Friday, March 09, 2007

Did someone die? Gosh......

It appears Captain America died the other day.
I don't really have that much to say about it, partly because I'm still groggy and feeling like I've been run over by a head cold that really doesn't like me but mostly because I really don't care.
I've seen this countless times before.
Dead superhero, sales up.
Bring back dead superhero a year later sales up again.

It's crass commercialism. Unfortunately it's written by Ed Brubaker, who I happen to think is a pretty good writer. In fact I've just reviewed his excellent Daredevil Inside & Out and his new Criminal series for the Propaganda at FPI column. (The reviews will be up later this month).

If you really want to find out all about it, go Google "dead Captain America" or for a nice summary go to see the Newsarama blog article here.

One thing that does stick in my throat about it all is the repeated accusation that retailers have somehow managed to screw up the ordering and didn't order enough copies of this issue:

[I]f comic store owners didn’t see this coming, then they have lost touch with their product and their customer base,”
“Don’t blame Marvel or Quesada, because you misjudged the market, the buck stops with you, PERIOD! Quesada obviously did an excellent job, on his part, making a story that everyone wanted. Where it went wrong is store owners failing to capitalize on it. Don’t blame the industry, blame yourself. You knew it was selling, you read three months ago in Previews when it said someone was going to die. If you failed to order up on it and are losing out on sales, it’s your fault.”

(From ICV2)

This really pisses me off. All that Marvel told the retailers was that someone was going to die. How many times are we told that? How many times have comic companies told us that this issue will be the one everybody wants? How many times has it turned out to be another crap marketing move? Someone dies? Big bloody deal, that gets trotted out every few issues nowadays and invariably it has no impact on sales because it's some second stringer who no-one cares about.

If a retailer ordered huge overstocks based purely on Marvel telling us that such and such an issue was going to be huge, then there'd be a lot fewer retailers in business today.

Perhaps if Marvel had told retailers a little more, then they could have made a better, more considered judgement. But don't blame the retailers for not taking thousands of extra copies at no risk to Marvel and complete risk to themselves based on the same old hype they hear every month.

No comments:

Post a Comment