Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Distributing Elmer

Distributing Elmer

I've been asked if I was going to sell Elmer at National Book Store and other major bookstores in the country. I've had feedback from other comic book publishers that it's difficult to consign and keep track of periodicals at National so I'm holding off until I get a compilation out whenever that will be. So for now, I'm sticking with comic book stores, and I'm trying really hard to get it out there as much as I can. Right now, Elmer is available locally at the following:

Comic Quest
*Basement Bldg. A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong
*4th Floor, Festival Mall (Near the Cinemas), Alabang
*SM City, Quezon City

Comics Odyssey
*Robinson's Place, Malate

Druid's Keep
3rd Floor, Gateway Centre, Magallanes

*SM Fairview, Quezon City

Will soon be available at:
*Filbar's, Riverside Mall, Marikina

One of the reasons why ELMER was written in English was because I also wanted to distribute it abroad. So far, ELMER is currently available in the US at:

Comics Odyssey
*Pasadena, California
*National City, California

I'm trying to get in touch directly with retailers, and hopefully it will be available online at a couple of online distributors soon. More info below.

I'm extremely grateful at those retailers who have been amazingly helpful in distributing my comic book, so I'm extending much gratitude to Mike and JP Simbulan of Comic Quest, Felix Cua of Druid's Keep, Cholo Mallillin of Filbar's Marikina and Sandy Sansolis of Comics Odyssey. Double thanks to Sandy for going beyond the call of duty as a retailer, for passing on complimentary copies to a few industy professionals in the US, and helping me make ELMER available in the United States.

I also would like to mention Raipo Toledo and the UGOKS for letting me sit in their booth at the Toycon, and for Azrael Colladilla for pushing to get free tables for artists at next week's Graphic/Fiction Awards, where I'll be selling copies.

Thanks also to Ruey De Vera for his review at the Inquirer, Steven Grant for his review at Comic Book Resources, and to everyone who wrote about it in their blogs and mailing lists like Dean Alfar, Tobie Abad, Mike Simbulan, Marco Dimaano, Andrew Drilon, Az, Jonas Diego, Rey Villegas, Budjette Tan, Mark Cerbo, Lico Reloj, Cev Ruiz, and many others.

Thanks to all those who bought copies (multiple thanks to those who bought multiple copies), and left feedback. It's very much appreciated.

Exactly one month after the printers distributed Elmer here in our house, already more than half the comic book's print run is out of my hands, and hopefully into yours.

With half the print run still with me, I try to keep on pushing to get the comic book out there, and although it had been often a successful venture, there are of course, some frustrating and baffling down sides.

For instance, I just don't understand how a company could spend a lot of money to place an ad at the Comics Journal seeking out Small Press Publishers, looking for products very much like mine to sell at their store, and then when you get in touch, they don't reply. You email them a few more times, and although you do manage to squeeze out a reply by emailing someone else in the company, once you start talking business, they don't reply. It's so baffling. Why bother to place the ad at all if you are not going to entertain people you want to attract to respond to the ad in the first place?

I got in touch with another online retailer that specializes distributing small press/independent comic books very much like mine, and they don't reply.

The pattern repeats a few times with a few other online retailers.

It's really weird. I'm thinking maybe it's just ME. Maybe my comics have bad breath. Yeah, maybe that's it.

Joe Williams of Red Flag Publishing, over at Warren Ellis' Engine Forum, pointed me towards online retailer Independent Propaganda, and it turned out quite well. Of all the online retailers I sent messages to, Independent Propaganda Head Cheese Wesley Craig Green was the only one who wrote back to express any interest in what I had to sell. I sent him the first ELMER package not too long ago, and in a very short time, ELMER should be available at the Independent Propaganda Store. I'll announce it here the moment it comes online.

Back here in the Philippines, I'm trying to find connections in Visayas and Mindanao so I could sell my comic book in those areas. In what appeared to be sheer luck, a magazine retailer from the south got in touch and wanted to add my comic book to his selling stock. Not fully sure if he was aware of the kind of work that I do, I offered to send him a copy via courier for free so he can evaluate if he wants to carry it or not. Well, it's been a month and I've never heard from him again. Apparently, he didn't know the kind of work that I did and it must have been shocking for him to see (or not see) a chicken pleasuring himself to Internet photos of a half naked and human bold star. I'm more amused than anything else.

I'm exploring other venues to distribute to the south via a few people I met over at MySpace. I hope that pans out well.