201105120318.jpgAs we peruse the Google comics scanner, one warhorse is the “local comics shop profile.” Here’s a puzzling one from Maryland that examines how Gotham Comics in Westminster is hoping this summer’s superhero movies boost the bottom line:

For Forney, the most recent biggest impact a film had on business was in 1989 when “Batman,” starring Michael Keaton was released.

“That was a well-received movie with an all-star cast,” Forney said. “It was also darker and grittier than previous superhero movies, so that kind of gave way to new possibilities for comic book movies.”

More recent films “The Watchmen” and “The Dark Knight” also increased sales at Forney’s store. The movie trailer of “The Watchmen,” shown before “The Dark Knight,” drove customers to Forney’s shop, and the demand for the graphic novel skyrocketed, he said.

On and on the story goes, detailing expected sales of THOR and GREEN LANTERN figures and comics. (What, no X-MEN FIRST CLASS?) While it is reasonable that these books are indeed going to drive sales into these stores, Forney does seem to have missed a few books along the way — 300, HELLBOY, GHOST WORLD, and ROAD TO PERDITION, let alone THE WALKING DEAD and SCOTT PILGRIM…or even DYLAN DOG. All of them successful movie/TV tie-ins…all a bit more recent than 1989. Did he really never order any of these, or did the writer focus only on superheroes?

Speaking of THOR, as usual the film’s success hasn’t given too many Marvel GNs a boost — the Walt Simonson omnibus being the exception, as it’s still flying off the shelves.


  1. Reading Journey Into Mystery yesterday, I really think that should be the comic retailers push on anyone intrigued by the movie.

  2. To me, the puzzler is the phrase “most recent biggest impact.” Wouldn’t the biggest be the biggest no matter when the impact?

  3. You said: Speaking of THOR, as usual the film’s success hasn’t given too many Marvel GNs a boost — the Walt Simonson omnibus being the exception, as it’s still flying off the shelves.

    That’s because unlike most of the other Thor works, Simonson’s is actually GOOD.

  4. “Forney does seem to have missed a few books along the way”

    But you have no way of knowing if he mentioned them and the report simply didn’t use those quotes because his angle was superhero films.

  5. I picked up Journey Into Mystery yesterday as well, to give a try. The art is freakin’ gorgeous (therefore Marvel will either a) cancel the title because it’s amazing but has a small fan base and isn’t named “Thor” or b) realize they have a great creative team and take them off the book and put them onto the “next big event that will change the Marvel Universe.” But I digress… ;)

  6. Was the interview with the shop or was it with owner of the shop, Keith Forney? The way you wrote the title makes it sound as though the reporter interviewed the shop as though it was a living, breathing person that has never heard of ‘The Walking Dead.’

    The article is about superhero comics and their relationship to superhero movies. Just because ‘The Walking Dead’ wasn’t discussed doesn’t mean Forney has never heard of it.

  7. This is ridiculous. A quick look at their site shows that they have a page of links to publishers (http://gotham-comics.com/modules/wordpress/?cat=4), wherein Image is identified as publisher of The Walking Dead, among others. Walking Dead is also on their New Arrivals list for next week. The article was CLEARLY about summer movies, of which the Walking Dead is not.

  8. i love how The Beat reads a poorly conceived, poorly reasoned article and then blames the interviewee for the writer’s mess.

    ah, “journalists”…

  9. To be fair, other than Scott Pilgrim, none of the other titles you mentioned I think would make a non-comics person interested enough to want to go check out the book (and I don’t think anyone BUT already-comics-leaning people would be interested enough to see Hellboy or Dylan Dog). I know that when I’ve mentioned to non-comics people that 300, The Road to Perdition, Ghost World, The Walking Dead were all based on comics, the biggest reaction I’ve ever gotten was, “Really? Huh.” Scott Pilgrim’s been the only title of the ones mentioned where someone actually asked if they could borrow it.

  10. Here’s a fourth for Journey Into Mystery. I was all set to drop the book with the retitling, but I gave the 1st issue a shot based on strong recommendations and really dug it. Definitely can’t say the same for Mighty Thor #1….

    @mike.: “I don’t think anyone BUT already-comics-leaning people would be interested enough to see Hellboy or Dylan Dog”

    The two Hellboy movies combined have done $260 million at the box office worldwide. That’s way more than just a “comics-leaning” audience there.

  11. You cannot say what the interviewee said in full from what is quoted in an article no more that you can judge a review from the pull quote used by the publisher. I’m quoted in For Heaven’s Eyes Only, the forthcoming Secret Histories novel by Simon R. Green, on the inside dust jacket. With creative editing, the person who did the choice of pull quote managed to collapse an entire long paragraph into a mere half dozen words.

    The person interviewed here most likely spoke to the interviewer for a total time to fifteen minutes total which is typical for doing an interview of this sort, video, audio, or print. Surely Heidi should be smart enough by now to know that!

  12. Our shop, too, has experienced a Thor movie spike–I left all those recent unsold Thor minis (For Asgard, First Thunder, Wolves of the North, etc.) out a little longer anticipating a lot of sampling, and it worked (as opposed to, say, The Spirit). It still doesn’t quite justify the glut, but I have substantially fewer on the racks than I used to. The main title and its relaunch are solid sellers for us to begin with, and the movie only amplified that. The movies that do well (and Scott Pilgrim) always help us sell the comics.

  13. My experience in the book business is old and therefore likely out-of-date, but back 10 years ago, when a comics movie (or TV show) came out, there was a definite boost in sales in the book trade. Some publishers would work this by buying endcaps or other in-store marketing for movie tie-in books. Marvel books benefited from movies, but not as much as you would expect, given the popularity of their movies. The reason, as far as I could tell, was that there wasn’t always an obvious entry point. There might be a zillion X-Men books–where do you start? But Ghost World (for example) benefited hugely from the movie in part because if you liked the movie and wanted to check out the book, it was obvious which book you should read. There was just one. And manga that were also popular anime on TV benefited because they were released in numbered volumes–so if you were interested, you picked up volume 1. I suspect Walking Dead gets the same benefit–it’s pretty obvious where a newbie should start. But with Thor, it’s not so obvious where to start.