Monday, July 05, 2004

Stunt drivers: Ninth Art turns its attention to comic-book sales gimmicks, as Lee Barnett tackles cross-over events and all-star creative teams, and Paul O'Brien confronts the return of the variant cover:

"No doubt there are some perfectly legitimate sales gains to be made from variant covers. Presumably it increases the shelf space given to a particular title, and by having more than one piece of art on the shelves, it increases the chances of catching somebody's eye. But then, that rationale applies more sensibly to newsstands, where casual purchases are not entirely unknown. Variant covers are a direct market gimmick. It is hard to believe that many copies of ASTONISHING X-MEN #1 were sold to people who were unaware of its existence until they entered the shop."