DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: August 2012

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scalped 60 DC Comics Month to Month Sales: August 2012
by Marc-Oliver Frisch

August was another strong month for DC — that’s always worth pointing out, given the rather dire numbers of the publisher’s comic-book line in the two years prior to the September 2011 relaunch. The “New 52″ relaunch has managed to restore sales to levels last seen with some degree of regularity in 2007.

Out of the 114 months we have comparable data on, August 2012 ranks at No. 47 in average DC Universe unit sales, which is sturdy; more to the point, it ranks at No. 9 in total DC Universe unit sales and at No. 4 in total DC Universe dollar sales, which is pretty spectacular, given that there was no particular new publishing initiative in August.

That said, there are a number of factors that make me wary of taking the recent market situation at face value.

One: The number of new DC Universe comic books released in August 2012 was a whopping 70. That’s the second-highest number ever since March 2003. The highest was 80 in August 2011, but that was because the company wanted a clean slate for the “New 52″ relaunch. In August 2012, there’s no such excuse. From March 2003 through 2006, the average monthly number of new DC Universe titles was 47; from 2007 through 2009, it was 52; from 2010 through August 2011, it was 57; and since the relaunch in September 2011, it has gone up to 63. That’s one hell of an increase, and just one hell of a lot of DC Universe comic books vying for rack space, attention and money out there, but retailers keep gobbling them up.

Two: While overall and average sales figures for the DC Universe imprint range from rock-solid to impressive right now, that’s only half of the picture. Because, while there’s a lot of material out there that does sell well, there are even more titles that are losing steam at an alarming rate — retailers still cutting many more units than usual from month to month on many DC Universe titles. That’s a problem in itself, but what’s worse is that it suggests they may have been buying many more units of these books than they’ve been able to sell for a while now.

Three: We don’t know how much of the current sales volume is content-driven and based on genuine reader interest, because publishing stunts and gimmicks are reaching a level we haven’t seen since the early 1990s. In August 2007, DC Comics published 55 new DC Universe comic books and a total of 6 (in words: six) variant editions: four 1:10 variants, plus two 50/50 variants. In August 2012, DC Comics published 70 new DC Universe comic books and a total of 38 (in words: thirty-eight) variant editions: three variants that evidently could be ordered separately, plus one 1:10 variant, plus seventeen 1:25 variants, plus four 1:100 variants, plus two 1:200 variants, plus eleven “Combo Pack Editions,” which, DC admits, are just being treated as variants. That’s a 27% increase of new books over the last five years and a 533% increase in available variant editions. And this is not even considering that the 1:10 variants of 2007 required a lot less gambling on the retailers’ part than the 1:25, 1:100 and 1:200 variants of 2012 do. That’s a hell of a lot of hot air potentially in the market.

So how long can retailers keep buying increasing quantities of books that don’t seem to be finding a solid foothold in the market? And how long will a system that’s so tremendously bloated by “incentive” schemes keep working before something gives?

Plainly, it looks like retailers have been buying more comic books than they can realistically hope to sell to readers since September 2011 and may be willing to sit on growing mounts of dead capital in order to keep up with the gimmick of the month.

See below for the details and, as usual, please consider the small print at the end of the column. Thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com‘s estimates can be found here.

—–

266 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
08/2007: Scalped #8  --  7,942
08/2008: Scalped #20 --  7,034
08/2009: Scalped #31 --  6,916
08/2010: Scalped #40 --  6,593
------------------------------
08/2011: Scalped #51 --  6,409 (- 1.0%)
09/2011: Scalped #52 --  6,270 (- 2.2%)
10/2011: Scalped #53 --  6,203 (- 1.1%)
11/2011: Scalped #54 --  6,157 (- 0.7%)
12/2011: --
01/2012: Scalped #55 --  6,083 (- 1.2%)
02/2012: Scalped #56 --  5,999 (- 1.4%)
03/2012: Scalped #57 --  6,007 (+ 0.1%)
04/2011: --
05/2012: Scalped #58 --  6,098 (+ 1.5%)
06/2012: Scalped #59 --  6,075 (- 0.4%)
07/2011: --
08/2012: Scalped #60 --  6,432 (+ 5.9%)
----------------
6 months: + 7.2%
1 year  : + 0.4%
2 years : - 2.4%
5 years : -19.0%

So, after more than five years, I finally did it: I killed Scalped.

After all, when issue #1 debuted with estimated first-month sales of 13,644 in January 2007, I, so-called analyst, pronounced that, “Without the benefit of high-profile creators or the backing of popular franchises, Vertigo currently seems emphatically unable to get any new long-term projects off the ground.” To wit: “[T]hese sales [...] don’t look hopeful.” And, as it turns out a mere fifty-nine issues later, my self-fulfilling prophecy has come true.

So, as a tear of remorse is caking on my cheek, I extend humble apologies to Jason Aaron: He was right all along, and now he has to spend all his days writing inconspicuous Wolverine comics that he knows Alan Moore wouldn’t prefer to the ingredients list on a soda can if those were the only two items with words on them within a two-hundred-mile radius. I know it’s all my fault, Jason. I never meant for this to happen, honestly.

But no. Hilarity aside, 60 issues is a good run, obviously, and quite an accomplishment. Last month, I said only those Vertigo titles that sell well to begin with tend to see better-than-average paperback sales once they’re collected. Scalped has always been the exception to that rule: From the word go, it never really sold particularly well as a comic book — and yet, its comic-book sales were steady enough, and its collection sales high enough, to keep it going for five years. That’s not easily done or repeated, as the last several years’ worth of Vertigo sales have demonstrated.

In related news, DMZ and Northlanders writer Brian Wood pointed out in the comments last month that the sales of the paperback collections of his Vertigo titles hadn’t dropped substantially when DC decided they didn’t “cut the mustard,” as he’d put it in a blog post — rather, it was the new DC regime that replaced Paul Levitz a couple years ago approaching Vertigo with new expectations. I’m not sure that makes Northlanders a bad example for the overall point I was making, as Wood suggests, but it’s still a clarification that’s well worth noting.

In other news, the Johnny DC title Scooby-Doo #24, the Vertigo title Dominique Laveau #6 and the video-game adaptation Diablo #5 missed the Top 300 chart in August.

—–

257 - NIGHT FORCE
03/2012: Night Force #1 of 6 -- 13,174
04/2012: Night Force #2 of 6 --  9,698 (-26.4%)
05/2012: Night Force #3 of 6 --  8,458 (-12.8%)
06/2012: Night Force #4 of 7 --  7,768 (- 8.2%)
07/2012: Night Force #5 of 7 --  7,222 (- 7.0%)
08/2012: Night Force #6 of 7 --  6,637 (- 8.1%)

Okay, here we go.

Last month, a complaint was filed about the repetitious nature of my commentary with respect to the steeply declining sales figures of various comic-book titles published by DC Comics. And upon reflection, I have to admit that this complaint was entirely justified. So I discussed this issue with Heidi and the editorial board here at The Beat, and ultimately, we all agreed that, to prevent the same thing from happening again this time, the best and fairest solution to this dilemma is for me to take one jolly good swig of Rothaus Tannenzäpfle, 5.1% abv, one of the finest and most quaffable pilsners in Germany, whenever a DC Universe title drops five percent or more in August. It’ll be entirely objective.

For this purpose, I have procured six bottles of Rothaus Tannenzäpfle, which should hopefully suffice to get me through the Top 300. If it does not, there’s plenty of Talisker to go around, although in that case, I can’t vouch for my ability to finish this column in a proper fashion, so let’s hope it won’t come to that.

All that said: Skol.

—–

252 - GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (Johnny DC)
11/2011: GL: TAS #0 -- 13,569
-----------------------------
04/2012: GL: TAS #1 -- 12,791
05/2012: GL: TAS #2 --  9,615 (-24.8%)
06/2012: GL: TAS #3 --  8,716 (- 9.4%)
07/2012: GL: TAS #4 --  7,790 (-10.6%)
08/2012: GL: TAS #5 --  6,968 (-10.6%)

—–

241 - YOUNG JUSTICE (Johnny DC)
08/2011: Young Justice #7  --  8,062 (- 6.7%)
09/2011: Young Justice #8  --  7,930 (- 1.6%)
10/2011: Young Justice #9  --  7,737 (- 2.4%)
11/2011: Young Justice #10 --  7,650 (- 1.1%)
12/2011: Young Justice #11 --  7,221 (- 5.6%)
01/2012: Young Justice #12 --  7,288 (+ 0.9%)
02/2012: Young Justice #13 --  7,237 (- 0.7%)
03/2012: Young Justice #14 --  7,241 (+ 0.1%)
04/2012: Young Justice #15 --  7,273 (+ 0.4%)
05/2012: Young Justice #16 --  7,466 (+ 2.7%)
06/2012: Young Justice #17 --  7,459 (- 0.1%)
07/2012: Young Justice #18 --  7,458 (- 0.0%)
08/2012: Young Justice #19 --  7,375 (- 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.9%
1 year  : - 8.5%

As Kiel Phegley pointed out in the comments last month, a big chunk of the sales of these “all-ages” (read: kids) comics are said to fall on subscriptions. I was remiss in not mentioning them.

—–

239 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
08/2010: Sweet Tooth #12 --  9,246
----------------------------------
08/2011: Sweet Tooth #24 --  7,948 (- 0.9%)
09/2011: Sweet Tooth #25 --  7,896 (- 0.7%)
10/2011: Sweet Tooth #26 --  7,963 (+ 0.9%)
11/2011: Sweet Tooth #27 --  7,923 (- 0.5%)
12/2011: Sweet Tooth #28 --  7,699 (- 2.8%)
01/2012: Sweet Tooth #29 --  8,128 (+ 5.6%)
02/2012: Sweet Tooth #30 --  7,584 (- 6.7%)
03/2012: Sweet Tooth #31 --  7,541 (- 0.6%)
04/2012: Sweet Tooth #32 --  7,534 (- 0.1%)
05/2012: Sweet Tooth #33 --  7,631 (+ 1.3%)
06/2012: Sweet Tooth #34 --  7,689 (+ 0.8%)
07/2012: Sweet Tooth #35 --  7,558 (- 1.7%)
08/2012: Sweet Tooth #36 --  7,441 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.9%
1 year  : - 6.4%
2 years : -19.5%

—–

237 - I, ZOMBIE (Vertigo)
08/2010: I, Zombie #4  -- 15,772
--------------------------------
08/2011: I, Zombie #16 --  9,568 (- 4.4%)
09/2011: I, Zombie #17 --  9,316 (- 2.6%)
10/2011: I, Zombie #18 --  9,237 (- 0.9%)
11/2011: I, Zombie #19 --  8,999 (- 2.6%)
12/2011: I, Zombie #20 --  8,805 (- 2.2%)
01/2012: I, Zombie #21 --  8,514 (- 3.3%)
02/2012: I, Zombie #22 --  8,344 (- 2.0%)
03/2012: I, Zombie #23 --  8,219 (- 1.5%)
04/2012: I, Zombie #24 --  8,032 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: I, Zombie #25 --  7,974 (- 0.7%)
06/2012: I, Zombie #26 --  7,914 (- 0.8%)
07/2012: I, Zombie #27 --  7,714 (- 2.5%)
08/2012: I, Zombie #28 --  7,507 (- 2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -10.0%
1 year  : -21.5%
2 years : -52.4%

I, Zombie was axed in August, Sweet Tooth is cancelled with issue #40, despite relatively steady sales figures. Under DC’s old regime, these books might have gotten a lot more rope, based on these numbers. Thanks to Warner’s more hands-on approach in the last couple of years, Vertigo seems a lot more under pressure to produce hits lately, but without actually getting the budget to build anything. So they’ll be doing adaptations of Quentin Tarantino films and see those tank instead, so they can be decommissioned two or three years down the road for wasting money on licenses and not producing results. It’s the WildStorm way of shutting down cumbersome imprints that allow (a little bit of) creator participation instead of churning out money and viable IP.

—–

220 - THE NEW DEADWARDIANS (Vertigo)
03/2012: New Deadwardians #1 of 8 -- 14,530
04/2012: New Deadwardians #2 of 8 -- 10,229 (-29.6%)
05/2012: New Deadwardians #3 of 8 --  9,594 (- 6.2%)
06/2012: New Deadwardians #4 of 8 --  9,124 (- 4.9%)
07/2012: New Deadwardians #5 of 8 --  8,784 (- 3.7%)
08/2012: New Deadwardians #6 of 8 --  8,383 (- 4.6%)

Decent figures for a Vertigo miniseries. The DC management might disagree.

—–

215 - SAUCER COUNTRY (Vertigo)
03/2012: Saucer Country #1  -- 15,684
04/2012: Saucer Country #2  -- 11,263 (-28.2%)
05/2012: Saucer Country #3  -- 10,656 (- 5.4%)
06/2012: Saucer Country #4  --  9,959 (- 6.5%)
07/2012: Saucer Country #5  --  9,470 (- 4.9%)
08/2012: Saucer Country #6  --  8,700 (- 8.1%)

Worrying figures for an ongoing Vertigo title by a critically acclaimed creative team. Saucer Country is only doing marginally better than Sweet Tooth and I, Zombie, at this stage, so unless the first collection sets the charts on fire, I doubt this is the type of serial DC is looking for.

—–

211 - SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES (Johnny DC)
05/2012: Superman Family Adventures #1  -- 13,303
06/2012: Superman Family Adventures #2  -- 10,137 (-23.8%)
07/2012: Superman Family Adventures #3  --  9,246 (- 8.8%)
08/2012: Superman Family Adventures #4  --  8,925 (- 3.5%)

Levelling out quickly, evidently.

—–

210 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
08/2009: The Unwritten #4  -- 16,336
08/2010: The Unwritten #16 -- 12,778
------------------------------------
08/2011: The Unwritten #28 -- 10,731 (- 0.5%)
09/2011: The Unwritten #29 -- 10,511 (- 2.1%)
10/2011: The Unwritten #30 -- 10,481 (- 0.3%)
11/2011: The Unwritten #31 -- 10,434 (- 0.5%)
11/2011: The Unwritten #.5 -- 10,183 (- 2.4%)
12/2011: The Unwritten #32 -- 10,073 (- 1.1%)
12/2011: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,759 (- 3.1%)
01/2012: The Unwritten #33 --  9,888 (+ 1.3%)
01/2012: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,483 (- 4.1%)
02/2012: The Unwritten #34 --  9,789 (+ 3.2%)
02/2012: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,595 (- 2.0%)
03/2012: The Unwritten #35 --  9,675 (+ 0.8%)
03/2012: The Unwritten #.5 --  9,529 (- 1.5%)
04/2012: The Unwritten #36 --  9,678 (+ 1.6%)
05/2012: The Unwritten #37 --  9,549 (- 1.3%)
06/2012: The Unwritten #38 --  9,494 (- 0.6%)
07/2012: The Unwritten #39 --  9,478 (- 0.2%)
08/2012: The Unwritten #40 --  9,127 (- 3.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.8%
1 year  : -15.0%
2 years : -28.6%

—–

206 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
08/2007: Hellblazer #234 -- 13,214
08/2007: Hellblazer #235 -- 13,153
08/2008: --
08/2009: Hellblazer #258 -- 10,665
08/2010: Hellblazer #270 --  9,928
----------------------------------
08/2011: Hellblazer #282 --  9,372 (+1.5%)
09/2011: Hellblazer #283 --  9,597 (+2.4%)
10/2011: Hellblazer #284 --  9,608 (+0.1%)
11/2011: Hellblazer #285 --  9,500 (-1.1%)
12/2011: Hellblazer #286 --  9,404 (-1.0%)
01/2012: Hellblazer #287 --  9,368 (-0.4%)
02/2012: Hellblazer #288 --  9,553 (+2.0%)
03/2012: Hellblazer #289 --  9,363 (-2.0%)
04/2012: Hellblazer #290 --  9,472 (+1.2%)
05/2012: Hellblazer #291 --  9,426 (-0.5%)
06/2012: Hellblazer #292 --  9,533 (+1.1%)
07/2012: Hellblazer #293 --  9,247 (-3.0%)
08/2012: Hellblazer #294 --  9,396 (+1.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.6%
1 year  : + 0.3%
2 years : - 5.4%
5 years : -28.7%

Sales of The Unwritten and Hellblazer have been pretty close for most of the last year, and in both cases, there’s something to suggest they’re safe for the time being despite the low comic-book figures. In the case of Hellblazer, it’s sales to the United Kingdom, which there are no actual available data on, and in the case of The Unwritten, it’s the fact that, unlike any other current Vertigo series other than Fables and American Vampire, its collections actually show up on the Bookscan charts.

—–

199 - CAPTAIN ATOM
09/2011: Captain Atom #1  -- 44,110          [51,314]
10/2011: Captain Atom #2  -- 38,309 (-13.2%)
11/2011: Captain Atom #3  -- 26,829 (-30.0%)
12/2011: Captain Atom #4  -- 19,908 (-25.8%)
01/2012: Captain Atom #5  -- 17,437 (-12.4%)
02/2012: Captain Atom #6  -- 15,220 (-12.7%)
03/2012: Captain Atom #7  -- 13,738 (- 9.7%)
04/2012: Captain Atom #8  -- 13,001 (- 5.4%)
05/2012: Captain Atom #9  -- 12,264 (- 5.7%)
06/2012: Captain Atom #10 -- 11,546 (- 5.9%)
07/2012: Captain Atom #11 -- 11,041 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Captain Atom #12 -- 10,445 (- 5.4%)
----------------
6 months: -31.4%

The lowest-selling “New 52″ title, and axed in September.

Skol.

—–

188 - SPACEMAN (Vertigo)
10/2011: Spaceman #1 of 9 -- 22,355
11/2011: Spaceman #2 of 9 -- 14,962 (-33.1%)
12/2011: Spaceman #3 of 9 -- 13,492 (- 9.8%)
01/2012: --
02/2012: Spaceman #4 of 9 -- 13,394 (- 0.7%)
03/2012: Spaceman #5 of 9 -- 12,884 (- 3.8%)
04/2012: Spaceman #6 of 9 -- 12,727 (- 1.2%)
05/2012: --
06/2012: Spaceman #7 of 9 -- 12,125 (- 4.7%)
07/2012: Spaceman #8 of 9 -- 11,561 (- 4.7%)
08/2012: Spaceman #9 of 9 -- 11,290 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months: -15.7%

That’s the kind of sales Vertigo gets out of one of their most critically acclaimed creative teams ever, these days.

—–

187 - VOODOO
09/2011: Voodoo #1  -- 40,301          [47,112]
10/2011: Voodoo #2  -- 34,690 (-13.9%)
11/2011: Voodoo #3  -- 25,067 (-27.7%)
12/2011: Voodoo #4  -- 20,703 (-17.4%)
01/2012: Voodoo #5  -- 17,683 (-14.6%)
02/2012: Voodoo #6  -- 16,422 (- 7.1%)
03/2012: Voodoo #7  -- 15,097 (- 8.1%)
04/2012: Voodoo #8  -- 14,589 (- 3.4%)
05/2012: Voodoo #9  -- 13,762 (- 5.7%)
06/2012: Voodoo #10 -- 12,928 (- 6.1%)
07/2012: Voodoo #11 -- 12,120 (- 6.3%)
08/2012: Voodoo #12 -- 11,328 (- 6.5%)
----------------
6 months: -31.0%

Cancelled in September.

Skol.

—–

185 - G.I. COMBAT
05/2012: G.I. Combat #1  -- 33,740
06/2012: G.I. Combat #2  -- 19,002 (-43.7%)
07/2012: G.I. Combat #3  -- 14,359 (-24.4%)
08/2012: G.I. Combat #4  -- 11,797 (-17.8%)

The first replacement “New 52″ books, of which G.I. Combat is one, were no longer returnable in August. If Diamond’s deduction to compensate for returnability on the first three issues was the same as for the initial “New 52″ titles, which seems likely, then this is another hell of a drop. Either way, these sales figures are manifestly terrible. Skol.

And one Zäpfle down.

—–

184 - PUNK ROCK JESUS (Vertigo)
07/2012: Punk Rock Jesus #1 of 5 -- 14,571
08/2012: Punk Rock Jesus #2 of 5 -- 11,936 (-18.1%)

Big drop for a five-issue miniseries, but by Vertigo standards, the numbers are still better than average.

—–

178 - GRIFTER
09/2011: Grifter #1  -- 41,222          [50,959]
10/2011: Grifter #2  -- 39,900 (- 3.2%)
11/2011: Grifter #3  -- 29,802 (-25.3%)
12/2011: Grifter #4  -- 22,486 (-24.6%)
01/2012: Grifter #5  -- 20,060 (-10.8%)
02/2012: Grifter #6  -- 18,057 (-10.0%)
03/2012: Grifter #7  -- 16,559 (- 8.3%)
04/2012: Grifter #8  -- 15,686 (- 5.3%)
05/2012: Grifter #9  -- 15,228 (- 2.9%)
06/2012: Grifter #10 -- 14,258 (- 6.4%)
07/2012: Grifter #11 -- 13,382 (- 6.1%)
08/2012: Grifter #12 -- 12,400 (- 7.3%)
----------------
6 months: -31.3%

Pitiable numbers for a DC Universe title, but still somehow not officially axed yet as I’m writing this.

Skol.

—–

175 - BLUE BEETLE
08/2007: Blue Beetle #18 -- 19,140
08/2008: Blue Beetle #30 -- 12,669
----------------------------------
09/2011: Blue Beetle #1  -- 44,448          [52,288]
10/2011: Blue Beetle #2  -- 39,396 (-11.4%)
11/2011: Blue Beetle #3  -- 27,612 (-29.9%)
12/2011: Blue Beetle #4  -- 21,408 (-22.5%)
01/2012: Blue Beetle #5  -- 19,042 (-11.1%)
02/2012: Blue Beetle #6  -- 17,034 (-10.6%)
03/2012: Blue Beetle #7  -- 15,780 (- 7.4%)
04/2012: Blue Beetle #8  -- 15,180 (- 3.8%)
05/2012: Blue Beetle #9  -- 16,607 (+ 9.4%)
06/2012: Blue Beetle #10 -- 14,413 (-13.2%)
07/2012: Blue Beetle #11 -- 13,923 (- 3.4%)
08/2012: Blue Beetle #12 -- 13,325 (- 4.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 21.8%
5 years : - 30.4%

This one’s getting the axe, evidently, if you believe the NYCC reports.

—–

173 - NATIONAL COMICS
07/2012: Eternity #1 -- 17,587
08/2012: Looker #1   -- 13,475 (-23.4%)

Missing from solicitations in November and December, so it seems National Comics may be history already.

Skol!

—–

170 - RESURRECTION MAN
09/2011: Resurrection Man #1  -- 41,740          [50,230]
10/2011: Resurrection Man #2  -- 38,560 (- 7.6%)
11/2011: Resurrection Man #3  -- 29,480 (-23.6%)
12/2011: Resurrection Man #4  -- 23,060 (-21.8%)
01/2012: Resurrection Man #5  -- 20,750 (-10.0%)
02/2012: Resurrection Man #6  -- 18,569 (-10.5%)
03/2012: Resurrection Man #7  -- 17,176 (- 7.5%)
04/2012: Resurrection Man #8  -- 16,664 (- 3.0%)
05/2012: Resurrection Man #9  -- 18,018 (+ 8.1%)
06/2012: Resurrection Man #10 -- 15,481 (-14.1%)
07/2012: Resurrection Man #11 -- 14,715 (- 5.0%)
08/2012: Resurrection Man #12 -- 13,741 (- 6.6%)
----------------
6 months: -26.0%

Cancelled in September.

Skol.

—–

169 - THE SHADE
10/2011: Shade #1  of 12 -- 30,648
11/2011: Shade #2  of 12 -- 21,431 (-30.1%)
12/2011: Shade #3  of 12 -- 18,922 (-11.7%)
01/2012: Shade #4  of 12 -- 17,512 (- 7.5%)
02/2012: Shade #5  of 12 -- 16,255 (- 7.2%)
03/2012: Shade #6  of 12 -- 16,005 (- 1.5%)
04/2012: Shade #7  of 12 -- 15,499 (- 3.2%)
05/2012: Shade #8  of 12 -- 15,051 (- 2.9%)
06/2012: Shade #9  of 12 -- 14,818 (- 1.6%)
07/2012: Shade #10 of 12 -- 14,257 (- 3.8%)
08/2012: Shade #11 of 12 -- 13,828 (- 3.0%)
----------------
6 months: -14.9%

These numbers make me cry, considering who the artists have been. Issue #11 is by Frazer Irving.

—–

168 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE: LORD OF NIGHTMARES (Vertigo)
06/2012: Lord of Nightmares #1 of 5  -- 15,858
07/2012: Lord of Nightmares #2 of 5  -- 14,412 (-9.1%)
08/2012: Lord of Nightmares #3 of 5  -- 13,872 (-3.8%)

Levelling out quickly. The American Vampire audience seems to be buying the books for their actual content, mostly, and that shows in the numbers. Unfortunately, it’s an exception.

—–

166 - THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN
09/2011: Firestorm #1  -- 51,537          [62,076]
10/2011: Firestorm #2  -- 43,990 (-14.6%)
11/2011: Firestorm #3  -- 31,654 (-28.0%)
12/2011: Firestorm #4  -- 25,610 (-19.1%)
01/2012: Firestorm #5  -- 21,329 (-16.7%)
02/2012: Firestorm #6  -- 19,162 (-10.2%)
03/2012: Firestorm #7  -- 17,786 (- 7.2%)
04/2012: Firestorm #8  -- 17,076 (- 4.0%)
05/2012: Firestorm #9  -- 17,240 (+ 1.0%)
06/2012: Firestorm #10 -- 15,789 (- 8.4%)
07/2012: Firestorm #11 -- 14,931 (- 5.4%)
08/2012: Firestorm #12 -- 14,137 (- 5.3%)
----------------
6 months: -26.2%

Another “New 52″ title with god-awful sales that hasn’t been cancelled yet.

Skol, and another Zäpfle down.

—–

162 - FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E.
09/2011: Frankenstein #1          -- 41,551          [50,817]
10/2011: Frankenstein #2          -- 40,423 (- 2.7%)
11/2011: Frankenstein #3          -- 31,869 (-21.2%)
12/2011: Frankenstein #4          -- 24,812 (-22.1%)
01/2012: Frankenstein #5          -- 22,737 (- 8.4%)
02/2012: Frankenstein #6          -- 20,463 (-10.0%)
03/2012: Frankenstein #7          -- 18,891 (- 7.7%)
04/2012: Frankenstein #8          -- 17,953 (- 5.0%)
05/2012: Frankenstein #9          -- 17,266 (- 3.8%)
06/2012: Frankenstein #10         -- 16,377 (- 5.2%)
07/2012: Frankenstein #11         -- 15,635 (- 4.5%)
08/2012: Frankenstein #12         -- 14,679 (- 6.1%)
----------------
6 months: -28.3%

After issue #9, writer Jeff Lemire left and was replaced by Matt Kindt. It’s sure to be heartwarming to both gentlemen to know that it makes absolutely no difference to retailers who’s writing the book, looking at the sales figures.

Skol!

—–

161 - THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN
09/2011: Savage Hawkman #1  -- 55,954          [63,959]
10/2011: Savage Hawkman #2  -- 47,763 (-14.6%)
11/2011: Savage Hawkman #3  -- 35,177 (-26.4%)
12/2011: Savage Hawkman #4  -- 28,263 (-19.7%)
01/2012: Savage Hawkman #5  -- 23,967 (-15.2%)
02/2012: Savage Hawkman #6  -- 21,316 (-11.1%)
03/2012: Savage Hawkman #7  -- 19,433 (- 8.8%)
04/2012: Savage Hawkman #8  -- 18,300 (- 5.8%)
05/2012: Savage Hawkman #9  -- 17,626 (- 3.7%)
06/2012: Savage Hawkman #10 -- 16,417 (- 6.9%)
07/2012: Savage Hawkman #11 -- 15,460 (- 5.8%)
08/2012: Savage Hawkman #12 -- 14,745 (- 4.6%)
----------------
6 months: -30.8%

Another “New 52″ title that looks to be continuing for the time being, regardless of sales.

—–

159 - I, VAMPIRE
09/2011: I, Vampire #1  -- 39,683          [46,993]
10/2011: I, Vampire #2  -- 34,599 (-12.8%)
11/2011: I, Vampire #3  -- 26,070 (-24.7%)
12/2011: I, Vampire #4  -- 21,601 (-17.1%)
01/2012: I, Vampire #5  -- 18,816 (-12.9%)
02/2012: I, Vampire #6  -- 18,153 (- 3.5%)
03/2012: I, Vampire #7  -- 18,440 (+ 1.6%)
04/2012: I, Vampire #8  -- 18,717 (+ 1.5%)
05/2012: I, Vampire #9  -- 17,175 (- 8.2%)
06/2012: I, Vampire #10 -- 16,517 (- 3.8%)
07/2012: I, Vampire #11 -- 15,734 (- 4.7%)
08/2012: I, Vampire #12 -- 14,788 (- 6.0%)
----------------
6 months: -18.5%

And one more. This is “New 52″ title No. 10 on the chart, and we still haven’t moved past 15K, in case you’re keeping count.

Skol.

—–

157 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE (Vertigo)
08/2010: --
---------------------------------------
08/2011: American Vampire #18 -- 15,423 (- 0.9%)
09/2011: American Vampire #19 -- 15,288 (- 0.9%)
10/2011: --
11/2011: American Vampire #20 -- 15,685 (+ 2.6%)
12/2011: American Vampire #21 -- 15,026 (- 4.2%)
12/2011: American Vampire #22 -- 14,759 (- 1.8%)
01/2012: American Vampire #23 -- 14,240 (- 3.5%)
02/2012: American Vampire #24 -- 14,278 (+ 0.3%)
03/2012: American Vampire #25 -- 14,598 (+ 2.2%)
04/2012: American Vampire #26 -- 14,493 (- 0.7%)
05/2012: American Vampire #27 -- 14,420 (- 0.5%)
06/2012: American Vampire #28 -- 15,573 (+ 8.0%)
07/2012: American Vampire #29 -- 15,324 (- 1.6%)
08/2012: American Vampire #30 -- 15,081 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: + 5.6%
1 year  : - 2.2%
2 years :  n.a.

Comparatively steady sales for one of Vertigo’s remaining two franchises with a degree of sales draw.

—–

156 - DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS
09/2011: DCU Presents #1  -- 45,701          [53,103]
10/2011: DCU Presents #2  -- 41,584 (- 9.0%)
11/2011: DCU Presents #3  -- 31,019 (-25.4%)
12/2011: DCU Presents #4  -- 24,398 (-21.4%)
01/2012: DCU Presents #5  -- 22,048 (- 9.6%)
02/2012: DCU Presents #6  -- 20,188 (- 8.4%)
03/2012: DCU Presents #7  -- 17,830 (-11.7%)
04/2012: DCU Presents #8  -- 16,566 (- 7.1%)
05/2012: DCU Presents #9  -- 15,776 (- 4.8%)
06/2012: DCU Presents #10 -- 14,310 (- 9.3%)
07/2012: DCU Presents #11 -- 13,619 (- 4.8%)
08/2012: DCU Presents #12 -- 15,138 (+11.2%)
----------------
6 months: -25.0%

Issue #12 is a one-shot Teen Titans spin-off, which presumably explains the increase.

—–

149 - LEGION LOST
09/2011: Legion Lost #1  -- 46,362          [54,588]
10/2011: Legion Lost #2  -- 42,650 (- 8.0%)
11/2011: Legion Lost #3  -- 31,226 (-26.8%)
12/2011: Legion Lost #4  -- 24,020 (-23.1%)
01/2012: Legion Lost #5  -- 21,549 (-10.3%)
02/2012: Legion Lost #6  -- 19,447 (- 9.8%)
03/2012: Legion Lost #7  -- 18,214 (- 6.3%)
04/2012: Legion Lost #8  -- 17,984 (- 1.3%)
05/2012: Legion Lost #9  -- 23,794 (+32.3%)
06/2012: Legion Lost #10 -- 17,581 (-26.1%)
07/2012: Legion Lost #11 -- 17,037 (- 3.1%)
08/2012: Legion Lost #12 -- 16,066 (- 5.7%)
----------------
6 months: -17.4%

Horrible figures.

Skol.

—–

145 - FABLES (Vertigo)
08/2007: Fables #64  -- 25,498
08/2008: --
08/2009: Fables #87  -- 21,876
08/2010: Fables #97  -- 19,625
------------------------------
08/2011: Fables #108 -- 18,390 (- 0.7%)
09/2011: Fables #109 -- 18,072 (- 1.7%)
10/2011: Fables #110 -- 18,109 (+ 0.2%)
11/2011: Fables #111 -- 17,687 (- 2.3%)
12/2011: Fables #112 -- 17,602 (- 0.5%)
01/2012: Fables #113 -- 17,588 (- 0.1%)
02/2012: Fables #114 -- 17,374 (- 1.2%)
03/2012: Fables #115 -- 17,384 (+ 0.1%)
04/2012: Fables #116 -- 17,543 (+ 0.9%)
05/2012: Fables #117 -- 17,484 (- 0.3%)
06/2012: Fables #118 -- 18,566 (+ 6.2%)
07/2012: Fables #119 -- 17,110 (- 7.8%)
08/2012: Fables #120 -- 16,704 (- 2.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.9%
1 year  : - 9.2%
2 years : -14.9%
5 years : -34.5%

Fables dips below the 16K mark for the first time. It’s the major franchise for Vertigo, in terms of current titles, but there’s a clear downward trend here, as well, if you look at the long-term comparisons. That’s almost 9,000 units down from August 2007.

—–

144 - DEATHSTROKE
09/2011: Deathstroke #1  -- 47,028          [56,820]
10/2011: Deathstroke #2  -- 44,647 (- 5.1%)
11/2011: Deathstroke #3  -- 33,754 (-24.4%)
12/2011: Deathstroke #4  -- 26,367 (-21.9%)
01/2012: Deathstroke #5  -- 23,872 (- 9.5%)
02/2012: Deathstroke #6  -- 21,306 (-10.8%)
03/2012: Deathstroke #7  -- 19,744 (- 7.3%)
04/2012: Deathstroke #8  -- 18,834 (- 4.6%)
05/2012: Deathstroke #9  -- 20,878 (+10.9%)
06/2012: Deathstroke #10 -- 19,722 (- 5.5%)
07/2012: Deathstroke #11 -- 17,107 (-13.3%)
08/2012: Deathstroke #12 -- 16,772 (- 2.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 21.3%

Levelling out after last month’s harsh drop? Hard to tell, but either way, sales well below 20K would be reason enough to cancel any DC Universe title if DC hadn’t just cancelled a couple of bunches of them already.

—–

142 - PHANTOM LADY
08/2012: Phantom Lady #1 of 4 -- 17,043

DC knew what kind of sales they were shooting for here, presumably, and they got them.

—–

141 - DEMON KNIGHTS
09/2011: Demon Knights #1  -- 41,602          [52,329]
10/2011: Demon Knights #2  -- 42,230 (+ 1.5%)
11/2011: Demon Knights #3  -- 34,681 (-17.9%)
12/2011: Demon Knights #4  -- 28,109 (-19.0%)
01/2012: Demon Knights #5  -- 25,823 (- 8.1%)
02/2012: Demon Knights #6  -- 23,476 (- 9.1%)
03/2012: Demon Knights #7  -- 22,000 (- 6.3%)
04/2012: Demon Knights #8  -- 21,124 (- 4.0%)
05/2012: Demon Knights #9  -- 20,196 (- 4.4%)
06/2012: Demon Knights #10 -- 19,005 (- 5.9%)
07/2012: Demon Knights #11 -- 18,201 (- 4.2%)
08/2012: Demon Knights #12 -- 17,295 (- 5.0%)
----------------
6 months: -26.3%

A new writer is supposed to be taking over in a few months — odd move, looking at these figures.

Skol. And Zäpfle number three has left the building.

—–

138 - BATWING
09/2011: Batwing #1  -- 45,980          [53,721]
10/2011: Batwing #2  -- 42,750 (- 7.0%)
11/2011: Batwing #3  -- 35,110 (-17.9%)
12/2011: Batwing #4  -- 26,726 (-23.9%)
01/2012: Batwing #5  -- 24,036 (-10.1%)
02/2012: Batwing #6  -- 21,643 (-10.0%)
03/2012: Batwing #7  -- 21,058 (- 2.7%)
04/2012: Batwing #8  -- 20,373 (- 3.3%)
05/2012: Batwing #9  -- 35,731 (+75.4%)
06/2012: Batwing #10 -- 20,724 (-42.0%)
07/2012: Batwing #11 -- 20,047 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: Batwing #12 -- 18,279 (- 8.8%)
-----------------
6 months: - 15.5%

Also waiting for a creative-team change, rather than the axe.

Skol.

—–

135 - STORMWATCH
08/2007: Stormwatch: PHD #10  -- 11,106
08/2008: Stormwatch: PHD #13  --  8,650
---------------------------------------
09/2011: Stormwatch #1        -- 46,397          [57,287]
10/2011: Stormwatch #2        -- 47,520 (+ 2.4%)
11/2011: Stormwatch #3        -- 39,262 (-17.4%)
12/2011: Stormwatch #4        -- 30,987 (-21.1%)
01/2012: Stormwatch #5        -- 29,112 (- 6.1%)
02/2012: Stormwatch #6        -- 26,076 (-10.4%)
03/2012: Stormwatch #7        -- 24,384 (- 6.5%)
04/2012: Stormwatch #8        -- 23,212 (- 4.8%)
05/2012: Stormwatch #9        -- 22,448 (- 3.3%)
06/2012: Stormwatch #10       -- 20,592 (- 8.3%)
07/2012: Stormwatch #11       -- 19,678 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Stormwatch #12       -- 18,531 (- 5.8%)
-----------------
6 months: - 28.9%
5 years : + 66.9%

Another title that you’d assume was in danger of cancellation if there weren’t 15 other “New 52″ books on the chart doing even more poorly.

Skol.

—–

134 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
08/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #33 -- 29,315
08/2008: LoSH #45             -- 25,783
08/2010: LoSH #4              -- 34,239
---------------------------------------
08/2011: LoSH #16             -- 21,373 (-  1.9%)
09/2011: LoSH #1              -- 50,402 (+135.8%) [58,325]
10/2011: LoSH #2              -- 47,227 (-  6.3%)
11/2011: LoSH #3              -- 34,979 (- 25.9%)
12/2011: LoSH #4              -- 27,832 (- 20.4%)
01/2012: LoSH #5              -- 25,624 (-  7.9%)
02/2012: LoSH #6              -- 23,428 (-  8.6%)
03/2012: LoSH #7              -- 21,894 (-  6.6%)
04/2012: LoSH #8              -- 21,457 (-  2.0%)
05/2012: LoSH #9              -- 20,854 (-  2.8%)
06/2012: LoSH #10             -- 19,963 (-  4.3%)
07/2012: LoSH #11             -- 19,421 (-  2.7%)
08/2012: LoSH #12             -- 18,907 (-  2.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.3%
1 year  : - 11.5%
2 years : - 44.8%
5 years : - 35.5%

As far as the “New 52″ are concerned, these numbers are relatively steady.

—–

129 - FAIREST (Vertigo)
03/2012: Fairest #1  -- 31,769
04/2012: Fairest #2  -- 22,997 (-27.6%)
05/2012: Fairest #3  -- 22,329 (- 2.9%)
06/2012: Fairest #4  -- 21,156 (- 5.3%)
07/2012: Fairest #5  -- 20,371 (- 3.7%)
08/2012: Fairest #6  -- 19,446 (- 4.5%)

The final issue by writer Bill Willingham and artist Phil Jimenez dips below 20K, but Fairest still remains the best-selling Vertigo title, for the time being.

—–

125 - SMALLVILLE SEASON 11
05/2012: Smallville S11 #1  -- 27,004
06/2012: Smallville S11 #2  -- 22,468 (-16.8%)
07/2012: Smallville S11 #3  -- 20,864 (- 7.1%)
08/2012: Smallville S11 #4  -- 19,861 (- 4.8%)

Not bad for a book collecting material that was first published digitally.

—–

124 - RAVAGERS
05/2012: Ravagers #1  -- 44,230
06/2012: Ravagers #2  -- 31,128 (-29.6%)
07/2012: Ravagers #3  -- 24,963 (-19.8%)
08/2012: Ravagers #4  -- 20,730 (-17.0%)

Like G.I. Combat, this replacement “New 52″ title was returnable through July and was downgraded by Diamond as a result. If my assumption that the compensation factor was the usual 10%, that’s another horrible drop-off. If the factor was less than 10%, the non-reduced August figure is still pretty terrible.

Skol.

—–

123 - BATMAN: ARKHAM UNHINGED
04/2012: Arkham Unhinged #1 -- 31,170
05/2012: Arkham Unhinged #2 -- 25,215 (-19.1%)
06/2012: Arkham Unhinged #3 -- 23,322 (- 7.5%)
07/2012: Arkham Unhinged #4 -- 21,809 (- 6.5%)
08/2012: Arkham Unhinged #5 -- 21,059 (- 3.4%)

—–

122 - BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED
08/2011: Batman Beyond #8      -- 21,838 (- 4.8%)
----------------------------------------
02/2012: Unlimited #1          -- 26,589 (+21.8%) [30,683]
03/2012: Unlimited #2          -- 23,570 (-11.4%)
04/2012: Unlimited #3          -- 24,196 (+ 2.7%)
05/2012: Unlimited #4          -- 24,356 (+ 0.7%)
06/2012: Unlimited #5          -- 24,058 (- 1.2%)
07/2012: Unlimited #6          -- 22,555 (- 6.3%)
08/2012: Unlimited #7          -- 21,219 (- 5.9%)
----------------
6 months: -20.2%
1 year  : - 2.8%

Two more titles collecting stories first published digitally, and again, these are perfectly solid numbers for this type of book.

—–

113 - DIAL H
05/2012: Dial H #1  -- 45,308
06/2012: Dial H #2  -- 30,618 (-32.4%)
07/2012: Dial H #3  -- 26,109 (-14.7%)
08/2012: Dial H #4  -- 22,733 (-12.9%)

The third of the initial six replacement “New 52″ books. Once more, the first three issues were returnable, which led Diamond to not count a portion of their sales towards the Top 300 charts. Either way, though, the August number is nothing to write home about.

Skol. Oh dear. Only two Zäpfle left, and we’re not even in the Top 100 yet.

—–

112 - ALL STAR WESTERN
08/2007: Jonah Hex #22 -- 15,362
08/2008: Jonah Hex #34 -- 12,969
08/2009: Jonah Hex #46 -- 12,466
08/2010: Jonah Hex #58 -- 11,775
--------------------------------
08/2011: Jonah Hex #70 -- 10,369 (-  1.5%)
09/2011: ASW #1        -- 43,681 (+321.3%) [54,992]
10/2011: ASW #2        -- 39,857 (-  8.8%)
11/2011: ASW #3        -- 32,776 (- 17.8%)
12/2011: ASW #4        -- 29,349 (- 10.5%)
01/2012: ASW #5        -- 27,206 (-  7.3%)
02/2012: ASW #6        -- 26,170 (-  3.8%)
03/2012: ASW #7        -- 25,349 (-  3.1%)
04/2012: ASW #8        -- 25,040 (-  1.2%)
05/2012: ASW #9        -- 31,413 (+ 25.5%)
06/2012: ASW #10       -- 25,334 (- 19.4%)
07/2012: ASW #11       -- 23,572 (-  7.0%)
08/2012: ASW #12       -- 22,767 (-  3.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 13.0%
1 year  : +119.6%
2 years : + 93.4%
5 years : + 48.2%

Levelling out again, evidently. The “Night of the Owls” crossover in May resulted in a nice amount of extra sales, but in retrospect, it also seems to have hurt the book’s momentum.

—–

109 - GREEN ARROW
08/2007: Year One #3 of 6 -- 32,971
08/2007: Year One #4 of 6 -- 31,885
08/2008: Arrow/Canary #11 -- 28,694
08/2009: Arrow&Canary #23 -- 19,452
08/2010: Green Arrow #3   -- 46,308
-----------------------------------
08/2011: Green Arrow #15  -- 23,883 (-  6.6%)
09/2011: Green Arrow #1   -- 61,680 (+158.3%) [72,359]
10/2011: Green Arrow #2   -- 58,708 (-  4.8%)
11/2011: Green Arrow #3   -- 46,899 (- 20.1%)
12/2011: Green Arrow #4   -- 37,116 (- 20.9%)
01/2012: Green Arrow #5   -- 33,593 (-  9.5%)
02/2012: Green Arrow #6   -- 30,097 (- 10.4%)
03/2012: Green Arrow #7   -- 29,004 (-  3.6%)
04/2012: Green Arrow #8   -- 27,433 (-  5.4%)
05/2012: Green Arrow #9   -- 26,966 (-  1.7%)
06/2012: Green Arrow #10  -- 25,769 (-  4.4%)
07/2012: Green Arrow #11  -- 24,646 (-  4.4%)
08/2012: Green Arrow #12  -- 23,126 (-  6.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 23.2%
1 year  : -  3.2%
2 years : - 50.1%
5 years : - 28.7%

Another “New 52″ title that’s nowhere close to levelling out.

Skol.

—–

95 - BIRDS OF PREY
08/2007: Birds of Prey #109 -- 28,268
08/2008: Birds of Prey #121 -- 22,406
08/2010: Birds of Prey #4   -- 46,149
-------------------------------------
08/2011: Birds of Prey #15  -- 26,043 (-  3.9%)
09/2011: Birds of Prey #1   -- 56,073 (+115.3%) [66,423]
10/2011: Birds of Prey #2   -- 53,156 (-  5.2%)
11/2011: Birds of Prey #3   -- 40,891 (- 23.1%)
12/2011: Birds of Prey #4   -- 34,460 (- 15.7%)
01/2012: Birds of Prey #5   -- 31,700 (-  8.0%)
02/2012: Birds of Prey #6   -- 30,376 (-  4.2%)
03/2012: Birds of Prey #7   -- 29,196 (-  3.9%)
04/2012: Birds of Prey #8   -- 28,661 (-  1.8%)
05/2012: Birds of Prey #9   -- 41,521 (+ 44.9%)
06/2012: Birds of Prey #10  -- 28,457 (- 31.5%)
07/2012: Birds of Prey #11  -- 27,389 (-  3.8%)
08/2012: Birds of Prey #12  -- 26,587 (-  2.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.5%
1 year  : +  2.1%
2 years : - 42.4%
5 years : -  6.0%

Birds of Prey appears to be finding its level, on the other hand. And sales are well within the book’s historical spectrum.

—–

92 - JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL ANNUAL
08/2012: JLI Annual #1  -- 26,779

Despite sporting Geoff Johns’s name in the credits, the Annual charts slightly below the regular title. To be fair, though, the book also sports Dan DiDio’s name in the credits, so maybe the two are cancelling each other out.

—–

90 - SUPERBOY
08/2011: Superboy #10 --  20,563 (-  7.0%)
08/2011: Superboy #11 --  20,317 (-  1.2%)
09/2011: Superboy #1  --  55,608 (+173.7%) [69,283]
10/2011: Superboy #2  --  57,424 (+  3.3%)
11/2011: Superboy #3  --  47,442 (- 17.4%)
12/2011: Superboy #4  --  40,002 (- 15.7%)
01/2012: Superboy #5  --  37,419 (-  6.5%)
02/2012: Superboy #6  --  34,520 (-  7.8%)
03/2012: Superboy #7  --  33,050 (-  4.3%)
04/2012: Superboy #8  --  31,900 (-  3.5%)
05/2012: Superboy #9  --  34,838 (+  9.2%)
06/2012: Superboy #10 --  31,358 (- 10.0%)
07/2012: Superboy #11 --  29,677 (-  5.4%)
08/2012: Superboy #12 --  27,518 (-  7.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 20.3%
1 year  : + 33.8%

Retailers seem unimpressed by the arrival of new writer Tom DeFalco.

Skol.

—–

86 - JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL
09/2011: Justice League International #1  -- 67,866          [78,869]
10/2011: Justice League International #2  -- 66,100 (- 2.6%)
11/2011: Justice League International #3  -- 54,413 (-17.7%)
12/2011: Justice League International #4  -- 44,062 (-19.0%)
01/2012: Justice League International #5  -- 41,147 (- 6.6%)
02/2012: Justice League International #6  -- 37,534 (- 8.8%)
03/2012: Justice League International #7  -- 35,274 (- 6.0%)
04/2012: Justice League International #8  -- 33,773 (- 4.3%)
05/2012: Justice League International #9  -- 32,558 (- 3.6%)
06/2012: Justice League International #10 -- 31,015 (- 4.7%)
07/2012: Justice League International #11 -- 29,802 (- 3.9%)
08/2012: Justice League International #12 -- 28,261 (- 5.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 24.7%

Axed. Sales probably weren’t the major reason, but maybe DC just doesn’t want to hurt the Justice League brand with a book selling below 30K.

Skol.

—–

85 - SUICIDE SQUAD
09/2011: Suicide Squad #1       -- 49,979          [61,815]
10/2011: Suicide Squad #2       -- 49,570 (- 0.8%)
11/2011: Suicide Squad #3       -- 40,827 (-17.6%)
12/2011: Suicide Squad #4       -- 34,550 (-15.4%)
01/2012: Suicide Squad #5       -- 32,726 (- 5.3%)
02/2012: Suicide Squad #6       -- 30,834 (- 5.8%)
03/2012: Suicide Squad #7       -- 32,908 (+ 6.7%)
04/2012: Suicide Squad #8       -- 32,789 (- 0.4%)
05/2012: Suicide Squad #9       -- 32,581 (- 0.6%)
06/2012: Suicide Squad #10      -- 31,576 (- 3.1%)
07/2012: Suicide Squad #11      -- 29,809 (- 5.6%)
08/2012: Suicide Squad #12      -- 28,302 (- 5.1%)
-----------------
6 months: -  8.2%

The drops aren’t really getting noticeably smaller.

Skol. Last Zäpfle Standing.

—–

77 - SUPERGIRL
08/2007: Supergirl #20 --  46,862
08/2008: Supergirl #32 --  28,114
08/2009: Supergirl #44 --  33,819
08/2010: Supergirl #55 --  25,891
---------------------------------
08/2011: Supergirl #67 --  19,764 (-  1.2%)
09/2011: Supergirl #1  --  60,058 (+203.9%) [74,218]
10/2011: Supergirl #2  --  61,388 (+  2.2%)
11/2011: Supergirl #3  --  50,784 (- 17.3%)
12/2011: Supergirl #4  --  44,180 (- 13.0%)
01/2012: Supergirl #5  --  41,446 (-  6.2%)
02/2012: Supergirl #6  --  38,719 (-  6.6%)
03/2012: Supergirl #7  --  37,041 (-  4.3%)
04/2012: Supergirl #8  --  36,042 (-  2.7%)
05/2012: Supergirl #9  --  35,129 (-  2.5%)
06/2012: Supergirl #10 --  33,309 (-  5.2%)
07/2012: Supergirl #11 --  31,879 (-  4.3%)
08/2012: Supergirl #12 --  30,420 (-  4.6%)
-----------------
6 months: - 21.4%
1 year  : + 53.9%
2 years : + 17.5%
5 years : - 35.1%

It’s not levelling out, exactly, but at least it doesn’t drive me to drink.

—–

76 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
09/2011: Justice League Dark #1   -- 69,840          [81,955]
10/2011: Justice League Dark #2   -- 63,392 (- 9.2%)
11/2011: Justice League Dark #3   -- 51,674 (-18.5%)
12/2011: Justice League Dark #4   -- 44,750 (-13.4%)
01/2012: Justice League Dark #5   -- 40,996 (- 8.4%)
02/2012: Justice League Dark #6   -- 38,360 (- 6.4%)
03/2012: Justice League Dark #7   -- 36,089 (- 5.9%)
04/2012: Justice League Dark #8   -- 35,022 (- 3.0%)
05/2012: Justice League Dark #9   -- 34,649 (- 1.1%)
06/2012: Justice League Dark #10  -- 33,238 (- 4.1%)
07/2012: Justice League Dark #11  -- 31,792 (- 4.4%)
08/2012: Justice League Dark #12  -- 30,754 (- 3.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.8%

Levelling out, evidently.

—–

65 - CATWOMAN
08/2007: Catwoman #70 -- 20,518
08/2008: Catwoman #82 -- 17,662
-------------------------------
09/2011: Catwoman #1  -- 59,633          [75,566]
10/2011: Catwoman #2  -- 63,573 (+ 6.6%)
11/2011: Catwoman #3  -- 52,196 (-17.9%)
12/2011: Catwoman #4  -- 45,581 (-12.7%)
01/2012: Catwoman #5  -- 44,034 (- 3.4%)
02/2012: Catwoman #6  -- 41,447 (- 5.9%)
03/2012: Catwoman #7  -- 39,608 (- 4.4%)
04/2012: Catwoman #8  -- 38,711 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: Catwoman #9  -- 49,726 (+28.5%)
06/2012: Catwoman #10 -- 37,158 (-25.3%)
07/2012: Catwoman #11 -- 35,551 (- 4.3%)
08/2012: Catwoman #12 -- 34,117 (- 4.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 17.7%
5 years : + 66.3%

—-

64 - RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS
09/2011: Red Hood #1  -- 56,112          [70,244]
10/2011: Red Hood #2  -- 59,382 (+ 5.8%)
11/2011: Red Hood #3  -- 50,140 (-15.6%)
12/2011: Red Hood #4  -- 44,278 (-11.7%)
01/2012: Red Hood #5  -- 42,560 (- 3.9%)
02/2012: Red Hood #6  -- 39,898 (- 6.3%)
03/2012: Red Hood #7  -- 38,630 (- 3.2%)
04/2012: Red Hood #8  -- 37,974 (- 1.7%)
05/2012: Red Hood #9  -- 54,220 (+42.8%)
06/2012: Red Hood #10 -- 37,044 (-31.7%)
07/2012: Red Hood #11 -- 35,820 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: Red Hood #12 -- 34,439 (- 3.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 13.7%

Two Batman spin-off titles that still display larger-than-average drops.

—–

62 - ANIMAL MAN
09/2011: Animal Man #1     -- 46,051          [65,229]
10/2011: Animal Man #2     -- 53,432 (+16.0%)
11/2011: Animal Man #3     -- 49,184 (- 8.0%)
12/2011: Animal Man #4     -- 42,630 (-13.3%)
01/2012: Animal Man #5     -- 40,573 (- 4.8%)
02/2012: Animal Man #6     -- 38,504 (- 5.1%)
03/2012: Animal Man #7     -- 36,860 (- 4.3%)
04/2012: Animal Man #8     -- 36,369 (- 1.3%)
05/2012: Animal Man #9     -- 35,699 (- 1.8%)
06/2012: Animal Man #10    -- 34,992 (- 2.0%)
07/2012: Animal Man #11    -- 33,909 (- 3.1%)
08/2012: Animal Man #12    -- 34,549 (+ 1.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 10.3%

The “Prelude” to a crossover with Swamp Thing results in a slight increase.

—–

61 - RED LANTERNS
09/2011: Red Lanterns #1  -- 73,940          [89,170]
10/2011: Red Lanterns #2  -- 74,163 (+ 0.3%)
11/2011: Red Lanterns #3  -- 60,823 (-18.0%)
12/2011: Red Lanterns #4  -- 50,271 (-17.4%)
01/2012: Red Lanterns #5  -- 46,992 (- 6.5%)
02/2012: Red Lanterns #6  -- 43,450 (- 7.5%)
03/2012: Red Lanterns #7  -- 41,628 (- 4.2%)
04/2012: Red Lanterns #8  -- 40,189 (- 3.5%)
05/2012: Red Lanterns #9  -- 39,215 (- 2.4%)
06/2012: Red Lanterns #10 -- 38,005 (- 3.1%)
07/2012: Red Lanterns #11 -- 36,462 (- 4.1%)
08/2012: Red Lanterns #12 -- 35,070 (- 3.8%)
----------------
6 months: -19.3%

Not really levelling out.

—–

56 - SWAMP THING
09/2011: Swamp Thing #1  -- 54,757          [73,683]
10/2011: Swamp Thing #2  -- 58,634 (+ 7.1%)
11/2011: Swamp Thing #3  -- 52,300 (-10.8%)
12/2011: Swamp Thing #4  -- 44,660 (-14.6%)
01/2012: Swamp Thing #5  -- 43,806 (- 1.9%)
02/2012: Swamp Thing #6  -- 41,235 (- 5.9%)
03/2012: Swamp Thing #7  -- 40,268 (- 2.4%)
04/2012: Swamp Thing #8  -- 39,431 (- 2.1%)
05/2012: Swamp Thing #9  -- 39,385 (- 0.1%)
06/2012: Swamp Thing #10 -- 37,383 (- 5.1%)
07/2012: Swamp Thing #11 -- 36,257 (- 3.0%)
08/2012: Swamp Thing #12 -- 36,696 (+ 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: -11.0%

A “Prelude” to the crossover with Animal Man.

—–

51 - BATWOMAN
09/2011: Batwoman #1  --  72,228 (+64.6%) [87,952]
10/2011: Batwoman #2  --  74,392 (+ 3.0%)
11/2011: Batwoman #3  --  61,997 (-16.7%)
12/2011: Batwoman #4  --  52,757 (-14.9%)
01/2012: Batwoman #5  --  51,924 (- 1.6%)
02/2012: Batwoman #6  --  49,227 (- 5.2%)
03/2012: Batwoman #7  --  46,874 (- 4.8%)
04/2012: Batwoman #8  --  45,341 (- 3.3%)
05/2012: Batwoman #9  --  43,942 (- 3.1%)
06/2012: Batwoman #10 --  41,014 (- 6.7%)
07/2012: Batwoman #11 --  38,980 (- 5.0%)
08/2012: Batwoman #12 --  38,064 (- 2.4%)
----------------
6 months: -22.7%

Levelling out, it seems.

—–

48 - WORLDS' FINEST
05/2012: Worlds' Finest #1  -- 69,531
06/2012: Worlds' Finest #2  -- 51,510 (-25.9%)
07/2012: Worlds' Finest #3  -- 45,514 (-11.6%)
08/2012: Worlds' Finest #4  -- 39,629 (-12.9%)

Another “New 52″ replacement title that was returnable through July. In this case, the numbers really do look wonky, so it’s entirely possible that 10% compensation I assumed for the replacement “New 52″ titles is off the mark. There definitely was a reduction going on, though, according to Diamond, so at worst the numbers through July are a different kind of “wrong” than what Diamond provided. In either case, the August number is correct — let’s wait and see what happens after September’s issue #0.

For the time being: Skol.

—–

44 - GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS
08/2010: Emerald Warriors #1  -- 68,332
---------------------------------------
08/2011: Emerald Warriors #13 -- 44,228 (- 8.0%)
09/2011: New Guardians #1     -- 84,033 (+90.0%) [96,596]
10/2011: New Guardians #2     -- 71,713 (-14.7%)
11/2011: New Guardians #3     -- 59,774 (-16.7%)
12/2011: New Guardians #4     -- 53,305 (-10.8%)
01/2012: New Guardians #5     -- 52,305 (- 1.9%)
02/2012: New Guardians #6     -- 50,319 (- 3.8%)
03/2012: New Guardians #7     -- 48,422 (- 3.8%)
04/2012: New Guardians #8     -- 47,320 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: New Guardians #9     -- 46,237 (- 2.3%)
06/2012: New Guardians #10    -- 44,404 (- 4.0%)
07/2012: New Guardians #11    -- 42,929 (- 3.3%)
08/2012: New Guardians #12    -- 41,479 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -17.6%
1 year  : - 6.2%

—–

43 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
08/2007: Green Lantern Corps #15 -- 51,572 [57,751]
08/2008: Green Lantern Corps #27 -- 46,045
08/2009: Green Lantern Corps #39 -- 84,241
08/2010: Green Lantern Corps #51 -- 67,124
------------------------------------------
08/2011: Green Lantern Corps #63 -- 53,372 (- 7.9%)
09/2011: Green Lantern Corps #1  -- 83,077 (+55.7%) [94,800]
10/2011: Green Lantern Corps #2  -- 78,501 (- 5.5%)
11/2011: Green Lantern Corps #3  -- 65,393 (-16.7%)
12/2011: Green Lantern Corps #4  -- 57,180 (-12.6%)
01/2012: Green Lantern Corps #5  -- 54,088 (- 5.4%)
02/2012: Green Lantern Corps #6  -- 51,168 (- 5.4%)
03/2012: Green Lantern Corps #7  -- 48,692 (- 4.8%)
04/2012: Green Lantern Corps #8  -- 47,584 (- 2.3%)
05/2012: Green Lantern Corps #9  -- 46,336 (- 2.6%)
06/2012: Green Lantern Corps #10 -- 44,615 (- 3.7%)
07/2012: Green Lantern Corps #11 -- 42,996 (- 3.6%)
08/2012: Green Lantern Corps #12 -- 41,778 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: -18.4%
1 year  : -21.7%
2 years : -37.8%
5 years : -19.0%

The two secondary Green Lantern titles keep gently sliding down the chart.

—–

39 - TEEN TITANS
08/2007: Teen Titans #50  -- 69,620
08/2008: Teen Titans #62  -- 43,258
08/2009: Teen Titans #74  -- 30,380
08/2010: Teen Titans #86  -- 24,971
-----------------------------------
08/2011: Teen Titans #99  -- 23,756 (+  2.9%)
08/2011: Teen Titans #100 -- 27,459 (+ 15.6%)
09/2011: Teen Titans #1   -- 73,675 (+168.3%) [89,056]
10/2011: Teen Titans #2   -- 72,107 (-  2.1%)
11/2011: Teen Titans #3   -- 60,758 (- 15.7%)
12/2011: Teen Titans #4   -- 54,929 (-  9.6%)
01/2012: Teen Titans #5   -- 54,606 (-  0.6%)
02/2012: Teen Titans #6   -- 53,123 (-  2.7%)
03/2012: Teen Titans #7   -- 51,402 (-  3.2%)
04/2012: Teen Titans #8   -- 50,814 (-  1.1%)
05/2012: Teen Titans #9   -- 50,261 (-  1.1%)
06/2012: Teen Titans #10  -- 47,491 (-  5.5%)
07/2012: Teen Titans #11  -- 45,367 (-  4.5%)
08/2012: Teen Titans #12  -- 42,817 (-  5.6%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.4%
1 year  : + 67.2%
2 years : + 71.5%
5 years : - 38.5%

This one hasn’t found its level.

Skol.

—–

38 - BATGIRL
08/2008: Batgirl #2 of 6 -- 27,710
08/2009: Batgirl #1      -- 51,724
08/2010: Batgirl #13     -- 27,247
----------------------------------
08/2011: Batgirl #24     -- 22,695 (+  0.3%)
09/2011: Batgirl #1      -- 90,543 (+299.0%) [107,055]
10/2011: Batgirl #2      -- 83,586 (-  7.7%)
11/2011: Batgirl #3      -- 69,971 (- 16.3%)
12/2011: Batgirl #4      -- 59,972 (- 14.3%)
01/2012: Batgirl #5      -- 57,030 (-  4.9%)
02/2012: Batgirl #6      -- 53,151 (-  6.8%)
03/2012: Batgirl #7      -- 50,761 (-  4.5%)
04/2012: Batgirl #8      -- 48,878 (-  3.7%)
05/2012: Batgirl #9      -- 58,710 (+ 20.1%)
06/2012: Batgirl #10     -- 47,050 (- 19.9%)
07/2012: Batgirl #11     -- 45,004 (-  4.4%)
08/2012: Batgirl #12     -- 43,804 (-  2.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 17.6%
1 year  : + 93.0%
2 years : + 60.8%

Levelling out, evidently.

—–

37 - THE FLASH ANNUAL
08/2012: Flash Annual #1  -- 44,206

—–

36 - SUPERMAN ANNUAL
08/2012: Superman Annual #1  -- 44,438

It’s not unusual for Annuals to sell below the regular titles, and these are still decent numbers, given the $ 4.99 price tags and the host of fill-in creators at work here.

—–

35 - WONDER WOMAN
08/2007: Wonder Woman #12  --  50,880
08/2008: Wonder Woman #23  --  35,562
08/2009: Wonder Woman #35  --  29,657
08/2010: Wonder Woman #602 --  38,012
-------------------------------------
08/2011: Wonder Woman #614 --  29,223 (-  1.7%)
09/2011: Wonder Woman #1   --  76,214 (+160.8%) [95,902]
10/2011: Wonder Woman #2   --  79,060 (+  3.7%)
11/2011: Wonder Woman #3   --  65,621 (- 17.0%)
12/2011: Wonder Woman #4   --  57,675 (- 12.1%)
01/2012: Wonder Woman #5   --  57,626 (-  0.1%)
02/2012: Wonder Woman #6   --  54,190 (-  6.0%)
03/2012: Wonder Woman #7   --  51,314 (-  5.3%)
04/2012: Wonder Woman #8   --  50,450 (-  1.7%)
05/2012: Wonder Woman #9   --  48,750 (-  3.4%)
06/2012: Wonder Woman #10  --  47,229 (-  3.1%)
07/2012: Wonder Woman #11  --  45,669 (-  3.3%)
08/2012: Wonder Woman #12  --  44,584 (-  2.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 17.7%
1 year  : + 52.6%
2 years : + 17.3%
5 years : - 12.4%

Levelling out.

—–

32 - NIGHTWING
08/2007: Nightwing #135 -- 29,923
08/2008: Nightwing #147 -- 56,300
---------------------------------
09/2011: Nightwing #1   -- 69,686          [87,561]
10/2011: Nightwing #2   -- 73,054 (+ 4.8%)
11/2011: Nightwing #3   -- 64,098 (-12.3%)
12/2011: Nightwing #4   -- 57,409 (-10.4%)
01/2012: Nightwing #5   -- 56,040 (- 2.4%)
02/2012: Nightwing #6   -- 53,036 (- 5.4%)
03/2012: Nightwing #7   -- 50,489 (- 4.8%)
04/2012: Nightwing #8   -- 52,063 (+ 3.1%) [61,711]
05/2012: Nightwing #9   -- 61,395 (+17.9%)
06/2012: Nightwing #10  -- 50,585 (-17.6%)
07/2012: Nightwing #11  -- 49,124 (- 2.9%)
08/2012: Nightwing #12  -- 47,484 (- 3.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 10.5%
5 years : + 58.7%

Slowly sliding down the chart, but still doing extremely well for a Nightwing title.

—–

30 - FLASH
08/2007: Flash #231      --  91,123
08/2008: Flash #243      --  29,647
08/2009: Rebirth #4 of 5 --  78,107
08/2010: --
-----------------------------------
08/2011: --
09/2011: Flash #1        -- 129,260 (+135.4%) [147,818]
10/2011: Flash #2        -- 114,137 (- 11.7%)
11/2011: Flash #3        --  90,417 (- 20.8%)
12/2011: Flash #4        --  77,336 (- 14.5%)
01/2012: Flash #5        --  71,611 (-  7.4%)
02/2012: Flash #6        --  68,061 (-  5.0%)
03/2012: Flash #7        --  64,975 (-  4.5%)
04/2012: Flash #8        --  63,702 (-  2.0%)
05/2012: Flash #9        --  62,807 (-  1.4%)
06/2012: Flash #10       --  55,681 (- 11.4%)
07/2012: Flash #11       --  53,674 (-  3.6%)
08/2012: Flash #12       --  51,779 (-  3.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 23.9%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : - 43.2%

Another title in a gentle downward slide.

—–

29 - SUPERMAN
08/2007: Superman #666 --  53,566
08/2008: Superman #679 --  46,615
08/2009: Superman #691 --  39,106
08/2010: Superman #702 --  50,023
---------------------------------
08/2011: Superman #714 --  35,919 (-  2.0%)
09/2011: Superman #1   -- 131,529 (+266.2%) [150,128]
10/2011: Superman #2   -- 104,703 (- 20.4%)
11/2011: Superman #3   --  86,386 (- 17.5%)
12/2011: Superman #4   --  76,532 (- 11.4%)
01/2012: Superman #5   --  73,719 (-  3.7%)
02/2012: Superman #6   --  69,633 (-  5.5%)
03/2012: Superman #7   --  66,588 (-  4.4%)
04/2012: Superman #8   --  64,486 (-  3.2%)
05/2012: Superman #9   --  62,232 (-  3.5%)
06/2012: Superman #10  --  59,081 (-  5.1%)
07/2012: Superman #11  --  56,066 (-  5.1%)
08/2012: Superman #12  --  53,326 (-  4.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 23.4%
1 year  : + 48.5%
2 years : +  6.6%
5 years : -  0.5%

This one’s not levelling out in any meaningful way, on the other hand.

—–

26 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN
06/2012: Minutemen #1 of 6 -- 119,463
07/2012: Minutemen #2 of 6 --  76,409 (-36.0%)
08/2012: Minutemen #3 of 6 --  57,208 (-25.1%)

The first two issues were downgraded for the chart due to returnability, but the conditions retailers had to adhere to were different from those for the “New 52″ titles. So, once again, all we know for sure is that issues #1 and #2 sold more units to retailers in their first month than Diamond reported. My educated guess is that it was 10% more, but that may be wrong. Either way, the August figure is correct; it’s possible the drop wasn’t entirely as bad as it seems here, though.

It’s more than 5% in either case, though, so: Skol.

—–

19 - AQUAMAN
09/2011: Aquaman #1  -- 80,302          [108,545]
10/2011: Aquaman #2  -- 79,156 (- 1.4%) [ 83,626]
11/2011: Aquaman #3  -- 69,137 (-12.7%)
12/2011: Aquaman #4  -- 64,961 (- 6.0%)
01/2012: Aquaman #5  -- 65,094 (+ 0.2%)
02/2012: Aquaman #6  -- 63,450 (- 2.5%)
03/2012: Aquaman #7  -- 62,345 (- 1.7%)
04/2012: Aquaman #8  -- 61,657 (- 1.1%)
05/2012: Aquaman #9  -- 60,527 (- 1.8%)
06/2012: Aquaman #10 -- 59,288 (- 2.1%)
07/2012: Aquaman #11 -- 57,675 (- 2.7%)
08/2012: Aquaman #12 -- 61,210 (+ 6.1%)
-----------------
6 months: -  3.5%

A sales increase for no discernible reason usually means that it’s based on content and people actually like the book a lot. That’s always worth mentioning.

—–

17 - DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL
08/2012: Detective Comics Annual #1  -- 62,571

Another one of those Annuals that came out in August and did pretty well.

—–

25 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS
07/2012: Ozymandias #1 of 6 -- 98,011
08/2012: Ozymandias #2 of 6 -- 64,460 (-34.2%)

—–

22 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL
06/2012: Nite Owl #1 of 4 -- 112,255
07/2012: --
08/2012: Nite Owl #2 of 4 --  66,290 (-41.0%)

The first two issues each of Ozymandias and Nite Owl were returnable, so we’ll have to take these drops at face value.

Skol. (And skol.) And here I am, fresh out of Zäpfle.

—–

16 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
08/2009: Batman and Robin #3  -- 110,594
08/2010: --
----------------------------------------
08/2011: Batman and Robin #26 --  52,704 (- 4.5%)
09/2011: Batman and Robin #1  --  94,713 (+79.7%) [116,053]
10/2011: Batman and Robin #2  --  98,807 (+ 4.3%)
11/2011: Batman and Robin #3  --  86,309 (-12.7%)
12/2011: Batman and Robin #4  --  76,000 (-11.9%)
01/2012: Batman and Robin #5  --  72,786 (- 4.2%)
02/2012: Batman and Robin #6  --  70,103 (- 3.7%)
03/2012: Batman and Robin #7  --  68,010 (- 3.0%)
04/2012: Batman and Robin #8  --  66,659 (- 2.0%)
05/2012: Batman and Robin #9  --  75,967 (+14.0%)
06/2012: Batman and Robin #10 --  66,894 (-11.9%)
07/2012: Batman and Robin #11 --  65,043 (- 2.8%)
08/2012: Batman and Robin #12 --  63,993 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.7%
1 year  : +21.4%
2 years :   n.a.

Levelling out, thank god.

—–

15 - BATMAN INCORPORATED
08/2011: Batman, Inc. #8  --  53,481 (-  4.7%)
09/2011: --
10/2011: --
11/2011: --
12/2011: Lev Strikes #1   --  43,048 (- 19.5%)
01/2012: --
02/2012: --
03/2012: --
04/2012: --
05/2012: Batman, Inc. #1  --  96,486 (+124.1%)
06/2012: Batman, Inc. #2  --  73,654 (- 23.7%)
07/2012: --
08/2012: Batman, Inc. #3  --  66,720 (-  9.4%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : +24.8%

This, of course, is doing nothing of the sort, but I guess it is fitting that a Grant Morrison title has me reaching for my bottle of Scotch. Two fingers it is, and cheers-

—–

14 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
08/2011: Dark Knight #5  --  52,908 (-  7.7%)
09/2011: Dark Knight #1  -- 109,321 (+106.6%) [128,689]
10/2011: Dark Knight #2  -- 100,494 (-  8.1%)
11/2011: Dark Knight #3  --  87,133 (- 13.3%)
12/2011: Dark Knight #4  --  78,689 (-  9.7%)
01/2012: Dark Knight #5  --  76,824 (-  2.4%)
02/2012: Dark Knight #6  --  77,140 (+  0.4%) [ 80,464]
03/2012: Dark Knight #7  --  75,297 (-  2.4%)
04/2012: Dark Knight #8  --  74,287 (-  1.3%)
05/2012: Dark Knight #9  --  82,169 (+ 10.6%)
06/2012: Dark Knight #10 --  71,671 (- 12.8%)
07/2012: Dark Knight #11 --  68,632 (-  4.2%)
08/2012: Dark Knight #12 --  67,084 (-  2.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 13.0%
1 year  : + 26.8%

Levelling out.

—–

13 - EARTH 2
05/2012: Earth 2 #1  -- 95,742          [102,490]
06/2012: Earth 2 #2  -- 75,936 (-20.7%) [ 84,740] 
07/2012: Earth 2 #3  -- 74,892 (- 1.4%)
08/2012: Earth 2 #4  -- 67,393 (-10.0%)

Another boook returnable through July, so the August figure may actually be steady, if I miscompensated for. Still, for lack of detection of miscompensation, I have to say skol.

—–

12 - GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL
08/2012: Green Lantern Annual #1  -- 67,648

Once more there’s an Annual that is doing rather well on the slaes charts although it’s not doing as well as the title it’s an Annual for.

—–

11 - ACTION COMICS
08/2007: Action Comics #853 --  49,694
08/2007: Action Comics #854 --  48,455
08/2007: Action Comics #855 --  55,536
08/2008: Action Comics #868 --  49,556
08/2009: Action Comics #880 --  37,588
08/2010: Action Comics #892 --  36,401
--------------------------------------
08/2011: Action Comics #904 --  39,323 (-  2.2%)
09/2011: Action Comics #1   -- 182,748 (+364.7%) [200,947]
10/2011: Action Comics #2   -- 153,855 (- 15.8%)
11/2011: Action Comics #3   -- 134,875 (- 12.3%)
12/2011: Action Comics #4   -- 112,839 (- 16.3%)
01/2012: Action Comics #5   -- 109,350 (-  3.1%)
02/2012: Action Comics #6   --  96,592 (- 11.7%)
03/2012: Action Comics #7   --  91,822 (-  4.9%)
04/2012: Action Comics #8   --  87,980 (-  4.2%)
05/2012: Action Comics #9   --  88,796 (+  0.9%)
06/2012: Action Comics #10  --  80,751 (-  9.1%)
07/2012: Action Comics #11  --  76,232 (-  5.6%)
08/2012: Action Comics #12  --  71,203 (-  6.6%)
-----------------
6 months: - 26.3%
1 year  : + 81.1%
2 years : + 95.6%
5 years : + 39.0%

Not levelling out.

This comment is sponsored by the Isle of Skye.

—–

10 - DETECTIVE COMICS
08/2007: Detective Comics #835 --  50,479
08/2008: Detective Comics #847 --  71,134
08/2009: Detective Comics #856 --  58,859
08/2010: Detective Comics #868 --  38,682
-----------------------------------------
08/2011: Detective Comics #881 --  39,729 (+  3.0%)
09/2011: Detective Comics #1   -- 114,880 (+189.2%) [157,751]
10/2011: Detective Comics #2   -- 123,099 (+  7.2%)
11/2011: Detective Comics #3   -- 111,197 (-  9.7%)
12/2011: Detective Comics #4   --  99,366 (- 10.6%)
01/2012: Detective Comics #5   --  99,342 (-  0.0%)
02/2012: Detective Comics #6   --  94,415 (-  5.0%)
03/2012: Detective Comics #7   --  89,891 (-  4.8%)
04/2012: Detective Comics #8   --  87,675 (-  2.5%)
05/2012: Detective Comics #9   --  96,016 (+  9.5%)
06/2012: Detective Comics #10  --  83,317 (- 13.2%)
07/2012: Detective Comics #11  --  79,835 (-  4.2%)
08/2012: Detective Comics #12  --  75,998 (-  4.8%)
-----------------
6 months: - 19.5%
1 year  : + 91.3%
2 years : + 96.5%
5 years : + 50.6%

Not levelling out, either.

—–

9 - GREEN LANTERN
08/2007: Green Lantern #22  --  77,916 [82,980]
08/2008: --
08/2009: Green Lantern #45  -- 102,431
08/2010: --
--------------------------------------
08/2011: --
09/2011: Green Lantern #1   -- 141,682 (+90.1%) [169,159]
10/2011: Green Lantern #2   -- 142,344 (+ 0.5%)
11/2011: Green Lantern #3   -- 122,644 (-13.8%)
12/2011: Green Lantern #4   -- 104,199 (-15.0%)
01/2012: Green Lantern #5   --  97,878 (- 6.0%)
02/2012: Green Lantern #6   --  94,087 (- 3.9%)
03/2012: Green Lantern #7   --  90,232 (- 4.1%)
04/2012: Green Lantern #8   --  88,335 (- 2.1%)
05/2012: Green Lantern #9   --  87,601 (- 0.8%)
06/2012: Green Lantern #10  --  80,615 (- 8.0%)
07/2012: Green Lantern #11  --  78,708 (- 2.4%)
08/2012: Green Lantern #12  --  77,187 (- 1.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 18.0%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : -  0.9%

Levelling out.

—–

8 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: DOCTOR MANHATTAN
08/2012: Ozymandias #1 of 4 -- 86,197

—–

6 - BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH
08/2012: Rorschach #1 of 4 -- 94,970

These two titles by people with no interest in money are returnable, so it’s possible I overjuiced their sales by as much as 10%. Still, you’ll notice that their sales are nowhere near as goode as those of the other, previous titles by people with no interest in money, whose sales I may also have overjuiced equally.

—–

4 - JUSTICE LEAGUE
08/2007: JL of America #12   -- 131,420 [137,181]
08/2008: JL of America #24   --  81,451
08/2009: JL of America #36   --  57,549
08/2010: JL of America #48   --  60,733
---------------------------------------
08/2011: JL of America #60   --  42,587 (-  2.2%)
08/2011: Justice League #1   -- 185,776 (+336.2%) [271,173]
09/2011: --
10/2011: Justice League #2   -- 196,569 (+  5.8%)
11/2011: Justice League #3   -- 168,679 (- 14.2%)
12/2011: Justice League #4   -- 149,314 (- 11.5%) [152,340]
01/2012: Justice League #5   -- 144,670 (-  3.1%) [148,117]
02/2012: Justice League #6   -- 140,819 (-  2.7%)
03/2012: Justice League #7   -- 136,436 (-  3.1%)
04/2012: Justice League #8   -- 133,240 (-  2.3%)
05/2012: Justice League #9   -- 131,332 (-  1.4%)
06/2012: Justice League #10  -- 130,502 (-  0.6%)
07/2012: Justice League #11  -- 123,971 (-  5.0%)
08/2012: Justice League #12  -- 120,796 (-  2.6%) [161,235]
-----------------
6 months: - 14.2%
1 year  : +  5.8%
2 years : + 98.9%
5 years : -  7.9%

Despite the suggestion of sexual shenanigans between Superman and Wonder Woman, there was no noticeable sales boost in August. Thanks to my magical crystal ball, though, I foretell that Justice League #12 will make the chart again in September with 40,439 units. Since it originally shipped in the last week of August, this seems credible-like.

—–

3 - BATMAN
08/2007: Batman #667 --  78,578 [82,418]
08/2007: Batman #668 --  76,962
08/2008: Batman #679 -- 103,588
08/2009: Batman #689 --  78,392
08/2010: Batman #702 --  73,414
-------------------------------
08/2011: Batman #713 --  51,760 (+  0.7%)
09/2011: Batman #1   -- 188,420 (+264.0%) [223,299]
10/2011: Batman #2   -- 172,428 (-  8.5%) [177,721]
11/2011: Batman #3   -- 150,984 (- 12.4%)
12/2011: Batman #4   -- 133,781 (- 11.4%) [144,777]
01/2012: Batman #5   -- 135,145 (+  1.0%) [142,499]
02/2012: Batman #6   -- 128,459 (-  5.0%) [135,435]
03/2012: Batman #7   -- 131,091 (+  2.1%)
04/2012: Batman #8   -- 130,602 (-  0.4%) [136,218]
05/2012: Batman #9   -- 134,605 (+  3.1%)
06/2012: Batman #10  -- 130,265 (-  3.2%)
07/2012: Batman #11  -- 127,210 (-  2.4%)
08/2012: Batman #12  -- 125,249 (-  1.5%)
-----------------
6 months: -  2.5%
1 year  : +142.0%
2 years : + 70.6%
5 years : + 61.1%

Bottoming out, and it’s all Scotty’s fault. I know Boise too, you know.

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+  7.2%: Scalped
+  5.6%: American Vampire
+  1.9%: Young Justice
-  1.6%: Hellblazer
-  1.9%: Sweet Tooth
-  2.5%: Batman
-  3.5%: Aquaman
-  3.9%: Fables
-  5.8%: Unwritten
-  8.2%: Suicide Squad
-  8.7%: Batman and Robin
- 10.0%: I, Zombie
- 10.3%: Animal Man
- 10.5%: Nightwing
- 11.0%: Swamp Thing
- 12.5%: Birds of Prey
- 13.0%: All Star Western
- 13.0%: Dark Knight
- 13.7%: Red Hood
- 14.2%: JLA
- 14.9%: Shade
- 15.5%: Batwing
- 15.7%: Spaceman
- 17.4%: Legion Lost
- 17.6%: Batgirl
- 17.6%: New Guardians
- 17.7%: Catwoman
- 17.7%: Wonder Woman
- 18.0%: Green Lantern
- 18.4%: GL Corps
- 19.3%: LoSH
- 19.3%: Red Lanterns
- 19.4%: Teen Titans
- 19.5%: Detective Comics
- 19.8%: JLD
- 20.2%: BB Unlimited
- 20.3%: Superboy
- 21.3%: Deathstroke
- 28.5%: I, Vampire
- 21.4%: Supergirl
- 21.8%: Blue Beetle
- 22.7%: Batwoman
- 23.2%: Green Arrow
- 23.4%: Superman
- 23.9%: Flash
- 24.7%: JLI
- 25.0%: DCU Presents
- 26.0%: Resurrection Man
- 26.2%: Firestorm
- 26.3%: Action Comics
- 26.3%: Demon Knights
- 28.3%: Frankenstein
- 28.9%: Stormwatch
- 30.8%: Savage Hawkman
- 31.0%: Voodoo
- 31.3%: Grifter
- 31.4%: Captain Atom

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+142.0%: Batman
+119.6%: All Star Western
+ 93.0%: Batgirl
+ 91.3%: Detective Comics
+ 81.1%: Action Comics
+ 67.2%: Teen Titans
+ 53.9%: Supergirl
+ 52.6%: Wonder Woman
+ 48.5%: Superman
+ 33.8%: Superboy
+ 26.8%: Dark Knight
+ 24.8%: Batman Incorporated
+ 21.4%: Batman and Robin
+  5.8%: JLA
+  2.1%: Birds of Prey
+  0.4%: Scalped
+  0.3%: Hellblazer
-  2.2%: American Vampire
-  2.8%: BB Unlimited
-  3.2%: Green Arrow
-  6.2%: New Guardians
-  6.4%: Sweet Tooth
-  8.5%: Young Justice
-  9.2%: Fables
- 11.5%: LoSH
- 15.0%: Unwritten
- 21.5%: I, Zombie
- 21.7%: GL Corps

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 98.9%: JLA
+ 96.5%: Detective Comics
+ 95.6%: Action Comics
+ 93.4%: All Star Western
+ 71.5%: Teen Titans
+ 70.6%: Batman
+ 60.8%: Batgirl
+ 17.5%: Supergirl
+ 17.3%: Wonder Woman
+  6.6%: Superman
-  2.4%: Scalped
-  5.4%: Hellblazer
- 14.9%: Fables
- 19.5%: Sweet Tooth
- 28.6%: Unwritten
- 37.8%: GL Corps
- 42.2%: Birds of Prey
- 44.8%: LoSH
- 50.1%: Green Arrow
- 52.4%: I, Zombie

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 66.9%: Stormwatch
+ 66.3%: Catwoman
+ 61.1%: Batman
+ 58.7%: Nightwing
+ 50.6%: Detective Comics
+ 48.2%: All Star Western
+ 39.0%: Action Comics
-  0.5%: Superman
-  0.9%: Green Lantern
-  6.0%: Birds of Prey
-  7.9%: JLA
- 12.4%: Wonder Woman
- 19.0%: GL Corps
- 19.0%: Scalped
- 28.7%: Green Arrow
- 28.7%: Hellblazer
- 30.4%: Blue Beetle
- 34.5%: Fables
- 35.1%: Supergirl
- 35.5%: LoSH
- 38.5%: Teen Titans
- 43.2%: Flash

—–
Average Periodical Sales (not counting reprints, reorders shipping after the initial month of release, Johnny DC titles and magazines)

DC COMICS
08/2007: 35,107
08/2008: 29,678
08/2009: 29,977
08/2010: 23,331**
---------------
08/2011: 25,632 (-  1.9%)**
09/2011: 57,224 (+123.3%)
10/2011: 51,280 (- 10.4%)**
11/2011: 41,414 (- 19.2%)**
12/2011: 35,397 (- 14.5%)**
01/2012: 33,887 (-  4.3%)**
02/2012: 31,535 (-  6.9%)**
03/2012: 29,679 (-  5.9%)
04/2012: 31,319 (+  5.5%)
05/2012: 38,708 (+ 23.6%)
06/2012: 37,599 (-  2.9%)
07/2012: 33,837 (- 10.0%)
08/2012: 33,500 (-  1.0%)**
-----------------
6 months: +  6.2%
1 year  : + 30.7%
2 years : + 43.6%
5 years : -  4.6%
DC UNIVERSE
08/2007: 47,049
08/2008: 38,502
08/2009: 37,300
08/2010: 33,411
---------------
08/2011: 27,761 (-  2.9%)**
09/2011: 67,411 (+142.8%)
10/2011: 59,146 (- 12.3%)**
11/2011: 46,670 (- 21.1%)**
12/2011: 39,390 (- 15.6%)**
01/2012: 37,145 (-  5.7%)**
02/2012: 34,456 (-  7.2%)**
03/2012: 33,229 (-  3.6%)
04/2012: 35,264 (+  6.1%)
05/2012: 44,139 (+ 25.2%)
06/2012: 43,082 (-  2.4%)
07/2012: 38,502 (- 10.6%)
08/2012: 38,047 (-  1.2%)**
-----------------
6 months: + 10.4%
1 year  : + 37.1%
2 years : + 13.9%
5 years : - 19.1%
VERTIGO
08/2007: 10,817
08/2008: 10,979
08/2009: 11,369
08/2010:  9,094
---------------
08/2011: 10,147 (- 5.9%)
09/2011:  9,995 (- 1.5%)
10/2011: 10,643 (+ 6.5%)
11/2011: 10,355 (- 2.7%)
12/2011: 11,082 (+ 7.0%)
01/2012:  9,995 (- 9.8%)
02/2012: 10,252 (+ 2.6%)
03/2012: 12,688 (+23.8%)
04/2012: 11,595 (- 8.6%)
05/2012: 11,102 (- 4.3%)
06/2012: 11,448 (+ 3.1%)
07/2012: 11,589 (+ 1.2%)
08/2012: 10,764 (- 7.1%)**
-----------------
6 months: +  5.0%
1 year  : +  6.1%
2 years : + 18.4%
5 years : -  0.5%

—–
Disclaimers, et cetera

The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.

ICv2.com‘s estimates are somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month.

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass-market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Re-orders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial calendar month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month.

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after a book’s initial calendar month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in parenthesis behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]“). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average between them will be used.

Titles released under the Johnny DC imprint and magazines, such as Mad, mostly sell through channels other than the direct market, so direct-market sales don’t tell us much about their performance. For most Vertigo titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well. To learn (a little) more about Vertigo’s collection sales, go right here.

** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales are likely to be less than that.

For a more lyrical approach to discussing sales figures that covers all the essentials in a more condensed, less tedious fashion, finally, go right here.

—–
Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Torsten Adair says:

    Rothaus… 100% state-owned.
    Of course, there’s the German purity law has been on the books since 1516, so maybe government regulation is a good thing?

    Given the (perceived) nature of the commentary, perhaps some Kuemmerling might be appropriate?

    But that all depends on what type of drunk you are…
    Zum Wohl!

  2. Pretty sure Sweet Tooth is wrapping up as planned with #40, not canceled.

  3. Jason says:

    I like the reverse order since it breaks up the chart more. The commentary had me smirking since I liked the disclaimer at the top. Next month should be Sales Chart Shots for every number that is -X% set by the Beat Editorial borad. ;) I wish DC would focus on pushing books like Demon Knights and Firsestorm. They both could be something if they would get the creators straightened up and/or made the books feel like they matter to the DCU proper. And by that I do not mean a crossover arc.

  4. As someone who was very disappointed by your efforts last month (though I don’t believe I actually voiced that complaint), I have to give you props this month (though you really need to pace yourself a little better). I think you’ve given us a good sense of where the new 52’s at right now; historically, many of these books are doing very well, but they still have yet to find their level, so it’s hard to say if the initiative will be a long term success. But Marvel and DC don’t really think long term any more, do they?

    Vertigo will exist as long as Karen Berger is at DC, period. But, now that Paul Levitz has moved on, I can well imagine a day when she decides to move on. If, as Brian Wood has suggested, the new regime has moved the goalposts on her, and projects that she’s shepherded and believes in are cancelled from under her, it’s not hard to connect the dots. Maybe some comics web site should do an investigation….

  5. Christopher says:

    More abysmal numbers from DC. How much longer can the bottom drop out before the entire line crashes? Prost!

  6. @ Christopher: but they’re not abysmal numbers; look at the historical comparisons at the end of the chart. THOSE were the abysmal numbers. These are merely bad. :) Also, remember that DC has managed to stay neck and neck (or beat) Marvel all summer despite the latter having their biggest hit in years. DC’s gotta be happy overall right now.

  7. Pedro Bouça says:

    Sales Charts: The Alcohol Poisoning Edition!

    European comics wouldn’t drive you to alcoholism, you know?

  8. jonboy says:

    Hey look, another month in which DC’s sales numbers are up, and another month in which MOF looks for some way in order to describe how they’re down.
    In this case he resorts to saying the retailers are piling up overstock, and that actual readers aren’t buying any of the books.
    No actual evidence of that. But hey, it makes his argument work, so let’s go with it.

  9. Christopher says:

    @Ken Raining: but going by the six-month comparisons and it is easy to see we will be right back where we were a few years ago with no huge line-sweeping reboot to save the day. And I’m not holding up Marvel’s numbers either. Outside of AvX, they can barely crack 60k on their best titles.

  10. Christopher says:

    DC’s sales are up? Only three titles improved their sales in the last six-months:
    + 7.2%: Scalped
    + 5.6%: American Vampire
    + 1.9%: Young Justice
    And Scalped is gone now…

  11. Pedro Bouça says:

    They are up due to the release of two new, high-selling Before Watchmen minis, that add almost a couple hundred thousand sales to the publisher’s bottom line. Easy to go up that way…

    Let’s see next month.

  12. goggles says:

    Outstanding.

    Thought I heard GI Combat was cancelled.

    Disappointed there are no Bruce lyrics in the post….maybe in the comments sections

  13. Zeparu says:

    Hey Marc! When you’re writing the next DC sales column I’ll happily help out with the drinking! But only if we’re taking shots of Schierker Feuerstein!
    Stößchen!

  14. Mr Frisch, considering your rather harsh words for DC’s sales figures, how would you rate them in comparison to Marvel’s?

  15. “We don’t know how much of the current sales volume is content-driven and based on genuine reader interest, because publishing stunts and gimmicks are reaching a level we haven’t seen since the early 1990s.”

    True. Interesting how you’ve chosen to parallel these developments with all of your gimmicks in this column. And I assume the emphasis on the negative is meant to parallel the relentless “grim-and-gritty / 90s redux” of the Snyder/Capullo “Batman” title.

    Seriously, though, I enjoy this every month.

  16. MBunge says:

    The analysis is ridiculously sour, given the sales context, but at least there was more of an effort made this month to be entertaining with the commentary.

    Mike

  17. @Pedro Bouça: “They are up due to the release of two new, high-selling Before Watchmen minis, that add almost a couple hundred thousand sales to the publisher’s bottom line.”

    The Annuals are also helping.

    @JG: “Mr Frisch, considering your rather harsh words for DC’s sales figures, how would you rate them in comparison to Marvel’s?”

    From looking at Paul O’Brien’s column, I suspect much of what I say about DC applies to Marvel as well, probably more so because Marvel hasn’t (yet) had a massive relaunch to stem the bleeding.

    I don’t keep statistics on Marvel sales, though, so I couldn’t tell you how their average or total sales compare with DC’s.

    In other news, I’m not levelled out yet.

  18. Paul Mellerick says:

    I really like the countdown style of listing your using, I just might have to nick that for the Indie charts.
    Not the drinking game though. I think that might kill me…

  19. Paul Mellerick says:

    *you’re – ugh, and I call myself a writer…

  20. Blue Beetle, Frankenstein, Grifter, and Legion Lost are all solicited for January as “final issue”.

  21. Glenn Simpson says:

    I tend to find the commentary about MOF’s commentary to often be more interesting than MOF’s commentary, from more of a sociological/communication theory point of view.

    Certainly explanation of how returnability numbers have been applied is necessary and neutral. Certainly a reminder of special things that are happening in the issues at hand that might affect (or failed to affect) the sales levels is certainly needed.

    But perhaps an experiment where no reference is made to levelling out or not levelling out, and just take those percentages for what they are might be interesting to see, in terms of the reaction.

  22. Chris Hero says:

    Every month, I get giddy about the comments to this article because they’re so hilarious. When I checked the page and saw 21 comments, I knew they wouldn’t disappoint and they didn’t!

  23. “Plainly, it looks like retailers have been buying more comic books than they can realistically hope to sell to readers since September 2011 and may be willing to sit on growing mounts of dead capital in order to keep up with the gimmick of the month.”

    I think this kind of grossly overstates things, Marc-Oliver — the thing to remember is that a book selling 20k, if we assume 2000 “real” comic book stores, is selling all of 10 copies per store on average. These are not gigantic piles of unsold comics rotting on racks, these are “every other store has 1 too many copies” (more or less), for most of the most egregiously dropping titles.

    Now, when you’re talking about the monthly-5% drops happening on, say, ACTION, then yeah, you’re just starting to possibly talk about meaningful amount of unsalable goods — but that difference of 794 copies of FIRESTORM #11 to #12? That’s not really so statistically meaningful when averaged out over the number of stores.

    I actually think the bigger problem really looks like this third month of BEFORE WATCHMEN — it looks like there could be 30k unsold copies of each of the #1’s out there floating around…. THAT is more unsold merch out there on any ONE of those books, than of the sum of every sub 25k New 52 drop from #11 to #12! And they’re $1 more expensive (so about 50 cents wholesale)

    Either way, I think it is really really bad for their brands that DC (and Marvel) let “Main universe” titles selling under 30k continue.

    -B

  24. Brian,

    800 copies on one title from one month to the next may not seem like much, but we’ve seen similar and worse drops on 20 or more titles for most months through the last year. That’s quite a lot of units and dollars.

    And that’s not counting all the extra units that are being pumped into the market every month for no other reason than because retailers need to buy them to get a bunch of gimmick covers. I think the fact alone that the number of AVAILABLE variants (to say nothing about their rdiciulously increased qualifying thresholds) has risen by FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY-THREE percent over the last five years should be enough to make anyone with a stake in this market deeply worried, and deeply suspicious of any report that ignores this aspect.

    And of course some stores are more fiscally responsible than others, but that’s only a source of relief if we assume that those stores are in the majority. Frankly, from looking at what’s going on in the market right now, I’m not convinced that’s the case.

  25. Mesektet says:

    If they cancelled all the books under 30k then a lot of their best books would or soon would be gone. Most of the books left would be Batman, Avengers or X-men related.

    How could they increase sales?

  26. “800 copies on one title from one month to the next may not seem like much, but we’ve seen similar and worse drops on 20 or more titles for most months through the last year. That’s quite a lot of units and dollars.”

    Understood, but you’re not processing the impact on the market as a retailer would — changing from 8 to 7 copies on a book, EVEN IF two months later you move from 7 to 6, is not any life-changing problem.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, the real harm in the market is always done by “the Death of A Thousand Paper Cuts”, rather than it really being Turok #1 that was the problem, but those single copy drops are normal and to be expected in new (or “new” books) most of the time.

    DC *does* have a problem — but it is that losing one reader every other month hasn’t stopped, not that those leftover copies are choking out the marketplace. Again, the loss of BEFORE WATCHMEN is almost certainly an significant multiple of the bottom line n52 books.

    “And that’s not counting all the extra units that are being pumped into the market every month for no other reason than because retailers need to buy them to get a bunch of gimmick covers.”

    Looking at DC’s offerings this month, it appears to me that the lowest selling title WITH a Variant is BATWOMAN, at 38k, so I don’t see any specific evidence that the market is reaching for variants that it isn’t at least already close on.

    What I see looking at the charts, and please you stare at these more than I do, so tell me if I am wrong, but is that it looks like a 1:10 gives about an 8% bump most of the time. IF that’s true, then it would appear to me, at least, that most retailers are simply ordering variants by-rote. “I qualify for 2, on my 20 copy order; I shall order 2″ — bang, 8% increase.

    Clearly a store is messing up if they have 10 sales, but they’re ordering 20 to get a second 1:10 variant…. unless, of course, they’re getting the price of 11 comics for that 1:10, in which case they are ahead…. but I can’t really detect any evidence in the charts that either of those things are happening, can you?

    Either way, the MAJORITY of the 5%-every-month charts are happening down at the bottom, down below 35k — but since those books DON’T have variants, I think you’re conflating the two issues needlessly..

    And I hate the fucking things!

    -B

  27. With fewer titles on the market, the remaining ones would sell better, and the fringier books would inevitably gain a higher rack profile. Those bottom 20 or so DCU titles are all competing for a very small audience “people who read superhero comics that are not the major properties” — that’s maybe, if we’re lucky, 100-150k people total. Slicing that pie 20 ways doesn’t lead to very big slices.

    -B

  28. saipaman says:

    This column continues to be more entertaining than any DC book.

    Now if you could just find a way to double-ship it.

  29. johnrobiethecat says:

    I agree, I used to look forward to the Indie one more but this has too much flair and sobriety. And its must tweak DC some….The backwards list is funny.

    I didn’t see a bright future for Blue Beetle (judging from what saw in DC Sneak peeks) Not just because he didn’t have the Ryan Seacrest looks of most of his fellow universe , he’s just too weird to even be interesting. Beetle and Agent Frankenstein just go to show that if you’re going to be weird, you need a good story or have a SuperFriends nostalgia on your side.

  30. Burn, baby, burn!

    Batman is the clear winner. Green Lantern has mined all of the Alan Moore material there is and Superman is clearly mired in schism until those at DC view the Snyder film in order to get their marching orders.

    The rest is the province of codified, obscure fanboyist delight. Which is to say, worth about 30k in orders.

  31. Brian,

    “… but those single copy drops are normal and to be expected in new (or ‘new’ books) most of the time.”

    But we’re not talking about “normal” drops here — that’s the point. More than 20 of the “New 52″ titles lost more than 20% of their sales over the last six months. That’s not normal by any stretch, at this stage in their lifespan, and that’s AFTER they already cancelled six of the lowest-selling ones. In August 2011, we had TWO mainstream DCU titles with drops larger than 20%, as a point of comparison.

    “What I see looking at the charts, and please you stare at these more than I do, so tell me if I am wrong, but is that it looks like a 1:10 gives about an 8% bump most of the time.”

    There rarely are 1:10 variants anymore, and when DC has published them in the last year, it was only for Vertigo titles or niche books like THE SHADE; as content-driven as it gets at DC, in other words, so I’d be wary of using those as examples for how gimmicks work.

    Mostly, what you get nowadays are 1:25 or 1:100 or 1:200 variants, and I can’t recall any recent examples where one of those was applied to a run that had stabilized, so I don’t think it’s possible to determine any kind of rule there. There ARE two recent instances of 1:10 variants being applied in the middle of a run — SWEET TOOTH and AMERICAN VAMPIRE –, but while those fit your description, I don’t think that’s enough to prove that most retailers order variants the way you suggest. It’s possible that they do, but it’s also quite possible that they don’t, given the increasing volume of variants that’s out there.

    And even if we assume that ALL of those were ordered by retailers who didn’t stretch their budget to get them, for that matter, it’d still mean a hell of a lot of retail and customer money tied up in things that have nothing to do with content, much more so than was the case a few years ago. That’s not the hallmark of a healthy comic-book market that’s moving in the right direction.

    After all, it wasn’t so long ago that comics retailers bought about ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND extra copies of comics they KNEW nobody was going to buy, just because they wanted to be able to supply their customers with a bunch of plastic rings. So forgive me if I’m somewhat skeptical regarding the fiscal responsibility of comics retailers when I see crashing sales combined with an inflation of gimmicks. (And I agree the two don’t seem to apply to the same books, in most cases. They’re still happening at the same time, though.)

  32. patrick ford says:

    What is obvious here is the return to the speculation tactics of the late ’80s, early ’90s. People might not think this would work, and in a way it isn’t working. What once sold eight million now sells 800,000.
    To the degree it is working, it’s evidence that the remaining 50,000 people who follow mainstream hero comics are the hardest of the hard core. It’s to be expected these fans would respond in a predictable way. The end result is just as predictable. It will be the post boom bust all over again.

  33. Chris Hero says:

    I’m really confused by the numbers people are quoting for the size of the comic reading audience. Way back when the market was healthier, Mark Millar said on a conference call for Trouble the size of the comic reading audience was 330,000 according to Marvel’s market research. Much more recently, maybe a year or two ago, an executive at Boom said they spent a lot of money to find out the audience was 300,000 people.

    I just don’t see how these numbers support anything more than that even at their most optimistic. Speaking plainly, these sales numbers suck. (Marvel’s numbers are the suckiest sucks ever to suck, for comparison.)

    Anyway, I’m going back to being amused by the discussion.

  34. Don’t ever stop your column, I just love it. It’s a dleight to read. I would kill my mother and 3 of my sisters to know the sales from Diamond UK for Europe. We do not see at all here in France if we have any influence into helping a title to survive. Doesn’t any creator receive any information on his sales into the different countries of Old Europe (I’m not talking about french editions but US ones) ?

  35. Saucy Jack says:

    I love this column so much. I want to lick it.

  36. Glenn Simpson says:

    300,000 sounds about right. When the top-selling mainstream book sells about 100,000, you have to ask – how many additional comics fans are there you would not have bought that book? Two additional for each one sounds about right to me anyway.

  37. Would – and as a retailer you would have a good idea of this – readers of, say, Blue Beetle migrate on to a bigger selling book like Batman or Green Lantern when BB ends in a few months time? It’s not like readers of lower selling books don’t *know* that the bigger selling ones are out there. There’s probably a good chance they’re buying them already.

  38. Michael P says:

    Oh, your poor liver.

  39. MBunge says:

    “More than 20 of the “New 52″ titles lost more than 20% of their sales over the last six months.”

    Ahem.

    DC COMICS
    6 months: + 6.2%
    1 year : + 30.7%
    2 years : + 43.6%
    5 years : – 4.6%

    DC UNIVERSE
    6 months: + 10.4%
    1 year : + 37.1%
    2 years : + 13.9%
    5 years : – 19.1%

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I started reading comics back in the late 70s, a time when 100,000 sales a month was considered cancellation level, so I fully appreciate how puny these individual numbers are. The fact remains that DC’s average comic is selling better than it was 6 months, 1 or even 2 years ago. That seems like an important bit of context that should be reflected in the commentary, even if it interferes with the author’s reflexive negativity.

    Mike

  40. I agree with Brian– to me, the big story that’s being overlooked here is the massive slip of the Before Watchmen books. While I always figured that DC was really looking more at adding more Watchmen collections to their catalog then selling floppies, the fact that they’ve dropped so drastically, and that the later first issue orders have come in far below the first wave, signals a project in trouble.

  41. Torsten Adair says:

    Are there 2000 comics shops? I heard more drastic numbers last week at the ICV2 conference.

    I would love to see store penetration numbers… what percentage of stores order each title?

    Do migrating heroes bring readers along to a new title? Will Blue Beetle’s readers pick up whatever team book he appears in? Will they pick up Blue Beetle after he cameos in Green Lantern or Batman?

  42. @Mike: “That seems like an important bit of context that should be reflected in the commentary…”

    I agree, and that’s why I wrote the first two paragraphs of the column. They’re up front, at the beginning. They’re the first two paragraphs. For context. At the start.

  43. MBunge says:

    “They’re the first two paragraphs. For context. At the start.”

    And then you completely ignore that context in pretty much everything you write after that. It’s like you begin by acknowledging the sky is blue, only to make a great and sustained effort after that to argue that it’s really green.

    Look, if the only thing you can do is snark, if you can’t manage to be clever and entertaining while writing positive things, that’s okay. You just need to give up this pretense that something else is going on here.

    Mike

  44. “After all, it wasn’t so long ago that comics retailers bought about ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND extra copies of comics they KNEW nobody was going to buy, just because they wanted to be able to supply their customers with a bunch of plastic rings. So forgive me if I’m somewhat skeptical regarding the fiscal responsibility of comics retailers when I see crashing sales combined with an inflation of gimmicks. ”

    Wait, what evidence do you have that those extra comics DID NOT sell? Because I can say that in my individual micro-economy we sold a LOT more copies of the tie-in books… To whit:

    Doom patrol #4: +60% from #3.
    Rebels #10: +283% from #9
    Booster Gold #26: +340% of #25
    Outsiders #24: +230% of #23
    Adventure Comics #4: +36% of #3
    JLA #38: + 27% of #37
    Blackest Night #5: +29% of #4.

    My “biffage” wasn’t all that bad — only 6 copies over on BN#5 and 4 on JL #38 than I “wanted” for back issue boxes. Adventure comics was the only “bad” one, with +16 leftover copies, but considering I sold +66 copies I *wouldn’t* have w/o the rings on the other four comics, I consider than a net win… AND it created a great deal of customer good will!

    This is essentially the same mistake you made in the first sentence I called out: stores that consistently and continually overorder (much less “on purpose”) are stores that go out of business. But there’s a *certain* amount of “oopsie!” that is both natural and healthy in the market. the market as a whole is up, and thus, it’s tolerance for small errors is up as well — and the #s you’re so concerned about are somewhere between 0.5 and 0.3 copies-per-store. These are not inherently catastrophic losses, other than pointing out quite starkly that the 20-ish impacted comics aren’t gaining new friends, and are more likely to be cancelled sooner, than later (except for the pesky “52 titles!” thing).

    To put it another way, I used to take, roughly, a half-short box of “biffage” off the rack each week, 18 months ago. Right now, I’m taking about 3/4 of a longbox…. but my gross sales are up some 20%, so it all balances out. In fact, no, my NET is up… which is all that matters at the end of the day.

    -B

  45. @Brian: “Wait, what evidence do you have that those extra comics DID NOT sell?”

    The fact that none of the involved titles held on to the extra sales. If a meaningful number of those titles resulted in sales, why did none of those titles profit from the exposure?

    “… and the #s you’re so concerned about are somewhere between 0.5 and 0.3 copies-per-store.”

    I honestly don’t know how you arrive at those figures, why you think that those drops are necessarily distributed equally among stores, or why you seem to be suggesting that the overall figures don’t matter.

    Again: We’ve been seeing much bigger than usual drops for much longer than usual on many more titles than usual, as well as an increase of gimmicks by several hundred percent.

    I appreciate that you operate your store in a way that makes sense financially, but I don’t find your conclusion that all stores operate similarly to be very convincing, considering the facts.

  46. What counts as a “DC Universe” comic book. You claim August 2012 had 70 DC Universe releases. That means in addition to the New52 there were 18 other releases he’s calling a “DC Universe” comic book. It probably doesn’t include Vertigo, so I’ll give you that. Does it include Watchmen? Does it include out of continuity books like Smallville and Arkham City? Does it include anything with a DC logo, like the previously-released-through-Wildstorm licensed titles?

    Just thinking of annuals and minis I can’t think of an additional 10 even.

  47. @Ziggy: “What counts as a “DC Universe” comic book.”

    DC has three imprints right now: DC Universe, Vertigo and Johnny DC. (Until December 2010, there also was WildStorm.)

    Vertigo and Johnny DC are clear, but the crucial thing to understand is that the DC Universe imprint doesn’t just include titles that are set in the DC Universe continuity, but also various others.

    In August 2012, the DC Universe imprint included:

    o the 52 “New 52″ titles;

    o 5 Annuals: FLASH, SUPERMAN, GREEN LANTERN, DETECTIVE COMICS and JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL;

    o 4 titles which are not part of the “New 52,” but are still set in the DC Universe anyway: NIGHT FORCE, NATIONAL COMICS, PHANTOM LADY and THE SHADE;

    o 5 BEFORE WATCHMEN titles: RORSCHACH, DR. MANHATTAN, NITE OWL, MINUTEMEN and OZYMANDIAS;

    o 3 titles collecting digital-first material, re-adapted from video games and TV: BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED, BATMAN: ARKHAM UNHINGED and SMALLVILLE: SEASON 11;

    o and 1 licensed video-game adaptation, namely DIABLO.

    And that takes you to 70.

    The official PR spin you get from DC these days is that they reduced their mainstream superhero line to 52, but in reality, they have massively INCREASED the number of titles they publish, as I explain in detail in the column. DC has this group of titles now that they conveniently call the “New 52,” but this doesn’t even cover all the proper, honest-to-good set-in-the-DC-Universe titles they publish.

    (You can argue about books like DIABLO, certainly, but if you leave those types of books out, my point still stands: In August 2011, there were two of those as well, with GEARS OF WAR and DRIVER.)

  48. @Ziggy: “What counts as a “DC Universe” comic book.”

    DC has three imprints right now: DC Universe, Vertigo and Johnny DC. (Until December 2010, there also was WildStorm.)

    Vertigo and Johnny DC are clear, but the crucial thing to understand is that the DC Universe imprint doesn’t just include titles that are set in the DC Universe continuity, but also various others.

    In August 2012, the DC Universe imprint included:

    o the 52 “New 52″ titles;

    o 5 Annuals: FLASH, SUPERMAN, GREEN LANTERN, DETECTIVE COMICS and JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL;

    o 4 titles which are not part of the “New 52,” but are still set in the DC Universe anyway: NIGHT FORCE, NATIONAL COMICS, PHANTOM LADY and THE SHADE;

    o 5 BEFORE WATCHMEN titles: RORSCHACH, DR. MANHATTAN, NITE OWL, MINUTEMEN and OZYMANDIAS;

    o 3 titles collecting digital-first material, re-adapted from video games and TV: BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED, BATMAN: ARKHAM UNHINGED and SMALLVILLE: SEASON 11;

    o and 1 licensed video-game adaptation, namely DIABLO.

    And that takes you to 70.

    The official PR spin you get from DC these days is that they reduced their mainstream superhero line to 52, but in reality, they have massively INCREASED the number of titles they publish, as I explain in detail in the column. DC has this group of titles now that they conveniently call the “New 52,” but this doesn’t even cover all the proper, honest-to-god set-in-the-DC-Universe titles they publish.

    (You can argue about books like DIABLO, certainly, but if you leave those types of books out, my point still stands: In August 2011, there were two of those as well, with GEARS OF WAR and DRIVER.)

  49. “The fact that none of the involved titles held on to the extra sales. If a meaningful number of those titles resulted in sales, why did none of those titles profit from the exposure?”

    Um, because they were shitty, and no one was buying them for any other reason that to get the free ring? I mean, basically, it was “$2.99 for a ring, get a free comic”. I would be much more astonished if almost any of those books HAD kept any of that audience jump, because they were pretty much all lousy lousy comics on the best of days… and BLACKEST NIGHT crossovers were hardly the best of days!

    “I appreciate that you operate your store in a way that makes sense financially, but I don’t find your conclusion that all stores operate similarly to be very convincing, considering the facts.”

    If stores WEREN’T “operating their stores in a way that made sense financially”, then they’d be going out of business in droves. Yet, that not only doesn’t seem to be happening that *I* can tell, but overall industry sales are way way up. Something I can also attest to in my individual store.

    -B

  50. Aquaman 12 had two variant covers. The sketch variant and the Robot Chicken one. As much as I would like to believe Aquaman can buck the downward trend, perhaps the extra variant has something to do with the increase?

  51. Hey, I liked both Rebels and Doom Patrol!

  52. @Brian: “Um, because they were shitty, and no one was buying them for any other reason that to get the free ring?”

    And if retailers really sold all their stock of those sucky comics under those conditions, as you submit, then that would be a sign of good health of the comic-book market, or of the good judgment on the part of the retailers who play along?

    “If stores WEREN’T ‘operating their stores in a way that made sense financially’, then they’d be going out of business in droves. Yet, that not only doesn’t seem to be happening that *I* can tell, but overall industry sales are way way up.”

    If bad business decisions meant going out of business immediately, I think the last 20 years of comic-book history would have been very different. (To say nothing of the last five years of world history.)

    You know, I’d love a U.S. comic-book market that’s striving based on content rather than a disproportionately growing volume of gimmicks and attempts to game the system, but I think it’s pretty obvious that this isn’t what’s happening right now.

  53. “Thriving,” I mean, not “striving.”

    Though “striving” would be great, too.

  54. Yeah, probably. If a variant edition isn’t listed in the initial solicitations, there’s a good chance I’ll miss it. That’s what happened here, too.

  55. Reeder says:

    “Missing from solicitations in November and December, so it seems National Comics may be history already.”

    DC only committed to the first batch of one-shots when they announced it, so I’m not sure this is anything other than what the company had planned.

  56. Shane Matlock says:

    REBELs was better than anything I’ve read from the DC New 52 and better than most of the line prior to the reboot. Granted, it was best when it had Andy Clarke doing the art (what happened to him anyway?) but was still pretty good with Claude St. Aubin. It suffered from a crappy title, but was a damn fine comic book. And thank you for that, Tony Bedard and all the artists who worked on it. It’s a shame it didn’t find a bigger audience because Vril Dox has always been a great DC character.

  57. Evan Meadow says:

    DC said during one of their panels at NYCC that the National title would continue.

  58. MBunge says:

    “I’d love a U.S. comic-book market that’s striving based on content rather than a disproportionately growing volume of gimmicks and attempts to game the system”

    So, unless DC literally fixes decades long problems fundamental to the Direct Market business model…you’re just going to crap on everything they do? Yeah, that seems like an entirely fair and appropriate way to analyze things.

    Mike

  59. Synsidar says:

    You know, I’d love a U.S. comic-book market that’s striving based on content rather than a disproportionately growing volume of gimmicks and attempts to game the system, but I think it’s pretty obvious that this isn’t what’s happening right now

    I doubt that’s possible for DC and Marvel. As long as they publish series that are anchored by characters, rather than by creators and the situations they create, they’ll attract the readers that soap operas attract as viewers. Much of the news out of NYCC was practically identical in type to the news that you’d get at a soap opera convention about casting changes, departures, and upcoming storylines. Unless you’re a devoted fan, the news is meaningless.

    Suppose that a big-name novelist wrote a storyline about Superman that presented him in a way that had never been seen before. How would DC go about promoting it without risking the unthinkable: making the creator bigger than Superman? If his version was circulated widely and considered “definitive,” then Superman would have been ruined, in the eyes of DC Editorial, at least.

    Meltzer’s IDENTITY CRISIS was widely reviled, but at least he tried to do something different. Could other writers take similar approaches to the characters without offending readers?

    SRS

  60. “And if retailers really sold all their stock of those sucky comics under those conditions, as you submit, then that would be a sign of good health of the comic-book market, or of the good judgment on the part of the retailers who play along?”

    Sure, why not?

    This may be the point of misunderstanding for this example: people WANTED those rings. REALLY wanted them. It was FUN promotion, and stores that participated received a great deal of customer good will.

    It’s just not a promotion that had anything to do with content of the underlying books. There’s nothing wrong with that happening, at least occasionally.

    (and for the people who said, whether or not you think REBELs was a good comic [I disagree, but that's OK] — the BN xover issue was poor, just like *all* BN xover issues were. Talk about formula comics!)

    “If bad business decisions meant going out of business immediately, I think the last 20 years of comic-book history would have been very different.”

    Most comic stores I know are marginal businesses in the best of times — and I’m not exactly discounting my own business here either… I could make more money doing a lot of other things, but I love selling comics, so it’s what I do — and your description of waves of retailers buying massive amounts of comics that they can’t sell, for no gain, doesn’t match the reality I see around me, or the stores I know.

    “You know, I’d love a U.S. comic-book market that’s striving based on content rather than a disproportionately growing volume of gimmicks and attempts to game the system, but I think it’s pretty obvious that this isn’t what’s happening right now.”

    And I have to say that, as a participant in the market, rather than “just” an observer, I strongly disagree with you.

    Let’s try a slightly different data point: in Sept books/GN’s were up 14.4%, and, IIRC, they’re up in the DM 20%+ YTD. There’s virtually no “gaming” going on on the book format side of the market, so how would you reconcile this?

    -B

  61. Glenn Simpson says:

    I think it would be a sign that people like little plastic rings.

  62. @Brian: “This may be the point of misunderstanding for this example: people WANTED those rings.”

    No, no misunderstanding there. The part where I don’t agree is that people wanting gimmicks like plastic rings and variant covers, leading to more and more of them, is the hallmark of a healthy comics market.

    “Let’s try a slightly different data point: in Sept books/GN’s were up 14.4%, and, IIRC, they’re up in the DM 20%+ YTD. There’s virtually no “gaming” going on on the book format side of the market, so how would you reconcile this?”

    I’m talking about the serial comic-book market, which publishers, creators and retailers are still very much dependent on.

  63. PeterCSM730 says:

    I like that one poster keeps complaining about snark and starts one of his posts with an “Ahem” before launching into an argument. Well, just be glad Marc didn’t write this column the morning after his many skols!

    I’m going to miss Scalped.

    I don’t understand why DC and Marvel launch books without building (or at least trying to build) some demand for the series beforehand. Looking at most of DC’s replacement books I don’t see how anybody would think those titles would be successful without massive marketing and fantastic creative teams. I agree with a previous poster about Superman comics waiting for the movie for their new direction. Because DC hasn’t been able to get the solo Superman books to stick in a long time.

  64. “In other news, [snip] the Vertigo title Dominique Laveau #6 [snip] missed the Top 300 chart in August.”

    Wow, has that ever happened before, a Vertigo title missing the Top 300? I mean, I know at 5300 the cutoff was a little high in August, but still!

  65. @Jason: “Wow, has that ever happened before, a Vertigo title missing the Top 300?”

    It hasn’t been unusual for that to happen since average Vertigo sales dropped to the 9,000/11,000-unit area several years ago.

  66. Jerry says:

    Horrible, article, per usual. This was so bad it makes Bleeding Cool look like the Gold Standard in comic book journalism.

  67. “This was so bad it makes Bleeding Cool look like the Gold Standard in comic book journalism.”

    Now this fucking hurts. Pay attention, people: If you really want to insult me, Jerry just broke the mold. Holy shit.

    I’ll do my best to improve, Jerry, I promise!

  68. MBunge says:

    “I’m talking about the serial comic-book market, which publishers, creators and retailers are still very much dependent on.”

    So, serial comic-book sales going up has nothing to do and no connection with sales going up for books and GNs? One is a complete fraud and the other is…? When one guy is talking facts, you should really deal with those facts instead of retreating into speculative theory.

    Mike

  69. JReyes says:

    Liking the backwards rundown… but not the “skol”. Sorry, but that was irritating. Perhaps The Beat should consider someone else to do this sales post, since it’s clear MOF’s heart isn’t in it. Comics news is depressing enough without a commentator making it worse.

  70. Torsten Adair says:

    I’d like to see a little graphic at the top of the article, showing how many bottles (or other icon) appeared that chart.
    Then he can skip typing each instance by placing a dingbat or other Unicode glyph as the sole commentary. Perhaps:
    http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/26d0/index.htm
    (U+26D0)
    Or: ☄ ?

  71. Are you sure? None of the Vertigo total monthly numbers shown have a ** denoting a title missed the top 300. And my memory isn’t infallible, but while I can recall a lot of Wildstorm titles missing the top 300, I don’t remember seeing a Vertigo one ever. Any chance you have the info handy to at least show the last month it happened in? I’d figure if it were going to happen, it would’ve been in the last year while Marvel and DC have been flooding the market with the most superhero product.

  72. Nevermind, found it: July 2009, Bang! Tango #6.

  73. Huh, you’re right, I misremembered: It happened only once before, actually, and that was indeed BANG! TANGO #6, July 2009.

  74. PeterCSM730 says:

    Wow so this is only the second time a Vertigo book’s missed the charts? I don’t remember Bang! Tango (was that it’s final issue?) but it’s interesting they’re both issue #6s. Work of the Devil, surely.

  75. That was its final issue, but it was only planned to be a miniseries. Dominique Laveau was an ongoing that just dropped like a rock, and while it didn’t ship in September, its 7th and final issue (which just shipped last week) surely sold even less than #6.

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