New Publisher Bad Idea Secretly Releases First Book Into Stores

The Hero Trade
David Lapham/Bad Idea
'The Hero Trade' is available now in 100 stores, even if the stores themselves don't know it.

Bad Idea, the new publisher that was announced in February before postponing its launch titles because of COVID-19 two months later, has released its first comic… in what is undoubtedly the most unexpected and unique way imaginable.

The first issue of previously unannounced title The Hero Trade — written by Matt Kindt, with art by David Lapham — is already available in 100 comic book stores around the world, although the stores themselves might not actually be aware of it just yet. It’s part of what the publisher is calling “the single greatest magic trick in the history of comics,” with the actual distribution method being referred to as if the issues were “magically teleported” into stores.

Sources close to Bad Idea told The Hollywood Reporter that the issues were mailed anonymously to stores, with stores unaware until today who the publisher was. Each store was sent just one copy with no price attached, although there was an option to re-order additional copies from an unnamed source, unaware of the publisher or creative team.

The Hero Trade release is the culmination of a running gag in which the social media feeds of Bad Idea were “seized” by an entity called The Button earlier this year, which demanded one billion clicks via a specific URL before “allowing” Bad Idea to launch. In the meantime, it released teases for upcoming projects.

The Hero Trade isn’t being released to mark one billion clicks, but instead, 800 million. (What’s being planned for one billion remains under wraps, still.) The 100 stores the comic has magically appeared in are the retailers listed on Bad Idea’s Destination Stores list, and the publisher suggests curious fans contact the stores directly to find out more.

The trick doesn’t end there, as it turns out; the publisher promises that there are three as-yet unrevealed secrets about The Hero Trade that will be released across Bad Idea’s social media feed “in due time,” so… stay tuned. Who can tell what magic may be unleashed next?