In a shocking and ghoulish move, Valiant Entertainment has announced plans to hand out merchandise promoting their upcoming comic books at a funeral for businessman Toyo Harada to take place at the ComicsPRO gathering the weekend of February 21st in Charlotte, North Carolina. Harada's wake will take place from 7:30 to 8:30 PM on Friday, February 22nd, with guests encourage to dress in appropriate funeral attire. But Valiant reps will be on hand to give out "welcome bags" featuring "retailer-exclusive goodies" such as a Fallen World stress ball, shot glass, and pen, a Punk Mambo button and highlighter, and a Forgotten Queen sticky notes pad.
How tasteless! It's unknown what Harada's loved ones will think of this crass exploitation, but Valiant is promoting it in the following press release. Bleeding Cool sends our condolences to the family of Toyo Harada in this difficult time.
Valiant Entertainment is heading to the 13th Annual ComicsPRO meeting taking place February 21-23 in Charlotte, NC with a bunch of cool freebies and an unforgettable celebration of the world's most powerful man.
Valiant will host an hourlong reception for ComicsPRO attendees to celebrate the life of Toyo Harada from 7:30-8:30 pm on Friday, February 22nd. Guests will receive a Valiant tie and in memoriam cards and have a chance to sign the late Mr. Harada's guest book. Funeral attire is encouraged but not required. It's what the late and great Mr. Harada would want, after all. He may be gone, but his memory lives on in THE LIFE AND DEATH OF TOYO HARADA #1 by Joshua Dysart and CAFU, on sale March 13th.
ComicsPRO attendees will also receive "Welcome Bags" from Valiant and even more retailer-exclusive goodies during roundtable chats with Valiant staff. Want to relieve some stress? Squeeze a chunk of New Japan with the FALLEN WORLD stress ball, based on the upcoming series by Dan Abnett and Adam Pollina debuting on May 1st. Need to jot down some important secrets? Use the FALLEN WORLD pen! And after a long day, unwind with the FALLEN WORLD shot glass.
Show the world you rock by sporting a PUNK MAMBO pin, based on the gritty new series debuting April 24th by Cullen Bunn and Adam Gorham. Or use the PUNK MAMBO pink highlighter to brighten your scribbles on THE FORGOTTEN QUEEN sticky notes, based on the phenomenal new series by Tini Howard and Amilcar Pinna coming out on February 27th. There may or may not be some other fun items. (Spoiler: There are.)
While these items are for attending ComicsPRO retailers only, fans who wish to obtain any of these cool collectibles should check if their local comic shop is a member of ComicsPRO and planning to attend the annual meeting.
ComicsPRO is the only trade organization for direct-market comic book retailers. ComicsPRO's goals are to promote advocacy, education, and opportunity for their members and for other storefront comic book retailers. For more information on ComicsPRO, visit http://www.comicspro.org.