Comics Creators

Free comics…for Comic shops…


Ok, I had an idea which is either a genius move or the stupidest idea imaginable and as always I wanted to use you guys and girls as a sounding board.

Full disclosure, what I am proposing could be seen as doing something REALLY nice (which I think it is), but in all honesty, I am suggesting it’s because it will get more my comics into more people’s hands too, so I am not claiming to be holier than thou.
BUT, I swear that gesture of doing this is coming from a place of love and it is because I LOVE comic shops, because I truly believe that they are the life blood of the comic industry and they are struggling.

Even though the properties owned by people like the big two rake in Billions at the box office, readership is actually, fewer people are buying comics and prices are going up.
This puts comic shops under HUGE amounts of financial pressure and I know of two who have recently had to shut their doors for good over here in the UK.
It’s heartbreaking because, if you are a kid (of any age), a comic shop is like Disney World that you get to visit on a weekly basis.

Those of you who know me, know that I make my own small press comics…I’ve been selling them for about 18 months and I’ve sold a good few thousand of them. Which is great.
You lot have supported me loads (thanks again), I’ve busted my hump at cons, utilising social media…and I also sell a lot through bricks and mortar comics shops. I physically called EVERY shop I could find the details for in the UK and inquired if they sell small press comics…and a lot took a punt on me and the comics I helped create.
There is no real incentive for them to do this, because there is no real mark up on small press comics really. We are talking pennies.
They are doing it because they love comics and they want to support new voice and undiscovered talent (not saying I’m talented, I’m not that egotistical).

Every time someone buys a comic from my site, which is great for me, but it is lost revenue for a comic shop. I tried to do something special with The Ether #1 a few months ago and the amazing @dizevez kindly did a special local comic shop variant, that you could only by from a bricks and mortar comic shop…and it worked, that second print sold out in days…people wanted the cover, so gave me the details of their LCS, I asked them to stock it because THEIR customers wanted it and a few LCS actually contacted me…

However, I think I can take this idea a little further…so bear with me, because I know this has been a long intro…I can be a bit wordy at times.

The amazing @dizevez and I have another new series called white NOIR starting soon…

So, what I am suggesting is this.
I could quite easily do what I usually do, pay for a largish print run and sell around 400-500 pretty easy via the support network I have built up (which I am eternally grateful for)
I could run a Kickstarter where YOU can get the comic for yourself and at the same time, you can donate an extra copy to your local comic shop for them to give away!
How does this help your LCS? I hear you ask.
The only stipulation for a customer to get their hands on the free comic you donated is, that customer has to buy three other items in the store.
That could be new comics, back issues, a trade, a funko or even a Keyring.
Just something that gets a little more cash in YOUR LCS’ till.

So, this is what I am thinking for the tiers.

£1 would get you a free PDF of white NOIR when it comes out.

£3 + P&P (which is around £1.50 per comic in the UK…everywhere else incurs a supplement to cover postage) would get you and just a physical copy of the comic.
So, that’s £4.50 total…which is exactly the same as buying it direct from my online store.

However, if you pledge

£7.00 (including P&P UK only…everywhere else incurs a supplement to cover postage) you would get yourself a comic PLUS a FREE copy for YOUR LCS.
Your name printed in the back…along with which shop you donated a comic too.
In the survey after I’ll ask which shop you want to donate too, if you don’t want to choose, just put YOU decide and I’ll give it to one of the comic shops that have supported me.

Pledge £10.00 (including P&P UK only…everywhere else incurs a supplement to cover postage)
You would get yourself a comic PLUS a FREE issue for YOUR LCS.
Your name printed in the back…along with which shop you donated a comic too.
PLUS you will get NINE extra PDFs of my entire back catalogue of comics to date:
Cordelia Swift #1-4
The ETHER #1
As well as the white Noir PDF

Ok, so that’s the concept…but lets talk costs to show that I am not a selfish SOB and i am not trying to fleece you.
I charge £3.00 for my comics.
Cards on the table, it costs me around £2.00 to print each book, the postage of £1.50 is pretty spot on for the postal weight to ship and the cost of the envelope.

So, if you pledge £7.00.
That’s £2.00 cost of your comic, plus £1.50 postage AND £2.00 cost for YOUR LCS copy and postage to you…I MAKE NOTHING…buit that is not the point.
I don’t make comics to make money, I make them because I want to tell the stories I want to tell and that it, as long as I cover my costs and I get to make more which I do, I am one happy bunny!

But where is the extra revenue from the £1 and £10 pledges going, Matt?
Well, this is going to help cover Kickstarters “cut” which they take, plus anything left I’ll print as many copies as I can and send to more comic shops who I know support small press comics.

I know we have events like FREE comic book day, which are great, but comic shops actually have to buy those comics out of their own pocket and there is no guarantee that when someone takes a free comic they will buy something else in the store…but this WOULD (in theory) generate the sale of three extra items in the shop, which will generate profit for your LCS.
I know that this would have more traction if I was a seasoned pro and not just a small press hustler, but I am not sure anyone else has thought of doing this.
So until then, it’s just me and my quest to help keep LCS doors open! :wink:

So, is this a good idea or am I just talking out of my bottom?



You ridiculous beautiful man .
Goddamn your on the money here pal.

Basically if they ain’t coming through the door then who’s going to buy your comics.
And as a retailer how can increase my margins.

So your idea
-Rewards your existing fanbase
-Rewards retailer with higher GP/cash margin from Free stock
-Rewards customers with a unique product that’s a retail exclusive
-Reminds everyone Matt Garvey is trying to drive retail footfall and isnt in it just for the online sales

Yeah so terrible. Who could possibly think this is a good idea.

Would it be possible to leave a code for a pdf at the shop so the purchaser of the gifted comic can read it and then re-gift it again and have a digital copy?


Aww, cheers buddy :blush:

I can give the shops a PDF copy, so they can share it via drop box link…so thats not too hard to do… but a good idea


Good ideas! Now, cut all that verbiage down to a Tweet. And plan on delivering that fast!

This type of presentation needs to be made in a single sentence.


Good they recently gave me more characters to tweet! :joy:
But I’d like to know what an actual comic shop thinks, because I’m doing it for them.
If they don’t think it will with, there is no point!


I love this idea.

Nathan, who runs my LCS, has already told me he is watching your website so he can order in copies of your new material based on my interest and how well the variant copies of The Ether sold.

I’m am certain he would be up for this.

Does the (not so) secret retailer part of the forum still exist? Do you have access to it? Can a MOD post the original part of this thread in there as a new thread?


Not sure…that would be a question for @Jim


Awwwwww, thanks man


The retailer forum still exists, I’ll be honest, it isn’t very busy.


Is that because Mark does not have nine titles out at the moment? Is it cyclical like that?


Mark’s posts always attract a lot more attention, if not always comments, than anyone else.


Are you suggesting that i am not as popular as Mark Millar?!

sounds about right :wink: