This article from Publishers Weekly has me thinking about outreach efforts like this, and I’d really love some anecdotal evidence from the funnybook slingers out there. This quote stands out to me, from Marvel’s David Gabriel:
Again the comic shops have the ability to reach a huge number of consumers as well. Look at the amount of fans driven into stores for the Death of Captain America, the unmasking of Spider-Man, the Dark Tower comics launch, and recently the Amazing Spider-Man #583 featuring Barack Obama on the cover. Weâ€™re pretty certain that this book has the potential to bring thousands of new faces into comic shops and from there be introduced to a whole new world of graphic novels.
In my (admittedly very narrow, as I am extremely part time) experience with the buyers that come in specifically for property-oriented works like The Stand and Buffy, I’ve seen a distinct disinterest in anything that’s not those books. My local shop maintains a pull-box just for these customers and even mentioning good, accessible work like Whedon’s stint on Astonishing X-Men or the future-Slayer book Fray when they pick up their books has been met with a collective cold shoulder. Those readers seem to just want their Buffy or their Stephen King or Angel or whatever. Have there been retailers that have been able to to convert these readers into real customers with an interest in the medium at large? What’s their secret?