More Dark Tower News

More announcements related to the Dark Tower comic:

Marvel is attempting to drum up attention by allowing a midnight release. Almost 150 stores are holding launch events the evening of February 6. Locally,

Velocity Comics is the ONLY comic store in the state–ahem, Commonwealth–of Virginia to be holding such an event. So if you’ve got friends at the beach, or Williamsburg, or Danville, or wherever that want in on this thing, please let them know we’ve got them covered. To remind, it’s TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6TH. We’ll open the doors at 11:30 PM, start selling the book at midnight, and stay open until about 1 AM. Customers picking up the book will get 20% off of their entire purchase. Sounds fun, eh?

Bear in mind that any purchase won’t include any other comics due out the next day, because retailers won’t be allowed to sell those until normal operating hours on Wednesday.

I can understand satisfying pent-up demand when it comes to a highly anticipated new Harry Potter installment or a new operating system release… but a comic? On a weekday? I’m too old to do that, especially since I’m now a suburbanite and am afraid to go to downtown Richmond late at night.

I also wonder how effectively these stores and/or Marvel are going to be at getting the word out to non-comic-reading Stephen King fans? What advertising has been done to reach them?

— If they do show up, there will be three versions for them to buy. Aside from the regular version, there are two variant cover versions, one by Quesada, and a sketch variant by Jae Lee. And Marvel’s pulled out the stops on the contents:

[T]he first issue is jam-packed with extras and supplemental materials–including an exclusive prose short story written by Robin Furth! In addition to 31 pages of story by the main team of Robin Furth, Peter David, Jae Lee, and Richard Isanove, the issue boasts a map of New Canaan, a preview of issue #2, and an exclusive story of Roland and his friends as they learn how their worlds came into being– all accompanied with spot-illustrations by Jim Calafiore and June Chung.

It’s $4 for 48 pages with no ads. I find that an interesting choice, since Marvel has been overselling ads lately to the detriment of the reading experience. Why cut them out here, when they’re expecting a larger audience and could make even more money?


11 Responses to “More Dark Tower News”

  1. Don MacPherson Says:

    I’m surprised so many stores have signed on for the scheme, but I do seem some value in it. Now, I don’t think it’s going to help these retailers move that many copies of the book (maybe a scant few more), it will give them a solid PR schtick. Midnight releases are unprecedented for comics, so local media might pick up the story.

    Say it runs as a 15-inch story in the arts section, with a photo. That’s like a free, quarter-page ad for the store.

  2. Chad Anderson Says:

    “I’m too old to do that, especially since I’m now a suburbanite and am afraid to go to downtown Richmond late at night.”

    Please, please tell me you’re joking. Don’t fear the downtown, Johanna!

  3. Johanna Says:

    Chad, I fear that area in the evening, let alone after it gets dark. There are some shady folks hanging around. :)

    Don, I hadn’t thought of that, treating it as a way to get free coverage. Good point.

  4. Alan Coil Says:

    Any guesses as to the cost (to the customer) of the variant covers?

    I’m guessing the 1-in-25 will be $15-20 and the 1-in-75 will be $50 minimum.

  5. Johanna Says:

    That’s totally up to the retailer, I think, but a general rule of thumb is a 1-in-25 cover is $25, 1-in-75 is $75, etc.

  6. James Schee Says:

    I’ll wait until the eventual trade, if I decide to get it at all that is.

  7. Barry Says:

    I have no interest in this book whatsoever. Good luck to the stores in getting some media coverage though…

  8. Paul O'Brien Says:

    I noticed that in his weekly Q&A at Newsarama, Joe Quesada’s comment on the orders for issue #1 was that it was going to be one of the best selling non-superhero titles in years. Now, considering there hasn’t even been a non-superhero title in the top 10 since 2003, that’s a really odd way of billing a book that’s supposed to be a huge event. I was expecting this to be a “one of the best selling comics of the year” thing. (And given that the question was “Is it selling better than CIVIL WAR #1?”, you’ve kind of got to figure that the answer was “Er, no.”)

  9. Johanna Says:

    That’s an interesting comparison, Paul. This was an attempt for Marvel to reach outside the direct market, and it doesn’t seem to be going as well as hoped. I applaud their attempts (as with the previous soap opera tie-in), but they don’t seem to perform well once they step outside their core direct market.

  10. markus Says:

    Why cut [ads] out here, when they’re expecting a larger audience and could make even more money?
    IMHO simply because they know Marvel zombies won’t mind (or won’t mind enough) and this is aimed at regular folks who likely would mind.

  11. Antione Says:

    I haven’t heard enough about this book to say if it will be bust or not. Their ploy may work. If it get’s media coverage it will get lot of exposure and who is to say some people will buy it when it becomes a said hot item. I do commend Marvel on trying something different. Comic books don’t sale like they used to and this may change how they market comic books… or maybe not. See my website for my self published comic book below.

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