The Image comic "Twenty-Seven" #1 became a collector's item (and target of comic speculators) even before it hit stands today. Bleeding Cool reported last Saturday that pre-orders of the book were going for as much as $35 on eBay, and today copies of the first issue were still selling for as much as $25. The issue was seen in abundance at New York's Midtown Comics West this afternoon, but a sign limited customers to only one copy each.
Is this all just hype, a speculator's frenzy? Or is "Twenty-Seven" (also known as "27") The Next Big Thing?
Whatever the case, there is no question that the book's writer, Charles Soule, has come up with a fascinating premise -- that of a rock and roll musician who has made the ultimate deal to continue his art -- which has captured the imagination of the public. We chatted with Soule today to get his reaction on all the buzz surrounding "Twenty-Seven."
MTV Geek: With "Twenty-Seven" #1 selling out and being already offered on eBay for a premium, what is your reaction to the book's enormous success? Did you expect this sort of buzz?
Charles Soule: With any project, I just try to create the best book I can. I never expected this level of attention or reaction - but I tried to write a story that would hold up to this level of attention, which is what I think any creator has to do when they're making something. So, the fact that a lot of people are talking about 27 is phenomenal. The whole creative team on the book (that's me, Renzo Podesta on interiors, Scott Forbes on covers and Shawn DePasquale on letters) did top-level work, and it's wonderful that it seems to be finding its audience.
It's fantastic that there's so much buzz on the book, but I also want to make sure people who want to read the story are able to. It's out of my hands, though, and people will hopefully be able to get the book eventually through subsequent printings. In fact, to address just that issue Image did a second printing of #1 that will hit shelves with #2, with a gorgeous variant cover by Scott.
Geek: Does all of this hype sort of put the pressure on you and Renzo regarding #2? Or are you two just "rolling with it?"
Soule: Well, 27 #2 has been done for months, and it's on schedule to be in shops in a month. There's nothing we can do to change the issue now - but I wouldn't even if I could. I will say that the series is designed to work as a whole - each issue delivers something different - and I think readers are going to find it to be really satisfying. And of course, there's that puzzle I've built into the book - anyone who wants all the pieces required to solve it, and have me to fly them to a con, is going to have to read all four issues!
Geek: In your opinion, what is the secret of 27's massive instant appeal?
Soule: If I had to speculate, it's that the book has as its backdrop as set of figures many people are very familiar with: these legends of rock music taken too soon. Rock and roll provides almost as potent a mythology as superheroes - we all know the stories, whether it's the 27 Club or Ozzy biting the head off a bat on stage. Integrating those into a story, and giving it tons of atmosphere, excitement and mystery... well, it's something people can get their heads around without too much trouble.
But maybe it has nothing to do with that at all - whatever it is, I'm thrilled, and I hope people are enjoying the book!