DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: March 2010

by Marc-Oliver Frisch

March brought jolly good sales for DC’s comic-book business!

In fact, even considering that it was a month with five delivery days for new comics instead of just four and, consequently, one extra week of re-orders, the numbers seem almost too good on a range of titles, but maybe I’m just paranoid.

In particular, DC’s Vertigo imprint is beginning to look more solid than it has in ages. Partly, that’s because Vertigo released a whopping 19 new comic books in March, a new record for them, but also because many of those books performed well.

The big launch of the month was American Vampire, of course, a new ongoing series co-written by Stephen King. It sold an estimated 33,762 copies, the highest first-month sales for Vertigo since Diamond started providing data on sales to retailers in March 2003. (Andy Diggle and Enrique Breccia’s Swamp Thing #1 came close: It moved 33,382 units in March 2004.)

More significantly for Vertigo’s long-term health, there are signs of moderate success with a number of other recent launches. Sales on titles like The Unwritten, Joe the Barbarian and — to a lesser extent — Sweet Tooth indicate that the practice of publishing debut issues with low introductory prices is bearing fruit. The Fables spin-off Cinderella and the maxiseries Daytripper are also turning out to be solid sellers.

Blackest Night and its tie-ins keep the publisher’s DC Universe line in reasonably good shape in March, while the WildStorm imprint saw an increase of 35% in average comic-book sales. The latter is a mixed blessing, though. The spike is entirely due to a highly irregular three new issues of WildStorm top-sellers Astro City and Ex Machina, neither of which came out in April, and one of which has two more issues to go before reaching its conclusion.

See below for the details, and 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.

—–

1 - BLACKEST NIGHT
07/2009: Blackest Night #1 of 8  -- 177,105          [206,534]
08/2009: Blackest Night #2 of 8  -- 146,092 (-17.5%) [155,512]
09/2009: Blackest Night #3 of 8  -- 140,786 (- 3.6%) [143,949]
10/2009: Blackest Night #4 of 8  -- 137,169 (- 2.6%)
11/2009: Blackest Night #5 of 8  -- 144,935 (+ 5.7%) [151,292]
12/2009: Blackest Night #6 of 8  -- 135,985 (- 6.2%)
01/2010: --
02/2010: Blackest Night #7 of 8  -- 130,613 (- 4.0%)
03/2010: Blackest Night #8 of 8  -- 135,061 (+ 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.1%

Thus ends Blackest Night, the most successful event comic-book series since Secret Invasion. Marvel’s current event miniseries Siege proves to be a consistent 100K+ juggernaut (see the Marvel column), but its first-month figures haven’t come close to those of Blackest Night.

That’s significant, because a little more than a year ago, the picture was quite a different one: Marvel’s Secret Invasion, which came out between April and December 2008, had first-month sales between 250,263 and 152,429. DC’s last event series Final Crisis, released from May 2008 through January 2009, had first-month numbers between 144,826 and 103,292. Blackest Night sits right in-between those two, whereas the most charitable estimates for Siege are currently well below Final Crisis.

On the surface, Marvel lost many readers between Secret Invasion and Siege, whereas DC gained a few between Final Crisis and Blackest Night. Beyond that, though, it seems worth pointing out Secret Invasion was the last event series that had an easy-to-understand, quick-to-relate-to premise — an invasion by shape-shifting aliens — that more casual readers would understand. I’m sure there are other factors at play, such as the economic crisis and the reception of Marvel and DC’s respective directions through 2009.

But ultimately, maybe the simple reason why no event series since Secret Invasion has been able to break the 200K barrier is that no event series since Secret Invasion was made so that anyone except the hardcore direct-market audience would find it appealing or accessible. A few years ago, with books like Civil War, Buffy, The Umbrella Academy or World of WarCraft, it looked like publishers were having some tangible success driving casual buyers into comics stores. In 2010, I’m not sure that momentum exists anymore.

Make no mistake: Blackest Night has been a huge success for DC. That said, though, there are signs that they happen to be the biggest fishes in a pond that’s been getting smaller again, rather than bigger.

As usual, there was a 1-for-100 variant-cover edition as well as a 1-for-25 one for Blackest Night #8.

—–

3 - GREEN LANTERN
03/2005: --
03/2006: Green Lantern #10  --  79,745 [87,143]
03/2007: Green Lantern #18  --  61,661
03/2008: Green Lantern #29  --  66,536
--------------------------------------
03/2009: --
04/2009: Green Lantern #39  --  79,792 (+15.8%) [ 84,784]
04/2009: Green Lantern #40  --  76,665 (- 3.9%) [ 84,705]
05/2009: Green Lantern #41  --  81,491 (+ 6.3%)
06/2009: Green Lantern #42  --  84,131 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern #43  -- 109,426 (+30.1%) [117,314]
07/2009: Green Lantern #44  -- 105,063 (- 4.0%) [109,599]
08/2009: Green Lantern #45  -- 102,431 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: Green Lantern #46  -- 103,666 (+ 1.2%)
10/2009: Green Lantern #47  -- 101,349 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Green Lantern #48  -- 100,371 (- 1.0%)
12/2009: Green Lantern #49  --  97,285 (- 3.1%)
01/2010: Green Lantern #50  -- 106,444 (+ 9.4%)
02/2010: Green Lantern #51  --  95,509 (-10.3%)
03/2010: Green Lantern #52  --  97,369 (+ 2.0%)
-----------------
6 months: -  6.1%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : + 46.3%
5 years :    n.a.

As the main Blackest Night tie-in and the series where the story originated, Green Lantern has been profiting from the even quite a bit. The next several issues are linked to the follow-up maxiseries Brightest Day, so the numbers will be interesting to watch.

As usual, there was a 1-for-25 variant edition.

—–

4 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
06/2009: Batman and Robin #1  -- 168,604          [184,826]
07/2009: Batman and Robin #2  -- 117,986 (-30.2%) [129,086]
08/2009: Batman and Robin #3  -- 110,594 (- 6.3%)
09/2009: Batman and Robin #4  -- 106,925 (- 3.3%)
10/2009: Batman and Robin #5  -- 101,607 (- 5.0%)
11/2009: Batman and Robin #6  --  95,690 (- 5.8%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: Batman and Robin #7  --  87,780 (- 8.3%)
02/2010: Batman and Robin #8  --  87,302 (- 0.6%)
02/2010: Batman and Robin #9  --  84,562 (- 3.1%)
03/2010: Batman and Robin #10 --  85,292 (+ 0.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 20.2%

The March issue was the beginning of a new story, drawn by Andy Clarke. It’s also touted as the beginning of the “Return of Bruce Wayne” story on the cover, which wasn’t mentioned in the advertising text. Combined with the extra month of re-orders, that’s explanation enough for the marginal increase.

There was a 1-for-25 variant, as usual.

—–

5 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
03/2006: GLC: Recharge #5 of 5   -- 60,123
03/2007: Green Lantern Corps #10 -- 34,227
03/2008: Green Lantern Corps #22 -- 46,736
------------------------------------------
03/2009: Green Lantern Corps #34 -- 54,162 (+21.4%)
04/2009: Green Lantern Corps #35 -- 58,769 (+ 8.5%)
05/2009: Green Lantern Corps #36 -- 61,591 (+ 4.8%)
06/2009: Green Lantern Corps #37 -- 63,574 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern Corps #38 -- 82,415 (+29.6%)
08/2009: Green Lantern Corps #39 -- 84,241 (+ 2.2%)
09/2009: Green Lantern Corps #40 -- 83,112 (- 1.3%)
10/2009: Green Lantern Corps #41 -- 81,377 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Green Lantern Corps #42 -- 80,391 (- 1.2%)
12/2009: Green Lantern Corps #43 -- 77,774 (- 3.3%)
01/2010: Green Lantern Corps #44 -- 76,458 (- 1.7%)
02/2010: Green Lantern Corps #45 -- 75,404 (- 1.4%)
03/2010: Green Lantern Corps #46 -- 76,720 (+ 1.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.7%
1 year  : +41.7%
2 years : +64.2%

Another major Blackest Night tie-in.

With “Brightest Day,” a new writer and an anniversary issue around the corner, this is another title whose sales won’t get much of a chance to settle down in the next few months.

This one had a 1-for-25 variant, too.

—–

13 - BATMAN
03/2005: Batman #638 --  59,797
03/2006: Batman #651 --  69,805
03/2007: Batman #664 --  80,497
03/2008: --
-------------------------------
03/2009: BfC #1 of 3 --  91,619 (-17.7%) [103,913]
04/2009: BfC #2 of 3 --  89,120 (- 2.7%)
05/2009: BfC #3 of 3 --  89,170 (+ 0.1%)
06/2009: Batman #687 --  96,913 (+ 8.7%)
07/2009: Batman #688 --  83,040 (-14.3%)
08/2009: Batman #689 --  78,392 (- 5.6%)
09/2009: Batman #690 --  77,001 (- 1.8%)
10/2009: Batman #691 --  71,431 (- 7.2%)
10/2009: Batman #692 --  70,322 (- 1.6%)
11/2009: Batman #693 --  68,983 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Batman #694 --  65,908 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Batman #695 --  63,467 (- 3.7%)
02/2010: Batman #696 --  61,290 (- 3.4%)
03/2010: Batman #697 --  61,157 (- 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: -20.6%
1 year  : -33.3%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : + 2.3%

This is one of the books doing better than you’d expect, for no evident reason. Batman was losing more than 2,000 units per month with the last few issues, and it seems unlikely that a single extra week could have compensated for that.

Then again, maybe the current storyline is just catching on with readers, or the book is picking up steam in anticipation of issue #700.

—–

17 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
03/2005: JLA #112           --  64,790
03/2007: Justice League #6  -- 130,099 [131,754]
03/2008: Justice League #19 --  87,482
--------------------------------------
03/2009: Justice League #31 --  68,759 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Justice League #32 --  66,021 (- 4.0%)
05/2009: Justice League #33 --  63,867 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: Justice League #34 --  61,115 (- 4.3%)
07/2009: Justice League #35 --  58,915 (- 3.6%)
08/2009: Justice League #36 --  57,549 (- 2.3%)
09/2009: Justice League #37 --  55,478 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Justice League #38 --  61,012 (+10.0%)
11/2009: Justice League #39 --  89,376 (+46.5%)
12/2009: Justice League #40 --  68,672 (-23.2%)
01/2010: Justice League #41 --  62,262 (- 9.3%)
02/2010: Justice League #42 --  57,522 (- 7.6%)
03/2010: Justice League #43 --  56,461 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.8%
1 year  : -17.9%
2 years : -35.5%
5 years : -12.9%
25 - JUSTICE LEAGUE: RISE AND FALL SPECIAL
03/2010: JL: RaF Special #1 -- 50,360
28 - JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE
07/2009: Cry for Justice #1 of 6  -- 68,317          [72,719]
08/2009: Cry for Justice #2 of 6  -- 54,553 (-20.2%) [58,829]
09/2009: Cry for Justice #3 of 7  -- 54,726 (+ 0.3%)
10/2009: Cry for Justice #4 of 7  -- 54,386 (- 0.6%)
11/2009: Cry for Justice #5 of 7  -- 52,400 (- 3.7%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: Cry for Justice #6 of 7  -- 49,193 (- 6.1%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: Cry for Justice #7 of 7  -- 49,769 (+ 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.1%

These few Justice League books were all written — or co-written — by James Robinson, as it were, and are all part of a storyline that sets up June’s Green Arrow relaunch.

That sounds a bit like buying rocket fuel to broil a wiener, but according to DC, it’s a very serious story with weight and emotion. (Critics use other words to describe it.)

Be that as it may, all the commotion likely explains the good numbers for Cry for Justice and the Rise and Fall Special. If Justice League proper profited from the proceedings, though, that’s not very flattering to its overall performance.

Two more chapters in this particular story came out in March, one without the words “Justice League” in the title, and both without the name James Robinson in the credits, which means they’re of an increasingly rare breed. See below.

All three issues were promoted with 1-for-25 variant editions.

—–

34/36 - DETECTIVE COMICS
03/2005: Detective Comics #804 --  39,388
03/2006: Detective Comics #817 --  62,245 [70,241]
03/2007: Detective Comics #829 --  52,943
03/2007: Detective Comics #830 --  52,395
03/2008: Detective Comics #842 --  49,425
-----------------------------------------
03/2009: --
04/2009: Detective Comics #853 -- 104,107 (+83.8%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Detective Comics #854 --  72,808 (-30.1%) [79,573]
07/2009: Detective Comics #855 --  61,205 (-15.9%)
08/2009: Detective Comics #856 --  58,859 (- 3.8%)
09/2009: Detective Comics #857 --  57,063 (- 3.1%)
10/2009: Detective Comics #858 --  58,599 (+ 2.7%)
11/2009: Detective Comics #859 --  54,392 (- 7.2%)
12/2009: Detective Comics #860 --  52,295 (- 3.9%)
01/2010: Detective Comics #861 --  45,937 (-12.2%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: Detective Comics #862 --  44,687 (- 2.7%)
03/2010: Detective Comics #863 --  43,119 (- 3.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 23.1%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : - 11.2%
5 years : + 11.5%

The two issues that came out in March were writer Greg Rucka’s final work on the Batwoman character for the time being, as it turns out, while his “Question” strip will conclude in issue #865. Given that the solicitation copy for #866, released in late March, still urges readers to “come back next month for the return of The Question and Batwoman,” this looks like another rather sudden change of plans.

The numbers during Rucka’s tenure never quite gained a foothold. Then again, they’re still well within the book’s usual spectrum historically, and the departure of a critically acclaimed creator is rarely a sign that sales are about to improve.

—–

39/44 - ADVENTURE COMICS
08/2009: Adventure Comics #1  -- 56,706 (+72.6%)
09/2009: Adventure Comics #2  -- 47,296 (-15.9%)
10/2009: Adventure Comics #3  -- 44,431 (- 6.1%)
11/2009: Adventure Comics #4  -- 85,145 (+91.6%)
12/2009: Adventure Comics #5  -- 59,876 (-29.7%)
01/2010: Adventure Comics #6  -- 42,514 (-29.0%)
02/2010: Adventure Comics #7  -- 53,721 (+26.4%)
03/2010: Adventure Comics #8  -- 39,351 (-26.8%)
03/2010: Adventure Comics #9  -- 37,515 (- 4.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 18.7%
43 - SUPERMAN: LAST STAND OF NEW KRYPTON
03/2009: WoNK #1  of 12 -- 50,050
04/2009: WoNK #2  of 12 -- 44,880 (-10.3%)
05/2009: WoNK #3  of 12 -- 42,153 (- 6.1%)
06/2009: WoNK #4  of 12 -- 41,620 (- 1.3%)
07/2009: WoNK #5  of 12 -- 39,939 (- 4.0%)
08/2009: WoNK #6  of 12 -- 39,218 (- 1.8%)
09/2009: WoNK #7  of 12 -- 37,697 (- 3.9%)
10/2009: WoNK #8  of 12 -- 36,672 (- 2.7%)
11/2009: WoNK #9  of 12 -- 35,286 (- 3.8%)
12/2009: WoNK #10 of 12 -- 33,868 (- 4.0%)
01/2010: WoNK #11 of 12 -- 32,728 (- 3.4%)
02/2010: WoNK #12 of 12 -- 32,407 (- 1.0%)
03/2010: LSoNK #1 of 3  -- 38,202 (+17.9%)
-----------------
6 months: +  1.3%
1 year  : - 23.7%

The two March issues of Adventure Comics begin a four-part run co-written by James Robinson that ties in with the Superman books. As you’d expect given the lackluster sales of the Superman line proper, it doesn’t seem to have made any difference commercially.

Meanwhile, Last Stand of New Krypton, also co-written by James Robinson and part of the same crossover, takes the place of World of New Krypton in March and April, as the not-very-popular current direction of the Superman books is starting to wind down. Retailers dutifully up their orders compared to the last few issues of the maxiseries, but you can’t blame them for not going overboard with enthusiasm, at this stage.

As usual, there were 1-for-10 variants for both issues of Adventure Comics and a 1-for-25 variant for Last Stand of New Krypton.

—–

42 - FIRST WAVE
11/2009: B/DS Special #1    -- 32,636
-------------------------------------
03/2010: First Wave #1 of 6 -- 38,365

First Wave is a new miniseries by Brain Azzarello and Rags Morales that teams Batman with pulp heroes Doc Savage and The Spirit, preparing the world for the launch of new ongoing titles for the latter two.

The fact that there’s a noticeable increase versus the one-shot from last November may mean that anticipation is building, or just that retailers order more copies of a $ 3.99 mini than they do of a $ 4.99 one-shot.

Either way, these are very decent figures for this type of thing, but perhaps not decent enough to suggest that there’s enough demand for two fairly generic — if visually recognizable — characters, one of which failed to sustain a monthly series less than a year ago.

There was a 1-for-10 variant.

—–

45 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
03/2005: JSA #71             --  42,874
03/2006: JSA #83             --  51,991 [ 58,624]
03/2007: Justice Society #4  --  84,449 [ 86,475]
03/2008: --
---------------------------------------
03/2009: --
04/2009: Justice Society #25 --  65,713 (+  0.8%)
04/2009: Justice Society #26 --  81,200 (+ 23.6%)
05/2009: Justice Society #27 --  56,102 (- 30.9%)
06/2009: Justice Society #28 --  52,673 (-  6.1%)
07/2009: Justice Society #29 --  51,375 (-  2.5%)
08/2009: Justice Society #30 --  49,416 (-  3.8%)
09/2009: Justice Society #31 --  47,436 (-  4.0%)
10/2009: Justice Society #32 --  44,885 (-  5.4%)
11/2009: Justice Society #33 --  43,218 (-  3.7%)
12/2009: Justice Society #34 --  41,734 (-  3.4%)
01/2010: Justice Society #35 --  39,934 (-  4.3%)
02/2010: Justice Society #36 --  39,060 (-  2.2%)
03/2010: Justice Society #37 --  37,381 (-  4.3%)
----------------
6 months: -21.2%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -12.8%

Justice Society numbers keep sliding down. The book will be hijacked by the creative team of Justice League of America — yes, that means James Robinson — for the duration of a crossover.

While this will probably increase the numbers, it’s worth noting that books usually don’t even profit from crossovers when it’s the regular creators who execute them, so the point of the exercise, other than to reduce the number of DC Comics publications not written by James Robinson, seems questionable at best; putting out an extra issue of Justice League with the Justice Society as guest stars would probably have done the same.

——

48 - RED ROBIN
03/2005: Robin #136    -- 31,645
03/2006: Robin #148    -- 36,717 [42,442]
03/2007: Robin #160    -- 27,659
03/2008: Robin #172    -- 26,912
--------------------------------
06/2009: Red Robin #1  -- 64,261 (+102.8%) [71,925]
07/2009: Red Robin #2  -- 51,593 (- 19.7%) [54,544]
08/2009: Red Robin #3  -- 50,329 (-  2.5%)
09/2009: Red Robin #4  -- 47,945 (-  4.7%)
10/2009: Red Robin #5  -- 44,776 (-  6.6%)
11/2009: Red Robin #6  -- 42,409 (-  5.3%)
12/2009: Red Robin #7  -- 39,528 (-  6.8%)
01/2010: Red Robin #8  -- 37,869 (-  4.2%)
02/2010: Red Robin #9  -- 36,466 (-  3.7%)
03/2010: Red Robin #10 -- 36,708 (+  0.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 23.4%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : + 36.4%
5 years : + 16.0%

A crossover with Batgirl arrests the book’s decline.

—–

50 - JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE RISE OF ARSENAL
03/2010: JL: RoA #1 of 4 -- 36,020

Contrary to what the title or the solicited cover of the first issue suggest, this is neither a story about British Premier League football nor a gently cautioning brochure on the pitfalls of archery, but, disappointingly, a miniseries growing out of — not being severed from — the reportedly very, very serious conclusion to Justice League: Cry for Justice.

It’s a pretty good number for a Green Arrow spin-off.

There was a 1-for-25 variant.

—–

52 - BATMAN: THE WIDENING GYRE
03/2009: Cacophony #3 of 3     -- 52,814 (- 5.2%)
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: Widening Gyre #1 of 6 -- 52,191 (- 1.2%)
09/2009: Widening Gyre #2 of 6 -- 46,287 (-11.3%)
10/2009: --
11/2009: Widening Gyre #3 of 6 -- 43,336 (- 6.4%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: Widening Gyre #4 of 6 -- 36,729 (-15.3%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: Widening Gyre #5 of 6 -- 34,338 (- 6.5%)
----------------
6 months: -25.8%
1 year  : -35.0%

Kevin Smith is off the rails again, in terms of the schedule. Issue #5 was last solicited for February, while the final issue has just been resolicited from April to July. Sales are pretty low at this stage, and unlikely to be improved by the delays. As usual, there was a variant edition — a 1-for-25 one as usual, I presume, even if it wasn’t specified in the advertising text this time.

Also out in March was Smith’s Green Hornet #1 from Dynamite, evidently produced from an old screenplay Smith wrote in 2004 that ended up not being used. It debuted with estimated sales of 54,122. Being a Dynamite release, the book was promoted with a million variant-cover editions, but for what it is, the numbers are still impressive — it beats Batman: Widening Gyre #1.

—–

55 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE (Vertigo)
03/2010: American Vampire #1  -- 33,762

There is a backup strip with a bona fide, unmitigated Stephen King writing credit in Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque’s American Vampire. Consequently, it’s not altogether surprising that this ends up being the best-selling Vertigo comic book since Diamond started providing data on sales to comics retailers seven years ago.

To be fair, the one that came closest, Swamp Thing #1 by Andy Diggle and Enrique Breccia from March 2004, probably beat it in the end, if you account for the fact that American Vampire was promoted with a 1-for-25 variant edition, but I’m sure that won’t cloud anyone’s happiness with these figures.

Vertigo were confident in this one: Instead of a cheap introductory cover price that would surely have sold more than a few extra copies, American Vampire carries a $ 3.99 price tag; and instead of the usual cheap introductory paperback collection nine months down the road, American Vampire gets a hardcover book that’s already been solicited for a September release.

It’s too early to tell whether that confidence is paying off, but the book’s debut sales give reason to be cautiously optimistic.

—–

58 - SUPERMAN
03/2005: Superman #214 -- 100,943
03/2006: Superman #650 --  65,603 [77,783]
03/2007: Superman #660 --  57,169
03/2008: Superman #674 --  41,715
---------------------------------
03/2009: Superman #686 --  44,976 (- 6.4%)
04/2009: Superman #687 --  43,041 (- 4.3%)
05/2009: Superman #688 --  41,642 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: Superman #689 --  40,366 (- 3.1%)
07/2009: Superman #690 --  39,472 (- 2.2%)
08/2009: Superman #691 --  39,106 (- 0.9%)
09/2009: Superman #692 --  37,695 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Superman #693 --  35,395 (- 6.1%)
11/2009: Superman #694 --  34,430 (- 2.7%)
12/2009: Superman #695 --  32,482 (- 5.7%)
01/2010: Superman #696 --  31,940 (- 1.7%)
02/2010: Superman #697 --  31,504 (- 1.4%)
03/2010: Superman #698 --  33,336 (+ 5.8%)
----------------
6 months: -11.6%
1 year  : -25.9%
2 years : -20.1%
5 years : -67.0%

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … well, it’s a flagging Superman comic-book series, isn’t it? The (James Robinson-written!) March issue saw a slight increase for being part of a crossover with Adventure Comics and Last Stand of New Krypton.

New writer J. Michael Straczynski is waiting around the corner, of course. And DC, being DC, uses Free Comic Book Day to promote the last gasp of the current direction, rather than Straczynski’s run.

—–

61 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
03/2005: --
03/2006: Superman/Batman #24 -- 101,315 [103,757]
03/2007: Superman/Batman #32 --  77,905
03/2008: --
---------------------------------------
03/2009: Superman/Batman #56 --  42,464 (- 3.4%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #57 --  41,743 (- 1.7%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #58 --  41,000 (- 1.8%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #59 --  40,182 (- 2.0%)
05/2009: Superman/Batman #60 --  39,531 (- 1.6%)
06/2009: Superman/Batman #61 --  38,228 (- 3.3%)
07/2009: Superman/Batman #62 --  38,412 (+ 0.5%)
08/2009: Superman/Batman #63 --  37,467 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: Superman/Batman #64 --  36,332 (- 3.0%)
10/2009: Superman/Batman #65 --  34,585 (- 4.8%)
11/2009: Superman/Batman #66 --  52,143 (+50.8%)
12/2009: Superman/Batman #67 --  49,650 (- 4.8%)
01/2010: Superman/Batman #68 --  33,869 (-31.8%)
02/2010: Superman/Batman #69 --  33,224 (- 1.9%)
03/2010: Superman/Batman #70 --  32,196 (- 3.1%)
----------------
6 months: -11.4%
1 year  : -24.2%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years :  n.a.

Business as usual for Superman/Batman, which means it’s proceeding with its usual downslide.

—–

64 - BATGIRL
03/2005: Batgirl #62     -- 28,750
----------------------------------
08/2009: Batgirl #1      -- 51,724 (+149.3%)
09/2009: Batgirl #2      -- 40,626 (- 21.5%)
10/2009: Batgirl #3      -- 37,011 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Batgirl #4      -- 34,697 (-  6.3%)
12/2009: Batgirl #5      -- 32,482 (-  6.4%)
01/2010: Batgirl #6      -- 30,403 (-  6.4%)
02/2010: Batgirl #7      -- 29,524 (-  2.9%)
03/2010: Batgirl #8      -- 30,886 (+  4.6%)
----------------
6 months: -24.0%
5 years : + 7.4%

The crossover with Red Robin brings a modest increase.

—–

68 - SUPERGIRL
03/2006: --
03/2007: Supergirl #15 --  51,083
03/2008: Supergirl #27 --  32,596
---------------------------------
03/2009: Supergirl #39 --  33,713 (- 1.5%)
04/2009: Supergirl #40 --  34,080 (+ 1.1%)
05/2009: Supergirl #41 --  33,441 (- 1.9%)
06/2009: Supergirl #42 --  32,705 (- 2.2%)
07/2009: Supergirl #43 --  32,849 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Supergirl #44 --  33,819 (+ 3.0%)
09/2009: Supergirl #45 --  32,240 (- 4.7%)
10/2009: Supergirl #46 --  30,377 (- 5.8%)
11/2009: Supergirl #47 --  29,159 (- 4.0%)
12/2009: Supergirl #48 --  28,176 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: Supergirl #49 --  27,728 (- 1.6%)
02/2010: Supergirl #50 --  33,338 (+20.2%)
03/2010: Supergirl #51 --  29,845 (-10.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.4%
1 year  : -11.5%
2 years : - 8.4%
70 - ACTION COMICS
03/2005: Action Comics #825 -- 40,877
03/2006: Action Comics #837 -- 55,816 [69,652]
03/2007: Action Comics #847 -- 64,679
03/2008: --
-------------------------------------
03/2009: Action Comics #875 -- 47,079 (- 2.7%)
04/2009: Action Comics #876 -- 43,368 (- 7.9%)
05/2009: Action Comics #877 -- 41,772 (- 3.7%)
06/2009: Action Comics #878 -- 40,011 (- 4.2%)
07/2009: Action Comics #879 -- 38,324 (- 4.2%)
08/2009: Action Comics #880 -- 37,588 (- 1.9%)
09/2009: Action Comics #881 -- 36,183 (- 3.7%)
10/2009: Action Comics #882 -- 34,754 (- 4.0%)
11/2009: Action Comics #883 -- 33,386 (- 3.9%)
12/2009: Action Comics #884 -- 31,873 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Action Comics #885 -- 30,678 (- 3.8%)
02/2010: Action Comics #886 -- 29,845 (- 2.7%)
03/2010: Action Comics #887 -- 29,460 (- 1.3%)
----------------
6 months: -18.6%
1 year  : -37.4%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -27.9%

Supergirl also took part in the crossover with Adventure Comics, et cetera, hence the slight sales increase versus the January issue.

Action Comics was not part of the crossover, but the numbers appear to have bottomed out nonetheless. A new creative team is taking over with issue #890, and contrary to what the solicitations said, writer Marc Guggenheim won’t be part of the makeover. Instead, Paul Cornell will be writing Action Comics regularly, and he hopes he’ll be able to use Superman one day, he says.

In other words: DC’s marketing strategy continues to involve Superman titles that don’t have Superman in them. Because it worked so well over the last year.

—–

76 - JSA ALL-STARS
12/2009: JSA All-Stars #1  -- 42,493
01/2010: JSA All-Stars #2  -- 32,601 (-23.3%)
02/2010: JSA All-Stars #3  -- 29,666 (- 9.0%)
03/2010: JSA All-Stars #4  -- 28,526 (- 3.8%)

Sales are finding their level fairly quickly; a good sign for the Justice Society spin-off.

—–

77 - GREEN ARROW
03/2005: Green Arrow #48  -- 31,668
03/2006: Green Arrow #60  -- 37,946 [43,045]
03/2007: Green Arrow #72  -- 31,144
03/2008: Arrow/Canary #6  -- 32,621
-----------------------------------
03/2009: Arrow/Canary #18 -- 22,699 (-  3.0%)
04/2009: Arrow/Canary #19 -- 21,933 (-  3.4%)
05/2009: Arrow/Canary #20 -- 21,445 (-  2.2%)
06/2009: Arrow/Canary #21 -- 20,807 (-  3.0%)
07/2009: Arrow&Canary #22 -- 20,571 (-  1.1%)
08/2009: Arrow&Canary #23 -- 19,452 (-  5.4%)
09/2009: Arrow&Canary #24 -- 18,780 (-  3.5%)
10/2009: Arrow&Canary #25 -- 18,013 (-  4.1%)
11/2009: Arrow&Canary #26 -- 17,384 (-  3.5%)
12/2009: Arrow&Canary #27 -- 16,904 (-  2.8%)
01/2010: Arrow&Canary #28 -- 16,482 (-  2.5%)
02/2010: Arrow&Canary #29 -- 16,600 (+  0.7%)
02/2010: Black Arrow #30  -- 42,014 (+153.1%)
03/2010: Green Arrow #31  -- 28,486 (- 32.2%)
----------------
6 months: +51.7%
1 year  : +25.5%
2 years : -12.7%
5 years : -10.1%

Thanks to the crossover with the Justice League books and a 1-for-25 variant edition, Green Arrow gets some much-needed attention in preparation of its relaunch.

I’m rather skeptical, given that none of the creators are household names and the story that got things off the ground was largely met with relentless ridicule.

Also, the cover price reverted back to $ 2.99 in March after nine issues, because the book lost the “Black Canary” backup strip. Given everything else that’s going on, there’s no way to tell whether this had any impact on the numbers, though.

—–

81 - GOTHAM CITY SIRENS
03/2005: Birds of Prey #80  -- 29,964
03/2006: Birds of Prey #92  -- 36,808
03/2007: Birds of Prey #104 -- 28,464
03/2008: Birds of Prey #116 -- 22,627
-------------------------------------
06/2009: GC Sirens #1       -- 52,439
07/2009: GC Sirens #2       -- 39,518 (-24.6%)
08/2009: GC Sirens #3       -- 36,772 (- 7.0%)
09/2009: GC Sirens #4       -- 34,405 (- 6.4%)
10/2009: GC Sirens #5       -- 33,015 (- 4.0%)
11/2009: GC Sirens #6       -- 30,990 (- 6.1%)
12/2009: GC Sirens #7       -- 29,709 (- 4.1%)
01/2010: GC Sirens #8       -- 28,254 (- 4.9%)
02/2010: GC Sirens #9       -- 27,172 (- 3.8%)
03/2010: GC Sirens #10      -- 26,550 (- 2.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 22.8%
2 years : + 17.3%
5 years : - 11.4%
82 - BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM
06/2009: Batman: SoG #1  -- 57,650
07/2009: Batman: SoG #2  -- 44,240 (-23.3%)
08/2009: Batman: SoG #3  -- 40,353 (- 8.8%)
09/2009: Batman: SoG #4  -- 37,888 (- 6.1%)
10/2009: Batman: SoG #5  -- 34,533 (- 8.9%)
11/2009: Batman: SoG #6  -- 32,303 (- 6.5%)
12/2009: Batman: SoG #7  -- 30,290 (- 6.2%)
01/2010: Batman: SoG #8  -- 28,313 (- 6.5%)
02/2010: Batman: SoG #9  -- 27,023 (- 4.6%)
03/2010: Batman: SoG #10 -- 26,396 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months: -30.3%

The two Paul Dini Batman books keep descending the charts hand in hand. Usually, that’s an indication that retailers keep ordering them out of duty and inertia.

—–

83 - TEEN TITANS
03/2005: Teen Titans #22 -- 67,780
03/2006: Teen Titans #33 -- 67,208
03/2007: Teen Titans #44 -- 61,572
03/2008: Teen Titans #57 -- 49,109
----------------------------------
03/2009: --
04/2009: Teen Titans #69 -- 35,375 (+ 0.8%)
04/2009: Teen Titans #70 -- 35,412 (+ 0.1%)
05/2009: Teen Titans #71 -- 34,110 (- 3.7%)
06/2009: Teen Titans #72 -- 32,512 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: Teen Titans #73 -- 30,990 (- 4.7%)
08/2009: Teen Titans #74 -- 30,380 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: Teen Titans #75 -- 32,808 (+ 8.0%)
10/2009: Teen Titans #76 -- 29,166 (-11.1%)
11/2009: Teen Titans #77 -- 46,239 (+58.5%)
12/2009: Teen Titans #78 -- 43,400 (- 6.1%)
01/2010: Teen Titans #79 -- 27,790 (-36.0%)
02/2010: Teen Titans #80 -- 26,537 (- 4.5%)
03/2010: Teen Titans #81 -- 25,758 (- 2.9%)
----------------
6 months: -21.5%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -47.6%
5 years : -62.0%

Are the numbers bottoming out, now that the dust is settling and the book has a regular creative team again?

—–

85 - WONDER WOMAN
03/2005: Wonder Woman #214 --  30,473
03/2007: Wonder Woman #5   --  64,414
03/2008: Wonder Woman #18  --  40,771
-------------------------------------
03/2009: Wonder Woman #30  --  33,365 (+ 0.4%)
04/2009: Wonder Woman #31  --  31,857 (- 4.5%)
05/2009: Wonder Woman #32  --  33,065 (+ 3.8%)
06/2009: Wonder Woman #33  --  32,755 (- 0.9%)
07/2009: Wonder Woman #34  --  30,131 (- 8.0%)
08/2009: Wonder Woman #35  --  29,657 (- 1.6%)
09/2009: Wonder Woman #36  --  28,806 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: Wonder Woman #37  --  26,972 (- 6.4%)
11/2009: Wonder Woman #38  --  26,265 (- 2.6%)
12/2009: Wonder Woman #39  --  26,152 (- 0.4%)
01/2010: Wonder Woman #40  --  25,156 (- 3.8%)
02/2010: Wonder Woman #41  --  25,354 (+ 0.8%)
03/2010: Wonder Woman #42  --  25,240 (- 0.5%)
----------------
6 months: -12.4%
1 year  : -24.4%
2 years : -38.1%
5 years : -17.2%

Sales have been rock-solid for the last two months.

After issue #44, Wonder Woman hits #600 and gets a new creative team headed by J. Michael Straczynski.

—–

88 - TITANS
03/2009: Titans #11     -- 35,240 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: Titans #12     -- 36,014 (+ 2.2%)
05/2009: Titans #13     -- 34,343 (- 4.6%)
06/2009: Titans #14     -- 32,321 (- 5.9%)
07/2009: Titans #15     -- 46,189 (+42.9%)
08/2009: Titans #16     -- 31,408 (-32.0%)
09/2009: Titans #17     -- 30,154 (- 4.0%)
10/2009: Titans #18     -- 28,215 (- 6.4%)
11/2009: Titans #19     -- 27,099 (- 4.0%)
12/2009: Titans #20     -- 25,887 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Titans #21     -- 24,924 (- 3.7%)
02/2010: Titans #22     -- 24,489 (- 1.8%)
03/2010: Titans #23     -- 24,260 (- 0.9%)
----------------
6 months: -20.0%
1 year  : -31.2%

A tie-in with Justice League: Cry for Justice further slows the sales decline. Titans is now on hiatus until June.

—–

89 - SECRET SIX
03/2009: Secret Six #7      -- 24,365 (- 1.6%)
04/2009: Secret Six #8      -- 24,338 (- 0.1%)
05/2009: Secret Six #9      -- 27,116 (+11.4%)
06/2009: Secret Six #10     -- 24,272 (-10.5%)
07/2009: Secret Six #11     -- 24,357 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Secret Six #12     -- 24,161 (- 0.8%)
09/2009: Secret Six #13     -- 23,919 (- 1.0%)
10/2009: Secret Six #14     -- 23,345 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Secret Six #15     -- 23,190 (- 0.7%)
12/2009: Secret Six #16     -- 22,638 (- 2.4%)
01/2010: Secret Six #17     -- 38,515 (+70.1%)
02/2010: Secret Six #18     -- 37,876 (- 1.7%)
03/2010: Secret Six #19     -- 23,181 (-38.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.1%
1 year  : - 4.9%

The numbers are back to their usual level after the Blackest Night tie-in.

Apart from the jumps and drops resulting from various crossovers, Secret Six sales have been perfectly solid.

—–

101 - POWER GIRL
05/2009: Power Girl #1  -- 47,322
06/2009: Power Girl #2  -- 36,756 (-22.3%)
07/2009: Power Girl #3  -- 35,163 (- 4.3%)
08/2009: Power Girl #4  -- 32,140 (- 8.6%)
09/2009: Power Girl #5  -- 29,497 (- 8.2%)
10/2009: Power Girl #6  -- 27,060 (- 8.3%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Power Girl #7  -- 22,533 (-16.7%)
01/2010: Power Girl #8  -- 21,760 (- 3.4%)
02/2010: Power Girl #9  -- 20,900 (- 4.0%)
03/2010: Power Girl #10 -- 20,801 (- 0.5%)
----------------
6 months: -29.5%

Power Girl sales are holding level at 21K. A new creative team is waiting around the corner.

—–

103 - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
03/2007: The Brave and the Bold #2  -- 64,357 [67,143]
03/2008: The Brave and the Bold #11 -- 37,751
---------------------------------------------
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: The Brave and the Bold #23 -- 22,312 (- 5.1%)
06/2009: The Brave and the Bold #24 -- 21,272 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: The Brave and the Bold #25 -- 21,234 (- 0.2%)
08/2009: The Brave and the Bold #26 -- 20,154 (- 5.1%)
09/2009: The Brave and the Bold #27 -- 26,904 (+33.5%)
10/2009: The Brave and the Bold #28 -- 23,176 (-13.9%)
11/2009: The Brave and the Bold #29 -- 21,287 (- 8.2%)
12/2009: The Brave and the Bold #30 -- 20,932 (- 1.7%)
01/2010: The Brave and the Bold #31 -- 21,406 (+ 2.3%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: The Brave and the Bold #32 -- 20,466 (- 4.4%)
----------------
6 months: -23.9%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -45.8%

Um, okay, so The Brave and the Bold wasn’t on hiatus in March, after all — DC just forgot to include the book in the online solicitations they sent out, evidently.

This sums up the publisher’s marketing strategy for the book quite nicely, come to think of it: It doesn’t exist. For a mainstream book written by Straczynski, these are rubbish sales, obviously. But considering the way Straczynski’s arrival has been handled, these sales are pretty much as expected.

—–

104 - BOOSTER GOLD
03/2008: Booster Gold #7  -- 36,140
-----------------------------------
03/2009: Booster Gold #18 -- 23,737 (-  4.0%)
04/2009: Booster Gold #19 -- 23,203 (-  2.3%)
05/2009: Booster Gold #20 -- 22,549 (-  2.8%)
06/2009: Booster Gold #21 -- 23,222 (+  3.0%)
07/2009: Booster Gold #22 -- 22,414 (-  3.5%)
08/2009: Booster Gold #23 -- 22,108 (-  1.4%)
09/2009: Booster Gold #24 -- 21,731 (-  1.7%)
10/2009: Booster Gold #25 -- 21,597 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: Booster Gold #26 -- 57,122 (+164.5%)
12/2009: Booster Gold #27 -- 40,256 (- 29.5%)
01/2010: Booster Gold #28 -- 21,967 (- 45.4%)
02/2010: Booster Gold #29 -- 21,020 (-  4.3%)
03/2010: Booster Gold #30 -- 20,187 (-  4.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.1%
1 year  : -15.0%
2 years : -44.1%

With its March issue, Booster Gold lost its backup strip and went back to a $2.99 cover price, with no effect on sales whatsoever. A new creative team is taking over in May.

—–

105 - FABLES (Vertigo)
03/2005: Fables #35 -- 24,469
03/2006: Fables #47 -- 24,278
03/2007: Fables #58 -- 26,065
03/2008: Fables #71 -- 24,006
-----------------------------
03/2009: Fables #82 -- 22,445 (-0.3%)
04/2009: Fables #83 -- 23,630 (+5.3%)
05/2009: Fables #84 -- 23,634 (+0.0%)
06/2009: Fables #85 -- 23,439 (-0.8%)
07/2009: Fables #86 -- 22,447 (-4.2%)
08/2009: Fables #87 -- 21,876 (-2.5%)
09/2009: Fables #88 -- 21,508 (-1.7%)
10/2009: Fables #89 -- 21,118 (-1.8%)
11/2009: Fables #90 -- 20,882 (-1.1%)
12/2009: Fables #91 -- 20,450 (-2.1%)
01/2010: Fables #92 -- 20,180 (-1.3%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: Fables #93 -- 20,003 (-0.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.0%
1 year  : -10.9%
2 years : -16.7%
5 years : -18.3%

Fables #93 was a straggler from February, had guest art by David Lapham and two weeks to accumulate re-orders in March, but still barely scraped over the 20K mark.

This means Vertigo is about to lose its last consistent 20K+ comic-book series, for the time being. Of course, there’s every chance now that American Vampire might replace it.

—–

87 - THE OUTSIDERS
03/2005: Outsiders #22 -- 38,886 [41,716]
03/2006: Outsiders #34 -- 47,286 [51,527]
03/2007: Outsiders #46 -- 32,577
03/2008: Batsiders #5  -- 36,797
--------------------------------
03/2009: Outsiders #16 -- 27,977 (-  6.8%)
04/2009: Outsiders #17 -- 27,171 (-  2.9%)
05/2009: Outsiders #18 -- 25,995 (-  4.3%)
06/2009: Outsiders #19 -- 27,485 (+  5.7%)
07/2009: Outsiders #20 -- 24,323 (- 11.5%)
08/2009: Outsiders #21 -- 23,856 (-  1.9%)
09/2009: Outsiders #22 -- 22,775 (-  4.5%)
10/2009: Outsiders #23 -- 21,413 (-  6.0%)
11/2009: Outsiders #24 -- 50,918 (+137.8%) [55,704]
12/2009: Outsiders #25 -- 37,847 (- 25.7%)
01/2010: Outsiders #26 -- 22,626 (- 40.2%)
02/2010: Outsiders #27 -- 21,167 (-  6.5%)
03/2010: Outsiders #28 -- 19,632 (-  7.3%)
----------------
6 months: -13.8%
1 year  : -29.8%
2 years : -46.7%
5 years : -49.5%

Ouchsiders. The new creative team doesn’t seem to be catching on, to put it mildly.

—–

109 - SUPERMAN 80-PAGE GIANT
03/2010: Superman 80-Page Giant #1  -- 19,391

Another $ 5.99 anthology one-shot. Perfectly good numbers for this type of book.

—–

119 - JOE THE BARBARIAN (Vertigo)
01/2010: Joe the Barbarian #1 of 8 -- 25,543          [29,712]
02/2010: Joe the Barbarian #2 of 8 -- 17,512 (-31.4%)
03/2010: Joe the Barbarian #3 of 8 -- 17,672 (+ 0.9%)

Very encouraging sales.

And more evidence that the $ 1.00 debut issues are paying off for Vertigo.

—–

123 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
03/2007: Batman Confidential #4  -- 38,735
03/2008: Batman Confidential #14 -- 25,330
03/2008: Batman Confidential #15 -- 24,283
------------------------------------------
03/2009: Batman Confidential #27 -- 19,934 (- 1.0%)
04/2009: Batman Confidential #28 -- 19,540 (- 2.0%)
05/2009: Batman Confidential #29 -- 18,867 (- 3.4%)
06/2009: Batman Confidential #30 -- 18,443 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Batman Confidential #31 -- 19,225 (+ 4.2%)
08/2009: Batman Confidential #32 -- 18,545 (- 3.5%)
09/2009: Batman Confidential #33 -- 18,140 (- 2.2%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #34 -- 17,097 (- 5.8%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #35 -- 16,724 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #36 -- 16,664 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #37 -- 16,355 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Batman Confidential #38 -- 16,132 (- 1.4%)
12/2009: Batman Confidential #39 -- 15,906 (- 1.4%)
01/2010: Batman Confidential #40 -- 17,241 (+ 8.4%)
02/2010: Batman Confidential #41 -- 16,856 (- 2.2%)
03/2010: Batman Confidential #42 -- 16,652 (- 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.2%
1 year  : -16.5%
2 years : -32.9%

The Sam Kieth arc (issues #40 through #43) keeps Batman Confidential sales rock-solid.

—–

130 - CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE (Vertigo)
11/2009: Cinderella #1 of 6 -- 20,337
12/2009: Cinderella #2 of 6 -- 16,598 (-18.4%)
01/2010: Cinderella #3 of 6 -- 15,827 (- 4.7%)
02/2010: Cinderella #4 of 6 -- 15,421 (- 2.6%)
03/2010: Cinderella #5 of 6 -- 15,285 (- 0.9%)

The Fables spin-off maintains very decent numbers.

——

134 - DOOM PATROL
03/2005: Doom Patrol #10 -- 16,600
----------------------------------
08/2009: Doom Patrol #1  -- 28,267
09/2009: Doom Patrol #2  -- 22,001 (- 22.2%)
10/2009: Doom Patrol #3  -- 20,036 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Doom Patrol #4  -- 53,748 (+168.3%)
12/2009: Doom Patrol #5  -- 35,348 (- 34.2%)
01/2010: Doom Patrol #6  -- 17,117 (- 51.6%)
02/2010: Doom Patrol #7  -- 15,689 (-  8.3%)
03/2010: Doom Patrol #8  -- 14,197 (-  9.5%)
----------------
6 months: -35.5%
5 years : -14.5%

This doesn’t look good at all, obviously.

—–

135 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
05/2009: The Unwritten #1  -- 26,915          [31,081]
06/2009: The Unwritten #2  -- 16,290 (-39.5%)
07/2009: The Unwritten #3  -- 17,028 (+ 4.5%)
08/2009: The Unwritten #4  -- 16,336 (- 4.1%)
09/2009: The Unwritten #5  -- 16,011 (- 2.0%)
10/2009: The Unwritten #6  -- 15,314 (- 4.4%)
11/2009: The Unwritten #7  -- 14,763 (- 3.6%)
12/2009: The Unwritten #8  -- 14,257 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: The Unwritten #9  -- 13,792 (- 3.3%)
02/2010: The Unwritten #10 -- 13,644 (- 1.1%)
03/2010: The Unwritten #11 -- 13,630 (- 0.1%)
----------------
6 months: -14.9%

The Unwritten sales keep sticking to the 16-17K mark, with virtually no change in March.

—–

140/145 - ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE (WildStorm)
06/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #1 of 4 -- 32,690
07/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #2 of 4 -- 29,721
08/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #3 of 4 -- 28,152
10/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #4 of 4 -- 27,367
-----------------------------------------------
11/2006: The Dark Age/Book 2 #1 of 4 -- 26,993
02/2007: The Dark Age/Book 2 #2 of 4 -- 23,412
04/2007: The Dark Age/Book 2 #3 of 4 -- 22,727
09/2007: The Dark Age/Book 2 #4 of 4 -- 19,764
-----------------------------------------------
05/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #1 of 4 -- 18,281 (- 7.5%)
06/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #2 of 4 -- 16,405 (-10.3%)
07/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #3 of 4 -- 15,291 (- 6.8%)
08/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #4 of 4 -- 14,684 (- 4.0%)
09/2009: Astra Special #1 of 2       -- 14,627 (- 0.4%)
10/2009: Astra Special #2 of 2       -- 13,847 (- 5.3%)
----------------------------------------------
01/2010: The Dark Age/Book 4 #1 of 4 -- 13,664 (- 1.3%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: The Dark Age/Book 4 #2 of 4 -- 13,118 (- 4.0%)
03/2010: The Dark Age/Book 4 #3 of 4 -- 12,630 (- 3.7%)
----------------
6 months: -12.0%

There’s no second-issue drop for the final miniseries in the 16-part The Dark Age. Sales have dropped quite a bit since the storyline began in 2005, but at least there are signs that the numbers are bottoming out, now that the series is coming out more frequently again.

—–

148 - EX MACHINA (WildStorm)
03/2005: Ex Machina #9  -- 22,352
03/2006: Ex Machina #18 -- 21,081
03/2007: --
03/2008: Ex Machina #35 -- 15,500
---------------------------------
03/2009: --
04/2009: Ex Machina #41 -- 13,526 (- 3.9%)
05/2009: Ex Machina #42 -- 13,403 (- 0.9%)
06/2009: Ex Machina #43 -- 13,204 (- 1.5%)
07/2009: --
08/2009: Ex Machina #44 -- 12,796 (- 3.1%)
09/2009: Ex Machina #45 -- 12,832 (+ 0.3%)
10/2009: Ex Machina #46 -- 12,538 (- 2.3%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Ex Machina #47 -- 12,192 (- 2.8%)
01/2010: --
02/2010: --
03/2010: Ex Machina #48 -- 12,093 (- 0.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.8%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -22.0%
5 years : -45.9%

Two more issues to go, then WildStorm is short of its second-best-selling title. Apart from Astro City, the imprint seems to be a dead end for creator-owned books, at this stage.

—–

153/158 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)
03/2007: --
03/2008: Jack of Fables #21 -- 16,597
-------------------------------------
03/2009: Jack of Fables #32 -- 13,595 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Jack of Fables #33 -- 19,242 (+41.5%)
05/2009: Jack of Fables #34 -- 19,420 (+ 0.9%)
06/2009: Jack of Fables #35 -- 19,571 (+ 0.8%)
07/2009: Jack of Fables #36 -- 15,256 (-22.1%)
08/2009: Jack of Fables #37 -- 14,508 (- 4.9%)
09/2009: Jack of Fables #38 -- 13,790 (- 5.0%)
10/2009: Jack of Fables #39 -- 13,161 (- 4.6%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Jack of Fables #40 -- 12,970 (- 1.5%)
12/2009: Jack of Fables #41 -- 12,559 (- 3.2%)
01/2010: Jack of Fables #42 -- 11,966 (- 4.7%)
02/2010: --
03/2010: Jack of Fables #43 -- 11,878 (- 0.7%)
03/2010: Jack of Fables #44 -- 11,472 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -15.3%
1 year  : -14.1%
2 years : -30.9%

The ongoing monthly Fables spin-off continues slipping down the charts.

—–

155 - AZRAEL
03/2009: Death's Dark Knight #1 of 3 -- 39,985
04/2009: Death's Dark Knight #2 of 3 -- 36,432 (- 8.9%)
05/2009: Death's Dark Knight #3 of 3 -- 35,916 (- 1.4%)
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: Azrael #1                   -- 35,311 (- 1.7%)
11/2009: Azrael #2                   -- 21,392 (-39.4%)
12/2009: Azrael #3                   -- 17,757 (-17.0%)
01/2010: Azrael #4                   -- 14,703 (-17.2%)
02/2010: Azrael #5                   -- 12,856 (-12.6%)
03/2010: Azrael #6                   -- 11,825 (- 8.0%)
----------------
1 year  : -70.4%

A single-digit drop, at last, but it’s by no means reassuring. Issue #10 begins a four-part storyline by a new writer, so Azrael should be safe until issue #13, at least.

Then again, it’s not like DC haven’t changed their minds on that sort of thing a lot, recently.

—–

157 - JONAH HEX
03/2006: Jonah Hex #5  -- 23,496
03/2007: Jonah Hex #17 -- 17,081
03/2008: Jonah Hex #29 -- 13,439
--------------------------------
03/2009: Jonah Hex #41 -- 11,564 (- 0.6%)
04/2009: Jonah Hex #42 -- 11,551 (- 0.1%)
05/2009: Jonah Hex #43 -- 11,606 (+ 0.5%)
06/2009: Jonah Hex #44 -- 11,592 (- 0.1%)
07/2009: Jonah Hex #45 -- 12,588 (+ 8.6%)
08/2009: Jonah Hex #46 -- 12,466 (- 1.0%)
09/2009: Jonah Hex #47 -- 12,231 (- 1.9%)
10/2009: Jonah Hex #48 -- 11,281 (- 7.8%)
11/2009: Jonah Hex #49 -- 11,146 (- 1.2%)
12/2009: Jonah Hex #50 -- 15,131 (+35.8%)
01/2010: Jonah Hex #51 -- 11,184 (-26.1%)
02/2010: Jonah Hex #52 -- 11,213 (+ 0.3%)
03/2010: Jonah Hex #53 -- 11,565 (+ 3.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.5%
1 year  : + 0.0%
2 years : -14.0%

Issue #53 had guest art by Billy Tucci, which may explain the slight increase. Be that as it may, Jonah Hex sales have been extraordinarily solid over the last year. The March 2010 estimate varies from the March 2009 estimate by precisely one copy.

That’s consistency for you.

—–

159 - R.E.B.E.L.S.
03/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #2  -- 16,122 (- 32.1%)
04/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #3  -- 14,442 (- 10.4%)
05/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #4  -- 13,468 (-  6.7%)
06/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #5  -- 12,909 (-  4.2%)
07/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #6  -- 12,349 (-  4.3%)
08/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #7  -- 11,682 (-  5.4%)
09/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #8  -- 11,347 (-  2.9%)
10/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #9  -- 11,284 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 -- 51,100 (+352.9%)
12/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #11 -- 31,489 (- 38.4%)
01/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #12 -- 12,428 (- 60.5%)
02/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #13 -- 11,836 (-  4.8%)
03/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #14 -- 11,362 (-  4.0%)
-----------------
6 months: +  0.1%
1 year  : - 29.5%

The numbers keep sliding back down after the crossover increase, but R.E.B.E.L.S. still remains a smidgen above its pre-”Blackest Night” sales.

—–

169 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
03/2005: Hellblazer #206 -- 15,464
03/2006: Hellblazer #218 -- 14,129
03/2007: Hellblazer #230 -- 13,210
03/2008: Hellblazer #242 -- 11,916
----------------------------------
03/2009: Hellblazer #253 -- 11,132 (-0.4%)
04/2009: Hellblazer #254 -- 11,053 (-0.7%)
05/2009: Hellblazer #255 -- 10,937 (-1.1%)
06/2009: Hellblazer #256 -- 10,898 (-0.4%)
07/2009: Hellblazer #257 -- 10,762 (-1.3%)
08/2009: Hellblazer #258 -- 10,665 (-0.9%)
09/2009: Hellblazer #259 -- 10,813 (+1.4%)
10/2009: Hellblazer #260 -- 10,767 (-0.4%)
11/2009: Hellblazer #261 -- 10,553 (-2.0%)
12/2009: Hellblazer #262 -- 10,334 (-2.1%)
01/2010: Hellblazer #263 -- 10,179 (-1.5%)
02/2010: Hellblazer #264 -- 10,025 (-1.5%)
03/2010: Hellblazer #265 -- 10,295 (+2.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.8%
1 year  : - 7.5%
2 years : -13.6%
5 years : -33.4%

Hellblazer #265 starts a two-parter drawn by Simon Bisley that gets it to bounce against the 10K barrier, evidently.

—–

174 - DAYTRIPPER (Vertigo)
12/2009: Daytripper #1  of 10 -- 12,010
01/2009: Daytripper #2  of 10 --  9,846 (-18.0%)
02/2009: Daytripper #3  of 10 --  9,577 (- 2.7%)
03/2009: Daytripper #4  of 10 --  9,872 (+ 3.1%)

Another Vertigo book with a slight sales increase, and this time there wasn’t even a cheap introductory issue to improve its chances. Daytripper creators Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon seem to be hitting a nerve with their melancholy slice-of-death saga.

—–

176 - GOD OF WAR (WildStorm)
03/2010: God of War #1 of 6 -- 9,842

The latest game adaptation from WildStorm shows no signs of breaking with the usual pattern.

—–

178 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
09/2009: Sweet Tooth #1  -- 18,657
10/2009: Sweet Tooth #2  -- 11,315 (-39.4%)
11/2009: Sweet Tooth #3  -- 10,363 (- 8.4%)
12/2009: Sweet Tooth #4  --  9,817 (- 5.3%)
01/2010: Sweet Tooth #5  --  9,787 (- 0.3%)
02/2010: Sweet Tooth #6  --  9,740 (- 0.5%)
03/2010: Sweet Tooth #7  --  9,718 (- 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: -47.9%

Over the last four issues, Sweet Tooth sales have deviated by less than 100 units; another strong indicator that the $ 1.00 debut issues are doing their job.

—–

184 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
03/2009: House of Mystery #11 -- 12,785 (- 2.4%)
04/2009: House of Mystery #12 -- 12,636 (- 1.2%)
05/2009: House of Mystery #13 -- 14,358 (+13.6%)
06/2009: House of Mystery #14 -- 12,039 (-16.2%)
07/2009: House of Mystery #15 -- 11,809 (- 1.9%)
08/2009: House of Mystery #16 -- 11,572 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: House of Mystery #17 -- 11,142 (- 3.7%)
10/2009: House of Mystery #18 -- 10,922 (- 2.0%)
11/2009: House of Mystery #19 -- 10,478 (- 4.1%)
12/2009: House of Mystery #20 -- 10,175 (- 2.9%)
01/2010: House of Mystery #21 --  9,888 (- 2.8%)
02/2010: House of Mystery #22 --  9,401 (- 4.9%)
03/2010: House of Mystery #23 --  9,350 (- 0.5%)
----------------
6 months: -16.1%
1 year  : -26.9%

House of Mystery #23 had art by Sam Kieth, hence the lack of a bigger drop.

—–

186 - NEMESIS: THE IMPOSTORS
05/2009: FCA: Escape #1 of 6 -- 28,668
06/2009: FCA: Escape #2 of 6 -- 20,576 (-29.2%)
07/2009: FCA: Escape #3 of 6 -- 15,294 (-25.7%)
08/2009: FCA: Escape #4 of 6 -- 12,950 (-15.3%)
09/2009: FCA: Escape #5 of 6 -- 11,613 (-10.3%)
10/2009: FCA: Escape #6 of 6 -- 10,519 (- 9.4%)
--------------------------------------
03/2010: Impostors #1 of 4   --  9,005 (-14.4%)
----------------
6 months: -22.5%

The numbers pick up where last year’s Final Crisis Aftermath series, by the same creators and starring the same character, left off.

—–

196 - WARLORD
04/2009: Warlord #1  -- 17,540
05/2009: Warlord #2  -- 13,390 (-23.7%)
06/2009: Warlord #3  -- 12,283 (- 8.3%)
07/2009: Warlord #4  -- 11,445 (- 6.8%)
08/2009: Warlord #5  -- 10,790 (- 5.7%)
09/2009: Warlord #6  -- 10,331 (- 4.3%)
10/2009: Warlord #7  --  9,892 (- 4.3%)
11/2009: Warlord #8  --  9,547 (- 3.5%)
12/2009: Warlord #9  --  9,102 (- 4.7%)
01/2010: Warlord #10 --  8,807 (- 3.2%)
02/2010: Warlord #11 --  8,532 (- 3.1%)
03/2010: Warlord #12 --  8,430 (- 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: -18.4%

Canceled with issue #18.

—–

197 - HUMAN TARGET
03/2005: Human Target #20     --  7,534
---------------------------------------
02/2010: Human Target #1 of 6 -- 13,690
03/2010: Human Target #2 of 6 --  8,403 (-38.6%)
----------------
5 years : +11.5%

The first issue had a 1-for-10 variant, whereas the second didn’t. Still, that’s still quite a terrible drop.

—–

200 - SPARTA, U.S.A. (WildStorm)
03/2010: Sparta, U.S.A. #1 of 6 -- 8,214

A new “creator-driven” series written by David Lapham and promoted with a 1-for-10 variant. It’s one of WildStorm’s better-selling books of that type in recent years.

—–

201 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
03/2009: Madame Xanadu #9  --  9,798 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Madame Xanadu #10 --  9,664 (- 1.4%)
05/2009: Madame Xanadu #11 -- 10,179 (+ 5.3%)
06/2009: Madame Xanadu #12 --  9,949 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Madame Xanadu #13 -- 10,009 (+ 0.6%)
08/2009: Madame Xanadu #14 --  9,873 (- 1.4%)
09/2009: Madame Xanadu #15 --  9,733 (- 1.4%)
10/2009: Madame Xanadu #16 --  9,283 (- 4.6%)
11/2009: Madame Xanadu #17 --  8,856 (- 4.6%)
12/2009: Madame Xanadu #18 --  8,686 (- 1.9%)
01/2010: Madame Xanadu #19 --  8,439 (- 2.8%)
02/2010: Madame Xanadu #20 --  8,285 (- 1.8%)
03/2010: Madame Xanadu #21 --  8,191 (- 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: -15.8%
1 year  : -16.4%

The numbers seem to be bottoming out around 8,000 units.

—–

203 - MAGOG
09/2009: Magog #1  -- 26,352
10/2009: Magog #2  -- 16,193 (-38.6%)
11/2009: Magog #3  -- 12,915 (-20.2%)
12/2009: Magog #4  -- 10,700 (-17.2%)
01/2010: Magog #5  --  9,215 (-13.9%)
02/2010: Magog #6  --  8,548 (- 7.2%)
03/2010: Magog #7  --  8,119 (- 5.0%)
----------------
6 months: -69.2%

Magog #11 starts another five-part Kingdom Come sequel, written and drawn by Scott Kolins, according to the solicitations. Probably a last-ditch effort to stabilize the numbers.

—–

208 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
03/2008: Tiny Titans #2  -- 11,432
----------------------------------
03/2009: Tiny Titans #14 --  8,736 (+ 0.3%)
04/2009: Tiny Titans #15 --  9,207 (+ 5.4%)
05/2009: Tiny Titans #16 --  8,844 (- 3.9%)
06/2009: Tiny Titans #17 --  8,640 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Tiny Titans #18 --  8,576 (- 0.7%)
08/2009: Tiny Titans #19 --  8,432 (- 1.7%)
09/2009: Tiny Titans #20 --  8,435 (+ 0.0%)
10/2009: Tiny Titans #21 --  8,259 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Tiny Titans #22 --  8,100 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Tiny Titans #23 --  8,017 (- 1.0%)
01/2010: Tiny Titans #24 --  7,844 (- 2.2%)
02/2010: Tiny Titans #25 --  8,566 (+ 9.2%)
03/2010: Tiny Titans #26 --  7,878 (- 8.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.6%
1 year  : - 9.8%
2 years : -31.1%

A Johnny DC title, see fine print.

—–

211 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
03/2008: Northlanders #4  -- 12,851
-----------------------------------
03/2009: Northlanders #15 --  9,443 (- 0.2%)
04/2009: Northlanders #16 --  9,323 (- 1.3%)
05/2009: Northlanders #17 --  9,239 (- 0.9%)
06/2009: Northlanders #18 --  8,877 (- 3.9%)
07/2009: Northlanders #19 --  8,722 (- 1.8%)
08/2009: --
09/2009: Northlanders #20 --  8,786 (+ 0.7%)
10/2009: Northlanders #21 --  8,360 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Northlanders #22 --  8,136 (- 2.7%)
12/2009: Northlanders #23 --  8,069 (- 0.8%)
01/2010: Northlanders #24 --  7,935 (- 1.7%)
02/2010: Northlanders #25 --  7,807 (- 1.6%)
03/2010: Northlanders #26 --  7,824 (+ 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: -11.0%
1 year  : -17.2%
2 years : -39.1%

The book is finding its level, it seems.

The third Northlanders collection came out in March, with estimated first-month sales of 3,806 in the direct market, continuing a slight decline from the first (4,355) and second (4,117) volumes. This puts Northlanders in the midfield, after Fables, Jack of Fables and DMZ, and ahead of Air, Madame Xanadu and House of Mystery.

—–

213 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
03/2005: Revolution #6 of 12  -- 20,229
03/2007: The Authority v3 #2  -- 39,886
03/2008: Prime #6 of 6        -- 13,369
---------------------------------------
03/2009: The Authority v4 #8  --  9,990 (- 5.3%)
04/2009: The Authority v4 #9  --  9,748 (- 2.4%)
05/2009: The Authority v4 #10 --  9,531 (- 2.2%)
06/2009: The Authority v4 #11 --  9,204 (- 3.4%)
07/2009: The Authority v4 #12 --  8,918 (- 3.1%)
08/2009: The Authority v4 #13 --  8,648 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: The Authority v4 #14 --  8,394 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: The Authority v4 #15 --  8,174 (- 2.6%)
11/2009: The Authority v4 #16 --  8,066 (- 1.3%)
12/2009: The Authority v4 #17 --  7,829 (- 2.9%)
01/2010: The Authority v4 #18 --  7,952 (+ 1.6%)
02/2010: The Authority v4 #19 --  7,943 (- 0.1%)
03/2010: The Authority v4 #20 --  7,781 (- 2.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.3%
1 year  : -22.1%
2 years : -41.8%
5 years : -61.5%

The best-selling WildStorm Universe title continues its slow fade.

—–

219 - MILESTONE FOREVER
02/2010: Milestone Forever #1 of 2 -- 9,792
03/2010: Milestone Forever #2 of 2 -- 7,221 (-26.3%)

That’s a pretty big drop-off for a two-part miniseries. Doesn’t look like there’s much demand for the Milestone characters right now, overall.

—–

224 - THE AUTHORITY: THE LOST YEAR (WildStorm)
10/2006: The Authority v3 #1     -- 58,136
03/2007: The Authority v3 #2     -- 39,886
------------------------------------------
11/2009: The Lost Year #3  of 12 --  8,988 (-77.5%)
12/2009: The Lost Year #4  of 12 --  7,999 (-11.0%)
01/2010: The Lost Year #5  of 12 --  7,541 (- 5.7%)
02/2010: The Lost Year #6  of 12 --  7,184 (- 4.7%)
03/2010: The Lost Year #7  of 12 --  6,942 (- 3.4%)

Last month’s bit on The Authority: The Lost Year was received as an appraisal of the series’ quality by one commenter, so let me clarify that it wasn’t meant to be.

For all I know, this is a fantastic book. It’s also a story that was launched on the strength of Grant Morrison’s name, however, and is now being executed by people who are not Grant Morrison. This doesn’t necessarily say anything about the book’s quality, but it certainly explains its reception and sales figures.

Also, it makes funny noises and has flies buzzing around it and the little children are starting to cry when it’s close and the wind is blowing in the wrong direction. Just saying.

—–

229 - DMZ (Vertigo)
03/2006: DMZ #5  -- 14,952
03/2007: DMZ #17 -- 13,081
03/2008: DMZ #29 -- 10,266
--------------------------
03/2009: DMZ #40 --  8,167 (-2.2%)
04/2009: DMZ #41 --  8,061 (-1.3%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: DMZ #42 --  7,927 (-1.7%)
07/2009: DMZ #43 --  7,806 (-1.5%)
08/2009: DMZ #44 --  7,654 (-2.0%)
09/2009: DMZ #45 --  7,589 (-0.9%)
10/2009: DMZ #46 --  7,399 (-2.5%)
11/2009: DMZ #47 --  7,187 (-2.9%)
12/2009: DMZ #48 --  6,977 (-2.9%)
01/2010: DMZ #49 --  6,872 (-1.5%)
02/2010: DMZ #50 --  7,262 (+5.7%)
03/2010: DMZ #51 --  6,840 (-5.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.9%
1 year  : -16.3%
2 years : -33.4%

After an anniversary issue bounce, sales are back to normal.

—–

231 - SUPERNATURAL: BEGINNING'S END (WildStorm)
05/2007: Origins #1         -- 21,128
06/2007: Origins #2         -- 15,955 (-24.5%)
07/2007: Origins #3         -- 14,812 (- 7.2%)
08/2007: Origins #4         -- 13,915 (- 6.1%)
09/2007: Origins #5         -- 13,034 (- 6.3%)
10/2007: Origins #6         -- 12,350 (- 5.5%)
-------------------------------------
04/2008: Rising Son #1 of 6 -- 16,013 (+29.7%)
05/2008: Rising Son #2 of 6 -- 11,846 (-26.0%)
06/2008: Rising Son #3 of 6 -- 11,276 (- 4.8%)
07/2008: Rising Son #4 of 6 -- 10,676 (- 5.3%)
08/2008: Rising Son #5 of 6 -- 10,110 (- 5.3%)
09/2008: Rising Son #6 of 6 --  9,590 (- 5.1%)
-------------------------------------
01/2010: Beginning's End #1 --  9,251 (- 3.5%)
02/2010: Beginning's End #2 --  6,922 (-25.2%)
03/2010: Beginning's End #3 --  6,764 (- 2.3%)

The TV-show adaptation seems to be bottoming out, for whatever that’s worth.

—–

232 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
03/2007: Scalped #3  --  9,531
03/2008: Scalped #15 --  7,004
------------------------------
03/2009: Scalped #26 --  6,866 (- 0.3%)
04/2009: Scalped #27 --  6,950 (+ 1.2%)
04/2009: Scalped #28 --  6,860 (- 1.3%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Scalped #29 --  7,078 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Scalped #30 --  7,059 (- 0.3%)
08/2009: Scalped #31 --  6,916 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: --
10/2009: Scalped #32 --  6,905 (- 0.2%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Scalped #33 --  6,752 (- 2.2%)
01/2010: --
02/2010: Scalped #34 --  6,731 (- 0.3%)
02/2010: Scalped #35 --  6,443 (- 4.3%)
03/2010: Scalped #36 --  6,648 (+ 3.2%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : - 3.2%
2 years : - 5.1%

Scalped may not the best-selling Vertigo title by a long shot, but it’s the most consistent DC comic-book series. It’s lost less than 400 units over the last two years.

—–

234 - GREEK STREET (Vertigo)
07/2009: Greek Street #1  -- 20,422
08/2009: Greek Street #2  -- 11,996 (-41.3%)
09/2009: Greek Street #3  -- 10,628 (-11.4%)
10/2009: Greek Street #4  --  9,246 (-13.0%)
11/2009: Greek Street #5  --  8,610 (- 6.9%)
12/2009: Greek Street #6  --  7,802 (- 9.4%)
01/2010: Greek Street #7  --  7,335 (- 6.0%)
02/2010: Greek Street #8  --  6,872 (- 6.3%)
03/2010: Greek Street #9  --  6,603 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: -37.9%

The $ 1.00 debut issue doesn’t seem to have had any effect on the periodical numbers here.

Also, the first Greek Street collection shipped in March, with estimated first-month sales of 3,430 in the direct market, which isn’t stellar compared to the first volumes of House of Mystery (4,011), Air (3,195) or Madame Xanadu (3,616).

The book doesn’t seem to be catching on.

—–

235 - DEMO (Vertigo)
11/2003: Demo #1  of 12      -- 4,529
12/2003: Demo #2  of 12      -- 3,115 (-31.2%)
01/2004: Demo #3  of 12      -- 3,170 (+ 1.8%)
02/2004: Demo #4  of 12      -- 3,220 (+ 1.6%)
03/2004: Demo #5  of 12      -- 3,301 (+ 2.5%)
05/2004: Demo #6  of 12      -- 3,514 (+ 6.5%)
06/2004: Demo #7  of 12      -- 3,882 (+10.5%)
07/2004: Demo #8  of 12      -- 3,803 (- 2.0%)
08/2004: Demo #9  of 12      -- 3,976 (+ 4.6%)
10/2004: Demo #10 of 12      -- 4,260 (+ 7.1%)
10/2004: Demo #11 of 12      -- 4,344 (+ 2.0%)
12/2004: Demo #12 of 12      -- 4,628 (+ 6.5%)
-------------------------------------
02/2010: Demo Vol. 2 #1 of 6 -- 8,317
03/2010: Demo Vol. 2 #2 of 6 -- 6,573 (-21.0%)

That’s a fairly stiff drop for a miniseries.

Of course, as Demo writer Brian Wood pointed out in the comments last month, the series is in black and white, which probably makes it a harder sell than his other Vertigo books DMZ and Northlanders. It’s certainly worth mentioning.

—–

236 - THE GREAT TEN
11/2009: The Great Ten #1  of 10 -- 13,159
12/2009: The Great Ten #2  of 10 --  8,760 (-33.4%)
01/2010: The Great Ten #3  of 10 --  7,458 (-14.9%)
02/2010: The Great Ten #4  of 10 --  6,812 (- 8.7%)
03/2010: The Great Ten #5  of 10 --  6,555 (- 3.8%)

The Great Ten is canceled with issue #9.

I repeat: Evidently, it is financially impossible for DC Comics to publish issue #10 of the 10-part series The Great Ten. Instead, they will stop at issue #9 of the 10-part series The Great Ten, which has not, however, been renamed The Great Nine as a result of losing the 10th and final issue of its formerly 10- and now 9-issue run.

—–

237 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
03/2006: Nemesis #7 of 9 -- 14,533
03/2007: --
03/2008: --
----------------------------------
03/2009: World's End #9  --  8,758 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: World's End #10 --  8,460 (- 3.4%)
05/2009: World's End #11 --  8,165 (- 3.5%)
06/2009: World's End #12 --  7,863 (- 3.7%)
07/2009: World's End #13 --  7,609 (- 3.2%)
08/2009: World's End #14 --  7,417 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: World's End #15 --  7,178 (- 3.2%)
10/2009: World's End #16 --  6,883 (- 4.1%)
11/2009: World's End #17 --  6,691 (- 2.8%)
12/2009: World's End #18 --  6,487 (- 3.2%)
01/2010: World's End #19 --  6,791 (+ 4.7%)
02/2010: World's End #20 --  6,669 (- 1.8%)
03/2010: World's End #21 --  6,491 (- 2.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.6%
1 year  : -25.9%
2 years :  n.a.

The other WildStorm Universe book that used to be one of the imprint’s flagship titles.

—–

243 - VICTORIAN UNDEAD (WildStorm)
11/2009: Victorian Undead #1 of 6 -- 11,422
12/2009: Victorian Undead #2 of 6 --  7,430 (-35.0%)
01/2010: Victorian Undead #3 of 6 --  6,663 (-10.3%)
02/2010: Victorian Undead #4 of 6 --  6,365 (- 4.5%)
03/2010: Victorian Undead #5 of 6 --  6,285 (- 1.3%)

Bafflingly high sales, still, for no readily apparent reason.

—–

244 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
03/2005: Batman Strikes! #7    -- 10,775
03/2006: Batman Strikes! #19   --  8,244
03/2007: Batman Strikes! #31   --  7,100
03/2008: Batman Strikes! #43   --  6,544
----------------------------------------
03/2009: Brave & Bold #3       --  8,184 (-  5.7%)
04/2009: Brave & Bold #4       --  8,381 (+  2.4%)
05/2009: Brave & Bold #5       --  7,994 (-  4.6%)
06/2009: Brave & Bold #6       --  7,614 (-  4.8%)
07/2009: Brave & Bold #7       --  7,441 (-  2.3%)
08/2009: Brave & Bold #8       --  7,153 (-  3.9%)
09/2009: Brave & Bold #9       --  7,064 (-  1.2%)
10/2009: Brave & Bold #10      --  6,646 (-  5.9%)
11/2009: Brave & Bold #11      --  6,438 (-  3.1%)
12/2009: Brave & Bold #12      --  6,342 (-  1.5%)
01/2010: Brave & Bold #13      --  6,129 (-  3.4%)
02/2010: Brave & Bold #14      --  6,084 (-  0.7%)
03/2010: Brave & Bold #15      --  6,208 (+  2.0%)
----------------
6 months: -12.1%
1 year  : -24.2%
2 years : - 5.1%
5 years : -42.4%

A Johnny DC title. See small print.

—–

255 - UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Vertigo)
03/2009: Unknown Soldier #6  --  8,177 (- 2.1%)
04/2009: Unknown Soldier #7  --  8,631 (+ 5.6%)
05/2009: Unknown Soldier #8  --  7,705 (-10.7%)
06/2009: Unknown Soldier #9  --  7,586 (- 1.6%)
07/2009: Unknown Soldier #10 --  7,256 (- 4.4%)
08/2009: Unknown Soldier #11 --  7,070 (- 2.6%)
09/2009: Unknown Soldier #12 --  6,865 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: Unknown Soldier #13 --  6,636 (- 3.3%)
11/2009: Unknown Soldier #14 --  6,359 (- 4.2%)
12/2009: Unknown Soldier #15 --  6,134 (- 3.5%)
01/2010: Unknown Soldier #16 --  5,848 (- 4.7%)
02/2010: Unknown Soldier #17 --  5,701 (- 2.5%)
03/2010: Unknown Soldier #18 --  5,611 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: -18.3%
1 year  : -31.4%

Bottoming out, evidently.

—–

258 - THE SHIELD
08/2009: RC: Shield #1  -- 19,088
09/2009: The Shield #1  -- 16,997 (-11.0%)
10/2009: The Shield #2  -- 10,401 (-38.8%)
11/2009: The Shield #3  --  8,546 (-17.8%)
12/2009: The Shield #4  --  7,316 (-14.4%)
01/2010: The Shield #5  --  6,444 (-11.9%)
02/2010: The Shield #6  --  6,010 (- 6.7%)
03/2010: The Shield #7  --  5,568 (- 7.4%)
----------------
6 months: -67.2%

Canceled with issue #10. Tough for The Great Ten.

—–

262 - AIR (Vertigo)
03/2009: Air #7  -- 10,290 (+35.3%)
04/2009: Air #8  --  7,216 (-29.9%)
05/2009: Air #9  --  7,115 (- 1.4%)
06/2009: Air #10 --  6,954 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Air #11 --  6,793 (- 2.3%)
08/2009: Air #12 --  6,589 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: Air #13 --  6,476 (- 1.7%)
10/2009: Air #14 --  6,156 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Air #15 --  5,921 (- 3.8%)
12/2009: Air #16 --  5,733 (- 3.2%)
01/2010: Air #17 --  5,573 (- 2.8%)
02/2010: Air #18 --  5,352 (- 4.0%)
03/2010: Air #19 --  5,268 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: -18.7%
1 year  : -48.8%

Business as usual.

—–

267 - RESIDENT EVIL (WildStorm)
03/2009: Resident Evil #1 of 6 -- 15,759
04/2009: --
05/2009: Resident Evil #2 of 6 -- 10,366 (-34.2%)
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: --
11/2009: Resident Evil #3 of 6 --  6,508 (-37.2%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: --
02/2010: --
03/2010: Resident Evil #4 of 6 --  5,074 (-22.0%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -67.8%
268 - CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2: GHOST (WildStorm)
11/2009: CoD:MW2: Ghost #1 of 6 -- 11,936
12/2009: CoD:MW2: Ghost #2 of 6 --  5,214 (-56.3%)
01/2010: --
02/2010: CoD:MW2: Ghost #3 of 6 --  4,938 (- 5.3%)
03/2010: CoD:MW2: Ghost #4 of 6 --  5,026 (+ 1.8%)

Two WildStorm game adaptations.

—–

271 - THE WEB
08/2009: RC: Web #1  -- 19,535
09/2009: The Web #1  -- 15,507 (-20.6%)
10/2009: The Web #2  --  9,421 (-39.3%)
11/2009: The Web #3  --  7,631 (-19.0%)
12/2009: The Web #4  --  6,653 (-12.8%)
01/2010: The Web #5  --  5,809 (-12.7%)
02/2010: The Web #6  --  5,276 (- 9.2%)
03/2010: The Web #7  --  4,981 (- 5.6%)
----------------
6 months: -67.9%

Canceled with issue #10.

Life’s just not fair if you’re in The Great Ten.

—–

276 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
03/2008: Super Friends #1  -- 12,554
------------------------------------
03/2009: Super Friends #13 --  5,387 (- 0.1%)
04/2009: Super Friends #14 --  5,792 (+ 7.5%)
05/2009: Super Friends #15 --  5,513 (- 4.8%)
06/2009: Super Friends #16 --  5,548 (+ 0.6%)
07/2009: Super Friends #17 --  5,368 (- 3.2%)
08/2009: Super Friends #18 --  5,291 (- 1.4%)
09/2009: Super Friends #19 --  5,045 (- 4.7%)
10/2009: Super Friends #20 --  5,026 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Super Friends #21 --  4,879 (- 2.9%)
12/2009: Super Friends #22 --  4,837 (- 0.9%)
01/2010: Super Friends #23 --  4,538 (- 6.2%)
02/2010: Super Friends #24 --  4,644 (+ 2.3%)
03/2010: Super Friends #25 --  4,678 (+ 0.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.3%
1 year  : -13.2%
2 years : -62.7%
285 - BILLY BATSON & THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM (Johnny DC)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Billy Batson #4  --  8,470 (-14.0%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Billy Batson #5  --  7,869 (- 7.1%)
07/2009: Billy Batson #6  --  6,771 (-14.0%)
08/2009: Billy Batson #7  --  6,382 (- 5.8%)
09/2009: Billy Batson #8  --  5,858 (- 8.2%)
10/2009: Billy Batson #9  --  5,388 (- 8.0%)
11/2009: Billy Batson #10 --  4,993 (- 7.3%)
12/2009: Billy Batson #11 --  4,795 (- 4.0%)
01/2010: Billy Batson #12 --  4,371 (- 8.8%)
02/2010: Billy Batson #13 --  4,316 (- 1.3%)
03/2010: Billy Batson #14 --  4,227 (- 2.1%)
----------------
6 months: -27.8%
1 year  :  n.a.
295 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
03/2005: Scooby Doo #94  -- 4,772
03/2006: Scooby Doo #106 -- 4,419
03/2007: Scooby Doo #118 -- 4,395
03/2008: Scooby Doo #130 -- 4,463
---------------------------------
03/2009: Scooby Doo #142 -- 3,863 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Scooby Doo #143 -- 4,610 (+19.3%)
05/2009: Scooby Doo #144 -- 4,062 (-11.9%)
06/2009: Scooby Doo #145 -- 4,093 (+ 0.8%)
07/2009: Scooby Doo #146 -- 4,110 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Scooby Doo #147 -- 4,111 (+ 0.0%)
09/2009: Scooby Doo #148 -- 4,103 (- 0.2%)
10/2009: Scooby Doo #149 -- 4,005 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Scooby Doo #150 -- 4,044 (+ 1.0%)
12/2009: Scooby Doo #151 -- 3,906 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: Scooby Doo #152 -- 3,724 (- 4.7%)
02/2010: Scooby Doo #153 -- 3,780 (+ 1.5%)
03/2010: Scooby Doo #154 -- 3,846 (+ 1.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.3%
1 year  : - 0.4%
2 years : -13.8%
5 years : -19.4%

And a bunch of Johnny DC books.

The WildStorm game adaptations Dante’s Inferno #4 and Free Realms #7 also came out in March, but failed to make the Top 300 chart. As usual, for the purposes of the average sales figures below, this means that I’m presuming each of them sold as many units as the No. 300 comic, which was 3,704 in March.

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 51.7%: Green Arrow
+  1.8%: JLA
+  1.3%: Superman: LSoNK
+  0.1%: REBELS
-  3.1%: Secret Six
-  4.1%: Blackest Night
-  4.8%: Hellblazer
-  5.5%: Jonah Hex
-  5.8%: Ex Machina
-  6.1%: Green Lantern
-  6.3%: Scooby Doo
-  6.6%: Tiny Titans
-  7.0%: Fables
-  7.1%: Booster Gold
-  7.3%: Authority
-  7.3%: Super Friends
-  7.4%: Supergirl
-  7.7%: GL Corps
-  8.2%: Batman Confidential
-  9.1%: JL: Cry for Justice
-  9.6%: Wildcats
-  9.9%: DMZ
- 11.0%: Northlanders
- 11.4%: Superman/Batman
- 11.6%: Superman
- 12.0%: Astro City
- 12.1%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 12.4%: Wonder Woman
- 13.8%: Outsiders
- 14.9%: Unwritten
- 15.3%: Jack of Fables
- 15.8%: Madame Xanadu
- 16.1%: House of Mystery
- 18.3%: Unknown Soldier
- 18.4%: Warlord
- 18.6%: Action Comics
- 18.7%: Adventure Comics
- 18.7%: Air
- 20.0%: Titans
- 20.2%: Batman and Robin
- 20.6%: Batman
- 21.2%: JSA
- 21.5%: Teen Titans
- 22.5%: Nemesis
- 22.8%: GC Sirens
- 23.1%: Detective Comics
- 23.4%: Red Robin
- 23.9%: Brave & Bold
- 24.0%: Batgirl
- 25.8%: Batman: Widening Gyre
- 27.8%: Billy Batson
- 29.5%: Power Girl
- 30.3%: Batman: SoG
- 35.5%: Doom Patrol
- 37.9%: Greek Street
- 47.9%: Sweet Tooth
- 67.2%: Shield
- 67.9%: Web
- 69.2%: Magog

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 41.7%: GL Corps
+ 25.5%: Green Arrow
+  0.0%: Jonah Hex
-  0.4%: Scooby Doo
-  3.2%: Scalped
-  4.9%: Secret Six
-  7.5%: Hellblazer
-  9.8%: Tiny Titans
- 10.9%: Fables
- 11.5%: Supergirl
- 13.2%: Super Friends
- 14.1%: Jack of Fables
- 15.0%: Booster Gold
- 16.3%: DMZ
- 16.4%: Madame Xanadu
- 16.5%: Batman Confidential
- 17.2%: Northlanders
- 17.9%: JLA
- 22.1%: Authority
- 23.7%: Superman: LSoNK
- 24.2%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 24.2%: Superman/Batman
- 24.4%: Wonder Woman
- 25.9%: Superman
- 25.9%: Wildcats
- 26.9%: House of Mystery
- 29.5%: REBELS
- 29.8%: Outsiders
- 31.2%: Titans
- 31.4%: Unknown Soldier
- 33.3%: Batman
- 35.0%: Batman: Widening Gyre
- 37.4%: Action Comics
- 48.8%: Air
- 67.8%: Resident Evil
- 70.4%: Azrael

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 64.2%: GL Corps
+ 46.3%: Green Lantern
+ 36.4%: Red Robin
+ 17.3%: GC Sirens
-  5.1%: Batman: Brave & Bold
-  5.1%: Scalped
-  8.4%: Supergirl
- 11.2%: Detective Comics
- 12.7%: Green Arrow
- 13.6%: Hellblazer
- 13.8%: Scooby Doo
- 14.0%: Jonah Hex
- 16.7%: Fables
- 20.1%: Superman
- 22.0%: Ex Machina
- 30.9%: Jack of Fables
- 31.1%: Tiny Titans
- 32.9%: Batman Confidential
- 33.4%: DMZ
- 35.5%: JLA
- 38.1%: Wonder Woman
- 39.1%: Northlanders
- 41.8%: Authority
- 44.1%: Booster Gold
- 45.8%: Brave & Bold
- 46.7%: Outsiders
- 47.6%: Teen Titans
- 62.7%: Super Friends

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 16.0%: Red Robin
+ 11.5%: Detective Comics
+ 11.5%: Human Target
+  7.4%: Batgirl
+  2.3%: Batman
- 10.1%: Green Arrow
- 11.4%: GC Sirens
- 12.8%: JSA
- 12.9%: JLA
- 14.5%: Doom Patrol
- 17.2%: Wonder Woman
- 18.3%: Fables
- 19.4%: Scooby Doo
- 27.9%: Action Comics
- 33.4%: Hellblazer
- 42.4%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 45.9%: Ex Machina
- 49.5%: Outsiders
- 61.5%: Authority
- 62.0%: Teen Titans
- 67.0%: Superman

—–

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

DC COMICS
03/2005: 27,349
03/2006: 36,077
03/2007: 32,398
03/2008: 26,423
---------------
03/2009: 21,792 (- 5.6%)
04/2009: 27,373 (+25.6%)**
05/2009: 24,386 (-10.9%)
06/2009: 25,880 (+ 6.1%)**
07/2009: 30,905 (+19.4%)**
08/2009: 29,977 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: 28,493 (- 5.0%)**
10/2009: 27,525 (- 4.4%)**
11/2009: 28,913 (+ 5.1%)**
12/2009: 25,904 (-10.4%)**
01/2010: 25,657 (- 1.0%)**
02/2010: 26,199 (+ 2.1%)**
03/2010: 23,299 (-11.1%)**
----------------
6 months: -18.2%
1 year  : + 6.9%
2 years : -11.8%
5 years : -14.8%
DC UNIVERSE
03/2005: 34,864
03/2006: 44,854
03/2007: 42,634
03/2008: 33,151
---------------
03/2009: 31,336 (+ 3.7%)
04/2009: 38,150 (+21.8%)
05/2009: 33,163 (-13.1%)
06/2009: 36,329 (+ 9.6%)
07/2009: 41,218 (+13.9%)
08/2009: 37,300 (- 9.5%)
09/2009: 36,725 (- 1.5%)**
10/2009: 34,795 (- 5.3%)
11/2009: 38,488 (+10.6%)
12/2009: 35,473 (- 7.8%)**
01/2010: 33,698 (- 5.0%)
02/2010: 35,895 (+ 6.5%)
03/2010: 32,375 (- 9.8%)
----------------
6 months: -11.9%
1 year  : + 3.3%
2 years : - 2.3%
5 years : - 7.1%
VERTIGO
03/2005: 13,094
03/2006: 15,812
03/2007: 13,748
03/2008: 10,484
---------------
03/2009: 10,177 (-10.4%)
04/2009: 10,767 (+ 5.8%)
05/2009: 12,918 (+20.0%)
06/2009: 11,166 (-13.6%)
07/2009: 11,055 (- 1.0%)**
08/2009: 11,369 (+ 2.8%)
09/2009: 11,345 (- 0.2%)
10/2009: 10,551 (- 7.0%)
11/2009: 11,036 (+ 4.6%)
12/2009: 10,583 (- 4.1%)
01/2010: 11,267 (+ 6.5%)
02/2010:  9,256 (-17.9%)
03/2010: 11,394 (+23.1%)
----------------
6 months: + 0.4%
1 year  : +12.0%
2 years : + 8.7%
5 years : -13.0%
WILDSTORM
03/2005: 12,798
03/2006: 14,210
03/2007: 15,224
03/2008: 12,842
---------------
03/2009:  8,954 (+11.7%)
04/2009:  8,277 (- 7.6%)**
05/2009:  8,579 (+ 3.7%)
06/2009:  8,805 (+ 2.6%)**
07/2009:  8,519 (- 3.3%)**
08/2009:  7,977 (- 6.4%)
09/2009:  8,280 (+ 3.8%)**
10/2009:  9,769 (+18.0%)**
11/2009:  7,111 (-27.2%)**
12/2009:  7,260 (+ 2.1%)**
01/2010:  6,532 (-10.0%)**
02/2010:  5,692 (-12.9%)**
03/2010:  7,691 (+35.1%)**
----------------
6 months: - 7.1%
1 year  : -14.1%
2 years : -40.1%
5 years : -39.9%

—–
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 and some WildStorm 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. Nate Horn says:

    “That said, though, there are signs that they happen to be the biggest fishes in a pond that’s been getting smaller again, rather than bigger.”

    I’m sure Brian Wood will be along later to call us both names, but I’m glad someone else finally called this, too. The already small number of fish is getting significantly smaller at a fairly astonishing pace.

  2. I’m confused as to how Victorian Undead has “bafflingly high sales” when it’s sitting at 243rd place with barely 6000 copies sold. That’s….not high at all. It’s higher than other recent Wildstorm creator owned series, sure, but it’s also the first Wildstorm creator owned series with zombies in it.

  3. “There was a 1-for-25 variant, as usual.”

    var·i·ant –adjective
    not agreeing or conforming; differing, esp. from something of the same general kind.

    How soon before publishers make it everyday policy for all titles? “Buy 25 copies of a title, qualify for 1 variant copy.” (The variant copy being a blank cover.)

  4. January-launched events have an interesting track record. It’s such a weak month for unit sales in general that it usually takes something transformative, like “Age of Apocalypse” (which was literally transformative, replacing the old titles) to move the needle a lot.

    Not sure where the numbers would be running had the event started in the fall, as Blackest Night did — but I do agree with Marc-Oliver that the nature of the event counts for a great deal.

  5. Kid Kyoto says:

    A good read as always. I remain shocked that every comic news site does not chew on these numbers the way you do.

    Maybe because it debunks too many preciously myths about internet hype and reviews.

  6. brandon says:

    Life does suck for the Great Ten (prounounced Nine) seeing as how two other series got the axe at issue #10.

    Ouch indeed.

  7. spacerangersfan says:

    The Warlord has been canceled?

  8. Synsidar says:

    var·i·ant –adjective
    not agreeing or conforming; differing, esp. from something of the same general kind.

    Discriminating against “variant” as a noun? Aha! I knew it! You’re subconsciously racist!

    SRS

  9. PeterCSM says:

    This chart was a treat to read, thanks for including the links. The sales and money ratio between DC and Marvel for March are pretty rough. I’m glad Vertigo’s doing well but other than Green Lantern and a smattering of Batman, everything else looks pretty dire.
    Any news on why Rucka quit DC? Or is it just an ‘i want some personal time for a bit’ decision?

    And yeah, what the hell was up with that War of Supermen #0 issue of FCBD. Seems a waste. Does Robinson write any enjoyable comics anymore? I never read his Starman but it was on my comics-to-buy list since I heard so many positive things about it. Are any of them true? It seems hard to believe. Or a case of Jeph Loeb syndrome.

    There was an interesting article over at comicbookresources about when readers decide to stop buying a comic they’d been previously buying regularly. The article itself wasn’t that interesting but I thought the reader comments were and I couldn’t help but think of Justice League and Society when I read them. Why do a decent amount of people still buy them? Because of routine or dwindling hope?

  10. PeterCSM says:

    “The Unwritten sales keep sticking to the 16-17K mark, with virtually no change in March.”

    Is that supposed to be 13-14K mark or are the numbers not reflecting something?

  11. PeterCSM says:

    I know this is my 3rd comment but I had to mention that I laughed aloud AND out loud when I read:

    “The Great Ten is canceled with issue #9.

    I repeat: Evidently, it is financially impossible for DC Comics to publish issue #10 of the 10-part series The Great Ten.”

  12. “Is that supposed to be 13-14K mark or are the numbers not reflecting something?”

    Ah, yes. Sorry about that.

  13. Matt D says:

    The Web is definitely in a special club with comics like Cinnamon and El Diablo and the other DCU titles that hit that low in the charts. It’s a decent comic too so that’s too bad.

  14. “Um, okay, so The Brave and the Bold wasn’t on hiatus in March, after all — DC just forgot to include the book in the online solicitations they sent out, evidently.”

    B&B #32 was solicited in Feb. I was just running late so none was solicited in March.

  15. kushiro says:

    I’m pretty sure Kevin Smith got the last issue of Widening Gyre finished, but the distributor said it was too big to ride in one of their trucks.

  16. AwesomeDude says:

    @PeterCSM-

    Starman really is as great as you’ve heard. It’s a must read. A touching and fascinating meditation on fatherhood, family, and community.

    Other than a brief stint on Batman during OYL I haven’t really liked anything Robinson has written sense.

    I read those first 3 issues of Cry for justice and it really was as bad everyone said.

  17. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    I was quite amused this month by the jokes at the Great Ten’s expense, or rather at the expense of that weird cancellation decision.

    Regarding Azrael and Magog: There seems to be an editorial policy at DC that books that are headed for cancellation are sometimes given to a new creative team for a few (final) issues. I first noticed this some years ago with Checkmate and All-New Atom. In all these instances, I can’t imagine anyone expecting these new creative teams to dramatically turn around sales, so there must be some other reason for this practice. Maybe the temporary creative teams these books are given to get lower rates than the people who used to work on the book, making it economically feasible to publish a few more issues? Any ideas?

    On the subject of the $ 1.00 debut issues from Vertigo, while I agree that they are a good idea, surely their function is to make more people check out the first issue and nothing more. The surprisingly stable SWEET TOOTH sales are evidence that people enjoy the book, and not “another strong indicator that the $ 1.00 debut issues are doing their job.” People don’t stick to a book just because the first issue was cheap, do they?

  18. mark coale says:

    I thought Robinson did some good stuff early on his run on Superman, with the Jimmy Olsen and Guardian one-shots and some of the Mon-EL stuff.

    I would hate to see him lumped in with Loeb. To me, Loeb’s best stuff (LOTDK, Challengers) has been with Tim Sale and most of his other work hasn’t measured up to it.

    Robinson did a lot of fantastic stuff before leaving for Hollywood (Starman, Leave it to Change, the Grendel Tales story, some of his Batman books), almost of it I would rank better than Loeb’s best stuff.

    (all of this said as a longtime JDR fan, who did the Starman fanzine back in the day.)

  19. “The Warlord has been canceled?”

    spacerangersfan, I believe that the issue solicited in the May Previews (for July shipping) will be the last one.

  20. “Any news on why Rucka quit DC? Or is it just an ‘i want some personal time for a bit’ decision?”

    He had been saying for awhile that he wanted to devote more time to his creator-owned properties, such as Queen & Country and Stumptown. Based on the articles and quotes that I’ve read then it seems likely that there was *something* more to it, but I can not say with any certainty what that something might have been.

    If you are interested, he gave a comment on the situation at his site here: http://www.gregrucka.com/wp/nothing-more-nothing-less/

  21. I originally wasn’t planning to pick up American Vampire, but I ended up grabbing it when the first issue hit the stands.
    I’m really glad I did because it is outstanding. The second issue was fantastic as well. DC(Vertigo) has a real hit on their hands with that one.
    I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t read it yet to check it out.

    I’m really disappointed that Greek Street hasn’t caught on because that title has quickly become one of my favorites as well. It deserves a much better fate than it is going to end up with.
    DC really needs to figure out a way to market these books better (and I’m not just talking about in the direct market).

  22. “Does Robinson write any enjoyable comics anymore?”

    I haven’t read anything from him since he returned to the industry that compares with the work that he did before he left. Even ’90′s titles for which he is not usually celebrated, like Wildcats or Cable, were superior to his current work imho. And they were certainly not the best of his work from that time imo.

    “I never read his Starman but it was on my comics-to-buy list since I heard so many positive things about it. Are any of them true”?

    Yes, absolutely. I have read over 60,000 comics in the last 25+ years and there is no question in my mind that Starman is among the Top 10 greatest titles that I’ve ever read. It begins a bit rough, as Robinson and Tony Harris figure everything out, but the key to Starman is the strong characterization and the obvious love and affection that the creators had for these characters and the setting of Opal City. Once Robinson and Harris get going then this book just sails beautifully.

    One of the things that I love about Starman is that it is just as good as ANY Vertigo book ever was, but it never got pretentious, it just stuck to what it did best. Which was to tell a story about family, that love can be hard but how it’s worth it, and, most importantly, how a real and average guy became a hero and then learned something even more valuable, how to become a man.

  23. Mikael says:

    “I remain shocked that every comic news site does not chew on these numbers the way you do.”

    Don’t be. The numbers game is built on speculation and much guessing – and therefore, when put to the actual test, they rarely stand up to mean anything on an individual store to store basis.

    And, in his usual backhanded compliment way that I find with most of these DC sales related articles, the author jumps to a conclusion that the numbers don’t support. These numbers aren’t about the readers – so to say that Blackest Night is a limited success shows bias. It’s an outstanding success on DC’s part given the sales and the critical response to their last event, Final Crisis. If we’re to compare it to Secret Invasion, let’s talk about how, by the end of SI, the critical response was how that final issue tanked the event by pulling a bait and switch on not only the narrative but the core concept as well. People were fed up with SI by the end whereas with Blackest Night, the majority – including retailers – were quite happy with the event. That’s what the numbers show.

    To say that the sales reflect readers, once again, is false! The reason these event numbers are leveling off is because RETAILERS are finally getting the hint that they when they over order they get stuck with the buck. 200+ copies of an event book doesn’t equate to 200+ readers. It just means more books for the backissue bins at conventions.

    And retailers constantly overorder on Marvel titles because of Marvel’s limited to no reprint order policy. If you don’t order it heavy initially, you may not be able to get more copies. DC is better at reorders from retailers.

    When these numbers are looked at month to month by someone who pays their electric bill, food bill and employees – someone who lives on these numbers (retailers) – then I’ll pay attention more. Right now, it’s just a biased guessing game.

  24. JameS says:

    I been waiting to read this! ;) Look forward to the DC one the most, as that is what I heavily buy.

    Nice to see a fair few increases in series sales this month.

    American Vampire, while great figures for a Vertigo title, is still rather low compared to what a ‘non Stephan King written, Stephan King book’ was getting at Marvel a couple of years back. I skipped it for now, but will be getting the HC for sure. Especially based on possitive word of mouth. So I’ll be curious to see how that does too.

    I love the $1 Vertigo issues program and hope they continue, but not every $1 first issue is going to get readers to stick around (whether (sp?) in single issues or trade). I tried Greek Street, and because of Milligan being attached, I thought I would love it, but I’m betting the ‘incest content’ turned ALOT of people off. It did for me!!

  25. Lilian Sarah says:

    It would be nice to see a DC sales article without the usual antiDC snark from the author.

  26. “When these numbers are looked at month to month by someone who pays their electric bill, food bill and employees – someone who lives on these numbers (retailers) – then I’ll pay attention more. Right now, it’s just a biased guessing game.”

    As a retailer, my perspective on what is selling well is very limited. A book might sell better at my store because of the proximity of the creator. Other books in my store are anomalies compared to nationwide sales.

    I find these articles helpful at seeing what is the general trend nationwide. As a retailer, they provide me the opportunity to see if there is a trend that I am missing.

  27. Am I the only one who is alarmed by the fact that DC couldn’t just go ahead and green light one more issue of of Great Ten? What’s that say about their operating budget that they are willing to shorten the length of a mini-series like that?

  28. Nate Horn says:

    I just wanted to add to the discussion about Starman – when it was coming out, I was mostly reading superhero books, and I thought it was great. But I tried to re-read it recently and it just doesn’t hold up well at all. The pacing is bad, the characters are mostly flat, and Robinson’s tendency to make the Shade and Jack Mary Sues really makes the book hard to read.

    I guess if superhero comics are your bag – then you might like Starman, just don’y expect it to be the best comic ever or anything.

  29. “When these numbers are looked at month to month by someone who pays their electric bill, food bill and employees – someone who lives on these numbers (retailers) – then I’ll pay attention more. Right now, it’s just a biased guessing game.”

    Unlike the poster a few spots above me, I am not a retailer, but I had the same thoughts. How is one shop owner going to give an unbiased view of industry sales and trends any better than Marc?
    It’s also not a guessing game, while the actual issue numbers may vary, and sell-through is not reflected, the rankings are indisputable and the trends are clear.

  30. “It would be nice to see a DC sales article without the usual antiDC snark from the author.”

    Read DC Nation in the comics themselves, if that’s what you’re looking for. Otherwise, deal with the fact that DC’s recent output hasn’t exactly been endearing to their potential readership base for years now.

  31. “…and I couldn’t help but think of Justice League and Society when I read them. Why do a decent amount of people still buy them? Because of routine or dwindling hope?”

    Hey PeterCSM, I can only speak for myself here, but I continue bying both League and Society because I’m enjoying them.

    Both admittedly got a rocky start with the creative team changes, but both of them have settled into team books that I want to read.

    To each his own I suppose, but it’s not just beacuse we’re all sheeple (or is that spelled sheople?).

  32. 1-year, 2-year, 5-year comparisons:
    Superman – 25.9% – 20.1% – 67.0%
    Wonder Woman – 24.4 – 38.1%
    Batman – 33.3% (NA) + 2.3%

    (Yikes… DC has lost two-thirds of Superman sales over five years? Okay… so March 2005 had “For Tomorrow”, with Azarello and Lee, which was later published as an Absolute edition. But that never seemed to be a big storyline…)

    DC Comics overall:
    6 months: -18.2%
    1 year : + 6.9%
    2 years : -11.8%
    5 years : -14.8%

    Overall, I consider the analysis here to be straightforward and balanced. I also appreciate the comments and analysis made by others in the comments section.

    Personally, I do not think these numbers will ever improve. Why? Because digital distribution will not be counted here, and that’s what will replace the market penetration comics had in the 1970s via newsstands.

    It’s coming. Look how long DC has been working on their MMORPG game. Given the concerns with royalties and piracy, I expect DC to take their time perfecting a digital reader.

  33. One factor in “The Great Nine” fiasco might very well be the mess left by Greg Rucka’s abrupt leaving of DETECTIVE COMICS. It’s obvious the editors have been scrambling a bit for material to put in that book recently (as much as I’d welcome an O’Neil/Nguyen fill-in, it’s obviously an inventory issue), and their latest strategy to recreate some interest into the book seems to be bringing in Scott McDaniel as the new artist (as he’s got a reasonably-sized fanbase, especially on bat-books).

    If this means pulling McDaniel from a very low-selling miniseries… well, so be it, apparently (presumably the Bat-editors have more clout than whoever’s in charge of THE GREAT TEN). And I kinda agree that publishing the 10th issue with somebody else on art would have been as much a creative hindrance than canceling it altogether (and that’s assuming finding a decent replacement was even practically feasible in such a tight timeframe).

  34. Heinz: “On the subject of the $ 1.00 debut issues from Vertigo, while I agree that they are a good idea, surely their function is to make more people check out the first issue and nothing more. The surprisingly stable SWEET TOOTH sales are evidence that people enjoy the book, and not “another strong indicator that the $ 1.00 debut issues are doing their job.” People don’t stick to a book just because the first issue was cheap, do they?”

    People don’t stick with a book just because the first issue was cheap, no. But if the book is *good*, people who give that first issue a shot will recognize that and stick with a book they might not have taken the chance on otherwise. If the book is good, as with Unwritten of Sweet Tooth, those readers stick around. I didn’t get to try the $1 issue of Greek Street (my shop sold out), but I know a couple people that tried it out, found out it wasn’t their cup of tea, and didn’t stick with it. The $1 issue just gets more eyes on the series, but the overall fate of the series is dependent on its own merits, not just on whether its first issue was cheap.

  35. Oh look, more Cry for Justice hate. How boring.

  36. Nate Horn says:

    @Torsten

    “Personally, I do not think these numbers will ever improve. Why? Because digital distribution will not be counted here, and that’s what will replace the market penetration comics had in the 1970s via newsstands.”

    The numbers will never improve because DC, Marvel, and more or less every other American comic company don’t produce product Americans want to read. And citing digital distribution when DC has barely dipped their toes in the water, but…you’re really expecting DC to both have the competence at digital distribution to make it work and produce content people want to read? Really? How are those Zuda unique visitor numbers holding up versus something like Penny Arcade and XKCD? The game’s over…American comic companies lost.

  37. I keep thinking that the twist of The Great Ten might be that one of them gets killed off, bringing the series to an abrupt end… but I suspect I’m giving DC too much credit there.

  38. brandon says:

    @Nate Horn

    And yet the 10 year growth in revenue first quarter over first quarter is over 30% and number of copies is virtually unchanged with a 4% growth.

    Just look at John Jackson Miller’s stats for the rolled up numbers:

    http://blog.comichron.com/2010/04/march-2010-comics-sales-jump-quarter.html

    It’s hard to declare the death over the direct market with stats like that.

    I know it is a popular internet belief that the direct market is dead but the stats are telling a different story.

  39. Synsidar says:

    I enjoyed the CRY FOR JUSTICE snark.

    Marvel (and DC) hope, I believe, that digital comics will promote sales of the paper comics and thus generally increase readership for various titles. I’d bet against that.

    DOOM PATROL’s stats are notable for signaling yet another failed relaunch. Why would anyone at DC think that anything they might think of would turn the series into a success, given its history?

    SRS

  40. Nate Horn says:

    @brandon

    I’m not saying the DM is over – I’m saying salvation for American comic book companies is not in digital distribution.

    The DM will keep its death grip on its existing customer base for another 30 years or so, but its not really growing. What you’re referring to, brandon, is basically American comic companies charging more for their wares. A 4% increase in units sold is not the kind of growth over 10 years that means there are new customers – it more likely means the same customer base is buying a slight bit more. It’s only growth in the strictest sense possible – it’s stagnation by any other measure.

    The comic industry is in bad shape since its taking more money to produce the products for virtually the same number of sales. That sort of thing demands charging more for the product and the existing customer base buying more. The thing those numbers don’t reflect is the profit margin in the increase in dollar sales.

    Does it cost 40% more to produce and sell the product now than it did 10 years ago? Because, if so, there’s no growth – they’re making the same amount of money now they did 10 years ago. Does it cost more than 40% more to produce and sell the product now than it did 10 years ago? If so, they’re screwed.

  41. Matt D says:

    I think Robinson’s Superman has been excellent, with the “around-the-world” issue being one of the most Robinson-y comics in ages. It just took him taking Superman out of the book to do it. The issues with Superman in them weren’t good at all. I think the Rucka/Robinson collaboration on World of New Krypton was very interesting too.

    People have to remember that Robinson’s most beloevd works, Starman, The Golden Age, Leave It to Chance, Firearm, were all things where he was had a lot of control over voice and setting. He could basically do whatever he wanted and his interaction with the rest of the shared universe was minimal. I find that he has a very difficult time syncing up “voice” with established characters and that his dialogue suffers in a big way. I think that was even true with his use of Batman in Starman. Jack Knight sounded right to us because James got to define the voice.

    Hopefully he’ll have a little more luck with his current Justice League line-up which have characters with less well-defined voices (Donna’s all over the place for instance). He’s very good at things like foreshadowing and world-building and telling a long well-plotted narrative and what have you. He’s really a guy that should be off on the side someway doing his own thing though.

  42. brandon says:

    @Nate Horn

    I see your point, especially about the digital realm.

    I agree 100% about the profit margin point and even looking through Marvel’s financial statement doesn’t give you the complete picture.

    However, I don’t believe the number of unique readers is the same crop from 10 years ago. It’s impossible to prove, obviously, but there are some that come under the tent and others that leave. It’s impossible to fully know the numbers there. I know I wasn’t reading comics 10 years ago amd I am today. So it is possible to find new people. Granted people also leave.

  43. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    JD:

    I don’t think the pulling of McDaniel sufficiently explains the abrupt cancellation of the Great Ten. DC has quite clearly demonstrated they have no qualms about switching artists mid-storyline or even mid-issue, mini-series or not. (And btw, I am always amused when I see reviewers or fans complaining about this, as a few years ago people were always complaining about lateness of DC books. That problem has been solved quite effectively, and the price for timeliness are rotating artists, it seems. I guess people will complain no matter what DC does.) Anyway, I would love to hear Tony Bedard’s take on the Great Ten cancellation. If it happened against his wishes, that would be quite a slap in the face, and considering he was just handed one of their best-selling books I can’t imagine DC doing this. I guess the likeliest explanation is that McDaniel, Bedard and editorial looked at the numbers and decided collectively not to bother with the final issue.

    Jason Green:

    Well, we are in agreement then (except for your appraisal of Greek Street, which I love). For the record, I was reacting to Marc-Oliver’s Sweet Tooth comment, which ascribes the book’s success to the $ 1.00 debut issue.

    Synsidar:

    Sorry to single you out, but every month I read comments here where people talk about the “failure” of low-selling books or even suggest DC should only publish their top sellers and abandon everything else. To say I am baffled by these comments would be putting it mildly. What the hell is wrong with you? Do you hate cultural diversity? Do you hate creative freedom? So Doom Patrol isn’t a big hit, so what? DC made a nice little profit on the book (otherwise they would have cancelled it earlier), the creators made a living doing something they enjoy, and the readers (all 14,197 of them) get to experience the most intelligent and original superhero book on the market. So what if it only lasts 1.5 or 2 years? Not every book that doesn’t last decades is a “failure”. Movie studios don’t just produce blockbusters, they also offer arthouse or quirky genre films. Book publishers don’t just publish books they expect to be bestsellers. I applaud DC for continually publishing books that don’t follow the standard formula, that are a bit off-kilter, that present their creator’s unique perspective, sometimes quite far removed from mainstream expectations. I am sure DC is quite aware that most of these books won’t set the charts on fire and won’t last more than a few years (though there is the occasional surprise hit). Why do they publish them anyway? I’m sure they are some economic reasons (keeping trademarks, creating new IP, cultivating goodwill from fans and creators), but I’m also sure they enjoy putting books on the market that aren’t just bland copies of the current bestseller formula, that offer a certain diversity of creative vision. Yes, the comics business is a business, but staring at the sales charts shouldn’t blind you to the fact that it’s also a creative business, and that many of the people who make decisions are themselves creative people with a genuine love for the medium. At DC, this seems much more obvious than at their competition, and the recent personnel changes at the top certainly seem to confirm this.

  44. Nate Horn says:

    @brandon

    I see where you’re coming from now! Sorry about that! ^_^

    I agree with you the unique readers today aren’t the exact same unique readers from 10 years ago. I probably messed up my wording. The problem, as I see it, is the number of products sold is virtually the same. To incorporate your train of thought – it could be more total customers buying less product per customer as opposed to 10 years ago. It could be less total customers buying more per customer. Either way, it’s not encouraging.

  45. brandon says:

    @Nate Horn

    True, true….

    And without knowing the profit turned…well…it’s all just a lot of guessing. Which in of itself is a hobby.

  46. Saipaman says:

    Truthfully, we’ve reached the point where the comics are just loss-leaders for promoting movies, video games, toys and other merchandise. From that perspective, comics remain a massive financial success.

  47. Paul OBrien says:

    “If it happened against his wishes, that would be quite a slap in the face…”

    Considering that the series is clearly structured as “one character spotlighted per issue” in a team of ten characters, I’d be pretty much astonished if Tony Bedard was enthusiastic about it being cut to nine issues. Unless it’s a swerve and they were always going to kill the tenth character before they reached him, or something like that.

  48. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Paul:

    Yes, the cancellation runs counter to the series structure, that makes it even more surprising (aside from the fact that it’s highly unusual to cut down a mini-series at all). But even if he didn’t plan it, it still seems possible to me that Bedard himself was disappointed in the low sales and decided his time was better spent on GLC. Just idle speculation on my part. I find it hard to believe DC would needlessly frustrate a writer they obviously have faith in, but then, they also needlessly frustrated one of their star writers by publishing Countdown to Final Crisis against Morrison’s wishes, so I guess anything is possible.

  49. Torsten Adair says:

    4% growth a year is pretty good. It’s great if one follows the Gross Domestic Product, it’s good if that’s your annual raise.

    As for comics today, that number is amazing. People are waiting for the trade. People are reading comics online. And yet the number sold is rising.

    Zuda/Penny Arcade is a bit of apples and carrots.
    Zuda isn’t a humor site.
    What were XKCD’s numbers during its second year?
    Zuda is not the DCU.

    So there is churn in readership. You know what? Every lapsed reader is a future reader. They know what a comic is, they won’t have some ignorant preconception of comics. They get it. And you know what? These “sleeper agents” will be parents and teachers and librarians and even President (Reagan, Clinton, Obama).

  50. “I find it hard to believe DC would needlessly frustrate a writer they obviously have faith in, but then, they also needlessly frustrated one of their star writers by publishing Countdown to Final Crisis against Morrison’s wishes, so I guess anything is possible.”

    I think DC is a company, and Tony Bedard, as much as I enjoy his work, is a work-for-hire employee. I don’t think DC really cares about his frustration one way or another. I think the reason for cutting The Great Ten short was financial. It’s like the situation Marvel had with Ghost Rider #94 many years ago. It was all done and solicited to come out, but Marvel just decided to not release it because it would lose too much money on it. I don’t think The Great Ten #10 was completed or anything, but I think statistical analyses showed that DC would lose too much money on #10 to put it out so they cut the series short.

  51. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Will

    A company that is in the creative business HAS to care about their employees satisfaction to a certain degree, otherwise they will stop producing worthwhile work for this company. This is especially true for comics, where any creator can always leave for the competition. Of course, there have been plenty of instances where comic companies ignored their creators’ wishes, but those were cases where matters deemed important to the company where concerned. In this instance, cancelling a limited series ONE issue before it ends naturally seems so silly and petty that I just don’t see DC’s interest in this. And I don’t think they actually lose money at this sales level (otherwise the Shield and the Web continuing until issue 10 would be inexplicable), it’s just that they make too little profit.

  52. PeterCSM says:

    Thanks for all the input (@ AwesomeDude, mark coale, AO, Nate Horn, TomO, and Matt D)! I’ll go check out Robinson’s Starman this weekend.. instead of fixing that leak in the ceiling that’s causing the washing machine to rust. Yay comics!

  53. They’re pulling Scott McDaniel onto MORE titles? He’s the reason I DIDN’T buy The Great Ten. (Sorry to Scott McDaniel, just not my cup of tea.)

    I’m a huge Doom Patrol fan, so every time a new month-to-month comes out I sink a little more. I’m personally not really loving what Keith is trying to do with the title, but you have to remember, WHILE Doom Patrol seems to be an extremely difficult property to work with properly, it did run through 17 issues during the Kupperberg run (another failed attempt) before landing into the hands of one Grant Morrison, who I’d wager to say has done something no one else on that title has managed to do since the original creative team, and that’s make Doom Patrol a success. So while I fear another failed launch is on it’s way (already here?) I’m hoping that if this is the case, instead of DC simply cancelling the book they hand it over to a new creative team (in the same vein as what happened with Grant) and let someone else give it a go before they bury it once more.

    I personally feel ANY character/group can be a success. It just comes down to finding the exact right creative team to bring it to life. (and sometimes that’s a miss and miss and miss and miss and miss… before another hit, unfortunately.)

  54. They’re cancelling The Great Ten with issue # 9?

    Great shades of Sonic Disruptors!!

    ~

    Coat

  55. I liked Cry for Justice too. Double snark!

    Like so many others here, I just can’t fathom why they’ve screwed Superman so bad over the last year. The storyline is a mess, and impossible to jump in on. What’s wrong with, oh, publishing a story about Superman and Luthor, or Superman saving Neptune or some such?

    And WHO WHO WHO WHO at DC thinks the Great Ten or Magog or the Web is a good idea? Did someone there actually think these books will sell?

    Help us Obi-Wan-Johns…. you’re OUR ONLY HOPE!!!!

  56. Zach Adams says:

    …if DC’s only hope is the man responsible for FLASH: REBIRTH and LEGION OF THREE WORLDS, then they might as well go Jonestown. (I enjoyed Blackest Night, but the man’s consistency and overall quality of output has declined sharply since 2004 or so, to the point that after Rebirth I swore off buying anything with his name on it.)

  57. Jim Kosmicki says:

    At the time, there were rumors of drug problems, but Mike Baron has pretty consistently stated in interviews that Sonic Disruptors was an incoherent mess that even HE did not fully comprehend. He had no plan or final story in place. So when the sales were weak, he was fine with the cancellation. There’s even been implications that Baron requested the cancellation, so the comparison to The Great Ten is not quite the same. I actually liked Sonic Disruptors because of the chaos and would purchase the conclusion in a heartbeat if Baron ever figured out how to end it. Heck, I’d buy a collection of the 7 issues that were published knowing that it has no conclusion.

  58. Samy Merchi says:

    “This is especially true for comics, where any creator can always leave for the competition.”

    Actually there are much less writing jobs in the industry than there are writers. You make it sound like any writer can just automatically get a job at the other company. It’s not a choice of “treat me right or I’ll go work for the other guys”, it’s a choice of “I need to stomach this or my future will become much less certain”.

  59. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Well, “treat me right or I’ll go work for the other guys” is certainly true for the more successful writers, but also for talented, up-and-coming writers. Remember when Brubaker left DC for Marvel? He wasn’t a big-name writer when he left, but I’m sure many people at DC later regretted they didn’t try harder to keep him happy. Anyway, we were talking about Tony Bedard, and the fact that he has just been handed one of DC’s best-selling books is proof enough that they want to hold onto him for a while.

  60. PeterCSM says:

    And now thanks to this column and these comments I, an ordinary and oblivious white American-Canadian male in my late 20s, have learned about Sonic Disruptors. Much appreciated!

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