Indie Comics Month-to-Month Sales: February 2009

by Steve Horton

[Ed’s note: We’re running this column as something of an experiment. Let us know what you think, publicly…or privately.]

Welcome to a monthly column on indie comics sales, a companion to the long-running Marvel and DC columns by Paul O’Brien and Marc-Oliver Frisch, respectively.

What are indie comics? I define them strictly as comics not from Marvel or DC. I’m including both creator-owned and licensed books. That means any Icon, Vertigo or Wildstorm books will still be discussed in the Marvel & DC columns.

What is creator-owned and what is licensed? I define creator-owned as a title whose original creator is still in control of the property and owns or co-owns the copyright, even though said creator may not be working on the title at the moment. Licensed titles are usually television and movie tie-ins.

You’ll notice that I don’t cover the entire top 300. I’m discussing books which have consistent top 300 data from month to month. Titles that debut in the top 300 and quickly fall off simply don’t have enough data points. Likewise titles that appear toward the bottom in slow months only to get knocked off when the latest Marvel & DC summer event kicks off won’t appear here. Therefore, we’ve cut things off this month at #273, Shrapnel, with sales of 3,653. That ranking and sales cutoff will change from month to month. Unfortunately, that excludes many fine creator-owned books, including personal favorites of mine such as Proof. Nothing much I can do about that.

The biggest news in February’s chart is that sales dropped almost across the board. Three reasons for that: the economy continues to tank, several comic shops closed in the new year, and Diamond moved warehouses, goofing up the supply chain. You’ll see a lot of weird sales aberrations as a result; these figures may or may not correct themselves by March, depending on how the U.S. and Diamond recovery goes.

Thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures.

12 - BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (Dark Horse)      
Licensed      
-      
02/2008: Season Eight #11 88070   
03/2008: Season Eight #12 88930  +0.98%
04/2008: Season Eight #13 83580  -6.02%
05/2008: Season Eight #14 82069  -1.81%
06/2008: Season Eight #15 80464  -1.96%
07/2008: Season Eight #16 82031  +1.95%
08/2008: Season Eight #17 79307  -3.32%
09/2008: Season Eight #18 77589  -2.17%
10/2008: -      
11/2008: Season Eight #19 74202  -4.37%
12/2008: Season Eight #20 71896  -3.11%
01/2009: Season Eight #21 69980  -2.66%
02/2009: Season Eight #22 67575  -3.44%
-      
6 months:    -14.79%
1 year:      -23.27%

The #1 licensed title in comics since Joss Whedon took a personal hand, Buffy’s sales have plummeted from the six figures early in its run to just over 67K. The drop doesn’t seem to be slowing any just yet, either. However, the trades are monsters. The third volume of Buffy took #9 on the 03/04 New York Times Graphic Books bestseller list. Whether in comic or book form, fans can’t get enough of the continuing adventures of the vampire slayer.

51 - ANGEL (IDW)   
Licensed      
02/2006: Old Friends #3 13057   
02/2007: Auld Lang Syne  #4 6371   
-      
02/2008: After the Fall #4 52981   
03/2008: After the Fall #5 49558  -6.46%
04/2008: After the Fall #6 51044  +3.00%
05/2008: After the Fall #7 49833  -2.37%
06/2008: After the Fall #8 47888  -3.90%
06/2008: After the Fall #9 47081  -1.69%
07/2008: After the Fall #10 46390  -1.47%
08/2008: After the Fall #11 44905  -3.20%
09/2008: After the Fall #12 43019  -4.20%
10/2008: After the Fall #13 40838  -5.07%
11/2008: After the Fall #14 38954  -4.61%
12/2008: After the Fall #15 37649  -3.35%
01/2009: After the Fall #16 34801  -7.56%
02/2009: After the Fall #17 32842  -5.63%
-      
6 months:    -26.86%
1 year:      -38.01%
2 years:     +415.49%
3 years:     +151.53%

Angel was relaunched in late 2007 by IDW in response to Buffy’s amazing success at Dark Horse. It makes a twisted kind of sense that the licenses are split up between companies, as when both shows were on the air together, one was on UPN and the other was on the WB. (The networks have since combined; there’s an infinitely less chance that IDW and Dark Horse will follow suit.) Angel is experiencing similar steady drops in sales over the past year, and has actually lost more sales percentagewise. It’s still IDW’s top seller, and the relaunch of GI Joe at IDW means that Angel is no longer lonely at the top.

66 - THE BOYS (Dynamite)    
Creator-Owned      
02/2008: The Boys #16 28347   
03/2008: The Boys #17 27886  -1.63%
04/2008: The Boys #18 28057  +0.61%
05/2008: The Boys #19 27951  -0.38%
06/2008: The Boys #20 27576  -1.34%
07/2008: The Boys #21 27571  -0.02%
08/2008: The Boys #22 27523  -0.17%
09/2008: The Boys #23 27104  -1.52%
10/2008: The Boys #24 27919  +3.01%
11/2008: -  - -   
12/2008: The Boys #25 27134  -2.81%
01/2009: The Boys #26 26802  -1.22%
02/2009: The Boys #27 25982  -3.06%
-      
6 months:    -5.60%
1 year:      -8.34%

The biggest-selling indie creator-owned title in the Western world, The Boys is a sex and violence-ridden superhero tale from subversive masters Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. For those who don’t know, The Boys was relaunched very early on in its run after Wildstorm balked at the extremes taken by Ennis. A bidding war ensued, and it’s been at Dynamite ever since. Only Alex Ross’ Project Superpowers and related spin-off titles give The Boys a run for its money at Dynamite. This series is also notable for being immune to the vagaries of the economy, as its sales are virtually the same as a year ago. Expect the mild success of the Watchmen movie to increase interest in The Boys and books like it. Optioned in February by Columbia.

71 - STAR WARS (Dark Horse)      
Licensed      
02/2004: Republic #61 19028   
02/2005: Republic #73 19430   
02/2006: Republic #83 20499   
02/2007: Legacy #8 33533   
-      
02/2008: Legacy #19 30953   
03/2008: Legacy #20 30228  -2.34%
04/2008: Legacy #21 30205  -0.08%
05/2008: Legacy #22 30355  +0.50%
05/2008: Legacy #23 29601  -2.48%
06/2008: Legacy #24 29548  -0.18%
07/2008: Legacy #25 29123  -1.44%
08/2008: Legacy #26 28549  -1.97%
09/2008: Legacy #27 29331  +2.74%
10/2008: Legacy #28 28469  -2.94%
11/2008: Legacy #29 28032  -1.54%
12/2008: Legacy #30 27386  -2.30%
01/2009: Legacy #31 25814  -5.74%
02/2009: Legacy #32 25389  -1.65%
-      
6 months:    -11.07%
1 year:      -17.98%
2 years:     -24.29%
5 years:     +33.43%

The mainline Star Wars book is one of Dark Horse’s other tentpole titles. After rock-steady (and even increasing) sales all year long, the drops seem to be seesawing from month to month. Perhaps another inter-title crossover or even a relaunch is in the cards for 2010.

76 - GI JOE (IDW)     
Licensed      
02/2004: GI Joe #27 30774   
02/2005: GI Joe #40 20469   
02/2006: America's Elite #8 18745   
02/2007: America's Elite #20 15793   
-      
02/2008: America's Elite #32 14651   
03/2008: America's Elite #33 14402  -1.70%
04/2008: America's Elite #34 16048  +11.43%
05/2008: America's Elite #35 16298  +1.56%
06/2008: -      
07/2008: America's Elite #36 19689  +20.81%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: -      
10/2008: New Beginning #0 40932  +107.89%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: -      
01/2009: GI Joe #1 32840  -19.77%
02/2009: GI Joe #2 23641  -28.01%
-      
6 months:    +20.07%
1 year:      +61.36%
2 years:     +49.69%
5 years:     -23.18%
87 - GI JOE: ORIGINS (IDW)    
Licensed      
02/2009: Origins  1 of 5 21975

Devil’s Due lost the GI Joe license this summer, and IDW immediately picked it up. It’s clear they had it in the bag for some time, as the property only took two months off before GI Joe: New Beginning was released. This low-priced introductory title featured multiple stories, representing several GI Joe spin-off titles planned for the next couple of years. The first said spinoff is GI Joe: Origins, which launched this month to stellar numbers. Though the 28% drop on issue 2 of the main GI Joe book is worrisome, these sales are the best for the Joes in five years. Classic writers like Larry Hama, superior artistic talent and lots and lots of fanservice will do that.

82 - WALKING DEAD (Image Central)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2004: -      
02/2005: Walking Dead #15 15454   
02/2006: -      
02/2007: Walking Dead #35 21391   
-      
02/2008: Walking Dead #46 22870   
03/2008: Walking Dead #47 22612  -1.13%
04/2008: Walking Dead #48 22465  -0.65%
05/2008: Walking Dead #49 23102  +2.84%
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Walking Dead #50 27691  +19.86%
08/2008: Walking Dead #51 23121  -16.50%
09/2008: Walking Dead #52 23627  +2.19%
10/2008: Walking Dead #53 24094  +1.98%
11/2008: Walking Dead #54 24093  -0.00%
11/2008: Walking Dead #55 23885  -0.86%
12/2008: Walking Dead #56 23582  -1.27%
01/2009: Walking Dead #57 23402  -0.76%
02/2009: Walking Dead #58 22720  -2.91%
-      
6 months:    -1.73%
1 year:      -0.66%
2 years:     +6.21%

The highest-selling black-and-white title by several dozen country miles, The Walking Dead also holds several other records: the number-one Image title. The number-one creator-owned, non-superhero book. And one of the strongest titles in trade paperback of all, with three volumes hitting the NYT graphic books bestseller lists, the only book not named Naruto to do that. And look: only a 0.66% drop over the past year, statistically insignificant. In today’s economy, holding on to your sales is an achievement all on its own.

86 - SAVAGE DRAGON (Image Central)    
Creator-Owned      
02/2004: Savage Dragon #113 9568   
02/2005: Savage Dragon #120 8537   
02/2006: Savage Dragon #123 7103   
02/2007: -      
-      
02/2008: -      
03/2008: Savage Dragon #135 6658   
04/2008: -      
05/2008: -      
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Savage Dragon #136 6279  -5.69%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: Savage Dragon #137 7937  +26.41%
10/2008: Savage Dragon #138 6133  -22.73%
11/2008: Savage Dragon #139 6288  +2.53%
11/2008: Savage Dragon #140 6356  +1.08%
11/2008: Savage Dragon #141 6385  +0.46%
12/2008: Savage Dragon #142 6066  -5.00%
12/2008: Savage Dragon #143 5823  -4.01%
01/2009: Savage Dragon #144 5645  -3.06%
02/2009: Savage Dragon #145 22147  +292.33%
-      
6 months:    +179.03%
1 year:      +232.64%
3 years:     +211.80% 
5 years:     +131.47%

Savage Dragon got a huge terrorist fist bump in sales (sorry) with issue 145, one of four comics in the top 300 this month to feature Barack Obama. At least for now, Obama equals sales gold and a 300% increase. Issue 145 went through multiple printings, as did the earlier 137, which featured an Obama cover and Dragon’s return to the Chicago police force. Riding the Obama wave is all well and good; let’s hope it translates in renewed interest for Erik Larsen’s long-running action hero.

88 -  HELLBOY (Dark Horse)      
Creator-Owned      
07/2008: Crooked Man #1 of 3 29083   
08/2008: Crooked Man #2 of 3 25555  -12.13%
09/2008: Crooked Man #3 of 3 24419  -4.45%
10/2008: Chapel of Moloch #N/A 29738  +21.78%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Wild Hunt #1 of 8 24947  -16.11%
01/2009: Wild Hunt #2 of 8 22784  -8.67%
02/2009: Wild Hunt #3 of 8 21664  -4.92%
-      
6 months:    -15.23%

After years of stories featuring the BPRD, the paranormal investigation group that Hellboy formerly allied himself with, the actual Hellboy title relaunched in July, with Mike Mignola himself writing the stories. One miniseries, a one-shot (with rare Mignola art!) and another miniseries followed, and Hellboy seems to be doing all right. Though the Hellboy title will dip below 20K in sales by the end of Wild Hunt, expect the fat trade paperback to sell just as well as the others, which is to say: damn well. Plus, the movie Hellboy II just came out on DVD a few months ago. That can’t hurt.

94 - UMBRELLA ACADEMY (Dark Horse)  
Creator-Owned      
02/2008: Apocalypse Suite #6 of 6 28879   
03/2008: -      
04/2008: -      
05/2008: -      
06/2008: -      
07/2008: -      
08/2008: -      
09/2008: -      
10/2008: -      
11/2008: Dallas #1 of 6 36791  +127.40%
12/2008: Dallas #2 of 6 25396  -30.97%
01/2009: Dallas #3 of 6 22704  -10.60%
02/2009: Dallas #4 of 6 21104  -7.05%
-      
1 year:      -26.92%

Out of nowhere success story? Gerard Way, comics intern turned frontman for the most popular gothic rock band in the world turned comics writer, has crafted a masterpiece in The Umbrella Academy. As you’ll see throughout this indie sales list, many miniseries experience a big dropoff from the first to the second, as fans begin to trade-wait in large numbers. Not so here: sales of Apocalypse Suite and Dallas are more or less equivalent. (Of course, earlier issues of Apocalypse Suite went through massive reprinting and reorders.) If you liked the Morrison Doom Patrol, but you crave slightly less weird and slightly more heart (and humor), this is the book for you. Optioned in June by Universal.

95 - SPAWN (Image / Todd McFarlane Productions) 
Creator-Owned      
02/2004: Spawn #132 36071   
02/2005: Spawn #143 28408   
02/2006: Spawn #153 26884   
02/2007: -      
-      
02/2008: Spawn #176 22338   
03/2008: Spawn #177 21104  -5.52%
04/2008: Spawn #178 20566  -2.55%
05/2008: Spawn #179 20046  -2.53%
06/2008: Spawn #180 19759  -1.43%
07/2008: Spawn #181 19188  -2.89%
08/2008: Spawn #182 19112  -0.40%
09/2008: Spawn #183 19078  -0.18%
10/2008: Spawn #184 18023  -5.53%
10/2008: Spawn #185 26775  +40.34%
11/2008: Spawn #186 23725  -11.39%
12/2008: Spawn #187 22143  -6.67%
01/2009: Spawn #188 21433  -3.21%
02/2009: Spawn #189 21079  -1.65%
-      
6 months:    +10.29%
1 year:      -5.64%
3 years:     -21.59%
5 years:     -41.56%

Savage Dragon, Witchblade and Spawn are the three Image titles that have been published continuously since Image began. Though Todd McFarlane created and worked on Spawn for years early on, as of late his involvement has been peripheral at best. That all changed with issue 185, when he began co-writing and inking regularly over Whilce Portacio pencils. The end result was a 40% spike in sales. Unfortunately, it didn’t stick, and sales are drifting down to the same level as the David Hine-helmed version from earlier this year. The McFarlane brain trust might have to try something else to get this hellspawn’s sales back to the glory days. Still, it’s hard to complain when sales are level and not down double digits, like many others.

96 - CONAN THE CIMMERIAN (Dark Horse)      
Licensed      
02/2004: Conan #1 51416   
02/2005: Conan #13 38645   
02/2006: -      
02/2007: Conan #37 25532   
-      
02/2008: Conan #49 21690   
03/2008: -      
04/2008: -      
05/2008: -      
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Conan the Cimmerian #1 31296   
08/2008: Conan the Cimmerian #2 25762  -17.68%
09/2008: Conan the Cimmerian #3 25102  -2.56%
10/2008: Conan the Cimmerian #4 24790  -1.24%
11/2008: Conan the Cimmerian #5 23277  -6.10%
12/2008: Conan the Cimmerian #6 22526  -3.23%
01/2009: Conan the Cimmerian #7 21782  -3.30%
02/2009: Conan the Cimmerian #8 20983  -3.67%
-      
6 months:    -18.55%
1 year:      -3.26%
2 years:     -17.82%
5 years:     -59.19%

The five-year old Dark Horse take on Robert E. Howard’s Conan is down about 60% of launch numbers, but only 19% from the start of the latest ongoing. It’s now selling less than the previous series did when it ended a year ago. Is the public losing interest? With the movie seemingly in development hell, Conan’s going to need to lop off a few more fanboys’ heads to stay in the top 100.

102 - MASQUERADE (Dynamite)   
Creator-Owned      
02/2009: Masquerade #1 of 4 19658

Masquerade and Death-Defying Devil are spin-offs of the red-hot Project: Superpowers, a collaboration between Alex Ross and Jim Krueger, best known as two of the three brain children (with John Paul Leon) behind the dark futuristic Marvel series Earth X. Which started over a decade ago. Has it really been that long? Lord, I’m old. Anyhow, Project: Superpowers takes golden-age public domain characters and reimagines them with an Alex Ross twist. Masquerade is the Golden Age character Miss Masque, but updated. Death-Defying Devil is the Golden Age Daredevil. The mature takes on these characters along with Alex Ross’ involvement has led to a smash hit for Dynamite, hence these miniseries selling in the five figures. Note that Alex and Jim’s versions of these characters does not prevent other people from doing their own; Erik Larsen has his own reimagined Golden Age series called the Next Issue Project, and plans to use the Golden Age Daredevil in Savage Dragon later this year. Such is the nature of the public domain.

104 - ANGEL: SMILE TIME (IDW)  
Licensed     
01/2009: Smile Time #1 of 3 22563  
02/2009:     
12/2008: Smile Time #2 of 3 18813  (16.62)

Smile Time was the name of a well-received, and very silly, episode of the Angel television series. This miniseries is a takeoff on that episode. It's selling about half as well as the parent title, but still way, way above IDW's Angel miniseries of years past.     

105 - STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC (Dark Horse)     
Licensed     
02/2006: Knights of the Old Republic #2 21203  
02/2007: Knights of the Old Republic #14 23395  
-      
02/2008: -      
03/2008: Knights of the Old Republic #27 23467   
04/2008: Knights of the Old Republic #28 24287  +3.49%
05/2008: Knights of the Old Republic #29 25109  +3.38%
06/2008: Knights of the Old Republic #30 21916  -12.72%
07/2008: Knights of the Old Republic #31 21642  -1.25%
08/2008: Knights of the Old Republic #32 21277  -1.69%
09/2008: Knights of the Old Republic #33 20786  -2.31%
10/2008: Knights of the Old Republic #34 20320  -2.24%
11/2008: Knights of the Old Republic #35 19374  -4.66%
12/2008: Knights of the Old Republic #36 19423  +0.25%
01/2009: Knights of the Old Republic #37 18767  -3.38%
02/2009: Knights of the Old Republic #38 18540  -1.21%
-      
6 months:    -12.86%
1 year:      -21.00%
2 years:     -20.75%
3 years:     -12.56%

John Jackson Miller’s tales of the distant past of Star Wars, inspired by the hit RPGs, is still going strong, though it’s lost a fifth of its audience this year alone. A crossover early last year staved off some of the bleeding. It’s a safe bet that Dark Horse will keep this thing going until the Old Republic MMO from BioWare hits store shelves in a year or two; then it’ll either get a slight name change or a relaunch altogether.

109 - YOUNGBLOOD (Image Central)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2008: Youngblood #2 8349   
03/2008: -      
04/2008: Youngblood #3 7228  -13.43%
05/2008: -      
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Youngblood #4 6139  -15.07%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: Youngblood #5 5328  -13.21%
10/2008: -      
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Youngblood * #6 4608  -13.51%
01/2009:      
02/2009: Youngblood #7 4348  -5.64%
02/2009: Youngblood #8 16770  +285.69%
-      
6 months:    +214.75%
1 year:      +100.86%

Youngblood, as noted by the asterisk, is one of only two titles discussed here that fell off the top 300 during its run. In this case, it happened in December, and sales were somewhere south of 4608 when it did. This month saw a double-ship thanks to a desire to time an Obama story close to the inauguration. That means a 286% increase in sales. Rob Liefeld could keep the Obama thing going and rescue his title from the doldrums, or think of another way to market it; otherwise, it might be facing another fall off the charts again. (Shipping on a regular basis couldn’t hurt, too.) Optioned in February by Brett Ratner’s Reliance.

112 - STAR WARS: CLONE WARS (Dark Horse)     
Licensed      
09/2008: Clone Wars #1 26598   
10/2008: Clone Wars #2 21776  -18.13%
11/2008: Clone Wars      
12/2008: Clone Wars #3 17348  -20.33%
01/2009: Clone Wars      
02/2009: Clone Wars #4 16244  -6.36%

Clone Wars is an ongoing with an art style deliberately designed to match the 3D animated look of the Cartoon Network series. For better or worse, it does look like the show, though the 3D look doesn’t make the transition entirely successfully. Clone Wars still has yet to find its level.

118 - BPRD (Dark Horse)     
Creator-Owned      
02/2004: -      
02/2005: The Dead #4 of 5 14741   
02/2006: -      
02/2007: -      
-      
02/2008: 1946 #2 of 5 16213   
03/2008: 1946 #3 of 5 16246  +0.20%
04/2008: 1946 #4 of 5 16056  -1.17%
05/2008: 1946 #5 of 5 15941  -0.72%
06/2008: Ectoplasmic Man #N/A 16065  +0.78%
06/2008: War on Frogs #1 of 4 16799  +4.57%
07/2008: The Warning #1 of 5 17866  +6.35%
08/2008: The Warning #2 of 5 16729  -6.36%
09/2008: The Warning #3 of 5 16332  -2.37%
10/2008: The Warning #4 of 5 16142  -1.16%
11/2008: The Warning #5 of 5 15663  -2.97%
12/2008: War on Frogs #2 of 4 15273  -2.49%
01/2009: Black Goddess #1 of 5 15984  +4.66%
02/2009: Black Goddess #2 of 5 15120  -5.41%
-      
6 months:    -9.62%
1 year:      -6.74%
4 years:     +2.57%

While Hellboy is off having his own adventures, the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense has its hands full. Sales have been steady all year, with several jumps as new miniseries kick off. The series-of-miniseries format doesn’t work for every title, but BPRD has it down to a science. How many other long-running creator-owned series are selling better now than four years ago? You can count them on one hand, and BPRD is one of the fingers.

121 - DEATH-DEFYING DEVIL (Dynamite)    
Creator-Owned      
12/2008: Death-Defying Devil #1 of 3 19395   
01/2009: Death-Defying Devil #2 of 3 16609  -14.36%
02/2009: Death-Defying Devil #3 of 3 14907  -10.25%
122 - THE DARKNESS (Image / Top Cow)
Creator-Owned      
02/2004: -      
02/2005: The Darkness #18 15501   
02/2006: -      
02/2007: -      
-      
02/2008: The Darkness #2 19419   
03/2008: -      
04/2008: The Darkness #3 16077  -17.21%
05/2008: -      
06/2008: The Darkness #4 14343  -10.79%
07/2008: -      
08/2008: -      
09/2008: The Darkness #5 14228  -0.80%
10/2008: The Darkness #70 13824  -2.84%
11/2008: The Darkness #71 14095  +1.96%
12/2008: The Darkness #72 12843  -8.88%
12/2008: The Darkness #73 12272  -4.45%
01/2009: The Darkness #74 11000  -10.37%
02/2009: The Darkness #75 14513  +31.94%
-      
6 months:    +2.00%
1 year:      -25.26%
4 years:     -6.37%

The Darkness spun off from the wildly successful Witchblade about five and a half years ago, and back in October it got its original numbering back, just in time to celebrate 75 issues this month. Not only that, but issue 75 is part of a Top Cow program to win over new fans. Many free copies are being distributed to member stores of the ComicsPRO trade organization, with other comic shops to follow. That all translates to a 32% anniversary jump, putting it on par with the first few issues of the current Phil Hester-penned volume. If it can retain some of that jump next month, the experiment will be a success.

127 - INVINCIBLE (Image Central)    
Creator-Owned      
02/2004: Invincible #8 6323   
02/2005: Invincible #20 9541   
02/2006: Invincible #28 12147   
02/2007: Invincible #39 13298   
-      
02/2008: Invincible #48 14317   
03/2008: Invincible #49 14378  +0.43%
04/2008: -      
05/2008: -      
06/2008: Invincible #50 16371  +13.86%
07/2008: Invincible #51 15062  -8.00%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: Invincible #52 14904  -1.05%
10/2008: Invincible #53 14178  -4.87%
10/2008: Invincible #54 14167  -0.08%
11/2008: Invincible #55 14422  +1.80%
12/2008: Invincible #56 14852  +2.98%
12/2008: Invincible #57 14600  -1.70%
01/2009: Invincible #58 14233  -2.51%
02/2009: Invincible #59 13946  -2.02%
-      
6 months:    -6.43%
1 year:      -2.59%
2 years:     +4.87%
5 years:     +120.56%

Robert Kirkman’s other hit book has been on an upward sales trend for years; that trend seems to be flattening out and possibly even declining just a bit over the last three months. That doesn’t stop the trades and omnibuses and hardcovers from selling like hotcakes. In fact, a new TPB release seems to coincide with an uptick in single issue sales. So much for the theory that single issues and trades cannibalize each other!

132 - PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL: BARACK OBAMA (IDW)   
Creator-Owned      
10/2008: Barack Obama #N/A 16319   
11/2008: Barack Obama #N/A 5154  -68.42%
12/2008: Barack Obama #N/A 6178  +19.87%
01/2009: Barack Obama #N/A 5282  -14.50%
02/2009: Barack Obama #N/A 13294  +151.68%

Believe it or not, all five months shown here are for the same comic book over multiple printings. All these printings together add up to 46,227, which IDW has to be enormously pleased with. They’ve got another issue planned, centered around Obama’s first 100 days. Will the bloom be off the Obama rose by then? Time will tell.

133 - RED SONJA (Dynamite)     
Licensed      
02/2006: Red Sonja #5 38798   
02/2007: Red Sonja #19 22322   
-      
02/2008: Red Sonja #29 17618   
03/2008: Red Sonja #30 16543  -6.10%
04/2008: Red Sonja #31 15864  -4.10%
05/2008: Red Sonja #32 16114  +1.58%
06/2008: Red Sonja #33 15307  -5.01%
07/2008: Red Sonja #34 15523  +1.41%
08/2008: Red Sonja #35 14834  -4.44%
09/2008: Red Sonja #36 14652  -1.23%
10/2008: Red Sonja #37 14105  -3.73%
11/2008: Red Sonja #38 13994  -0.79%
12/2008: Red Sonja #39 13516  -3.42%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Red Sonja #40 13232  -2.10%
-      
6 months:    -10.80%
1 year:      -24.89%
2 years:     -40.72%
3 years:     -65.90%
161 - RED SONJA: SHE-DEVIL WITH A SWORD ANNUAL (Dynamite)    
01/2008: She-Devil With a Sword Annual #1 18777   
-      
02/2009: She-Devil With a Sword Annual #2 9658   
-      
1 year:      -48.56%

Like the other sword-and-sorcery entries on this list from Dynamite and Dark Horse, Red Sonja has experienced significant sales dips over the past year, to the tune of 25%. This points to a possible apathy toward fantasy comics in general at the present time. Red Sonja can’t keep shedding readers forever before Dynamite goes in a new direction.

137 - WITCHBLADE (Image / Top Cow)     
Creator-Owned      
02/2004: Witchblade #73 18002   
02/2005: Witchblade #83 16006   
02/2006: Witchblade #95 14578   
02/2007: -      
-      
02/2008: Witchblade #115 15326   
03/2008: Witchblade #116 21095  +37.64%
04/2008: Witchblade #117 15618  -25.96%
05/2008: -      
06/2008: Witchblade #118 14774  -5.40%
07/2008: Witchblade #119 16715  +13.14%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: Witchblade #120 15068  -9.85%
10/2008: Witchblade #121 13533  -10.19%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Witchblade #122 12992  -4.00%
01/2009: Witchblade #123 12635  -2.75%
02/2009: Witchblade #124 12576  -0.47%
-      
6 months:    -16.54%
1 year:      -17.94%
3 years:     -13.73%
5 years:     -30.14%

One of the original Image titles, Marc Silvestri’s Witchblade has been a top seller for some time. Issue 116, in March, was a relaunch of the series with Ron Marz writing. The book got a nice bump then, and then another for issue 119, but sales have been dropping ever since. The last couple of months, things seem to be leveling off around the 12,000 mark, which is still terrific by any stretch of the imagination. Optioned in July by Arclight.

215 - TERRY MOORE'S ECHO (Abstract)     
Creator-Owned      
03/2008: Echo #1 16385   
04/2008: Echo #2 14384  -12.21%
05/2008: Echo #3 14210  -1.21%
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Echo #4 14111  -0.70%
08/2008: Echo #5 14047  -0.45%
09/2008: Echo #6 13033  -7.22%
10/2008: Echo #7 12556  -3.66%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Echo #8 12029  -4.20%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Echo #9 12056  +0.22%
-      
6 months:    -14.17%

Terry Strangers in Paradise Moore’s self-published title experienced insignificant drops early in its run; those drops have turned significant since September, though just above 12,000 is where Echo is staying for the time being. Still, it’s one of only a handful of titles to gain readers this month, albeit only a couple dozen. Considering how many comics shops closed in the New Year, that’s actually more of a big deal than it appears.

139 - TRANSFORMERS (IDW)     
Licensed      
02/2004: Generation One Vol 3 #1 57537   
02/2005: -      
02/2006: Infiltration #2 of 6 35828   
02/2007: Escalation #4 of 6 14737   
-      
02/2008: Devastation #5 of 6 13185   
02/2008: Devastation #6 of 6 12666  -3.94%
03/2008: -      
04/2008: -      
05/2008: -      
06/2008: -      
07/2008: All Hail Megatron #1 of 12 15703  +23.98%
08/2008: All Hail Megatron #2 of 12 13363  -14.90%
09/2008: All Hail Megatron #3 of 12 13238  -0.94%
10/2008: All Hail Megatron #4 of 12 12837  -3.03%
11/2008: All Hail Megatron #5 of 12 12387  -3.51%
12/2008: All Hail Megatron #6 of 12 11843  -4.39%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: All Hail Megatron #7 of 12 11832  -0.09%
-      
6 months:    -11.46%
1 year:      -10.26%
2 years:     -19.71%
5 years:     -79.44%

The mainline Transformers comic book is selling a fraction of what the title did during the ’80s craze earlier this decade at Dreamwave. It’s also selling about a third of what it did when IDW first got ahold of it in ’05-’06. Even though Simon Furman has been writing the entire way (and wrote a huge chunk of the Dreamwave run as well), fans seem to be staying away in droves. Picking up the Transformers license changed IDW radically as a company, but where did the audience go? Is IDW doing something wrong?

144 - STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN (IDW)   
Licensed      
01/2009: Countdown #1 of 4 14589   
02/2009: Countdown #2 of 4 11359  -22.14%

IDW’s best-selling Trek title is a prequel to this summer’s insanely anticipated Star Trek reboot film. This prequel attempts to knot Next Generation continuity with the revamped Original Series, with full participation from the movie’s creative team. Simultaneously with in-store sales, Countdown has a version available for Apples iPhone and Google’s Android G1 phones at a fraction of the price.

148 - KULL (Dark Horse)
Licensed      
11/2008: Kull #1 of 6 16678   
12/2008: Kull #2 of 6 13104  -21.43%
01/2009: Kull #3 of 6 11639  -11.18%
02/2009: Kull #4 of 6 10671  -8.32%

Another dizzying slough of readers. Maybe if Kull were fighting zombies?

151 - DEAD IRONS (Dynamite)
Creator-Owned      
02/2009: Dead Irons #1 of 5 10549

Now, this is interesting. A zombie Western creator-owned series from little-known, but rising star team James Kuhoric and Jason Shawn Alexander, and it kicks off in the five figure range. Most impressive! Look for Dynamite to want to use these two guys more after this is over, whether in a Dead Irons sequel or something else.

153 - MOUSE GUARD (Archaia)   
Creator-Owned   
02/2004: -   
02/2005: -   
02/2006: Fall 1152 #1 of 6 5601
02/2007: -   
-   
02/2008: Winter 1152 #3 of 6 15401
03/2008: -   
04/2008: -   
05/2008: -   
06/2008: -   
07/2008: -   
08/2008: -      
09/2008: -      
10/2008: -      
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Winter 1152 #4 of 6 14164  -8.03%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Winter 1152 #5 of 6 10141  -28.40%
-      
1 year:      -34.15%
3 years:     +81.06%

The massive delays in Cinderella creator-owned book Mouse Guard have two reasons: David Petersen spent a lot of time on the tie-in roleplaying game, and publisher Archaia suspended publication as it sought a buyer. Things have settled down now, with two bimonthly issues in a row. Though sales of issue 4 were locked in early in 2008, sales of issue 5 reflect retailer discontent with the long delay. The TPB collection has major-publisher backing with Villard, and sells quite well. Hopefully there aren’t any more 10 month delays in Mouse Guard’s future.

154 - DOCTOR WHO: WHISPERING GALLERY (IDW)
02/2009: Whispering Gallery #N/A 10108

The mainline Doctor Who: Forgotten series takes a break this month, and in the meantime we have a one-shot drawn by red-hot creator Ben Templesmith. It manages numbers equal to Forgotten’s current 10K-ish figure.

156 - STREET FIGHTER IV (Udon)      
02/2009: Street Fighter IV #1 of 4 9889

Though Street Fighter IV currently selling better than sister title Street Fighter II, that could change by the end of this miniseries. Or not – the just-released videogame has sold 849,000. You’d think a little more of that would rub off.

157 - SOLOMON KANE (Dark Horse)
09/2008: Solomon Kane #1 of 6 14180   
10/2008: Solomon Kane #2 of 6 11153  -21.35%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Solomon Kane #3 of 6 11254  +0.91%
01/2009: Solomon Kane #4 of 6 10687  -5.04%
02/2009: Solomon Kane #5 of 6 9845  -7.88%

Another Robert E. Howard creation, Solomon Kane is a 17th century Puritan gunfighter. This title is quite a bit more stable saleswise than the other Howard books, possibly owing to the fact that it didn’t start at as lofty of a height sales-wise.

162 - LOCKE & KEY (IDW)
Creator-Owned      
02/2008: Locke & Key #1 7564   
03/2008: Locke & Key #2 6124  -19.04%
04/2008: Locke & Key #3 7505  +22.55%
05/2008: Locke & Key #4 8546  +13.87%
06/2008: Locke & Key #5 9197  +7.62%
07/2008: Locke & Key #6 9584  +4.21%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: -      
10/2008: -      
11/2008: -      
12/2008: -      
01/2009: Head Games #1 12075  +25.99%
02/2009: Head Games #2 9487  -21.43%
-      
6 months:    -1.01%
1 year:      +25.42%

As revealed in a recent interview, Joe Hill got this gig on the strength of his best-selling novels and not ’cause he’s Stephen King’s son. Wisely, Joe plays down that fact and lets his work speak for itself. The first Locke & Key had frenzied demand for single issues that quickly sold out, and the trade has sold gangbusters. Hence the even bigger numbers for the second miniseries, Head Games. Optioned in February by Dimension.

163 & 166 - GRIMM FAIRY TALES (Zenescope)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2006: Grimm Fairy Tales #3 3668   
02/2007: Grimm Fairy Tales #11 5206   
-      
02/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #21 9140   
02/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #22 8492  -7.09%
03/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #23 9084  +6.97%
03/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #24 9178  +1.03%
03/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #25 9732  +6.04%
04/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #26 9404  -3.37%
05/2008: -      
06/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #27 9667   
07/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #28 9574  -0.96%
07/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #29 9644  +0.73%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #30 9754   
10/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #31 9521  -2.39%
11/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #32 9632  +1.17%
12/2008: Grimm Fairy Tales #33 9590  -0.44%
01/2009: Giant-Size #1 		8726  -9.01%
02/2009: Grimm Fairy Tales #34 9426  +8.02%
02/2009: Grimm Fairy Tales #35 9250  -1.87%
-      
6 months:    -5.17%
1 year:      +8.93%
2 years:     +77.68%
3 years:     +152.18%

Zenescope’s flagship title, and one of three Raven Gregory creations on this list, Grimm Fairy Tales, like DC/Vertigo’s Fables, is a mature-readers take on the fairy tales of old. Grimm Fairy Tales takes perhaps a less cerebral and more eye-candy approach, though, and it’s working very well for Raven and Zenescope. Sales rose 9% in the past year with numerous months showing an increase. Who’da thunk a good girl Red Riding Hood would do this? Sometimes these things can’t be predicted.

168 - FARSCAPE (Boom! Studios)
Licensed      
01/2009: Farscape #1 of 4 12777   
02/2009: Farscape #2 of 4 9022  -29.39%

The Farscape comic is being worked on by the show’s creators and is an official continuation of the show. The creative team has mentioned that they’ll be able to take the cast of characters places that the TV budget would never allow. BOOM! Studios has stated in a press release that, counting all channels, Farscape #1 has cleared 20,000 copies, which would have put it just inside the top 100 last month. The drop for issue 2 seems worrying, but expect further reorders to make up some of that difference. There are still a lot of Farscape fans out there.

169 - BEYOND WONDERLAND (Zenescope)
Creator-Owned      
07/2008: Beyond Wonderland #1 of 6 11767   
08/2008:      
09/2008:      
10/2008: Beyond Wonderland #2 of 6 9822  -16.53%
10/2008: Beyond Wonderland #3 of 6 9770  -0.53%
11/2008:      
12/2008: Beyond Wonderland #4 of 6 10216  +4.56%
01/2009:      
02/2009: Beyond Wonderland #5 of 6 9012  -11.79%
-      
6 months:    -23.41%

Raven Gregory’s other series for Zenescope, Beyond Wonderland is a spin-off of Grimm Fairy Tales, except focusing on Alice in Wonderland, but a grown-up, hot version of her. Retailer interest definitely rose after the first three issues – when they had sales data in hand – and now it’s drifting back down. Expect a followup miniseries as soon as possible.

170 - TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN MOVIE PREQUEL (IDW)
Licensed      
05/2008: Movie Sequel: Reign of Starscream #1 of 4 16043   
06/2008: Movie Sequel: Reign of Starscream #2 of 4 14329  -10.68%
07/2008: Movie Sequel: Reign of Starscream #3 of 4 13019  -9.14%
08/2008: Movie Sequel: Reign of Starscream #4 of 4 12700  -2.45%

06/2008: Movie Prequel Special #N/A 10934  -13.91%

07/2008: Movie Prequel: Saga of the Allspark #1 of 4 11417  +4.42%
08/2008: Movie Prequel: Saga of the Allspark #2 of 4 10079  -11.72%
09/2008: Movie Prequel: Saga of the Allspark #3 of 4 9283  -7.90%
10/2008: Movie Prequel: Saga of the Allspark #4 of 4 8939  -3.71%

12/2008: Revenge of the Fallen Movie Prequel: Alliance #1 of 4 11553  +29.24%
01/2009: Revenge of the Fallen Movie Prequel: Alliance #2 of 4 10273  -11.08%
01/2009: Revenge of the Fallen Movie Prequel: Defiance #1 of 4 10469  +1.91%
02/2009: Revenge of the Fallen Movie Prequel: Alliance #3 of 4 9001  -14.02%
-      
6 months:    -10.70%

IDW wasted no time after stopping Transformers Movie #1 prequels and sequels, and immediately launched into Transformers Movie #2 prequels. (And sequels eventually, presumably). The Revenge of the Fallen prequel sees a slight uptick in sales compared to the previous miniseries, but it’s still down quite a bit from Reign of Starscream.

171 - DARK IVORY (Image Central)      
Creator-Owned      
03/2008: Dark Ivory #1 of 4 14076   
04/2008:      
05/2008: Dark Ivory #2 of 4 11093  -21.19%
06/2008:      
07/2008:      
08/2008: Dark Ivory #3 of 4 9675  -12.78%
09/2008:      
10/2008:      
11/2008:      
12/2008:      
01/2009:      
02/2009: Dark Ivory #4 of 4 8961  -7.38%
-      
6 months:    -7.38%

By Joseph Michael Linsner of Cry for Dawn fame, and co-creator Eva Hopkins, Dark Ivory is one of Image Central’s best-selling miniseries all year. Big delays don’t seem to have hurt sales much, as the drop from issue 1 to issue 4 is less than a lot of other miniseries experience.

174 - I AM LEGION (Devil's Due)      
Licensed      
02/2009: I Am Legion #1 of 6 8638   

One of two Humanoids reprint titles from Devil’s Due on this list, these books are proving to be big sellers for the company best known for Hack / Slash these days. Several other publishers have tried, and failed, to run with the Humanoids reprint ball. In fact, this is the second attempt at reprinting I Am Legion, after DC quit a third of the way through. Devil’s Due promises to start from the beginning and end at the end, this time. One strange thing is that these are standard comics, and the Humanoids books were oversized, so you naturally lose a bit of detail.

179 - ZORRO (Dynamite)      
Licensed      
02/2008: Zorro #1 19207   
03/2008: -      
04/2008: Zorro #2 13787  -28.22%
05/2008: Zorro #3 13130  -4.77%
06/2008: Zorro #4 12357  -5.89%
07/2008: Zorro #5 11317  -8.42%
08/2008: Zorro #6 10949  -3.25%
09/2008: Zorro #7 9952  -9.11%
10/2008: Zorro #8 9563  -3.91%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Zorro #9 9029  -5.58%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Zorro #10 8258  -8.54%
-      
6 months:    -24.58%
1 year:      -57.01%

The ongoing Zorro title with the John Cassaday covers, Zorro continues to bleed readership with no signs of slowing down. The decline has accelerated over the past three months. I’d imagine a new #1, with possibly a new direction, will happen soon.

180 - JUNGLE GIRL (Dynamite)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2008: Jungle Girl #4 of 5 12632   
03/2008: Jungle Girl #5 of 5 11847  -6.21%
04/2008: -      
05/2008: -      
06/2008: -      
07/2008: -      
08/2008: -      
09/2008: -      
10/2008: -      
11/2008: Season 2 #1 of 5 11237  -5.15%
12/2008: Season 2 #2 of 5 9982  -11.17%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Season 2 #3 of 5 8245  -17.40%
-      
1 year:      -34.73%

Frank Cho’s creator-owned jungle girl with at least two talents, if you know what I mean and I think you do, Jungle Girl has lately not been drawn by Cho except for covers, as Cho is being kept very busy with his Marvel work. Interestingly, the first issue of season 2 didn’t experience a bump at all from the previous miniseries, and even lost sales. Will there be a Season 3?

181 - SWORD (Image Central)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2008: Sword #5 9304   
03/2008: Sword #6 9302  -0.02%
04/2008: Sword #7 9532  +2.47%
05/2008: Sword #8 9229  -3.18%
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Sword #9 9364  +1.46%
08/2008: Sword #10 9354  -0.11%
09/2008: Sword #11 8887  -4.99%
10/2008: Sword #12 8845  -0.47%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Sword #13 8730  -1.30%
01/2009: Sword #14 8479  -2.88%
02/2009: Sword #15 8051  -5.05%
-      
6 months:    -13.93%
1 year:      -13.47%

The Luna Bros can do no wrong at Image, and they’ve even mentioned a possible option in Sword’s future on their messageboard. Rock solid sales all around, though four months of increasing drops is cause for concern. Still, the trades sell awesome and 8K is still enough to make a profit on the single issues.

183 - TRANSFORMERS: MAXIMUM DINOBOTS (IDW)      
Licensed      
12/2008: Maximum Dinobots #1 of 5 9478   
01/2009: Maximum Dinobots #2 of 5 5318  -43.89%
02/2009: Maximum Dinobots #3 of 5 8008  +50.58%

Weirdly, this Dinobot-themed Transformers miniseries lost nearly half its audience with issue 2, only to gain back most of it with issue 3. One possible explanation is the recent Diamond warehouse move; copies could have gotten lost in the shuffle.

184 - STREET FIGHTER II TURBO (Udon Studios)      
Licensed      
02/2004: Street Fighter II #5 27242   
02/2005: Street Fighter II #13 22981   
-      
09/2008: Remix #0 7773   
10/2008: Street Fighter II Turbo #1 10550  +35.73%
11/2008: Street Fighter II Turbo #2 8690  -17.63%
12/2008: Street Fighter II Turbo #3 7954  -8.47%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Street Fighter II Turbo #4 7997  +0.54%
-      
6 months:    +2.88%
4 years:     -65.20%
5 years:     -70.64%

Despite the videogame selling like gangbusters, the bloom clearly seems to be off the rose for Street Fighter comics compared to just a few years ago. On the other hand, after retailers had issue 1-3 sales data in hand, they chose to up orders at the next opportunity, which was issue 4. Don’t call it a comeback – they’ve been here for years.

188 - HOTWIRE (Radical)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2009: Hotwire #1 of 4 7920   

One of many Warren Ellis comics in every month’s top 300. Sort of, in this case – Hotwire is a concept by Warren Ellis that stalled years ago. Steve Pugh picked up the ball solo and ran with it at Radical, and that translates into a 7,920 copy debut. The art and color are stunning, though a tiny bit overwhelming at times. More Steve Pugh creator-owned material in the market is never a bad thing, though.

189 - SONIC UNIVERSE (Archie)      
Licensed      
02/2009: Sonic Universe #1 7750   

Sonic Universe is a replacement for the recently-canceled Sonic X, and will feature versions of Sonic from throughout the pantheon. It’s a good idea, as the first issue is beating the ongoing series by a thousand copies.

191 - SIMPSONS COMICS (Bongo)      
Licensed      
02/2004: Simpsons Comics #91 12604   
02/2005: Simpsons Comics #103 11874   
02/2006: Simpsons Comics #115 10718   
02/2007: Simpsons Comics #127 9107   
-      
02/2008: Simpsons Comics #139 9051   
03/2008: Simpsons Comics #140 9139  +0.97%
04/2008: Simpsons Comics #141 9056  -0.91%
05/2008: Simpsons Comics #142 9045  -0.12%
06/2008: Simpsons Comics #143 8918  -1.40%
07/2008: Simpsons Comics #144 8983  +0.73%
08/2008: Simpsons Comics #145 8867  -1.29%
09/2008: Simpsons Comics #146 8723  -1.62%
10/2008: Simpsons Comics #147 8565  -1.81%
11/2008: Simpsons Comics #148 8272  -3.42%
12/2008: Simpsons Comics #149 7879  -4.75%
01/2009: Simpsons Comics #150 7912  +0.42%
02/2009: Simpsons Comics #151 7543  -4.66%
-      
6 months:    -14.93%
1 year:      -16.66%
2 years:     -17.17%
5 years:     -40.15%
221 - BART SIMPSON COMICS (Bongo)      
Licensed      
02/2004: Bart Simpson Comics #16 10258   
02/2005: Bart Simpson Comics #22 9256   
02/2006: Bart Simpson Comics #28 8153   
02/2007: Bart Simpson Comics #34 6944   
-      
02/2008: Bart Simpson Comics #40 6950   
03/2008: -      
04/2008: Bart Simpson Comics #41 7043  +1.34%
05/2008: -      
06/2008: Bart Simpson Comics #42 4975  -29.36%
07/2008: -      
08/2008: Bart Simpson Comics #43 6661  +33.89%
09/2008: -      
10/2008: Bart Simpson Comics #44 6559  -1.53%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Bart Simpson Comics #45 6047  -7.81%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Bart Simpson Comics #46 5640  -6.73%
-      
6 months:    -15.33%
1 year:      -18.85%
2 years:     -18.78%
5 years:     -45.02%
234 - SIMPSONS SUPER SPECTACULAR (Bongo)      
Licensed      
02/2006: Super Spectacular #2 8160   
02/2007: -      
-      
02/2008: -      
03/2008: -      
04/2008: -      
05/2008: -      
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Super Spectacular #7 5368   
08/2008: -      
09/2008: -      
10/2008: -      
11/2008: -      
12/2008: -      
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Super Spectacular #8 4982  -7.19%
-      
6 months:    -7.19%
3 years:     -38.95%

Simpsons Comics and Bart Simpson Comics got a sales bump a couple of times this year, perhaps coinciding with the release of the Simpsons Movie in theaters and on DVD. It’s still down 40% and 45%, respectively, over the past five years. One wonders what Bongo will do about that, if anything.

193 - ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN (Image)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2008: -      
03/2008: Astounding Wolf-Man #5 10256   
04/2008: -      
05/2008: Astounding Wolf-Man #6 9086  -11.41%
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Astounding Wolf-Man #7 8953  -1.46%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: Astounding Wolf-Man #8 8716  -2.65%
10/2008: Astounding Wolf-Man #9 8329  -4.44%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Astounding Wolf-Man #10 8440  +1.33%
12/2008: Astounding Wolf-Man #11 8291  -1.77%
01/2009: Astounding Wolf-Man #12 7244  -12.63%
02/2009: Astounding Wolf-Man #13 7360  +1.60%
-      
6 months:    -15.56%
1 year:      -28.24%

Robert Kirkman promises on-time in 2009, and he’s doing well so far. That regular shipment didn’t prevent a nasty drop in sales in January, though the title seems to be recovering in time for the origin-telling issue 13. There’s also an Invincible crossover coming up, which should help.

196 - STAR TREK: LAST GENERATION (IDW)      
Licensed      
11/2008: Last Generation #1 of 5 8664   
12/2008: Last Generation #2 of 5 7655  -11.65%
01/2009: Last Generation #3 of 5 7171  -6.32%
02/2009: Last Generation #4 of 5 7250  +1.10%

This is a continuity-heavy, generation-spanning dark alternate universe Trek tale, splitting off from the universe during Star Trek VI. It seems the Klingons win there, and war begins. Nothing will ever be the same. Sales are remarkably normalized throughout this series, and it’s always a good sign when retailers bump orders for issue 4.

197 - SOULFIRE: SHADOW MAGIC (Aspen)      
Creator-Owned      
01/2005: Soulfire  3 35325   
01/2006: Dying of the Light #5 of 5 15801   
01/2007: Chaos Reign: Beginnings #N/A 7960   
-      
10/2008: Shadow Magic #0 of 3 11101   
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Shadow Magic #1 of 3 10216  -7.97%
01/2009: Shadow Magic #2 of 3 7229  -29.24%
02/2009: Shadow Magic #3 of 3 6985  -3.38%
-      
2 years:     -12.25%
3 years:     -55.79%
4 years:     -80.23%

The late Michael Turner is responsible for Soulfire, a fantasy universe where magic ceases to exist. Turner’s company, Aspen MLT, is continuing his life’s work with Shadow Magic, though results thus far are not as spectacular as they used to be. Still, how many small publisher titles hit 10K for their first issue? Not that many.

198 - SONIC THE HEDGEHOG (Archie)      
Licensed      
02/2004: Sonic the Hedgehog #133 7122   
02/2005: Sonic the Hedgehog #146 7980   
02/2006: Sonic the Hedgehog #159 7263   
02/2007: Sonic the Hedgehog #172 6895   
-      
02/2008: Sonic the Hedgehog #185 6778   
03/2008: Sonic the Hedgehog #186 6814  +0.53%
04/2008: Sonic the Hedgehog #187 6880  +0.97%
05/2008: Sonic the Hedgehog #188 7021  +2.05%
06/2008: Sonic the Hedgehog #189 7100  +1.13%
07/2008: Sonic the Hedgehog #190 7074  -0.37%
08/2008: Sonic the Hedgehog #191 7241  +2.36%
09/2008: Sonic the Hedgehog #192 7106  -1.86%
10/2008: Sonic the Hedgehog #193 7077  -0.41%
11/2008: Sonic the Hedgehog #194 7162  +1.20%
12/2008: Sonic the Hedgehog #195 6948  -2.99%
01/2009: Sonic the Hedgehog #196 6963  +0.22%
02/2009: Sonic the Hedgehog #197 6641  -4.62%
-      
6 months:    -8.29%
1 year:      -2.02%
2 years:     -3.68%
5 years:     -6.75%

Volume 10 of the Sonic the Hedgehog Archives, which is still on the 1990s issues 37-40, hit #9 on the New York Times Graphic Books bestseller list during the week of 03/07. This is one character that’s turned over to a new generation of kids, as he’s still starring in hit videogames and animated series. Everyone loves Sonic, and this is Archie’s bestselling title. Its spinoff Sonic X did not catch on as well, so Archie has just tried again with the anthology title Sonic Universe. As mentioned above, this title will feature many different incarnations of this spiked, blue-haired attitude-having icon.

200 - MAN WITH NO NAME (Dynamite)      
Licensed      
05/2008: Man With No Name #1 16196   
06/2008: Man With No Name #2 9941  -38.62%
07/2008: Man With No Name #3 8973  -9.74%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: -      
10/2008: Man With No Name #4 8191  -8.72%
11/2008: Man With No Name #5 7427  -9.33%
12/2008: Man With No Name #6 7048  -5.10%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Man With No Name #7 6877  -2.43%
-      
6 months:    -23.36%

An ongoing Western is a challenging sell in today’s market; one based on a license that nobody under 30 will remember is even tougher. Still, Man With No Name, starring Clint Eastwood’s character, is still plugging away. No pun intended.

202 - MADMAN ATOMIC COMICS (Image Central)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2008: -      
03/2008: Madman Atomic Comics #7 9361   
04/2008: -      
05/2008: Madman Atomic Comics #8 9025  -3.59%
06/2008: Madman Atomic Comics #9 8478  -6.06%
07/2008: -      
08/2008: Madman Atomic Comics #10 8101  -4.45%
09/2008: -      
10/2008: Madman Atomic Comics #11 7473  -7.75%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Madman Atomic Comics #12 7150  -4.32%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Madman Atomic Comics #13 6705  -6.22%
-      
6 months:    -17.23%
1 year:      -28.37%

Mike Allred’s ubiquitous antennaed hero Madman began life at Dark Horse before landing at Image in 2007. Though the singles continue to drop in the 4-7% range, Volume 7 of the TPB hit #7 on the New York Times Graphic Books Bestseller List for the week of 03/14. Doing that well in trade paperback format means that Madman isn’t going anywhere.

204 - CYBLADE (Image / Top Cow)      
Creator-Owned      
10/2007: Cyblade Pilot Season #1 7950   
-      
10/2008: Cyblade #1 10155   
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Cyblade #2 6683  -34.19%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Cyblade #3 6623  -0.90%

Cyblade is a revamped version of a Marc Silvestri character that appeared in his Image series Cyberforce over a decade ago. Cyblade won Top Cow’s latest Pilot Season contest, and got her own ongoing series a year later. Though issue 2 dropped significantly, issue 3 dropped less than 1%, which is a good sign.

205 - FUTURAMA COMICS (Bongo)      
Licensed      
02/2004: Futurama Comics #16 9468   
02/2005: -      
02/2006: Futurama Comics #23 8665   
02/2007: -      
-      
02/2008: -      
03/2008: Futurama Comics #36 7493   
04/2008: -      
05/2008: Futurama Comics #37 7487  -0.08%
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Futurama Comics #38 7471  -0.21%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: -      
10/2008: Futurama Comics #39 7297  -2.33%
11/2008: Futurama Comics #40 6808  -6.70%
12/2008: -      
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Futurama Comics #41 6585  -3.28%
-      
6 months:    -11.86%
1 year:      -12.12%
3 years:     -24.00%
5 years:     -30.45%

Futurama Comics has been shipping erratically, which is unusual for Bongo. One possible explanation is that the direct to DVD movies are forcing rewrites to the comics, so as not to duplicate plot points. Now that the animated Futurama has been wrapped up, how much longer will the comic continue?

206 - WHATMEN? (IDW)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2009: Whatmen? #N/A 6568   

Scott Lobdell was a stand-up comedian before he got into comics, and he’s trying his hand at humor once again with Whatmen?!, one of at least two Watchmen parody comics coming out this year.

208 - GRAVEL (Avatar)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2008: Gravel #1 9358   
03/2008: Gravel #2 8121  -13.22%
04/2008: -      
05/2008: -      
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Gravel #3 7671  -5.54%
08/2008: Gravel #4 7106  -7.37%
09/2008: Gravel #5 7138  +0.45%
10/2008: -      
11/2008: Gravel #6 7099  -0.55%
12/2008: -      
01/2009: Gravel #7 6968  -1.85%
01/2009: Gravel #8 6691  -3.98%
02/2009: Gravel #9 6504  -2.79%
-      
6 months:    -8.47%
1 year:      -30.50%

Avatar is publishing a lot of Warren Ellis books. Gravel’s an ongoing series about a badass magician, and after some lengthy delays early on, it seems to finally be on a regular shipping schedule. Fans have rewarded this regularity with stable sales.

209 - CROSSED (Avatar)      
Creator-Owned      
12/2008: Crossed #1 of 9 11992   
01/2009: Crossed #2 of 9 5972  -50.20%
02/2009: Crossed #3 of 9 6456  +8.10%

Avatar is publishing a lot of Garth Ennis books. This is a twisted look at the underbelly of humanity. Crossed experienced a horrifying drop after issue 1, but has bounced back a little since then.

210 - 30 DAYS OF NIGHT: 30 DAYS 'TIL DEATH (IDW)   
Creator-Owned   
02/2004: Annual 2004 #N/A 18229
02/2005: -   
02/2006: Dead Space #1 of 3 9921
02/2007: Spreading the Disease #3 of 3 7127
-   
02/2008: Beyond Barrow #3 of 3 8492
03/2008: -   
04/2008: -   
05/2008: -   
06/2008: -   
07/2008: -   
08/2008: -   
09/2008: -   
10/2008: -   
11/2008: -      
12/2008: 30 Days 'Til Death #1 of 4 9758  14.91  
12/2008: 30 Days 'Til Death #2 of 4 6973  -28.54%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: 30 Days 'Til Death #3 of 4 6441  -7.63%
-      
1 year:      -24.15%
2 years:     -9.63%
5 years:     -64.67%

The 30 Days of Night movie undoubtedly helped sales of Steve Niles’ tales of vampires in Alaska. That was some time ago, though, and the latest miniseries isn’t doing nearly as well as the others. There’s a lot more to choose from as far as indie horror these days; perhaps 30 Days of Night is simply being choked out by quality.

213 - WARRIORS OFFICIAL MOVIE ADAPTATION (Dabel Bros)      
Licensed      
02/2009: Official Movie Adaptation #1 of 5 6131   

Warriors, come out to play-ay! This adaptation might have been better timed with the recent special edition DVD, or further back, the hit Xbox game. Or, if they had waited a bit, the new, different Warriors videogame. It seems a strange time to release a movie adaptation, when the public eye really isn’t on the property right now.

218 - BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: CYLON WAR (Dynamite)      
Licensed      
02/2008: Origins #2 9583   
02/2008: Origins #3 8840  -7.75%
03/2008: Origins #4 8353  -5.51%
04/2008: -      
05/2008: Origins #5 8393  +0.48%
06/2008: Origins #6 8033  -4.29%
07/2008: Origins #7 7621  -5.13%
07/2008: Origins #8 7401  -2.89%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: Origins #9 7459  +0.78%
10/2008: Origins #10 7234  -3.02%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: -      
01/2009: Cylon War #1 6815  -5.79%
02/2009: Cylon War #2 5716  -16.13%
-      
6 months:    -23.37%
1 year:      -40.35%

As the Sci-Fi (excuse me, Syfy) channel series wraps up, demand for tie-in material seems to be fading.

222 - STEPHEN COLBERT'S TEK JANSEN (Oni Press)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2008: -      
03/2008: -      
04/2008: -      
05/2008: -      
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Tek Jansen #2 7952   
08/2008: -      
09/2008: -      
10/2008: Tek Jansen #3 6964  -12.42%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: -      
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Tek Jansen #4 5529  -20.61%
-      
6 months:    -30.47%

Licensing difficulties led to huge delays for Stephen Colbert’s mock superhero. Retailers (and fans) seem to have voted with their wallets.

223 - GARTH ENNIS' BATTLEFIELDS (Dynamite)      
Creator-Owned      

10/2008: Night Witches #1 of 3 13097   
11/2008: Night Witches #2 of 3 10147  -22.52%
12/2008: -      
01/2009: Night Witches #3 of 3 8842  -12.86%

01/2009: Dear Billy #1 of 3 8551   
02/2009: Dear Billy #2 of 3 5504  -35.63%

A continuation of a years-ago Vertigo series with a similar premise, Garth Ennis’ series of tales of little-known war heroes curiously lands at Dynamite rather than Avatar. At any rate, the second mini seems to have launched significantly worse than the first.

224, 244, 252 - DYNAMO 5 (Image Central)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2008: -      
03/2008: Dynamo 5 #12 5625   
04/2008: Dynamo 5 #13 5456  -3.00%
05/2008: Dynamo 5 #14 5368  -1.61%
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Dynamo 5 #15 5238  -2.42%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: Dynamo 5 #16 5014  -4.28%
10/2008: Dynamo 5 #17 4792  -4.43%
11/2008: Dynamo 5 #18 4707  -1.77%
12/2008: -      
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Dynamo 5 #19 4537  -3.61%
02/2009: Dynamo 5 #20 4182  -7.82%
02/2009: Dynamo 5 #0 5448  +30.27%
-      
6 months:    +8.66%
1 year:      -3.15%

Dynamo 5 is Jay Faerber’s sibling superhero team story with a twist. They’ve all got the same late super-powered father, but that father was philandering and slept around — a lot. That hero’s wife (unrelated to any of the five) gathers them together and draws out their powers – each member having a single power of their departed father. However, the wife has ulterior motives. It’s a terrific premise, but sales have slipped a bit. Hence the $1 issue #0, which through a bit of unfortunate timing, arrived in the same month as two other issues of the title. Issue #0 did get a nice bump, putting it in range of the first year of the title. Whether Dynamo 5 can hold on to that audience is anybody’s guess.

225 - TERMINATOR SALVATION: MOVIE PREQUEL (IDW)      
Licensed      
01/2009: Movie Prequel #1 7098   
02/2009: Movie Prequel #2 5426  -23.56%

Buffy and Angel at separate publishers. Disney properties at no less than four publishers. None are more weird than Dynamite holding the T2 license, and IDW holding the T4 license. At any rate, rather than do a straight adaptation of the high-profile (and high set-tension) Christian Bale version, IDW has elected to do a prequel. Wait! Does that place it before or after Dynamite’s version? Oh, I’ve gone cross-eyed.

227 - EUREKA (Boom! Studios)      
Licensed      
02/2009: Eureka #1 of 4 5355   

This media tie-in is easy to figure out: Andrew Cosby, a co-founder of BOOM! Studios, is also a co-creator of the Eureka TV show. This series takes place during the show, in between episodes, and there’s already a followup mini solicited.

232 - HACK / SLASH (Devil's Due)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2008: Hack / Slash #9 5661   
03/2008: Hack / Slash #10 5817  +2.76%
04/2008: Hack / Slash #11 5976  +2.73%
05/2008: - #    
06/2008: Hack / Slash #12 6135  +2.66%
07/2008: Hack / Slash #13 5959  -2.87%
08/2008: Hack / Slash #14 6806  +14.21%
09/2008: Hack / Slash #15 ?   
10/2008: Hack / Slash #16 ?   
11/2008: Hack / Slash #17 ?   
12/2008: Hack / Slash #18 6141  -9.77%
01/2009: Hack / Slash #19 6452  +5.06%
02/2009: Hack / Slash #20 5141  -20.32%
-      
6 months:    -24.46%
1 year:      -9.19%

Devil’s Due’s flagship creator-owned title, Hack/Slash is Tim Seeley’s tale of Cassie, a scream queen turned badass who fights back against horror. So what’s with the missing sales data for issues 15-17? A Re-Animator tie-in drew legal trouble, and Diamond got spooked, refusing to fulfill orders. Retailers had to order them directly from Devil’s Due. By issue 18, things had settled back to normal. Sales have remained stable all the while, even raising – until this month. Optioned in February 2006 by Rogue Pictures.

233 - USAGI YOJIMBO (Dark Horse)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2004: Usagi Yojimbo #72 6996   
02/2004: Usagi Yojimbo #73 6886   
02/2005: -      
02/2006: Usagi Yojimbo #91 5914   
02/2007: -      
-      
02/2008: -      
03/2008: Usagi Yojimbo #110 5590   
04/2008: Usagi Yojimbo #111 5627  +0.66%
05/2008: Usagi Yojimbo #112 5500  -2.26%
06/2008: -      
07/2008: Usagi Yojimbo #113 5628  +2.33%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: Usagi Yojimbo #114 5471  -2.79%
10/2008: Usagi Yojimbo #115 5436  -0.64%
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Usagi Yojimbo #116 5262  -3.20%
01/2009: Usagi Yojimbo #117 5100  -3.08%
02/2009: Usagi Yojimbo #118 5116  +0.31%
-      
6 months:    -6.49%
1 year:      -8.48%
3 years:     -13.49%
5 years:     -26.87%

Usagi means rabbit. Yojimbo means masterless samurai. Usagi Yojimbo is one of creator-owned comics’ longest-lasting creations, and Stan Sakai has truly created something to be proud of. What’s also nice is that sales have been solid all year, even going up this month. Fans like their rabbit with a sword right where he is.

236 - DOCTOR WHO CLASSICS (IDW)      
Licensed      
02/2008: Classics #3 7039   
03/2008: Classics #4 6702  -4.79%
04/2008: Classics #5 6730  +0.42%
05/2008: Classics #6 6560  -2.53%
06/2008: Classics #7 6316  -3.72%
07/2008: Classics #8 6139  -2.80%
08/2008: Classics #9 5666  -7.70%
09/2008: -      
10/2008: Grant Morrison's Doctor Who #1 11153   
11/2008: Grant Morrison's Doctor Who #2 9463  -15.15%
12/2008: Classics Series 2 #1 5421  -42.71%
01/2009: Classics Series 2 #2 5035  -7.12%
02/2009: Classics Series 2 #3 4765  -5.36%
-      
6 months:    -15.90%
1 year:      -32.31%

Licensing issues where Doctor Who is concerned are a nightmare, as many characters are owned by individual estates and many permissions have to be cleared whenever they’re used. This is why new tales with classic Doctors don’t come around often, nor do you see the Daleks appear in Doctor Who: The Forgotten. Hence, these reprints of classic Marvel UK Doctor Who comics. The two issues featuring reprints of Grant Morrison stories sold far better, for obvious reasons.

237 - CRIMINAL MACABRE (Dark Horse)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2007: Two Red Eyes #3 of 4 5664   
-      
02/2008: -      
03/2008:  -      
04/2008: My Demon Baby #4 of 4 5108   
05/2008: -      
06/2008: -      
07/2008: -      
08/2008: -      
09/2008: Cell Block 666 #1 of 4 6161  +20.61%
10/2008: -      
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Cell Block 666 #2 of 4 5122  -16.86%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Cell Block 666 #3 of 4 4671  -8.81%
-      
6 months:    -24.18%
2 years:     -17.53%

Steve Niles’ tales of magic-fighting detective Cal McDonald have seen form in numerous miniseries and even a prose collection of short stories. Niles has been writing about Cal for a long time, and he shows no signs of stopping yet. Sales of this mini are comparable to the last several, so why not keep it going?

238 - BAD DOG (Image Central)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2009: Bad Dog #1 4665   

Part of the much-hyped Man of Action studio launch at Image Central, Bad Dog is Joe Kelly’s take of a slovenly werewolf bounty hunter. I’m sure Image was hoping for a bit better numbers considering all the attention. Maybe things will pick up.

240 - FEAR AGENT (Dark Horse)      
Creator-Owned      
02/2007: Fear Agent #11 4757   
-      
02/2008:      
03/2008: Hatchet Job #19 5293   
04/2008: Hatchet Job #20 5115  -3.36%
05/2008:      
06/2008: Hatchet Job #21 4980  -2.64%
06/2008: 1 Against 1 #22 5274  +5.90%
07/2008:      
08/2008: 1 Against 1 #23 4879  -7.49%
09/2008:      
10/2008: 1 Against 1 #24 4844  -0.72%
11/2008:      
12/2008: 1 Against 1 #25 4870  +0.54%
01/2009:      
02/2009: 1 Against 1 #26 4606  -5.42%
-      
6 months:    -5.60%
1 year:      -12.98%
2 years:     -3.17%

Rick Remender’s science fiction epic began at Image before jumping ship to Dark Horse in a well-publicized coup. Sales have remained level all the while, and the numerous trade paperback collections continue to do well. Remender began his career as an inker, but has become one of the hardest-working, and most prolific, writers in comics. Fear Agent is one reason why.

242 - ZOMBIES THAT ATE THE WORLD (Devil's Due)   
Creator-Owned   
02/2009: Zombies That Ate the World #1 of 4 4589

This isn’t simply a zombie cash-in; Zombies That Ate the World is another Humanoids reprint, this one with amazing Guy Davis art (and, really, amazing Guy Davis is redundant). It’s hard to say why this launched with half the numbers that I Am Legion did.

245 - OBAMA THE COMIC BOOK: INAUGURAL EDITION (Antarctic)   
Creator-Owned   
02/2009: Inaugural Edition #N/A 4528

Before the sales bar was raised considerably over the past four years, Antarctic used to make the top 300 all the time. Now it’s a rarity, and this time they make it not for what they’re known for, original English language manga, but for another Obama comic.

246 - ELEPHANTMEN (Image Central)   
Creator-Owned   
02/2008: War Toys #2 of 3 5702
03/2008: -   
04/2008: War Toys #3 of 3 5414  -5.05%
05/2008: -      
06/2008: Elephantmen #12 5205  -3.86%
07/2008: Elephantmen #13 4917  -5.53%
08/2008: -      
09/2008: -      
10/2008: -      
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Elephantmen #14 4739  -3.62%
01/2009: Elephantmen #15 4621  -2.49%
02/2009: Elephantmen #16 4453  -3.64%
-      
6 months:    -9.44%
1 year:      -21.90%

Richard Starkings’ Blade Runner-esque anthropomorphic animal series is back to the monthly grind after a big delay; the gap doesn’t appear to have hurt sales much. Also available at www.clickwheel.net and uClick in iPhone format.

249 - TERMINATOR (Dynamite)      
Licensed      
02/2008: -      
03/2008: T2 Infinity #7 of 7 6064   
04/2008: -      
05/2008: -      
06/2008: -      
07/2008: -      
08/2008: -      
09/2008: -      
10/2008: -      
11/2008: -      
12/2008: Revolution #1 of 5 8655  +42.73%
01/2009: Revolution #2 of 5 5943  -31.33%
02/2009: Revolution #3 of 5 4319  -27.33% 

See above for my bewilderment about one publisher doing T2 stuff and one doing T4 stuff. This is the T2 material, and Revolution is its big war epic. Some sick drops over issues 2 and 3 here. There may not be too many more of these. Then again, I could be wrong.

250 - GIGANTIC (Dark Horse)      
Creator-Owned      
11/2008: Gigantic #1 6480   
12/2008: Gigantic #2 4608  -28.89%
01/2009: -      
02/2009: Gigantic #3 4296  -6.77%

See what I mean about Rick Remender? He’s everywhere!

253 - 1001 ARABIAN KNIGHTS: ADVENTURES OF SINBAD (Zenescope)      
Creator-Owned      
05/2008: Adventures of Sinbad #1 6509   
06/2008:      
07/2008: Adventures of Sinbad #2 6279  -3.53%
08/2008:      
09/2008: Adventures of Sinbad #3 5512  -12.22%
10/2008:      
11/2008: Adventures of Sinbad #4 4609  -16.38%
11/2008: Adventures of Sinbad #5 4252  -7.75%
12/2008: Adventures of Sinbad * #6 4608  +8.37%
01/2009: Adventures of Sinbad #7 5950  +29.12%
02/2009: Adventures of Sinbad #8 4180  -29.75%
-      
6 months:    -24.17%

1001 Arabian Knights is another tale in the Beyond Wonderland universe. Unusually for a spinoff, 1001 Arabian Knights was optioned in September by Framelight. The title fell off the top 300 in December (as noted by the asterisk), so sales were somewhere below 4,608, only to bounce back significantly in January.

272 - HIGHLANDER ORIGINS: KURGAN (Dynamite)      
Licensed      
01/2009: Kurgan #1 4236   
02/2009: Kurgan #2 3695  -12.77%

Now doesn’t seem the right time for more Highlander books, especially since Dynamite hasn’t published one since last April. That miniseries, Way of the Sword, ended with 5,385 copies sold.

273 - SHRAPNEL (Radical)      
Creator-Owned      
01/2009: Shrapnel #1 of 5 6444   
02/2009: Shrapnel #2 of 5 3653  -43.31%

Planned as a series of miniseries, Shrapnel appears likely to drift out of the top 300 by next month. Retailer buzz could send this title back northward, or not.

[Steve Horton is the writer of Professional Manga, Webcomics 2.0, the webcomic Gambling Souls and the Image comic Strongarm. He has three upcoming comics projects in 2009-10. His website is http://www.smashout.net.]

Comments

  1. Highlander Origins had a $4.99 cover price. My regulars bought it anyway, for what it’s worth.

  2. This would be a lovely companion feature to the other two sales-chronicling… chronicles.

  3. I don’t know about lauding the IDW GI Joe franchise yet. Doesn’t the traditional continued loss of sales before a book really finds its spot suggest that the IDW version will be back down to Devil’s Due numbers inside of 6 months to a year?

  4. isn’t there usually a disclaimer about the veracity of the data?

    because a lot of these numbers are really really off.

  5. Micah says:

    Totally excellent. Thanks for putting in the effort to compile all of these titles. This would make a great on-going column. A trilogy if you will. Kudos.

  6. Paul Nolan says:

    The drop off in Wolf-Man followed the Invincible cross-over….

    not the other way round.

  7. Ethan N. says:

    Commas can be your friend.

  8. Pierce says:

    Simon Furman hasnt been writing Transformers “the entire way”. He isnt the author of the current main 12 issue series “All Hail Megatron”.

    I would also suggest that the sales are down for that franchise as IDW’s output ha not been very good. Much too slow in the first couple of mini series, only to rush out the story they building too, “Revelations” in four spotlight issues rather than its own mini, so they could “softly reboot” the stuff already with “All Hail Megatron”, which itself isnt written very well either in my opinion.

  9. Brendan T says:

    RE: Ivan’s comment

    This, as the other sales charts, are based on first month sales from Diamond in the North American direct market. Which means there’s book stores and international sales. Check out the disclaimers on the DC Sales Charts.

    Brian Wood, amongst others, has noted that the sales are usually a few thousand units shy of the total sales. Pay more attention to the trends than the specific numbers and you’ll be fine.

    Glad to see one of these. The numbers being so close to the title, along with the lack of seperation between digits (1000 instead of 1,000 for example) made the numbers a little harder to follow. The more detailed commentary is interesting to a point, and for a first column it’s good to lay ground, but in the future I’d stick to quick comments and only take time to focus on specifically interesting or different points.

    Good first effort, and it’s awesome that there’s now an indy chart. I’ve been hoping for one for ages. Keep it up!

  10. Joe Lawler says:

    Witchblade hasn’t been around since Image launched, it started about 3 years later.

    Other than that, I really enjoyed this and hope it continues.

  11. “the most popular gothic rock band in the world”

    Ug, that made me cringe.

  12. This article on Indy comics analysis looks pretty sound as far as commenting on trends or bewilderment of said trends. Some of the numbers surprised me but like mentioned above, they are a percentage of the total number.
    I found this information very interesting and would read posts like this again.

  13. Oh, a few corrections:

    – Darkness debuted in 1996, not “five and a half years ago.”
    – Witchblade was not one of the original Image title.

  14. Brian Wood says:

    “Brian Wood, amongst others, has noted that the sales are usually a few thousand units shy of the total sales. Pay more attention to the trends than the specific numbers and you’ll be fine.”

    Well, since you brought me up, how weird is it to talk about orders on books that amount to a few thousand copies while acknowledging a discrepancy of a few thousand copies on these same books? Even hiding behind the “its only trends!” argument, what possibly could come of this?

    Ugh, this is my first and last post on this. Might as well cast rune sticks to divine the order numbers… it’d be more accurate, but then I guess Heidi wouldn’t get the hits.

    bri

  15. some damned naysayer says:

    I question the value of this when so many books have relatively low sales, but the chatter following the numbers assures us “the trades sell like hotcakes.” Given that, why go to all this trouble and length tracking (with questionable accuracy, as noted) the floppy sales?

  16. Yeah, Witchblade was definitely not one of the first Image titles. Nor was Dreamwave in the 80s ;)

  17. uliana says:

    I know this probably takes a lot of work to put together, but it’s much easier to read if you put commas in the numbers. 22346 is A LOT harder to read than 22,346. Thanks for your hard work.

  18. Thanks for spotting the factual errors – just submitted a fixed version.

    And I’d have to add the commas by hand, as I already added HTML around the spreadsheet. Next month!

  19. Oh, and the Dreamwave mention is correct. “An ’80s trend earlier this decade.”

  20. Jeff Albertson says:

    Nice to see analysis specifically of the none-Marvel, non-DC publishers, rather than them being an afterthought. I’d love to see this continue. Future suggestions are to also delve deeper into the number discrepancies and the effect of trades.

    Sad to see that Savage Dragon and Usagi Yojimbo don’t have more sales. Two great books by dedicated cartoonists.

  21. Pedro Bouça says:

    Hey, this is great! I hope it becomes a regular thing.

    Just a little thing:
    “The biggest-selling indie creator-owned title in the Western world”

    Well, unless France joined the Warsaw Pact or something, Asterix is the best selling creator-owned (even self-published, until a couple of months ago at least…) comic in the world, western or not. Last one sold 7 million.

    Best,
    Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

  22. Brian says:

    I very much enjoyed this column, and hope it’s existence is continued. A couple of things I noticed:

    To reiterate others, please, commas, please! (Yes, I note your comment above. Just adding my support to said cause!)

    And, I’m not comfortable with #N/A – while I’m not sure if there’s a general consensus (sp?), I like nn. Just me.

    You mention the Cyblade book, which I’ve been loving, and I understand it will end at 4 for the time being. Which makes me sad, but with Fusion and the Hunter/Killer book, perhaps there’ll be some renewed interest.

    Cheers,

    B

  23. not mike carlin says:

    Very good work! I enjoyed your commentary and the bits about various studio interest… even if sales can be depressingly low.

  24. is this really an indie list? All this stuff is mainstream-ish. Its either made by the same people that do marvel/dc work or people that will do marvel/dc work in the future.

  25. I’m enjoying this as well, but I strongly suspect these numbers are even more out of whack then Marvel/DC numbers. It’s possible the trending may not be of much use if amount they’re out of whack is really different from month to month.

    Still it lets us know, very roughly, what some of the better selling titles are.

  26. Steve,

    Orders for FARSCAPE #2 were in before issue one shipped, so that drop is pretty predictable. The fact is we have just gone to 3rd Printings on #1 and #2 and went to 2nd Print on #3 a week after that issue came out. The demand out there for this book has really pleasantly surprised us all, with retailers across the country telling me that most of their initial stock sold to Farscape fans who were coming to their shops for the first time. Getting new fans into comics is a passion of mine, so this pleases me immensely.

    We have two follow-up series coming out right now, and those numbers are strong, retailers are increasing there orders to meet demand. This has been a great franchise series for us that we are all excited about!

    Best,

    Chip Mosher
    Marketing and Sales Director
    BOOM! Studios

  27. comixgirl says:

    “is this really an indie list? All this stuff is mainstream-ish.” It would be nice to see a list of true indies-Non Marvel/DC/Image/Dark Horse. Those are all Diamond “Premire” Vendors. I’d rather see more numbers on companies like BOOM, Dynamite, Avatar, and the like.
    And in regards to Mouseguard, Villard has been doing the trades, but I believe Archaia is going to be doing them in house from now on.

  28. jason says:

    I think IDW should have launched just a single G.I. Joe series and focused on that instead of three new titles back to back

  29. Faust says:

    Put me down as a ‘YES’ to keep seeing this chart monthly. I really enjoy reading the DC and Marvel listing, so this will round it out.

    I’ve got 2 comments/questions.
    1. Can you include previous (new)Doctor Who stories together? Like you did with the 3 different ‘classic’ series? I’d like to know what the first mini and Forgotten made each issue (I know you said 10 grand – thanks for that! But I was just curious about each issue) ;)
    2. Did nothing come out from Mirage this month? Or was it so low it missed the cut off? And with the ‘TMNT Adventures: Forever War’ mini coming soon, I’d love to know the figures it does.
    Thanks!! And Great first Listing!! :)

  30. Doctor Who: Forgotten was on a skip month, so when it returns I will be grouping the previous series with it. I suppose I could have done so with this one-shot.

    TMNT Adventures is below the cutoff these days. Diamond really ought to do a top 400.

  31. Josh Sinhspar says:

    commas for gods sake, its so hard to read it without them

  32. Matt, it’s not like there really are many indie comics nowadays (unlike you, I guess I see a lot of this list: Terry Moore, David Peterson, etc.). It’s almost like you need to have a Marvel or DC title to sell an indie book but yet you need an indie book to work for Marvel or DC- it’s a paradox worthy of Lost.

  33. Michael says:

    Actually, for two seasons, Buffy and Angel were both on the WB.

  34. I really dig this. It’s helpful to get a sense of the sales landscape when the Big Two exit the picture — it also says a *lot* about licensed properties…!

  35. Bobby says:

    It’s great to see this. As much as Marvel and DC have the bulk of the market split between them, I’ve really been following independents much more closely these days. Thanks Steve!

  36. Definitely appreciate the info.
    It is interesting to see the trends on the non-Big Two books.
    I hope you continue to collect and present the information.

  37. Brendan T says:

    “Well, since you brought me up, how weird is it to talk about orders on books that amount to a few thousand copies while acknowledging a discrepancy of a few thousand copies on these same books? Even hiding behind the “its only trends!” argument, what possibly could come of this?

    Ugh, this is my first and last post on this. Might as well cast rune sticks to divine the order numbers… it’d be more accurate, but then I guess Heidi wouldn’t get the hits.”

    I get where you’re coming from, but ultimately this is an estimate of data within a specific market. There are a bunch of other factors and those are noted, so I don’t really see your greater frustration with it aside from the ego aspect of selling at a higher level than is displayed. But really, as long as people are buying your book and you’re getting paid, what’s the real issue if people think it’s selling less than it is? If anything it’ll get them to try and hook *more* readers for you which is only to your benefit.

    Regardless of that, the numbers are what Diamond provides, so if you have an issue anywhere it should really be with them instead.

    Like I said, I get the idea that you’re being underrepresented by way of false information. But these guys are just trying to do the best they can with the information available. That’s not really a reason to get snippy with them in my opinion.

    No disrespect here. I think you’re an absolutely fantastic writer (from Northlanders and NY4…haven’t got to DMZ yet) and as someone on the outside looking into the biz, I’d love to get where you are. So this is not a comment on you as a person, a professional, or a writer. I just think that in this case, you’re being a little unfairly harsh.

  38. Brian Wood says:

    Brendan T, I don’t have a book on this list. If you feel the need to contact me directly on some issue, my name above is linked. My thoughts on all of this in general are well documented, so I’m not commenting any more here.

  39. morganagrom says:

    Fine article. It’s good that the author makes the disctinction between licensed and creator-owned material.

    As for the veracity of the data, perhaps creators, publishers, etc. who have an issue can educate people by providing the correct numbers. Otherwise, why complain when people discuss and analyze the only publicly available information?

  40. Alan Coil says:

    “Ugh, this is my first and last post on this.”

    {{next day}}

    “…so I’m not commenting any more here.”

    Stay tuned!

  41. Torsten Adair says:

    ‘Bout time!

    One suggestion/request: Even if a title doesn’t repeat on a regular basis because Marvel and DC push titles off the Top 300, could you at least post a condensed listing of the title, rankings, and calculated circulation? Analysis wouldn’t be needed, you could just indicate that it made the list, and possibly indicate the last time it made the list. Sort of like how Johnny DC and Marvel Adventures titles are footnoted.

    And howabout a link to the list posted on ICV2 (since the Diamond site requires a password) so we can see how everything compares?

  42. Thanks a lot for this article. I waited for a long time to read it as I was really curious about indie sales comparing to Marvel’s and DC’s.

    I hope this column goes a long way.

  43. Would love to see this continue as a companion to the DC and Marvel charts. There’s a few errors in the text, but I suspect that’s more from the desire to describe every single book in this first column, and that there’ll be less errors as it settles in. I look forward to the next one!

  44. Steve,

    Amid the many suggestions on how to improve your list, I’ll echo the others who say thanks for just supplying the information.

    Bravo!

  45. Question: how are the Project Superpowers books “creator-owned,” exactly?

    Very interesting list, and I’d be happy to see this continue in future months.

  46. New takes on public domain ideas are copyrightable as derivative works. See “Wicked” or “Scrooged”. Project Superpowers is definitely creator owned.

  47. Alan Coil says:

    Another helpful bit of info would be the sales level of the #300 book each month to give an idea of how the bottom sales levels fluctuates every month.

  48. I thought Project Superpowers was a work-for-hire book at Dynamite.

  49. Faust says:

    Thanks for answering my questions steve.

    I’ll look forward to the next (new) Doctor Who, to get the info (if you end up making this a reg feature) I think it’s another one shot?

    It’s a shame Mirage Studios doesn’t sell better. :(

  50. BiffordMichael says:

    I need to get out more…seeing this list and realizing all I read from it are the Project: Superpowers family of books, the Buffy & Angel stuff, Conan, MouseGuard and Umbrella Academy!?!

    Biff

  51. BiffordMichael says:

    I need to learn how to not triple post as well! BTW this new column is great, it may expose others (like me) to alot more books I suspect!

    Biff

  52. Actually, that’s a good question – can anyone find a source for whether Project: Superpowers is creator owned or work for hire?

  53. Synsidar says:

    From what I see at the Dynamite Web site, Dynamite’s publications are generally creator-owned. See this Dynamite Entertainment Idea Submission Form.

    SRS

  54. I’m glad Steve did this work, he’s a good guy with good intentions, and as noted he’s working with the data provided. I am more than pleased to see charts like these added to the regular grind. It’s all comics, isn’t it?

  55. Really enjoyed this and hope it continues. I agree with the poster above that said not every entry has to have such a large amount in depth commentary. Personally, I don’t need a description of every series premise/history or whether the series has been optioned or not.

  56. The Free Comic Book Day copy of The Death Defying ‘Devil I have says “© 2008 Super Power Heroes, LLC,” whatever that means. I still fail to see how these books are “creator owned” when the people who actually created the characters (i.e. NOT Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, et al) do not own them.

  57. Jake W says:

    “The Free Comic Book Day copy of The Death Defying ‘Devil I have says “© 2008 Super Power Heroes, LLC,” whatever that means. I still fail to see how these books are “creator owned” when the people who actually created the characters (i.e. NOT Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, et al) do not own them. ”

    I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that they can own their specific version of characters. Like for instance they may not own the Black Terror, but they can own the particular design they have for the Black Terror. Also, they own any character they create within the book that wasn’t public domain to begin with.

  58. Ian A. says:

    I’ve been waiting for a non-Big Two sales chart for a while now, and I’m glad to see it’s finally here.

    Thanks for putting this together, Steve. I particularly like the (relatively) in-depth analysis you gave each book. I didn’t realize, for instance, that The Boys had been optioned.

    Since trade-sales seem to be solid across the board, would it be possible to include those numbers if they’re available? Maybe as a percentage comparison in the 6 month/X years section? Or as an addendum to this or as a supplemental list or something?

  59. Brendan T says:

    “Brian Wood says: I don’t have a book on this list”

    I was referring to the Northlanders bit in the DC listing which started the whole thing. I should have been more specific, but honestly I was multitasking (RE: writing in here while at work…at a comic shop, no less) and likely ended up rambling because of that.

    No issue requiring contact. I was just expressing legitimate puzzlement as to what your actual issue is with the numbers, beyond the fact they aren’t 100% accurate as you seemed to be pretty venomous about it.

  60. “© 2008 Super Power Heroes, LLC” is a participation deal between Dynamite, and the creators. “Creator participation” would be a little more precise, but there is an element of creator ownership.

  61. the dude says:

    awesome feature. Should be made a regular feature on the site.

  62. brian’s opinions, my own, etc… they’re all pretty easy to find on this subject. we’ve all spoken our minds about this elsewhere, heidi’s heard this stuff in person, even. these are inaccurate numbers (and no, they are not even consistent in their inaccuracies, one of the titles, for example, is shown as declining when the sales have increased over the listed span) that paint a potentially damaging picture that can falsely lead readers to decide a book is dead in the water and that they should abandon ship.

    it’s as simple as that. the numbers serve no good purpose and a hell of a bad one.

    people’s careers and livelihood can be damaged by lists like this.

  63. Dennis V. says:

    Ivan Brandon claimed: “It’s as simple as that. the numbers serve no good purpose and a hell of a bad one…. people’s careers and livelihood can be damaged by lists like this.”

    Lets not get so melodramatic over these number charts, okay? Despite what some would like to claim, the numbers are fairly accurate and provide a decent picture of initial sales into the Direct Market.

  64. brandon says:

    Regarding Star Wars: the series ‘Dark Times’ is the continuation of the Republic series and it might make sense to group the two together when Dark Times resumes in April. Legacy and Knights both sort of stand apart from Republic.

  65. If anything, you should be angry at Diamond for posting Batman sales, or ICv2 or Comics Chronicle for extrapolating Batman sales into estimated sales for the entire top 300. All I’m doing is grouping things in a different way.

    Besides, based on the above comments, rather than encouraging people to jump ship, this article is exposing readers to books they otherwise may not have heard of.

  66. Tim Seeley says:

    So, I got terrified at those Hack/Slash numbers for issue 20. So I looked it up at Diamond. Dude, your numbers are wrong. I mean, thank god didn’t drop 1300 copies. Heh, but you may want to update it.
    Thanks!
    TIM

  67. Tim raises a good point – if I had actual sales data from people who wouldn’t mind making such information public, I’d be happy to include that info rather than estimates.

  68. Alan Coil says:

    Everybody knows by now that these numbers aren’t precise. They are what is reported as being shipped, and will be inaccurate because re-orders and artificially late-shipped books will not appear. Artificial late-shipping is caused when Diamond doesn’t receive the books at all warehouses the same week, usually at the end of the month. The shipments get broken up over 2 months, thus making the numbers lower, often causing loss of placement on the list.

    Then creators come here and complain that the numbers aren’t correct, which we already know. C’mon, guys, lighten up.

  69. morganagrom says:

    “it’s as simple as that. the numbers serve no good purpose and a hell of a bad one.

    people’s careers and livelihood can be damaged by lists like this.”

    If the numbers are THAT incorrect and THAT damaging, then perhaps the appropriate response would be to demonstrate their inaccuracy by providing the correct numbers on a regular and consistent basis.

  70. Phil Hester says:

    I’m work for hire on Masquerade, but I think Project Superpowers can be called creator owned in that Jim Krueger and Alex Ross created updated, reimagined, and rebooted versions of public domain characters (the way Alan Moore and company did with Terra Obscura). I can only comment on my position, but I’m work for hire on someone else’s creator owned book.

  71. “If the numbers are THAT incorrect and THAT damaging, then perhaps the appropriate response would be to demonstrate their inaccuracy by providing the correct numbers on a regular and consistent basis.”

    sure, and when people run photoshopped nude pictures of actresses on the internet, those actresses should reply with real nude photos of themselves.

  72. BoozerX says:

    Great effort.
    Keep it going.

  73. morganagrom says:

    So discussing and analyzing the only publicly available sales data is bad because it is incorrect, but voluntarily making the correct information public would be worse?

    Sounds like the creators, publishers, etc. who have a problem with this kind of column should take up their grievance with Diamond for making the information available in the first place. Wouldn’t that be more effective than just going around and complaining when the data is collected by third parties?

  74. The Beat says:

    Hey guys, please respect the wishes of the creators involved on this. As both Ivan and Brian have alluded to, I have heard from them — and many others — on their displeasure with all of these charts. I’ve heard from enough people who despise these charts to know that I’m sure to be buried in the “black sheep” part of the comics cemetery for them, if nothing else.

    And remember, these are SALES ESTIMATES made by Milton Griepp and NOT OFFICIAL DIAMOND NUMBERS.

    Does that mean they are valueless? No. But It is definitely something to consider whether to make this a regular monthly feature or not.

  75. Tim Seeley says:

    Hey man.
    Okay, here’s the actual orders that came in to DDP from Diamond, for Hack/Slash issue 20, shipping February 2009.
    7001.
    Apparently there was an issue with shipping from the printer or something…but do you see how HUGE of difference that is from the 5100 listed initially as an estimate?
    TIM

  76. The Beat says:

    Tim I suspect the February numbers are going to be out of whack for EVERYONE because of the problems at the Diamond warehouse. But thanks for giving a concrete example of how the numbers can be skewed.

  77. morganagrom says:

    “Hey guys, please respect the wishes of the creators involved on this.”

    Would it be incorrect to think the creators involved on this would prefer that no one gather, analyze and discuss the data at all?

    That would be a real shame. The DC and Marvel columns are very interesting and this one seems like a worthy addition.

    It would be interesting to hear Milton Griepp’s perspective on the matter.

  78. Well, here’s mine — as someone tracking these numbers for years (and a creator whose numbers are tracked, to boot), I’ve had occasion to write about this here before — my site FAQ on the topic got eaten in my last database crash, but it’s coming back together here:

    http://blog.comichron.com/2009/03/diamond-charts-primer-what-they-are-and.html

    In a nutshell, publisher purchase orders, creator royalty statements, print runs — all manner of other information about comics sales regularly available to some in the industry may be found to never coincide with the Diamond tables. There’s a reason: what Diamond is reporting, and what those sources represent, are simply different groupings of comic books. Here’s what’s NOT included in the Diamond tables:

    1) Diamond’s sales outside North America. UK sales tend to add something like 10% when it comes to units. These are reported disparately to some publishers, but may not be divided out in other available publisher information. A print run of a book that sold out in a single month, for example, will invariably be higher than the Diamond estimate because overseas copies are not in the Diamond totes.

    2) Newsstand sales, if the publisher has them, as well as any sales through other distributors, direct sales, or subscriptions — again, if the publisher has them.

    3) Trade paperbacks through Diamond’s returnable bookstore program — or anyone else’s. The Diamond book trade data is kept separate.

    4) Any comics shipped by Diamond outside the exact period being reported. This means you likely get NO reorders on Week 5 books in the tables, but almost whole month’s worth on Week 1 books. All sales are still reported — and so the aggregate totals are unaffected when you look at the whole year — but a Week 4 or Week 5 title will have a smaller relative fraction of its total sales with its initial entry. It’s this, not just the issue number, that causes the decline you usually see when multiple issues of a weekly ship in the same month. It’s not necessarily that sales are trailing off — just that the earlier issues have had more weeks in which to gather reorders.

    (The above is one reason I place more emphasis on the aggregate figures when it comes to studying the historic health of the industry — and relatively less on the internal trendlines of individual titles. Month-to-month comparisons become complicated when a book ships at different times in the months being compared. I know people are interested in articles like these, but this is why I’ve never really done them. The measurement noise is more perceptible at the title level than at the aggregate level.)

    Reliability of the estimates is another matter, discussed in more detail on the blog post — but basically the tables before 2003 reported preorders, and there was quite a lot of difference between the monthly numbers publishers saw and the Diamond chart; external estimates tended to vary more. After 2003, Diamond went to final order reporting, and all the estimates by me, Milton, Mayo, and others converged tightly together. Independent observers using similar Diamond reports received by different publishers arrived at the same “magic number.”

    So since 2003, the estimates do appear to be reliably reporting the numbers behind the Order Index Numbers — the comics, Diamond says, that it shipped to North American accounts in the shipping month. They are based on data that Diamond has itself provided publishers, corresponding to the period indicated, and that the publishers have provided analysts. But those numbers are NOT the sum total of comics a publisher sells, or even sells through Diamond, or even sells through Diamond in a single month. No royalty statement, no boardroom report might ever match the numbers in the table. It does appear to report what it says it reports — but we have to remember what it says it’s reporting. When it comes to reporting the health of the comics market, it is a clue — an important clue, in a field where there are not many available — but not the whole story.

  79. say what? says:

    “sure, and when people run photoshopped nude pictures of actresses on the internet, those actresses should reply with real nude photos of themselves. ”

    if they cared so much about the nude photos of them being accurate, then yes.

    “a potentially damaging picture that can falsely lead readers to decide a book is dead in the water and that they should abandon ship.”

    You’re reading way too much into this. If people really cared about the book, then they would want to get as many issues as possible and try to encourage other people to buy it if its sales are down. I don’t know… maybe the comics buying audience IS as shallow and stupid as you seem to think.

  80. Callum says:

    I think this is an excellent addition to the Marvel and DC sales charts. It’s interesting to see their sales numbers and trends, especially since most of these comics are so different in theme from the mainstream books. Thanks for going through the trouble of creating this!

  81. I was very upset to read the uninformed comments on IDW’s Transformers sales: “Even though Simon Furman has been writing the entire way (and wrote a huge chunk of the Dreamwave run as well), fans seem to be staying away in droves. Picking up the Transformers license changed IDW radically as a company, but where did the audience go? Is IDW doing something wrong? ”

    Obviously the author of this report didn’t do his research, since the current “All Hail Megatron” series by IDW is in fact *NOT* written by Simon Furman. In fact, IDW pulled the rug out from Furman, forced him to wrap his several years’ worth of ongoing plots in 4 one-shots, and then brought the talentless Shane McCarthy on to write the uninspired “All Hail Megatron”. What this report should be pointing out is that IDW -DID- do something wrong: they took Simon Furman off of the main Transformers book.

  82. Brendan T says:

    “a potentially damaging picture that can falsely lead readers to decide a book is dead in the water and that they should abandon ship.”

    As a point, if I like and support a title then I continue to support it by buying it, showing friends, showing customers (since I work at a store), and basically doing everything I can to support that book in any way possible. If I see a book selling poorly that I like, I work twice as hard to do the same thing.

    I’m passionate about these things. I love the stories and I respect the hell out of every creator that’s posted in here. But ultimately, I think you’re absolutely mistaken on this point. Real fans will do everything they can to keep the book alive. If they’ll drop it *just* because they’re expecting it to be cancelled, then it hasn’t hooked them enough.

    Like I keep saying and as John Jackson Miller pointed out above…the estimates are representative of a percentage of the sales within specific markets inside a specific period. I think the only people who are taking them as absolutes are…well, you guys. And I think you’re both overstating and misinterpreting the effect of them, in the end.

    Relax. As I said in my first post, if your sales keep going up, regardless of the charts, then isn’t that really the important thing?

  83. >>>Usagi means rabbit. Yojimbo means masterless samurai.

    Err… no. A rōnin is a masterless samurai. Yōjinbō means “bodyguard”.

  84. First reaction when i saw the before and after: awesome.

Trackbacks

  1. […] ITEM! Steve Horton has begun a month-to-month sales analysis of indie comics at the Beat, to go along with the Marvel and DC ones by Paul O’Brien and Marc-Oliver Frisch. Some critics vow that the numbers are all wildly inaccurate thanks to the serpentine ways of the comics sales market, but since when has that stopped fans from speculating and doomsaying? […]

  2. […] Steve Horton looks at indy genre-comics sales to Direct Market retailers for February. […]

  3. […] THE BEAT » Blog Archive » Indie Comics Month-to-Month Sales … […]

  4. […] Indie Comics Month-to-Month Sales: February 2009 […]

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