Category Archives: Marketing

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 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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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).


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

An All Time Comics Trailer Courtesy of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Director Samuel Bayer

Director and photographer Samuel Bayer, who launched his career 25 years ago with Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video, has released a live action trailer based on All Time Comics, a comic book superhero universe he created with his brother, indie comic book creator Josh Bayer. The trailer stars LaMonica Garrett as Crime Destroyer and model Denise Schaefer as Bullwhip. The cast also includes actress and cosplay enthusiast Maitland Ward. Punk rock icon Steve Jones appears as Bullwhip’s enemy. Rounding out the high caliber cast and crew are Jackie Chan’s stunt crew, the JC Action Team, and acclaimed Stunt Coordinator Eddie Braun.

Marvel Announces Television and In-Theater Advertising

After yesterday’s announcement of a bit of a revamp of their email and online advertising program, today Marvel has announced they are upping their advertising on movie screens. The greatest heroes, the biggest creators and the can’t-miss comic titles of 2017 are coming to a big screen and a small screen near you. the company has has revealed an ambitious spring advertising campaign that will see several key Marvel Comics releases advertised ahead of blockbuster films and airing on broadcast television channels with the key goal of exciting and mobilizing TV and Film fans into local comic book shops and retailers.

First, Marvel Comics are coming to a theater near you! Beginning this weekend, keep your eyes peeled for special pre-trailer advertisements before some of 2017’s biggest releases! Including ads promoting Marvel’s highly-anticipated Secret Empire event ahead of select screenings of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!

Then, Marvel Comics come to the small screen with dedicated TV advertising and promotions. To be featured on ABC and other broadcast networks nationwide, fans can look forward to dedicated spots, on-air interviews, and more devoted towards Marvel’s biggest comic book launches this spring – Secret Empire and Marvel’s upcoming slate of X-Men titles and more! ABC is also owned by Marvel’s parent company Disney.

Marvel Embraces Contextual Marketing like Moveable Ink

Marvel announced today it’s giving a shot to its online advertising and email program through geotargeting technology that will allow the company to connect comic fans with local comic shops. The technology is nothing new. Known as “contextual marketing,” it has been in use for years now but this is its first use in the comic industry. The technology, usually based on location information like cellular location or IP addresses, allows tailored messaging to be delivered to individuals.

I first wrote about this sort of targeting in 2010 and two months ago called for Marvel to begin this exact program. In the job that actually pays the bills, I’ve been using this technology for about 5 years now.

One leading provider in this area is Moveable Ink. Started in 2010, the company is the leader of “contextual marketing” in the email industry. The technology provides personalization at point of click, not point of send. Generally, email is tailored at the time of sending creating a static message that might vary. A single email may have 5 different versions that can’t be changed once sent. This technology allows for even greater targeting at a considerable price. Using geolocation data, it allows Moveable Ink to deliver data such as the closest comic shops based on your actual location. If you receive such information then fly across the country the email will update based on your new location. This is real time data delivery instead of the more common aspect of using pre-populated information. In the scenario I previously described you may get a message with a local shop based on your zip code and that content won’t change if you physically move around in the real world.

This technology is even more powerful than Marvel has hinted at, and here’s just a few examples of how they might use the technology:

  1. Instead of sending emails about current sales, app updates, or new releases, Marvel will be able to update emails based on the date. While you might get this week’s new releases, the same email could deliver you next week’s new releases when it’s release time.
  2. The email you receive in the morning could be updated. That same email could display something different in the evening. For example an image could have the sun in during the day and moon at night, all based on what time it is locally for you.
  3. As online sales ramp down, Marvel can update the emails they send with the latest information.
  4. One email sent can update individuals on the local signings or conventions based on your location.
  5. The comics advertised could be tailored to the individual’s preference.
  6. Ads can be tailored not just to inform on local shops but with images and text tailored to the individual.

All of this comes at a pretty penny. Marvel with this announcement has indicated they are willing to invest in marketing. These types of programs can cost in the 10s of thousands of dollars and in the case of email depends on list size. 600,000 opens would cost about $13,000. And that’s a low quote. I’d estimate Marvel has about 1.5 million email subscribers.

Below is Marvel’s full announcement:

The fun and excitement is happening each and every week at your local comic shop! Today, Marvel is excited to announce a new marketing initiative specially designed to increase comic store foot traffic and bring new readers into stores through the use of GeoTargeting technologies.

“Marvel is always looking for ways to get more people through the doors of their local comic stores,“ says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “With these new tools at our disposal, we’re looking to tap into fans of Marvel television, films, animation, games and even our licensed product and turn them into comic book readers. Not only will these prospective readers learn exactly where their nearest shop is, but all the great Marvel comics waiting for them when they get there!”

Once again leading the way in how comics reach larger audiences, these new technologies will provide both new, casual, and hardcore fans with information about comic shops in their area (location, store hours, phone #) and the exciting Marvel Comics waiting for them inside! Embedded within Marvel e-mails, shared across over Marvel social media networks, fed through advertising partners, and more – this ambitious program is estimated to reach millions of prospective readers – both new and existing!

“Comic book shops have been and always will be the lifeblood of our industry,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. “It’s Marvel’s mission to not only keep those retailers stocked with exciting comics, but to keep fans coming through their doors week after week to engage with those communities. We have a lot of exciting ideas for how to reach new and lapsed fans in 2017, and this is just the start.”

Rolling out first with spring Marvel comic launches, including X-MEN GOLD and SECRET EMPIRE, Marvel is set to reach entirely new audiences in 2017! The biggest characters and creators are waiting for you at your nearest comic book retailer!

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 31,000,000 in the United States

That’s an increase of 1 million compared to last month. Worldwide, the estimate is 283,888,014 which is a decrease of about 300,000 compared to last month.

The Spanish-speaking population last month was 15.00%, and this month the population has decreased to 14.32%. The population decreased by about 100,000 and the overall population increased by 1 million.

Gender and Age

Last month men accounted for 52.78% and women were 47.22%. Women made some gains while men dipped this past month. Women account for 48.65% while men account for 51.35%.

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


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 steady. Women make some gains reflecting their increase in overall population, but there is actually little change otherwise.



When it comes to high degrees, there’s been some gains since last month, especially when it comes to women. Those listing their educational level in the high school range remains steady.


Gender Interest

Women increased a bit as part of the population, but generally, these stats too remained the same compared to last month.



Again, like make of the above stats, ethnicity also remained fairly steady. Asian Americans increased by 40,000 and Hispanics increased by 100,000. Above we reported that Spanish speakers decreased by 100,000 and we see that here with that amount decreased in Spanish-dominant Hispanic individuals.



Again, populations remained pretty steady. Millenials saw an increase of 1 million individuals compared to last month.


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!

DC Entertainment Launches DC Kids and Justice League Action: Run

dc-kids-8Warner Bros. Consumer Products, in partnership with DC Entertainment, debuts the original YouTube series, DC Kids, a new show created specifically for young Super Hero fans. Geared for kids and tweens, the first episode is live with new episodes premiering every Friday.

From Telepictures Productions Inc., the same award-winning team that produces the popular YouTube series DC All Access, DC Kids introduces two super-fans as the hosts of this exciting new show,11-year-old Jett Bednar and 14-year-old Analei T. Song. The show will be filled with all things DC including fan-favorites such as DC Super Hero Girls, Teen Titans Go!, and Justice League Action. Jett and Analei will bring viewers into all the action, including interviews from the red carpet, exclusive access to San Diego Comic-Con and Toy Fairs, behind-the-scenes at Warner Bros. Animation,and even grand openings of DC theme park rides and attractions.

DC Kids will also be filled with non-stop fun and family-friendly content, including unboxings and demos of the latest DC toys and products, Super Hero-themed DIY crafts, hacks, activities, and even challenges that will let viewers get in on the fun! It will be a non-stop party at DC Kids!

In the premiere episode, fans will get a close-up look at The LEGO Batman Movie as Jett and Analei unbox LEGO construction sets inspired by unforgettable moments from the blockbuster film.

jla-run-splash-screenWBCP has also announced the global launch of the all-new Justice League Action Run mobile app now available in 12 languages on the Apple App Store and Google Play.The app is the ultimate DC destination for kids where they can catch the latest episodes of the new DC Kids original YouTube series, as well as animated videos from the DC universe, comic books, the latest DC news and more. The center piece of the app is an exciting mission-based runner-style game featuring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and more members of the Justice League. Inspired by the new hit animated series, Justice League Action airing on Cartoon Network, kids can race into the action, complete with iconic super powers, heroic Super-Villain battles, and epic rewards. With new characters, content, and exciting features rolling out all year long, Justice League Action: Run will offer kids endless opportunities to engage and interact with their favorite Justice League characters.


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