Bad Idea is the new comics publisher from Dinesh Shamdasani, Atom Freeman, Warren Simons, and Joshua Johns. A direct-to-retailer publisher, eschewing digital and trade paperbacks in favour of one-cover one-per-person comic book sales from big comic book names. Annoying some retailers and delighting others, they released the first of their "Final Five" comics before supposedly shutting up shop. Except they are not.
Because, yes, Bad Idea recently announced that it was "over". But not before one final wave of comics – The Final Five. Not everyone -especially Bleeding cool – believed they were closing down. After all, this is the company that said they had been taken over by a supernatural button and released a comic in secret under a pseudonym. And now today the first of the final five bad idea comics arrives in stores – Hero Trade: Passive/Aggressive by Matt Kindt and David Lapham, including a back-up strip by Matt Kindt and Klaus Janson.
Bad Idea has been coy about this release, only showing a handful of pages. Now we know why. Hero Trade: Passive/Aggressive is in fact two comic books. Hero Trade: Passive and Hero Trade: Aggressive. Bad Idea secretly dropped two completely different stories with completely different art and lettering but exactly the same front and back covers. And it seems the two comics were distributed to different stores. Each of Bad Idea's 200 participating stores received their entire order as one story or the other. No reports of stores receiving both comics yet. One story is about a vigilante who is robbed by Russian hackers, who flies to them and extracts very violent revenge. The other is about a Russian hacker forced to spend his days committing identity theft and cyber robbery but tries to escape. The two are standalone stories that together tell a larger whole. A kind of comics Rashomon. And also including blank pages that may be filled in at a future date.
It's not clear yet how exactly Bad Idea determined which stores would receive which comic but geography is a factor. Reports suggest stores in the same state – or country – all got the same comic. So if you want to read both stories you may have to call a friend in another state or perhaps even coast. Or country.
An insane promotion from a company full of bad ideas but once again they've done something no one else ever has. We've seen comics with lettering changes but that keep the art the same. We've seen comics with different back-up stories in the same issue. But this is the first comic to have two completely different insides, and the same cover…. which copy did you get? I can confirm that Forbidden Plante London has the Aggressive version… and a fairly aggressive price, $7.99 works out at £7.20 it seems…