Scott R, of the comic book store Comics Are Go! in Sheffield Village, Ohio expressed his own recent experience regarding the double-page half-page Twix ads, printed on the same page as the comic book stories that have caused a modicum of fuss of late. He writes,
I’ve just had my third (!) customer drop their entire DC pull saying they hate the half page Twix ads in the middle of the books. I don’t think it’s Twix specifically, I think it’s just that they are disgusted that they are being crassly marketed to in the middle of two pages, in the middle of the book (definitely against comic book convention, clearly a bean counter move) at the exact same time they are expected to embrace a new “universe” which is, for the most part, long-time-reader unfriendly.
I’m sure that is just added to their frustration and general dismay with DC (and Marvel) messing with their characters, but it seems like it was enough to push a few more over the edge. I am getting very nervous about the coming months with both DC and Marvel. My fear is after trying the number ones many are going to jump ship until things get back to normal, if they ever come back. Many of my “backbone” readers bailed on Future’s End month, Villain’s month and Convergence. Now they’re dumping titles like Detective, Action and Superman, and at this point, nothing seems to be in the works to get them back.
I get it that they are trying to get new readers in but the price of losing hard core readers, as I’m seeing, is way too high. For every young female you bring in who bought the new Batgirl, I’ve had a much larger number of faithful readers drop it because they didn’t like the changes to the character. The long time readers buy stacks, the new readers occasionally buy an issue or two for a month or two. The numbers are not adding up here.
I’ve never received as many negative comments and e-mails from customers about the state of the big 2 as I’m getting over the last 2 months.
So… how are the Twix ads affecting you? Stopped you picking up any comics? Saw you picking up any extra Twixes?
UPDATE: As an advertising copywriter of some note, my reaction is more one that it’s the newness of this that is putting certain readers – and retailers – off. Advertising is there to reduce prices, keep costs down and even create cultural moments of their own. Whether that’s Sea Monkeys, Grit ads or Hostess Fruit Pies from decades past, to Marvel’s product placement in certain stories more recently. Art exists alongside commerce and comic books even more so. And I get the feeling that if you add a couple of decades and there will plenty of people feeling very nostalgic about a certain Twix ad.
As for Batgirl, sounds like a certain store could do with a little advertising and outreach of its own….
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