I’ve been writing for another site that I won’t name but I end up getting a lot of press releases from the companies – and most comic news sites are in similar positions. You get review copies of comics – that I can’t/wont review for Nerdcenaries due to getting them for another site – and you get a lot of PR emails and from what I recalled about working in a comic shop – you get a lot of them too if you do online ordering.
I decided to actually look through one of them and look at how the company describes – not the product that it is advertising – but itself.
To start off, I went with IDW.
To quoth IDW
About IDWIDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE, Paramount’s Star Trek; HBO’s True Blood; the BBC’s DOCTOR WHO; Toho’s Godzilla; and comics and trade collections based on novels by worldwide bestselling author, James Patterson. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints; Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio.IDW’s critically- and fan-acclaimed series are continually moving into new mediums. Currently, Warner Brothers and Barry Sonnenfeld are attached to adapt LORE into a feature film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Disney are creating a feature film based on World War Robot, with Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes and Sony bringing Zombies vs. Robots to film.
Currently I only have 1 IDW title on my pull list and it isn’t because of the property – I am getting Godzilla: The Half Century War straight up just for STOKOE ART! (and that is only on till the final issue comes out).
But I remember stocking a lot of IDW titles in the shop and – well the list of stuff they put out is kind of sad. And I don’t mean because the books are bad or anything – but they are just really pandering comics. A majority of the catalogue is licensed stuff – Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Doctor Who, Transformers. In that list of titles they use to describe themselves – LORE, World War Robot and Zombies vs. Robots are the only titles that are mentioned by name that are not preexisting properties – and then those are only mentioned because they have movie deals.
And IDW dudes, I totally get it. Fanboys will buy anything they already like, almost blindly. Hell, they will doubly buy comics when you mash it up like a $5 t-shirts site – I figure that is why you did the Infestation and Mars Attacks! crossovers. And you did put solid writers on projects – I checked out Layman’s Mars Attacks and thought it was fun and a few of the other crossovers.
But please, IDW, name some other stuff you’ve done that is completely original. 30 Days Of Night got a movie. Why not push more of your original series that people could enjoy that are still only comics. If nothing else, those could become movies. Name one current original series that you are proud of in your PR – something that you can focus on in advertising. Give comics some sign that you are proud of the original stuff that just exists as a comic – at least by mentioning a series in a press release.