I love comics, I also love movies. so, as well you can imagine, I totally love when the two collide in a fanboy cataclysm mash-up of time, space, and confluence. Yep. I am in some sort of geek heaven when my favorite static medium collides with my (second) favorite way to spend a couple of hours of being entertained in the dark.
Which brings me to my point. As we all know, Hollywoodland has long considered comics as a prime source of story material (so much so that Warner Bros. moved DC Comics from its publishing to its R&D division, thus ensuring that it doesn’t need to turn a profit in and of itself, simply because it it is the source of other, more lucrative , revenue streams; and Marvel (which — as we know — is owned by Toy Biz) recently created its own movie studio and has actively been buying back many of its comicbook franchises so as to build and create its own cohesive movie universe).
Which is why I simply don’t understand why — when there are comicbook-to-movie-tie-ins, more publishers don’t issue in-theater comicbook giveaways? The recently-released Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen apparently did just that, in conjunction with IDW and Kmart (which underwrote the in-theater giveaway comic).
Yeah, yeah, I realize that back in the ‘80s & ‘90s Marvel, DC, and other comicbook companies did issue comicbook adaptations of numerous films, but to my mind, most of those adaptations simply never worked, as they tended to be written well before the release of the film (so that the release of the comic coincided with the release of the film itself), and tended to hit the high points of the film effectively capturing random static moments from the film and sucking all live and enjoyment out of the film-going experience itself at the same time.
So the question is, How to do it effectively. Well, The IDW comic almost does that by only adapting the first 20 or so minutes of the film, but it falls short, as it doesn’t direct readers to comicbook shops, or to the further comicbook adventures of the characters. A blurb on the last page says “Continued in the movie…” Thus effectively ending the reader’s interest in the possibility of seeking out more comics. Plus there are no house ads for either an IDW comic, nor any other IDW product. There are ads for Kmart (as your Transformers Headquarters), a Transformers videogame (available at Kmart), and coupons (to shop at, you guessed it, Kmart).
From my perspective, IDW traded away the potential tap into an enormous audience. The company should have kept at least one page to promote its own line of Transformers comics (possibly sold at Kmart), and even have a line in there about going to your local comic shop to buy more comicbooks. Hey, as I’ve already pointed out, comics are used to sell movies, why couldn’t movie comics be used to sell more comics (which can then be used to sell more other stuff?) It only seems logical to me.
Apparently, I’m the only one.
Back in 2004 with the release of the John Travolta/Tomas Jane, Punisher film. Lion’s Gate (the film’s distributor), chose to issue a reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #129, the first appearance of The Punisher. This was an unexpected, but cool bit of collectibility (even though I had the original comic), and there is really no reason why Marvel couldn’t have done the very same thing with The recent Wolverine film, and re-issued a reprint of Hulk #181 — long considered to be the introduction of the clawed mutant.
I’m not aware of a Star Trek comic that is currently being produced, but I do know that numerous have been done, and again, I believe that a huge potential audience was lost by not issuing a tie-in comic attached to the film. IDW is producing new GI Joe comics, and I can only hope that they issue a a movie tie-in with the release of that film.
To my way of thinking these are relatively easy marketing promotions which are falling by the wayside and further distancing comics from a potential audience that just might invest in comics if they only knew that A) comics were still being produced, and B) knew where to go to purchase them.