From what I'm hearing, the direct market of comic book store owners think Robert Kirkman walks on water lately. And it's no wonder he's the comics market messiah since swooping in during the chaos of DC pulling out of Diamond to drop the surprise Negan Live and Negan Lives foil variants. He covered the cost of freight with the intent of pumping some easy revenue into retailer pockets during their time of need. I'm learning that nearly $250K went into the market as a result of those Negan foils alone.
Now, add to that the near $120K in Humble Bundle proceeds that were reportedly raised by the Walking Dead Bundle alone to benefit BINC Fund, a non-profit organization that supports independent bookstores and comic book retailers in financial peril. I have since heard from several retailers that BINC has been busy sending cheques to stores that qualified for assistance, so it sounds like that money too is making its way into the hands that need it more right now.
So with all that money dropped into the Direct Market and goodwill accumulated, it seems Mr. Kirkman is betting on comic shops to help him make his new series Fire Power a continued success.
Everyone's favourite vocal retailers Phil Boyle and Brian Hibbs have often quipped over the years that retailers have a "long memory." Will this hold true for Fire Power? Will retailers show up in a big way for his new series after this display of faith? It seems like they already have—I have it on good authority that Fire Power #3 will be sold out at Diamond even before it hits shops.
But to the mercenary few unconcerned with shows of loyalty, Fire Power #3 may still be worth banking on. A little bird told me that issue #3 will introduce four new major series characters, the group of which will be known as The Dragon's Claw. Now, if anyone knows how to introduce a character (and abruptly take 'em out) it's Robert Kirkman. May want to buy yourself a few extra copies for eBay, especially since the gold foil variant of issue #1 is already fetching a pretty penny…
And personally, I've always had a soft spot for Dragon's Claws… I wrote the forward to this, after all.