Scott Dunbier is a Director of IDW Entertainment, working on "Special Projects" – which tends to be whatever piques his interest. And thankfully many others as well. Before IDW, he was EIC of WildStorm Comics when they were bought out by DC Comics. There he innovated the Absolute format for the Authority hardcover, an oversized thick hardcover reprint on glossy pages with 12 issues or more – a thicker version of the French albums – which then was picked up by DC Comics across their titles, copied by Marvel – and then everyone else too. Then at IDW, he pioneered the Artist's Edition format, reproducing original artboards of comics as close to the originals as possible, then printing them full size. It reflected his long career as an original comic book artwork dealer and it's a format that has been blatantly copied by DC, Dark Horse, Dynamite, Titan and more. And now he is doing that with Todd McFarlane's Spider-Man, posting this image, saying "so this is happening."
No details yet as to which issues are being published, but the cover above is from Amazing Spider-Man #316, featuring the first cover appearance of Venom.
The cover in question is owned by Joe L, who gave his own story of how he acquired it.
This cover was offered to me in 2004. I've had always dreamed of owning it, and frankly I knew I had to have it when I got the opportunity. This cover also represented for the first time the dilemma of trying to justify a price that to me was so ridiculous that I still can't believe I paid it. Fortunately for me, nostalgia trumped fiscal responsibility that day, and I definitely do not regret my decision. I wonder if most collectors who overpay for something, do they ever have any regrets? Anyway, two guys I have to thank in particular. Thanks to Richard Martines for being cool about letting me trade a nice Neal Adams Green Lantern cover toward the Venom cover (I had just purchased the GL cover from Richard a few months earlier). Of course, thank you Will for selling it to me!!!!
And the version we all got to see, previously…