Retailers Selling Folklords #1 One-Per-Store at $200 A Week Before Publication

Just yesterday we were telling you that Matt Kindt & Matt Smith’s Folklords #1, the newest creator-owned series from Boom Studios, had sold out a second time before hitting comic shops and wondered if Boom President Filip Sablik was on the path to another apology, even if the series joins the illustrious (or infamous?) 50K Club.

After all, our headline included us asking “What is wrong with Boom?” because after Faithless, Once & Future, Something is Killing The Children and now Folklords all sold out before on-sale – on their way to being some of the biggest creator-owned launches of the year – we had to wonder if there was more than meets the eye.

Hold on – I’m getting word from Image’s Eric Stephenson that the biggest creator-owned launch of the year remains this week’s Undiscovered Country, which has sold over 83,000 units and counting. There’s still no word if Boom CEO Ross Richie will invite Scott Snyder, Charles Soule and the Undiscovered Country crew to join The 50K Club…

You might even remember a little while back I ran a “Stupid Speculator Corner” piece about the bizarre speculator interest in Folklords #1 pre-FOC – a hunger I found especially odd since the orders hadn’t yet closed and while retailers were hyping the book as the next hit series, customers had plenty of time to reserve copies.

But yesterday, the speculators noticed that someone else had caught the Folklords Fever:

That’s right, Midtown Comics – the largest comic shop account in North America – had discovered the secret 1-per-store variant cover to Folklords #1, presumably shipped free as a “Thank You” which isn’t unusual for Boom or Image, as the two companies continue their war of gifting to prove who’s the Marvel and who’s the DC in the world of creator-owned comics.

Midtown Comics has the Folklords #1 1-per-store listed at $200, though right now you can get it at the “Sale” price of $170.

That’s even higher than listings on eBay, which start at $99.99 with multiple sellers and then “rise” to $100.

But that’s not the only cover generating heat, with the 1-in-25 variant cover starting at $44.95, then “rising” to $44.99 and going as high as $54.99, which is double the ratio – a sign there’s some real heat on the book.

Even the open to order Duncan Fegredo variant is $9.99, which is the same as it’ll cost you to get the Mora FOC cover right now.

The most surprising edition may be the regular Smith cover to Folklords #1, which is $9.99 on eBay and is strictly limited to “1 Per Customer” by Midtown Comics. That’s right, the biggest comics shop chain in America presumably ordered highest on this book – and they’re sensing the book is so hot that they have to pre-emptively limit how many copies customers can order. That’s highly unusual for any non-Marvel comic – think Hickman’s House of X and Powers of X most recently – and even more rare for a creator-owned comics launch.

However, all these numbers disguise one big truth.

Go click on those eBay links and before you curse the speculators/collectors who’ve been reportedly overrunning the industry, look at who’s preemptively selling these issues at such a high price and setting their value – it’s your local comic book shop.

It may well be that comic shops have realized what these hot Boom launches will sell for on the secondary market – they haven’t forgotten what happened with Once & Future and Something is Killing The Children  – so the shops want to make sure they’re maximizing their profit, which is of course quite reasonable.

The end result is, however, further fuel for even casual speculators and collectors who may be dipping their toes in the hobby – they’re seeing confirmation that new creator-owned #1s, especially from Boom and Image, are worth speculating on because their comic shops are getting in on the action too.

This isn’t a case where Boom has allocated covers or at all shorted anyone who locked their orders before FOC. They’ve offered retailers full returnability on Folklords #1 (and subsequent issues) as they do with all their big creator owned launches, so there shouldn’t be any kind of scarcity around this book other than the one per store (which is in the name).

Yet here we are – and even the second printing is already selling for $7.

Folklords #1 is on-sale in comic shops on November 13 but it looks like your local comic shop may already have it marked up on eBay.

About Rich Johnston

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