#Comicmarket Watch

| March 21, 2011 | 3 Comments

Last Tuesday, comic book retailers, publishers, pros, and even few fans took part in a Tweet-splosion of chatter about the comics industry.  Each Tweet was tagged with the #comicmarket hashtag, creating a stream of conversation, information and ideas that anyone interested in working in the the comics industry would find well worth following.  As far as I can tell, this whole thing was a brainchild of retailers Jimmy Jay from Jay Company Comics (@JimmySJay)  and Larry Doherty of Larry’s Wonderful World of comics in Lowell, MA (@LarrysComics).  Branding it as a weekly online “event,” the idea behind #comicmarket is that every Tuesday, retailers, publishers, and pros can talk candidly and openly about the state of the affairs in comics.  What’s selling and what’s not?  What’s working and what isn’t?  It’s a simple idea.  It’s a good idea. And in the internet age, ideas that are simple and good spread like wildfire. (Keep that in mind for your comic pitches as well.)

I tuned in last Tuesday, and found it well worth my time.  I recommend any creator with aspirations of getting their books in comic shops someday tune in as well.  The collective sharing of information and insights there are well worth your time.

A few #ComicMarket inspired musings:

  • It’s way too early to tell, but things like #comicmarket might lead to  a swing back to closer relations between retailers and publishers.  Retailer/publisher relationships have seemed a bit icy over the past few years, much of it due to dropping sales, and the rise of digital comics. (Not that one necessarily has anything to do with the other, mind you.) But a new public forum for active discourse and communication with the shared goal of selling more comics certainly can’t hurt.  Some publishers like Avatar Press were very active on the inaugural #comicmarket day.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that leads to an up in orders for their books.
  • For a creator to have success nationwide in comics, he or she is probably going to need retailer support along the way.  Even if you’re not ready for nationwide distribution, it never hurts to plan ahead for when you are ready.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a network of retailers with whom you can communicate?  Well, I added about 30 retailers to my follow list by finding them on #comicmart.  Forward thinking retailers are precisely the kind of folks I want to work with.  And those are the guys you’ll find Tweeting there.
  • @shopofideas certainly lives up to its name.  From FanGirl’s Club meetings in their “GeekEasy” lounge, this is a forward looking comic book shop that puts fan service first.
  • In the “It should go without saying, but needs saying anyway category,”  @CasablancaComic shared this gem: “Note to creators & publishers…NEVER call a comic shop on Wednesday to pitch your book. Pick another day.  #comicmarket
  • What’s working for retailers: $10 introductory trades, store-themed original variant covers like Godzilla #1 from IDW.
  • What’s not:  Variants just for variants sake (especially ones with crappy covers.)

SIDEBAR: Scared of Twitter?  Check out this article on how I manage Twitter and keep sane.

In short, #comicmarket has seemed to catch on.  I expect this Tuesday’s coming Tweetstorm to dwarf last weeks’.  I’ll be tuning in, and if you’re interested in the comics industry, I suggest you do too.


Tyler James  is a comics creator, game designer, and educator residing in Newburyport, MA.   He is the writer and co-creator of  EPIC, a superteen action comedy, and  Tears of the Dragon, a swords and sorcery fantasy.   His past work includes  OVER, a romantic comedy graphic novel, and  Super Seed, the story of the world’s first super powered fertility clinic. His work has been published by DC and Arcana comics.

Tyler is the publisher and co-creator of  ComixTribe, a new website empowering creators to help each other make better comics.

Contact Tyler via email (tylerjamescomics@gmail.com), visit his website  TylerJamesComics.com, follow him on  Twitter, or check him out on  Facebook.



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Category: Comix Counsel

About the Author ()

Tyler James is a comics creator, game designer, educator, and publisher residing in Newburyport, MA. He is the writer and co-creator of THE RED TEN, a superhero murder mystery, EPIC, a superteen action comedy, and TEARS of the DRAGON, a swords and sorcery fantasy. Tyler is the publisher and co-creator of ComixTribe, which is both a new imprint of quality creator owned titles, and an online community where creators help creators make better comics. Follow him on Twitter @tylerjamescomics, or send him an email at tyler.james@comixtribe.com.

Comments (3)

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  1. John Lees says:

    Even though I don’t have much of note to contribute, this seems like it would be a highly worthwhile conversation to at least observe. I’ll be checking it out tomorrow.

  2. John Lees says:

    Thanks for alerting me to this, Tyler. Some interesting discussion going on today!

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