the art of war
August 23, 2012
I’m having this conversation with some friends. They are making a movie.
My friends are also creating a comic book for the movie — or in more polite terms, a graphic novel — as a pre-launch ad campaign.
It’s a smart idea. Get it out there, get it circulating, get people knowing and talking and seeing and thinking about it. My friends figure they will break even on the comic too so it is free advertising hitting comic cons.
But they’re talking about this other guy. This guy who was pre-vamping for a film and made a comic book and never put the comic book on the market. He just printed up copies and gave them to studio suits and industry people, and never ever sold the comic. Sort of a fancier cooler kind of story board, that. And a collector’s item since there were only a very few in existence and you could only get them as a gift, they were not for sale. And my friends are saying this journalist one time hit him with this question, “You created the comic, you had it all graphed out and whatnot, printer friendly, ready for market” why didn’t you ever sell it?
And the filmmaker didn’t answer the question.
So we are sitting there. My friends are puzzling over why. And so am I. And then I know —
If he had put the comic book on the market, while he was selling the film? Industry people would have wanted to know the sales numbers and would have walked away if those weren’t high enough. So he made that book a gift, a special thing, that only some people could get, that wasn’t even available for sale. And he never had to answer the question “Is this a best seller?” in a meeting.