Categories
Comics

It’s what’s inside that counts

Yes, his name is really Al
Yes, his name is really Al

This week Peter and I made a decision regarding the increasingly ridiculous “variant cover” market.  Not only was it beginning to become a bit of a logistical nightmare as we had to figure out ways of allocating a small amount of these alternate covers to the customers who wanted them, but it was costing us money as well as we had to buy more product to qualify for certain covers.

After reading a very interesting article on Newsarama about how A Comic Shop in Florida deals with variants, we decided to adopt a new policy towards variant comics.

Below is the email that went out to our subscribers.

Dear subscribers:

After quite a bit of thought and discussion, Peter and I have decided on a new variant policy for All New Comics.

Both Peter and I believe that Variant Editions are not a good value. We are required to purchase more product to qualify for them, and we are forced to pass that cost on to our customers, charging more for variant covers. This artificially inflated price does not last long because two months after the issue comes out, nobody cares. We feel this is not fair to our customers and we are adamantly against anything that harms you guys.

Peter and I both believe that what’s important about comics is the content, not the wrapper publishers put on the comic.

This is why effective immediately we are adopting a new variant cover policy.

All variant covers will be randomly distributed. This is the most fair thing we can do, and ensures that pretty much every one of our customers will at some point in a calendar year receive one variant cover.

The best part is there is no extra charge for you, and we will not have to absorb any extra charge.

We’ll put a little sticky on the bag if something’s a variant so that you’ll be sure to note the special cover, but we’re not going to treat them specially anymore.

We feel that this is the only fair way to handle the growing variant market, which is a market we believe is actually harmful to our business, and results in us having to adopt unfair practices that we don’t believe in.

If you have any questions or comments, please direct them to us, or leave a comment on the story on Brian’s blog.

Thanks.

So, what are your thoughts?

By Brian Garside

Brian is a digital experience expert, and part time internet superhero. He focuses on digital first design, digital strategies, content management, website usability, and user experience. He was part of the team behind BalanceDo, the co-founder of All New Comics, and the chief strategist at NorthIQ.

6 replies on “It’s what’s inside that counts”

Hmmm,

In principle it sounds good. I agree that all the variants are bad for business. For the most part I don’t care. For example, do I want ALL my Final Crisis to have those two silver stripes, or do I want the character ones, and does it matter if they are mixed together? Probably not.

On the other hand, if Neal Adams does another variant on something, I definitely want to get one. I could care less if it is worth more, I just think his art is cool!

So you guys do whatcha gotta do for business; If I MUST have a particular variant, I can always travel into the big city for it.

The best day in my life was when I met an avic comic collector who explained to me the reality of the variant scam. He has made the hobby a lot cheaper. I applaud this decision. It is equitable and fair and keeps your costs down which keeps my costs down. Funny since it is to be random I am left to wonder if I want to be included as I sometimes the common cover ie Alex Ross on JSA better then the variant. BTW 3 guesses who that above mentioned collector was.

I totally agree with you guys and I support you also in your decision. Personnaly as a big comic book collector, when I want to have a special edition in my collection I buy it slabbed by CGC. I have many CGC comics who, by being in a protective case, will stay in shape that way. Why pay more for a variant that is not slabbed except of course to sent it to be slabbed 🙂 But again if you want a good CGC grade you need to personnaly choose it. Again by making this decision it shown that you guys are great and want to best for your customers!

I totally support your decision. I’ve always been a reader, not a collector, so I don’t mind too much having variant covers or not.

Comments are closed.