Comic book Variants. Love 'em or hate 'em?

Hello everyone! For regular weekly new comic book collectors, the multitude of comic book variant issues is either the passion of many buyers or the bane of many others. This week brings a mega hot variant issue to the market, ULTIMATE SPIDERMAN #104 “white” variant, with a printing ratio of ONE per every 100 regular issues, or the “red” variant, with a ratio of ONE per every 50 regular printings. We’ve had so many requests that that we’re placing both variants on our new AABC auction beginning 1/18/07 to give everyone a chance to obtain these two “legitimate” hot books! So to start some new discussion, I’m asking you. Are Variant comics something you love or disdain in the comics¬†collectibles market? Don’t hold back on this one. Be as poignant as ya’ want on this topic! So blog till yer blue in the face!¬†¬†

About Alan

Alan Giroux, co-owner and founder of AABC is the heart and soul of All About Books and Comics! Alan is the master of acquiring our massive back issue inventory (over one million comics in stock). With 40 years of comic retailing Alan's expertise in back issue comics is unmatched. Alan handles all eBay sales. Got something to sell? Contact Alan!
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5 Responses to Comic book Variants. Love 'em or hate 'em?

  1. Captaindjkurt says:

    Okay, here’s my take on the variant cover debacle! I say debcale because that what it is. I think that is just a waste of time ,energy. & money. With most books already being $2.99 or more it’s hard enough for someone who has somewhat of a limited budget (yours truly–anyone else??) to buy the titles they want. Now you get a different cover for the same pages, art etc. that the non-variant has & you have to spend at least another $2.99 for just a cover that may or maynot gain value,c’mon already!!!!!!
    Unless it’s by some comic great or a limited printing or adds something to the story, then stop soaking us!
    Just a couple more points:
    1.Now that most publishers are doing variants, what do you buy & how many?
    2.If they are going to soak us for another $2.99, then add more pages!

  2. BC says:

    Variants don’t bother me. Nobody is being forced to purchase anything. Some collectors are anal about owning every issue in a particular series, but that’s seems to me to be a personal problem of the collector.

    I don’t blame the comic book companies. They’re just trying to own the maximum amount of the market that they can.

  3. Frank Kramer says:

    variants, why not? i try to get them as they come out, but i won’t make it a point to get all of the back issue variants.

  4. Kevin Daniels says:

    Well some of them are really cool….. It kind of pisses me off when i see one on the shelf thats new because I feel the need to buy it. It really sucked having to get all the other variants in the spiderman titles but they were pretty cool.

  5. “Are Variant comics something you love or disdain in the comics collectibles market?”

    I have a feeling I know much less about the comics collectibles market and variant covers than I think I do, and I don’t think I know that much. I just read the stuff I like, has me curious and can afford and store, and that generally does not include variants.

    That said, perhaps variant covers have restored the thrill of the chase to modern comics collecting. These days between pull lists, mail order, ebay, and plain old making your way to the new issue rack of a competently run operation like the host of this blog, how hard is it to really get an issue you want? Beyond an industry wide underestimation of how well an issue will be received, or the unwillingness to part with a few extra dollars, I’d say, Not very. That’s pretty much how it should be, in my opinion, but some people want more.

    So if variants are keeping people who need a challenge in everything they do or love having things not everyone get have in the hobby, that could be a positive. I just hope they stick around as readers on some level if the thrill ever wears off again.

    Variants may bring in extra dollars to retailers, who price them higher than cover, and publishers who get a sales bump as retailers try to acquire more variant copies. This is the tricky part for me. Building buzz and excitement can be fine. Yet greed is very dangerous and has hurt comics badly in the past.

    Smaller publishers may feel doing variants is a way to survive by pushing up sales for their more limited product lines, but I have to wonder if Marvel and DC decided to do 4 variants of every title, like say Dynamite or Avatar, wouldn’t the smaller publishers get pushed off the shelves? I think they would, and I don’t think we want to find out if that is true.

    I agree that sometimes a little choice of covers is fun. But is it worth slowness and lateness because artists are banging out extra covers instead of doing interiors on their monthly?

    I can’t say for sure if variants are a net positive for comics or not. It doesn’t feel like they are to me, but I’m far from fully informed, and I doubt there really is a solid answer. (I recently put some more thoughts on my own reaction to variants in my own blog, which people are free to look up if they want.)