Thursday, January 11, 2007

Stephen King Dark Tower: Gunslinger Born

This, I hope, will be a major comic book event. I know there are lots of Stephen King fans out there, and this Dark Tower comic should appeal to them. We've begun our prep for marketing it, and will begin implementation in the next week or two.

There has been some debate on-line about weather or not this is an original story or an adaptation. Marvel folks have assured me personally that it is a NEW story. Yes, it does incorporate bits and pieces of the Dark Tower novels, but it is not a retelling of any of those. It discusses the development of Rolland into a Gunslinger. I thought Peter David, one of the writers on the project, FINALLY explained it pretty well in his recent interview where he said, "the basic plot comes from Stephen, and is broken down by Robin Furth, the extremely capable writer - and very nice person, by the way - who wrote the Dark Tower Concordance and is probably the foremost expert on Midworld aside from King...hell, for all I know, she may have outstripped him on that by now. Jae tells the story visually, and then I come in and make the words work as a comic narrative. When sequences are lifted directly from the book, then I try to maintain the original dialogue as much as humanly possible, although sometimes I have to pick and choose to make it fit. When there are original sequences, then naturally I'm on my own. And I have to make the entire thing seamless, so that you're unable to tell where King ends and I begin."

I've read a good chunk of the series, and I really enjoy it. I'm not usually a fan of the western type mythos, but I like this. I've read a ton of King's horror in the past too, and this is pretty different from that. So, I am looking forward to checking out this comic. The art looks good too!

We've ordered a lot of copies and will be getting all of the available variants too. Hopefully this will bring in new customers who are King fans and want to check out the comic book. I know we saw a few who came in looking for the sketchbooks. Plus, a couple of other stores in the area are known for under ordering these kind of things, so we might pick up a few of their customers just for this comic.

Marvel is co-promoting a midnight release with interested retailers. We've considered it, and sometimes we think it sounds like a great idea, and then other times we're just not sure a suburban store like ours could pull enough people to make it worth while. We have until tomorrow to make our final decision. I think we're leaning towards not doing it because Marvel hasn't given us the promotional materials yet and we feel that in order to even have a chance to pull people from further out for this event we'd need to promote it for at LEAST a good month, and since it's releasing Feb 7th that isn't really enough time. Especially since one of the conditions has to be that no other new comics are sold at that time. We can sell any old stuff, but not any of the new comics that release Feb. 7th. Those have to be sold during a store's regular business hours on Wednesday. Plus, I think that Diamond is being careful to only send out the Dark Tower comics and not a retailer's entire order. But, I'm not 100% on that. I just think if they sent everything Marvel's rule would be pretty tough to enforce since Marvel and Diamond won't have spies at each and every retail store, plus there are stores that don't even have a Diamond account - how would they police those guys? The only way they can keep to that condition is to not ship out the other comics.

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