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BOOM! Studios reveals its Local Comic Shop Day 2022 variants

BOOM! Studios has revealed four highly collectible exclusive variant covers for several of their bestselling and upcoming must-read series, available on Local Comic Shop Day 2022, taking place on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 only at participating comics retailers. To find your participating local comic shop, visit localcomicshopday.com.

These four stunning variant covers feature highly-anticipated art from superstar illustrators, including:

  • Behold, Behemoth #1 LCSD Exclusive Gatefold Variant by artist Vincenzo Riccardi
  • Grim #1 LCSD Exclusive Variant (Foil) by series artist Flaviano 
  • MMPR / TMNT II #1 Ashcan LCSD Exclusive Variant by artist Simone Di Meo
  • Once Upon a Time at the End of the World #1 LCSD Exclusive Variant by artist Naomi Franquiz

Local Comic Shop Day is an annual event that began in 2014, conceived and implemented by ComicsPRO, the only trade organization dedicated to the progress of direct market comic book retailers, to call attention to locally owned independent comic book specialty stores, celebrating their unique and vital role as the primary fire-starters of pop culture. Pop Culture begins in your Local Comic Shop!

Image reveals an Eight Billion Genies #1 Sketch Cover Variant and Instagram Contest for Local Comic Shop Day 20222

Local Comic Shop Day is teaming up with Image Comics this year to bring fans a special sketch cover variant of Charles Soule and Ryan Browne’s Eight Billion Genies #1 and will co-host an exciting Instagram contest to get readers’ creative juices flowing.

This special Local Comic Shop Day exclusive variant will feature a cardstock cover showcasing a blank genie silhouette for fans to personalize with their own sketch. Image Comics will also be running an exciting Instagram contest for fans to join the fun online too (follow @imagecomics and stay tuned for details).

Fans will have an opportunity to submit their own genie illustrations for a chance to be one of five lucky entrants to win a signed and remarqued copy of the Eight Billion Genies deluxe hardcover for themselves and a local comic shop of their choosing. (No purchase necessary. Sketch entries do not need to be done on a LCSD variant in order to qualify. Contest will run from 11/23 thru 11/30. Follow @imagecomics on Instagram for full contest details when they are announced). 

If you had one wish…what would you wish for? Now, what if everyone else had one wish too? That’s Eight Billion Genies. At exactly the same moment, everyone on earth gets a genie and one wish. All hell breaks loose, in a very entertaining way…and that’s just the beginning. Since its launch, Amazon Studios has gone on to acquire the development rights to this bestselling series in a heated auction. The first project coming out of the deal is a feature film, which will be executive produced by Soule and Browne and serve as the cornerstone in a cross-media Universe of storytelling. 

Local Comic Shop Day is sponsored by ComicsPRO—the trade organization for comic book stores. ComicsPRO is a volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to improving the comic book specialty market.

Marvel celebrates Local Comic Shop Day with two variant covers featuring Peter Parker and Miles Morales

Local Comic Shop Day returns for its eighth year on November 23! The annual event organized by ComicsPRO, comics industry’s trade organization, celebrates the independent spirit of local comic book shops and encourages customers to visit their local shops during the holiday season! Marvel will participate once again, this time with two Local Comic Shop Day Variant Covers! In honor of the 60th anniversary of Spider-Man, they’ll grace the covers of November’s issues of both of Spider-Man’s current ongoing series: Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr.’s Amazing Spider-Man and Dan Slott and Mark Bagley’s Spider-Man. Drawn by acclaimed artist Francesco Mobili, these dramatic pinups showcase everyone’s favorite webslingers—Peter Parker and Miles Morales!

Be sure to contact your local comic shop for inquiries regarding availability! Check out both covers below and celebrate the place where a passion for Pop Culture begins on Local Comic Shop Day! 

BOOM! Studios’ 2022 ComicsPRO Presentation

ComicsPro is a comic retailer organization that is holding its industry meeting from February 24-26. Publishers, distributors, and present before retailers and BOOM! Studios has released its presentation from this year. Check out the video and read the remarks from Filip Sablik, President, Publishing & Marketing below.

Six years ago, I started a little habit that changed my life.

In 2016, I sat down for the first time one early and brisk February morning and tried meditating using an app called Headspace. Meditation always sounded like a concept for people who name their crystals and grow their own wheatgrass, but a book called 10% Happier by Dan Harris finally made me see it through a lens that appealed to me. 

It started off with just 10 minutes that morning, but has grown into a thousand sessions and 300 hours over the last six years. I could tell you what a major positive impact it’s had on me as a husband, father, and leader, but that’s not why I wanted to start this year’s presentation talking about meditation. 

Meditation is first and foremost about breath. You know, that thing that all of us do and most of us never really think about. Until I started meditating, I never realized how much I held my breath. 

Which I think is the perfect metaphor for what the last two years have been like for many of us in the comics industry – holding our breath. Especially those of us responsible not just for our own livelihood, but the livelihoods of so many others like employees, as well as the customers, creators, and larger comics community who are all impacted by the decisions we make. 

After COVID-19 changed the world in March 2020, many of us in the comics industry wondered  if our businesses and the industry itself would survive intact. Then, in 2020, when the industry showed signs of not only surviving, but thriving and growing, we wondered when the other shoe would drop. But what if this is the moment where we stop holding our breaths, and instead lead the charge to one of the most significant periods of change and growth for the industry in decades?

Starting in October of 2020, throughout 2021, and now 2022, BOOM! Studios has had its six BIGGEST consecutive quarters of all time, resulting in our company becoming the fastest growing comic book publisher, with a market share increase of over 200% in just two years! In 2021 alone, House of Slaughter and BRZRKR were two of the top three best-selling comic books of the year, and Something Is Killing The Children was the #2 best-selling collection.

A big part of our shared success over the last two years is due to the explosion of James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera’s Something Is Killing the Children franchise. Not only was Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 our top selling collection of 2021, the top selling single issue of 2021 was the launch of SIKTC spinoff, House of Slaughter #1. Both of these extraordinary successes speak volumes about the incredible momentum the franchise has in comic shops thanks to the work you’ve done putting it in the hands of new customers. In just two years, Something Is Killing The Children has sold over 2 million copies worldwide, and begun development on a streaming series at Netflix, proving that Erica Slaughter and her kin are just getting started!

To thank you for your support, each ComicsPRO attendee will receive a limited edition Something Is Killing The Children #21 Ashcan that will also go out one per account through Diamond to get everyone ready for the return of Erica Slaughter on March 30th.

Another part of the success we saw in 2021 was, of course, BRZRKR by Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt, and Ron Garney. Thanks to your support, BRZRKR was  the highest ordered comic book in the direct market in 30 years. The first collection, released just a few months ago, is on track to be one of our best-selling collections in the history of the company,. In less than a year, we’ve sold over 1 million copies of BRZRKR. And just like Something is Killing the Children, it’s got a film and anime series in development at Netflix, so Keanu and B. are just getting started. . .

2021 wasn’t just the story of two record-breaking franchises! BOOM! Studios continues to add MUST READ titles to every comic book fan’s list with hot new licenses and creator-owned stories you can’t get anywhere else! 

We added Magic: The Gathering to our licensed slate, alongside fan favorites Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Dune, launching the global hit franchise seven times higher than the last series at its previous publisher. 

Original series like Eve by Victor LaValle and Jo Mi-Gyeong, Dark Blood by LaToya Morgan, Walt Barna, and Moisés Hidalgo, and Eat The Rich by Sarah Gailey and Pius Bak not only showcase the diversity of talent and subject matter available to readers in the comic market, but also hit new sales heights for BOOM! Studios. 

And of course, the highly acclaimed The Many Deaths of Laila Starr by Ram V. and Filipe Andrade became Ram’s highest selling debut, as well as one of the best reviewed series of 2021. 

To celebrate the amazing growth of our Must Read original series, every attendee will also receive an exclusive edition of Faithless III #1 by Brian Azzarello and Maria Llovet. Faithless #1 was the series that kicked off the last three record-breaking years for BOOM! Studios, so it’s fitting that the groundbreaking trilogy will tell its final chapter this year.

But BOOM! Studios wasn’t the only publisher to experience terrific growth in 2021. Comic book sales grew even more rapidly last year with nearly 50% more copies sold than the prior year! What’s even more exciting is the market share of this growth appears to be more widely distributed across a variety of publishers than ever before, rather than being concentrated in the top two publishers in the market. 

Despite our industry’s record-setting sales growth, there’s a sense of frustration and exhaustion that permeates many of our conversations and online interactions,  which is heartbreaking given our industry is filled with passionate, hard-working people. 

There’s no way around it: this historic success comes in a time of unprecedented uncertainty and chaos. The world and our industry have absolutely changed, becoming more complex and  more unpredictable. But that’s not why we’re frustrated. 

We’re frustrated because our expectations aren’t being met. The expectations we have from 2019 of how the industry should work. Expectations of how our industry should run. And perhaps even hope that things will go back to the way they were.

The last two years don’t represent a momentary disruption, blip, or bubble. Two years is enough time for new customer habits to form, new ways of doing business to take root, and new opportunities to be realized. They reflect a new normal taking shape before our eyes. To continue to thrive in 2022 and beyond, our industry needs to not only accept this new normal, but embrace it. We should let go of that breath we were holding, lean in, and use our growth from the last year to invest in shaping the future. 

BOOM! Studios is doing just that by expanding our team by 33% in the first quarter to nurture and develop further growth in 2022. You can meet two recent additions to the Sales team – Josh Hayes, our Vice President of Sales, and Harley Salbacka, our Retail Sales Coordinator –  during the “BOOM! Meet The Team” session this evening. We’re expanding our Sales team with  two additional Direct Market Sales team members dedicated to the comic book shops. We’re also adding new hires in our  Editorial, Production Design, Marketing, Operations, and Finance teams to ensure BOOM! Studios continues to be comic shops’ gold standard for publishing partners. 

We also recognize that we serve an increasingly diverse group of customers and comic shops. So we’re leaning into the new normal by offering a variety of programs and incentives to support our retail partners. As the leader in returnability, that includes continuing to make multiple issues of numerous series, collections, and graphic novels fully returnable through the BOOM! Guarantee program. To further strengthen the BOOM! Guarantee program we’re adding exclusive and returnable BOOM! Guarantee variants on series with established audiences. We’re pairing that with thoughtful, curated incentive cover programs designed to speak to the customers, particularly series with strong collector fanbases. And if a title sells out we’ll support it with subsequent printings to meet demand.

Additionally, we are expanding our marketing efforts and available tools for our retail partners to help you maximize your sales. This includes our weekly #FOCFriday posts to over 120K followers on Twitter, #NewComicBookDay and #BookBirthday promotions that go out to over 400K followers on multiple social media platforms, and a steady stream of video content including trailers and our conversation show with creators, BOOM! Chat, that are available for your use in store and online.

Of course, the best way we can support your sales and growth in 2022 is to continue to build momentum and excitement for   bestselling  creator-owned series like Something Is Killing The ChildrenHouse of SlaughterBRZRKROnce & FutureSeven Secrets, and We Only Find Them When They’re Dead, as well as celebrate important milestones for fan favorite licenses like the 25th Anniversary of Buffy The Vampire Slayer in March, the 20th Anniversary of Firefly in September, and a milestone moment for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers later this year! 

And BOOM! Studios has never been one to rest on our laurels, so here’s a sneak peek at some of the exciting, fresh hits driving customers into your stores this year . . . 

Watch the sizzle reel here!

Exciting, right?! With all these incredible creators, iconic characters, and thrilling new stories, you can expect the next Something is Killing the Children or BRZRKR to hit your shelves this year.

At BOOM! Studios, we’re not holding our breath. We’re exhaling and leaning into the excitement and possibilities of 2022 and beyond. We believe that there is even more room to grow as an industry so we’re investing in and embracing the new normal to build a bridge to a stronger and better future for ourselves, our retail partners, and our community. 

We invite you to join us! We look forward to deeper conversations during the conference about how we can help our retail partners make 2022 your best year yet!

Celebrate Local Comic Shop Day with a Venom #2 Cover by Jonboy Meyers

Local Comic Shop Day, the day that celebrates the independent spirit of local comic book shops, will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 24th. The annual event is organized by ComicsPRO, comics industry’s trade organization, and Marvel is participating this year with a special Local Comic Shop Day variant cover! Featuring artwork by Jonboy Meyers, the cover can be seen on Venom #2, the second issue of the blockbuster new era by Al Ewing, Ram V, and Bryan Hitch.

Venom #2

Behemoth Comics launches new Publishing imprint Happy Tank

Happy Tank

Following the success of licensed titles like Hotline Miami: Wildlife and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night #1 (the latter of which sold through 15,000 copies and received multiple printings), their recent global distribution deal with Simon & Schuster, and the new creator-owned series You Promised Me Darkness #1 invading the pull lists at the moment, Behemoth has announced today at ComicsPro that they’ve got even more coming.

Today, Behemoth revealed their newest imprint, Happy Tank which will focus on Young Adult/Mature action and comedy cartoon series, a comic book version of Late night TV Networks like Adult Swim. Kevin Roditeli will be the publisher and Rob Cannon will be Editor-in-chief. 

Happy Tank plans to launch one new series per month for 2021 starting in May. A 50/50 mix between original IPs and licensed titles like MFKZ, the latter of which has an animated film on Netflix streaming now.

The 3 first series are Freak Snow (starting monthly in May) followed by MFKZ (June) and Cinnamon (July). The solicitation of Freak Snow #1 starts this week in the March Previews Catalog.

Freak Snow #1

Story & co-written by Kevin Roditeli
Art & co-written by Rob Cannon
Cover Art by Victor Santos
MAY 26th / 32 PAGES / Mature / $3.99
MAR211143 – CVR A SANTOS (MR)

A frozen apocalyptic story in the spirit of MAD MAX, FALLOUT and BORDERLANDS meets TARANTINO with Berny, a psychedelic addict surviving in a glacial wasteland. A fight with brutal gunslingers and crazy hallucinations leads our weird hero on a quest to find the hole of truth… Yeah, a mystic hole that tells the truth. The only thing we can promise is: A LOT OF BAD*SS MURDERS!

A 4 issues mini-series set in the same world as Roditeli & Cannon acclaimed graphic novel Freak Snow: Washed In The Blood released in January at Behemoth Comics.

Freak Snow #1

MFKZ #1

Art and Written by Run
JUNE / 54 PAGES / Mature / $5.99

NETFLIX distributed HIT MOVIE by Studio 4°C (BATMAN: Gotham Knight, the ANIMATRIX) comes to comics with an over-sized #1 event! Jump in the unique world created by legendary writer / artist Run (Label 619) following Angelino and his flaming-skull pal Vinz, who live in a gang and cockroach infested dystopian metropolis called DMC, a city that hides secrets even weirder than its inhabitants.

MFKZ #1

Cinnamon #1

Art & written by Victoria Douglas
JULY / 28 PAGES / Young Adult / $3.99

Cinnamon is just your perfectly ordinary, average housecat. At least until we glimpse the world through her wild eyes! Countertops become skyscrapers, cat toys become biker gangs, and perilous giant robots rampage on the daily! Get drop kicked onto the action packed streets of BIG KITCHEN CITY, as she fights the dark forces that dare to keep her from her favorite treat… CATNIP!

Cinnamon #1

DC Teases New Projects including Deathstroke Inc., DC Middle Ages, “DC Vampires”, The Legend of Batman, and more at ComicsPRO

DC logo

With COVID still very much an issue, conventions and gatherings continue to be virtual like this year’s ComicsPRO. DC presented to the organization and retailers teasing upcoming projects and DC’s expanded variant cover program. The variant program enables more retailers to participate in custom retailer variant covers for their customers.

DC Vice President of Sales and Revenue Nancy Spears presented and teased upcoming projects including:

  • Deathstroke Inc.
  • Harley Quinn Animated Series sequel
  • A Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary title
  • Elseworld
  • “DC Vampires” (working title)
  • Robin and Batman
  • Joker: A Puzzle Box
  • The Legend of Batman
  • Crush and Lobo
  • Nubia and the Amazons
  • DC Middle Ages

Plans might change between now and whenever these may or may not happen so titles may change. We’ll absolutely be waiting to hear more. DC will also be participating in Free Comic Book Day on May 1, 2021, but details on specific titles will be revealed at a later date.

Spears comments were part of a larger virtual presentation to retailers and included DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee, new SVP and General Manager Daniel Cherry III, and Editor-In-Chief Marie Javins. Lee reaffirmed DC’s commitment to publishing comic books and the direct market. Lee also provided updates on the more than $1.1 million dollars raised for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC) fund to help struggling comic book stores, while Javins commented on the positive reception received by new characters such as Punchline, Clownhunter, Liar Liar, and Ghost-Maker and spoke to DC’s ongoing commitment to a more additive universe of characters.

Around the Tubes

Bitter Root #6

It’s a new week and we’ve got lots coming at you. While you wait for that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Newsarama – Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci Decries ‘Cancel Culture’ and ‘Retail Minority That are Loud & Equivalent of Keyboard Cops’ in ComicsPRO Keynote – An interesting read.

NBC – Minnesota’s only black-owned comic book store celebrates black history year-round – Go check out this shop!

Live Law – How A Footballer Turned Lawyer Created A Graphic Novel For Legal Awareness? – There’s been some “legal” comics and graphic novels but it’s a space that has the potential to grow.

CBLDF – CBLDF Launches Rory D. Root Comics Ambassador Grant To Support Retailer Programs Celebrating Free Expression – This is fantastic to see.

Reviews

Talking Comics – Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P.
Comic Attack – Bitter Root #6
ICv2 – Churchill: A Graphic Biography
AIPT – Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues #3
Comics Bulletin – Hellblazer #27
CBR – Tomorrow #1

Oni Announces Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters from Chris Samnee, Laura Samnee, Matthew Wilson, and Crank!

Chris Samnee teams with co-writer Laura Samnee and colorist Matthew Wilson for an ongoing middle reader adventure series, Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters in June.

Exploring the drive and boundaries of rebuilding a family after disaster strikes, Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters follows a tag-team of brawn and brains as two sisters, Rainbow and Jonna, strike out into the unknown on a hunt for their missing father, who was taken a year before. 

Battling treacherous territory as the planet around them mysteriously dries up, Rainbow and Jonna will have to combat monsters as they struggle to rediscover their trust and sisterly bond after a year of separation, they struggle to find people in this new world they can trust to help them along the way.

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters is an ongoing series for ages 8 years and above, available in comic shops everywhere in June.

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters
Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters
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