Non-affiliated, Non-lengthy, Non-articles about Transformers

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Top 3 Toughest IDW MTMTE Covers

As Season 2 of IDW's Transformers More Than Meets The Eye (MTMTE) comic is due to begin in April, and the Dark Cybertron crossover issues of MTMTE are finished, it's as a good a time as any to reflect on all of what writer James Roberts calls "Season 1" of his hugely popular run so far. I myself only came aboard in August 2013, so my MTMTE comic collecting is but 7 months old, and I quickly committed myself to collecting every cover of every issue, be they incentives, exclusives or limited releases. I likened it to my variant toy hunting in a recent article for TFSource, saying "the disease had jumped species". Here, then, are the 3 covers that I found most difficult to find and purchase from issues #1 through #22.

#3 IDW MTMTE Issue 1 - Retailer Incentive B
~ By Josh Burcham ~

Issue 1 sketch cover retailer incentive by Josh Burcham

First on my list and in third place is the very first issue of MTMTE. There were a really large number of cover variants for issue 1, Alex Milne drew 4 separate covers featuring prominent characters that could be placed together forming one big illustration, there was an incentive cover that combined all 4 of those covers into a gatefold cover, there was a JLA-inspired cover by Nick Roche and a blank white cover that MTMTE colourist Josh Burcham sketched various portraits on, primarily sold through IDW Limited. Later there was also a 2nd printing cover variant and the Hundred Penny Press cover using Roche's artwork again.

Not being able to choose my RI-B cover from IDW Limited, I asked for anything with Rodimus or Drift, but since those had gone, I left it up to the staff to look after me. What I received is one of the best Burcham sketches I've seen from all the Retailer Incentive B covers available for sale or auction, the Duly Appointed Enforcer of the Tyrest Accord, Ultra Magnus. You can find these covers on eBay without much difficulty, what caused me to put it on my list at #3 is the challenge of finding/getting a sketch that you want and at a price that makes sense now that IDW Limited are long sold out. 

#2 IDW MTMTE Issue 12 - Retailer Incentive
~ By Casey W. Coller ~

Issue 12 retailer incentive by Casey W. Coller

This has to be my absolute favourite of all the MTMTE cover variants available, Casey Coller's retailer incentive for issue 12. Based on the globally-recognisable 1967 concept album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, Coller has featured what must be almost all of  the front-line and supporting cast of MTMTE in his tremendously colourful and attention-grabbing cover, an instant classic. It goes very well with Coller's Ziggy Stardust cover for Robots in Disguise #12. Demand for this variant is high and they don't last long on auction or for sale in online stores. They're not cheap either, however I missed a couple of 2-day auctions on eBay UK for less than £5. 

Masterpieces both

Interestingly, nearly all of these that I have seen for sale have come from the UK, and British fans understandably hold great affection for this cover. I was not able to find this cover at auction or in any of the comic shops I frequent, no US retailer had it (well, one had it for $40 + $25 shipping so forget that). I resorted to checking completed eBay auctions and approaching winners to see if they would part with theirs. I'm glad I did that too because I met one of the nicest comic collectors I've ever had the pleasure to come across, and he did indeed have a spare. A very late night of complete Google blitzing eventually led me to another non-online comic shop in the UK which had a copy too, slightly better condition than the one I got from the eBay user, so all's well! I keep one copy with my comics and one in my toy display cabinet. Eventually one will be framed and wall-mounted.

Once I had bought Issue 12 RI, I figured picking off the rest would be child's play as I had secured a lot of incentives before regular covers, but it seemed that one had gone under the radar, one that would present an even mightier challenge to track down, and a much longer wait.

#1 IDW MTMTE Issue 19 Retailer Incentive
~ By Nick Roche ~

Issue 19 retailer incentive by Nick Roche

The retailer incentive cover for issue 19 of MTMTE was supposed to be a standard 1 in 10 variant, shipped to retailers for every 10 copies they ordered, but later solicitations corrected the information to reflect its change to a 1:25 ratio variant, and not a lot of comic stores in the UK were ordering 25 copies of MTMTE it seems. Neither were the American stores if availability now is anything to go by. From completed searches only one single specimen was auctioned and sold on eBay.

It was getting to the point where it seemed easier for me to pursue the actual original artwork for the cover than one of the production copies, until the same gentleman who sorted me out on Issue 12 RI once more came through. I had an email saying I needed to act fast as there was an issue 19 RI on eBay but when I checked it the item had sold. Mercifully he'd bought it for me as I hadn't answered my email for a few hours and he didn't want to risk me missing out. So, finally, after 7 months my collection of every More Than Meets The Eye cover is complete and I can say, without any shadow of a doubt, that issue 19 retailer incentive is the toughest cover to find.

Thank you Knut and Walter, meeting you both has been an absolute highlight of this endeavour. The reason for my quest and my love for MTMTE can be found HERE

All the best

1 comment:

  1. I was fortunate enough to acquire a #12 for $8 in a back issue box at a store I frequent. The MTMTE #19 and #1 both took a little more effort and more money, but I did manage to purchase them. #22 RI from the 2009 series and the Orion Pax RI are my main goals right now in regards to the IDW TF books.