Buffy, Swamp Thing, the Finger, and Geekery.

§ March 20th, 2007 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Buffy, Swamp Thing, the Finger, and Geekery.

So I’ve been trying to think of a way to discuss the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 situation (particularly, why initial orders on the first issue weren’t any higher than they already were) without 1) getting into another incessant series of posts like my 245 entries about Captain America #25, and 2) inadvertently starting some kind of pro-Joss Whedon uprising in my comments section started by folks who mistakenly believe I’m trying to cast aspersions upon the man and his work.

And I’ve been sitting here, for the last forty-five minutes, trying to hammer together an explanation that didn’t go into excruciatingly boring detail and didn’t sound like I was slamming Whedon.

I mean, on one hand, previous Buffy comics weren’t selling all that great, and current Angel and Spike comics aren’t doing so hot, either; on the other hand, Whedon’s involvement and the whole “Season 8″/”official continuation of the TV series” gimmick was bound to spur sales; on the other other hand, there’s no current Buffy TV show to drive sales (like when Whedon’s Serenity film helped move the Serenity comics prequel); on the fourth theoretical hand, there’s sales on Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men, but is that selling primarily because of Whedon, because it’s a new continuity-light X-title with the familiar characters, or because of the novelty of a famous person writing a comic starring characters people know (would they be buying Whedon’s Astonishing Slapstick, for example…or Runaways, which he actually will be writing)?

So, yeah, there’s a lot of thinking that has to go into ordering a title like this, and we ordered what we thought were pretty good numbers. And, once again, like what happened with Captain America #25, there was some mainstream media coverage that helped drive new customers into stores looking for this comic, which couldn’t be planned or depended upon back when we placed our orders.

But, as I’ve already noted, the pushing back of the release date by a week actually worked to our advantage, as I was able to see the increased demand for the book on the day of its supposed release and reorder accordingly (and we are apparently getting more first printings in on Wednesday…at least, they’re on our invoice, and with any luck, they’ll actually be in our shipment, too).

Ultimately, we ordered the best we could with the information we had available, and took a slight chance by ordering more copies than the recent moribund sales of other books from the same franchise would seemingly justify. And when it happily turned out there was still some life in the license, I was luckily able to order more. And it’s not as if orders for the book were low; it’s just that the eventual demand was greater than most folks expected.

There’s a lot more detail I could get into in regards to this, but I’ve been poking at this post long enough. Any clarification you’d like, please ask me in the comments section.

In other news:

  • It occurred to me why, as long as there’s a Vertigo Comics division of DC Comics, Swamp Thing will always be part of it. It’s because Swamp Thing is a flagship character of the imprint; in a way, it’s Alan Moore’s work on Swamp Thing that paved the way for Vertigo’s eventual creation, and to lose Swamp Thing to the regular DC Universe would be giving up one of the imprint’s most visible characters. Now that I’ve realized that, I’ll probably stop going on about trying to get Swampy back into the DCU. Though I’ll still wish it’ll happen, someday.
  • Something interesting in the new Mad Magazine: an inhouse ad for a subscription to the Mad Classics reprint magazine, promising an actual, authentic copy of this issue from 1974:

    The accompanying text explains how magazine dealers at the time returned this issue in droves, offended by its cover, and cases of the returns were simply stored by the publisher…until I guess they got tired of storing the things and are now trying to unload them on unsuspecting subscribers.

    Hah! But I kid. I think this is a great gimmick; how can you look at that cover and not want one? (And yes, I do have a copy.) It’s a genuine classic, and a hearty “well done” to Mad Magazine for their cunning scheme.

    You can get some details on the issue’s contents at the Collect Mad site.

  • I’ve been enjoying Siskoid’s Blog of Geekery lately, particularly his ongoing reviews of the animated Star Trek episodes (here’s the latest one).

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