Amidst the wave of teaser images, house ads and other clever marketing gimmicks, Marvel comics reached back into it’s 1980’s playbook and pulled out something it hadn’t used in a long time – traditional on-air TV advertising. This 30-second TV spot promoting Marvel’s Secret Invasion aired last night during the Minor League Baseball Championships on ESPN2. The ad leads viewers to embracechange.org, which is really just a link to the Secret Invasion page on marvel.com. With Secret Invasion already 6 issues in, this ad is presumably aimed to boost sales on trade paperback which will be released once the mini-series concludes in November. While it remains to be seen how effective the TV campaign will be, it’s nice to see Marvel pushing their core product – comic books – in a mainstream media venue. That’s something we haven’t seen since the 1980’s ads for G.I. Joe comics.
We’re pleased to announce the launch of the Near Mint Art Gallery. The Art Gallery is a chance for the hosts, fans, and friends of the program to show off their talent. We got the ball rolling with some sketches and desktop wallpapers of our own but this page is really for you. Are you an aspiring comic artist? Want to show off that sweet new Green Lantern tattoo? Got a convention sketch you’re dying to show off to the world? Now’s you chance!
Send your artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post it in the Art Gallery. Provide us with your name, hometown, age (optional) and any caption info to go along with your work. Please submit original artwork only. We reserve the right to deny or remove art submissions at any time.
The third episode (which is actually a continuation of the second episode, but who’s counting) of Ben & Josh’s Near Mint Comic Show is live! Go to the Podcasts page to listen to this episode along with the first two, or subscribe to our feed through iTunes.
Let us know what you think about the show.
Have you listened to the show? Do you like what you hear? Is there anything we can add to make it better? We want to hear from you. Send us an email at email@example.com or better yet, leave us an iTunes review. You’ve heard our voices … now we want to hear yours!
DC’s Vertigo line has long claimed to be “the HBO of comics”. With the debut of HBO’s newest series, True Blood, it may prove to be just that. While there is no direct relationship, True Blood bears some striking similarities to Vertigo’s 2004 mini-series, Bite Club.
True Blood, the latest brainchild of writer/director Alan Ball (American Beauty, Six Feet Under), follows Louisiana waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) through a world where Vampires have gone public and become part of society. Thanks to the invention of a synthetic blood substitute called – you guessed it – Tru Blood, vampires have made themselves known and are accepted (albeit hesitantly) into our culture. In the first episode we see a TV interview with Nan Flanagan, a spokesperson for the ‘American Vampire League.’
In Bite Club, co-written by Howard Chaykin and David Tischman with art by David Hahn, we’re introduced to the Del Toro crime family a vampire mafia operating in Miami. Vampires in Bite Club have similarly made themselves known and enjoy a place in society thanks to the blood substitute/illicit drug, ‘Plasmagoria’. The vampires of Bite Club have turned their hunger away from human flesh and towards money, power and fame. The tenuous relationship between vampires and humans leads to the development of the ‘Vampire Crime Unit’ – the subject of the second Bite Club mini-series.
Even the promotional art for True Blood looks familiar, when viewed alongside the cover of Bite Club‘s first issue, penciled by Frank Quietly (All Star Superman). Other promotional efforts behind True Blood include viral sites for both the Tru Blood beverage and the American Vampire League as well as an online comic.
True Blood is not based on Bite Club but rather on the novels of author Charlaine Harris. Still, the similarities are undeniable and fans of Bite Club will likely enjoy HBO’s latest original series. Moreover, if the masses respond to True Blood, Bite Club and Vertigo could provide a hook to turn TV viewers into comic readers. The serialized storytelling of comics and trade paperback collections will be very familiar to fans who’ve grown accustomed to HBO’s seasonal installments. And the Vertigo line serves up a similar buffet of sex, violence and adult themes that HBO fans will love.
The recently finished Vertigo series, Y: The Last Man was long-rumored to become and HBO series but will instead see a 2009 theatrical release. Marvel writer, Brian Michael Bendis (Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man) is currently working on a pilot for HBO that, while not comic-based, could be another crossover opportunity to bring in new readers. And as comics continue to creep in to the mainstream, it’s clear that there are plenty of comics-fans-in-waiting. So the next time you’re at the water cooler, talking the Wire or Lost with coworkers, suggest a trade of your favorite series and see if anyone bites.