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Four issues in, one would think that Image Comics has plenty of data on the sales of Robert Kirkman's Thief of Thieves to accurately estimate the number of copies they should print in order to meet demand. Unfortunately, the company has been forced to resort to an embarrassing third printing for the first three issues of the comic, and second printing for the fourth. According to Image:
With a story overseen by Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD, INVINCIBLE), scripts by Nick Spencer (MORNING GLORIES) and art by Shawn Martinbrough, THIEF OF THIEVES is the story of a master thief, "Redmond," who tries to leave a life of crime to reclaim his "real" life and family as Conrad Paulson. Or is it his real life? An estranged wife, a son set on following in his footsteps — Paulson is finding that identities can't be changed as easily as suits.
The third printing of THIEF OF THIEVES #1 will be in stores this week, on May 16, and the third printings of #2 and #3 and the second printing of #4 will be in stores the following week, on May 23. The most current printings will land on shelves on June 13 and can be pre-ordered from comic book stores now. THIEF OF THIEVES is an ongoing series, and issue #5 will be stores on June 6.
Though the series has been optioned by AMC for development as a television series, the company continues to drop the ball on printing. However, Image is not alone in this situation. Each week, multiple comics from every major comics publisher are announced as going back for second, third, or fourth printings, sometimes before the first printing even hits comic shops. Clearly there is an underprinting epidemic in the comic book industry, and the publishers need to reexamine their publishing strategies.
With that in mind, this reporter would be happy to offer his services. I would base my advice on carefully calculated algorithms such as "Does the comic feature Wolverine? Print 80,000 copies," and "Is the comic written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning? Cancel." Surely this scientific approach would be more effective than the current one, and would avoid embarassing admissions week after week.
Source: Image Comics
Written or Contributed by: Jude Terror