Official Press Release
Top Cow President Matt Hawkins issued the following statement about Top Cow's variant cover policy:
"We've been evaluating our variant cover programs and securing feedback from fans and retailers for quite some time now and we are going to virtually eliminate the exclusive cover deals done with outside companies. Over 90% of the variants, foil editions, etc. that we put out in the last eighteen months were exclusives for Fandom, Dynamic Forces, Comic Cavalcade, Monster Mart, Eruptor or various other entities. We will continue to work with each of these fine companies in more creative capacities to create new original product including a new catalog program with Dynamic Forces. Our mass market retail programs with Tower Records and other video game retail outlets will continue, however, but these deals are structured to attract a new readership to our medium and not simply sell books to the existing fan base. Top Cow has always produced product clearly intended to be collectible in nature and will continue to do so as in our Top Cow Select program, but we are going to endeavor to be more creative than simply slabbing a foil stamp on the cover and dubbing it a limited edition. Also, the majority of new variant cover programs that we do will be offered to the retailer through the direct market with individual item codes. An example of this would be our aggressive program designed for the launch of Inferno this November which has seven individual covers all illustrated by high end artists. These covers will not be printed in equal increments, they will be printed based on the sales received. The other advantage to transacting directly with the retailer through Diamond is that the wholesale cost will be much lower and this cost savings will assumedly be passed on to the consumer who does want to buy it. In the past books we sold at wholesale to vendors for $1.06 were resold for $30+ and we will no longer tolerate price gouging of this kind. Realistically, it will be quarter one of 2002 before this reduction will truly have an impact as we wind down current deals in place."
Source: Top Cow