Friday, May 23, 2014

Robert Kirkman Consistent on Invincible


If there's one thing comics does, it's shuffle creative teams and characters on books. Marvel and DC are probably the best known for this, with their decisions guided by the notion that readers will respond and talk. And while it's true that fans do talk, there's something to be said about checking out a book and knowing what to expect. Invincible #111 by Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley will feature the departure of a major character and new challenges for Mark Grayson. The expectation of those events has led the first issue to be sold out and sent to a one-time second printing.

“For anyone who has read comics as long as I have, you know there’s not a lot of real change in the average superhero comic,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. “Characters are killed off as huge publicity stunts, only to return issues later; supposedly major changes are swept under the carpet from one event to the next, and worse, since there’s never any stability in terms of creative teams, directions often change abruptly and leave readers with a myriad of unanswered questions. The vast majority of superhero comics are only concerned with creating the illusion of change, but over the course of its 11-year run, Invincible has given readers change they can believe in, again and again. Characters change and grow; they die—and Invincible #111 is one of the best examples yet of how uncompromising Robert Kirkman can be when it comes to shaking things up. This is superhero action you can’t get anywhere else.”

First launched in 2003, Invincible is the longest-running and most successful modern superhero comic in publication, consistently delivering real thrills that simply can't be matched by other titles. Invincible #111 is the opening shot of a new era and, despite its consistency and creativity, Invincible remains under-ordered within the Direct Market. Invincible #111 provides a perfect opportunity for new readers to discover the series and for current fans to double down on their enthusiasm.

“One of the biggest challenges for us on the publishing level is to figure out not only how to grow sales on long-running titles, but also how to meet demand when something we think is going to do well actually exceeds our expectations,” added Stephenson. “Generally speaking, we rely on the order information we get from our retail partners, and pad our inventory accordingly, but presently, one of our most pressing goals is to figure out how we can do more to help them increase those initial orders with confidence, so that none of us are getting caught by surprise.

“And we get it: Titles as consistently amazing as Invincible are easy to overlook at times, because you get into the habit of just expecting it to be a solid seller, but everyone involved in this series is committed to taking it to the next level. We told you back in January that THE WALKING DEAD’s Robert Kirkman was taking over, and it wasn’t just a joke. Robert was by no means slacking on this book before, but he’s approaching it with the same brutal mindset as THE WALKING DEAD now and he clearly means business.”

Invincible #111 returns to press to meet customer demand and this one-time-only second printing (Diamond Code APR148250) will be available on June 18. Invincible #112 hits shelves the following week, on June 25 and will be available for pre-order with Diamond Code MAR140578. This will be the only printing of this issue. Full press release below.
THE WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL MODERN SUPERHERO BLOWS MINDS, SELLS OUT
THE WALKING DEAD's Robert Kirkman takes over INVINCIBLE to stunning effect
In a genre full of lackluster events and temporary deaths, Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley's INVINCIBLE is a superhero comic where change is genuine, not just a stunt. The one hundred and eleventh issue of the hit series delivered plenty of heart-stopping action and plot twists, including the departure of a major character and challenges unlike any Mark Grayson has faced thus far, challenges that will have a drastic effect on the future of Invincible's career as a superhero. The events of the issue sent readers into a frenzy and sparked an immediate sell-out, but Image Comics has announced INVINCIBLE #111 will be rushed to a one-time second printing to meet customer demand.

First launched in 2003, INVINCIBLE is the longest-running and most successful modern superhero comic in publication, consistently delivering real thrills that simply can't be matched by other titles. INVINCIBLE #111 is the opening shot of a new era, as announced at Image Expo: though he writes both titles, Robert Kirkman has traditionally treated INVINCIBLE and THE WALKING DEAD differently. Now, THE WALKING DEAD's Robert Kirkman is behind the wheel of INVINCIBLE, and the difference has already struck a chord with fans and retailers.

“For anyone who has read comics as long as I have, you know there’s not a lot of real change in the average superhero comic,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. “Characters are killed off as huge publicity stunts, only to return issues later; supposedly major changes are swept under the carpet from one event to the next, and worse, since there’s never any stability in terms of creative teams, directions often change abruptly and leave readers with a myriad of unanswered questions. The vast majority of superhero comics are only concerned with creating the illusion of change, but over the course of its 11-year run, Invincible has given readers change they can believe in, again and again. Characters change and grow; they die—and Invincible #111 is one of the best examples yet of how uncompromising Robert Kirkman can be when it comes to shaking things up. This is superhero action you can’t get anywhere else.”

Despite its consistency and creativity, INVINCIBLE remains under-ordered within the Direct Market. INVINCIBLE #111's bold new direction provides a perfect opportunity for new readers to discover the series and for current fans to double down on their enthusiasm.

INVINCIBLE #111 has completely sold out at the distributor level, but may still be available in comic stores. It is currently available digitally on the Image Comics website (imagecomics.com) and the official Image Comics iOS app, as well as on Comixology on the web (comixology.com), iOS, Android, and Google Play.

“One of the biggest challenges for us on the publishing level is to figure out not only how to grow sales on long-running titles, but also how to meet demand when something we think is going to do well actually exceeds our expectations,” added Stephenson. “Generally speaking, we rely on the order information we get from our retail partners, and pad our inventory accordingly, but presently, one of our most pressing goals is to figure out how we can do more to help them increase those initial orders with confidence, so that none of us are getting caught by surprise.

“And we get it: Titles as consistently amazing as Invincible are easy to overlook at times, because you get into the habit of just expecting it to be a solid seller, but everyone involved in this series is committed to taking it to the next level. We told you back in January that THE WALKING DEAD’s Robert Kirkman was taking over, and it wasn’t just a joke. Robert was by no means slacking on this book before, but he’s approaching it with the same brutal mindset as THE WALKING DEAD now and he clearly means business.”

Image Comics is sending INVINCIBLE #111 back to press to meet customer demand, and this one-time-only second printing (Diamond Code APR148250) will be available on 6/18.

INVINCIBLE #112 hits shelves the following week, on 6/25, and will be available for pre-order with Diamond Code MAR140578. This will be the only printing of this issue.

ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.
ABOUT SKYBOUND
Skybound is the home of Robert Kirkman's creator-owned work including his Eisner Award-winning comic book series, The Walking Dead, long-running Invincible, all-ages Super DinosaurThief of Thieves, and Clone as well asGhostedWitch Doctor and Invincible Universe. Since its inception, Skybound has created television shows, merchandise and a wide spectrum of platforms, games (The Walking Dead: Assault iOS app), and entertainment events (The Walking Dead Escape). Skybound's successes include the comic behind the hit Emmy®-winning television show, AMC's The Walking Dead, the highest-rated basic cable drama of all time in the U.S, also an international success in 122 countries and 37 languages. Skybound/Kirkman frequently top the hardcover and paperback bestseller lists. Your destinations for all news and merchandise from Robert Kirkman, The Walking Deadand all Skybound titles are www.Skybound.com and www.TheWalkingDead.com

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