Variant Covers You May Be Overlooking

by Douglas Ohlandt

022822C-1024x536 Variant Covers You May Be OverlookingVariant covers have existed in comics now for decades.  While most collectors are focused on Marvel variants and, to a lesser extent, DC variants and first issues of series from other publishers, there are some very desirable covers that aren’t variants of first issues or the latest Marvel or DC offering, some of which are reaching remarkably high values.  Let’s take a look.

Stray Dogs

Stray-Dogs-5-It-Var-194x300 Variant Covers You May Be OverlookingWith the huge number of movie homage covers that Image produced for the Stray Dogs series, there’s something for everyone.  Most look at the first issue, but this was done for every issue in the five-issue series.  Both first printing and later printing variants sport covers with riffs on horror film posters, from classics like Carrie to modern-day masterpieces like Midsommar.

This is a series that is less than a year old at this point.  With long waits at CGC, it’s likely that quite a few copies are in the queue to be graded, so prices could be very much in flux as we wait for more graded copies to enter the market.  The ones that appear to be fetching the highest dollars are The Shining variant of Stray Dogs #5 and the It variant of Stray Dogs #5.

Each has seen a bit of a correction since summer when there were so few graded copies available.   FMV sits at $180 and $170 respectively, and both have 30-day average sales of $100.  Due to the scarcity, there have been very few sales of either variant.  Keep an eye out for the Carrie variant of Stray Dogs #2.  There has been one reported sale of a 9.8 for a slashed $100 on eBay.  However, there are no copies listed in the CGC census.

The second print The Crow variant of Stray Dogs #5 is also worth watching.  While a 9.8 graded copy sold for only $35 in December, a 9.6 graded copy sold for $95 in January.  These are some really cool covers, and I would be interested to know if there’s anyone out there trying to collect all of the horror movie homage cover variants of Stray Dogs.

Department of Truth

Dept-Truth-3-var-195x300 Variant Covers You May Be OverlookingBesides the dollar value of variant covers, there is also the artistic value to consider as a collector.  Look no further than a couple of the variants of Department of Truth.  The 1:25 variant of Department of Truth #2 sports a deliciously horrific cover by David Romero.  While prices of 9.8 graded copies have dropped from their peak, they appear to have stabilized in the $250 to $275 range.

Maybe not a cover you want to hang on your wall if you have kids, though.  For just pure macabre fun, I really enjoy the cover of the 1:25 variant of Department of Truth #3.  The twisted, demonic face Trevor Henderson painted for this cover is one for the ages.

While the price on 9.8 graded copies of this book had been at a stable $100 throughout most of 2021, a November sale saw a spike to $190.  And if you’re a horror fan, these are some truly incredible pieces of art.

Something is Killing the Children

SIKTC-2-var-194x300 Variant Covers You May Be OverlookingSomething is Killing the Children has captured the imagination of comics readers, so we won’t get into the intrinsic value of the series.  However, there are a few variant covers worth pursuing for both artistic and investment reasons.  The Ian Bertram virgin variant cover of Something is Killing the Children #2 is a really cool visual take on Erica Slaughter.

The framing of the piece and the coloring really make it pop.  FMV for a 9.8 currently stands at $90.  The virgin variant of Something is Killing the Children #3, with its action-oriented cover by Marcos Martin is a great piece of art by one of the best modern comic artists.  This is a book that has seen a correction since the summer, dropping from a high of $307 for a 9.8 down to $117.  However, recent sales of 9.6 graded copies have been in the $120 range.

If you’re a fan of Martin’s work, now may be the time to consider investing.  Looking for a variant cover with some higher value?  Then take a look at the sketch variant cover of Something is Killing the Children #6 by Jenny Frisson.  Not counting exclusives produced for stores and conventions, BOOM! claims this is the rarest variant for the series.  And the values are truly eye-popping!  At its peak, when there were fewer copies graded, a 9.8 copy sold in June of 2021 for $2,750.  While there has been a pretty big correction since, you’re still looking at a current FMV of $1,350.

Obviously, there isn’t enough space to list every cool or valuable variant out there.  Have a favorite that wasn’t in this piece?  Let us know below.

000080221A_Posters_2-Footer Variant Covers You May Be Overlooking

*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not reflect investment advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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Dan Robinson March 1, 2022 - 12:19 pm

In my experience (I’ve been collecting, and now selling, for over 30 years), “VARIANT” books are super hot WHEN THEY COME OUT… and then they’re not. 10 years later, collectors want the ORIGINAL (non-variant) comic to fill a collection

Walter March 3, 2022 - 6:08 pm

I tend to collect variants for the art. One of my favorites is the Peach Momoko variant of Black Panther 25. I absolutely love that art style and would gladly have that piece hanging on a wall.

Chase Girard March 25, 2022 - 12:15 am

I really like (and own) the 1:300 Zoe Lacchei Color Splash variant of SIKTC #12 (the b&w version not the green/red one).


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