Free Comics in Sunday Papers

I’ve been looking for more information on this… starting Sunday, newspapers around the country will include a free Marvel comic.

My local paper is one of them, so I’ll be reporting back. They’ve been running quarter-page display ads for at least two weeks plugging this, presumably in an attempt to boost subscription rates, and today it’s the promotion on a local dispenser. (What are those things called? Where you put in your coins and pull open the door?)

The first issue is a reprint of Amazing Fantasy #15 (or, as the New York Post ad has it, “original first edition ever published” — misleading much?). I’m curious to see how well it reads in that format 40 years later.

Reportedly, this plan will continue for a year (!), so I’ll keep updates coming. The Chicago Sun-Times says

The first insert will be the debut book… which introduced Spider-Man in August of 1962, followed by the first issue in the Amazing Spider-Man series, originally published in March of 1963. After the initial insert, each issue will be split up, to appear in two parts on consecutive Sundays. The Sun-Times is one of 122 newspapers nationwide that will reissue the series as part of a licensing agreement between Marvel Entertainment and News America Marketing.


15 Responses to “Free Comics in Sunday Papers”

  1. Pitzer Says:

    I caught a full page ad on the back of Monday’s biz section, too. I think it’s interesting that this is a 1 year marketing plan that retailers/industry are just finding out about a week before it starts!

  2. Johanna Says:

    Well, it’s not promoting comics as much as Spider-Man, is it? That discrepancy seems to show the difference that can arise between the goals of a character property manager (Marvel) and retailers.

    I’m curious to see what else the comics contains beyond a story — like, for instance, the Comic Shop Locator number?

  3. David Oakes Says:

    That would be a “Newspaper Vending Machine”, Johanna. Perhaps not as obsolete as a phone booth, but probably not long for this world either.

  4. Lisa Lopacinski Says:

    Hmmm… wonder if my paper will have it. I’ll have to make a call. Too bad Marvel didn’t bother to notify retailers.

  5. Dwight Williams Says:

    Interesting. Not a tactic I’d have normally expected, but it does have a small history in the comics industry due to some shops arranging for inclusion of DC’s 10 Cent Adventure editions with their local newspapers over the last couple of years.

    Marvel’s decided to pick up the tactic where DC’s left off, then?

  6. Bill D. Says:

    Anyone know if there’s an actual list anywhere of the papers that’ll carry this?

  7. patrick maliksi Says:

    why did they have to choose the old spiderman issues?! why cant they publish the USM issues instead?

  8. Johanna Says:

    Dwight, I’d forgotten about the DC insert — I immediately flashed way back to the Spirit running as newspaper sections.

    Bill, I haven’t seen one, no.

    Patrick, I have no idea what internal discussions went on, but I do think that the older comics are more “family-friendly” than the new ones.

  9. Dwight Williams Says:

    I stand corrected on the “small” part of “small history”, then, Johanna. You had your facts straight, and I should’ve remembered the Spirit from my own reading of reprints way back in the day.

  10. James Schee Says:

    Perhaps I’m just too cynical, but my first reaction to hearing this was “Gosh that story again?”

    Not only is it going to be a really dated look at what comics are like. It is also a story that most anyone likely to be interested in the material has already seen in some form or another.

    Personally I would have gone either with X-Men, Wolverine where you had more of a shot of giving readers something new. Or a more modern, in the now feeling, book like Runaways.

    Yet it is late so maybe I’m just to darn grouchy.:)

  11. Johanna Says:

    But Spider-Man is the next huge superhero movie! I think that explains a lot.

  12. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Today was the first day a free Spider-Man comic began appearing in some Sunday newspapers. […]

  13. Cypherswipe Says:

    It appeared in my paper last sunday. I put a report, including scans of the cover, one page, and the accompanying articles here: http://sketchyorigins.com/comics/showthread.php?t=9341 Feel free to use them here if you want.

  14. Johanna Says:

    Cool, thanks!

  15. Mason Says:

    I have all of the copies. :)




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