Dark Tower and Zombies.

§ February 8th, 2007 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Dark Tower and Zombies.

Just to get it off my chest:

From here:

“Will the Dark Tower be a gateway comic?”


This has been another installment of simple answers to simple questions (to borrow that particular turn of phrase from Atrios).

Expanding further upon this is Blake Bell (via Neilalien), who goes into great detail explaining not only why Marvel’s Dark Tower funnybook won’t be a gateway comic, but why there probably won’t ever be a gateway comic book.

Marvel’s trying, though…the few ads in the Dark Tower‘s initial issue are for an adaptation for The Last of the Mohicans, the hardcover collection of The Eternals (with an emphasis on “New York Times best-selling author, Neil Gaiman”), and a Dark Tower handbook. Incongruously, there’s also an ad for a collection of Civil War, which I guess Marvel had to squeeze in there to show off the characters that are their main bread ‘n’ butter. But the ads were nicely designed, looking like real print ads that one might see in a magazine read by the general populace, and not too disruptive to the flow of the book. Thank goodness there wasn’t one of those damned Wii ads stuck in the center.

The comic did sell very well on Wednesday…most of our regulars picked it up, and we did have several unfamiliar faces come in specifically for it. Having been through this sort of thing before, I know that a lot of these new faces probably won’t move into buying other comics aside from whatever particular focus of interest brought them through our door in the first place…and most of them will probably stop buying the comic long before the series is completed anyway. But, at least we can be polite, friendly, and helpful to them while they are shopping with us, and that will be more likely to bring them back to the store than, say, trying to hardsell them on other comics in order to force the “gateway” aspect of this event.

Yes, we can be polite, friendly, and helpful when we put our minds to it, smart guy.

Um…I suppose I should say something about the comic itself. I quite enjoyed it…Peter David does a good job mimicking the rhythm of the narration and dialogue from King’s original stories, and Jae Lee’s detailed, moody art is a nice match to the tale’s somber events. The story itself requires no knowledge of the Dark Tower series, telling you everything you need to know to follow along. If you thought you’d have to read through all those thick tomes to catch up, or, if you’re like me, you’d read the entire series but were afraid you couldn’t remember enough of it to enjoy the story…eh, don’t sweat it. Whether this’ll be true about future issues, who knows, but so far, so good.

Oh, and I almost mistook the new Lone Ranger variant cover for the 1:75 ratio Dark Tower variant. That would have been a surprise for the customer.

In some non-Dark Tower news:

A couple weeks back, I was poking through Diamond’s available stock list, and noticed that there were two different codes for the Marvel Zombies hardcover. A quick check revealed that the earlier code was for the long out-of-print first printing of the book. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I went ahead and placed an order for those first printings, expecting an “ITEM UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER” response.

Imagine my surprise when, a couple weeks later, I did indeed receive first printings of the hardcover (the one with the Secret Wars parody image, pictured to the right, there).

So where did they come from? They’d been unavailable for months, and a third printing of the book just came out. Did Diamond uncover a small stock in a warehouse somewhere? I thought maybe they were bookstore returns fed back into the direct market, but they showed no evidence of the typical shopwear we usually find on Diamond’s other repurposed bookstore returns.

And they’re no longer available, so I can’t order more. Damn, should have raised the numbers.

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