I'm a little behind on my Once & Future reading, I need to catch up. But it seems like plenty of folk are happy to do that without me. As we reported last month, Boom Studios' Once & Future by Doctor Kieron Gillen and Not-A-Doctor Dan Mora has been heating back up with back-to-back repeat sell-outs and second printings on issues #8 and #9. Well, we're expecting additional disruption to sales patterns as the series goes into its third arc with issue #13.
Once & Future isn't the only Boom title with heat these days. Something Is Killing the Children continues to post big sales in the aftermarket even sales rise issue after issue and social media influencers are labeling it "The Next Walking Dead", Al Ewing and Simone Del Meo's We Only Find Them When They're Dead #1 pushes past 90,000 copies on its way to 100,000 copies, and every issue of Tom Taylor and Daniele Di Nicoulo's Seven Secrets #1 has gone back to press to meet demand. All this helps explain Boom's slight jump up in market share in September. And let's not forget, Keanu Reeves' BRZRKR is still waiting in the wings, yet to launch…
Once & Future was the first to set off this trend, catching the industry's attention last year in part by featuring only one cover on each issue, and because the first issue went through a staggering eight printings (which effectively became the issue's variant covers on the aftermarket). Now Once & Future is poised once again to become a focus for collectors and speculators alike.
Most ongoing series settle into a predictable sales pattern by the time they reach their teens and, if they are lucky, minimize their sales attrition from issue to issue with a stable readership. But Once & Future saw an unusually big jump in orders from issue #6, the end of the first arc, to issue #7, the beginning of the second arc. Issue #7 saw the first time Once & Future featured a variant cover with a cover by Jenny Frison. Plus, Boom sent out one of their free Thank You variants that retailers seem to like so much. Between the higher orders on issue #7 and the first Once & Future collection being the highest selling collection in March, the series has clearly been onboarding new readers over the last six months with readers of the trade not wanting to wait for the next volume and adding the series to their pull list.
Now, Once & Future #13 has the highest initial orders since issue #7 and will certainly outsell issue #7 once retailers finalize their orders next week. This is in part, no doubt, to Boom offering a variant cover on issue #13, but unlike issue #7 they are also offering a 1-in-25 incentive cover. 1-in-25 variant covers have been particularly popular among collectors as they are typically both rare, but relatively affordable. Both the Once & Future #13 variant cover and incentive cover are by one of the hottest rising stars in the collectible cover circles, Frany.
And unlike issue #7, Boom plans to continue offering 1-in-25 incentive covers, along with a 1-in-10 incentive cover, for the rest of the third story arc, so it seems like they've done away with the whole "only one cover" thing for Once & Future. Coupled with the second Once & Future collection releasing the week before issue #13, it's a reasonable bet that sales on Once & Future will increase again in the third arc as new readers and collectors jump on the series. Will retailers be prepared for it with extra shelf copies?
And with rumours of Once & Future being at the top of the list for Netflix to pick up as part of Boom's first look continuing to persist, buyers may want to pick up these new variant covers while they are still affordable. Once & Future #13 FOCs on Monday, 26th of October.
ONCE & FUTURE #13 CVR A
(W) Kieron Gillen (A/CA) Dan Mora
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