Quick Hits 4/17

*Mike Sterling ran down some simple steps for Free Comic Book Day that literally every store in the country that sells comics should be doing as a minimum. With FCBD hitting its 5th anniversary, it is beginning to to come under a bit of criticism for either a) having run its course or b) being ineffective from the beginning. Exactly what effect the event has had on an industry wide scale is almost impossible to determine and on a store by store basis mileage is going to vary wildly, although anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that the benefits are almost directly related to the promotional effort the store puts into the event (which is pretty much true of any event). The difference with FCBD is that publishers are offering cheap product that we can use as part of the promotion, saving a nice chunk of the expense that such an event would otherwise carry. I think the failing in FCBD is when stores put the money they've saved on that product into something other than promoting the event. I've noticed the attitude from some stores that this should be a publisher funded promotional event in which we basically just supply the venue. Clearly that is not only not going to happen, it's not particularly practical (especially when you consider how loathe Marvel and DC are to promote the industry as a whole rather than just their own exclusive corner of it).

*DC's One Year Later is into it's second month and judging by DC's weekly sell-out announcements, its been a success. Unfortunately for them, not everyone is judging based on just the sell-out press releases. First of all, whether they'll admit it or not, there was pretty clearly a decision made by someone at DC to make little or no increase (if not a decrease) in the amount of overprint for these titles from what they were getting prior to OYL. They may have done this as a means of getting retailers to order more heavily and take on some of the risk associated with such a large scale promotional push. More likely, though, they are hoping to use the publicity generated by these sell-outs to keep the "event" fresh in their consumers mind. Hopefully the intent was not to create a run on these books among speculators (though we did have more than one customer come in looking to buy multiple copies of these books). Over at the Savage Critic(s), Brian Hibbs offered his thoughts on the first wave of books, including what he would have done were he in charge at DC. I agree wholeheartedly with what he says there and I think DC has the missed the boat here by allowing some of the momentum these titles should be building to wane a bit because the books are unavailable. I think DC chose not to overprint these books as part of Didio's plan to make Wednesday's exciting again. He's stated that his goal, particulalry with 52, is to force customers to rush out to their local comic shop on Wednesdays because they're so excited about what's waiting there. It seems DC has decided to give an additional push by making it clear that if you don't get it Wednesday, you're going to have to wait a few weeks (and if you do get it on Wednesday, don't forget to check back for the alternate cover!).


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