Robert Scott recently sent us a comment on TV advertising (see 'Robert Scott of Comickaze on Advertising for Comics') and got some response.  Now he offers another idea to help comics reach a broader audience:


A few folks have stopped by to discuss my little Talkback rant from last week and those discussions coupled with whether or not I'd seen Punisher yet, got me to thinking about something else.


Two recent comic-based movies that I've seen theatrically, I would not have seen if I'd had to pay for them, these movies being Daredevil and Hulk.  I did see them because I got free tickets, not sneak peek tickets but free ANYTIME I WANTED tickets.


How?  By buying (drumroll please....) A DVD BASED ON ANOTHER COMIC PROPERTY!  Inside of DVD's for Spider-Man, X-Men DVD's were ticket's to go see any showing of Daredevil or Hulk, even opening week.  I know I sold a bunch of the DVD's at full retail as well, simply because of the freebie tickets.


So where was the free comic coupon?


Think about this for a minute.  Millions went to see the original movies in theaters and then went to Tower, Blockbuster, Costco, Wal-Mart... and bought the DVD which sent them right back to the theaters.  Hakuna Matata the circle of life.  Hundreds of Millions of dollars being pulled from comic properties and you know that Marvel definitely got a piece of that and certainly some of that came from Direct Market comic customers and yet few Direct Market Retailers saw any significant increase in traffic on these properties, because nobody created a bounceback opportunity for us.


Currently, no comic publisher other than DC, provides Co-Op advertising funds to Direct Market Comic Retailers.  Co-Op funds are the reason you can open any newspaper and see new release movie and theater listings and full-page ads for the new Tom Clancy novel or Disney video.  It is a way of life for most entertainment product except for the comic industry, where publishers have so marginalized themselves that, 'they can't afford to offer it.'


Well the argument no longer holds water as recent comic based movies have shown that comics are not just a pool of B-Movie plots.  Marvel's recent string of successes have allowed them to go from taking whatever they were offered as happened with the first X-Men and Spider-Man movies, to being able to set their own terms.  There is absolutely no reason that a free special edition comic could not be created in support of each new comic based movie released on DVD.  The comic could be offered to comic shops similarly to FCBD comics, perhaps in bundles of 50-100 at $10-15 per bundle.


Ideally, the book could be 32-64 pages containing a front story starring the property on the DVD with the back story(s) involving excerpts from other books or the main property crossing over with other characters.


Each new release DVD would have a sticker on front noting that there was a coupon inside redeemable for the Special Edition comic at local comic shops.  Publishers and retailers sharing the cost and bringing it to a such a small cost, only the most belligerent could argue against it.


This is such a natural promotion and could reap significant rewards for all involved.  More videos could be sold because of the Special Edition incentive, more people will be exposed to comics and shops and overall recognition of these specific properties as well as others seen in the comic shops while picking up the comic will increase interest in future offerings.


Come on publishers, creators and studios, how often is 'the least you can do' also one of the most beneficial as well?


The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of