Newsletter #3: It’s Been A Minute
Hey remember when I said I was gonna do one of these a month? Haha, bummer summer.
We’ll, it’s been busy these past few months, but there’s news and updates to get to, so let's get started.
Remember that Rafael Grampa variant no one else in the RGV was gonna get? We launched it! It went really great!
We worked out a promotional deal with friend-of-the-shop @annareadscomics to get the word out there. If you haven't gotten this spectacular COVER, hit us up!
I don't say this lightly but it's one of the most unique covers I've seen in a while.
We sent off a few to get graded and I think they'll look even more spectacular slabbed and preserved for the rest of time.
When we are all gone and people, whomever or whatever they are in a thousand generations, dig back on our society, they will find these 9.8 WG #1 slabs and say, "That Rafael Grampa is a hell of an artist."
FREE COMIC BOOK DAY
FCBD was a tremendous success!! Diego and I got dressed up to throw a sign around on Nolana, our friends at @lesserknowncomics [more on them another time] sent us some freebies as well, and we had a fantastic turnout.
A lot of people and children got some free books and merch that will make them pick up new titles, and really, that's all we could hope for. Our little industry deserves to grow and we love to see it, so if you turned up that day, thank you and I hope you had a great time.
GRADING We're waiting on our wave from March to return, as it is currently in the grading room waiting to finish. If you have something you want to submit, we're still taking submissions and will likely send another wave as soon as this one arrives in a few weeks (hopefully). The wave from June is still processing. Labor shortages, huh? They're hiring, I believe, so if you want to apply and help them work a little faster, I will personally shake your hand. (if you're vaccinated)
So Todd McFarlane, whom you might know as a character designer on the Shrek video game and also Image Comics, is expanding his "Spawn Universe" with three new ongoings, the first of which we got this past week. King Spawn! How exciting! (Not for me, I'm not a McFarlane guy).
We (not me) wanted to celebrate by splurging on the McFarlane signed 1:250 incentive for King Spawn because it seemed like a cool thing to do (not my idea).
Todd (I call him that) put out a video a few weeks ago of him signing all 1697 1:250s with a red sharpie, but he also signed 5 in green and 5 in blue, which is cool I guess (not really).
And we got one of those! A King Spawn signed by Todd in green! Considering it sold 497k, technically we had a 1:100000 variant in-shop, which is awesome and definitely was my idea to get it, so I get all the credit.
We did sell it within a few days so I'm just talking about it because it was kinda cool for a week, distracting us from our usual existential dread.
The Oscars of comic books. named after prolific creator Will Eisner, were held in July, and it was very exciting! I actually submitted my name as a voter, was accepted, and got to place my vote, so I am now a Comic Book Professional™, which you better believe has gone up in my instagram description.
Gene Luang Yang swept with three wins for best kid's publication, best adaptation, and best teen publication. Well deserved for him. Junji Ito won best writer/artist, Matt Fraction won twice for Jimmy Olsen (Humor/Limited), Peach Momoko won best cover artist, and Black Widow won best new series, which I've been recommending to people non-stop.
About half my picks won, which is not bad for my first year as a Comic Book Professional™, but my biggest miss was also the biggest win, because James Tynion IV won best writer! Department of Truth, Razorblades, Something is Killing the Children, Batman, Wynd, what a slate of work. Shit!
I was vying for Hickman because a) his work was phenomenal in 2020, b) he's my favorite writer, and c) he got snubbed for best limited series in '08 by Gerard Way's Umbrella Academy. Go back to writing sad songs, Gerry!
Oh well, Tynion was my second pick anyway. Sorry, Chip.
Tynion's win is rather significant because two weeks later, he announced his upcoming departure from Batman to work on
What is Substack? Why does it matter?
Substack is a newsletter platform where, relevant to our industry, creators like James Tynion IV, Kieron Gillen, Scott Snyder, Jason Aaron, Chip Zdarsky, Kelly Thompson, and many more do regular updates on their ongoing projects, thoughts about the industry, etc. I've been reading a few of them myself, and Tynion's is particularly thoughtful regarding the industry as a whole and the creative process behind his work. For a reader and a fan, it's enlightening.
Substack matters because they have given grants to creators to use the newsletter format to create content as well as give insight into their process. This content will take the form of, presumably but not exclusively, digital comics.
I say presumably because every creator who's signed up who intends to make comics will begin with digital comics, but a) they're not contractually obligated to make comics, like Scott Snyder who is working on a Writing 101 class, and b) because every creator I've read of so far who does intend to make comics on Substack also intends for them to go to print in some form.
As Tynion and others have noted, the comic book industry is dicey in terms of long term stability. Royalty deals for creators are hard to work out, it's hard to plan for retirement, and it's difficult for people to get proper credit and compensation for their work, which stings even more in an era where every other blockbuster and TV show coming out is an adaptation of a comic book. Ed Brubaker has gone on record that his cameo on The Falcon And The Winter Soldier was more lucrative than how he was compensated for creating the Winter Soldier, who has starred in films worth over 4 billion dollars.
Independent publishers like Image and Boom Studios are separate, but still fall under the outdated (more on that another time) publishing mode of solicitations/FOC that both creators and retailers have a hard time managing. I've talked about the struggle of informing our customer base of upcoming titles plenty.
On Substack, creators have the opportunity to create independent comics in groundbreaking formats at their own pace while sharing their process and maintaining full control of their creations, and they maintain publishing rights so once they are done with an arc or a project, they can take it to a publisher and have the book come to print.
Each creator/creative team has their own newsletters, and access to the format averages $7 monthly/$70 yearly, with an added $250 founder tier on some thay gives you extra Perks, including signed or exclusive books.
It's Patreon for comics, essentially. Funding from the fans directly to the creator.
And when they're done, you can expect to see those projects in print with us at Limited Editions. Everyone wins.
They're not abandoning their ongoing projects either. Tynion still has 4 creator-owned projects at Image, Boom, and DC. Hickman is taking a break from X-Men but he's still working on broad strokes and another Marvel project. Donny Cates still has Hulk, Thor, and Crossover.
Digital comics aren't replacing the print format, it's a new way to bring people on board.
Personally, I'm excited for Tynion's UFO project Blue Book, Snyder's Writing 101 class, and Hickman is creating a whole universe with Three Worlds Three Moons. Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman are working on their own universe starting with the recently announced Vanish over at Kids Love Chains, which they actually announced before the first Substack news dropped. They just never specified where they were gonna publish so everyone assumed it was Image. Ha.
I will probably expand on this as I learn and understand more, so expect another article. Knowing me though, that will be out in December, so don't hold me to it.
As always, I'm working on pumping out notices for titles to add to your pull. I've finally settled on a format I like, so going forward we'll use these multi-title graphics when solicits are announced for early jumpers, as well as individual graphics leading up to FOC and release.
All of the October titles are up on our socials, so make sure to let us know what titles you want to add. The earlier you let us know, the more we know to order in terms of variants, etc.
Coming up in September are a good chunk of titles, including Inferno, Death of Doctor Strange, The Darkhold crossover, Suicide Squad: King Shark, Aquaman: The Becoming, Jeff Lemire's Primordial, and more. I used our previous graphic on it and I wasn't really happy with it so I got something better made.
The November solicits are out as well, we'll put graphics up for those in the next few weeks.
If you haven't filled out our survey and you have a few minutes, fill it out here. Please and thank you. We always welcome feedback.
Our friend and partner Emily has been promoted to customer in light of her having bigger and better stuff to do, and we wish her all the best. She was here before I was and helped me get my bearings, so we thank her for her hard work.
Our new partner, local cat-owner Joseph, has taken her spot on the team, and he's proving himself a solid addition to our team.
This June marked my two years at Limited Editions, with one year as manager. I also turned 25 (thanks to everyone who sent their best wishes), which is surreal as I still think of myself as 21, despite what my back pain says.
These last two years I've met so many people, literally hundreds of people I like and would say I'm friends with, that I like talking about stuff with. it’s been an incredible ride.
The shop has really grown thanks to all our combined efforts here over the last (nearly) four years. Things changed and are continuing to change. DC dropped Diamond, and Marvel is soon to follow. Who knows how Substack will change the market. There was a global pandemic that halted comics distribution for the first time (I believe) in history. Not even the war did that. And we were here for it!
Lucky for us, we had a secret weapon:
You guys kept us going.
Every single person who's come by to make a pull, every single person who participates in auctions, watches our livestreams, likes our posts or watches our stories, participates in our Facebook group, leaves reviews, comes by for pops and comics, or even just comes by to chat every so often. Every person who puts on a mask to come by, every person who tells a friend about us, we're thankful to all of you.
I had a guy come in just five minutes ago that got recommended us by his neighbor. It always matters.
We're a small operation. It's just Mark, Diego and I doing pulls usually. And our pulls keep growing and growing, and we're so glad that they are because comics are a volatile, unstable market and all we want is to get people the books they want to get.
If we missed a book, let us know, and we'll remember. We'll restock. We'll raise our orders for next time. We'll get better. We'll do our best to make sure you get your stuff, because we read and collect as you do and we also don't like missing out on stuff, but at the end of the day we're just people who make mistakes and the best we can do is get back up (Batman).
Fun fact: Before Diego was working with us, I missed his Rise of Kylo Ren #1 and had to order him a 2nd print. Luckily he wasn't too mad to join our team a year later.
If you ask for a recommendation, thanks. We love talking about our favorite books. Double thanks if you pick something up we recommended, I promise you we remember it.
If you come by for Manga or to submit to CBCS or for our half off back issues, or posters, or figures or whatever it is you like, thanks. We appreciate your presence in our shop.
Every week I learn something that makes me wonder how I ever got by before knowing it.
We're still working on getting better, expanding our selection, making our social media better, working on more articles (ha). The number of people who've mentioned to me that I haven't put something out in three months (including Diego) is funny, but also tells me people want more, and we're working on giving it to you.
We have more things coming, and I hope you stick around.
From Abe, Ben, Tony, Mark, Diego, Joseph and myself, thanks for coming by.
Thank you so much for tuning into Limited Editions, the only newsletter with Dolby 5.1 surround sound ⚡
[LE] Luis was a Lane Instructor at the Ranger School in Fort Benning and an Observer/Advisor at the Covert Ops School in Central America. He's meticulous, patient, and strong-willed. He likes getting up at 0600 hours to take a ten-mile run and PT (physical training) session before breakfast. He enjoys squatting motionless besides a jungle trail for three days straight waiting to ambush bad guys who might never show up. What he hates are people who aren't interested in doing their best. Qualified expert: all NATO and Warsaw Pact small arms.