Plus, an important poll about variant covers in comics!
Thanks for reminding me it’s Monday, I’m still recovering from a musical 🎶 festival this past weekend I took my 16yr old son to.
He asked me to go, the fact we got to see Jack White perform was just a bonus 😎
Oh, Kirkman, that‘s awesome! I remember how he in the beginning explained „The Walking Dead“ as basically the Romero-Zombie story that would never end (or something to the effect), so now I am curious: Why did he decide to end it after all, and in such surprising fashion? How has his life changed, now that he is not under constant pressure to keep writing more issues every month?
I like that variant covers can offer a new take on a character and I'll buy one if I like the artist AND it's cover price. Otherwise, I don't feel like I need to own it, I'll just enjoy the variant art on the internets and get the standard cover for reading.
I have only seen Robert Kirkman on the talking dead, and it was hard to tell what type of sense of humor he has. You would know better, so if he can take a joke and my question will be taken lighthearted, I would ask Robert Kirkman:
I am a huge fan of the Walking Dead comic. What does it feel like to have worked so hard on that groundbreaking Eisner award winning comic, making every arc perfect and gripping, but to have the single best issue of the series be written by Brian K Vaughan?
If you think he won't find that funny -
I read somewhere he purchased the rights to the Chronicles of Amber. What are the odds of getting made?
Speaking of great books made into TV, I just finished "This is Going to Hurt" and it was brilliant if anyone is looking for a new show.
The variant covers, in themselves if done correctly is fine. If there is a cover by an artist that I like I may pick up the variant. But when publishers put stupid minimums orders on cover A on popular issues in order to get a "couple" of variant issues - this is a HUGE disservice to the small, local, independent comic store (like the one I go to). They either end up with a pile of extra copies of the A and B covers just to get the special cover "J" to satisfy the collector. And they have to do it or the collector will just go elsewhere.
Also - fake / forced rarity by releasing only a handful of some variant covers is also a sad trend. One of my favorite small, independent books that I am following did this last month.. and the ONLY difference on the "forced rare" cover is the color of the background. Come 'On Man!
The burning question of if ghosts can "do it" remains unanswered another week.
I don't care for variant covers as a marketing/sales juicing gimmick, but will occasionally buy them for the artist or art itself being very cool (Dauterman Marvel character costume history covers are amazing; the variants on King/Gerards/Shaner's Strange Adventures had a variation/story element that worked really well; when Walking Dead had Sienkiewicz character variants in waning days, I HAD to have those). I just really don't need an additional copy to weigh my life down. The good ones should just be the main cover or the back cover of something. Frequently, something really high quality gets less of an audience which is sad.
I'm curious on what Kirkman thought about his Firepower OGN series launch experiment? I generally enjoyed it, but liked the book way more once it got running and found the OGN represented poorly what it actually turned out to be (other than a delivery system for outstanding Samnee artwork). The family aspect isn't covered in the OGN at all.
Also, so sorry to hear that such a talented creator needs a GoFundme for his medical care. Man, every one of these is unbearably depressing (not trying to stir shit up or be all high-and-mighty Eurotrash, but how can you guys stand it? We all get sick as we get older, this is not a situation where anyone can avoid these expensive medical bills indefinitely, it‘s coming for all of us eventually)
Amazing new pages as always today! The brim of Sam's hat phasing through Val's head is a nice touch, but has me wondering what they were getting so close for if they're truly as incorporeal as they seem!
No question for me for Mr. Kirkman, but if he reads these comments at all or this gets to him somehow I just want to say: thanks for The Walking Dead! It wasn't the first comic I read to get me started, but it was definitely one that kept me coming back over the years. Appreciate the work you and the team put into it.
I'd like to know how Robert felt about being violently attacked by his own creation, Negan, in the wonderful "Crossover" by Cates and Shaw.
The proliferation of variant covers has often made me think: what are some of the last iconic original covers that were created? The variant craze has prevented new covers from really sinking into the public consciousness, even though variants ironically rely heavily on "homage" covers.
Fittingly enough, the two recent comics that often come to mind as having iconic covers are Sage #1 and Walking Dead #1. Personally, I was OK with variant covers in the early days when there might be one extra cover to choose from for a special issue. If nothing else, I just wonder what the point is to own 6 copies of a single comic with a different cover that you end up filing in a box.
Looking forward to the Kirkman interview. My advice would be to focus it on a natural conversation with the readers questions at the end.
Would love to hear both of you discuss the role of created owned comics going forward and comic creators becoming more entrepreneurial.
For anniversary issues, I think one or two is fine, but when you get these things with 8 different covers, it's getting a little out of hand, especially when retailers need to order a bazillion copies of the regular cover in order to get one copy of some ultra rare chase variant cover.
On the variant cover discussion -
There are a handful of artists who I buy anything they publish. This means that wen they do a 1:100 variant I spend a lot on comics that month. Love the art but it can be painful to my wallet. I also read every comic I buy, so when these artists do covers for books I don’t usually purchase I get introduced to new stories. I know that I am in the minority with this.
For a great article on variants check out this one from David Harper’s SKTCHD site: https://sktchd.com/longform/variant-covers-feature-2022/
I hate variant covers, I feel like they were part of the collector plague that almost killed comics in the 90s and that they’re doing the same now. I’m not seeing it yet, but with a slowing economy people will once again have less disposable income, the industry has been pushing these rare variants and the people that were buying into them are going to get burned once again when they realize the can’t flip it to someone else or whatever they were doing and they’ll leave the market again and take some of the stores out with them. Or maybe I’m just getting old and crotchety.
I used to obsessively buy variant covers, but at some point, there were so many of them they didn’t seem special anymore and I stopped. Then, something like 8-10 years ago, my local comic store went out of business, and I switched to buying all digital comics. As a side note, even though I’m old, I have grown to much prefer it over having to find room for all of that paper and I can carry my whole collection with me all the time which is great. Anyway, they don’t typically give you the option of buying variant covers in the digital space (Comixology etc.), but I probably would if there was an artist I liked.
I love seeing variant covers but I've almost fully exorcised the need to "collect" things. If I'm in a store and there's variant I like for the same price, I'll buy it just for fun. Otherwise I'm only interested in reading the comic. The only exception is if it's one of my favorite things I'd happily buy the extreme ultimate edition signed by creator. But ultimately I want to own as little as possible and I end up donating everything after I read it anyway.
As an alternative that makes no sense in Money World: I would love it if there were one version of the comic but variant covers were added into the back of the issue. Celebrate the artists without creating a dozen SKUs.