Continuing on with their blockbuster “Artists Edition” line, IDW is getting even more exclusive with a new imprint called IDW Limited which will offer books direct to consumers with editions of as few as 10 copies. The line is launching with a special edition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 1, Change Is Constant with original art in each by artist Dave Duncan, and special content by creator Kevin Eastman. The three levels of the first release — Red (125 copies) will sell for $125. Black (25 copies) will sell for $250. Blue (a scant 10 copies) will sell for $350.

Future releases in the program include Transformers, G.I. Joe, Alan Robert’s Crawl To Me and menton3’s Monocyte.

Picture above include the “blue” level.

Of course selling collectibles directly to consumers seems designed to annoy one group in particular—comic book retailers. IDW President takes to ICv2 to explain his actions:

What should a retailer who’s asked by one of his/her customers why he can’t supply these IDW products tell his/her customer?

The truth. These editions have incredibly low print runs, and there’s currently no way to acquire them other than going to the IDW Limited website. Of course that doesn’t mean they’re the only version of the book. Fans of IDW’s books should feel comfortable knowing they can walk into their shop and pick up every issue, and every trade paperback or hardcover. That’s not going to change. Only the IDW Limited editions are exclusive to online.  
Any retailer who has concerns about IDW Limited should feel free to contact me directly. My office phone number is: 858-xxx-xxxx, and my e-mail address is: [email protected].

Ted Adams can take the heat.

Is this the first publisher program to take Kickstarter’s tiered editions as a business model?

It won’t be the last. PR:

IDW Publishing is thrilled to announce the launch of IDW Limited, a new division that will specialize in producing high-end, collectible editions of their wide catalog of books. Catering to the loyal and committed fans that have helped make IDW a success, IDW Limited books will feature unique elements like original sketches and creator signatures on luxuriously designed packaging not available anywhere else. These top-of-the-line rarities will aim to enhance and expand existing books, providing beautiful reading and collecting experiences fans will be proud to display on their shelves.

The first book offered from IDW Limited ( will be the four-issue collection of IDW’s best-selling new series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 1, Change Is Constant. The Deluxe Limited Edition will be released in three tiers, each with extremely low quantities available exclusively through the IDW limited website, Fans can expect hand signatures from TMNT co-creatorKevin Eastman, series artist Dan Duncan, and series writer Tom Waltz, as well as original hand-sketched art from Dan Duncan packaged with each book in a specially hand constructed, deluxe case.
“This edition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 1: Change Is Constant is nothing short of spectacular,” said Kevin Eastman, co-creator of TMNT. “The Turtles have been presented in a variety of formats over the years, but this book is truly a prized collector’s item for Turtle fans.”
IDW Limited books are offered in multiple tiers so that fans can select the degree of collectability that is important to them. Each print run is hand-numbered and strictly limited. All three tiers include a signature plate signed by the books creators. In addition to signatures, collectors can expect the following:

-Red Label Edition is limited to 175 copies, features a custom cover, is housed in a limited edition slipcase and paired with an artist’s portfolio containing a unique, spot-color sketch of one of the Ninja Turtles done by series artist Dan Duncan.
-Black Label Edition is limited to 25 copies featuring the IDW Limited custom cover and is housed in a hand built traycase, along with an artist’s portfolio containing a multi-color illustration of two classic TMNT characters by series artist Dan Duncan.
-Blue Label Edition, the rarest tier being offered, is limited to only 10 copies!  For this special version, series artist Dan Duncan will be creating full color illustrations of the entire Turtle team in action. Each book is packaged with the IDW Limited cover inside a hand built tray case.
According to Jerry Bennington, IDW Limited’s Director, “We wanted to give fans a top-of-the-line creative experience with the books they love in a truly special format.” He went on to add, “these rare editions will not only be special and limited in quantity, they’ll also include unique content found nowhere else. This may be the only way most fans could ever hope to own a signature, sketch or illustration from one of their favorite artists or creators.”

In addition to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, fans can also expect a complete line of limited edition books and merchandise of their favorite titles including Transformers, G.I. Joe, Alan Robert’s Crawl To Me and menton3’s Monocyte this fall, and many more to follow.
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TMNT: CHANGE IS CONSTANT DELUXE LIMITED EDITION (RED-$125.00/BLACK-$250.00/BLUE-$350.00; 192 pages; 9” x 12”; hardcover) is now available for pre-order.


  1. “Is this the first publisher program to take Kickstarter’s tiered editions as a business model?”

    This has been used numerous times in the past when artist editions.

    For example, Taschen:
    Marc Newson: Works
    Alison Castle
    Hardcover in slipcase, 13.0 x 17.3 in., 610 pages, $ 1,000
    ISBN 978-3-8365-0807-0

    Hardcover with leather inlay, in a Micarta slipcase, 13.0 x 17.3 in., 610 pages, $ 6,000
    ISBN 978-3-8365-1171-1
    te Neues offers variants:
    Regular edition: $125
    Collector’s Editon (clamshell, with photo print) $3000
    Collector’s Editon (clamshell, with different photo print) $3000

    Science fiction and fantasy publishers have used this numerous times.
    Here’s the ultimate?

    I believe something similar is done with art prints.
    Lettered editions, numbered editions, artist’s proofs…
    Sometimes, the lower numbers are priced higher, especially on an artist’s print, as the plate will experience wear as more impressions are made.

    Interesting… that website is also selling sketch covers, portfolios, and signed copies. Retailer incentive variants are offered. (I’d be peeved if I had hit the incentive by ordering a lot of copies, then discovered a signed copy for sale at a cheaper price!)

    The regular edition costs $50 in hardcover, $18 in paperback.
    IDW will make a gross of $31,625 from these three limited editions.

  2. as Torsten said, Taschen really innovated this kind of thing over 10 years ago and have made it a regular part of their business model. You can count on several of these per year from them, and all parties involved usually win out.

    I think its a great idea IDW is doing this. Create art objects out of the books, and make people come to you. I think there is a big future in direct to consumer with niche products like comics.

    I kinda disagree with their color scheme. I’d make Black the high dollar level to keep it constant with luxury branding.

  3. I’m not clear on whether those limited editions are the ONLY version available, or if the regular version is for sale in regular format and price. These Turtle titles do not appeal to me, but I like that IDW is trying new things.

    Ahem. Now, let’s see them address their ungodly markups on their books’ Canadian cover prices.

  4. The small press horror publisher Cemetery Dance will also typically put out tiered editions for each of their books. For example, the 25th Anniversary edition of Stephen King’s IT came out in $125, $475, and $2000 versions. The two most expensive editions have sold out.

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