It’s not often I get to link to a Cookie Monster video while talking about Watchmen marketing.

§ February 19th, 2009 § Filed under watchmen § 1 Comment

So DC Comics is releasing a handful of $1.00 sampler issues to capitalize on interest in the Watchmen movie, including first issues of Preacher, Transmetropolitan, Planetary and the seemingly odd choice of Identity Crisis, along with the above pictured comic reprinting #21 of Saga of the Swamp Thing.

Now, I say “seemingly odd” because while it feels like a very “one of these things is not like the other” sort of situation, it does 1) feature DC’s major superheroes 2) in a murder mystery (which Watchmen is, among other things) 3) by a best-selling author, so I get where they’re coming from. ‘Course, while I did like Identity Crisis, it ain’t a patch on Watchmen, so I really can’t blame anyone too much for a little eye-rolling at DC’s attempt to connect the two. But, you know, can’t fault DC for trying.

The timing is a bit tragic, too, since my experience with nearly every comic book based movie aside from the first Batman film has been that movie-driven demand for the related comics almost completely vanishes as soon as the flick opens. The people DC wants to reach with these $1.00 books, which are slated to begin arriving in stores the week after the film’s release date, are coming into stores right now. I’m currently getting plenty of people in the door who aren’t regular customers looking for “this Watchmen thing.” I’ll only get a fraction as many after March 6th.

It may be a moot point anyway, since most media-driven comics demand results in sales of just that particular item being advertised. I’m no slouch at salesmanship, but by and large people coming in just to buy, say, the new Stephen King comic don’t want to buy anything else. However, given that the trade dress for these $1.00 books actually has the Watchmen logo on it, I admit that it is possible it might attract the attention of, and be an easier sale to, anyone coming in just for that book.

Anyway, we’ll see. At least I’ll get another Swamp Thing item out of this, because I really don’t have enough already. Plus, we’ll have $1.00 samplers for various graphic novels that I’ll be able to use as sales tools for the near future…and I can give them away during Free Comic Book Day, too. Heck, they cost us about as much as some of the FCBD books anyway.

In conclusion: I can use these $1.00 “After Watchmen” comics, but unless Watchmen bucks the trend and the general non-comics-fan audience continues demanding Watchmen comics after the movie’s release, those $1.00 books will primarily be additional marketing for the regular customer base.

Then again, this is Watchmen we’re talking about. It’s a graphic novel that, even 20+ years after its release, can easily outsell many brand new graphic novels, movie or no movie. Hopefully Mr. Cynical-Pants Blogger here will be pleasantly surprised.

I also wanted to note that the clock design in the “After Watchmen” logo made me laugh. Well played, sirs.

READ MORE ABOUT IT: Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull, takes a look at Watchmen merchandise. Enjoy, won’t you?

One Response to “It’s not often I get to link to a Cookie Monster video while talking about Watchmen marketing.”

  • […] they’d have more product to sell during the peak of interest in the property (aside from the misguided After Watchmen promotion, which tried to get Watchmen fans to sample similar books, such as…um, Identity Crisis and […]