Dan Slott · @DanSlott

11th Jan 2014 from TwitLonger

Question: Why spoil something in major news outlets BEFORE new comic Weds?

Simple answer: To drum up interest for potential all-new comic readers and to get the word out to lapsed comic readers.

In order to survive, adapt, and thrive the comic book market needs new readers.

While the characters are alive and well in movies, cartoons, video games and other media, that doesn't always translate to new/potential readers taking the initiative to go into a direct market comic shop-- or surf to a digital site, download a comic reading app, and then download a digital comic.

But character awareness IS out there with the world at large-- whether its people who saw THE AVENGERS in the theaters, viewers who watch WALKING DEAD on TV, or gamers who've played an ARKHAM ASYLUM console game. And a news story about a major development with a major character might just be the thing that gets that potential new reader to go into that shop later that week.

We fans who read stuff on the day are already primed to sites and stories-- we already have our Wednesday comic book day rituals down. Not everyone else is in the same boat.

Wish it wasn't the case, but sometimes stories that break in the mainstream early are a necessary evil in order to get new blood into an industry that needs it. Those extra sales will help books that you enjoy thrive. Those extra potential customers will also be exposed to OTHER mainstream and indie comics while they're there. And, in the end, that's a good thing for everyone, right?

Spoilers on comic sites and comic gossip sites though, IMO, do more harm. They're aimed squarely at the audience we already have-- you don't really get the potential gain of new readership-- and you give away major surprises/reveals that could have made those comics MORE enjoyable for the people who were already going to read them anyway.

That's my take on it all.

As much as we love our close knit industry-- we need new readers from all over, all ages, all walks of life-- and sometimes this is what helps us bring them in. For my part, when I know that spoilers are on the way I try to give you a heads up so you stand a chance of avoiding them.

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