Category Archives: Retailers

Looking for a Copy of Skullkickers #1 First Print?


The Worlds Collide Comic Shop in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (Zub\’s old local comic shop when he was growing up and obsessed with superhero books) wanted us to let people know that they still have some 1st print copies of Skullkickers #1 (along with issues #2-6) in stock at their store.

If you\’ve been hunting around for a copy this may be the solution you\’ve been looking for. Drop them a line and tell them we sent ya.

Forbidden Planet Blog

The Forbidden Planet blog has a short piece and photos from Zub\’s signing in Middlesbrough last week. Click through and check it out.

Skullkickers #6 Creative Line-Up

I\’m ecstatic that I can finally talk about our special short story issue in Skullkickers #6. It\’s been something we\’ve been pulling together for a couple months now, so now that it\’s out in the open we\’re even more excited.

Issue 6 is a wild jam issue with other creators as a way for us to keep Skullkickers on the stands and in people\’s hearts while Edwin and Misty take the time required to rebuild the art buffer for our second story arc. As nice as it would be to have issues completed in one month, at this point that\’s just not realistic. Everyone on the Skullkickers team is juggling extra jobs to make this work financially and, in turn, issues take longer than four weeks to produce. So, even though we started with issues finished as they were being solicited, we\’ve slowly burned through that lead and need time to get ahead again. We want retailers and readers to know that the book will arrive on time as the story arc rolls out and this is the best way to do that.

Going through the issue 6 creative crew, in alphabetical order:

Brian Clevinger is the writer and co-creator of the hilarious Atomic Robo series, one of my absolute favourite comics being published right now and a real inspiration for the brand of hijinks that populates Skullkickers. Robo is a creator-owned dynamo and if you\’re not reading it you need to stop whatever you\’re doing right now and head to your local comic shop for issues, trades – whatever you can get your hands on.

Jeffrey \’Chamba\’ Cruz is one of those artists who makes it all look so easy, even while you know under the surface that he has masterful skills and works his butt off. His dynamic action artwork and moody colouring has made him a fan favourite on UDON\’s Street Fighter comic series and I\’m excited about having him contribute his skills to the Skullkicker boys.

Ray Fawkes is a rock solid writer and artist who has created titles for Oni Press and Vertigo that strike an emotional core and defy expectations. We first met when I was still in college, lost touch and then reunited through comic conventions and mutual friends. Seeing his skills grow with each project he tackles and knowing that he has a wickedly well developed sense of humour, I wanted him to bring the same kooky/eerie qualities he has in Possessions, his supernatural-comedy graphic novel series, to the world of Skullkickers.

Scott Hepburn is another old college friend and former UDON studio mate who toiled away for years on smaller projects and built up his skills until he was turning heads with the quality of his storytelling and solid figure work. I\’ve wanted to collaborate with him for quite a while and am thrilled that he\’s on board this special issue.

Chris Sims is the gut-wrenchingly funny writer of the Invincible Super Blog. The consistent humour quality of his entries turned it from an occasional amusement in my daily RSS read to a can\’t-wait part of my day. His pointed satire about comics and the industry cuts through crap with ease and I really do feel he\’ll be a big name writer within a handful of years. With that firmly in mind, I wanted to get my hooks in to him early so I could claim some kind of feeble partial credit for his success at a future point.

Joe Vriens is one of those artists who keeps upping his game every time you turn around. From cartoony designs all the way to lushly rendered digital paintings, Joe\’s creativity and natural design sense bursts through in everything he does. After contributing a killer pin-up that we ended up using as the cover for Skullkickers #2 second print, I knew I had to get him involved with this issue.

Adam Warren was the first North American anime-influenced artist I ever saw and his Dirty Pair mini-series (originally published by now-defunct publisher Eclipse and then later by Dark Horse) had a profound effect on my writing and art. His creator owned series Empowered is top notch character study under the wrappings (quite literally) of fetish-y superhero nonsense and it will surprise you with its depth even while it titillates and teases. That I can now count him amongst my friends kind of blows my mind. I\’m honoured to have him on board.

Without trying to hype it too much, I really do think it\’s a killer creative line-up; Some of the funniest writers in comics working with some of the best artists anywhere. I hope comic fans everywhere snag this issue in February to see what kind of alchemy is formed from these guys pouring their efforts in to our special \’Four Tavern Tales\’ and that it helps build extra excitement for the second story arc of Skullkickers series that begins in issue 7.

FREE Skullkickers #1 at Larry's Comics – Today Only!


To celebrate the release of their exclusive store variant edition of Skullkickers #1, Larry\’s Comics in Massachusetts is offering a FREE copy (normally a $19.95 value) to customers who buy any Image trade paperbacks, today only.


Gotta love the old school comic spinner. 🙂

Larry's Comics Variant Skullkickers #1


Image Comics has teamed up with retail store Larry\’s Wonderful World of Comics in Massachusetts to produce an exclusive variant edition of Skullkickers #1 with a brand new cover illo by Edwin Huang and Espen Grundetjern. If you haven\’t been able to track down a copy of issue #1 yet, this limited edition may be your jumping on point.

Larry\’s Comics variant editions

Final Order Cut-Off for Skullkickers #2 is Nigh!


Hey Readers and Retailers,

This is a post to remind people that NOW is the time for retailers to finalize their order numbers on Skullkickers #2, which will be in stores October 20th. If you want to ensure your shop has copies in stock, especially with the second printing of issue #1 arriving a week earlier to bring in new readers who have heard about the series, please order appropriately or let your retailer know you want the series added to your pull list.

Skullkickers #2 AUG100490

We\’ve received an overwhelming amount of praise and excitement from readers and retailers alike and we greatly appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts. The last few weeks have been a real roller coaster ride.

We\’ve also heard from a few people who think Image is trying to manufacture false buzz for the series and that it\’s some kind of grand conspiracy to underprint books and create demand for Skullkickers. This couldn\’t be further from the truth.

First off, everyone on the Skullkickers team is an unknown, as far as the industry at large is concerned. Image has no vested interest in our success or failure and we have no special favors or blackmail held over them (useful though that would be). Image has been supportive and enthusiastic about the book but it\’s one of dozens of titles they release and was, and still is, anything but a sure thing in this market. If they could just deem a particular book \”hot\” and tilt everyone\’s opinions towards it, I\’m sure they would have picked something by much higher profile creators with clearer mainstream appeal in a genre that hasn\’t had spotty representation in the North American market this side of Battle Chasers.

When Skullkickers #1 hit the Final Order Cut-Off date, many retailers decided it wasn\’t a book they would support and they ordered low or not at all. This was after the book was made one of Diamond\’s \’Gem of the Month\’ titles, had the Image Spotlight for September and extensive previews had appeared on major comic news sites including Newsarama and Comic Book Resources along with advance reviews that talked about it being a really great new series. This was also with extra incentive offered from Diamond where retailers would get a free copy if they ordered 10 for their store, effectively discounting the books by another 10%.

The orders came in and they were okay, but not great, and the print run was set based on that FOC number, along with a healthy overprint to account for damaged copies, standard complimentary copies for the creative team and an added buffer to absorb late orders. This is the way it always works. Why would you print a ton of extra copies if they aren\’t going to sell?

Believe me when I tell you that we would\’ve been very happy to get higher orders right out the gate. Image is creator owned content, so overprinting a ridiculous amount on the faint hope that they might sell (an unknown book by unknown creators in an under represented genre) is ludicrous. If they didn\’t move, it would eat up what little profit could come from the book. Even still, Image overprinted more than usual and we all crossed our fingers.

The buzz grew after some very positive high profile reviews and speculation kicked in to gear. We were all (Skullkickers team, Image and Diamond distribution) surprised. Late retailer orders, after the book was already printed, shot past the overprint numbers before issue #1 arrived and, doing our best to keep up, we rushed to get a 2nd print going so it could arrive in stores before #2 to maximize the potential larger readership.

So… here we are again with Final Order Cut-Off on #2. Orders for issue #2 are obviously stronger, but not as robust as we\’d expect based on the number of 1st and 2nd print books that will be out in the market. Even after last week\’s Final Order Cut-Off for the 2nd print of #1, orders are still coming in. There is genuine interest in this book!

Second issues always have some drop-off, understandably, but it\’s entirely possible stores won\’t have enough issue 2\’s come October 20th. I\’d prefer to just have issues ordered and sold, build a readership that enjoys the book and keep it rolling forward as strongly as we can. I don\’t want to play this nail-biting game and hope retailers kick in enough late orders to make an overprint a success or wonder if we\’ll need to do a second printing of #2. My guts don\’t want to play that game again.

Lend us your support and we\’ll deliver a fun book on time that kicks ass.


Silver Snail Comic Shop Signing Today!

More details at the Facebook event page

Midtown Comics Signing Tonight!

How Do You Sell Out of an Unreleased Book?


Thank you everyone who has responded, Facebook \’Like\’ed, Tweeted, all that stuff… it really means a lot seeing such a positive response to the hard work we\’ve put in to this book.

Anyways, it may sound a bit weird announcing that Skullkickers #1 first printing has \’sold out at the distribution level before release\’. What does that mean and how does that happen? Can people still buy copies on September 22nd?

Okay, here\’s how it goes:

Comics are solicited 3 months in advance of their actual release (book stores order way earlier than that. 6-9 months usually). This means comic retailers who have accounts with Diamond Distribution receive a catalogue of upcoming titles and can place an order for the number of copies they\’d like to stock.

Unlike book stores, comic book retailers purchase these comics outright from Diamond, so there are no returns (except in rare cases). This helps stabilize income for smaller comic publishers (they won\’t get hit with returns and restocking fees later on so the money they get is what they\’ve earned) but it also means most retailers are afraid to try new titles if they\’re unsure it will sell because they\’d be stuck with them. There isn\’t a lot of incentive to take risks on new things, especially from untested/unknown talent. They\’re safer off seeing what gets popular and jumping on later rather than trailblazing.

Skullkickers is an unknown quantity and retailers responded with the expected pretty-good-but-not-great orders when we hit the Final Order Cut-Off deadline. That\’s the date when retailers can change their numbers and print runs are set by publishers. Talking to the reps at Image, they felt the book had been under ordered and it was possible we could move quite a few more with reorders after issue #1 came out and good of word of mouth grew for the series. We put together a generous overprint (to cover any copies damaged in shipping and to absorb those hopeful reorders) and then crossed our fingers reorders would be strong.

Right after that cut off date, Skullkickers received some great coverage on several comic sites (notably, Bleeding Cool\’s positive assessment) and more advance reviews popped up with very positive feedback. Retailers responded with reorder requests and, when more positive coverage hit, those late orders grew again. Eric Stephenson at Image asked us to prep a possible 2nd printing cover in case we had to go back to press on the issue right after launch in order to fulfil those late orders.

Well, something awesome seems to be rolling because those extra orders have now roared past our overprint number and Image is going back to print on the book even before it comes out in order to meet retailer demand. It\’s pretty much the best case scenario for a new indy series trying to get extra interest with potential readers and it puts us in a good spot at the upcoming New York Comicon in early October.

So, in short, next week you can buy copies of Skullkickers #1 first printing. Grab them while they last. If your local comic shop ordered copies then they\’ll be there. If they didn\’t order any (and that is the case with many stores), they can now get 2nd printing issue 1\’s on October 13th, one week before issue #2 hits store shelves.

We\’re not out of the woods yet. This is still the comics business and an unknown title. I assure you, there are no dump trucks of money to be had on something like this. Even with possible reprint sales we\’ll be doing our best to just carve out something sustainable. If the buzz can carry over to a stable readership from issue #2 onwards that would be fantastic. I\’m ecstatic and doing my best to stay level-headed while simultaneously feeling amazing about the book\’s potential. I don\’t want empty hype or to build expectations too high on it, I just want people to jump on board a new comic series and have as much fun reading it as we\’ve had putting it together.


Skullkickers Prequel Stories FREE on ComiXology!

With the launch of the brand new Image app on ComiXology, you can now read the original Skullkickers Popgun short stories for FREE!

If you have an iPhone/iPad, search for \’Skullkickers\’ on the Image app or look at the \’New Releases\’ or \’Free\’ sections.

For everyone else, read our special \’zero issue\’ by clicking right here or on the cover below!

Skullkickers #0