Free Comic Book Day 2017

FCBD_2017

Free Comic Book Day is a wonderful opportunity to not only get some awesome free comics, but also to show your support for your local comic shop. I like to pick up some free comics, but I also make a point of buying a few because no one has been hit harder by the “comic book recession” than our beloved brick and mortar stores.

Today I had the pleasure of  meeting Coliseum of Comics owner, Edward Uvanni, a great guy who was very complimentary and eager to meet up later. He was excited to learn that Hocus Pocus Comics is a local business, and we look forward to plotting world domination together in the near future.

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Dwight

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UPDATED: Read Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom Chapter 1 Absolutely FREE

2/15/12: UPDATED WITH WORKING LINK!

Welcome to the blog, dear reader. I hope you had a happy, safe, and refreshing holiday season. Things were a little hectic here at MacPherson Manor, but they were also pretty wonderful. Rebecca and I had a terrific time with our sons and family, but it was over far too soon, and we are once again buried to our cephalopodic necks (yes, Cthulhoids have necks) in writing projects. But that is a good thing.

Tweet of Truth

Yesterday whilst reading my timeline on Twitter (don’t judge me), one of my friends Re-Tweeted this interesting bit of information from mainstream comic writer Ed Brubaker:

@brubaker If my Fatale promoting tweets bugs you, you probably don’t understand how hard it is to sell an indie comic.

If a writer who has seen considerable commercial success is having difficulty selling his creator-owned book, perhaps you can begin to appreciate how nearly impossible onerous and frustrating it is for the rest of us. Indie comic creators make comics out of a deep love for the medium, and we rarely see a dime for our efforts. And, to add insult to injury, we often find that some mouth-breathing dunderhead(s) is/are scanning and pirating our books on the internet.

So… with this in mind, I have decided to make the first chapter of Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom available for free download.

The Fine Print

All I ask (and I realize this is a lot to ask) is that if you enjoy this special preview, please pre-order the book and tell your friends and family about it. If you have a blog, Facebook or Twitter page, share a link to this blog post.

You can pre-order Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom from your friendly neighborhood comic shop with the Diamond Order Code JAN12 0814. Or, if you prefer, you can pre-order from your favorite local bookstore or any online comic or bookseller.

I would also mention that the critically-acclaimed first book, Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, is available from the aforementioned outlets.

FREE DOWNLOAD

To get your copy, simply click the wickedly-cool cover image below. When you get to the download page, click the bubble next to Download Files to my Computer and then click the Download button. Too easy.

Thank You For Your Continued Support

I mean that. I really do. Without each and every one of you, I would not be able to do what I love. You have my deepest and most sincere gratitude. Thank you.

I’ll write more later, but now I must dive back in. *glub*

-D

Adapting Sweet Lovecraft Horror

In a blog post yesterday, SelfMadeHero’s Dan Lockwood announced the names of the creators contributing to The Lovecraft Anthology Volume II.

Yes, you will find me on that talented roster.

Believe it or not, I was asked to adapt one of my favorite Lovecraft short stories, an ofttimes overlooked gem titled “HE.” I was also thrilled to learn that the story will be illustrated by the super-talented Paul Peart-Smith.

The first volume is available at book retailers, comic shops, and online stores worldwide and it is fabulous! So please be sure to pick up the first trade and pre-order the second volume when it is available. You will not regret it.

More exciting news very, very soon.

-D

Alternate Distribution Options Part 4

Aaaand We’re Back

Welcome back to our discussion about the future of indie comic books. During the course of my sporadic posts, we touched on the indie publisher Ka-Blam and its online distribution site known as IndyPlanet. In light of a revelation from the online printer/distributor, I felt that we should revisit our discussion to elaborate on the possible benefits for creators and indie publishers.

Back to the Planet

As I alluded to last week, Ka-Blam recently posted an announcement that they intend to launch a direct market comics distribution system. I have some inside knowledge of a certain indie Publisher working as a go-between with Ka-Blam and certain comic shops to get his books on their shelves, but now it appears Ka-Blam is going to take it one step further, making their books available to comic shops directly.

Time to Speculate

Will Ka-Blam create a catalog similar to Previews or will it all be done digitally? If they do go the digital route, how do they intend to make shop owners aware of their site and services?

Here’s how I think this will go down: Ka-Blam will have a “Retailers” page on their IndyPlanet site where retailers can order directly from Ka-Blam. Since Ka-Blam will have to offer retailers a discount that is competitive with Diamond, the cover prices on the retailer page will have to be higher. In other words, average Joes who order their books directly from IndyPlanet can purchase a book with a $3.95 (for example) cover price, but retailers will be offered the same book with a $4.50 cover price. By doing this, retailers get their discount of–say–50 to 60 percent off cover price and still be able to make their money back. Creators and indie publishers will also be able to see profit. The downside, however, is that average Joes will have to pay the $4.50 cover price if they want to purchase the book from their local shop.*

*Note: This was written before ComicsMonkey’s announcement.

Enter ComicsMonkey

Ka-Blam has just launched a site that will become their direct market order page: ComicsMonkey.com. After reading the blog posts–especially the first two paragraphs on the main site–I’m concerned they haven’t given this a great deal of thought.

According to their site, ComicsMonkey will rely exclusively on word of mouth from creators to create public awareness. I think this is extremely shortsighted. An undertaking of this magnitude requires a PR assault that incorporates all media outlets available to them. This would include interviews and press releases on all available comic news sites at the very least. Sending a “sample packet” containing comics, graphic novels, t-shirts, etc. to the top 100 or 200 shops in the United States would also be a sensible move. I realize the site states that they will send sample packets to retailers upon request, but why not be pro-active and get the packets to retailers to generate interest beforehand?

Oh, and I understand that such an undertaking will cost money and time, but no one stands to gain more from this venture than Ka-Blam.

The Bottom Line

Let’s be honest, if I am the sole advocate of ComicsMonkey, I could make more money ordering copies of my books from IndyPlanet at publisher’s cost and selling them to my shop at a discount. So why direct them to a site where I stand to make less?

Listen, indie creators and small publishers must diversify if they wish to succeed in the 21st century. I would never recommend using ComicsMonkey exclusively, but I would consider setting up an account at the very least. After all, I believe they will be changing policies and adapting as they go along. It’s always a rocky road getting something like this up and running, so give them the benefit of the doubt for now.

And who knows… perhaps publishers will inadvertently learn about your books due to another creator making them aware of the ComicsMonkey site.

I Believe it’s Time For Me to Fly

I had to completely rewrite this frakin’ post from scratch after WordPress dumped it. Because of this, I’ve spent way too much time writing what should have been a simple entry. I’m sorry to say you’ve also gotten an abbreviated version of what I wrote earlier. My apologies for the brevity, but it’s time to make the funny books.