Odd musings on sales and Things

I picked up The Thing two-movie box set today on Blu today and a couple of, erm, things struck me about how the product was stacked on shelves.

I went to about three different shops before buying. Two of them were different branches of HMVs, but a strange thing bore out at all three: all shops were prominently displaying The Thing (2011) single disc edition on DVD and Blu, most had an odd copy of the two-movie box set on DVD, but no shop had the Blu box set on display.

Indeed, the only reason I was able to pick up my edition today was by asking a guy behind the counter whether the store had it, where upon my request he delved into a box behind the counter and presented it to me.

This is not a nag or a moan (I got my Blu and the staff member was helpful in pulling it out of the box) , however it does show a lack of product understanding.

The Thing double pack includes the John Carpenter original and it’s the first time the movie has been on Blu in the UK. It wasn’t available separately and being something of a fan I figured I’d pay a bit extra and get the prequel (which in all honesty I didn’t mind and thought was a bit fun).

Among horror fans, JC’s original The Thing is something of a holy grail of horror films. Given that horror fans (such as myself) are a bit geeky and care about transfer quality and aspect ratios, it’s more likely that we would be disposed to forking out for the Blu.

The above observation seemed to pass each shop by, given the way that they had stacked their shelves.

They’d also chosen to stack the DVD box set pack over the Blu version.

What’s wrong with this?

Well, those who liked The Thing (1982) would have already bought it when it came out on DVD as part of an awesome edition that included special features galore. But, chances are those that liked the first one aren’t going to be interested in the prequel in any format (yeah, yeah, but I’m the exception that proves the rule), so why bundle it with a version they would already have on DVD?

It’s highly unlikely that those who watched the prequel first and liked it would then seek out the original as part of a joint purchase. If you’re into your horror then The Thing (1982) would have been on the radar from the start.

The high-street is going through a rough time right now, but what shops have over online is the ability to develop closer and more social links with its patrons. The success of high street retail depends on staff have a working cultural knowledge of the products they’re selling. This needs to be tied to powers that allow stores to make discretionary promotions on new releases.

It would have been child’s play to mark-down the Blu-ray box set in its first week of release for the fans, just to develop long term loyalty. Hell, they could even have kept the price the same and offered me a voucher off my next Blu purchase, horror or not.

Retailers have a premium product on their hands with Blu-ray. The thing is, by not encouraging local staff or expert decisions about what to stock and how to display them, or by not creating a premium customer reward for purchasers of premium products, they’re sacrificing a major opportunity.

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posted by JP at 12:32 am  

Hitchcock’s Definition of Happiness

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posted by JP at 12:12 am  

The Creative Process

As I’ve now begun writing the next issue I thought it might be handy (at least for the curious, anyway) to give an insight into my creative process.

I’ll post these little creative bites up as they come along. Here’s the first:

By the time I’m ready to write the next issue, a good few months would have passed since the publication of the last one. This is vital as it gives me the chance to look at the work (somewhat) objectively.

Making comics requires a heap of passion which usually can spill over into a necessary arrogance (why would you make a comic if you weren’t under the delusion you could do better than what’s out there).

I find that if I leave a bit of time between publishing an issue and appraising it, I tend to see things without the rose-tinted vision of a proud creator.

Because I’m my own editor, I have to be doubly ruthless when it comes to critiquing my material. Obvious things to look for are recurring themes in the work, making the same point or the same joke–the creative mind is very sneaky as it’ll slip things under the radar that you think are new but in fact variants of something you’ve done before. Beware!

This all leads to the question: what haven’t I done as yet?

Don’t be afraid to ask this question as very often it can lead to some interesting answers that could be the perfect springboard into your next story.

At the same time, don’t deny yourself the opportunity to write a certain type of story. You’ll always write a better story if it’s something you yourself enjoy. If a story doesn’t make you laugh, or cry or think or whatever, why should it make anyone else?

Next, make sure you stay current. Keep up with the scene, not so as to emulate it but rather to prevent duplicating what’s already been published. Thoughtclouds do exist and be sure that if you have an idea, someone on the other side of the world may be already into page seven of its transcription.

Next, begin fleshing out an idea. Don’t at this stage dive into writing your 27-issue mini series, rather just play around with the idea. Is there a cool shot you could start with or a nifty piece of dialogue that could occur halfway in? Tease fruits from the idea and see how much juice it has. If you find the idea lending itself to one or more interesting ends then keep cooking and see how far it takes you.

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posted by JP at 9:28 pm  

London Horror Comic @ ThoughtBubble 2012

Just a quick note to say that London Horror Comic will be making its eagerly anticipated return to Leeds later this year for the awesome ThoughtBubble 2012 show.

ThoughtBubble

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posted by JP at 1:33 pm  

London Horror Comic Interviewed on Broken Frontier

Broken Frontier make me look moderately professional with an interview piece on London Horror Comic.

I talk about the book’s origins, influences, the state of the UK small press scene and, of course, my favorite spoon.

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posted by JP at 9:46 pm  

Works begins on Issue 5

London Horror Comic 5 work begins

London Horror Comic 5 work begins

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posted by JP at 9:42 pm  

London Horror Comic Review in StarBurst Magazine

“The writing is superb…the art is spot on.”

Read the full review over at StarBurst.

You can preview full stories from London Horror Comic and buy issues online direct from us by clicking on the pics for each issue below.

Or, if you’d like to buy the comic from a physical store made of bricks and everything, visit our retailers section which contains a full list of stores stocking our fine mag.

London Horror Comic

London Horror Comic

London Horror Comic

London Horror Comic

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posted by JP at 9:03 pm  

London Horror Comic now at Forbidden Planet Croydon

Busy as a one legged-men in an ass-kicking contest at the mo, but just thought I’d mention that copies of London Horror Comic are now also available at Forbidden Planet Croydon:

Address:
43 Church Street
London
CR0 1RH

Opening Hours:
Mon – Wed 10:00 – 18:00
Thursday 10:00 – 19:00
Friday 10:00 – 18:00
Saturday 09:30 – 18:00
Sunday 11:00 – 17:00

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posted by JP at 9:40 pm  

Welcome to London Horror Comic

If you’ve just discovered the London Horror Comic, welcome.

Here’s a bunch of stuff that you might find useful:

If you’ve discovered London Horror Comic through iTunes you might like to know that we do print editions of the book. We’ve done four issues so far and you can preview them and order them here with worldwide P+P included in all prices.

We’ve been going for six years and have received praise from people like Garth Ennis, Stewart Lee, J.M. Dematteis, SFX, The Horror Channel. Check out a selection of praise in our reviews section.

If you want to get in touch, you can hit me, JP Kamath the writer of the London Horror Comic, on twitter @londonhorror, or come drink the Kool Aid with me on the FaceBook page.

If you want to hire me as a writer for your comic book, I do indeed sell my soul for pennies. You can reach me here:
If you want to buy the book from a comic store you can pick it up from Forbidden Planet London, Orbital Comics and Gosh! Comics in London.

If you OWN a comic book store and would like to stock the London Horror Comic, you can find more info here.

You want to see me sing for my supper? Sure, I can do that. Check out the video below. Note, once you’ve seen it you can’t “unsee” it:

HERO TALK TV- CREATOR SPOTLIGHT: London Horror Comic from www.heroesandidols.com on Vimeo.

And if after all that you want to meet in person you can catch me at one of several comics conventions this year. Don’t bring me heads to sign. Thanks.

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posted by JP at 11:12 pm