Farewell to the DMZ

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Today, the final issue (#72) of DMZ shipped. With a quiet epilogue, a series that started as a love letter to New York City ended as a love letter to New York City. This time, a bit more literally as the narrative was driven by excerpts from protagonist Matty Roth’s prison-penned book.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: November 2011 – CORRECTED

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With FEAR ITSELF wrapping up, Marvel had several major releases in November – the POINT ONE one-shot, the relaunches of UNCANNY X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR, and the first issue of new ongoing title AVENGING SPIDER-MAN.

We’ve also got the epilogue of FEAR ITSELF, the start of BATTLE SCARS, and a bunch of other “Regenesis” tie-ins from the X-books.

Marvel found itself behind DC for the third straight month in November, though the gap is growing closer. DC led by 40% to 38% in unit share, and 35% to 33% in dollars. And of course, it should be remembered that DC’s extra sales don’t appear to have come at Marvel’s expense; if DC’s relaunch has brought any new or lapsed readers into the market, then in theory, that’s good for other publishers too – it brings them into everyone’s potential market.

Thanks as always to ICV2.com for permission to use these figures.

5. POINT ONE
11/11  One-shot - 113,352

Marvel’s top selling comic of the month! Or is it? This book was massively overshipped, with retailers receiving twice the number of copies they’d actually ordered, at no extra cost. Those copies are presumably included in this number – that certainly appears to be Diamond’s standard practice, given the odd sales spikes that we’ve seen when this strategy has been used before.

If that’s the case, then the actual orders of this book would be 56,676 – which would have placed the book at number 29 between AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and AVENGERS. Considering the solicitation (“You CANNOT miss this. Catch a tease of the biggest change to the Marvel Universe in over 35 years!”) that number would surely have been disappointing, even allowing for the six dollar price tag. The wisdom of pricing a teaser book that high must also be open to question.

Fantagraphics 40% off sale will increase your bookshelves

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Fantagraphics is having a four-day 40% off sale featuring some amazing books by Gilbert Hernandez, Robert Williams, Jules Feiffer, Carol Tyler, and more. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the list, but here are a few of our own picks:

Secret Acres' Leon Avelino on the Indie Comic Challenge

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–remember that “handholds and rockface” metaphor we just used in the SLG piece? Here’s an example of what we meant in an interview with Secret Acres’ Leon Avelino and Barry Matthews at The Comics Reporter.

Urine, rotting honey, a plague of insects — life at SLG

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Almost every time the name of SLG publisher Dan Vado is mentioned, the word “survivor” is appended to it — surviving over 20 years in an industry that provides indie comics only scant handholds in its forbidding rockface is no mean feat.

But you will never know just how much of a survivor Vado and crew are until you read Five things we survived at SLG., an account of rodent, insect and human scourges on their physical offices. The most famed, of course, is the drunk driver that plowed through their office in 2004 — thanks to a woman who insisted on stealing the keys to someone else’s car after everyone deemed her so drunk they had taken away her own car keys.

Buy Kevin Eastman's studio

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Did you get some money from Memaw and Pepaw for Christmas? If you’re not going to spend it on a comics shop, howabout buying Kevin Eastman’s art studio?

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator is auctioning off all the contents of his art studio — located within Meltdown Comics — with 20% of the proceeds to go to the Hero Initiative. Eastman gives a tour of the overflowing contents of the studio in the very entertaining video above. Among the anecdotes he drops along the way — he once owned a Batmobile and his goal was to dress in a complete Batman costume and drive up to the 7-11 for a pack of smokes in full Batman gear — a dream sadly unrealized.

Here’s some of what you will win in this treasure trove of ’90s and ’00s nostalgia.