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DC partners with Walmart

Old 07-05-18, 10:44 PM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

After going to 6 Wal-Marts, I was able to find a copy of each at the last one I went to. What did the other 5 Wal-Marts had in common? They still had in-stock the 4 pack of DC Comics assorted overstock. So the way that I'm looking at this is that if your local store still has those 4-packs available, chances are that they didn't get the 100 page giants or that the employees won't put them out until those packs are sold. When I scanned them, they came up as MISC on the computer, so even the employees don't know how to look for them in the back.
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Old 07-06-18, 09:02 AM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
This is funny to me, in a way.
I got into comics because of the "newsstand" aka the spinner rack at drug stores, supermarkets, and 7-11s. It was only later when I found out about comic book stores that I stopped buying from the newsstand. This was around the time that comic book stores exclusives like adjectiveless Spider-man and X-Men were coming out. The newsstand didn't have as big a selection, had issues come out a month later, and didn't have variant covers (see Jim Lee's X-Men #1). Not to mention, back then, having a pristine collector's item issue was more important than getting a bent spine issue from the spinner rack.

Ironically I got back into comics when I saw Astonishing X-Men at 7-11. It was a newsstand special that had New Mutants on the reverse side. Anyway, it was pretty cool to stop at 7-11 on my lunch break and get a drink while reading a new X-Men comic. Plus, the first page caught up the reader on what was going on, and it was only like #4 in a new storyline, and not #839.
Good times.

I wish comics were once again sold in places like that. Comics are a great impulse buy. But the writing-for-the-trade stories are not fun.

That's the problem, though. Even if grocery stores and the like wanted to put them out, they're no longer an impulse buy. We can talk about inflation all we want but four to five bucks for an issue is no longer disposable, I-can-buy-this-wrinkled-copy-off-the-rack-to-read-and-throw-in-a-pile kind of stuff, at least not for the kind of story you get where you need to collect for six months or more to even understand what's going on.

And I'm not advocating going back to single issue stories or anything like that, but that's at least part of the reason why comic book movies don't really move the needle for comic book issues. When I was a kid, one of the things I loved about, say, Claremont Uncanny was the continuity, that era where all this crazy stuff happened in other comics and editorial enticed you to go seek it out. But it was still readable if you skipped a few issues here or there, or you picked up a random issue. I don't think that's the case anymore. If you loved the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, what do you go and pick up? The best thing to do is probably a trade or an omnibus, and you can go to amazon for that.
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Old 07-06-18, 10:26 AM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
That's the problem, though. Even if grocery stores and the like wanted to put them out, they're no longer an impulse buy. We can talk about inflation all we want but four to five bucks for an issue is no longer disposable, I-can-buy-this-wrinkled-copy-off-the-rack-to-read-and-throw-in-a-pile kind of stuff, at least not for the kind of story you get where you need to collect for six months or more to even understand what's going on.

And I'm not advocating going back to single issue stories or anything like that, but that's at least part of the reason why comic book movies don't really move the needle for comic book issues. When I was a kid, one of the things I loved about, say, Claremont Uncanny was the continuity, that era where all this crazy stuff happened in other comics and editorial enticed you to go seek it out. But it was still readable if you skipped a few issues here or there, or you picked up a random issue. I don't think that's the case anymore. If you loved the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, what do you go and pick up? The best thing to do is probably a trade or an omnibus, and you can go to amazon for that.
So the problem is what I took issue with 20+ years ago when I stopped buying comics - the storytelling. Not only did I get pissed about Marvel's revisionist history (changing their key moments), but also the stories that crossed over every single comic in that line. It became impossible to be selective about which comics you bought - you had to buy them all, or miss out on key parts of a continuing story.

I guess I am advocating going back to single issue stories. Or, at the most, stories that span 3 or 4 issues with single issue stories around them. There should be a continuity, but you should be able to pick up a single issue and not be totally lost, and if it's issue 3 of a 4 issue story then do enough recapping (a few panels) to get the reader up to speed.

The comic industry, in part, did this to itself. And there is no reason for comics to cost $5 each. When I started buying comics in 1974 they were $.25 - adjusted for inflation that's around $1.50. Now, maybe costs have gone up more than inflation, so price them at $2.00 using the old paper (you don't need the heavy, slick paper to read a story).

But I see this WalMart thing as good for the industry. Well, it would have been if they actually pumped enough product into the stores for people to notice...
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Old 07-06-18, 10:28 AM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
That's the problem, though. Even if grocery stores and the like wanted to put them out, they're no longer an impulse buy. We can talk about inflation all we want but four to five bucks for an issue is no longer disposable, I-can-buy-this-wrinkled-copy-off-the-rack-to-read-and-throw-in-a-pile kind of stuff, at least not for the kind of story you get where you need to collect for six months or more to even understand what's going on.
I agree with what you're saying but isn't that why Marvel dedicated a whole 1st page to catch up new readers with a "Previously in..."

I don't necessarily mind starting a new, long running series, in the middle, with a single issue, for $4 to $10 and then tossing it when I'm finished with it.
I do that when I buy manga volume digests. They're like $10 a pop but 1 of like 75 (Maison Ikkoku, Detective Conan, Crying Freeman, Attack on Titan, etc).
There's a lot of differences though. Mangas are usually something new for me, and there's not 50+ interpretations of those mangas all over the place for the last 50 years. They're new and exciting and there's usually only ONE way to find out what happens next, and that's in the mangas. I can't go back and think, "You know, I don't like Rumiko Takahashi's take on Godai. Let me check out the Akira Toriyama run of Maison Ikkoku."

American superhero comics were that way for me when I got into them. I started reading right after Spider-man and his Amazing Friends ended and right before Batman the Animated Series and Fox Kids. The spinner rack was the only place to read about this character known as "The Punisher," or the cool guy in the trench coat that throws explosive playing cards.

Now though, there's the Marvel/DC films, the many animated movies coming out, the many different versions of the same character/s in cartoon form, video games with their own drawn out storylines, and multiple comic titles of the same character (Batman, Detective, Dark Knight, Batman and Robin, etc). There's so many options for the same thing, it's almost like flooding the marketplace in a way.


And I'm not advocating going back to single issue stories or anything like that, but that's at least part of the reason why comic book movies don't really move the needle for comic book issues.
I remember the highly praised Ed Brubaker run on Captain America. I picked up an issue or two at some point when Bucky had the shield.
Holy shit, that was a waste of money!
It was like 3.99 from Borders, and hardly anything happened, with super sparse dialogue and text. It was written and illustrated as if it was a short film or 10-minuted television episode. The writer and artist didn't take much advantage of the comic medium. And I think I was somewhere in Chapter 3, part 25. WTF?

As a kid, yeah, there was some stories that went from 2-issues, to 4-issues, but each issue still felt like a satisfying read, and felt like a whole chapter. The point I stopped reading as an adult was when each issue felt like a thin sliver of a huge bloated epic. If I don't have patience to read that as an adult, good luck getting a kid to stick with it.

When I was a kid, one of the things I loved about, say, Claremont Uncanny was the continuity, that era where all this crazy stuff happened in other comics and editorial enticed you to go seek it out.
I don't know if I ever followed those little text boxes. I definitely rummaged through the back issue bins, but I think I picked stuff out based on the cover.


But it was still readable if you skipped a few issues here or there, or you picked up a random issue. I don't think that's the case anymore. If you loved the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, what do you go and pick up? The best thing to do is probably a trade or an omnibus, and you can go to amazon for that.
If I'm a kid I won't buy the comic, but maybe check out the video game, if there is one.
As an adult, I'm not even messing with the comics or trades. Where to start? Which version? From what era?
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Old 07-06-18, 10:39 AM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
So the problem is what I took issue with 20+ years ago when I stopped buying comics - the storytelling. Not only did I get pissed about Marvel's revisionist history (changing their key moments), but also the stories that crossed over every single comic in that line. It became impossible to be selective about which comics you bought - you had to buy them all, or miss out on key parts of a continuing story.
Damn, it was like that as early as 1998? I stopped buying during the Clone Saga. Oh wait, that was a little after that stuff started huh? Knightfall was like 25 issues, then Knightquest another 15, and Knightsend was maybe 10? 1992 with the Death of Superman?

I guess I am advocating going back to single issue stories. Or, at the most, stories that span 3 or 4 issues with single issue stories around them. There should be a continuity, but you should be able to pick up a single issue and not be totally lost, and if it's issue 3 of a 4 issue story then do enough recapping (a few panels) to get the reader up to speed.
My favorite memories as a young comic reader were those types of stories.
McFarlane and Michelinie on Amazing Spider-man, and Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle on Detective Comics. In a single year you got several different stories. In the mid 2000s it was like a single year for 1 half of a story.

The comic industry, in part, did this to itself. And there is no reason for comics to cost $5 each. When I started buying comics in 1974 they were $.25 - adjusted for inflation that's around $1.50. Now, maybe costs have gone up more than inflation, so price them at $2.00 using the old paper (you don't need the heavy, slick paper to read a story).
I remember Image Comics was able to keep the price down, but not Marvel and DC. Why?

Plus, the it's really time consuming to produce American superhero comics. To satisfy the core demographics, you have to be a Frank Cho or Gary Frank to grab their attention. And those styles are not meant for monthly deadlines. That's why manga artists have it a little easier. Usually their styles are more streamlined.

But I see this WalMart thing as good for the industry. Well, it would have been if they actually pumped enough product into the stores for people to notice...
Yup.
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Old 07-06-18, 10:57 AM
  #56  
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Writers write for the direct market now. Read a random issue of New X-Men by Grant Morrison and then go back and read and issue of Uncanny by Claremont. Say what you want about Claremont being verbose and using so many thought balloons but I could go back and read Uncanny #186 and figure out what was going on within a few pages of reading it.

Bendis and Quesada get a large portion of the blame as well for "decompressed storytelling" which is just their way of saying we'll stretch one or two issues out to six issues so nothing actually happens in single issues.
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Old 07-06-18, 11:04 AM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

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Old 07-06-18, 11:07 AM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
Writers write for the direct market now. Read a random issue of New X-Men by Grant Morrison and then go back and read and issue of Uncanny by Claremont. Say what you want about Claremont being verbose and using so many thought balloons but I could go back and read Uncanny #186 and figure out what was going on within a few pages of reading it.
I would have thought that Morrison breathed new life into X-Men. A lot of cool stuff he introduced, not to mention the way he was expanding on the idea of mutants in the MU.

But then I remember picking up an issue of Batman R.I.P. an being very confused. The issue was definitely intriguing, but it was hard confusing. For example, there was a young guy, with black hair on a motorcycle. Who was he? Dick Grayson? Tim Drake? The newly revived Jason Todd? There was nothing indicating who he was the entire issue.
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Old 07-06-18, 11:48 AM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
I would have thought that Morrison breathed new life into X-Men. A lot of cool stuff he introduced, not to mention the way he was expanding on the idea of mutants in the MU.
For the collectors he did (although I wasn't a fan) but for the new/sporadic reader it was a confusing mess.
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Old 07-06-18, 12:20 PM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
For the collectors he did (although I wasn't a fan) but for the new/sporadic reader it was a confusing mess.
It was actually a good jumping on point, but you still had to get every issue, you couldn't just start in the middle. But from a reader standpoint, in typical Morrison fashion things were confusing for everyone, old and new alike, and new readers probably have the benefit of being able to adapt quicker.

Whedon's Astonishing was a much better all access series, at least until momentum completely stopped because of the delay.
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Old 07-06-18, 03:08 PM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
Writers write for the direct market now. Read a random issue of New X-Men by Grant Morrison and then go back and read and issue of Uncanny by Claremont. Say what you want about Claremont being verbose and using so many thought balloons but I could go back and read Uncanny #186 and figure out what was going on within a few pages of reading it.

Bendis and Quesada get a large portion of the blame as well for "decompressed storytelling" which is just their way of saying we'll stretch one or two issues out to six issues so nothing actually happens in single issues.
I think the decompressed storytelling is one reason why many were upset with the twist in Batman #50. King had wasted the past 25 issues with what seemed like a lot of filler and inconsequential lead-up now that it's for naught, looking back in retrospect. Fans would have been more willing to accept the break-up if it had been a six-issue arc or something after the engagement.
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Old 07-06-18, 03:15 PM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
I think the decompressed storytelling is one reason why many were upset with the twist in Batman #50. King had wasted the past 25 issues with what seemed like a lot of filler and inconsequential lead-up now that it's for naught, looking back in retrospect. Fans would have been more willing to accept the break-up if it had been a six-issue arc or something after the engagement.
That's more on the fact they wanted it to be issue 50, though, isn't it, not necessarily decompressed storytelling.
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Old 07-07-18, 09:15 PM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

I got a bit lucky and found three of the four 100-page giants today (Batman, Superman and Teen Titans). I knew a Super Walmart would be more likely to get them and each one I picked up was the last copy available. I don't plan on keeping them, but passing them along to children that might be interested in them.

Here's a run-down of what's in each first issue. DC says they aren't reprinting these issues, but the original content will be assembled for a graphic novel after the year is up.

JUSTICE LEAGUE 100-PAGE COMIC GIANT! #1
New Wonder Woman story by Seeley/Leonardi
Nu52 Justice League:Origin Part 1 by Johns/Lee
Nu52 Flash:Move Forward Part 1 by Manpul/Buccelatto
Nu52 Aquaman: The Trench Part 1 by Johns/Reis

BATMAN 100-PAGE COMIC GIANT! #1
New Batman story by Palmiotti/Zircher
2002 Batman:Hush Part 1 by Loeb/Lee
Nu52 Nightwing: Welcome to Gotham Part 1 by Higgins/Barrow
Nu52 Harley Quinn: Hot in the City by Connor/Palmiotti/Hardin

SUPERMAN 100-PAGE COMIC GIANT! #1
New Superman story by Palmiotti/Derenick
2003 Superman/Batman:The World's Finest Part 1 by Loeb/McGuiness
2005 Green Lantern: Airborne Part 1 by Johns/van Sciver/Pacheco
2018 The Terrifics Part 1 by Reis/Lemire

TEEN TITANS 100-PAGE COMIC GIANT! #1
New Teen Titans story by Jurgens/Eaton
2003 Teen Titans: A Kid's Game Part 1by Johns/McKone
2017 Super Sons: When I Grow Up Part 1 by Tomasi/Jimene
2018 Sideways Part 1 by Rocafort/Didio
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Old 07-07-18, 10:46 PM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by The Valeyard View Post
This is really stupid. Why will someone pick up issue 2 of these giants if they can't get a hold of issue 1 that has the first parts of these 12 page stories? Also, are they going to increase distribution? By this, I mean, sell this books at more Wal-Marts or are they going to continue to put them in one of every 5 around?
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Old 07-08-18, 03:13 AM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

I can’t help but wonder if the industry will eventually go 100% digital to survive. The print industry has shrunk, and it’s exacerbated in the comics world with aging readership and massive reductions in physical availability. Things like Marvel Unlimited, Comixology, and the upcoming DC Universe are the future and I think it’s just a matter of time before one of these companies decides to bypass print altogether outside of maybe trades/graphic novels/omnibi.
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Old 07-08-18, 03:34 PM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by Tom Banjo View Post
I canít help but wonder if the industry will eventually go 100% digital to survive. The print industry has shrunk, and itís exacerbated in the comics world with aging readership and massive reductions in physical availability. Things like Marvel Unlimited, Comixology, and the upcoming DC Universe are the future and I think itís just a matter of time before one of these companies decides to bypass print altogether outside of maybe trades/graphic novels/omnibi.
That has been mentioned for years but I doubt it will happen anytime soon. At the end of the day, with Marvel and DC are making tons of money with print comics. The issue most of the time is distribution, which Diamond has made a monopoly that screws with retailers and the customers. The comic book industry still big as you can see by the cons. It's also cyclical with its ups and downs. The big problem besides distribution has been the big 2 making the same mistakes over and over again and not learning from them.
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Old 07-08-18, 04:14 PM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
This is really stupid. Why will someone pick up issue 2 of these giants if they can't get a hold of issue 1 that has the first parts of these 12 page stories? Also, are they going to increase distribution? By this, I mean, sell this books at more Wal-Marts or are they going to continue to put them in one of every 5 around?
New issues are supposed to show up every two weeks. I think one of the issues is that Walmart staff aren't known for running a tight ship - I foresee some stores putting these pre-made retailer displays out on an irregular basis. This line isn't catering to hardcore collectors, they are being aimed at impulse purchases by children and their parents near the checkout area.

I did come across a second store today that had several issues in stock.
Originally Posted by Tom Banjo View Post
I canít help but wonder if the industry will eventually go 100% digital to survive. The print industry has shrunk, and itís exacerbated in the comics world with aging readership and massive reductions in physical availability. Things like Marvel Unlimited, Comixology, and the upcoming DC Universe are the future and I think itís just a matter of time before one of these companies decides to bypass print altogether outside of maybe trades/graphic novels/omnibi.
The current economics of the comics market are built on the backs of collectors, not readers. You can't collect digital comics, which is why it could be decades before you get that transition. It's why DC ran 50 different variant covers for a wedding that didn't even happen.

That is why DC is experimenting with Walmart. This is about growing the readership, it's not being aimed at the collector's market.
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Old 07-08-18, 04:58 PM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

I collect digital comics! I still love my shelves and long boxes; but if I had to choose one or the other, it’d be my digital collection no contest.
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Old 07-08-18, 07:55 PM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

I'm all for this move. While I respect what comic stores do, it was through newstands at places like Wal-Mart and little drugstores where I got my first exposure. Granted, if I wanted a more obscure title or a new issue earlier than when it hit the newsstands I would go to the comic shop, but that's definitely where I started to love the medium.

In all honesty, I think this move by DC could not only help the comic industry, but possibly the struggling DCCU. The movies are pretty inside with their material, and if young kids can get more familiar with the source, it may help them.
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Old 07-08-18, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
That has been mentioned for years but I doubt it will happen anytime soon. At the end of the day, with Marvel and DC are making tons of money with print comics. The issue most of the time is distribution, which Diamond has made a monopoly that screws with retailers and the customers. The comic book industry still big as you can see by the cons. It's also cyclical with its ups and downs. The big problem besides distribution has been the big 2 making the same mistakes over and over again and not learning from them.
Even SDCC is less a "comic con" and more an entertainment con. I'd say the audience for comic book characters is probably bigger than ever, but comic readers? I dunno. I also doubt they're making that much money from like 90% of their lineup, but I do appreciate that they haven't (yet) just made everything about Batman and Spider-man.

Comixology doesn't really give out distribution numbers but the word is that it's not yet a dominant part of the market (and who knows how many have stopped collecting and just wait for marvel comics unlimited, I'm not even sure how you measure that). But then again, comic stories are largely disposable... very few runs really generate the kind of interest that really justify collecting to read later, I'm sure even most of the people on this forum that buy a lot of comics rarely reread them. So in that sense the draw of picking up a monthly issue, that addiction, is far better than an always available inventory that someone can buy at any time down the line.

On the topic of variant covers: I know people here like them but I find it kind of sad how big a part of the market it is. Not that people are spending money on them but that stores are ordering copies of the normal books that they will almost give away or pulp just to get access to variants.

On the topic of larger print runs on later issues of these walmart exclusives. I really hope these are carefully curated or written stories that can somewhat stand alone. Although it is a part of comics to enter something in the middle, not have access to back issues and just wait for the collection
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Old 07-09-18, 04:45 AM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
I collect digital comics! I still love my shelves and long boxes; but if I had to choose one or the other, it’d be my digital collection no contest.
It's the other way around for me.
The memories associated with each issue I bought (the when and where), seeing the ads that "date" the comic, letter columns or notes from the editor, stuff like that I enjoy.

The handful of digital versions of comic issues is nice and convenient but the the print is overall better.
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Old 07-09-18, 10:28 AM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
It's the other way around for me.
The memories associated with each issue I bought (the when and where), seeing the ads that "date" the comic, letter columns or notes from the editor, stuff like that I enjoy.

The handful of digital versions of comic issues is nice and convenient but the the print is overall better.
I'm curious, is this true for modern comics for you too, or just stuff you bought as a kid? I can't remember any decent ads in comics since the Twinkie shorts and Saturday morning cartoons lineup ads.
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Old 07-09-18, 02:51 PM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I'm curious, is this true for modern comics for you too, or just stuff you bought as a kid? I can't remember any decent ads in comics since the Twinkie shorts and Saturday morning cartoons lineup ads.
My mind is blanking now but a recent ad campaign in comic form was clearly inspired by those Twinkie comic ads. I can't remember which product they were for but it struck me as unusual. It is mostly house ads these days for other comic products.

Reading old issues from the 1990s, the comics were loaded with videogame ads.

In a touch of irony, these 100-page giants at Walmart include an ad for the local comic book shop locater service.
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Old 07-09-18, 07:14 PM
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Old 07-10-18, 04:57 PM
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Re: DC partners with Walmart

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I'm curious, is this true for modern comics for you too, or just stuff you bought as a kid? I can't remember any decent ads in comics since the Twinkie shorts and Saturday morning cartoons lineup ads.
I don't really buy comics anymore but I remember reading Hero Squared≤ at the time (2006?) and there were in-house ads for an Interplanetary Brigade series. I thought that was just a throw away Justice League reference in the comic, but no, turns out they actually used the idea for a spin-off.
I wouldn't have known about it otherwise. And at the time I was thinking how the world of Hero Squared≤ felt more like this expansive universe, kind of like the MU of my childhood. I think the publisher, BOOM!, also had a letter-from-the-editor column which ads a nice personal touch.

I think for a while Marvel was keeping the letter columns in there books when everyone else stopped. At least in 2005.

Same goes for buying old magazines, even books. The ads are sometimes the best part.
I bought a used paperback, Twins, the story Dead Ringers is based off of. The book takes place in like 1979, but it was published, maybe early 80s. As I got to the middle of the book, there was two full page ads for cigarettes! Strange, but kind of cool because it helped add to the immersive experience. Like I really was in the 1970s.
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