Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Market Spotlight: Bonus Round

Watchmen: International Edition

Here's a little sleeper I forgot to mention on the last show. Alan Moore's Watchmen has been an industry legend since it was introduced in 1986. It stands alone as the most iconic tale in the history of the medium, period.

As a market entity, Watchmen is a bit of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it maintains unprecedented levels of sustained popularity, which is good for demand. On the other hand, that demand has resulted in mass quantities of available product.

The trick, then, is to find Watchmen material that somehow separates itself. This is why CGC 9.8s do very well. It aint hard to find a copy of Watchmen # 1, but it's very difficult to find a perfect copy.

This is also why you need to be jumping on any of the RPG material that Mayfair produced in 1987. These items include:
  • Watchmen: Taking Out the Trash module
  • Watchemn: Who Watches the Watchmen? module
  • Watchmen Sourcebook
  • Watchmen miniatures

If you can find any of this stuff lying around at cover price, buy at will. These are some of the scarcest Watchmen items available. Alan Moore even contributed to these role-playing supplements!

But I'm getting off track. After the movie trailer lit this year's San Diego ComicCon ablaze, DC recognized a resurgence of interest and brought several "new" items to market.

In the last month or two, we've seen DC re-release the Absolute Watchmen boxed set, come out with a new hardcover version, and also introduced a Watchmen "International Edition."

So what in the world is an international edition? Is it Watchmen in spanish or japanese? Not exactly. Near as I can tell, it's simply the regular trade paperback with a few extra "behind the scenes" items tacked on to the beginning of the book. And they slapped a new cover on it.

Should we be excited about this? Actually, yes. If you've never read the book and are looking to buy, I wouldn't go anywhere else. It retails for $19.99 just like the standard edition, but it has extra previously unreleased material.

I don't have good data on exactly how many of these special editions have been produced, but just anecdotally scanning the market tells me it's at least ten to one as compared to the regular trade.

Remember what I was saying about separation? As the secondary market settles, and as information gets disseminated, people are going to prefer the International edition because it has special ingredients and an easily identifiable cover announcing itself as the "scarce variant" version of the book that everybody wants. But right now you can get them for cover or less.

This is a no-brainer. Get yourself a Watchmen International. You won't be sorry.


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