I’ll tear off those sketch cover overlays to get a sale, I don’t even care.

§ July 13th, 2020 § Filed under marvel, retailing § 6 Comments

So over the last couple of days I’ve been grading and pricing a big ol’ pile of Thor comics spanning over the last couple of decades. Some of them reminded me of that period of Marvel (mostly improved now) where the covers were just generic images of the hero, indicating nothing of the story inside. It’s like Marvel was resigned to the idea that the only people buying their comics were the people who were going to buy their comics anyway. They might has well have had a generic of Thor on the front and just changed the issue number with each new release. (Amazing Spider-Man had a problem with that, too.)

Well, this new variant cover style, debuting this week from Marvel, has me wishing for the Good Ol’ Days of “Cover #14 in A Row of Spider-Man Swinging on His Web” —


Um…that’s not terribly inspiring. I saw some folks online (and one of my customers, who called me Sunday to ask about these) saying they thought this was just a fill-in graphic, holding the space in various catalogs and online databases. But nope, that appears to be the actual cover.

This was probably information that was revealed a while back, but I’ve been otherwise occupied and didn’t follow up on this whole “On Sale Wednesday” variant stuff after first seeing them as line items on an order form. I don’t tend to order a whole lot of Marvel’s “free to order” variants anyway, since most folks just want the regular cover, so I shouldn’t be stuck with too many of these. I did mention on the Twitters that maybe these’ll be like the “sketch” cover variants, with just an extra wraparound cover stapled over the regular cover. If that’s the case, and the “On Sale Wednesday” covers do end up not selling, I can just tear off the overcovers and vee-ola, Regular Cover Amazing Spider-Mans for sale!

And anyway, what exactly is the point of these? Marvel thumbing its nose at DC because DC changed their on-sale day for new products to Tuesday? A reminder to customers “hey we’re putting out new comics again, come get them every Wednesday unless the shipping company delayed the package or the distributor shorted the retailer copies.” Not sure how much of a burn it is in the former, and, well, kinda preaching to the converted in the latter. But here’s Yet Another Variant™ to order, because goodness knows there weren’t enough already.

6 Responses to “I’ll tear off those sketch cover overlays to get a sale, I don’t even care.”

  • LondonKdS says:

    I saw this on my RSS reader (yes, I still have one) as a blank white space without even a “broken image” icon, and thought it was one of those blank white covers that people are meant to draw on themselves or have their favourite artist sketch on at a con.

  • Thom H. says:

    I like to think that these are the beginning of a series of factual statement covers coming out in the next few months:

    “On Sale Wednesday”
    “Comic About Spider-Man”
    “Costs $3.99”
    “22 Pages of Words and Pictures”
    “Buy At Front Counter”
    “Cash or Charge Only. No Checks”

    Just really getting in there to *describe* the comic buying experience.

  • King of the Moon says:

    I would not have believed this was real

    Like it was some kind of printing mistake where the placeholder accidentally made it through

  • Rob Staeger says:

    Wait, that’s a real cover? That’s hilarious.

  • Robcat says:

    You’re right. These are terrible. It reminds me of this, Marvel’s generic comic book. https://www.cbr.com/marvel-comics-generic-comic/

    However, I do love those early Superman covers that didn’t show any of the story: Superman holding an eagle in front of the American flag, or Superman breaking chains (which Neal Adams did a nice version of for Superman 233), or Superman typing the names of the stories in that issue for Lois Lane (issue 27).

    On a different note, I presume you’re joking about ripping off the covers (or not), but wouldn’t you be worried about bending a staple or something? I’m a guy who was always a reader first, collector second. Grab a comic off the pile, any one, and throw it in a bag. I want to read it! But at my old store there was a guy…. the owner would seriously put out 5 copies of an issue and the guy would inspect every single one and buy the most perfect one. Then the owner would put out 5 issues of the NEXT comic the guy wanted and same thing. I could get in and out of the store with my bag before the guy had decided on ONE issue. I presume most of your customers would fall somewhere between the two extremes. You deal with many people like that? I mean, it’s no big deal to me. If that’s how you wanna buy comics and it makes you happy… go for it! But I would think as an owner you’d vacillate between 1) I love a regular customer I can depend on and 2) oh, geez… here we go again….

  • Chris V says:

    Yes, I hated those generic “superhero posing” covers that Marvel was putting out for a few years.
    It made finding back-issues a real pain.
    I can usually remember the issues I own based on the covers.
    It was hard to decide if I needed the issue of Amazing Spider Man where he was raising his left arm or the one where he was raising his right arm.

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