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Virgin Art

June 14, 2012

If you’re a Koontz book collector like me you know that there are different editions and covers and finding all of them (or at least all the first editions in English) can be a daunting task. But, enter the world of comics and you’ve got some learning to do as I have.
I’ve collected comics in the past (i.e. the 1980s) and still read a handful of titles these days but I was not experienced in the fine art of variant covers and “dealer incentives”. For this post let’s just use Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein Volume 2 Issue #1 as an example.
Turns out this particular issue was issued with three different covers. The first was the “standard” cover. The second was the “virgin art” cover, meaning that the art was there but there was no wording including the title, issue number, etc. The third featured the same art at the standard but in “negative”. (Shown left-to-right below.)
The dealer incentive part of this story is what makes the non-standard covers more collectible. In this case the virgin art version was only sold to comic shops that ordered 15 copies of the standard cover version. This is known as a “1-for-15 incentive”. The negative cover in this case only had 250 printed and was released as a “Dynamic Forces exclusive”.
Well, I think I’ve explained that well enough. (If someone knows more about comics than I please feel free to fill in details in the comments.) Oh, and this is a simple example. Maybe in a future post I’ll talk about the six different versions of Dean Koontz’s Nevermore Issue #1 from Dynamite. (Which ignores the version from Dabel Brothers, a completely different publisher…)