Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 2, Issue 38

It’s been a blur of a week so far, but there’s lots of work on the horizon for tomorrow and Friday, so I have a feeling I’ll be limping to the weekend. I didn’t get much sleep while I was away this past weekend, and I decided to drive back home at an unreasonably early hour Sunday morning.

Plus, last night I went to dinner with friends I haven’t seen in far too long a time--the three of us actually hadn’t been in the same room together in just about five years--and I got home way too late for someone who wakes up at 5:00 AM.

So, to continue the trend of this week, today, I am tired.

But there are new comic books just sitting on a shelf somewhere, waiting for me to buy them. And that makes me a little happier, though admittedly, not even a little less tired. Before we get to all that, though, I wanted to talk briefly about the rise (yet again) of speculation in Modern Age comics.

I’ve written about the latest Image hit, Morning Glories, and I mentioned on release day that I just had a feeling about the book. A feeling that, if you wanted to actually read a copy, you’d have to jump on it quickly because I thought it would sell out pretty quickly.

Well, less than a month later, Image is rushing out a fourth printing of that first issue and prices of first (and even second and third) printings of issue one have gone crazy on eBay. What’s more, prices for issue 2--which came out last week, mind you--were selling for $15 on the day of release, and are now commanding even higher prices.

Overlooked somewhat in all of this, last week, a book called Kodiak came out from IDW. I had read absolutely zero in terms of promotion for the book, and it was not on my list of things to buy.
But, when I walked into my local comics shop, I noticed that the book was written by Joe Hill, author of Locke & Key and the (almost-instant classic) short story collection, 20th Century Ghosts, among other things.

I bought it immediately. Kodiak, I mean.

And now, lo and behold, I find out over at Bleeding Cool that there was some sort of printing error with the book. So, in addition to the fact that IDW’s print runs aren’t very large at all, now apparently, the first print run of this book was much, much smaller.

Speculators, start your engines.

What, you might ask, does telling you about long sold out books have to do with anything? Ah, well, see, there are people out there who are starting to take note of these smaller press titles and their increasing profitability.

And, as is the only logical progression in this wonderful hobby of mine, a book from Image this week is already selling on eBay for $20.

It’s in your stores now. Or, more accurately, it will be in your stores in a little while. Since it’s early, and most stores haven’t yet opened. And yet, there are online retailers selling this book for $20.

This makes me angry, in general.

But, I’m specifically angry because this book is one that I planned on writing about here in this week’s Waiting for, because it sounds like a new and interesting title and one with some legs.

Plus, it has an awesome cover.
Skullkickers, issue one, ships today, and it looks promising. Check out the solicitation information, straight from Image Comics:

No one knows where these two warriors came from. The only thing that's clear is that they're two of most ornery, trouble-making $%@# that have ever lived.

SKULLKICKERS is a fantasy action-comedy: Two mercenaries are entangled in a high-class assassination plot and nothing—werewolves, skeletons or black magic—will stop them from getting paid. If you love tabletop fantasy RPGs or movies like Army of Darkness, SKULLKICKERS is waiting for you!

See? Told you it sounds awesome. Plus, it has some cross-entertainment appeal, which is always a good thing. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on a copy of the book. I don’t mind buying second or even third prints, but that means I’d have to wait a few weeks to read the book.

And, since books are ordered months in advance, I’d like to know if I like issue one before I order issue two. Know what I’m saying?

Now, this trend of instant (and in the case of Skullkickers and Morning Glories, pre-release) sellouts has both its positives and negatives. It’s good for small-press creators. It helps get their names and work out there, and on the comics news sites and on Super Powerful and Awesome Blogs, like this one.

But it’s bad because these books tend to become more associated with their "hot" factor--that is, people know their names because they know the early issues are worth money. So they pick them up, throw them in plastic, and/or sell them online.

And the books never get read. Which defeats the entire purpose of writing a book.

But this is Waiting for Wednesday, on a very pro-reading, anti-collecting blog. So hopefully some of you give the book a shot, read it, and enjoy the heck out of it.

And with that, I'll end this not-so-typical edition with a very typical question. What are you Waiting for?

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