Catchy title, am I right? I thought so. I ask you to show a little forbearance with this post as much, but not all is my opinion. So what kind of utterly degrading filth could possibly be found in the pages of your favorite comic book? Well, after the advent of the comic code not much, but the cover my friend that is a different story! What am I getting at? Give a minute I’ll get there, I promise.
Comics have had many dark periods, times when the industry was doggie paddling, desperately trying to stay afloat. The near death knell (post World War Two) of the super hero caused the industry to try new things, readers grow up lose interest, move on etc. The 1990’s was an era of highs and lows, retailers cropping up only to fold a few years down the road, distributors pushing for more retailers (who would ultimately fail in an oversaturated market) and publishers reeling from downturns as a result.
With all the potential pitfalls facing your Thor-fearing (ha-ha get it he’s a God, jeez I crack myself up), poor deluded retailer of comic yarns, why would you give them a never resolving problem to face with their customer base? Still wondering what I am talking about? Well friends I refer to nothing less than the most extreme of deviances, one which should shock any who witness its unchained horrors and the resultant effect on the psyche of our little minds and puppies…that’s right…I am talking about the VARIANT COVER!!!
Variant covers are a popular way to generate sales for the industry and spark excitement in the reader, or conversely they are a blatant marketing ploy to separate you and your hard earned stockpile of pre-designated comic book dollars! I tend to go with the latter of those two choices rather than the former, but hey I’m the Grinch who Stole Variants...too early for Christmas references? Ok then I am the…guy with no witty remark, who sulks about variants.
For the modern comic publisher (mind you I am talking more about the industry giants, than the smaller struggling firms) there are many different potential revenue streams to tap into. You have the comic book itself or line of them, the toys/collectables, TV/movie deals, and the occasional special event generating buzz and paydays. A variant cover is little more than a cash grab for the deluded completion junkie, who much like a Pokémon card collector on a three day crack binge, has got to “have ‘em all” (I feel your pain brother and sister comic geeks, I am right there with you!!)
Add to this the potential for disappointing the customer of local retailers, who can’t possibly keep up with the plethora of variants without going under and you have a poorly executed ongoing crime against nature…and comic lovers…and small dogs. Variant covers are the porn of comic books, “ooooh yea baby, should I get all 52 variant covers, and spend well over 200 dollars?” Yea I said it, DC I’m looking at you with your JLA 52 release. Now DC is not the only pimp in the variant cover porn game, they are all guilty of turning us into cheapened John’s with our name printed in the local paper after getting caught in a sting. Marvel, IDW, Dynamite, Image they are all guilty.
You may argue that if you don’t buy, they won’t supply, and you would be wrong!! This type of reasoning discounts the very nature of the avid comic book collector, i.e. that we are all a bunch of junkies. So there you have it boys and girls, comic books are sin, avarice, vice!! Variant covers are the dirty fantasies. We’re all a bunch of perverts. Man, I love how dirty I feel right now. With that said go forth and buy comics, you sicko!!
p.s. Leave a comment with your opinion/take/question, I promise I will get back to you faster than Kevin Smith on a deadline :)