Saturday, July 11, 2009

Transformers the (giveaway) Comic

Say what you want about Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (and I’m planning on saying plenty when I post my film review), but they did something I consider to be very cool, and wonder why more films that have inspired comicbooks (and have been inspired by comicbooks) haven’t done, and that is to provide a copy of the comic in the theater for kids (even big kids like me), to read, enjoy, and then (hopefully) seek out and purchase in comicbook shops.

Now I realize that we all have long since realized that comicbooks are merely portable storyboards for potential films that are sold to people in the anticipation that these storyboard pamphlets will translate into a buzz of sorts that will then hook in an audience so that when the next big-budget blockbuster based on those storyboard pamphlets is released, you can then charge that same audience triple the price of the storyboard pamphlets to see an abridged version of what they already read in the first place, and then leverage that film into convincing those self-same folks into believing that they simply can’t live without t-shirts, toys, games, and Happy Meals again based around the characters in that film.

(Not too cynical, am I?)

Seriously though, with so many films these days dancing around comicbooks (again either inspired by or adapted into) You have to wonder why more comicbook companies simply don’t issue more film-related comics. Now I realize that back in the ‘80s & ‘90s Marvel, DC, and others did issue comicbook adaptations of films, but to my mind, those simply never worked, as they tended to be written well before the release of the film, and simply hit the big points of the film effectively capturing random static moments in the film and sucking all live and enjoyment out of the film-going experience itself.

No, what I am talking about is having a standard-sized comic that can be given away to the folks in line at the film that will work both as a cool collectible/giveaway and as a way to leverage that captured audience into going into a comicbook shop to buy more comics, and yes toys, t-shirts, and Happy Meals.

While the IDW/KMart comicbook that adapts the first 20 minutes or so of Transformers,, is kind of cool (even though it suffers from the exact same problem of the old Marvel/DC film adaptations that I spoke of earlier), is a very cool thing, and I’ll tell you why:

First, it was co-sponsored by KMart and second, it didn’t give a complete story, and as IDW is producing an on-going Transformers series, perhaps it will inspire some folks into heading into a comic shop to find the continuing adventures (As an aside, according to IDW, fan enthusiasm has caused the company’s movie prequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Defiance is on the New York Times Best Sellers list for the second time.

I actually found the comic by accident, as the theater where I saw the film didn’t have the comic, but another theater did. Like I say, I really wish that more comicbook companies would do this, as it would (hopefully) help funnel people back into comic shops, and thus benefit the shops that purchase and resellthe comics to the film’s audience in the first place.

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