DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: October 2009

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by Marc-Oliver Frisch

Gotham, we have a problem.

The general consensus seems to be that DC Comics had a particularly great month in October, but that’s not quite true. Despite making a spectacle of the Top 300 chart by claiming — literally for the first time in ages — all of the Top 6 spots, sales of the average new DC comic book were actually down from September. In fact, DC’s October performance isn’t even in the Top 3 of the past twelve months, if you compare average sales or gross dollar value.

The main reason for that is easily spotted: While Blackest Night and its tie-ins keep performing well, the number of flagging franchises and tanking new projects is on the rise again. The Titans books, Outsiders, Justice League, Justice Society, Wonder Woman, Superman/Batman and the entire Superman line are all formerly strong properties that have been skidding down the charts for months and years now; missed opportunities like the failure to capitalize on high-profile creator J. Michael Straczynski don’t help matters. Alarmingly, even the Batman line, which saw a strong relaunch a few months back, is losing steam quickly.

The bleak picture continues through the publisher’s sublabels. For the first time in six months, average Vertigo figures dropped below 11K again in October. WildStorm saw a rare spike, meanwhile — thanks, largely, to the stoically consistent numbers of the Planetary epilogue issue, which brought sales of the average WildStorm periodical closer to 10,000 units than at any other point in the last ten months.

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          [199,863]
08/2009: Blackest Night #2 of 8  -- 146,092 (-17.5%) [155,512]
09/2009: Blackest Night #3 of 8  -- 140,786 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Blackest Night #4 of 8  -- 137,169 (- 2.6%)

DC’s big crossover storyline of the year remains the strongest performer in the comic-book direct market.

Blackest Night is promoted with some of the most aggressive variant-cover incentives we’ve seen to date: There’s a 1-for-250 variant for issue #1, a 1-for-200 variant for #2 and a 1-for-100 variant for each subsequent issue, all in addition to 1-for-25 variants.

But, while these variants no doubt distort the numbers, it’s worth pointing out that sales are also bottoming out very quickly — which is unusual for high-profile “event” titles, and especially for books with multiple gimmick covers.

Looking back at this time last year, Final Crisis #4 had just come out, and its charts looked like this:

FINAL CRISIS
05/2008: Final Crisis #1 of 7 -- 144,826          [166,641]
06/2008: Final Crisis #2 of 7 -- 126,082 (-12.9%) [134,116]
07/2008: --
08/2008: Final Crisis #3 of 7 -- 123,881 (- 1.8%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Final Crisis #4 of 7 -- 115,666 (- 6.6%)

The raw numbers would suggest that Blackest Night is doing better than Final Crisis, but then again, those were much simpler times back then: Final Crisis was promoted with one 50/50 variant edition per issue, which seems positively restrained by today’s standards.

The big difference between the two, of course, is that Final Crisis was up against Marvel’s Secret Invasion, which outsold it by up to a 100,000 units per issue. This time around, the closest thing Marvel has to a direct rival is Reborn, whose sales aren’t quite as spectacular; Reborn #1 outperformed Blackest Night #1 by about 15,000 units, but with September’s issue #3, the book dropped to 108K, which is significantly below Blackest Night. (Reborn didn’t ship in October.)

It remains to be seen whether Marvel’s upcoming Siege series and its tie-in books will come close to the commercial achievement of Secret Invasion. For now, Blackest Night appears to be as much of a success as the direct market is able to produce at this time.

—–

2 - 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%)

Batman and Robin is the only DC book noticeably above 70,000 units that isn’t part of “Blackest Night” — not yet, at least. The Grant Morrison vehicle remains another solid performer for DC.

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

—–

3 - GREEN LANTERN
10/2004: Rebirth #1 of 6    --  95,092 [178,414]
10/2005: --
10/2006: --
10/2007: Green Lantern #24  --  78,650
--------------------------------------
10/2008: Green Lantern #35  --  63,383 (- 0.7%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Green Lantern #36  --  64,755 (+ 2.2%) [ 74,005]
01/2009: Green Lantern #37  --  65,556 (+ 1.2%) [ 71,331]
02/2009: Green Lantern #38  --  68,908 (+ 5.1%) [ 77,372]
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%)
-----------------
6 months: + 29.6%
1 year  : + 60.9%
2 years : + 28.9%
5 years : +  6.6%
4 - BLACKEST NIGHT: BATMAN
08/2009: Blackest Night: Batman #1 of 3 -- 86,261         [96,243]
09/2009: Blackest Night: Batman #2 of 3 -- 87,638 (+1.6%)
10/2009: Blackest Night: Batman #3 of 3 -- 86,760 (-1.0%) 
5 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
10/2005: GLC: Recharge #2 of 5   -- 68,925 [71,414]
10/2006: Green Lantern Corps #5  -- 43,546
10/2007: Green Lantern Corps #16 -- 60,862
10/2007: Green Lantern Corps #17 -- 59,223
------------------------------------------
10/2008: Green Lantern Corps #29 -- 46,316 (+ 3.1%)
11/2008: Green Lantern Corps #30 -- 43,600 (- 5.9%)
12/2008: Green Lantern Corps #31 -- 44,033 (+ 0.9%)
01/2009: Green Lantern Corps #32 -- 44,312 (+ 0.6%)
02/2009: Green Lantern Corps #33 -- 44,607 (+ 0.7%) [50,171]
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%)
----------------
6 months: +38.5%
1 year  : +75.7%
2 years : +35.5%
6 - BLACKEST NIGHT: SUPERMAN
08/2009: Blackest Night: Superman #1 of 3 -- 76,899         [91,487]
09/2009: Blackest Night: Superman #2 of 3 -- 78,766 (+2.4%) [82,570]
10/2009: Blackest Night: Superman #3 of 3 -- 78,265 (-0.6%)

The four other big “Blackest Night” books in October keep up their remarkably good numbers. The final issues of the Batman and Superman miniseries both outsell their debuts, which is a rare occurrence.

Each book was promoted with a 1-for-25 variant edition, as usual.

—–

11/12 - BATMAN
10/2004: Batman #633 --  69,946
10/2005: Batman #646 --  69,975
10/2006: --
10/2007: Batman #670 --  76,890 [ 86,049] 
-------------------------------
10/2008: Batman #680 -- 103,941 (+ 0.3%)
11/2008: Batman #681 -- 103,151 (- 0.8%) [114,657]
12/2008: Batman #682 --  93,469 (- 9.4%)
12/2008: Batman #683 --  90,272 (- 3.4%) [ 91,885]
12/2008: Batman #684 --  79,953 (-11.4%) [ 82,903]
01/2009: Batman #685 --  72,654 (- 9.1%)
02/2009: Batman #686 -- 111,353 (+53.3%) [128,780]
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%)
----------------
6 months: -20.5%
1 year  : -31.8%
2 years : - 7.8%
5 years : + 1.3%

There haven’t been any variant editions that might account for the big drop between Batman #690 and Batman #691, and the creative team was the same. And while there is a creative-team change with issue #692, it doesn’t make any difference in that case.

These numbers are still within the range of the Grant Morrison run, but they’re at the low end of the spectrum now. Either way, a 7% drop in sales isn’t really what you want five months into a revamp. At this stage, readers and retailers usually had enough time to make up their minds about a project. Unfortunately, the problem isn’t limited to Batman, but also affects much of the rest of the Batman line — see below.

—–

14 - BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS
08/2009: Blackest Night: Titans #1 of 3 -- 64,767         [71,321]
09/2009: Blackest Night: Titans #2 of 3 -- 64,086 (-1.1%)
10/2009: Blackest Night: Titans #3 of 3 -- 63,670 (-0.7%)

Another Blackest Night spin-off with exceptionally solid sales. There was a 1-for-25 variant edition for this one, as well.

—–

17 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
10/2004: JLA #107           --  65,225 [68,082]
10/2005: JLA #120           --  82,892
10/2005: JLA #121           --  78,869 [81,316]
10/2006: --
10/2007: Justice League #14 -- 101,763
--------------------------------------
10/2008: Justice League #25 --  80,731 (- 0.9%)
10/2008: Justice League #26 --  77,353 (- 4.2%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Justice League #27 --  75,803 (- 2.0%)
12/2008: Justice League #28 --  72,728 (- 4.1%)
01/2009: Justice League #29 --  72,116 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Justice League #30 --  69,710 (- 3.3%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.6%
1 year  : -22.8%
2 years : -40.1%
5 years : - 6.5%

The new creative team of James Robinson and Mark Bagley arrives, with less than stunning results.

Considering that issue #38 was promoted with a 1-for-25 variant, it’s questionable whether Robinson and Bagley’s debut yields any genuine increase in demand for the title at all, frankly. The numbers remain below Dwayne McDuffie’s final issue on the series, even, and that one didn’t come with a sales-boosting variant edition.

Justice League of America is another title DC ought to be deeply worried about, at this stage.

—–

19 - DETECTIVE COMICS
10/2004: Detective Comics #799 --  48,228
10/2005: Detective Comics #812 --  39,270
10/2006: Detective Comics #824 --  62,431
10/2007: Detective Comics #837 --  51,363
-----------------------------------------
10/2008: Detective Comics #849 --  65,878 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Detective Comics #850 --  64,196 (- 2.6%)
12/2008: Detective Comics #851 --  64,961 (+ 1.2%)
01/2009: Detective Comics #852 --  56,656 (-12.8%)
02/2009: --
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%)
-----------------
6 months: - 43.7%
1 year  : - 11.1%
2 years : + 14.1%
5 years : + 21.5%

The October issue launches a new arc. The slight sales increase is due to a 1-for-10 variant edition, presumably.

These figures aren’t spectacular, but Detective Comics shows the smoothest drop-off by far of the relaunched Batman line.

—–

22 - 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 6  -- 54,726 (+ 0.3%)
10/2009: Cry for Justice #4 of 6  -- 54,386 (- 0.6%)

The other Justice League book by James Robinson is holding on to its sales unusually well, oddly. It’s quite a contrast to the unenthusiastic greeting he received in Justice League of America proper.

—–

26 - BATMAN ANNUAL
10/2009: Batman Annual #27 -- 51,442

The book begins a two-parter that sets up the new Azrael series. Judging from the numbers, retailers did not know the meaning of this when they placed their orders: Sales are well below the numbers of Batman, but noticeably above those of Detective Comics Annual #11 — the second part of the crossover — and Azrael #1.

—–

28 - SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN
09/2009: Superman: Secret Origin #1 of 6 -- 54,630
10/2009: Superman: Secret Origin #2 of 6 -- 46,840 (-14.3%)

That’s an average second-issue drop for a miniseries. Given the name recognition of the creative team, the numbers have to be rather sobering for DC. The message is clear: Another origin story on top of the confusing pile of existing ones is the last thing the character needs right now.

There was a 1-for-10 variant edition.

—–

38 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
10/2004: JSA #66             --  41,023
10/2005: JSA #78             --  54,070
10/2007: Justice Society #10 --  99,424
---------------------------------------
10/2008: Justice Society #19 --  72,073 (-  1.9%)
11/2008: Justice Society #20 --  71,355 (-  1.0%)
12/2008: Justice Society #21 --  69,662 (-  2.4%)
12/2008: Justice Society #22 --  67,615 (-  2.9%)
01/2009: Justice Society #23 --  61,385 (-  9.2%)
02/2009: Justice Society #24 --  65,207 (+  6.2%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -38.9%
1 year  : -37.7%
2 years : -54.9%
5 years : + 9.4%

The book’s free-fall keeps speeding up. It’s not quite clear to me why anyone thought what this franchise needed was another ongoing series. Once again, it seems like a decision that would have made sense two years ago, when the series was shifting 80K+ a month.

DC’s mantra for 2009: If once you fail, make three more. So brace yourselves for the new JSA All-Stars book.

——

39 - RED ROBIN
10/2004: Robin #131    -- 44,570
10/2005: Robin #143    -- 34,141
10/2006: Robin #155    -- 32,951
10/2007: Robin #167    -- 24,625
--------------------------------
10/2008: Robin #179    -- 30,081 (-  6.7%)
11/2008: Robin #180    -- 28,399 (-  5.6%)
12/2008: Robin #181    -- 27,891 (-  1.8%)
01/2009: Robin #182    -- 28,684 (+  2.8%)
02/2009: Robin #183    -- 31,682 (+ 10.5%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
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%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : + 48.9%
2 years : + 81.8%
5 years : +  0.5%

The drops are getting bigger for Red Robin, as well.

To be fair, sales are still much better than they were before the relaunch, in this case — or at most other points in the book’s history, for that matter — so there’s a lot more rope here before the makeover could reasonably be called a failure.

—–

40 - ADVENTURE COMICS
10/2004: --
10/2005: Legion of SH #11     -- 34,113
10/2006: Supergirl & LoSH #23 -- 41,554
10/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #35 -- 27,370
---------------------------------------
10/2008: LoSH #47             -- 23,751 (- 4.8%)
11/2008: LoSH #48             -- 22,917 (- 3.5%)
12/2008: LoSH #49             -- 22,180 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: LoSH #50             -- 22,327 (+ 0.7%)
02/2009: Adventure Comics #0  -- 32,851 (+47.1%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
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%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : + 87.1%
2 years : + 62.3%
5 years :  n.a.

Another average sales drop. These numbers are all right, but they don’t suggest there’s a great enthusiasm for the series — and I’m skeptical whether “all right” was what DC was hoping for with a new Geoff Johns book.

As with the two previous issues, there was a 1-for-10 variant.

—–

41 - DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL
10/2009: Detective Comics Annual #11 -- 44,191

The second part of the crossover introducing the new Azrael series doesn’t do anything to dispel the notion that retailers were a bit puzzled by the material. The figure is neither quite up there with Detective Comics proper, nor quite down there with Azrael — and, oddly enough, it’s not particularly close to the first part of the story, either.

Then again, I don’t think the material would necessarily have sold better as a miniseries, so maybe DC did make the most of the material in this case, commercially.

—–

50 - WORLD'S FINEST
10/2009: World's Finest #1  -- 37,037

Surprisingly enough, World’s Finest ends up outselling all four Superman books with its debut issue. There’s a variant edition, but in this case, it seems retailers could order as many of either version as they liked, with no strings attached. The demand seems to be genuine.

—–

51 - BATGIRL
10/2004: Batgirl #57     -- 39,631 [41,136]
10/2005: Batgirl #69     -- 26,870
----------------------------------
10/2008: Batgirl #4 of 6 -- 23,501 (-  5.7%)
11/2008: Batgirl #5 of 6 -- 21,595 (-  8.1%)
12/2008: Batgirl #6 of 6 -- 20,750 (-  3.9%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: -- 
08/2009: Batgirl #1      -- 51,724 (+149.3%)
09/2009: Batgirl #2      -- 40,626 (- 21.5%)
10/2009: Batgirl #3      -- 37,011 (-  8.9%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : +57.5%
5 years : - 6.6%

That’s not an encouraging third-issue drop, but, like Red Robin, Batgirl can afford a few more months to find its level before it should be in any sort of trouble — sales are still very comfortably ahead of the book’s previous incarnations.

—–

53 - SUPERMAN: WORLD 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%)
----------------
6 months: -18.3%
55 - SUPERMAN
10/2004: Superman #210 -- 113,480 [114,272]
10/2005: Superman #222 --  67,638
10/2006: --
10/2007: Superman #668 --  47,948
10/2007: Superman #669 --  47,271
---------------------------------
10/2008: Superman #681 --  54,611 (+17.2%) [57,212]
11/2008: Superman #682 --  55,435 (+ 1.5%)
12/2008: Superman #683 --  55,287 (- 0.3%)
01/2009: Superman #684 --  48,489 (-12.3%)
02/2009: Superman #685 --  48,027 (- 1.0%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -17.8%
1 year  : -35.2%
2 years : -25.7%
5 years : -68.8%
58 - ACTION COMICS
10/2004: Action Comics #820 -- 41,114
10/2005: Action Comics #832 -- 47,968
10/2006: Action Comics #844 -- 78,869 [88,290]
10/2007: Action Comics #856 -- 53,815
10/2007: Action Comics #857 -- 51,401
10/2007: Action Comics #858 -- 54,596 [59,031]
-------------------------------------
10/2008: Action Comics #870 -- 57,407 (+15.8%)
11/2008: Action Comics #871 -- 58,547 (+ 2.0%)
12/2008: Action Comics #872 -- 57,175 (- 2.3%)
01/2009: Action Comics #873 -- 51,940 (- 9.2%)
02/2009: Action Comics #874 -- 48,360 (- 6.9%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -19.9%
1 year  : -39.5%
2 years : -34.8%
5 years : -15.5%

The two ongoing Superman books have reached their lowest numbers in almost six years, with no trend reversal in sight. On the contrary: The drops keep growing. World of New Krypton remains slightly ahead of the bunch, but its numbers aren’t stellar, either.

Plainly, the current direction isn’t working for the franchise. And what’s worse, the crossover with Action Comics seems to be actively hurting the lower-selling Supergirl. See below.

—–

56 - 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%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.1%

It’s not just the existing books that keep slipping away from the Batman relaunch, it’s the new launches, as well.

In DC’s defense, the sales of the Azrael miniseries earlier this year did suggest that an ongoing book might be able to support itself. But looking at these numbers now, the title’s prospects aren’t great.

Azrael #1 sales are not just below those of Death’s Dark Knight #3 — they were also, unlike the miniseries, supported with a 1-for-25 variant edition. Adding so many titles so fast to the relaunched Batman line may not have been such a great idea, after all.

—–

59 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
10/2004: --
10/2005: --
10/2006: --
10/2007: Superman/Batman #41 --  54,928
---------------------------------------
10/2008: Superman/Batman #53 --  48,187 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Superman/Batman #54 --  45,968 (- 4.6%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Superman/Batman #55 --  43,962 (- 4.4%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -15.6%
1 year  : -28.2%
2 years : -37.0%
5 years :  n.a.

As time goes on, it becomes increasingly difficult to see the point of this title. Readers keep jumping ship, and the decision to relegate Superman/Batman stories to an alternate universe seems like the quiet concession that it’s okay to ignore the book.

—–

60 - 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%)
61 - GOTHAM CITY SIRENS
10/2004: Birds of Prey #75  -- 32,091
10/2005: Birds of Prey #87  -- 32,084
10/2006: Birds of Prey #99  -- 30,385
10/2007: Birds of Prey #111 -- 26,400
-------------------------------------
10/2008: Birds of Prey #123 -- 21,110 (- 1.0%)
11/2008: Birds of Prey #124 -- 20,959 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: Birds of Prey #125 -- 20,161 (- 3.8%)
01/2009: Birds of Prey #126 -- 20,772 (+ 3.0%)
02/2009: Birds of Prey #127 -- 21,424 (+ 3.1%)
03/2009: Oracle #1 of 3     -- 34,081 (+59.1%)
04/2009: Oracle #2 of 3     -- 33,731 (- 1.0%)
05/2009: Oracle #3 of 3     -- 35,328 (+ 4.7%)
06/2009: GC Sirens #1       -- 52,439 (+48.4%)
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%)
-----------------
6 months: -  2.1%
1 year  : + 56.4%
2 years : + 25.1% 
5 years : +  2.9%

Paul Dini’s share in the Batman revamp remains in a free-fall. Unsurprisingly, the fact that Streets of Gotham began a fill-in two-parter by another writer in October doesn’t help the book’s rapidly dwindling sales.

—–

64 - PLANETARY (WildStorm)
10/2004: Planetary #21  -- 32,266
10/2005: --
10/2006: Planetary #26  -- 32,283
10/2007: --
---------------------------------
10/2009: Planetary #27  -- 31,691 (-1.8%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : - 1.8%

No, my cat didn’t throw up on the keyboard. The previous issue of Planetary really did come out in October 2006.

All the more astonishing, then, that the book’s sales are still glued to the 32K mark. Wrapping up Planetary may be an afterthought in 2009, but, if nothing else, this blast from the past (pun intended, if you’ve read the comic) serves as a sad reminder of what’s been missing from WildStorm for the last five years or so.

In the real world, unfortunately, the company has already tried the time machine to save the WildStorm Universe line, and it didn’t work.

—–

65 - ARKHAM REBORN
04/2009: BftC: Arkham Asylum #1 -- 39,187
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: Arkham Reborn #1 of 3  -- 31,519 (-19.1%)
----------------
6 months: -19.1%

The figures are similar to those of Azrael, but in this instance, the circumstances are different: 30K+ actually isn’t a bad number for a miniseries on Arkham Asylum, and in two issues it’s going to be over, anyway. Simply put, not much can go wrong here, at this stage.

There was a 1-for-25 variant.

—–

68 - SUPERGIRL
10/2005: --
10/2006: --
10/2007: Supergirl #22 --  41,758
---------------------------------
10/2008: Supergirl #34 --  33,958 (+23.0%)
11/2008: Supergirl #35 --  45,518 (+34.0%)
12/2008: Supergirl #36 --  45,491 (- 0.1%)
01/2009: Supergirl #37 --  34,060 (-25.1%)
02/2009: Supergirl #38 --  34,225 (+ 0.5%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -10.9%
1 year  : -10.6%
2 years : -27.3%

If I’m not seriously misreading these numbers, the crossover with Action Comics through September and October is literally doing more harm than good for Supergirl sales.

The Superman line isn’t just not working, evidently, it also has the Touch of Death about it.

—–

70 - TEEN TITANS
10/2004: Teen Titans #17 -- 63,154 [67,926]
10/2005: Teen Titans #28 -- 66,581
10/2006: --
10/2007: Teen Titans #52 -- 55,176
----------------------------------
10/2008: Teen Titans #64 -- 39,695 (- 5.0%)
11/2008: Teen Titans #65 -- 37,880 (- 4.6%)
12/2008: Teen Titans #66 -- 36,808 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: Teen Titans #67 -- 35,877 (- 2.5%)
02/2009: Teen Titans #68 -- 35,096 (- 2.2%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -17.6%
1 year  : -26.5%
2 years : -47.1%
5 years : -53.8%
71 - TITANS
10/2008: Titans #6      -- 45,453 (- 9.0%)
11/2008: Titans #7      -- 41,507 (- 8.7%)
12/2008: Titans #8      -- 39,154 (- 5.7%)
01/2009: Titans #9      -- 37,693 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: Titans #10     -- 36,361 (- 3.5%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -21.7%
1 year  : -37.9%

The Titans books are in a free-fall, and I’m not sure anyone brought a parachute.

—–

76 - 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%)

The book really shouldn’t have 8% drops, at this stage, particularly since those numbers still include a sales-boosting 1-for-10 variant. Without the incentive, the drop-off for any of the last three issues would very likely have been in the double digits.

On the other hand, it’s Power Girl, a character whose sole distinguishing features are enormous and in front of her. For a property based on the premise that the comics market is desperate for incredibly big breasts, these are still good numbers, I suppose.

—–

77 - WONDER WOMAN
10/2004: Wonder Woman #209 --  25,964
10/2005: Wonder Woman #221 --  52,894
10/2005: Wonder Woman #222 --  47,065 [49,101]
10/2006: --
10/2007: Wonder Woman #13  --  48,385
-------------------------------------
10/2008: Wonder Woman #25  --  33,583 (- 2.9%)
11/2008: Wonder Woman #26  --  33,277 (- 0.9%)
12/2008: Wonder Woman #27  --  32,322 (- 2.9%)
01/2009: Wonder Woman #28  --  32,622 (+ 0.9%)
02/2009: Wonder Woman #29  --  33,237 (+ 1.9%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -15.3%
1 year  : -19.7%
2 years : -44.3%
5 years : + 3.9%

Wonder Woman won’t be coming out of its slide any time soon, evidently.

—–

83/93 - BATMAN: THE UNSEEN
10/2009: The Unseen #1  of 5 -- 24,887
10/2009: The Unseen #2  of 5 -- 22,653 (-9.0%)

Since the first two issues shipped in the same calendar month, that usually means that the third-issue drop is bigger, for whatever reason only retailers know. Not too impressive, then.

—–

88 - SECRET SIX
10/2006: Secret Six #5 of 6 -- 36,628
-------------------------------------
10/2008: Secret Six #2      -- 27,846 (-12.1%)
11/2008: Secret Six #3      -- 26,053 (- 6.4%)
12/2008: Secret Six #4      -- 24,657 (- 5.4%)
01/2009: Secret Six #5      -- 24,899 (+ 1.0%)
02/2009: Secret Six #6      -- 24,758 (- 0.6%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.1%
1 year  : -16.2%

Secret Six numbers enter a slow decline, but remain unusually solid overall.

—–

90 - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
10/2007: The Brave and the Bold #7  -- 48,693
---------------------------------------------
10/2008: The Brave and the Bold #18 -- 28,199 (- 5.5%)
11/2008: The Brave and the Bold #19 -- 26,407 (- 6.4%)
12/2008: The Brave and the Bold #20 -- 25,050 (- 5.1%)
01/2009: The Brave and the Bold #21 -- 24,375 (- 2.7%)
02/2009: The Brave and the Bold #22 -- 23,507 (- 3.6%)
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%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -17.8%
2 years : -52.4%

J. Michael Straczynski’s arrival at DC is a disaster. If anyone at the publisher did not see it coming, please get in touch. There’s a beautiful bridge for sale in my neighborhood.

—–

98 - BOOSTER GOLD
10/2007: Booster Gold #3  -- 39,374
-----------------------------------
10/2008: Booster Gold #13 -- 29,914 (- 6.7%)
11/2008: Booster Gold #14 -- 28,260 (- 5.5%)
12/2008: Booster Gold #15 -- 26,835 (- 5.0%)
01/2009: Booster Gold #16 -- 25,472 (- 5.1%)
02/2009: Booster Gold #17 -- 24,732 (- 2.9%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.9%
1 year  : -27.8%
2 years : -45.2%

Booster Gold sales have stabilized over the last few months.

—–

100 - THE OUTSIDERS
10/2004: Outsiders #17 -- 41,814
10/2005: Outsiders #29 -- 47,611
10/2006: Outsiders #41 -- 36,672
10/2007: --
--------------------------------
10/2008: Batsiders #12 -- 46,649 (- 6.6%)
11/2008: Batsiders #13 -- 42,939 (- 8.0%)
12/2008: Batsiders #14 -- 32,163 (-25.1%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Special #1    -- 35,727 (+11.1%)
02/2009: Outsiders #15 -- 30,024 (-16.0%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -21.2%
1 year  : -54.1%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -48.8%

The Outsiders is crashing and burning.

—–

102 - FABLES (Vertigo)
10/2004: Fables #30 -- 25,390
10/2005: Fables #42 -- 24,953
10/2006: Fables #54 -- 25,534
10/2007: Fables #66 -- 25,016
-----------------------------
10/2008: Fables #77 -- 23,761 (-0.6%)
11/2008: Fables #78 -- 23,345 (-1.8%)
12/2008: Fables #79 -- 22,769 (-2.5%)
01/2009: Fables #80 -- 22,617 (-0.7%)
02/2009: Fables #81 -- 22,517 (-0.4%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -10.6%
1 year  : -11.1%
2 years : -15.6%
5 years : -16.8%

Vertigo’s flagship periodical has seen better times than the last few months, certainly, but remains miles ahead of the rest of the line.

—–

108 - DOOM PATROL
10/2004: Doom Patrol #5  -- 23,915
10/2005: Doom Patrol #17 -- 14,114
----------------------------------
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%)
----------------
5 years : -16.2%

That’s an unenthusiastic greeting for the new Doom Patrol series.

—–

109 - JSA VS. KOBRA
06/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #1 of 6 -- 32,237
07/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #2 of 6 -- 25,591 (-20.6%)
08/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #3 of 6 -- 22,806 (-10.9%)
09/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #4 of 6 -- 21,107 (- 7.5%)
10/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #5 of 6 -- 19,828 (- 6.1%)

There’s not much breathing space for Justice Society spin-offs right now.

—–

118 - GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY
10/2004: Green Arrow #43  -- 32,133
10/2005: Green Arrow #55  -- 32,804
10/2006: Green Arrow #67  -- 32,583
10/2007: Year One #6 of 6 -- 30,943
10/2007: Arrow/Canary #1  -- 52,183
-----------------------------------
10/2008: Arrow/Canary #13 -- 26,890 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Arrow/Canary #14 -- 25,599 (- 4.8%)
12/2008: Arrow/Canary #15 -- 24,526 (- 4.2%)
01/2009: Arrow/Canary #16 -- 24,419 (- 0.4%)
02/2009: Arrow/Canary #17 -- 23,392 (- 4.2%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -17.9%
1 year  : -33.0%
2 years : -56.7%
5 years : -43.9%

I’m wondering how much farther sales can plummet before DC pulls the plug. In February, Green Arrow & Black Canary will be given a temporary name change and be drafted into “Blackest Night.”

No doubt that’s going to result in a dramatic sales spike — but unless a good amount of those additional sales stick around after the crossover, I wouldn’t count on the book being around this time next year.

—–

119/121 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
10/2007: Batman Confidential #10 -- 28,724
------------------------------------------
10/2008: Batman Confidential #22 -- 24,281 (- 1.0%)
11/2008: Batman Confidential #23 -- 22,909 (- 5.7%)
12/2008: Batman Confidential #24 -- 21,470 (- 6.3%)
01/2009: Batman Confidential #25 -- 20,517 (- 4.4%)
02/2009: Batman Confidential #26 -- 20,134 (- 1.9%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -13.5%
1 year  : -30.4%
2 years : -41.1%

As we know by now, DC’s way of dealing with lack of demand for their comics is to produce more of them. Hence, there will be two issues of Batman Confidential every month from October through December.

—–

124 - MAGOG
09/2009: Magog #1  -- 26,352
10/2009: Magog #2  -- 16,193 (-38.6%)

This is an apocalyptic second-issue drop, frankly.

The first issue was promoted with a 1-for-10 variant, granted, but that doesn’t begin to explain a 40% crash. Unless the October number is a glitch, Magog is in deep trouble.

—–

127 - 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%)

The Unwritten hasn’t quite found its level yet. In this case, though, the 40% drop is due to the fact that the debut issue only cost a dollar, which is a rather good excuse. So far, it seems the stunt may have paid off.

—–

128 - DCU HALLOWEEN SPECIAL
10/2009: DCU Halloween Special 2009 #1 -- 15,251

Perfectly good sales for this type of book.

—–

133 - RED TORNADO
09/2009: Red Tornado #1 of 6 -- 20,551
10/2009: Red Tornado #2 of 6 -- 14,383 (-30.0%)

There are no variant-cover editions for this book, in case you were wondering. A 30% drop is beyond abysmal for a miniseries.

—–

139 - ASTRO CITY: ASTRA SPECIAL (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%)
----------------
2 years :  n.a.

This is a pleasant surprise, actually. I expected a steeper second-issue drop, to be honest. These numbers still aren’t particularly enticing, mind you, but they could have been worse.

—–

144 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)
10/2006: Jack of Fables #4  -- 21,614
10/2007: Jack of Fables #15 -- 18,329
10/2007: Jack of Fables #16 -- 17,743
-------------------------------------
10/2008: Jack of Fables #27 -- 15,092 (- 2.5%)
11/2008: Jack of Fables #28 -- 14,528 (- 3.7%)
12/2008: Jack of Fables #29 -- 14,151 (- 2.6%)
01/2009: Jack of Fables #30 -- 13,746 (- 2.9%)
02/2009: Jack of Fables #31 -- 13,586 (- 1.2%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -31.6%
1 year  : -12.8%
2 years : -27.0%

Jack of Fables sales are pretty much where they were before “The Big Fables Crossover” now, so the stiff drops of the last three issues are misleading.

Meanwhile, the sixth collection shipped in October, with perfectly steady first-month sales in the direct market:

02/2007: Vol. 1 -- 6,046
10/2007: Vol. 2 -- 5,521
06/2008: Vol. 3 -- 5,337
12/2008: Vol. 4 -- 5,365
03/2009: Vol. 5 -- 4,976
10/2009: Vol. 6 -- 5,268

It’s always worth pointing out that first-month direct-market sales are not an indicator of total sales outside or inside the direct market.

That said, they do show that the first-month demand among direct-market retailers has been stable between 5,000 and 5,500 units since the second volume. Which, if history is anything to go by, is a relatively good number. On the other hand, there hasn’t been any growth, either, of course.

—–

147 - EX MACHINA (WildStorm)
10/2004: Ex Machina #5  -- 24,124
10/2005: Ex Machina #15 -- 21,748
10/2006: --
10/2007: Ex Machina #31 -- 16,772
---------------------------------
10/2008: --
11/2008: Ex Machina #39 -- 14,194 (- 5.2%)
12/2008: Ex Machina #40 -- 14,067 (- 0.9%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.3%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : -25.2%
5 years : -48.0%

Ex Machina is set to pass the finish line next year, and it looks like it’s going to get there with sales well above 10K.

—–

154 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
09/2009: Sweet Tooth #1  -- 18,657
10/2009: Sweet Tooth #2  -- 11,315 (-39.4%)

The second-issue drop for Sweet Tooth is in the same ball park as the other two recent Vertigo titles launched with $ 1.00 debut issues, but it also remains the lowest-selling of the bunch.

—–

155 - FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: RUN
05/2009: Run #1 of 6 -- 29,065
06/2009: Run #2 of 6 -- 21,429 (-26.3%)
07/2009: Run #3 of 6 -- 16,212 (-24.4%)
08/2009: Run #4 of 6 -- 13,738 (-15.3%)
09/2009: Run #5 of 6 -- 12,406 (- 9.7%)
10/2009: Run #6 of 6 -- 11,304 (- 8.9%)

The four Final Crisis Aftermath books finally stumble over the finish line. Not all of them managed to crack the 10K mark with their last issue.

—–

157 - R.E.B.E.L.S.
02/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #1  -- 23,739
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%)
----------------
6 months: -21.9%

It looks like sales have bottomed out. As I’m reading the solicitation copy for the February issue, I calculate a 4.3% chance of R.E.B.E.L.S. being around past issue #14.

—–

159 - JONAH HEX
10/2006: Jonah Hex #12 -- 18,299
10/2007: Jonah Hex #24 -- 14,749
--------------------------------
10/2008: Jonah Hex #36 -- 12,629 (- 4.6%)
11/2008: Jonah Hex #37 -- 12,537 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: Jonah Hex #38 -- 12,132 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: Jonah Hex #39 -- 11,705 (- 3.5%)
02/2009: Jonah Hex #40 -- 11,631 (- 0.6%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.3%
1 year  : -10.7%
2 years : -23.5%

The sudden and mysterious 1,000-unit increase from July disappears again. Maybe some Jonah Hex fans had a few thousand dollars to spare.

—–

160 - THE LAST DAYS OF ANIMAL MAN
05/2009: TLDoAM #1 of 6 -- 18,976
06/2009: TLDoAM #2 of 6 -- 14,469 (-23.8%)
07/2009: TLDoAM #3 of 6 -- 12,998 (-10.2%)
08/2009: TLDoAM #4 of 6 -- 12,510 (- 3.8%)
09/2009: TLDoAM #5 of 6 -- 11,791 (- 5.8%)
10/2009: TLDoAM #6 of 6 -- 11,271 (- 4.4%)

Another DC Universe miniseries concludes with terrible sales.

—–

164 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY HALLOWEEN ANNUAL (Vertigo)
10/2009: HoM Halloween Annual #1 -- 11,134
165 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
10/2008: House of Mystery #6  -- 15,934 (- 4.7%)
11/2008: House of Mystery #7  -- 15,120 (- 5.1%)
12/2008: House of Mystery #8  -- 14,273 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: House of Mystery #9  -- 13,739 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: House of Mystery #10 -- 13,098 (- 4.7%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -13.6%
1 year  : -31.5%

House of Mystery continues a slow decline. The Halloween Annual collects a bunch of short stories starring various Vertigo properties; it’s a relaunch of Vertigo Winter Special, basically.

For $ 4.99, these aren’t bad sales.

—–

168 - R.E.B.E.L.S. ANNUAL: STARRO THE CONQUEROR
10/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. Annual #1 -- 10,773

You know the drill: R.E.B.E.L.S. doesn’t sell, so DC thought it was imperative to make an Annual.

That said, given these numbers, maybe it’d be worth a shot to continue R.E.B.E.L.S. as a series of Annuals.

—–

169 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
10/2004: Hellblazer #201 -- 15,262
10/2005: Hellblazer #213 -- 14,688
10/2006: Hellblazer #225 -- 13,629
10/2007: Hellblazer #237 -- 12,703
----------------------------------
10/2008: Hellblazer #248 -- 11,600 (-2.1%)
11/2008: Hellblazer #249 -- 11,445 (-1.3%)
12/2008: Hellblazer #250 -- 12,478 (+9.0%)
01/2009: Hellblazer #251 -- 11,290 (-9.5%)
02/2009: Hellblazer #252 -- 11,174 (-1.0%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.6%
1 year  : - 7.2%
2 years : -15.2%
5 years : -29.5%

Hellblazer is still clinging to the 11K mark. Sales have been thoroughly stable throughout the past twelve months.

—–

171 - FREDDY VS. JASON VS. ASH: NIGHTMARE WARRIORS (WildStorm)
11/2007: Freddy/Jason/Ash #1 of 6   -- 23,306 [27,515]
11/2007: Freddy/Jason/Ash #2 of 6   -- 15,291
12/2007: Freddy/Jason/Ash #3 of 6   -- 15,348
01/2008: Freddy/Jason/Ash #4 of 6   -- 17,170
02/2008: Freddy/Jason/Ash #5 of 6   -- 17,120
03/2008: Freddy/Jason/Ash #6 of 6   -- 17,096
---------------------------------------------
06/2009: Nightmare Warriors #1 of 6 -- 21,395
07/2009: Nightmare Warriors #2 of 6 -- 13,938 (-34.9%)
08/2009: --
09/2009: Nightmare Warriors #3 of 6 -- 12,179 (-12.6%)
09/2009: Nightmare Warriors #4 of 6 -- 11,388 (- 6.5%)
10/2009: Nightmare Warriors #5 of 6 -- 10,603 (- 6.9%)

Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash is the highest-selling licensed property in the direct market, currently.

—–

184 - FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: ESCAPE
05/2009: Escape #1 of 6 -- 28,668
06/2009: Escape #2 of 6 -- 20,576 (-29.2%)
07/2009: Escape #3 of 6 -- 15,294 (-25.7%)
08/2009: Escape #4 of 6 -- 12,950 (-15.3%)
09/2009: Escape #5 of 6 -- 11,613 (-10.3%)
10/2009: Escape #6 of 6 -- 10,519 (- 9.4%)

The second Final Crisis Aftermath mini on the chart.

—–

176 - WORLD OF WARCRAFT (WildStorm)
10/2008: World of WarCraft #12 -- 18,200 (- 5.9%)
11/2008: World of WarCraft #13 -- 17,017 (- 6.5%)
12/2008: World of WarCraft #14 -- 16,058 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: World of WarCraft #15 -- 14,996 (- 6.6%)
02/2009: World of WarCraft #16 -- 14,177 (- 5.5%)
03/2009: World of WarCraft #17 -- 13,614 (- 4.0%)
04/2009: World of WarCraft #18 -- 13,110 (- 3.7%)
05/2009: World of WarCraft #19 -- 12,536 (- 4.4%)
06/2009: World of WarCraft #20 -- 12,274 (- 2.1%)
07/2009: World of WarCraft #21 -- 12,656 (+ 3.1%)
08/2009: World of WarCraft #22 -- 12,131 (- 4.2%)
09/2009: World of WarCraft #23 -- 11,959 (- 1.4%)
10/2009: World of WarCraft #24 -- 10,442 (-12.7%)
----------------
6 months: -20.4%
1 year  : -42.6%

That’s a terrible drop.

After issue #25, there will be a one-shot instead of a regular issue, and then the book continues with a colon in the title, evidently.

I doubt whether a colon will do much for sales, personally, but maybe the often-cited (though never substantiated) sales in video-game stores stand to gain more from the addition of colons, as a matter of principle, than the crowd in the direct-market, whose comics titles are more: frequently: perforated: by colons.

—–

174 - 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%)

Half the sales of the Straczynski one-shot are gone already. The two Red Circle series are pretty much D.O.A., from the look of it.

—–

182 - AMBUSH BUG: YEAR NONE
10/2008: --
11/2008: Ambush Bug: Year None #4 of 6 -- 11,972 (-11.2%)
12/2008: Ambush Bug: Year None #5 of 6 -- 11,422 (- 4.6%)
01/2009:--
01/2009:--
01/2009:--
01/2009:--
01/2009:--
01/2009:--
01/2009:--
01/2009:--
01/2009:--
12/2008: Ambush Bug: Year None #7 of 6 -- 10,000 (-12.5%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.

It seems 2009 will enter comic-book history as the year when sequential numbering finally went out of style.

—–

184 - FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: DANCE
05/2009: Dance #1 of 6 -- 27,491
06/2009: Dance #2 of 6 -- 19,420 (-29.4%)
07/2009: Dance #3 of 6 -- 14,505 (-25.3%)
08/2009: Dance #4 of 6 -- 12,294 (-15.2%)
09/2009: Dance #5 of 6 -- 10,909 (-11.3%)
10/2009: Dance #6 of 6 --  9,995 (- 8.4%)

The third Final Crisis Aftermath book.

—–

185 - WARLORD
10/2006: Warlord #9  -- 11,244
------------------------------
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%)
----------------
6 months: -43.6%

Completely off the map.

—–

187 - STRANGE ADVENTURES
03/2009: Strange Adventures #1 of 8  --  22,820
04/2009: Strange Adventures #2 of 8  --  14,499 (-36.5%)
05/2009: Strange Adventures #3 of 8  --  12,515 (-13.7%)
06/2009: Strange Adventures #4 of 8  --  11,441 (- 8.6%)
07/2009: Strange Adventures #5 of 8  --  10,758 (- 6.0%)
08/2009: Strange Adventures #6 of 8  --  10,316 (- 4.1%)
09/2009: Strange Adventures #7 of 8  --  10,068 (- 2.4%)
10/2009: Strange Adventures #8 of 8  --   9,772 (- 2.9%)
----------------
6 months: -32.6%

Don’t expect another Jim Starlin book starring heroes in space from DC for a while.

—–

188 - FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: INK
05/2009: Ink #1 of 6 -- 25,479
06/2009: Ink #2 of 6 -- 17,964 (-29.5%)
07/2009: Ink #3 of 6 -- 13,643 (-24.1%)
08/2009: Ink #4 of 6 -- 11,837 (-13.2%)
09/2009: Ink #5 of 6 -- 10,572 (-10.7%)
10/2009: Ink #6 of 6 --  9,720 (- 8.1%)

The final Final Crisis Aftermath finale, finally.

—–

191 - 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%)

Bizarrely, the series gets a new, cough, ongoing writer with issue #6. Not to be unduly pessimistic, but right now, even the prospect of making it to #10 looks like a daunting enterprise for the two Red Circle titles. What’s the point?

—–

192 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
10/2008: Madame Xanadu #5  -- 11,392 (- 7.6%)
11/2008: Madame Xanadu #6  -- 12,340 (+ 8.3%)
12/2008: Madame Xanadu #7  -- 10,272 (-16.8%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Madame Xanadu #8  --  9,932 (- 3.3%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.9%
1 year  : -18.5%

The numbers keep slowly declining.

—–

193 - 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%)

Things don’t look good for Greek Street.

—–

195 - BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE
10/2009: Killing Joke (New Printing) -- 9,131

This would be more at home on the “Graphic Novel” chart, surely, particularly since it would have been the top-selling book for October. Right now, the No. 1 title is the Wolverine: Old Man Logan hardcover edition, which managed an estimated 7,347 units.

—–

205 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
10/2008: Northlanders #11 -- 10,353 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Northlanders #12 -- 10,048 (- 3.0%)
12/2008: Northlanders #13 --  9,777 (- 2.7%)
01/2009: Northlanders #14 --  9,467 (- 3.2%)
02/2009: --
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%)
----------------
6 months: -10.3%
1 year  : -19.3%

The fluctuations of the last few issues are down to the shipping week: Northlanders #19 was released in the last week of July, issue #20 shipped in the first week of September (a calendar month with five Wednesdays) and issue #21 came out in the last week of October.

The resulting ups and downs nicely illustrate of one of the minor flaws of the Diamond system, but also serve to show the remarkable sensitivity of these numbers.

—–

209 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
10/2008: Tiny Titans #9  --  9,521 (- 2.8%)
11/2008: Tiny Titans #10 --  9,239 (- 3.0%)
12/2008: Tiny Titans #11 --  9,085 (- 1.7%)
01/2009: Tiny Titans #12 --  8,733 (- 3.9%)
02/2009: Tiny Titans #13 --  8,710 (- 0.3%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -10.3%
1 year  : -13.3%

A Johnny DC book, see small print.

—–

210 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
10/2004: Revolution #1  of 12 -- 26,572
10/2005: Revolution #12 of 12 -- 18,256
10/2006: The Authority v3 #1  -- 58,136
10/2007: Prime #1 of 6        -- 21,992
---------------------------------------
10/2008: The Authority v4 #3  -- 13,408 (- 6.4%)
11/2008: The Authority v4 #4  -- 12,450 (- 7.2%)
12/2008: The Authority v4 #5  -- 11,534 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: The Authority v4 #6  -- 10,673 (- 7.5%)
02/2009: The Authority v4 #7  -- 10,553 (- 1.1%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -16.2%
1 year  : -39.0%
2 years : -62.8%
5 years : -69.2%

Heading for a creative-team change, for all the good that will do.

—–

223 - DMZ (Vertigo)
10/2006: DMZ #12 -- 14,640
10/2007: DMZ #24 -- 11,583
--------------------------
10/2008: DMZ #35 --  9,240 (-3.4%)
11/2008: DMZ #36 --  8,851 (-4.2%)
12/2008: DMZ #37 --  8,823 (-0.3%)
01/2009: DMZ #38 --  8,457 (-4.2%)
02/2009: DMZ #39 --  8,353 (-1.2%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.2%
1 year  : -19.9%
2 years : -36.1%

Business as usual.

—–

231 - VIGILANTE
12/2008: Vigilante #1      -- 18,236
01/2009: Vigilante #2      -- 13,855 (-24.0%)
02/2009: Vigilante #3      -- 11,264 (-18.7%)
03/2009: Vigilante #4      -- 11,125 (- 1.2%)
04/2009: Vigilante #5      -- 21,290 (+91.4%)
05/2009: Vigilante #6      -- 18,677 (-12.3%)
06/2009: Vigilante #7      -- 11,483 (-38.5%)
07/2009: Vigilante #8      --  9,942 (-13.4%)
08/2009: Vigilante #9      --  8,387 (-15.6%)
09/2009: Vigilante #10     --  7,856 (- 6.3%)
10/2009: Vigilante #11     --  6,971 (-11.3%)
----------------
6 months: -67.3%

Canceled with issue #12.

—–

232 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
10/2007: Scalped #10 --  7,536
------------------------------
10/2008: Scalped #22 --  6,964 (- 0.9%)
11/2008: Scalped #23 --  6,910 (- 0.8%)
12/2008: Scalped #24 --  6,777 (- 1.9%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Scalped #25 --  6,887 (+ 1.6%)
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%)
----------------
6 months:   0.0%
1 year  : - 0.9%
2 years : - 8.4%

Periodical sales of Scalped are holding level at around 7K, which they’ve done for the better part of two years now.

First-month direct-market numbers of Scalped collections show a slight uptick in October, meanwhile:

08/2007: Vol. 1 -- 3,502
02/2008: Vol. 2 -- 3,022
10/2008: Vol. 3 -- 3,524
04/2009: Vol. 4 -- 3,337
10/2009: Vol. 5 -- 3,719

Considering that Vertigo series with consistent first-month collection sales of 3,300 and periodical sales similar to those of Scalped have been canceled in the past, the increase is good news.

—–

233 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
10/2005: Nemesis #2 of 9 -- 16,829
10/2006: Wildcats #1     -- 82,528
10/2007: --
----------------------------------
10/2008: World's End #4  -- 12,431 (- 8.3%)
11/2008: World's End #5  -- 11,280 (- 9.3%)
12/2008: World's End #6  -- 10,450 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: World's End #7  --  9,539 (- 8.7%)
02/2009: World's End #8  --  9,040 (- 5.2%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -18.6%
1 year  : -44.6%

Another WildStorm Universe title heading for lord knows where.

—–

235 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
10/2004: Batman Strikes! #2    -- 16,941
10/2005: Batman Strikes! #14   --  8,950
10/2006: Batman Strikes! #26   --  7,560
10/2007: Batman Strikes! #38   --  6,664
----------------------------------------
10/2008: Batman Strikes! #50   --  6,413 (+  0.4%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: --
01/2009: Brave & Bold #1       -- 13,935 (+117.3%)
02/2009: Brave & Bold #2       --  8,678 (- 37.7%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -20.7%
1 year  : + 3.6%
2 years : - 0.3%
5 years : -60.8%

A Johnny DC title. See small print.

—–

236 - UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Vertigo)
10/2008: Unknown Soldier #1  -- 16,038
11/2008: Unknown Soldier #2  -- 10,553 (-34.2%)
12/2008: Unknown Soldier #3  --  9,926 (- 5.9%)
01/2009: Unknown Soldier #4  --  8,711 (-12.2%)
02/2009: Unknown Soldier #5  --  8,348 (- 4.2%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -23.1%
1 year  : -58.6%
242 - AIR (Vertigo)
10/2008: Air #3  -- 10,061 (- 8.3%)
11/2008: Air #4  --  8,913 (-11.4%)
12/2008: Air #5  --  8,412 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: Air #6  --  7,607 (- 9.6%)
02/2009: --
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%)
----------------
6 months: -14.7%
1 year  : -38.8%

The second Air collection shipped in October, and its sales give no indication that the book is doing better than the periodical numbers would suggest:

03/2009: Vol. 1 -- 3,195
10/2009: Vol. 2 -- 2,816

Again, these are just first-month numbers for the direct market, which doesn’t tell us anything about total sales. Nevertheless, they can be compared with the first-month direct-market numbers of other Vertigo books, and Air sales don’t look very encouraging in that respect.

—–

243 - NORTH 40 (WildStorm)
07/2009: North 40 #1 of 6 -- 8,163
08/2009: North 40 #2 of 6 -- 6,523 (-20.1%)
09/2009: North 40 #3 of 6 -- 6,284 (- 3.7%) 
10/2009: North 40 #4 of 6 -- 6,068 (- 3.4%)
244 - GEN13 (WildStorm)
10/2006: Gen13 #1  -- 47,535
10/2007: Gen13 #13 -- 15,539
----------------------------
10/2008: Gen13 #23 -- 10,061 (- 4.5%)
11/2008: Gen13 #24 --  9,460 (- 6.0%)
12/2008: Gen13 #25 --  8,954 (- 5.4%)
01/2009: Gen13 #26 --  8,341 (- 6.9%)
02/2009: Gen13 #27 --  7,929 (- 4.9%)
03/2009: Gen13 #28 --  7,593 (- 4.2%)
04/2009: Gen13 #29 --  7,313 (- 3.7%)
05/2008: --
06/2008: Gen13 #30 --  6,880 (- 5.9%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: Gen13 #31 --  6,544 (- 4.9%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Gen13 #32 --  6,044 (- 7.6%)
----------------
6 months: -17.4%
1 year  : -39.9%
2 years : -61.1%

Two more WildStorm books. Gen13 is meant to stick around with a new creative team. To be blunt, I have some trouble imagining how that’s supposed to work with these numbers.

—–

248 - THE MIGHTY
02/2009: The Mighty #1  --  17,956
03/2009: The Mighty #2  --  10,624 (-40.8%)
04/2009: The Mighty #3  --   8,777 (-17.4%)
05/2009: The Mighty #4  --   7,565 (-13.8%)
06/2009: The Mighty #5  --   7,104 (- 6.1%)
07/2009: The Mighty #6  --   6,660 (- 6.3%)
08/2009: The Mighty #7  --   6,292 (- 5.5%)
09/2009: The Mighty #8  --   6,104 (- 3.0%)
10/2009: The Mighty #9  --   5,932 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: -32.4%

Canceled with issue #12.

—–

259 - BILLY BATSON & THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM (Johnny DC)
10/2008: --
11/2008: --
12/2008: Billy Batson #3  --  9,852 (-20.3%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
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%)
----------------
6 months: -36.4%
1 year  :   n.a.
266 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
10/2008: Super Friends #8  --  6,153 (- 4.3%)
11/2008: Super Friends #9  --  5,739 (- 6.7%)
12/2008: Super Friends #10 --  5,543 (- 3.4%)
01/2009: Super Friends #11 --  5,500 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Super Friends #12 --  5,394 (- 1.9%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -13.2%
1 year  : -18.3%

Two Johnny DC books. See small print.

—–

272 - STARCRAFT (WildStorm)
05/2009: StarCraft #1  -- 11,744
06/2009: StarCraft #2  --  7,933 (-32.5%)
07/2009: --
08/2009: StarCraft #3  --  6,410 (-19.2%)
09/2009: StarCraft #4  --  5,428 (-15.3%)
10/2009: StarCraft #5  --  4,422 (-18.5%)

Another video-game adaptation from WildStorm. Its numbers speak for themselves.

—–

274 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
10/2004: Scooby Doo #89  -- 5,449
10/2005: Scooby Doo #101 -- 4,604
10/2006: Scooby Doo #113 -- 4,339
10/2007: Scooby Doo #125 -- 4,407
---------------------------------
10/2008: Scooby Doo #137 -- ?
11/2008: Scooby Doo #138 -- 4,068
12/2008: Scooby Doo #139 -- ?
01/2009: Scooby Doo #140 -- 3,800
02/2009: Scooby Doo #141 -- 3,861 (+ 1.6%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -13.1%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : - 9.1%
5 years : -26.5%

A Johnny DC book.

—–

278 - RED HERRING (WildStorm)
08/2009: Red Herring #1 of 6 -- 5,982
09/2009: Red Herring #2 of 6 -- 4,337 (-27.5%)
10/2009: Red Herring #3 of 6 -- 3,797 (-12.5%)

A creator-owned WildStorm miniseries.

The second issue of WildStorm’s game adaptation Free Realms also shipped in October, but like the debut issue, it failed to make the Top 300 chart. So, for the purposes of the average charts below, I’m assuming that it sold as much as the No. 300 book on the chart, as usual, although actual sales were probably lower.

—–

REORDERS:
271:  4,471: Blackest Night: Batman #1 (3rd)
277:  3,804: Blackest Night: Batman #2
279:  3,792: Blackest Night #1 (3rd)
6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 38.5%: GL Corps
+ 29.6%: Green Lantern
   0.0%: Scalped
-  2.1%: GC Sirens
-  2.3%: Jonah Hex
-  2.6%: Hellblazer
-  3.1%: Azrael
-  3.9%: Madame Xanadu
-  4.1%: Secret Six
-  6.9%: Booster Gold
-  7.3%: Ex Machina
-  7.6%: JLA
-  8.2%: DMZ
- 10.3%: Northlanders
- 10.3%: Tiny Titans
- 10.6%: Fables
- 10.9%: Supergirl
- 13.1%: Scooby-Doo
- 13.2%: Super Friends
- 13.5%: Batman Confidential
- 13.6%: House of Mystery
- 14.7%: Air
- 15.6%: Superman/Batman
- 15.3%: Wonder Woman
- 16.2%: Authority
- 17.4%: Gen13
- 17.6%: Teen Titans
- 17.8%: Superman
- 17.9%: Green Arrow
- 18.3%: Superman: WoNK
- 18.6%: Wildcats
- 19.1%: Arkham Reborn
- 19.9%: Action Comics
- 20.4%: WoW
- 20.5%: Batman
- 20.7%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 21.2%: Outsiders
- 21.7%: Titans
- 21.9%: R.E.B.E.L.S.
- 23.1%: Unknown Soldier
- 31.6%: Jack of Fables
- 32.4%: Mighty
- 32.6%: Strange Adventures
- 36.4%: Billy Batson
- 38.9%: JSA
- 43.6%: Warlord
- 43.7%: Detective Comics
- 67.3%: Vigilante

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 87.1%: Adventure Comics
+ 75.7%: GL Corps
+ 60.9%: Green Lantern
+ 57.5%: Batgirl
+ 56.4%: GC Sirens
+ 48.9%: Red Robin
+  3.6%: Batman: Brave & Bold
-  0.9%: Scalped
-  7.2%: Hellblazer
- 10.6%: Supergirl
- 10.7%: Jonah Hex
- 11.1%: Detective Comics
- 11.1%: Fables
- 12.8%: Jack of Fables
- 13.3%: Tiny Titans
- 16.2%: Secret Six
- 17.8%: Brave & Bold
- 18.3%: Super Friends
- 18.5%: Madame Xanadu
- 19.3%: Northlanders
- 19.7%: Wonder Woman
- 19.9%: DMZ
- 22.8%: JLA
- 26.5%: Teen Titans
- 27.8%: Booster Gold
- 28.2%: Superman/Batman
- 30.4%: Batman Confidential
- 31.5%: House of Mystery
- 31.8%: Batman
- 33.0%: Green Arrow
- 35.2%: Superman
- 37.7%: JSA
- 37.9%: Titans
- 38.8%: Air
- 39.0%: Authority
- 39.5%: Action Comics
- 39.9%: Gen13
- 42.6%: WoW
- 44.6%: Wildcats
- 54.1%: Outsiders
- 58.6%: Unknown Soldier

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 81.8%: Red Robin
+ 62.3%: Adventure Comics
+ 35.5%: GL Corps
+ 28.9%: Green Lantern
+ 25.1%: GC Sirens
+ 14.1%: Detective Comics
-  0.3%: Batman: Brave & Bold
-  7.8%: Batman
-  8.4%: Scalped
-  9.1%: Scooby-Doo
- 15.2%: Hellblazer
- 15.6%: Fables
- 23.5%: Jonah Hex
- 25.2%: Ex Machina
- 25.7%: Superman
- 27.0%: Jack of Fables
- 27.3%: Supergirl
- 34.8%: Action Comics
- 36.1%: DMZ
- 37.0%: Superman/Batman
- 40.1%: JLA
- 41.1%: Batman Confidential
- 44.3%: Wonder Woman
- 45.2%: Booster Gold
- 47.1%: Teen Titans
- 52.4%: Brave & Bold
- 54.9%: JSA
- 56.7%: Green Arrow
- 61.1%: Gen13
- 62.8%: Authority

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 21.5%: Detective Comics
+  9.4%: JSA
+  6.6%: Green Lantern
+  3.9%: Wonder Woman
+  2.9%: GC Sirens
+  1.3%: Batman
+  0.5%: Red Robin
-  1.8%: Planetary
-  6.5%: JLA
-  6.6%: Batgirl
- 15.5%: Action Comics
- 16.8%: Fables
- 26.5%: Scooby-Doo
- 29.5%: Hellblazer
- 43.9%: Green Arrow
- 48.0%: Ex Machina
- 48.8%: Outsiders
- 53.8%: Teen Titans
- 60.8%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 68.8%: Superman
- 69.2%: Authority

—–

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

DC COMICS
10/2004: 30,125
10/2005: 36,627
10/2006: 33,406
10/2007: 31,648
---------------
10/2008: 29,109 (+13.9%)**
11/2008: 25,340 (-13.0%)
12/2008: 26,793 (+ 5.7%)**
01/2009: 24,273 (- 9.4%)
02/2009: 23,080 (- 4.9%)
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%)**
----------------
6 months: + 0.6%
1 year  : - 5.4%
2 years : -13.0%
5 years : - 8.6%
DC UNIVERSE
10/2004: 35,481
10/2005: 47,021
10/2006: 42,581
10/2007: 39,748
---------------
10/2008: 37,273 (+11.0%)
11/2008: 33,096 (-11.2%)
12/2008: 35,050 (+ 5.9%)
01/2009: 32,705 (- 6.7%)
02/2009: 30,224 (- 7.6%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.8%
1 year  : - 6.7%
2 years : -12.5%
5 years : - 1.9%
VERTIGO
10/2004: 17,102
10/2005: 16,009
10/2006: 15,189
10/2007: 10,678
---------------
10/2008: 11,284 (- 4.0%)
11/2008: 11,936 (+ 5.8%)
12/2008: 11,603 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: 10,980 (- 5.4%)
02/2009: 11,353 (+ 3.4%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.0%
1 year  : - 6.5%
2 years : - 1.2%
5 years : -38.3%
WILDSTORM
10/2004: 20,052
10/2005: 17,215
10/2006: 25,747
10/2007: 11,960
---------------
10/2008: 10,736 (- 9.5%)**
11/2008: 10,220 (- 4.8%)
12/2008:  9,415 (- 7.9%)**
01/2009:  6,851 (-27.2%)
02/2009:  8,019 (+17.1%)
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%)**
----------------
6 months: +13.9%
1 year  : - 9.0%
2 years : -18.3%
5 years : -51.3%

—–
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 traditionally known to be 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. The estimates from March 2001 to February 2003 (marked with an asterisk) were for initial orders rather than actual sales, so they’re only roughly compatible with the subsequent figures.

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. Reorders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial 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 the book’s initial 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 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 may be less than that.

—–
Germany-based Marc-Oliver Frisch has a weblog and regularly contributes to Comicgate.

Comments

  1. Shame about J Michael Straczynski’s run on Brave & The Bold. I rather like the done in one stories he’s been producing. I had a good time reading that Flash team up with the Blackhawks.

    ~

    Coat

  2. “The Superman line isn’t just not working, evidently, it also has the Touch of Death about it.”

    Looks like DC might learn the rather obvious lesson that sales are bound to plummet when the MAIN CHARACTER is exiled from his two core titles. Obvious, at least, to those of us outside of DC’s whiz-bang marketing/editorial brain trust.

    What a mess. Obviously, the higher-ups thought a plodding ramp-up to an Earth/New Krypton war was sales magic…despite the laughably amateurish artwork and meandering plot.

  3. Do you even enjoy doing these anymore? You seem to hold a hatred for everything DC does, which I think is coloring your analysis. I mean, I guess I appreciate the effort you put in, but I wouldn’t wish the kind of misery you seem to inflict on yourself every month on my worst enemy.

  4. Alan Coil says:

    I would suspect that the Red Circle titles will last at least 12 issues, and I suspect that because it would make sense that a contract would be for a minimum of a year.

    ****

    Madame Xanadu is a very good book, much better than House of Mystery, so it is a disappointment that it is not selling at a higher level.

    ****

    Having the sales of the Jack of Fables trades right below the Jack of Fables monthly really shows the power a series has when it sells well in trade. If the trade sales are figured in, the total copies sold is roughly 40% higher. And that is just 1st month sales of the trade. So, perhaps JoF is selling 20,000 copies each month in combined forms.

  5. Alan Coil says:

    Looking at both the DC and Marvel numbers, I am struck at how many titles have lost big chunks of their audience in the last 12 months. In many cases, it is 15-20-25%.

    It’s going to be a rough go until the economy recovers a bit more.

  6. Charles Knight says:

    How low can titles like WildCATS and The Authority get before they pull the plug?

  7. Michael says:

    Justice League of America is a funny case; while issue 38 was nominally the first issue for the new creative team, it was in all other respects a filler issue; the next two issues are a Blackest Night crossover that will usher the remaining members of the old cast offstage (hopefully not in coffins), and Robinson’s made it clear that the meat of the run doesn’t really begin until January. So, presuming that the two Blackest Night issues will see a boost (a safe presumption, I think), it’ll be interesting to see who comes on, who jumps off, and who sticks around in January. (For my part, I bought 38 but will be skipping 39 and 40 before coming back for 41.)

    Overall, though, it seems like retailers are offsetting their heavy orders for Blackest Night books by cutting back on everything else, making the event something of a two-edged sword.

  8. Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash is the highest-selling licensed property in the direct market, currently.

    Wouldn’t that be Buffy the Vampire Slayer? DC’s highest-selling licensed property, maybe.

    The Superman books certainly do have the touch of Death upon them…as of last month, all but Supergirl finally died off of my pull list, and SG is hanging on just to see if it can recover from that awful, awful crossover with Action.

  9. Michael says:

    As for JMS, obviously putting him on one of the big guns would have netted more sales, but these are apparently the books he wanted to do.

    And I’d bet that if they were to put him on Superman tomorrow, you’d still get that big sales uptick.

    Red Circle, they’re obviously taking the position that they spent money acquiring these properties, so they’re damned well going to exploit them.

  10. The Freaky Tiki says:

    I agree with RJT… the analysis does seem to have a very DC bashing feel to it.

    the Tiki

  11. I really don’t feel like Marc is bashing DC so much as DC is making some very bone-headed decisions. Taking Superman out of his own titles for this long was a bad idea. Dumping lots of new titles onto the market with characters who cannot support long runs (Power Girl, Doom Patrol, Magog, etc) was a bad idea. All of their franchises except for Batman are in serious decline.

    Sure, Blackest Night is selling like gangbusters but will it revitalize the entire line? It looks unlikely. And the $3.99 price point isn’t helping. I’ve dropped everything except Detective because of it.

  12. Brett says:

    Count me in the 15%-20% of the lost audience.

    While I believe that economics and price increases may hold some of the cause for the rise in lost readers, the real culprit is the near zero quality in most Marvel and DC Comics.

    Except for one or two comics, I don’t buy regularly anymore. And the one monthly book I am interested in buying, doesn’t ship monthly. Ironically, for a comic called Flash: The Fastest Man Alive Rebirth, it’s the slowest comic on the planet.

    But yeah, the main reason for the drop in readers mostly is because of the poor quality from both DC and Marvel.

  13. “Wouldn’t that be Buffy the Vampire Slayer?”

    Um, yes. That was supposed to say “highest-selling WildStorm property in the direct market.” Sorry about the confusion.

  14. I think a little perspective would help in the comments. If the average DC book is shipping 27,525 units and shedding 4.4% of its readers, then a title like GC Sirens that is shipping 33,000 units and shedding only 4% of them is doing “well”.

    Neither of us may like the title or what that performance says about the health of the market, but it is a success relative to the environment.

  15. Jeffrey says:

    What feels like DC bashing seems more like discouragement over the way in which they have treated their series. Imagine where their company would be right now without Johns on board. They do seem intent on shoving unwanted characters down our throats and characters that reached their peaks years ago. There really needs to be a change in personal their. I used to buy almost exclusively DC.

  16. Every time I hear people complaining about how the Superman books are dying I’m left wondering if they’re actually READING the books?

    It just seems like they have the attitude of “Superman’s not actually in the book? Not buying it.” Rather then “I’ve read what they’re doing, and I just don’t really like it.”

    The Superman books are telling some of the best stories right now with what they’re doing and I can’t wait to read them every month.

    All I end up seeing nowadays are comic fans seem to just respond in Pavlovian ways:

    Character is in the book, start salivating, ring the bell, get the treat.

    But they’re not bothering to read the story being told.

  17. Can you blame them, though? What’s more Pavlovian: Buying a story featuring a character you enjoy, or buying a story because it appears in a book named after a character you enjoy?

    They might be great stories: I’m looking forward to reading them once I can afford to pick up the trades. But they’re not *Superman* stories, and for Superman’s audience, that’s a turn-off.

  18. Evan, I can’t speak for everybody, but I stuck with the Superman books far longer than I should have, and I *HATED* them. I don’t have an inherent problem with Superman comics that don’t have Superman in them — I actually started reading the book during “Funeral for a Friend” — but I just found nothing compelling about the characters who took over these books. Before I even got to know who Nightwing and Flamebird were, Rucka spent an entire issue of Action having them get the tar beat out of them…it read like a superhero snuff film. So I dropped Action. I stuck with Superman up until Codename: Patriot, at which point I decided that I just couldn’t stand the plot anymore…Gen. Lane was a hackneyed villain and Mon-El hadn’t developed into a character I cared about in the slightest. I stuck with Superman: WoNK until just last month, when I couldn’t take one more issue of Superman acting so woefully out of character, or read page after page of personality-less Kryptonians that I didn’t care about.

    Dropping the super-titles wasn’t something I took lightly — I had been following them non-stop for close to 5 years. But I just wasn’t getting any enjoyment whatsoever out of any of them anymore.

  19. Mikael says:

    I’ve been pointing out for awhile that these reports from the DC end have an air of contempt. “Blackest Night is promoted with some of the most aggressive variant-cover incentives we’ve seen to date”. Are you kidding me? If this was just a regular issue of Superman, I’d be with you. But this is a major event. It’s standard practice. If you want to talk aggressive, how about Super Hero Squad variants that border on the ridiculous? Blackest Night is a great event – both readers and retailers are behind it for the most part. Where’s that in the analysis? Oh that’s right, that would take having to actually look up from the numbers to notice.

    And to all this talk of comics “losing readers”. Come on – do these numbers really have to be explained yet again? Of course first issues are going to see higher numbers. Because most retailers DON’T KNOW HOW TO ORDER! All that drop off from first issue to second/third/etc, is evidence that retailers purchased too many first issues like they usually do. That’s why when you go to conventions, all you see are longboxes and longboxes of the same titles in mass quantities. Because retailers still play the guessing game because they refuse to find out exactly what is selling or listen to their customers or they just are too scared to try and train their audience to spread their wealth over multiple titles, not just X-Men. These numbers are not based on readers. They are based on shoddy business practices.

  20. This doesnt even sound like a sales analysis anymore, it’s more an opinion column on MOF’s personal issues with DC.

  21. “It just seems like they have the attitude of “Superman’s not actually in the book? Not buying it.””

    Possible, but I doubt it. Look at CAPTAIN AMERICA taking the character out of the book actually revived its sales in a lasting fashion.

  22. I’m pleasantly surprised that Azrael got over 30,000 for its first issue. I suspect it won’t last.

  23. “But this is a major event. It’s standard practice.”

    1-for-250, 1-for-200 and 1-for-100 variant-cover editions? Erm, no, those aren’t quite standard practice.

    As I keep saying every month, BLACKEST NIGHT is a very, very successful comic book indeed. But I don’t think it would be reasonable to suggest that the variant editions are not a factor.

  24. Joseph says:

    I don’t disagree with those stating Marc seems especially chippy this month. However, it’s tough to say his comments are out of line and I personally find them amusing. So I say well done Marc, and thanks!

    And count me among those who have absolutely zero interest in a Superman book that doesn’t have Superman in it for months (years?) on end. I don’t think that reflects a Pavlovian devotion to the character, as I wouldn’t buy a bad Superman book just because it has Superman in it either. But if Geoff Johns is writing a comic that has SUPERMAN as its title I would like to see the character make an appearance from time to time.

  25. JustCurious says:

    Could DC be running the Superman franchise into the ground and then happily return the deflated property to the creators families?

  26. Shaun M. says:

    Re: Mikael **Of course first issues are going to see higher numbers. Because most retailers DON’T KNOW HOW TO ORDER! All that drop off from first issue to second/third/etc, is evidence that retailers purchased too many first issues like they usually do. **

    Couple problems with this. Orders for issue 3 are typically due around the time issue 1 hits stands. Retailers order based on what they think they can sell. Sometimes they’re wrong in significant numbers, one direction or the other, but it is an educated estimate. The drop has more to do with readers seeing a #1, giving the book a chance, and then not coming back.

    **they refuse to find out exactly what is selling**

    Such a retailer would not last long at all.

    **they just are too scared to try and train their audience to spread their wealth over multiple titles, not just X-Men.**

    Em, “train their audience?” I trust my shop’s recommendations, but would be quite put off if they tried to tell me what to buy.

  27. The Freaky Tiki says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that if I want true numbers ANALYSIS (not skewed commentary) I will listen to the Comic Book Page podcast with John Mayo. I just listened to the latest episode and there was a solid discussion about historical trends within the comics sales charts and how the current month compares.

    the Tiki

  28. James Dell says:

    yep, as an event goes on it will slowly lose steam. I think Blackest Night, like Secret Invasion started out with a big-bang issue. And then there was 7 more issues of slow insipid nothingness until the final anti-climatic ending. And the sales showed it but Marvel still remained on top because DC messed up so badly with Final Crisis and Countdown to Final Crisis that year. so before all is forgiven with Didio just remember those 2 very recent offerings that he signed off with own his hand even though Morrisson wielded the pen on one of them.

    Personally, I never liked Blackest Night or the idea of killing off characters, bringing them back and teasing fans like this. Its cruel and unusual psychological torture for fans that is best reserved for a terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.

    But its DC Comics.

    The company that **killed off ALL THE NEW GODS**.

    Yes, Kirby fans. DC may be playing nice with the family giving them royalties but when it comes to treat his creations with the continued modern portrayals that they deserve, they have none.

  29. “All that drop off from first issue to second/third/etc, is evidence that retailers purchased too many first issues like they usually do.”

    This is a catastrophically incorrect statement.

    The READERSHIP is usually willing to “sample” a first issue, but they’ll drop out from #2 or later. These are consistent chart-patterns because this are consistent BUYER-patterns.

    Moreover, with Final Order Cutoff, retailers almost always have a week’s worth of sales to guide their purchase of the next issue. If a book drops 40% from issues #1 to #2, rather than the more typical 20%-ish , that’s a sign that the READER has dramatically rejected the work in question.

    Direct Market retailers are FUNDAMENTALLY CONSERVATIVE (as a whole) — if they weren’t, you tend to go out of business very very rapidly.

    -B

  30. Honestly I don’t even know what to say, it’s obvious Marc that you just can’t seem to give props to a DC event that works without reaching hard to try and put it down.

    It’s like the more successfull this even becomes the more you try to downplay it’s success and trying to claim that when FC was released the comic landscape was simpler when nothing has changed from them to now is the last straw for me.

    Seriously, if you can’t give an event book that is selling great and holding sales steady not only on the main book but the tie-ins aswell maybe you need to let someone else do these breakdowns for awhile.

    Nothing has changed since FC was released, if anything by the time BN rolled around DC was in worse shape that it was before FC started. It basically had the failure of FC, Countdown and Amazon’s Attack to make up for and it’s blown away anything DC has done since Infinite Crisis when things were actually different for comics.

    To keep trying to grasp at these rare variants as somehow inflating sales of BN, is ignoring the facts that say the opposite. I’m not even going to mention the ridiculous disclaimer about October not being a good month for DC even though they did something they haven’t done in 40 years.

    You’re bitterness towards DC at the moment is incredible and really it’s only hurting your reputation in the end, there is time to be critical about DC when they screw up but when they are doing something right you gotta give it up to them.

    You really need to step back for a second because, reading this months breakdown made you sound like a typical internet fanboy not someone trying to give some insight into what’s going on with DC at the moment and you’re better than that.

  31. It will really be interesting to see next months analysis, and the gains the books associated with the ring giveaways get

  32. Also, no note was made of the black ring given with Blackest Night #1

    that probably accounts for it appearing to be “bottoming out very quickly”

  33. lordbuff says:

    “Don’t expect another Jim Starlin book starring heroes in space from DC for a while.”

    But this runs counter to the DC attitude of if it doesn’t work, try it twice more ( see JSA all-stars ), so expect more from Starlin

    P.S: the previous statement is made in jest, no need to correct it

  34. Deniz says:

    The criticisms that there is something show inherently ‘wrong’ about taking Superman out of the Super-books for a year is just…well, it’s an astoundingly narrow viewpoint. The high points of many, many characters have come when exactly that happens — Captain America, Batman (twice!), Superman (Death/Return of)…many franchises have successfully done just this. There is absolutely nothing – NOTHING – wrong with building up the characters, world, and mythos surrounding the stoic, somewhat stale Man of Steel.

    The problem isn’t conceptual. It isn’t even, in my opinion, quality — The tale being told here is of high, though variable, quality. World of New Krypton proper is one of the best in continuity Superman stories of the last 10 years.

    The problem is that all the books are amazingly and indivisibly connected. One leads into the other leads into the other crosses over with the next preludes the this, don’t forget to read that annual which explains that…If you drop one of the books, you have to drop them all. You can’t just follow one of the books (save, perhaps, World of New Krypton proper). That is where the weakness comes in. That is where the folly was made.

    Separate the books out, allow each one to tell it’s own, discrete story that leads into the big upcoming event…and you’d have much higher numbers, IMHO.

  35. Alan Coil says:

    James Dell said:

    “Its cruel and unusual psychological torture for fans that is best reserved for a terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. ”

    James, you’re just begging to be mocked, aren’t you?

  36. Jason says:

    “The criticisms that there is something show inherently ‘wrong’ about taking Superman out of the Super-books for a year is just…well, it’s an astoundingly narrow viewpoint”

    The title character not appearing in his own comic is a cheat and a dupe.

    No one would buy a ‘Mon-El’ comic

  37. mark coale says:

    “No one would buy a ‘Mon-El’ comic”

    except maybe the same 20-30,000 people who buy Legion, reboot after reboot.

  38. The Beat says:

    Come on now people, taking the title character out of their book is a tried and true comic book ploy. So let’s not say that it’s a radical invention. Superman has been gone before — he was DEAD for a while, remember?

    Actually what should t hat have to do with anything? It was nearly 20 years ago! The comics of today should be for the READERS of today. Perhaps it is figuring out just what that means where the problems lie.

  39. You are particularly nasty this month. Standard attrition? As usual.

    Detective Comics is doing better than it has in a while. Take note that it now has a $3.99 price tag and that it is about to reach a level that sells and makes the same amount of money as ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN. Imagine that.

    And for a $3.99 event book, Blackest Night has unbelievable staying power. Note how Captain America Reborn falls like a rock every month. In addition, it has a positive net effect on all ancillary titles, something DC hasn’t really done since INFINITE CRISIS. When was the last time orders ticked upwards on a tie-in?

    Partisanship aside, your ‘commentary’ is becoming pretty deplorable.

  40. jason says:

    i don’t mind the commentary at all. dc zombies cut him some slack. the company is making a lot of boneheaded decisions and it’s become hard to continue being a fan for some of us.

  41. Jason Richards says:

    I have to agree with the others Marc, you really seemed to have developed a special hate for DC. And their taking the top 6 spots only seems to have infuriated you even more. If this is how youre going to continue to behave it would be best if you only printed the figures and kept your comments to yourself.

  42. “As I’m reading the solicitation copy for the February issue, I calculate a 4.3% chance of R.E.B.E.L.S. being around past issue #14.”

    And according to announced crossover with JLA and participation in next summer event your attempt at snappy remark failed.

  43. Jason Richards:

    “I have to agree with the others Marc, you really seemed to have developed a special hate for DC. And their taking the top 6 spots only seems to have infuriated you even more.”

    Calendar months since October 2008 in which the average DC comic book had sold better than it did in October 2009: September 2009, August 2009, July 2009, October 2008.

    Calendar months since October 2008 in which DC comic books sold more in gross dollar value than they did in October 2009: August 2009, July 2009, October 2008.

    Was October 2009 a reasonably good month for DC? Yes. Was it a historically good one? Nope, not by a long shot.

    So, unfortunately, taking the Top 6 spots of the chart is good for perception, but doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, in this case. What it says, mainly, is that Marvel didn’t exactly have a banner month in October 2009.

    I’m sure the notion that I’ve got something against DC would be dispelled rather quickly if Paul and I swapped columns for a month. On the other hand, it would be a month where twice as many people would end up being mad at me, so I’m not sure it’s a point I’d want to prove.

    Unfortunately, I don’t make up the numbers. I’ve said that BLACKEST NIGHT (and, until recently, the Batman relaunch) is performing very, very well each and every month since it’s been coming out — because it is. People seem to skip that part.

    Beyond that, since BLACKEST NIGHT and its tie-in books are about the only thing that’s working for DC right now, I’m not sure what you’re looking for. “Oh it’s the second 8% drop in a row, but it doesn’t matter, because BLACKEST NIGHT sure is a great book.” (BATMAN AND ROBIN and DETECTIVE COMICS are also doing quite well, of course. I think they get their due in the column.)

    If it’s any consolation, I trust the next few months’ worth of BLACKEST NIGHT promotion should be successful enough to raise the bottom line. These increases tend not to last long, but at least it’ll get us through the holidays, yes?

  44. Charles Knight says:

    Blimey, reading the comments, you would have thought that Marc-Oliver was rounding up children for a super-hero themed concentration camp. It’s only funny books people nothing serious.

    I see nothing wrong with a bit of snark in the analysis keeps it snappy.

  45. Michael says:

    Here I am, sitting with my loaded gun. I sure wish a messenger would come by so I could shoot him.

  46. “a super-hero themed concentration camp.”

    That’s such an apt metaphor for the direct market it’s chilling.

    P.S. love the commentary, as I find 99.9% of D.C.s output ugly on every conceivable level. And I followed the DCU fairly closely from the first Crisis until the Geoff Johns version.

  47. comicsatemybrain says:

    Jason:

    “Also, no note was made of the black ring given with Blackest Night #1 that probably accounts for it appearing to be “bottoming out very quickly” ”

    I take the “bottoming out quickly” term to be a reference to the title’s orders leveling out quickly (the remarkably low % drop from issue 2 through 4) rather than the initial steep drop from issue 1 to issue 2.

    The black ring promo was probably a contributing factor to lower sales for issue 2, but it’s doubtful that it had nothing to do with the leveling out after issue 2.

  48. comicsatemybrain says:

    Mikael:

    “I’ve been pointing out for awhile that these reports from the DC end have an air of contempt. “Blackest Night is promoted with some of the most aggressive variant-cover incentives we’ve seen to date”. ”

    I don’t understand what is so “contemptuous” about saying that Blackest Night has been aggressively promoted. How does saying that DC “aggressively promoted” a book or event imply a value judgment on DC?

    Yes, BN *was* pushed very hard by DC. Yes, that undoubtedly helped push up the sales numbers. (Good for DC, and good for the retailers!) Why does making the connection between promotion and sales imply contempt?

  49. “I take the “bottoming out quickly” term to be a reference to the title’s orders leveling out quickly (the remarkably low % drop from issue 2 through 4) rather than the initial steep drop from issue 1 to issue 2.”

    That’s my meaning, yes. When a book is “bottoming out,” for the purposes of the column, it basically means that the big drops are a thing of the past.

  50. comicsatemybrain says:

    “The black ring promo was probably a contributing factor to lower sales for issue 2, but it’s doubtful that it had nothing to do with the leveling out after issue 2.”

    That should be “doubtful that it had anything to do with the leveling out after issue 2.”

  51. Shawn Kane says:

    I had a problem with the idea of Superman not being in his titles. I’ve collected the entire run but I would have been much better served if the stories they were telling were in a mini-series because I can definitely see why the average fan would lose interest quickly, much less for a year.

  52. I happen to think the Superman books are all pretty strong right now creatively, although with the exception of WoNK and Secret Origin, they are plagued by less-than-stellar art. And removing the title character does often work pretty well (as is currently the case with Detective Comics, for example). I think some of the problem is simply that Superman is just not being emphasized by DC the way the batbooks and GL/Blackest Night are. The question is whether the apparently looming big Superman storyline to follow Blackest Night can turn that around.

  53. Synsidar says:

    Is there anything about BLACKEST NIGHT which makes the series suitable for adults? The whole ROY G BIV approach of linking colors to emotions seems better suited for a Teletubbies-type series than for drama. The idea of having the use of rings based on emotions conflicts with the principle that the use of a Green Lantern’s ring is based on heroic will power.

    Also, the mass die-off and inevitable resurrections risk depriving death of any meaning, even within the context of the DC universe. How many times can a hero die and come back before it’s impossible for that character to take death seriously?

    SRS

  54. Charles Knight says:

    “The whole ROY G BIV approach of linking colors to emotions seems better suited for a Teletubbies-type series than for drama.”

    If you are interested in adult story-telling, you aren’t going to be buying something from Geoff “that old comic was cool” Johns.

  55. I think he’s dead on about Blackest Night being helped out tremendously by the big variants. And I have the awesome anecdotal evidence of a shop with a metric ton of unsold issues 4 and 5 to prove it.

    (1 and 2 get slack due to the folks who do such things not knowing how to order for an event this huge and maybe overestimating…3 sold like gangbusters at my store)

  56. Fun Gnome says:

    I haven’t read any recent Green Lantern stories so I might be wrong, but just from an idea standpoint, I have to disagree with this statement: “The idea of having the use of rings based on emotions conflicts with the principle that the use of a Green Lantern’s ring is based on heroic will power.” Use and ability are two different things. One could still have immense willpower which would allow them to make a ring work but also have their willpower be overwhelmingly driven by rage which would then affect the specific usage of the ring. As with any weapon, you need to have the ability to use it, but how you use it and for what purpose varies for each individual. Only difference is your gun doesn’t change color depending on whether you’re a psychopath or a police officer.

  57. Powergirl and Jonah Hex. out monthly. enjoy.

    figured while all you guys were posting, i throw a commercial break in there.

    ;]

  58. cookylamoo says:

    If there’s a dark side of Blackest Night it’s that it teaches readers not to make any sort of emotional investment in DC’s characters because DC will retire them and resurrect them whenever they think they can make a buck. I believe one reason people can’t relate to the Teen Titans, The Outsiders and the Doom Patrol is that all they are is a source of cannon fodder.

  59. Rikk Odinson says:

    I guess posting why we aren’t buying comics anymore doesn’t belong in a thread about comic book sales.

    I guess Marvel gets to know why I am not buying their books but the DC folks can just remain clueless.

    FYI, not everyone reads both the Marvel and DC versions of this.

    Last post on this lame blog. I’m sure you will delete it too.

  60. Alan Coil says:

    Rikk Odinson, did you mean the post that started with this?

    “For this guy, the price of comics has done me in at last.”

    Because I saw that post in the Marvel thread.

  61. Jimmy – is # 50 out today.

    I’ll buy one. And then I’m going to buy one for my dad.

    See, who says it doesn’ pay to subliminally advertise?

    ~

    Coat

  62. Joseph says:

    As far as the title character not appearing in his monthly book being a fairly consistent staple of comics: the difference is that the Batman title currently does not have Bruce, but it still has a Batman. Same with Captain America. What DC is currently doing with Superman strikes me more like what Marvel is doing with some of their recent “soft launches”, like continuing a Wolverine book with his son, instead of the actual title character.

  63. Bobby Dee says:

    Hey, Hellblazer’s still alive! That’s always a plus in my book. I don’t know what it would take to get a permanent up-tick to the book short of a crossover with the main DC universe, however. Maybe he can get a sideways crossover with Madame Xanadu.

  64. “154 – SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
    09/2009: Sweet Tooth #1 — 18,657
    10/2009: Sweet Tooth #2 — 11,315 (-39.4%)The second-issue drop for Sweet Tooth is in the same ball park as the other two recent Vertigo titles launched with $ 1.00 debut issues, but it also remains the lowest-selling of the bunch.”

    –Greek Street is one of those other two, but it is the lowest, selling 9K for its most recent issue.

    “182 – AMBUSH BUG: YEAR NONE
    10/2008: –
    11/2008: Ambush Bug: Year None #4 of 6 — 11,972 (-11.2%)
    12/2008: Ambush Bug: Year None #5 of 6 — 11,422 (- 4.6%)
    01/2009:–
    01/2009:–
    01/2009:–
    01/2009:–
    01/2009:–
    01/2009:–
    01/2009:–
    01/2009:–
    01/2009:–
    12/2008: Ambush Bug: Year None #7 of 6 — 10,000 (-12.5%)
    —————-
    6 months: n.a.
    1 year : n.a.It seems 2009 will enter comic-book history as the year when sequential numbering finally went out of style.”

    –Was the misdating here intentionally clever then? If so, good one.

  65. I could barely finish reading this post, and I certainly won’t be reading the next one written by this guy. A little snark is okay but when he nitpicks every little success and turns it around to basically say it’s not a success, it’s unbearable to read. I’d like my analysis a little less biased so I’ll probably just look at the figures elsewhere, without the degrading comments.

    Also, if you consider the current Superman and Action Comics directions as Mon-El and Nightwing/Flamebird miniseries, they’re doing alright. The problem is they aren’t named as such.

  66. Charles Knight says:

    “I’d like my analysis a little less biased so I’ll probably just look at the figures elsewhere, without the degrading comments.”

    Degrading comments? They should let me write it for a month and then you’d find out what degrading comments are like – I’d even put in some pictures.

  67. “Greek Street is one of those other two, but it is the lowest, selling 9K for its most recent issue.”

    Yes, but GREEK STREET is up to issue #4. Its second issue sold more units than SWEET TOOTH #2.

  68. “A little snark is okay but when he nitpicks every little success and turns it around to basically say it’s not a success, it’s unbearable to read.”

    If you could offer any examples of where you think I’m actually wrong, that’d be helpful.

  69. brandon says:

    “I doubt whether a colon will do much for sales, personally, but maybe the often-cited (though never substantiated) sales in video-game stores stand to gain more from the addition of colons, as a matter of principle, than the crowd in the direct-market, whose comics titles are more: frequently: perforated: by colons.”

    “The final Final Crisis Aftermath finale, finally.”

    Ha! Some of the best lines are at the end of the chart!

  70. mpneeb says:

    To Jim P.

    JONAH HEX #50 was great. Best book of the week.

  71. Marc-
    It’s not that you’re “actually wrong” in a factual sense. It’s where you offer your subjective analysis. It just seems to get increasingly more negative and snarky each month.
    I think there are things that I think a lot of people could agree with (e.g. whatever one thinks about the current Superman books–I happen to be enjoying them–their sales are probably not where DC would like them to be) there are other things where you seem to be coming in with a predetermined ax to grind (Vertigo titles, JMS on Brave and the Bold).
    It just reminds me a bit too much of Fox News, to be honest, with their damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t attacks on President Obama. If Blackest Night wasn’t selling this well, you’d be attacking DC for blowing another event. When it is successful, you say it’s because of the rings, or because Marvel doesn’t have an event going on right now (well, except for that Dark Reign thing, but we’re not counting that for some reason.) I know that you will respond, as you have several times on this thread, that you do call “Blackest Night” a success, but you do so with caveats. Like it’s almost like it’s too painful for you to actually admit that after multiple years of dropping the ball, DC managed to do this one thing right (at least from a sales point of view, not talking about the quality of their books in the past)
    I don’t mean this to be an attack on you, but just to articulate the problems I have with the column. I know it’s my choice to read it or just find the figures elsewhere, but I usually enjoy the analysis that you and Paul provide each month.

  72. RJT:

    “I know that you will respond, as you have several times on this thread, that you do call “Blackest Night” a success, but you do so with caveats.”

    It’s a fact that BLACKEST NIGHT is selling very well. It’s another fact that it’s being promoted by DC through means that are unprecedented. Any assessment that ignores either of those aspects would be incomplete — nor are the two aspects mutually exclusive, as you seem to imply.

  73. “It’s a fact that BLACKEST NIGHT is selling very well. It’s another fact that it’s being promoted by DC through means that are unprecedented. Any assessment that ignores either of those aspects would be incomplete — nor are the two aspects mutually exclusive, as you seem to imply. ”

    I’m not implying anything of the sort. I also fail to see what is so “unprecedented” about the marketing of Blackest Night compared to many other “event” books from the big two.

  74. JeffF says:

    “Yes, but GREEK STREET is up to issue #4. Its second issue sold more units than SWEET TOOTH #2.”

    Barely (600 units). Greek Street had a higher percentage drop from issue one to two than Sweet Tooth. It’s only 2%, but it was 2,000 copies. We’ll see how they match up when #3 comes out.

  75. Philip says:

    Wow, I read some really unpopular books.

    I’ve always been more of a DC fan and I find these numbers troubling. Despite some successes, there seems to be a rather precipitous drop in sales overall. If the numbers keep falling like this, how can that be anything but bad?

  76. This is going to sound crazy, but perhaps the publishers should clean the slate? Why not try publishing ONE Superman comic and ONE Batman comic for a few months — or even a year — and then gradually start launching titles again? Perhaps the average comic consumer has reached a point of overload with many of these characters.

  77. Callum says:

    “It seems 2009 will enter comic-book history as the year when sequential numbering finally went out of style.”
    Haha and I’m glad your cat’s not really sick, Marc-Oliver.

    The Detective Comics numbers seem pretty good for now, especially with that $3.99 price tag, but I wonder how well it’ll do once Williams III leaves as artist. Uknown Soldier had a new artist from the Congo region come on board for 2 issues with #13. It got my attention but nobody elses apparently.

    I was kinda surprised to read this comment posted

    “Michael Says:

    Justice League of America is a funny case; while issue 38 was nominally the first issue for the new creative team, it was in all other respects a filler issue…Robinson’s made it clear that the meat of the run doesn’t really begin until January.”

    What a way to treat your company’s numero uno team book.

  78. comicsatemybrain says:

    rich:

    “This is going to sound crazy, but perhaps the publishers should clean the slate? Why not try publishing ONE Superman comic and ONE Batman comic for a few months — or even a year — and then gradually start launching titles again? Perhaps the average comic consumer has reached a point of overload with many of these characters.”

    Arguably, Marvel is already trying this with Amazing Spider-Man. (And please note that I’m referring to the business/publishing model here, not necessarily the plot device that ushered that in.) There are still spin-off mini-series and satellite “family books” and what not, but there aren’t three or four different monthly core books anymore for that character.

    And as a publishing model, it doesn’t appear to be an utter failure (I repeat, I’m *not* referring to the story content) so there’s definitely a reasonable rationale there for DC to consider your suggestion.

  79. I think Batman could definitely support a model like that… and a twice-weekly Superman book, with an ancillary Supergirl book (with an occassional crossover) could work too.

  80. Brendan T says:

    jimmy palmiotti Says:

    12/3/09 at 1:57 pm
    Powergirl and Jonah Hex. out monthly. enjoy.

    figured while all you guys were posting, i throw a commercial break in there.

    ;]

    And Power Girl is one of the best written and drawn superhero books out, while the new Jonah Hex absolutely blew me away with how good it was.

    Just saying.

  81. please please get someone else to do this
    the “attitude” is too much

  82. Irwin Schwab says:

    It’s funny how accurately describing DC’s sales is considered bashing the company. I guess that reflects the caliber of fans the company’s left with after all these years of trashing their own characters.

  83. Alan Coil says:

    “…that reflects the caliber of fans…”

    Or does it reflect a reaction based on fear? Reflexive and defensive?

  84. Synsidar says:

    the “attitude” is too much

    Given the sales figures for some series, the WildStorm series in particular, it’s hard to see how someone else could approach them differently. The whole universe has failed to entertain. With other characters, such as Green Arrow and Black Canary, DC is trying to do series with characters that are just too simplistic to carry series. Marvel’s historically had a different attitude, which is why, for example, they didn’t do series starring the Vision, Hawkeye, or Songbird. The company should deal with its own identity crisis in creating and marketing characters.

    SRS

  85. “It’s hard to see how someone else could approach them differently. The whole universe has failed to entertain. ”

    This is kind of the issue, though. The analysis provided is too biased. It’s one thing for someone in the comments section to say “the whole universe has failed to entertain” as that it is a subjective opinion. It doesn’t really belong in sales analysis. Nobody is saying that it needs to be rosey, and certainly sales for comics in general is a great deal less than rosey these days, but this column has been including too much subjective opinion and far, far too much useless snark (“Tell DC there’s a bridge I can sell them”) that just doesn’t seem to be appropriate for a sales column. But Marc has made it clear that he’s not going to change and that he sees nothing wrong with including things like this is a sales analysis column. Which just means I’ll just go elsewhere for this information in the future.

  86. I think DC’s biggest problem is mediocre art in the hero books. For every Ivan Reis, there’s 6 really weak Brazilian artists who shouldn’t be working at DC. There’s also a few pencilers like Pete Woods, Jim califiore and Freddie Williams who should stay away from the computer inking and get real inkers to soften their harsh styles. The Superman and Titans books are the worst looking right now, outside of the Gary Franks miniseries. DC should move some of their better artists like Franks and Lopresti to bigger titles, cancel the lesser foreign artists contracts, and recruit some artists from Marvel and IDW or even some old pros to take on the second tier books. Superman should always have DC’s best artists, not the weak gruel we’ve been getting!

  87. “This is kind of the issue, though. The analysis provided is too biased. It’s one thing for someone in the comments section to say “the whole universe has failed to entertain” as that it is a subjective opinion.”

    Not in a SALES ANALYSIS, of which DC’s multiple failures of entire product lines are the entire point of the piece. If you’re looking for apologia for ‘critical hits’ that don’t sell, then go elsewhere. And if you’re looking for fawning sentimentality, then head back over to Newsarama, where ‘fans’ like you belong.

  88. Let’s keep it civil, okay?

    I think it’s kind of nice that we managed 80+ posts, some of which are very passionate and critical, without personal attacks.

    No need to start now.

  89. My issue isn’t that Marc isn’t fawning or sentimental; DC does have issues with many of its product lines (as does Marvel). My issue is more with his tone, which is overly snarky.
    Compare:
    “The two ongoing Superman books have reached their lowest numbers in almost six years, with no trend reversal in sight. On the contrary: The drops keep growing. World of New Krypton remains slightly ahead of the bunch, but its numbers aren’t stellar, either. Plainly, the current direction isn’t working for the franchise. And what’s worse, the crossover with Action Comics seems to be actively hurting the lower-selling Supergirl.”

    -which doesn’t sugarcoat or sentimentalize anything, with:

    “It looks like sales have bottomed out. As I’m reading the solicitation copy for the February issue, I calculate a 4.3% chance of R.E.B.E.L.S. being around past issue #14.”

    The first is something more akin to what I expect in a sales analysis column, the second, not so much.

  90. brandon says:

    I’m not even sure the great “BND 60k ” debate over in the Marvel column ever reached 90+ posts. Paul’s going to feel lonely.

  91. Irwin Schwab says:

    RJT, what’s wrong with the second example of commentary?

  92. What’s wrong with the second example is that unless Marc actually sat down and did the statistics for REBELS sales and found that there is actually a 4.3% chance of the book’s survival to issue 14, it just comes across as the same snarky bullshit that exists all across the internet, especially on various comic book forums. Saying “With sales like this, it doesn’t look like REBELS has much longer before being canceled” says basically the same thing–but without the snark. I don’t know. I guess maybe there’s a market to read somebody make snide and frankly unfunny comments about DC comics or Marvel sales figures. But it just isn’t something that I want to read. The internet is full of people who make sarcastic comments about comics and who do a much better job of it. It just doesn’t seem to fit here in a sales column, especially since it seems to be something that has appeared more frequently in the past few months. Which brings me back to my first post, which is that it seems that Marc not only doesn’t like DC comics (which isn’t a prerequisite for writing a column about their sales figures) he doesn’t like writing about DC comics, which I think would be a prerequisite for writing a column about their sales figures. Maybe Marc and Paul should switch columns for a month or so and see how that shakes out.

  93. Alan Coil says:

    I think there is a 3.4% chance of REBELS being cancelled.

  94. Charles Knight says:

    “unless Marc actually sat down and did the statistics for REBELS sales and found that there is actually a 4.3% chance of the book’s survival to issue 14″

    It’s a reference to the Rebels solicit

  95. “Maybe Marc and Paul should switch columns for a month or so and see how that shakes out.”

    All that would prove is that I don’t read very many DCU titles.

  96. “It’s a reference to the Rebels solicit ”

    I hadn’t actually read the solicit, so now the comment doesn’t seem as snarky as it once did. It’s still pretty unfunny, and still something I don’t really need to see in a sales analysis column.

  97. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    “If you could offer any examples of where you think I’m actually wrong, that’d be helpful.”

    I know I’m late to the discussion, but since the guy this was directed at didn’t answer, I just can’t resist the challenge, so here goes:

    “On the other hand, it’s Power Girl, a character whose sole distinguishing features are enormous and in front of her. For a property based on the premise that the comics market is desperate for incredibly big breasts, these are still good numbers, I suppose.”

    This is not just incredibly insulting towards the book’s creators (one of whom just happens to be a regular poster in these threads) and readers, but also utter nonsense. While it’s true that those “features” you mention are often emphasized when the character is promoted (mostly on the variant covers, I think) the actual contents of the book are nothing like that, and the great art by Amanda Conner definitely isn’t exploitative.

    “J. Michael Straczynski’s arrival at DC is a disaster. If anyone at the publisher did not see it coming, please get in touch. There’s a beautiful bridge for sale in my neighborhood.”

    More insulting nonsense. How is JMS’ arrival a disaster? Because his arrival on a low-selling book only led to a modest increase? Does that mean “The Twelve” was a sales disaster as well? Are you implying that every book by a name writer should be expected to be a sales hit? So are Bendis’ Powers and Brubaker’s Criminal disasters as well? If DC wanted JMS to create a sales hit, they would have put him on a Superman or Batman book and slapped a number one on it (which might still be coming, if rumours are correct). For now, JMS is writing the book he wanted to write, and I am sure nobody involved expected a big sales hit.

    These are just two examples where instead of sales analysis, your comments offer mean-spirited attacks on books or creators, and both are based on assumptions that are plainly wrong or at least unreasonable.

    To end on a positive note, I appreciated the fact that you again included collection sales in your analysis of Vertigo books.

  98. Synsidar says:

    “On the other hand, it’s Power Girl, a character whose sole distinguishing features are enormous and in front of her. For a property based on the premise that the comics market is desperate for incredibly big breasts, these are still good numbers, I suppose.”

    This is not just incredibly insulting towards the book’s creators (one of whom just happens to be a regular poster in these threads) and readers, but also utter nonsense. While it’s true that those “features” you mention are often emphasized when the character is promoted (mostly on the variant covers, I think) the actual contents of the book are nothing like that, and the great art by Amanda Conner definitely isn’t exploitative.

    You’re denying the obvious with respect to Power Girl’s breasts. The costume is designed to focus attention on them. As various reviews of POWER GIRL have mentioned, issues have had characters comment on her breasts. What other superhero series has that happened in?

    For some strange reason, there are hardly any superhero comics which have costumes designed to focus attention on male genitalia, or have characters commenting on the subject. Could that be because men are writing for males?

    SRS

  99. “All that would prove is that I don’t read very many DCU titles.”

    Well, neither do I! All seriousness aside, though, I agree it probably wouldn’t prove a great deal. If you’re honestly convinced that I have it in for DC, a Marvel column won’t convince you of the contrary — even if it turned out equally fiendish, who knows, maybe I’m faking it, right?

    Not to mention, it’d be a pest trying to keep track of Marvel’s variant-cover editions and ratios. At least DC announces most of them in their solicitations.

  100. “If you’re honestly convinced that I have it in for DC, a Marvel column won’t convince you of the contrary — even if it turned out equally fiendish, who knows, maybe I’m faking it, right?”

    My suggestion was more along the lines that it seems that writing about DC month after month has burnt you out. Almost all comics see a month-to-month decrease, so writing about the same books with the same decreases each month seems, to me at least, to have made you a little snippy. Maybe looking at new titles with different sales figures would be more interesting.
    I don’t really think you “have it in for DC” so much as having to write each month about the decline in sales numbers for Power Girl or whatever has taken its toll on you.

  101. Alan Coil says:

    Marc-Oliver —

    Perhaps next month you could just publish the numbers with NO comments…just to make RJT’s day. Cold, hard, boring numbers.

    Or maybe RJT could just read the numbers and ignore your comments.

  102. brandon says:

    Brubaker’s Criminal is creator owned and both he and Bendis have been writing top tier titles throughout their Marvel run.

    JMS showing up at DC and being given a bottom feeder with little ramp-up or promotion as his first assignment is simply not the same thing.

    Is it a disaster? I guess it could be worse. They could have hired him and have him create limited output like the Kubert brothers.

  103. “JMS showing up at DC and being given a bottom feeder with little ramp-up or promotion as his first assignment is simply not the same thing.”

    To be fair, judging from the announcements on the forthcoming Earth One line, it seems that DC did have something more prominent in mind for Straczynski — presumably, he’s been working on the first book for a while. It IS the kind of major project you’d expect, after all; it’s just not something that’s aimed at the direct market in particular.

    The material released in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD still could have been promoted a lot more effectively, of course.

  104. Bill Peisert says:

    Leaving all the arguing behind; one thing the sales figures for R.E.B.E.L.S. say to me is that the audience, now that is seems to have leveled off, is very loyal. I think it’s quite amazing that while the last regular issue sold 11,284 copies, the annual costing twice as much pulled in 10,773 copies.

    Also, planning for these books is not an overnight process. The annual was most likely included in plans for the series from the beginning not just thrown into the process as MOF migh have you believe.

  105. “one thing the sales figures for R.E.B.E.L.S. say to me is that the audience, now that is seems to have leveled off, is very loyal.”

    That’s true, certainly. But we know from history that a loyal audience of 10,000 readers is not enough to keep a DC Universe title afloat for long.

    Presumably, it’s going to be decisive whether or not R.E.B.E.L.S. can hold on to some of the additional readers jumping on board for the two “Blackest Night” tie-in issues; it’s not impossible, but it rarely happens.

  106. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Synsidar: “You’re denying the obvious with respect to Power Girl’s breasts.”

    Dude, I’m not denying anything. Did you even read my post? Obviously I’m aware that her costume is showing off her body, as do most costumes male or female superheroes wear. In her case, it’s a bit more in your face, and sometimes that’s even commented on in her book. Doesn’t change the fact that it’s nonsense to say that that is all her book is about. I’m sure we all saw plenty of bad 90s Image comics that actually were all about the titillation. This book is nothing like that, and Amanda Conner’s art looks nothing like that.

    brandon: “JMS showing up at DC and being given a bottom feeder with little ramp-up or promotion as his first assignment is simply not the same thing.”

    Wow, whatever happened to the idea that one should actually read a statement before commenting on it? I was rejecting the idea that every book by a name writer that isn’t a sales hit is a disaster, and the examples I gave were meant to show how absurd that idea is. Plus, it may surprise you to learn that JMS wasn’t ‘given’ the book you are insulting, but rather chose it himself because he wanted to tell the stories that fit into this book. He has said how much he enjoys writing it, and from what I’ve seen, it has been quite well-received by critics. I am well aware this is a discussion about sales, but when making blanket statements like calling a book a ‘disaster’ or a ‘bottom-feeder’, don’t you think that minor aspects like creative freedom or reading enjoyment are relevant as well?

  107. brandon says:

    Heinz –

    I was reacting to the following quote:

    “Are you implying that every book by a name writer should be expected to be a sales hit? So are Bendis’ Powers and Brubaker’s Criminal disasters as well?”

    I didnt make the connection you were trying to tie JMS’ arrival at DC to these writers who’ve been with Marvel working on core titles for years. It’s apples and oranges.

    Arrival is the key word in this discussion.

    You have to agree that regardless of what JMS wants to write and/or work on, his *arrival* at DC had to have larger sales expectations seeing as how he left one of the hottest titles (Thor) to join DC in the first place. I’m not insulting Brave and the Bold but as a vehicle to launch the JMS era at DC….maybe someone at DC should have directed this another way.

    Johns, Morrison and JMS are a hell of a line up. Two of the three have lynch pin titles. The other one writes Brave and the Bold and its not even a re-launch. You can’t be defending this lost opportunity to create something special with an arrival of such an amazing talent like JMS, can you?

    No, I’m not insulting Brave and the Bold. I’m simply baffled at this whole situation.

  108. @Brandon: This morning’s announcement of Earth One should clear up any questions as to what DC has had in mind for JMS. Based on the AICN interview, it sounds like he’s been working on the script for quite a while, too.

  109. Fun Gnome says:

    “For some strange reason, there are hardly any superhero comics which have costumes designed to focus attention on male genitalia, or have characters commenting on the subject.”

    The Freshmen comes to mind.

    This fixation on Power Girl isn’t healthy, Mr. Stahl.

  110. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    brandon: Well, ‘baffled’ is understandable. It is a little strange that JMS started on rather low-key projects at DC, but as we see now this was just a question of scheduling. My main point was that JMS has stated in interviews that ‘Brave and the Bold’ is something he is personally interested in writing, and sales potential just wasn’t that relevant in this decision. In that way it is comparable to ‘The Twelve’ or (to a lesser degree) to those other books I mentioned. I just think it’s wrong to call a book a disaster because of modest sales, when it’s obvious the book isn’t there to be sales hit, but rather because of the creator’s predilections. Maybe ‘bottom-feeder’ isn’t as insulting as I thought, so I’m sorry if I overreacted.

    Fun Gnome: I haven’t seen that Freshmen book, but I just remembered a Miracleman cover by Barry Windsor-Smith (during the Gaiman run) that was unusually … anatomically correct. I also remember the outraged letters a few issues later. Actually, to be honest, I’m also rather thankful superheroes generally don’t wear pants that form-fitting.

  111. Synsidar says:

    This fixation on Power Girl isn’t healthy, Mr. Stahl.

    Actually responding to an argument that Power Girl is anything more than a generic heroine whose only distinguishing feature is her bust is appropriate. It’s commenting solely for the purpose of contradicting someone else that’s strange. The phrase “Get a life” comes to mind.

    SRS

  112. Fun Gnome says:

    “The phrase “Get a life” comes to mind.”

    oddly enough that same phrase comes to my mind every time I see another post from you in regard to Power Girl.

  113. Alan Coil says:

    The Unfun Gnome Strikes Back.

  114. Evan –

    I’ve read what they’re doing, and I just don’t really like it. ;)

  115. Callum says:

    I’m really surprised how piss-poor (to hyphen or not to hyphen..) of a job DC did with capitalizing on JMS and his initial projects. It’s nice to see him working on Brave and Bold type books but you’d think at the same time they’d want to use him right out the gate for something bigger to capitalize on interest of his arrival. As it is he’s doing work on average Red Circle books which have caused me to lose interest in following what other works he is/will be doing for the company. I wish he would go back and finish The Twelve (and it’s not like Marvel had him writing that series the moment he arrived at their company).
    And I don’t understand this debate about Power Girl. She IS a paper-thin character with cartoonishly large boobs in the same vein as a lot of the ’90s Image characters. Personally that was one of the reasons I stopped buying comics back then but just because that’s what her basic premise is doesn’t mean a writer (and artist) can’t do something to make the character interesting and/or fun to read. So both sides are right! Congratulations and mazel-tov!

    DC’s done a good job with the Green Lantern and Batman books lately and it seems like they’re trying to revitalized the Vertigo imprint, but Marvel is just a lot more competent about building and bringing back characters and creating interest in their series. And somebody earlier posted about the DC artists not being very good for the most part and I second that. I don’t know if it’s a question of budget but Marvel’s worst artists are usually better than than 70% of the artists in DC’s stable, though that’s not to say that DC doesn’t have some really great artist/storytellers. But the further out you get from the popular superhero books, the more noticeable it is.

  116. Samy Merchi says:

    Personally I don’t see that Marc is out of line at all. Sure, his tone isn’t that of a cheerleader but I think that’s appropriate in this situation. DC does make some boneheaded moves (and I say that as a person for whom DC is currently favorite company) and I don’t mind them getting called on them.

    At the end of the day, as long as the objective facts are right, the subjective opinions a writer chooses to put in are their own damn choice and business. A person who’s naturally snarky shouldn’t be forced to act like a cheerleader anymore than a person who’s naturally perky should be forced to doomsay. If you can’t handle Marc’s natural tone, you know where the door is.

  117. Shawn Hill says:

    I’m not a fan of Mark’s Power Girl remarks, either. Her boobs distract everyone from anything else about her, but she’s long been the sole interesting member of the Superman Family, brash and attention getting (and brave and heroic and impulsive) since her debut. She was a breath of fresh air then, and when written well, she’s the sole non-stuffy Kryptonian I can think of. Wally Wood’s joke all those years ago was a good one, but those of us who love the character know her attributes are only a part of the whole package.

    And the book is fun to read, making it something of an anomaly at DC these days.

  118. What’s wrong with snark? This is THE INTERNET after all.

  119. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Nothing wrong with snark. In fact, I’ve often gotten a good chuckle from Marc’s snarky remarks. However, many comments this month didn’t seem like snark to me, but rather like mean-spirited attacks on books and creators (I quoted the two worst examples above, a post Marc didn’t respond to, even though he asked for examples). Now, if Marc posted an essay titled ‘Why all DC comics suck and why all their creators are hacks’ noone could complain if opinions like those above were contained in it. But in a sales chart analysis, which many people want to read because they’re interested in the insight it provides, it’s understandable that people who actually like DC comics are irritated to find such attacks.

  120. I enjoy this column (the straight #s analysis and Marc’s commentary) VERY much and have for years now. I encourage you Marc to keep doing what your doing.

    That said, the current state of the industry (and what I feel is the cause of a lot of Marc’s comments that people are reacting negatively to) REALLY bums me out. Between the variants and the flooding of the market by the big 2 (THREE ongoing Deadpool books???), it is like some kind of crazy arms race that, I feel, is exploiting fans and putting retailers and the long term health of the industry in a really bad position. It is like NOTHING has been learned from the mistakes of the 90s.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] December 3rd, 2009Author J. Caleb Mozzocco Wow, has another month come and gone in the exciting world of superhero comics already? I guess it must have, since Paul O’Brien and Marc-Oliver Frisch posted their monthly analysis of Marvel Comics and DC Comics sales figures, based on ICv2.com’s numbers, at Publisher Weekly’s blog The Beat. [...]

  2. [...] Marc-Oliver Frisch presents his month-to-month comparisons for publisher sales to Direct Market retailers, now updated for October. J. Caleb Mozzocco offers a bit of commentary on the numbers. [...]

  3. [...] Wow, these sales figures for DC are depressing. # [...]

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