DC Month-to-Month Sales: May 2009

by Marc-Oliver Frisch

Overall direct-market sales crashed in May, and DC Comics contributed its share. Like Marvel, though, DC has a pretty good excuse. While Batman: Battle for the Cowl and The Flash: Rebirth continued apace, May was basically an in-between month for the publisher. There were no big launches, and everybody kept waiting for June’s revamp of the Batman line and July’s debuts of both Blackest Night and Wednesday Comics, which can all be expected to be sales juggernauts. So, with all that in mind, there’s no reason to panic just yet. If anything, there are some signs that things might actually be looking up for DC in the second half of the year.

At Vertigo, average periodical sales received a much-needed shot in the arm in May and rose to their highest level in more than two years. The two main reasons for the boost were “The Great Fables Crossover” and the debut of Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ new series The Unwritten. At a cover price of one dollar, of course, The Unwritten #1 was two thirds a promotional item and is unlikely to have made Vertigo any money as a single issue. Still, it sounds like a perfectly reasonable idea to market a new comic. It should be interesting to watch the effects.

Diamond’s “Graphic Novel” chart, meanwhile, was topped by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen — Century: 1910, the latest chapter of another best-selling property that DC’s WildStorm imprint no longer publishes. May should have been a good month for WildStorm: With a new StarCraft series, one of their more promising licensed properties debuted; and both of the imprint’s long-running creator-owned titles, Astro City and Ex Machina, came out. In practice, though, WildStorm’s average periodical sales once again failed to escape their limbo significantly below the 10,000-unit mark.

See below for the analysis, 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.

—–

2 - BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL
05/2004: Batman #627 --  76,885
05/2004: Batman #628 --  74,348 [75,832]
05/2005: Batman #640 --  66,640 [71,120]
05/2006: Batman #653 --  77,257 [78,435]
05/2007: Batman #665 --  80,122
-------------------------------
05/2008: Batman #676 -- 105,039 (+47.9%) [122,877]
05/2008: Batman #677 --  96,116 (- 8.5%) [111,065]
06/2008: --
07/2008: Batman #678 -- 103,213 (+ 7.4%)
08/2008: Batman #679 -- 103,588 (+ 0.4%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Batman #680 -- 103,941 (+ 0.3%)
11/2008: Batman #681 -- 103,151 (- 0.8%) [114,657]
12/2008: Batman #682 --  93,469 (- 9.4%)
12/2008: Batman #683 --  90,272 (- 3.4%) [ 91,885]
12/2008: Batman #684 --  79,953 (-11.4%) [ 82,903]
01/2009: Batman #685 --  72,654 (- 9.1%)
02/2009: Batman #686 -- 111,353 (+53.3%) [124,542]
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%)
----------------
6 months: -13.6%
1 year  : -11.3%
2 years : +11.3%
5 years : +17.9%

The book has done very well for DC, obviously, especially so if you consider that Tony Daniel didn’t really have any track record of critical or commercial success as a writer. Evidently, the market didn’t care, and there’s barely been any drop-off at all for The Battle for the Cowl.

Perhaps more significantly, these figures suggest that there’s a great deal of interest in the Batman franchise right now, so maybe “Batman R.I.P.” was on to something, after all. These figures — and those of the various spin-off books — are nothing but good news for June’s relaunch of the Batman line.

There was a 1-for-10 variant-cover edition, as always, while a second printing of issue #1 sold another 8,133 units in May.

—–

4 - THE FLASH: REBIRTH
05/2004: Flash #210      --  45,354 [47,723]
05/2005: Flash #222      --  47,528
05/2007: Flash: FMA #12  --  47,809
-----------------------------------
05/2008: Flash #240      --  31,944 (-  5.3%)
06/2008: Flash #241      --  30,810 (-  3.6%)
07/2008: Flash #242      --  30,325 (-  1.6%)
08/2008: Flash #243      --  29,647 (-  2.2%)
09/2008: Flash #244      --  29,180 (-  1.6%)
10/2008: Flash #245      --  28,085 (-  3.8%)
11/2008: Flash #246      --  27,746 (-  1.2%)
12/2008: Flash #247      --  26,498 (-  4.5%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Rebirth #1 of 5 -- 102,429 (+286.6%) [105,110]
05/2009: Rebirth #2 of 5 --  86,183 (- 15.9%)
-----------------
6 months: +210.6%
1 year  : +169.8%
2 years : + 80.3%
5 years : + 90.0%

It seems The Flash: Rebirth is neither the spectacular success DC may have hoped for, nor the complete disaster they may have feared.

A 16-percent drop is decent for a much-hyped miniseries that launched in the 100K area, and 2,681 additional units sold of issue #2 is a decent pile of reorders. All told, the book doesn’t look like a home run, but it doesn’t seem to be a complete lame duck like the two previous relaunches, either.

Like the previous issue, The Flash: Rebirth #2 was promoted with a 1-for-25 variant-cover edition.

—–

6 - GREEN LANTERN
05/2004: Green Lantern #177 --  33,391
05/2005: GL: Rebirth #6     -- 114,354
05/2005: Green Lantern #1   -- 168,353 [180,483]
05/2006: Green Lantern #11  --  78,926
05/2007: Green Lantern #19  --  62,439
05/2007: Green Lantern #20  --  60,556
--------------------------------------
05/2008: Green Lantern #31  --  65,874 (+ 0.8%)
06/2008: Green Lantern #32  --  64,839 (- 1.6%)
07/2008: Green Lantern #33  --  63,814 (- 1.6%)
08/2008: --
09/2008: Green Lantern #34  --  63,825 (+ 0.0%)
10/2008: Green Lantern #35  --  63,383 (- 0.7%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Green Lantern #36  --  64,755 (+ 2.2%) [74,005]
01/2009: Green Lantern #37  --  65,556 (+ 1.2%) [71,331]
02/2009: Green Lantern #38  --  68,908 (+ 5.1%) [73,555]
03/2009: --
04/2009: Green Lantern #39  --  79,792 (+15.8%) [84,784]
04/2009: Green Lantern #40  --  76,665 (- 3.9%)
05/2009: Green Lantern #41  --  81,491 (+ 6.3%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : + 23.7%
2 years : + 32.5%
5 years : +144.1%

The looming “Blackest Night” crossover, which has been building in Green Lantern for a while now, keeps attracting more interest in the book.

Issues #38 and #39 sold more than 4,500 additional units each in May. For Green Lantern #41, as usual, there was a 1-for-25 variant-cover edition.

—–

11 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
05/2004: JLA #96            --  70,377 [71,546]
05/2004: JLA #97            --  68,170 [70,446]
05/2005: JLA #114           --  63,934
05/2007: Justice League #9  -- 129,285
--------------------------------------
05/2008: Justice League #21 --  90,035 (+ 4.9%)
06/2008: Justice League #22 --  85,013 (- 5.6%)
07/2008: Justice League #23 --  82,953 (- 2.4%)
08/2008: Justice League #24 --  81,451 (- 1.8%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Justice League #25 --  80,731 (- 0.9%)
10/2008: Justice League #26 --  77,353 (- 4.2%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Justice League #27 --  75,803 (- 2.0%)
12/2008: Justice League #28 --  72,728 (- 4.1%)
01/2009: Justice League #29 --  72,116 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Justice League #30 --  69,710 (- 3.3%)
03/2009: Justice League #31 --  68,759 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Justice League #32 --  66,021 (- 4.0%)
05/2009: Justice League #33 --  63,867 (- 3.3%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -29.1%
2 years : -50.6%
5 years : - 9.3%

The book keeps losing readers by the truckload. Meanwhile, James Robinson and Mark Bagley have been announced as the new creative team.

—–

12 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
05/2007: Green Lantern Corps #12 -- 33,267
------------------------------------------
05/2008: Green Lantern Corps #24 -- 46,948 (+ 0.4%)
06/2008: Green Lantern Corps #25 -- 47,399 (+ 1.0%)
07/2008: Green Lantern Corps #26 -- 46,098 (- 2.8%)
08/2008: Green Lantern Corps #27 -- 46,045 (- 0.1%)
09/2008: Green Lantern Corps #28 -- 44,939 (- 2.4%)
10/2008: Green Lantern Corps #29 -- 46,316 (+ 3.1%)
11/2008: Green Lantern Corps #30 -- 43,600 (- 5.9%)
12/2008: Green Lantern Corps #31 -- 44,033 (+ 0.9%)
01/2009: Green Lantern Corps #32 -- 44,312 (+ 0.6%)
02/2009: Green Lantern Corps #33 -- 44,607 (+ 0.7%) [50,171]
03/2009: Green Lantern Corps #34 -- 54,162 (+21.4%)
04/2009: Green Lantern Corps #35 -- 58,769 (+ 8.5%)
05/2009: Green Lantern Corps #36 -- 61,591 (+ 4.8%)
----------------
6 months: +41.3%
1 year  : +31.2%
2 years : +85.1%

Like its mother title, Green Lantern Corps keeps posting gains, likely as a result of the build-up to “Blackest Night.” The numbers have been going up for six consecutive months now, increasing by almost 20,000 units over the period.

—–

19 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
05/2004: JSA #60             --  42,824
05/2005: JSA #73             --  51,326
05/2006: JSA #85             --  52,620
05/2007: Justice Society #6  --  96,900 [99,784]
---------------------------------------
05/2008: Justice Society #15 --  78,311 (-  2.7%)
06/2008: Justice Society #16 --  77,328 (-  1.3%)
07/2008: Justice Society #17 --  75,532 (-  2.3%)
08/2008: Justice Society #18 --  73,485 (-  2.7%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Justice Society #19 --  72,073 (-  1.9%)
11/2008: Justice Society #20 --  71,355 (-  1.0%)
12/2008: Justice Society #21 --  69,662 (-  2.4%)
12/2008: Justice Society #22 --  67,615 (-  2.9%)
01/2009: Justice Society #23 --  61,385 (-  9.2%)
02/2009: Justice Society #24 --  65,207 (+  6.2%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Justice Society #25 --  65,713 (+  0.8%)
04/2009: Justice Society #26 --  81,200 (+ 23.6%)
05/2009: Justice Society #27 --  56,102 (- 30.9%)
----------------
6 months: -21.4%
1 year  : -28.4%
2 years : -42.1%
5 years : +31.0%

Not surprisingly, sales drop rather drastically with the first part of a two-issue fill-in run. The new creative team is slated to take over with issue #29.

—–

25 - POWER GIRL
05/2009: Power Girl #1  -- 47,322

Well, it took them a while to get here, didn’t it?

When Geoff Johns and Amanda Conner launched JSA: Classified with a four-part Power Girl miniseries in… oh, July 2005, it was received quite enthusiastically and had first-month sales between 58,296 and 55,903 units and total sales between more than 86K and more than 63K. It was, in other words, quite a hit.

With that in mind, the new Power Girl series written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and drawn, once again, by Conner, is doing perfectly well, considering that it’s not by Geoff Johns and that it’s been almost four years since a favorable reaction indicated that there might be enough interest in the property to sustain a series.

While the book was promoted with a variant-cover edition, in this case it was a 50/50 one rather than one of the rarer ones that have become the norm, so it’s probably not that much of a factor. Overall, these are very respectable sales for a C-list character like Power Girl.

—–

34 - 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%)
35 - ACTION COMICS
05/2004: Action Comics #815 -- 49,483
05/2005: Action Comics #827 -- 44,009
05/2006: Action Comics #838 -- 62,702
05/2006: Action Comics #839 -- 61,898 [64,278]
05/2007: Action Comics #849 -- 53,610
05/2007: Action Comics #850 -- 56,166
-------------------------------------
05/2008: Action Comics #865 -- 46,764 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: Action Comics #866 -- 50,158 (+ 7.3%) [53,198]
07/2008: Action Comics #867 -- 49,363 (- 1.6%)
08/2008: Action Comics #868 -- 49,556 (+ 0.4%)
09/2008: Action Comics #869 -- 49,597 (+ 0.1%)
10/2008: Action Comics #870 -- 57,407 (+15.8%)
11/2008: Action Comics #871 -- 58,547 (+ 2.0%)
12/2008: Action Comics #872 -- 57,175 (- 2.3%)
01/2009: Action Comics #873 -- 51,940 (- 9.2%)
02/2009: Action Comics #874 -- 48,360 (- 6.9%)
03/2009: Action Comics #875 -- 47,079 (- 2.7%)
04/2009: Action Comics #876 -- 43,368 (- 7.9%)
05/2009: Action Comics #877 -- 41,772 (- 3.7%)
----------------
6 months: -28.7%
1 year  : -10.7%
2 years : -23.9%
5 years : -15.6%
36 - SUPERMAN
05/2004: Superman #205 -- 208,105 [213,514]
05/2005: Superman #216 --  70,205
05/2005: Superman #217 --  65,321
05/2006: Superman #652 --  70,458
05/2007: Superman #662 --  55,236
---------------------------------
05/2008: Superman #676 --  45,644 (-16.8%)
06/2008: Superman #677 --  54,634 (+19.7%)
07/2008: Superman #678 --  47,670 (-12.8%)
08/2008: Superman #679 --  46,615 (- 2.2%)
09/2008: Superman #680 --  46,585 (- 0.1%)
10/2008: Superman #681 --  54,611 (+17.2%) [57,212]
11/2008: Superman #682 --  55,435 (+ 1.5%)
12/2008: Superman #683 --  55,287 (- 0.3%)
01/2009: Superman #684 --  48,489 (-12.3%)
02/2009: Superman #685 --  48,027 (- 1.0%)
03/2009: Superman #686 --  44,976 (- 6.4%)
04/2009: Superman #687 --  43,041 (- 4.3%)
05/2009: Superman #688 --  41,642 (- 3.3%)
----------------
6 months: -24.9%
1 year  : - 8.8%
2 years : -24.6%
5 years : -80.0%

The Superman books keep slipping down the chart. Meanwhile, Dan DiDio, editor-in-chief of the DC Universe line, is defending the Superman line.

“Right now, I look at Superman’s world as a simmering pot,” DiDio tells Newsarama. “We’re adding a lot of things in to make this incredible dish that we’re going to serve next year. So much of what’s taking place in Superman is building for the future of the character so that when the other storylines slowly wind down in their own natural progression, we’ll have something really exciting in place, and make sure that Superman receives the proper attention in 2010.”

Now, while I applaud DiDio’s aim to make Superman comics exciting in 2010, this is quite a baffling statement for an editor to make. For one thing, it’ll be another six months until we get there. For another, DiDio seems blissful about the recent crossover and subsequent creative shake-up that were intended to breathe new life into the line. If DiDio now says they didn’t really mean it, why should anyone be interested next year? Who knows, maybe they won’t mean it then, either.

I’m reminded of the time when Bill Jemas, fresh off installing Joe Quesada as editor-in-chief of Marvel, would go on the Internet to bad-mouth X-Men: The Search for Cyclops, a miniseries that was, at the time, still being published by Marvel. Of course, that book had been sanctioned by the previous editorial regime and was a few months late, so it wasn’t like Jemas was sabotaging his own project. I wonder what DiDio’s excuse is.

—–

38 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
05/2004: Superman/Batman #10 -- 178,865 [197,704]
05/2005: --
05/2006: Superman/Batman #25 -- 103,702 [110,845]
05/2006: Superman/Batman #26 -- 118,821 [130,077]
05/2007: Superman/Batman #35 --  68,160
---------------------------------------
05/2008: Superman/Batman #48 --  52,845 (+ 0.6%)
06/2008: Superman/Batman #49 --  52,579 (- 0.5%)
07/2008: Superman/Batman #50 --  61,321 (+16.6%)
08/2008: Superman/Batman #51 --  51,701 (-15.7%)
09/2008: Superman/Batman #52 --  50,000 (- 3.3%)
10/2008: Superman/Batman #53 --  48,187 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Superman/Batman #54 --  45,968 (- 4.6%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Superman/Batman #55 --  43,962 (- 4.4%)
03/2009: Superman/Batman #56 --  42,464 (- 3.4%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #57 --  41,743 (- 1.7%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #58 --  41,000 (- 1.8%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #59 --  40,182 (- 2.0%)
05/2009: Superman/Batman #60 --  39,531 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -25.2%
2 years : -42.0%
5 years : -77.9%

Superman/Batman sales are bottoming out again, but the long-term comparisons aren’t pretty.

—–

38 - GOTHAM GAZETTE
03/2009: Batman Dead?  -- 39,338
04/2009: --
05/2009: Batman Alive? -- 39,106 (-0.6%)
40 - BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL ONE-SHOTS
03/2009: Commissioner Gordon #1 -- 39,628
04/2009: Man-Bat #1             -- 38,495
04/2009: Arkham #1              -- 39,187
04/2009: The Underground #1     -- 38,761
05/2009: The Network #1         -- 38,927
43 - AZRAEL: DEATH'S DARK KNIGHT
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%)
68 - ORACLE
05/2004: Birds of Prey #67  -- 31,846
05/2005: Birds of Prey #82  -- 29,855
05/2006: Birds of Prey #94  -- 34,905
05/2007: Birds of Prey #106 -- 28,363
-------------------------------------
05/2008: Birds of Prey #118 -- 21,941 (- 1.1%)
06/2008: Birds of Prey #119 -- 21,593 (- 1.6%)
07/2008: Birds of Prey #120 -- 21,572 (- 0.1%)
08/2008: Birds of Prey #121 -- 22,406 (+ 3.9%)
09/2008: Birds of Prey #122 -- 21,318 (- 4.9%)
10/2008: Birds of Prey #123 -- 21,110 (- 1.0%)
11/2008: Birds of Prey #124 -- 20,959 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: Birds of Prey #125 -- 20,161 (- 3.8%)
01/2009: Birds of Prey #126 -- 20,772 (+ 3.0%)
02/2009: Birds of Prey #127 -- 21,424 (+ 3.1%)
03/2009: Oracle #1 of 3     -- 34,081 (+59.1%)
04/2009: Oracle #2 of 3     -- 33,731 (- 1.0%)
05/2009: Oracle #3 of 3     -- 35,328 (+ 4.7%)
----------------
6 months: +68.6%
1 year  : +61.0%
2 years : +24.6%
5 years : +10.9%

These various Batman: The Battle for the Cowl spin-off one-shots and miniseries are all holding up remarkably well. Oracle, in particular, is quite a surprise; it doesn’t happen often that the third issue of a limited series outsells the first one.

All of this bodes well for June’s big Batman revamp.

—–

48 - TITANS
05/2008: Titans #2      -- 57,358 (-24.1%)
06/2008: Titans #3      -- 54,512 (- 5.0%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: --
09/2008: Titans #4      -- 51,755 (- 5.1%)
09/2008: Titans #5      -- 49,959 (- 3.5%)
10/2008: Titans #6      -- 45,453 (- 9.0%)
11/2008: Titans #7      -- 41,507 (- 8.7%)
12/2008: Titans #8      -- 39,154 (- 5.7%)
01/2009: Titans #9      -- 37,693 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: Titans #10     -- 36,361 (- 3.5%)
03/2009: Titans #11     -- 35,240 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: Titans #12     -- 36,014 (+ 2.2%)
05/2009: Titans #13     -- 34,343 (- 4.6%)
----------------
6 months: -17.3%
1 year  : -40.1%

The “Deathtrap” crossover is still going on, but the small boost it brought in April dissipates anyway. After burning through no less than half a dozen writers who were all announced at one point but somehow ended up not being on the job in the last two months or so, it seems DC’s management has finally settled on new creative teams for the two Titans books — for this week, at least.

With editors like these, you don’t need rumor-mongers.

—–

49 - SUPERGIRL
05/2006: Supergirl #6  -- 102,860
05/2007: Supergirl #17 --  50,429
---------------------------------
05/2008: Supergirl #29 --  30,192 (- 3.8%)
06/2008: Supergirl #30 --  29,553 (- 2.1%)
07/2008: Supergirl #31 --  28,813 (- 2.5%)
08/2008: Supergirl #32 --  28,114 (- 2.4%)
09/2008: Supergirl #33 --  27,609 (- 1.8%)
10/2008: Supergirl #34 --  33,958 (+23.0%)
11/2008: Supergirl #35 --  45,518 (+34.0%)
12/2008: Supergirl #36 --  45,491 (- 0.1%)
01/2009: Supergirl #37 --  34,060 (-25.1%)
02/2009: Supergirl #38 --  34,225 (+ 0.5%)
03/2009: Supergirl #39 --  33,713 (- 1.5%)
04/2009: Supergirl #40 --  34,080 (+ 1.1%)
05/2009: Supergirl #41 --  33,441 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -26.5%
1 year  : +10.8%
2 years : -33.7%

The only commercial success of the recent Superman makeover, ironically, is Supergirl, a book that still isn’t selling gangbusters but at least stopped being in a free-fall.

—–

50 - WONDER WOMAN
05/2004: Wonder Woman #204 --  30,377
05/2005: Wonder Woman #216 --  31,601
05/2007: Wonder Woman #9   --  58,561
-------------------------------------
05/2008: Wonder Woman #20  --  38,116 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: Wonder Woman #21  --  37,086 (- 2.7%)
07/2008: Wonder Woman #22  --  36,514 (- 1.5%)
08/2008: Wonder Woman #23  --  35,562 (- 2.6%)
09/2008: Wonder Woman #24  --  34,583 (- 2.8%)
10/2008: Wonder Woman #25  --  33,583 (- 2.9%)
11/2008: Wonder Woman #26  --  33,277 (- 0.9%)
12/2008: Wonder Woman #27  --  32,322 (- 2.9%)
01/2009: Wonder Woman #28  --  32,622 (+ 0.9%)
02/2009: Wonder Woman #29  --  33,237 (+ 1.9%)
03/2009: Wonder Woman #30  --  33,365 (+ 0.4%)
04/2009: Wonder Woman #31  --  31,857 (- 4.5%)
05/2009: Wonder Woman #32  --  33,065 (+ 3.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 0.6%
1 year  : -13.3%
2 years : -43.5%
5 years : - 8.9%

The recent history of Wonder Woman variant-cover editions is a little complicated, and I apologize for getting it wrong last month.

Beginning with Wonder Woman #26, there have been variants for each new issue, evidently, but — here’s the rub — only some of them were mentioned in the preview advertisements. The ones that were advertised were the 1-for-10 variant-cover editions for issues #29, #30 and #32. The rest of them, DC didn’t mention in the solicitation copy. Perhaps not coincidentally, the times when they mentioned them were also the times when the book posted modest gains versus previous months, so I’m inclined to believe that the recent sales increases are mostly phony.

—–

51/52/53/54 - TRINITY
06/2008: Trinity #1  -- 88,044
06/2008: Trinity #2  -- 79,495 (- 9.7%)
06/2008: Trinity #3  -- 76,224 (- 4.1%)
06/2008: Trinity #4  -- 73,448 (- 3.6%)
07/2008: Trinity #5  -- 68,351 (- 6.9%)
07/2008: Trinity #6  -- 66,624 (- 2.5%)
07/2008: Trinity #7  -- 65,509 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: Trinity #8  -- 64,220 (- 2.0%)
07/2008: Trinity #9  -- 62,252 (- 3.1%)
08/2008: Trinity #10 -- 60,249 (- 3.2%)
08/2008: Trinity #11 -- 59,356 (- 1.5%)
08/2008: Trinity #12 -- 58,151 (- 2.0%)
08/2008: Trinity #13 -- 57,284 (- 1.5%)
09/2008: Trinity #14 -- 53,736 (- 6.2%)
09/2008: Trinity #15 -- 53,101 (- 1.2%)
09/2008: Trinity #16 -- 52,316 (- 1.5%)
09/2008: Trinity #17 -- 51,318 (- 1.9%)
10/2008: Trinity #18 -- 49,174 (- 4.2%)
10/2008: Trinity #19 -- 48,551 (- 1.3%)
10/2008: Trinity #20 -- 47,927 (- 1.3%)
10/2008: Trinity #21 -- 47,252 (- 1.4%)
10/2008: Trinity #22 -- 46,638 (- 1.3%)
11/2008: Trinity #23 -- 44,971 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Trinity #24 -- 44,498 (- 1.1%)
11/2008: Trinity #25 -- 43,804 (- 1.6%)
11/2008: Trinity #26 -- 43,210 (- 1.4%)
12/2008: Trinity #27 -- 41,725 (- 3.4%)
12/2008: Trinity #28 -- 41,510 (- 0.5%)
12/2008: Trinity #29 -- 40,883 (- 1.5%)
12/2008: Trinity #30 -- 40,771 (- 0.3%)
12/2008: Trinity #31 -- 40,575 (- 0.5%)
01/2009: Trinity #32 -- 38,332 (- 5.5%)
01/2009: Trinity #33 -- 38,325 (- 0.0%)
01/2009: Trinity #34 -- 37,933 (- 1.0%)
01/2009: Trinity #35 -- 37,119 (- 2.2%)
02/2009: Trinity #36 -- 36,201 (- 2.5%)
02/2009: Trinity #37 -- 35,798 (- 1.1%)
02/2009: Trinity #38 -- 35,286 (- 1.4%)
02/2009: Trinity #39 -- 35,200 (- 0.2%)
03/2009: Trinity #40 -- 34,613 (- 1.7%)
03/2009: Trinity #41 -- 34,437 (- 0.5%)
03/2009: Trinity #42 -- 34,119 (- 0.9%)
03/2009: Trinity #43 -- 33,841 (- 0.8%)
04/2009: Trinity #44 -- 33,499 (- 1.0%)
04/2009: Trinity #45 -- 33,355 (- 0.4%)
04/2009: Trinity #46 -- 33,114 (- 0.7%)
04/2009: Trinity #47 -- 32,970 (- 0.4%)
04/2009: Trinity #48 -- 32,826 (- 0.4%)
05/2009: Trinity #49 -- 32,602 (- 0.7%)
05/2009: Trinity #50 -- 32,496 (- 0.3%)
05/2009: Trinity #51 -- 32,374 (- 0.4%)
05/2009: Trinity #52 -- 32,514 (+ 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: -26.4%

Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, Fabian Nicieza and crew conclude their weekly series starring Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

Trinity has been rock-solid over the last couple of months, but that doesn’t mask the fact that we’re well past the point where being “weekly” makes a comic a hit. 30K+ is a good number for a book that was increasingly perceived as a fringe title as it went on and had to vie for attention against more visible projects, certainly, on its own terms. But for Wednesday Comics, DC has done well to come up with a different tack — and a shorter run.

—–

59 - TEEN TITANS
05/2004: Teen Titans #11 -- 67,813
05/2005: Teen Titans #24 -- 69,046
05/2006: Teen Titans #35 -- 72,954
05/2006: Teen Titans #36 -- 71,486
05/2007: Teen Titans #46 -- 61,478
05/2007: Teen Titans #47 -- 63,673
----------------------------------
05/2008: Teen Titans #59 -- 46,306 (- 2.2%)
06/2008: Teen Titans #60 -- 45,036 (- 2.7%)
07/2008: Teen Titans #61 -- 44,666 (- 0.8%)
08/2008: Teen Titans #62 -- 43,258 (- 3.2%)
09/2008: Teen Titans #63 -- 41,790 (- 3.4%)
10/2008: Teen Titans #64 -- 39,695 (- 5.0%)
11/2008: Teen Titans #65 -- 37,880 (- 4.6%)
12/2008: Teen Titans #66 -- 36,808 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: Teen Titans #67 -- 35,877 (- 2.5%)
02/2009: Teen Titans #68 -- 35,096 (- 2.2%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Teen Titans #69 -- 35,375 (+ 0.8%)
04/2009: Teen Titans #70 -- 35,412 (+ 0.1%)
05/2009: Teen Titans #71 -- 30,376 (-14.2%)
----------------
6 months: -19.8%
1 year  : -34.4%
2 years : -51.5%
5 years : -55.2%

That’s a catastrophic crash. It seems the end of the “Deathtrap” crossover gave a lot of people a good excuse to jump off.

—–

61 - FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: RUN
05/2009: Run #1 of 6 -- 29,065
63 - FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: ESCAPE
05/2009: Escape #1 of 6 -- 29,065
67 - FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: DANCE
05/2009: Dance #1 of 6 -- 27,491

This looks like a vintage case of retailers shooting in the dark in the face of general apathy. No doubt, the “Final Crisis Aftermath” logo helped these books, but given that all four of them (also see Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink a few slots down) got ordered at pretty much the same quantity, it doesn’t seem like anybody was particularly clamoring for any of them, either.

—–

70 - SECRET SIX
05/2006: Secret Six #1 of 6 -- 54,961 [57,425]
-------------------------------------
09/2008: Secret Six #1      -- 31,673 (-10.8%)
10/2008: Secret Six #2      -- 27,846 (-12.1%)
11/2008: Secret Six #3      -- 26,053 (- 6.4%)
12/2008: Secret Six #4      -- 24,657 (- 5.4%)
01/2009: Secret Six #5      -- 24,899 (+ 1.0%)
02/2009: Secret Six #6      -- 24,758 (- 0.6%)
03/2009: Secret Six #7      -- 24,365 (- 1.6%)
04/2009: Secret Six #8      -- 24,338 (- 0.1%)
05/2009: Secret Six #9      -- 27,116 (+11.4%)
----------------
6 months: + 4.1%

The mildly promoted tie-in with Battle for the Cowl results in a decent sales increase. You wonder what would have happened if they’d used the words “Battle for the Cowl” in the advertising copy.

—–

72 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
05/2009: The Unwritten #1  -- 26,915

A dollar for the complete first 32-page episode is a pretty cool way of promoting a new series. In this case, it’s one by established Vertigo creators Mike Carey and Peter Gross, and the good news is that The Unwritten debuts with much better sales than, say, Carey’s last Vertigo series: When Crossing Midnight #1 shipped in November 2006, it had estimated first-month sales of 12,756. There’s no reason to assume that The Unwritten would have fared better with a regular cover price, so it seems that retailers, at least, agreed that this was a good idea.

On the other hand, first-month sales of The Unwritten #1 are in the same area as those of last year’s House of Mystery #1, which had the name Bill Willingham instead of an introductory price tag (plus a variant-cover edition, to be fair). Consequently, even if the reduced price applied to subsequent issues, the usual drop-off would place the book in the 12K area a year in, or thereabouts. So, given that the next issue will be $ 2.99, it’s not quite time for anyone to count their chickens yet. It’s going to be an uphill struggle.

Then again, DC has already gone back for a second printing on issue #1, this time at $ 1.99, so let’s not be too pessimistic.

Be that as it may, there are at least two more debut issues coming out from Vertigo for one dollar apiece, so it seems they’re willing to give the approach some play before they decide whether it’s worth the initial losses.

—–

76 - THE OUTSIDERS
05/2004: Outsiders #12 -- 43,432
05/2005: Outsiders #23 -- 40,617
05/2005: Outsiders #24 -- 51,313 [54,734]
05/2006: Outsiders #36 -- 45,705
05/2007: Outsiders #47 -- 33,267
--------------------------------
05/2008: Batsiders #7  -- 35,071 (- 4.1%)
06/2008: Batsiders #8  -- 34,640 (- 1.2%)
07/2008: Batsiders #9  -- 34,401 (- 0.7%)
08/2008: Batsiders #10 -- 33,645 (- 2.2%)
09/2008: Batsiders #11 -- 49,945 (+48.5%)
10/2008: Batsiders #12 -- 46,649 (- 6.6%)
11/2008: Batsiders #13 -- 42,939 (- 8.0%)
12/2008: Batsiders #14 -- 32,163 (-25.1%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Special #1    -- 35,727 (+11.1%)
02/2009: Outsiders #15 -- 30,024 (-16.0%)
03/2009: Outsiders #16 -- 27,977 (- 6.8%)
04/2009: Outsiders #17 -- 27,171 (- 2.9%)
05/2009: Outsiders #18 -- 25,995 (- 4.3%)
----------------
6 months: -39.5%
1 year  : -25.9%
2 years : -21.9%
5 years : -40.2%

The numbers keep plummeting, with no relief in sight.

—–

79 - FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: INK
05/2009: Ink #1 of 6 -- 25,479

The fourth one of the bunch, also selling in the 25-30K range.

—–

85 - FABLES (Vertigo)
05/2004: Fables #25 -- 25,526
05/2005: Fables #37 -- 24,477
05/2006: Fables #49 -- 24,444
05/2007: Fables #61 -- 26,056
-----------------------------
05/2008: Fables #73 -- 23,785 (-0.3%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Fables #74 -- 24,166 (+1.6%)
08/2008: --
09/2008: Fables #75 -- 25,266 (+4.6%)
09/2008: Fables #76 -- 23,914 (-5.4%)
10/2008: Fables #77 -- 23,761 (-0.6%)
11/2008: Fables #78 -- 23,345 (-1.8%)
12/2008: Fables #79 -- 22,769 (-2.5%)
01/2009: Fables #80 -- 22,617 (-0.7%)
02/2009: Fables #81 -- 22,517 (-0.4%)
03/2009: Fables #82 -- 22,445 (-0.3%)
04/2009: Fables #83 -- 23,630 (+5.3%)
05/2009: Fables #84 -- 23,634 (+0.0%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.2%
1 year  : - 0.6%
2 years : - 9.3%
5 years : - 7.4%

“The Great Fables Crossover” keeps sales steady, slightly above the book’s usual level.

—–

86 - BOOSTER GOLD
05/2008: Booster Gold #9  -- 35,030 (- 2.7%)
06/2008: Booster Gold #10 -- 34,435 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: BGold #1,000,000 -- 34,431 (- 0.0%)
08/2008: Booster Gold #11 -- 32,900 (- 4.5%)
09/2008: Booster Gold #12 -- 32,049 (- 2.6%)
10/2008: Booster Gold #13 -- 29,914 (- 6.7%)
11/2008: Booster Gold #14 -- 28,260 (- 5.5%)
12/2008: Booster Gold #15 -- 26,835 (- 5.0%)
01/2009: Booster Gold #16 -- 25,472 (- 5.1%)
02/2009: Booster Gold #17 -- 24,732 (- 2.9%)
03/2009: Booster Gold #18 -- 23,737 (- 4.0%)
04/2009: Booster Gold #19 -- 23,203 (- 2.3%)
05/2009: Booster Gold #20 -- 22,549 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: -20.2%
1 year  : -35.6%

Booster Gold continues a slow slide down the chart.

—–

87 - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
05/2007: --
---------------------------------------------
05/2008: The Brave and the Bold #13 -- 35,814 (- 5.1%)
06/2008: The Brave and the Bold #14 -- 34,361 (- 4.1%)
07/2008: The Brave and the Bold #15 -- 32,688 (- 4.9%)
08/2008: The Brave and the Bold #16 -- 31,522 (- 3.6%)
09/2008: The Brave and the Bold #17 -- 29,857 (- 5.3%)
10/2008: The Brave and the Bold #18 -- 28,199 (- 5.5%)
11/2008: The Brave and the Bold #19 -- 26,407 (- 6.4%)
12/2008: The Brave and the Bold #20 -- 25,050 (- 5.1%)
01/2009: The Brave and the Bold #21 -- 24,375 (- 2.7%)
02/2009: The Brave and the Bold #22 -- 23,507 (- 3.6%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: The Brave and the Bold #23 -- 22,312 (- 5.1%)
----------------
6 months: -15.5%
1 year  : -37.7%
2 years :  n.a.

After a two-month hiatus, the book returns without promotion or J. Michael Straczynski’s name in the credits, with predictable results. Straczynski’s first issue will be September’s #27, so by then sales will probably be somewhere down below 20,000.

—–

92 - BATMAN IN BARCELONA: DRAGON'S KNIGHT
05/2009: Dragon's Knight #1 -- 21,695

Well, this is a $ 3.99 one-shot written by Mark Waid that’s set on the fringes of the month-to-month DC Universe continuity and received no special promotion, and it sells about as well as you’d expect — maybe a little lower, given Waid’s name.

—–

94 - GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY
05/2004: Green Arrow #38  -- 34,037
05/2005: Green Arrow #50  -- 34,886
05/2006: Green Arrow #62  -- 39,185
05/2007: Green Arrow #74  -- 30,751
-----------------------------------
05/2008: Arrow/Canary #8  -- 30,864 (- 3.7%)
06/2008: Arrow/Canary #9  -- 30,330 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: Arrow/Canary #10 -- 29,604 (- 2.4%)
08/2008: Arrow/Canary #11 -- 28,694 (- 3.1%)
09/2008: Arrow/Canary #12 -- 27,896 (- 2.8%)
10/2008: Arrow/Canary #13 -- 26,890 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Arrow/Canary #14 -- 25,599 (- 4.8%)
12/2008: Arrow/Canary #15 -- 24,526 (- 4.2%)
01/2009: Arrow/Canary #16 -- 24,419 (- 0.4%)
02/2009: Arrow/Canary #17 -- 23,392 (- 4.2%)
03/2009: Arrow/Canary #18 -- 22,699 (- 3.0%)
04/2009: Arrow/Canary #19 -- 21,933 (- 3.4%)
05/2009: Arrow/Canary #20 -- 21,445 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -16.2%
1 year  : -30.5%
2 years : -30.3%
5 years : -37.0%

The book seems to be finding its level again.

—–

104 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)
05/2007: Jack of Fables #10 -- 19,982
-------------------------------------
05/2008: --
06/2008: Jack of Fables #23 -- 16,144 (- 1.0%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: Jack of Fables #24 -- 15,953 (- 1.2%)
08/2008: Jack of Fables #25 -- 15,642 (- 2.0%)
09/2008: Jack of Fables #26 -- 15,471 (- 1.1%)
10/2008: Jack of Fables #27 -- 15,092 (- 2.5%)
11/2008: Jack of Fables #28 -- 14,528 (- 3.7%)
12/2008: Jack of Fables #29 -- 14,151 (- 2.6%)
01/2009: Jack of Fables #30 -- 13,746 (- 2.9%)
02/2009: Jack of Fables #31 -- 13,586 (- 1.2%)
03/2009: Jack of Fables #32 -- 13,595 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Jack of Fables #33 -- 19,242 (+41.5%)
05/2009: Jack of Fables #34 -- 19,420 (+ 0.9%)
----------------
6 months: +33.7%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : - 2.8%
105 - THE LITERALS (Vertigo)
04/2009: The Literals #1 of 3   -- 20,287
05/2009: The Literals #2 of 3   -- 19,381 (-4.5%)

These are perfectly good sales for the secondary Fables books. “The Great Fables Crossover” delivers.

—–

107 - THE LAST DAYS OF ANIMAL MAN
05/2009: TLDoAM #1 of 6 -- 18,976

Another book nobody seems to have been waiting for, thrown into the deep end of an already crowded market to swim or drown.

The numbers are as good as you could expect.

—–

108 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
05/2007: --
------------------------------------------
05/2008: Batman Confidential #17 -- 25,017 (+ 4.1%)
06/2008: Batman Confidential #18 -- 24,881 (- 0.5%)
07/2008: Batman Confidential #19 -- 25,037 (+ 0.6%)
08/2008: Batman Confidential #20 -- 24,654 (- 1.5%)
09/2008: Batman Confidential #21 -- 24,515 (- 0.6%)
10/2008: Batman Confidential #22 -- 24,281 (- 1.0%)
11/2008: Batman Confidential #23 -- 22,909 (- 5.7%)
12/2008: Batman Confidential #24 -- 21,470 (- 6.3%)
01/2009: Batman Confidential #25 -- 20,517 (- 4.4%)
02/2009: Batman Confidential #26 -- 20,134 (- 1.9%)
03/2009: Batman Confidential #27 -- 19,934 (- 1.0%)
04/2009: Batman Confidential #28 -- 19,540 (- 2.0%)
05/2009: Batman Confidential #29 -- 18,867 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -17.6%
1 year  : -24.6%
2 years :  n.a.

The token inconsequential Batman title mostly serves to indicate that the number of hardcore DC Universe Batman completists in the direct market was approximately 18,867 at the time the orders were due.

—–

109 - VIGILANTE
09/2005: Vigilante #1 of 6 -- 24,533
11/2005: Vigilante #2 of 6 -- 18,712
11/2005: Vigilante #3 of 6 -- 16,412
12/2005: Vigilante #4 of 6 -- 13,344
01/2006: Vigilante #5 of 6 -- 11,939
02/2006: Vigilante #6 of 6 -- 11,382
------------------------------------
12/2008: Vigilante #1      -- 18,236
01/2009: Vigilante #2      -- 13,855 (-24.0%)
02/2009: Vigilante #3      -- 11,264 (-18.7%)
03/2009: Vigilante #4      -- 11,125 (- 1.2%)
04/2009: Vigilante #5      -- 21,290 (+91.4%)
05/2009: Vigilante #6      -- 18,677 (-12.3%)

The “Deathtrap” crossover is still in progress here, but sales begin to fall back anyway. On the other hand, Vigilante #6 still outsells the debut issue.

—–

110 - ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE (WildStorm)
05/2004: --
----------------------------------------------
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%)
----------------
2 years :  n.a.
5 years :  n.a.

It seems Astro City: The Dark Age is getting the worst of two worlds: Retailers are treating it like an ongoing series when they order the first issue of each new Book, and they’re treating it like a miniseries when it comes to ordering the second. Still, Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson’s long-running superhero series is WildStorm’s best-selling periodical in May.

—–

119 - SOLOMON GRUNDY
01/2009: Faces of Evil: Grundy #1 -- 27,093
02/2009: --
03/2009: Solomon Grundy #1 of 7   -- 23,175 (-14.5%)
04/2009: Solomon Grundy #2 of 7   -- 18,516 (-20.1%)
05/2009: Solomon Grundy #3 of 7   -- 16,482 (-11.0%)

Awful numbers.

—–

132 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
05/2008: House of Mystery #1  -- 27,492
06/2008: House of Mystery #2  -- 19,485 (-29.1%)
07/2008: House of Mystery #3  -- 18,407 (- 5.5%)
08/2008: House of Mystery #4  -- 17,569 (- 4.6%)
09/2008: House of Mystery #5  -- 16,721 (- 4.8%)
10/2008: House of Mystery #6  -- 15,934 (- 4.7%)
11/2008: House of Mystery #7  -- 15,120 (- 5.1%)
12/2008: House of Mystery #8  -- 14,273 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: House of Mystery #9  -- 13,739 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: House of Mystery #10 -- 13,098 (- 4.7%)
03/2009: House of Mystery #11 -- 12,785 (- 2.4%)
04/2009: House of Mystery #12 -- 12,636 (- 1.2%)
05/2009: House of Mystery #13 -- 14,358 (+13.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.0%
1 year  : -47.8%

Thanks to a 1-for-10 variant-cover edition and, presumably, the presence of a few guest creators, House of Mystery got a nice sales boost in May. The year-on-year drop is still terrible, mind you.

—–

136 - 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%)

This one’s taking its time levelling out.

—–

137 - EX MACHINA (WildStorm)
05/2005: Ex Machina #11 -- 21,885
05/2006: Ex Machina #20 -- 20,589
05/2007: Ex Machina #28 -- 18,164
---------------------------------
05/2008: --
06/2008: Ex Machina #37 -- 14,921 (- 1.8%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: --
09/2008: Ex Machina #38 -- 14,973 (+ 0.4%)
10/2008: --
11/2008: Ex Machina #39 -- 14,194 (- 5.2%)
12/2008: Ex Machina #40 -- 14,067 (- 0.9%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Ex Machina #41 -- 13,526 (- 3.9%)
05/2009: Ex Machina #42 -- 13,403 (- 0.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.6%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -26.2%

The second and final long-running creator-owned series remaining in WildStorm’s stable hasn’t done that well, either, in the last couple of years, at least in periodical form.

—–

138 - WARLORD
05/2006: Warlord #4  -- 18,480
------------------------------
04/2009: Warlord #1  -- 17,540
05/2009: Warlord #2  -- 13,390 (-23.7%)

A mediocre second-issue drop, which is bad news, given that the book didn’t sell very well to begin with.

—–

140 - WORLD OF WARCRAFT (WildStorm)
05/2008: World of WarCraft #7  -- 24,589 (- 6.4%)
06/2008: World of WarCraft #8  -- 23,310 (- 5.2%)
07/2008: World of WarCraft #9  -- 22,203 (- 4.8%)
08/2008: World of WarCraft #10 -- 20,883 (- 6.0%)
09/2008: World of WarCraft #11 -- 19,331 (- 7.4%)
10/2008: World of WarCraft #12 -- 18,200 (- 5.9%)
11/2008: World of WarCraft #13 -- 17,017 (- 6.5%)
12/2008: World of WarCraft #14 -- 16,058 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: World of WarCraft #15 -- 14,996 (- 6.6%)
02/2009: World of WarCraft #16 -- 14,177 (- 5.5%)
03/2009: World of WarCraft #17 -- 13,614 (- 4.0%)
04/2009: World of WarCraft #18 -- 13,110 (- 3.7%)
05/2009: World of WarCraft #19 -- 12,536 (- 4.4%)
----------------
6 months: -26.3%
1 year  : -49.0%

WildStorm’s best-selling licensed property keeps slipping down the chart.

—–

141 - STRANGE ADVENTURES
03/2009: Strange Adventures #1 of 8  --  22,820
04/2009: Strange Adventures #2 of 8  --  14,499 (-36.5%)
05/2009: Strange Adventures #3 of 8  --  12,515 (-13.7%)

Another DC Universe series with unsurprisingly bad numbers.

—–

150 - STARCRAFT (WildStorm)
05/2009: StarCraft #1  -- 11,744

If DC was hoping to repeat even half the initial success of World of WarCraft, they clearly can’t be happy with these numbers. There was a 1-for-10 variant-cover edition, but StarCraft #1 still didn’t do anywhere near as well as the debut issue of the other Blizzard game adaptation.

—–

152 - JONAH HEX
05/2006: Jonah Hex #7  -- 21,910
05/2007: Jonah Hex #19 -- 16,473
--------------------------------
05/2008: Jonah Hex #31 -- 13,140 (- 0.9%)
06/2008: Jonah Hex #32 -- 12,969 (- 1.3%)
07/2008: Jonah Hex #33 -- 14,281 (+10.1%)
08/2008: Jonah Hex #34 -- 12,969 (- 9.2%)
09/2008: Jonah Hex #35 -- 13,231 (+ 2.0%)
10/2008: Jonah Hex #36 -- 12,629 (- 4.6%)
11/2008: Jonah Hex #37 -- 12,537 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: Jonah Hex #38 -- 12,132 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: Jonah Hex #39 -- 11,705 (- 3.5%)
02/2009: Jonah Hex #40 -- 11,631 (- 0.6%)
03/2009: Jonah Hex #41 -- 11,564 (- 0.6%)
04/2009: Jonah Hex #42 -- 11,551 (- 0.1%)
05/2009: Jonah Hex #43 -- 11,606 (+ 0.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.4%
1 year  : -11.7%
2 years : -29.6%

The penciler of the May issue is Paul Gulacy, maybe that’s what caused the marginal increase.

—–

155 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
05/2004: Hellblazer #196 -- 14,954
05/2005: Hellblazer #208 -- 15,420
05/2006: Hellblazer #220 -- 14,161
05/2007: Hellblazer #232 -- 13,164
----------------------------------
05/2008: Hellblazer #244 -- 11,826 (-1.1%)
06/2008: Hellblazer #245 -- 11,897 (+0.6%)
07/2008: Hellblazer #246 -- 12,088 (+1.6%)
08/2008: --
09/2008: Hellblazer #247 -- 11,851 (-2.0%)
10/2008: Hellblazer #248 -- 11,600 (-2.1%)
11/2008: Hellblazer #249 -- 11,445 (-1.3%)
12/2008: Hellblazer #250 -- 12,478 (+9.0%)
01/2009: Hellblazer #251 -- 11,290 (-9.5%)
02/2009: Hellblazer #252 -- 11,174 (-1.0%)
03/2009: Hellblazer #253 -- 11,132 (-0.4%)
04/2009: Hellblazer #254 -- 11,053 (-0.7%)
05/2009: Hellblazer #255 -- 10,937 (-1.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.4%
1 year  : - 7.5%
2 years : -16.9%
5 years : -26.9%

Business as usual for Vertigo’s longest-running series. The way things are looking, though, Hellblazer will have dropped below 10K by this time next year.

—–

159 - RESIDENT EVIL (WildStorm)
03/2009: Resident Evil #1 of 6 -- 15,759
04/2009: --
05/2009: Resident Evil #2 of 6 -- 10,366 (-34.2%)

There was a variant edition to promote the debut issues, but this is still a huge drop. Overall, though, Resident Evil could be doing worse, compared to the rest of WildStorm’s line.

—–

161 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
06/2008: Madame Xanadu #1  -- 22,073
07/2008: Madame Xanadu #2  -- 16,655 (-24.6%)
08/2008: Madame Xanadu #3  -- 13,052 (- 3.3%)
09/2008: Madame Xanadu #4  -- 12,329 (- 5.5%)
10/2008: Madame Xanadu #5  -- 11,392 (- 7.6%)
11/2008: Madame Xanadu #6  -- 12,340 (+ 8.3%)
12/2008: Madame Xanadu #7  -- 10,272 (-16.8%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Madame Xanadu #8  --  9,932 (- 3.3%)
03/2009: Madame Xanadu #9  --  9,798 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Madame Xanadu #10 --  9,664 (- 1.4%)
05/2009: Madame Xanadu #11 -- 10,179 (+ 5.3%)
----------------
6 months: -17.5%

The beginning of a five-part storyline drawn by Michael Wm. Kaluta brings a modest sales increase.

—–

163 - SEAGUY: SLAVES OF MICKEY EYE (Vertigo)
05/2004: Seaguy #1 of 3 -- 21,512 [23,096]
06/2004: Seaguy #2 of 3 -- 18,581
07/2004: Seaguy #3 of 3 -- 16,601
---------------------------------
04/2009: SoME #1 of 3   -- 12,739
05/2009: SoME #2 of 3   -- 10,082 (-20.9%)

That’s a stiff second-issue drop for a three-part miniseries, and an abysmal overall performance for a Vertigo comic by Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart.

—–

166 - GEARS OF WAR (WildStorm)
10/2008: GoW #1  -- 19,718
11/2008: GoW #2  -- 12,964 (-34.3%)
12/2008: GoW #3  -- 12,095 (- 6.7%)
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%)
----------------
6 months: -23.2%

Another licensed comic from WildStorm doing comparatively well in the context of WildStorm’s overall output.

—–

171 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
05/2004: The Authority v2 #12 -- 21,528
05/2005: Revolution #8  of 12 -- 19,446
05/2007: --
---------------------------------------
08/2008: The Authority v4 #1  -- 15,735 (+17.7%)
09/2008: The Authority v4 #2  -- 14,324 (- 9.0%)
10/2008: The Authority v4 #3  -- 13,408 (- 6.4%)
11/2008: The Authority v4 #4  -- 12,450 (- 7.2%)
12/2008: The Authority v4 #5  -- 11,534 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: The Authority v4 #6  -- 10,673 (- 7.5%)
02/2009: The Authority v4 #7  -- 10,553 (- 1.1%)
03/2009: The Authority v4 #8  --  9,990 (- 5.3%)
04/2009: The Authority v4 #9  --  9,748 (- 2.4%)
05/2009: The Authority v4 #10 --  9,531 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -24.0%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -55.7%

The flagship of the once popular WildStorm Universe line is finally finding its level.

—–

174 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
05/2008: Northlanders #6  -- 12,009 (- 2.2%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Northlanders #7  -- 11,918 (- 0.8%)
07/2008: Northlanders #8  -- 11,477 (- 3.7%)
08/2008: Northlanders #9  -- 11,063 (- 3.6%)
09/2008: Northlanders #10 -- 10,738 (- 2.9%)
10/2008: Northlanders #11 -- 10,353 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Northlanders #12 -- 10,048 (- 3.0%)
12/2008: Northlanders #13 --  9,777 (- 2.7%)
01/2009: Northlanders #14 --  9,467 (- 3.2%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: Northlanders #15 --  9,443 (- 0.2%)
04/2009: Northlanders #16 --  9,323 (- 1.3%)
05/2009: Northlanders #17 --  9,239 (- 0.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.1%
1 year  : -23.1%

Northlanders sales have been perfectly stable for the last four months.

—–

179 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
05/2008: Tiny Titans #4  -- 10,369 (- 7.4%)
06/2008: Tiny Titans #5  -- 10,909 (+ 5.2%)
07/2008: Tiny Titans #6  -- 10,636 (- 2.5%)
08/2008: Tiny Titans #7  -- 10,234 (- 3.8%)
09/2008: Tiny Titans #8  --  9,795 (- 4.3%)
10/2008: Tiny Titans #9  --  9,521 (- 2.8%)
11/2008: Tiny Titans #10 --  9,239 (- 3.0%)
12/2008: Tiny Titans #11 --  9,085 (- 1.7%)
01/2009: Tiny Titans #12 --  8,733 (- 3.9%)
02/2009: Tiny Titans #13 --  8,710 (- 0.3%)
03/2009: Tiny Titans #14 --  8,736 (+ 0.3%)
04/2009: Tiny Titans #15 --  9,207 (+ 5.4%)
05/2009: Tiny Titans #16 --  8,844 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.3%
1 year  : -14.7%

A Johnny DC title. See fine print.

—–

186 - THE SPIRIT
05/2007: The Spirit #6     -- 23,708
------------------------------------
05/2008: The Spirit #17    -- 14,057 (- 4.4%)
06/2008: The Spirit #18    -- 13,257 (- 5.7%)
07/2008: The Spirit #19    -- 12,709 (- 4.1%)
08/2008: The Spirit #20    -- 12,358 (- 2.8%)
09/2008: The Spirit #21    -- 11,551 (- 6.5%)
10/2008: The Spirit #22    -- 10,997 (- 4.8%)
11/2008: The Spirit #23    -- 10,372 (- 5.7%)
12/2008: The Spirit #24    -- 10,048 (- 3.1%)
01/2009: The Spirit #25    --  9,576 (- 4.7%)
02/2009: The Spirit #26    --  9,405 (- 1.8%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: The Spirit #27    --  8,785 (- 6.6%)
05/2009: The Spirit #28    --  8,329 (- 5.2%)
----------------
6 months: -19.7%
1 year  : -40.8%
2 years : -64.9%

Cancelled with issue #32.

—–

187 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
05/2004: Version 3.0 #21 -- 12,632
05/2006: Nemesis #9 of 9 -- 14,123
05/2007: --
----------------------------------
07/2008: World's End #1  -- 16,895 (-79.5%)
08/2008: World's End #2  -- 13,311 (-21.2%)
09/2008: World's End #3  -- 13,559 (+ 1.9%)
10/2008: World's End #4  -- 12,431 (- 8.3%)
11/2008: World's End #5  -- 11,280 (- 9.3%)
12/2008: World's End #6  -- 10,450 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: World's End #7  --  9,539 (- 8.7%)
02/2009: World's End #8  --  9,040 (- 5.2%)
03/2009: World's End #9  --  8,758 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: World's End #10 --  8,460 (- 3.4%)
05/2009: World's End #11 --  8,165 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months: -27.6%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -35.4%

The WildStorm Universe line’s former flagship keeps slipping down the chart.

—–

193 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
05/2004: Batman Adventures #14 -- 12,194
05/2005: Batman Strikes! #9    -- 10,376
05/2006: Batman Strikes! #21   --  8,467
05/2007: Batman Strikes! #33   --  7,235
----------------------------------------
05/2008: Batman Strikes! #45   --  6,611 (- 12.3%)
06/2008: Batman Strikes! #46   --  7,118 (+  7.7%)
07/2008: Batman Strikes! #47   --  7,711 (+  8.3%)
08/2008: Batman Strikes! #48   --  6,702 (- 13.1%)
09/2008: Batman Strikes! #49   --  6,387 (-  4.7%)
10/2008: Batman Strikes! #50   --  6,413 (+  0.4%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: --
01/2009: Brave & Bold #1       -- 13,935 (+117.3%)
02/2009: Brave & Bold #2       --  8,678 (- 37.7%)
03/2009: Brave & Bold #3       --  8,184 (-  5.7%)
04/2009: Brave & Bold #4       --  8,381 (+  2.4%)
05/2009: Brave & Bold #5       --  7,994 (-  4.6%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : +20.9%
2 years : +10.5%
5 years : -34.4%

Another Johnny DC book.

—–

196 - UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Vertigo)
10/2008: Unknown Soldier #1  -- 16,038
11/2008: Unknown Soldier #2  -- 10,553 (-34.2%)
12/2008: Unknown Soldier #3  --  9,926 (- 5.9%)
01/2009: Unknown Soldier #4  --  8,711 (-12.2%)
02/2009: Unknown Soldier #5  --  8,348 (- 4.2%)
03/2009: Unknown Soldier #6  --  8,177 (- 2.1%)
04/2009: Unknown Soldier #7  --  8,631 (+ 5.6%)
05/2009: Unknown Soldier #8  --  7,705 (-10.7%)
----------------
6 months: -27.0%

Following the blip for a new cover artist and storyline in April, Unknown Soldier catches up on its decline.
—–

197 - 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%)

The Mighty continues to sink like a stone. While the book is officially part of the DC Universe line, it’s actually a creator-owned property, so maybe different rules apply to it. Still, these are not tolerable numbers by any stretch.
—–

202 - AIR (Vertigo)
08/2008: Air #1  -- 13,868
09/2008: Air #2  -- 10,971 (-20.9%)
10/2008: Air #3  -- 10,061 (- 8.3%)
11/2008: Air #4  --  8,913 (-11.4%)
12/2008: Air #5  --  8,412 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: Air #6  --  7,607 (- 9.6%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: Air #7  -- 10,290 (+35.3%)
04/2009: Air #8  --  7,216 (-29.9%)
05/2009: Air #9  --  7,115 (- 1.4%)
----------------
6 months: -20.2%

The series looks like it’s finding its level.
Air #7 was Vertigo’s first one-dollar promotional issue of one of their ongoing titles, but so far, if there have been any effects on periodical sales resulting from it, they’re negligible.
—–

205 - KILLAPALOOZA (WildStorm)
05/2009: Killapalooza #1 of 6 --  7,031

A new creator-owned series by Adam Beechen and Trevor Hairsine debuts well under the radar, as is par for the course with WildStorm these days.
Silver lining: At least Killapalooza starts with better numbers than Mysterius did.
—–

207 - FRINGE (WildStorm)
09/2008: Fringe #1 of 6 -- 15,929
10/2008: --
11/2008: --
12/2008: --
01/2009: Fringe #2 of 6 --  8,239 (-48.3%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: Fringe #3 of 6 --  7,426 (- 9.9%)
04/2009: Fringe #4 of 6 --  6,899 (- 7.1%)
05/2009: Fringe #5 of 6 --  6,744 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.

Another licensed comic crashing.
—–

214 - SUPERGIRL: COSMIC ADVENTURES IN THE 8TH GRADE (Johnny DC)
12/2008: Supergirl: CAit8G #1  -- 9,281
01/2009: Supergirl: CAit8G #2  -- 6,488 (-30.1%)
02/2009: Supergirl: CAit8G #3  -- 6,222 (- 4.1%)
03/2009: Supergirl: CAit8G #4  -- 6,200 (- 0.4%)
04/2009: Supergirl: CAit8G #5  -- 6,576 (+ 6.1%)
05/2009: Supergirl: CAit8G #6  -- 6,179 (- 6.0%)

A Johnny DC series.
—–

217 - DEAD ROMEO
05/2009: Dead Romeo #1 of 6 --  9,439
06/2009: Dead Romeo #2 of 6 --  6,155 (-34.8%)

This is another book sold under the DC Universe umbrella, for whatever reason, and not unsurprisingly, given the lack of promotion or focus, it starts plummeting from its already fragile debut position immediately.
—–

224 - YOUNG LIARS (Vertigo)
05/2008: Young Liars #3  --  8,954 (- 9.7%)
06/2008: Young Liars #4  --  8,590 (- 4.1%)
07/2008: Young Liars #5  --  8,172 (- 4.9%)
08/2008: Young Liars #6  --  7,862 (- 3.8%)
09/2008: Young Liars #7  --  7,520 (- 4.4%)
10/2008: Young Liars #8  --  7,265 (- 3.4%)
11/2008: Young Liars #9  --  6,775 (- 6.8%)
12/2008: Young Liars #10 --  6,646 (- 1.9%)
01/2009: Young Liars #11 --  6,081 (- 8.5%)
02/2009: Young Liars #12 --  5,820 (- 4.3%)
03/2009: Young Liars #13 --  5,735 (- 1.5%)
04/2009: Young Liars #14 --  5,698 (- 0.7%)
05/2009: Young Liars #15 --  5,518 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: -18.6%
1 year  : -38.4%

Cancelled with issue #18.
—–

225 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
05/2008: Super Friends #3  --  8,037 (-10.1%)
06/2008: Super Friends #4  --  8,038 (+ 0.0%)
07/2008: Super Friends #5  --  7,141 (-11.2%)
08/2008: Super Friends #6  --  6,671 (- 6.6%)
09/2008: Super Friends #7  --  6,428 (- 3.6%)
10/2008: Super Friends #8  --  6,153 (- 4.3%)
11/2008: Super Friends #9  --  5,739 (- 6.7%)
12/2008: Super Friends #10 --  5,543 (- 3.4%)
01/2009: Super Friends #11 --  5,500 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Super Friends #12 --  5,394 (- 1.9%)
03/2009: Super Friends #13 --  5,387 (- 0.1%)
04/2009: Super Friends #14 --  5,792 (+ 7.5%)
05/2009: Super Friends #15 --  5,513 (- 4.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.9%
1 year  : -31.4%

Another Johnny DC title.
—–

227 - STORMWATCH: PHD (WildStorm)
05/2004: StormWatch: TA #22  -- 10,695
05/2007: StormWatch: PHD #7  -- 12,812
--------------------------------------
08/2008: StormWatch: PHD #13 --  8,650 (-13.6%)
09/2008: StormWatch: PHD #14 --  7,883 (- 8.9%)
10/2008: StormWatch: PHD #15 --  7,411 (- 6.0%)
11/2008: StormWatch: PHD #16 --  6,824 (- 7.9%)
12/2008: StormWatch: PHD #17 --  6,468 (- 5.2%)
01/2009: StormWatch: PHD #18 --  6,030 (- 6.8%)
02/2009: StormWatch: PHD #19 --  5,708 (- 5.3%)
03/2009: StormWatch: PHD #20 --  5,555 (- 2.7%)
04/2009: --
05/2009: StormWatch: PHD #21 --  5,370 (- 3.3%)
----------------
6 months: -21.3%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -58.1%
5 years : -49.8%

A WildStorm Universe book with pitiable sales, now on a bimonthly schedule. StormWatch is in its death throes, plainly.
—–

239 - PROTOTYPE (WildStorm)
04/2009: Prototype #1 of 6 -- 8,871
05/2009: Prototype #2 of 6 -- 4,906 (-44.7%)

—–

248 - STORMING PARADISE (WildStorm)
07/2008: Storming Paradise #1 of 6 -- 9,965
08/2008: Storming Paradise #2 of 6 -- 7,282 (-26.9%)
09/2008: Storming Paradise #3 of 6 -- 6,113 (-16.1%)
10/2008: --
11/2008: Storming Paradise #4 of 6 -- 5,566 (- 9.0%)
12/2008: --
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: Storming Paradise #5 of 6 -- 4,595 (-17.5%)
----------------
6 months: -17.5%

I guess this Chuck Dixon project is no longer a priority for DC after the writer left in a huff over creative differences with his DC Universe books. Then again, it’s not like Storming Paradise sold particularly well to begin with.
—–

258 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
05/2004: Scooby Doo #84  -- 5,490
05/2005: Scooby Doo #96  -- 4,718
05/2006: Scooby Doo #108 -- 4,496
05/2007: Scooby Doo #120 -- 4,343
---------------------------------
05/2008: Scooby Doo #132 -- 4,309 (- 2.1%)
06/2008: Scooby Doo #133 -- 4,501 (+ 4.5%)
07/2008: Scooby Doo #134 -- 4,286 (- 4.8%)
08/2008: Scooby Doo #135 -- 4,226 (- 1.4%)
09/2008: Scooby Doo #136 -- 4,283 (+ 1.4%)
10/2008: Scooby Doo #137 -- ?
11/2008: Scooby Doo #138 -- 4,068
12/2008: Scooby Doo #139 -- ?
01/2009: Scooby Doo #140 -- 3,800
02/2009: Scooby Doo #141 -- 3,861 (+ 1.6%)
03/2009: Scooby Doo #142 -- 3,863 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Scooby Doo #143 -- 4,610 (+19.3%)
05/2009: Scooby Doo #144 -- 4,062 (-11.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 0.2%
1 year  : - 5.7%
2 years : - 6.5%
5 years : -26.0%

Another Johnny DC series.
—–

271 - BANG! TANGO (Vertigo)
02/2009: Bang! Tango #1 of 6 --  6,743
03/2009: Bang! Tango #2 of 6 --  4,539 (-32.7%)
04/2009: Bang! Tango #3 of 6 --  3,847 (-15.3%)
05/2009: Bang! Tango #4 of 6 --  3,448 (-10.4%)
285 - RESISTANCE (WildStorm)
01/2009: Resistance #1 of 6  -- 6,001
01/2009: Resistance #2 of 6  -- 5,166 (-13.9%)
02/2009: Resistance #3 of 6  -- 3,590 (-30.5%)
03/2009: Resistance #4 of 6  -- 3,318 (- 7.6%)
04/2009: Resistance #5 of 6  -- ?
05/2009: Resistance #6 of 6  -- 3,037
286 - MYSTERIUS (WildStorm)
01/2009: Mysterius #1 of 6  -- 5,667
02/2009: Mysterius #2 of 6  -- 3,873 (-31.7%)
03/2009: Mysterius #3 of 6  -- 3,342 (-13.7%)
04/2009: Mysterius #4 of 6  -- ?
05/2009: Mysterius #5 of 6  -- 3,027

A Vertigo miniseries written by an established creator, a video-game adaptation licensed to WildStorm and a creator-owned series by two creators with a good critical track record: three kinds of comics that DC used to be able to sell, years ago.
—–

300 - LOONEY TUNES (Johnny DC)
05/2004: Looney Tunes #114 -- 3,245
05/2005: Looney Tunes #126 -- 2,852
05/2006: Looney Tunes #138 -- 2,774
05/2007: Looney Tunes #150 -- 3,093
-----------------------------------
05/2008: Looney Tunes #162 -- ?
06/2008: Looney Tunes #163 -- 2,793
07/2008: Looney Tunes #164 -- ?
08/2008: Looney Tunes #165 -- 2,662
09/2008: Looney Tunes #166 -- ?
10/2008: Looney Tunes #167 -- ?
11/2008: Looney Tunes #168 -- 2,610
12/2008: Looney Tunes #169 -- ?
01/2009: Looney Tunes #170 -- 2,354
02/2009: Looney Tunes #171 -- ?
03/2009: Looney Tunes #172 -- 2,387
04/2009: Looney Tunes #173 -- ?
05/2009: Looney Tunes #174 -- 2,510
----------------
6 months: - 3.8%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : -18.9%
5 years : -22.7%

And another Johnny DC series, switching off the light of the Top 300.
—–

REORDERS:
188:  8,133 -- Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1 (2nd)
236:  4,992 -- Green Lantern #39
247:  4,647 -- Green Lantern #38
294:  2,681 -- The Flash: Rebirth #1
6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+210.6%: Flash
+ 68.6%: Oracle
+ 41.3%: GL Corps
+ 33.7%: Jack of Fables
+  4.1%: Secret Six
+  1.2%: Fables
-  0.2%: Scooby-Doo
-  0.6%: Wonder Woman
-  3.8%: Looney Tunes
-  3.9%: Super Friends
-  4.3%: Tiny Titans
-  4.4%: Hellblazer
-  5.0%: House of Mystery
-  5.6%: Ex Machina
-  7.4%: Jonah Hex
-  8.1%: Northlanders
- 13.6%: Batman
- 15.5%: Brave & Bold
- 16.2%: Green Arrow
- 17.3%: Titans
- 17.5%: Madame Xanadu
- 17.5%: Storming Paradise
- 17.6%: Batman Confidential
- 18.6%: Young Liars
- 19.7%: Spirit
- 19.8%: Teen Titans
- 20.2%: Air
- 20.2%: Booster Gold
- 21.3%: StormWatch
- 21.4%: JSA
- 23.2%: Gears of War
- 24.0%: Authority
- 24.9%: Superman
- 26.3%: WoW
- 26.4%: Trinity
- 26.5%: Supergirl
- 27.0%: Unknown Soldier
- 27.6%: Wildcats
- 28.7%: Action Comics
- 39.5%: Outsiders

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+169.8%: Flash
+ 61.0%: Oracle
+ 31.2%: GL Corps
+ 23.7%: Green Lantern
+ 20.9%: Batman: Brave & Bold
+ 10.8%: Supergirl
-  0.6%: Fables
-  5.7%: Scooby-Doo
-  7.5%: Hellblazer
-  8.8%: Superman
- 10.7%: Action Comics
- 11.3%: Batman
- 11.7%: Jonah Hex
- 13.3%: Wonder Woman
- 14.7%: Tiny Titans
- 23.1%: Northlanders
- 24.6%: Batman Confidential
- 25.2%: Superman/Batman
- 25.9%: Outsiders
- 28.4%: JSA
- 29.1%: JLA
- 30.5%: Green Arrow
- 31.4%: Super Friends
- 34.4%: Teen Titans
- 35.6%: Booster Gold
- 37.7%: Brave & Bold
- 38.4%: Young Liars
- 40.1%: Titans
- 40.8%: Spirit
- 47.8%: House of Mystery
- 49.0%: WoW

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 85.1%: GL Corps
+ 80.3%: Flash
+ 32.5%: Green Lantern
+ 24.0%: Oracle
+ 11.3%: Batman
+ 10.5%: Batman: Brave & Bold
-  2.8%: Jack of Fables
-  6.5%: Scooby-Doo
-  9.3%: Fables
- 16.9%: Hellblazer
- 18.9%: Looney Tunes
- 21.9%: Outsiders
- 23.9%: Action Comics
- 24.6%: Superman
- 26.2%: Ex Machina
- 29.6%: Jonah Hex
- 30.3%: Green Arrow
- 33.7%: Supergirl
- 42.0%: Superman/Batman
- 42.1%: JSA
- 43.5%: Wonder Woman
- 50.6%: JLA
- 51.5%: Teen Titans
- 58.1%: StormWatch
- 64.9%: Spirit

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+144.1%: Green Lantern
+ 90.0%: Flash
+ 31.0%: JSA
+ 17.9%: Batman
+ 10.9%: Oracle
-  7.4%: Fables
-  8.9%: Wonder Woman
-  9.3%: JLA
- 15.6%: Action Comics
- 22.7%: Looney Tunes
- 26.0%: Scooby-Doo
- 26.9%: Hellblazer
- 34.4%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 35.4%: Wildcats
- 37.0%: Green Arrow
- 40.2%: Outsiders
- 49.8%: StormWatch
- 55.2%: Teen Titans
- 55.7%: Authority
- 77.9%: Superman/Batman
- 80.0%: Superman

—–
Average Periodical Sales

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

DC COMICS
05/2004: 32,096
05/2005: 34,801
05/2006: 44,554
05/2007: 35,656
---------------
05/2008: 27,075 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: 27,367 (+ 1.1%)
07/2008: 27,436 (+ 0.3%)**
08/2008: 29,678 (+ 8.2%)
09/2008: 25,562 (-13.9%)
10/2008: 29,109 (+13.9%)**
11/2008: 25,340 (-13.0%)
12/2008: 26,793 (+ 5.7%)**
01/2009: 24,273 (- 9.4%)
02/2009: 23,080 (- 4.9%)
03/2009: 21,792 (- 5.6%)
04/2009: 27,373 (+25.6%)**
05/2009: 24,386 (-10.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.8%
1 year  : - 9.9%
2 years : -31.6%
5 years : -24.0%
DC UNIVERSE
05/2004: 38,502
05/2005: 43,505
05/2006: 59,505
05/2007: 49,161
---------------
05/2008: 35,230 (- 0.6%)
06/2008: 35,800 (+ 1.6%)
07/2008: 35,553 (- 0.7%)
08/2008: 38,502 (+ 8.3%)
09/2008: 33,591 (-13.0%)
10/2008: 37,273 (+11.0%)
11/2008: 33,096 (-11.2%)
12/2008: 35,050 (+ 5.9%)
01/2009: 32,705 (- 6.7%)
02/2009: 30,224 (- 7.6%)
03/2009: 31,336 (+ 3.7%)
04/2009: 38,150 (+21.8%)
05/2009: 33,163 (-13.1%)
----------------
6 months: + 0.2%
1 year  : - 5.9%
2 years : -32.5%
5 years : -13.9%
VERTIGO
05/2004: 17,376
05/2005: 14,520
05/2006: 15,266
05/2007: 12,256
---------------
05/2008: 10,418 (- 1.3%)
06/2008: 10,491 (+ 0.7%)
07/2008: 10,821 (+ 3.2%)**
08/2008: 10,979 (+ 1.5%)
09/2008: 11,748 (+ 7.0%)
10/2008: 11,284 (- 4.0%)
11/2008: 11,936 (+ 5.8%)
12/2008: 11,603 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: 10,980 (- 5.4%)
02/2009: 11,353 (+ 3.4%)
03/2009: 10,177 (-10.4%)
04/2009: 10,767 (+ 5.8%)
05/2009: 12,918 (+20.0%)
----------------
6 months: + 8.2%
1 year  : +24.0%
2 years : + 5.4%
5 years : -25.7%
WILDSTORM
05/2004: 15,505
05/2005: 13,593
05/2006: 12,737
05/2007: 14,260
---------------
05/2008:  9,812 (-19.3%)
06/2008:  9,806 (- 0.1%)
07/2008:  9,875 (+ 0.7%)**
08/2008: 10,064 (+ 1.9%)
09/2008: 11,864 (+17.9%)
10/2008: 10,736 (- 9.5%)**
11/2008: 10,220 (- 4.8%)
12/2008:  9,415 (- 7.9%)**
01/2009:  6,851 (-27.2%)
02/2009:  8,019 (+17.1%)
03/2009:  8,954 (+11.7%)
04/2009:  8,277 (- 7.6%)**
05/2009:  8,579 (+ 3.7%)
----------------
6 months: -16.1%
1 year  : -12.6%
2 years : -39.8%
5 years : -44.7%

—–

Disclaimers, et cetera
The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.
ICv2.com‘s estimates are traditionally known to be somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month. The estimates from March 2001 to February 2003 (marked with an asterisk) were for initial orders rather than actual sales, so they’re only roughly compatible with the subsequent figures.
Bear in mind that the figures measure sales to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Reorders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month.
If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after the book’s initial month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in parenthesis behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]”). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average will be used.
Titles released under the Johnny DC imprint and magazines, such as Mad, mostly sell through channels other than the direct market, so direct-market sales don’t tell us much about their performance. For most Vertigo and some WildStorm titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well. To learn (a little) more about Vertigo’s collection sales, go right here.
** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales may be less than that.
—–

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

Comments

  1. Kentucky Fried Horse says:

    Rather amazing how quickly that JLA sales crashed under Dwayne McDuffie. Anyone need any further proof that no one was clamoring for the return of Milestone?

    I’m encouraged by the upward tick in GL sales. Blackest Night is something I’ve been looking forward to for months.

  2. Uh… some of your 2009 dates have “2008” (see: Flash).

    Also, your formatting changes after #196.

    Will you note the reorders for “Unwritten” at full price? I bought one of the reprints, as the regular issue sold out. How do the $1 reprints of the “After Watchmen” promotion sell? DC loses nothing by offering the first issue for $1. People buy it and continue to buy the single issues; people buy it and wait for the trade; people read the free preview or read the news about the promotion and buy the trade; people ignore it. Furthermore, it’s $1, and represents less risk for a store. It’s also got a good hook, making it easy to handsell to readers.

  3. Somebody says:

    Formatting: Broken as of Batman: Brave & the Bold. You didn’t close the PRE tag.

  4. Dangit, some stuff always slips through … sorry about the wrong dates and the missing tag.

  5. Brian says:

    thinking out loud: is Tiny Titans the best-selling Johnny DC book? Cause it sure is the Best Book!!!

    I thought Madame Xanadu would see a bigger jump.

    Is the Vertigo $1 promotion simply a way for people to decide if they’re going to buy the trade?

    I often think that’s why DC was doing the after watchmen singles – not to get people to buy singles, more to get people to buy a bunch of trades.

    Cheers,

    B

  6. Alan Coil says:

    Comic book fans are IDIOTS!!!

    Proof? Sales on Tiny Titans are only 8,844 in the comics shops.

  7. Having just read both Seaguy minis back to back, it is one of the most refreshing superhero stories out there, with all kinds of great metaphors. Shame hardly anyone is buying it.

  8. Alan Coil says:

    Don’t be surprised if the Final Crisis: Aftermath titles fall off the bottom of the charts before their final issues.

  9. The Beat says:

    8-9000 is REALLY good for a kids book in the DM.

  10. Synsidar says:

    Some comments from Bob Wayne, Dan DiDio, and a Titans fan on TINY TITANS:

    How come “Tiny Titans” can’t get into the newsstand market?

    Bob Wayne: The entire print magazine category — from “Time” and “Newsweek” and all the way down to comics — is incredibly difficult right now. It’s going to be a very, very tough period for almost anything to survive in that environment, and it’s very difficult to get any number of new comics into that environment. When we do put things in that environment, since it’s a returnable environment, we get so many copies back.

    The reality is the distribution is there isn’t that much distribution out there; it’s not that wide. There aren’t that many places where [periodicals] are on sale anymore. Comics, in your lifetimes, have gone from something you can find anywhere to something you have to seek out on your own. All the forces of how the marketplace works are working against [reversing the direct market system].”

    [. . .]

    I was puzzled by Dan Didio’s comment in his 20 Answers, concerning the appeal of comics aimed at a tween market: “Well, we did do a number of series aimed there, with books built off the animated interpretations of our characters, and we always found sales wanting. Quite honestly, going to numbers for a second, a book like Tiny Titans sells twice as well as a Teen Titans Go!. It’s as simple as that. I think what we need from the kids books is a clear delineation of what they say and what they stand for, and need to address the market that we’re pointing them at.”

  11. Callum says:

    ‘Not surprisingly, sales drop rather drastically with the first part of a two-issue fill-in run. The new creative team is slated to take over with issue #29.’

    Yeah…but I sure wasn’t expecting THAT big a drop! -cue Wiley Coyote falling off cliff dust cloud-

  12. Scott Rowland says:

    I’m personally unsure that the JLA sales can be solely attributed to McDuffie, given the well publicized micromanaging of his stories. I can also attest to being someon who did clamor for the return of Milestone — in fact the addition of Static to Teen Titans got me to start picking up that book again, even though it is going through creative spasms.

    Not sure I understand the comments about Didio and Superman. While his comments can be read as damning with faint praise, I saw it mostly as being straightforward in that they are setting things up for a really big payoff down the road. That doesn’t seem that insulting to the current books. But I’m enjoying Robinson’s take on Mon-El and Gates’ version of Supergirl.

  13. Shawn Hill says:

    ‘These various Batman: The Battle for the Cowl spin-off one-shots and miniseries are all holding up remarkably well. Oracle, in particular, is quite a surprise; it doesn’t happen often that the third issue of a limited series outsells the first one.’

    Well, people thought the subtitle “The Cure” meant something, didn’t they? Instead we just saw Barbara do virtual arobatics, and the Calculator’s daughter not get her cure either.

    And c’mon, “C-List” for Power Girl? Does that make Supergirl a D- or a B-lister?

  14. Callum says:

    Oh and p.s. this month’s sales chart was particularly funny!

    “The token inconsequential Batman title mostly serves to indicate that the number of hardcore DC Universe Batman completists in the direct market was approximately 18,867 at the time the orders were due.”

    Hahaha!

  15. Volde says:

    “And c’mon, “C-List” for Power Girl? Does that make Supergirl a D- or a B-lister? ”

    Anything super is better than anything power so i`d say that Supergirl is higher.

    Nice to see those GL/GLC numbers. BN might be a hit after all.

  16. Spike says:

    Apparently Kentucky Fried Horse isn’t all that clear on things.
    McDuffie has been writing the series since issue 16? 17? So the Sales didn’t crash that quickly! In Fact, they started going down more and more as all of the forced crossoevers and tie ins were mandated on McDuffie. But again..people like KFH only want to attack him on what appears to be just about “black” characters.

  17. Fully concur with the Wayne comment — barriers to entry on the newsstand these days are like we’ve never seen in publishing. The DM may be in its own pocket universe within magazine publishing, but it’s a lot safer here than out there.

    One month gone, and it begins again. June rankings now online at Comichron, estimated to follow…

    http://blog.comichron.com/2009/07/diamond-june-2009-sales-rankings.html

  18. The Mark Waid ‘Batman in Barcelona’ comic was, I suspect, published mainly to tie in with Waid’s appearance at the big Barcelona con that month.

  19. Kentucky Fried Horse says:

    Annnnnnnnnnnd here we go with the inevitable “race” comments. You don’t know me dude, so don’t presume to group me with “people like”. I’m perfectly clear on things, since I’ve been buying JLA since issue 1. To further shock you, the only reason I’ve stuck around as long as I have is because I’m a big fan of Firestorm, whether it be Ronnie Raymond or Jason Rusch who just happens to be >gasp

  20. Nate Horn says:

    On Tiny Titans, I think the 8-9000 sales is due more to dyed in the wool older comic fans buying it rather than some sudden surge of kids. I liked the art style, so I bought a few issues one day and gave it a shot, and I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. All the punchlines seemed to depend on being familiar with DC continuity, which I am not. So, my guess is a lot of DC comics fans are buying it either for themselves of their kids. And honestly? That’s pretty cool, because it means DC is having some success with a kids book, even if kids aren’t the buyers. The DM needs more diversity, so yay!

  21. Kentucky Fried Horse says:

    Let me try this again. I was mentioning earlier that I’d heard some people in my area/local shop grouse about JLA being turned into a “Milestone Vehicle”. That’s why I referenced no one really seeming to clamor for that universe’s return. Along those lines, I think the Milestone characters fall into the same category as say, Warlord. Quite a few fans but not enough to sustain an ongoing series or overtake an ongoing series.

  22. >Having just read both Seaguy minis back to back, it is one of the most refreshing superhero stories out there, with all kinds of great metaphors. Shame hardly anyone is buying it.

    Well, that should have been in the solicitation; “Seaguy: has all kinds of great metaphors!”

  23. “Similies out the ying-yang!”

    “Analogues to beat the band!”

    “So postmodern, you’ll think Paul Weller delivered it to your house with the ashes of Friedrich Nietzsche still inside!”

    //Oo/\

  24. Nate Horn says:

    I would personally *really* like to see the Milestone catalog released in trades. Icon was sooooooo good!!!

  25. FYI the final numbers for GL #38 are off, the book sold 68,896 copies in February, 3,806 in march and 4,647 in may which would put the final number at 77,362.

    Also you forgot to add the reprint numbers for GL #40 from may which were 8,040, putting the final number at 84,705.

    Anyways, it’s really is good to see Blackest Night amping things up in both GL books because it’s shaping up to be a huge year for GL in general.

  26. @Nate Horn: I’ve seen solicits for at least Static, Icon and Hardware trades. I think the Static one might actually be out.

  27. morganagrom says:

    05/2009: Northlanders #17 — 9,239
    05/2009: Unknown Soldier #8 — 7,705
    05/2009: Air #9 — 7,115
    05/2009: Young Liars #15 — 5,518
    05/2009: Bang! Tango #4 of 6 — 3,448

    How low can those Vertigo pamphlets numbers go? Are the books profitable with those numbers?

  28. Peter Adriaenssens says:

    It’s a pity Johns can’t work his magic on the entire line–apart from him and Brubaker, how many people are able to make series grow in readership rather than continued standard attrition? (although fake-killing Batman was about as smart as fake-killing Cap, apparently, based on the sales, but obviously it’s not Morrison’s name that is driving the event here :)) I miss Johns tons on JSA already, I don’t see the future for that book being bright, based on the sales for non-Johns JSA.

    Foolishness of DC too to let him leave the Superman franchise. Robinson’s name isn’t big enough to keep those books afloat, especially without Superman actually in them. His name was enough to make me start buying them monthly again, but then the actual writing wasn’t enough to keep me as a reader…

    After the Sinestro Corps War I planned on only buying GL through trades anymore, but I am now sorely tempted to indeed buy GL, GLC and the BN mini in the store as they come out, remembering how exciting the Sinestro Corps storyline was. Plus: Doug Mahnke is a selling point regardless what he draws, so…

    Looking at DC as a whole though, they need to stop with the simmering and start with the actually telling a coherent story, month-in month-out. Simmering plotlines takes PAGES, not ISSUES. Reread your 70s and 80s issues and learn, editors and writers alike.

  29. Alan Coil wrote:

    Comic book fans are IDIOTS!!!

    Proof? Sales on Tiny Titans are only 8,844 in the comics shops.

    These numbers don’t reflect what comic book readers (fans) are buying. This list only shows what comic book retailers are ordering.

  30. EJ: You’re absolutely right.

    Rick:

    “These numbers don’t reflect what comic book readers (fans) are buying.”

    That’s a commonly held misconception. Of course it’s the retailers who place the orders. With the bulk of the material on the chart, what they order is absolutely reflective of what people buy at their stores.

  31. Marc-Oliver Frisch wrote:

    That’s a commonly held misconception. Of course it’s the retailers who place the orders. With the bulk of the material on the chart, what they order is absolutely reflective of what people buy at their stores.

    Not necessarily. People can’t read what they never see sitting on the shelf. For instance, I’ve never seen a issue of Tiny Titans at my local comic book shop. That’s because they never placed any orders for it. My retailer puts his shipping list online so it’s real easy to tell.

    I stopped by on Wednesday and one of the books I was looking forward to buying was BPRD 1947 #1. Problem is, there weren’t any copies. He didn’t order any. On the other hand, there were enough copies of GREEN LANTERN #43 sitting on the shelf to chock a goat. I guess a couple months from now I’m going to read about how popular GREEN LANTERN #43 was with comic fans because, well, it sold a bunch of copies.

  32. You’re assuming that retailers are completely divorced from reality and pay no attention whatsoever what people buy at their stores.

    Both comics you mention are part of long-running series. Given that GREEN LANTERN has been steadily going up in sales for months, the notion that its performance doesn’t reflect what people buy from the store is absurd.

    And vice versa, BPRD has been running long enough now for retailers to get an idea of how many shelf copies they can or can’t sell.

    And, for that matter, even for a completely new series, you can make an educated guess based on a number of things, including the track record of the creators, the publisher, the genre, et cetera — and, not to forget, you also get pre-orders from your customers to base your final order on.

    Of course it’s ultimately the retailer who places the order. But that doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

  33. I’m just saying that I can’t be blamed for not buying something when I was never afforded the opportunity to do so. And by that I mean seeing it sitting on the shelf.

    I’ve never seen an issue of TINY TITANS. I’m just saying that labeling people as “idiots” because they don’t buy books they likely may have never seen at their local comic book shop is perhaps misguided.

  34. Synsidar says:

    I’ve seen solicits for at least Static, Icon and Hardware trades. I think the Static one might actually be out.

    While an ICON collection came out years ago, McDuffie recently mentioned collections of HARDWARE and STATIC SHOCK on his Web site. STATIC SHOCK is out; there’s no date set for HARDWARE.

    SRS

  35. I thought someone might poke fun at my metaphors comment. But it is easily the most appealing part of the series — commentary on the human condition and sometimes the comics industry itself (the former being more interesting than the latter, which we’ve all probably seen enough of by now). Plus, it’s sad and gross and has beautiful art by Cameron Stewart. I guess subtext is something readers tend shy away from, though. I think it’s fun to interpret this stuff.

    I wonder if the third series is still in the works, though, given the sales. Plus, there was some finality to v2 #3.

  36. Every month, Diamond publishes a 400+ page catalog of all merchandise shipping two months in the future. Diamond Previews costs $4.50, and is found at most comicbook stores.

    While I have found many surprises while browsing shelves (Mangalicious Tick, The Actress and the Bishop), I will definitely pre-order items of interest, ESPECIALLY if it’s a first issue or an obscure title, or something pricey.

    Tiny Titans is now up to issue #15. It is a Johnny DC title, so it is more likely to be found at general bookstores like Barnes & Noble. Also, a trade collection was issued last February (9781401220785 $12.99), which means your library either has a copy, or can acquire one via Interlibrary Loan, free of charge.

    So, “idiot” might be the wrong word. “Lazy” or “indifferent” or “inattentive” might be better choices. (“gleichgültig” in German)

  37. As a retailer, I understand about ordering what you think is going to sell, but if your shop can’t be bothered to order something as high-profile and well-regarded as BPRD, even a copy or two, it’s time to find another shop.

    Re: Tiny Titans: We would order, sell out, up our order for the next one, repeat for issues on end. We’ve only just met up with the demand a couple of issues ago. It’s definitely a top-tier all-ages book (and Titans completist book) for us, but that’s still not the same level as a big-name superhero comic, hence high-numbers-for-what-it-is status.

  38. Matt D says:

    For the next 2-3 months, even if sales don’t level out on the Superman titles, I’m going to consider them worthwhile. They’re pushing forward new or very small IPs to a much larger audience than they would have been able to otherwise, and Secret Origin still should be a sales sucess. Nightwing/Flamebird, Mon-El/Guardian/etc, and a whole heap of New Krypton mythos/characters are all being tossed out there with a real chance to succeed, which is far more than something like REBELS or Warlord has.

  39. Alan Coil says:

    Tiny Titans should be selling WAY more than it does. Cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles should be selling a couple thousand a month. For a book of this quality and aimed at kids should be selling at least 20,000 a month at comics shops. That’s only about 5 or 6 copies per comics shop.

  40. Alan Coil says:

    Thanks again, Marc-Oliver, for all the work you put into this posting for insignificant or no payment. I don’t know which it is, but it wouldn’t be worth any money to me to do this, then have to explain all the intricacies every month to those who are new or who simply can’t understand what they read.

  41. Alan Coil says:

    Rick Rottman —

    My LCS didn’t get any copies of BPRD even though it was on his invoice. Perhaps next week.

  42. Faust says:

    GL and GLC are doing real well with growth.
    I’m curious to see if Soloman Grundy gets a big increases on #6 and #7 when it ties into Blackest Night, and how well all the new Bat titles and the co-features do starting next month (esp Booster).

  43. Robert R. says:

    I wonder if the small Jonah Hex boost had anything to do with news of the movie. Certainly, that will be a good boook to watch to see if movies truly do help sales as it’s isolated from other events.

  44. Samy Merchi says:

    I can only hope that DC (and Marvel) learns from the success of Blackest Night. Clearly the method of releasing the concept 18 months early *in the pages of a comic book* (as opposed to interviews or con panels) and then letting anticipation build up — it works.

    Now, say, if they had already told us when Superman left Earth, that in summer 2010 we will have a big Superman line crossover where Earth goes to war with New Krypton and given us the crossover’s name — maybe then the Superman line would be seeing similar gains when we’d approach summer 2010. Maybe then we’d see people making “Earth/Krypton War” banners in their signatures all across 18 months.

    But publishers always like playing things close to their vests. Rarely releasing information more than a month before it would come out in solicitations anyhow. And I think that’s biting them in the ass when it comes to people looking forward to things in a title’s future. I remember the excitement I had year-to-year always waiting for the next LotR movie even though I knew pretty much what to expect.

    Publishers need to have long-range strategies *and publicize them*. BOOSTER GOLD needs to have a “Time War” slated for spring 2010 and a prelude in the winter, and people need to know about it already so they can build up excitement. SECRET SIX needs to have a “Secret Six International” slated for fall 2010 and a prelude in the summer, and people need to know about it already so they can build up excitement. You get the picture. Stop playing so god damn close to the vest so people will have time to build up PR momentum. Publicize your brands and basic concepts well over a year in advance. (While of course still maintaining big surprises in the details!)

  45. comicsatemybrain says:

    Robert R.: “I wonder if the small Jonah Hex boost had anything to do with news of the movie. Certainly, that will be a good boook to watch to see if movies truly do help sales as it’s isolated from other events.”

    I question whether the “sales boost” is real. We’re taking about an estimated increase of 55 copies from last month. I would be surprised if 55 copies is genuinely outside the margin of error for ICv2’s calculations.

  46. Samy, you might be onto something from a PR point of view, but from a readers’ POV, I wouldn’t want to know where the books are heading ahead of time like that. Kind of takes the surprise element out of reading a Superman book month-to-month if you know that one year from now there will be a New Krypton/Earth war or whatever.

    Didio mentioned this a few months back. DC is trying to get away from the PR strategy you mentioned, after relentlessly announcing projects 1 to 2 years in advance and then getting delays. It’s more fun to hear an announcment, have it solicited a week later, and read it three months later, then to be disappointed when a project you’ve been waiting for for more than a year falls through do to creative differences or whatever.

  47. Samy Merchi says:

    “I wouldn’t want to know where the books are heading ahead of time like that.”

    So you’re not excited about Blackest Night, about which we had 18 months of warning?

    I would daresay that you’re in the minority.

  48. Well, no, I’m not reading that.

    I guess my point is, did it kill any surprises in GL or GLC? If year-ahead announcements are going to be happen, they should be done in a way that it doesn’t take away from the plot points in the main books.

Trackbacks

  1. […] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptby Marc-Oliver Frisch Overall direct-market sales crashed in May, and DC Comics contributed its share. Like Marvel, though, DC has a pretty good excuse. While Batman: Battle for the Cowl and The Flash: Rebirth continued apace, May was basically an in-between month for the publisher. There were no big launches, and everybody kept waiting for June’s revamp of the Batman line and July’s debuts of both Blackest Night and Wednesday Comics , which can all be expected to be sales juggernauts […]

  2. […] The average price of a comic book is now $3.46: According to The Comics Chronicles, that is. In this analysis of Diamond’s June numbers, $3.46 was the average price of all comics ordered, while the average price of the top-sellers was $3.50. Of the top 300, 138 are $2.99 while 116 are $3.99. I’m kind of surprised there are that many $3.99 books in the top 300, but I suppose I shouldn’t be; in most markets, you would think the product that offers the same value for less money would be outselling the hell out of that with a much higher price, but then, the direct market isn’t most markets (And it’s perhaps worth noting that some of those $3.99 books, like DC’s back-up-having books and Marvel’s reprints–in-the-back books are longer than 22-pages anyway, so the value is the same as a $2.99-for-22 pages). Anyway, go there and read their analysis, as it is more cogent than anything I can come up with, which basically just amounts to, “Why, I remember when comics were only $1.50!” It’s also worth noting that Batman and Robin #1 was apparently the highest seller in June, which is interesting (to me) in that just the previous night I had read in Marc-Oliver Frisch’s monthly sales analysis that Grant Morrison’s Seaguy sold pretty badly. Like, much, much worse than I would expect anything by Grant Morrison to sell anywhere (Warlord, Solomon Grundy and some other Vertigo series all out-sold Seaguy’s second issue). I guess that while Morrison is a huge draw in the direct market, he’s a much, much bigger draw when he’s writing Batman than when he’s writing Seaguy. Okay, I guess that’s not that surprising, but the fact that freaking Vigilante buried Seaguy still strikes me as slightly insane. […]

  3. […] THE BEAT » Blog Archive » bol […]

  4. […] Sadly, I understand why the sales on this title were sinking. This book is at the opposite end of the spectrum from superhero fans. It also frustrates most readers who like to know where the story is going before it’s over. […]

  5. […] Speaking of sales figures: Paul O’Brien presents month-to-month comparisons for Marvel Comics sales figures to Direct Market retailers for the month of May, while Marc-Oliver Frisch does the honors for DC Comics. […]

  6. […] Last week Marc-Oliver Frisch offered his monthly analysis of DC Comics sales at The Beat, which occasioned another round of such thinking on this subject. […]

  7. […] 55 DC Month-to-Month Sales: May 2009 […]

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