The independent publisher IDW has been working a partnership with Marvel Comics for about a year now. This deal allows IDW to publish kid friendly Marvel titles. I don’t fully understand it myself...why not just do it yourself?!? Maybe they know they would sell too little so it’s not worth their time?!? But the tiny amount is worth it for IDW to license out and do?!? Who knows?!?
They are currently doing some Star Wars titles and some superhero books...one which include our favorite webhead, Spider-Man. The Spidey book is titled Marvel Action Spider-Man, and each issue has a variant cover dealt out at a 1:10 ratio meaning for every 10 regular covers a retailer orders...they can get 1 of the variants.
This is not a hard number to hit but on a kids Marvel book that’s not even put out by Marvel...it certainly is a stretch for most shops. Just to put it into perspective, my shop of Conquest Comics which happens to be a good sized shop, orders between 1-2 copies of these titles for the shop as they just don’t move particularly well and fast.
Well when I initially saw the solicitation for the variant cover for Marvel Action Spider-Man #10, I knew I had to load up. First off, this issue featured Venom and he’s as popular as they come right now. The artist Jonboy Meyers supplied the art for this variant and I saw instant potential as it features his ugly mug close up.
I know there are tons of Venom hunters out there meaning folks who collect all his appearances...let alone killer covers that don the image of this massively popular character. My thinking was that most shops are not going to be ordering 10 copies of the regular book just to get this variant. This is the regular...
I figured I’d go top heavy so I can have a stack to sell at conventions or online for the future. I thought that these would be solid $50 bills. I think it’s one of those books that will be a ghost down the line. Well I was shocked by 2 things this past week.
1 - The book shot from $20-$30-$50-$75 and all the way up to $175 bucks with the average currently around $125ish. That blew my mind! I did not see that coming at all to be honest. I knew it would be a gem but this exceeded my expectations.
2 - The other thing I noticed and was surprised with was just how many of these were up on eBay. I thought the supply would be a lot less but it seems there is a healthy supply...at least currently at the moment. I’m guessing that these aren’t your everyday mom & pop shop retailers but resellers or smart shops who saw the potential and decided to roll the dice. Kudos to those retailers!
Here’s where my story gets sad. I ordered 100 regular copies so I could receive 10 of the variants. 7 of my 10 came hammered and smashed. Yay! So I got my replacement copies yesterday and these ones are even worse. All 7 replacements came looking like they hung out in a fucking sauna for the weekend. Totally ruined!!!
Not sure if the box got wet somewhere along the way (it appeared fine), the books were already moist (love that word), or what...but they are brutal. Water is pretty much the kiss of death for Comics and it breaks my heart to see now $1400-$2000 of potential resale value literally thrown away.
I called them in as damages once more and am promised replacements, but I’m not getting my hopes up in getting quality copies. I just did this song and dance with some 1:25 and 1:50 ratio variants for Spawn #300. All of my copies came mangled. My replacement copies came with awful ink rubs that made them look filthy. When I tried to call those in to get actual sellable copies, out of stock. Meaning I’m screwed on that. Really wish there were a way to work that out with the publisher or our distributor. Nothing like spending hundreds of bucks to qualify to receive a variant that is destroyed and unsellable. This also happened with an Absolute Carnage Hulk variant from last month. All ruined and none to replace it. Such a shitty model...
Anyway, wish me luck on the third batch. Hoping they will be decent copies so I do t end up losing out on this deal and being stuck with 100 regulars and a stack of smashed and wet variants. Depending on what they tell me to do with these, I might try to press them to see if any can be even remotely salvaged. They will either send me a call tag to send them back to return em, or a please destroy tag. If I get the latter, I will try to see if any pressing magic can be worked although I’m not too confident as the entire book is affected...not just the covers.
Thanks for looking!!!