Topps and IDW went with a seasonal-theme for their second issue and created LOVE STINKS – a collection of stories surrounding Valentine’s Day and good ol’ L.O.V.E.
Unfortunately, some production snags delayed the issue until AFTER Valentine’s Day…causing some of the humor to be a little stale at the time of release. Further complicating things was an issue with the Bonus Card that pushed the release of the Deluxe issue all the way to mid-March.
I’m not sure it’s possible to ratchet down promotion from one product to the next MORE than Topps did with Issue 1 to Issue 2, but it is what it is. While PUKETACULAR was getting promoted left-and-right, LOVE STINKS received barely a whisper on any of the official Topps social network pages…nor did it receive any promo cards (or promo material of any kind)..
As the release grew closer, PREVIEWS magazine ran a full page ad in their December 2014 issue. This provided collectors with their first glimpse at the different covers and their prices. The ad featured the original cover drafts that did not have the ‘LOVE STINKS’ banner, nor the suggested age warning, etc.