The Sci Fi Channel has launched a great email campaign to help spread the word about Battlestar Galactica. The mailer — that’s an example on the right — sends recipients to “The Story So Far,” a web page the provides both three- and 44-minute recaps of the series, primers for the first two seasons and, my favorite, a glossary that includes an entry for “frak.”
I wish Marvel, DC and other publishers of longer-form comics would do something like this. Not so much the grass roots-ish email campaign — we get one of those every time a series teeters on the brink of cancellation, when it’s usually too late — but a clearing house, of sorts, that brings new and lapsed readers up to date.
Oh, I know the DC Comics website has mega-condensed origins, taken from the pages of 52, and Marvel has its more comprehensive wiki. But those are geared toward their core fanbases who want to know things like how the Wall-Punch Heard ‘Round the World affected certain characters, or if Iron Man ever teamed up with Frankenstein’s Monster (the answer, apparently, is yes). And then there are the “previously in …”-style pages at the beginning of most Marvel comics, instituted during Bill Jemas’ tenure; however, those seem more like memory-joggers than anything else.
Several publishers have begun to trot out Flash-generated trailers teasing the launch of a new series, or the start of the next Big Event. Unfortunately, though, they tend to be light on content, usually consisting of dramatic music, slow pans of a handful of panels and a fade out to the company logo.
Why not put that Flash know-how to good, or at least better, use creating “story so far” trailers/recaps for ongoing series that link back to even more content, like preview pages or full-issue samples, character biographies and the like?
(Yeah, I’m apparently in one of those annoying “Why don’t they …?” moods today, so watch out.)
All the elements are already in place, if scattered, separately, across different websites and companies: full-issue samples, PDF previews, Flash trailers/recaps, wikis, biographies, mailing lists, podcasts. They just need to be brought together, and put to good, and focused, use behind ongoing titles, or series of miniseries (Dark Horse’s B.P.R.D., for example).
Are there publishers or creators already doing this, and I just haven’t seen them? If so, someone kindly point me in their direction; I’ll link to them here.
(On a strictly Battlestar Galactica-related note, did anyone watch last night’s episode? After a couple of so-so offerings, it was nice to see a return to form, even if the ending was a bit convenient and rushed.)
(Sci Fi link via Pop Candy)