Boom, Zenescope, Archaia, Anomaly, Action Lab, And Viz At Chicago

adAt the Diamond Retailer Summit in Chicago before today’s C2E2 (I will rip my fingers off if I have to type that again) Boom! Studios let retailers into a secret as to how they get people to work for them.

They give them beer until they agree. I can confirm that, seriously, how else was I going to write Captain American Idol?

They had videos of the likes of Paul Jenkins saying that companies like Boom give creators the freedom he used to get from Marvel and DC and that he plans to work for them for a long time. Mike Carey basically gave a ditto. Brian Stelfreeze, because Boom gave him what he wanted and Mike Kunkel  because they have the best all ages lineup.

Max Bemis talked about how his bi-polarism affected his first novel and the new comic Polarity is about the story he was trying to create.

They showed a preview for 2 Guns with All Along The Watchtower playing.

They want to put out the next great ongoing creator owned series, to publish the next Walking Dead

They are looking at returnability on titles, or even exchangeability on any Boom! comics that haven’t sold. They are planning a retailer-only video channel which will attempt to pare back the hype and tell retailers “why should you care” “who would buy it” and “what is it”. They’ll even give spoilers… including the end of Mike Carey’s first issue of Suicide Risk. But… nah, can’t do it. Even I have limits.

They are going to strip the hype out of Previews, also in the manner of The Walking Dead. Basically I think they want to publish the Walking Dead.. They want to start listing retailers in their books. They plan to keep single issues of Adventure Time in stock. And, yes they had caught flack for their $35 Adventure Time hard cover with just four issues of content but plead mitigating factors of new material, premium quality paper and oversizing  to justify the price

Zenescope are planning more point of sale displays after handing out over three hundred floor displays, and are adding counter top displays with changeable signs.

There will be a Grimm Fairy Tales Omnibus, 1340 pages long, and better than The Walking Dead versions… seriously, is there something in the water about The Walking Dead?

All the covers for the first issues of the Unleashed mini-series will combine into one image, and that will continue for future issues.

Zenescope are also going to do the unthinkable, a fantasy lead character who is male. But as to the cheesecake covers? When they tone them down, the sales go down, so there you go.

The Anomaly folks, home to those massive graphic novels full of AR, work without codes and even off shrink wrapped covers with full 3D moveable effects. And after printing, they keep adding pages on the App that fire off new AR.

They want to run scavenger hunts in stores using digital technology and are also willing to create custom work for retailers.

Archaia promise a softcover The Killer omnibus along with a new series. The Joyners 3D book will be printed in red and blue 3d ink with glasses. The Cyborg 009 trade is going to have a 4 layer cover where each layer pulls away to reveal further inside the cyborg. Which is a bit like what DC are doing with the Death of The Family collection but less gross. Or possibly more gross, depending. There is no more Artesia planned in the foreseeable future as much as it pains them. The retailer who asked about it said that was fine, but they instantly replied that “it’s not fine”. A sore point, it seems.

The big retailer gripe with Viz Comics was that hardly anyone carried their books as they are unable to compete with bookstores. Viz representatives mentioned starting a line of hot books at a lower price point. Retailers asked to make the books returnable (the theme continue) as Diamond is the only account they have where this isn’t the case. Retailers asked that they clearly mark the books with the targeted age group, either on the book or in Previews. And that retailers didn’t knew they carried Nickelodeon comics because they assumed everything in Viz’ Previews was manga.

Time for a little re-education, I think.

They want to provide info sheets to retailers on how to market books to consumers. They also want to start targeting good books with less than 8 volumes as people said things with 30+ volumes just weren’t going to be fully stocked. And they want to provide floor spinner racks.

They’d also like retailers to read their solicitations a bit more I think, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Action Lab Comics folks talked about Princeless, and plans to release several books in the European model of 48 pg oversized hardcovers for $19.99.

How NFL Rushzone is gonna start with the new football season as a biweekly twenty page book for $1.99. Each issue will feature 16 variant covers, one issue covering AFC teams, the next covering NFC. It was told to them that people wanted to get their favorite team so each cover can be ordered as desired.

Danger Zone, their adult line, will all be priced at $2.99 and include Final Plague (an Iowa family fights against a world ending plague). Ehmm Theory (a guy is killed by his girlfriend, and with his cat dying after two days they both continue in the afterlife. But in order to rest he must find his father and complete a quest. Also something about evil clowns.) Eighties Undead (in the Cold War, the Soviets taint some Columbian cocaine which turns users into zombies. Cue young women as the main character at an la party with the cocaine.)

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