Book Article

Birth of a Salesman

Selling your graphic novel at Comic-Con -- Marc Bernardin tells us about hawking his recently released ''Monster Attack Network''

Selling your graphic novel at Comic-Con

While standing behind a booth, selling copies of my first graphic novel, Monster Attack Network, I learned something new. Apparently, shouting ''Come get some 'M.A.N.' love!'' at the top of my lungs is a good way to both make people stop walking and, possibly, score a restraining order.

Though this year's San Diego Comic-Con was the fourth I've attended, it was my first as a professional comic creator — which is a highfalutin way of saying that along with being an editor at EW, I write comic books. For cash. So I wasn't there as a journalist or a fan: I was there to shake my moneymaker.

For example, all the wonderful Hollywood stuff you just read about in the big story to the left? Didn't see any of it. Instead, when my writing partner (and buddy since fifth grade) Adam Freeman and I weren't busy enticing comic-book editors with our sweet, shapely, well-muscled talent, we were foisting our work upon the masses. Which meant selling Monster Attack Network to unsuspecting passersby like carnival barkers on speed. Our typical sales pitch: ''It's got Monsters! Attacking! And a Network of folks that repair the damage! Harsh language! Partial nudity!'' And whatever we sold, we signed. (Sadly, no one asked us to autograph any body parts. We can't all be Neil Gaiman.)

Our publisher, AiT/PlanetLar's Larry Young, brought 75 copies of Monster Attack Network — double what he usually brings of a new book — hoping to sell as many as he could. And over the course of the Con's four days, Adam and I goaded, cajoled, shamed, and tickled people into buying all 75. When all was said and done, we'd managed to spread the ''M.A.N.'' love far and wide.

Originally posted Aug 03, 2007 Published in issue #947 Aug 10, 2007 Order article reprints
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