I love ideas!
The bigger/bolder an idea is makes it more attractive to me and I consider myself an idea guy.
Perhaps even “The Greatest Idea Guy Ever” (since I call myself The Smartest Man in the World is it really a stretch to say I am the greatest Idea person ever?).
I see ideas and opportunities everywhere and like Spider-Man’s powers this is both a gift and a curse….in fact I have mentioned a few times on this blog that I am happy to consult people and give out free ideas because they come to me so quick and clean.
Just last week I got an email taking me up on my challenge and all it said was that he was looking for a character to attach to a mortgage company idea. I responded (in minutes) with a character based on a house who loves the people inside of him, his family, and wants to see them pay off their mortgage quicker so they can own him and not the bank! I have no idea if this will get used but if you see it around soon just remember where it came from 🙂
I was going through some old computer files yesterday and came across a folder of ideas I put together about 5 years ago to help bring the Comic Book Industry into the mainstream spotlight and deliver new fans from non traditional sources…or to recapture the imagination of people who grew up with comics but are now professionals and think it is just “kids stuff”. The folder had about 20 or so ideas and while for the most part they still hold up and could be implemented today with great success there was one that I love so much I am determined to do this somehow (even for another industry but it just “works” so perfectly for Comics) for someone!
Before I post this I should let you know that this idea is an awareness idea with ROI but this idea is not about generating money per se but deliver new readers and instill new passion in folks who over time will become loyal customers…..also I considered editing it and giving it a modern day polish but chose to present you the idea exactly as I had conceived it half a decade ago. Looking at it now with fresh eyes I see ways to make even better and develop it into a yearly franchise that would pay for itself!
ONE FINAL THING* You will see the name DC COMICS all over this idea. Please remember this is just a concept and DC COMICS is a great example of who could pull this off but this can be executed with Marvel Comics or even a large group of Independent Comic Publishers on a smaller scale.
OK enough build up……..here it is……….and please let me know what you think!
Idea #1 – Awareness through Art
The following idea is not intended to make money per se (but is designed not to lose money either). This idea is more of a cultural event designed to stimulate interest in the characters and open up comics to people who would never consider entering a comic book shop.
The idea is to create art exhibits in local art galleries featuring local artists painting DC COMICS iconic art.
To make this a unique experience it needs to follow the following structure.
The artists have to be local and have to be relatively unknown (possibly never having a gallery show before) Artists will need to be screened well but can be found at local art schools or art shop recommendations/open “casting” call. By avoiding “famous” artists there will not be an issue of releasing copyright to the art. It is important for DC to have the rights as you will see at the end.
The gallery must be a “hot” gallery that will bring people in and help promote the event. I called a few places for research purposes (asking general questions and not claiming to work for DC etc) and how the Gallery system works is that they do not charge for the space but take a small percentage of the sale of the art. This works fine as the art will be for sale. This also creates a “benefit” to the artist to participate.
I see the show running from Thursday to Sunday with Thursday open for schools to visit. The rest of the weekend will be open to the public with a very small entrance fee (maybe $1.00 to 2.00) and this fee gets donated to a local literacy foundation. Each person will receive a DC Comics “goody” bag as they leave with books and information on ordering more books.
Saturday night of the showing will be a (insert appropriate price here….maybe $100 per ticket) charitable viewing with socialites and celebrities all invited. There are many celebrities interested in comics, like Sean Combs, Samuel L. Jackson and Shaq O’Neal . Saturday night should be covered by local and entertainment media giving even more exposure to DC Comics as well as the artists participating.
One must is that all the art and the Saturday Night party must be professionally photographed but I will get to more on that in a minute.
Sunday returns to the same format as Friday and Saturday (daytime) with the small entrance fee.
These events need to have a local feel to them and the “Celebrities” invited to the Saturday night should be local as well.
Here is why this works and is “win/win” for all parties concerned.
-The artists get major exposure for their work with the only stipulation that they draw DC Iconic Characters doing whatever they want (just no nudity or excessive violence)
-The Appeal to the artist would be they get to work to their strength. If they work in a POP ART style then their piece will be POP ART. If they work in Sculpture then their piece will be a statue etc.
-The artist have an opportunity to sell their work with the understanding that will donate a small percentage (maybe 3-5%) to the local literacy charity chosen for this even.
-The Gallery gets a high profile show that will bring a lot of people to the gallery to possibly buy works of art.
-The Charity receives a donation plus exposure.
-The whole event will cost very little (just the cost to promote it) and even that cost can be underwritten by a corporate sponsor. I.e.: Coke, Playstation etc or a DC Comics Parent company movie tie in.
-DC COMICS gets good press for the event and the donations as well as needed exposure for comics and extends the perception of them as a leader in the industry and community.
-DC COMICS hands out a goody bag to people therefore actually getting product into people’s hands.
-The first event would be held in New York with additional events held every 4-5 months in other cities (Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Toronto) and can be planned to co-inside with existing comic conventions.
-Since DC COMICS will own the copyright on the art (and has photographed and documented the whole event) it can then publish a coffee table book and market it to comic fans as well art lovers. This book would also have a built in audience for anyone who attended and this is how DC Comics makes money on this idea.
Final Thoughts on Idea #1
I understand this is not the type of thing DC Comics does or gets involved with but that is the exact reason to do it. I did an informal market survey and concluded that the type of people that look down on comics did find this idea intriguing. As with all ideas and plans targeting to the mainstream and not just the direct market you need to remember who buys your books and not alienate them. This would open new worlds to all people attending and be welcoming to all parties.
I know I am repeating myself but I love this idea! Sure it lacks the boldness of my current thinking but this is a good old fashioned nugget of gold!
I gotta do this someday.