So, as you may or may not have heard already, Vertigo announced on their blog that they’re running a commercial for their graphic novels Filthy Rich and Dark Entries on BBC America and dag-nabbit, it’s about damn time. You can watch it here. Why don’t comic companies advertise more? The only other time I remember seeing a commercial advertising comic books was back when Todd McFarlane would pop up, sitting in his weird, giant chair talking about how Spawn was the best selling comic of all time.
By placing ads in comics, you’re preaching to the choir, but by actually telling the rest of the world, you’re doing this thing called “expanding your audience.” I’d say it’s basic business, but I have no idea if that’s an actual term because I’ve never studied business, but it’s at least logical. Now, I know that commercials cost a ton of money (though they cost less if you have in-house designers put something together like this, Marvel does the same thing with their online commercials). All you have to do is tell normal people that the product is actually out there. I’ve actually had conversations with people after they saw movies like Spider-Man, X-Men and Batman Begins where they’re astonished that comic books still come out. That was incredibly demoralizing. That would be like people not knowing movies or cartoons or books still came out. Gah!
I will concede, that, given these rough economic times, that it might not make the most sense to advertise on television. But here’s an idea. Advertise during the movies. Not in the actual movies, that would be just too meta, but before or after. Throw some fairly recent covers up there and say something like “To check out the further adventures of Iron Man, go to your local comic shop!” or “Go to Marvel.com!” or “Subscribe here!” Just do something to let the general population know that comic books still exist and are still out there for popular consumption. We need the new readers you guys.