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Speculator Corner: Love Stories (To Die For) #1 And Reality Check #1

photoLove Stories (to Die For) -- Bloodlust -- Cover-A

So, Love Stories (To Die For) #1 and Reality Check #1 comes out on Wednesday. New Image Comics issue one. For some, that means a speculatory opportunity, a chance to buy up a stack and sell them when the moment is ripe. And certainly Image Comics launches have been good for that of late. But will it work?

Love Stories (To Die For)


  • Shadowline has produced a number of "sleeper" hits over the last few years, including 27, Morning Glories, Peter Panzerfaust as well as the recent Five Weapons, recently upgraded to ongoing series status
  • It's a 48 page flip-book containing two self-contained 22-page stories both written by Dirk Manning and each illustrated by a different artist all for under $5. Holding the line at $2.50, if you will.
  • However retailers are wary of that cover price and will have ordered less copies as a result.
  • Both artists have been simmering for a while now: Rich Bonk, originally known for his work on Spawn: The Dark Ages has recently done several Zenescope covers while Owen Gieni did colors and sequential work for Glory from Image Comics
  • Manning's previous Shadowline work – the graphic novel trilogy Nightmare World – was as one of the first fully-realized comic books published online and has stayed in preint for years.
  • Most interestingly, the word is that Nightmare World has been drawing Hollywood interest as a basis for a possible TV series a la a modern version of Tales from the Crypt, with Manning labeling LOVE STORIES (TO DIE FOR) as the evolution of Nightmare World, just with 22-page stories as opposed to 8-pagers. Let's see what happens when/if the news breaks.
  • It's an Image #1 comic.

And Cons:

  • It's an anthology. Everyone hates anthologies.
  • It doesn't have ongoing characters or scenarios that might grip a reader from issue to issue.
  • That $5 puts off readers as much as it does retailers.

Reality Check


  • Glen Brunswick has been creating a number of Image comics of late but this is his first in the more recent Image speculation era. Like Kurtis Wiebe before him, this may just be his time.
  • He's got a small fan base but retailers who may not be aware of that, as he doesn't have much name recognition. It may be enough to strip the shelves of their copies however.
  • He's garnered considerable publicity this week, including USA Today and a Bleeding Cool interview on its way.
  • It's a comic about a comic creator trying to create a comic in the current industry. We love that kind of metatextual stuff.
  • Brunswick may have been overshadowed by artists such as Whilce Portacio and John Romita Jr, and have received higher orders, dulling the aftermarket. With Viktor Bogdanovic that's less likely.


  • There's a danger that the bad comic at the centre of the book may be mistaken for the comic as a whole.
  • A strong aftermarket relies on a book to be relatively ignored by retailers when ordering it. Have they learnt their lesson with Image comics yet?
  • It has the same name as a Tokyo Pop comic. Confusing!
  • All the publicity totally spoils the plot of the first issue. The preview and cover even show the last page! Disappointing!

Read a preview of Love Stories (To Die For) here and check an interview with Brunswick later on the site…

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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