Category Archives: Marketing

Dark Horse Presents: An Evening With The Paybacks Tour 2015!

On September 16, 2015, Dark Horse Comics will launch a brand-new ongoing series: The Paybacks!

In honor of the occasion, writers Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal will hit the road on their way to New York Comic Con with their variety show, “An Evening with the Paybacks,” sponsored by Dark Horse Comics!

Each night from October 2 to October 7, Cates and Rahal will visit one of six select retail stores for a signing followed by an evening of storytelling, games, giveaways, and standup comedy.

Friday, October 2—Aw Yeah Comics, Skokie
Signing: 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Event: 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
4933 Oakton St., Skokie, IL 60077

Saturday, October 3—Aw Yeah Comics, Muncie
Signing & Event Times TBD
107 N High St., Muncie, IN 47305

Sunday, October 4—Comic Heaven
Signing & Event Times TBD
4847 Robinhood Dr., Willoughby, OH 44094

Monday, October 5—Fantom Comics
Signing & Event Times TBD
2010 P St. NW, Washington, DC 20036

Tuesday, October 6—Pittsburgh Comics
Signing & Event Times TBD
113 E McMurray Rd., McMurray, PA 15317

Wednesday, October 7—Collectors Corner
Signing & Event Times TBD
7911 Harford Rd., Baltimore, MD 21234

Thursday, October 8–Sunday, October 11—New York Comic Con

If you are near any of these locations, stop by and party with The Paybacks! You can read our review here!

THE PAYBACKS TOUR 2015 2 gets Ultimate Spider-Man Digital Comics Section

Marvelkids_UltSpiderManComicsMarvel is expanding the ways its younger fans can dive into the Marvel Universe with its all-new and kid-friendly digital comic book section; all part of the expanded Beginning with the refreshed Spider-Man destination on, younger fans can begin reading the adventures of Ultimate Spider-Man, featuring everyone’s favorite web-head as he teams up with his amazing friends to fight the forces of evil.

Designed to captivate readers of all ages,’s Ultimate Spider-Man offers fans a guided reading experience using Marvel’s digital Infinite Comics platform to help younger fans navigate the panels. Taking full advantage of the latest technology, Marvel Infinite Comics showcase the new storytelling possibilities of a digital canvas while still staying true to the medium’s greatest strengths and brings a cinematic experience designed to captivate the next generation of Marvel fans.

With new digital issues arriving every week, the Ultimate Spider-Man series begins with’s Ultimate Spider-Man #1: I Think I’m Paranoid. After a routine run-in with the villainous Jack O’Lantern, Spider-Man is convinced that his spider-sense is on the fritz, when it starts warning him of danger seemingly at random. Turns out, there’s a bigger threat than Jack O’Lantern to worry about, though.

In addition to the high-flying action within Ultimate Spider-Man, fans can take on the role of Spider-Man in a variety of interactive and amazing games and take part in an exciting web of activities including Spider-Man downloadable coloring pages, mazes, and word searches. will be continually expanding even more in the future with new Marvel Comics’ series and more digital features exploring everyone’s favorite Marvel Super Heroes!

David Michelinie at JHU Comic Books in Manhattan to sign copies The Bozz Chronicles!

bozzcover2Legendary comic book scribe David Michelinie will be signing copies of the highly anticipated Bozz Chronicles collection from Dover Graphic Novels at JHU Comic Books in NYC, Wednesday, September 16th, from 6-8pm. Check out the Facebook event below, and please invite everyone you know! Don’t miss this rare opportunity to meet the man who has written more than 600 mind-blowing comic book stories in which he created or co-created several characters who have ended up on the Big Screen, such as Eddie Brock (aka Venom played by Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3), James “Rhodey” Rhodes (aka War Machine, played by Don Cheadle in Iron Man 3), and of course most recently, Scott Lang (aka Ant-Man, played by Paul Rudd in Ant-Man)!!!

WHERE: JHU COMIC BOOKS, 32 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016, (212) 268-7088

Toys”R”Us To Launch New Star Wars Saga Products With Midnight Opening Events Worldwide

Star Wars Force Day

The next chapter of the legendary franchise Star Wars begins at Toys”R”Us stores across the globe on Force Friday, September 4 at 12:01am as fans get first access to new toys, exclusive Giveaways and more.

Toys”R”Us is going into hyperdrive and preparing an out-of-this-galaxy, global celebration for the upcoming debut of toys based on the next chapter of the Star Wars Saga. Counting down to the highly anticipated toy launch and this fall’s new theatrical release, Toys”R”Us stores worldwide and have transformed into Destination: Star Wars, every fan’s retail source for The Force with hundreds of new products, including those only available at Toys”R”Us.

On Force Friday, Toys”R”Us stores around the globe will open their doors for special midnight opening festivities, providing customers of all ages the opportunity to be among the first to purchase must-have merchandise, receive exclusive giveaways and immerse themselves in all things Star Wars. The company’s international flagship store, Toys”R”Us Times Square in New York City, will host a historic Star Wars toy exhibition leading up to the grandest midnight opening celebration of all, welcoming legions of eager fans with costumed characters, signing events, giveaways and more all day on Thursday, September 3.

With operations in 38 countries, Toys”R”Us is leveraging its global footprint and position as the toy authority to provide an unprecedented Star Wars experience worldwide. Locations in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the U.K, will open at 12:01am to welcome eager shoppers. The first customers to line up for the big product debut will receive Star Wars giveaways, including an exclusive poster, as well as the chance to be among the first to purchase exclusive Star Wars merchandise in dedicated front-of-store feature shops.

Leading up to Force Friday, stores in each of these countries will count down the minutes to 12:01am on September 4 with digital clocks, as well as Star Wars-themed microsites on each of their respective websites.

Stores in the U.S. will open their doors, giving customers the opportunity to be among the first to purchase hundreds of new Star Wars playthings, including a wide variety of merchandise they can’t find anywhere else.* As an added bonus, little Jedi Knights and their families attending midnight opening events will have the chance to receive special giveaways, including a limited edition LEGO Star Wars Commemorative Brick and an exclusive Star Wars poster, while supplies last.** Also at midnight on Force Friday, shoppers will be able to browse and purchase the new products online.

At the company’s international flagship store in New York City, Toys”R”Us Times Square, where fans of all ages are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Star Wars character and take part in dozens of one-of-a-kind activities designed especially for Star Wars aficionados.***

The store is kicking the party off early with a special exhibition featuring prototypes, originals and early editions of some of the best-known Star Wars toys in the world, curated by Rancho Obi-Wan, Inc., a non-profit museum that houses the Guinness World Record-certified largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia. Presented prominently throughout the store, “Destination: Star Wars – The Experience,” will be on display from Wednesday, August 26 through Monday, September 7 and will feature dozens of notable collectibles based on all six feature films from the Star Wars Saga, including the original first four mail-away action figures from 1978, a large-sized Chewbacca figure in never publicly-released The Empire Strikes Back packaging from Kenner Products and a rare 2003 LEGO Star Wars Cloud City building set.****

The adventure kicks into high gear on Thursday, September 3, when the store hosts Star Wars activities throughout the day, beginning at 9am****, including:

  • A book signing and meet and greet with Steve Sansweet, Chief Executive Officer and President of Rancho Obi-Wan, Inc., storied Star Wars author and former Head of Fan Relations and Director of Content Management at Lucasfilm Ltd.
  • An art class and meet and greet with fan-favorite Star Wars and science fiction artist, Jeff Carlisle.
  • Star Wars product demonstrations and activations throughout the store, including Star Wars-themed 3-D action figure creation with 3D Plus Me, video gaming on Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars kiosks and experiencing intergalactic sound on Star Wars-themed headphones powered by SMS Audio.
  • A LEGO Star Wars make and take for rebels looking to build their toy empire brick by brick.
  • A Light Saber Academy with members of New York Jedi, a community of cosplayers, martial artists and teachers who share practical stage combat techniques oriented toward Light Sabers.
  • Photo opportunities with costumed characters, including Furbacca, a character versioned after the Hasbro® toy that makes wookiee sounds like CHEWBACCA, Geoffrey the Giraffe and more.
  • Ice cream flavors inspired by the Star Wars Saga from Scoops”R”Us, the flagship store’s in-house ice cream shop located on the Lower Level.
  • Star Wars-themed cookie decorating at a “Wookiee” Cookie Party on Level 1.
  • Special giveaways for the first fans in line, including a Collector’s Edition LEGO Star Wars Commemorative Brick, an exclusive, limited edition Star Wars poster and a Star Wars Character Flashlight giveaways from JAKKS Pacific.***
  • Star Wars trivia, a costume contest and a galaxy of excitement and prizes, while supplies last, for those fanatics waiting in line.
  • A panel discussion with Steve Sansweet and Jeff Carlisle for select lucky fans, which will also be livestreamed via Periscope @Toysrus on Twitter.
  • The ultimate unveiling of the official Toys”R”Us Times Square Star Wars feature shop at 12:01am on Force Friday, September 4.

*Toys”R”Us stores in the U.S. will open at 12:01am local time on Friday, September 4, except for stores in Paramus, NJ, which have varying store open times due to local ordinances. Toys”R”Us Express and Outlet locations generally follow the hours of their respective shopping centers. All store hours can be found online at

**Event open to all ages. Parental supervision required at all times. All giveaways and event materials available while supplies last and distributed to event participants only. Limit one per person. Quantities limited; no rain checks. Giveaway quantities vary by store.

***Event open to all ages. Parental supervision required at all times. All giveaways and event materials available while supplies last and distributed to event participants only. Limit one per person. Quantities limited; no rain checks.

****Toy enthusiasts can view the entire listing of products featured in “Destination: Star Wars – The Experience” and a full schedule of Toys”R”Us Times Square events, including times, online at the company’s Times Square Store Special Events page.

Free Comics for Librarians from Papercutz

NICKELODEON MAGAZINEBudget-crunched librarians will soon be receiving some respite thanks to a new program from Papercutz. The publisher announced today that they will be supplying 100 free copies of Nickelodeon Magazine to libraries that support comics programming. It’s part of an effort by the publisher to fuel a growing trend in the school and public library space– “ComicCons” and other events focused on the fastest growing category in publishing – graphic novels.

Comic book conventions are well-known for a variety of attractions including creator appearances, costumes and, of course, exclusive promotional material from publishers. While many librarians have reached out to the comics creative community for appearances at events and patrons have picked up the costuming challenge, promotional items have been handled on an ad hoc basis, depending on the largesse of publishers or individual creators. This new program ensures that no comics-themed event will have to do without giveaways that incentivize reading.

Interested librarians simply need to contact Papercutz VP of Marketing, Sven Larsen six to eight weeks before their event. As soon as Papercutz receives a librarian’s request (including details of the planned event) they will dispatch 100 copies of the latest issue of Nickelodeon Magazine absolutely free (the library just has to pay for shipping).

Invincible Iron Man #1 Comes To Comic Shops For an Epic Launch Party!

All-New, All-Different Marvel kicks off in full force this fall, and Marvel is making sure all comic book stores worldwide are armed and ready for the new flagship Marvel title as Invincible Iron Man #1 explodes into comic shops on October 7th! You won’t want to miss comic superstar Brian Michael Bendis and red-hot artist David Marquez’s opening salvo in their explosive new ongoing series. And Marvel is ready to make the launch one to remember. In addition to being first in line to purchase Invincible Iron Man #1, fans will also be able to receive special items at participating retail stores, including the first piece of the exclusive Build Your Own Iron Man promotional item!

Launching alongside Invincible Iron Man #1, the first piece of the Build Your Own Iron Man promotional item will allow fans to assemble their very own Iron Man armor. Based on artist David Marquez’s new armor design, collect all six pieces, launching alongside Invincible Iron Man and five other October Marvel titles, fold and compile your very own Iron Man standing nearly a foot tall!

To ensure these parties are a massive sales success, each retailer opting into the event will receive exclusive Invincible Iron Man Party promotional materials. Check your Marvel Mailer for more information on how to opt-in by 8/10 to ensure your store has these items.

All qualifying retailers who opt in will receive the following as part of the INVINCIBLE IRON MAN launch:

  • Invincible Iron Man Invitational Postcards
  • Invincible Iron Man Build Your Own Iron Man Promo Item Piece 1 of 6
  • Invincible Iron Man Skottie Young Lithographs
  • Invincible Iron Man #1 Exclusive Deadpool Sketch Party Variant by Yasmine Putri
  • Mass media promotion around the launch of Invincible Iron Man and the associated parties

But that’s not all! Retailers who qualify will also be eligible to order the Invincible Iron Man #1 Deadpool Party Variant. Everyone loves Tony’s new armor – even the Merc With a Mouth! From rising star Yasmine Putri, fans won’t want to miss this exciting variant only available at the upcoming launch parties.

Strap in and suit up! Prepare for the marquee comic launch of the fall as Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez armor up and bring you a new Iron Man for a new Marvel Universe. Don’t miss the blockbuster on-sale October 7th !

Art & Cover by DAVID MARQUEZ
Deadpool Party Variant by YASMINE PUTRI (JUL150710)
Variant Covers by BRUCE TIMM (JUL150700), ADI GRANOV (JUL150702),
Action Figure Variant by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER (JUL150704)
Hip Hop Variant by BRIAN STELFREEZE (JUL150699)
Design Variant by DAVID MARQUEZ (JUL150701)
Cosplay Variant Also Available (JUL150698)

Invincible_Iron_Man_1_Cover Build_Your_Own_Iron_Man_Promo_Item_Mock_Up Invincible_Iron_Man_1_Putri_Party_Variant

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook

It’s the first of the month, we’re looking at the demographics of people who “like” comics on Facebook. This data is compiled using demographic data from Facebook, and is limited to the United States.

This data is compiled using key terms, “likes,” users have as part of their profiles. Primarily terms are focused on generic ones such as “comics” or “graphic novels” or publishers. I stay away from specific characters, creators or series, because this does not indicate they are a comic book fan. Over 100 terms are used for this report.

Facebook Population: Over 42,000,000 in the United States

The total population decreased by 5 million. It’s possible that the theoretical summer book has dipped already, and the numbers have decreased to “normal” levels. The Spanish-speaking population last month was 13.19%, and this month is 13.10%.

Gender and Age

Last month women accounted for 40.43% and men were 59.57%. The 5 million decrease was almost all men. 4 million lost were men, and women decreased by 1 million.

comics gender 8.1.15

We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age.

comics gender age 8.1.15

Women and men under the age of 17 are tied in an even 50/50 split.

comics gender raw 8.1.15

Relationship Status

The summer is a time for relationships I guess. More are in relationships or married!

comics relationship 8.1.15

And for those that like pie charts.

comics relationship pie chart 8.1.15


Things haven’t changed that much compared to last month just some shifts as to percents due to a loss of individuals.

comics education 8.1.15

Gender Interest

There’s a slight increase of individuals interested in the same gender this week.

comics gender interest 8.1.15


While African Americans decreased as a total population African American women actually increased from last month. Also of note, Hispanics increased in almost every demographic except those that are Spanish dominant. Of note, women say major increases in Hispanic women.

comics ethnicity 8.1.15


We can see where decreases occurred below withe decreases focused on Generation X and Millennials.

comics generation 8.1.15

And that wraps up this month’s report. We’ll return Monday with more data and insights!

Demo-Graphics: The State of “Gamers” 2015

It’s Monday and we’re looking at the latest Facebook Fandom breakdown. It’s been a year since I did a report about “gamers” in the lead up to Gen Con. So, welcome to the second annual State of Gamers.

This data is gained through mining Facebook and includes over 175 different terms from a variety of games, publishers, and more. The terms I used are varied, and many, from the name of games to the name of publishers and terms like collectible card game. For this I did my best to stay away from generic terms for genres (like Fantasy) and terms that specifically mentioned video games. I also avoided games like Monopoly or Scategories, I wanted to focus on the games you’d find at Gen Con.

We’ll compare this report to last year’s, but much has changed since then. Unlike the previous year, the technology platform to get the data has remained mostly unchanged, and the terms used also remain relatively the same (some have gone away, some are new).

Facebook Population: Over 31,000,000 in the United States

The amount of individuals who like these terms has increased from the previous year by 7 million.

Spanish speakers account for now 3.9 million fans, 12.58% in the United States. That’s an increase of 1.3 million since last year.

Gender and Age

In 2014 Men dominated as the majority with 55% compared to women at 44.17%. A year later and things have changed. Men now account for just 51.61% and women are 48.39%.

gamers facebook gender 7.27.15

We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age.

gamers facebook gender age 7.27.15

Compared to last year, the graph above is very similar though the gap between men and women is less. What I do find interesting is that women really start to gain in population in the 26-29 segment, and the majority at 38-41. It would seem that women may come into board games later in life.

gamers facebook gender age raw 7.27.15

Relationship Status

The real shift from last year is that a greater percentage are married or unspecified compared to last year.

gamers facebook relationship status 7.27.15

And for those that like pie charts.gamers facebook relationship status pie chart 7.27.15



The education stats haven’t shifted much since last year, even with the surge of new folks.

gamers facebook education 7.27.15

Gender Interest

Those interested in the same gender has decreased percentage wise since last year, but the population has increased.

gamers facebook gender interest 7.27.15


This is a new data that wasn’t available last year. Below the data is presented without comparison due to that. I can say that the data is interesting compared to the general United States population. Both the African American and Asian American population are a smaller percentage compared to the general US population, but the Hispanic population is much greater.

gamers facebook ethnicity 7.27.15


Below are the stats of groups based off of their generation, another new statistic.

gamers facebook generation 7.27.15

And that wraps up our look at who the gamers are in the United States!

We’ll be returning with a new demographic break down of comic book fans this Saturday August 1!

Van Helsing vs. Dracula In-store Promotion

Van Helsing vs. Dracula 2On August 19th, Zenescope Entertainment launches a brand new release featuring fan-favorite character, Liesel Van Helsing. Van Helsing is a brilliant inventor and expert Vampire killer, two skills she picked up from her legendary father, Abraham Van Helsing. In this five issue miniseries Liesel Van Helsing continues to pursue her most elusive target and the monster responsible for her father’s death: Dracula.

Zenescope will be supporting retailers around the country on Wednesday, August 19th with several in-store signings, giveaways, and exclusive merchandise raffles. Zenescope has already partnered with retailers for events surrounding two of its other new series, Coven and Aliens vs. Zombies. This will be the publisher’s third such launch event of the summer.

Zenescope Van Helsing vs. Dracula launch events will be occurring at the following list of stores:

All Things Fun, West Berlin, NJ
New Dimension Comics – Pittsburgh Mills – Tarentum, PA
Uncanny Comics, North Wales PA
Yesteryear Comics, San Diego, CA (*Series Writer Pat Shand appearing)
New Dimension Comics – Century III – West Mifflin, PA
Cosmic Comics, Las Vegas, NV (*Series Creators Joe Brusha & Ralph Tedesco appearing)
Uncanny Comics, Plymouth Meeting PA
Graham Crackers Comics, Chicago, IL

Van Helsing vs. Dracula Creative Team includes:
Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco & Pat Shand (Story)
Pat Shand (writer)
Michele Bandini (artwork)
Walter Pereyra (colorist)

Understanding Your Readers

Below is a guest post from Damian Wampler, creator of the comic Sevara – the Mangement

art of Sevara copiesIn the process of writing and creating my first comic book, I had no idea who my future readers would be. As a 38-year-old man, I’ve long since lost touch with the world of today’s teenager or even twenty-something. Facebook statistics helped me understand my reader’s demographic and focus my marketing, as well as adjust the tone and themes of future issues.

I wrongly assumed that my major audience would be 28-year-old men. I just took my own age, hacked of 10 years, and figured, ‘sure, a younger version of me would love to read this, because I’m the one who’s writing it’. Not only that, but my main promotional image features a full frontal shot of an extremely beautiful, and barely clothed, goddess. I assumed that 75% of my readers would be men.

I was partly right. 77% of my Facebook fans are men. The age set weighed heavily in favor of the 18-24 range, with strong representation in the 25-34 range and a healthy number of 35-44 year olds. The number of people reached and people engaged is about the same, because they are drawing on my fan base. But when I look at my ads, who reach out into all of Facebook, I see a different story.

fanpage demographic

When I began to promote my comic’s ComiXology link with Facebook ads, my adsets featured images of the same strong beautiful women as in my comic. I figured 77% of those clicking on the images would be men. Yet when I looked at the statistics, I found that only a little less than half of the clicks to my ComiXology page were women. At some parts of the campaign, men and women were at 50/50. On top of that, the overwhelming majority of those who clicked the ads were in the 13-24 range. Almost no one else clicks, ever.

first ad campaign showing clicks first ad reached more women

Maybe it has a lot to do with the images that I selected. They women are in poses that display strength, and sexuality without sleaziness. reviewer Derrick Crow remarked that Sevara’s design has, “a sexualized look but not once did I see her in a sexual light.”

At the Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai, I found even more gender differences while ‘manning’ my booth in artist alley. Roughly 70% of my sales of the preview book The Art of Sevara were to women. And at this convention, most of the women were college students from Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, or Saudi Arabia, dressed in partial or full-body hijab. I finally stopped trying to interact with the male young browsers, who never bought anything, and focused all my attention on selling to the women. Maybe the men were embarrassed to pick a book with such a striking woman on the cover? But the women felt right at home with a copy of Sevara in their hands. They wanted to look at images of strong beautiful women, and read stories about strong beautiful women. That’s what I try to deliver in Sevara, I just never realized how thirsty my female audience was for women they could connect with.

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