Hey, CHU, it’s DrunkWooky. Burning the midnight oil to see what Secret Wars titles are trying hard to stay secret.
If you’re a CHU reader, you probably have heard some contributors talk about low print runs. We care because, obviously, if something heats up and has a print run in the low thousands, that can mean huge value increases. Most of the time this is an advanced prediction. Notwithstanding retailer exclusives where tiny print runs are part of the advertised allure of collectability, we usually don’t know actual numbers until after the fact.
Well, hot from Comichron, here are August’s sales totals for all North American comic shops. Because most publishers print close to direct market orders, Diamond’s sales figures act as a good proxy and barometer for print run figures. Let’s see where your recent purchases stack in the scheme of all of last month’s releases.
This morning I went through the lower end of this list and here are some thoughts:
#18: DC Comics Bombshells #1 -59,253. The market is booming with alternate versions of tried and true characters—especially female characters. In addition, DC has strong market backing from its Ant Lucia Bomshells statue line (http://www.themarysue.com/bombshell-batgirl-statue/). So it’s pretty interesting to see issue #1 of the long-overdue comic down in the 5-digit range along with some new Image titles (see below). This has potential.
#23: We Stand On Guard #2–51,848. I said this last month, but this has great potential. The art inside is vivid, the storytelling is at least above par (great if you ask me), and fewer people than you would expect are paying attention to Brian K. Vaughan’s new terrestrial SAGA. Remember, Image isn’t doing any store exclusive variants anymore, but they’re also overprinting. That means, there aren’t a bunch of unreported numbers, but the print number could exceed the figure here. We don’t actually know this is going to only be a mini-series either:
from National Post
Q: If the series is successful, any chance of it going beyond the six-issues or is this intended purely as a special limited run?
Brian: Steve and I are already talking about what we’re going to work on after these six issues, but I don’t want to spoil the end of our story, so I won’t yet say if it will be a continuation of the Two-Four’s campaign or something else altogether.
Given the mystery surrounding whether this will end up ongoing, I would say that keeping an eye on these low print runs would be well worth it.
#42-Secret Wars Battleworld #4–38,536. As I said with DC Bombshells, the alternate character versions are heating up in the market. The paradigm example, of course, is Spider-Gwen. However, the Gwenpool news should have everybody on the look-out. If you wanted to place a wild bet on a crazy first appearance, Secret Wars Battleworld would be the place to do it. If you haven’t already read them, here’s the skinny: each issue contains 2 (maybe 3 in one of the issues?) vignettes of alternate universe characters involved in absolutely asinine hijinks. Whether it’s Baby-MODOK giving Spider-MODOK a smack-down or Galactuserine (Wolverus?) facing off against Chihahuarine, these fun little issues are chock-full of all the alternate character madness we were promised from Secret Wars. Now, I admit, it is a longshot that a first appearance of an important alternate universe character would come from here, but it is fertile ground. Not only is it fertile ground, but these issues are just plain fun. If you missed it, catch up during Marvel’s embarrassing delays.(http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/09/14/secret-wars-6-slips-back-to-october/#.VfcDIEpsVKk.reddit)
#99-Weirdworld #3- 23,784: I said it last month and I’ll say it again: vastly overlooked book right here. The news that the All-New All-Different Weirdworld would not be centered around Arkon, put a damper on a budding Weirdworld fandom. People also seemed to react poorly to the news that Jason Aaron would not be writing ANAD Weirdworld. With Mike Del Mundo still on art, hopefully something big will come of Humphries’ Weirdworld. Again, like Battleworld, not too risky a spec because the book is just so damn good that you probably should be buying it anyway.
#106–S.H.I.E.L.D. #9- 22,613: Ok, this one I don’t get. An oversized issue with a previously unpublished S.H.I.E.L.D. origin story by King Kirby and Steranko. Next to first appearances, origins are usually highly collectable issues. In addition, this has a back-up story of the return of Dum Dum Dugan and the origin of the All New All Different Howling Commandos. Mix that with newly published work from legendary talent, a reprint of Nick Fury’s first appearance in Strange Tales 135, and a low print run and I say spec gold!
#166-Wolf #2-11,725: I think Ales Kot is onto something with this series. It’s part Preacher, part Saga and the print numbers are crazy low for a new Image release. This is selling 1/5 of what We Stand on Guard is selling. Remember, no variants for Image, so no comic shops artificially inflating print runs with commissioned exclusives. Image is also overprinting. I think this will be a sleeper hit. Plus, who doesn’t want to read a story about a cthulhu-faced deadbeat and a perpetually-menstruating vampire?
#170- Over the Garden Wall #1- 11,196: CHU has already flagged this as immediately flippable above cover price. This number supports that.
#212-Young Terrorists #1-8,435: Greg at Black Cat comics told me that Black Mask Studios completely bypassed Diamond distribution with the Black Cat comics Transference #1 exclusive. If this is true, it could have happened with many of the store exclusive hip hop covers for this bad boy. If we have shops ordering 250-500 of their store exclusives, we could be looking at another 2,000 to 6,500 in print on top of this. Still, that’s a pretty low print run for one of the most hyped Black Mask titles. Bonus spec on this one: the first appearance of Sera appears to actually be in the preview printed in the back of Transference #1. As you’ll see from its spot at #311, at 5,104, in the July sales figures, this book has a tiny run.
#243-Hip Hop Family Tree #1- 6,627: niche collectors here: comic X hip hop enthusiasts. As I keep saying, though, I love myself some niche collectors. My Little Pony, Rick and Morty, Invader Zim: these collectors want all the covers. Head over to fantagraphics to nab their exclusive Kanye West cover for $4.00 a pop to stack the numbers further in your favor.
That’s it for now.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Any other titles on this month’s list jump out at you? I’m proud of my second monthly installment of Big Things Come in Low Prints. I hope you’ll let me stick around, CHU!”