Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hustlin'.

In his brief interview with our own Alan David Doane, here, Ed Brubaker explained that he was doing a whole lot of "hustling" to publicize Criminal before its October, 2006, release. Fans got involved by showing retailers the PDF "trailer," and I was wondering if there was anything that we could do leading up to the February debut of Volume 2.

So far as I know, Ed and Sean haven't mentioned anything in particular that readers can do to help promote Volume 2. Ed has said here that he hopes a few more retailers take a chance on Criminal, but so far as I can tell, all the comic book stores in my area have already ordered issues in the past and are likely to continue ordering it.

As much as I love this book, I want to see it do as well as it possibly can, so I've decided to do some hustling on my own.

Besides loaning my trade collections of Criminal to a friend or two to see if they like the series, I've decided to become a veritable "pusher" of this very addictive book. I've talked to the very cool owners of my local comic book shop, and they're letting me buy a copy of Criminal Vol. 2, Issue #1, for three of their other customers.

I asked them to check their customers' pull lists to find the ones who are the most likely to become Criminal fanatics. Specifically, I asked them to find customers who were already regular readers of Daredevil, Marvel Zombies, and 100 Bullets. If the customer is already a fan of Ed's writing, Sean's art, and crime comics, he's a perfect fit for Criminal.

I found out last weekend that they've found a few good candidates, and when February rolls around, three of them will each have a free copy of Issue #1 waiting for them. With any luck, they'll like the self-contained story and will start picking up issues on their own.

Like any good dealer, I'm handing out freebies hoping a few people will get hooked.

No one's asked me to do this -- not Alan, and certainly not Ed or Sean -- but Criminal's a book I'm happy to share with others. And if other people take my idea and run with it, I won't complain, either.

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