Don't Take Baby Steps Over Babyteeth

Don’t Take Baby Steps Over Babyteeth

Posted by May 16, 2017 Comment

Rick Shea of Famous Faces & Funnies in West Melbourne, Florida writes,

I’ve been selling comics & toys for 27 years now, and I’ve loved almost every second of it. Even a slow day is filled with great moments where I sell entertainment for a living and I get to promote the comics that I love to a whole new group of readers. We have hundreds of thousands of comics, tens of thousands of graphic novels and literally tons of toys in our 11,000 sq ft pop culture superstore. I know many friends and customers that work in retail and don’t necessarily enjoy all their customer interactions. However, since we concentrate on a reader’s market, people that read for fun are generally pretty wonderful people that we’re happy to deal with. I am so happy to have a job where I can share my passion for my favorite new comics, classic stories or whatever I think a customer will enjoy most, which we offer with our rarely redeemed money back guarantee. We really believe in books like Y, Walking Dead, Saga, Rick & Morty, The Wicked & The Divine, Ms Marvel, Flash and Paper Girls. There’s a reason these are some of our bestselling books of all time.

I don’t make a big deal out of every book being the next Walking Dead or Saga, but when I see that much potential in a book, I figured I should spread the word about it.  It’s been a while since we’ve seen a real superstar writer pop up, especially one that built up his name at Image and Dark Horse rather than getting his real start at Marvel or DC. Sure enough, with a few big hits in a row and with nothing but praise from everyone for his next book, I believe Donny Cates is the next superstar writer, who has already knocked it out of the park with God Country, Redneck and even his older work that really impresses including Buzzkill, The Paybacks, Interceptor and Ghost Fleet. I had a few customers that caught on to Donny’s work early and his buzz has been growing with every project lately. I really enjoyed God Country and was thankful to Donny and Image for letting retailers read the first few issues in advance, to see that even though issue 1 was strong, it’s gotten better with every issue. God Country #4 was an outstanding comic, and it’s hard to believe it was written by someone that hasn’t been writing comics for decades already. We ordered pretty aggressively on God Country, and it’s currently outselling every Marvel book in my store and most DC titles. When Image sent us the preview of the first 3 issues of Redneck, I was certainly happy to see that each issue there seemed to get better. It’s like he’s actually getting to be a better writer every month. How is that even possible? I am floored to see that Redneck is already written past issue 13 and it’s already drawn up through issue 6 as of a few months ago. I’m glad to see that some of my bestselling books will stay on track, which I really appreciate as a retailer and a fan.

When it came time to order Redneck, I knew that we could capitalize on the success of God Country to clone over subscriptions for our favorite new writer. We’ll often offer suggestions for folders, but never force a customer to pick up a title they’re not interested in. So we ordered pretty big numbers at over 100 copies to rival our sales of Saga, Walking Dead, and Paper Girls, which are my current bestselling titles (and favorite titles, not a coincidence). Sure enough, the book was a giant hit and it was selling for $15 on the day it was out. We kept our Redneck #1 copies at cover price for the first three weeks it was out and only finally marked up our last few copies over cover this last week after selling almost all our copies at cover price. Like I said, we’re a reader’s market and I’d rather get 90 people hooked on this book to come back to buy issue 2 and 3 rather than make a quick buck because that’s going to go a lot farther to help my business in the long run. We have up to a year’s worth of most comics on the shelf at cover price, with a few exceptions. Sure enough, we’re really happy with the success of God Country and Redneck and everyone is talking about this talented writer.

I first heard the premise for Babyteeth and thought it sounded interesting. The potential was there, but like all successful stories, it all comes down to the execution. Here’s the premise of Babyteeth: Sadie Ritter is sixteen years old, nine months pregnant and scared out of her sweet nerdy mind. Having a baby that young is tough, but with the support of her loving family behind her, everything should be okay. OH YEAH, and also her baby is the antichrist and it’s going to break open the barriers between the earthly and demonic planes and unleash eternal suffering to all of humankind. Other than that, though… should be fine.

As a big horror fan, I eagerly awaited the PDF of this title and was very thankful for Aftershock when they sent the first issue our way. I knew we would probably order over 100 copies and thought this might be on par with how clever God Country is, or how unique Redneck is.  Sure enough, Babyteeth did not disappoint. I think this is Donny Cates’ best first issue yet. Much like my other favorite first issues like Saga and Y: The Last Man, this first issue had so much packed into its pages. There’s that dark sense of knowing that something bad is coming, but still a few quiet and tender moments and even some surprising humor that I certainly didn’t expect. There’s some great storytelling devices that you’d expect from creators that have been making comics for 20 years, but somehow Donny really delivers. You’d never guess he’s only been writing comics for a few years now but I believe Donny Cates is the next Brian K Vaughan or Robert Kirkman. These are not comparisons I throw around lightly, but this guy is the next giant superstar writer and he’s earned it with several great new series that really live up to the hype surrounding them. I really think a lot of retailers will underorder Babyteeth even with the incredible amount of buzz around this title because there’s so many comics competing for the same dollar. There’s always going to be a giant market for superheroes, but the reason that so many of our bestselling titles are Image Comics and things in other genres is because there’s a whole new audience buying comics today. It’s a lot easier getting someone hooked on something new and modern that appeals our current sensibilities, than trying to catch them up on X-Men continuity, which I don’t even think Chris Claremont could keep straight at this point.

One of my favorite things about this industry is looking for that next hidden gem, or the next book or creator we can push to our customers. We know we can back up any of Donny Cates’ work with our money back guarantee because he’s proven he’s an excellent writer in a short period of time by bringing us engaging characters in exciting situations and still keeping us surprised with each issue. I was afraid that I’d hyped up Babyteeth too much with my own excitement for the title as a fan and a retailer. But once I read the first issue, I knew we had to go above and beyond to support this brilliant new title. In FFF’s 23 year history, we’ve seen a lot of books come and go, but after talking with Stephan Nilson at Aftershock, (who used to shop here many years ago, small world), we set up our first ever store exclusive variant for Babyteeth # 1. The process was a lot less scary than I could have imagined and we were lucky enough to be able to get the actual artist, Garry Brown to draw us an amazing cover that we couldn’t be happier with. It’s a great creepy image that perfectly fits our favorite new title and his art is perfect for the story. Garry did incredible work on Black Road, The Revisionist, The Massive, and he’s drawing his best work yet on Babyteeth. It’s an exciting event to have an exclusive cover and it’s on a book that we couldn’t be more psyched for. Between our 500 copies of our limited cover and the over 500 copies of the two regular covers that I’ve ordered, this is our highest ordered book in all the time I’ve been selling comics! That should give you some idea on how much faith I have in this being the next big title. I talked to several other retailers about this one and all of them were incredibly excited about this book as well. I told my customers to buy Saga, Walking Dead, God Country and Y: The Last Man and I’m telling you now that you should check out Babyteeth # 1 with our HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION. While my store pushes reading over collecting, I’m glad that most of the recent expensive books that are catching on in the secondary market are those worth reading, and I think Babyteeth will be the can’t-miss book-that everyone will be talking about. Make sure you ask your retailer to save you a copy, because whether you’re a fan, a collector or both, you won’t want to miss this one.

Here’s Famous Faces & Funnies’ first ever EXCLUSIVE COVER limited to 500 copies! This is a book that we really believe in and it’s going to be a giant hit, so we finally created our very first VARIANT cover that you can only buy at FFF, can pick up from us at an upcoming convention, or order from us online, through our eBay store or mail order.

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BABYTEETH #1 by Donny Cates & Garry Brown is an incredible new ongoing title that starts with one of the best first issues we’ve ever read. The premise is strong, but the execution is perfect. We really believe this book is going to be the most sought after title of 2017, so we’ve had series artist Garry Brown do an incredible job of creating this striking image that perfectly sums up the series. We couldn’t be more proud of having Babyteeth # 1 as a part of Famous Faces history, as our first ever variant cover in over 23 years in business!

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Donny Cates is the next giant writer to watch after seeing such incredible hits as God Country and Redneck become our newest bestselling titles! Garry Brown is the perfect artist to bring this story to life for Aftershock Comics. You can reserve your copy of our variant cover for the introductory price of only $9.99 (limited to 400 copies) which will be on sale on June 7, 2017, the same day the regular covers are available. Or you can reserve a copy of our deluxe variant covers signed by both creators, DONNY CATES & GARRY BROWN for only $19.99 (limited to 100 copies), which will be available on June 21, 2017! We’ll have hundreds of copies available of the regular covers as well for $3.99, with two great images by Garry Brown and Elizabeth Torque.

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We know this unique book will be the next GIANT hit and we can’t wait for you guys to be able to check it out on June 7. Feel free to send us awww.Facebook.com/FFFcomics to our page, or email us to reserve your copy. You can order our variant cover from our website or on eBay, also signed by Donny. For a book with such a dark premise, the first few issues are filled with so much heart and a story that’s got multiple layers. We can’t wait to see where it goes from here, but the first few issues are outstanding and this book has our HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION! Don’t miss it.

 

(Last Updated May 16, 2017 12:28 pm )

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About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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