Today we find out the meaning of a very aggressive- and pretty amusing – social media campaign by Bad Idea to promote a deluxe collection of a David Lapham project called THE ENDS, which launches on Kickstarter today.

It’s published by Bad Idea, a company that never saw a way to shitpost that they couldn’t use as a marketing campaign. The campaign began a few weeks ago with the announcement that Bad Idea would be “saving digital comics from Amazon.” Given the ongoing dissatisfaction among consumers for the current Amazon-led version of Comixology, this was a promising line of thought.

Since then it’s turned into a countdown clock with some TMZ-style headlines.

“Digital was going to give you things you’d never seen: more colors, unseen art, detail no printer could reproduce, and added extras freed from the constraints of print! So what happened? TOMORROW, join us as we change digital with THE ENDS PRO EDITION!” they wrote along with this graphic:


There was also the suggestion of millions of colors and seekrit knowledge:

Every publisher has been doing digital right, just not for you. You deserve to see what the pros see! Follow our Kickstarter and click “Notify me on launch” to see what you’ve been missing!

While THE ENDS is a David and Maria Lapham project, the Kickstarter will include work by many other comics pros, including, it is strongly hinted, Dave Gibbons:

“He co-created Watchmen, he drew the definitive Superman story of our time, and he thought digital comics were going to be huge. He should have been right. So, what happened? Click “Notify Me On Launch” for the answer:”


Gibbons is indeed on record as liking digital comics – he worked a lot with Madefire, if you remember them – so all this tracks.

The best part of the campaign has been ongoing suggestions from Bad Idea publisher Dinesh Shamdasani that they will publish something called “Valiant 2024.” This was foreshadowed on the drink menu they served at their SDCC 2023 tiki party. The drink names are future Bad Idea publications, you see. The drink connection got picked up by the comics media, and Shamdasani went along for the ride:


Mmmm. mezcal. But this is just one of a series of trolling references to publishing Valiant that Shamdasani has been putting out there.

Now if you don’t know the backstory, you don’t know just how rich this all is. So let’s go to the YouTube explainer. Valiant launched in the ’90s with a mix of classic licenses and brand new superheroes, with editor Jim Shooter at the helm, achieving a fairly large audience during the initial variant cover run of the era. The 90s Comics Crash took its toll, however, and Valiant declared  bankruptcy in 2000.

Shamdasani revived the company in 2007, along with Jason Kothari and a group of investors. Shamdasani was a HUGE Valiant fan, and had the financial backing to make his dream of bringing their titles back reality, so this was really the ultimate “fan makes good” story. The reboot featured titles like  X-O ManowarBloodshotHarbingerArcher & Armstrong, and Shadowman. Valiant didn’t see huge sales during this period, but it held its own, and Valiant fans remained very very loyal to the brand.

It was all moving along until 2018, when DMG Entertainment – a global media and entertainment company based in Beijing, China founded by media mogul Dan Mintz that had been brought on as an investor  –took over the company, forcing Shamdasani out. Publishing gradually became more and more sporadic, and a line of NFTs ended up with fans calling it a scam. A Kickstarter for an Eternal Warrior: Scorched Earth graphic novel was funded, but goes unfulfilled, leading to much outrage from fans. 

Over the Last year, the DMG-led Valiant became even more of a zombie publisher, with only one periodical released each month, and multiple layoffs.  In April they announced they would license their publishing out to Alien Books, a new entity run by South American comics publisher Matias Timarchi. Since then there’ve been no further announcements. (And DMG itself seems to be all but vanished itself, perhaps part of the bad economy in China.)

Through it all Shamdasani has been pretty clear about still loving publishing in general and the Valiant characters in particular. Bad Idea launched in 2021, with an unusual periodicals-only, no digital, direct to retailers publishing plan that has been controversial, but effective enough to keep the company going.

AAAAAANYWAY, if you know all this, you know that Shamdasani publishing something called Valiant 2024 is a brilliant troll – especially after Valiant itself has become nothing more than a shell company that licenses Valiant projects to various book, game and comics companies. 

With all that in mind, maybe they WOULD license out some of it to Bad Idea? I mean why not?

After all.. why not? Meme Generator - Imgflip

Of course, a more likely idea (bad or good) is that Valiant is an English word and 2024 is a number and you can probably use them in a title without trademark infringement…if anyone is left at Valiant to protest, even.

That brings us to today’s Kickstarter launch. THE ENDS by David and Maria Lapham was published in January as part of Bad II – it’sa story of veterans, romance, skinheads, conflict and war, and as the previews showed, it looks very good! So a Kickstarter for a digital edition/artist’s edition sounds like a fine idea.

The campaign has just launched and 300% funded in an hour or so – so everything worked! The artistic line-up includes many superstars (but nary a girl in sight aside from co-creator Maria Lapham.)

Brian Michael Bendis (ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, HOUSE OF M), Jason Aaron (THOR, AVENGERS), Ed Brubaker (CAPTAIN AMERICA, CRIMINAL), Mark Waid (KINGDOM COME, DAREDEVIL), Jim Cheung (YOUNG AVENGERS, JUSTICE LEAGUE), Gerry Duggan (DEADPOOL, UNCANNY X-MEN), Zeb Wells (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, VENOM), Tony Daniel (BATMAN, FLASH), Gary Dauberman (IT, THE NUN, ANNABELLE), Matt Kindt (MIND MGMT, BRZRKR), Robert Venditti (GREEN LANTERN, SUPERMAN ’78), Joshua Dysart (UNKNOWN SOLDIER, HARBINGER), and David Dastmalchian (OPPENHEIMER, THE SUICIDE SQUAD) are just SOME of the A-List talent who are uniting to contribute brand-new, original stories illustrated by living legend and master storyteller David Lapham available exclusively within this campaign.

And the digital reveal? Audacious! 

Digital was meant to give us more. We were meant to have access to the artist’s original page layouts. The pencils and inks. The writer’s original scripts. The editor’s notes. Trivia. Easter eggs. Millions of new colors only digital can display. The ability to zoom in on the tiniest details. Deleted scenes. Alternate endings. Additional story. And so, so, so many brand-new digitally native features. Every other form of entertainment got exactly that. So…what happened?

Enter the one publisher who has, to date, eschewed digital and focused squarely on being exclusively a printed-on-paper publisher. That publisher just so happens to also be the only publisher who has no vested interest in protecting the digital status quo. We’re the only publisher not financially tied to digital. So we’re happy to blow the whistle on what a scam digital comic books are. Because it’s easy to do digital right. Did you know that every publisher is already doing it? Just not for you. When we edit, approve, and send comics to the printer, we do so digitally. And those files the professionals see are magnificent. High definition, full contrast, incredibly vivid and full of art that never sees the printed and bound page. It’s high time we brought the level of quality in digital comic books that we the professionals see to you, the readers. We’re pulling out all the stops to build a showcase digital comic book so everyone can see everything that’s possible. Something you can all point to and demand from those who makes digital comics. But we need your help to do that.

I have a seekrit to tell you: the printer’s proofs we get are…PDFs…which are what most digital comics are, but once again, it’s marketing, baby. Considering how few comics companies have the staff or inclination to do anything elaborate with marketing, it’s good to see someone giving something a try in the uncertain times. And for those saying Bad Idea sucks…well, let’s do it better! 

THE ENDS collection will be an oversized $125 hardcover, but the ULTIMATE digital/print package will set you back $280 and includes:

The future of digital comics is here. We took THE ENDS, a bonafide masterpiece. Revisited it. Spared no expense. Removed the constraints of time & page count. What the legendary creators turned in was incredible. Can you make a masterpiece better? Yes. And we did. The result is so exciting, we want to share it in its best possible form. In the way we, the professionals, see it. Introducing THE COMPLETE THE ENDS PRO EDITION. A digital comic like none before. Millions more colors, 4k detail, full replication of the original art far beyond even print. PLUS extended sequences, new pages and material, brand-new scenes, alt endings, deleted scenes AND three brand-new THE ENDS stories. Over 50 pages of new material! And all in full digital color for the first time. This once-in-a-lifetime experience also comes with a massive, 300+ page ultra-deluxe HARDCOVER compiling everything from the digital edition.

Sounds good but what about Valiant 2024? Still waiting on that! 




  1. So based on that menu list, Bad Idea is also going to do a gritty reboot of Richard Thompson’s Cul De Sac comic?

  2. 8000 words of gubbins on Kickstarter, no idea what the comics about. Not that all but 10 people can afford it anyway.

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