Welcome to #Acetategate. A quick recap. Earlier in the week, Bleeding Cool covered the story of the Black Flag Comics Ultimate Fallout #4 acetate variant cover drama that played out at C2E2. A comic book retailer creating new heat for an exclusive Clayton Crain retailer variant comic from last year by stapling a new acetate variant cover on top, with patriotic imagers and the label Infinite Black Publishing, then selling them from $85-$100 at C2E2, against Marvel Comics requirements and instructions for retailers participating in the exclusive variant programme. And now copies are selling for up hundreds on eBay. Black Flag has removed much of their social media promotion, but a deleted video resurfaced talking about the situation they found themselves in, Black Flag promised new acetate cover editions for Boston Fan Expo, this coming weekend, one for Deadpool Nerdy 30 #1 and one for Ghost Rider #1, both by friend of the store, Clayton Crain.
But who are Infinite Black who are named on the cover? What's their deal? Infinite Black Publishing is a comic book publisher, but also a design agency, set up by Black Flag Comics and Claytron Crain. Crain draws most of Black Flag's retailer-exclusive variant covers, including the Ultimate Fallout #4 facsimile comic that has caused all this fuss. They also exhibit at shows at Black Flag's booth. The imprint describes itself as publishing "Creator owned ventures produced with innovative style and efficiency." They have been selling a preview of their first comic book, Zymotica, a new comic book written and drawn by Clayton Crain, at shows attended by Black Flag Comics. And, frankly, it looks gorgeous.
Both on the outside of the comic book and inside the pages.
And yes, keen Bleeding Cool readers will note that Zymoticais the name of the actetate cover intended to be created for Clayton Craine's Ghost Rider #1. for this weekend's Boston Fan Expo, the "Zymotica Vs" variant cover. Might that suggest Black Flag Comics were intending to use their existing retailer exclusive Clayton Crain Ghost Rider cover approved by Marvel, to promote their own intellectual property, created by Clayton Crain, with a bit of acetate on the cover? Might we get Zymotica Vs Ghost Rider? You could see how Marvel Comics might have a problem with that more than the "In God We Intrust" cover.
We are still looking forward to seeing how this plays out in Boston if it indeed does. There will have been lots of entertaining discussions going on behind the scenes, maybe we can work out what they were when we have some more dots to join together.