The House of Lollipops.

§ June 23rd, 2021 § Filed under publishing, retailing, this week's comics § 6 Comments


Thanks to reader/mad genius Paul for sending this mock-up of what could’ve been for a Sterling Silver Comics retailer exclusive variant!

Following up on my discussion about that very topic from Monday, I’d actually pulled up an email I received from A Comics Publisher in response to an inquiry I’d made along these lines. Without going into a whole lot of specific detail, let’s just say my buy-in, just for the minimum copy purchase of the exclusive variant, would have been in excess of $10,000. That doesn’t count other minimum orders for the regular cover or other variants of your retailer variant, or for paying for the actual artwork by the artist.

Basically, it’s a lotta scratch…not undoable, entirely, but certainly an investment that would require some first class hustling to make that cash back. Which could be a problem in case you got a cover that didn’t grab the attention of the sort of folks who look for exclusive variants like this. But, to be honest, the way the marketplace is right now, seems like anything that has any form of scarcity is automatically in demand.

Anyhoo, something to think about the next time the opportunity arises.

But speaking of “scarcity,” apparently the latest issue of Usagi Yojimbo, #20, is “in demand” due to it being a first appearance of a character whose name I bet most of the people looking for it couldn’t even tell you. My distributor decided, alas, that this would be one of the comics they’d be shorting from my order last week (there’s usually a few every shipment). I figured that would be that, given it’s temporary hotness and all spare copies eaten up by reorders, I’d have to wait for the second printings to come along so I can get copies for customers who actually want to read it. Somehow, though, miracle of miracles, my replacements showed up! I mean, sure, half my Fireflys are missing and several of my Marvel Voices: Pride shorted or damaged, so it’s always something.

As to the Marvel Voices: Pride comic, it surprised me a bit by including select pages from Alpha Flight #106 (1992). In case you forgot, that’s the comic where Northstar finally just straight up said, after years of subtle-ish hints, “yeah, I’m gay.” Which was, granted, a pretty big deal, and demand for the issue warranted a second printing. But this was also at the height of the whole “gotta be EXTREEEME” art thing, and…yeah, it certainly looks a bit jarring side-by-side with more current art styles. Hey, gotta start somewhere! (Also, did they ever bring back Major Mapleleaf from that story?) (Yes, I know that was a nickname of Alpha Flight’s Guardian at one point.)

I should also note that my comments sections here on Rogressive Pruin occasionally take on a life of their own. So, if you ever wanted to delve deep into the origin of the word/sound/expression “vootie,” well, your day has come.

6 Responses to “The House of Lollipops.”

  • Randal says:

    That Alpha Flight issue is what sold me on a national health care system. I mean, one baby got a hospital room the size of a ballroom all to himself. They’ve got to be doing something right.

  • Chris V says:

    That issue of Alpha Flight, sadly, reads more like a parody today.

    As far as I’m aware that was, thankfully, the only appearance of Major Mapleleaf.

  • Rob London says:

    That Major Mapleleaf didn’t appear again, but his son, who also went by that alias, was a member of Alpha Flight in the mid-Aughts Alpha Flight series.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Alpha Flight #106”

    never read it, but that cover art is TERRIBLE.

  • Rob S. says:

    I can’t help but be proud of the whole Vootie discourse… and now I see Marvel Chimp is your current icon! Hep-Hep! Vootie!

  • Squints says:

    What this inquiring mind wants to know is how Bernie Wrightson knew back then what Courtney Thorne-Smith was going to look like.

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