For the last three years I have been lucky enough to make the annual nerd pilgrimage to San Diego Comic-Con, celebrating nerd culture with thousands of other nerds from around the world. However, I get a particularly different experience from most. I am not an attendee — hell, I am not even press. For the last three years I’ve spent my SDCC behind the tables of booth 1037, selling comics to all the attendees looking to keep the “comic” in San Diego Comic-Con.
I love being behind the booth. Honestly, I prefer being a vendor to being an attendee, even if it means missing out on panels, exclusives, and just about all of the interactive experiences. At the booth I meet hundreds of comic fans, each one simply happy to be at the holy grail of cons and excited to share their passion for comics. That shared passion and the chance to bask in that passion with like minded individuals is what makes San Diego Comic-Con so special to me.
Obviously, this passion turns into sales for the booth — that is the reason we, Coastline Comics, are there. Easily identifiable trends emerge from each con, with certain books being undeniable best-sellers that ended up being tricky finds on the show floor. Here’s a run down of the five hottest comics froom booth 1037.
5. Amazing Spider-Man #1 (SDCC exclusive cover)
I understand why some readers were frustrated by yet another line-wide relaunch from Marvel comics — I mean, I was upset too. That being said, Marvel has actually done a stellar job with their new #1s and SDCC proved that with Amazing Spider-Man #1’s popularity. The Previewsworld exclusive cover contrasted a brightly colored Spider-Man with a black and white sketch style of the regular cover making for an eye-catching cover that really popped. It also really helps when the story accompanying the sweet cover is fantastic too. Obviously word had gotten around that the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man’s newest series was a home run — we were completely sold out of every issue by the time the show floor closed on Saturday night.
4. Graphitti Designs Foil Variants
Anyone who’s been to a major con knows Graphitti Designs. They have rad t-shirts and limited edition hardcover sketchbooks from classic DC Comics series. Their hottest items, every year, are their exclusive foil variants. This year, shiny new covers for Batman #50, Justice League #1, and Catwoman #1 among others were particularly sought after comics on the show floor. Both Batman and Justice League covers were drawn by the legendary Jim Lee while Catwoman boasted art from writer/artist Joelle Jones. These covers were so hot we were out of copies by Friday afternoon.
3. Batman #50 (any cover)
Some comics fans may have disliked Batman #50, so much so they felt the need to threaten writer Tom King’s life, but those a------s are definitely in the minority among comic readers. We knew Batman #50 was going to be a hot book regardless of any controversy and we were right — we ran out of copies Friday morning. Even after we’d run out, we had attendee after attendee rushing up to the booth, asking for any copies of Batman #50 — some looking for a specific variant, others just looking for a reader’s copy. Regardless, one thing is clear: Batman #50 is a hit.
2. Venom #3 (SDCC exclusive cover)
I was actually really surprised at how popular this Venom cover was. In hindsight, though, it’s a no brainer why it sold out so quickly. Venom has a movie out this October, Marvel superstar writer Donny Cates is helming the series, fan-favorite Miles Morales makes an appearance, AND a brand-new villain makes his first appearance in Marvel canon. So of course it was gone by Thursday night! This book had everything going for it even without a slick black and white cover limited to 4,000 copies.
1. Anything Cosmic Ghost Rider (any cover)
Speaking of Donny Cates, comic readers are really taking to his newest creation: Cosmic Ghost Rider. Any book that included the galactic Spirit of Vengeance flew off the shelves — Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 as well as Thanos #13-16. While those issues were certainly the hotter books of the convention, the hottest book of the week was definitely the Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 J. Scott Campbell glow in the dark cover, exclusively available at the Marvel booth. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get our hands on any copies of this incredible cover, but we still had scores of attendees frantically approaching the booth to get their hands on the elusive variant, probably becuase it GLOWS IN THE GOD DAMN DARK. How neat is that?!
It was another incredible year at San Diego Comic-Con and I am already anxiously counting down the days till SDCC 2019. Were you able to attend the Con? What exclusives and elusive issued were you lucky enough to take home? Let us know in the comments!