What is an Example of a Digital Marketing Story Synopsis for Comics?

gamalhennessy Community • Jul 6, 2020

Abstract ideas are useful in understanding digital comic book marketing (See our video on the fundamentals of digital marketing here), but concrete examples can make the concepts more real. For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to walk you through the steps of building an online comic book marketing plan with a hypothetical example. Let’s imagine I’m planning to publish a three-issue limited series called Blood Bond in time for Halloween 2021. The story combines crime noir and supernatural horror, where vampire police attempt to destroy the vampire hunters controlling organized crime. It centers around one detective who stumbles into the secret war.

My first marketing step (after I made sure I owned the rights to the story, and found some cash to publish it, and created a company to protect my idea and my investment, and found a team to create the comic) is to define the story with a story synopsis.

If I used the GC Story Synopsis form, it might look like this:

1.   Working Title: Blood Bond

2.  Synopsis (a short summary of the entire story that answers the core questions):

        a.  Who is the story about (who are the characters)? The story is about a police detective who uncovers the ongoing conflict between vampires and the humans who hunt them.

        b.  What happens in the story (what is the plot)?

(Issue 1) Detective Ana Martinez and her friend and partner Cynthia arrest a low-level informant who appears to have gone insane, raving about the Crusades. Before they can get him to the station, Ana walks in on the other cop torturing the suspect by cutting him open and drinking his blood! She flees, but Cynthia is suddenly faster and stronger than Ana can imagine. She fights, but the strange being defeats her instantly. Cynthia decides to use the snitches gun to cover up the murder, but she is impaled by Dennis St. Clair. Eddie disintegrates, Dennis snatches up the traumatized woman and throws her in his car.

(Issue 2) Ana is in shock and can’t demand answers but Dennis explains that she is one of the few people outside the Crusade to survive an encounter with the Blood Bond. He claims that vampires have influenced human institutions since the First Crusade and different underground organizations have fought them as criminals, rebels, and revolutionaries. Ana rejects the idea that humans are puppets or that drug dealers and pimps are heroes. St. Clair predicts that her superior will give her the Blood Bond or kill her to protect their secret. Ana offers to investigate his claim. St. Clair mocks her. Ana tries to arrest St. Clair. He vanishes and Ana is left to question her sanity.

(Issue 3) Ana walks into her apartment and finds Lieutenant Benjamin Nicholson waiting for her. She tries to claim ignorance, but Benjamin knows his underling was destroyed. He claims that vampires are not the monsters of Hollywood, but a brotherhood of dedicated warriors tasked with fighting for good from the shadows. Ana rejects the idea that predators are acting for the good of humanity. Benjamin demands that she take Cynthia’s place under him. She refuses. Benjamin forces the Blood Bond on Ana, but she lashes out and destroys him with fire, burning down her apartment building in the process.

Ana stumbles out of the burned-out basement on the following night to find St. Clair waiting for her. He remarks that she must be destined to possess the Bond if she was able to destroy Benjamin. Ana offers to use her powers to fight the Blood Bond, but St. Clair mocks her, because the Bond can only end one way. He tries to kill her, but she lashes out again and kills him.

Ana wanders into the night alone, cursed, and unsure of what she’ll do next.

          c. Where does the story take place (what is the setting)? New York City

         d. When does the story happen (what is the time period)? One night in the summer of 2020

         e. Why did the characters do what they did (what is their motivation)? Ana is a survivor with her own moral code. She fights against dogma from both sides to choose her own path.

         f. How did the characters do what they did (what is their rationale)? Part of the mythology of the Blood Bond is a being called The Prime. By the end of the story, it is clear Ana is Prime, although what she does with this dark power is unclear.

3. Character Details: (This is where I would add any character designs or other artwork if I had any talent)

a. Protagonist(s): Ana Martinez

b. Antagonist(s): Lieutenant Benjamin Nicholson

c. Supporting characters (if any):
 i. Detective Cynthia O’Brien
 ii. Dennis St. Clair

This story isn't designed to win an Eisner award, but there’s enough here to move onto the next step in the marketing process; identifying the ideal reader. We’ll tackle that later in the week.

Have fun with your comic.