DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: March 2010

by Marc-Oliver Frisch

March brought jolly good sales for DC’s comic-book business!

In fact, even considering that it was a month with five delivery days for new comics instead of just four and, consequently, one extra week of re-orders, the numbers seem almost too good on a range of titles, but maybe I’m just paranoid.

In particular, DC’s Vertigo imprint is beginning to look more solid than it has in ages. Partly, that’s because Vertigo released a whopping 19 new comic books in March, a new record for them, but also because many of those books performed well.

The big launch of the month was American Vampire, of course, a new ongoing series co-written by Stephen King. It sold an estimated 33,762 copies, the highest first-month sales for Vertigo since Diamond started providing data on sales to retailers in March 2003. (Andy Diggle and Enrique Breccia’s Swamp Thing #1 came close: It moved 33,382 units in March 2004.)

More significantly for Vertigo’s long-term health, there are signs of moderate success with a number of other recent launches. Sales on titles like The Unwritten, Joe the Barbarian and — to a lesser extent — Sweet Tooth indicate that the practice of publishing debut issues with low introductory prices is bearing fruit. The Fables spin-off Cinderella and the maxiseries Daytripper are also turning out to be solid sellers.

Blackest Night and its tie-ins keep the publisher’s DC Universe line in reasonably good shape in March, while the WildStorm imprint saw an increase of 35% in average comic-book sales. The latter is a mixed blessing, though. The spike is entirely due to a highly irregular three new issues of WildStorm top-sellers Astro City and Ex Machina, neither of which came out in April, and one of which has two more issues to go before reaching its conclusion.

Mark Millar launching monthly British comics mag

Perhaps presaged by Warren Ellis’s widely quoted musings on weekly comics magazines, Mark Millar has announced he’s teaming with Titan Books for CLiNT [sic], a new monthly comics magazine. Announced contributors include comedian Jonathan Ross, novelist Frankie Boyle, and journalist Steve O’Brien. and the mag will serialize Kick-Ass: Balls to the Wall the sequel to […]

If a real Spider-Man fought crimes, it would look something like this

reallifespidey.jpg   An Australian comics shop owner who was dressed as Spider-Man for his Free Comic Book Day festivities confronted a real life perp, who tried to steal a $150 X-Man Omnibus.

… Michael Baulderstone, 45, owner of the Adelaide Comics Center, said he was dressed as Marvel comics character Spider-Man for Saturday’s international “free comic book day,” which promotes literacy, when a customer without a costume grabbed a $150 book, the “X-Man Omnibus,” from a window display, The Times of London reported Monday.

Another employee of the store, who was dressed as the Flash, and other customers, dressed as Jedi Knights, helped subdue the suspect until police arrived.

…Finally, as the video shows, a real life Spider-man’s crime solving would involve walking around holding a ruck-sack.