Thursday, March 30, 2006



I'd swear this is the third time this spot has opened in the past year. Are they just canning everyone up there?

Marketing Director posted: 30 Mar 2006

Offered by: DC Comics

Benefits: Health, Dental, 401K

Duration: Full Time

Location: New York, NY

Requirements: DC Comics seeks a Marketing Director for the DC Marketing department. Develop, manage and implement marketing plans for DC Comic's publishing and DC Direct businesses. Work closely with VP Marketing to develop annual consumer and trade marketing plans. Break plan down into prioritized initiatives and further into objectives, programs and tactics. Collaborate with business and Editorial teams (leveraging customer information and research) to proactively identify opportunities and build against plans that are differentiated by imprint/business and target customer profile. Assign work and responsibilities; manage and motivate marketing team; build marketing expertise and program management skills among the group. Work with VP Marketing to create a marketing reporting function that can track, measure and analyze marketing performance. Create feedback loop using results to make future recommendations and help create culture of constant improvement. Work with Direct and Book Trade Sales teams to identify and execute against marketing opportunities in the sales channels. Fulfill Sales' monthly/seasonal request for display, merchandising, promotional materials, etc. At the same time, proactively recommend new marketing initiatives to drive sales (i.e. reactive and proactive). Coordinate with Mainstream and Genre Publicity teams to ensure that DC's marketing and PR efforts sync for greatest effect in the market. Work with VP Marketing to develop overall marketing budget and timing. Create, manage and monitor program spending within timeline and budget restrictions. Spend time with Editorial, Design, Creative Services and other groups across company to help build understanding of, expertise in and responsiveness to book (v. periodical) publishing/trade needs.

Requirements: BA or equivalent experience required. Minimum 5 years experience in marketing capacity at a publishing company. Minimum 1 year management experience. Comics familiarity preferred. Strong communications skills, both oral and written. Candidate must have strong interpersonal skills, maturity and excellent judgment. Able to work effectively with individuals at all levels of an organization. Strong organizational skills and ability to multi-task. A team orientation is imperative, and the ability to work as a member of cross-functional teams is required. Ability to travel (domestically) approximately 5%.

About Our Company: DC Comics is one of the largest and most diverse publishers of comics and comics-related products today. Collectively, with our mature readers line, Vertigo, and cutting-edge action line, WildStorm, DC is the only publisher that offers a complete line of comics for every age group and literary taste. DC is also one of the industry's most prolific publishers, producing more than eighty comics titles every month and close to one thousand titles per year. DC is also one of the oldest comics companies, with a continuous publishing history that spans over sixty years.


Special Instructions: If you are interested in this position, please email your resume to and be sure to ONLY INCLUDE "51708BR/NPMK" in your subject line.

Job # 2268

Tuesday, March 28, 2006



From Scene and Herd, the blog for Promo Magazine:

You May Already Be a Loser
Filed Under: General Post, October 18, 2005
From the PRO Awards finalists session:

When Coca-Cola seeded pop cans-cum-GPS cell phones during its “Unexpected Summer” campaign last year, the prize fulfillment crew eagerly awaited calls to track and deliver prizes to its winners. The first call came from Minneapolis; the prize crew tracked the winning GPS can to … a crack house.

The rest of its winners were from a more wholesome demographic. Which was good for the p.r. part of the campaign. - Betsy Spethmann

The next winner probably was a pedophile calling from Neverland...

Monday, March 27, 2006



Scotia surveyed the small crofter's cottage she and Ian had been ushered to immediately following their handfasting ceremony. A small fire burned in the hearth. The flames added a soft, gentle heat to the air as well as warming the room with a rich, golden hue. Her gaze shifted from the fire to the bright red cord that bound his right hand to her own.

She knew what came next.

That's the beginning of Gerri Russell's excerpt from her (thus far) unpublished novel, The Warrior Trainer. As you know from my earlier rantings, Gerri has been in a contest run by Romantic Times and Dorchester Publishing, with the winner guaranteed to have her manuscript published.

In a publishing game of Survivor, Gerri survived four previous rounds, each of which brought the original field of eleven hopefuls down to just two, Gerri, and Ruth Kaufman of Chicago, IL. Now, I'm sure Ruth is a very lovely woman, and, who knows, maybe romance novels in any format aren't your thing. But the spouse and I know Gerri, who is a very lovely woman herself. And Gerri has promised to hire me when she's as big as Nora Roberts, so you're helping me, too.

The rules are simple. You're voting for your favorite between Kaufman's and Russell's sample love scenes. I stopped above before it got hotter than I wanted to repeat, but you can visit here and read both. Then, to vote, all you need to do is to email Romantic Times with the subject "The Warrior Trainer," and you've voted for Gerri. (I suppose you can vote for Ruth Kaufman, but you aren't doing Gerri or me any good that way.)

How good is the scene? One of the judges, Flavia Knightsbridge, said: "Now this is full of personality! I like that you allow Scotia the warrior to not only be herself but also to grow as a character even in this intimate scene. Too often feisty heroines turn into simpering misses in the bedroom. Kudos for avoiding that trap and letting Scotia's true nature triumph."

Voting ends April 2. Should Gerri win, her victory will be announced at the Romantic Times Booklovers' Convention in Daytona Beach, FL on May 19. So let's get Gerri published. If you do vote for her, I'll promise that I'll make sure she autographs every published copy you buy. (Which, who knows, you may receive for a holiday or birthday gift that year, anyway.)

Friday, March 24, 2006



I have two television shows now that I watch for the pure silliness of watching them. One is Discovery Channel's Cash Cab, in which comedian Ben Bailey drives a cab through Manhattan, quizzing his passengers, awarding hundreds of dollars for correct answers, but kicking them out for three wrong answers.

The other is Deal or No Deal, in which Howie Mandel and 26 models in short skirts help contestants open attache cases for an hour of network television time.

What it's really about is a game of calculating the odds with a chance to win a million dollars -- or an equal chance to go home with a penny. What fascinates me is how greedy the contestants are; I presume they've been instructed by NBC to push their turn to the max, rather than settle for a safe $50,000 or $100,000.

I want to be on both shows, but I can only be cast (right now) for Deal or No Deal.

From NBC's website, here's the... um... deal:

Ever wonder what YOU would do with one million dollars?
Are you a risk taker?
Do you feel lucky?
Now's your big chance to try to find out.

1. Make a 5-minute personal videotape of you and the supporters you wish to have appear with you on TV.
2. Fill out an application (include a recent photo of each person)
3. Send it to our contestant department.

1. Making Your Videotape
Making a videotape audition for the program is very easy. Using a video camera, make us a 5-minute tape that tells us a little about yourself and what you would do with $1,000,000. Be sure to include the people you would like to appear with you on-camera as your "supporters." Be creative, show us your personality - tell us what makes you unique. Please start with your name and hometown. There is no "right" or "wrong" thing to say on your tape, we just want to get to know you.

Make sure we can see and hear you clearly.
-Label the tape with your name address and phone number.
-We can only accept VHS tapes (The ones that fit in your VCR). Transferring your camcorder tape to VHS can be accomplished easily. Use the Red, White, and Yellow cables that come with your camera to connect it to your VCR. Push play on your camera, and Record on your VCR. Please run a test and make sure your transfer worked properly.
-Be Kind, Rewind. Rewinding your tape to the beginning greatly increases our fondness for you.

2. Filling out the Application:
Adobe Reader is required to view the application. Click here to download a free copy if you do not have it installed.
Please take your time and answer the questions honestly. We will only accept completed and signed applications if they are accompanied by your videotape.

Include a recent photo:
Please enclose a recent personal photo of each person with the application. Make sure your photo(s) are clearly labeled with your names and phone numbers on the back. It is best, though not mandatory to send 2 clear photos of each person - one close up and one full body.

3. Sending Your Package
Please label your package and send it to:
1149 N. Gower Suite 271
Los Angeles, CA 90038

To review, here is your "To Do" List:
1. Make one (1) 5 minute videotape
2. Label the tape with your name, address and phone number
3. Complete and sign an application
4. Include a few recent photos of you and your supporters.

Please note: Application materials will not be returned. Limit one application package per person.

So, if anybody's interested in screaming at me to reject the deal offered by the show's "banker," let me know. It's a free trip to Los Angeles... but how we'll do a videotape if we're all across the country, I don't know. I guess we'd have to edit segments together.



So, after I got all excited about the upcoming Legion of Super-Heroes installment of Cartoon Network's Justice League Unlimited, I turn on my television last Saturday night at 10:30, and... no more Justice League! TiVo confirms it's gone from the schedule completely!

I guess it was just too much for someone to bear to have Bouncing Boy taking out the Persuader...

Other Legion fans are equally flummoxed. Ron Coyne is searching diligently for news of its eventual appearance (hey, they've been shown in England, I'm told, so they've got to burn them sometime). Don Fortier, still sloshing through Katrina detritus in the New Orleans area, emailed that, "Supposedly they're in hiatus until April 8, with a two-part series-ending finale in the can. Bye bye, JLU?" He also provided this link.

But the real hero of the day is Mike Gold, who, despite recovering from surgery, was kind enough to email me in my hour of need and promise to drop a copy of the episode -- which he had from England, or maybe Abbie Hoffman's ghost got hold of it -- in the mail to me. Man, I hope that episode doesn't suck! Thanks, Mike; I'll have to send one of Northwest Territorial Mint's Ronald Reagan medallions to you. (I won't tell my employer what you may choose to do to it...)

Friday, March 10, 2006



You go along, you live your life, and all of a sudden, bam, you're dead.

Only... I'm not.

But apparently the rumor is out there. Somebody posting on a Legion of Super-Heroes area on the DC Comics Internet message board with the appellation jimjacksonjim commented, in answer to another poster's query as to my whereabouts, "I thought I heard a few years ago that he died."

I'm wrapping my head around this.

I mean, clearly I'm not dead, but it's also clear that I haven't been active in comics for a good 20 years, 25 if you mark my last active fandom (since I left Interlac in 1980 or 1981). But what's interesting there is that my situation is similar to that of a great many active comics fans of my era, moreso of Legion fandom. Going back to the early days of the Legion Fan Club (for those new to the story, the national comics fan club I began when I was 13), I have occasionally wondered where folks like Brad Lawrence Petzke ("Esq."!), Jim Balko, and Shelley Rabin are today. Heck, from the early days of Interlac I have lost touch with Clint Thomas (last encountered in Washington, DC in the 1980s when we were both passing through; he wrote some very funny columns for a West Virginia newspaper that predated the Internet, or I could find them), Len Rosenberg (although I had a working email for him for a time, and I'm pretty sure Maximum Fan Ken Gale knows exactly where to find Len; Ken always knows these things), and Bob Soron. I'm sure all of these folks are living full lives, entertaining themselves, contributing to the economy, and heck, maybe even reproducing. I could keep throwing these names out, too: Scott Gibson, Mark Thomase, Vin Sartain, Rick Foster.

Of course, my diminished comics fandom activity had to do with many things. Comics fans have two terms for what happened: gafiation (which is short for "getting away from it all," but also makes a sideways nod to Carl Gafford, who was the master of it, routinely gafiating every couple of years, but ultimately returning like an alcoholic after a bender) and Markstein's Law, named for Don Markstein, who postulated that the amount of fannish activity in which one participated was inversely proportional to the amount of sex one had. Strangely enough, in my early 20s I got very sidetracked from comics. Pure coincidence, it has to be. I also began to earn a living, got married, moved across country, worked my own business, and basically grew up.

So this thing is a gift. I suppose we could let the rumor grow, maybe even fill the IRS in so they stop expecting tax forms from me. But then the local county would want to put the house into tax foreclosure, so we'll have to nix that.

For now, I think I'll avoid posting to that message board, but I will watch the posts to see if anything more develops. This could be as much fun as watching a few random episodes of 24.

I have to think about this. But I think maybe there need to be some t-shirts. Tasteful ones. "Mike Flynn is not dead." Wait. Even better: Two statements. "Mike Flynn is dead"; "Mike Flynn is NOT dead." Each with its own check box. Wearer gets to check the box of his choice.

Anybody know a good silkscreener?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006



I'm no journalist, and maybe I'm missing something, but I've run across something that's hard to explain. Maybe it's nothing. But already it's made my new gig interesting.

As I wrote recently, I just joined a company called Northwest Territorial Mint. It's a bit of a challenge, because one of its clients is the NRA, and while I converted to belief in a broader interpretation of the Second Amendment during the Reagan Administration, when I feared that Ed Meese might send the FBI after me for voting for Mondale, I still don't believe the Second Amendment means that any mook can own and use a bazooka or a machine gun.

What I'm supposed to do is to grow the custom-minted coin side of the business, but I've also been working on generating advertising and web clicks for the bullion business. So as a new employee I've been researching competitors -- the modern way, via Google.

Turns out this business I've entered can be a little checkered. My own employer apparently served time in prison for what he tells me was an accounting mistake. I'm not sure if I believe him, since I can't find any record of it when I Google him.

But here's the interesting thing. One of his bullion competitors is a company called The Tulving Company. Google its owner, Hannes Tulving, and not too far down the list is an account of his consent decree settlement with the FTC for defrauding people out of money for coins at prices he artificially inflated (here). This happened in 1992. There was a monetary judgment in two parts. The first part, $260,000, was apparently paid over a five-year period. The second, $10,000,000 (yes, that's ten million), was to be paid if he ever recovered from bankruptcy, but as long as he was insolvent, he wouldn't need to worry.

Well, heck, everyone makes a mistake, right? He paid his $260,000, he was driven into bankruptcy, end of story. In fact, it's cheerful, because he's again a very serious member of the rare coin and precious metal business who, according to the chat boards, is friendly with financial reporter Ron Insana. (Of course, the amount of truth on chat boards is probably equal to the amount of truth told in the last half-hour of a frat party. I even wrote glowing reviews of my former employer's books at

Except here are some things that confuse me. On that same Google search I found an FTC memo from 2000 that indicates the $10,000,000 was never paid, even though the Tulving website gives every indication of a solvent business, talking about his yachts and all. Worse, even the $260,000 that was collected NEVER REACHED THOSE WHO WERE DEFRAUDED... nearly eight years later. In fact, the memo I found indicates that the government apparently routinely sits on this money for so long that the folks who originally prosecuted the case leave or get promoted and the money just sits, never being distributed to those who were cheated. That memo lists ten other cases besides Tulving's where the feds were hoarding money. I wish I could find proof of the money's ultimate distribution, but I can't (again, not a journalist). I fear that if funds from just these 11 cases weren't distributed, then perhaps there's even more money that won't ever be given to those who were defrauded and allegedly avenged by the government. It's like the government version of a class action suit, except instead of the lawyers getting more money than any plaintiff, it's the government itself.

Maybe the followup memo just isn't on the web. Maybe there's someone I can call or email at the FTC who could explain this to me. But it seems like a double scam to me. These 11 (and who knows how many more) criminal operations defrauded individuals, but the government is keeping money out of the hands of crime victims out of neglect, incompetence, or stupidity. I was so chapped that I actually dropped an email note to Michael Moore. I guess I could write my Congressman. Who else would I call?

It's a mystery. Meanwhile, read Consumer Reports and pay attention to your local consumer reporter. Unless, of course, your local consumer reporter is incompetent or stupid.