stuff or get sketches?'  We discovered she’d been doing this webcomic as an art school project called Nimona; ultimately she signed a deal with Harper Collins to do Nimona.  But we kept in touch."
 
"So we knew she had this incredible presence that had built up organically, and so when we went to launch Lumberjanes, part of our strategy was to really engage the Tumblr audience.  We’d seen its power with Adventure Time, because a lot of the new customers coming into stores for Adventure Time came through the Adventure Time Tumblr or the Pendleton Ward Tumblr.  It’s just a matter of education.  They’re fans of this stuff; they just don’t know where to get it.  So we did preorder forms for Lumberjanes on Tumblr.  Noelle announced it on Tumblr, it got shared, "tumbled" 40,000 times in 24 hours."
 
"It was a book that was created entirely by women," he continued.  "For the first four issues everybody from the editor to the letterer, all the cover artists, were female.  So we engaged with the (Beware the) Valkyries (group), who we had a relationship with through (founder) Kate Leth (Bravest Warriors, Adventure Time), the Valkyries are an informal network of female comic shop owners and employees; I want to say there are 400 members now?), and through that organized "Lumber Day," where in addition to pushing Lumberjanes, they all wore flannel for the launch of Lumberjanes."
 
 
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