Since getting into comics and getting the job at the shop I’ve been stuck trying to figure out how to get people to try something new. We as nerds are creatures of habit and breaking from the routine can be difficult. To understand how to sell comics, I needed to learn what I want in comics for me to buy them and I think I figured out my three main criteria.
First off, the comic has to be something I enjoy looking at. This is like a love at first site thing and I think most new comic readers share this trait. This causes them to turn away from Sandman because of the art (and I’ve had several people use this excuse). I don’t have many guidelines but this typically falls into use when reading webcomics since there are not artistic editors. I did end up using it though one the recent Wolverine series ironically titled The Best There Is. My god do I not care for the art! It is like the artist has some weird ass relationship with gore resulting in… gore. Every vein pops out and it is unappealing to me. I am not opposed to gore either since Orc Stain, the series I have a major man crush on has dick chopping happening. I guess it may easily be the way it is presented. Here in The Best There Is it is 90s violence; SWIM IN BLOOD AND GORE WHILE STANDING ON OUR THIN STORY LINE. Actually that was unfair since I didn’t read it and I had no desire to read it so this week I got Ant-Man and Wasp #2 and Marvel What If which leads to the next topic – the idea of the series.
Thing 2 is that I don’t want connections to major events. I love Marvel Strange Tales because there is no canon and I like avoiding ballistic scarred story-scapes. Marvel Strange Tales is like “Lets have people who loved this stuff growing up do whatever they want.” The results are shaky sometimes but when it pops it is strong and worthwhile, just see the Wolverine story in Strange Tales 2 #2! I love the idea of the What If series for the same thing. At best it can be crazy insane and funny for example Moon Knight gets his multiple personalities mixed up so he beats up people who don’t tip well enough when he works as a taxi driver. Genius!
This weeks which was what if Tony Stark was Dr Doom was not so good though I am less familiar with Dr Doom. My understanding of the character was he is a genius who reclusive at best and violently eccentric at worst, he has power (political and otherwise) and he might not be a total ass hat if not for his rivalry with Reed Richards. The What If basically painted him as a total ass with no personality skills who would just as soon let his own company flop to destroy a person he already bested once. And the second story with Deadpool was “wacky” ideas that meant nothing and weren’t even that funny (Galactus with MODOK for his butt and Deadpool with jerry curls getting the Venom symbiote). But still I bought What If because I liked the idea in general!
After this it is usually the characters involved. I like Hank Pym even since Adam WarRock did the rap about him. Hank Pym is a genius with a lot of regret who wants to genuinely help and he has concern for people. Empathic heroes I can dig. Regret I can dig. Concern for people is awesome! In the series he teams up with Tony Stark 2.0, the new Ant Man, who is a thief (he stole the costume) and is even more of a womanizer but with laxer morals than Tony Stark. It is a great idea with Hank Pym facing sort of his antithesis. Speaking of comics I bought solely for the characters, I bought the Action Comics that had Death (from Sandman) because it had Death (from Sandman)! I don’t pay attention to DC stuff, hell I don’t care for Batman that much though I did buy Batman and Robin (the one with Grayson and Damien) because I liked the idea of the new team (I prefer Batman in trades when I do buy him).
Sometimes my author love gets me to buy things but I generally don’t pay attention to that since I don’t know many authors or artists. This sort of uniformed (in the selection of authors and artists and quality) thinking leads to stores stocking 30 copies of Soldier Zero because Stan Lee’s name is attached to it (and we’ve sold about 4 copies in the two months!). I do buy things James Stokoe is attached to because I love his art (he does Orc Stain and Won Ton Soup) and I want to support him. He has a cool and recognizable style. If webcomic people do something that we get that I like, I purchase the comic to support them because I want to do webcomics as well but my fandom ends there. (I didn’t buy the new Achewood book because I can’t stand Achewood’s art.)
Hopefully maybe this gives you an understanding of what I love about comics and I know it has helped me to understand how to sell comics to new people.
This Weeks Pull List:
Ant Man and Wasp #2 of 3 *Recommended*
Marvel What If?: Iron Man Demon In Armor
Runaways – Hardcover collection * Recommended*
Sin City #6: Booze, Broads & Bullets
Transmetropolitan #1 *Recommended*
Also I am giving Orc Stain my massive 20 reader hype because the trade from Image Comics comes out this week. Buy It! Buy It! Buy It!
I will buy it and then I am holding off on new TPs till after the holiday. Why?
Because I current have three books I haven’t touched, 3 I am in the middle of and the last thing I need is more distraction. (One on of the books is a comic and it is the Booster Gold collection I have (and I like Booster Gold (though that got me to buy Time Masters (and Time Masters I don’t care for (so my system is not perfect)))).
See you Wednesday night for a new Socialfist.