Monday, August 27, 2007

"Semi-Annual Rantings (Part 2)"



Remember that copy of Super Comics Plastic Man reprint #16 (1964) that I mentioned winning waaayyy back on 7/15 of this year from a dealer called prospectorsparadice? Well, I mailed this seller a check that same day, and figured he'd hold it the "customary" 10-14 days for it to clear as usual, and I'd have that item in about 4 weeks.

Seems like that was just wishful thinking on MY part.

The seller finally marked the item as "payment received" on 8/6. So, I thought, "Finally! I'll have that comic in 7-9 days!"

No such luck. About the 16th. or so I emailed him and asked politely about the status of the item. I didn't get a reply; just the next day that a PayPal shipping lable and confirmation had been made (on 8/17).

So here it is August the 27th., and still no comic, so before I wrote to him again with yet another inquest about my item, I checked the confirmation (which actually I just did last night, but there was no change or notice that the item was in the mail). Today finally it's been marked as "enroute".

I guess that prospectors' mule must have died with which he delivered his merchandise. And, that's "what I get" for buying something off of eBay from someone that's obviuously an antique dealer rather than a comic book dealer.

But...so much for ranting.

Today I want to talk about Marvel Comics a bit, and in particular, Stan Lee.

I notice a LOT of fans are down on Stan these days, and I can see their point. They think he's a glory-seeking old fart with the mentality of a fan boy. But I don't feel like these people are getting the Big Picture here at all. Stan's a very intelligent person, and his motives are all business for his products and the company he endorses. He does his job to absolute perfection.

I dare say that if it wasn't for Stan's enthusiasm about Marvel and super-heroes in general, that the whole comic book industry would be in a slump.

Stan Lee is the ultimate PR man, and the PR man for Marvel Comics. Let's look at a prime example with these U.S. super-hero postage stamps that have been released in the past couple of years.

When DC Comics released their set (or, rather the U.S. Post Office released them), there was practically NO promotion save for mention on the U.S. Post Office's home pages, and perhaps, at a few comic book conventions. The stamps sold as they were at the post offices with pretty much no incentive at all.

Here this year with the release of the Marvel SuperHero sheet, it's all different. There's free posters, 4 different ones, that make one large poster of the Marvel super-heroes available in many locations when you purchase said stamps. The post office has a promotional poster in their lobby, one sheet freebie comic strip pages featuring Spider-man, Aunt May and Stan (as a "Willy Lumpkin" type postman), a contest to win $10,000.00 and a cardboard diarama holding the contest entree forms (or you can just on "on line" to enter the contest).

Stan keeps himself out-there for the fans of Marvel to readily recognise; just look at how many little cameos he's had in the many Marvel movies. And that's yet another point of how many MORE Marvel based flicks have appeared than ones based on DC characters in the past few years (whether they were all "good" or not).

DC, to me, has more intellectual titles than Marvel, but their promotion abilities really suck, and they need to take a lesson from what Marvel's doing. With the interest in comics Marvel displays to comic book fans, it's helping to keep titles alive from every, comic book company. Promotion makes comics sell. No money; no comics at all. Simple as that. And Stan's selling comics. I haven't seen anyone from any other company get on t.v. or in movies doing that with the other companies.

'Nuff said.

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