an open letter to Conventions and stores…there is more to life than super heroes

Attention Convention operators

That picture (above) is the Arsenic Lullaby corner booth at the WORLD’S LARGEST COMIC BOOK CONVENTION- COMIC CON INTERNATIONAL. Some of you may be thinking “what’s Arsenic Lullaby?” or “I’ve heard of Arsenic Lullaby…but don’t know much about it”. If you you are thinking that, then my friend you either have no business running a comic book convention or have merely let time, stress, or success smother the fire that was once in your belly. Once upon a time you were a maniac who was convinced he/she could put on a better comic book show than anyone…you were going to get the best guests and have the best panels and do everything right that you thought everyone else was doing wrong! I am going to speak frankly to that younger version of you now…that version that had a belly full of fire and wanted to take on the world…

Step back for a moment and look at your comic book convention as it is now…with the eyes of that younger version of you. . exactly how many fat guys in pony tails who drew wonder woman once upon a time who are introverts, scared to look up from their table or are rude and full of themselves when they do look up do you think you need at your convention? How many of this breed of cat do you think is necessary? 2? 6? 12? How many illustrators of super hero books do you think you can have at your convention before everyone interested in seeing fat guys in pony tails who drew wonder woman once has been culled and not one more ticket will be sold to people interested in that sort of thing because you have added yet another guy who drew wonder woman once? I would say …two…two fat guys in pony tails who drew wonder woman is as many as you need before bringing in another is a redundancy in marketing. One from Marvel, one from DC. I realize I am edging my bets conservatively and maybe 5 would be the ceiling. But whether it is 2, 5 or 10 the law of diminishing returns is LAW.

See it’s simple math…If you already have someone who draws spiderman at your show…then you are already getting people coming to your show who would like to meet someone who draws spiderman..and adding another guy who draws spiderman will not bring ONE MORE DOLLAR into pocket. You probably have a dozen or more pros who draw super hero comics…who do you have to appeal to everyone else?

What about all the readers who don’t care about super hero books?…like oh …college kids, women, and the kids you see with blue hair and tattoos?…ALL of which tend to go to events with FRIENDS, as opposed to lonely basement dwelling superhero fans who go to events SOLO (are you doing the math?).

How many illustrators of Mad Magazine do you have? You have heard of Mad right? It has a few more readers than Thor or wonder woman. How many Eisner nominees do you have? How many Harvey Award nominees do you have? These are the industries two highest awards. How many Comicdom award nominees do you have? That is Europes highest award. Arsenic Lullaby is ALL of those things AND it’s illustrator STAYS at the table to sign autographs and meet fans and make new fans. He has a background in stand up comedy and broadcasting and is a crowd pleasing, energetic acerbic madman…as opposed to your super hero illustrators who will leave their table often and have their face in a sketchbook when they are at their table because they are shy, pathetic, introverts who actually bring nothing to the show other than to give the other basement dwellers the wisdom that it wasn’t worth 20.00 to meet a super hero book illustrator.

Next time you go to a convention (yours or someone else’s) walk around awhile and make note of who ACTUALLY HAS A CROWD AT THIER TABLE…who is actually adding to your show, making it fun and worth going to next year and spreading the word about… and who is sitting their with their thumb up their ass or stuffing their face in the hospitality room ON YOUR DIME …costing you more money that he is bringing in.



To quote the man “you can get with this…or you can get with that”

 HEY, YOU comic book store opperator…what are you laughing at? Are your shelves stocked with Arsenic Lullaby or are you relying on the super hero books to keep your lights on. Let me point out some math to the younger version of yourself. Kids buy super hero books because they like super heroes …grown ups buy super hero books because they liked them when they were kids…what about that GIANT GAP in those two age groups? Are you content to have that eleven year old leave next year and not come back until he’s 30?…or would you like some things on your shelf to keep him in the habit of coming back to your store every time he gets a paycheck? and what about the women? what about the girlfriends? wouldn’t you like to have them as customers? or at least have something they can look at so they are not annoyed and c*ckblocking the boyfriends wallet as she impatiently sighs when she feels they have spent entirely too much time in your store? For that matter what about the kids and grown ups who do like super hero books but are broad minded and still have a few extra dollars in their wallet? You probably made more then a few dollars off of selling Lenore or MIlk and Cheese, or Johnny the Homicidal Maniac…well guess what? they are gone and they are not coming back in any substantial way. It may be time for you to understand that Arsenic Lullaby has not only been filling that gap for other stores but eclipsing those books.

“i’ve looked though Arsenic Lullaby, it’s well done but a little too edgy, a little to harsh”

…HEY, ARE YOU STOCKING THE SHLEVES OF A COMIC BOOK STORE OR YOUR OWN PERSONAL BOOKSHELF? It doesn’t matter if you like it…it’s written for the shifty, cynical jerk who comes in and gives you a hard time, it’s written for the blue haired tattooed character who has a new body piercing every paycheck, it’s written…for the rest of us. You probably have 6-10 people who come in who frankly make you worry about the future of this country…this book is for them. Would you rather they spent their money at your store on Arsenic Lullaby or on a switchblade to stab you at the atm? Here is the best part …Arsenic Lullaby makes it’s own case to your readers. It’s a simple process, open the book to a one page story…hand it to the reader…wait for the laugher …collect the cash …place the order for the next issue …rinse, repeat. OR lose those customers to a store that does…or to ….(GULP) ONLINE PURCHASING.

and on a side note…appealing to your own personal satisfaction of a job well done..would you rather get a thank you from…

our fans?


or their fans


come on…get with it people, it’s 2012

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