Sunday, June 28, 2009  
An argument for Blood

:: Posted by max @ 6/28/2009 09:59:00 p.m.
Ok, so the headline is a bit hyperbolic, but it amused me.

This is pretty cool, Matt sent this to me while I was in NY an moronically i failed to post it then, dope. Sorry 'bout that.

This features some interesting pencil art, no inking and a lot of texture by Mike Shoyket. [link?]

Working on promoting Captain Blood, a novel adaptation I wrote for SLG, we were faced with the now-familiar quandry of how to encourage individual retailers to order the book rather than hoping to see it on shelves. Rather than get into the whole issue here, I refer you to the comic below -- rewritten and relettered pages from the original Captain Blood #1 -- that illustrate the whole situation in brilliant 1700s action!
Art by Mike Shoyket, lettering by David Hedgecock.

For my tardiness I claim exhaustion and a mild travelers high. Looked good right off but i only just read it all the way through now. Spoiler/Warning, "Big Publisher Beach" not cast in such a kind light here, I take it as satire myself but if you disagree perhapses you will mention this at your local comic shop and ask them what they think after showing them?


And, there's a trailer too of course... :)

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Blogger Gorillamydreamz said...

Um... I hate to play devil's advocate on this but it seems appraent this page will have the opposite effect desired by the creators.

While I sympathize somewhat with the re-lettered dialogue diatribe on the pirate page, sending this fanboy rant to retailers is counterproductive and insulting (despite being true to some extent).

You're blaming the retailers and questioning their taste, then turning around and saying buy our "innovative" product because we're trying to save the industry.

Why blame people trying to survive without making any attempt to understand their needs or talk to them about what they could truly get out of your book?

Do you talk about the story and suggest ways to promote it along with the DC's and Marvels? Do you suggest things that readers of those books may find to like in yours for a little cross-pollinization?

Do you let them know how far ahead of schedule you are on production so they know you're not one of those indie publishers who promise big things for an issue or two and then falls behind or burns out and stops everything: assuring the retailers and their customers that they won't see the end of the story or series?

Do you let them in on unique pricing that allows to save some money by ordering five or more? Do you make it easy for them to order rather than insult them, get their backs up and then hold your hand for their hard-earned dollars?

In short, do you treat it like a business and give your retailers some respect and try to work together to make the changes you desire and sell a few books?

Making and selling comics is hard. But selling them is hard too. Fans are steadfast in their opinions, just like the people who wrote this diatribe have obvious opinions.

It seems to me that making an enemy of the people who doing their best to get by selling your product is naive and completely counter-productive. Why acerbate the problem when you could try and hepp rectify it together?

Be professional and seek retailer input if you're not sure what they need.

Why would I want to buy a book from someone who blames me for the death of industry and thinks I'm too stupid to buy your book? Who needs that crap?

Put yourself in their shoes guys!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 5:52:00 p.m. EDT  
Blogger max said...

Hi Gorilla, by all means you're welcome to play the part. :)

I'd agree with you except that i think this is pitched blaming "Big Publisher beach, and not in fact the retailers at all. Instead it's a classic call to arms argument, my enemy is your enemy. Inviting them to help. There would be some implicit risk in doing so.

But i think both for Matt's self-interests as an indy comic creator, and in general for the retailers as business people, to take a bit more of a risk. It's a hard sell in lean times but often when it's the most worth it. As it is i know he puts a lot of risk and love into his work.

But yeah, The villain's were over on Big Publisher beach if you will recall, they are not the targets of Matt's argument but portrayed as the mutual enemy.

Also, Matt to be fair is not simply a 'fanboy', which BTW in comics is no small thing in of itself; but also a professional creative braking into comics. He's been self publishing in some form for quite a while now. This is his first book with a Publisher, and I think he's making a dramatic point of it, but it's a pretty informed perspective once you get past the genre joke/setting.

Comic shops do hold the keys to change in their direct market. I'ts been holding out till things have changed so much around them that's hurt them, not being threatened by change leaving the market behind after a long period of stagnation.

My point of contention if any is that really Big Publisher is just too simple a model for the problem too. But what to do about it? I'm with Blood. Take a chance on other books. New Blood often flies unfamiliar flags.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 7:12:00 p.m. EDT  

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