Swamp Thing Day may not go over so well since I won’t give up any of my Swamp Things.

§ September 28th, 2015 § Filed under retailing § 5 Comments

bdcomicSo Batman Day fell this year on its traditional date of September 26th, just like last year when it fell on the traditional date of July 23rd, and…boy, I was trying to remember what we did for 2014’s Batman Day, and I couldn’t remember a single thing ’til I looked at that DC press release. And okay, yeah, now I remember the Detective Comics #27 reprint giveaway (featuring Bill Finger’s first cover credit on that particular story, I believe) and the Bat-masks and such. I don’t think we made much of a big deal around it at the time…just gave away masks and the comic to folks who popped by and that was that.

I have to admit, I didn’t think too much about this year’s Batman Day. I mean, I ordered the free comic (pictured to the right), and I took advantage of Diamond’s special deals on stocking lots of graphic novels, but…I didn’t really plan too far ahead on this event beyond a general idea of making a small Bat-display in the shop and putting the free comics on the counter next to the register. I didn’t even get around to putting the Batman Day poster up right away, because…well, I have no really good reason. I just kept getting distracted by other stuff, I guess. I finally put it up a week or so ago, and I guess I really should have started earlier because it immediately got customers to ask me “just what is this Batman Day business, anyhow?”

Of course, the go-to gag explanation is “DC’s trying to introduce folks to this new Batman character” — a variation of which appeared on my store’s website — and…well, it’s not much more than just basic promotion, and a way for DC to move some graphic novels and such. If they can make this a regular day during the year, and not just moving the date around to tie into other Batman events, like, say, the launch of a Bat-related show’s second season, maybe it can build up to something. And maybe create “days” for other characters, too. “Come Celebrate Vibe Day at Your Local Shop!” “…I beg your pardon?”

Given the number of folks that were asking me about Batman Day, I decided I’d better do something a little more than just putting up a shelf of Batbooks and hoping for the best. Now, I didn’t do a whole lot…aside from spending a few days plugging it in the shop and on my site and Facebook, I didn’t get a lot of promotion out for it. I set up a big table inside the store, with all my Batman graphic novels at discounted pricing, four boxes of Batman-related comic books I was selling for a dollar each (got my hands on a bunch relatively inexpensively, so I wasn’t losing money, believe it for not), gave away the free comics at the counter, and that was that.

And I did okay. Even with the last minute effort, with Batman Day (rightly or wrongly…mostly wrongly) low on the list of priorities, I was still able to put together something that made a lot of customers happy and brought some income into the store. As I said on the Twitters, it was no Free Comic Book Day, but it still got people in the door, looking for that free Bat-comic and finding some good Bat-deals in the process. And though, in discussion with a little stuffed bull friend of mine, I had said that Batman Day wasn’t really A Thing yet, so I wasn’t expecting huge crowds of people. But I did get some people, and a lot of them even dressed for the occasion in their Batman t-shirts, so, you know, maybe it’s becoming A Thing after all!

I did get one phone call from a person asking if they had to dress as Batman to get the free comic. This close to saying “Yes, yes you do” just to see what would happen. …BUT I DIDN’T, I was a good comic shop owner. This time.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, but when next year’s Batman Day rolls around (in, like, April or November or something) remind me to plan things out a little earlier. And yeah, I know I’m basically dancing to the tune of a large conglomerate…but it is customer outreach, and it does bring people into the store. While the character probably doesn’t need promotion as such, the comics medium can use all the help it can get, and this is the sort of thing, like Free Comic Book Day, that reminds folks that, oh, yeah, comic books exist. And every little reminder like that helps.

5 Responses to “Swamp Thing Day may not go over so well since I won’t give up any of my Swamp Things.”