Can Polybaged Trading Cards With A Foil Glow in the Dark Cover Be Far Behind?

Most publishers these days have benefited from bumps in sales associated with the release of variant incentive covers. As an example of how this may work, a retailer gets one special cover for every 10 or 20 regular issues he orders. The retailer then can sell the variant cover at a higher price, or sell multiple copies of the same issue to a single buyer, driving sales up for all involved.

DC has been pleased with retailers responses to their incentive covers; expect to see numerous multiple covers on various new launches from DC by the Kubert brothers this coming year. The company, though, has decided to take this one step further. In the latest edition of Previews, DC is offering a new kind of ordering incentive with the debut issue of Green Lantern Corps: a DCU direct Green Lantern ring.

This is just the first in a wave of DCU direct incentives that are going to be offered to coincide with the launch of new post-Infinite Crisis title. For starters, retailers will be offered a variety of Superman related merchandise to coincide with their orders on the upcoming Superman big name creator launches coming later this year.

Marvel is also looking into what promotional incentives they can tie into their own new titles that are coinciding with their upcoming movie releases – Ghost Rider, Spider-Man 3, and so on.

Lets hope that the big two publishers and retailers remember the excesses (and subsequent bust) of the 90s and don?t go overboard with this sort of thing.

This Has A ?I Own All 5 Copies Of X-Force #1 With The Trading Cards (Hey I Was Only 15)? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten

Taken Away Too Soon

It seems that rumours of the impending cancellation of SOLO (hinted at by Bruce Timm and George Pratt among others in various interviews) have been confirmed by artist Brendan Mccarthy on his blog.

Brendan has stated that his issue of Solo (shipping in August) will be the last issue published by DC:

      I’m happy to say that, at the moment the final issue of


    , number 12, will be my one. So let’s go out with a nice dollop of fractal-punk comics, wot? Overthrow the ‘comics as film’ orthodoxy and herald the new aeon of ‘comics as music’… Most comics wanna be Hollywood… My comics wanna be The Beatles! – or at least a bunch of different ‘tracks’ collected together into something groovy, not merely just a short-story anthology.

Personally I was a big fan of Solo and discovered quite a few artists for the first time spotlighted in this series. In fact, some readers have suggested that Solo should be seen as a loss leader that exposes readers to artists who have upcoming DC work and consequently that will increase sales on their future projects. Numerous readers have stated that they discoevred Paul Pope via his issue of Solo, which is interesting in light of the fact that Paul Pope?s Batman Year 100 mini series has seen its first 2 issues sell out.

Hopefully DC will be able to bring the series back at some point and at the very least publish the work in progress that was planned for future issues. There is supposed to be a short story drawn by Walter Simonson that was scripted by Frank Miller.

This Has A ? I Was Really Looking Forward To The Brian Steelfreeze Issue Dammit!? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

There Are No Coincidences

One of the upcoming artists that will be featured in an issue of Solo prior to its cancellation is Damion Scott. Many readers have questions why Damion was included and if he was indeed enough of a known quantity to stand with the other artists showcased in the series.

Common thinking would suggest that editor Mark Chiarello must believe in Damion and wanted to give him more exposure. Recent rumours coming out of Wizard World LA suggest that Marvel is interested in giving Damion some high profile work and maybe even an exclusive contract. The powers that be at DC then decided to keep Damion busy by having Chiarello give him an issue of Solo (48 pages of story) to put together, thus preventing any of the Marvel projects moving ahead as planned.

If this is indeed accurate, then DC has yet another reason to keep Solo from being cancelled – sticking it to Marvel!

This Has A ?I?m Really Going To Miss This Book? Factor Of Six Out Of Ten

Vertigo Cover Shuffle

Josh Middleton will be the new cover artist on American Virgin starting with issue five, while Frank Quitely (current American Virgin cover artist) will become the regular cover artist on another as of yet unnamed Vertigo series.

This Has A ?But Where Is The Latest All-Star Superman?? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten

Ode to an Artist

Billboard is reporting that an album inspired by the work of Neil Gaiman will be released by a Philadelphia based independent record label called Dancing Ferret Discs.

The album (tentatively titled ?Where?s Neil When You Need Him??) is expected to arrive in stores (both comic book and traditional music outlets) on July 18th.

Contributors include Tori Amos, Tapping the Vein, Cruxshadows, and Lunascape. Neil Gaiman will be writing the liner notes, while his frequent collaborator Dave McKean will be creating the artwork for the album.

In related news, me and Blair will be recording a duet inspired by John Byrne at Abbey Road Studios in London? (just kidding!)

This Has A ?Sing Along With The Sandman? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten

Unstoppable Engine

Warren Ellis? message board ? the ENGINE ? is a hub for creators and intelligent discussion about the industry (no superhero talk though ? Ellis feels that there are enough other message boards dedicated to capes and tights, so the ENGINE focuses on other genres and creator owned work).

Numerous creators contribute to the board and a recent thread asked them what they are currently working on. Some responses include:

      Warren Ellis:


    I’m trying to wrap DESOLATION JONES 7 today, and then I need to get into another issue of FELL, and then I need to wrap WOLFSKIN, and I also have some videogame work to do for next week, and I need to develop three new serials, and do a tv thing, and also die.

Antony Johnston:
Started scripting the adaptation of POINT BLANC, the sequel to STORMBREAKER, today. Also designing ads and issue templates for WASTELAND. Need to plot #7, which is a one-shot story issue, some time this month. I also just this minute got word that Benito El Templesmith is on board for the WASTELAND covers, which is ever so slightly awesome.
Oh, and I’m partway through a prose novel, STEALING LIFE, which has the same goddamn deadline as POINT BLANC. It never rains, etc.

Jamie S. Rich:
The big final edit on my novel The Everlasting before sending it to the copyeditor.

Continuing to write the next novel, Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?
Tinkering with a short prose story that’s giving me trouble.
Starting the initial stages of my next graphic novel with Joelle Jones, for when we’re done with 12 Reasons Why I Love Her.
I’ve also done one manga/manwha rewrite already this month (though, slightly bled over from last), and should do a couple more by the end of it.

This Has A ?Die Puny Humans? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

The Amazing Adventures of Steve Rolston

Steve Rolston recently confirmed on his website that he will be working on the relaunch of Michael Chabon?s Escapist comic book series:

      Based on the mythology created by writer Michael Chabon in his Pulitzer Prize winning novel


    , this comic will follow the lives of three young comic creators as they breathe new life into a golden age superhero, both on the page and in real life!

THE ESCAPISTS will be coming at you this summer as a six-issue monthly mini-series from Dark Horse Comics. Penned by top writer Brian K. Vaughan (Runaways, Y the Last Man, Ex Machina), the first issue will be illustrated by Philip Bond and Eduardo Barreto, with issues 2 through 6 illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander and myself.

Our story was originally slated to run in the quarterly anthology THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF THE ESCAPIST but Dark Horse is currently restructuring the Escapist books to benefit more readers. While this does mean you’ll have to wait until the summer, it also means you won’t have to wait as long between issues and the price tag will be much more affordable for those who weren’t keen on the anthology format.

This Has A ?Why Doesen?t Anyone Buy Anthologies Anymore?? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten

That?s it for this week. Blair will return next week as me and C.B. Cebluski unveil our new rap album inspired by the work of George Tuska?

Yes, I made the same joke twice in one column ? these things aren?t easy to write people!

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