FCBD 2014: Read It or Leave It? Part Two

The first half of the 2014 Silver Books (45 48 titles)!

Some were a bit hard to score (thanks to JHU Comics for offering ALL 60 titles!  Four comics per customer.), but we preserved, trekking all over midtown!

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2000 AD SPECIAL

fcbd 2014 2000ad

Publisher: REBELLION / 2000AD
(W) John Wagner & Various (A) Ronald Smith & Various
The Galaxy’s Greatest SF anthology returns to FCBD with this stellar line-up of stories! Dredd races to save a fellow Judge in “The Badge” from Matt Smith & Chris Burnham; Sláine stars in “Lord of the Beasts” by Pat Mills & Rafael Garres; Rogue Trooper recounts his bloody past in “Glass Zone” by Gerry Finley-Day & Dave Gibbons; and Psi-Judge Anderson faces a magical monstrosity in “Golem” by Alan Grant & Enric Romero! Plus: D.I. Harry Absalom (by Gordon Rennie & Tiernen Trevallion), Durham Red (by Leah Moore, John Reppion & Jan Duursema), Future Shock (by Henry Flint), and classic Dredd newspaper strips by John Wagner & Ron Smith!

A nice selection of stories, just like the regular weekly title.

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ADVENTURES OF JELLABY

fcbd 2014 jellaby

Publisher: CAPSTONE PRESS
(W/A/CA) Kean Soo
Capstone celebrates Jellaby, the award-winning series by Kean Soo! In this Free Comic Book Day 2014 special, ten-year-old Portia Bennett and her beloved purple monster, Jellaby, head to the great outdoors in two comic shorts, including the exclusive, never-before-in-print adventure “The Knot.” Also featuring a monster load of bonus materials: creator Q & A, pinup art, super-secret previews, and much, much more!

Yay! Jellaby is back! This issue contains the first few pages of the original story, plus some self-contained stories in the back.

https://www.capstonepub.com/product/9781434264206

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ALL ROCKET RACCOON

fcbd 2014 rocket

Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
(W) Joe Caramagna (A) Adam Archer (CA) Ron Lim, Richard Isanove
Spotlighting Marvel’s BIGGEST star! No, we’re not talking about Iron Man! Not Captain America! Not Thor! It’s Rocket Raccoon! The madcap mammal takes on the cosmos in an all-new FREE COMIC BOOK DAY adventure!

Okay…  I had to do a little thinking at the end of the story… so I don’t know if regular readers will get it.  Enjoyable story!

The Ultimate Spider-Man backup showcases Spider-Man, White Tiger, and Nova on the Moon, fighting an … orthodontist?

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ALL YOU NEED IS KILL TERRA FORMARS

VIZ_201402FCBD2014SolicitationCover.indd

Publisher: VIZ MEDIA LLC
(W) Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Yu Sasuga (A) Lee Ferguson, Kenichi Tachibana
Now a major motion picture starring Tom Cruise! When the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is one of many recruits shoved into battle armor Jackets and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn to fight and die again and again. He receives a message from a mysterious ally–is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death? The official graphic novel adaptation based on the original novel! Also, in Terra Formars, the colonization of Mars is an epoch-making event, but an unintended side effect of the terraforming process unleashes a horror no one could ever have imagined…

This is an adaptation of the Japanese novel, which is also being adapted into the movie “Edge of Tomorrow”.  The story spotlights one of the characters, and explains how the aliens invaded.

Not quite sure what’s going on in Terra Formars… but it’s mature science fiction, so give the first volume a try.

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ARMOR HUNTERS SPECIAL

fcbd 2014 valiant1

Publisher: VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC
(W) Robert Venditti & Various (A) Doug Braithwaite & Various (CA) J. G. Jones
The “Armor Hunters”, a group of the universe’s fiercest warriors, have come to destroy the X-O Manowar for the good of all. What horrible secrets does the armor hold? And how many armors have they destroyed before this one? These answers and more are revealed in the Valiant Universe event of 2014 – and it all starts right here with exclusive previews, character designs, and interviews from the biggest guns the Valiant Universe has to offer!

A six-page story serves as a teaser, but gives no clear sense of why the reader should continue with the summer event. The Rai preview is more intriguing… set far in the future, giving a taste of that Japan, without really showing the hero.

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ATOMIC ROBO & FRIENDS

fcbd 2104 atomic robo

Publisher: REBELLION / 2000AD  [really?]

(W) Brian Clevinger, Jay P. Fosgitt (A) Jay P. Fosgitt, Scott Wegener (CA) Scott Wegener
Unanimously heralded by fans, creators, retailers and critics as the perfect first comic to give to a non-comic-reader. ATOMIC ROBO has defeated the greatest foes of the last century, but his latest discovery has reduced him to a mere play thing for the Yonkers Devil. Plus, an all-new adventure from mischievously-lovable BODIE TROLL and previews of 2014 Red 5 favorites and new faces.

Not much of a story for Atomic Robo, but enjoyable, at least. Bodie Troll is a lot more fun, as he must travel to No Man’s Patch to sate his appetite. Lots of wacky humor, great art! It’s almost animated! The Haunted preview… meh.

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BLEEDING COOL MAGAZINE

fcbd 2014 bleeding cool

Publisher: BLEEDING COOL
Bleeding Cool Magazine celebrates Free Comic Book Day and the launch of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 film with an All-New issue dedicated to introducing new fans to comic books!  We packed this special issue full of features that will turn FCBD visitors into comic shop regulars.  This year’s issue is the perfect tool for local comic shops to introduce new fans to the hobby.  With features on collecting, shopping, preserving, and developing their collections, it is a must have for every Free Comic Book Day event.  The features include new top Graphic Novel lists, Tips and Tricks for growing your collection, and a guide to your friendly neighborhood comic shop!  This perfect entry point into Bleeding Cool Magazine is ideal for giving readers tons of extra FCBD content and to introduce our hot comics, speculation, and unique brand of entertainment to a host of new customers.  It’s not just cool…it’s Bleeding Cool!

Lots of short articles, all worth a read. Grab this at the first store you visit, then read it while you wait in line to pick up more FCBD comics at the next stores. I especially liked the article on National Cinema Day in the UK, when movie theaters charged £1 for admission.

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BUCK ROGERS

fcbd 2104 buck rogers

Publisher: HERMES PRESS
(W) Howard Chaykin, Russell Keaton (A) Howard Chaykin & Various
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, the first, best and original sci-fi hero, is supporting Free Comic Book day with a special re-print of one complete Sunday story, “Prophet of the Fire Demon,” by fabled artist Russell Keaton! This story has been painstakingly digitally-reconstructed to perfection, and looks better than the original newspaper Sundays! Hermes Press’ Buck Rogers FCBD issue will also offer bonus material and tons of surprises!

Reprints Sunday strips from Spring 1933 (at comic book size).  There is also a feature on strips drawn by Murphy Anderson from 1948.  Examples from Howard Chaykin’s new stories fill up the rest of the issue.

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CBLDF PRESENTS RAISING A READER

fcbd 2014 CBLDF 1

Publisher: CBLDF
(W) Meryl Jaffe (A) Matthew Holm (CA) Raina Telgemeier
CBLDF’s publication, “Raising a Reader!,” answers parents’ and educators’ questions about using comics: What skills do they offer kids? What resources are available for using graphic novels in education? How do you teach reading with a comics page? How can graphic novels create reading dialogues? And much more! (16pp. Text with Illustrations)

Available for free at the CBLDF site! http://cbldf.org/resources/raising-a-reader/

(Smart retailers ordered extra bundles, to hand out to parents, teachers, and librarians thrughout the year.)

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COURTNEY CRUMRIN #1

fcbd 2014 crumrin

Publisher: ONI PRESS INC.
(W/A/CA) Ted Naifeh
A full-color Courtney Crumrin adventure for all ages! Holly is new to the creature-filled and magic-made town of Hillsborough and her classmates all agree on one thing – Courtney Crumrin is bad news! Will Holly heed their warnings or will Courtney finally find a friend?

Whoa… This is a serious young adult series! The short story makes me want to read more!

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DEFEND COMICS

fcbd 2014 cbldf2

Publisher: CBLDF
(W) Mark Evanier & Various (A) Sergio Aragones & Various (CA) Cully Hamner
For over 25 years, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has fought to protect your right to read, and this year we bring our mission to Free Comic Book Day, with a light-hearted look at a serious topic. Explore censorship of comics with some of today’s most talented creators!

An excerpt from “The Comic Book History of Comics” dealing with the Comics Code, plus a “High Crimes” story, Amelia Cole, Mark Evanier, and Gene Luan Yang!

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PROJECT BLACK SKY (MR)

fcbd 2014 black sky

Publisher: DARK HORSE COMICS
(A/CA) Michael Broussard
When a biological weapon is hijacked from a secret facility in Nevada, the president calls in two of his top guns: Captain Midnight and Brain Boy! Will the two disparate heroes, a time-displaced inventor from World War II and a snotty psychic Secret Service agent, be able to work together to stop the threat released from Block 13? And what does the mysterious rogue agency Project Black Sky have to do with it?!

A full issue of story, featuring superheroes, cyber-apes, and a conspiracy! Process Junkies will want to read the text piece by Nate Piekos, on how he created the American Sign Language font used by the apes in the comic!

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ENTROPY

FCBD Book Cover Logo_at size

Publisher: EPICENTER COMICS
(W) Davor Radoja (A/CA) Well-Bee

A society divided into two classes: the Haves and the Have Nots. Controlled by a government that has banned and destroyed any form of media that it feels will corrupt the human mind. Yet there are those who hold secrets, who hold meetings, and who are prepared to fight for a better future… Get the special sneak-peak of the breathtaking and thrilling SF graphic novel, Entropy, in Previews this May! Also including, two short complete comics: Crosses and Vegetable.

Meh.

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EPIC #0

fcbd 2014 epic

Publisher: COMIXTRIBE
(W) Tyler James (A) Matt Zolman, Fico Ossio (CA) Fico Ossio
After a freak experiment gives teenager Eric Ardor incredible powers, he does what you would do…he puts on a costume and becomes EPIC! Super strength, speed, flight, optic blasts…it’s a fanboy’s dream come true. Unfortunately, he’s just discovered he has one weakness…pretty girls! While most boys his age lose their cool around the hotties, EPIC loses his powers! Living in Miami, home to the zaniest super-villains AND the most bikinis per capita in America, it’s gonna be a problem…Not a dinky preview or a unfulfilling teaser, this is a super-sized, action packed, 32-page pilot issue of your new favorite super hero book…for FREE! Get it on May 3, and then grab the first issue of the new EPIC ongoing series the following Wednesday at your local comic shop!

Okay, aside from the “next week” marketing mistake (yeah… how many stores will have copies of an unproven #1 title in stock), the issue is solid.  It’s complete, shows the character’s origin, his powers and weaknesses, teases villains, and sets up the series nicely.

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FINDING GOSSAMYR WAY OF THE BLADESLINGER

fcbd 2014 gossapmyr

Publisher: TH3RD WORLD STUDIOS
(W) Paul Allor, David Rodriguez (A) Thomas Boatwright, Sarah Ellerton (CA) Sarah Ellerton, Thomas Boatwright
Return to the fantastic world of Finding Gossamyr as Th3rd World’s critically acclaimed series continues in a brand new Free Comic Book Day adventure that leads into the upcoming Volume 2! Eloric helped Jenna and her brother Denny save an entire city from the evil of the Skaythe and has been celebrated as one of the heroes of Gossamyr. But there are events in his past that will return to haunt him and challenge this young farmer’s ambition to become a true Bladeslinger of Gossamyr!
Also featured in this issue, a preview of a brand new Th3rd World Studios series, “Past the Last Mountain”, where humanity has won an epic war against creatures of fantasy and locked them all away in penal colonies. But a young troll, dragon and faun challenge the authority of their human captors and escape in search of the fabled sanctuary known only as “Dragon Lake”.

Okay… I kinda know the story of Gossamyr, but this book doesn’t help the new reader understand what’s happening. The flip side, “Past the Last Mountain”, does a better job. Apparently, mythical creatures exist in the real world, and are kept in ghettos/camps. Some escape…

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FUBAR ACE OF SPADES (MR)

fcbd 2014 fubar

Publisher: ALTERNA COMICS INC
(W) Chuck Dixon (A) Jeff McComsey, Steve Becker (CA) Steve Becker
It’s 2003 and the hunt is on for Saddam Hussein. The men of Operation Urgent Surprise think they’ve found the Butcher of Baghdad but instead uncover weapons of mass destruction in the form of ZOMBIES! Shock and awe turns to bite and claw on the bloody sands of Iraq in this full-length FUBAR Spec-Ops spectacular.

Modern warfare. Iraq.  Zombies.

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GIANT-SIZE 4-COMIC BUNDLE

fcbd 2014 red giant

Publisher: REBELLION / 2000AD [really?]
(W) Benny Powell & Various (A) Nigel Raynor & Various (CA) Various
In GIANT-SIZE ACTION: A spin-off to “Wayward Sons” the legendary webcomic series follows the adult children of beings who were once worshipped as Gods. At the turn of the century, Nikola Tesla and his trusty side-kick, Mark Twain, join forces to battle the Illuminati, led by the nefarious Thomas Edison in “Tesla”. IN GIANT-SIZE FANTASY: The world’s greatest superhero is actually the world’s greatest assassin in “Duel Identity”. “Pandora’s Blog” follows a young girl who moves to a new town, and blogs about the strange things she sees, receiving some unwanted attention as a result. In GIANT-SIZE ADVENTURE: A young boy discovers a magical world filled with strange mystical creatures who come into our world through a mound in his grandparents’ backyard in the story “Magika”. In “The First Daughter”, the President’s daughter learns her destiny when she is pulled into a secret, supernatural enclave beneath the White House. In GIANT-SIZE THRILLS: “Darchon” introduces a dark world of supernatural threats that can only be handled by one man – but is he what he claims to be? When children are brought to another realm and acquire supernatural powers to become members in an army of darkness, they are the “Shadow Children”.

“Thrills” was the only weak title in this bundle, a shrink-wrapped bundle of four flip books.  Red Giant does tease that one can read future issues for free, but doesn’t explain or advertise how.  Red Giant, which seems to be very savvy, should overprint these bundles, and hand them out at shows.

[Hey... next year, a publisher should replicate the old 3-comics-in-a-bag that Western Publishing pioneered!]

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GRAPHIX SPOTLIGHT DUMBEST IDEA EVER

fcbd 2014 graphix

Publisher: GRAPHIX

Graphix (publishers of Bone, Smile, and the Amulet series) makes its FCBD debut with this stand-alone excerpt from The Dumbest Idea Ever! Renowned comics creator Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules!) shares his real life adventures of becoming a teenage comic book artist! Called “an inspirational book that could help launch the next great cartoonist” by Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) this is the perfect book for anyone who loves comics . . . and any kid who dreams of someday making comics of their own.

A condensed excerpt from Jimmy Gownley’s memoir.

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GRIMM FAIRY TALES #0

fcbd 2014 zenescope

Publisher: ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC
(W) Joe Brusha (A/CA) Anthony Spay
Extinct for millennia the most powerful and terrifying creatures to ever exist in the Grimm Universe have now returned. They are the Bloodhunters, and their sole purpose is to hunt down and exterminate Highborns and they have their sights set on their first prey since returning…Professor Sela Mathers. This special Free Comic Book Day edition of Grimm Fairy Tales ties directly into GFT #100 and the upcoming Age of Darkness Grimm Universe event.

A too-brief introduction to an upcoming event from Zenescope.

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HATTER M FAR FROM WONDER

fcbd 2014 hatter m

Publisher: AUTOMATIC PICTURES PUBLISHING
(W) Frank Beddor, Liz Cavalier (A) Ben Templesmith (CA) Vincent Proce
Put to rest any delusions or disinformation you have of the tea-guzzling madman of faux literary history and prepare to expand your consciousness as the saga of Hatter Madigan and his relentless search for the lost Princess of Wonderland unfolds in Issue 1 of the Hatter M series!

This is a reprint of the Ben Templesmith-drawn miniseries. It sets the stage of an Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired tale. If you like remixed fantasy, give it a read!

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HIP HOP FAMILY TREE TWO-IN-ONE (MR)

fcbd 2014 hip hop

Publisher: FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
(W/A/CA) Ed Piskor
Hip Hop Family Tree Two-In-One by Ed Piskor is the perfect introduction and bridge to Piskor’s fun and crtitically acclaimed 5 volume book series! This full-color comic book offers two self-contained stories form Hip Hop Family Tree Volumes 1 & 2 as well as new guest pin-ups and content just for FCBD! Lovingly produced and designed in homage to Marvel Comic’s beloved Marvel Two-In-One-Make mine Hip Hop!

“…He’s a fairy, I do suppose…flyin’ through the air in pantyhose…”

This book contains excerpts from the ongoing series, and is probably the easiest title to give away. Like hip hop? Fan of pop music from the 70s and 80s? Remember the 70s and 80s? Remember New York City from back in the day? Then you will want to read this comic! (Damn… wish I’d ordered a stack to hand out on the subway!)

(If you’re curious, that Curtis 02458 code equals the Avengers, but it doesn’t match the issue number in that box. Avengers #187=September 1979. That issue number box seems to have been altered…Marvel’s layout for newsstand copies during this period was: price/#/month/Curtis code. Also, the Marvel Anniversary frame was dated November 1986. Marvel Two-In-One ended in 1983. The UPC = 0 71486 0×031 9, and denotes an issue dated December. The mystery chunk would refer to the Curtis code. 071486010319 = Punisher War Journal, the only valid UPC. )

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Comments

  1. Suzene says:

    Yes, reading all the Courtney Crumrin trades you can get your hands on, plus the two Courtney Crumrin Tales would be an excellent thing. It’s a fantastic, bittersweet series and well worth your time. Naifeh also has a new book out this summer, “Princess Ugg” and I can’t wait to see where he takes the barbarian princess concept.

  2. Chris Hero says:

    I didn’t get the Courtney Crumin comic, or any comic for that matter, but I’m pretty sure it’s a reprint of the first issue from the last series. The Courtney Crumin books are excellent comics and I’m disappointed they’re such a surprise to everyone. Naifeh is an excellent cartoonist no one seems to know about.

  3. Ed Piskor says:

    I love so much that you backwards engineered all of my “samples” for the HHFT cover. I don’t even know how you did it!

  4. Grab this at the first store you visit, then read it while you wait in line to pick up more FCBD comics at the next stores.

    This is the problem I have with FCBD and why I tend to refer to it as Freeloaders Day.
    The concept of FCBD should really to address two missions. The first mission is to attract new readers to comic shops that they can hopefully convert into regular customers. The second mission can be viewed as a “thanks” to the REGULAR patrons who currently support the shop.
    What it shouldn’t be is people traveling to multiple stores to load up on as much free stuff as they can.
    I expect in cities that have multiple comic shops, most people have one shop that gets the vast majority of their business. That is the store where they have a pull list (or if not a pull list, then they go in weekly or bi-weekly to pick up the titles they regularly read). Other stores in town are typically only visited if you’re looking for something your regular shop doesn’t have in stock (maybe something that was under ordered that you missed, or some back stock comics for a series you’ve recently jumped into, etc).
    So the store an individual should be getting free comics from would be their primary store. If they want to go to another store because maybe there is a creator signing/sketching there, that is ok. Go there, BUY something for said creator to sign (or bring your own copy of something you previously purchased), but leave the free stuff for that store’s regular patrons and the new customers they are trying to attract. If you’re not a regular customer there and have no intentions of being one, then don’t take their free stuff. It may be free to you, but it isn’t free to them. And if you’re not going to be returning value to that store on a regular basis, then don’t take it.

  5. Torsten Adair says:

    Mr. Piskor, know that I grabbed two extra copies of your title to hand to my coworkers on Monday.
    How did I decode the cover? Web Fu, honed by rapidly flipping through World Book encyclopedias while avoiding paper cuts, then perfected at library school. So, I gotta ask… which rap star does the barcode hide? (In the original frame, it hides Howard the Duck.) Also, props for getting the pen ink to “bleed” through the page!

    Mr. Zombie, on the second FCBD in 2003, I did make a grand tour of all the shops in Manhattan, partly to find the comics, partly to discover new retailers. (Many I have not been back to…) I was fortunate, I received most of the titles before the event, and was able to read and review them. If someone offered to sell the complete set for charity (like the CBLDF, since one of the FCBD comics caused a censorship arrest), I wold gladly pay. Or if everyone got together and published an omnibus, I’d buy that as well.

    I do agree with you about “preaching to the choir”. Why does DC and Marvel shunt their young reader titles to the Silver books?

    I seek out all of the titles, partly from an archival/historical perspective. Partly because I want to discover new titles that I may not have seen otherwise.

    The three retailers I visited (JHU Comics, Midtown Comics, Forbidden Planet) I frequent occasionally. But I do concur… I didn’t have any time to browse at Midtown…I needed to get the comics, and then finish reviews.

  6. Due to a personal life changing event, I only had time to go to two stores and even though I plunked down a hundred bucks in merchandise to make a back door deal to get all the comics that this particular store had and they made me a package – I barely made over the halfway mark and then went up to Earth Two to pick up another five that I missed. I’m pissed that I didn’t get the Dark Horse Project Black Sky, the Buck Rogers, the Hip Hop one and many others that you have mentioned on this page- and going through the pile last night I discovered that I got doubles.

    THERE’s GOT TO BE A EASIER WAY to get all of them instead of visiting twenty goddamn stores in a day.

    ~

    Coat

  7. Cary, what if Diamond offered a package of all the FCBD titles for sale? Just order them through your pull list. That could prove to be popular. And if you could buy them, your retailer would save money and thank you.

  8. Torsten Adair says:

    What every publisher SHOULD do, is offer all the titles for free online. after the event.

    Midtown does have a few titles for free from 2014, as well as past years for sale.
    I’ve seen a few bundles on eBay.
    (And I wouldn’t be surprised to find pirated editions as well.)

    Westfield? Nothing that I could find. I did enquire about ordering bundles from them, as I had for the Halloween titles, but they could not accommodate me.

  9. Torsten, thanks for the kind words on EPIC #0.

    Calling releasing EPIC #1 the very next Wednesday a “mistake” is probably a little harsh. After all, as a small publisher and independent title, what are our options?

    1) Release the #1 in advance of FCBD, so store owner have it in stock along with the FCBD book? (Nice for retailers…but only if they ordered it in the first place.)

    2) Have the #1 in PREVIEWS the month of FCBD, so that ideally fans add it to their pull list. (But in this day and age, two months is a LONG time for momentum to dry up.) Still, this was considered, and I’ll be interested to see how orders are for Action Lab’s Midnight Tiger, which took this approach.

    3) Schedule EPIC #1 to come out the same month of the FCBD release, or the first Wednesday after. (Capitalizes on the momentum, but runs risk of shops under-ordering it.)

    We decided to give option 3 a shot. Truth is, shops were going to under-order the book REGARDLESS of how we structured its release. So, we went with a momentum play. We stressed our release plans in all our marketing to shops in advance of FCBD, and also did a substantial overprint, betting that shops would under-order the title, and we’d restock.

    So far, it seems to be working out. We’ve had a 25% reorder from Diamond since #1 released, and the book is fetching $10 on Ebay, which at least gets the speculators talking. And we held issue #2 for pre-ordering in the May Previews, hoping retailers and readers will get their orders in and we can avoid a serious #2 drop. Day and date release on Comixology has also helped keep the momentum going, and I will not be surprised if digital sales for EPIC #1, with the EPIC #0 issue getting 15-20,000 downloads surpass print sales for this title.

    When you’re talking small press, every hand you play is a tough one… I’ve made lots of mistakes doing this… but I don’t think the FCBD / EPIC #1 release plan counts as one of them.

    Time, of course, will tell as she always does.

  10. Torsten Adair says:

    Mr. James,

    Thank you for your insight!
    I had not considered the use of digital copes as a backstop.

    That’s another marketing strategy: Place a unique URL in the FCBD issue which directs to the digital download. Possibly even do it like Marvel: a unique code hidden underneath a sticker, so you can track its effectiveness. It can be a free download, or a discounted download, or a download of backmatter… an “issue #1/2″.

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