For the second time this fall, Vault Comics is offering retailers the first issue of a new series for free.  The publisher will ship free copies of Beyond Real #1, standard cover only, to retailers in bundles of 25.  The new series is written by Zack Kaplan with art by Fabiana Mascolo, Toni Fejzula, Vincenzo Riccardi, Dennis Menheere, Jorge Corona, Luana Vecchio, and Liana Kangas, who will hand off the artwork to one another as the series progresses. Some of the artists will color their own work, and colorist Jordie Bellaire will handle the rest.  The story is a sci-fi adventure about an artist who starts seeing strange things after an accident in which she is injured and her boyfriend is left in a coma.  These odd phenomena lead her to believe that the real world is actually a simulation, and she goes on a journey through layers of reality to find its creator and save her boyfriend’s life.  The first issue was originally solicited for November 8, 2023, but is now slated to go on sale on December 13, with an MSRP of $4.99; retailers are free to sell it at full price, offer it at a discount, or give it away for free.

Beyond Real #1 will also have net-priced, open-to-order variant covers by Jorge Corona,  Luana Vecchio, and Fabiana Mascolo.

Vault made the standard cover of Unnatural Order #1 free to retailers in order to boost awareness of the series (see “Vault Gives Away 137,000 Comics”).  That issue will go on sale on November 1.

In making the announcement, Vault referred to “the free-to-retailer model,” and in an accompanying statement, CEO & Publisher Damian Wassel said, “This model has the power to change how the comic book market works, and to tip the balance of power in favor of the retailers and their loyal customers who hold this business together.  It dramatically expands the readership for Vault’s creators and catalog, and it also gives readers something cool and exciting.  All of a sudden, it’s that much easier to find their favorite new Vault series.”

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