Friday, November 9, 2012

Comic Book Covers - Good and Bad Variants

By Kevin Winter
The topic of variant covers often comes up for discussion in the store, and since many people can't make it into the store on Wednesday mornings, I will summarize how it often goes.  We often discuss which ones are worthwhile and which ones are worthless.  This topic creates some debate and not everyone agrees with each other.
Worthwhile Variant Covers
Spider-men_5_sara_pichelli_1_in_100_variant

1:100 Variant Cover by Sara Pichelli - Spider-Men #5
I can see the purpose behind a variant, for example, a cover that is 1 in 50 or 1 in 100.  It is meant to be special, something that not many people will own. It should be different from the cover everyone else will get.
For variant covers that I will buy, I expect to get something different, something exciting, something new.  Show me a special guest artist who normally does not work on the comic and his interpretation of the cover art. Perhaps, bring in a current artist to try his hand at another art style, but do not give me the bad variants. Obviously, one must not waste money on those!
Worthless Variant Covers

Spider-men_1_sara_pichelli_1_in_100_variant_no_words
 1:100 Variant Cover by Sara Pichelli - Spider-Men #1
The blank cover variants should only be issued at cons, not in a comic book shop.  Not everyone can afford to go to the big cons all the time and get something special done.  If Marvel and DC feel the need to put out these blank covers, then release them at the cons themselves -- and put out a special cover for the comic book stores.  I have found the blank covers useless and a waste of paper.
Another worthless style is the one with no title or other writing on the cover.  I really don’t see the point spending more money just to get an issue with no writing on the cover when it looks exactly the same as all the others.  Maybe if they did a different cover with no text that would be interesting.
The last worthless type of variant cover that comes to mind is the one that is just the pencil drawing of the normal cover.  This is just lazy and they shouldn't have even done a variant cover.  They just wanted some money. The companies that do that -- looking at you, IDW -- should be ashamed of themselves and maybe try something original.
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 About The Author
Kevin Winter is someone with an opinion about almost everything. A comic fan of several years, he can be seen around Empire's Comics Vault on Wednesdays, and generally spouting an opinion (if anyone wants to hear it or not)...  also trying not to get on Ben's bad side.