Valiant’s Unity #1 debuts with a 68,500 print run, #2 & #3 are returnable


UNITY Is Valiant’s big BIG book of the year and they’ve just announced the first issue will have a 68,500 copy print run. The first issue—which feature a line wide crossover written by the man of the moment Matt Kindt with art by Doug Braithwaite—is returnable, and they’ve just announced that issues 2 and 3 will be returnable as well. CBR has a spotlight on the Valiant team, and asked Freed Pierce about the move:

It’s the first time that we’ve had a returnable book, and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for the retailers to take a position. We believe that once the book is in the stores — and many of the retailers are very good about hand-selling our books — we’ll get into the hands of consumers. There’s no easier way for a retailer to take a chance on a book then if the book is fully returnable. Once you make #1 fully returnable, it makes sense to make #2 and #3 fully returnable, because they’re making decisions on #2 and #3 really before they have the full story about #1. So we really want them to be confident that we’re putting great talent behind it, and we’re so confident in the book that we’ll make it returnable. We’ll take the risk.

as we’ve noted previously, returnability is the hot trend in comics, and Valiant is smart to take advantage of it. Another hot trend is announcing print runs. In the pr below Valiant compares UNITY to other success stories of the year like East of West #1 Hawkeye #1, Lazarus #1, Manhattan Projects #1, Pretty Deadly #1, Saga #1, Satellite Sam #1, Sex Criminals #1, Ten Grand #1, Trillium #1, Velvet #1, The Wake #1 — Hm it has been a pretty good year for the pamphlets hasn’t it.

Here’s the PR on the release and more preview art:

With more than two weeks to go until the first issue hits stores on November 13th, UNITY #1 is already making waves as one of the best-selling comic book launches of 2013!

As revealed today at Comic Book Resources, Valiant has announced that UNITY #1 – the oversized, 40-page first issue of Valiant’s next landmark monthly series by Matt Kindt and Doug Braithwaite – will debut with initial orders of more than 68,500 copies, cementing its status as one of 2013’s highest selling new series debuts.

Valiant is also proud to announce that the subsequent two issues of UNITY’s first story arc – December’s UNITY #2 and January’s UNITY #3 – will be 100% returnable for retailers who match or exceed 50% of their orders for UNITY #1. As previously announced, UNITY #1 will be limited to a first printing only and will not go back to press following the issue’s November 13th release.

“Based on pre-orders alone, UNITY #1 has already outranked a slew of other recent success stories including East of West #1 Hawkeye #1, Lazarus #1, Manhattan Projects #1, Pretty Deadly #1, Saga #1, Satellite Sam #1, Sex Criminals #1, Ten Grand #1, Trillium #1, Velvet #1, The Wake #1, and the list goes on,” said Valiant Sales Manager Atom! Freeman. “That’s incredible company to keep, and all of us at Valiant would like to thank the fans and our retail partners for their confidence and support. UNITY #1 is a major milestone for us as a publisher and our biggest launch to date. This sales figure only affirms that big things are on the horizon for this series, and that Valiant isn’t slowing down one iota.”

“UNITY #1 could be our most important single issue to date, and we couldn’t be happier with the sales and excitement leading up to its debut. Matt Kindt and Doug Braithwaite are delivering something truly magical with this series and issue #1 is a pitch perfect first step. It’s innovative, powerful and brilliant – there’s simply nothing like it on the stands today, ” said CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. “Moreover, we’ve gone all out to ensure the series delivers to both fans and retailers. We’ve added returnability for issues #2 and #3, and have even bigger plans for the second arc of UNITY beginning with issue #5 next March. Keep your eyes peeled – we’ve even included a top secret teaser of things to come at the end of the first issue.”

From New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (Justice League of America, Mind MGMT) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (Justice, Journey into Mystery), UNITY #1 is the FIRST ISSUE of an all-new ongoing series launching Valiant’s first ever super-team into battle against X-O Manowar!

To kill a king…he has created an army. The world’s most dangerous man, Toyo Harada, has been struck by the one thing he never thought possible – fear. Halfway across the globe, a new power threatens to topple modern civilization and, to preempt the cataclysm that is to come, Harada will unite the most unforgiving team the world has ever known – UNITY. Their mission: defeat the threat responsible for the destruction of MI-6, the decimation of an alien world, and the occupation of Eastern Europe… Unseat the warrior king armed with the universe’s most powerful weapon… Kill X-O Manowar!

You’ve heard the buzz… You’ve seen the reviews… On November 13th, discover the most acclaimed universe on the stands today in UNITY #1 – a perfect entry point for new readers and one of the year’s best-selling new series debuts!


NYCC ’13 Panel Recap: From Creator to Consumer

I have a number of panel recaps to write up for you all, so you should expect them to occupy the next few days on the site – and we start with a panel from the ICv2 conference held before the convention opened. Called ‘Comics First!’, the majority of the focus of the conference was on digital comics, and their relation to print.

The ‘From Creator to Consumer’ panel was about how the internet has given creators room to get their comics seen in new ways. From webcomics to Kickstarter, the panel was moderated by Heidi MacDonald, with panellists Jamal Igle, Simon Fraser, Calista Brill, Dan Mauser and John Roberts. The words below are my own.

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Titan Comics Share ‘Declassified Military Files’ regarding Chronos Commandos #1

Titan Comics, surging up like a dinosaur from a swarm of sleeping butterflies (that’ll make sense in a second, promise), have sent out some promotional material regarding the July launch of Stuart Jennett’s Chronos Commandos. A four-issue miniseries, the story (completely created by Jennett) sees the aforementioned Commandos fight dinosaurs, as they struggle to save the world from time-travelling Nazis.

Chronos Commandos Cover

Ah, time travelling Nazis. When will you learn??

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Marvel Advertise All-New X-Men via Script Excerpts

By Steve Morris

Having already exhausted teasers, interviews, black and white images, coloured images, unlettered previews and just about every other form of pre-release promotion you’d care to imagine, Marvel have now taken to advertising All New X-Men #1 by releasing sections of Brian Michael Bendis’ scripts to various sites. If you went down to Comic Book Resources, Newsarama, iFanboy, or Comics Alliance this past week, you’ll have seen these. One snippet of script at a time, Marvel have been showing off preview art pages coupled with the script which goes with them.

It’s an intriguing way to advertise the comic, because it offers us a chance to see one of only two things fans have no access to: the scripts, and the summits. And while it’s unlikely we’ll ever be allowed to watch via webcam as Axel Alonso tries to handle a roomful of hyper-caffeinated writers, seeing the script does seem like a step towards Marvel simply handing us the text and telling us to imagine what’s going on. This is the reduction of interpretation, in a sense, as Marvel come closer to simply telling readers what is happening in each page. No longer do readers pick up a comic blindly — now we’ve been given solicitations, previews, advance interviews and even been given vague ideas as to what will happen in the next three issues as well. And now we’re getting the script, too. Interesting, isn’t it?

The script sections from ANXM #1 tend to be focused around two sequences, from what’s been made available so far. The first sees several of the older X-Men bickering amongst themselves, and trying to understand what’s happened to Cyclops. The second seems to show the slow unravelling of another Grant Morrison storyline, as Beast appears to be regressing back to his ape form. Possibly.

Stuart Immonen’s artwork is, as ever, absolutely lovely.

We’ve now seen somewhere around the region of 13 pages released from this comic, in some form, with the total count expected to be 20. Does that make you more likely to pick up the issue, or less? I’d be interested to know what people thing about this all-access approach Marvel are trying. The sales will be massive no matter what happens, but do you want to see so much of a comic before it comes out?

INTERVIEW: Ten Years of OK Comics

By Steve Morris

We’re returning to Leeds for a second time this week (Leeds Week!), as the award winning store OK Comics celebrates ten years in business today. The store was set up by Jared Myland in 2002 as a way of introducing readers to new and unexpected graphic novels, alongside some of the more usual suspects – and to celebrate ten years, Jared was kind enough to talk to me about why he first founded OK, and how he feels the retail industry has shifted over the past decade.

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SXSWi 2011: Kids, Kids, Kids and Delicious Blood

BY JEN VAUGHN Dawn broke over the town and I slept the hell right through it. The panels of SXSW Interactive did not start until the afternoon and like a true ol’ fogey, I spent the morning walk to the Austin Convention Center complaining about the businesses that had closed and what had been thrown up its place. Kerbey Lane with local art on the walls and pancakes of the day made the list of places to eat because the queso is an optional side like ketchup or chipotle mayo (I guess that one is rather new too).

My Kindergartner Markets Better Than You obviously popped me in the face with a fun title. I know of children, seen them in playgrounds, touched their sticky hands BUT I also know that they have minds untainted by the need to pay for shelter and clothes. Strategists from Bullfrog Media lead the talk but it was clearly a panel for people who had never had to market anything before. Their points were valid: get your audience to care about you and they will care about your products and goals. Instead of screaming ‘hey look at me, Mom’ a crafty child talks about how silly bandz are essential to their wardrobe and happiness.

Bullfrog clearly underestimated the audience of SXSW as attendees posed better scenarios and examples such as the difference between a trend and tradition. Silly Bandz are a trend but selling Girl Scout cookies (and buying them) are a tradition. The same way casual comics reader is more inclined to pick up Batman (a tradition) instead of Reaper Beavercorn (trend), although I’d love to see that as a comic. Although we all know that existing, enthusiastic customers of a good product, which we can assume Reaper Beavercorn is, will do an amazing amount of marketing for you.

Cartoonists Ross Nover of the System Comic and Craig Schwartz of Toonlet

Meanwhile, Fan to Fanatic! True Blood’s Marketing Hook panel was well-rehearsed and moved at a good clip. The marketing teams, Campfire and Digital Kitchen, that worked with HBO and Alan Ball all worked with the concept of hacking reality. Campfire’s job was to educate viewers about the show ahead of time so they could just right into the world Charlaine Hairris created (the Southern Vampire novels is still is a rather fearsomely awesome books series). From puzzles to sending out vials of blood (watermelon candy), they hooked people. Digital Kitchen managed to rope in many big brands like Gillette and Geico to run ads for the undead with the conceit in mind that vampires DO live amongst us and would probably like to know about good dental care.

When fans started to engage by starting Twitter accounts under the names of characters and only posting in the voice of Sookie Stackhouse for instance, HBO and the marketing teams sweat a bit but allowed it. Fans began to extend the world beyond the show iteself. What we can learn from this is the notion of respecting fans and that speaking to them in a consistent and organic voice will work in your favor. It is not about squelching the creativity of others wearing the faces of your characters but encouraging them because they are once again marketing for you.

And coming back full circle, the Interactive Comics: Techniques to Enhance Math Education run by John Baird (of the Create a Comic Project) completely schooled me. Non-fiction comics are one of my favorites, sincerely anything Ottaviani touches or the Cannon boys (not related) create I will probably papercut myself on in excitement. Baird proposes the use of comics to activate math learning by having geometry proofs discussed one step per panel. Depending on the activity, the students fill in blank word balloons of comics or create them from scratch. Baird finds the comics most useful as an exit ticket at the end of the week to see if if students understand math concepts. Any teacher or cartoonist interested in math comics or teaching with comics should contact Baird and get a real discussion going!

Four more amazing days to report on, endless panels and tons of companies givin’ me the hard sell.

Jen Vaughn is in love with SXSW.