Image Comics unveiled the art for what it calls "a highly collectible" variant cover for Die #16 by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans. The variant will be EXXXCLUSIVE for Diamond UK Direct Market accounts "as a Thank You and is designed to benefit our international partners during an exceptionally difficult period for independently-owned businesses," a press release points out.
"We've had such incredible support on this book throughout its run from Diamond UK—hell, as a British writer, throughout my whole career," said Gillen in the press release. "When Eric [Stephenson] suggested it, it just seemed like something we absolutely should do, as quickly as possible. It's been a nightmarish time. Thank you."
But is Image's offer of a variant cover a nice gesture, or a waste of time? After all, who even wants a plain old paper variant cover when it doesn't have any non-fungible tokens? For a modern take on Image's offer, Bleeding Cool spoke with actual Scottish comic book retailer Haggis McDonalds.
"Whit dae ye mean thay wantae gimme a paper variant cover?" said McDonalds. "Whit th' bugger am ah aff tae dae wi' that jobby? gimme NFTs ye pish swallyin bahookie lickers! If it didnae tak' th' energy output o' th' entire land o' Belgium fur twa weeks, then whit guid is it tae auld Haggis Mcdonalds? Whit dae ah keek lik', a pumpin' Irishman? Gang 'n' pat they variant covers oan th' blockchain 'n' then we'll see howfur appreciatit` auld Haggis is feeling, we will."
"A'd ower catch coronavirus o' me bumhole than shite mah time wi' piece o' jobby fungible paper variant cover," he added, spitting on the ground while adjusting his kilt.
So clearly the reception is mixed. Let's let the press release take this one home, for those who disagree with Haggis and still like fungible variant covers:
Die #16 kicks off the series' final story arc, "Bleed," this May and the highly anticipated conclusion to the series will land in Die #20.
Die has consistently held a seat as one of the top selling Image Comics series, has gone back to print numerous times, boasts regular reorder activity, and has consistently grown its audience with each new installment's release. Perhaps best described as Jumanji with goth sensibilities, the series has stolen headlines since its launch for ushering in a new trend in comics and RPG crossover storytelling.
To go into the dark, you have to get to the dark. They never put a dungeon anywhere accessible, do they? Past sins haunt our party, and future sins permeate the landscape. Die's closing arc begins as we began: with regrets and screaming.
Die #16 Cover A by Hans (Diamond Code MAR210062) and Die #16 Cover B by Varanda (Diamond Code MAR210063) will also both be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, May 5.
Die remains available for purchase across many digital platforms too, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.