The Plaid Avenger, international freedom fighter, made a recent appearance at the Easy Chair Coffee Shop in Blacksburg, Virginia. The party celebrated the release of the second volume of his comic book. So, who is the Plaid Avenger?
The Plaid Avenger is a comic book hero created by Virginia Tech geography professor John Boyer (who consistently fills even 3000+ person classrooms) and brought to life by John's personality and the skilled hand of Klaus Shmidheiser. The Plaid Avenger is an educational vehicle, a parody of James Bond, who travels the world helping his viewers to understand the news, not just to hear it. Through his exploits in the World Regions textbook, comics and the Plaidcast (where he records himself discussing world issues) his viewers are drawn in and learn more than just soundbytes.
In the three hours I attended the event, there was a constant flow of fans. The team worked hard to ensure that each person that entered was thanked personally.
The Plaid Avenger is a small business completely separate from the university. Unable to advertise in the classroom, therefore, Twitter discussions, a Facebook event, ads on the team's websites, fliers in local businesses, a classifieds ad, and a Ustream of the event were all employed to spread the news. The day before the event the NRVHub ran a short promo seen below. The combined effect increased daily visits to PlaidAvenger.com from an average of 350 to over 800 Thursday and 1700 Friday.
At the end of the day, the Plaid Avenger and his team were able to recoup about 1/5 the cost of production of their second comic in total sales. Though not a land slide victory, the Plaid Avenger lives to fight another day with a solid start to the new comic release and an engaged fan base.