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Apocrypha Entertainment Presents:

”If it bleeds, we can kill it.”

I came to an interesting realization this past week. Quite some time ago, I had shifted my comics buying and ordering pattern to using an online retailer, keeping a subscription slot open at a local shop only to make sure I could use the trade credit I had built up there. And even then, I only purchased two comics regularly, so I only stopped in about once every three weeks or so. Around the beginning of this year, though, I decided to close it up and let it go.

What I realized this week is that I haven’t been in to “new comic day” to look at books in almost five months. And after having been a slave to it as a younger man, and keeping in touch with it at least tangentially through this past winter, it was very shocking to me that it took me that long to realize I had been away that long, and even more shocking to realize that I didn’t care and didn’t miss it. This “holiday” for nerds that I no longer celebrate… I’m living just fine without it, thanks.

And as I thought about that further, and I examined the release habits of other media, I found myself thinking that “new comic day” needed to die a horrible, long overdue death. That if it did, it might actually be good for the industry as a whole.

Death to New Comic Day!

Movies. New movies typically hit theatres on Fridays. That’s fine. But it isn’t always the case. TERMINATOR SALVATION arrived on this past Thursday, giving it a one day head start against NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2. Did this damage NIGHT’s box office in any way? Not even close. People still went to the movies this weekend and saw that film more than they did TERMINATOR. During holiday weeks like Thanksgiving, some movies will open the Wednesday before and some will open on the Friday after. All it does is ultimately give the consumer more options for paying for the product and get them to go to the theatre multiple times, buying more popcorn and soda than they would have in going just once.

Music. New music typically arrives on Tuesdays. But many “event” albums get released on Fridays. Green Day’s latest effort was a Friday release. Did that harm record stores? Of course not. Instead, it got consumers into the store on a day that typically might have had slower traffic. This is what is known as a “good thing.” DVDs are the same as well. They usually release on Tuesdays, but when TWILIGHT hit stores, it was a Saturday-at-midnight deal, pushing it into major event status and opening up opportunities to sell more merchandise on top of that release.

Books, by the way? Same story. Thursday releases, but major events like the HARRY POTTER books went to a different day.

But comics? Comics just can’t get past the myopia of “new comic day.”

Stores tend to suffer for sales Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Why? Because there’s no reason for consumers to go in to the store those days en masse. But what if the industry tried something different? What if Marvel put their books out on Mondays? DC and the rest on Thursdays? (Or something to this effect.) Traffic to stores in the beginning of the week would rise drastically. Impulse purchases on both of these days would rise. And comics discussion would be more consistent across the seven-day week. Plus, you could still do “events” like releasing a single book like “Darkest Night” on a Saturday night at midnight, driving even more traffic (and impulse purchasing) to another day of the week.

For comics to survive as a medium they must completely shift to the graphic novel format and forget the pamphlet entirely change their way of doing business to draw foot traffic into the stores and change buying habits. Getting rid of a singular “new comic day” would be a very good start to this process. And trust me when I tell you, folks- when it’s gone, you won’t miss it. Not even in the slightest.

Marc Mason  

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