Youngblood Totally Pwns Vertigo, IDW, Avatar, Others.
There you are, restocking your back issue section on a quiet day. You have your inventory set aside by publisher. A few dozen boxes of Marvel, another few dozen of DC. A couple for Dark Horse, IDW, Wildstorm, Vertigo, etc. You’re checking your list of recently sold items against what’s in there, pulling what you need against what you have – pulling them, bagging them, pricing them and putting them out. Seems like a simple process, right?
I SAY THEE NAY!
One tries not to be nostalgic. To look at things as they are, rather than mixing memories of a simpler time of one’s life with some comics that were published a few years ago. But by God, I will go on a limb and say that pretty much every publisher in comics would deeply benefit from looking at Youngblood #1, 2nd print, as the perfect layout for a cover.
Let’s take a look at that cover:
Top Left: publisher name! Brilliant! Not every comic sells through straight off the shelf. After they’ve been removed from sale, they go into the back issue department. Given quite how many publishers there are at the moment, knowing who knocked out this particular funnybook makes life a lot easier.
Back to the top left, and we’ll see, ooh, the issue number. The issue number is printed in a different colour to the background colour it’s on top of. I can see what issue number it is, and know exactly where to file it chronologically: issue 1, after the first printing of 1.
Oh, and about that….
It looks like the first print, but is different enough in its design that you probably would realize it’s got the same content as the 1st print. It even says 2nd printing on it. AWESOME! MAXIMUM! EXTREME! Even.
I don’t have to explain to anyone that it’s a 2nd print, unlike some comics where I’ve spent all day saying “No, it’s not the new issue, it’s a New York 2nd print variant black and white sketch variant of a comic that you probably have already.”
Also, look across the top third of the cover there. The name of the comic! The name. In a readable font that’s easy to see when you lift the comic out of the back issue box. Not, say, written in such a way that the first letter starts at the bottom left of the cover. Or lumped in the right bottom of it. Because that would be a bloody stupid thing to do! And this is why:
I know all of the publishers want to believe that every single comic they put out is going to be a total win and that it’ll fly off the shelves. But more often than not, they DON’T. Whether it’s because the retailer has ordered too many comics, or wants to save a few copies for back issues, the chances are that a quantity of each comic that comes out this week is going to end up in the back issue boxes (which is why the general rule of comic shops when it comes to buying is “Nothing from the last ten years. We’ve GOT it already.”).
So if you’re pulling comics out of a comic box, which hold comics vertically, what you want is the name of the comic, the issue number, what printing it is and the price quite high up on the cover.
So, now you all know. Learn. Make our life easier. Refrain from using “variant” as a synonym for 2nd printing. DON’T put your issue number and price in the bottom left or right of the cover. Also, don’t print that info in a similar colour to the background.
Cheers for reading. Fire brimstone and all attacks on common sense can be sent to me at my facebook account HERE.
Or you could listen to my band The Filthy Orphans instead.