Two years ago I wrote a piece called “It Takes a Nation of 10,000 Dopes to Hold Us Back,” looking back on the comics industry in 2004, and the trends that emerged and are still, to a great degreee, shaping the business. The title was based on the phenomenon of POWERS by Brian Bendis and Mike Oeming going up 10K in sales when moving from Image to Marvel. I implied that blind brand loyalty was still the weakness of the direct sales market, even as new products became available for new audiences.
I’ve been trying to put together my 2006 in review piece for a while now — last year I didn’t even manage one, pathetically — but my schedule and the plethora of funny things to link blog has conspired to keep my attention span a bit too fragmented. I’m going to force myself to do it over the next few days, but I’m going to break it up into a few discrete parts so as not to be too daunting — to both author and audience.
First up, I’ll look at the return of the “10,000 Dopes” phenomenon. This time we have the most perfect lab specimen ever in Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s THE BOYS. Booted from Wildstorm for its wildly tasteless contents, the book was nevertheless a strong seller for DC. As the figures Marc posted the other day revealed, sales were ACTUALLY GOING UP, an almost unheard-of miracle.