Comic Fodder

Come Get Your Watchmen Swag

It’s great to be a comic geek sometimes. Since we already have the packrat condition of collecting things, this makes us suckers to grab almost anything at the front counter that’s for free. It’s even odds if anyone else will get exposed to them, or if they’ll go into some drawer or polybag immediately when we get home, but hey, some of the stuff will get out there, right? We actually have more swag for the new Watchmen movie handed out in one place than for any other movie that I have seen, that is promoted with stuff at a comic book store.

One of the more functional things is a nice new yellow Watchmen cup, tall enough to pour a full soda into, and still toss in a couple ice cubes too. There were at least two posters, one with the Dr. Manhattan quote, “the existence of life is a highly overrated phenomenon. I’m already trying to figure out where is the most obnoxious place at work I can post it on the wall.

Next come the complimentary movie passes. This isn’t like the other movie passes, though. They want you to take what you get at the comic store and go to a website, and download your screening pass there. But there is a small notecard-size pass, and a full page-size flyer that both direct you to the same site, with different reservation codes. So I go to, type in the RSVP code… and it wants me to register. Of course you do. Because it’s not like I haven’t spent the last ten years registering for every googleyahoowashingtonpostcnn site on the entire freaking web, I need to keep registering so yet more thousands of spam artists can get my e-mail address, as if it hasn’t been spread across the net cosmos by now. Fine.

For some reason it takes forever and a day just for Outlook to pull in the confirmation e-mail, but I register and enter the code, and sign away my privacy yet again for the chance to stand in a long line to see a movie for free, when I probably could have just paid the money and gone to see it without waiting in any line anywhere. There is something about the whole experience that makes it more exciting this way. It’s probably the only time I’ll put up with standing in a line. Any other line I see, I tend to shrug and move on to the next thing. If the line at a drive-thru is one car too long, I’ll order my stomach to come up with something different it wants to eat and drive on. But give me a movie that’s based on sci-fi or comic books, and I’ll show up two hours early and hang out with friends in line, or just make friends with the people next to me.

But I digress.

I have now entered all information they could possibly want from me if they were a stalker. I get a pdf file for tickets to download, as long as I get there before the thousands of teenagers with no job and too much free time who are going to get there before me (Note: try not to digress here again). Figures, my printer has been jacked up for four days, and I haven’t been able to get to the store for new cartridges. It’s always somebody else who jacks up my printer, too. I’ve got a nice little printer, and it works fine, but whenever my dad or girlfriend comes over and uses it, it gets broken.

I digressed again, didn’t I?

Oaky, I can save the tickets to my desktop, I’ll fix the printer on my next day off, and I’m now set with all the free stuff I can finagle out of this- wait! There’s a sweepstakes to enter! It’s a Watchmen sweepstakes, but the first prize is a Myvu Personal Media Viewer, and there’s a link to the website on the sweepstakes page. Second prize is a copy of Watchmen: the Absolute Edition, but there’s no link to anywhere for that prize, nor for the third prize, WATCHING THE WATCHMEN: The Definitive Companion to the Ultimate Graphic Novel. Other prizes include the rest of the universe’s conceivable merchandise, the stuff that has been driving Ryan crazy.

We’ve got T-shirts, caps, tattoos (who would have ever thought a tattoo could be a sweepstakes prize?), buttons… and condoms. Who watches, indeed? (Again, a sweepstakes prize. Who would have thunk it? At least they didn’t show us a picture of it like the other prizes…)

Okay, so I have my hat, my poster that will get me in trouble tomorrow at work, my movie passes, and my sweepstakes entry. Because I like to test things until they break, I grab the smaller card flyer and go back to type in the different RSVP code, but the site already tells me I’m registered for my two free tickets. That’s all I can wrangle out of this. I zap an e-mail to my friends to see who will go meet me in line for the movie, and presto! Done.

What are you waiting for? Go get yours!

(Seriously, this column's over, quit reading)
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.

I think I realized how numb I've become to the onslaught yesterday when I saw a Comedian shirt for sale and didn't burst into tears.

Its kind of bizarre to wear a shirt with an image of Dark Knight's Joker (I wanna have an image of a ruthless killer on my shirt!), but somehow the marketing of The Comedian is even @#$%ed up, given his narrative function.

-- Posted by: Anonymous at February 26, 2009 11:17 AM