Adam Philips is a familiar figure in the comics world, but one you might not know you know. For many years he was the person running the slide demo at DC’s pattern panels- and as anyone who ever did a body with personas knows, the less attention that person gets the better the slideshow! Philips was much more than just a great A/ V person though- for more than 20 years at DC as Director of Marketing Business “hes working with” retailers behind the scenes as well n all of DC’s DM marketing tries. Prior to DC, he worked in Marvel’s pioneering direct market marketings split and Welsh Publishing as an writer.
All of that has given him a unique and in-depth knowledge of the comics manufacture- knowledge that he’s now putting to use with the proclamation of his new company, Untold Stories Marketing , which will act as a marketing agency for publishers to help them stand out in a field that is growing fast despite a pandemic and habitual doom saying.
With the edict of his new venture, we reached out to Philips with a few questions to give more background on just where he’s been and what he’ll be doing. There are actually a lot of untold narratives about Adam- from his non-comics writing to his early days in fandom- but we’ll leave that for the next interrogation!
THE BEAT: Untold Stories is your new company which you call an agency, but from is speaking to you, I know it will be doing a lot of stuff behind the scenes. Can you return us a better description?
PHILIPS: I think of Untold Stories Marketing as an organization because, to me, an organization stipulates fast, adaptable service and expertise. One of the things I’ve heard a lot from retailers is that if they knew what a project was, they would have said more. So, the main purpose of Untold Stories Marketing is to help publishers support better information to retailers. Retailers are the firstly gathering for any comic. They have to understand it and believe in it before they situate their line-ups and before they speak it up to their customers. That’s why my focus is on sell-in.
THE BEAT: You’ve had a long profession in comics- including 20 plus times at DC Comics as Director of Marketing Assistance, so this is probably a natural role for you, but why did you decide to climb back into the comics fray?
PHILIPS: Honestly, I adore comics. I’ve developed so many great relationships with people at different publishers, as well as retailers, the authors and craftsmen, distributors, pattern organizers, and the comics press…it’s such a great field, and we’re in the midst of an exciting term, with a lot of new companies developing unique approaches to publishing. I appreciate a lot of potential out there.
Every conversation I’ve had since leaving DC has reached me most enthusiastic about attaching with comics and propelling Untold Stories Marketing. People want to know what I’m doing and how we might work together. They crave their projects to succeed.
THE BEAT: What kind of tasks did you do at DC that prepped you for this?
PHILIPS: All of them! But the things I enjoyed best were communicating directly with retailers, either on videos we are to be able announce on Facebook, or organizing presents and going up in front of a army room to talk about new sales and marketing initiatives.
I used to say that when I died they would applied “He Did Previews” on my gravestone, because that was my main gig at DC for such a long time, but the fact is that it taught me a ton about what’s important- and what’s NOT important- when it comes to the solicitation info. Retailers have very little time to devote interpret catalogues. I used to say to journalists, when you get to the word “meanwhile” in your solicitation textbook, stop- that’s when you’re getting past the key points of the narrative and into subplots. And interesting thing like how I position the imaginative crews, the narration, and the characters can make a huge difference.
In the past year or so, I had a few opportunities to solicit new projections where I had to position and explain them in a very limited amount of seat. The biggest form of that was the Future State special, where I worked with a couple of other DC staffers to create a 32 -page promotional magazine in really a few weeks that would explain an part two-month event. I wrote sections that comprised the futuristic lives of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and more, with excerpts from the writers and masters. That brought me back to my beginnings in comics, because my first work in the field was at Marvel Age magazine, where I wrote clauses and wielded as an deputy editor.( Did I mention that I’m blogging my route through the part move of Marvel Age? Check it out at https :// makeminemarvelage.blogspot.com! Why yes, I am a devotee .)
All these skills and others bring me to a home where I can provide a lot of business to business marketing for publishers to contact retailers, through optimized solicitations, retailer communications, sell sheets, etc.
THE BEAT: What various kinds of patients will you be working with – you’ve mentioned it will be both publishers and makes?
PHILIPS: My primary patrons are publishers, but the kind of marketing work I’m looking at will directly involve the creative crews on brand-new books, so in a way the writers and creators are the clients as well.
I’m likewise talking to a couple of other comics-related radicals, so we’ll look what kind of marketing help they might need.
THE BEAT: What are some of the new challenges you envision for your consumers in the current market place? What can Untold Stories do to help with these challenges?
PHILIPS: The mart is exciting, but very crowded. Getting a brand-new projection noticed can be very hard, especially if it’s different, or if you’re up and coming expertise. Retailers have restraint shelf seat, buying budgets, and duration, so coming your word out can be difficult. My work at DC placed me right at the crossroads of publishing, writing and drawing, rationing, and retailing- means that I can take the publisher’s mandate and the creative team’s messaging and propagandize them through the distribution channels, all couched in usage that retailers respond to.
THE BEAT: There seems to be a changing space for fellowships like yours in the comics realm. I think it’s a healthful mansion of increment- there are just too many comics and too little time. Comics were honcho for a huge year in 2020 before the pandemic, but even with the pandemic they had a fairly successful year. What do you think is the overall health of the direct busines?
PHILIPS: I concur! Like I’ve been saying, it’s an exciting duration. Even though the marketplace is dominated by the large-scale two, there are so many new publishers that have popped up in the past few years with new comings to the business and their own peculiar wordings and feelings. One of the biggest thrills I’ve had this year has been picking up tons of brand-new designations from publishers I just couldn’t find the time for when I was reading the entire DC line.
This could just be verification bias, but I think we’ve identified a reduction in tales of stores departing under in the past year, which is a good thing, particularly in a pandemic.
THE BEAT: Obviously the biggest story in comics has been Marvel’s partnership with Penguin Random House for periodical distribution. Unlike some of the other ” spread crusade” moves of the last year, retailers seem fairly happy with this pact. What’s your take on it?
PHILIPS: From my the talks with retailers, there are still a lot of questions in the air. They’re wondering how PRH will be able to handle the incremental business of multiple discrepancy floods or store variants and assure members that the product will arrive in pristine condition. And with PRH, they get free carrying but a flat dismis, while say through Diamond traditionally got you variable discount rates month to month- but you have to pay for shipping. That may be modified, more. That said, Penguin Random House has a great team in place, so I’m self-confident that they will be able to rise to the undertaking. And a lot of retailers previously work with PRH for journal rationing, so there’s a certain amount of familiarity and consolation once baked in.
It’s been great to talk to you, and I only want to add that I’m as enthusiastic about comics now as I was when I started in the field. Anyone who wants to know more about what I’m doing can call my website at UntoldStoriesMarketing.com, or you can email me with questions at info @UntoldStoriesMarketing. com. Or, you are familiar with, both.
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