Princess-LeiaThis may well spoil things for people trying to flip variants on eBay, but it looks like Books A Million will let you order (and pre-order) variant covers off their website.  And it looks like they’re expanding how many different publishers they’re getting variants from:

And that Princess Leia link is for the sketch variant.  Yes, BAM now has variants and sketch variants for some of the Star Wars titles.  A Marvel variant will set you back $7.99, but a sketch variant is $9.99  Start saving your pennies, kids.

There are a lot more variants available than just those, with Marvel leading the way in terms of volume.  On the BAM site, the publisher of the comics is always listed as “Diamond Comic” or “Diamond Comic Magazine,” amusingly reminding use where these are coming from.  I’d take as a good sign for how BAM’s doing with non-returnable fare that they’re adding all these variants and from all sorts of publishers.

And then there’s DC.  BAM lists a few DC titles online.  Here’s Convergence #1.  It’s not listed as being an exclusive cover, but it’s got “Diamond Comic Magazine” as the publisher and an ISBN number:

  • ISBN-13: 9781492472070
  • ISBN-10: 1492472077

Here’s the link for Convergence: Suicide Squad #1, which BAM has listed as a hardcover (almost certainly an error).

DC did not get back to me about why some of their titles are showing up on BAM’s site as Diamond titles, but since they’re not listed as variants, it’s entirely possible they weren’t aware those listings existed.

In the meantime, if variants are your thing, you don’t have to pay a jacked up price for the BAM variants on eBay if the title in question is still available on their website.

Have you read Todd’s book Economics of Digital Comics?  You can also ignore him on Twitter at@Real_Todd_Allen



  1. Todd, once again you’re spot on with your investigative journalism.

    It makes me wonder because comic retail stores order titles in a different time frame than book chain stores. In short… who is making the call on the press run for some of these so-called rare variant covers? I don’t think there would be a huge difference in the press run and publishers are known for printing a few extras for promotional comps, etc. However, the percentage of variants is rather small… thus, even printing a few hundred more might affect the value (for those who really care about this).

  2. There are the two types of comic purchasers: those who purchase to read, and those who purchase NOT to read their comic; rather to collect or resell the book. I think that not reading the content is a disservice to the creators, but I get the economic strategy behind the ‘engineered rarity’ of variants.

  3. Books a million needs this to compete and stay in business since comic books are leveling out sales-wise where book sales are still plummeting. This is good for comic book fans who are readers as they might not have a comic book shop in the area but a retail bookstore maybe (like where I live SE usa). This might suck for variant cover profiteers or not idk yet. Variant covers in general I dont like because the more comic books as a business run more like wall street they just run the risk of meltdown like they did in the early 90s. I have heard some people say variants help prevent this because if regular issues overprint variants will even out the problem because of the limits on print runs but if you have 10 variants for 1 issue it seems like just another sign of greed and bubble bursting inevitably.

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