Category Archives: Marketing

Secret Weapons Gets an Extended Preview in Valiant’s May 2017 Titles

Valiant has announced that it will include an extended seven-page sequence from June’s Secret Weapons #1 – the FIRST ISSUE of the hotly anticipated limited series putting Livewire in command of an extraordinary new team of heroes – in all of its May 2017 titles!

On June 28th, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer – writer of the internationally acclaimed, smash-hit motion picture Arrival, as well as Valiant’s upcoming HARBINGER and BLOODSHOT feature films from Sony Pictures – joins forces with Harvey Award-nominated artists Raul Allen and Patricia Martin to bring Livewire and her squad of superhuman outcasts out of hiding…and onto the frontline of the Valiant Universe’s coming battle against the cybernetic hunter called Rex-O!

Now, before the first issue hits stands on June 28th, find out why Secret Weapons #1 is one of the year’s most anticipated new series with an extended sneak preview in all of Valiant’s standard and Premium format series, including:

  • Faith #11 (on sale May 3rd)
  • Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1 (on sale May 10th)
  • Ninjak #27 (on sale May 17th)
  • X-O Manowar (2017) #3 (on sale May 24th)
  • Rapture #1 (on sale May 24th)

The government has dispatched Amanda McKee – the technopath codenamed Livewire – to investigate the ruins of a secret facility formerly run by Toyo Harada, the most powerful telepath on Earth and her former mentor. In his quest for world betterment at any cost, Harada sought out and activated many potential psiots like himself. Those who survived, but whose powers he deemed to have no value to his cause, were hidden away at this installation. But Livewire, having studied Harada’s greatest strengths and learned his deepest weaknesses, senses opportunity where he once saw failure. A young girl who can talk to birds… A boy who can make inanimate objects gently glow… To others, these are expensive disappointments. But, to Livewire, they are secret weapons…in need of a leader. Now, as a mechanized killer called Rex-O seeks to draw them out, Livewire and her new team of cadets will be forced to put their powers into action…in ways they never could have imagined…

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Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook – European Edition

Each month I run demographic data of comic “fans” based on data mined from Facebook. Due to popular demand, I have split out and launched a “European edition” that runs on the 15th of every month!

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.

This data is important in that it shows who the potential comic audience could be. This is not purchasers, these are people who have shown an affinity for comics and are potential purchasers and those with an interest.

Also, with this being online/technology, due to laws and restrictions, those under the age of 13 are likely underrepresented. Europe also has some other data restrictions that will be discussed below.

Facebook Population: Over 44,000,000 in Europe

After a decrease for a few months, this month’s results remain steady with no change. But, that’s still 7 million more individuals compared to what I reported for the United States in the beginning of the month. Worldwide, there’s an estimated 282,456,070 individuals interested in comics. That’s an increase of 9 million compared to last month.

Gender and Age

In December women accounted for 45.45% while men accounted for 54.55%. This month men saw some gains but things generally remained steady. Men account for 54.55% while women account for 45.45%.

With only a few changes, the below graph is similar to last month.

Relationship Status

There’s been some shift since last month. “In Relationship,” “Married” and “Civil Union” all increased a bit from the previous month.

Education

Things haven’t shifted here much compared to last month.

Gender Interest

And here’s where data privacy differs. In some European nations this information can’t be reported which means either removing those countries or just not reporting on this. I chose the latter for now.

And come back next month for a new look at the data and the first comparison of just Europe!

Watch the 2017 Valiant Summit Live this April

Valiant has announced #ValiantSummit 2017 – the publisher’s third annual media event, broadcasting live from Twitch TV’s Hyper RPG Studio in Los Angeles! On Monday, April 17th at 2 pm ET/11 am PT, join Valiant and an all-star line-up of special guests – including Harvey Award nominee Christos Gage, Academy Award nominee Eric Heisserer, acclaimed writer Jody Houser, and New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt – as they unveil a blockbuster line-up of news and announcements for the coming year and beyond!

Find out what epic events await Valiant’s greatest Icons with a stunning presentation revealing what lies ahead for Faith, Ninjak, Shadowman, Quantum and Woody, and many more in the year to come, only at #ValiantSummit 2017!

Follow all of #ValiantSummit 2017’s news and announcements as they happen with a live stream on Twitch TV’s Hyper RPG channel, Facebook Live or Twitter. And join the conversation on Twitter at the official @ValiantComics account or follow along with coverage live from #ValiantSummit 2017 from the preeminent press outlets in comics today!

Plus: Look for a series of exclusive post-game recaps of all of #ValiantSummit 2017’s events with interviews, analysis, extras, and more everywhere throughout the day!

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook – US Edition

Each month I run demographic data of comic “fans” based on data mined from Facebook.

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.

This data is important in that it shows who the potential comic audience could be. This is not purchasers, these are people who have shown an affinity for comics and are potential purchasers and those with an interest.

Also, with this being online/technology, due to laws and restrictions, those under the age of 13 are likely underrepresented.

Facebook Population: Over 37,000,000 in the United States

That holds steady from the previous month. Worldwide, the estimate is 282,456,070 which is a decrease of about 1,400,000 compared to last month.

The Spanish-speaking population last month was 14.32%, and this month the population has increased to 16.22%.

Gender and Age

Last month men accounted for 51.35% and women were 48.65%. Things remained steady this month. Women account for 48.65% while men account for 51.35%.

Men remained the same population wise while women gained 1 million individuals.

comics-facebook-gender-3-1-17

Women continue to be the majority of fans under the age of 18 and eventually become the majority of fans as age increases.

Relationship Status

Compared to last month, relationship status has remained pretty steady. “In Relationship,” and “unspecified” both increased a bit.

Education

Things shift a little here and there compared to last month, but generally like the overall population this has remained steady.

Gender Interest

This too remained relatively steady compared to last month.

Ethnicity

African-Americans made some gains from the previous month while Asian Americans and Hispanics both saw drops.

Generation

Baby Boomers dropped a little bit compared to last month, but things again remained steady.

And come back next month for a new look at the data! And on February 15th we’ll have the next report of Europe’s data!

It’s DC Kids Super Hero Month!

Calling all fans of DC Super Heroes! Warner Bros. Consumer Products, in partnership with DC Entertainment, announces its first annual DC Kids Super Hero Month, designed to engage new and existing fans in this interactive initiative with their favorite DC Super Heroes and be inspired to be their own Super Hero.

This multi-faceted campaign will run through the entire month of April and kick off today, March 31, with an all-new episode of the original YouTube series DC Kids. Each week, DC Kids will have DC Kids Super Hero Month-themed shows such as “Acts of Wonder,” “Call for Creativity,” “Stellar Support,” and “Super Smarts.” In addition, the campaign will feature fun challenges and activities, as well as brand new content that will come to life across multi-digital channels and social media. There’ll be lots of support, including Mattel, The LEGO Group, Rubie’s Costumes and more, as well as in-store and online support at various retailers, including Target, Toys‘R’Us,

There’ll be lots of support, including Mattel, The LEGO Group, Rubie’s Costumes and more, as well as in-store and online support at various retailers, including Target, Toys‘R’Us, Walmart and Amazon.

DC Super Hero Girls will lead the month-long campaign with the DC Super Hero Girls website, social channels, app and YouTube channel serving as DC Kids Super Hero Month headquarters. Kids won’t want to miss exploring the weekly “Super Hero Training Camp” challenges and activations, new content and games, digital activities and more.

DCKids.com and DC Kids YouTube Channel will also support the initiative with a DC Kids Super Hero Month take-over featuring new content, including Super Hero-themed printable activities and three new games from Teen Titans Go! and Justice League Action, and more. Fans can also participate on the Justice League Action and Teen Titans Go! social channels, as well as catch new DC Kids Super Hero Month content on the new DC Kids YouTube series each week.

“Super Hero Training Camp” is designed to teach fans of all ages what it means to be a DC Super Hero. With weekly challenges inspired by the iconic DC characters, training will highlight various qualities such as leadership, strength, kindness, creativity, friendship and more. Participating fans are invited to engage throughout the month by sharing how they train to be a DC Kids Super Hero using the hashtags #DCKidsSuperHeroMonth and #HeroesInTraining.

Kids also won’t want to miss the DC Kids Super Hero Month sweepstakes, to be featured on DCComics.com and promoted on DC Kids’ Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter platforms, as well as DC’s and WBCP’s social media channels. Fans will have a chance to be the grand prize winner of a DC Super Hero Girls, Teen Titans Go! and Justice League Action product package, as well as three runner-up prizes to be awarded with one of the DC Super Hero Girls, Teen Titans Go! or Justice League Action themed packages.

Mattel’s retailer exclusive DC Super Hero Girls:

LEGO DC Super Hero Girls:

Justice League Action:

Teen Titans Go!:

CMON Reveals Exclusive Brick and Mortar Retail Program CMON Play

At the GAMA Trade Show 2017, CMON Limited unveiled CMON Play, a new retail program exclusive to brick and mortar stores in North America, including Canada. This new program is designed to help promote the growth of retail stores by offering exclusive access to Game Night Kits, Pre-Release Kits, Demo Copies, and Kickstarter Retail Pledges from CMON’s wide library of titles. CMON wants to ensure our retailers have the tools they need to keep their businesses and communities thriving.

Signing up for CMON Play is completely free and can be done through CMON.com by clicking on “CMON Play” at the top of the page. Once a store has applied and the CMON sales team has ensured it is a physical store, members have access to several great offerings, all exclusive to the CMON Play program.

Game Night Kits allow stores to run events for popular CMON games, such as Zombicide: Black Plague, Blood Rage, Potion Explosion, and Bloodborne: The Card Game. Kits will be available every two months, beginning with Black Plague in June, and will offer game content that has never been available before. Running these Game Night Kits as events also allows stores to earn points that can be spent through CMON directly.

Continuing the retail-first philosophy of CMON Play are the Pre-Release Kits. For specific, high-profile games, CMON is offering retailers the ability to sell the title two weeks before any non-CMON Play store and online retailers, beginning with the highly-anticipated The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire from designer Eric M. Lang.

Stores can also order Demo Copies of CMON’s core games at a discount, allowing for a store to better sell games by educating customers and staff. The final CMON Play offering is exclusive access to CMON’s Kickstarter Retail Pledges for popular titles like Rising Sun. Members can join the Kickstarter through CMON’s Sales Department, gaining access to the core pledge level at increments of 6, 9, and 12. Optional Buys are also available for purchase in the same amount pledges are ordered in.

To help promote the different CMON Play offerings, members will have access to advertising content that can be used on social media, store websites, and more. Members will also have their stores posted on the “Store & Events” section of the CMON website, so customers can find locations near them and see what type of events are being hosted. To remain a member of the program, stores need to only utilize three offerings in any combination, such as three demo copies; a demo copy, pre-release kit, and a game night kit; or any other combination that fits the store’s needs. Ordering these is easy as well.

Stores can order from any of the CMON Play partner distributors, including Alliance, ACDD, Southern Hobby, PHD, and GTS, or CMON directly. Members can choose to order from any distributor or CMON at any time, so they are not locked into just one.

Guy Delisle Goes on Tour for Hostage

Join award-winning cartoonist Guy Delisle for the launch of his highly anticipated, non-fiction page-turner: Hostage. Set in the Caucasus region in 1997, Hostage tells the true story of Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André who was held captive for over three months.

Recounting his day-to-day survival while conveying the psychological effects of solitary confinement, Delisle’s storytelling doesn’t just show André’s experiences, but brings you into the room alongside him. Hostage is a thoughtful, intense, and undeniably moving graphic novel that takes a profound look at what drives our will to survive in the darkest of moments.

TOUR DATES

MONTRÉAL, QC
Saturday, May 6 at 7:00 pm
Rialto Hall, presented by Librairie D+Q, 5711 Av du Parc.
Tickets $5 or free with book

TORONTO, ON
Saturday May 13 – Sunday, May 14
Special guest of TCAF
Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St.

CAMBRIDGE, MA
Saturday, May 15 at 7:00 pm
Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Avenue.
*in conversation with Hillary Chute

NEW YORK, NY
Wednesday, May 17 at 7:00 pm
Housing Works, 126 Crosby St.

LOS ANGELES, CA
Friday, May 19 at 7:30 pm
Skylight Books, 1818 N Vermont Ave.

PORTLAND, OR:
Monday, May 22 at 6:00 pm
Books With Pictures, 1100 SE Division St. #103.
*in conversation with Sarah Glidden

VANCOUVER, BC
Wednesday, May 24 at 7:30 pm
inCite Festival at Vancouver Public Library, 202-1398 Cartwright St.
*with Jillian Tamaki (Boundless)

Demo-Graphics: Comic Fandom on Facebook – European Edition

Each month I run demographic data of comic “fans” based on data mined from Facebook. Due to popular demand, I have split out and launched a “European edition” that runs on the 15th of every month!

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.

This data is important in that it shows who the potential comic audience could be. This is not purchasers, these are people who have shown an affinity for comics and are potential purchasers and those with an interest.

Also, with this being online/technology, due to laws and restrictions, those under the age of 13 are likely underrepresented. Europe also has some other data restrictions that will be discussed below.

Facebook Population: Over 44,000,000 in Europe

After a two month decrease of 17 million individuals, this month continues that decline with 3 million fewer individuals than the month before. But, that’s still 13 million more individuals compared to what I reported for the United States in the beginning of the month. Worldwide, there’s an estimated 273,236,110 individuals interested in comics. That’s a decrease of 13 million compared to last month.

Gender and Age

In December women accounted for 44.68% while men accounted for 53.19%. This month men saw some gains but things generally remained steady. Men account for 54.55% while women account for 45.45%.

Even with the continued drop in population the graph below is similar to last month. Women become a majority sooner than last month and there’s a greater gap between men and women under the age of 17.

Relationship Status

The relationship status statistic is interesting in that everything dropped compared to last month except those that are “single” which remained steady. In fact, compared to last month both men and women gained in their individual count while the overall number remained the same (Facebook rounds).

Education

As can be expected with the smaller population the numbers reflect that and with women decreasing more than men this month, that too is reflected in these steps.

Gender Interest

And here’s where data privacy differs. In some European nations this information can’t be reported which means either removing those countries or just not reporting on this. I chose the latter for now.

And come back next month for a new look at the data and the first comparison of just Europe!

The Comics Are All Right: Marvel, Geo-location, and Contextual Marketing

Last week Marvel announced they were making some changes in their email program and would start advertising comics in movie theaters and on television. The news was covered with some praise, which it deserves, but beyond the announcement itself there wasn’t much as to what they were actually doing. So, this felt like the perfect opportunity to go into more depth as “The Comics Are All Right” column’s point is to point out the negative, positive, and present things with actual facts and data.

But, to better understand the Marvel announcement about geo-location and marketing, you need to first understand email. I’m not talking about the email you send to one person, I’m talking bulk email where special programs are used to send thousands or even millions of messages. When these messages are sent there’s a few extra steps compared to a one off message you send to a friend, and one of those is adding more information to the email. That info might help track people who open or click the message or it might change parts of the email like adding your first name to the message or changing an image. Usually, that is based on static information in a database, like a first name or a product being sold based on past purchases or your behavior on a website.

What Marvel is doing is doing that, but it’s on steroids.

By teaming up with the company Moveable Ink, a leader in what’s known as contextual marketing, Marvel is able to leverage more information than what’s in a database and also able to power their email program in a different way. Moveable Ink is a technology leader in what’s known as contextual marketing. This type of marketing delivers content based on behavior and data. You probably experience it every day without noticing. Moveable Ink makes that marketing easier in email through their toolset.

In the announcement, Marvel said they’d be including information for local comic book shops in the emails they send promoting their spring comic launches like X-Men Gold and Secret Empire. In the past, that information would be static. Marvel would use information like a zip code to match your location with a local shop and that information would be merged into the email. Where this program differs is that the information can constantly change. If Marvel leverages Moveable Ink in the way it’s supposed to be used an email you’re sent can show different shops based on your actual physical location. In one location on Monday you’ll be shown one shop and in another location on Tuesday you’ll be shown a different shop. The email evolves based on your physical location.

The above the scenario is what Marvel touched upon in their announcement without that much detail and also left out is the cost of it all. Moveable Ink is not cheap. For 600,000 opened emails a company would pay around $15,000. Marvel has an email list of about 1.5 million and averages about 14% opens per email. So, they’re spending about $5,000 per email sent using this system. But, it’s a successful tool and can boost sales, though I haven’t ever discussed real world purchasing with Moveable Ink only online sales when it comes to their success stories.

And that’s a big question to me. How success will be measured? A digital sale is easy to measure, but driving someone to a store to buy a physical product is a bit more difficult. The publisher can look at opens and then cross reference sales to a store, maybe, but it’s not an easy task laid out. Add in the fact this will need to boost comic sales by the 10s of thousands to be profitable and you have to respect the task at hand.

But, what Marvel didn’t lay out in their announcement email is the other uses of the tool. Sales can be updated when they end. New release information can be swapped out. Events can be better tailored to the individual and promoted. The same email may look different in the morning than it does in the evening. There’s a long list of possibilities and to see what they do with this new found tool will be interesting.

This is a big leap for the comic industry, one that is woefully outdated in the marketing and promotion. This technology has existed since 2010 and I’ve been aware and working with it in my political email career for 4 or 5 years at this point, and was checking it out for years before. Hopefully, other publishers take note of this move and truly understand how powerful this technology is and how much it can benefit them. Someone needs to be first and Marvel has stepped up.

“Creepies R Go” Coady and the Creepies Music Video From BOOM! Studios

BOOM! Studios has unveiled a music video for “Creepies R Go,” the anthem for the punk band The Creepies in BOOM! Studios’ new BOOM! Box comic, Coady and the Creepies, by award-winning comics creator Liz Prince and artist Amanda Kirk.

The song was created by Liz Prince and Danny Bailey of the pop-punk band Jabber.

From BOOM! Box comes Coady and the Creepies! Punk isn’t dead…but Coady is! Coady, Criss, and Corey are sisters and bandmates in the band The Creepies. After a van accident leaves Corey badly scarred and Criss in a wheelchair, they’re getting back into the punk scene! But they still need to contend with the challenges of staying true to their punk ideals, while also dealing with the media attention they’ve attracted, as well as the tension surrounding the fact that Coady escaped the accident seemingly unscathed. Now on tour, they’re fighting their way through the (sometimes literal) battle of the bands, earning enamel pins, and heading for the gig of their lives…so long as no one realizes that Coady is actually a ghost.

Coady and the Creepies #1 debuts in comic shops on March 15.

Song and video credits:
Music: Danny Bailey
Lyrics: Danny Bailey, Liz Prince
Vocals/Bass Guitar: Danny Bailey
Guitar: Stefan Hanson
Percussion: Kyle Folsom
Recorded by Stefan Hanson
Mixed and Mastered by Ron Harrity
Video Production: Mister&Mystic Productions

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