Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 3, Issue 25

Here we go again, Exfanders. It's Wednesday (finally!), and that means more Waiting for! I know you're all just thrilled. Because, honestly, who wouldn't want to put up with my nonsense this early in the morning?

Certainly not you. Certainly not.

I have one book on the ol' Check 'Em Out List for today, and a bit of a preamble wherein I get a a certain company's marketing strategy.

(Here's a hint: it's the one owned by the Mouse.)

If you'd like to forego the rant-y preamble, please just skip ahead a few paragraphs to that first picture down there. It gets considerably less rant-y from that point. (Mostly because the post ends almost immediately after the image.)

But, yeah. In the meantime, it's rant-y preamble time.

Today, a pretty big event takes place in the (Ultimate) Marvel Universe. The conclusion of the excellent--though drawn out for far too long--"Death of Spider-Man" hits in today's Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, issue 160.

Ridiculous series names and confusing numbering aside, this book has consistently been one of the best super hero comics on the stands over the past decade. Brian Bendis has crafted Spidey stories that seem classic in nature, but are modern and fresh.

So my problems certainly don't lie with the creative team--Bendis and artist Mark Bagley are two of my all-time favorites, and I've happily read every single issue of this book.

My problem, I guess, is with Marvel's decision to completely spoil today's issue in yesterday's news. By the way, if you have any intention of not having the story spoiled...don't click that link.

I copy-pasted it with eyes closed because, well, let's just say the mainstream press doesn't know the meaning of "spoiler warning."

Now, I get why they did it. In order to get people in the store on Wednesday, they need to know about what's going on on Tuesday. Fine. Makes sense.

Only, it doesn't.

Sure, it'll mean some big sales today, and a bunch of new faces in comics shops, hoping to buy a book that will help them pay off their debts in a few years time.

However, I just can't understand why the comics industry is so concerned with one-day sales spikes. It's so unbelievably shortsighted. We should be more concerned with getting new readers in--and keeping them in.

By only promoting a "death of" issue all the time in the mainstream press, it makes it look like all we do is kill off characters.

The one day sales bonanza is nice, but the focus should be on having people stick around for a while. By, y'know, promoting the stories as opposed to one-off event issues.

Sure, that's not as sexy, but that's what TV, movies, and prose books do. They promote the stories and the creators.


So. After all that, I do wish you'd go out and read this series--and you don't have to start with today's issue. Go back and read it in trades. Ultimate Spidey really is a wonderful book, and it deserves attention.
But it deserves attention for being a wonderful book, and not for doing whatever it'll do in today's issue.

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