They’re doing it.
Marvel Comics has reached an agreement to put comics in 7-11 stores around America as well as Barnes and Noble Bookstores.
That’s about 6,000 sebbin-lebbins and 350 B&Ns that’ll carry Marvels. Whoo. Considering there are less than 3,000 comic shops in the U.S., that's a whole lotta fresh exposure.
The sebbin-lebbin books will primarily be of the more kid-friendly lines recently established, dubbed Marvel Adventures. I think the B&Ns will carry a more normal selection of titles.
Perhaps the folks at Marvel examined Harvey Jerkwater’s Half-Assed Plan To Save the Industry in my very first post and decided I was right. Their plan and mine are startlingly close.
Allow me my moment to bask in the warm glow of my own sagacity. Aaaahhh...
Okay, enough of that. I know it doesn’t take a genius to notice when his house is on fire. Marvel saw the same things everybody else does, and finally did something about it. I guess either they figured out how to overcome the logistical hurdles to get this venture going, or decided that the enormous risk this venture entails was a necessary one for the future of the company and jumped off this particular cliff.
Notice that only Marvel is doing this. This may very well give them a gigantic boost over their competition.
Y’see, comic companies now are primarily licencing operations. Even if this widespread comic distribution loses money, the massively increased visibility of Marvel's characters can only help increase licensing revenues. For not only will this keep their primary characters in the public eye, but it will give lesser-known characters a chance for widespread recognition and subsequent marketability.
If it doesn't prove to be a massive fiasco, DC will most certainly follow within a year.
A calculated risk that stands a decent chance of not only saving the company, but expanding and enriching it?
Ye gods…they’re doing something that seems…intelligent. Foresighted, even.
(Now watch: it’ll blow up in their faces. I know this could work brilliantly. But after years of melon-headedness by the comic industry, I can't help but be wary.)