By Filip Sablik
As 2008 draws to a close and 2009 takes its first timid steps into the world, I’ve been seeing a lot of “best,” “worst,” and “what are you most looking forward to” lists online in the usual comic circles. I’ll indulge in that fun in a moment, but first I wanted to issue a call to action for all of my comic brethren. Not a resolution, mind you – they just get broken – rather, a call to action.
We all love comics, right? You must, otherwise you wouldn’t be ignoring that TPS report or homework assignment to cruise Blog @ Newsarama when you should be working. We all want comics to be around for a long, long time, right?
At the end of “Wanted,” the feature film (now available everywhere on DVD and Blu-Ray from our friends at Universal Pictures), Wesley Gibson asks, “What the &%*@ have you done lately?” So the question is: What will you do in 2009 to help create new fans for comics?
Are you giving a trade or graphic novel to a loved one for the holidays or a birthday? Can you give away old comics to libraries or to trick-or-treaters at Halloween? Start a comic book or graphic novel club at your school? Or here’s an easy one: If your local comic shop offers a subscription or pre-order service, have you considered pre-ordering your comics? Comic stores are run by small business owners, who each month have to guess what their customers will want to buy. In an economic climate like this one, many of them will have to order more conservatively to ensure they don’t end up in a bad financial situation. Why not help them out by telling them what you plan to buy?
One thing Top Cow will be doing in 2009 is launching “Let Us Win YOU Over,” a yearlong national campaign with direct market retailers, to give away 60,000 comics. We’ll be working with ComicsPRO and Diamond to garner mainstream press coverage and draw new customers into comic shops. You can read more about it HERE.
Okay, enough preaching. Let’s get into some fun end-of-the-year stuff!
Things I thought rocked in 2008:
· A slew of smart, well made movies based on comics like Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Wanted, and The Incredible Hulk
· The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, one of the most original, smart series on the market. Plus My Chemical Romance rocks, too.
· Robert Kirkman being made an Image partner and Eric Stephenson stepping into the Publisher role.
· The Fables James Jean cover hardcover. It’s about time!
· I got married. To a lady that’s totally out of my league. I totally tricked her. Go me.
Things I’m looking forward to in 2009:
· Watchmen on the big screen.
· Sitting down and reading 100 Bullets in its entirety.
· Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer by Mark Waid and Kenneth Rocafort and Image United by Kirkman and the Image Founders hitting in July.
· Dead Irons from James Kuhoric, Jason Shawn Alexander and Jae Lee.
Happy New Year!
Filip Sablik is the Publisher of Top Cow Productions, Inc. He’s been in the business for eight years and is turning 30 this month. Occasionally, he does a bit of writing and drawing. He loves comics. Top Cow Productions, Inc. was founded by Marc Silvestri, co-founder of Image Comics. Top Cow currently publishes its line of comic books in 21 languages in over 55 different countries. The company has launched 20 franchises (18 original and two licensed) in the industry’s Top 10, seven at #1, a feat accomplished by no other publisher in the last two decades.