Peter S. Svensson writes for Bleeding Cool.
Comic-Con! Home of the exclusive variants! Of artificial rarity that we fans lap up because we're obsessed with having complete collections! Of people waiting in line to buy books they don't care about, but know they can flip for good money on eBay.
But when a surprise variant hits, that's when things get complicated. The Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Panel had a special prize for their attendees, an exclusive variant. As most of the attendees for that panel were non-comic fans unaware of the value of such a variant, or Wonder Woman fanatics unwilling to surrender something from their collection, there are precious few copies available on the market. There is one copy on eBay with a bid of $50.
There is one variant though, which is almost impossible to get. At least in anything approximating Very Fine/Near Mint. And currently there is only one source for it.
Recently, Archie did a 25th anniversary special for Sonic the Hedgehog called "Sonic Mega Drive." (The Mega Drive being the name for the Genesis in Japan and Europe, as you probably know.) In their tradition, they did a variant cover for it that people could buy at the con. Comes in a nice bag and board, the folks at the Archie booth are all nice people, it's all good.
Sega held a party for Sonic's anniversary on Friday night. A cool party, though it was more of a mini-Sonic Convention than a swanky nightclub scene, which disappointed some but caused others much joy. Chili Dogs and Onion Rings, a concert by Sonic musicians Crash40, and a swag bag featuring a party exclusive variant cover! Each vinyl backpack had the comic lovingly crushed and smashed to fit inside with the plushie, the hats, and other swag.
The only copies of this issue that weren't crumpled and ruined before anyone got to actually read them are the comp copies sent to creators, such as colorist Matt Herms who is selling them off on eBay right now at $50 a piece, and his supply is limited. Which means that collectors who didn't attend the party but want a copy that doesn't look like a wadded up tissue need to hurry.
Good luck Collectors!
Peter S. Svensson writes about geeky things, and next month will help run the Official Power Morphicon, the Power Rangers convention in Pasadena, CA. He's also a teacher. Weird.