from Comics International last month:
The perfect illustration of what is right and what is wrong with comic shops.
First, Dave's Comics:
Obviously they've had a tidy up for the cameras, but you'd expect that.
The layout's lovely, the selection looks good, the shop looks clean, neat and inviting.
The shelves imply Waterstones rather than dodgy market stall.
The advert itself is nicely laid out, good design, simple and effective so you know exactly what it is, where it is and how to contact them. And finally, the selection of images at the bottom is designed to appeal to a wide range of customers, based on the idea that an existing comic fan will know that you sell X-Men, Bat-Man and the rest of the pervert suits (to quote Warren Ellis), so why not market to the people who don't know what you do?
Now, compare and contrast with The Mighty World Of Comicana. Take a deep breath..........
The first thing you notice is the complete lack of design. Whoever looked at this advert and thought it was a good promotional tool for the shop should find themselves alternative employment really quickly.
And if MWOC actually hired a professional to do this, could they tell us who it is so we can all blacklist them for the future.
From the top; The shop title flanked by two second string comic characters. Why? What's the bloody point of that? Either use the truly iconic characters (Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, X-Men etc) or choose something truly innovative and interesting - like Dave's advert did.
Then the second tier. What the hell is the point of the Z design here? Apart from deliberately trying to confuse the viewer that is. A rubbish Venom picture, a website disconnected from any other contact info and Spidey being skewered by an arrow.
And then we get to the bottom of the page. Oh boy.
It has the unmistakable look of 70s porn shop, with the painted in windows.
And of course, they've completely blocked in the other window with posters. Because why on earth would anyone want to look inside a shop? Let's not bother with making the place inviting and instead further reinforce the look of 70s porn shop.
And the posters? Mike Zeck Punisher and an Ultraverse poster. Which means either the photo was taken circa 85/86 or the window display hasn't been changed for 22 years.
Then look inside. I swear all I can really see through the doorway is walls of back issues and a bloody cardboard box. Brilliant.
And then, the absolute piece de resistance. Why, oh why, oh why did someone decide it would be okay to put the porno model in the bottom left hand corner. Not only does it look awful, setting the tone of the shop firmly in the gutter, but it's incredibly badly laid out on the page. It just looks like it's been fixed on as an afterthought, and an extremely bad one at that.
I'd shop in Dave's. I wouldn't even step into MWOComicana.
Mighty World of Comicana's website is here. And it's just as bloody bad.
But as if to completely spoil the nice things I have to say about them the website on the Dave's Comics ad leads to an error page. The actual website here is just a placeholder page. Bad show boys.