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Marvel Online as a Platform

Marvel comics has been a leader when it comes to new media and having an online presence.  In December we’ll be giving a full breakdown grading each publisher in their online operations, a new yearly tradition.  However, we’ve decided to spotlight something a little early, Marvel Comics’ Retailer Resource Center.

Marvel is pleased to announce that retailers are now able to participate in the MARVEL RETAILER RESOURCE CENTER- an invaluable tool to help retailers make use of all of the information, artwork, and previews that is at their disposal. This innovative tool offers tremendous benefits to local retailers and fans. The MARVEL RETAILER RESOURCE CENTER enables retailers to create websites for their stores with up-to-the-minute news, artwork, catalog listings and changes, as well as maps and local happenings. Ask your retailer if they have signed up for the MARVEL RETAILER RESOURCE CENTER and tell them Marvel sent you!

The service is a pay service that allows comic book retailers create websites with some content provided by Marvel.  These websites include features of the store’s choosing, creating a platform for an easy web presence.

These websites are equipped with Google Maps, store images, events calendars, complete Marvel product listings (updating by Marvel, not the retailer, saving hours of labor each week) product listings for all other companies,” David Gabriel said. “Plus, we provide printable on-sale lists of all our comics and collections, so a store’s customers can click a button and print out a checklist of all the books on sale that week.”

The resource center helps stores with early previews to help better manage their orders, promotional tools such as flyers and early art, and an easier way to interact with Marvel staff.  Will retailers pay Marvel for a website, when there are much cheaper and more flex able options available?

Most retailers we’ve spoken to do not want to pay the monthly fee,” Gabriel explained. “However, when we did the individual math and consider the cost to maintain and create a website, add in the First Looks program that most retailers were a part of and then throw in the slew of free books, exclusive variants and special members only sales, the retailers that participate are definitely coming out ahead. I liken this to paying your monthly basic cable bill and then being reimbursed for watching certain programs each month.

Retailers can check out the service and a video tutorial at http://www.marvelretailers.com/.  While we here at Graphic Policy applaud Marvel for providing this platform we have to wonder why Diamond Distributors hasn’t ventured into this territory?  Stay tuned for a further article about the platform Diamond should provide to their clients and the comic book industry.