Black Mask January 2020 Solicits – Details of Cancellations, Resolicitations and Digital Only Replacementsby Darren BeckettWednesday, October 23, 2019
  • In recent months, publisher Black Mask has stopped soliciting comic books. They also appeared to have stopped publishing them as solicited series got later and later and later.

    Representatives tell us that they have slowed down such activity this year to get delayed books back on schedule and to fix systems that had been stretched thin over the years. And that they will return to Previews next week with comic books scheduled for January.

    But that also means some rescheduling, resoliciting and culling of titles lined up, as well as increasing their collection programme and making that more of a focus, even if that means dropping the publication of certain singles that might have preceded such a collection.

    Here’s how things are looking right now.
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    Vault Comics Launches New Vagrant Queen Series For 2020, Alongside TV Showby Darren BeckettTuesday, October 22, 2019
  • As Vagrant Queen becomes a TV show from Syfy next year, so the publishers and creators of the comic book it is based on are going back to the well…

    Vagrant Queen: A Planet Called Doom is a new Vagrant Queen series by Magdalene Visaggio and Jason Smith and published by Vault Comics in  January 2020. Coloured by Harry Saxon, lettered by Zakk Samm, and designed by Tim Daniel is both a direct sequel to the original series as well as designed to be a very easy jumping on point for new readers who may have just heard of this new TV show…

    Vagrant Queen is the story of former child queen Elida who was driven from her throne at age ten and forced to wander the galaxy, evading the revolutionary forces that wanted her dead. When an old frenemy claims to know the whereabouts of Elida’s long-lost mother, she is forced to return to her former kingdom and stage a rescue.

    In 2020, Vagrant Queen will debut as a TV show from Syfy, produced by Blue Ice Pictures, staring Adriyan Rae, Tom Rozon, and Paul du Toit. The TV show was created and developed by Jem Garrard, and based on the original comic book series by Visaggio and Smith. Copies of the first issue are going for around $20 on eBay and may go a lot higher…

    Vagrant Queen: A Planet Called Doom #1 hits stores in January 2020, and will have a B cover variant drawn by Nathan Gooden and Tim Daniel. You can read the solicitation below… and watch the trailer for the TV show.

    Get ready—Vagrant Queen is BACK! Elida Al-feyr has finally managed to build a happy life… until a mysterious man in an ancient white ship shows up and takes it all away. And hey, where the hell is Isaac?
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    Scott Dunbier's Sketch Jam Piece For San Diego 2020by Darren BeckettSunday, October 06, 2019
  • Scott Dunbier, Special Projects Senior Editor at IDW was happy to show off the beginnings of something very special, for New York Comic Con. What he describes as

    A work in progress. The start of a jam piece that will be sold at the 2020 CBLDF charity art auction at San Diego Comic-Con.
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    Vault Partners with ComicHub to Promote Money Shot, Looking for that Once & Future Magicby Darren BeckettTuesday, September 24, 2019
  • Conventional wisdom in the comic book industry goes that if a publisher wants to sell more copies of a comic, the best way is to use gimmicks to convince retailers to purchase as much stock as possible, regardless of whether or not that stock will ever end up in the hands of actual readers. Gimmicks like incentive variant covers, which convince retailers that they should order more copies of a comic no one will ultimately buy in order to get their hands on a rare variant that can be sold for more than the price of those comics on eBay, are combined with gimmicks like #1 issue relaunches or super-mega-crossover event tie-ins to make a comic seem more in-demand than it actually is. This works because, in most cases, once a retailer buys the comics, the publisher’s job is done. They have their money, they can tout the big sales boost at the next quarterly stockholder meeting, and the retailer is left figuring out what to do with the stock if nobody buys it.

    That’s not good for retailers. More importantly, it’s not good for readers.

    With the release of Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora’s Once & Future, explosive publisher BOOM! Studios tried something different. They partnered with ComicHub, a company that targets actual readers with direct-to-reader marketing to increase demand for comics with customers and drive them into comic book stores to purchase the product. BOOM! also made the comic returnable, showing faith in the product by accepting some of the risk rather than pushing it off to retailers. Common sense? Sure. Revolutionary in an industry that has defied common sense for decades? You betcha.

    Bleeding Cool reported on BOOM!’s partnership with ComicHub back in June. In July, we reported that the comic had 31,000 orders with no variants. In August, we reported on the comic selling out two weeks before going on sale. Then came the second printing. The third printing. Eventually a sixth printing. And a second and third printing for Once & Future #2. By September, Once and Future was the benchmark for hot creator-owned comics.

    Maybe Once & Future’s success had nothing to do with ComicHub. Maybe it’s just a great comic by well-known creators that just happened to find an audience. Certainly, its sales can’t solely be attributed to marketing. A lot of factors go into making a comic successful, and it would be insulting to the creators involved to claim that promotion is the most important one. But maybe, if the comic itself is really good, attempting to actually get readers, rather than just retailers, interested in a new comic does play an important role. And certainly there are a lot of great comics that die on the vine for lack of good promotion.

    Vault Comics will be testing the theory for the release of Money Shot, the upcoming comic by writer Tim Seeley, comedian and co-scripter Sarah Beattie, artist Rebekah Isaacs, colorist Kurt Michael Russell, and letterer Crank!. From the press release:

    The new partnership will see the two fast-growing start-ups continue to take the industry by storm to expand the audience of what will be one of the year’s most exciting new series. ComicHub’s cutting edge direct-to-reader marketing & pre-order tools will expand Money Shot’s presence in the mind’s of retailers and readers internationally. ComicHub’s “Available At” map feature will be a key part of Vault’s strategy to help retailers in a sweeping sell-through campaign.

    Further, retailers who participate in Vault Comics’ BOOK IT pre-order system will receive a special $100 discount when they sign up for ComicHub at Retailer.Comichub.com.

    ComicHub is so much more than a Point Of Sale system. It is the only POS in the comics industry that integrates Subscriptions, Customer Portal, modern Email Marketing tools, Integrated Web Store, Multi-Store Tools, International Store integration, Rewards, Gift Certificates, Layaway and Bounce Back programs. Not to mention the features in the Publisher Portal and Creator Portal. All seamlessly integrate to ensure the print comic industry continues to thrive in the digital era.

    Said Vault Publisher Damian Wassel:

    ComicHub aims to provide the software solution the comics market has always wanted, a single platform to manage orders, handle payments, and track data, for vendors, retailers, and customers. It could be altogether revolutionary. Vault will be working hard to make sure we make the most of this bold new tool.

    Said ComicHub VP Atom! Freeman:

    We have worked with a lot of publishers since beginning ComicHub, and few have impressed us the way that the team at Vault have. Their commitment to building quality books and growth in the Direct Market have been fun to watch and a joy to collaborate on. The ideas and innovation they bring to projects like Money Shot guarantee them a place as a powerhouse in this industry.

    Will it work? That remains to be seen. Money Shot #1 is in stores on October 23rd, with final order cutoff on September 30th.

    Money Shot is set in the near future where space travel is ludicrously expensive and largely ignored. Enter Christine Ocampos, inventor of the Star Shot teleportation device. Her big idea: She’ll travel to new worlds, engage-intimately-with local aliens, and film her exploits for a jaded earth populace trying to find something new on the internet. Now, Chris and her merry band of scientist-cum-pornstars explore the universe, each other, and the complexities of sex in MONEY SHOT, a story about scientists having sex with aliens for the glory of mankind-and money.
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    Vault Comics to Bring Luxurious “High-End” Exclusive $100 Variant for The Plot #1 to New York Comic Conby Darren BeckettWednesday, September 18, 2019
  • Following the announcement last week that Vault Comics would print a variant for These Savage Shores in gold ink for Local Comic Shop Day, the fancy-pants publisher has now announced an even more luxurious variant catering to the ultra-elite 1% of comics collectors for The Plot #1, to be sold exclusively at New York Comic Con. The cover, which will feature “design filigree printed in a special metallic-gold ink, with the central image printed using a special spot-gloss finish,” is touted as being “hyper-limited,” as only 100 copies of the comic will be printed, more than justifying the cover’s $100 price.

    “I say, that variant cover seems like a fine investment, old chap,” said Richtholemew Q. Johnsington III, a Bleeding Cool consultant specializing in high-end variant covers and usury. “This is the most extravagant variant cover I’ve come across since Valiant Entertainment produced a Bloodshot variant that was passed through the digestive tract of an elephant and extracted from its feces, the enzymes producing a mild, nutty flavor that makes a suitable addition to any collection. Tally-ho!”
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