From the Mailbag December 26 (and Marketing Done Right)

What a wonderful Christmas gift! First Second sent over a copy of Faith Erin Hicks’ Friends With Boys (First Second, $15.99), which I can’t wait to read in full, since I love her work so much. The book is due out in February (Diamond order code DEC11 1077 through comic shops), and in the meantime, it’s being serialized online. The story follows Maggie as she goes to high school for the first time after growing up homeschooled. So far, it’s a terrific exploration of adolescence, complicated by the need to make friends who aren’t her brothers.

One Model Nation is written by Courtney Taylor-Taylor (of The Dandy Warhols) and illustrated by Jim Rugg (Street Angel, The Plain Janes). Originally released by Image Comics in 2009, it’s now in hardcover from Titan Books ($24.95). It’s the alternate history of a rock group in 1978 West Germany and their connections to a terrorist organization. Unfortunately, reviews of the previous version aren’t positive, with the concept sounding better than the execution. I’m also curious about the re-release, since the Image edition is still in print. Ah, well, I’ll read it and decide for myself.

Jim Henson’s The Storyteller (Archaia, $19.95) is a handsome anthology of folktales, but I don’t know why the Henson name is on it. If I’d ever seen the TV series, maybe it would make more sense to me, or maybe I’d have more connection to the narrator and his dog. They’re fine stories, and the contributors are skilled, but to me, this is just a gathering of a variety of fables. It’ll have more resonance for those who remember the show fondly, especially since the last tale is based on an unproduced script for the series. There’s a preview at the publisher’s website.

This last is a little off-base for the site, but since I’ve written so much about press release mistakes, I wanted to share a story of marketing done right. I was contacted by a rep from to see if I wanted to try some of their internationally sourced “rare and hard to find comic art supplies”. I said no, thank you, because I don’t consider myself qualified to evaluate art implements. In responding to the turn-down, the rep mentioned “If Ed was still reviewing I would hit him up” since he’s a pen fan.

This impressed me so much we got Ed to accept a package for review. That rep did two very smart things: 1) Took no for an answer graciously, without being pushy or sounding disgruntled, and more importantly 2) Demonstrated knowledge of the site, who’s associated with it, and our tastes. Along the way, he turned a rejection into an acceptance — and in addition to Ed’s upcoming review, he got this bonus writeup, too! I checked out the pens before handing them to Ed, and they look really cool. I was tempted to steal the double-sided black and grey brush pen.

5 Responses to “From the Mailbag December 26 (and Marketing Done Right)”

  1. Kristin Says:

    I got an advanced peek of Friends with Boys on NetGalley – it’s a great read!

  2. Tim Says:

    As far as I recall, “Jim Henson’s The Storyteller” was the full title of the show. Plus, the dog was a muppet:) It’s also one of the very best Henson productions, so you should really seek it out! It’s on Netflix streaming, along with the sequel series “Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Greek Myths”. The DVDs, sadly, are out of print.

  3. Linnet Says:

    I cannot recommend The Storyteller series enough if you are at all into old European folktales.

    They have really excellent writing/casting, and the design is in the Labyrinth/Dark Crystal end of the Henson spectrum.

    Henson himself was a big fan of the old style fairytales as well the bardic traditions. So the man in the chair is very important, and sometimes he and his dog discuss different variants of the story before continues with his version.

    I think my personal favorite was Sapsorrow, a Cinderella that is a lot closer to Deerskin than most versions get, with French and Saunders as the evil sisters.

  4. Johanna Says:

    That’s probably the source of my confusion. I was expecting something with more emphasis on the Henson, and I didn’t know so much about the folktales. Thanks for enlightening me.

  5. From the Mailbag January 20 » DVDs Worth Watching Says:

    […] a gift from my new friend at I expressed my appreciation at their marketing style in a mailbag post last month, saying I was tempted to steal one of the pens intended for Ed. Lo and behold, now I have my very […]




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