Monday, August 17, 2009

Grimm Fallout Upon MAYHEM Release

Drama, drama, and more drama... For those of you who keep up with the news over at Comic Book Resources, chances are you've heard about the recent fallout involving Tyrese Gibson's MAYHEM... This past friday, Percy Carey a.k.a. MF GRIMM, announced that he was stepping down as Marketing Director of the Tyrese Gibson title... The following is the letter MF GRIMM released to the industry...

To my dear friends and colleagues:

I would like to take this time to inform you all that I have officially stepped down as marketing director of Tyrese Gibson's MAYHEM!

Although I handled the marketing up until San Diego Comic Con 2009, I did not agree with the direction the owner(s) and the creators were headed. Therefore, I submitted my resignation shortly after our return.

On several occasions over the past few months, the creators decided to forget about their responsibilities (writing a good comic book) and on a whim, turned their focus to the marketing of Tyrese Gibson's MAYHEM!; it was during these times they found mutiple ways to insult well-respected people within the comic book industry.

The Tyrese Gibson's MAYHEM! team has been considered outsiders by a comic book industry that's cautious of celebrities intent on selling comic books because of so called "star power", an industry weary of creators from different mediums who seemingly lack respect for the comic book community. This being said, you would expect these parties to act upon their self-proclaimed sincerity whether or not their name is above title (unfortunately the world is filled with bad actors.)

It's easy for people to take credit for things (like strategic marketing) when they are going well, but no one will step forward when unethical methods are implemented, methods that are clearly not "strategic". Because I am credited in Tyrese Gibson's MAYHEM! as Marketing Director, I'm obligated to come forward and absorb the blame for these (unauthorized) snake oil selling marketing tactics which I found to be unnecessary and insensitive to comic book retailers. (I do not want to be associated with the comic book retail problem that has arisien because of this project , especially in this frail economy.

At one point, I put in a personal request to Arch-Enemy Entertainment (the parent company of Tyrese Gibson's MAYHEM!) To have the members of Team MAYHEM! Who insulted Mr. Brian Hibbs of Comix Experience (and several other comic book retailers, many of whom are close friends of mine) by using snake oil selling marketing tactics to send a apology in the same forum(s) where the insult(s) took place; my request for the apology went ignored by the creators. I must therefore take it upon myself to do what should have been done quite some time ago.

As the former head of Marketing for Tyrese Gibson's MAYHEM!, I would personally like to take a moment and send my deepest apologies to Mr. Brian Hibbs and his family for the unnecessary attacks in public forums employed by my former camp. Mr. Hibbs became the focus of the unauthorized marketing ploys that followed. At no time was I a part of such antics nor would I have approved anything that would ruin the credibility of Mr. Hibbs or any other retailer.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for Mr. Hibbs and consider him one of the few who speak genuinely, from the heart and mind equally.

I have been in the music retail business as a distributor for the past 10 years and I understand what it's like to have to roll up your sleeves and sell units. Comic books are even harder to move because of the absence of returns.

To all other comic book retailers who were insulted by these unauthorized marketing tactics: I'm terribly sorry as well. The only issue that should have the words Percy Carey, Master Of The Widget, LLC is the first print of issue #1 (and yes ladies and gentlemen of the press, the 10,000+ sales in one store is the real deal, something I will always be proud of).

Please note: In no way should any of the aforementioned be seen as a reflection of Image Comics or their wonderful staff. I thank Mr. Robert Kirkman and Mr. Eric Stevenson for the opportunity I hope to be able to work with them again in the future.

Furthermore, I would like to inform the public that I have also stepped down as Sr. Vice President of Arch-Enemy Entertainment, (The parent company of Tyrese Gibson's MAYHEM!).

I will now focus on my own endeavors; one being my strategic innovations consulting company Master Of The Widget, LLC. The other being the relaunch of my record company Day By Day Entertainment. I will also continue my passions as a writer in film (especially animation-PIXAR here I come!), television and music.

Considering the amount of hype surrounding the MAYHEM project (it apparently pre-sold 20,000 units prior to its release, so the campaign was successful---), it seems that backlash of some kind was inevitable... Click the link to see 'Mr. Brian Hibbs' response to this subject to see how it all got started!


samax said...

first off, Grimm gets lots of props from me. i like his music, and i put his autobiOGN "Sentences: the Life of MF GRIMM" on the "Beg, Borrow, Steal" list in the summer '08 issue of my magazine...

that said, this seems like noise to me. i read this press release, and was impressed with how much he was plugging his future plans.
this seems to have taken Tyrese by surprise, but he isn't really firing back or anything.

i find it conspicuous that he felt the need to trash Tyrese and his team, when simply quitting and sending this letter directly to Hibbs and whatever other people were involved would have done the same thing in a drama-free manner.

i guess we can all wait and see how the book does without his involvement (although a dip in sales from a hot #1 issue isn't exactly unusual in comics), but not much has changed about my perception of the book or its marketing. not yet, anyways...

RodBuddah said...

I found all of this interesting... ESPECIALLY considering the fact that Hibbs is a co-founder of COMICSPRO (an affiliate of the CBLA if memory serves me correctly). Regardless of what's going on with Tyrese and the MAYHEM crew, it seems as if Grimm is trying to distance himself to protect his own interests (i.e. Sentences and his animation prospects), therefore keeping his connections with Hibbs and Scott good. I agree with your assessment.