It was such a simple tweet that did it. From publisher Red 5 Comics

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Atomic Robo v4 #3 now up for PSP via @psncomics

Two retailers jumped up instantly. From Larry's Comics and Jetpack Comics

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!ALSO Available in 1/ 3,000 Indy retail shops

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!DEAR COMIC PUBLISHERS! If you are going to TWEET about your digital releases being available how about backing the floppy retailers as well?

Red 5 responded to both

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!That's true, but Atomic Robo in cool Indy retail shops has that pesky whole-story-collected-as-cool-trade-with-bonus-material

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!We tweet all week long when we have in-store releases. But appreciate the reminder… We linked to today's comics on sale a few times earlier today. We always back the stores.

And Marvel made their plug point too.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Your new #Marvel comics & collections on sale today: (A reminder for our friends at @JetpackComics & other comic shops.)

Was that going to be the end of it? Concern expressed and answered? Come on, this is the internet. Atomic Robo co-creator, Brian Clevinger,  joined in;

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Digital distribution is A solution for folks w/out a local shop. Or w/a sucky one. Won't replace great shops!

But that wasn't enough. Larrys Comics replied

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Agreed… BUT publishers that spend the majority of their social media energy promoting digital, piss me off.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!! I'm not arguing digital dis. I would just like to see print get the same focus. Paying my bills is my motivation.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!I get'cha, but – Consider: no one asks us if/when Vol 4 will appear in shops. It's already there! Or, they ask their shop. Or read Previews… They ask us when it'll appear in shops BEFORE it comes out, and we're happy to tell them.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Bullshit!

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Whoa, whoa, whoa, Mister. It's already out. They don't ask us that anymore…  For instance, got a TON of people at NYCC asking when Vol 5 would be at their shops. And we told 'em! And it's on our site.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!NOT what you said first

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Yes it is,. People, TODAY, do not ask us when Vol 4 will be in their comic shop. But people have been asking since Vol 4 started when it would be available digitally. If it appears we promote digital releases more than print, it's because… 1) People can find out about print release date by asking local shop or looking at Previews. Many and established info sources. 2) Different digital services release the comics at different times. So, we have to talk about it more. AND since there's no Previews for digital comics, there are fewer sources with the information people want. We have to provide that info until there's an industry standard source for it. None of this implies a bias against shops. Shops are where we get the BULK of our income. We <3 <3 <3 shops.  We've also had a recent lull in print so there hasn't been a lot to promote.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!TRY not to forget who first lined your pockets, helping you establish your brand in today's market. The bulk of your income comes from Brick n Mortar shops yet you feel obligated to spend bulk of your energies promoting digital?

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Did you not read my last tweet? We always push sales to local shops first and foremost. BUT we have to talk about digital comics because there's three major outlets with different release schedules and no Previews.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!did you even read YOUR own twitter feed. You fawn over your shiny new toy incessantly.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!People come to us for information. We give it to them because there's no standardized alternative venue to disseminate it. If there were no Previews, if comic shops were served by three different distributors with different release dates, we'd have to spend a great deal of energy promoting those release dates, wouldn't we.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!BUT I think you have to talk more about brick n mortar because they are under siege by three major digital outlets.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Really? All I hear from are people who say "I discovered your comic on iTunes. Then I went to my shop and ordered them all." Or I hear from people who go digital because they don't have a local shop. Or theirs refuses to make special orders (what?!?)

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Really? All I hear from are people who say "I discovered Atomic Robo at one of your in store signings Then I bought them all." If brick n mortar gets unequal promotion efforts we have to spend even more energy promoting product , wouldn't we. customer gain/lost ratio ain't too good in my shop . Print runs back me up. Perhaps in fantasy land things are swell

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Unequal promotion: What would fix that? We can't promote an issue that came out months ago and isn't on most shelves anymore.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!I have but one humble request: BALANCE your social media energies. Don't forget who brought you to the dance. you NEVER seem as orgasmic when the new "real" Robo comic hits the shelves as when it hits the new digital I-douche.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!That's an absurd caricature. I talk about print release for weeks. I retweet digital release announcements. "Orgasmic"? C'mon.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!read your own twitter feed. I can. Anyone can.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!That video is an illustration of why you have nothing to fear from digital. It will never replicate the community of a shop.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!I do not fear digital. I embrace it Creators that I have run through walls for, not giving me equal billing simply pisses me off

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Facing disingenuous and easily disproven accusations at every turn because someone suffers confirmation bias pisses me off. I'll be happy to include "get the trade locally!" when I RT digital releases, but folks who want TPB probably have it by then.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!You should. Out of respect to your retail partners. I don't understand the words coming out of your mouth.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!In short: your case against us is built out of a reading of our tweets so selective it borders on the delusional.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!In short: your non- support of the Direct Market based on potential digital orders borders on the delusional. there were MANY who thought I was delusional when I ordered Hundreds of Atomic Robo #1 Ask @Scott_Wegna You're welcome douche

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Amazing. I explained, twice, why you were wrong, agreed to promote print even more anyway, and that's what I get. Stay classy.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!thanks for explaining your digital promotional efforts to me. My feeble comic book retailer intellect appreciates your blessing.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Dear lord. Do we have to go through it a third time? I've already given up an entire day's work on talking to you about this. My new business plan is to promote products you can't get in stores any more. Gonna start with calendars from 1987.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!seriously? A couple hours of exchanging tweets with a dopey shop keep disrupts your delicate genius work schedule? Pussy!

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!When they are my working hours, yes. Takes a great deal of effort to craft Tweets around your ability to distort them. Think you could have a conversation without resulting to insults? Calling you delusional doesn't count, because thinking "RT" = "orgasmic" endorsement is delusional.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!well now, wouldn't want to disrupt the digital expansion of your Atomic Robo empire. Carry on. Your Marvel work sucks ass BTW

Yeah, that was going to do it. Because now it was time for the internet to pile on! Guess which way they would go…

jason1749 Man, fuck @LarrysComics

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!Yeah man! Fuck me! EVERY comic fan that purchased your Infinity Gauntlet mini for $3.99 felt ass raped with a broken bottle. Good job

robotthirteen Your 500 tweet rappers battle with @LarrysComics over 1 tweet will probaby sell more digital downloads than if nothing was said

Velcrobinson You should be honored to have a public spat with @larryscomics. You join the ranks of @gailsimone and @theisb

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!cool. I don't even remember the Gail Simone spat. I'm sure it happened. Loved some of her work. Hated some of it too

jason1749 yeah @LarrysComics is one of those shitty shops that will be killed by digital. Good shops will make it through fine.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!yeah. My shop blows. Digital is my doom.

theisb Hey man. Don't forget who brought you to the dance. Wait, webcomicwhatnow?

tankgrrl the rest of New England would like to say "sorry, we don't know what his malfunction is either"

tomselleck69 the trick is to not acknowledge that guy ever. many have learned the hard way

Booneisfooce Infinity gauntlet by @bclevinger ass raped me with a broken bottle in the best way imaginable. I think I need medical attention.

Brandon_Whaley I guess if Infinity Gauntlet by @bclevinger violated me somehow them I must be into that sort of thing.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!30,000 tweets. 309 followers!? I'm NOT speaking for you. Asshole

brad_merc Hey, not that you care of my opinion, but Larry is the worst and Infinity Gauntlet is fantastic. Pure, fun comic booking!

SpectreCollie Years of having to deal w/people like @LarrysComics is why many of us are excited about digital distribution.

THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!THIS IS TWITTER WAR!!!!!!!!chuck. You have NEVER dealt with me. Enjoy digital comics. Ass monkey

l_c_black Someone's going to be pretty internet-embarrassed in the morning and it's not @bclevinger. I'm tellin' you, we need Tweet Goggles.

What's that thing they say? The customer is always…? Nah, it's gone.

Oh and Brian Clevenger's "Avengers & the Infinity Gauntlet" was $2.99 not $3.99
so anyone who did pay $3.99 probably did feel "ass raped with a broken bottle"

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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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