Scorpion Comics was created by comic collectors for comic collectors. Founded in 2016, this young company has utilized their vast knowledge and connections within the comic book industry to produce exclusive variants of the highest quality. Co-founders and co-owners Sean McLoughlin, Matt Bryant and Chris Capobianco pride themselves on creating the best possible experience for their customers. I recently spoke with Sean, Matt and Chris to learn a bit more about their dynamic company.
Birth of Scorpion Comics
Matt has been collecting comics since the mid 60s. He worked as a crew chief for American Airlines for almost 30 years. After moving to Phoenix for work, his wife Carmen began to hunt for a job as well. She stumbled across an ad for a position at McFarlane Productions. Todd McFarlane is best known as the co-founder of Image Comics and the creator of Spawn. This was in 1997, which was still the early days of both Image and Spawn. Carmen got the job and soon introduced Matt to Todd. They hit it off and quickly formed a good friendship. After retiring from American Airlines, Todd offered Matt a position at McFarlane Productions, where he still holds the positions of Product Manager, Personal Curator, and CGC Signing Manager. Carmen is currently the most senior employee at McFarlane Productions and serves as the Manager of PR and Marketing.
As McFarlane grew in popularity, there was a demand for his signature. Matt took charge of setting up the signings in conjunction with Max Anderson at Desert Wind Comics. After Max had a falling out with Desert Wind in 2015, Matt was introduced to Sean and Chris who owned and operated NY Comics. NY Comics has been a CGC dealer since 2006 and took over the solicitations for McFarlane’s autograph. If you are new to the comic book world, the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) is the premier grading service company. Sean and his longtime friend Chris Capobianco have a strong love for the comic book genre in general. After attending numerous conventions over the years, they were able to make amazing connections to some of the most legendary names in comics.
Sean and Chris had around 1,000 books for McFarlane to sign. During that initial signing, Sean, Matt and Chris hit it off. Their common love for the comic book world sparked a desire to produce some comic book variants of their own. When contemplating what they would call their new company, they decided to incorporate the desert element of Phoenix. Matt brought up the idea of the scorpion and their graphic designer, Jordan Butler, produced a phenomenal logo. Sean and Chris both happen to be scorpios which is another fun connection to their company.
Their first exclusive was for DC’s Harley Quinn Rebirth issue #1 by Philip Tan. The incredibly vibrant design was just recently molded into a statue that will be released this September. After partnering up with DC for an All-Star Batman exclusive, Scorpion Comics has released books with both Marvel and Image. Matt’s close professional relationship with McFarlane has led to some phenomenal Spawn exclusive variants. Fans clamored for their Spawn blank sketch covers, which allowed them to have their favorite artists draw Spawn. Not only have they released the only blank cover for Spawn in the United States, but their Spawn 280 exclusive by Francesco Mattina has become incredibly popular.
A major benefit with Scorpion Comics is that all of their books have the option of being sent and graded by CGC. They also have the ability to have the books you order signed by the artists. At previous conventions, they’ve even had the artist present at their booth. One of my personal favorite exclusives of theirs is the 2017 NYCC exclusive for Venomverse #1 by Mattina. Sean connected with Scott’s Collectables over in the UK who are linked to major European artists like Mattina. Matt introduced Mattina’s work to McFarlane who was blown away by his talent. Mattina was going to be at Scorpion Comics’ booth for signings and McFarlane wanted to meet up. They began to discuss the potential collaboration of a Spawn Variant cover which is now one of the hottest books on the market. This massive undertaking involved the combined efforts of Scorpion Comics, Scott’s Collectables, McFarlane and Mattina.
Other major exclusives released by Scorpion Comics include The Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil, Venom and Venomverse. Scorpion Comics’ ability to draw in big name artists makes for some beautiful covers. Other notable artists include Mark Bagley, Barry Kitson and Lucio Parillo. All of these outstanding artists are either legends in the industry or are skyrocketing in popularity. One of the outstanding qualities of this company is their ability to recognize talented artists. While they may not produce a high volume of books, they make sure that the ones they do release are done right. I’ll take quality over quantity any day.
Running a company that produces exclusive variants can be tricky because you are trying to appeal to the creator/artist as well as the client. Some companies may want to limit contact between them and the artist. There are times however when they try to inspire the artist with their particular vision. It is crucial that the artist share their enthusiasm for a cover because their connection to the concept will be apparent in the art. Retailer exclusive variants are special. It’s the sign of a belief in a product and a book. They also provide more work for more artists and give the fans greater options on the titles they love in lower print runs.
What has been your favorite exclusive variant so far?
Sean: Harley Quinn 1 because that was our first book and that was our first leap into this industry. It holds sentimental value.
Matt: Spawn 280 and the Spawn Blank cover. The gold variant of the blank cover was limited to 666 copies which will be highly sought after.
Chris: The Venomverse #1 skyline because I enjoyed the challenge of getting all the signatures on the cover.
You’ve had exclusives by some of my personal favorites artists like Mattina and Bagley. Who do you want to work with in the future?
Sean: Gabriele Dell’otto is at the top of the list, but that’s a long waiting list. I’d like to work with Clayton Crain, Walt Simonson, Mike Zeck and Stanley Artgerm. We are also going to be unveiling an Amazing Spider-Man 800 cover by John Romita Sr, so I’d like to continue to work with him as well.
Matt: I’m interested in working with some of the new up and coming artists.
Chris: Gabriele Dell’Otto, Clayton Crain and Ashley Wood would be amazing to work with.
I see you’ve worked with Marvel, DC and IMAGE, any plans to reach out to other companies?
We just finished a Rick and Morty exclusive with Oni Press. We are also about to release a book with Oni Press and IDW. We’d love to work with IDW, Dark Horse and Dynamite.
What are some comic titles or characters you’d like to work with that you haven’t so far?
Sean: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Hellboy would be fun to work.
Chris: Dracula or anything vampire related.
Latest Exclusive Releases
May 9th Venom 1 by Whilce Portacio (ASM 50 Homage)
May 26th Megacon Exclusive Spawn 285 by Francesco Mattina (Trade dress and virgin variant will be limited to 666 copies each)
May 30th ASM 800 by John Romita Sr (Trade dress and Virgin variant)
May 30th Rick and Morty 38 by CJ cannon (Walking Dead 1 Homage)
July Batman 50 by Lucio Parillo
These amazing variants can be pre-ordered from the Scorpion Comics online store.
Upcoming Convention Schedule
Scorpion comics is making their presence known in the convention circuit. Word is you can find some great deals at their booths, so make sure to visit them at these upcoming shows:
MegaCon Orlando (May 24th-27th)
Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con (June 29th-July 1st)
Terrificon in Connecticut (August 17th-19th)
Keystone Comic Con in Philadelphia (September 14th-16th)
New York Comic Con (October 4th-7th)
From everyone at The Geekly Grind, I would like to thank Sean, Matt and Chris for taking the time to meet with me. Scorpion Comics is a quality company that produces highly collectable exclusive variants while providing outstanding customer service. Their years of experience make for some exciting variants, so keep an eye out on what’s to come from this talented trio. You can find them by clicking the link right here!