How Did Matt Kindt & Matt Smith’s Folklords #1 Sell Out Again? What Is Wrong With Boom Studios?

 

It feels like just yesterday that we were telling you how Matt Kindt had the biggest creator-owned launch of his career thanks to Folklords #1 with artist Matt Smith. And then we were the first to tell you that the series was another hit series from Boom Studios, selling out two weeks before its November 13th on-sale date, like the company’s other hit 2019 series – Something is Killing The Children, Once & Future and Faithless– and like Marvel’s big Absolute Carnage and Hickman X-Books.

This is likely of much comfort to Boom founder & CEO Ross Richie, who’s been competing with Image Comics’ top dog Eric Stephenson in a Marvel vs DC-ish feud for the creator-owned comics publisher crown by launching books into the newly-christened 50K Club, though I suspect Eric has over 83,000 reasons why he feels secure as the industry leader.

However, I understand there’s some big unreported news on the Boom Studios front:

No, not a new Boom series from Sex CriminalsChip Zdarsky, though I should look into that…

It looks like Folkords #1 has sold out of its second printing quite quickly – in part due to the same speculator interest that has driven much of the multiple printing interest in the aforementioned hit series – and one can expect BOOM! Studios to announce a third printing quite soon.

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We’ve talked about this book on our channel. Can totally understand why it sold out at diamond. Posted @withrepost • @ross_richie Matt Kindt and Matt Smith’s FOLKLORDS #1 Sells Out Before It Hits Shelves BOOM! Studios Fast Tracks Second Printing of Hotly Anticipated Series’ Premiere Issue in November 2019 ​ LOS ANGELES, CA (November 1, 2019) – BOOM! Studios announced today that FOLKLORDS #1, the premiere issue of a new original series from Eisner Award-nominated writer Matt Kindt (Grass Kings, Black Badge) and acclaimed artist Matt Smith (Hellboy & the BPRD: Long Night at Goloski, Lake of Fire), has sold out at the distributor level before its on-sale date of November 13, 2019. In order to meet the overwhelming demand from retailers and fans, BOOM! Studios has fast-tracked FOLKLORDS #1 SECOND PRINTING VARIANT to arrive in comic shops on November 27, 2019. This second printing will feature an all-new cover by artist Jorge Corona (Middlewest). Quantities will be limited and allocations may occur. In a world of magic and monsters, Ansel is an outsider haunted by visions of well-pressed suits and modern technology. When it comes time for him to declare his Quest on his 18th birthday, Ansel decides to seek out a legend that is only spoken in hushed whispers—the Folklords—hoping they can explain his visions…but looking for the Folklords is expressly forbidden, and going on a rogue quest is punishable by death. What will Ansel risk to find answers to the questions and visions that have set him apart his entire life? “The overwhelming early support FOLKLORDS has received from retailers has been an absolute joy to experience,” said Eric Harburn, Senior Editor. “Matts Kindt & Smith, along with Chris and Jim, have built a world and story that we believe will truly resonate with readers, and with this expedited second printing, featuring a beautiful new cover by Jorge Corona, everyone will get a chance to join in on Ansel’s epic adventure from the very beginning.” FOLKLORDS is the newest release from BOOM! Studios’ eponymous imprint, home to critically acclaimed original series, including Once & Future by Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora; Faithless by Brian Azzarello and Mar

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After all, they’ve never found a hit series they won’t keep printing, even if they promise it’s the final printing. But this does make me – and presumably many of you – wonder how this keeps happening to Boom.

On one hand, we know that Boom itself has acknowledged their challenges with gauging the demand, forcing Boom Studios President Filip Sablik to issue an apology, though I’m guessing he’d prefer “explanation.” I’ve heard that Boom has been more aggressively overprinting issues of their big launches and then subsequent few issues, but it looks like that number is still off despite the percentage increasing in their equation. Luckily it looks like they haven’t been allocating as many new printings since their apology, so progress is being made.

Looking at the other side of it, Boom is also reacting to orders from retailers – so it may well be that comic shops are underestimating the demand from their customers for these new series. Ordering comics is a difficult job and there’s no exact science, but it’s clear that Boom and Image are the industry leaders in creator-owned comics – and with the former offering returnability on the first three issues of each of their new series launches, they’ve made it a bit easier for comic shops to order higher with limited risk. Though retailers are of course quick to point out that they still need available cash to stock up returnable titles.

The culpability likely lies in both categories – Boom could stand to get even more aggressive on their first printings, no matter how much they may love the headlines generated by multiple printings. But comic shops are facing a unique challenge and opportunity in Boom, who have seen Folklords, Once & Future, Something is Killing The Children and Faithless all rival the biggest Image comics series launches in 2019 – outside of Image’s Undiscovered Country – and continually sell out before they hit stores, so it’s clear that current FOC order levels aren’t cutting it.

It’ll be very telling to see how both Boom and comic shops react to Jeremy Haun and Danny Luckert’s The Red Mother #1, which Boom has clearly positioned as their next major launch. Will this series from two proven Image hitmakers – think The Realm and Regression – follow suit with Boom’s other books, 50K Club or otherwise, by selling out weeks before on-sale?

Matts Kindt and Smith Launch Folklords at BOOM! in November

About Rich Johnston

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