Sometimes to get a comic shop to order a lot of copies of a particular comic, a publisher will offer a “retailer incentive.” This is often some sort of poster or super-rare variant cover or even a collectible like an action figure, and the comic shop gets one if it orders enough copies of the comic. Then the store can put the incentive on display, though often enough they’ll just sell it to a rabid fan, usually at an exorbitant price.
The current Hellboy miniseries is called Darkness Calls, and the retailer incentive was a beautiful 18×24 poster signed by artist and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. Since I’m known as the local Hellboy freak at New England Comics in Harvard Square, the manager, Matt, set aside the poster and sold it to me for an insanely reasonable price. I’m actually jealous of me.
(Oh, and so far, Darkness Calls is really good. It’s written by Mignola but drawn but Duncan Fegredo, since Mignola is busy with Hellboy 2.)