All comics readers have to start somewhere, right? And why shouldn’t they start with a DC comic? That’s the very sound thinking behind DC’s new My First Comics program, which will launch next week at 500 Walmarts and on Walmart.com.
Aimed at readers ages 6-9, My First Comic will be a line of 48-page flipbooks featuring top DC characters, with added activity pages: mazes, puzzles, matching games, and more stuff that kids love. Although not quite the size of an Archie digest (Or Disney Adventures) it’s still more “satisfying chunk” style than a traditional 22 page periodical. It’s not quite clear from the press materials if these will be square bound but it seems unlikely.
NExt week DC will launch the “My First Comic” line in 500 participating WalmartThe retail price is $4.97. Walmart already has a pretty robust section for kids books, including bestselling graphic novels, so putting these books where kids/parents who shop for kids go is another sound idea.
Unlike a previous DC initiative for Walmart, comics retailers may not be as incensed about this one, since it is aimed at beginning readers and not collectors. While the previous program for Walmart was predicted to be a blow to destroy the direct market, that did not happen.
“My First Comic is a great way to extend popular DC characters to a new audience that’s just learning to read, providing a gateway into other age-appropriate DC content, like our middle grade graphic novels,” said Nancy Spears, VP – Revenue in a statement. “DC’s partnership with Walmart has been instrumental in presenting our characters and stories to a mass-market audience, and now parents who are reading our Walmart four-pack bundled comics and 100-page Giants can share the DC Super Hero experience with their children.”
The line kicks off with, which will reprint stories from the Batman Adventures series. “No Asylum” is written by Ty Templeton with art by Rick Burchett, Terry Beatty, and Lee Loughridge. “Who Am I” is written by Dan Slott, with art by Templeton, Beatty, and Loughridge. The issue also includes “Fowl Play,” by Beatty and Templeton, with colors by Zylonol, and “Free Man,” written by Templeton, with art by Burchett, Beatty, and Loughridge.
Next up: Lebron James in My First Comic – Space Jam: A New Legacy, which will feature all new material tied to the film, which was released this month.
In one, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck don the costumes of Batman and Superman for their own super-hero showdown in “Bat-Bunny vs. Superduck,” by writer Sholly Fisch, with art by Phillip Murphy and Carrie Strachan. The book also spotlights the high-speed hijinks of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner in “Welcome Home,” written by Derek Fridolfs, with art by Robert Pope, Scott McRae, and Mohan Sivakami.
On the flip side, Derek Fridolfs, Robert Pope, Scott McRae, and Silvana Brys pit Bugs Bunny against Marvin the Martian (with a little help from Space Jam: A New Legacy’s Al G. Rhythm) in “Spaced Out,” followed by a preview of the Space Jam: A New Legacy original graphic novel, available now at Walmart, as well as at participating comic book retailers, book stores, and digital platforms.
In some ways, we’ve come full circle on the lifecycle of comics. The rise of the direct sales marketing in the ;ate 70s/early 80s was a reaction against shrinking rack space for all-ages comics in mass market retail outlets. Now that comics are for every age, gender and price point, the world is finally ready again for all ages comics in mass market outlets.