Thursday, November 22, 2007

One Banner #2- The Conglomerate

In a prior incarnation of the ChristianComics.net forum, someone, I don’t remember who, I don’t think we ever heard from him again whomever it was, came up with the idea of a Christian Comics Conglomerate. This was his solution to the “undeniable need” for one banner under which all Christian comics would operate.

I recall this being a particularly annoying discussion, for so many reasons. For one, the person who started the discussion and who seemed to spearhead the operation, I had no idea who he was. To my knowledge he had never made a comic book, wasn’t an artist or a businessman or anyone responsible for anything. He went under a pseudonym and nobody seemed to question the anonymity or lack of credentials.

Despite this, the Conglomerate still seemed to get more interest and support than any other idea before its time, which would have frightened me quite a bit if I’d ever had any fleeting inkling of considering the slightest possibility of submitting any of my work or Megazeen to this insane concept. The Conglomerate was so completely preposterous that I don’t even recall participating in the discussion, although I watched from a distance with great interest, much like a visitor to a zoo watching the chimpanzees throwing their own feces. You don’t want to see it, but you can’t stop watching.

The concept of the Conglomerate went something like this (and to put this in perspective, look back about 3 years ago): taking the comic-making quality Community Comics, the e-commerce mechanisms and regular online updates of Megazeen (at the time we were updating weekly) and the talent pool and online fellowship and presence of ChristianComics.net, along with some other island grass-roots efforts, and utilizing them all under one banner where each could strengthen the other. I was flattered that he’d think of Megazeen as being a key part of the puzzle, but I never offered or suggested it.

The president of the Conglomerate (the aforementioned Mastermind nominated himself) would head up marketing efforts. These marketing efforts would include online sales for sure, and comic shops and bookstores. But the big brainchild here was that somehow we’d get into the end caps of supermarket checkout lines right next to the National Enquirer and Soap Digest. Hey it was working for Disney Magazine right?

This provides a further clue to how way off-base this idea was. First of all, putting any traditional true mainstream comic books in supermarket end caps is akin to selling feminine hygiene products as impulse buys at Home Depot. It’s like pushing Star Wars figures at Victoria’s Secret. It’s like selling power drills at the pet shop. Get the idea? Know your audience. Your audience is comic book readers, kids, teens, young adult males, aging overweight slobbering adult males, not soccer moms buying their week’s groceries.

Again keep in mind, the Conglomerate Mastermind had no business experience. But he was going to conquer Winn-Dixie and Stop n Shop.

The Conglomerate would carry its own logo and any book that would submit to the Conglomerate would get a Conglomerate seal of approval. Sounds good, much like the old CCA, and providing some product recognition.

But two words should jump out as big ole red flags. Submit. Approval. If you’re not seeing the problem with this, hang on it’s a fun ride.

3 comments:

Mark said...

I remember that ol Conglomerate deal. What I can't remember is if I was excited for it. I think I was laughing in the corner at just the name.

Joey your blogs are always a GREAT read!!

jeremy said...

CHOMICS!!!

Joey Endres said...

Chomics... dear Lord, I forgot about that. To avoid taking up any more valuable blog space- the Mastermind coined the term "chomics" to represent Christian comics, since he didn't like typing it all the time and wanted to break the stereotypes or something. I could never figure out how we were supposed to pronounce it. "Ch" as in "cheese"? Sounds like a disease you get diarrhea from.