Michael Tierney, Collector's Edition, and The Comic Book Store
Through the Decades in Film, News, and Advertisements:
This was the first commerical where I was able to do everything myself. In the past I'd scripted and announced, but relied on others to do the camera work and video editing. So I bought my own digital movie camera and a computer specifically buiilt to compose videos. What you see here is the result. Some of the video comes from old footage I'd previously shot with a VHS camcorder.
Created this commercial to promote my Wild Stars publications on my Amazon Author Page. When the city cut down a tree behind my home, I couldn't resist including it along with the comment about how Wild Stars 2: Force Majeure is exclusively available in a paper format.
Collector's Edition 29th Anniversary commercial, celebrating not only the start of their 30th year in business, but also the relaunch of DC Comics with 52 #1 issues in the same month. This is the 3rd commercial where I created every element, reusing some of the framing material from the SDCC commerical. The fireworks emplosion you see at the end occurred when I had a 4th of July employee party at my previous home. A fireworks canon had fizzled, and when the shooter approached all the fireballs exploxed at once. It looks even cooler in slow motion, which you'll find lower down this page in the Outdoor video ssection.
For a time the G4 Channel was running extensive coverage of the San Diego Comic Con. So one year I bought a block of 40 ads and made this commerical in one day specifically for that ad campaign. Since the big deal about SDCC is what's coming out new, I shot the footage with that week's release, announced and edited the commerical, then uploaded it to the local cable channel's website in time to run the next day. Unfortunately, the sales rep screwed up the whole deal and only 8 out of the 40 ads ran during the SDCC coverage. He was soon looking for a new job and the cable company did a lot of make goods to rectify the situation. But I've never since created an ad in a single day for a specific event. It was just too much work for too little results.
The 5th annual Free Comic Book Day event got some love from the local media in 2006.
The TV station video crew did a fantastic job with the special effects. I'd credit them if I could remember which one it was. Seems like I've made videos with every television station in town.
This was a seismic event. I owned Marvel Comics stock and read every stockholder report. How no one went to jail over this bankruptcy convinced me to never buy stocks again. It's a shell game run by insiders. Fortunately, Marvel Comics never stopped publishing and emerged as a new entity.
Doug Krile of Channel 4 Eyewitness News did a fantastic feature story on my Little Rock store, The Comic Book Store, and comic books in general. Many reporters already have their slant in mind when they approach you for quotes on a story. The good ones listen and fashion the story to the facts. Doug was a good one.
Here's a tip for anyone wanting to launch a television advertising campaign. You don't need to make your commercial first. Once you buy a large enough block of advertising, you can negotiate production for free. I did this often. This was the third commercial I'd scripted and directed with a TV station crew doing the camera work.
Star Wars fans were ecstatic when George Lucas finally released Star Wars Episode One in 1999. At the time everyone loved it and Jar Jar Binks was going to be the next big thing. Then a little time passed and fans put the movie into perspective. Nowadays, The Phantom Menace is the least popular of the series. If these films had actually been released in chronological order -- there might never have been an Episode II.
This was the second commercial I'd scripted and announced, with a local TV crew doing the camera work. Wasn't really satisfied with the special effects showing The Punisher in the sky.
The problem with co-op advertising is that you pay for 50% of the costs to promote the publisher's products, while only 20% of the time promotes your store(s). Worlds of Excitement in 1995 was the first time that I was able to script my own commercial and promote my stores throughout the entire video. I'd just bought a large block of advertising with a local TV station and got the camera work included as a bonus. I think they were surprised when I cut the audio on the first take -- something I did on nearly every video here.
Allison Gordy was a New York actress who was part of Marvel Comics' character appearance program. I think anyone who has ever met Allison will tell you the same thing: Fantastic lady who did a fantastic job. At this time she already had more than 90 movie appearances. I ran an ad in the paper with her picture, and had guys driving halfway across the state, hoping to ask her out on a date. After the news crews left, Allison and I rushed back to my house to record this news broadcast. The weird thing is that none of my neighbors ever asked me about pulling up in a rush and running into the house with an attractive spandex clad green woman.
This time DC relented and allowed me to do my own tagline announcing.
The Death of Superman in 1992 was a phenomenon like no other! DC Comics let retailers know that it was coming and I bought more copies of this single issue than any other comic book before or since. Watch how I'm trying not to smile too big when opening the doors to lines of customers, TV cameras, and a news crew.
By 1992 both of my stores were in their second location -- where they each still operate today.
DC was a little more difficult to deal with than Marvel in the Co-op department. Nice video, but I wasn't allowed to do my own tagline. Guess the lawyers didn't think comic book store owners know how to talk properly.
The X-men were still Marvel's top comic book characters when the Nineties began. That wouldn't change any time soon. One thing that did change was in 1989 when I opened by second location, The Comic Book Store, in Little Rock. This was my first advertisement showing both locations.
There was a lot of concern about Michael Keaton, who'd just played the role of Mr. Mom, as the new Batman. Then he and Warner Brothers knocked it out of the park. People forget exactly how big this movie was at the time -- a flat out phenomenon. I had the good fortune of opening up my second store location that June of 1989. These shots are from The Comic Book Store's original location. In June of 1990 I moved to 9307 Treasure Hill and have been there ever since.
Featuring the first ever film footage of the X-Men, this Marvel Co-op ad had many iterations. I ran several versions over the years. This is one of the earliest. Please excuse the film quality. It started as a VHS tape and you can tell.
The was the very first Marvel Co-op ad. I ran it in many different incarnations starting in 1985. Later versions dropped some of the backgroud music, so I'm presenting the 1987 version.
Video Tour of the Comic Book Store by Elephant Eater Comics
Ryan Clayton of Elephant Eater Comics (www.ElephantEater.com) showed up at my Little Rock location in August of 2011 and asked if he could make a recording of my store. This is about as impromptu as it gets! Ryan did a nice job.
Two things will draw a news camera crew faster than almost anything else -- girls in spandex and a new law to censor their images. This stated intent of the Arkansas Display Act rewrite by the Arkansas State Legislature was to allow each neighborhood community to decide what their definition of obscenity was and then let you know -- retroactively -- whenever you had broken the law. The Attorney General's Office determined the law to be unconstitutional and refused to enforce it. Challenged, the rewrite of the law eventually dropped off the books. The high negatively score in the poll about comics occurred because both Marvel and DC had increased the maturity of their content without providing age guidelines. They went from all ages to mature content for older readers with no warning. Right at the exact same time that I was embroiled in a battle against censorship. Please excuse the poor quality, these videos are recycled from VHS tape recordings.
When I asked my niece Karyn what she wanted for her graduation, she picked sky diving. So we took turns jumping out of a perfectly good plane -- and we weren't wearing parachutes.
The rest of these videos all come from my back yard.
This is why Arkansas is called The Natural State. I work in the state's capitol city and live across the river, but still have a decent variety of wildlife in my backyard.
A thunderstorm rolls through the Arkansas trees in this Nineties video I shot with a VHS camcorder while looking out the door. The radio playing in the background sounded strangely appropriate for the situation.
Despite what it looks like, no one was injured when a Fireball Canon that was thought to have fizzled suddenly exploded all the fireworks at once. When it fizzled once more, no one approached it that time.
Nothing says "Winter is Coming" like a bird feeding frenzy. There will be times you'll think this video has been sped up, but it's at normal speed. In 2014, Arkansas had already had the first snowfall before Thanksgiving in decades, and a second one was approaching. The birds' panic shows that they know this.
Spring arrives and all the animals are hungry.
Animals get a little bored in Winter, too. Squirrels chase each other all the time, but watch as one Cardinal is apparently tagged "You're It!" and can never pass it on -- but not for lack of trying!
An ice storm covered central Arkansas in a sheet of ice and closed the cities down. A flock of Cardinals were undeterred when it came time for lunch and, since every mammal was staying indoors because of the weather, they had the whole outdoors to themselves. They picked my backyard for a party.
The title says it all. In the deep of winter, a group of squirrels fight for control over the bird feeders in my back yard.
The squirrels are warring over food at the height of winter, and Napoleon with a furry tail watches over it all. Seriously.
Snow balls are hitting their target after a blizzard dumped a foot of snow, and the participants are all animals -- literally. The biggest hit occurs around the 2:18 mark when one squirrel clobbers another with a football-sized snow ball.