Yesterday, Bleeding Cool ran an article on what we were assured was a brand new concept in collectable comic books. Something that representatives of new comic book publisher Bad Idea Comics had been showing to comic collectors at comic book conventions in the USA, and that they had apparently received four-figure sum offers. Well, we now know what it is. A "comic book" that is perhaps as conceptual as its title implies. It has been slabbed by CGC, in a variety of grades. CGC is an established firm that grades comic books from 0.5 to 10.0, and then encases the comic in a transparent shell, preserving its condition.
On the CGC website, they have a listing for a Bad Idea comic book called Conceptual Funnies #1 by Robert Venditti and Tomas Giorello. Rather than featuring a "first appearance" of a character which is a common note, this is labelled "first dis-appearance in comics". It has a variant notation of "Invisible Edition". CGC has single copies graded from 10.0 to 0.5, aside from 1.8 and eleven copies for 9.8, totalling 34 copies. Tomas is the artist on Bad Idea's Odinn's Eye, while Venditti writes Bad Idea's Tankers comic books.
We also have an unfiltered copy of the photo of a meeting between Bad Idea reps and comic book collector ComicTom. With a slabbed copy of Captain America Comics #1 from 1941 held by Bad Idea's Dinesh Shamdasani, and a slabbed copy of Conceptual Funnies #1. If you look, you can see that the slab on the left appears to be empty. As if it were containing a seemingly invisible comic book. And graded 9.8.
So what is it? Well after queries all day, Bad Idea Comics have confessed, e-mailing Bleeding Cool earlier today.
Yes, there kinda, sorta is a sixth FINAL FIVE comic. No, it will not be widely available. Yes, a copy was brought to San Diego Special Edition, Emerald City Comic Con and C2E2 for some high muckety-muck meetings. No, it was not available to read. Yes, because the rumors are true and every copy of the sixth FINAL FIVE comic has been encapsulated by CGC. No, we'll have you know there was, in fact, a very good reason to encapsulate them. Yes, it was because we thought people would lose them otherwise. No, it doesn't matter if we think people are idiots or not, they would lose them because they are invisible. Except for the staples. Yes, invisible. No, not the staples.
Again, yes, we did actually invent invisibility. Here's what happened — the genius duo of Robert Venditti and Tomas Giorello put together a banger of a story. Such a banger, in fact, that the geniuses at BAD IDEA Labs wanted to put a huge spotlight on the book. They devised a gimmick so earth-shattering, so game-changing, that it would turn the heads of every single comic book reader in the entire world. They invented the invisible comic.
BEHOLD! THE WORLD'S FIRST AND ONLY INVISIBLE COMIC BOOK!! The knuckleheads at BAD IDEA Labs then lost almost the entire damn run! In their defense, the comics are invisible. Thank goodness they invented the invisible comic book and not the invisible staple. After weeks of searching, we managed to locate just 34 solitary copies. The rest, we're afraid, are lost for good. To ensure we don't lose them again, we immediately brought the 34 copies to the amazing people at CGC for grading and encapsulation.
Conceptual Funnies #1 is a folded piece of transparent acetate, held together by staples like a comic book and then slabbed. Bad Idea Comics is planning to offer five people on their mailing list a copy of the invisible edition of Conceptual Funnies #1 between now and New Years' Eve.
There are examples across art of this sort of thing. From the 4 minutes and 33 seconds of pure silence in the song 4' 33" by John Cage or the more recent empty frame of Jens Haaning's Take The Money And Run. Art that is art because of its absence. Conceptual Funnies #1 is sure to inspire much debate and discussion about art and commerce. So much so that Bleeding Cool understands that they may have to actually commission a visible copy of Conceptual Funnies #1 by Venditti and Giorello… and actually publish it in 2022.