DC Month-to-Month Sales — January 2010

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by Marc-Oliver Frisch

The sky is falling, in case you hadn’t heard.

Well, the ceiling in the direct market seems to be, at any rate, although DC seems less affected by that right now than Marvel.

DC starts the new year with numbers that aren’t stellar, but then again, they rarely are in January. And compared to January 2009, DC’s overall unit and dollar sales are slightly up, even. For the DC Universe line, dollar sales are down compared to last year’s, but that’s because Blackest Night was on a skip month, whereas January 2009 saw two issues of Final Crisis. At Vertigo, there was a slight increase in average unit sales, if nothing else, thanks to the debut of Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy’s Joe the Barbarian, another comic book that was two thirds a promotional item and came with a $ 1.00 cover price.

WildStorm, on the other hand, once again lowered the bar for its worst unit and dollar sales in history. In January 2009, the previous low point, the imprint’s estimated comic-book unit sales in the direct market were 95,910 (6,851 on average), with dollar sales of 310,353. In January 2010, it was 71,847 (6,532) and 241,809, respectively. Bluntly, WildStorm has to be selling a whole lot of comics outside the direct market for this not to be an utter disaster.

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

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

—–

N.A. - BLACKEST NIGHT
07/2009: Blackest Night #1 of 8  -- 177,105          [206,534]
08/2009: Blackest Night #2 of 8  -- 146,092 (-17.5%) [155,512]
09/2009: Blackest Night #3 of 8  -- 140,786 (- 3.6%) [143,949]
10/2009: Blackest Night #4 of 8  -- 137,169 (- 2.6%)
11/2009: Blackest Night #5 of 8  -- 144,935 (+ 5.7%) [151,292]
12/2009: Blackest Night #6 of 8  -- 135,985 (- 6.2%)

Blackest Night was on a scheduled skip month in January, but as expected, issue #6 made the chart again with 35,000 additional units, which brings the total count for that issue back up to the expected level.

The reason for the delay of those 35,000 issues, as retailer Brian Hibbs pointed out last month, was related to Diamond not shipping any comics in the final week of 2009. Since that’s when DC wanted Blackest Night #6 to be on sale, consequently, they had to ship it to retailers a week earlier. And to make sure that no copies would be up for sale before the desired shipping date, retailers were required to sign an affidavit.

The 35,000 copies that didn’t reach stores in January are probably the ones ordered by retailers who didn’t sign the sheet in question.

It’s also worth noting that Blackest Night would very likely have been the top-selling comic in January by a handsome margin, if it had shipped, because Marvel’s Siege #1 only managed a relatively disappointing 108,484 units. See the Marvel column for more on that, if you haven’t already.

Issues #1, #3 and #5 of Blackest Night also made the chart again in January, meanwhile, with re-orders of around 3K each. The demand for the series continues to be strong.

—–

2 - GREEN LANTERN
01/2005: --
01/2006: Green Lantern #7   --  84,723
01/2007: Green Lantern #16  --  66,105
01/2008: Green Lantern #27  --  67,600
--------------------------------------
01/2009: Green Lantern #37  --  65,556 (+ 1.2%) [ 71,331]
02/2009: Green Lantern #38  --  68,908 (+ 5.1%) [ 77,372]
03/2009: --
04/2009: Green Lantern #39  --  79,792 (+15.8%) [ 84,784]
04/2009: Green Lantern #40  --  76,665 (- 3.9%) [ 84,705]
05/2009: Green Lantern #41  --  81,491 (+ 6.3%)
06/2009: Green Lantern #42  --  84,131 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern #43  -- 109,426 (+30.1%) [117,314]
07/2009: Green Lantern #44  -- 105,063 (- 4.0%) [109,599]
08/2009: Green Lantern #45  -- 102,431 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: Green Lantern #46  -- 103,666 (+ 1.2%)
10/2009: Green Lantern #47  -- 101,349 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Green Lantern #48  -- 100,371 (- 1.0%)
12/2009: Green Lantern #49  --  97,285 (- 3.1%)
01/2010: Green Lantern #50  -- 106,444 (+ 9.4%)
-----------------
6 months: -  0.8%
1 year  : + 62.4%
2 years : + 57.5%
5 years :   n.a.

Thanks to the anniversary number and to an additional 1-for-100 variant-cover edition on top of the usual 1-for-25 one, Green Lantern sales, which were already at an elevated level thanks to the continuing “Blackest Night” crossover, saw another boost in January. The book missed the top of the chart by 2,000 units and change.

—–

3 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
06/2009: Batman and Robin #1  -- 168,604          [184,826]
07/2009: Batman and Robin #2  -- 117,986 (-30.2%) [129,086]
08/2009: Batman and Robin #3  -- 110,594 (- 6.3%)
09/2009: Batman and Robin #4  -- 106,925 (- 3.3%)
10/2009: Batman and Robin #5  -- 101,607 (- 5.0%)
11/2009: Batman and Robin #6  --  95,690 (- 5.8%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: Batman and Robin #7  --  87,780 (- 8.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 25.6%

Batman and Robin joins the rest of the Batman line in a hefty decline. Of course, the book still comfortably outsells most of the Grant Morrison run on Batman proper. And, again, it’s the only non-“Blackest Night” title left at DC that sells above 70,000 units. As usual, there was a 1-for-25 variant edition.

—–

7 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
01/2006: GLC: Recharge #4 of 5   -- 59,952 [61,540]
01/2007: Green Lantern Corps #8  -- 36,924
01/2008: Green Lantern Corps #20 -- 44,607 [48,577]
------------------------------------------
01/2009: Green Lantern Corps #32 -- 44,312 (+ 0.6%)
02/2009: Green Lantern Corps #33 -- 44,607 (+ 0.7%) [50,171]
03/2009: Green Lantern Corps #34 -- 54,162 (+21.4%)
04/2009: Green Lantern Corps #35 -- 58,769 (+ 8.5%)
05/2009: Green Lantern Corps #36 -- 61,591 (+ 4.8%)
06/2009: Green Lantern Corps #37 -- 63,574 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern Corps #38 -- 82,415 (+29.6%)
08/2009: Green Lantern Corps #39 -- 84,241 (+ 2.2%)
09/2009: Green Lantern Corps #40 -- 83,112 (- 1.3%)
10/2009: Green Lantern Corps #41 -- 81,377 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Green Lantern Corps #42 -- 80,391 (- 1.2%)
12/2009: Green Lantern Corps #43 -- 77,774 (- 3.3%)
01/2010: Green Lantern Corps #44 -- 76,458 (- 1.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.2%
1 year  : +72.6%
2 years : +71.4%

“Blackest Night” continues to keep Green Lantern Corps sales in the stratosphere. There was a 1-for-25 variant.

—–

9 - BLACKEST NIGHT: THE FLASH
01/2005: Flash #217      --  49,771
01/2005: Flash #218      --  41,668 [43,914]
01/2006: Flash #230      --  40,571 [42,392]
01/2007: Flash: FMA #8   --  50,967
01/2008: Flash #236      --  41,464
-----------------------------------
04/2009: Rebirth #1 of 5 -- 102,429 (+286.6%) [111,515]
05/2009: Rebirth #2 of 5 --  86,183 (- 15.9%)
06/2009: Rebirth #3 of 5 --  83,086 (-  3.6%)
07/2009: --
08/2009: Rebirth #4 of 5 --  78,107 (-  6.0%)
09/2009: --
10/2009: --
11/2009: Rebirth #5 of 6 --  73,875 (-  5.4%)
12/2009: B.Night #1 of 3 --  80,313 (+  8.7%)
01/2010: B.Night #2 of 3 --  69,381 (- 13.6%)
-----------------
6 months:   n.a.
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : + 67.3%
5 years : + 39.4%

That’s an average second-issue drop for a mini, and the book stays noticeably below Blackest Night: Superman and Blackest Night: Batman.

You guessed it: There was a 1-for-25 variant edition.

—–

12 - BATMAN
01/2005: Batman #636 --  58,630 [ 60,528]
01/2006: Batman #649 --  62,379 [ 64,645]
01/2007: Batman #662 --  72,499
01/2008: Batman #673 --  69,234
-------------------------------
01/2009: Batman #685 --  72,654 (- 9.1%)
02/2009: Batman #686 -- 111,353 (+53.3%) [128,780]
03/2009: BfC #1 of 3 --  91,619 (-17.7%) [103,913]
04/2009: BfC #2 of 3 --  89,120 (- 2.7%)
05/2009: BfC #3 of 3 --  89,170 (+ 0.1%)
06/2009: Batman #687 --  96,913 (+ 8.7%)
07/2009: Batman #688 --  83,040 (-14.3%)
08/2009: Batman #689 --  78,392 (- 5.6%)
09/2009: Batman #690 --  77,001 (- 1.8%)
10/2009: Batman #691 --  71,431 (- 7.2%)
10/2009: Batman #692 --  70,322 (- 1.6%)
11/2009: Batman #693 --  68,983 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Batman #694 --  65,908 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Batman #695 --  63,467 (- 3.7%)
----------------
6 months: -23.6%
1 year  : -12.7%
2 years : - 8.3%
5 years : + 8.3%

Batman sales keep declining stiffly.

—–

13 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
01/2005: JLA #110           --  64,094
01/2006: JLA #124           --  74,069
01/2007: --
01/2008: Justice League #17 --  94,712
--------------------------------------
01/2009: Justice League #29 --  72,116 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Justice League #30 --  69,710 (- 3.3%)
03/2009: Justice League #31 --  68,759 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Justice League #32 --  66,021 (- 4.0%)
05/2009: Justice League #33 --  63,867 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: Justice League #34 --  61,115 (- 4.3%)
07/2009: Justice League #35 --  58,915 (- 3.6%)
08/2009: Justice League #36 --  57,549 (- 2.3%)
09/2009: Justice League #37 --  55,478 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Justice League #38 --  61,012 (+10.0%)
11/2009: Justice League #39 --  89,376 (+46.5%)
12/2009: Justice League #40 --  68,672 (-23.2%)
01/2010: Justice League #41 --  62,262 (- 9.3%)
----------------
6 months: + 5.7%
1 year  : -13.7%
2 years : -34.3%
5 years : - 2.9%

The numbers fall back towards their previous level after the two-part “Blackest Night” tie-in. The book came with a variant edition that could be ordered separately, to promote the “proper” start of the Robinson/Bagley run, now that the crossover is out of the way. It certainly looks like retailers thought they had it right the first time, though.

—–

15 - BLACKEST NIGHT: WONDER WOMAN
12/2009: BN: Wonder Woman #1 of 3 -- 70,758
01/2010: BN: Wonder Woman #2 of 3 -- 61,372 (-13.3%)
16 - BLACKEST NIGHT: JSA
12/2009: BN: JSA #1 of 3 -- 68,721
01/2010: BN: JSA #2 of 3 -- 58,751 (-14.5%)

These are the lowest sales for any of the Blackest Night spin-off minis, to date, including Blackest Night: Titans. But of course, it’s still a gigantic boost compared to the sales of the regular Wonder Woman and Justice Society books.

There were 1-for-25 variant editions for both.

—–

24 - JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE
07/2009: Cry for Justice #1 of 6  -- 68,317          [72,719]
08/2009: Cry for Justice #2 of 6  -- 54,553 (-20.2%) [58,829]
09/2009: Cry for Justice #3 of 7  -- 54,726 (+ 0.3%)
10/2009: Cry for Justice #4 of 7  -- 54,386 (- 0.6%)
11/2009: Cry for Justice #5 of 7  -- 52,400 (- 3.7%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: Cry for Justice #6 of 7  -- 49,193 (- 6.1%)
----------------
6 months: -28.0%

That’s a slight downward tweak, but the book is still doing well overall.

—–

29 - DETECTIVE COMICS
01/2005: Detective Comics #802 --  40,842
01/2006: Detective Comics #815 --  35,569
01/2007: --
01/2008: Detective Comics #840 --  51,579
-----------------------------------------
01/2009: Detective Comics #852 --  56,656 (-12.8%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Detective Comics #853 -- 104,107 (+83.8%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Detective Comics #854 --  72,808 (-30.1%) [79,573]
07/2009: Detective Comics #855 --  61,205 (-15.9%)
08/2009: Detective Comics #856 --  58,859 (- 3.8%)
09/2009: Detective Comics #857 --  57,063 (- 3.1%)
10/2009: Detective Comics #858 --  58,599 (+ 2.7%)
11/2009: Detective Comics #859 --  54,392 (- 7.2%)
12/2009: Detective Comics #860 --  52,295 (- 3.9%)
01/2010: Detective Comics #861 --  45,937 (-12.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 25.0%
1 year  : - 18.9%
2 years : - 10.9%
5 years : + 12.5%

The lack of a variant edition and the departure of artist J.H. Williams III in December probably account for most of the big drop. These are still decent numbers for Detective Comics, historically, but given that Greg Rucka’s “Batwoman” feature evidently won’t be sticking around, it’s questionable if the numbers will stabilize any time soon.

—–

31 - SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN
09/2009: Superman: Secret Origin #1 of 6 -- 54,630
10/2009: Superman: Secret Origin #2 of 6 -- 46,840 (-14.3%)
11/2009: Superman: Secret Origin #3 of 6 -- 45,029 (- 3.9%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: Superman: Secret Origin #4 of 6 -- 43,863 (- 2.6%)

Late from December, Superman: Secret Origin keeps bottoming out nicely.

Given that this is supposed to be a major story for DC’s most recognizable property by the company’s top-selling writer and a superstar artist, on the other hand, 40K seems underwhelming.

As usual, there was a 1-for-10 variant.

—–

33 - ADVENTURE COMICS
01/2005: LoSH #2              -- 42,261 [48,584]
01/2006: LoSH #13             -- 32,730
01/2007: SLoSH #26            -- 32,342
01/2008: LoSH #38             -- 33,045
---------------------------------------
01/2009: LoSH #50             -- 22,327 (+ 0.7%)
02/2009: Adventure Comics #0  -- 32,851 (+47.1%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: Adventure Comics #1  -- 56,706 (+72.6%)
09/2009: Adventure Comics #2  -- 47,296 (-15.9%)
10/2009: Adventure Comics #3  -- 44,431 (- 6.1%)
11/2009: Adventure Comics #4  -- 85,145 (+91.6%)
12/2009: Adventure Comics #5  -- 59,876 (-29.7%)
01/2010: Adventure Comics #6  -- 42,514 (-29.0%)
-----------------
6 months:   n.a.
1 year  : + 90.4%
2 years : + 28.7%
5 years : +  0.6%

Following the two-part “Blackest Night” crossover, Adventure Comics sales pick up where issue #3 left off — before it’ll jolt right up again in February, of course, for the next Blackest Night crossover issue.

There was a 1-for-10 variant.

—–

37 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
01/2005: JSA #69             --  43,650
01/2006: JSA #81             --  50,078
01/2007: Justice Society #2  --  86,180 [92,459]
01/2008: --
---------------------------------------
01/2009: Justice Society #23 --  61,385 (-  9.2%)
02/2009: Justice Society #24 --  65,207 (+  6.2%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Justice Society #25 --  65,713 (+  0.8%)
04/2009: Justice Society #26 --  81,200 (+ 23.6%)
05/2009: Justice Society #27 --  56,102 (- 30.9%)
06/2009: Justice Society #28 --  52,673 (-  6.1%)
07/2009: Justice Society #29 --  51,375 (-  2.5%)
08/2009: Justice Society #30 --  49,416 (-  3.8%)
09/2009: Justice Society #31 --  47,436 (-  4.0%)
10/2009: Justice Society #32 --  44,885 (-  5.4%)
11/2009: Justice Society #33 --  43,218 (-  3.7%)
12/2009: Justice Society #34 --  41,734 (-  3.4%)
01/2010: Justice Society #35 --  39,934 (-  4.3%)
----------------
6 months: -22.3%
1 year  : -35.0%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : - 8.5%

This is the first time Justice Society numbers are dropping below 40K since Diamond started reporting sales to retailers in March 2003. The new creative team isn’t catching on, evidently.

—–

38/40/44/45/47/50/54 - BLACKEST NIGHT ONE-SHOTS
01/2010: Catwoman #83         -- 39,239
01/2010: Starman #81          -- 38,671
01/2010: Atom and Hawkman #46 -- 37,854
01/2010: Suicide Squad #67    -- 37,818
01/2010: Power of SHAZAM #48  -- 36,793
01/2010: Phantom Stranger #42 -- 35,937
01/2010: Weird Western T. #71 -- 33,702
41 - SECRET SIX
01/2009: Secret Six #5      -- 24,899 (+ 1.0%)
02/2009: Secret Six #6      -- 24,758 (- 0.6%)
03/2009: Secret Six #7      -- 24,365 (- 1.6%)
04/2009: Secret Six #8      -- 24,338 (- 0.1%)
05/2009: Secret Six #9      -- 27,116 (+11.4%)
06/2009: Secret Six #10     -- 24,272 (-10.5%)
07/2009: Secret Six #11     -- 24,357 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Secret Six #12     -- 24,161 (- 0.8%)
09/2009: Secret Six #13     -- 23,919 (- 1.0%)
10/2009: Secret Six #14     -- 23,345 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Secret Six #15     -- 23,190 (- 0.7%)
12/2009: Secret Six #16     -- 22,638 (- 2.4%)
01/2010: Secret Six #17     -- 38,515 (+70.1%)
----------------
6 months: +58.1%
1 year  : +54.7%

On the one hand, the one-shot epilogues to a number of canceled DC Universe titles aren’t setting the charts on fire, considering they’re Blackest Night tie-ins. But then again, it was obviously a fairly one-note gimmick, and the numbers are still great compared to the bulk of Marvel and DC’s output, so I doubt anybody’s too disappointed.

Secret Six #17 continues a two-parter started in Suicide Squad #67 and is by the same creative team, so that’s why it’s up here in this bunch.

——

43 - RED ROBIN
01/2005: Robin #134    -- 32,850
01/2006: Robin #146    -- 29,499 [31,851]
01/2007: Robin #158    -- 29,464
01/2008: Robin #170    -- 30,048
--------------------------------
01/2009: Robin #182    -- 28,684 (+  2.8%)
02/2009: Robin #183    -- 31,682 (+ 10.5%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: Red Robin #1  -- 64,261 (+102.8%) [71,925]
07/2009: Red Robin #2  -- 51,593 (- 19.7%) [54,544]
08/2009: Red Robin #3  -- 50,329 (-  2.5%)
09/2009: Red Robin #4  -- 47,945 (-  4.7%)
10/2009: Red Robin #5  -- 44,776 (-  6.6%)
11/2009: Red Robin #6  -- 42,409 (-  5.3%)
12/2009: Red Robin #7  -- 39,528 (-  6.8%)
01/2010: Red Robin #8  -- 37,869 (-  4.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 26.6%
1 year  : + 32.0%
2 years : + 26.0%
5 years : + 15.3%

Red Robin hasn’t found its level, but the drops are still feeding on the big boost the book got out of its relaunch.

—–

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

In contrast to earlier issues, there was just one variant-cover edition for Widening Gyre #4. Maybe that explains most of the large drop-off, or maybe retailers are getting fed up with the new delays, or both.

—–

53 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
01/2005: --
01/2006: --
01/2007: --
01/2008: Superman/Batman #45 --  52,119
---------------------------------------
01/2009: --
02/2009: Superman/Batman #55 --  43,962 (- 4.4%)
03/2009: Superman/Batman #56 --  42,464 (- 3.4%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #57 --  41,743 (- 1.7%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #58 --  41,000 (- 1.8%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #59 --  40,182 (- 2.0%)
05/2009: Superman/Batman #60 --  39,531 (- 1.6%)
06/2009: Superman/Batman #61 --  38,228 (- 3.3%)
07/2009: Superman/Batman #62 --  38,412 (+ 0.5%)
08/2009: Superman/Batman #63 --  37,467 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: Superman/Batman #64 --  36,332 (- 3.0%)
10/2009: Superman/Batman #65 --  34,585 (- 4.8%)
11/2009: Superman/Batman #66 --  52,143 (+50.8%)
12/2009: Superman/Batman #67 --  49,650 (- 4.8%)
01/2010: Superman/Batman #68 --  33,869 (-31.8%)
----------------
6 months: -11.8%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -35.0%
5 years :  n.a.

Another book crashing back to pre-crossover levels after a two-part tie-in with Blackest Night.

Joe Casey, who writes the new arc, has made no secret of the fact that labeling the book’s cover as part of a 10-year-old crossover was not his idea — or, indeed, that it doesn’t have anything to do with the story he wrote, which is presumably why it wasn’t promoted as such in the solicitation copy, either.

Be that as it may, given that the gimmick wasn’t advertised in advance, we won’t know if it made any difference to sales until next month, at the earliest. Although, to be honest, I suspect it won’t.

If anything, the stunt is a sign that DC are fairly desperate in their attempts to stop the sales decline, at this stage. It seems Superman/Batman is another victim of the market that both Marvel and DC have created: It’s a book that doesn’t “matter” to anyone, bluntly.

—–

56 - SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON
03/2009: WoNK #1  of 12 -- 50,050
04/2009: WoNK #2  of 12 -- 44,880 (-10.3%)
05/2009: WoNK #3  of 12 -- 42,153 (- 6.1%)
06/2009: WoNK #4  of 12 -- 41,620 (- 1.3%)
07/2009: WoNK #5  of 12 -- 39,939 (- 4.0%)
08/2009: WoNK #6  of 12 -- 39,218 (- 1.8%)
09/2009: WoNK #7  of 12 -- 37,697 (- 3.9%)
10/2009: WoNK #8  of 12 -- 36,672 (- 2.7%)
11/2009: WoNK #9  of 12 -- 35,286 (- 3.8%)
12/2009: WoNK #10 of 12 -- 33,868 (- 4.0%)
01/2010: WoNK #11 of 12 -- 32,728 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -18.1%

Of course, if Superman/Batman “doesn’t matter,” that’s bad news for the Superman line proper, which is summarily outsold by it — despite, in the case of World of New Krypton, of a 1-for-25 variant edition, to boot.

—–

58 - JSA ALL-STARS
12/2009: JSA All-Stars #1  -- 42,493
01/2010: JSA All-Stars #2  -- 32,601 (-23.3%)

There was no variant edition for the second issue, so that drop-off could have been worse.

—–

59 - SUPERMAN
01/2005: --
01/2006: Superman #225 --  61,768
01/2007: Superman #658 --  60,682
01/2008: Superman #672 --  44,656
---------------------------------
01/2009: Superman #684 --  48,489 (-12.3%)
02/2009: Superman #685 --  48,027 (- 1.0%)
03/2009: Superman #686 --  44,976 (- 6.4%)
04/2009: Superman #687 --  43,041 (- 4.3%)
05/2009: Superman #688 --  41,642 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: Superman #689 --  40,366 (- 3.1%)
07/2009: Superman #690 --  39,472 (- 2.2%)
08/2009: Superman #691 --  39,106 (- 0.9%)
09/2009: Superman #692 --  37,695 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Superman #693 --  35,395 (- 6.1%)
11/2009: Superman #694 --  34,430 (- 2.7%)
12/2009: Superman #695 --  32,482 (- 5.7%)
01/2010: Superman #696 --  31,940 (- 1.7%)
----------------
6 months: -19.1%
1 year  : -34.1%
2 years : -28.5%
5 years :  n.a.
62 - ACTION COMICS
01/2005: Action Comics #823 -- 36,638
01/2006: Action Comics #835 -- 41,114
01/2007: --
01/2008: Action Comics #861 -- 56,093
-------------------------------------
01/2009: Action Comics #873 -- 51,940 (- 9.2%)
02/2009: Action Comics #874 -- 48,360 (- 6.9%)
03/2009: Action Comics #875 -- 47,079 (- 2.7%)
04/2009: Action Comics #876 -- 43,368 (- 7.9%)
05/2009: Action Comics #877 -- 41,772 (- 3.7%)
06/2009: Action Comics #878 -- 40,011 (- 4.2%)
07/2009: Action Comics #879 -- 38,324 (- 4.2%)
08/2009: Action Comics #880 -- 37,588 (- 1.9%)
09/2009: Action Comics #881 -- 36,183 (- 3.7%)
10/2009: Action Comics #882 -- 34,754 (- 4.0%)
11/2009: Action Comics #883 -- 33,386 (- 3.9%)
12/2009: Action Comics #884 -- 31,873 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Action Comics #885 -- 30,678 (- 3.8%)
----------------
6 months: -20.0%
1 year  : -40.9%
2 years : -45.3%
5 years : -16.3%

The core Superman titles keep slipping down the charts.

For Superman, this is the lowest number since Diamond started reporting sales to retailers in March 2003.

—–

64 - BATGIRL
01/2005: Batgirl #60     -- 29,227
01/2006: Batgirl #72     -- 26,480
----------------------------------
08/2009: Batgirl #1      -- 51,724 (+149.3%)
09/2009: Batgirl #2      -- 40,626 (- 21.5%)
10/2009: Batgirl #3      -- 37,011 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Batgirl #4      -- 34,697 (-  6.3%)
12/2009: Batgirl #5      -- 32,482 (-  6.4%)
01/2010: Batgirl #6      -- 30,403 (-  6.4%)
----------------
5 years : + 4.0%
70 - BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM
06/2009: Batman: SoG #1  -- 57,650
07/2009: Batman: SoG #2  -- 44,240 (-23.3%)
08/2009: Batman: SoG #3  -- 40,353 (- 8.8%)
09/2009: Batman: SoG #4  -- 37,888 (- 6.1%)
10/2009: Batman: SoG #5  -- 34,533 (- 8.9%)
11/2009: Batman: SoG #6  -- 32,303 (- 6.5%)
12/2009: Batman: SoG #7  -- 30,290 (- 6.2%)
01/2010: Batman: SoG #8  -- 28,313 (- 6.5%)
----------------
6 months: -36.0%
71 - GOTHAM CITY SIRENS
01/2005: Birds of Prey #78  -- 29,456
01/2006: Birds of Prey #90  -- 30,460
01/2007: Birds of Prey #102 -- 29,043
01/2008: Birds of Prey #114 -- 24,211
-------------------------------------
01/2009: Birds of Prey #126 -- 20,772 (+ 3.0%)
02/2009: Birds of Prey #127 -- 21,424 (+ 3.1%)
03/2009: Oracle #1 of 3     -- 34,081 (+59.1%)
04/2009: Oracle #2 of 3     -- 33,731 (- 1.0%)
05/2009: Oracle #3 of 3     -- 35,328 (+ 4.7%)
06/2009: GC Sirens #1       -- 52,439 (+48.4%)
07/2009: GC Sirens #2       -- 39,518 (-24.6%)
08/2009: GC Sirens #3       -- 36,772 (- 7.0%)
09/2009: GC Sirens #4       -- 34,405 (- 6.4%)
10/2009: GC Sirens #5       -- 33,015 (- 4.0%)
11/2009: GC Sirens #6       -- 30,990 (- 6.1%)
12/2009: GC Sirens #7       -- 29,709 (- 4.1%)
01/2010: GC Sirens #8       -- 28,254 (- 4.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 28.5%
1 year  : + 36.0%
2 years : + 16.7%
5 years : -  4.1%

Three more Batman spin-off series, all in a free fall.

—–

72 - TEEN TITANS
01/2005: Teen Titans #20 -- 65,953 [67,781]
01/2006: Teen Titans #31 -- 65,223
01/2007: Teen Titans #43 -- 60,290 [62,560]
01/2008: Teen Titans #55 -- 52,376
----------------------------------
01/2009: Teen Titans #67 -- 35,877 (- 2.5%)
02/2009: Teen Titans #68 -- 35,096 (- 2.2%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Teen Titans #69 -- 35,375 (+ 0.8%)
04/2009: Teen Titans #70 -- 35,412 (+ 0.1%)
05/2009: Teen Titans #71 -- 34,110 (- 3.7%)
06/2009: Teen Titans #72 -- 32,512 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: Teen Titans #73 -- 30,990 (- 4.7%)
08/2009: Teen Titans #74 -- 30,380 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: Teen Titans #75 -- 32,808 (+ 8.0%)
10/2009: Teen Titans #76 -- 29,166 (-11.1%)
11/2009: Teen Titans #77 -- 46,239 (+58.5%)
12/2009: Teen Titans #78 -- 43,400 (- 6.1%)
01/2010: Teen Titans #79 -- 27,790 (-36.0%)
----------------
6 months: -10.3%
1 year  : -22.5%
2 years : -46.9%
5 years : -57.9%

The book returns to business as usual after its two-part tie-in with Blackest Night.

—–

73 - SUPERGIRL
01/2006: --
01/2007: --
01/2008: Supergirl #25 --  36,459
---------------------------------
01/2009: Supergirl #37 --  34,060 (-25.1%)
02/2009: Supergirl #38 --  34,225 (+ 0.5%)
03/2009: Supergirl #39 --  33,713 (- 1.5%)
04/2009: Supergirl #40 --  34,080 (+ 1.1%)
05/2009: Supergirl #41 --  33,441 (- 1.9%)
06/2009: Supergirl #42 --  32,705 (- 2.2%)
07/2009: Supergirl #43 --  32,849 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Supergirl #44 --  33,819 (+ 3.0%)
09/2009: Supergirl #45 --  32,240 (- 4.7%)
10/2009: Supergirl #46 --  30,377 (- 5.8%)
11/2009: Supergirl #47 --  29,159 (- 4.0%)
12/2009: Supergirl #48 --  28,176 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: Supergirl #49 --  27,728 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: -15.6%
1 year  : -18.6%
2 years : -24.0%

Sales are bottoming out again, in time for February’s anniversary number.

—–

77 - JOE THE BARBARIAN (Vertigo)
01/2010: Joe the Barbarian #1 of 8 -- 25,543

The miniseries by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy is Vertigo’s latest $ 1.00 launch, with numbers slightly below those of The Unwritten #1.

At first glance, it’s curious that Vertigo’s putting out loss-leaders for miniseries. Given that a done-in-one Grant Morrison paperback can be counted on to be a long-term performer in the book market and the comic book will only be able to profit from the promotion for a limited time, if at all.

A look at January’s “Graphic Novel” chart may solve this particular mystery, however; see comments on The Unwritten for more on that.

—–

78 - WONDER WOMAN
01/2005: Wonder Woman #212 --  25,610
01/2006: Wonder Woman #225 --  42,661
01/2007: --
01/2008: Wonder Woman #16  --  42,897
-------------------------------------
01/2009: Wonder Woman #28  --  32,622 (+ 0.9%)
02/2009: Wonder Woman #29  --  33,237 (+ 1.9%)
03/2009: Wonder Woman #30  --  33,365 (+ 0.4%)
04/2009: Wonder Woman #31  --  31,857 (- 4.5%)
05/2009: Wonder Woman #32  --  33,065 (+ 3.8%)
06/2009: Wonder Woman #33  --  32,755 (- 0.9%)
07/2009: Wonder Woman #34  --  30,131 (- 8.0%)
08/2009: Wonder Woman #35  --  29,657 (- 1.6%)
09/2009: Wonder Woman #36  --  28,806 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: Wonder Woman #37  --  26,972 (- 6.4%)
11/2009: Wonder Woman #38  --  26,265 (- 2.6%)
12/2009: Wonder Woman #39  --  26,152 (- 0.4%)
01/2010: Wonder Woman #40  --  25,156 (- 3.8%)
----------------
6 months: -16.5%
1 year  : -22.9%
2 years : -41.4%
5 years : - 1.8%

The drops have been rather erratic lately, but Wonder Woman keeps slipping too fast for comfort, overall.

—–

79 - TITANS
01/2009: Titans #9      -- 37,693 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: Titans #10     -- 36,361 (- 3.5%)
03/2009: Titans #11     -- 35,240 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: Titans #12     -- 36,014 (+ 2.2%)
05/2009: Titans #13     -- 34,343 (- 4.6%)
06/2009: Titans #14     -- 32,321 (- 5.9%)
07/2009: Titans #15     -- 46,189 (+42.9%)
08/2009: Titans #16     -- 31,408 (-32.0%)
09/2009: Titans #17     -- 30,154 (- 4.0%)
10/2009: Titans #18     -- 28,215 (- 6.4%)
11/2009: Titans #19     -- 27,099 (- 4.0%)
12/2009: Titans #20     -- 25,887 (- 4.5%)
01/2010: Titans #21     -- 24,924 (- 3.7%)
----------------
6 months: -46.0%
1 year  : -33.9%

The book is headed for a relaunch, evidently. I’m wondering what makes DC think there’s enough demand for this property to support multiple titles, at this stage.

—–

88 - THE OUTSIDERS
01/2005: Outsiders #19 -- 39,528
01/2006: Outsiders #32 -- 44,027
01/2007: --
01/2008: --
--------------------------------
01/2009: --
02/2009: Special #1    -- 35,727 (+ 11.1%)
02/2009: Outsiders #15 -- 30,024 (- 16.0%)
03/2009: Outsiders #16 -- 27,977 (-  6.8%)
04/2009: Outsiders #17 -- 27,171 (-  2.9%)
05/2009: Outsiders #18 -- 25,995 (-  4.3%)
06/2009: Outsiders #19 -- 27,485 (+  5.7%)
07/2009: Outsiders #20 -- 24,323 (- 11.5%)
08/2009: Outsiders #21 -- 23,856 (-  1.9%)
09/2009: Outsiders #22 -- 22,775 (-  4.5%)
10/2009: Outsiders #23 -- 21,413 (-  6.0%)
11/2009: Outsiders #24 -- 50,918 (+137.8%) [55,704]
12/2009: Outsiders #25 -- 37,847 (- 25.7%)
01/2010: Outsiders #26 -- 22,626 (- 40.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.0%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -42.8%
90 - BOOSTER GOLD
01/2008: Booster Gold #6  -- 36,292
-----------------------------------
01/2009: Booster Gold #16 -- 25,472 (-  5.1%)
02/2009: Booster Gold #17 -- 24,732 (-  2.9%)
03/2009: Booster Gold #18 -- 23,737 (-  4.0%)
04/2009: Booster Gold #19 -- 23,203 (-  2.3%)
05/2009: Booster Gold #20 -- 22,549 (-  2.8%)
06/2009: Booster Gold #21 -- 23,222 (+  3.0%)
07/2009: Booster Gold #22 -- 22,414 (-  3.5%)
08/2009: Booster Gold #23 -- 22,108 (-  1.4%)
09/2009: Booster Gold #24 -- 21,731 (-  1.7%)
10/2009: Booster Gold #25 -- 21,597 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: Booster Gold #26 -- 57,122 (+164.5%)
12/2009: Booster Gold #27 -- 40,256 (- 29.5%)
01/2010: Booster Gold #28 -- 21,967 (- 45.4%)
-----------------
6 months: -  2.0%
1 year  : - 13.8%
2 years : - 39.5%

The Outsiders and Booster Gold drop back to their previous levels after the two-month tie-in with Blackest Night. The Outsiders #26 was also the first issue by the new creative team of Dan DiDio and Philip Tan, which may be while it’s still slightly above its pre-crossover level.

—–

93 - POWER GIRL
05/2009: Power Girl #1  -- 47,322
06/2009: Power Girl #2  -- 36,756 (-22.3%)
07/2009: Power Girl #3  -- 35,163 (- 4.3%)
08/2009: Power Girl #4  -- 32,140 (- 8.6%)
09/2009: Power Girl #5  -- 29,497 (- 8.2%)
10/2009: Power Girl #6  -- 27,060 (- 8.3%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Power Girl #7  -- 22,533 (-16.7%)
01/2010: Power Girl #8  -- 21,760 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -38.1%

Power Girl sales are still declining faster than they should, at this point.

—–

95 - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
01/2008: --
---------------------------------------------
01/2009: The Brave and the Bold #21 -- 24,375 (- 2.7%)
02/2009: The Brave and the Bold #22 -- 23,507 (- 3.6%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: The Brave and the Bold #23 -- 22,312 (- 5.1%)
06/2009: The Brave and the Bold #24 -- 21,272 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: The Brave and the Bold #25 -- 21,234 (- 0.2%)
08/2009: The Brave and the Bold #26 -- 20,154 (- 5.1%)
09/2009: The Brave and the Bold #27 -- 26,904 (+33.5%)
10/2009: The Brave and the Bold #28 -- 23,176 (-13.9%)
11/2009: The Brave and the Bold #29 -- 21,287 (- 8.2%)
12/2009: The Brave and the Bold #30 -- 20,932 (- 1.7%)
01/2010: The Brave and the Bold #31 -- 21,406 (+ 2.3%)
----------------
6 months: + 0.8%
1 year  : -12.2%
2 years :  n.a.

It stirs! Did word get out that superstar writer J. Michael Straczynski is writing a DC Universe title, despite DC’s best efforts to conceil the fact?

Anyway, the book is on hiatus in February and March. That might kill whatever momentum we’re seeing here, or it might give it a better chance to catch on. We’ll find out in a few months.

—–

97 - WORLD'S FINEST
10/2009: World's Finest #1 of 4 -- 37,037
11/2009: World's Finest #2 of 4 -- 26,566 (-28.3%)
12/2009: World's Finest #3 of 4 -- 23,295 (-12.3%)
01/2010: World's Finest #4 of 4 -- 21,113 (- 9.4%)

The miniseries has seen some stiff drops, but since it started out with a surprisingly high figure to begin with, it still manages to finish with perfectly decent sales.

—–

100 - FABLES (Vertigo)
01/2005: Fables #33 -- 24,367
01/2006: Fables #45 -- 24,297
01/2007: Fables #57 -- 25,744
01/2008: --
-----------------------------
01/2009: Fables #80 -- 22,617 (-0.7%)
02/2009: Fables #81 -- 22,517 (-0.4%)
03/2009: Fables #82 -- 22,445 (-0.3%)
04/2009: Fables #83 -- 23,630 (+5.3%)
05/2009: Fables #84 -- 23,634 (+0.0%)
06/2009: Fables #85 -- 23,439 (-0.8%)
07/2009: Fables #86 -- 22,447 (-4.2%)
08/2009: Fables #87 -- 21,876 (-2.5%)
09/2009: Fables #88 -- 21,508 (-1.7%)
10/2009: Fables #89 -- 21,118 (-1.8%)
11/2009: Fables #90 -- 20,882 (-1.1%)
12/2009: Fables #91 -- 20,450 (-2.1%)
01/2010: Fables #92 -- 20,180 (-1.3%)
----------------
6 months: -10.1%
1 year  : -10.8%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : -17.2%

The last six months haven’t been great by Fables standards, but the series remains one of DC’s more stable performers nonetheless.

—–

114 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
01/2007: Batman Confidential #2  -- 47,451
01/2008: --
------------------------------------------
01/2009: Batman Confidential #25 -- 20,517 (- 4.4%)
02/2009: Batman Confidential #26 -- 20,134 (- 1.9%)
03/2009: Batman Confidential #27 -- 19,934 (- 1.0%)
04/2009: Batman Confidential #28 -- 19,540 (- 2.0%)
05/2009: Batman Confidential #29 -- 18,867 (- 3.4%)
06/2009: Batman Confidential #30 -- 18,443 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Batman Confidential #31 -- 19,225 (+ 4.2%)
08/2009: Batman Confidential #32 -- 18,545 (- 3.5%)
09/2009: Batman Confidential #33 -- 18,140 (- 2.2%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #34 -- 17,097 (- 5.8%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #35 -- 16,724 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #36 -- 16,664 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #37 -- 16,355 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Batman Confidential #38 -- 16,132 (- 1.4%)
12/2009: Batman Confidential #39 -- 15,906 (- 1.4%)
01/2010: Batman Confidential #40 -- 17,241 (+ 8.4%)
----------------
6 months: -10.3%
1 year  : -16.0%
2 years :  n.a.

A four-part storyline by writer/artist Sam Kieth brings a small increase.

——

115 - DOOM PATROL
01/2005: Doom Patrol #8  -- 17,970
----------------------------------
08/2009: Doom Patrol #1  -- 28,267
09/2009: Doom Patrol #2  -- 22,001 (- 22.2%)
10/2009: Doom Patrol #3  -- 20,036 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Doom Patrol #4  -- 53,748 (+168.3%)
12/2009: Doom Patrol #5  -- 35,348 (- 34.2%)
01/2010: Doom Patrol #6  -- 17,117 (- 51.6%)
-----------------
5 years : -  4.8%

Doom Patrol tied in with Blackest Night in November and December. In January, all those additional units were dust in the wind, as usual.

—–

117 - GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY
01/2005: Green Arrow #46  -- 32,469
01/2006: Green Arrow #58  -- 30,990
01/2007: Green Arrow #70  -- 31,798
01/2008: Arrow/Canary #4  -- 35,039
-----------------------------------
01/2009: Arrow/Canary #16 -- 24,419 (- 0.4%)
02/2009: Arrow/Canary #17 -- 23,392 (- 4.2%)
03/2009: Arrow/Canary #18 -- 22,699 (- 3.0%)
04/2009: Arrow/Canary #19 -- 21,933 (- 3.4%)
05/2009: Arrow/Canary #20 -- 21,445 (- 2.2%)
06/2009: Arrow/Canary #21 -- 20,807 (- 3.0%)
07/2009: Arrow&Canary #22 -- 20,571 (- 1.1%)
08/2009: Arrow&Canary #23 -- 19,452 (- 5.4%)
09/2009: Arrow&Canary #24 -- 18,780 (- 3.5%)
10/2009: Arrow&Canary #25 -- 18,013 (- 4.1%)
11/2009: Arrow&Canary #26 -- 17,384 (- 3.5%)
12/2009: Arrow&Canary #27 -- 16,904 (- 2.8%)
01/2010: Arrow&Canary #28 -- 16,482 (- 2.5%)
----------------
6 months: -19.9%
1 year  : -32.5%
2 years : -53.0%
5 years : -49.2%

The numbers keep slipping.

—–

119 - CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE (Vertigo)
11/2009: Cinderella #1 of 6 -- 20,337
12/2009: Cinderella #2 of 6 -- 16,598 (-18.4%)
01/2010: Cinderella #3 of 6 -- 15,827 (- 4.7%)

The Fables spin-off is bottoming out nicely, remaining well above any other regular Vertigo titles.

—–

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

This is a complete disaster. Azrael will be lucky to make it to issue #12.

—–

129 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
05/2009: The Unwritten #1  -- 26,915          [31,081]
06/2009: The Unwritten #2  -- 16,290 (-39.5%)
07/2009: The Unwritten #3  -- 17,028 (+ 4.5%)
08/2009: The Unwritten #4  -- 16,336 (- 4.1%)
09/2009: The Unwritten #5  -- 16,011 (- 2.0%)
10/2009: The Unwritten #6  -- 15,314 (- 4.4%)
11/2009: The Unwritten #7  -- 14,763 (- 3.6%)
12/2009: The Unwritten #8  -- 14,257 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: The Unwritten #9  -- 13,792 (- 3.3%)
----------------
6 months: -19.0%

Sales haven’t quite found their level, but things still don’t look too bad for The Unwritten.

First up, it’s still the second-best-selling ongoing Vertigo series right now, which makes it the most successful book they’ve launched in ages.

Second, the first paperback collection of The Unwritten came out in January and sold an estimated 5,836 units in its first calendar month, which is a rather good number if you compare it to the first-month direct-market business of other Vertigo titles. Apart from the latest volumes of perennial best-sellers Fables (12,491) and 100 Bullets (8,680), it outsells any other collections of current Vertigo series released throughout 2009, including the first volumes of House of Mystery (4,011), Air (3,195) and Madame Xanadu (3,616).

Consequently, it seems the $ 1.00 debut issue paid off in this case, which explains why we keep seeing more of them. Whether or not that success is unique to The Unwritten or worked for the other books as well, we’re about to find out in the next few months.

—–

130 - ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE (WildStorm)
06/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #1 of 4 -- 32,690
07/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #2 of 4 -- 29,721
08/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #3 of 4 -- 28,152
10/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #4 of 4 -- 27,367
-----------------------------------------------
11/2006: The Dark Age/Book 2 #1 of 4 -- 26,993
02/2007: The Dark Age/Book 2 #2 of 4 -- 23,412
04/2007: The Dark Age/Book 2 #3 of 4 -- 22,727
09/2007: The Dark Age/Book 2 #4 of 4 -- 19,764
-----------------------------------------------
05/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #1 of 4 -- 18,281 (- 7.5%)
06/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #2 of 4 -- 16,405 (-10.3%)
07/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #3 of 4 -- 15,291 (- 6.8%)
08/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #4 of 4 -- 14,684 (- 4.0%)
09/2009: Astra Special #1 of 2       -- 14,627 (- 0.4%)
10/2009: Astra Special #2 of 2       -- 13,847 (- 5.3%)
----------------------------------------------
01/2010: The Dark Age/Book 4 #1 of 4 -- 13,664 (- 1.3%)
----------------
6 months: -10.6%

Bad news: Book 4 debuts with less than half the sales of Book 1. WildStorm’s top-selling comic-book title for January keeps losing ground.

—–

141 - R.E.B.E.L.S.
02/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #1  -- 23,739
03/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #2  -- 16,122 (- 32.1%)
04/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #3  -- 14,442 (- 10.4%)
05/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #4  -- 13,468 (-  6.7%)
06/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #5  -- 12,909 (-  4.2%)
07/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #6  -- 12,349 (-  4.3%)
08/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #7  -- 11,682 (-  5.4%)
09/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #8  -- 11,347 (-  2.9%)
10/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #9  -- 11,284 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 -- 51,100 (+352.9%)
12/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #11 -- 31,489 (- 38.4%)
01/2010: R.E.B.E.L.S. #12 -- 12,428 (- 60.5%)
-----------------
6 months: +  0.6%

Sales crash back down after the two-part Blackest Night ie-in. It’s worth noting that the numbers are still 10% above the pre-crossover level — that’s not hard, given that R.E.B.E.L.S. sales were so low to begin with, but it’s still unusual.

—–

144 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)
01/2007: Jack of Fables #7  -- 20,314
01/2008: Jack of Fables #19 -- 16,886
-------------------------------------
01/2009: Jack of Fables #30 -- 13,746 (- 2.9%)
02/2009: Jack of Fables #31 -- 13,586 (- 1.2%)
03/2009: Jack of Fables #32 -- 13,595 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Jack of Fables #33 -- 19,242 (+41.5%)
05/2009: Jack of Fables #34 -- 19,420 (+ 0.9%)
06/2009: Jack of Fables #35 -- 19,571 (+ 0.8%)
07/2009: Jack of Fables #36 -- 15,256 (-22.1%)
08/2009: Jack of Fables #37 -- 14,508 (- 4.9%)
09/2009: Jack of Fables #38 -- 13,790 (- 5.0%)
10/2009: Jack of Fables #39 -- 13,161 (- 4.6%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Jack of Fables #40 -- 12,970 (- 1.5%)
12/2009: Jack of Fables #41 -- 12,559 (- 3.2%)
01/2010: Jack of Fables #42 -- 11,966 (- 4.7%)
----------------
6 months: -21.6%
1 year  : -13.0%
2 years : -29.1%

That’s another comparatively big drop. Jack of Fables sales haven’t really found their footing after the “Great Fables Crossover.”

—–

148 - JONAH HEX
01/2006: Jonah Hex #3  -- 24,671
01/2007: Jonah Hex #15 -- 17,987
01/2008: Jonah Hex #27 -- 13,881
--------------------------------
01/2009: Jonah Hex #39 -- 11,705 (- 3.5%)
02/2009: Jonah Hex #40 -- 11,631 (- 0.6%)
03/2009: Jonah Hex #41 -- 11,564 (- 0.6%)
04/2009: Jonah Hex #42 -- 11,551 (- 0.1%)
05/2009: Jonah Hex #43 -- 11,606 (+ 0.5%)
06/2009: Jonah Hex #44 -- 11,592 (- 0.1%)
07/2009: Jonah Hex #45 -- 12,588 (+ 8.6%)
08/2009: Jonah Hex #46 -- 12,466 (- 1.0%)
09/2009: Jonah Hex #47 -- 12,231 (- 1.9%)
10/2009: Jonah Hex #48 -- 11,281 (- 7.8%)
11/2009: Jonah Hex #49 -- 11,146 (- 1.2%)
12/2009: Jonah Hex #50 -- 15,131 (+35.8%)
01/2010: Jonah Hex #51 -- 11,184 (-26.1%)
----------------
6 months: -11.2%
1 year  : - 4.5%
2 years : -19.4%

The numbers return to their previous level after the anniversary issue.

—–

152 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
01/2005: Hellblazer #204 -- 14,523
01/2006: Hellblazer #216 -- 14,590
01/2007: Hellblazer #228 -- 12,956
01/2008: Hellblazer #240 -- 12,213
----------------------------------
01/2009: Hellblazer #251 -- 11,290 (-9.5%)
02/2009: Hellblazer #252 -- 11,174 (-1.0%)
03/2009: Hellblazer #253 -- 11,132 (-0.4%)
04/2009: Hellblazer #254 -- 11,053 (-0.7%)
05/2009: Hellblazer #255 -- 10,937 (-1.1%)
06/2009: Hellblazer #256 -- 10,898 (-0.4%)
07/2009: Hellblazer #257 -- 10,762 (-1.3%)
08/2009: Hellblazer #258 -- 10,665 (-0.9%)
09/2009: Hellblazer #259 -- 10,813 (+1.4%)
10/2009: Hellblazer #260 -- 10,767 (-0.4%)
11/2009: Hellblazer #261 -- 10,553 (-2.0%)
12/2009: Hellblazer #262 -- 10,334 (-2.1%)
01/2010: Hellblazer #263 -- 10,179 (-1.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.4%
1 year  : - 9.8%
2 years : -16.7%
5 years : -29.9%

Hellblazer keeps declining very, very slowly. Barring a small miracle, though, that won’t prevent the book from dropping below the 10K mark soon.

—–

155 - RED TORNADO
09/2009: Red Tornado #1 of 6 -- 20,551
10/2009: Red Tornado #2 of 6 -- 14,383 (-30.0%)
11/2009: Red Tornado #3 of 6 -- 12,331 (-14.3%)
12/2009: Red Tornado #4 of 6 -- 11,009 (-10.7%)
01/2010: Red Tornado #5 of 6 -- 10,044 (- 8.8%)

Predictably poor numbers.

—–

157 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
01/2009: House of Mystery #9  -- 13,739 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: House of Mystery #10 -- 13,098 (- 4.7%)
03/2009: House of Mystery #11 -- 12,785 (- 2.4%)
04/2009: House of Mystery #12 -- 12,636 (- 1.2%)
05/2009: House of Mystery #13 -- 14,358 (+13.6%)
06/2009: House of Mystery #14 -- 12,039 (-16.2%)
07/2009: House of Mystery #15 -- 11,809 (- 1.9%)
08/2009: House of Mystery #16 -- 11,572 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: House of Mystery #17 -- 11,142 (- 3.7%)
10/2009: House of Mystery #18 -- 10,922 (- 2.0%)
11/2009: House of Mystery #19 -- 10,478 (- 4.1%)
12/2009: House of Mystery #20 -- 10,175 (- 2.9%)
01/2010: House of Mystery #21 --  9,888 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: -16.3%
1 year  : -28.0%

House of Mystery sales aren’t bottoming out, but there’s still a lot of rope, obviously.

—–

158 - DAYTRIPPER (Vertigo)
12/2009: Daytripper #1  of 10 -- 12,010
01/2009: Daytripper #1  of 10 --  9,846 (-18.0%)

That’s an average drop for a maxi-series.

—–

159 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
09/2009: Sweet Tooth #1  -- 18,657
10/2009: Sweet Tooth #2  -- 11,315 (-39.4%)
11/2009: Sweet Tooth #3  -- 10,363 (- 8.4%)
12/2009: Sweet Tooth #4  --  9,817 (- 5.3%)
01/2010: Sweet Tooth #5  --  9,787 (- 0.3%)

Sales are holding level. Sweet Tooth has been able to profit more from its loss-leader debut than Greek Street, evidently.

—–

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

There’s some obvious attrition going on here, but the fact remains that Supernatural is one of WildStorm’s more successful licensed properties in the direct market. There was a 1-for-10 variant edition.

—–

165 - MAGOG
09/2009: Magog #1  -- 26,352
10/2009: Magog #2  -- 16,193 (-38.6%)
11/2009: Magog #3  -- 12,915 (-20.2%)
12/2009: Magog #4  -- 10,700 (-17.2%)
01/2010: Magog #5  --  9,215 (-13.9%)
175 - WARLORD
04/2009: Warlord #1  -- 17,540
05/2009: Warlord #2  -- 13,390 (-23.7%)
06/2009: Warlord #3  -- 12,283 (- 8.3%)
07/2009: Warlord #4  -- 11,445 (- 6.8%)
08/2009: Warlord #5  -- 10,790 (- 5.7%)
09/2009: Warlord #6  -- 10,331 (- 4.3%)
10/2009: Warlord #7  --  9,892 (- 4.3%)
11/2009: Warlord #8  --  9,547 (- 3.5%)
12/2009: Warlord #9  --  9,102 (- 4.7%)
01/2010: Warlord #10 --  8,807 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: -23.1%

Compared to Magog sales, Warlord looks almost stable.

—–

178 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Madame Xanadu #8  --  9,932 (- 3.3%)
03/2009: Madame Xanadu #9  --  9,798 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Madame Xanadu #10 --  9,664 (- 1.4%)
05/2009: Madame Xanadu #11 -- 10,179 (+ 5.3%)
06/2009: Madame Xanadu #12 --  9,949 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Madame Xanadu #13 -- 10,009 (+ 0.6%)
08/2009: Madame Xanadu #14 --  9,873 (- 1.4%)
09/2009: Madame Xanadu #15 --  9,733 (- 1.4%)
10/2009: Madame Xanadu #16 --  9,283 (- 4.6%)
11/2009: Madame Xanadu #17 --  8,856 (- 4.6%)
12/2009: Madame Xanadu #18 --  8,686 (- 1.9%)
01/2010: Madame Xanadu #19 --  8,439 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: -15.7%
1 year  :  n.a.

Another Vertigo title with slowly declining numbers well below 10,000 units.

—–

185 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
01/2005: Revolution #4 of 12  -- 20,984
01/2007: --
01/2008: Prime #4 of 6        -- 15,058
---------------------------------------
01/2009: The Authority v4 #6  -- 10,673 (- 7.5%)
02/2009: The Authority v4 #7  -- 10,553 (- 1.1%)
03/2009: The Authority v4 #8  --  9,990 (- 5.3%)
04/2009: The Authority v4 #9  --  9,748 (- 2.4%)
05/2009: The Authority v4 #10 --  9,531 (- 2.2%)
06/2009: The Authority v4 #11 --  9,204 (- 3.4%)
07/2009: The Authority v4 #12 --  8,918 (- 3.1%)
08/2009: The Authority v4 #13 --  8,648 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: The Authority v4 #14 --  8,394 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: The Authority v4 #15 --  8,174 (- 2.6%)
11/2009: The Authority v4 #16 --  8,066 (- 1.3%)
12/2009: The Authority v4 #17 --  7,829 (- 2.9%)
01/2010: The Authority v4 #18 --  7,952 (+ 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: -10.8%
1 year  : -25.5%
2 years : -47.2%
5 years : -62.1%

The Authority got a new creative team and a George Pérez cover in January.

Not surprisingly, retailers don’t have any faith left in the WildStorm Universe line.

—–

186 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
01/2008: Northlanders #2  -- 15,945
-----------------------------------
01/2009: Northlanders #14 --  9,467 (- 3.2%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: Northlanders #15 --  9,443 (- 0.2%)
04/2009: Northlanders #16 --  9,323 (- 1.3%)
05/2009: Northlanders #17 --  9,239 (- 0.9%)
06/2009: Northlanders #18 --  8,877 (- 3.9%)
07/2009: Northlanders #19 --  8,722 (- 1.8%)
08/2009: --
09/2009: Northlanders #20 --  8,786 (+ 0.7%)
10/2009: Northlanders #21 --  8,360 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Northlanders #22 --  8,136 (- 2.7%)
12/2009: Northlanders #23 --  8,069 (- 0.8%)
01/2010: Northlanders #24 --  7,935 (- 1.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.0%
1 year  : -16.2%
2 years : -50.2%

Standard attrition, although the two-year comparison is ugly.

—–

187 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
01/2009: Tiny Titans #12 --  8,733 (- 3.9%)
02/2009: Tiny Titans #13 --  8,710 (- 0.3%)
03/2009: Tiny Titans #14 --  8,736 (+ 0.3%)
04/2009: Tiny Titans #15 --  9,207 (+ 5.4%)
05/2009: Tiny Titans #16 --  8,844 (- 3.9%)
06/2009: Tiny Titans #17 --  8,640 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Tiny Titans #18 --  8,576 (- 0.7%)
08/2009: Tiny Titans #19 --  8,432 (- 1.7%)
09/2009: Tiny Titans #20 --  8,435 (+ 0.0%)
10/2009: Tiny Titans #21 --  8,259 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Tiny Titans #22 --  8,100 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Tiny Titans #23 --  8,017 (- 1.0%)
01/2010: Tiny Titans #24 --  7,844 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.5%
1 year  : -10.2%

A Johnny DC title. See small print.

—–

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

The zombie version of the three-year-old relaunch stumbles on, with the kind of sales you’d expect.

—–

191 - THE GREAT TEN
11/2009: The Great Ten #1  of 10 -- 13,159
12/2009: The Great Ten #2  of 10 --  8,760 (-33.4%)
01/2010: The Great Ten #3  of 10 --  7,458 (-14.9%)

This was another disaster waiting to happen, surely. You can’t just shove a maxiseries out there and expect it to sell on the basis that there was a brief flicker of interest in the character four years ago.

—–

192 - GREEK STREET (Vertigo)
07/2009: Greek Street #1  -- 20,422
08/2009: Greek Street #2  -- 11,996 (-41.3%)
09/2009: Greek Street #3  -- 10,628 (-11.4%)
10/2009: Greek Street #4  --  9,246 (-13.0%)
11/2009: Greek Street #5  --  8,610 (- 6.9%)
12/2009: Greek Street #6  --  7,802 (- 9.4%)
01/2010: Greek Street #7  --  7,335 (- 6.0%)
----------------
6 months: -64.1%

Greek Street is another Vertigo title promoted with a $ 1.00 debut issue. Unlike The Unwritten and possibly Sweet Tooth, it doesn’t seem able to capitalize on that, though. Sales are still declining way too fast for comfort.

—–

196 - GEARS OF WAR (WildStorm)
01/2009: --
02/2009: GoW #4  -- 12,864 (+ 6.4%)
03/2009: GoW #5  -- 11,394 (-11.4%)
04/2009: GoW #6  -- 11,506 (+ 1.0%)
05/2009: GoW #7  --  9,955 (-13.5%)
06/2009: --
07/2009: GoW #8  --  9,368 (- 5.9%)
07/2009: GoW #9  --  9,009 (- 3.8%)
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: --
11/2009: GoW #10 --  8,066 (-10.5%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: GoW #11 --  7,157 (-11.3%)
----------------
6 months: -22.1%
1 year  :  n.a.

Gears of War #11 was originally meant to be out in October, and no further issues have been solicited to date. Which makes me more skeptical whether the series is doing as well outside of the direct market as some have suggested.

—–

200 - DMZ (Vertigo)
01/2006: DMZ #3  -- 14,503
01/2007: DMZ #15 -- 13,340
01/2008: DMZ #27 -- 10,662
--------------------------
01/2009: DMZ #38 --  8,457 (-4.2%)
02/2009: DMZ #39 --  8,353 (-1.2%)
03/2009: DMZ #40 --  8,167 (-2.2%)
04/2009: DMZ #41 --  8,061 (-1.3%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: DMZ #42 --  7,927 (-1.7%)
07/2009: DMZ #43 --  7,806 (-1.5%)
08/2009: DMZ #44 --  7,654 (-2.0%)
09/2009: DMZ #45 --  7,589 (-0.9%)
10/2009: DMZ #46 --  7,399 (-2.5%)
11/2009: DMZ #47 --  7,187 (-2.9%)
12/2009: DMZ #48 --  6,977 (-2.9%)
01/2010: DMZ #49 --  6,872 (-1.5%)
----------------
6 months: -12.0%
1 year  : -18.7%
2 years : -35.6%

DMZ keeps slipping down the charts, slowly but surely.

—–

201 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
01/2006: Nemesis #5 of 9 -- 14,983
01/2007: --
----------------------------------
01/2009: World's End #7  --  9,539 (- 8.7%)
02/2009: World's End #8  --  9,040 (- 5.2%)
03/2009: World's End #9  --  8,758 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: World's End #10 --  8,460 (- 3.4%)
05/2009: World's End #11 --  8,165 (- 3.5%)
06/2009: World's End #12 --  7,863 (- 3.7%)
07/2009: World's End #13 --  7,609 (- 3.2%)
08/2009: World's End #14 --  7,417 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: World's End #15 --  7,178 (- 3.2%)
10/2009: World's End #16 --  6,883 (- 4.1%)
11/2009: World's End #17 --  6,691 (- 2.8%)
12/2009: World's End #18 --  6,487 (- 3.2%)
01/2010: World's End #19 --  6,791 (+ 4.7%)
----------------
6 months: -10.8%
1 year  : -28.8%
2 years :  n.a.

WildCats also got a new creative team and a George Pérez cover in January, and like The Authority, sees a minuscule sales increase as a result.

—–

205 - VICTORIAN UNDEAD (WildStorm)
11/2009: Victorian Undead #1 of 6 -- 11,422
12/2009: Victorian Undead #2 of 6 --  7,430 (-35.0%)
01/2010: Victorian Undead #3 of 6 --  6,663 (-10.3%)

That’s a steep third-issue drop, but Victorian Undead remains one of the more successful creator-driven books released at WildStorm recently.

—–

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

The Shield and The Web are still in the double-digit drops. To be honest, I’m surprised every time DC solicits a new issue.

—–

214 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
01/2005: Batman Strikes! #5    -- 11,808
01/2006: Batman Strikes! #17   --  8,172
01/2007: Batman Strikes! #29   --  7,330
01/2008: Batman Strikes! #41   --  6,723
----------------------------------------
01/2009: Brave & Bold #1       -- 13,935 (+117.3%)
02/2009: Brave & Bold #2       --  8,678 (- 37.7%)
03/2009: Brave & Bold #3       --  8,184 (-  5.7%)
04/2009: Brave & Bold #4       --  8,381 (+  2.4%)
05/2009: Brave & Bold #5       --  7,994 (-  4.6%)
06/2009: Brave & Bold #6       --  7,614 (-  4.8%)
07/2009: Brave & Bold #7       --  7,441 (-  2.3%)
08/2009: Brave & Bold #8       --  7,153 (-  3.9%)
09/2009: Brave & Bold #9       --  7,064 (-  1.2%)
10/2009: Brave & Bold #10      --  6,646 (-  5.9%)
11/2009: Brave & Bold #11      --  6,438 (-  3.1%)
12/2009: Brave & Bold #12      --  6,342 (-  1.5%)
01/2010: Brave & Bold #13      --  6,129 (-  3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -17.6%
1 year  : -56.0%
2 years : - 8.8%
5 years : -48.1%

Another Johnny DC book. See small print.

—–

221 - UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Vertigo)
01/2009: Unknown Soldier #4  --  8,711 (-12.2%)
02/2009: Unknown Soldier #5  --  8,348 (- 4.2%)
03/2009: Unknown Soldier #6  --  8,177 (- 2.1%)
04/2009: Unknown Soldier #7  --  8,631 (+ 5.6%)
05/2009: Unknown Soldier #8  --  7,705 (-10.7%)
06/2009: Unknown Soldier #9  --  7,586 (- 1.6%)
07/2009: Unknown Soldier #10 --  7,256 (- 4.4%)
08/2009: Unknown Soldier #11 --  7,070 (- 2.6%)
09/2009: Unknown Soldier #12 --  6,865 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: Unknown Soldier #13 --  6,636 (- 3.3%)
11/2009: Unknown Soldier #14 --  6,359 (- 4.2%)
12/2009: Unknown Soldier #15 --  6,134 (- 3.5%)
01/2010: Unknown Soldier #16 --  5,848 (- 4.7%)
----------------
6 months: -19.4%
1 year  : -32.9%

Unknown Soldier sales aren’t bottoming out.

—–

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

These are truly infernal numbers — see above.

—–

226 - AIR (Vertigo)
01/2009: Air #6  --  7,607 (- 9.6%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: Air #7  -- 10,290 (+35.3%)
04/2009: Air #8  --  7,216 (-29.9%)
05/2009: Air #9  --  7,115 (- 1.4%)
06/2009: Air #10 --  6,954 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Air #11 --  6,793 (- 2.3%)
08/2009: Air #12 --  6,589 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: Air #13 --  6,476 (- 1.7%)
10/2009: Air #14 --  6,156 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Air #15 --  5,921 (- 3.8%)
12/2009: Air #16 --  5,733 (- 3.2%)
01/2010: Air #17 --  5,573 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: -18.0%
1 year  : -26.7%

I’m wondering how much rope there is for Air.

—–

228 - THE MIGHTY
02/2009: The Mighty #1  --  17,956
03/2009: The Mighty #2  --  10,624 (-40.8%)
04/2009: The Mighty #3  --   8,777 (-17.4%)
05/2009: The Mighty #4  --   7,565 (-13.8%)
06/2009: The Mighty #5  --   7,104 (- 6.1%)
07/2009: The Mighty #6  --   6,660 (- 6.3%)
08/2009: The Mighty #7  --   6,292 (- 5.5%)
09/2009: The Mighty #8  --   6,104 (- 3.0%)
10/2009: The Mighty #9  --   5,932 (- 2.8%)
11/2009: The Mighty #10 --   5,728 (- 3.4%)
12/2009: The Mighty #11 --   5,500 (- 4.0%)
01/2010: The Mighty #12 --   5,341 (- 2.9%)
----------------
6 months: -19.8%

Canceled.

—–

240 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA SPECIAL
01/2010: JLoA Special -- 4,605

A reprint special previously packaged with a bunch of action figures and now retailing at $ 4.99.

—–

246 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
01/2009: Super Friends #11 --  5,500 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Super Friends #12 --  5,394 (- 1.9%)
03/2009: Super Friends #13 --  5,387 (- 0.1%)
04/2009: Super Friends #14 --  5,792 (+ 7.5%)
05/2009: Super Friends #15 --  5,513 (- 4.8%)
06/2009: Super Friends #16 --  5,548 (+ 0.6%)
07/2009: Super Friends #17 --  5,368 (- 3.2%)
08/2009: Super Friends #18 --  5,291 (- 1.4%)
09/2009: Super Friends #19 --  5,045 (- 4.7%)
10/2009: Super Friends #20 --  5,026 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Super Friends #21 --  4,879 (- 2.9%)
12/2009: Super Friends #22 --  4,837 (- 0.9%)
01/2010: Super Friends #23 --  4,538 (- 6.2%)
----------------
6 months: -15.5%
1 year  : -17.5%
251 - BILLY BATSON & THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM (Johnny DC)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Billy Batson #4  --  8,470 (-14.0%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Billy Batson #5  --  7,869 (- 7.1%)
07/2009: Billy Batson #6  --  6,771 (-14.0%)
08/2009: Billy Batson #7  --  6,382 (- 5.8%)
09/2009: Billy Batson #8  --  5,858 (- 8.2%)
10/2009: Billy Batson #9  --  5,388 (- 8.0%)
11/2009: Billy Batson #10 --  4,993 (- 7.3%)
12/2009: Billy Batson #11 --  4,795 (- 4.0%)
01/2010: Billy Batson #12 --  4,371 (- 8.8%)
----------------
6 months: -35.5%
1 year  :  n.a.

Two more Johnny DC titles.

—–

263 - DANTE'S INFERNO (WildStorm)
12/2009: Dante's Inferno #1 of 6 -- 5,431
01/2010: Dante's Inferno #2 of 6 -- 3,808 (-29.9%)

Another videogame adaptation with dreadful direct-market numbers.

—–

266 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
01/2005: Scooby Doo #92  -- 4,872
01/2006: Scooby Doo #104 -- 4,454
01/2007: Scooby Doo #116 -- 4,285
01/2008: Scooby Doo #128 -- 4,147
---------------------------------
01/2009: Scooby Doo #140 -- 3,800
02/2009: Scooby Doo #141 -- 3,861 (+ 1.6%)
03/2009: Scooby Doo #142 -- 3,863 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Scooby Doo #143 -- 4,610 (+19.3%)
05/2009: Scooby Doo #144 -- 4,062 (-11.9%)
06/2009: Scooby Doo #145 -- 4,093 (+ 0.8%)
07/2009: Scooby Doo #146 -- 4,110 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Scooby Doo #147 -- 4,111 (+ 0.0%)
09/2009: Scooby Doo #148 -- 4,103 (- 0.2%)
10/2009: Scooby Doo #149 -- 4,005 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Scooby Doo #150 -- 4,044 (+ 1.0%)
12/2009: Scooby Doo #151 -- 3,906 (- 3.4%)
01/2010: Scooby Doo #152 -- 3,724 (- 4.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.4%
1 year  : - 0.2%
2 years : -10.2%
5 years : -23.6%

The final Johnny DC book on the Top 300 chart.

—–

267 - STARCRAFT (WildStorm)
05/2009: StarCraft #1  -- 11,744
06/2009: StarCraft #2  --  7,933 (-32.5%)
07/2009: --
08/2009: StarCraft #3  --  6,410 (-19.2%)
09/2009: StarCraft #4  --  5,428 (-15.3%)
10/2009: StarCraft #5  --  4,422 (-18.5%)
11/2009: StarCraft #6  --  4,149 (- 6.2%)
12/2009: --
01/2010: StarCraft #7  --  3,649 (-12.1%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.
282 - RED HERRING (WildStorm)
08/2009: Red Herring #1 of 6 -- 5,982
09/2009: Red Herring #2 of 6 -- 4,337 (-27.5%)
10/2009: Red Herring #3 of 6 -- 3,797 (-12.5%)
11/2009: Red Herring #4 of 6 -- 3,438 (- 9.5%)
12/2009: Red Herring #5 of 6 -- ?
01/2010: Red Herring #6 of 6 -- 3,014

The videogame adaptation StarCraft is canceled with issue #7, while the creator-driven Red Herring returns to the chart with its final issue.

Free Realms #5 (of 12), part of another WildStorm game adaptation, also shipped in January, but like the previous four issues, it missed the chart.

RE-ORDERS:
278:  3,163 -- Blackest Night #3
289:  2,668 -- Blackest Night #1
292:  2,597 -- Blackest Night #5

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 58.1%: Secret Six
+  5.7%: JLA
+  0.8%: Brave & Bold
+  0.6%: REBELS
-  0.8%: Green Lantern
-  2.0%: Booster Gold
-  5.4%: Hellblazer
-  7.0%: Outsiders
-  7.2%: GL Corps
-  8.5%: Tiny Titans
-  9.0%: Northlanders
-  9.4%: Scooby-Doo
- 10.1%: Fables
- 10.3%: Batman Confidential
- 10.3%: Teen Titans
- 10.6%: Astro City
- 10.8%: Authority
- 10.8%: Wildcats
- 11.2%: Jonah Hex
- 11.8%: Superman/Batman
- 12.0%: DMZ
- 15.5%: Super Friends
- 15.6%: Supergirl
- 15.7%: Madame Xanadu
- 16.3%: House of Mystery
- 16.5%: Wonder Woman
- 17.6%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 18.0%: Air
- 18.1%: Superman: WoNK
- 19.0%: Unwritten
- 19.1%: Superman
- 19.4%: Unknown Soldier
- 19.8%: Mighty
- 19.9%: Green Arrow
- 20.0%: Action Comics
- 21.6%: Jack of Fables
- 22.1%: GoW
- 22.3%: JSA
- 23.1%: Warlord
- 23.6%: Batman
- 25.0%: Detective Comics
- 25.6%: Batman and Robin
- 26.6%: Red Robin
- 28.0%: JLA: Cry for Justice
- 28.5%: GC Sirens
- 35.5%: Billy Batson
- 36.0%: Batman: SoG
- 38.1%: Power Girl
- 46.0%: Titans
- 64.1%: Greek Street

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 90.4%: Adventure Comics
+ 72.6%: GL Corps
+ 62.4%: Green Lantern
+ 54.7%: Secret Six
+ 36.0%: GC Sirens
+ 32.0%: Red Robin
-  0.2%: Scooby-Doo
-  4.5%: Jonah Hex
-  9.8%: Hellblazer
- 10.2%: Tiny Titans
- 10.8%: Fables
- 12.2%: Brave & Bold
- 12.7%: Batman
- 13.0%: Jack of Fables
- 13.7%: JLA
- 13.8%: Booster Gold
- 16.0%: Batman Confidential
- 16.2%: Northlanders
- 17.5%: Super Friends
- 18.6%: Supergirl
- 18.7%: DMZ
- 18.9%: Detective Comics
- 22.5%: Teen Titans
- 25.5%: Authority
- 26.7%: Air
- 28.0%: House of Mystery
- 28.8%: Wildcats
- 32.5%: Green Arrow
- 32.9%: Unknown Soldier
- 33.9%: Titans
- 34.1%: Superman
- 35.0%: JSA
- 40.9%: Action Comics
- 56.0%: Batman: Brave & Bold

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 71.4%: GL Corps
+ 67.3%: Flash
+ 57.5%: Green Lantern
+ 28.7%: Adventure Comics
+ 26.0%: Red Robin
+ 16.7%: GC Sirens
-  8.3%: Batman
-  8.8%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 10.2%: Scooby-Doo
- 10.9%: Detective Comics
- 16.7%: Hellblazer
- 19.4%: Jonah Hex
- 24.0%: Supergirl
- 28.5%: Superman
- 29.1%: Jack of Fables
- 34.3%: JLA
- 35.0%: Superman/Batman
- 35.6%: DMZ
- 39.5%: Booster Gold
- 41.4%: Wonder Woman
- 45.3%: Action Comics
- 46.9%: Teen Titans
- 47.2%: Authority
- 50.2%: Northlanders
- 53.0%: Green Arrow

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 39.4%: Flash
+ 15.3%: Red Robin
+ 12.5%: Detective Comics
+  8.3%: Batman
+  4.0%: Batgirl
+  0.6%: Adventure Comics
-  1.8%: Wonder Woman
-  2.9%: JLA
-  4.1%: GC Sirens
-  4.8%: Doom Patrol
-  8.5%: JSA
- 16.3%: Action Comics
- 17.2%: Fables
- 23.6%: Scooby-Doo
- 29.9%: Hellblazer
- 42.8%: Outsiders
- 48.1%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 49.2%: Green Arrow
- 57.9%: Teen Titans
- 62.1%: Authority

—–

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

DC COMICS
01/2005: 24,650
01/2006: 33,019
01/2007: 29,706
01/2008: 27,033
---------------
01/2009: 24,273 (- 9.4%)
02/2009: 23,080 (- 4.9%)
03/2009: 21,792 (- 5.6%)
04/2009: 27,373 (+25.6%)**
05/2009: 24,386 (-10.9%)
06/2009: 25,880 (+ 6.1%)**
07/2009: 30,905 (+19.4%)**
08/2009: 29,977 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: 28,493 (- 5.0%)**
10/2009: 27,525 (- 4.4%)**
11/2009: 28,913 (+ 5.1%)**
12/2009: 25,904 (-10.4%)**
01/2010: 25,657 (- 1.0%)**
----------------
6 months: -17.0%
1 year  : + 5.7%
2 years : - 5.1%
5 years : + 4.1%
DC UNIVERSE
01/2005: 30,156
01/2006: 40,118
01/2007: 38,302
01/2008: 33,654
---------------
01/2009: 32,705 (- 6.7%)
02/2009: 30,224 (- 7.6%)
03/2009: 31,336 (+ 3.7%)
04/2009: 38,150 (+21.8%)
05/2009: 33,163 (-13.1%)
06/2009: 36,329 (+ 9.6%)
07/2009: 41,218 (+13.9%)
08/2009: 37,300 (- 9.5%)
09/2009: 36,725 (- 1.5%)**
10/2009: 34,795 (- 5.3%)
11/2009: 38,488 (+10.6%)
12/2009: 35,473 (- 7.8%)**
01/2010: 33,698 (- 5.0%)
----------------
6 months: -18.3%
1 year  : + 3.0%
2 years : + 0.1%
5 years : +11.8%
VERTIGO
01/2005: 13,262
01/2006: 15,036
01/2007: 13,572
01/2008: 10,115
---------------
01/2009: 10,980 (- 5.4%)
02/2009: 11,353 (+ 3.4%)
03/2009: 10,177 (-10.4%)
04/2009: 10,767 (+ 5.8%)
05/2009: 12,918 (+20.0%)
06/2009: 11,166 (-13.6%)
07/2009: 11,055 (- 1.0%)**
08/2009: 11,369 (+ 2.8%)
09/2009: 11,345 (- 0.2%)
10/2009: 10,551 (- 7.0%)
11/2009: 11,036 (+ 4.6%)
12/2009: 10,583 (- 4.1%)
01/2010: 11,267 (+ 6.5%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.9%
1 year  : + 2.6%
2 years : +11.4%
5 years : -15.0%
WILDSTORM
01/2005: 17,591
01/2006: 17,505
01/2007: 14,525
01/2008: 14,033
---------------
01/2009:  6,851 (-27.2%)
02/2009:  8,019 (+17.1%)
03/2009:  8,954 (+11.7%)
04/2009:  8,277 (- 7.6%)**
05/2009:  8,579 (+ 3.7%)
06/2009:  8,805 (+ 2.6%)**
07/2009:  8,519 (- 3.3%)**
08/2009:  7,977 (- 6.4%)
09/2009:  8,280 (+ 3.8%)**
10/2009:  9,769 (+18.0%)**
11/2009:  7,111 (-27.2%)**
12/2009:  7,260 (+ 2.1%)**
01/2010:  6,532 (-10.0%)**
----------------
6 months: -23.3%
1 year  : - 4.7%
2 years : -53.5%
5 years : -62.9%

—–
Disclaimers, et cetera

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments

  1. Steve Maser says:

    More people should read Power Girl. It’s really, really fun super hero comics (and there aren’t enough of those kind of books on the market these days — Incredible Hercules is another…)

    But it Magog hasn’t been cancelled (yet?) and Doom Patrol hasn’t gone down for the count (again), I’m not worrying about it yet.

  2. Mikael says:

    This is why I put no trust in numbers. In this DC post, variants are the reason why top selling books are in top selling spots. In the Marvel post done by whomever, variants have no weight on numbers sold.

    The common language between all these posts doesn’t exist.

  3. dan dideo needs to fire himself off outsiders. even with all that promotion what an awful debut.

  4. Nate Horn says:

    “WildStorm, on the other hand, once again lowered the bar for its worst unit and dollar sales in history. ”

    Well, clearly the only thing to be done here is promote the guy running WildStorm to publisher of DC! ^_^

    (I know…it’s unfair and probably inaccurate snark. I’m sure Jim Lee will work out fine. I just wanted to deliver a zinger!)

  5. Mikael:

    “In this DC post, variants are the reason why top selling books are in top selling spots.”

    That’s not what I think I’m saying at all. What part makes you think that’s my point, if I may ask?

  6. Nate Horn says:

    “For Superman, this is the lowest number since Diamond started reporting sales to retailers in March 2003.”

    Geez, Marc-Oliver! Stop being such a naysayer by pointing out facts! You should ignore the facts and pretend everything is happy regardless of whatever the actual performance is!

  7. “More people should read Power Girl.”

    I’ll second that … I took a chance on the first three issues, and decided to continue following it. It’s the only monthly comic I’m purchasing lately, since I dropped THE SPIRIT after Darwyn Cooke’s departure.

  8. The Unwritten trade (and many other first volumes from Vertigo) are selling at a $9.99 price point. The idea, like the $1.00 issues, is to entice readers to try the book. It’s a first volume… it’s cheap… it has an interesting premise… all attractive criteria for a consumer.

    Of the three titles DC charts in the top ten GN list for January, ALL were Vertigo books. (One was an original graphic novel in hardcover!)

    The $1.00 price point helps to build word-of-mouth faster. Some 25,000 comicbook fans are reading the first issue. Even if those fans do not stick around for the other seven issues, they’ll remember the story when the trade comes out, which will probably be Spring 2011. (And I’m sure the loss on issue #1 will be covered in the P&L by the other seven issues.)

    So, how did the resurrected Blackest Night titles do compared to their previous issues?

    Jack of Fables has a new “Jack” as the lead. Not as “bad boy” as the previous Jack, which might account for the drop. Still a fun read.

    Power Girl is highly recommended! The recent two-part Valentines Day story was a masterpiece!

  9. Some people will chalk it up to loss of interest in comics, or digital comics. But it’s fairly evident that people are losing interest in the multi-part, cross-continuity “major” event storylines. As soon as one ends, another picks right up. Maybe writers an editors need to learn how to tell single-issue, contained stories again.

  10. Matt D says:

    Rich said: “Some people will chalk it up to loss of interest in comics, or digital comics. But it’s fairly evident that people are losing interest in the multi-part, cross-continuity “major” event storylines. As soon as one ends, another picks right up. Maybe writers an editors need to learn how to tell single-issue, contained stories again.”

    I say: Except for it feels like the only things that sell at all anymore are things that feel “important and unmissable” to the main central story of the shared universe. Stuff like Power Girl or Shield/Web or the current Teen Titans run which aren’t tied to anything drop like a rock. One thing DC was good at doing around the Infinite Crisis era was to make the individual comics feel tied in better. If you missed a Teen Titans issue during the “Titans of Tomorrow” storyline, you might have missed something important and fall behind.

    Likewise the JLA issues having to do with the fallout from Identity Crisis or the Wonder Woman issues with the Max Lord fallout. Right now not much of anything outside of Green Lantern “feels” important to the average fan in the direct market.

    I think the learning curve in a sort of shift where everything is more stand-alone would make things far, far worse before it made things better. Looking at the short term, diminishing returns probably beats outright cataclysmic apathy.

  11. Alan Coil says:

    “I’ll wait for the trade” seems to be having its predictable effect. Monthly sales are falling, yet the series aren’t getting cancelled. At some point soon, DC is going to have to start charging more for their trades to make up the difference.

    It’s criminal that Northlanders and Madame Xanadu are selling so poorly. These are just the type of books that should appeal to readers who prefer something other than super heroes.

    The Shield and The Web are both better comics than their sales show, too, yet they sell less than Tiny Titans.

  12. Maybe it’s a matter of the general economy still being a mess, nationally (and globally), and the simple truth is that less people have the cash to blow on comics. And all the marketing strategies in the world cannot put disposable income in people’s wallets.

  13. POWER GIRL is currently one of my favorite monthly titles, but yes, the “stand-alone series” approach is probably what makes it feel more expendable when cutting back.

    And these kinds of cuts will probably keep coming as long as the higher-selling properties have more titles added to their lines. I don’t think many of us are asking to see a third Green Lantern series or four Avengers books or what have you, but they still end up selling regardless and as a result, we lose titles like POWER GIRL or INCREDIBLE HERCULES.

  14. David Hackett says:

    Kudos for another good article this month. I know I’ve been one of the critical voices in the past, but I think the columns really turned around in a good way towards healthy unbiased analysis and criticism where it is warranted. A lot of the reporting on the Post BN tie-in books could easily have been flavored with a good helping of “I told you so”, and instead took the high road.

  15. Christian says:

    Thank you once again. This is one of the internet columns I look forward to the most each and every month.

  16. Terry says:

    Another vote here for “Power Girl”. And why don’t more people buy “Jonah Hex”? At the rate some of these books are declining, DC may ending up publishing books just for me!

  17. Another month, another set of smaller numbers. Some can be chalked up to the over all macro-economic problems like persistent high unemployment, etc. The troubling theory under the numbers seems to be that all sales will fall all of the time except when they just hold on. What a depressing and defeatist Unified Sales Theory! Too bad it is supported by the numbers. There seems to be no clear solution to falling sales except for having Geoff Johns write everything. No wonder some publishers are looking at digital distribution as a lifeline.

  18. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    Interesting that all the low-selling books that were involved in the ring promotion (Booster Gold, Outsiders, REBELS) are seeing at least a slight gain on pre-crossover levels except for Doom Patrol, which is actually one of my favorite DCU books.

    In the same vein, while I’m glad that The Unwritten seems to have profited from the debut issue promotion, I’m also disappointed that Greek Street apparently didn’t, even though it is the better book IMHO.

  19. Thanks for the POWERGIRL and JONAH HEX love.

  20. Brendan T says:

    “Three more Batman spin-off series, all in a free fall.”

    In fairness, they’re all still a good bit ahead of their respective predecessors, and Streets of Gotham has been plagued with fill ins, which have been good but disrupted the flow of the longer form story Dini is telling.

    What I’d like to see is Supergirl and Power Girl getting Green Lantern numbers. Those are two of the best series being published on a regular basis, both in terms of writing and artwork. Frankly, I’ll buy anything by Amanda Connor (which is something I can only say for a handful of artists) and Jamal Igle has become a favourite penciller as well. But both series are great at telling fun stories which are easy to follow but build up across short arcs into a longer story. If there’s such a thing as the perfect comic formula, it’s being demonstrated in Supergirl and Power Girl.

  21. Really enjoying some of the little gems, like The Atom and Hawkman one-shot. Also shoving a bunch of DC comics down the throats of the local neighborhood kids. Hopefully we’ll get a fan or two out of it.

  22. - JAMES - says:

    Put me down as another Powergirl fan! If you want a good laugh? Read this series!

    I’m one of the people who trys the $1 Vergito books. But even when I like them, I will still only pick it up by trade. For me they just read better in trade. Regarding the Greek Street numbers? I love Milligan, but the incest story was just not to my liking. So no thanks!

  23. - JAMES - says:

    Re: Brave and the Bold. It’s only off for one month.

    I been reading the reviews and hearing good things, and now want to pick it up. But so many issues have come out now (5 or 6?) that I was just going to wait for the first trade. But where the hell is it DC? the skip month would of been perfect, but no……

  24. Alan Coil says:

    James, DC’s common policy is that the trade comes out about 6 months after the last issue that will be reprinted in the trade.

  25. Charles Knight says:

    “It’s criminal that Northlanders and Madame Xanadu are selling so poorly. These are just the type of books that should appeal to readers who prefer something other than super heroes.”

    But people like that (and I’m one of them) prefer trades so that’s what we buy…

  26. Heinz Hochkoepper says:

    James, the incest in the first issue isn’t really an important element of the story. As the book progresses, the focus is on the murder investigation and the crime family also introduced in the first issue. Plus, the mythological allusions get more and more intriguing. I would urge anyone who wants to read a truly unique and sophisticated crime drama with a mythological subtext to check out Greek Street. That goes doubly if you like Milligan. I think I’ve read almost everything he wrote, and Greek Street is among his best works, definitely the best thing he’s written since X-Statix.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I am a bit surprised Jonah Hex is not selling better. Perhaps the rotation of artists is putting people off?
    Jordi Bernet, then Paul Gulacy, Darwyn Cooke, then Jordi ( my fave) again etc. Or maybe it is struggling against the tide against of glossier superhero comics.
    I have a hunch that this perceived weakness could actually be a strength that would allow it to “click” with potential readers who would not normally darken the door of a comics shop.
    Maybe there are alternate distribution channels for this one to reach the non-typical reader.

  28. Jonah Hex doesn’t sell well because people aren’t interested in the Western genre.

    Power Girl doesn’t sell well because 1. it stars a female characters 2. who’s just one character among many on a no-longer-A-list team book 3. whose popularity was at its peak 5 years ago during Countdown to Infinite Crisis.

    But really, the real reason why neither book sells well is Palmiotti and Gray. Nothing I’ve read of theirs has been remotely original or compelling. The reason they write books like Power Girl and Jonah Hex is that DC doesn’t want them to tank their bigger properties.

  29. Al™ says:

    Hmm, that last comment was mine. I must have “tossed my cookies”, and thus became “Anonymous”. Wanted to clarify that yup, it was me there alright, uh-huh.

  30. Al™ says:

    Michael Aronson, yours is an interesting opinion about Palmiotti and Gray. I don’t happen to agree, but as a buyer of Jonah Hex, I am definitely casting my vote already, I guess.

  31. Michael, thanks for the love.

    we have been tanking Jonah Hex now for over 4 years.

    Remember, books like Jonah Hex do very well in trades and international markets where general statements like ” people arent interested in the western genre” are far from the truth.

    and unlike most people, we look at the numbers and are very happy we have that many people reading the book each and every month. Especially happy that the good folks at D.C. understand how important the book is for their line as well.

  32. mark coale says:

    I’ll be interested to see what kind of sales spike Hex gets after the movie.

  33. Roman Bednar says:

    Jonah Hex #50 with art by Darwyn Cooke was easily the best book I read the week that it came out. Along with Paul Dini, Palmiotti and Gray have mastered the done in one, something you don’t see much of in comics today. Warners must be happy with the book as well or they would not have made a Jonah Hex movie.

  34. Synsidar says:

    Would anyone who buys POWER GIRL for the story explain how the story in a given issue works? I got #7, was unimpressed, read reviews of #8, skimmed through the final five pages of #8 on the rack — the plot didn’t work. If Vartox, et al. didn’t use their humanoid equipment to mate, then there was no reason for them to be drawn as humanoids. If Power Girl’s usefulness in restoring fertility wasn’t based on anything but her strength, then why be attracted to her for her looks? IIRC, MAD-type parodies exaggerated elements of a movie’s or TV show’s plot, but were generally faithful to the plot. A humorous show in which the humor develops naturally from the plot (e.g., Star Trek’s “Trouble with Tribbles”) is stronger than one in which the plot is only a platform for sight gags, one-liners, etc.

    SRS

  35. Power Girl’s sub numbers just hit double digits in my store, which is amazing since I sold only 8 copies of the first issue when it was new.

    DC has helped a lot in growing smaller series like this one and R.E.B.E.L.S. by overprinting each issue so that there are copies available for reorders.

    Some titles need a little time (and promotion!) for their audiences to find them.

  36. In the future Synsidar, you might find by reading an entire book you get the entire story, rather than “skimming through the final five pages ” of a book. Its like giving an opinion of a movie from watching part of it …or the trailer.

    sorry you were not impressed by issue 7…but there was not a single bad review of both issues to be found, so its not your thing and thats fine. It happens.

    Vartoz was a character from the 70’s and unfortunately, not created by us.

    Jimmy Palmiotti

  37. Gene K says:

    Count me as one of the Power Girl fans, it’s the perfect blend of art and writing. Easily one of the best comics going.

  38. Re: Michael Aronson … “But really, the real reason why neither book sells well is Palmiotti and Gray. Nothing I’ve read of theirs has been remotely original or compelling. The reason they write books like Power Girl and Jonah Hex is that DC doesn’t want them to tank their bigger properties.”

    This gets asinine quote of the day.

    P&G are two of the best writers around, and that’s a fact. Jonah Hex is an incredible read month after month, and just because fanboys can suspend their imaginations regarding men in underwear who fly, but not a western bounty hunter is more telling about the nature of comic fans — such as yourself, apparently — than P&G or the books they write.

    Jonah Hex is one of the best things on the market. Just because comic fans have tunnel vision about what they want to read doesn’t mean otherwise.

  39. Count me in as another Power Girl fan – this book is the most fun I can remember since Impulse. I hope more people find it.

    Can somebody tell me why every month this column insists on comparing sales of Gotham City Sirens to the prior Birds of Prey series? These have nothing to do with each other. The proper comparison would be with the last Catwoman series.

  40. @mark coale
    Based on other movies based on comics, the boost on _isssues_ of Jonah Hex will probably be negligible (if it exists at all). The boost on trades? Hard to tell, as a lot of that might be through bookstores.

  41. Synsidar says:

    In the future Synsidar, you might find by reading an entire book you get the entire story, rather than “skimming through the final five pages ” of a book. Its like giving an opinion of a movie from watching part of it …or the trailer.

    Unless the material in #8 was completely disconnected from #7, reading Mozzocco’s detailed review of #8, and checking the pertinent pages to confirm my impressions (I looked at other pages as well, such as the courtship), sufficed to confirm that Power Girl’s DNA, her fertility, and the humanoid appearance of Vartox and the rest of his species had nothing to do with the plot for the two issues. The story could have been done in five pages. “Uh, Power Girl, we have a problem, and with your strength, we could solve it.” She touches the orb, the fertility of the species is restored, and that’s that.

    The material in #7 was amusing, but it should have been connected to the overall purpose of the story. Advancing the plot to the point where there might be actual sex or other R-rated content and then coming up with an excuse to avoid the sex, was weak. If the plot of the two issues worked overall, I’ll be satisfied with any explanation provided, but in the absence of one, my impression is that POWER GIRL is primarily a platform for sight gags and jokes.

    SRS

  42. Alan Coil says:

    “P&G are two of the best writers around, and that’s a fact.”

    No, it’s an opinion. And by saying this, I am not knocking P&G. I don’t need or want that fight.

  43. Kid Kyoto says:

    Part of this might be due to fewer comic shops, is anyone tracking how many there are in the US, I heard something about 100+ closing in recent years.

  44. “No, it’s an opinion. And by saying this, I am not knocking P&G. I don’t need or want that fight.”

    No, it’s not an opinion. They’ve clearly researched the history of the American west, and woven it into stories when appropriate (which is interesting for anyone with a familiarity with such things). Their characters have distinct speech patterns which are reflective of the time, and often region. And their stories often reflect the sort of moral ambiguity surrounding the life of a man who is a hired killer. There’s nothing heroic about Hex (unlike Wolverine), but nothing necessarily evil about him either (unlike Bullseye). They’ve done an incredible job telling stories about a morally complex character. And that’s not an opinion. All anyone has to do is open the trades and read the stories. People don’t like Westerns — that’s one thing. But to say that they’re horrible writers — insult them personally — is simply rubbish.

  45. Army of Dorkness says:

    ““P&G are two of the best writers around, and that’s a fact.”

    No, it’s an opinion. And by saying this, I am not knocking P&G. I don’t need or want that fight.

    No, it’s not an opinion.”

    Is “best” anything ever NOT an opinion?

    “If the plot of the two issues worked overall, I’ll be satisfied with any explanation provided, but in the absence of one, my impression is that POWER GIRL is primarily a platform for sight gags and jokes.”

    Don’t be fooled by this comment, Mr. Palmiotti. When it comes to Power Girl, all Steve-o here sees is that circular cut-out in her costume that shows part of her boobies.

    I don’t read Power Girl so his criticism may be valid, but I would never trust it on this topic due to the overwhelming bias.

    Loved Back to Brooklyn though.

  46. All one needs to do is look at the sales of the Monolith, either of the Freedom Fighters series, P&G’s run on Supergirl, the Terra miniseries, their run on Hawkman, etc. etc. And though Countdown wasn’t as much as a sales debacle as it should’ve been, they were also involved in that creative travesty.

    And whatever the trade sales of Jonah Hex may be, the monhtly certainly isn’t in a healthy state.

  47. Army of Dorkness says:

    “All one needs to do is look at the sales of the Monolith, either of the Freedom Fighters series, P&G’s run on Supergirl, the Terra miniseries, their run on Hawkman, etc.”

    I didn’t read any of those books and it had nothing to do with who was writing them.

    I did read 21 Down: The Conduit, and that was pretty good.

    Since I’m part of the group that doesn’t buy the comics in question, I felt the need to point out that you don’t speak for me and you probably don’t speak for a lot of people.

  48. Alan Coil says:

    “And whatever the trade sales of Jonah Hex may be, the monthly certainly isn’t in a healthy state.”

    No, it’s not, but DC is fine with that. As long as the trades continue to sell, the monthly will continue.

  49. I’m generally a trade-waiter but seeing these numbers has got me into buying the single floppies primarily to support the underdog books i love like Power Girl!

  50. “All one needs to do is look at the sales of the Monolith, either of the Freedom Fighters series, P&G’s run on Supergirl, the Terra miniseries, their run on Hawkman, etc. etc.”

    So, you’re one of those people who judge quality of a creative product by their box-office?

  51. “Michael Aronson
    05. Mar, 2010 at 9:30 pm #
    All one needs to do is look at the sales of the Monolith, either of the Freedom Fighters series, P&G’s run on Supergirl, the Terra miniseries, their run on Hawkman, etc. etc. And though Countdown wasn’t as much as a sales debacle as it should’ve been, they were also involved in that creative travesty.

    And whatever the trade sales of Jonah Hex may be, the monhtly certainly isn’t in a healthy state.”

    hahahah, thanks for all the attention and the walk down memory lane.

    I have never been a “big selling writer” by any means, but I respect each characters history and always try to write an entertaining story.

    I know creating and co-creating original books like Ash, Painkiller Jane, New West, Beautiful Killer, Dock Walloper, The Monolith, 21 Down, Twilight experiment, Random Acts of Violence, Back to Brooklyn,The Resistance,22 Brides,Tallulah Black,Time Bomb, Last Resort, and so on are not for everyone …and usually dont sell very much, but Justin and I continue to try new things and build on generes outside the normal superhero titles.

    so..yeah, if people want to quote sales as a meter of success…well, thats their thing, though I dont look at it like that.

    I like to think this is a field where we get to tell stories and sometimes some good ones that stay with people.

    anyway…its silly for me to defend myself most of the time…but i love this site and the posters here for the most part seem pretty intelligent and knowledgeable.

    Don’t know if this post helps…but it feels better to put this out there.

    Jimmy

  52. P&G tend to work with decent artists and have an acceptable approach to creating comics. P&G tend fail on closing the sale with me. but I’ll say this: there’s more positive word of mouth on Power Girl, a comic I wouldn’t read, than the entirety of Warren Ellis’ Astonishing X-men run.

    I can’t speak for Michael Aronson but given how tight the comic market is, how difficult it is for anyone to survive outside the financial support of a major multinational corporation, I think Michael Aronson is perplexed as to why DC allows people like Jim to keep writing non-hits for them. We live in a swim-or-sink business world with no room for a product to find an audience. Why does DC waste* money on non-popular characters with what seems to be a non-popular creator ?

    Jim, how many of your ideas have been optioned for film?

    *A WB bean counter may call a non Superman or Batman book at DC a waste of money if he or she were presented with the sales figures.

  53. Brendan T says:

    Okay, all this negativity is crap. Palmotti and Gray are one of the most consistantly strong writing teams I’ve seen.

    Terra? Loved it.
    Power Girl? One of my favourite books.

    But I’ll accept accusations of bias, because as I’ve noted, Amanda Connor is one of my five favourite artists. So other work?

    Jonah Hex? Fantastic. Not a regular reader, but I’ve picked up the odd issue and plan to backtrack it in trades, as well as having the OGN and Six Gun War on order.

    Last Resort? Terrific 70s style zombie story. I absolutely loved it. Looking forward to Splatterman largely because of this.

    And while iirc this was just Palmotti, I’ve loved the bits of Ash I’ve been able to track down. I’m pretty sure there’s an omnibus edition out soon and I’m all over that when it comes out. Such a fun book (which also stole a friend’s idea for a hero about ten years before he thought of it. :p)

    Do they write crazy, blockbuster stories that rock a universe’s continuity? Not usually. But they damn sure tell a fine comic story and deserve to be acknowledged as such.

  54. While Michael is certainly entitled to his opinion, it’s not only erroneous but ignorant to use sales are a yard stick for measuring quality. Many industry classics were not chart toppers — Bone (!) but does that mean Jeff Smith, Bone’s creator, was a shitty artist?

    When published as a comic, the Rocketter didn’t sell as well as X-Men, New Teen Titans or any of the other top sellers of the time. Did that diminish Dave Steven’s genius? How about Walt Simonson’s Thor? Thor was a solid seller, didn’t sell X-Men numbers but did that make Walt any less of a Legend (Pun intended)?

    Some of the best artists are creators of quality material that aren’t chart toppers; they create ‘The Best Kept Secrets!’, books that may not sell chart buster numbers but are no less golden.

    And let’s not get started on top selling books that are so bad, I wouldn’t even use them to wipe my ass.

    The industry is being corroded by amateurs and unprofessionals whose top selling slop is destroying the form, a slow and brutal death by trading short term gain for long term harm, far more deserving of criticism than Jimmy Palmiotti.

    This may sound old but Jimmie Palmiotti is an industry veteran who came on the scene at a time when most of his peers were self-serving clowns who, without an ounce of talent, sold comics by the truckload. Of course now, twenty years later their hailed works of genius can be found in a garbage dump because fools and their money are soon parted. Many of those peers took the cash and made a dash although some can still be found toiling in the wreakage but I digress.

    Despite all the degenerative influences around him, Jimmie to this day remains a creative and dependable professional with an extensive list of success, wiki his name. His work may not appeal to everyone but hey, not everyone can appreciate a Picasso.

    Sorry for the long rant. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but when you start attacking one of the last mohicans of talent working very hard in a field littered with garbage, you lose all sense of credibility.

  55. brandon says:

    Comics would be MUCH better if more writers were like Jimmy. Great guy at conventions (great with fans), pushes limits (Back To Brooklyn), works with anyone (Ennis, Joe Q, Amanda, new comers, etc) and will work on anything (creator owned, fringe properties, etc).

    I dont know much about Justin, but Palmiotti is the FUCKING bomb.

  56. Synsidar says:

    While Michael is certainly entitled to his opinion, it’s not only erroneous but ignorant to use sales are a yard stick for measuring quality. Many industry classics were not chart toppers — Bone (!) but does that mean Jeff Smith, Bone’s creator, was a shitty artist?

    I agree with that; I’ve made the same argument re Bendis’s _____ AVENGERS titles. If a product is designed to appeal to an audience that has low quality standards, then good sales don’t mean the product is of high quality. However, if one is going to argue that a story is good, he should be able to say why it’s good, and be very specific. Being non-specific doesn’t make an argument for the story’s quality; it’s merely saying “I liked it.”

    SRS

  57. awww…woke up and read these posts…and I would love to share a beer with all of you. Really.

    On my end, I do get the vibe and comments from the industry guys now and again, and I do wish that the books would do better out of the gate…but I am proud not only of the books, but the teams of wonderful people I get to work with. Best I can hope for is good things for all the people around me and I feel blessed that I keep getting the opportunities for new work.

    So yeah, thanks again for the love …honestly, it means a lot to me. Anyone that has met me in person knows this already.

  58. and sabertooth, to answer your question…

    Beautiful Killer…optioned by universal studios
    THE PRO: optioned by spike tv, and mtv
    Painkiller Jane: by sci -fi [ series] , starz [ tv movie] and a third coming
    Ash: by dreamworks
    Spygirls: by fireworks studios
    Gatecrasher : by mtv
    Surf & turf: warner brothers

    and three current projects are in development that i cant speak of yet. I look at this part of the job seperatly because as we know…depending on hollywood and writing things just for them sort of waters down the title…so my attitude is make a comicbook that works…what happens after…it’s all good.

  59. Fan of Jonah Hex here (Best book DC publishes really). And yeah Palmiotti is a quality guy. Met him at a store signing years back in St. Pete Florida, and he even gave a pleasant critique to my art I showed him. Quality guy. Hard worker too obviously with so many books to his credit.

  60. hydrogenizedsoy says:

    My two cents:

    I was predisposed to be hostile towards the Power Girl series, and the previews/short write ups I read on the internet did little to pique my interest. However, for some strange reason I picked up the 2nd part to the Vartox storyline and found myself amused, even enthralled. So I went back to get the previous issue and now it’s on my pull list. Power Girl’s charm isn’t really something that translates well to 4 page previews (which removed from their context just seem like cheap T&A)or reviews that just call it 3 star “cute.” It’s the chocolate mousse frappe to my pull list, pretty to look at and delicious going down. I hate to bring up “Cry for Justice” (which turned out to be so much burned popcorn at the end) but with characters being off’ed the way they were I appreciate PG even more, it fulfulls a niche in my entertainment that no other title comes close to filling.

    …… And the Great Ten is fantastic too, Bedard really has something going. The art is very “stylized” though, and while its framing devices (the cool frames in flashbacks, the interesting panel perspectives) are strong, the actual meat and potatoes of anatomy and detail are’nt that great. Coming from a layperson whose opinion really is uneducated I kinda think McDaniel would be a superb layout artist (kinda like Keith Giffen whose actual pencil work is kinda average IMO). Still, five issues in I’m becoming more invested, bit less like with the “new” JSA titles (which I dropped despite being invested in a number of the characters).

  61. Synsidar says:

    I was predisposed to be hostile towards the Power Girl series, and the previews/short write ups I read on the internet did little to pique my interest. However, for some strange reason I picked up the 2nd part to the Vartox storyline and found myself amused, even enthralled.

    So, what did you react to? The plot, the jokes, the artwork, the sight gags, the parodies, or some combination?

    SRS

  62. hydrogenizedsoy says:

    I reacted the most to the way the humor was presented. At no point does it come off as cheap and tawdry. Yes there are sex gags but I don’t feel like it’s T&A for T&A’s sake (it’s situational T&A, dissimilar to T&A that shows up in series like JLA or Titans just…. because). There’s a weird sort of dignity to it all; yes there’s some ridiculous ideas at play (the “preg-no ray”) and visually Vartox is one giant gag but at no point did I feel like the writers are being cruel or meanspirited, it’s all played straight. It’s also imminantly re-readable because of all the easter eggs Connor squeezes into the panels (love the cat, the owl, and the put open tiger bodyguards).

  63. Synsidar says:

    Thanks for the reply. However, the description of the “ridiculous ideas” and the sex gags supports my negative impressions of the content. Whatever plot there is in a given issue should actually work, and not be an excuse for the gags. If there’s no requirement that the plot should work, and the enjoyment is derived from how funny the individual gags, parodies, etc. are, then each issue will be hit or miss. The content might as well be divided into several short pieces, as in Archie comics, so that there’s no demand for plots.

    SRS

  64. hydrogenizedsoy says:

    Yeah, if it’s not your cuppa tea it isn’t. Like I said, for me it fills a particular niche. If I want plot I go to Secret Six or Batman & Robin, if I want fun for fun sake I read Power Girl.

  65. This has gotten absurd.

    I quoted sales in reference to the kinds of projects P&G are assigned to, and those assignments are a reflection of how well their work is expected to be received, which is why they haven’t been put on any headlining books.

    And yes, I attribute Power Girl’s sharply-declining sales to mediocre quality. I read the first two issues, but I already knew by the first issue that it was a misfire. I certainly don’t attribute that to Amanda Conner – her work is pretty universally praised.

    It doesn’t matter if you “respect the characters’ history” or “do your research.” What matters is if you write compelling stories that people want to read.

    And people need to stop taking criticism as a personal attack. I have never met either writer and have no idea what they’re like in person, but even if they were the coolest guys on the planet, that wouldn’t make Power Girl a better read. I’m talking about writing ability only.

  66. Army of Dorkness says:

    “I’m talking about writing ability only.”

    You’re talking about your opinion of someone else’s writing ability which is often seen as an attack. You could have said you don’t like most of their work and you don’t like the writing…which isn’t the same as commenting on the quality of the writing or the ability of the writers.

    understand, or do you want to critique the writing in my comment as well?

  67. What’s wrong with discussing the quality of the writing of a comic when we’re discussing why a comic doesn’t sell well? It’s absolutely relevant, absolutely valid, and NOT an attack on the creators.

    If you are paid to have your work published, then you should expect consumers to voice their thoughts of that work, for better or worse.

    And I am only talking about their work. I don’t know or care what kind of people they are, nor do I make assumptions of their personalities based on their work. I only know that their work is consistently mediocre and doesn’t attempt to break from the mold of what’s gone before.

    Believe me, I want to like their work. I’ve given them enough chances and tried enough of their books in hopes that I would find something appealing and inspired. I haven’t. I will, however, hold out hope.

  68. Army of Dorkness says:

    I’ll take that as a “no.”

  69. Did you want me to critique your writing? I didn’t see any point to doing so.

  70. Synsidar says:

    You’re talking about your opinion of someone else’s writing ability which is often seen as an attack.

    AoD, it’s hard to believe that you’ve never read movie reviews or book reviews. If you have, surely you’ve noticed that the quality of the scripting or writing is considered in the review. Noticing plot holes, mischaracterization, factual mistakes, a problem with the premise, a deus ex machina, a forced happy ending, a sagging middle (in a novel), purple prose, or other structural problems — all those observations relate to the quality of the writing. Do you really think that commenting on the quality of the writing is something that only the writer’s editor, or his spiritual adviser, should do? Reducing all commentary about fiction to the level of “I liked/disliked _________. What did you think?” would literally be moronic.

    SRS

  71. Brendan T says:

    “What’s wrong with discussing the quality of the writing of a comic when we’re discussing why a comic doesn’t sell well? It’s absolutely relevant, absolutely valid, and NOT an attack on the creators.”

    Given that the book has been almost universally praised in reviews and the vast majority of online buzz and amongst readers I know, I don’t think it’s safe to say that everyone agrees with you.

    Regardless, it’s not so much your opinion, as the fact that you’re presenting it as “They suck at writing” rather than “It’s not my thing.”

    “Whatever plot there is in a given issue should actually work, and not be an excuse for the gags.”

    It depends what you’re going for. In a comedy, the whole point is to build the story around the jokes. Again, it may not be your thing, but it’s not indicative of bad writing, even as a basic structural level.

    “AoD, it’s hard to believe that you’ve never read movie reviews or book reviews. If you have, surely you’ve noticed that the quality of the scripting or writing is considered in the review.”

    Sure. But it’s also presented in a respectful and technical way by people who are supposed to be well educated/respected in the field. If you can’t see the difference between a professional (or even semi-professional) critic and someone mouthing off for a paragraph on the internet, I don’t know what else to say to you.

  72. Brendan T says:

    Also,

    “Reducing all commentary about fiction to the level of “I liked/disliked _________. What did you think?” would literally be moronic.”

    That’s not what’s being suggested. And honestly, I don’t think you should be dogpiled for saying your opinion, since you were fairly polite about it from what I can see.

    But again, fiction is more than a mathematical formula of what makes a good book. Different things react differently to others. You can’t say a book is bad because it didn’t click with you. And honestly, as I mentioned, Power Girl is a fantastically structured book within the style it’s chosen for itself.

    But yeah. It basically comes down to “You have the right to your opinion and to discuss it. We have the right to disagree.”

  73. Synsidar says:

    If you can’t see the difference between a professional (or even semi-professional) critic and someone mouthing off for a paragraph on the internet, I don’t know what else to say to you.

    Aronson has been around long enough and is serious enough about his reviews — take a look at his review of The Astro Boy Essays, for instance — that when he states he wasn’t interested in POWER GIRL or another series because of the quality of the writing, that’s what he meant — and that is in no way a personal attack. If a writer relies on an idiot plot as a way of generating a situation that requires a heroic rescue effort to be mounted, pointing out that an idiot plot automatically results in a weak story (the person who got himself trapped might as well have been a dog) isn’t the equivalent of calling a writer an idiot. It means that the writer chose an infamously easy approach to writing a story.

    “Quality” is hardly such a loaded word that it can only be used in certain situations. When it’s used by someone to describe writing, it means that his assessment of the writing was intellectual in nature and not a visceral reaction.

    SRS

  74. Army of Dorkness says:

    “Did you want me to critique your writing? I didn’t see any point to doing so.”

    I’m doubting your ability to write a review when you have such a hard time reading and responding to comments on this thread. It was in reference to the “understand” part, and you didn’t so I took it as a “no” and I planned to leave it at such in the hopes that it was the end of that particular thread of conversation.

    Most people who review things are not an authority on the subject. I can’t think of a single comic book reviewer that has that status, so most of them amount to opinions. It would be great if people wouldn’t pass off their opinions as authoritative criticism.

    “AoD, it’s hard to believe that you’ve never read movie reviews or book reviews.”

    I have and do. I usually only read reviews after I’ve seen something because I don’t respect most reviewers or what they have to say. Then I usually read reviews from people that I’ve come to trust over time, but not because they tend to agree with me but because they tend to see things from the same perspective as I do. The exception to this is Roger Ebert. He IS an authority on film, and I often trust his opinion even though I don’t always agree with it. However, I still don’t decide what to watch based on his opinion alone. Reviewers aren’t often an authority on what they review, so I prefer reviewers who understand and accept that about themselves and the whole process. For example, you can’t (or at least, shouldn’t) review Red Hulk the same way you would review Asterios Polyp. Some might argue that the standards for a review are universal regardless of the content, and I feel that just proves how useless the system of reviewing is. It’s also no surprise that “reviewers” who take themselves so seriously tend to be arrogant. Yes, a “factual error” is a universal mistake, but sometimes a writer shouldn’t let plot get in the way of a story (to paraphrase).

    “Do you really think that commenting on the quality of the writing is something that only the writer’s editor, or his spiritual adviser, should do? Reducing all commentary about fiction to the level of “I liked/disliked _________. What did you think?” would literally be moronic.”

    Of course not. But that doesn’t allow for anyone off the street to provide criticism and be taken seriously. A well-written and thought-out review of a book of essays about Astro Boy comics doesn’t make a person the Roger Ebert of comics. I don’t even think comics should have an Ebert (or a Siskel, for that matter). Reviewing most superhero comics would be like reviewing an episode of a daytime soap opera…just the act of reviewing it means you’re taking it and yourself way too seriously, but if you want to share your opinion and frame it as such, then it’s fine. For example, I don’t much care for Green Lantern. I am interested in the story Johns is telling, but I don’t really get much out of how he’s telling it. It feels like 3 or 4 great ideas with a bunch of filler around them to move the story along. That’s my opinion, but the works in question don’t warrant an actual review. On the other hand, something like Fables or 100 Bullets might. Or something from the superhero realm like Superman: Red Son might, as well. Most films don’t really warrant actual reviews either, so a lot of them are just opinion essays and that’s how I treat them. and so should you on both counts.

    Of course, that’s just my opinion…..

    “If you can’t see the difference between a professional (or even semi-professional) critic and someone mouthing off for a paragraph on the internet, I don’t know what else to say to you.” …then Stahl’s response.

    or even a professional mouthing off on the internet. For years I read movie reviews and the occasional comic book review, and for years I gradually came to value them less and less. They don’t serve their intended purpose for me (informing a consumer about things they’re thinking about spending their money on), and they’re never unanimous. We’re all biased, and for those of us that can be biased and write great reviews like Roger Ebert, it still doesn’t make a review completely justified and worthwhile. The quality of the writing of a comic book is more than just the sum of its faults, and that’s what I’ve spent way too much time trying to explain. I never said “poor quality writing” was a personal attack, but it is an attack. It’s an attack that says “I know more about writing comics than you do.” The reviewer believes they (or in some cases, a trained monkey) would have done a better job of writing that story than the writers did, and that’s an attack. It’s not strictly “personal”, but it is about a person. And in order to be able to make those comments, I feel that the reviewer should be a demonstrably superior authority on the subject.

    It doesn’t really matter to me. You’re all free to state opinion as fact all you want, but when someone’s response is “that’s your opinion” and you get all huffy about it, it’s your own fault. My comments before this were innocuous and merely pointed out “factual errors” of other comments. Okay, maybe not completely, but for me, they were.

    Poor Jimmy Palmiotti probably thinks we’re ALL crazy.

  75. Sure. Jim is probably a quality creator but as we know there’s often inverse relationship between what is perceived as quality and by what a vast majority of consumers actually buy. Too many times industry awards are given to comics that very few people bought, with rare exceptions. A lot of things I like or liked will be disliked by you all and vice versa. So really, the issue of quality is subjective. Quality is subjective to sensibilities. I think a lot of sensibilities tend to correlate to demographics. When someone started reading comics really determines what they gravitate towards. There are lots of people who are fans of comics from the 1970s or the 80s and think comics from those decades are vastly superior to those from now. At the same time, they’re completely unaware of bad work that was produced then. Another way Demographics are being influenced right now is by social class. Social class which tends to influence how someone sees the world and what they value. Of course, fine art is seen as a luxury and is something people with affluence bestow upon their children. Not surprisingly, it’s not meant to appeal to those who aren’t affluent or liberal arts educated. If I were to use the current metric of quality used by some regular posters on the Beat here, the only real comics that are produced right now would be coming from Fantagraphics and the Comics Journal , which I will say are biased towards crude looking comics or comics books over-intellectualized. They tend to suck any fun out comics for the sake of being deep and philosophical….and failing miserably at being really deep or philosophical most of the time. Picasso is overrated. How accurately can the quality of his work be assessed when his work appeals to very few people? Because a bunch of billionaires like his work means his work forfills the promises of great art? Liking Picasso isn’t a sign of intelligence yet people keep thinking it is and in addition to that “appreciating” Picasso somehow makes them cultured. Picasso’s appeal is in short, snob appeal. It’s about trying to appear to be of a higher social status by having a rich man’s tastes.

    The thing I always liked about comics is that this high-brow elitist mentality wasn’t ingrained in it.
    Not all good writing has to be literary. All the artwork doesn’t need to fit in with what’s going on in the Contemporary Art scene.

    I like Daniel Clowes and I like Todd McFarlene. Comics as medium shouldn’t equal Jim Lee or Daniel Clowes exclusively.Depending on who you are or where you come from, one is acceptable one the other cringe-inducing. I don’t know if liking Jim Lee’s work is an issue of “low quality” standards as much different standards. The mainstream is mainstream for a reason. It appeals to the widest variety of people. Non-mainstream stuff will not.
    I think there’s a serious question as to whether superheroes are the genre that appeals to the widest cross-section of people but other than that, should it be disliked simply because it’s popular?

    Jim treads a mid to lower lower-mid brow in comics. I’m not a big follower of his work, I do think he’s a credit to the industry.
    I always thought he was superb inker. He’s inked some of the best artwork I’ve ever seen in a comic.

  76. “Given that the book has been almost universally praised . . .”

    Er . . . kidding, yes?

  77. “Aronson has been around long enough and is serious enough about his reviews . . .”

    Hey, thanks a ton for searching my name to find my reviews. The Astro Boy Essays was probably the last book I wrote a published online review for, though. It’s been a while and I do kind of miss it.

  78. “Most people who review things are not an authority on the subject. I can’t think of a single comic book reviewer that has that status, so most of them amount to opinions.”

    Er, even people who are “authorities on the subject” still only provide opinions. Those opinions are often more informed and better constructed and supported, but they’re still opinions. No amount of money a reviewer receives will ever change that.

    “It would be great if people wouldn’t pass off their opinions as authoritative criticism.”

    It would be great if people who feel threatened by the arguments presented by those with differing opinions wouldn’t try to participate in discussions they’re unable to comprehend and handle.

  79. Synsidar says:

    Er . . . kidding, yes?

    I’ve looked at several reviews of POWER GIRL #9. The reviews were favorable, but it was a matter of the reviewers sharing Palmiotti’s and Gray’s sense of humor and loving the artwork. The series might be as dependent on the artwork for its success as any series out there.

    SRS

  80. Army of Dorkness says:

    “It would be great if people who feel threatened by the arguments presented by those with differing opinions wouldn’t try to participate in discussions they’re unable to comprehend and handle.”

    I know you’re not indirectly talking about me. I don’t fit the description. Since you are responding to a quote from my comment, I thought I should respond. I do agree with that, though. A person that is threatened or emotionally involved can find it difficult to handle a discussion and end up making things worse.

    “even people who are “authorities on the subject” still only provide opinions.”

    Case in point… you agree with what I said but neglected to actually respond to it. SRS responded to me on your behalf and made things worse.

    An authority is better at finding the facts and has a better understanding of the medium so that when they point out facts they’re more likely to be believed. Siskel and Ebert are the best examples. They often disagreed, but each one’s opinion was often trusted because they were authorities on the subject.

    “No amount of money a reviewer receives will ever change that.”

    I made no mention of money.

    I’d also like to point out that I didn’t say anyone’s opinion was invalid. I provided counterpoints and contrary opinions of my own. Both Michael Aronson and (begrudgingly) SRS seem to be intelligent guys that many people disagree with. That’s life on the internet, folks.

  81. “An authority is better at finding the facts and has a better understanding of the medium so that when they point out facts they’re more likely to be believed.”

    No, you’re not talking about facts, you’re talking about opinions.

    Kid, you really should sit this one out.

  82. “I’ve looked at several reviews of POWER GIRL #9. The reviews were favorable, but it was a matter of the reviewers sharing Palmiotti’s and Gray’s sense of humor and loving the artwork. The series might be as dependent on the artwork for its success as any series out there.”

    Actually, I had in mind the reviews of the first four issues – you know, the ones people actually bought before jumping off the title. I imagine the people who still review it still like it, but the reviews for early issues generally weren’t very favorable.

  83. Army of Dorkness says:

    “No, you’re not talking about facts, you’re talking about opinions.

    Kid, you really should sit this one out.”

    No, I wasn’t. I think you should sit it out because you seem to be commenting on and responding to things that aren’t there.

  84. Army of Dorkness says:

    “Michael Aronson…seem to be intelligent guys”

    Also, I take this back. You didn’t deserve it. I was trying to be nice, and in return I get patronized.

    Ah, the internet. “Where everybody is equal. Except for those of us who are better than you.”

  85. AoD, you wrote:

    “[Roger Ebert] IS an authority on film, and I often trust his opinion even though I don’t always agree with it.”

    And then you wrote this:

    “An authority is better at finding the facts and has a better understanding of the medium so that when they point out facts they’re more likely to be believed. Siskel and Ebert are the best examples.”

    Holy shit, you’re an idiot.

    Critics do not provide facts, they provide opinions.

    That’s why they’re call critics and not the Arbiters of What is Objectively Good and Bad.

    Because there is no objectively good and bad in art.

    I don’t even know what your original point was, but I do know you keep digging this hole deeper and deeper with your nonsense. Now you’re stuck.

    Give up already.

  86. Vince Argondezzi says:

    It’ll be interesting to see the rest of the figures for the Image dollar books, and others. If the volume is held up at 1.00 price/profit points, I wonder if there will be a reevaluation by retailers for profit margins concerning smaller companies that can jump in at the lower price points.

    As Mr Spock (Leonard Nimoy) would say, “Facinating.”

  87. There are two reasons im going to add jonah hex to my pull list;
    one is the post by jsf on how the book is written and the other is the respectful way Mr Palmiotti presented himself here. I do not usually like creators on comic boards because so many come off rude and get into stupid arguments with other who make stupid comments.
    Nice to see a creator with a different attitude.

  88. nice post, thanks for your shareing!

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