Will You Find Corona Collectibles in a Comic Store In Your Future?

Rod Lamberti of Rodman Comics of Ankeny, Iowa writes weekly for Bleeding Cool. Find previous columns here. He writes about the latest in corona collectibles;

I read this on Bleeding Cool's article on ICV2's interview with Steve Geppi. "Our comeback will be bigger than our setback." – "If you recall, back in the 50s, when the government wanted to regulate, [comic publishers] avoided it by having a self‑regulatory thing called the Comic Book Authority. Even though they all competed, they all had that in the corner to make them in some ways uniform. There's going to be a time, particularly in the back issue market, when people are going to look at this period, and whatever they call it (the pandemic period, the coronavirus period, or COVID‑19), there'll be a certain collectible nature to that. Even aside from that (that's like a bonus round), I'm thinking that it will be a good way to drive people to the stores so you can clear the checklist: "If you want to have the complete pandemic period of comics, here's what you've got to have."

Wow, just wow. Currently products that have Corona in their title are suffering sales-wise. Corona beer stopped production in Mexico because they had the misfortune of having the name Corona. Even just bringing up the pandemic will only hurt sales. I am dismayed anyone thought this was a good idea. The idea actually scares me. This will cause nothing but headaches for the industry. Imagine a news outlet spinning this as a story and people getting upset. Imagine a second wave of the virus hitting while these covers come out. We do not need a repeat of DC's Vertigo Second Coming limited series where DC let the comic go to Ahoy Comics due to negative backlash they received. This has the ability to cause a setback for the comic industry. Associating something that is killing people with comics by putting something out to remind them of people dying and suffering on comic covers like this is beyond a terrible idea. Collect all forty-four coronavirus covers! Have a loved one that died because of the virus? I am sure these comics are for you to help relive those painful memories of people who had to die alone. But, hey, if Frank Miller gets on board with this by doing a cover it will be even cooler! Not. My goodness, how about I put a sign in my window. 10 percent off due to the coronavirus! Free pandemic poster with each purchase! I would say that would make people talk about the store, just not in a good way. How many people would stop coming in then? Too many. Let us do some smart marketing to bring in people, not turn them away.

'Comics are in your future' is a much better slogan and marketing idea to put on covers. It seems less desperate and more marketable. I am all for marketing that is about raising awareness about comics; but not interested in a marketing campaign that will turn people off to comics. Maybe a 'together we can beat this' marketing campaign might be better? It is not super original though it is much more positive and has a more hopeful message. Not a how can we profit off of a pandemic campaign? No pandemic collectibles please.

Corona Collectibles? Comics Store In Your Future. Photo from Rod Lamberti.
Corona Collectibles? Comics Store In Your Future.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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