We got the book done in a few weeks.
I remember getting the proofs from the printer and felt something was missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but something told me the manual required a little touch to make it special. This book needed to equal The Walking Dead franchise’s commitment to quality storytelling!
The first thing that sprang to mind was about scarcity. No doubt, a low production run would spawn a stronger demand. I knew this from my own collecting experience. So I proposed we only do a run of 500 books. Everyone seemed open to this. These would be exclusive to Comic-Con 2012. Moreover, I asked if Kirkman would be willing to sign 20 of them. We would have him sign the manuals and at the bottom put a number 1/20 and so forth. This would lock in the exclusive of the exclusive lot.
Finally, I thought about adding a semi gloss varnish with hidden messages in it. Certain pages with have a glimmer that would help the images pop. Some of the message were merely zombies in the gloss’s geometry. Other instances were messages such as “NO ONE IS SAFE” opposite the “Features” page. There are other secrets, but I’ll let you find them for yourself.
So what was the result? The books ended up on eBay fetching up to 1.5K. Honestly, it was humbling to see such a thing. I knew we had hit the bullseye when collectors were calling the manual super rare.
Some collectors went even so far as to get the books graded by CGC (a highly regarded comic book grading company). If you know anything about the cult of collecting, they are a particular lot. To have their blessing was astounding. This, if anything, secured Hyundai in the pantheon of pop culture.