Bad Idea is a new comics company that announced some unusual plans just before everything went kerflooey. Run by the team that used to run Valiant — Dinesh Shamdasani, Warren Simons and Hunter Gorinson — Bad Idea has been experimental from the jump.
Their first unusual move was the plan to distribute their comics only to 50 comics shops nationwide. Obviously, this plan had to be curtailed because of COVID — and the list is actually growing to more than 100 stores — but Bad Idea has still been promoting their launch with some very unique stuff, like stealth-shipping their first issue to shops. There have also been promotions for a “button” floating around the web, which has been clicked nearly a billion times.
But now, after all the hype, here is a more traditional press release and previews of five titles that will launch in 2021, with a new book launching each month.
ENIAC by Matt Kindt & Doug Braithwaite
TANKERS by Robert Venditti & Juan Jose Ryp
WHALESVILLE by Matt Kindt & Adam Pollina
THE LOT by Marguerite Bennett & Renato Guedes
SLAY BELLS by Zeb Wells & David Lafuente
Future projects are in the works from Mae Catt, Joshua Dysart, Tomas Giorello, Eric Heisserer, David Lapham, Lewis LaRosa, Jeff Lemire, Peter Milligan, and more.
The announcement of these titles came with a rather lengthy press release, but it explains things better than I can. Looking over the materials and plans, I can say…these books look very nice and definitely not what you might have expected — and a real range of genres and art styles. Refreshing.
As for the business plan: Driving people to comics shop — and eschewing digital, variant covers and collections — seems pretty radical these days, but could garner support from retailers.
Is this a crazy bad idea that will work? Read on and let us know in the comments.
But before we tell you more about what those books are, here’s a quick refresher on what Bad Idea does best: Comic books, sold exclusively in participating comic book stores. No digital releases. No trade paperbacks or hardcovers. And no variant covers, either. Just super-high quality comics that will always leave you wanting more – because we’ll never publish more than two in a given month.
When it comes to our books, Bad Idea has one pretty straightforward goal: Every single issue we produce has to look and feel special, and earn its place on the shelf. Not only will every Bad Idea release feature audaciously entertaining comics storytelling in a crisply designed, prestige-format package with deluxe matte laminate covers and heavy-duty interior paper stock, but we’ll also be splurging on some enormously extra-long page counts, guest appearances by some of your favorite artists, and even standalone bonus stories in EVERY issue we publish for no extra-added cost. That’s where the next chapter of THE HERO TRADE – our insane series of shorts by creators Matt Kindt and David Lapham – will appear, as well as the birth of Bad Idea’s own subversive twist on what a shared universe can be and do. (Shh, we’ve said too much already.)
Oh yeah, and did we mention? They’re always just $3.99 per issue.
Here’s the kicker: If you want to pick up one or all of them (and we know you do), you’ll have to visit a Bad Idea “destination store” – one of the 100 and counting comic shops around the world that have signed on to join our independent network of direct-distribution retail partners – and buy them on a Wednesday (or simply pre-order them in advance by phone or email and pick them up whenever you’re damn well ready). We’ll be revealing more stores in the weeks and months to come and progressively adding even more on a rolling basis too, so if you’re a retailer and would like to get some of what Bad Idea’s got, just email us at email@example.com.
Now that we’re up to speed, here’s what you came for: the comics. We’re calling this little publishing soiree our stable of BAD IDEA BEGINS titles, but let’s see if that sticks:
ENIAC #1 (of 4)
** MATT KINDT (writer) **
** DOUG BRAITHWAITE (art) **
** DIEGO RODRIGUEZ (colors) **
** LEWIS LAROSA with LAURA MARTIN (covers) **
Seventy-seven years ago, the United States unlocked the key to defeating the Axis powers, but, in their desperation to end the war, created a far more powerful threat: ENIAC (Electronic Numerator Integrator and Computer), the world’s first supercomputer. ENIAC’s calculations proved vital to turning the tide against Germany and Japan – until it ordered the second atomic bomb to be dropped on Nagasaki without any human order or approval. America had inadvertently created the first artificial intelligence without ever realizing the full extent of its abilities…or its ambitions. For the more than 50 years that followed, ENIAC manipulated global affairs from the shadows, waging a cold war that pitted spy against spy, nation against nation…until it went dark and disappeared from view. Now, years later, an encrypted countdown has just been detected in Earth’s satellite network and mankind only has three days left before ENIAC executes its endgame. With few options and even less time, the Secretary of Defense has just given two covert operatives the most important mission in human history: kill ENIAC…before it kills us.
From the minds of New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT), incendiary artist Doug Braithwaite (Justice), and colorist Diego Rodriguez (X-O Manowar), Bad Idea’s long-awaited debut starts here with a science-fiction thrill ride that will send shockwaves for decades to come.
** FOUR ISSUES // MONTHLY // BEGINNING MARCH 2021 **
TANKERS #1 (of 3)
** ROBERT VENDITTI (writer) **
JUAN JOSE RYP (art/covers) **
**JORDIE BELLAIRE (colors)
The CEO of global energy conglomerate Greenleaf Oil has just discovered a terrifying secret: the planet only has a decade or less of petroleum left before it’s gone forever. But he has a plan to make sure his great-great grandchildren can continue to generate maximum shareholder value – and secure his own legacy in the process. Rather than develop a game-changing renewable energy source through the power of corporate innovation, Greenleaf has perfected the next best thing – time travel (duh) – so that a team of six field-rat contractors armed to the teeth in individually customized mech suits can go back to the Cretaceous Period, tweak the trajectory of the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, and give mankind another 500 millennia worth of oil reserves. What could go wrong? Only all of human history, of course – because when Greenleaf’s team of Tankers come home, they’ll discover that not only did the dinosaurs never die out, they’ve kept evolving for another 60 million years…and they’re more pissed off than ever.
Bone-shredding destruction! Wanton corporate malfeasance! Reckless use of industrial machinery! And lots and lots of ammunition. Like a Saturday morning cartoon that’s run irresponsibly overbudget, New York Times bestselling writer Robert Venditti (Justice League), blockbuster artist Juan Jose Ryp (Wolverine), and Eisner Award-winning colorist Jordie Bellaire (Pretty Deadly) are here to take all of our insecurities about mankind’s most self-destructive impulses and turn them up until the knob snaps off with THREE DOUBLE-SIZED ISSUES shipping BIMONTHLY (that means every other month, don’t look it up).
** THREE ISSUES // DOUBLE-SIZED // BI-MONTHLY // BEGINNING APRIL 2021 **
** MATT KINDT (writer) **
** ADAM POLLINA (artist/cover) **
** MATT HOLLINGSWORTH (colors) **
You never thought you’d see a Bad Idea like this! From the limitless imaginations of New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT), veteran artist Adam Pollina (X-Force), and Eisner Award-winning colorist Matt Hollingsworth (Hawkeye) comes a very special whale tale for all ages (and species) in the tradition of Hayao Miyazaki and Pixar!
When young Wawae – the seaborn son of a whaling captain – is thrown overboard and swallowed whole by a whale, he knows his father will relentlessly pursue revenge against the creature that stole away his boy. What he didn’t expect, however, is what he’s about to find inside: the town of “Whalesville” – a colorful, cobbled-together village inhabited by an astounding collection of talking sea creatures, including a crab named Caleb, an angler fish called Angela, and a seadragon that prefers to go by Lilly. But, to Wawae’s new friends, Whalesville isn’t just their home, it’s the whole world – and they don’t understand the danger that now pursues them from above the waves or that they are even inside a whale at all. To rescue his new best buddies, Wawae will have to convince them of the truth…and save Whalesville before his own father sends them sinking into the inky depths forever.
** WHALE-SIZED ONE-SHOT // ON SALE MAY 2021 **
THE LOT #1 (of 4)
**MARGUERITE BENNETT (writer) **
** RENATO GUEDES (artist/cover) **
In 1970, legendary filmmaker Oliver Larsen began production on his latest horror masterpiece on the lot of Los Angeles’ famed Cloverleaf Studios. Obsessed with bringing authenticity to the genre, the director insisted on casting real-life occultists to perform a genuine Satanic ritual live on camera – until something went horribly wrong. In the bloody aftermath, the production was shut down, the footage was confiscated, and the soundstage was forever shuttered.
On the heels of a promotion that’s just made her the youngest studio chief in decades, Aviva Copeland is planning to overhaul Cloverleaf’s fading image for the 21st century – starting with the prime piece of California real estate that’s gone unused for 50 years: the very same lost soundstage where Larsen filmed his doomed masterpiece. But, as Aviva will soon discover, this corner of the lot may have been closed for a half-century, but it’s far from empty…and the evil that lives within its haunted walls will soon seize its chance to kill again.
New York Times best-selling writer Marguerite Bennett (Animosity, A-Force) and artist Renato Guedes (DCeased: Hope at World’s End) present a terrifying vision of horror and Hollywood in the boldly bloody Bad Idea manner!
** FOUR ISSUES // MONTHLY // ON SALE JULY 2021 **
SLAY BELLS #1
** ZEB WELLS (writer) **
**DAVID LAFUENTE (artist/cover) **
** ULISES ARREOLA (colors) **
You’ve heard of black comedies? Well, this is the first one that’s not just black, but red and green and covered in reams of extremely flammable tinsel that’s already been banned in Canada!
Every Christmas Eve, little Bobby Hamilton and his father rise at dawn for an early morning hunting trip. It was their favorite tradition – until they accidentally killed a certain red-nosed reindeer. They should have known better. They shouldn’t have tried to cover it up. Because Santa Claus knows that they’ve been naughty – and, now like so many fragile Christmas ornaments violently shaken free, the yuletide peace of a quaint Midwestern farming hamlet will forever be shattered as Old Saint Nick comes to town to reap the sweetest gift of all: vengeance.
This July, Emmy Award winner Zeb Wells (Hellions, Robot Chicken), mischief-making artistic all-star David Lafuente (Ultimate Spider-Man), and colorist Ulises Arreola (Action Comics) are ready to ruin Christmas a solid six months in advance with the only thing we really wanted this year, anyway: another king-sized Bad Idea one-shot that will soon go down in infamy!
** SANTA-SIZED ONE-SHOT // ON SALE JULY 2021 **