A couple of weeks ago I put up a Blog about how Chase covers could be ultimately very damaging to comics. I spent some time calling out DC in particular for their policy of very cool cover themes every month offered as 1:25 chase cover variants.
DC has announced yet another month of really cool-looking chase covers for June, Bombshell covers based on the DC statue line. This comes on the heels of Scibblenauts chase covers in January, Steampunk covers in February, Robot Chicken Action Figure covers for March, and Batman ’66 covers for May.
I went on to describe different types of variants and chase covers and finished up with the following (again calling out DC):
On a parallel Earth (let’s call it Earth-No-Chase-Covers), instead of doing the Bombshell variants as 1:25 chase covers DC offers them as separately order-able variants. Anyone who wants one of these covers can order it instead of (or in addition to) the regular cover. Will DC sell more comics this way than by artificially inflating sales by getting shops to order extra to hit an incentive ordering level? I cannot say this is a guarantee, but I will say that I think the covers are very cool and if I could order those books like any other comic I’d order all 20 of them. That is an increase of 19 over the order I am otherwise placing (of the 20 books with Bombshell covers, I currently only get Batman). Of those 19 additional books I’d be getting/reading, if DC is doing their job right and telling compelling stories inside and not just putting out pretty covers, maybe I’d add 4 or 5 of those to my regular monthly pull list. DC has increased readership not just sales. I think that is better and more healthy for the Publisher in the long run.
I don’t have any delusions that DC pays any attention to me or even particularly knows I exist but I was ecstatic to see in the Diamond solicits for June that I appear to have had a bit of a “seeing into the future” moment in my March 15th Blog (which I’ve since re-edited to be more generic and accurate taking today’s information into account).
You see, the Bombshell variants are being offered by DC as separately order-able line-items on the Diamond order form! Not only that, they are being offered at normal cover price!!
I talked to my Local Comic Shop owner (Hi, Matt!) and he looked it up on his Diamond retailer account. There are no minimums or conditions. He can order as many or as few of these Bombshell covers as he wants. And he did think that he’d be able to sell some copies over and above what the titles will normally sell, I hope some of those extra sales are to people who (a) don’t normally read the series and (b) will like what they read in those issues and add the title to their monthly pull list (though that’s going to be up to the creative teams, I hope they do some compelling comics in June).
I am very hopeful that these will sell well for DC. There are a lot of variants out there being sold at marked up prices. I’d MUCH rather have variant covers that any collector can get their hands on if they want them for a reasonable price instead of chase covers that are marked up to astronomical prices by most comic shops. If you’re interested in these, let your comic shop owner know to order them for you now.
These will serve yet another service to the fan community come June. Knowing that retailers can order as many of these as they want at normal price, any retailer selling these marked up over cover price anywhere close to the day of release is a retailer I will be able to mark down as someone I never want to do business with….
Bob Bretall: firstname.lastname@example.org
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture