DC Month to Month Sales: August 2007

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by Marc-Oliver Frisch

DC Comics’ average numbers slightly recovered in August, thanks to continued strong sales of the “Sinestro Corps War” crossover storyline, solid first-issue numbers of various 52 spin-off titles including the ongoing Booster Gold series by writer Geoff Johns and artist Dan Jurgens, and a sudden, mysterious sales increase for Countdown – or so Diamond would like us to believe, at least. August also saw the final issue of writer Brad Meltzer’s Justice League of America, the debut of the first proper Countdown spin-off title and the latest Flash relaunch.

For the average sales of the publisher’s Vertigo and WildStorm imprints, respectively, August 2007 represented a new historical low, meanwhile – and it’s the third consecutive month you can say that about WildStorm, actually. The number of solicited titles failing to ship went up from none in July to four in August, with All Star Superman, Superman Confidential, Trials of SHAZAM! and Vertigo’s Testament not showing up in stores. To be fair, DC have made a lot of progress lately in that area, but obviously there’s still room for improvement, particularly with the publisher’s line of Superman books.

On an altogether different note, much has been said on the accuracy and usefulness of the Diamond charts, the resulting sales estimates and their analysis of late. Responding to some of the points made goes beyond the scope of this column, so I’ve done it here instead, for anyone who’s interested.

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.

—–

2 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
08/2001: JLA #57            --  69,451*
08/2002: JLA #69            --  62,577* 
08/2003: JLA #84            --  59,130
08/2003: JLA #85            --  58,380
08/2004: JLA #103           --  61,719
08/2004: JLA #104           --  60,750
08/2005: JLA #117           --  87,995 [ 89,163]
--------------------------------------
08/2006: Justice League #1  -- 212,581 (+ 30.9%) [251,266]
09/2006: Justice League #2  -- 143,412 (- 32.5%) [158,480]
10/2006: --
11/2006: Justice League #3  -- 140,939 (-  1.7%) [143,310]
12/2006: Justice League #4  -- 136,709 (-  3.0%) [139,123]
12/2006: Justice League #5  -- 132,460 (-  3.1%) [133,924]
01/2007: --
02/2007: --
03/2007: Justice League #6  -- 130,099 (-  1.8%) [131,754]
04/2007: Justice League #7  -- 154,984 (+ 19.1%)
04/2007: Justice League #8  -- 130,365 (- 15.9%)
05/2007: Justice League #9  -- 129,285 (-  0.8%)
06/2007: Justice League #10 -- 129,265 (-  0.0%)
07/2007: Justice League #11 -- 122,823 (-  5.0%)
08/2007: Justice League #12 -- 131,420 (+  7.0%)
-----------------
6 months:   n.a.
1 year  : - 38.2%
2 years : + 76.7%

The conclusion of writer Brad Meltzer’s run gets a nice little sales increase. It’s probably gimmick-driven for the most part, though, because there were three different cover editions of the issue, instead of the usual two; in addition to the usual 1-for-10 one, there was also a 50/50 variant cover edition this time around.

As someone correctly pointed out last month, by the way, that’s indeed “1-for-10,” and not “1-in-10.” After all, the point is that retailers have to order ten units of the regular edition to get one copy of the limited edition from DC. I think I’ve been wrongly referring to them as “1-in-10″ editions for months now, and you have my apologies for that.



—–

11/13/16/17/18 - COUNTDOWN

05/2007: Countdown #51 -- 91,083

05/2007: Countdown #50 -- 83,752 (- 8.1%) [85,564]

05/2007: Countdown #49 -- 81,484 (- 2.7%) [83,188]

05/2007: Countdown #48 -- 79,810 (- 2.1%) [81,828]

06/2007: Countdown #47 -- 77,504 (- 2.9%)

06/2007: Countdown #46 -- 76,362 (- 1.5%)

06/2007: Countdown #45 -- 74,918 (- 1.9%)

06/2007: Countdown #44 -- 73,971 (- 1.3%)

07/2007: Countdown #43 -- 73,912 (- 0.1%)

07/2007: Countdown #42 -- 73,116 (- 1.1%)

07/2007: Countdown #41 -- 72,621 (- 0.7%)

07/2007: Countdown #40 -- 72,102 (- 0.7%)

08/2007: Countdown #39 -- 88,021 (+22.1%)

08/2007: Countdown #38 -- 87,260 (- 0.9%)

08/2007: Countdown #37 -- 86,405 (- 1.0%)

08/2007: Countdown #36 -- 85,536 (- 1.0%)

08/2007: Countdown #35 -- 84,350 (- 1.4%)

Why, a sudden 20% sales increase for no apparent reason with the 13th issue. Quite surprising, isn’t it?

Well, not entirely. In fact, the same thing happened with 52 a year ago. Back then, I suspected the increase was due to retailers reacting to high demand. Even then, though, something didn’t seem right, because there was no significant reorder activity for previous issues.

Since then, I’ve been told that the supposed sales boost for 52 Week 13 was nothing more than a statistical correction on Diamond’s part. It works like this: Because DC made the first three months (Week 1-12) worth of That’s not rhetoric, by the way: I’m genuinely curious what’s going 52 returnable under certain conditions, Diamond knocked a token 20% off of the sales of each of those issues for their charts. Once the book stopped being returnable with Week 13, Diamond naturally stopped compensating for the returnability, and consequently the charts displayed a miraculous 20% increase.

I suspect the same is happening with Countdown now. For the record, I’ve not been able to find a public announcement on the returnability of Countdown past issue #44, but it seems to be the most likely scenario to me. If you’ve got inside knowledge on the matter and can confirm or deny its accuracy, though, feel free to chime in.

If the theory were indeed correct, that would be quite bizarre, of course. Why 20%, exactly? Did Diamond have any empirical data before setting the figure? Did they use a dartboard? Does this practice pertain to 52 and Countdown only? Or are they applying it to any books which were always meant to be returnable (which would include All Flash #1, Flash #231 and The Highwaymen #1)? And what about books which end up being returnable due to last-minute content changes or delays?

Again, if anybody reading this has any more insight into the process, I’d appreciate it. From over here, it looks like a rather arbitrary statistical stunt, at any rate, and it’s puzzling why neither Diamond nor DC nor any of thge other usual suspects are apparently going through such great lengths to keep mum about it.

—–

12 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA

08/2001: JSA #27             --  41,077*

08/2002: JSA #39             --  43,024*

08/2003: JSA #51             --  43,387

08/2004: JSA #64             --  41,312

08/2005: JSA #76             --  51,928

---------------------------------------

12/2006: Justice Society #1  -- 102,990 (+107.7%) [108,140]

01/2007: Justice Society #2  --  86,180 (- 16.3%) [ 92,459]

02/2007: Justice Society #3  --  84,356 (-  2.1%) [ 86,014]

03/2007: Justice Society #4  --  84,449 (+  0.1%) [ 86,475]

04/2007: Justice Society #5  --  98,069 (+ 16.1%) [102,275]

05/2007: Justice Society #6  --  96,900 (-  1.2%) [ 99,784]

06/2007: --

07/2007: Justice Society #7  --  88,883 (-  8.3%)

08/2007: Justice Society #8  --  87,606 (-  1.4%)

-----------------

6 months: +  3.9%

1 year  :   n.a.

2 years : + 68.7%

Sales remain remarkably high on this book. (As usual, there was a 1-for-10 variant cover edition.)

—–

20/23 - BATMAN

08/2001: Batman #594 --  43,266*

08/2002: Batman #606 --  44,218*

08/2003: Batman #618 -- 147,126 [152,526]

08/2004: Batman #631 --  72,287 [ 74,830]

08/2005: Batman #643 --  66,396

08/2005: Batman #644 --  65,128

-------------------------------

08/2006: Batman #656 --  95,982 (-15.5%) [ 99,024]

09/2006: Batman #657 --  91,357 (- 4.8%) [ 96,127]

10/2006: --

11/2006: Batman #658 --  94,349 (+ 3.3%)

11/2006: Batman #659 --  90,651 (- 3.9%)

12/2006: Batman #660 --  76,967 (-15.1%)

12/2006: Batman #661 --  75,512 (- 1.9%)

01/2007: Batman #662 --  72,499 (- 4.0%)

02/2007: Batman #663 --  83,167 (+14.7%)

03/2007: Batman #664 --  80,497 (- 3.2%) [ 82,107]

04/2007: --

05/2007: Batman #665 --  80,122 (- 0.5%)

06/2007: --

07/2007: Batman #666 --  83,781 (+ 4.6%)

08/2007: Batman #667 --  78,578 (- 6.2%) [ 82,418]

08/2007: Batman #668 --  76,962 (- 2.1%)

----------------

6 months: - 6.5%

1 year  : -19.0% 

2 years : +18.3%

The book is getting back on schedule, but not unexpectedly, popular artist Andy Kubert’s departure after issue #666 seems to be hurting the numbers. Speaking of which, Batman #666 sold another 3,840 units in August, apparently for no other reason than because someone decided it’s the devil’s number.

—–

22 - GREEN LANTERN

08/2001: Green Lantern #141 --  33,246*

08/2002: Green Lantern #153 --  37,864*

08/2003: Green Lantern #167 --  36,254

08/2003: Green Lantern #168 --  34,016

08/2004: Green Lantern #180 --  36,425

08/2005: Green Lantern #3   -- 108,511

08/2005: Green Lantern #4   --  96,932 [99,525]

--------------------------------------

08/2006: --

09/2006: Green Lantern #13  --  78,101 (- 2.7%)

10/2006: --

11/2006: Green Lantern #14  --  72,894 (- 6.7%)

11/2006: Green Lantern #15  --  70,148 (- 3.8%)

12/2006: --

01/2007: Green Lantern #16  --  66,105 (- 5.8%)

02/2007: Green Lantern #17  --  62,018 (- 6.2%)

03/2007: Green Lantern #18  --  61,661 (- 0.6%)

04/2007: --

05/2007: Green Lantern #19  --  62,439 (+ 1.3%)

05/2007: Green Lantern #20  --  60,556 (- 3.0%)

06/2007: --

07/2007: Green Lantern #21  --  81,929 (+35.3%) [91,311]

08/2007: Green Lantern #22  --  77,916 (- 4.9%)

----------------

6 months: +25.6%

1 year  :   n.a.

2 years : -24.2%

The “Sinestro Corps War” crossover continues to be a big whopping success. July’s Green Lantern #21 sold another 9,382 units in August, while a third printing of June’s Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1 shifted another 13,838 copies, bringing the total count to 89,400.

—–

26 - FLASH

08/2001: Flash #177     --  26,760*

08/2002: Flash #189     --  29,591*

08/2003: Flash #201     --  35,207 [37,568]

08/2004: Flash #213     --  41,363

08/2005: Flash #225     --  50,242 [52,386]

----------------------------------

08/2006: Flash: FMA #3  --  70,633 (-  8.9%) [ 72,067]

09/2006: Flash: FMA #4  --  66,663 (-  5.6%)

10/2006: Flash: FMA #5  --  61,576 (-  7.6%)

11/2006: Flash: FMA #6  --  56,789 (-  7.8%)

12/2006: Flash: FMA #7  --  53,600 (-  5.6%)

01/2007: Flash: FMA #8  --  50,967 (-  4.9%)

02/2007: Flash: FMA #9  --  47,214 (-  7.4%)

03/2007: Flash: FMA #10 --  46,133 (-  2.3%)

04/2007: Flash: FMA #11 --  46,963 (+  1.8%)

05/2007: Flash: FMA #12 --  47,809 (+  1.8%)

06/2007: Flash: FMA #13 --  76,860 (+ 60.8%) [ 82,767]

07/2007: All Flash #1   --  78,955 (+  2.7%)

08/2007: Flash #231     --  72,898 (-  7.7%)

----------------

6 months: +54.4%

1 year  : + 3.2%

2 years : +45.1%

The August issue was originally solicited as Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #15, before DC revealed that they’d intentionally misled people about the book’s title and creative team in order to generate attention. Also, as with the two previous issues (All Flash #1 was initially solicited as Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #14), there’s a 50/50 variant cover edition, and there was an incentive offering full returnability on all ordered copies to retailers, provided they ordered at least twice as many units as they had of Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #10. Which must have been doubly infuriating to retailers, I imagine, because as it turned out, the book ended up being returnable anyway, due to the incorrect solicitation copy.

That’s quite a lot of gimmicks, then. And while sales remain higher than they’ve been for most issues of The Fastest Man Alive, this is still the lowest-selling of the three revamp issues. Given that it’s the one which actually gets the book’s new direction off the ground, that has to be a bit of a disappointment. Be that as it may, in the next few months, we’re going to find out whether all the gimmicks and deception paid off, in terms of revitalizing interest in the title.

—–

28 - TEEN TITANS

08/2003: Teen Titans #2  -- 61,528 [75,499]

08/2004: Teen Titans #14 -- 63,894

08/2005: Teen Titans #27 -- 74,782 [75,996]

----------------------------------

08/2006: Teen Titans #38 -- 69,232 (- 2.9%)

09/2006: Teen Titans #39 -- 65,969 (- 4.7%)

10/2006: --

11/2006: Teen Titans #40 -- 64,176 (- 2.7%)

11/2006: Teen Titans #41 -- 61,714 (- 3.8%)

12/2006: Teen Titans #42 -- 60,165 (- 2.5%)

01/2007: Teen Titans #43 -- 60,290 (+ 0.2%) [62,560]

02/2007: --

03/2007: Teen Titans #44 -- 61,572 (+ 2.1%)

04/2007: Teen Titans #45 -- 61,051 (- 0.9%)

05/2007: Teen Titans #46 -- 61,478 (+ 0.7%)

05/2007: Teen Titans #47 -- 63,673 (+ 3.6%)

06/2007: Teen Titans #48 -- 60,786 (- 4.5%)

07/2007: Teen Titans #49 -- 59,258 (- 2.5%)

08/2007: Teen Titans #50 -- 69,620 (+17.5%)

----------------

6 months:   n.a.

1 year  : + 0.6%

2 years : - 6.9%

The anniversary number, a 1-for-10 variant cover edition and perhaps the debut of a new creative team result in an extra 10,000 units sold in August.

—–

32 - BATMAN ANNUAL

08/2007: Batman Annual #26  -- 60,677

This isn’t a bad number at all, but I imagine they could have sold more copies if they’d bothered to mention that the book is a lead-in to the upcoming “Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul” crossover.

—–

33 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN

08/2003: Superman/Batman #1  -- 134,135 [159,018]

08/2004: --

08/2005: --

---------------------------------------

08/2006: Superman/Batman #29 --  90,665 (- 2.1%)

09/2006: --

10/2006: --

11/2006: Superman/Batman #30 --  84,008 (- 7.3%)

12/2006: Superman/Batman #31 --  81,716 (- 2.7%)

01/2007: --

02/2007: --

03/2007: Superman/Batman #32 --  77,905 (- 4.7%)

04/2007: Superman/Batman #33 --  74,807 (- 4.0%)

04/2007: Superman/Batman #34 --  71,278 (- 4.7%)

05/2007: Superman/Batman #35 --  68,160 (- 4.4%)

06/2007: Superman/Batman #36 --  65,866 (- 3.4%)

06/2007: Superman/Batman #37 --  72,635 (+10.3%)

07/2007: Superman/Batman #38 --  67,695 (- 6.8%)

08/2007: Superman/Batman #39 --  59,622 (-11.9%)

----------------

6 months:   n.a.

1 year  : -34.2%

2 years :   n.a.

The lord giveth, and the lord taketh away. Unlike the last two issues, this one didn’t come with any variant cover editions, leaving sales in a stiff decline again.

—–

36/50/56 - ACTION COMICS

08/2001: Action Comics #782 -- 43,603* 

08/2002: Action Comics #794 -- 32,651*

08/2003: Action Comics #806 -- 30,852

08/2004: Action Comics #818 -- 43,257

08/2005: Action Comics #830 -- 48,469

-------------------------------------

08/2006: Action Comics #842 -- 57,964 (- 1.2%)

09/2006: Action Comics #843 -- 56,084 (- 3.2%)

10/2006: Action Comics #844 -- 78,869 (+40.6%) [88,290]

11/2006: Action Comics #845 -- 66,742 (-15.4%) [71,135]

12/2006: --

01/2007: --

02/2007: Action Comics #846 -- 64,554 (- 3.3%) [66,349]

03/2007: Action Comics #847 -- 64,679 (+ 0.2%)

04/2007: Action Comics #848 -- 62,216 (- 3.8%)

05/2007: Action Comics #849 -- 53,610 (-13.8%)

05/2007: Action Comics #850 -- 56,166 (+ 4.8%)

06/2007: --

07/2007: Action Comics #851 -- 76,500 (+36.2%)

07/2007: Action Comics #852 -- 50,294 (-34.3%)

08/2007: Action Comics #853 -- 49,694 (- 1.2%)

08/2007: Action Comics #854 -- 48,455 (- 2.5%)

08/2007: Action Comics #855 -- 55,536 (+14.6%)

----------------

6 months: -20.6%

1 year  : -11.6%

2 years : + 5.7%

Holding true to the rather erratic schedule of the past year, there were three issues of Action Comics in August – which brings the total count to 14 for the last twelve months, despite the three skip months.

Issues #853-854 finished the fill-in arc which was also a Countdown crossover, while issue #855 featured the return of the book’s regular writers with artist Eric Powell.

—–

38 - BOOSTER GOLD

08/2007: Booster Gold #1  -- 53,689

The first of a number of new series spun out of the successful 52 title. Given that the protagonist isn’t exactly a top-tier character, I’d say this is an impressive start.

—–

39 - SUPERMAN

08/2001: Superman #173 --  46,948*

08/2002: Superman #185 --  36,661*

08/2003: Superman #196 --  33,648

08/2004: Superman #208 -- 129,256

08/2005: Superman #220 --  61,264

---------------------------------

08/2006: Superman #655 --  66,976 (- 3.7%)

09/2006: Superman #656 --  64,288 (- 4.0%)

10/2006: --

11/2006: Superman #657 --  62,327 (- 3.1%)

12/2006: --

01/2007: Superman #658 --  60,682 (- 2.6%)

02/2007: Superman #659 --  58,258 (- 4.0%)

03/2007: Superman #660 --  57,169 (- 1.9%)

04/2007: Superman #661 --  55,738 (- 2.5%)

05/2007: Superman #662 --  55,236 (- 0.9%)

06/2007: Superman #663 --  53,384 (- 3.4%)

07/2007: Superman #664 --  52,313 (- 2.0%)

07/2007: Superman #665 --  51,936 (- 0.7%)

08/2007: Superman #666 --  53,566 (+ 3.1%)

----------------

6 months: - 8.1%

1 year  : -20.0%

2 years : -12.6%

An increased page count and cover price, art by Walter Simonson and the number 666 manage what neither the regular creative team nor a Countdown crossover could and bring about a sales increase.

The book’s schedule was run over by a truck again, meanwhile. Instead of finishing the 10-issue “Camelot Falls” arc by the supposedly regular creative team of writer Kurt Busiek and artist Carlos Pacheco with October’s issue #668, as initially solicited, Superman is now going to follow in the footsteps of the still unfinished first arcs of last year’s high-profile Wonder Woman and Action Comics makeovers: As it turns out, the final chapter of “Camelot Falls” has now been shunted aside into November’s Superman Annual #13. Which means issue #668 will include the story originally solicited for issue #669, issue #669 will include the story originally solicited for issue #670, and issue #670 will include what was originally solicited to be the lead story of Superman Annual #13.

And Superman proper isn’t the only Superman title with scheduling troubles. All Star Superman #9, originally solicited for August, has now been quietly pushed back to November. If you believe that issue #10 will be out in December, as DC’s website is still claiming right now, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Now, granted, the book is drawn by Frank Quitely, and it was never meant to come out monthly. But the fact that they’re apparently still soliciting issues of this title based on good faith rather than after having the finished artwork in the drawer is plainly baffling. That’s not rhetoric, by the way: I’m genuinely curious what’s going on here.

Then there’s Superman Confidential. The ending of the book’s initial six-issue arc by writer Darwyn Cooke and artist Tim Sale was originally meant to be out in July, at which point previous issues had already been substantially delayed. In early September, the other shoe dropped, and the story’s final chapter was taken off the schedule indefinitely, with the contents solicited for subsequent isues moving up by one issue each. That version lasted two weeks before another announcement was released. Now, it looks like the story originally slated to appear in Superman Confidential #9 and then moved up to issue #8 has been taken off the schedule as well, with subsequent stories once again moving up and taking its place. Issue #6 is currently solicited for September 26, it seems.

To say that this is ridiculous would be an understatement, at this point. Superman writer Busiek has aptly been calling it the “Great Superman Scheduling Disaster” on message boards, and it’s been going on for the better part of a year now. What on earth is going on there?

—–

44 - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD

02/2007: The Brave and the Bold #1  -- 92,091          [98,266]

03/2007: The Brave and the Bold #2  -- 64,357 (-30.1%) [67,143]

04/2007: The Brave and the Bold #3  -- 59,211 (- 8.0%)

05/2007: --

06/2007: The Brave and the Bold #4  -- 55,597 (- 6.1%)

07/2007: The Brave and the Bold #5  -- 54,047 (- 2.8%)

08/2007: The Brave and the Bold #6  -- 52,011 (- 3.8%)

----------------

6 months: -43.5%

Declining. This sales level is still okay for a random team-up book, but that six-month comparison really does look hideous.

—–

45 - BLACK ADAM: THE DARK AGE

08/2007: Black Adam: The Dark Age #1 of 6 -- 51,788

Another 52 spin-off with more than respectable sales.

—–

46 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS

08/2006: Green Lantern Corps #3  -- 51,485 (- 9.5%)

09/2006: Green Lantern Corps #4  -- 46,619 (- 9.5%)

10/2006: Green Lantern Corps #5  -- 43,546 (- 6.6%)

11/2006: Green Lantern Corps #6  -- 41,089 (- 5.6%)

12/2006: Green Lantern Corps #7  -- 38,737 (- 5.7%)

01/2007: Green Lantern Corps #8  -- 36,924 (- 4.7%)

02/2007: Green Lantern Corps #9  -- 34,897 (- 5.5%)

03/2007: Green Lantern Corps #10 -- 34,227 (- 1.9%)

04/2007: Green Lantern Corps #11 -- 33,506 (- 2.1%)

05/2007: Green Lantern Corps #12 -- 33,267 (- 0.7%)

06/2007: Green Lantern Corps #13 -- 32,792 (- 1.4%)

07/2007: Green Lantern Corps #14 -- 45,393 (+38.4%) [56,460]

08/2007: Green Lantern Corps #15 -- 51,572 (+13.2%)

----------------

6 months: +47.8%

1 year  : + 0.2%

On top of last month’s huge sales boost, the “Sinestro Corps War” story gets the book another significant increase. Issue #14 sold another spectacular 11,067 units in August, meanwhile.

This is the sort of thing you’re looking for when you commission a crossover…

—–

48 - WONDER WOMAN

08/2001: Wonder Woman #173 --  32,337*

08/2002: Wonder Woman #184 --  24,842*

08/2003: Wonder Woman #195 --  29,558 [31,522]

08/2004: Wonder Woman #207 --  27,187

08/2005: Wonder Woman #220 --  38,370 [51,212]

-------------------------------------

08/2006: Wonder Woman #2   --  84,618 (- 36.2%) [ 87,276]

09/2006: --

10/2006: --

11/2006: Wonder Woman #3   --  76,998 (-  9.0%)

12/2006: --

01/2007: --

02/2007: Wonder Woman #4   --  69,860 (-  9.3%)

03/2007: Wonder Woman #5   --  64,414 (-  7.8%)

03/2007: Wonder Woman #6   --  62,458 (-  3.0%)

04/2007: Wonder Woman #7   --  60,168 (-  3.7%)

04/2007: Wonder Woman #8   --  58,772 (-  2.3%)

05/2007: Wonder Woman #9   --  58,561 (-  0.4%)

06/2007: Wonder Woman #10  --  54,472 (-  7.0%)

07/2007: Wonder Woman #11  --  52,983 (-  2.7%)

08/2007: Wonder Woman #12  --  50,880 (-  4.0%)

-----------------

6 months: - 27.2%

1 year  : - 39.9%

2 years : + 32.6%

…while this clearly isn’t. The Amazons Attack tie-ins continue to make no difference to the book’s ongoing decline – at best, that is. New writer Gail Simone’s debut issue has been pushed back one month to issue #14, in the meantime.

—–

49 - DETECTIVE COMICS

08/2001: Detective Comics #761 -- 38,269*

08/2002: Detective Comics #773 -- 42,436*

08/2003: Detective Comics #785 -- 37,988

08/2004: Detective Comics #797 -- 50,695 [52,811]

08/2005: Detective Comics #809 -- 49,087

08/2005: Detective Comics #810 -- 48,270

----------------------------------------

08/2006: Detective Comics #822 -- 66,372 (- 1.5%)

09/2006: Detective Comics #823 -- 64,215 (- 3.3%)

10/2006: Detective Comics #824 -- 62,431 (- 2.8%)

11/2006: Detective Comics #825 -- 58,940 (- 5.6%)

12/2006: Detective Comics #826 -- 59,657 (+ 1.2%)

12/2006: Detective Comics #827 -- 55,031 (- 7.8%)

01/2007: --

02/2007: Detective Comics #828 -- 55,206 (+ 0.3%)

03/2007: Detective Comics #829 -- 52,943 (- 4.1%)

03/2007: Detective Comics #830 -- 52,395 (- 1.0%)

04/2007: Detective Comics #831 -- 56,284 (+ 7.4%)

05/2007: Detective Comics #832 -- 51,727 (- 8.1%)

06/2007: Detective Comics #833 -- 54,104 (+ 4.6%)

07/2007: Detective Comics #834 -- 53,461 (- 1.2%)

08/2007: Detective Comics #835 -- 50,479 (- 5.6%)

----------------

6 months: - 8.6% 

1 year  : -24.0%

2 years : + 3.7%

The start of another two-part fill-in promptly results in another steep sales drop.

—–

52 - 52 AFTERMATH: THE FOUR HORSEMEN

08/2007: The Four Horsemen #1 of 6 -- 48,932

The third 52 spin-off debuting around the 50K mark. Even though 52 has been over and done with for months, it’s still a vastly more effective brand than its successor Countdown has ever been.

This book was initially solicited as a “special one-shot issue,” by the way.

—–

59 - SUPERGIRL

08/2001: Supergirl #61 --  24,874*

08/2002: Supergirl #73 --  18,925*

08/2005: Supergirl #1  -- 123,370 [165,579]

---------------------------------

08/2006: Supergirl #9  --  74,252 (- 3.5%)

09/2006: Supergirl #10 --  67,358 (- 9.3%)

10/2006: --

11/2006: Supergirl #11 --  62,544 (- 7.2%)

12/2006: Supergirl #12 --  59,819 (- 4.4%)

12/2006: Supergirl #13 --  56,648 (- 5.3%)

01/2007: --

02/2007: Supergirl #14 --  52,977 (- 6.5%)

03/2007: Supergirl #15 --  51,083 (- 3.6%)

04/2007: Supergirl #16 --  51,641 (+ 1.1%)

05/2007: Supergirl #17 --  50,429 (- 2.4%)

06/2007: Supergirl #18 --  50,279 (- 0.3%)

07/2007: Supergirl #19 --  48,576 (- 3.4%)

08/2007: Supergirl #20 --  46,862 (- 3.5%)

----------------

6 months: -11.5%

1 year  : -36.9%

2 years : -62.0%

An interim creative team takes over with an Amazons Attack tie-in. Nobody cares, if the numbers are any indication.

—–

63 - COUNTDOWN TO ADVENTURE

08/2007: Countdown to Adventure #1 of 8 -- 42,883

Sales of the first Countdown spin-off title are less than impressive.

—–

69/71 - AMAZONS ATTACK

04/2007: Amazons Attack #1 of 6 -- 55,445          [58,273]

05/2007: Amazons Attack #2 of 6 -- 47,552 (-14.2%) [49,224]

06/2007: Amazons Attack #3 of 6 -- 43,429 (- 8.7%)

07/2007: Amazons Attack #4 of 6 -- 41,991 (- 3.3%)

08/2007: Amazons Attack #5 of 6 -- 40,320 (- 4.0%)

08/2007: Amazons Attack #6 of 6 -- 39,635 (- 1.7%)

These are average limited series drops, actually. But given that Amazons Attack was touted as a big blockbuster event with multiple tie-ins by the publisher, though, these sales are a disaster. The book is outsold by Marvel’s World War Hulk: Gamma Files handbook, for pity’s sake.

—–

74/77/79/80/81 - OUTSIDERS: FIVE OF A KIND

08/2003: Outsiders #3  -- 45,079 [47,323]

08/2004: --

08/2005: Outsiders #27 -- 44,021

--------------------------------

08/2006: Outsiders #39 -- 40,524 (- 3.5%)

09/2006: Outsiders #40 -- 38,626 (- 4.7%)

10/2006: Outsiders #41 -- 36,672 (- 5.1%)

11/2006: Outsiders #42 -- 35,598 (- 2.9%)

12/2006: Outsiders #43 -- 34,243 (- 3.8%)

01/2007: Outsiders #44 -- 34,437 (+ 0.6%)

02/2007: Outsiders #45 -- 32,976 (- 4.2%)

03/2007: Outsiders #46 -- 32,577 (- 1.2%)

04/2007: --

05/2007: Outsiders #47 -- 33,267 (+ 2.1%)

06/2007: Outsiders #48 -- 32,966 (- 0.9%)

07/2007: Outsiders #49 -- 33,110 (+ 0.4%)

08/2007: FoaK #1 of 5  -- 36,565 (+10.4%)

08/2007: FoaK #2 of 5  -- 35,087 (- 4.0%)

08/2007: FoaK #3 of 5  -- 34,702 (- 1.1%)

08/2007: FoaK #4 of 5  -- 34,125 (- 1.7%)

08/2007: FoaK #5 of 5  -- 33,694 (- 1.3%)

----------------

6 months: + 5.6%

1 year  : -14.0%

2 years : -20.9%

Outsiders: Five of a Kind is a weekly five-issue limited series leading up to the mother title’s upcoming relaunch. Considering that all five issues outsold the regular book, this one has to be rated as a success.

Issue #3 tied in with Countdown, by the way, and issue #5 with Amazons Attack. Luckily, no harm seems to have been done to sales.

—–

83/87 - GREEN ARROW: YEAR ONE

08/2001: Green Arrow #7   -- 80,726*

08/2002: Green Arrow #16  -- 59,946*

08/2003: Green Arrow #29  -- 41,534

08/2004: Green Arrow #41  -- 32,269

08/2005: Green Arrow #53 --  32,474

-----------------------------------

08/2006: Green Arrow #65  -- 35,705 (- 1.2%)

09/2006: Green Arrow #66  -- 33,793 (- 5.4%)

10/2006: Green Arrow #67  -- 32,583 (- 3.6%)

11/2006: Green Arrow #68  -- 32,135 (- 1.4%)

12/2006: Green Arrow #69  -- 32,234 (+ 0.3%)

01/2007: Green Arrow #70  -- 31,798 (- 1.4%)

02/2007: Green Arrow #71  -- 31,470 (- 1.0%)

03/2007: Green Arrow #72  -- 31,144 (- 1.0%)

04/2007: Green Arrow #73  -- 30,652 (- 1.6%)

05/2007: Green Arrow #74  -- 30,751 (+ 0.3%)

06/2007: Green Arrow #75  -- 35,022 (+13.9%)

07/2007: Year One #1 of 6 -- 37,090 (+ 5.9%)

07/2007: Year One #2 of 6 -- 32,222 (-13.1%) [34,962]

08/2007: Year One #3 of 6 -- 32,971 (+ 2.3%)

08/2007: Year One #4 of 6 -- 31,885 (- 3.3%)

----------------

6 months: + 3.0%

1 year  : - 9.2%

2 years : - 0.1%

Solid numbers. Issue #2 sold another 2,740 units in August.

—–

89 - METAL MEN

08/2007: Metal Men #1 of 8 -- 30,454

These debut numbers aren’t as impressive as those of the other three 52 spin-off titles, but they’re still quite okay for this sort of thing.

—–

90 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL

12/2006: Batman Confidential #1  -- 61,119

01/2007: Batman Confidential #2  -- 47,451 (-22.4%)

02/2007: Batman Confidential #3  -- 41,109 (-13.4%)

03/2007: Batman Confidential #4  -- 38,735 (- 5.8%)

04/2007: Batman Confidential #5  -- 36,219 (- 6.5%)

05/2007: --

06/2007: Batman Confidential #6  -- 33,480 (- 7.6%)

07/2007: Batman Confidential #7  -- 32,272 (- 3.6%)

08/2007: Batman Confidential #8  -- 30,077 (- 6.8%)

----------------

6 months: -26.8%

Another harsh drop.

—–

91 - NIGHTWING

08/2001: Nightwing #60  -- 35,521*

08/2002: Nightwing #72  -- 33,420*

08/2003: Nightwing #84  -- 29,410

08/2004: Nightwing #96  -- 44,558 [47,479]

08/2005: Nightwing #111 -- 36,146

---------------------------------

08/2006: Nightwing #123 -- 40,111 (- 5.7%)

09/2006: Nightwing #124 -- 38,251 (- 4.6%)

10/2006: Nightwing #125 -- 38,470 (+ 0.6%)

11/2006: Nightwing #126 -- 36,145 (- 6.0%)

12/2006: Nightwing #127 -- 34,889 (- 3.5%)

01/2007: Nightwing #128 -- 33,930 (- 2.8%)

02/2007: Nightwing #129 -- 32,651 (- 3.8%)

03/2007: Nightwing #130 -- 31,788 (- 2.6%)

04/2007: Nightwing #131 -- 31,530 (- 0.8%)

05/2007: Nightwing #132 -- 30,807 (- 2.3%)

06/2007: Nightwing #133 -- 30,623 (- 0.6%)

07/2007: Nightwing #134 -- 30,228 (- 1.3%)

08/2007: Nightwing #135 -- 29,923 (- 1.0%)

----------------

6 months: - 8.4%

1 year  : -25.4%

2 years : -17.2%

Standard attrition.

—–

92 - SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES

08/2001: Legion Worlds #5     -- 20,685*

08/2002: Legion #11           -- 24,988*

08/2003: Legion #23           -- 22,466

08/2004: Legion #37           -- 23,479

08/2004: Legion #38           -- 23,327

08/2005: Legion of SH #9      -- 35,834

---------------------------------------

08/2006: Supergirl & LoSH #21 -- 39,852 (- 4.4%)

09/2006: Supergirl & LoSH #22 -- 36,735 (- 7.8%)

10/2006: Supergirl & LoSH #23 -- 41,554 (+13.1%)

11/2006: Supergirl & LoSH #24 -- 33,985 (-18.2%)

12/2006: Supergirl & LoSH #25 -- 33,288 (- 2.1%)

01/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #26 -- 32,342 (- 2.8%)

02/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #27 -- 31,387 (- 3.0%)

03/2007: --

04/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #28 -- 31,525 (+ 0.4%)

04/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #29 -- 30,906 (- 2.0%)

05/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #30 -- 30,767 (- 0.5%)  

06/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #31 -- 30,385 (- 1.2%)

07/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #32 -- 29,826 (- 1.8%)

08/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #33 -- 29,315 (- 1.7%)

----------------

6 months: - 6.6%

1 year  : -26.4%

2 years : -18.2%

An average decline. A new creative team takes over with issue #37.

—–

94 - BATMAN/LOBO: DEADLY SERIOUS

08/2007: Batman/Lobo: Deadly Serious #1 of 2 -- 29,061

The usual level for this type of thing.

—–

95 - BIRDS OF PREY

08/2001: Birds of Prey #34  -- 23,472*

08/2002: Birds of Prey #46  -- 26,876*

08/2003: Birds of Prey #58  -- 27,851

08/2004: Birds of Prey #71  -- 32,298

08/2004: Birds of Prey #72  -- 31,835

08/2005: Birds of Prey #85  -- 32,076

-------------------------------------

08/2006: Birds of Prey #97  -- 31,578 (- 2.0%)

09/2006: Birds of Prey #98  -- 32,715 (+ 3.6%)

10/2006: Birds of Prey #99  -- 30,385 (- 7.1%)

11/2006: Birds of Prey #100 -- 34,607 (+13.9%)

12/2006: Birds of Prey #101 -- 29,825 (-13.8%)

01/2007: Birds of Prey #102 -- 29,043 (- 2.6%)

02/2007: Birds of Prey #103 -- 28,327 (- 2.5%)

03/2007: Birds of Prey #104 -- 28,464 (+ 0.5%)

04/2007: Birds of Prey #105 -- 28,328 (- 0.5%)

05/2007: Birds of Prey #106 -- 28,363 (+ 0.1%)

06/2007: Birds of Prey #107 -- 28,632 (+ 1.0%)

07/2007: Birds of Prey #108 -- 28,025 (- 2.1%)

08/2007: Birds of Prey #109 -- 28,268 (+ 0.9%)

----------------

6 months: - 0.2%

1 year  : -10.5%

2 years : -11.9%

A loose tie-in with a couple of event stories brings about a slight increase for interim writer Tony Bedard’s first issue.

—–

96/97 - BLACK CANARY

07/2007: Black Canary #1 of 4 -- 32,842

07/2007: Black Canary #2 of 4 -- 28,527 (-13.1%)

08/2007: Black Canary #3 of 4 -- 28,060 (- 1.6%)

08/2007: Black Canary #4 of 4 -- 28,160 (+ 0.4%)

Perfectly good numbers.

—–

101 - FABLES (Vertigo)

08/2002: Fables #4  -- 18,479*

08/2003: Fables #16 -- 25,365

08/2004: Fables #28 -- 25,076

08/2005: Fables #40 -- 24,952

-----------------------------

08/2006: Fables #52 -- 25,378 (+1.2%)

09/2006: Fables #53 -- 25,388 (+0.0%)

10/2006: Fables #54 -- 25,534 (+0.6%)

11/2006: Fables #55 -- 25,635 (+0.4%)

12/2006: Fables #56 -- 25,892 (+1.0%)

01/2007: Fables #57 -- 25,744 (-0.6%)

02/2007: --

03/2007: Fables #58 -- 26,065 (+1.3%)

03/2007: Fables #59 -- 25,815 (-1.0%)

04/2007: Fables #60 -- 26,048 (+0.9%)

05/2007: Fables #61 -- 26,056 (+0.0%)

06/2007: Fables #62 -- 25,726 (-1.3%)

07/2007: Fables #63 -- 25,603 (-0.5%)

08/2007: Fables #64 -- 25,498 (-0.4%)

---------------

6 months:  n.a.

1 year  : +0.5%

2 years : +2.2%

Rock-solid numbers, as usual.

—–

102 - ROBIN

08/2001: Robin #93  -- 26,228*

08/2002: Robin #105 -- 26,009*

08/2003: Robin #117 -- 21,454

08/2004: Robin #129 -- 45,642 [48,392]

08/2005: Robin #141 -- 28,564

-----------------------------

08/2006: Robin #153 -- 36,608 (- 2.3%)

09/2006: Robin #154 -- 34,387 (- 6.1%)

10/2006: Robin #155 -- 32,951 (- 4.2%)

11/2006: Robin #156 -- 31,682 (- 3.9%)

12/2006: Robin #157 -- 30,556 (- 3.6%)

01/2007: Robin #158 -- 29,464 (- 3.6%)

02/2007: Robin #159 -- 28,210 (- 4.3%)

03/2007: Robin #160 -- 27,659 (- 2.0%)

04/2007: Robin #161 -- 27,180 (- 1.7%)

05/2007: Robin #162 -- 26,801 (- 1.4%)

06/2007: Robin #163 -- 26,284 (- 1.9%)

07/2007: Robin #164 -- 25,955 (- 1.3%)

08/2007: Robin #165 -- 25,397 (- 2.2%)

----------------

6 months: -10.0%

1 year  : -30.6%

2 years : -11.1%
116 - JLA: CLASSIFIED

08/2005: JLA: Classified #11 -- 43,582 [46,056]

--------------------------------------

08/2006: JLA: Classified #26 -- 27,816 (- 9.4%)

09/2006: JLA: Classified #27 -- 27,754 (- 0.2%)

10/2006: JLA: Classified #28 -- 26,003 (- 6.3%)

11/2006: JLA: Classified #29 -- 24,785 (- 4.7%)

12/2006: JLA: Classified #30 -- 23,644 (- 4.6%)

01/2007: JLA: Classified #31 -- 22,939 (- 3.0%)

01/2007: JLA: Classified #32 -- 23,091 (+ 0.7%)

01/2007: JLA: Classified #33 -- 22,504 (- 2.5%)

02/2007: JLA: Classified #34 -- 22,347 (- 0.7%)

02/2007: JLA: Classified #35 -- 21,998 (- 1.6%)

03/2007: JLA: Classified #36 -- 21,799 (- 0.9%)

04/2007: JLA: Classified #37 -- 22,350 (+ 2.5%)

05/2007: JLA: Classified #38 -- 21,961 (- 1.7%)

06/2007: JLA: Classified #39 -- 21,728 (- 1.1%)

07/2007: JLA: Classified #40 -- 21,473 (- 1.2%)

08/2007: JLA: Classified #41 -- 21,134 (- 1.6%)

----------------

6 months: - 4.7%

1 year  : -24.0%

2 years : -51.5%

Two titles in standard declines.

—–

117 - THE SPIRIT

11/2006: Batman/The Spirit -- 35,541          [39,666]

12/2006: The Spirit #1     -- 34,558 (- 2.8%) [36,900]

01/2007: The Spirit #2     -- 27,245 (-21.2%)

02/2007: The Spirit #3     -- 25,516 (- 6.4%)

03/2007: The Spirit #4     -- 24,383 (- 4.4%)

04/2007: The Spirit #5     -- 23,887 (- 2.0%)

05/2007: The Spirit #6     -- 23,708 (- 0.8%)

06/2007: The Spirit #7     -- 22,621 (- 4.6%)

07/2007: The Spirit #8     -- 21,984 (- 2.8%)

08/2007: The Spirit #9     -- 20,841 (- 5.2%)

----------------

6 months: -18.3%

Sales aren’t leveling out yet.

—–

119 - CATWOMAN

08/2002: Catwoman #10 -- 27,937*

08/2003: --

08/2004: Catwoman #34 -- 37,033 [42,098]

08/2005: Catwoman #46 -- 20,702 [21,718]

-------------------------------

08/2006: Catwoman #58 -- 26,568 (- 1.0%)

09/2006: Catwoman #59 -- 25,324 (- 4.7%)

10/2006: Catwoman #60 -- 24,117 (- 4.8%)

11/2006: Catwoman #61 -- 23,182 (- 3.9%)

12/2006: Catwoman #62 -- 22,305 (- 3.8%)

01/2007: Catwoman #63 -- 21,597 (- 3.2%)

02/2007: Catwoman #64 -- 20,767 (- 3.8%)

03/2007: Catwoman #65 -- 20,237 (- 2.6%)

04/2007: Catwoman #66 -- 19,896 (- 1.7%)

05/2007: Catwoman #67 -- 19,926 (+ 0.2%)

06/2007: Catwoman #68 -- 20,132 (+ 1.0%)

07/2007: Catwoman #69 -- 19,387 (- 3.7%)

08/2007: Catwoman #70 -- 20,518 (+ 5.8%)

----------------

6 months: - 1.2%

1 year  : -22.8%

2 years : - 0.9%

That’s the biggest sales increase among the various Amazons Attack tie-ins.

—–

123 - JSA: CLASSIFIED

08/2005: JSA: Classified #2  -- 46,039 [67,358]

--------------------------------------

08/2006: JSA: Classified #15 -- 32,308 (- 4.5%)

08/2006: JSA: Classified #16 -- 32,173 (- 0.4%)

09/2006: JSA: Classified #17 -- 30,340 (- 5.7%)

10/2006: JSA: Classified #18 -- 26,783 (-11.7%)

11/2006: JSA: Classified #19 -- 25,663 (- 4.2%)

12/2006: JSA: Classified #20 -- 24,722 (- 3.7%)

01/2007: JSA: Classified #21 -- 24,476 (- 1.0%)

01/2007: JSA: Classified #22 -- 23,830 (- 2.6%)

02/2007: JSA: Classified #23 -- 22,730 (- 4.6%)

03/2007: JSA: Classified #24 -- 22,113 (- 2.7%)

04/2007: JSA: Classified #25 -- 22,052 (- 0.3%)

05/2007: JSA: Classified #26 -- 21,569 (- 2.2%)

06/2007: JSA: Classified #27 -- 21,295 (- 1.3%)

07/2007: JSA: Classified #28 -- 20,736 (- 2.6%)

08/2007: JSA: Classified #29 -- 20,195 (- 2.6%)

----------------

6 months: -11.2%

1 year  : -37.5%

2 years : -56.1%

Declining, slowly but surely.

—–

124 - CHECKMATE

08/2006: Checkmate #5  -- 31,252 (- 9.8%)

09/2006: Checkmate #6  -- 28,887 (- 7.6%)

10/2006: Checkmate #7  -- 26,302 (- 9.0%)

11/2006: Checkmate #8  -- 24,899 (- 5.3%)

12/2006: Checkmate #9  -- 23,436 (- 5.9%)

01/2007: Checkmate #10 -- 22,032 (- 6.0%)

02/2007: Checkmate #11 -- 20,659 (- 6.2%)

03/2007: Checkmate #12 -- 20,116 (- 2.6%)

04/2007: --

05/2007: Checkmate #13 -- 22,554 (+12.1%)

05/2007: Checkmate #14 -- 22,074 (- 2.1%)

06/2007: Checkmate #15 -- 22,015 (- 0.3%)

07/2007: Checkmate #16 -- 20,225 (- 8.1%)

08/2007: Checkmate #17 -- 19,841 (- 1.9%)

----------------

6 months: - 4.0%

1 year  : -36.5%
126 - SHADOWPACT

08/2006: Shadowpact #4  -- 33,383 (- 8.1%)

09/2006: Shadowpact #5  -- 29,983 (-10.2%)

09/2006: Shadowpact #6  -- 27,276 (- 9.0%)

10/2006: --

11/2006: Shadowpact #7  -- 25,701 (- 5.8%)

12/2006: Shadowpact #8  -- 23,898 (- 7.0%)

01/2007: Shadowpact #9  -- 22,866 (- 4.3%)

02/2007: Shadowpact #10 -- 21,823 (- 4.6%)

03/2007: Shadowpact #11 -- 21,114 (- 3.3%)

04/2007: Shadowpact #12 -- 20,746 (- 1.7%)

05/2007: Shadowpact #13 -- 20,335 (- 2.0%)

06/2007: Shadowpact #14 -- 19,899 (- 2.1%)

07/2007: Shadowpact #15 -- 19,689 (- 1.2%)

08/2007: Shadowpact #16 -- 19,410 (- 1.4%)

----------------

6 months: -11.1%

1 year  : -41.9%

These two appear to be finding their level.

—–

127 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)

08/2006: Jack of Fables #2  -- 23,554 (-13.1%)

09/2006: Jack of Fables #3  -- 22,373 (- 5.0%)

10/2006: Jack of Fables #4  -- 21,614 (- 3.4%)

11/2006: Jack of Fables #5  -- 21,191 (- 2.0%)

12/2006: Jack of Fables #6  -- 20,950 (- 1.1%)

01/2007: Jack of Fables #7  -- 20,314 (- 3.0%)

02/2007: Jack of Fables #8  -- 20,060 (- 1.3%)

03/2007: --

04/2007: Jack of Fables #9  -- 20,273 (+ 1.1%)

05/2007: Jack of Fables #10 -- 19,982 (- 1.4%)

06/2007: Jack of Fables #11 -- 19,797 (- 0.9%)

06/2007: Jack of Fables #12 -- 19,337 (- 2.3%)

07/2007: --

08/2007: Jack of Fables #13 -- 19,187 (- 0.8%)

----------------

6 months: - 4.4%

1 year  : -18.5%

Perfectly stable numbers. If writer and Fables creator Bill Willingham decides to move on, at this stage, Vertigo might as well call it a day, as far as periodicals are concerned.

—–

128 - BLUE BEETLE

08/2006: Blue Beetle #6  -- 33,181 (- 6.5%)

09/2006: Blue Beetle #7  -- 29,079 (-12.4%)

10/2006: --

11/2006: Blue Beetle #8  -- 25,861 (-11.1%)

11/2006: Blue Beetle #9  -- 23,785 (- 8.0%)

12/2006: Blue Beetle #10 -- 21,358 (-10.2%)

01/2007: Blue Beetle #11 -- 19,865 (- 7.0%)

02/2007: Blue Beetle #12 -- 18,555 (- 6.6%)

03/2007: Blue Beetle #13 -- 17,653 (- 4.9%)

04/2007: Blue Beetle #14 -- 17,167 (- 2.8%)

05/2007: Blue Beetle #15 -- 16,906 (- 1.5%)

06/2007: Blue Beetle #16 -- 17,016 (+ 0.7%)

07/2007: Blue Beetle #17 -- 16,128 (- 5.2%)

08/2007: Blue Beetle #18 -- 19,140 (+18.7%)

----------------

6 months: + 3.2%

1 year  : -42.3%

The crossover with Teen Titans #50 sells an extra 3,000 copies.

—–

133 - THE ALL-NEW ATOM

08/2006: The All-New Atom #2  -- 38,239 (-23.5%)

09/2006: The All-New Atom #3  -- 33,254 (-13.0%)

10/2006: The All-New Atom #4  -- 28,450 (-14.5%)

11/2006: The All-New Atom #5  -- 25,569 (-10.1%)

12/2006: The All-New Atom #6  -- 22,852 (-10.6%)

01/2007: The All-New Atom #7  -- 20,996 (- 8.1%)

02/2007: The All-New Atom #8  -- 19,004 (- 9.5%)

03/2007: The All-New Atom #9  -- 17,572 (- 7.5%)

04/2007: The All-New Atom #10 -- 16,739 (- 4.4%)

05/2007: The All-New Atom #11 -- 16,193 (- 3.3%)

06/2007: The All-New Atom #12 -- 16,848 (+ 4.1%)

07/2007: The All-New Atom #13 -- 16,982 (+ 0.8%)

08/2007: The All-New Atom #14 -- 17,894 (+ 5.4%)

----------------

6 months: - 5.8%

1 year  : -53.2%

Over here, the increase seems due to a Countdown tie-in. Really!

—–

136 - EX MACHINA SPECIAL (WildStorm)

04/2006: Ex Machina Special #1 -- 21,356

06/2006: Ex Machina Special #2 -- 20,677

----------------------------------------

08/2007: Ex Machina Special #3 -- 17,009 (-17.7%)

Selling in the same area as the mother title.

—–

138 - GEN13 (WildStorm)

08/2001: Gen13 #68 -- 20,460*

08/2003: Gen13 #12 -- 14,521

----------------------------

10/2006: Gen13 #1  -- 47,535

11/2006: Gen13 #2  -- 33,494 (-29.5%)

12/2006: Gen13 #3  -- 30,233 (- 9.7%)

01/2007: Gen13 #4  -- 27,615 (- 8.7%)

02/2007: Gen13 #5  -- 22,422 (-18.8%)

03/2007: Gen13 #6  -- 21,356 (- 4.8%)

04/2007: Gen13 #7  -- 20,555 (- 3.8%)

05/2007: Gen13 #8  -- 19,638 (- 4.5%)

06/2007: Gen13 #9  -- 18,644 (- 5.1%)

07/2007: Gen13 #10 -- 17,720 (- 5.0%)

08/2007: Gen13 #11 -- 16,955 (- 4.3%)

----------------

6 months: -24.4%

Declining. A new writer takes over with issue #13.

—–

143 - THE MIDNIGHTER (WildStorm)

11/2006: The Midnighter #1  -- 39,796

12/2006: The Midnighter #2  -- 30,464 (-23.5%)

01/2007: The Midnighter #3  -- 27,564 (- 9.5%)

02/2007: The Midnighter #4  -- 24,792 (-10.1%)

03/2007: The Midnighter #5  -- 21,452 (-13.5%)

04/2007: The Midnighter #6  -- 20,561 (- 4.2%)

05/2007: The Midnighter #7  -- 19,910 (- 3.2%)

06/2007: The Midnighter #8  -- 18,076 (- 9.2%)

07/2007: The Midnighter #9  -- 16,656 (- 7.9%)

08/2007: The Midnighter #10 -- 15,654 (- 6.0%)

----------------

6 months: -36.9%

The arrival of new writer Keith Giffen and the return of original series artist Chris Sprouse have no effect on sales.

—–

149 - JONAH HEX

08/2006: Jonah Hex #10 -- 19,772 (- 3.0%)

09/2006: Jonah Hex #11 -- 18,957 (- 4.1%)

10/2006: Jonah Hex #12 -- 18,299 (- 3.5%)

11/2006: Jonah Hex #13 -- 18,747 (+ 2.5%)

12/2006: Jonah Hex #14 -- 18,295 (- 2.4%)

01/2007: Jonah Hex #15 -- 17,987 (- 1.7%)

02/2007: Jonah Hex #16 -- 17,490 (- 2.8%)

03/2007: Jonah Hex #17 -- 17,081 (- 2.3%)

04/2007: Jonah Hex #18 -- 16,880 (- 1.2%)

05/2007: Jonah Hex #19 -- 16,473 (- 2.4%)

06/2007: Jonah Hex #20 -- 16,150 (- 2.0%)

07/2007: Jonah Hex #21 -- 15,734 (- 2.6%)

08/2007: Jonah Hex #22 -- 15,362 (- 2.4%)

----------------

6 months: -12.2%

1 year  : -22.3%

Sales keep slipping away.

—–

156 - AQUAMAN: SWORD OF ATLANTIS

08/2003: Aquaman #9       -- 27,454

08/2004: Aquaman #21      -- 23,486

08/2005: Aquaman #33      -- 17,621

-----------------------------------

08/2006: --

09/2006: Aquaman: SoA #44 -- 28,001 (-  8.5%)

10/2006: --

11/2006: Aquaman: SoA #45 -- 23,540 (- 15.9%)

11/2006: Aquaman: SoA #46 -- 21,974 (-  6.7%)

12/2006: Aquaman: SoA #47 -- 21,197 (-  3.5%)

01/2007: Aquaman: SoA #48 -- 19,459 (-  8.2%)

02/2007: Aquaman: SoA #49 -- 17,939 (-  7.8%)

03/2007: Aquaman: SoA #50 -- 18,997 (+  5.9%)

04/2007: Aquaman: SoA #51 -- 17,499 (-  7.9%)

05/2007: Aquaman: SoA #52 -- 16,778 (-  4.1%)

06/2007: Aquaman: SoA #53 -- 15,913 (-  5.2%)

07/2007: Aquaman: SoA #54 -- 14,963 (-  6.0%)

08/2007: Aquaman: SoA #55 -- 14,207 (-  5.1%)

----------------

6 months: -20.8%

1 year  :  n.a.

2 years : -19.4%

Canceled with issue #57.

—–

158 - SUPERNATURAL: ORIGINS (WildStorm)

05/2007: Supernatural: Origins #1 -- 21,128

06/2007: Supernatural: Origins #2 -- 15,955 (-24.5%)

07/2007: Supernatural: Origins #3 -- 14,812 (- 7.2%)

08/2007: Supernatural: Origins #4 -- 13,915 (- 6.1%)

Declining.

—–

161/162 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)

08/2001: Hellblazer #165 -- 18,189*

08/2002: Hellblazer #175 -- 18,956*

08/2003: Hellblazer #187 -- 16,037

08/2004: Hellblazer #199 -- 14,768

08/2005: Hellblazer #211 -- 14,727

----------------------------------

08/2006: Hellblazer #223 -- 13,956 (+ 0.3%)

09/2006: Hellblazer #224 -- 13,704 (- 1.8%)

10/2006: Hellblazer #225 -- 13,629 (- 0.6%)

11/2006: Hellblazer #226 -- 13,388 (- 1.8%)

12/2006: Hellblazer #227 -- 13,231 (- 1.2%)

01/2007: Hellblazer #228 -- 12,956 (- 2.1%)

02/2007: Hellblazer #229 -- 13,032 (+ 0.6%)

03/2007: Hellblazer #230 -- 13,210 (+ 1.4%)

04/2007: Hellblazer #231 -- 13,142 (- 0.5%)

05/2007: Hellblazer #232 -- 13,164 (+ 0.2%)

06/2007: Hellblazer #233 -- 13,201 (+ 0.3%)

07/2007: Hellblazer #234 -- 13,112 (- 0.7%)

08/2007: Hellblazer #234 -- 13,214 (+ 0.8%)

08/2007: Hellblazer #235 -- 13,153 (- 0.5%)

----------------

6 months: + 1.2%

1 year  : - 5.5%

2 years : -10.7%

The numbers have been rock-solid since writer Andy Diggle took over. The fact that issue #234 shows up both in July and in August isn’t a mistake, by the way: Due to a printing error the first time around, DC shipped the issue to retailers twice.

—–

167 - DMZ (Vertigo)

08/2006: DMZ #10 -- 14,704 (- 0.6%)

09/2006: DMZ #11 -- 14,562 (- 1.0%)

10/2006: DMZ #12 -- 14,640 (+ 0.5%)

11/2006: DMZ #13 -- 14,228 (- 2.8%)

12/2006: DMZ #14 -- 13,731 (- 3.5%)

01/2007: DMZ #15 -- 13,340 (- 2.9%)

02/2007: DMZ #16 -- 13,199 (- 1.1%)

03/2007: DMZ #17 -- 13,081 (- 0.9%)

04/2007: DMZ #18 -- 13,120 (+ 0.3%)

05/2007: DMZ #19 -- 13,116 (- 0.0%)

06/2007: DMZ #20 -- 12,704 (- 3.1%)

07/2007: DMZ #21 -- 12,433 (- 2.1%)

08/2007: DMZ #22 -- 12,175 (- 2.1%)

----------------

6 months: - 7.8%

1 year  : -17.2%

Declining.

—–

168 - THE UN-MEN (Vertigo)

08/2007: The Un-Men #1  -- 11,868

Vertigo’s losing streak continues. The fact that it’s a spin-off of an established Vertigo property doesn’t seem to help the numbers of The Un-Men in the slightest.

—–

169 - GRIFTER & MIDNIGHTER (WildStorm)

03/2007: Grifter & Midnighter #1 of 6 -- 20,156

04/2007: Grifter & Midnighter #2 of 6 -- 16,531 (-18.0%)

05/2007: Grifter & Midnighter #3 of 6 -- 14,847 (-10.2%)

06/2007: Grifter & Midnighter #4 of 6 -- 13,504 (- 9.1%)

07/2007: Grifter & Midnighter #5 of 6 -- 12,517 (- 7.3%)

08/2007: Grifter & Midnighter #6 of 6 -- 11,767 (- 6.0%)

Predictably mediocre numbers.

—–

171 - STORMWATCH: PHD (WildStorm)

08/2002: Stormwatch: TA #2     -- 21,463*

08/2003: Stormwatch #14        -- 12,314

----------------------------------------

11/2006: StormWatch: PHD #1    -- 29,975

12/2006: StormWatch: PHD #2    -- 21,605 (-27.9%)

01/2007: StormWatch: PHD #3    -- 18,371 (-15.0%)

02/2007: StormWatch: PHD #4    -- 15,893 (-13.5%)

03/2007: StormWatch: PHD #5    -- 13,475 (-15.2%)

04/2007: StormWatch: PHD #6    -- 13,109 (- 2.7%)

05/2007: StormWatch: PHD #7    -- 12,812 (- 2.3%)

06/2007: StormWatch: PHD #8    -- 12,157 (- 5.1%)

07/2007: StormWatch: PHD #9    -- 11,419 (- 6.1%)

08/2007: StormWatch: PHD #10   -- 11,106 (- 2.7%)

----------------

6 months: -30.1%
173 - WETWORKS (WildStorm)

09/2006: Wetworks #1  -- 43,824

10/2006: Wetworks #2  -- 28,181 (-35.7%)

11/2006: Wetworks #3  -- 24,493 (-13.1%)

12/2006: Wetworks #4  -- 23,267 (- 5.0%)

01/2007: Wetworks #5  -- 18,313 (-21.3%)

02/2007: Wetworks #6  -- 16,359 (-10.7%)

03/2007: Wetworks #7  -- 14,852 (- 9.2%)

04/2007: Wetworks #8  -- 14,189 (- 4.5%)

05/2007: Wetworks #9  -- 13,340 (- 6.0%)

06/2007: Wetworks #10 -- 12,098 (- 9.3%)

07/2007: Wetworks #11 -- 11,218 (- 7.3%)

08/2007: Wetworks #12 -- 10,382 (- 7.5%)

----------------

6 months: -36.5%

Both titles seem to have been quietly axed by DC, with no further issues solicited past October and November, respectively.

—–

177 - THE PROGRAMME (WildStorm)

07/2007: The Programme #1  of 12 -- 14,293

08/2007: The Programme #2  of 12 --  9,412 (-34.2%)

An awful second-issue drop-off, as we’ve come to expect from new properties at Vertigo and WildStorm.

—–

182 - WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY (WildStorm)

12/2006: Welcome to Tranquility #1  -- 24,352

01/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #2  -- 15,087 (-38.1%)

02/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #3  -- 12,334 (-18.3%)

03/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #4  -- 11,423 (- 7.4%)

04/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #5  -- 10,407 (- 8.9%)

05/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #6  -- 10,280 (- 1.2%)

06/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #7  --  9,858 (- 4.1%)

07/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #8  --  9,509 (- 3.5%)

08/2007: Welcome to Tranquility #9  --  9,135 (- 3.9%)

----------------

6 months: -25.9%

Another title that’s disappeared from the solicitations after November. With Wildcats and The Authority in publishing limbo, that leaves three out of the eight new WorldStorm books launched late last year.

—–

183 - JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED (Johnny DC)

08/2002: JL Adventures #10 -- 16,171*

08/2003: JL Adventures #22 -- 13,315

08/2004: JL Adventures #34 -- 11,776

08/2005: JL Unlimited  #12 -- 11,181

------------------------------------

08/2006: JL Unlimited #24  -- 10,117 (- 1.4%)

09/2006: JL Unlimited #25  --  9,985 (- 1.3%)

10/2006: JL Unlimited #26  --  9,696 (- 2.9%)

11/2006: JL Unlimited #27  --  9,690 (- 0.1%)

12/2006: JL Unlimited #28  --  9,713 (+ 0.2%)

01/2007: JL Unlimited #29  --  9,273 (- 4.5%)

02/2007: JL Unlimited #30  --  9,123 (- 1.6%)

03/2007: JL Unlimited #31  --  9,072 (- 0.6%)

04/2007: JL Unlimited #32  --  9,326 (+ 2.8%)

05/2007: JL Unlimited #33  --  9,230 (- 1.0%)

06/2007: JL Unlimited #34  --  9,328 (+ 1.1%)

07/2007: JL Unlimited #35  --  8,998 (- 3.5%)

08/2007: JL Unlimited #36  --  9,043 (+ 0.5%)

----------------

6 months: - 0.9%

1 year  : -10.6%

2 years : -19.1%

A Johnny DC title. See disclaimers.

—–

186 - LOVELESS (Vertigo)

08/2006: Loveless #10 -- 13,860 (- 4.0%)

09/2006: Loveless #11 -- 13,256 (- 4.4%)

10/2006: Loveless #12 -- 12,617 (- 4.8%)

11/2006: Loveless #13 -- 11,945 (- 5.3%)

12/2006: Loveless #14 -- 11,476 (- 3.9%)

01/2007: --

02/2007: Loveless #15 -- 11,103 (- 3.3%)

03/2007: Loveless #16 -- 10,787 (- 2.9%)

04/2007: Loveless #17 -- 10,334 (- 4.2%)

05/2007: --

06/2007: Loveless #18 --  9,906 (- 4.1%)

07/2007: --

08/2007: Loveless #19 --  8,851 (-10.7%)

----------------

6 months: -20.3%

1 year  : -36.1%

That’s quite a harsh drop, for no apparent reason.

—–

188 - FAKER (Vertigo)

07/2007: Faker #1 of 6 -- 11,461

08/2007: Faker #2 of 6 --  8,735 (-23.8%)

A stiff drop-off for a limited series.

—–

192 - TEEN TITANS GO (Johnny DC)

08/2004: Teen Titans Go #10 -- 14,609

08/2005: Teen Titans Go #22 -- 13,166

-------------------------------------

08/2006: Teen Titans Go #34 -- 10,328 (- 1.8%)

09/2006: Teen Titans Go #35 --  9,940 (- 3.8%)

10/2006: Teen Titans Go #36 -- 10,214 (+ 2.8%)

11/2006: Teen Titans Go #37 --  9,642 (- 5.6%)

12/2006: Teen Titans Go #38 --  9,529 (- 1.2%)

01/2007: Teen Titans Go #39 --  9,425 (- 1.1%)

02/2007: Teen Titans Go #40 --  9,132 (- 3.1%)

03/2007: Teen Titans Go #41 --  8,895 (- 2.6%)

04/2007: Teen Titans Go #42 --  9,050 (+ 1.7%)

05/2007: Teen Titans Go #43 --  8,918 (- 1.5%)

06/2007: Teen Titans Go #44 --  8,738 (- 2.0%)

07/2007: Teen Titans Go #45 --  8,554 (- 2.1%)

08/2007: Teen Titans Go #46 --  8,427 (- 1.5%)

----------------

6 months: - 7.7%

1 year  : -18.4%

2 years : -36.0%

Another Johnny DC book.

—–

193 - THE EXTERMINATORS (Vertigo)

08/2006: The Exterminators #8  -- 10,299 (- 4.1%)

09/2006: The Exterminators #9  -- 10,177 (- 1.2%)

10/2006: The Exterminators #10 --  9,970 (- 2.0%)

11/2006: The Exterminators #11 --  9,973 (+ 0.0%)

12/2006: The Exterminators #12 --  9,636 (- 3.4%)

01/2007: The Exterminators #13 --  9,447 (- 2.0%)

02/2007: The Exterminators #14 --  8,965 (- 5.1%)

03/2007: The Exterminators #15 --  8,839 (- 1.4%)

04/2007: The Exterminators #16 --  8,758 (- 1.0%)

05/2007: The Exterminators #17 --  8,813 (+ 0.6%)

06/2007: The Exterminators #18 --  8,651 (- 1.8%)

07/2007: The Exterminators #19 --  8,454 (- 2.3%)

08/2007: The Exterminators #20 --  8,289 (- 2.0%)

----------------

6 months: - 7.5%

1 year  : -19.5%
196/203 - AMERICAN VIRGIN (Vertigo)

08/2006: American Virgin #6  -- 12,487 (- 5.9%)

09/2006: American Virgin #7  -- 11,767 (- 5.8%)

10/2006: --

11/2006: American Virgin #8  -- 11,275 (- 4.2%)

11/2006: American Virgin #9  -- 10,567 (- 6.3%)

12/2006: --

01/2007: American Virgin #10 -- 10,331 (- 2.2%)

01/2007: American Virgin #11 --  9,628 (- 6.8%)

02/2007: American Virgin #12 --  9,215 (- 4.3%)

03/2007: --

04/2007: American Virgin #13 --  8,960 (- 2.8%)

05/2007: American Virgin #14 --  8,805 (- 1.7%)

05/2007: American Virgin #15 --  8,613 (- 2.2%)

06/2007: --

07/2007: American Virgin #16 --  8,403 (- 2.4%)

08/2007: American Virgin #17 --  8,204 (- 2.4%)

08/2007: American Virgin #18 --  7,727 (- 5.8%)

----------------

6 months: -13.6%

1 year  : -36.2%
199 - SCALPED (Vertigo)

01/2007: Scalped #1  -- 13,644

02/2007: Scalped #2  -- 10,005 (-26.7%)

03/2007: Scalped #3  --  9,531 (- 4.7%)

04/2007: Scalped #4  --  9,163 (- 3.9%)

05/2007: Scalped #5  --  9,022 (- 1.5%)

06/2007: Scalped #6  --  8,689 (- 3.7%)

07/2007: Scalped #7  --  8,303 (- 4.4%)

08/2007: Scalped #8  --  7,942 (- 4.4%)

----------------

6 months: -20.6%
201 - ARMY@LOVE (Vertigo)

03/2007: Army@Love #1  -- 14,578

04/2007: Army@Love #2  -- 11,195 (-23.2%)

05/2007: Army@Love #3  -- 10,312 (- 7.9%)

06/2007: Army@Love #4  --  9,089 (-11.9%)

07/2007: Army@Love #5  --  8,386 (- 7.7%)

08/2007: Army@Love #6  --  7,858 (- 6.3%)

Four Vertigo books in terminal decline. Even bearing in mind that collection sales tend to be a significant factor here, surely this can’t go on forever.

—–

205 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES IN THE 31ST CENTURY (Johnny DC)

04/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #1  -- 13,519

05/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #2  -- 11,121 (-17.7%)

06/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #3  --  9,252 (-16.8%)

07/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #4  --  8,236 (-11.0%)

08/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #5  --  7,681 (- 6.7%)

Johnny DC.

—–

207 - FRIDAY THE 13TH: PAMELA'S TALE (WildStorm)

12/2006: Friday the 13th #1    -- 15,801

01/2007: Friday the 13th #2    --  9,555 (-39.5%)

02/2007: Friday the 13th #3    --  8,965 (- 6.2%)

03/2007: Friday the 13th #4    --  8,637 (- 3.7%)

04/2007: Friday the 13th #5    --  8,724 (+ 1.0%)

05/2007: Friday the 13th #6    --  8,605 (- 1.4%)

06/2007: --

07/2007: Pamela's Tale #1 of 2 --  8,420 (- 2.2%)

08/2007: Pamela's Tale #2 of 2 --  7,635 (- 9.3%)

----------------

6 months: -14.8%

They keep soliciting horror film adaptations for some reason. It can’t be sales.

—–

208 - BATMAN STRIKES! (Johnny DC)

08/2001: Gotham Adventures #41 -- 12,145*

08/2002: Gotham Adventures #53 -- 12,469*

08/2003: Batman Adventures #5  -- 13,609

08/2004: Batman Adventures #17 -- 11,862

08/2005: Batman Strikes! #12   --  9,528

----------------------------------------

08/2006: Batman Strikes! #24   --  8,139 (- 0.2%)

09/2006: Batman Strikes! #25   --  7,765 (- 4.6%)

10/2006: Batman Strikes! #26   --  7,560 (- 2.6%)

11/2006: Batman Strikes! #27   --  7,567 (+ 0.1%)

12/2006: Batman Strikes! #28   --  7,427 (- 1.9%)

01/2007: Batman Strikes! #29   --  7,330 (- 1.3%)

02/2007: Batman Strikes! #30   --  7,335 (+ 0.1%)

03/2007: Batman Strikes! #31   --  7,100 (- 3.2%)

04/2007: Batman Strikes! #32   --  7,294 (+ 2.7%)

05/2007: Batman Strikes! #33   --  7,235 (- 0.8%)

06/2007: Batman Strikes! #34   --  7,115 (- 1.7%)

07/2007: Batman Strikes! #35   --  7,222 (+ 1.5%)

08/2007: Batman Strikes! #36   --  7,511 (+ 4.0%)

----------------

6 months: + 2.4%

1 year  : - 7.7%

2 years : -21.2%

Johnny DC.

—–

221 - TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: BY HIMSELF (WildStorm)

11/2006: Texas Chainsaw Massacre #1 -- 15,605

12/2006: Texas Chainsaw Massacre #2 --  9,706 (-37.8%)

01/2007: Texas Chainsaw Massacre #3 --  8,229 (-15.2%)

02/2007: Texas Chainsaw Massacre #4 --  7,651 (- 7.0%)

03/2007: Texas Chainsaw Massacre #5 --  7,301 (- 4.6%)

04/2007: Texas Chainsaw Massacre #6 --  7,171 (- 1.8%)

05/2007: --

06/2007: TCM: Cut!                  --  6,920 (- 3.5%)

07/2007: TCM: About a Boy           --  7,205 (+ 4.1%)

08/2007: TCM: By Himself #1 of 2    --  6,380 (-11.5%)

----------------

6 months: -16.6%

Another horror film adaptation with abysmal numbers.

—–

224 - CROSSING MIDNIGHT (Vertigo)

11/2006: Crossing Midnight #1  -- 12,756

12/2006: Crossing Midnight #2  --  8,982 (-29.6%)

01/2007: Crossing Midnight #3  --  8,236 (- 8.3%)

02/2007: Crossing Midnight #4  --  7,568 (- 8.1%)

03/2007: Crossing Midnight #5  --  7,196 (- 4.9%)

04/2007: Crossing Midnight #6  --  7,036 (- 2.2%)

05/2007: Crossing Midnight #7  --  6,866 (- 2.4%)

06/2007: Crossing Midnight #8  --  6,612 (- 3.7%)

07/2007: Crossing Midnight #9  --  6,351 (- 4.0%)

08/2007: Crossing Midnight #10 --  6,142 (- 3.3%)

----------------

6 months: -18.8%
232 - DEADMAN (Vertigo)

08/2001: Dead Again #1 of 5 -- 31,441*

08/2001: Dead Again #2 of 5 -- 30,394*

08/2001: Dead Again #3 of 5 -- 30,113*

08/2001: Dead Again #4 of 5 -- 29,780*

08/2001: Dead Again #5 of 5 -- 29,706*

08/2002: Deadman #9         -- 10,710*

-------------------------------------

08/2006: Deadman #1         -- 21,980

09/2006: Deadman #2         -- 15,494 (-29.5%)

10/2006: Deadman #3         -- 12,936 (-16.5%)

11/2006: Deadman #4         -- 11,294 (-12.7%)

12/2006: Deadman #5         -- 10,113 (-10.5%)

01/2007: Deadman #6         --  9,157 (- 9.5%)

02/2007: Deadman #7         --  8,342 (- 8.9%)

03/2007: Deadman #8         --  7,784 (- 6.7%)

04/2007: --

05/2007: Deadman #9         --  7,211 (- 7.4%)

05/2007: Deadman #10        --  6,690 (- 7.2%)

06/2007: Deadman #11        --  6,336 (- 5.3%)

07/2007: --

08/2007: Deadman #12        --  5,803 (- 8.4%)

----------------

6 months: -30.4%

1 year  : -73.6%

Deadman is axed with issue #13. Crossing Midnight still appears to be ongoing, as I’m writing this.

—–

235 - THE HIGHWAYMEN (WildStorm)

06/2007: The Highwaymen #1 of 5 -- 9,360

07/2007: The Highwaymen #2 of 5 -- 6,108 (-34.7%)

08/2007: The Highwaymen #3 of 5 -- 5,718 (- 6.4%)

Completely under the radar, but that’s hardly surprising. Not even established names like Mike Carey or Peter Milligan can get books off the ground at Vertigo and WildStorm these days.

—–

259 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)

08/2001: Scooby Doo #51  -- 5,322*

08/2002: Scooby Doo #63  -- 6,827*

08/2003: Scooby Doo #75  -- 6,135

08/2004: Scooby Doo #87  -- 5,436

08/2005: Scooby Doo #99  -- 4,654

---------------------------------

08/2006: Scooby Doo #111 -- 4,492 (- 6.1%)

09/2006: Scooby Doo #112 -- 4,385 (- 2.4%)

10/2006: Scooby Doo #113 -- 4,339 (- 1.1%)

11/2006: Scooby Doo #114 -- 4,387 (+ 1.1%)

12/2006: Scooby Doo #115 -- 4,364 (- 0.5%)

01/2007: Scooby Doo #116 -- 4,285 (- 1.8%)

02/2007: Scooby Doo #117 -- 4,275 (- 0.2%)

03/2007: Scooby Doo #118 -- 4,395 (+ 2.8%)

04/2007: Scooby Doo #119 -- 4,373 (- 0.5%)

05/2007: Scooby Doo #120 -- 4,343 (- 0.7%)

06/2007: Scooby Doo #121 -- 4,415 (+ 1.7%)

07/2007: Scooby Doo #122 -- 4,424 (+ 0.2%)

08/2007: Scooby Doo #123 -- 4,641 (+ 4.9%)

----------------

6 months: + 8.6%

1 year  : + 3.3%

2 years : - 0.3%

Johnny DC.

—–

261 - NINJA SCROLL (WildStorm)

09/2006: Ninja Scroll #1  -- 16,819

10/2006: --

11/2006: Ninja Scroll #2  -- 12,143 (-27.8%)

12/2006: Ninja Scroll #3  -- 10,468 (-13.8%)

12/2006: Ninja Scroll #4  --  7,781 (-25.7%)

01/2007: Ninja Scroll #5  --  6,895 (-11.4%)

02/2007: Ninja Scroll #6  --  6,371 (- 7.6%)

03/2007: Ninja Scroll #7  --  5,949 (- 6.6%)

04/2007: Ninja Scroll #8  --  5,628 (- 5.4%)

05/2007: Ninja Scroll #9  --  5,488 (- 2.5%)

06/2007: Ninja Scroll #10 --  5,162 (- 5.9%)

07/2007: Ninja Scroll #11 --  4,901 (- 5.1%)

08/2007: Ninja Scroll #12 --  4,602 (- 6.1%)

----------------

6 months: -27.8%

Canceled, apparently.

—–

291 - LOONEY TUNES (Johnny DC)

08/2001: Looney Tunes #81  -- 3,046*

08/2002: Looney Tunes #93  -- 3,560*

08/2003: Looney Tunes #105 -- 3,502

08/2004: Looney Tunes #117 -- 3,159

08/2005: Looney Tunes #129 -- 2,736

-----------------------------------

08/2006: Looney Tunes #141 -- 2,783 (+ 3.8%)

09/2006: Looney Tunes #142 -- 2,695 (- 3.2%)

10/2006: Looney Tunes #143 -- 2,741 (+ 1.7%)

11/2006: Looney Tunes #144 -- ?????

12/2006: Looney Tunes #145 -- 2,732

01/2007: Looney Tunes #146 -- 2,588 (- 5.3%)

02/2007: Looney Tunes #147 -- 2,553 (- 1.4%)

03/2007: Looney Tunes #148 -- 2,705 (+ 6.0%)

04/2007: Looney Tunes #149 -- 2,640 (- 2.4%)

05/2007: Looney Tunes #150 -- 3,093 (+17.2%)

06/2007: Looney Tunes #151 -- 2,711 (-12.4%)

07/2007: Looney Tunes #152 -- 2,865 (+ 5.7%)

08/2007: Looney Tunes #153 -- 2,755 (- 3.8%)

----------------

6 months: + 7.9%

1 year  : - 1.0%

2 years : + 0.7%

Another Johnny DC book.

—–

RE-ORDERS:

159: 13,838 -- Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1 (3rd)

172: 11,067 -- Green Lantern Corps #14

178:  9,382 -- Green Lantern #21

270:  3,840 -- Batman #666

293:  2,740 -- Green Arrow: Year One #2

—–

Average Sales per Title

(not counting reprints, re-orders shipping after the initial month of release, Johnny DC titles and magazines)

DC COMICS

08/2003: 28,270

08/2004: 29,318

08/2005: 35,930

---------------

08/2006: 42,497 (+ 6.5%)

09/2006: 34,920 (-17.8%)

10/2006: 33,406 (- 4.3%)

11/2006: 34,906 (+ 4.5%)

12/2006: 34,418 (- 1.4%)

01/2007: 29,706 (-13.7%)

02/2007: 31,051 (+ 4.5%)

03/2007: 32,398 (+ 4.3%)

04/2007: 39,134 (+20.8%)

05/2007: 34,489 (-11.9%)

06/2007: 32,437 (- 6.0%)

07/2007: 34,330 (+ 5.8%)

08/2007: 34,885 (+ 1.6%)

----------------

6 months: +12.4%

1 year  : -17.9%

2 years : - 2.9%

3 years : +19.0%

4 years : +23.4%
DC UNIVERSE

08/2003: 32,946

08/2004: 34,018

08/2005: 46,527

---------------

08/2006: 54,382 (+10.0%)

09/2006: 46,329 (-14.8%)

10/2006: 42,581 (- 8.1%)

11/2006: 45,399 (+ 6.6%)

12/2006: 44,641 (- 1.7%)

01/2007: 38,302 (-14.2%)

02/2007: 39,976 (+ 4.4%)

03/2007: 42,634 (+ 6.7%)

04/2007: 52,768 (+23.8%)

05/2007: 47,294 (-10.4%)

06/2007: 45,380 (- 4.1%)

07/2007: 47,134 (+ 3.9%)

08/2007: 46,717 (- 0.9%)

----------------

6 months: +16.9%

1 year  : -14.1%

2 years : + 0.4%

3 years : +37.3%

4 years : +41.8%
VERTIGO

08/2003: 17,396

08/2004: 18,298

08/2005: 13,652

---------------

08/2006: 16,107 (- 3.5%)

09/2006: 15,399 (- 4.4%)

10/2006: 15,189 (- 1.4%)

11/2006: 13,773 (- 9.3%)

12/2006: 13,834 (+ 0.4%)

01/2007: 13,572 (- 1.9%)

02/2007: 11,855 (-12.7%)

03/2007: 13,748 (+16.0%)

04/2007: 12,105 (-12.0%)

05/2007: 12,256 (+ 1.3%)

06/2007: 12,732 (+ 3.9%)

07/2007: 12,193 (- 4.2%)

08/2007: 10,817 (-11.3%)

----------------

6 months: - 8.8%

1 year  : -32.8%

2 years : -20.8%

3 years : -40.9%

4 years : -37.8%
WILDSTORM

08/2003: 20,185

08/2004: 15,701

08/2005: 15,998

---------------

08/2006: 14,741 (+15.4%)

09/2006: 13,285 (- 9.9%)

10/2006: 25,747 (+93.8%)

11/2006: 18,987 (-26.3%)

12/2006: 17,288 (- 9.0%)

01/2007: 14,525 (-16.0%)

02/2007: 14,105 (- 2.9%)

03/2007: 15,224 (+ 7.9%)

04/2007: 13,609 (-10.6%)

05/2007: 14,260 (+ 4.8%)

06/2007: 12,272 (-13.9%)

07/2007: 11,234 (- 8.5%)

08/2007: 10,744 (- 4.4%)

----------------

6 months: -23.8%

1 year  : -27.1%

2 years : -32.8%

3 years : -31.6%

4 years : -46.8%

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS

+ 54.4%: Flash

+ 47.8%: Green Lantern Corps

+ 25.6%: Green Lantern

+  8.6%: Scooby-Doo

+  7.9%: Looney Tunes

+  5.6%: Outsiders

+  3.9%: Justice Society of America

+  3.2%: Blue Beetle

+  3.0%: Green Arrow

+  2.4%: Batman Strikes

+  1.2%: Hellblazer

-  0.2%: Birds of Prey

-  0.9%: Justice League Unlimited

-  1.2%: Catwoman

-  4.0%: Checkmate

-  4.4%: Jack of Fables

-  4.7%: JLA: Classified

-  5.8%: The All-New Atom

-  6.5%: Batman

-  6.6%: Supergirl and the Legion

-  7.5%: The Exterminators

-  7.7%: Teen Titans Go

-  7.8%: DMZ

-  8.1%: Superman

-  8.4%: Nightwing

-  8.6%: Detective Comics

- 10.0%: Robin

- 11.1%: Shadowpact

- 11.2%: JSA: Classified

- 11.5%: Supergirl

- 12.2%: Jonah Hex

- 13.6%: American Virgin

- 14.8%: Friday the 13th

- 16.6%: Texas Chainsaw Massacre

- 18.3%: The Spirit

- 18.8%: Crossing Midnight

- 20.3%: Loveless

- 20.6%: Action Comics

- 20.6%: Scalped

- 20.8%: Aquaman

- 24.4%: Gen13

- 25.9%: Welcome to Tranquility

- 26.8%: Batman Confidential

- 27.2%: Wonder Woman

- 27.8%: Ninja Scroll

- 30.1%: StormWatch: PHD

- 30.4%: Deadman

- 36.5%: Wetworks

- 36.9%: The Midnighter

- 43.5%: The Brave and the Bold

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS

+  3.3%: Scooby-Doo

+  3.2%: Flash

+  0.6%: Teen Titans

+  0.5%: Fables

+  0.2%: Green Lantern Corps

-  1.0%: Looney Tunes

-  5.5%: Hellblazer

-  7.7%: Batman Strikes

-  9.2%: Green Arrow

- 10.5%: Birds of Prey

- 10.6%: Justice League Unlimited

- 11.6%: Action Comics

- 14.0%: Outsiders

- 17.2%: DMZ

- 18.4%: Teen Titans Go

- 18.5%: Jack of Fables

- 19.0%: Batman

- 19.5%: The Exterminators

- 20.0%: Superman

- 22.3%: Jonah Hex

- 22.8%: Catwoman

- 24.0%: Detective Comics

- 24.0%: JLA: Classified

- 25.4%: Nightwing

- 26.4%: Supergirl and the Legion

- 30.6%: Robin

- 34.2%: Superman/Batman

- 36.1%: Loveless

- 36.2%: American Virgin

- 36.5%: Checkmate

- 36.9%: Supergirl

- 37.5%: JSA: Classified

- 38.2%: Justice League of America

- 39.9%: Wonder Woman

- 41.9%: Shadowpact

- 42.3%: Blue Beetle

- 53.2%: The All-New Atom

- 73.6%: Deadman

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS

+ 76.7%: Justice League of America

+ 68.7%: Justice Society of America

+ 45.1%: Flash

+ 32.6%: Wonder Woman

+ 18.3%: Batman

+  5.7%: Action Comics

+  3.7%: Detective Comics

+  2.2%: Fables

+  0.7%: Looney Tunes

-  0.1%: Green Arrow

-  0.3%: Scooby-Doo

-  0.9%: Catwoman

-  6.9%: Teen Titans

- 10.7%: Hellblazer

- 11.1%: Robin

- 11.9%: Birds of Prey

- 12.6%: Superman

- 17.2%: Nightwing

- 18.2%: Supergirl and the Legion

- 19.1%: Justice League Unlimited

- 19.4%: Aquaman

- 20.9%: Outsiders

- 21.2%: Batman Strikes

- 24.2%: Green Lantern

- 36.0%: Teen Titans Go

- 51.5%: JLA: Classified

- 56.1%: JSA: Classified

- 62.0%: Supergirl

—–

OTHER PUBLISHERS

85 - THE BOYS (Dynamite Entertainment)

08/2006: The Boys #1  -- 31,636          [37,795]

08/2006: The Boys #2  -- 26,165 (-17.3%) [32,075]

09/2006: --

10/2006: The Boys #3  -- 26,415 (+ 1.0%)

10/2006: The Boys #4  -- 24,848 (- 5.9%) [28,452]

11/2006: The Boys #5  -- 26,842 (+ 8.0%)

12/2006: The Boys #6  -- 27,039 (+ 0.7%) [35,173]

01/2007: --

02/2007: --

03/2007: --

04/2007: --

05/2007: The Boys #7  -- 31,616 (+16.9%) [37,255]

06/2007: The Boys #8  -- 30,639 (- 3.1%) [32,868]

07/2007: --

08/2007: The Boys #9  -- 32,570 (+ 6.3%)

----------------

6 months:  n.a.

1 year  : + 3.0%

Yes, that year-on-year comparison is with issue #1. The Boys is the best-selling title WildStorm are no longer publishing. If there’s any hope at all left for them, they’re at least kicking themselves over it really hard.

—–

88 - STAR WARS: LEGACY (Dark Horse Comics)

08/2006: --

09/2006: Star Wars: Legacy #3  -- 34,268 (+2.9%)

09/2006: Star Wars: Legacy #4  -- 34,362 (+0.3%)

10/2006: --

11/2006: Star Wars: Legacy #5  -- 34,362 (   0%)

11/2006: Star Wars: Legacy #6  -- 33,003 (-4.0%)

12/2006: --

01/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #7  -- 34,249 (+3.8%)

02/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #8  -- 33,533 (-2.1%)

03/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #9  -- 33,084 (-1.3%)

03/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #10 -- 32,320 (-2.3%)

04/2007: -- 

05/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #11 -- 33,138 (+2.5%)

05/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #12 -- 32,161 (-3.0%)

06/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #13 -- 32,149 (-0.0%)

07/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #14 -- 31,652 (-1.6%)

08/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #15 -- 31,539 (-0.4%)

----------------

6 months: - 6.0%

1 year  :   n.a.
104 - HELLBOY: DARKNESS CALLS (Dark Horse Comics)

08/2001: Hellboy: Conqueror Worm #4 of 4 -- 22,195*

--------------------------------------------------

05/2007: Hellboy: Darkness Calls #1 of 6 -- 32,321

05/2007: Hellboy: Darkness Calls #2 of 6 -- 26,008 (-19.5%)

06/2007: Hellboy: Darkness Calls #3 of 6 -- 25,553 (- 1.8%)

07/2007: Hellboy: Darkness Calls #4 of 6 -- 25,210 (- 1.3%)

08/2007: Hellboy: Darkness Calls #5 of 6 -- 24,743 (- 1.9%)
105 - CONAN (Dark Horse Comics)

08/2004: Conan #7  -- 47,052

08/2005: Conan #19 -- 35,455

----------------------------

08/2006: Conan #31 -- 30,887 (- 0.7%)

09/2006: Conan #32 -- 29,070 (- 5.9%)

10/2006: Conan #33 -- 29,137 (+ 0.2%)

11/2006: Conan #34 -- 28,144 (- 3.4%)

12/2006: Conan #35 -- 27,115 (- 3.7%)

01/2007: Conan #36 -- 26,245 (- 3.2%)

02/2007: Conan #37 -- 25,532 (- 2.7%)

03/2007: Conan #38 -- 25,236 (- 1.2%)

04/2007: Conan #39 -- 25,103 (- 0.5%)

05/2007: Conan #40 -- 24,982 (- 0.5%)

06/2007: Conan #41 -- 24,720 (- 1.1%)

07/2007: Conan #42 -- 24,288 (- 1.8%)

08/2007: Conan #43 -- 23,843 (- 1.8%)

----------------

6 months: - 6.6%

1 year  : -22.8%

2 years : -32.8%

Two rock-solid performers and a waning one from Dark Horse. Due to the fifth week and the resulting abundance of Marvel and DC books, a number of titles from other publishers were pushed out of the Top 100 in August.

—–

106 - SPAWN (Image Comics/TMP)

08/2001: Spawn #113 -- 49,250*

08/2002: Spawn #125 -- 41,251*

08/2003: Spawn #127 -- 39,371

08/2004: Spawn #137 -- 34,734

08/2005: Spawn #148 -- 27,548

-----------------------------

08/2006: Spawn #159 -- 26,232 (- 2.4%)

09/2006: Spawn #160 -- 25,580 (- 2.5%)

10/2006: Spawn #161 -- 25,840 (+ 1.0%)

11/2006: Spawn #162 -- 25,069 (- 3.0%)

12/2006: Spawn #163 -- 24,922 (- 0.6%)

01/2007: Spawn #164 -- 24,534 (- 1.6%)

02/2007: --

03/2007: Spawn #165 -- 24,519 (- 0.1%)

03/2007: Spawn #166 -- 23,690 (- 3.4%)

04/2007: --

05/2007: Spawn #167 -- 24,277 (+ 2.5%)

06/2007: Spawn #168 -- 24,152 (- 0.5%)

07/2007: Spawn #169 -- 24,037 (- 0.5%)

08/2007: Spawn #170 -- 23,712 (- 1.4%)

----------------

6 months:  n.a.

1 year  : - 9.6%

2 years : -13.9%

Standard attrition.

—–

109/110 - THE WALKING DEAD (Image Comics)

08/2004: --

08/2005: Walking Dead #21 -- 17,668

-----------------------------------

08/2006: Walking Dead #30 -- 20,540 (+ 0.8%)

09/2006: Walking Dead #31 -- 21,368 (+ 4.0%)

10/2006: --

11/2006: Walking Dead #32 -- 21,191 (- 0.8%)

12/2006: Walking Dead #33 -- 21,235 (+ 0.2%)

01/2007: Walking Dead #34 -- 21,184 (- 0.2%)

02/2007: Walking Dead #35 -- 21,391 (+ 1.0%)

03/2007: Walking Dead #36 -- 21,291 (- 0.5%)

04/2007: Walking Dead #37 -- 21,737 (+ 2.1%)

05/2007: --

06/2007: Walking Dead #38 -- 22,193 (+ 2.1%)

07/2007: Walking Dead #39 -- 22,487 (+ 1.3%)

08/2007: Walking Dead #40 -- 22,989 (+ 2.2%)

08/2007: Walking Dead #41 -- 22,681 (- 1.3%)

-----------------

6 months: +  6.8%

1 year  : + 11.2%

2 years : + 29.3%

The book keeps clawing its way up the charts.

—–

125 - MOUSE GUARD: WINTER 1152 (Archaia Studios Press)

02/2006: Mouse Guard #1 of 6 --  5,601          [11,574]

05/2006: Mouse Guard #2 of 6 --  7,927 (+41.5%) [10,721]

05/2006: Mouse Guard #3 of 6 --  8,336 (+ 5.2%) [10,620]

08/2006: Mouse Guard #4 of 6 -- 12,391 (+16.7%)

10/2006: Mouse Guard #5 of 6 -- 14,075 (+13.6%)

01/2007: Mouse Guard #6 of 6 -- 13,644 (- 3.1%)

--------------------------------------

08/2007: Winter 1152 #1 of 6 -- 19,656 (+44.1%)

-----------------

2 years : + 58.6%

Hey, look at this. Evidently, it’s still quite possible to launch new concepts by unknown creators into the direct market as periodicals. It’s just not happening at Vertigo or WildStorm anymore, for whatever reason.

—–

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.

—–

Germany-based Marc-Oliver Frisch has a weblog and regularly contributes to German online magazine Comicgate.

Comments

  1. For what it’s worth, I’m disappointed to hear about the silent cancellation of Welcome to Tranquility.

    I thought that book was fantastic. I hadn’t been that intrigued by a new series/new concept since Ex Machina.

    I do not know why it failed to catch on. Is the Wildstorm Banner really a deterrent to sales?

  2. Way to go, David Peterson!

  3. Edward Ward says:

    “Evidently, it’s still quite possible to launch new concepts by unknown creators into the direct market as periodicals. It’s just not happening at Vertigo or WildStorm anymore, for whatever reason.”
    My two cents from a consumer perspective on this is that Vertigo doesn’t seem to be doing anything to encourage consumers to buy their books as periodicals. Mouse Guard has had the good fortune of recieving a lot more mass media attention than anything Vertigo has launched in quite some time, but the scheduling of a hiatus for the series – during which the collected edition was released – was no accident. By not shipping the new arc/mini until the collected edition had hit stores, it allowed new readers who had heard the buzz and were waiting to try it until there was a paperback or hardcover to have a very short wait until their next fix.
    Vertigos scheduling actively discourages people who find their books through trades to continue with the singles. I’ll use Fables as an example here. The latest collected edition of Fables was released in June and collected through to issue #59. What was the next issue to hit the shelves? #63. Four issues into the next arc.
    Considering that collected editions are usually (with occasional exceptions) six issues, why would a reader who was following in trades suddenly feel compelled to go to the hassle of trying to put together the last few issues and get caught up when the series was past the halfway point for the next collected edition? It’s a a pain and unless the scheduling is done to maximize the convenience for a reader to jump from trade-waiter to periodical-purchaser it is just not going to happen. Add to that the fact that most Vertigo books are complicated enough through either the details of their world building or large casts of characters that they require the kind of active and aware reading that works better in collected editions and, again, you’re left with not much motivation to pick them up in periodical form.
    I buy DMZ, Fables, Jack of Fables, Y: The Last Man, American Virgin, and The Exterminators in periodical because I like them enough that I want to support them. I don’t think that the format serves DMZ or the Exterminators at all well though. It works alright for the Fables books and Y, but I still think they read better in collected editions. I get annoyed at all of the books for not having a ‘recap’ page, and I think that DCs policy against these is idiotic. I read a lot of comics and it is sometimes very difficult for me to remember the specifics of what happened from one issue to the next off the top of my head. When reading a Trade I can keep everything in my head all at once, and once the full shape of a story is clear it is easier for me to remember the important events. Remembering the details of a story when I have to wait a month between chapter three and four doesn’t work so well. Especially when I don’t have much established history with the characters and setting already taking up brainspace.
    The only reasons to read a title that isn’t part of a shared universe anymore are 1) because you are impatient and want a ‘fix’ 2) they offer additional material that will not be in the Trades 3) you love the title and want to support it.
    Vertigo offers no additional material in their titles, so 2) is right out. I doubt that there are enough people who pay attention to the economics of the industry, then care that much about the economics of the industry, then have the money to drop on something simply because of those considerations to have 3) make any kind of sales dent. That leaves us with 1) as the only significant possible motivator for someone to start picking up the periodicals as opposed to the trades. By releasing their trades so late into subsequent arcs on titles Vertigo is making it sufficiently inconvenient that it all but nullifies that as a motivator as well.

  4. Edward Ward says:

    edit to above – when I said ‘The only reasons to read a title that isn’t part of a shared universe anymore’, I meant to say ‘The only reasons to read a title that isn’t part of a shared universe in periodical form as opposed to collected edition anymore are’
    I would in no way want it to seem as though I think that there is no reason to read anything other than ‘shared universe’ titles as that is quite the opposite of my thinking.

  5. Whether the WildStorm brand is an active deterrent to sales is perhaps debatable. But it’s certainly not much of a draw any more. We’ve had at least two failed relaunches by this stage, and I think the time is approaching where DC really have to take a long hard look at this brand and figure out why they’re keeping it around and what it’s supposed to stand for.

    WildStorm is just a branch of DC. There’s no point giving it a separate name and a separate brand identity it’s going to stand for something reasonable distinct.

    At present, WildStorm seems to put out two types of comics. First, they make vaguely alternative superhero comics based on the universe that Jim Lee created back in the early 1990s. Some of these have got very good reviews, but there’s little evidence of a wider demand for them. They tend to be hybrids between superhero books and other genres, and instead of pulling in fans from both audiences, they seem to be attracting only the minority who like both.

    Second, WildStorm put out a miscellaneous grab-bag of random titles such as EX MACHINA, HIGHWAYMEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH that have nothing in common besides DC’s internal administrative arrangements, and certainly nothing in common with the WildStorm Universe books. This is not a coherent brand identity, and so it’s not surprising that the WildStorm name no longer draws readers very effectively.

    There may be a space in DC’s line for action, horror and other genre titles that are too “adult” – or too far removed from superheroes – to fit comfortably in the DC Universe, yet not sufficiently literary to be at home in Vertigo. Perhaps they could do with an imprint for that sort of comic; at the moment, they’re dumping them into WildStorm alongside the umpteenth relaunch of WETWORKS, and it’s not really working.

  6. brett tolino says:

    Good for Booster Gold!

    Glad it’s off to a great start and I believe sales are only going to increase because there’s a TON of buzz going on about how great this book is.

    That’s what happens when you get good creators (Dan Jurgens, Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz) on a good character.

    You get a great read and a great seller.

  7. (There’s an “unless” missing in that second para, obviously…)

  8. Eric Haar says:

    I have to point out that though Countdown To Adventure moved less units than Black Adam, Booster Gold or Four Horsemen it has a $3.99 cover price vs. $2.99 for the other three series, meaning it brought in more revenue. So to automatically qualify them as “less than impressive” in relation to the 52 tie-ins is a bit skewed.

    Countdown to Adventure: 42,883x $3.99 = $171,103.17

    Booster Gold: 53,689 x $2.99 = $160,530.11

    Black Adam: 51,788x $2.99 = $154,846.12

    Four Horesemen: 48932 x $2.99 = $146,306.68

  9. BATMAN/LOBO was a real disappointment. Sam Keith is still worrying about little girls, but this one rang hollow.
    That said, the first issue of OUTSIDERS: FIVE OF A KIND might go down in my book as WORST SINGLE ISSUE OF THE YEAR.
    It was just dead inside. Obviously, I went no further with the book.

  10. eric…good point i was about to make myself.

  11. Whups… I just looked. I guess I mean Issue #2 of Five-of-a-kind. I didn’t read issue #1, apparently.

  12. BradyDale, you missed out on Outsiders: Five of a Kind! If you HAD read it, you would possibly have had a 5-way TIE for “WORST SINGLE ISSUE OF THE YEAR”.

    At least, that was the reaction from most of my customers that bought it. I didn’t read it past #1 myself…

  13. Brian Davison says:

    Doesn’t matter. GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY WEDDING SPECIAL #1 has all of OUTSIDERS: FIVE OF A KIND beat as “Worst Single Issue of the Year.”

  14. Jim Kosmicki says:

    I believe that officially CMX is part of Wildstorm. Yes, I know that that’s probably just internal politics and organizational charts, but who knows what contracts are written what way? So DC may be in a position of needing to keep Wildstorm alive to keep CMX, which seems to be doing quite well for them.

  15. Those would, if anything, be reasons for keeping the Wildstorm division around and doing something; not necessarily a reason for keeping the Wildstorm brand name. It’s their business, they can call it anything they want within reason.

  16. I agree with the comments on Wildstorm not having an identity. I don’t mind the “superheroes outside the DCU and Jim Lee leftovers” aspect of it but then why publish some of the other stuff at Wildstorm and not Vertigo? I’d assume it has something to do with whichever editor takes on the project but there needs to be more understanding of the importance of branding. I think The Programme is an excellent book so far and the sales are disappointing and I can’t help but wonder if it was considered a Vertigo book if it hadn’t done at least a tiny bit better. The horror books would also have been a better fit for a company that has done Hellblazer and Swamp Thing as opposed to the one known for Wildcats!? Wildstorm is now known for failed relaunches and sudden creative team changes in midstream that probably has disenfranchised whatever small core audience they had.

    These reports though are, I think, overly harsh towards Vertigo books- why doesn’t All New Atom, Blue Bettle, Shadowpact, etc. catch any flack for having numbers not much better than the Vertigo and Wildstorm books that seem to be on a monthly “death watch” here? I kind of wish that Vertigo books would catch the same break as the Johnny DC book regarding disclaimers as I’d bet that even though Johnny DC books sell in other markets I’d guess many of those are returnable and thus the profits probably end up to be less than what the Vertigo books which gain by selling in bookstores and through Amazon. I also heartily endorse Edward’s notion that the scheduling makes it difficult for readers to jump from trades to monthlies.

  17. AERose says:

    “These reports though are, I think, overly harsh towards Vertigo books- why doesn’t All New Atom, Blue Bettle, Shadowpact, etc. catch any flack for having numbers not much better than the Vertigo and Wildstorm books that seem to be on a monthly “death watch” here?”

    Double = Not much better?

    Beside that, DC has ways of perking up the numbers on their superhero titles when sales are slipping. If a Vertigo book can’t find a fanbase, though, there’s no shared universe for it to cross over into in order to get noticed. You can’t put Batman on the cover of Scalped, nor can you make a snap decision to put a new creative team on The Exterminators.

  18. “At present, WildStorm seems to put out two types of comics.”

    I’d split it up into three categories.

    1) The Wildstorm Universe

    Which for me died at the vague reboot. Wildstorm was always the universe without a status quo–it didn’t rely on eternally returning iconic versions of characters, but actually developed and matured from its nineties roots. Now that progression has been wiped away, and from the interactions the WSU has had with the DCU, one gets the impression that DC editorial thinks very little of it.

    2) Low-selling but often highly acclaimed creator-owned projects

    Which basically says it all.

    3) Anything DC wants to publish but can’t be bothered to handle.

    Humanoids? Let WildStorm handle it. CMX? WildStorm can do it. 2000AD? Horror movie licences–or any licences, for that matter? You guessed it.

  19. I don’t want to jump on Marc’s work, as it’s a ton of work and he does an excellent job, but I also feel like he’s not really giving Vertigo it’s due here. By all anecdotal accounts, trade paperback sales are a *huge* part of the imprint’s success, and the periodical sales are merely subsidizing that profitable side of the imprint. Moreso than Johnny DC, I would guess.

    At least from my point of view as a retailer, if Vertigo went away, it would take a pretty big chunk of my weekly trade sales with it, while my single issue sales would barely feel the blip. So I think the outlook Marc is presenting here is a bit more dire than is probably called for.

    I also wouldn’t lump Vertigo in with Wildstorm. Vertigo has a brand identity (even if it’s not as focused as it used to be) and can help a trade paperback’s sales in the market, the Wildstorm brand is so flimsy as to be worthless and aside from older material (Planetary, Authority, etc.) and the rare hit that would probably work just as well at Vertigo (Ex Machina), the imprint seems to be floundering aimlessly. Both Paul O’Brien and Niels have already stated the case against Wildstorm and DC’s (mis) use of it more effectively than I could.

  20. Every now and then I like to just stress how much I love this sales chart feature (and the Marvel sales chart). I like the Beat, but this feature I anticipate as much as reading the comics them selves. Always interesting.

    I wish there was a way to get a good feel for trade sales, as it would be great to see how Vertigo trades really sold. Based on Internet buzz they do great, but we all know that isn’t the best gauge.

    I don’t want Crossing Midnight or Loveless to end anytime soon.

  21. Niels: You’re correct that they also produce a third category of titles – “miscellaneous reprints”, for want of a better word. I didn’t mention those because I was thinking about the health of the Wildstorm BRAND, and while these books are produced by the same people, they’re not marketed under the same imprint. For example, CMX is presented to customers as an imprint of DC, not a sub-imprint of Wildstorm.

  22. Randy:

    “By all anecdotal accounts, trade paperback sales are a *huge* part of the imprint’s success, and the periodical sales are merely subsidizing that profitable side of the imprint. Moreso than Johnny DC, I would guess.”

    I’m reluctant to make any guesses when it comes to Johnny DC (or Marvel’s Adventures line, for that matter) – the only thing that’s clear is that the continued publication of these books is paying off SOMEWHERE for the publishers. They seem to have some success with repackaging them for chains like Target or Walmart, but that’s purely based on anecdotal reports. Lord knows where exactly those titles are selling.

    “At least from my point of view as a retailer, if Vertigo went away, it would take a pretty big chunk of my weekly trade sales with it, while my single issue sales would barely feel the blip.”

    I’m aware of the significance of collection sales for Vertigo. But there’s a point where even potentially strong collection sales can’t save a monthly title from being canceled, and it currently seems a lot of their books are gravitating towards that point.

    Vertigo clearly isn’t going away anytime soon as a brand, given their impressive backlist. But by now, there’s ample reason to be concerned about their ability to successfully launch NEW properties into the periodical market. Their monthly sales have gradually declined in recent years, and their only successful launch in recent memory is a FABLES spin-off.

    I think they seriously need to slim down, re-think and re-focus the imprint, and put a lot more promotional effort into the books they do put than they seem currently willing to. Vertigo may still be a much stronger brand than WildStorm, but it’s not beyond being watered down if they don’t manage to turn things around.

  23. “I think The Programme is an excellent book so far and the sales are disappointing and I can’t help but wonder if it was considered a Vertigo book if it hadn’t done at least a tiny bit better.”

    A few years ago, I might have agreed. But right now? Looking at the numbers of CROSSING MIDNIGHT, FAKER or ARMY@WAR, I very much doubt it.

  24. “I have to point out that though Countdown To Adventure moved less units than Black Adam, Booster Gold or Four Horsemen it has a $3.99 cover price vs. $2.99 for the other three series, meaning it brought in more revenue.”

    That’s a fair point. I should have mentioned the higher price point. The same goes for COUNTDOWN proper as well, by the way, which is $ 2.99 compared to 52’s $ 2.50.

    Cover price doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference to customers within a certain range, but it’s rather more significant to retailers and publishers, of course.

  25. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    “Vertigo clearly isn’t going away anytime soon as a brand, given their impressive backlist. But by now, there’s ample reason to be concerned about their ability to successfully launch NEW properties into the periodical market. Their monthly sales have gradually declined in recent years, and their only successful launch in recent memory is a FABLES spin-off.”

    But how do we define success? Sure, most of their books don’t set the monthly charts on fire, but personally, I think it’s a great success when a book as quirky and challenging as Testament, for example, reaches more than 20 issues. I think as a Vertigo reader one should move away from the idea that when a book is cancelled due to low sales after two years or so, this constitutes a failure. It merely shows that Vertigo is still willing to produce books that are so original and experimental that they don’t appeal to the majority of comic fans. I consider it a great strength of the Vertigo brand that it helps books who are quite “un-commercial” to survive this long (two years isn’t bad, I think). Oh, and if the average monthly sales have declined in recent years, maybe the TPB sales have risen concurrently?
    Plus, there’s the added success of a TPB’s long-term sales, not just in comic shops but also in book stores where they serve (hopefully) to introduce a whole new readership to the idea that there actually are a lot of sophisticated comics for adults.

    “I think they seriously need to slim down, re-think and re-focus the imprint, and put a lot more promotional effort into the books they do put than they seem currently willing to.”

    I agree that more promotion would be nice, especially if they could find more effective ways to reach the bookstore audience outside the traditional comics market. The mention of slimming down brings up another aspect: I’ve been a Vertigo fan since it exists, and I don’t think they ever published as many ongoing books as they do right now. Not exactly a sign of bad health, is it? If they didn’t earn good money on those books (monthlies + TPBs), they wouldn’t keep starting new series. It’s actually gotten to the point where part of me hopes they cancel some books, since I am currently buying more Vertigo books than ever and could live with a few less, but don’t have the heart to stop buying any since they’re all so good.

  26. “I think as a Vertigo reader one should move away from the idea that when a book is cancelled due to low sales after two years or so, this constitutes a failure.”

    That’s a rather depressing standard of “success”, Heinz. Most Vertigo books have a long-term story in mind, which usually seems to clock in at around five or six years. It seems to me that you can’t call them a “success” by virtue of mere survival unless they stick around long enough to complete that story.

  27. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    “That’s a rather depressing standard of “success”, Heinz. Most Vertigo books have a long-term story in mind, which usually seems to clock in at around five or six years. It seems to me that you can’t call them a “success” by virtue of mere survival unless they stick around long enough to complete that story.”

    They have long-term stories in mind? How do you know? Unless you’ve read interviews with every single Vertigo writer, we’re both just speculating here, but I wouldn’t assume that just because Sandman, Preacher and Y lasted five or six years, this is the intended length for all Vertigo books. I would assume that most Vertigo writers are realistic enough to know how much commercial appeal their project has and how long the market will support this kind of book. Thus, I would also assume that they plan their story in such a way that it can reach a satisfactory conclusion after two years or so.

    As for why I call this a relative success, ask yourself this: How long would these titles last if they were published at a smaller publisher? How much would they sell? Just look at the ‘Other Publishers’ above: super-heroes, movie tie-ins, barbarians, zombies and anthropomorphic mice. With all due respect, none of those books seem to be as challenging, original and sophisticated as most Vertigo books. My point is that it is the strength of the Vertigo brand that allows these books to exist in a market that isn’t very friendly towards this kind of content, and I consider that a success.

  28. I take the point that you might see Vertigo as relatively “more successful” than other imprints in that its books can survive longer than theirs, but one could just as easily say that this makes them the least unsuccessful of the bunch.

  29. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    “I take the point that you might see Vertigo as relatively “more successful” than other imprints in that its books can survive longer than theirs,…”

    …or in that they publish more original, challenging and sophisticated material which the other imprints probably wouldn’t be able to sell at all.

    “…but one could just as easily say that this makes them the least unsuccessful of the bunch.”

    Sure, that’s seems to be the way the market is (though let’s remember we don’t know for sure how unsuccessful they are because we don’t know enough about TPB sales).

  30. Somebody says:

    Didn’t WildStorm use to HAVE imprints for the non-WSU stuff that Paul O’s saying is a bad idea to mix into the basic WS brand?

  31. That would be Homage and WildStorm Signature, as I recall. I never did figure out what the difference was meant to be.

  32. “My point is that it is the strength of the Vertigo brand that allows these books to exist in a market that isn’t very friendly towards this kind of content, and I consider that a success.”

    I agree with you on the merits of the Vertigo brand. However, Vertigo has undeniably become much less successful than it used to be in the periodical direct market, and there seems to be a downward trend.

  33. >> That would be Homage and WildStorm Signature, as I recall. I never did figure out what the difference was meant to be.>>

    There isn’t one. Homage was renamed Wildstorm Signature.

    When that happened, there were three Wildstorm imprints:

    Wildstorm Universe – the whole WildCATs-derived line of books.

    Wildstorm Signature – creator-owned books

    Wildstorm – everything else.

    I don’t know hat they’re still using that, but I don’t know that they’re not, either.

    kdb

  34. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    “I agree with you on the merits of the Vertigo brand. However, Vertigo has undeniably become much less successful than it used to be in the periodical direct market, and there seems to be a downward trend.”

    True, and anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that this is because their TPB sales are booming. Add to this the fact that they are currently putting out more ongoing series than ever before and there is absolutely no reason to assume that the imprint is floundering in any way.

  35. “Didn’t WildStorm use to HAVE imprints for the non-WSU stuff that Paul O’s saying is a bad idea to mix into the basic WS brand?”

    At various points in time, they’ve had Cliffhanger, Homage Comics and WildStorm Signature Series for creator-owned books.

    In its current incarnation, I honestly don’t see the practical advantages of keeping WildStorm around as a separate imprint. Their WildStorm Universe line, which during its zenith was the place for edgy and provocative books, may as well be just absorbed into the DC Universe line, at this stage – partly because everyone else has caught up with its appeal in the last seven years, and partly because it’s been toned down significantly. And there’s no discernible reason why the other books they publish couldn’t be handled by Vertigo or DC proper.

    I think there are ways to re-establish the imprint’s brand identity, but it doesn’t look like they’re willing to go any of them right now – see THE BOYS.

  36. “True, and anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that this is because their TPB sales are booming.”

    Moreso than back when they had more than two monthly books selling above 15K? I’m skeptical, and even the anecdotal evidence I’ve seen doesn’t suggest that.

    “Add to this the fact that they are currently putting out more ongoing series than ever before and there is absolutely no reason to assume that the imprint is floundering in any way.”

    The imprint as a whole may be doing perfectly well, for all we know. But we also know that the sales of their average periodical are as low as they’ve ever been. That’s not an assumption, and I’d say it’s definitely something to be concerned about.

    The overall number of books put out by Vertigo has been pretty consistent over the last few years, by the way. If they’re putting out more ongoing books these days, I’d be more inclined to chalk that up to the fact that limited series are harder to sell.

  37. Daniel says:

    “If they’re putting out more ongoing books these days, I’d be more inclined to chalk that up to the fact that limited series are harder to sell. ”

    Or they’re just throwing things out there to see what sticks.

  38. Paul C says:

    “As someone correctly pointed out last month, by the way, that’s indeed “1-for-10,” and not “1-in-10.””

    Thanks for mentioning that, I always thought that if you buy 10 copies then 1 of them will be a variant. The way it is now is a bit of a bum deal to be honest. Do the retailers still have to pay for the 11th or “variant” issue then?

    By the way, the column was very enjoyable and informative once again, thanks.

  39. Is Wildstorm still a completly autonomous unit based on the west coast? Granted people can relocate but I think that alone is one of the reasons why it is still around as an imprint. Well that and maybe Lee’s contract states it remains its own entity, who knows.

    In my totally uninformed opinion I agree with many of the folks here saying that the creator owned part of WildStorm would be best served as merging with Vertigo, and focus on managing the scope of the line. (I would say you could put some of them out through DC but they don’t do creator owned books through DC anymore do they?)
    As for the Authority and Wildcats type books, since they’re just DC titles now, why not just put the DC logo on them with maybe a sub-Wildstorm logo.

  40. I’m reluctant to make any guesses when it comes to Johnny DC (or Marvel’s Adventures line, for that matter) – the only thing that’s clear is that the continued publication of these books is paying off SOMEWHERE for the publishers. They seem to have some success with repackaging them for chains like Target or Walmart, but that’s purely based on anecdotal reports. Lord knows where exactly those titles are selling.

    Fair enough. And I don’t know where they’re selling in large numbers either. I mean, we move some at my store, but nowhere near the numbers that would seem to make trades a profitable proposition if we’re a representative portion of the direct market.

    My guess, based solely on my gut, is that these sell at bookstores to parents looking to buy their kids some comics with recognizable characters in them. And if so, that’s great, because it does mean comics are still getting into kids’ hands.

    Or else Johnny DC is some kind of immense money-laundering scheme to hide the profits from Bob Wayne’s East River Gambling Boat operation. But I think the former is probably more likely. :)

    Vertigo clearly isn’t going away anytime soon as a brand, given their impressive backlist. But by now, there’s ample reason to be concerned about their ability to successfully launch NEW properties into the periodical market. Their monthly sales have gradually declined in recent years, and their only successful launch in recent memory is a FABLES spin-off.

    I think they seriously need to slim down, re-think and re-focus the imprint, and put a lot more promotional effort into the books they do put than they seem currently willing to. Vertigo may still be a much stronger brand than WildStorm, but it’s not beyond being watered down if they don’t manage to turn things around.

    Aha. I get what you’re saying… and as it turns out, we’re in complete agreement. It’s definitely true that they haven’t launched a big success since FABLES or Y THE LAST MAN. Although I will say that at least in my shop, we’re moving as many DMZ trades as we do of those books, so I believe that one is climbing in terms of fan appreciation, and could take over as the flagship if FABLES were to go away.

    But it wouldn’t hurt to have another FABLES or Y, if not another SANDMAN or PREACHER, and they don’t seem to have found that yet. My hope, and even my suspicion, is that Brian Wood is their next breakout, and that NORTHLANDERS might be a pretty solid hit for them. After all, vikings, done with good writing and art, is at least as easy a sell as post-apocalyptic feminist adventure and modern-day epic fantasy with darkly humorous overtones.

  41. Thanks, Kurt – I was mixing up Homage with the non-specific Wildstorm label. (I’m tempted to say that this shows you just what a hopelessly confused branding exercise it was, but to be honest, it’s more a sign of my memory.)

    They’re not using sub-divided brands any more; everything is just labelled as “Wildstorm.”

  42. “My guess, based solely on my gut, is that these sell at bookstores to parents looking to buy their kids some comics with recognizable characters in them.”

    Now that I think of it, I’ve stumbled across a number of library editions of Marvel’s all-ages line at Amazon. No idea how much of an immediate factor those are, but it seems to suggest that someone’s reading those books, at least.

  43. Somebody says:

    Quesada’s said quite a few times in the past couple of years that Marvel Adventures Spider-Man is Marvel’s most-subscribed-to title.

  44. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    ““True, and anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that this is because their TPB sales are booming.”

    Moreso than back when they had more than two monthly books selling above 15K? I’m skeptical, and even the anecdotal evidence I’ve seen doesn’t suggest that.”

    I think Randy said a few months ago that he was selling as many TPBs as monthly issues of some Vertigo titles. I doubt this was true years ago. Also, look at the TPB sales charts. Vertigo titles are always among the top sellers.

    “The overall number of books put out by Vertigo has been pretty consistent over the last few years, by the way.”

    Well, that’s easy enough to check. I just dug into my back issue collection and looked at the editorial pages where they list each month’s output. Taking the month of the most recent issue (September) here’s the data:

    Number of monthly issues (ongoing and limited series) by Vertigo
    Sep 2004: 11
    Sep 2005: 11
    Sep 2006: 11
    Sep 2007: 13

    So it used to be consistent, but has risen recently, exactly as I said (Previews shows that in Nov 2007 there are 15 monthlies, which is probably the highest number ever).

    This definitely isn’t the look of an imprint that’s in trouble. Of course a few more better-selling titles like Fables would be nice, but all evidence suggests that they are doing just fine as it is.

  45. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Oh, and one more thing: Doesn’t the simple fact that Vertigo continues publishing so many books with low monthly sales numbers prove that monthly sales aren’t as important as they used to be? Didn’t the point where books had to be cancelled lie much higher a few years ago? (For example, I seem to remember when American Century, Codename Knockout and Crusades were cancelled, they all still sold above 10,000) And doesn’t this mean that it’s simply impossible to gauge Vertigo’s success without access to meaningful TPB sales numbers?

  46. Retailers have to pay for nearly every variant cover we get. It’s a rare variant that we get for free. The rare free variants we get are usually a “thank you” from the publisher or from Diamond.

  47. Heinz: According to the Diamond Charts, the average monthly number of Vertigo titles was 9.5 in 2003 (not counting January and February, for which we only have preorder charts), 10.8 in 2004, 12 in 2005, 12.1 in 2006 and 12.9 in 2007 to date. So you’re right: There’s been a noticeable increase in their periodical output.

    I don’t quite buy that as a sign of improved health, given that all available data suggests otherwise, but it’s certainly interesting.

    “I think Randy said a few months ago that he was selling as many TPBs as monthly issues of some Vertigo titles. I doubt this was true years ago.”

    I don’t see a particularly good reason to doubt it. In fact, I’d be surprised if DMZ collection sales were in the same league as those of, say, TRANSMETROPOLITAN or THE INVISIBLES were years back.

    “Also, look at the TPB sales charts. Vertigo titles are always among the top sellers.”

    Haven’t they always been? Obviously, the collection market has grown tremendously in the last seven, eight years, and Vertigo are putting out more books than they used to. But that’s true for pretty much EVERY publisher and imprint in the direct market, and it doesn’t necessarily mean Vertigo collections are selling proportionately better in 2007 than they did in 2003, taking into account the overall growth of the market.

    Don’t get me wrong: I’m not ruling out your suggestions as a possibility, but for now, they’re in the realm of speculation. I’d rather stick to the available data, and that suggests that Vertigo isn’t exactly in its prime.

    “And doesn’t this mean that it’s simply impossible to gauge Vertigo’s success without access to meaningful TPB sales numbers?”

    I’d agree if their cancellations were unpredictable and all over the place, but that’s not the case. It’s still the books at the bottom of the monthly sales spectrum which tend to be axed. So I’m confident that the periodical numbers aren’t as meaningless as you’d like to think quite yet.

  48. I don’t see a particularly good reason to doubt it. In fact, I’d be surprised if DMZ collection sales were in the same league as those of, say, TRANSMETROPOLITAN or THE INVISIBLES were years back.

    This is anecdotal, but we sell two to three times the number of DMZ trades as we did of TRANSMET and INVISIBLES. Of course, we’re a growing store, so part of that is that we’re bigger and have a bigger customer base now as opposed to then, but it’s not unreasonable to assume that a similar pattern is happening at other stores.

    Certainly we sell more DMZ trades in the first week than we did of TRANSMET. And I’m pretty sure our sales momentum is faster, too. We sell a DMZ trade almost every week (sometimes more than one), we sold TRANSMET maybe once a month.

    Not sure how relevant this is, but just wanted to provide a direct response that for us, at least, DMZ (and FABLES, and AMERICAN VIRGIN) trades sell better than comparable Vertigo titles a few years ago.

  49. The first 12 issues of Countdown, just like the first 12 issues of 52, are fully returnable if ordered over some pre-determined number.

  50. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Marc-Oliver, we’re actually not that far apart in our thinking. When you say “that Vertigo isn’t exactly in its prime” sales-wise, I would agree with you. However, you made some statements above that sounded a lot more dramatic, the worst being “If writer and Fables creator Bill Willingham decides to move on, at this stage, Vertigo might as well call it a day, as far as periodicals are concerned.” which seems to imply that Vertigo is on the brink of death. It was those kinds of statements that made me disagree.

    “I don’t quite buy that as a sign of improved health, given that all available data suggests otherwise, but it’s certainly interesting.”

    You don’t? Would any company that is in financial trouble increase its output? Wouldn’t they play it safe and only publish what they consider sure sellers? And it isn’t just the number of titles, they’ve also moved away a bit from “traditional” Vertigo material and published more and more unusual books. If someone described the concepts of books like American Virgin, Testament or Crossing Midnight to me, my first reaction would be: “Sounds interesting to me, but there’s no way that’s gonna sell.” The fact that they publish so many and so challenging books definitely looks like a sign of confidence and good health to me.

    About TPB sales:

    “I don’t see a particularly good reason to doubt it. In fact, I’d be surprised if DMZ collection sales were in the same league as those of, say, TRANSMETROPOLITAN or THE INVISIBLES were years back.”

    “Obviously, the collection market has grown tremendously in the last seven, eight years, and Vertigo are putting out more books than they used to. But that’s true for pretty much EVERY publisher and imprint in the direct market, and it doesn’t necessarily mean Vertigo collections are selling proportionately better in 2007 than they did in 2003, taking into account the overall growth of the market.”

    Um, these two statements contradict each other. If the TPB market has grown tremendously, and Vertigo has a constant share in it, then it follows directly that their TPB sales have indeed risen “tremendously”. It is totally irrelevant for our discussion whether they are selling “proportionately better” as long as they are selling better in absolute numbers. It is still a definite possibility that the decreasing monthly numbers are outweighed by rising TPB sales, and thus there would be no reason to assume Vertigo has a problem (except that they don’t have more big hits like Y or Fables, but there’s no reason to assume they need these to survive). Your insistence that “all available data” suggests otherwise seems wrong-headed, as you seem to ignore all we know about the TPB market.

    “I’d agree if their cancellations were unpredictable and all over the place, but that’s not the case. It’s still the books at the bottom of the monthly sales spectrum which tend to be axed. So I’m confident that the periodical numbers aren’t as meaningless as you’d like to think quite yet.”

    You miss the point. I said that the fact that the cancellation point is significantly lower in recent years proves the rising importance of TPB sales and the decreasing importance of periodical numbers. Of course, there still is a cancellation point, but as I said, Vertigo has always cancelled books due to low sales (as has any imprint). That is no reason to assume that the imprint is in any kind of trouble. And one more point: This also makes it harder to predict when a title gets cancelled. Crossing Midnight sells as badly in monthly numbers as Deadman did. Why is the one cancelled and the other not? Maybe CM is selling significantly better in TPB form. Maybe the difference is so big that it can actually continue for another year or two. Who knows?

  51. walter says:

    Heinz, please don’t waste your time. Don’t you know that Marc is never wrong in his analysis?

  52. Heinz:

    ““If writer and Fables creator Bill Willingham decides to move on, at this stage, Vertigo might as well call it a day, as far as periodicals are concerned.” which seems to imply that Vertigo is on the brink of death.”

    That passage of mine you’re quoting ends with “as far as periodicals are concerned” for a reason, you know. I don’t think anybody presumes Vertigo are on the brink of death. But it’s obvious that they’ve been unable to launch ne properties into the periodical market for quite some time now. I think that’s worth noting.

    “Would any company that is in financial trouble increase its output?”

    Again, I don’t think I’ve suggested Vertigo are in financial trouble.

    “If the TPB market has grown tremendously, and Vertigo has a constant share in it, then it follows directly that their TPB sales have indeed risen “tremendously”.”

    Yes, that’s a possibility. And Randy’s observation about the number of DMZ collections he’s selling in comparison with those of TRANSMETROPOLITAN or THE INVISIBLES supports that notion. We still don’t have any comprehensive or systematic data about that, though.

    At the same time, however, we do have comprehensive and systematic data about the periodical market. And what it tells us is that, unlike Marvel and DC proper, who have experienced tremendous growth in both the periodical AND the “graphic novel” market since the year 2000, Vertigo’s periodical sales have been decreasing quite significantly.

    “Your insistence that “all available data” suggests otherwise seems wrong-headed, as you seem to ignore all we know about the TPB market.”

    The problem being, we don’t “know” much about the “graphic novel” market at all. We’re getting anecdotal reports and tidbits of information scrambled together from various sources, market segments and time periods here and there. And I’m not ignoring them – I think they’re worth keeping at the back of the mind. They’re not comprehensive or consistent enough to draw any broad conclusions about the market, though.

    “I said that the fact that the cancellation point is significantly lower in recent years proves the rising importance of TPB sales and the decreasing importance of periodical numbers.”

    And that’s where we disagree, Heinz. As I said, it sounds plausible enough and I’m not ruling it out as a possibility. But I don’t believe that we know nearly enough about “graphic novel” sales to treat it as fact.

    We know that the average Vertigo periodical is selling fewer copies than it used to. And we know that the collection market as a whole has grown significantly. That much is clear. To automatically presume that therefore the verifiable decline in sales in Vertigo’s periodicals is necessarily balanced out by the probable increase in book sales would be a bit of a stretch, though, from where I’m standing.

    “Crossing Midnight sells as badly in monthly numbers as Deadman did. Why is the one cancelled and the other not?”

    That’s a valid question. TESTAMENT and DEADMAN are canceled, but CROSSING MIDNIGHT, which sells in the same area, is continuing for the time being. Perhaps it’s getting more rope because it was only launched a few months ago, or perhaps its collection sales are strong enough to warrant continued publication, or perhaps there’s another internal reason for it entirely. It’s not a new phenomenon, at any rate – there have always been books which outlasted other titles despite selling worse, and not just at Vertigo or DC.

  53. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Well, let’s not argue about semantics. Some of your comments (especially the one I quoted) sounded to me like you were strongly implying that Vertigo is not a successful publishing imprint any more (which, to me, is the same as saying they are in financial trouble). If you merely meant to flag up the fact that they don’t have any new titles as successful as Fables or Y, then, of course, I agree with you, though I still wouldn’t put it like this:

    “But it’s obvious that they’ve been unable to launch ne properties into the periodical market for quite some time now. ”

    If you define the ability to launch new properties as the ability to sustain a new title for longer than two years, then there are very few publishers who have that ability. Even Image, the biggest of the smaller publishers, only has a handful of titles that were started in the last five years and have gone on for more than two years (Invincible and Walking Dead, and probably a few others I’m forgetting). Plus, we don’t know yet how long these lower-selling Vertigo titles will last. DMZ, at least, certainly looks like it might last another few years. That would contradict what you said above, even if it is not selling as good as Fables or Y, it would still be a sustainable “new property”. For god’s sake, even most new superhero concepts from the big two are cancelled after a few years (or earlier, look at Ant-Man) or are at least quite often on the brink of cancellation (Runaways, Blue Beetle).

    “To automatically presume that therefore the verifiable decline in sales in Vertigo’s periodicals is necessarily balanced out by the probable increase in book sales would be a bit of a stretch, though, from where I’m standing.”

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree there. To me, it seems more plausible to assume this than not to assume this, for all the reasons I have given, but you are right in saying that we cannot prove this.

    I’d like to end this long and interesting discussion with a few personal words, if I may. I always enjoy reading your reports and I thank you for the time and effort you put into them. I’ve noticed in recent months that you get criticized a lot for the content of your reports and many of these criticisms seem unfair to me. However, I would like to respectfully suggest that when you write comments like the one I quoted in my last post, you consider how your words might read to the people who make their living producing these books, and even to simple fans like me. You might want to consider the fact that because of the popularity of your reports, your comments have much more weight than the usual online discussions. Anway, I very much look forward to reading your reports as long as you keep writing them.

  54. “Well, let’s not argue about semantics. Some of your comments (especially the one I quoted) sounded to me like you were strongly implying that Vertigo is not a successful publishing imprint any more (which, to me, is the same as saying they are in financial trouble).”

    Well, but I didn’t suggest that Vertigo was in financial trouble. I suggested – in the very passage you quoted – they were unable to launch commercially successful new properties into the periodical market.

    Given that those are two very different things, I don’t think we’re arguing about semantics. I rather think you inferred something from my comment that’s simply not there.

    “DMZ, at least, certainly looks like it might last another few years. That would contradict what you said above, even if it is not selling as good as Fables or Y, it would still be a sustainable “new property”.”

    Well, DMZ was launched two years ago. While I agree it seems to be commercially successful, I didn’t really think that far back when I said “recently.” DMZ and the other new properties launched during that time – TESTAMENT, LOVELESS, THE EXTERMINATORS and AMERICAN VIRGIN – debuted with estimated numbers between 16,187 and 22,483.

    The imprint’s more recent new property launches – CROSSING MIDNIGHT, SCALPED, ARMY@LOVE, FAKER and THE OTHER SIDE – debuted with estimated sales between 11,461 and 14,578. There’s not even an overlap – by today’s standards, DMZ and its contemporaries launched with blockbuster numbers.

    There’s a gigantic gap there, and it seems to be widening as time goes on. Which is the point. Have paperback sales increased so drastically in just two years as to render that sharp a decline in single issue sales meaningless? Who knows, it’s not impossible. Before I have any hard data to support that notion, though, I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

    By the way, while I don’t agree with all of your conclusions, I do appreciate your comments.

  55. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Just a short reply to make what I said a bit clearer: The comment of yours I referred to in my last post was this:

    “If writer and Fables creator Bill Willingham decides to move on, at this stage, Vertigo might as well call it a day, as far as periodicals are concerned.”

    Now what exactly does “call it a day” mean? I understood this as the suggestion that Vertigo periodicals are selling so badly that in your opinion it is no longer viable to publish them at all. And since it seems to be accepted wisdom in the comics industry that no publisher can survive publishing only TPB’s without subsidizing them with periodical sales, this amounts to the suggestion that Vertigo should close shop. If I misunderstood this, I’d certainly like to know what I was meant to infer from this statement.

    Regarding your further clarification, I did indeed misunderstand you, as I didn’t realize you were just talking about the last year and just those three ongoing series (four if you add Un-Men). I am now very curious to see how Vinyl Underground and Madame Xanadu will do. Maybe they can reverse this trend.

  56. “And since it seems to be accepted wisdom in the comics industry that no publisher can survive publishing only TPB’s without subsidizing them with periodical sales, this amounts to the suggestion that Vertigo should close shop.”

    Given all the properties they’ve already got in their library, I don’t think Vertigo would have to close shop anytime soon, even if they stopped selling periodicals altogether.

  57. butch says:

    As always, termendous work, Marc.

    I’m glad Sinestro War is doing big numbers for DC. :)

  58. I, too, really appreciate the work and comments that you, Marc-Oliver, put into these reports every month. But with regard to Vertigo, I have to agree with Heinz.

    In particular, despite your claims to the contrary about only dealing with launches of new books into the direct market, you actually did take account of TPBs with regard to four new Vertigo books (Exterminators, American Virgin, Scalped and Army@Love):

    “Four Vertigo books in terminal decline. Even bearing in mind that collection sales tend to be a significant factor here, surely this can’t go on forever.”

    Either you accept that you don’t have info on the TPBs, in which case you simply can’t comment, or you take a guess at their effect, in which case Heinz’s explanation (that TPB’s *have* actually taken over as Vertigo’s major earner and therefore lessened the importance of the DM, a la Johnny DC) is a good explanation for Vertigo’s otherwise odd decision to keep these books going, IMO. In any case, simply claiming that you don’t have ‘hard data’ so aren’t willing to speculate won’t wash (because that’s precisely what you did in your comment).

    This feeds into the debate you’ve been having with Brian Wood, of course. Saying that analysing incomplete information is ‘valuable’ and not ‘harmful’ isn’t good enough. Even if Wood’s wrong about the harm, incomplete information can be valueless or even misleading. You need to take a guess about how the incompleteness of the information affects your analysis, including whether it renders analysis entirely impossible. You do that for Johnny DC. I don’t understand why you’re reluctant to make that leap for Vertigo and instead are willing to pronounce books dead on the strength of the DM numbers alone.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] [Publishing] Marc-Oliver Frisch looks at DC Comics’ month-to-month sales to Direct-Market retailers, now updated for August. (Related: Frisch also offers his take on the accuracy of Diamond’s sales figures.) [...]

  2. [...] Going from the post on The Beat, some of the others on my pull list could be finding the same fate. [...]

  3. One bait-and-switch tactic that may have backfired…

    As always, these sales analyses that The Beat blog does are often interesting to look through. Some products at DC may have risen slightly in sales, but there were others that went down. And coming into the latter category, we have Supergirl, which d…..

  4. [...] Unless this somehow sells really well outside the direct market, I can’t imagine why this is a license that so many companies have gone after. Some sort of contractual obligation with New Line? (Sales info courtesy Marc-Oliver Frisch at The Beat.) [...]

  5. [...] De momento en Estados Unidos la recepción es tibia: ventas medias y críticas favorables, pero sin conseguir despegar lo suficiente como para ser heredera de nadie. Así, por ejemplo, mientras que Fábulas vendió en agosto de 2007 la friolera de 25.498 ejemplares (manteniendo el nivel e incluso subiéndolo ligeramente con respecto a las ventas de hace dos años), la serie que hoy nos ocupa vendió en el mismo mes 12.175 ejemplares con una pérdida de ventas del 17,2% en un año. No llega desde luego a las pérdidas de números vendidos de American Virgin o Loveless (alrededor del 36% y con ventas por debajo de los 9.000 ejemplares), pero tampoco es para presumir. [DATOS] [...]

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