CASB: No One Likes a Tease

Look, I know I can be a spiteful, petty asshole sometimes, but this is something that has been driving me nuts for the past couple of years.  One particularly embarassing new example has made me realize what I hate about it.

It is the practice comic books companies have started doing of sending out single-image teasers for a new series, with maybe a single cryptic line of dialogue to try and start some talking.  I'm sure someone somewhere finds it entertaining, but me?  I just find it rather onanistic.

I first saw it with Marvel's titles.  They would run, say, a single picture of a character in silohuette and have the tagline "I am a Defender"; by doing so, they hoped to get some buzz going about who will be starring in the new book.  Or, with the whole "vampires versus X-Men" story, they had preview picks of various X-characters as vampires, leaving you to guess which ones actually would be turned in the course of the story.  They did it so much that it became their main way of advertising.

Then the independents got in the act.  Still poses of the kids from Morning Glories looking less narratively interesting and more Abercrombie-wannabe-esque.  The near-endless stream of quotes and random panel samples from Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker that made the book look interesting in that same way a rambling narrative from a stoner usually is, not what it actually was.  And now we have what look like terrible 90s throwback "bad girls" bragging about being freelancers from Boom! Studios; like I said on Twitter, they come off less as ads for an action series and more for a brothel specializing in unique & specific fetishes.

In case you can't tell from my tone, I really hate this form of advertisement.  I would rather have a few ads that trickle out the base concept and then ads for the series as a whole than these random shots that are supposed to be conversation starters.  The Marvel ones didn't get me talking about who's with what team or why or whether they were technically undead; the Morning Glories ones were actually creepy & off-putting in a way that the series' story itself isn't at all; the Butcher Baker ones take what was ultimately a smart series & make it look rather stupid.  And now Boom!, a studio that used to have a lot of promise by largely avoiding traditional comic genres but has now started to become generic by pursuing them, has given me a series of ads that... Well...  I feel like I'm reading Wizard Magazine promote a particularly cheesy-looking Danger Girl knock-off.  That is definitely not something worth getting excited about unless you're hard-up for wanking material, and in the Internet age, you really shouldn't be.

All of these cases feel like such self-love on the part of the companies & the advertising divisions that it's off-putting.  I can't be the only one who stopped caring after the third promo picture and has gotten to the point where I stopped caring the instant I see that style of advertising being done.  It makes good series look bad and bad series look worse.  That is not how advertising should work.  But comicdom doesn't always like to follow the laws of Earth logic when it comes to economic matters, so of course they'll probably be sticking with these tease-tease-tease advertisements for the foreseeable future.  Wonderful.

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