CoverWatch: From Donny Cates To J Scott Campbell's "Japanese" Joker

CoverWatch is an irregular Bleeding Cool feature looking at variant covers for comic books, especially exclusive retailer variant covers, and the weird and odd places they sometimes go.

The first sees Second Sight Publishing and The Collective : A Comic and Game Community create a pecial variant cover for their Freakshow Knight horror title from Jonathan Hedrick and somehow dragging Donny Cates in for the following exclusive variant cover.

CoverWatch: Donny Cates

Freakshow Knight #1 Hoyt Silva Exclusive Variant Feat. Donny Cates $14.99. The print run is 750 of the main and 250 of a TBD secret cover.

Peach Momoko is doing her own variant cover to her own comic, Demon Days: X-Men, for Golden Apple.

CoverWatch: Donny Cates

And so is Ken Lashley.

CoverWatch: Donny Cates

Ltd Edition Comix of the UK has a Mike Mayhew exclusive cover of Star Wars: The High Republic #3 with the first Marvel appearance of Marchian Ro both in the comic and on this exclusive cover.

CoverWatch: Donny Cates

And Comics Elite have these retailer exclusive covers of Non-Stop Spider-Man #1 by Derek Chew and Lucillo Parrilo.

CoverWatch: Donny Cates CoverWatch: Donny Cates

J Scott Campbell has created his own cover variants for The Joker to sell on his website. Guess which one has caused controversy?

CoverWatch: Donny Cates CoverWatch: Donny Cates

CoverWatch: Donny Cates

There you go. Might be worth more of a deep dive at some point, as retailer exclusive covers for creators to sell themselves are becoming a significant percentage sales of titles for certain publishers – and editorial standards are trumped by marketing and sales demands. So J Scott Campbell paid DC Comics to commission himself to create a cover, for which he orders at least 3000 copies of each and can sell for a massive premium. But it might push images out onto social media and the rest of the internet that DC Comics editorial may not have otherwise approved of. DC Comics has issues with internal variant covers in the past, such as the Killing Joke Batgirl cover by Rafael Albuquerque which was in opposition to the comic itself, and changed editorial policies in the past. But policies for external covers may not be as strict.

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About 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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