Over the years DC has produced some really neat promotional products to send to comic shop in an effort to advertise upcoming projects. Most of the time this came in the form of promo posters, which have now become collectibles in and of themselves. I got bit by that bug several years ago and thanks to eBay and my friend Alan Leach, Jr. I have quite the healthy collection of promo posters. Alan also gave me the item I am posting about today. In 1998 DC published one of the best Superman stories ever told. The writer was Jeph Loeb. The artist was Tim Sale. The prestige format series was called Superman: For All Seasons. It was a Year One style tale that told the story of how Clark Kent left Smallville and how he came to terms with becoming the hero known as Superman. It is a beautiful story and I mean that on all levels from the writing to the heart of the story to Tim Sale’s gorgeous artwork to the way the piece was colored.
If you haven’t read this story you really need to and soon.
To advertise this story DC sent a bunch of promotional post cards to comic shops to be placed on the checkout counter. In retail terms the checkout counter is premium real estate. When I was a boy my father said to me…
No, he didn’t say, “Get out.” He said, “Son, stocks may rise and fall. Utilities and transportation systems may collapse. People are no damn good but they will always need to check out at the store and companies will pay through the nose to get to that space.”
“Remember,” my father said. “Check out counter real estate.”
Anyway, the check out space is the last chance any store has to get some of your money. This is true of any retail enterprise, including comic books shops. Sometimes shops will put this sort of promotional material at the front of the store but if they are really wanting to push a book they’ll put it near the cash register. At least that’s what Titan Games and Comics would do. Actually they did both. I remember seeing this particular postcard at the register around the time For All Seasons was going to come out and even grabbed one but that particular card has been lost to the ages. Thankfully, as I mentioned earlier, Alan Leach, Jr. came through with one in the mighty box of awesomeness he sent me a few years back and now I get to share it with you.
I really need to devote an episode of Views From The Longbox to this series so I can express how much I love it. J. David Weter already has and if you want to hear a damn fine podcast in general and a great episode in general check out Episode 50 of Superman Forever Radio. And then download all of the other episodes if you haven’t already.