Last week we wondered if any comic shops would refuse to sell Faithless II #1, the new Boom Studios "Must Read" series from Brian Azzarello and Maria Llovet. The launch of the original erotic thriller series in 2019 began Boom's meteoric rise in the direct market and prompted an early greenlight of the third series, a rarity in the comics world (or for any hit entertainment, except perhaps Game of Thrones and Marvel Studios films).
However, with many of the biggest comic shop accounts in the two biggest markets – New York and California – closed and/or ordering much fewer new comics, one would expect to see a big drop in orders on new comics. That would be especially likely for a series launch like Faithless II #1, which actually had a pre-shutdown FOC on March 23. Retailers knew their high number so they'd drop it a bit given an expected lower demand, right?
Except… the rules seem to go out the window when it comes to Boom and Faithless. While retailers ordered 13,832 copies of Faithless II #1 on the March 23 FOC, they up their orders over 25% as of yesterday's new FOC – bringing orders to nearly 17,000 copies. That would be a strong launch for any new mature readers creator-owned comic series in the current comic book market, not to mention a strong launch for a sequel, but it's made even more impressive by the sheer amount of comic stores unable to bring their normal amount of new inventory – if any at all.
It remains to be seen if any other comic publishers have seen similar gains with FOCs in this new times – though DC is the other publisher with big June releases in Batman #92 and Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 who might have some impressive numbers to share.
This all explains why Boom CEO & Founder Ross Richie was so excited to have James Tynion IV & Michael Dialynas bring Wynd #1 to comic shops five months earlier than announced – it looks like there's a lot of customers hungry for new creator-owned content and he saw it in those early numbers on Boom's new releases.
Faithless II #1 has given us our first glimpse of how the comic industry may be able to rebound with the right content – but did retailers, even with this massive increase, order enough copies to meet the demand from speculators driving the prices of some Faithless variants over $73?
Will Boom's hot streak extend to Wynd #1, which FOCs next Monday and arrives just one week after the aforementioned Batman #92 and likely even more customers rushing back to their local comic shops?