Boom Studios Makes "Cover A" Comics Returnable – But Not The Rest

Comic book publisher Boom Studios made initial waves back in 2017 by pioneering the first consistent affidavit-only returnability program dubbed the Boom Guarantee programme. The self-described "best returnability programme in the industry" was an immediate success for Boom, and continued to evolve to include not just 6 single issues per month, but 2 collections or graphic novels as well. The Boom Guarantee program was so successful in growing Boom's sales and market share that numerous publishers including creator-owned rival, Image Comics along with IDW, Dark Horse, Vault and Dynamite… and even DC rolled out similar returnability offers.

When COVID-19 shut down the industry in early 2020 and the reopening was still uncertain, Boom was the first to offer comic shops line-wide returnability through the Boom Guarantee program. And yes, numerous other publishers followed suit until it was virtually industry standard to offer comic books returnable to comic shops in 2020 and into parts of 2021.

As it became clear that the comic book market was not just surviving, but thriving, most publishers scaled back the volume of returnable offerings to pre-pandemic levels. Boom returned to their 6 comics and 2 graphic novels per month status quo, but also experimented with Boom Guarantee exclusive variants on certain series which were returnable. However, those variants did not count toward qualifying for incentive covers.

Last week at the Diamond Retailer Summit, Boom announced that they would be scaling down the Boom Guarantee variant cover programme in favour of making the main cover (or "cover A") returnable on titles with "robust incentive programmes" based on feedback from comic store owners. Well, as usual, Boom has wasted little time and announced on Friday that they would be extending returnability on the main A covers to 3 titles FOCing today.

Those titles include Know Your Station #1 from writer Sarah Gailey, who delivered one of the surprise debut hit series in last year's Eat The Rich, and True KVLT artist Liana Kangis; the second issue of Simon Spurrier and Charlie Adlard's sold-out new creator-owned series – Damn Them All, and the latest Magic The Gathering special – Magic: Nahari The Lithomancer #1 by Nebula, Hugo, Locus, and Alex Award-winning novelist Seanan McGuire and Power Rangers Universe artist Kath Lobo.

That's in addition to The Approach #1 by Jeremy Haun, Jason A. Hurley, and Jesús Hervás and Briar #2 by Christopher Cantwell and Germán García, which were already fully returnable through the Boom Guarantee and are also FOCing today.

And they indicated there would be more returnability news for titles FOCing in November to come. Which is a rather savvy move, as the holiday season both provided store owners with their biggest sales opportunities of the year, but conversely some of the greatest uncertainty around what (and how much) customers will be during this time of year. By ramping up returnability heading into the holiday season, Boom is giving retailers a reason to take a deeper position on titles that are already working in their stores.

Will this returnability gambit pay off in the same fashion as Boom's prior initiatives? It worked out well for hits like Once & Future, Something Is Killing The Children, and Grim among many others. Know Your Station #1, Damn Them All #2, and Magic: Nahiri The Lithomancer #1 are all on FOC today, Monday, the 7th of November. Couldn't hurt to take a chance on those titles on Boom's dime if you own a comic store…

KNOW YOUR STATION #1 (OF 5) CVR A KANGAS (MR)
BOOM! STUDIOS
OCT220253
(W) Sarah Gailey (A/CA) Liana Kangas
The wealthiest people in the solar system abandoned the Earth for a private sanctuary in space, leaving the rest of us to die amidst cataclysmic climate change. But the 1% won't be safe for long…A murderer is on the loose, specifically targeting the super-rich. Soon Elise, an employee of the billionaire's space station, is wrapped up in a deadly investigation, with each issue featuring a new, diabolically different kill! 2021's breakout writer Sarah Gailey (Eat the Rich) and rising star Liana Kangas (TRVE KVLT) take a stab at the ultra-wealthy, their dreams of escaping the very planet they've put in peril, and the consequences of a future that might not be so far away…In Shops: Dec 07, 2022 SRP: $3.99

MAGIC NAHIRI THE LITHOMANCER #1 CVR A OLIVETTI
BOOM! STUDIOS
SEP220390
(W) Seanan McGuire (A) Kath Lobo (CA) Ariel Olivetti
Nebula, Hugo, Locus, and Alex Award-winning novelist Seanan McGuire (Ghost-Spider) returns to the world of Magic: The Gathering along with Kath Lobo to bring Nahiri the Lithomancer to comics! Nahiri-also known as The Harbinger-has protected her home plane of Zendikar for centuries, her ruthlessness and terrible deeds kept in check by a strong sense of justice. But her fate is far from decided, and a new challenge awaits that may change the way the entire Multiverse perceives her…In Shops: Nov 30, 2022
SRP: $8.99

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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