From the Archives: Walt Kelly at Harvard

I’m home for the holidays, and spending some time digging around my parent’s basement, delving into my assorted and sordid collection of ephemera.

The above scan is from a photocopy of a bound volume of Life Magazine.  While college students today have numerous distractions available to them via cellphones and wi-fi, back in the olden days of 1990, all I had were the comics pages found in newspaper [1] microfilm [2] and the Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature [3].  Hard to believe, but back then, the news media rarely covered comics, perhaps featuring one article every month or so!

I was smitten by Pogo at the Golden Age of Ten.  A neighbor had an old copy of the original Pogo collection, and I was immediately hooked.  Early Pogo comics were less political commentary and more just crazy mayhem, and this early graphic novel (the strip panels reformatted into a more graceful narrative) featured numerous storylines almost tailored to appeal to my young mind.

So, like any fanatic, I began to haunt used bookstores for other collections, and, when bored at the university library, scan the Readers’ Guide to find recent comics articles.  Fortunately, the Readers’ Guide had annual volumes, so I only had to thumb through about forty volumes instead of 1,000!  That’s how I found the above article, which appeared in the May 12, 1952, issue of Life Magazine.  It profiles Walt Kelly and his popular comic strip, Pogo. Running from page 12 to 14 of that issue, it includes a stunning one-and-one-half page drawing of the swamp, populated with many of the swamp denizens, all in dialogue!

“Okay,” you say, “that’s pretty cool and all, but why should that interest me, a savvy citizen of the webbed-wide-world?  I prefer indie and alternative comics which speak of the human condition and express the artists’ voice and vision, not some mass-produced comic strip pandering to the masses.”  Well, aside from the scrumptious artwork, amazing lettering, and delightful dialogue, Walt Kelly was a pioneer among cartoonists.  Twenty years before Doonesbury, thirty years before Bloom County, Kelly was frequently satirizing world figures and events on the normally benign comics pages of the nation’s newspapers.  His caricature of Senator Joseph McCarthy as polecat Simple J. Malarkey, during the height of the McCarthy’s popularity as a anti-Communist demagogue, attacked McCarthy’s views a full year before Edward R. Murrow’s “See It Now” documentaries.  Many of his storylines, deemed unsuitable to the average newspaper reader of the day, were substituted by Kelly’s “Bunny Strips”, specifically designed to placate nervous newspaper editors, while still using the themes featured in the normal, more political, strips.

But, most importantly, Walt Kelly, through his simple, affable possum Pogo, managed to:

  • gain the presidential endorsement of the Harvard (University) Crimson, which selected Pogo as their candidate of choice over Adlai Stevenson and Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • appear on campus to a capacity crowd, and
  • cause a riot of some 1600 students in Harvard Square, which halted streetcar traffic, and resulted in numerous acts of police brutality as the local police officers unleashed their simmering town-gown prejudices.

In 1952!  In genteel, respectable Boston, Massachusetts!

Here’s an historical retrospective, from the Harvard Crimson, published in 1987:

Organizers planned for students to rally across from the Yard, in the spot where Holyoke Center now stands, and then march to the New Lecture Hall to hear Kelly’s speech. But things did not come off as planned.

Kelly’s arrival from Logan Airport was delayed, and the crowd on Mass. Ave. grew antsy. It also grew large. As the clock ticked on, the number of students milling about the Square waiting for Kelly multiplied from about 200 to 1600.

The density of the crowd increased and the traffic in the Square became terribly congested. The electric trolleys, still in use in 1952, could not make their way through the Square because of the students blocking the streets and the back-up of other traffic. A handful of students, perhaps for lack of anything better to do, began to disconnect the poles linking the trolleys to their source of energy on the wires overhead. Police rushed the crowd, beating and arresting students.

[Paul R.] Rugo, now a Boston attorney, says he remembers the evening “like it was yesterday.” Dressed in his ROTC uniform, Rugo says, he was walking down Mass. Ave. with his date, now his wife.

“I had nothing to do with the Pogo parade,” Rugo says. “All of a sudden it just erupted.” Outside of J. August and Co., policemen honed in on Rugo and told him he was under arrest. He received no response when he asked what the charges were against him. “The police swung furiously, and I swung back,” he says, adding that his flying punches landed him in the paddy wagon on his way to jail.

Five of the 28 Harvard students towed away by the police were Crimson editors. Meanwhile, Kelly arrived to deliver his speech, which was interrupted several times by spontaneous pogo stick races down the aisles of the auditorium.

Most defendents pleaded no contest, and most were given a minimal punishment. 

Did this affect the graduates of Harvard, resulting in the counter-culture movement of the late 1960s?  Or was it just a brief lark, spearheaded by a few bored students at the newspaper?  I’ll let historians debate the importance of the “Pogo Riots” and its influence on post-war America.

Footnotes:
[1]  a publication issued at regular and usually close intervals, esp. daily or weekly, and commonly containing news, comment, features, and advertising.
[2]  thick rolls of plastic tape containing tiny photos of newspapers or other publications, usually magnified by means of a special display.
[3]  Imagine Google News published every two weeks as a paperback, listing links from 400 periodicals.

From the Archives: Star Trek #7, March 1970

Here’s a comic from my brothers’ collection, the type of comic kids read back in the 1960s and 70s.  We didn’t care about condition or collectibility, we just read the comics, tossed them in a cupboard somewhere, and maybe re-read them when we were bored.  That pile never got in the way, never got too big for our mother to throw out, and so I have a box of dog-eared comics, mostly Archie, Harvey, and Gold Key issues.

Why feature this particular comic?  Because, based on a licensed property, it’s one of the worst comics I’ve ever read.  Oh, the story is enjoyable, the artwork utilitarian, but there are just so many things wrong with it that I can’t help but tear into this like a pack of hyenas on a rack of baby-back ribs!

Now, I know that Gold Key’s staff churned out comics at a fantastic rate, and most likely had little assistance from Desilu Studios regarding plot, canon, and possibly even reference.  So, I’ll let the staff remain anonymous, and I’ll avoid nitpicking little details, like the Stardate.  If you’d like to read the story for yourselves, Checker has collected these comics into nice trade paperbacks, and Amazon offers a DVD archive of every Star Trek comic!

So, I hereby feature, “The Voodoo Planet”!

The Enterprise, exploring the nearby space of the Milky Way galaxy, discovers a duplicate of Earth!  (Probably Earth Mark Two… those plural zones can be tricky.)  Even the plate tectonics are similar, which is extremely remarkable, given the hypothesized origin of the Moon.

Here we see the Enterprise, as it approaches the planet on Page Two. Note the exhaust from the nacelles. This error is repeated later on the same page, and again two pages later, as the ship travels over Paris on Page Four. (Perspective is badly drawn. Either the Enterprise is smaller than the Eiffel Tower, or the Enterprise is far in the distance, and the colorist could not use the limited palette to create a sfumato effect.)

 Panels on later pages show the exhaust from the nacelles without color (unlikely to be contrails, as the ship would have no exhaust to create them). Only one panel shows the Enterprise without exhaust. Every other panel uses the exhaust, with speed lines, even though the speed lines would have been sufficient to denote movement.

So, Kirk and Spock beam down to what they think is Paris, only to find it deserted. There, they find a copy of the Eiffel Tower, several feet shorter, and constructed COMPLETELY out of papier-mâché. (Shouldn’t they have used plaster of Paris?) Before Spock can theorize how a large 100+ foot tall Eiffel Tower constructed out of glue and paper could support its own weight without collapsing, a mysterious “laser beam-ray” strikes the tower, causing it to collapse. Kirk and Spock flee, barely escaping as the Tower crashes into the papier-mâché buildings which surround the Tower. (Although Google Maps shows that there are few buildings near the Tower, I will ignore this error, as this is a Voodoo Planet, and verisimilitude is not required to achieve the desired effect.)

Soon, news arrives from Earth via “relayed galaxy radio photograph”. Not video, PHOTOGRAPH. In the 23rd Century. Relayed across light years of distance almost instantaneously. The news? The Eiffel Tower has collapsed in Paris, at “exactly 12:40 P.M.”!

Spock glances at his wristwatch chronograph (I guess classic design never changes), and deduces “That was precisely the outer-galaxy time here that the papier-mâché tower toppled on us!” Doctor McCoy conjectures, “Could it be some sort of weird, deep space voodoo I wonder?”

As the Enterprise flies over “Rome”, the laser beam appears again, demolishing the Colosseum of Rome! The Enterprise triangulates the source of the laser beam, and rockets (literally, there’s exhaust from the nacelles) to a nearby planet. The ship hides in a debris field of space trash(well, that’s accurate, although I’m sure the Federation has cleaned up the space junk around Earth by this time) and Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down for reconnaissance. (No redshirted security guards.)  There they find a primitive voodoo tribe (although the natives are only throwing spears at human targets, not actual effigies). The natives are subdued with hand to hand combat (the sound of the phasers would have been too noisy, but fisticuffs aren’t?), and the control room of the laser fortress is entered. Before our heroes can subdue the villain, a small button is pressed and… the Sphinx is destroyed!

Hey…  who built all this?  Paris, Rome, Giza…  Even if it’s a replica, there’s still a lot of work involved, much of it rather detailed.  Consider what was required when Epcot’s World Showcase replicated various national landmarks.  How were a bunch of natives trained and coerced into building all this?  Given that this is a voodoo planet, wouldn’t it just be easier to nuke the San Andreas Fault or trigger the Yellowstone supervolcano?

Kirk and Spock are subdued by voodoo dolls (action figures!) manipulated by the natives, the pain too excruciating to allow Spock or Kirk using their phasers on the natives! The villain? The nefarious Count Dressler! Leader of a small kingdom on Earth, Dressler was “the only fanatic in power who sought to produce hydrogen bombs when all Earth was negotiating to ban them!” (Kirk) (Wait… they still had H-bombs on Earth? After a nuclear holocaust? And independent countries? What was the United Federation of Planets doing all this time?)

Escaping in a ROCKET ship, Dressler lands on a planet “hostile to Earth’s ways”. (No, not Qo’noS.) Dressler mastered the natives, stole their secrets, and became their leader. (Wait… why didn’t the natives just make a voodoo doll of Dressler?) Dressler, in typical supervillain fashion, then demonstrates his voodoo technique in front of Kirk and Spock. Instantly, the Tower of Pisa is toppled! While Dressler gloats, McCoy rescues Kirk and Spock, fisticuffs subdue the natives, and, without firing phasers, our heroes retreat back to the Enterprise.

There, they once again experience extreme voodoo pain (but not death) but with McCoy’s pain killers, they can concentrate enough to research a solution. (My solution? Use the ship’s phaser and level the laser fortress, killing the villain and a few natives, while preventing thousands of deaths on Earth.) Spock then discovers that a similar technique was used by a Vulcan clan known as “pain casters”. Spock synthesizes the Vulcan herbs, and Kirk and Spock undergo the voodoo rite.

Free of the pain of the action figures, Kirk and Spock (again, no red-shirted security) subdue Dressler, and transport him back to the Enterprise. Kirk then decides, without any sort of trial or rule of law, with no regard to the destruction of priceless landmarks and human suffering, to exile Dressler to an unpopulated planet. (Hey… you don’t suppose George W. Bush read this comic, do you?)


So… Spock discovers an incredible weapon which can be used across vast distances… and it is never heard of again. (Although, perhaps the Tantalus Field used a similar technology.)

Twenty-six pages of story for fifteen cents.  Even the ads are kinda cool, marketed towards kids and teens of that period.  Posters, patches, toys, a few text pages from Gold Key… it actually is a “satisfying chunk” of comic, especially if you’re a kid.  I don’t know if I could read an entire collection of these comics (even the modern Trek comics are a bit much), but I wouldn’t consider the twenty minutes spent, wasted.  It’s just that reading this story, my suspension of disbelief collapses faster than a papier-mâché submarine!

So, dear readers, got any favorite good “bad comics” you’d like to share?

Nice Art: Roger Langridge's Father Ted

Father-Ted-no-text.jpg
Why didn’t *WE* think of commissioning this?
For those not in the know, Father Ted is one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, involving a bunch of Irish priests and their tea-loving housekeeper living on a small island off the coast. The show was created by Graham Linehan, best known these days for The IT Crowd — and featured indelible characters and situations.

Go and buy the DVD right now! And then buy some comics by Roger Langridge.

Via Mike Baehr

Nice Art: Moebius's Akira Kurosawa

Via Joe Keatinge

Holiday rewind: Team Venture Christmas Song

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Totally missed this before, but better late than never?
“Shallow Gravy”

Holiday time filler: Illustration magazine archives

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Do not open this link until you have a lot of time. The online archives of Illustration magazine include piles of information on artists like Haddon Hubbard Sundblom, who perfected the “Santa Drinking Coke” look, above. If you are excited by an article titled “Inside the mind of Reynold Brown”, this is the place for you. Back issues are presented in the embeddable Issu format, which isn’t ideal but hey, it’s Norman “Mars Attacks” Saunders.

Via Dave Gibbons.

Lost cartoonist's family searches for lost daughter

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The late Joel Beck was a pioneer of the Bay Area Underground comics revolution, illustrating Lenny of Laredo, a satirical bio of Lenny Bruce, and a naughty poster of Daisy Duck among other things. The SF Chronicle reports that he’s also part of a family mystery his survivors are trying to crack:

Eleven years ago, underground cartoonist Joel Beck supposedly met a daughter in Berkeley that he never knew he had. He excitedly told a friend of this discovery, and was preparing to tell his family.

Then he died.

More in the link.

Is geek culture dead?

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Comedian/actor/sometime comics writer Patton Oswalt expresses clearly the vague feeling we’ve often haphazardly batted about here: as Geek Culture becomes the norm, it is itself dying. Oswalt pegs the phenomenon of “Etewaf: Everything That Ever Was—Available Forever” as part of the problem, as the instantaneous availability of once-arcane knowledge devalues the feeling of achievement from attaining that same knowledge:

Here’s the danger: That creates weak otakus. Etewaf doesn’t produce a new generation of artists—just an army of sated consumers. Why create anything new when there’s a mountain of freshly excavated pop culture to recut, repurpose, and manipulate on your iMovie? The Shining can be remade into a comedy trailer. Both movie versions of the Joker can be sent to battle each another. The Dude is in The Matrix.

The coming decades—the 21st-century’s ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s—have the potential to be one long, unbroken, recut spoof in which everything in Avatar farts while Keyboard Cat plays eerily in the background.

But Harry Knowles, himself the Hannibal of the Geek Invasion, says it is not so, in a rambling essay that proves definitively that Patton Oswalt is a better writer than Harry Knowles. Basically, Knowles says geek culture is fine because Ray Bradbury was a geek and now Knowles can name check anything he likes on the internet all day:

Pop Culture has always had it’s success and failures.   That’s one of the reasons I love AMADEUS so much…   F. Murray’s Salieri is such an awesome Mozart geek.   It is very much about the feelings of critics versus the popularity of a genius ahead of his time.   You know…   just like everyone that recognizes the genius of Edgar Wright’s SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD.    We’ll be proven correct in time.   Of this I have zero doubt.  
 
GEEK CULTURE is fine, I say this because the same folks that didn’t love TRON for the past 28 years – are the leaders of the minority vocal opinion on the film.   I know this to be the case because we bitch at each other till the wee hours of the night about it.   We call each other names and we feign hating each other for each others’ estimation of the film, and then we laugh about the argument and just how crazy we get about it.    This is as it should be.  


In other words, Oswalt is absolutely right and we’re all going to turn into Harry Knowles. In the grip of ETEWAF, we become gluttons for the things we like, diving into them like a seal, swimming around in them like a dolphin and throwing them into the air and letting them hit us on the head. And we’ll die happy and sated, our ashes encased in a replica of the Slave I autographed by Daniel Logan.
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Photos; Top: Forrest J. Ackerman, who was to the Nerd Life what Hugh Hefner was to breasts.

Below: a photo from the 1974 San Diego Comic-Con.

BTW: Oswalt does have a solution to the problem, but you may not like it.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: November 2010

Avengers #7by Paul O’Brien

Marvel had quite a lot of new material on the market in November. Aside from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN shifting to a fortnightly format with its new “Big Time” direction, we’ve also got two new ongoing titles, GENERATION HOPE and SPIDER-GIRL. Further down the chart, there’s also a veritable horde of new miniseries, including ASTONISHING THOR, OSBORN, SHE-HULKS and a whole bunch of CHAOS WAR tie-ins.

As usual, Marvel had the largest share of the direct market. It’s a relatively close month, though, with a lead over DC of 40% to 37% in unit share and 34% to 33% in dollars. A major factor there will be a number of high-profile Batman comics in the top 10.

Thanks as always to ICV2.com for permission to use these figures.

3.  AVENGERS
05/10  #1 - 170,682
06/10  #2 -  98,788  (-42.1%)
07/10  #3 -  87,410  (-11.5%)
08/10  #4 -  87,333  ( -0.1%)
09/10  #5 -  82,411  ( -5.6%)
10/10  #6 -  73,258  (-11.1%)
11/10  #7 -  89,758  (+22.5%)
             6 mnth  (-47.4%)

It’s been a very good month for DC, who take all but two of the top 10 slots, thanks in large part to the “Return of Bruce Wayne” storyline in the Batman titles. The remaining two spaces go to Marvel, and the company’s top seller of the month is AVENGERS.

This is the start of the book’s second storyline, but don’t read too much into the big sales increase just yet. The first five issues were heavily supported by variant covers, including 1:75 “character” variants by John Romita Jr. Issue #6, for some reason, was allowed to fend for itself. But with issue #7, it’s back to business as usual – this has a 1:15 Tron variant, a 1:25 Ed McGuinness variant, and a 1:50 Marko Djurdjevic gatefold variant. It also introduces the Red Hulk into the cast, which might be something of a draw; HULK sales may have passed their peak, but there’s still a significant audience there who might not have been buying the book before.

8,19,20. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
11/05  #526 -  79,674
11/06  #536 - 118,833
11/07  ---
11/08  #578 -  66,564
=====
11/09  #610 -  61,170  ( -0.0%)
11/09  #611 -  64,514  ( +5.5%)
11/09  #612 -  68,459  ( +6.1%)
11/09  #613 -  64,499  ( -5.8%)
12/09  #614 -  59,696  ( -7.4%)
12/09  #615 -  63,738  ( +6.8%)
12/09  #616 -  58,856  ( -7.7%)
01/10  #617 -  76,730  (+30.4%)
01/10  #618 -  61,969  (-19.2%)
01/10  #619 -  56,837  ( -8.3%)
02/10  #620 -  59,860  ( +5.3%)
02/10  #621 -  55,350  ( -7.5%)
02/10  #622 -  53,929  ( -2.6%)
03/10  #623 -  66,064  (+22.5%)
03/10  #624 -  60,213  ( -8.9%)
03/10  #625 -  54,179  (-10.0%)
03/10  #626 -  53,868  ( -0.6%)
03/10  #627 -  54,206  ( +0.6%)
04/10  #628 -  57,797  ( +6.6%)
04/10  #629 -  53,560  ( -7.3%)
05/10  #630 -  57,969  ( +8.2%)
05/10  #631 -  57,239  ( -1.3%)
05/10  #632 -  56,723  ( -0.9%)
06/10  #633 -  57,670  ( +1.7%)
06/10  #634 -  61,736  ( +7.1%)
06/10  #635 -  56,146  ( -9.1%)
07/10  #636 -  56,011  ( -0.2%)
07/10  #637 -  56,031  ( +0.0%)
07/10  #638 -  68,271  (+21.8%)
08/10  #639 -  67,086  ( -1.7%)
08/10  #640 -  73,656  ( +9.8%)
09/10  #641 -  68,345  ( -7.2%)
09/10  #642 -  60,115  (-12.0%)
09/10  #643 -  61,855  ( +2.9%)
09/10  #644 -  58,310  ( -5.7%)
10/10  #645 -  56,709  ( -2.7%)
10/10  #646 -  58,125  ( +2.5%)
11/10  #647 -  55,819  ( -4.0%)
11/10  #648 -  77,033  (+38.0%)
11/10  #649 -  52,586  (-31.7%)
               6 mnth  ( -7.3%)
               1 year  (-14.0%)
               2 year  (-21.0%)
               3 year  (  --- )
               4 year  (-55.7%)
               5 year  (-34.0%)

Theoretically this is the start of AMAZING’s new fortnightly schedule, but because the book was running late, we actually get three issues this month. Issue #647 is a triple-sized anthology wrapping up the “Brand New Day” period – it’s got a 1:20 variant by Steve McNiven, but the previous issue had two variants, so the slight sales drop is not altogether surprising.

Issue #648 is the start of “Big Time”, supported by 1:15, 1:25 and 1:100 variants. Not surprisingly, it’s the one that makes the top 10. But issue #649 is just a regular issue left to stand by itself, so it’s probably the best measure of where the book stands right now – slightly down, but still in the same ballpark where it’s been hovering over the course of the year.

11.  NEW AVENGERS
11/05  #13    - 126,148
11/06  #25    - 136,504
11/07  #36    - 107,715
11/08  ---
=====
11/09  #59    -  74,379  ( -3.0%)
12/09  #60    -  72,790  ( -2.1%)
01/10  #61    -  78,202  ( +7.4%)
02/10  #62    -  76,405  ( -2.3%)
03/10  #63    -  76,145  ( -0.3%)
04/10  #64    -  75,430  ( -0.9%)
04/10  ---
05/10  Finale -  82,152  ( +8.9%)
06/10  #1     - 129,084  (+67.8%)
07/10  #2     -  83,397  (-35.4%)
08/10  #3     -  81,354  ( -2.4%)
09/10  #4     -  77,479  ( -4.7%)
10/10  #5     -  73,409  ( -5.3%)
11/10  #6     -  66,724  ( -9.1%)
                 6 mnth  (-18.8%)
                 1 year  (-10.3%)
                 2 year  (  --- )
                 3 year  (-38.1%)
                 4 year  (-64.8%)
                 5 year  (-47.1%)

13.  SECRET AVENGERS
05/10  #1 - 110,681
06/10  #2 -  77,933  (-30.0%)
07/10  #3 -  72,293  ( -7.2%)
08/10  #4 -  74,655  ( +3.3%)
09/10  #5 -  69,546  ( -6.8%)
10/10  #6 -  68,617  ( -1.3%)
11/10  #7 -  59,999  (-12.6%)
             6 mnth  (-45.8%)

Hefty drops for the B- and C-level AVENGERS titles, but that’s understandable when you look at the variants. NEW AVENGERS #6 is the first issue of the series without any variant cover; everything before now has had at least a 1:75 variant and usually something more as well. Much the same goes for SECRET AVENGERS #7, although at least it gets a 1:15 Tron variant to help it out a bit. So while there’s very likely an underlying decline on both titles, it’s nowhere near as steep as these drops make it appear.

14.  UNCANNY X-MEN
11/05  #466 -  82,825
11/06  #480 -  88,584
11/07  #492 - 102,511
11/08  #504 -  77,773
=====
11/09  #517 -  69,557  ( -5.9%)
12/09  #518 -  68,572  ( -1.4%)
12/09  #519 -  67,043  ( -2.2%)
01/10  #520 -  65,758  ( -1.9%)
02/10  #521 -  67,049  ( +2.0%)
03/10  #522 -  67,996  ( +1.4%)
04/10  #523 -  78,999  (+16.2%)
05/10  #524 -  77,056  ( -2.5%)
06/10  #525 -  76,068  ( -1.3%)
07/10  #526 -  66,723  (-12.3%)
08/10  #527 -  69,052  ( +3.5%)
09/10  #528 -  62,415  ( -9.6%)
10/10  #529 -  62,256  ( -0.3%)
11/10  #530 -  58,006  ( -6.8%)
               6 mnth  (-24.7%)
               1 year  (-16.6%)
               2 year  (-25.4%)
               3 year  (-43.4%)
               4 year  (-34.5%)
               5 year  (-30.0%)

No variant this time, so the month-to-month drop is slightly exaggerated. Having said that, September’s issue #528 didn’t have a variant either, so the book still appears to have shed something in the region of 4,000 sales in two months, which isn’t great.

17.  X-MEN
07/10  #1 - 143,167
08/10  #2 -  71,464  (-50.1%)
09/10  #3 -  66,549  ( -6.9%)
10/10  #4 -  63,772  ( -4.2%)
11/10  #5 -  56,651  (-11.2%)

Dropping below UNCANNY for the first time, but that shouldn’t be a surprise; UNCANNY is still being treated as the flagship X-title. The “Curse of the Mutants” crossover storyline is still running, and this issue has a 1:25 variant, though that’s a significant scaleback from earlier issues and likely explains why the drop is steeper this month. Nonetheless, it looks like the book is still quite some way from finding its level.

18. UNCANNY X-FORCE
11/08  #9      - 57,241
=====
11/09  #21     - 53,967  ( +10.3%)
12/09  #22     - 51,859  (  -3.9%)
01/10  #23     - 50,848  (  -1.9%)
02/10  #24     - 49,790  (  -2.1%)
03/10  #25     - 49,910  (  +0.2%)
04/10  #26     - 67,512  ( +35.3%)
05/10  #27     - 62,509  (  -7.4%)
06/10  ---
07/10  #28     - 61,680  (  -1.3%)
07/10  Sex #1  - 41,426  ( -32.8%)
08/10  #2 of 3 - 38,480  (  -7.1%)
09/10  #3 of 3 - 37,283  (  -3.1%)
10/10  #1      - 99,194  (+166.1%)
11/10  #2      - 56,518  ( -43.0%)
                 6 mnth  (  -9.6%)
                 1 year  (  +4.7%)
                 2 year  (  -1.3%)

Much healthier than the 43% drop might suggest. Issue #1 had a horde of variant covers; this has none. Ignore the final three issues of the previous run, which were part of the “Second Coming” crossover, and you’ll see that it was doing a little under 50K before the relaunch (and that’s with the benefit of variant covers and tie-ins to the “Necrosha-X” crossover). So thus far, the book seems to be up as a result of the relaunch. Issue #1 picks up re-orders of 3,555, which are added to the numbers above.

21. WOLVERINE
11/05  #36  -  85,969
11/06  #48  -  99,991
11/07  #59  -  65,725
11/08  #69  -  93,914
=====
11/09  WX#7 -  36,108  (  -6.1%)
12/09  #8   -  33,470  (  -7.3%)
01/10  #9   -  31,678  (  -5.4%)
02/10  #10  -  30,132  (  -4.9%)
03/10  #11  -  29,799  (  -1.1%)
04/10  #12  -  30,050  (  +0.8%)
05/10  #13  -  29,773  (  -0.9%)
06/10  #14  -  30,035  (  +0.9%)
07/10  #15  -  29,555  (  -1.6%)
08/10  #16  -  29,424  (  -0.4%)
09/10  #1   - 104,414  (+254.9%)
10/10  #2   -  63,210  ( -39.5%)
11/10  #3   -  51,600  ( -18.4%)
               6 mnth  ( +73.3%)
               1 year  ( +42.9%)
               2 year  ( -45.1%)
               3 year  ( -21.5%)
               4 year  ( -48.4%)
               5 year  ( -40.0%)

No variant this month, compared to two 1:15 variants last month, so again the drop should be exaggerated.

The good news is that, so far, the book is up significantly from sales before the relaunch, which had bottomed out at around 30K. The bad news? Well, to be honest, these sales aren’t too far removed from the first three issues of WOLVERINE: WEAPON X (98K, 59K, 51K), and we saw how that turned out.

I still suspect that this will settle at a higher level than WEAPON X did, but you only have to look at the earlier years to see that these are still pretty weak sales for the lead Wolverine title. For comparison, let’s break with the usual running order and see how the two spin-off titles are doing:

49. DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE
11/09  #80 - 52,394  (-12.8%)
12/09  #81 - 48,102  ( -8.2%)
01/10  #82 - 54,838  (+14.0%)
02/10  #83 - 53,958  ( -1.6%)
03/10  #84 - 49,469  ( -8.3%)
04/10  #85 - 47,527  ( -3.9%)
05/10  #86 - 46,315  ( -2.6%)
06/10  #87 - 43,087  ( -7.0%)
07/10  #88 - 42,522  ( -1.3%)
08/10  #89 - 41,409  ( -2.6%)
08/10  #90 - 39,815  ( -3.8%)
09/10  #1  - 48,819  (+22.6%)
10/10  #2  - 38,660  (-22.9%)
11/10  #3  - 32,679  (-15.5%)
             6 mnth  (-29.4%)
             1 year  (-37.6%)

56. X-23
09/10  #1 - 48,481
10/10  #2 - 35,280  (-27.2%)
11/10  #3 - 31,224  (-11.5%)

Both books are without a variant cover this month, so the drops are going to be slightly exaggerated. Nonetheless, three issues in to its new run, DAKEN is clearly miles below its previous sales levels, which suggests that some readers took the relaunch as a jumping off point. As for X-23, it’s selling in roughly the same quantities as its sibling – understandable enough, since Marjorie Liu is writing both books, and so you’d expect them to appeal to similar tastes.

23. THOR
11/05  ---
11/06  ---
11/07  #4     - 106,541
11/08  ---
=====
11/09  Finale -  53,566  (-17.9%)
12/09  #604   -  61,608  (+15.0%)
12/09  #605   -  55,242  (-10.3%)
01/10  #606   -  55,353  ( +0.2%)
02/10  #607   -  66,973  (+21.0%)
03/10  #608   -  62,012  ( -7.4%)
04/10  #609   -  64,522  ( +4.0%)
05/10  #610   -  61,779  ( -4.3%)
06/10  #611   -  56,443  ( -8.6%)
07/10  #612   -  53,373  ( -5.4%)
08/10  #613   -  51,076  ( -4.3%)
09/10  #614   -  53,505  ( +4.8%)
09/10  #615   -  52,896  ( -1.2%)
10/10  #616   -  51,051  ( -3.5%)
11/10  #617   -  49,165  ( -3.7%)
                 6 mnth  (-20.4%)
                 1 year  ( -8.2%)
                 2 year  (  --- )
                 3 year  (-53.9%)
                 4 year  (  --- )
                 5 year  (  --- )

Drifting down, but nothing of any great concern. And again, this seems a sensible place to break from the usual running order and run through the multitude of Thor books which Marvel are currently churning out – in most cases, it seems, with a view to generating tie-in material for the movie.

50. ULTIMATE COMICS THOR
10/10  #1 of 4 - 49,747
11/10  #2 of 4 - 31,829  (-36.0%)

58. ASTONISHING THOR
11/10  #1 of 5 - 29,202

83. IRON MAN/THOR
11/10  #1 of 4 - 21,416

84. THOR: FOR ASGARD
09/10  #1 of 6 - 32,236
09/10  #2 of 6 - 28,563  (-11.4%)
10/10  #3 of 6 - 23,724  (-16.9%)
11/10  #4 of 6 - 20,934  (-11.8%)

93. CHAOS WAR: THOR
11/10  #1 of 2 - 19,738

131. WARRIORS THREE
11/10  #1 of 4 - 14,203

133. THOR: FIRST THUNDER
09/10  #1 of 5 - 21,228
10/10  #2 of 5 - 16,126  (-24.0%)
11/10  #3 of 5 - 14,038  (-12.9%)

186. THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER
07/10  #1 - 20,076
07/10  #2 - 14,315  (-28.7%)
08/10  #3 - 12,112  (-15.4%)
09/10  #4 - 10,887  (-10.1%)
10/10  #5 -  9,673  (-11.2%)
11/10  #6 -  8,420  (-13.0%)

Yes, that’s right, Marvel shipped nine THOR titles in November – well, eight if you don’t count WARRIORS THREE, but come on now. Needless to say, they’re almost all being mutually lost in the shuffle.

ASTONISHING THOR is the latest of Marvel’s “Astonishing” minis which are supposed to be some sort of prestige line, but don’t seem to be reflecting that in terms of sales – the first issue comes in some 20K behind last month’s ULTIMATE THOR debut. CHAOS WAR: THOR is a CHAOS WAR tie-in mini and is in a slightly different position to the rest of the Thor Deluge. And THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER is cancelled with issue #8.

Other than that, there really doesn’t seem to be much point in listing these books separately; the most striking thing about them is that the sheer quantity turns them all into an indistinguishable mulch, and makes it all the more difficult for any of them to stand out from the pack and find an audience. Do Marvel really think that the average reader can even remember which one THOR: FOR ASGARD is, let alone make a decision to buy it? This is, surely, textbook oversaturation of the market, particularly when applied to a character who has historically never been able to sustain this volume of spin-off material even in healthier times.

24. CAPTAIN AMERICA
11/05  #12       - 45,038
11/06  #24       - 79,885
11/07  #32       - 73,310
11/08  #44       - 75,493
=====
11/09  Reborn #4 - 96,571  (-10.9%)
12/09  Reborn #5 - 91,790  ( -5.0%)
01/10  Reborn #6 - 84,844  ( -7.6%)
01/10  #602      - 63,948  (-24.6%)
02/10  #603      - 63,568  ( -0.6%)
03/10  #604      - 56,962  (-10.4%)
04/10  #605      - 59,051  ( +3.7%)
05/10  ---
06/10  #606      - 57,443  ( -2.7%)
06/10  #607      - 52,989  ( -7.8%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #608      - 51,362  ( -3.1%)
08/10  #609      - 52,834  ( +2.9%)
09/10  #610      - 47,986  ( -9.2%)
10/10  #611      - 48,788  ( +1.7%)
11/10  #612      - 47,343  ( -3.0%)
                   6 mnth  (  --- )
                   1 year  (-51.0%)
                   2 year  (-37.3%)
                   3 year  (-35.4%)
                   4 year  (-40.7%)
                   5 year  ( +5.1%)

Drifting very slowly down. This issue and last both had 1:15 variants, so the trend is probably about right.

28. X-MEN LEGACY
11/05  #177 -  78,405
11/06  #193 -  80,102
11/07  #205 - 101,401
11/08  #218 -  63,512
=====
11/09  #229 -  50,789  ( -3.9%)
12/09  #230 -  49,776  ( -2.0%)
12/09  #231 -  50,929  ( +2.3%)
01/10  #232 -  49,200  ( -3.4%)
02/10  #233 -  51,344  ( +4.4%)
03/10  #234 -  48,217  ( -6.1%)
04/10  #235 -  65,302  (+35.4%)
05/10  #236 -  69,731  ( +6.8%)
06/10  #237 -  65,578  ( -6.0%)
07/10  #238 -  53,313  (-18.7%)
08/10  #239 -  53,236  ( -0.1%)
09/10  #240 -  50,984  ( -4.2%)
10/10  #241 -  48,133  ( -5.6%)
11/10  #242 -  43,750  ( -9.1%)
               6 mnth  (-37.3%)
               1 year  (-13.9%)
               2 year  (-31.1%)
               3 year  (-56.9%)
               4 year  (-45.4%)
               5 year  (-44.2%)

No variant this month, compared to 1:15 variants on the last three issues. So the month-to-month drop is exaggerated. The last issue without a variant cover was #238, but that seems to have benefitted from the afterglow of the “Second Coming” crossover, so it might not be an entirely fair comparison. Before that, you have to go to #234 in March, and that does show a fairly clear downward trend.

29. AVENGERS PRIME
06/10  #1 of 5 - 69,433
07/10  ---
08/10  #2 of 5 - 55,518  (-20.0%)
09/10  #3 of 5 - 48,173  (-13.2%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #4 of 5 - 41,932  (-13.0%)

Still shedding readers, even though it’s quite some way into its run.

31. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
11/05  ---
11/06  #13 - 76,800
11/07  ---
11/08  #7  - 49,356
=====
11/09  #20 - 61,667  (+30.7%)
12/09  #21 - 49,986  (-18.9%)
01/10  #22 - 49,130  ( -1.7%)
02/10  #23 - 50,027  ( +1.8%)
03/10  #24 - 49,239  ( -1.6%)
04/10  #25 - 73,694  (+49.7%)
05/10  #26 - 53,625  (-27.2%)
06/10  #27 - 52,268  ( -2.5%)
07/10  #28 - 48,690  ( -6.8%)
08/10  #29 - 49,012  ( +0.7%)
09/10  #30 - 47,238  ( -3.6%)
10/10  #31 - 45,507  ( -3.7%)
11/10  #32 - 40,978  (-10.0%)
             6 mnth  (-23.6%)
             1 year  (-33.5%)
             2 year  (-17.0%)
             3 year  (  --- )
             4 year  (-46.6%)
             5 year  (  --- )

And another book with no variant cover. The last such issue was #28, which would suggest that the book has lost 7,700 readers since July – at any rate, this is certainly way below the title’s established range.

32. ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN
11/05  #86  -  76,864
11/06  #102 -  77,121
11/07  #116 -  61,534
11/08  #128 -  52,187
=====
11/09  #4   -  49,106  ( -7.0%)
12/09  #5   -  45,849  ( -6.6%)
01/10  #6   -  43,622  ( -4.9%)
02/10  #7   -  42,176  ( -3.3%)
03/10  #8   -  40,967  ( -2.9%)
04/10  #9   -  39,955  ( -2.5%)
05/10  #10  -  39,690  ( -0.7%)
06/10  #11  -  39,149  ( -1.4%)
07/10  #12  -  37,879  ( -3.2%)
08/10  #13  -  36,946  ( -2.5%)
09/10  #14  -  35,776  ( -3.7%)
10/10  #15  -  34,657  ( -3.1%)
11/10  #150 -  40,553  (+17.0%)
               6 mnth  ( +2.2%)
               1 year  (-17.4%)
               2 year  (-22.3%)
               3 year  (-34.1%)
               4 year  (-47.4%)
               5 year  (-47.2%)

Returning to its original numbering, and bolstered by two variant covers – which is enough to get sales back to where they were in March, but doesn’t suggest that this is going to make a huge difference in the long term.

35. HULK
11/08  #8  - 90,776
=====
11/09  #17 - 52,653  ( -7.3%)
12/09  #18 - 53,222  ( +1.1%)
01/10  #19 - 56,738  ( +6.6%)
02/10  #20 - 51,962  ( -8.4%)
03/10  #21 - 50,785  ( -2.3%)
04/10  ---
05/10  #22 - 49,618  ( -2.3%)
06/10  #23 - 50,724  ( +2.2%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #24 - 48,903  ( -3.6%)
09/10  #25 - 46,784  ( -4.3%)
10/10  #26 - 42,934  ( -8.2%)
11/10  #27 - 38,691  ( -9.9%)
             6 mnth  (-22.0%)
             1 year  (-26.5%)
             2 year  (-57.4%)

Believe it or not, the very first issue of HULK not to have a variant cover.

36. FANTASTIC FOUR
11/05  #532 - 47,771
11/06  ---
11/07  #551 - 58,617
11/08  #561 - 61,331
=====
11/09  #573 - 39,433  ( -6.0%)
12/09  #574 - 38,431  ( -2.5%)
01/10  #575 - 41,284  ( +7.4%)
02/10  #576 - 37,526  ( -9.1%)
03/10  #577 - 35,791  ( -4.6%)
04/10  #578 - 37,940  ( +6.0%)
05/10  #579 - 38,415  ( +1.3%)
06/10  #580 - 36,582  ( -4.8%)
07/10  #581 - 35,505  ( -2.9%)
08/10  #582 - 34,617  ( -2.5%)
09/10  #583 - 42,257  (+22.1%)
10/10  #584 - 41,163  ( -2.6%)
11/10  #585 - 37,740  ( -8.3%)
              6 mnth  ( -1.8%)
              1 year  ( -4.3%)
              2 year  (-38.5%)
              3 year  (-35.6%)
              4 year  (  --- )
              5 year  (-21.0%)

Once again, no variant cover, but it does have the advantage of being part of the heavily promoted “Three” storyline. The last issue without a variant was issue #582, and sales are up from there, presumably on the strength of interest in the storyline.

37. GENERATION HOPE
11/10  #1 - 37,398

GENERATION HOPE is an X-Men spin-off starring Hope Summers and the new mutants who activated at the end of the “Second Coming” crossover. So it’s launched out of a major crossover; it was trailed with an entire story arc in UNCANNY X-MEN; and it’s supported by 1:15 and 1:75 variants.

Given all that – in particular the fact that it spins directly out of a heavily promoted storyline – I kind of assumed this would be ordered as a more than averagely significant X-book. In fact, it almost exactly matches the first issue sales of NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT. I’m honestly surprised that this didn’t do significantly better.

39. ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS
11/09  Vol 1 #4 - 59,023  ( -5.9%)
12/09  ---
01/10  ---
02/10  ---
03/10  Vol 1 #5 - 58,098  ( -1.6%)
04/10  Vol 1 #6 - 53,438  ( -8.0%)
04/10  Vol 2 #1 - 64,811  (+21.3%)
05/10  Vol 2 #2 - 52,939  (-18.3%)
06/10  Vol 2 #3 - 50,797  ( -4.0%)
06/10  Vol 2 #4 - 49,606  ( -2.3%)
07/10  Vol 2 #5 - 46,886  ( -5.5%)
08/10  Vol 2 #6 - 46,358  (-11.3%)
08/10  Vol 3 #1 - 53,870  (+16.2%)
09/10  Vol 3 #2 - 43,119  (-20.0%)
10/10  Vol 3 #3 - 38,529  (-10.6%)
11/10  Vol 3 #4 - 36,777  ( -4.5%)
                  6 mnth  (-30.5%)
                  1 year  (-37.7%)

Continuing its seemingly inexorable downward slide.

40. AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE
07/10  #1 of 9 - 44,934
08/10  ---
09/10  #2 of 9 - 35,497  (-21.0%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #3 of 9 - 35,410  ( -0.2%)

Well, that’s interesting – after the first issue drop, this book seems to have levelled out almost completely. Somewhat unusual behaviour these days, and it suggests there’s still a fairly loyal core Young Avengers readership out there.

41,44. INCREDIBLE HULKS
11/05  #88  -  41,141
11/06  #100 -  84,169
11/07  #111 - 101,536
11/08  #8   -  90,776
=====
11/09  #604 -  40,652  (-17.2%)
12/09  #605 -  43,964  ( +8.1%)
01/10  #606 -  48,197  ( +9.6%)
02/10  #607 -  45,870  ( -4.8%)
03/10  #608 -  47,148  ( +2.8%)
04/10  ---
05/10  #609 -  46,670  ( -1.0%)
06/10  #610 -  46,461  ( -0.4%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #611 -  44,982  ( -3.2%)
09/10  #612 -  42,956  ( -4.5%)
09/10  #613 -  40,063  ( -6.7%)
10/10  #614 -  39,572  ( -1.2%)
10/10  #615 -  36,750  ( -7.1%)
11/10  #616 -  35,296  ( -4.0%)
11/10  #617 -  34,340  ( -2.7%)
               6 mnth  (-26.4%)
               1 year  (-15.5%)
               2 year  (-62.1%)
               3 year  (-66.2%)
               4 year  (-59.2%)
               5 year  (-16.5%)

The last three issues all lacked variant covers, so we’ve got a fairly clear picture of the trend here – it’s losing about 1,000 sales an issue right now, but levelling out a bit.

42. SUPERIOR  [Icon]
10/10  #1 of 6 - 40,842
11/10  #2 of 6 - 34,688  (-15.1%)

Mark Millar continues to enjoy great sales on his creator-owned projects. That’s a pretty modest second issue drop.

52. THUNDERBOLTS
11/05  #15  - 25,245
11/06  #108 - 27,890
11/07  ---
11/08  #126 - 34,640
=====
11/09  #138 - 31,238  ( -3.6%)
12/09  #139 - 29,957  ( -4.1%)
01/10  #140 - 28,644  ( -4.4%)
02/10  #141 - 33,948  (+18.5%)
03/10  #142 - 34,132  ( +0.5%)
04/10  #143 - 35,656  ( +4.5%)
05/10  #144 - 33,276  ( -6.7%)
06/10  #145 - 31,999  ( -3.8%)
07/10  #146 - 31,501  ( -1.6%)
08/10  #147 - 31,252  ( -0.8%)
09/10  #148 - 32,190  ( +3.0%)
10/10  #149 - 30,580  ( -5.0%)
11/10  #150 - 31,704  ( +3.7%)
              6 mnth  ( -4.7%)
              1 year  ( +1.5%)
              2 year  ( -8.5%)
              3 year  (  --- )
              4 year  (+13.7%)
              5 year  (+25.6%)

Giant-size anniversary issue. Sales seem pretty steady around the 30-31K mark.

54. DEADPOOL
11/08  #4  - 49,577
=====
11/09  #17 - 46,765  ( +1.0%)
12/09  #18 - 45,914  ( -1.8%)
01/10  ---
02/10  #19 - 44,580  ( -2.9%)
02/10  #20 - 43,347  ( -2.8%)
03/10  #21 - 42,062  ( -3.0%)
04/10  #22 - 43,061  ( +2.4%)
05/10  #23 - 42,761  ( -0.7%)
06/10  #24 - 38,663  ( -9.6%)
07/10  #25 - 36,828  ( -4.7%)
08/10  #26 - 35,595  ( -3.3%)
09/10  #27 - 36,404  ( +2.3%)
10/10  #28 - 34,828  ( -4.3%)
11/10  #29 - 31,350  (-10.0%)
             6 mnth  (-26.7%)
             1 year  (-33.0%)
             2 year  (-36.8%)

You guessed it – another book taking a break from the variants this month. The last no-variant issue was #26, so sales are down a little over 4,000 since August.

59. THANOS IMPERATIVE
05/10  Ignition - 29,716
06/10  #1 of 6  - 34,285  (+13.4%)
07/10  #2 of 6  - 31,888  ( -7.0%)
08/10  #3 of 6  - 30,493  ( -4.4%)
09/10  #4 of 6  - 29,704  ( -2.6%)
10/10  #5 of 6  - 29,614  ( -0.3%)
11/10  #6 of 6 -  29,188  ( -1.4%)

Pretty much rock solid after the second-issue drop, which might explain why Marvel are commissioning more “cosmic” stories after all.

61. CHAOS WAR
11/08  Herc #123 - 35,780
=====
11/09  Herc #138 - 25,116  (  +7.0%)
12/09  #139      - 23,591  (  -6.1%)
01/10  #140      - 23,244  (  -1.5%)
02/10  #141      - 24,539  (  +5.6%)
03/10  Fall #1   - 23,036  (  -6.1%)
04/10  #2 of 2   - 20,215  ( -12.2%)
05/10  Prince #1 - 20,373  (  +0.8%)
06/10  #2 of 4   - 17,068  ( -16.2%)
07/10  #3 of 4   - 15,667  (  -8.2%)
08/10  #4 of 4   - 17,137  (  +9.4%)
09/10  ---
10/10  Chaos #1  - 34,509  (+101.4%)
10/10  #2 of 5   - 29,375  ( -14.9%)
11/10  #3 of 5   - 28,630  (  -2.5%)
                   6 mnth  ( +40.5%)
                   1 year  ( +14.0%)
                   2 year  ( -20.0%)

This is doing remarkably well. It’s really a continuation of the HERCULES ongoing series, as were the two minis that preceded it – but this time, readers seem to have bought into the presentation of the story as an event in its own right, and sales are significantly up.

63. X-FACTOR
11/06  #13  - 42,844
11/07  #25  - 79,066
11/08  #37  - 35,754
=====
11/09  ---
12/09  #200 - 36,577  (+21.4%)
01/10  #201 - 29,732  (-18.7%)
02/10  #202 - 30,981  ( +4.2%)
03/10  #203 - 28,924  ( -6.6%)
04/10  #204 - 40,534  (+40.1%)
05/10  #205 - 41,745  ( +3.0%)
06/10  #206 - 40,981  ( -1.8%)
07/10  #207 - 32,082  (-21.7%)
08/10  #208 - 30,095  ( -6.2%)
09/10  #209 - 29,626  ( -1.6%)
10/10  #210 - 27,548  ( -7.0%)
11/10  #211 - 26,632  ( -3.3%)
              6 mnth  (-36.2%)
              1 year  (  --- )
              2 year  (-25.5%)
              3 year  (-66.3%)
              4 year  (-37.8%)

X-FACTOR, unusually, hasn’t had a variant cover since May, so its figures are relatively transparent. But bear in mind that it’s another X-book which saw a lasting gain from the “Second Coming” crossover – before that, it was doing around 29K, and it’s only in the last couple of months that it’s dropped back below that level.

66. AVENGERS ACADEMY
06/10  #1 - 45,890  (+20.3%)
07/10  #2 - 38,061  (-17.1%)
08/10  #3 - 35,629  ( -6.4%)
09/10  #4 - 31,212  (-12.4%)
10/10  #5 - 31,272  ( +0.2%)
11/10  #6 - 25,977  (-16.9%)

This actually DOES have a variant cover, although the incentive ratios are a lot lower than last month. Still, the general trend doesn’t look too great here.

68. NEW MUTANTS
11/09  #7  - 33,328  ( -4.7%)
12/09  #8  - 32,240  ( -3.3%)
01/10  #9  - 30,572  ( -5.2%)
02/10  #10 - 30,807  ( +0.8%)
03/10  #11 - 36,629  (+18.9%)
04/10  #12 - 49,591  (+35.4%)
05/10  #13 - 54,169  ( +9.2%)
06/10  #14 - 53,926  ( -0.4%)
07/10  #15 - 35,426  (-34.3%)
08/10  #16 - 31,989  ( -9.7%)
09/10  #17 - 31,684  ( -1.0%)
10/10  #18 - 27,027  (-14.7%)
11/10  #19 - 25,440  ( -5.9%)
             6 mnth  (-53.0%)
             1 year  (-23.7%)

Second straight month without a variant, and again the downward trend is visible.

70. SCARLET  [Icon]
07/10  #1 - 34,938
08/10  ---
09/10  #2 - 27,312  (-21.8%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #3 - 24,986  ( -8.5%)

Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev’s new title is levelling out quite nicely.

73. SECRET WARRIORS
11/09  #10 - 31,567  (-13.2%)
12/09  #11 - 30,748  ( -2.6%)
01/10  #12 - 29,894  ( -2.8%)
02/10  #13 - 30,843  ( +3.2%)
03/10  #14 - 28,580  ( -7.3%)
04/10  #15 - 29,669  ( +3.8%)
05/10  #16 - 29,340  ( -1.1%)
06/10  #17 - 28,017  ( -4.5%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #18 - 27,415  ( -2.1%)
08/10  #19 - 26,902  ( -1.9%)
09/10  #20 - 25,947  ( -3.5%)
10/10  #21 - 24,748  ( -4.6%)
11/10  #22 - 24,059  ( -2.8%)
             6 mnth  (-18.0%)
             1 year  (-23.8%)

Fairly steady. The book is coming to a close within the next six months or so, when the storyline concludes.

74. SPIDER-GIRL
11/10  #1 - 23,926

This looks like it may be another example of Marvel over-extending a franchise that won’t bear the weight. This has three covers, including a 1:15 incentive, so 24K isn’t a great starting point. HAWKEYE AND MOCKINGBIRD launched higher than this.

75. CAPTAIN AMERICA: MAN OUT OF TIME
11/10  #1 of 5 - 23,566

Marvel have been a bit more restrained with Captain America than with Thor, but we’ve still had a string of minis generating material to tie in with the upcoming movie. This is an updated version of Captain America being revived in the present day, which at least makes sense as a possible entry point to market to new readers.

76. DEADPOOLMAX  [Max]
10/10  #1 - 29,176
11/10  #2 - 23,382  (-19.9%)

Despite appearing in one set of solicitations as a six-issue miniseries, this book seems to be safe as an ongoing title for now. The second issue drop is fairly reasonable.

78. OSBORN
11/10  #1 of 5 - 23,152

Not the most mainstream of stories in tone, admittedly, but I’m a little surprised that this mini didn’t do slightly better, if only because Norman Osborn has been such a high-profile character in the last couple of years that surely some readers want to know what happens to him next.

86. NAMOR: THE FIRST MUTANT
08/10  #1 - 37,399
09/10  #2 - 23,880  (-36.1%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #3 - 20,541  (-14.0%)

The drops are exaggerated because the book has been scaling back the variant covers (this issue doesn’t have any), but it’s still plainly not a good number for the third issue of an ongoing series.

88. CHAOS WAR: DEAD AVENGERS
11/10  #1 of 3 - 20,312

The top selling Chaos War tie-in book (though CHAOS WAR: THOR wasn’t far behind).

89. PUNISHER: IN THE BLOOD
11/06  #1      - 102,727
11/07  #13     -  41,783
11/08  #25     -  29,982
=====
11/09  #11     -  24,900  ( -8.3%)
12/09  #12     -  24,985  ( +0.3%)
01/10  #13     -  23,734  ( -5.0%)
02/10  #14     -  23,455  ( -1.8%)
03/10  #15     -  22,285  ( -5.0%)
04/10  #16     -  23,047  ( +3.4%)
05/10  ---
06/10  #17     -  22,378  ( -2.9%)
06/10  #18     -  19,605  (-12.4%)
07/10  #19     -  24,947  (+27.2%)
08/10  #20     -  24,304  ( -2.6%)
09/10  #21     -  20,036  (-17.6%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #1 of 5 -  20,028  ( -0.0%)
                  6 mnth  (  --- )
                  1 year  (-19.6%)
                  2 year  (-33.2%)
                  3 year  (-52.1%)
                  4 year  (-80.5%)

Picking up exactly where the regular title left off – though that doesn’t mean we won’t get the usual second issue drop in December.

96. X-MEN: TO SERVE AND PROTECT
09/10  Vampires #1   - 25,654
10/10  #2 of 2       - 23,362  ( -8.9%)
11/10  Serve #1 of 4 - 19,273  (-17.5%)

Another X-Men anthology title, following on immediately from the X-MEN VS VAMPIRES mini – with diminishing returns.

97. SHE-HULKS
11/10  #1 - 18,616

Originally announced as an ongoing title, but pre-emptively cancelled with issue #4, for fairly obvious reasons.

98. INVADERS NOW!
09/10  #1 of 5 - 33,696
10/10  #2 of 5 - 21,137  (-37.3%)
11/10  #3 of 5 - 18,366  (-13.1%)

Well, it’s the Invaders. It’s a niche market.

99. DEADPOOL CORPS
03/10  Prelude #1 - 37,011
03/10  #2 of 5    - 32,024  (-13.5%)
03/10  #3 of 5    - 31,065  ( -3.0%)
03/10  #4 of 5    - 30,254  ( -2.6%)
03/10  #5 of 5    - 29,037  ( -4.0%)
04/10  Corps #1   - 39,466  (+35.9%)
05/10  #2         - 28,236  (-28.5%)
06/10  #3         - 26,251  ( -7.0%)
07/10  #4         - 24,476  ( -6.8%)
08/10  #5         - 22,887  ( -6.5%)
09/10  #6         - 21,888  ( -4.4%)
10/10  #7         - 19,644  (-10.3%)
11/10  #8         - 18,267  ( -7.0%)
                    6 mnth  (-35.3%)

102. DEADPOOL TEAM-UP
11/09  #899 - 39,584  (-22.9%)
12/09  #898 - 36,308  ( -8.3%)
01/10  #897 - 32,671  (-10.0%)
02/10  #896 - 30,119  ( -7.8%)
03/10  #895 - 28,573  ( -5.1%)
04/10  #894 - 28,835  ( +0.9%)
05/10  #893 - 26,578  ( -7.8%)
06/10  #892 - 23,697  (-10.8%)
07/10  #891 - 22,439  ( -5.3%)
08/10  #890 - 21,279  ( -5.2%)
09/10  #889 - 19,917  ( -6.4%)
10/10  #888 - 18,394  ( -7.6%)
11/10  #887 - 17,677  ( -3.9%)
              6 mnth  (-33.5%)
              1 year  (-55.3%)

Both apparently cancelled in March, though Marvel are still running “vote for which one gets axed” ads.

103,107. CHAOS WAR ONE-SHOTS
11/10  Chaos King   - 17,578
11/10  Alpha Flight - 17,164

More CHAOS WAR tie-ins – not huge sellers, but doing quite respectably.

110. THE STAND
11/09  Soul Survivors #2 - 25,600  ( -7.7%)
12/09  #3 of 5           - 24,308  ( -5.0%)
01/10  ---
02/10  #4 of 5           - 22,804  ( -6.2%)
03/10  #5 of 5           - 22,294  ( -2.2%)
04/10  ---
05/10  ---
06/10  Hardcases #1      - 20,802  ( -6.7%)
07/10  #2 of 5           - 19,194  ( -7.7%)
08/10  #3 of 5           - 18,352  ( -4.4%)
09/10  ---
10/10  #4 of 5           - 17,186  ( -6.4%)
11/10  #5 of 5           - 16,751  ( -2.5%)
                           6 mnth  (  --- )
                           1 year  (-34.6%)

Drifting down, but bear in mind that THE STAND is presumably targeted to a large extent at readers of the collected editions.

113. THUNDERSTRIKE
11/10  #1 of 5 - 15,689

Revival of the mid-nineties THOR spin-off. Seems a rather odd time to do it, when the market is being saturated with actual Thor material.

117. BULLSEYE: PERFECT GAME
11/10  #1 of 2 - 15,462

A seemingly random Bullseye miniseries, rather oddly scheduled to come out after the character was killed off in SHADOWLAND.

122. DEADPOOL: PULP
09/10  #1 of 4 - 20,965
10/10  #2 of 4 - 16,782  (-20.0%)
11/10  #3 of 4 - 15,009  (-10.6%)

Well, it’s doing better than the NOIR books were, to be fair.

123. ANT-MAN & WASP
11/10  #1 of 3 - 14,975

That would be a team-up of Hank Pym (the current Wasp) and the current version of Ant-Man, from HACK/SLASH creator Tim Seeley. It’s actually very readable, in the vein of IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN, but the characters may not have the prominence to support this sort of mini.

125. BLACK WIDOW
04/10  #1 - 32,807
05/10  #2 - 23,384  (-28.7%)
06/10  #3 - 19,892  (-14.9%)
07/10  #4 - 18,665  ( -6.2%)
08/10  #5 - 17,568  ( -5.9%)
09/10  #6 - 18,499  ( +5.3%)
10/10  #7 - 16,653  (-10.0%)
11/10  #8 - 14,856  (-10.9%)
            6 mnth  (-36.5%)

Cancelled, though it effectively continues into the WIDOWMAKER miniseries (originally planned as a crossover between this book and HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD).

126. SHADOWLAND: BLOOD ON THE STREETS
08/10  #1 of 4 - 22,110
09/10  #2 of 4 - 19,199  (-13.2%)
10/10  #3 of 4 - 16,396  (-14.6%)
11/10  #4 of 4 - 14,617  (-10.9%)

SHADOWLAND itself is on a skip month, as is parent title DAREDEVIL, but we still have some of the tie-in minis hanging in there at the lower end of the chart. Considering the obscure characters involved, this actually hasn’t done badly.

130. HAWKEYE AND MOCKINGBIRD
06/10  #1 - 27,552
07/10  #2 - 20,531  (-25.5%)
08/10  #3 - 17,870  (-13.0%)
09/10  #4 - 16,405  ( -8.2%)
10/10  #5 - 15,337  ( -6.5%)
11/10  #6 - 14,217  ( -7.3%)

Cancelled, though as noted above, it leads into WIDOWMAKER and, it seems, from there into a Hawkeye solo mini.

132. SHADOWLAND: DAUGHTERS OF THE SHADOW
08/10  #1 of 3 - 19,513
09/10  #2 of 3 - 16,265  (-16.6%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #3 of 3 - 14,129  (-13.1%)

Again, not too bad given the prominence of the characters.

134. IRON MAN LEGACY
04/10  #1 - 48,956
05/10  #2 - 29,175  (-40.4%)
06/10  #3 - 23,340  (-20.0%)
07/10  #4 - 20,142  (-13.7%)
08/10  #5 - 17,773  (-11.8%)
09/10  #6 - 15,949  (-10.3%)
10/10  #7 - 14,882  ( -6.7%)
11/10  #8 - 13,686  ( -8.0%)
            6 mnth  (-53.1%)

Below two cancelled titles and surely in some danger.

135. SHADOWLAND: POWER MAN
08/10  #1 of 4 - 21,206
09/10  #2 of 4 - 17,647  (-17.0%)
10/10  #3 of 4 - 15,147  (-14.2%)
11/10  #4 of 4 - 13,584  (-10.3%)

A sequel, POWER MAN AND IRON FIST (with the new Power Man and the original Iron Fist), is coming out in early 2011.

137. OZMA OF OZ
11/10  #1 of 8 - 13,222

More Oz, doing considerably better than usual for Marvel’s novel adaptations.

138. TASKMASTER
09/10  #1 of 4 - 18,550
10/10  #2 of 4 - 14,553  (-21.5%)
11/10  #3 of 4 - 13,127  ( -9.8%)

Levelling out relatively quickly, at least. (And it’s very good.)

141,152. IRON MAN: RAPTURE
11/10  #1 of 4 - 12,479
11/10  #2 of 4 - 11,239  (-9.9%)

A Marvel Knights mini by Alexander Irvine and Lan Medina. Two issues this month, a format which often leads to relatively modest second-issue drops being balanced out next month.

142. I AM AN AVENGER
09/10  #1 of 5 - 20,922
10/10  #2 of 5 - 14,882  (-28.9%)
11/10  #3 of 5 - 12,277  (-17.5%)

Anthology title, looking like the sales won’t be very pretty by the end of the run.

143. AVENGERS & THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
08/10  #1 of 4 - 24,438
09/10  #2 of 4 - 17,733  (-27.4%)
10/10  #3 of 4 - 13,796  (-22.2%)
11/10  #4 of 4 - 12,064  (-12.6%)

All-ages retelling of INFINITY GAUNTLET, and by those standards it’s done well.

145,148. X-MEN FOREVER
11/09  #11  - 20,130  ( -9.7%)
11/09  #12  - 19,541  ( -2.9%)
12/09  #13  - 18,870  ( -3.4%)
12/09  #14  - 18,376  ( -2.6%)
01/10  #15  - 17,665  ( -3.9%)
01/10  #16  - 17,290  ( -2.1%)
02/10  #17  - 17,873  ( +3.4%)
02/10  #18  - 16,464  ( -7.9%)
03/10  #19  - 16,183  ( -1.7%)
03/10  #20  - 15,990  ( -1.2%)
04/10  #21  - 15,530  ( -2.9%)
04/10  #22  - 15,305  ( -1.4%)
05/10  #23  - 15,045  ( -1.7%)
05/10  #24  - 14,940  ( -0.7%)
06/10  GS#1 - 15,039  ( +0.7%)
06/10  #1   - 16,094  ( +7.0%)
06/10  #2   - 14,933  ( -7.2%)
07/10  #3   - 14,151  ( -5.2%)
07/10  #4   - 13,835  ( -2.2%)
08/10  #5   - 13,632  ( -1.5%)
08/10  #6   - 13,351  ( -2.1%)
09/10  #7   - 12,869  ( -3.6%)
09/10  #8   - 12,753  ( -0.9%)
10/10  #9   - 12,260  ( -3.9%)
10/10  #10  - 12,064  (-16.0%)
11/10  #11  - 12,018  ( -0.4%)
11/10  #12  - 11,756  ( -2.2%)
              6 mnth  (-21.3%)
              1 year  (-41.6%)

Cancelled with #16.

149. INCREDIBLE HULKS: ENIGMA FORCE
09/10  #1 of 3 - 16,206
10/10  #2 of 3 - 12,634  (-22.0%)
11/10  #3 of 3 - 11,696  ( -7.4%)

Not great sales for a Micronauts mini, but it’s only three issues and wasn’t particularly clearly promoted. (Well, that’ll happen when you can’t call them “Micronauts” any more.)

156. YOUNG ALLIES
06/10  #1 - 20,858
07/10  #2 - 16,209  (-22.3%)
08/10  #3 - 14,016  (-13.5%)
09/10  #4 - 12,620  (-10.0%)
10/10  #5 - 11,265  (-10.7%)
11/10  #6 - 11,015  ( -2.2%)

Cancelled. Issue #7 was solicited but isn’t shipping.

161. NEW MUTANTS FOREVER
08/10  #1 of 5 - 16,784
09/10  #2 of 5 - 13,778  (-17.9%)
10/10  #3 of 5 - 11,910  (-13.6%)
11/10  #4 of 5 - 10,515  (-11.7%)

Fairly close to its spiritual parent title X-MEN FOREVER, which is as good as could reasonably have been hoped for.

162. KLAWS OF THE PANTHER
11/05  BP #10     - 31,987
11/06  #22        - 41,268
11/07  #32        - 28,426
11/08  ---
=====
11/09  BP #10     - 19,147  (  -5.9%)
12/09  #11        - 17,989  (  -6.0%)
01/10  #12        - 17,881  (  -1.0%)
02/10  Doomwar #1 - 43,241  (+141.8%)
03/10  #2 of 6    - 30,555  ( -29.3%)
04/10  #3 of 6    - 27,859  (  -8.9%)
05/10  #4 of 6    - 28,307  (  +1.6%)
06/10  #5 of 6    - 26,041  (  -8.0%)
07/10  ---
08/10  #6 of 6    - 24,797  (  -4.8%)
09/10  ---
10/10  Klaws #1   - 16,973  ( -31.6%)
10/10  #2 of 4    - 12,960  ( -23.6%)
11/10  #3 of 4    - 10,356  ( -20.1%)
                    6 mnth  ( -63.4%)
                    1 year  ( -45.9%)
                    2 year  (   --- )
                    3 year  ( -63.6%)
                    4 year  ( -74.9%)
                    5 year  ( -67.6%)

This looks set to dip below the 10K mark next month. With T’Challa taking over as the lead character of DAREDEVIL for a while, this surely marks the end of the BLACK PANTHER title until the next inevitable relaunch comes around.

165. STRANGE TALES 2  [Max]
10/10  #1 of 3 - 11,800
11/10  #2 of 3 -  9,960  (-15.6%)

Maybe it’s just me, but this doesn’t seem to be attracting as much attention as the original mini did.

167. CAPTAIN AMERICA: FOREVER ALLIES
08/10  #1 of 4 - 17,418
09/10  #2 of 4 - 13,131  (-24.6%)
10/10  #3 of 4 - 10,813  (-17.7%)
11/10  #4 of 4 -  9,905  ( -8.4%)

A Young Allies reunion series, which is plainly a rather niche proposition.

173. OFFICIAL HANDBOOK
02/10  A to Z Update #1 of 5 -  5,406
03/10  Deadpool Corps        - 21,900  (+305.1%)
04/10  Iron Manual Mark 3    -  9,456  ( -56.8%)
05/10  Avengers Assemble #1  - 15,113  ( +59.8%)
06/10  A to Z Update #2 of 5 -  5,312  ( -64.9%)
07/10  X-Men: Phoenix Force  -  9,566  ( +80.1%)
08/10  A to Z Update #3 of 5 -  4,962  ( -48.1%)
09/10  Heroic Age: Heroes    - 11,224  (+126.2%)
10/10  A to Z Update #4 of 5 -  4,990  ( -55.5%)
11/10  Heroic Age: Villains  -  9,294  ( +86.3%)
                               6 mnth  ( -38.5%)

As usual, wavering all over the place according to theme. The HEROIC AGE profile books aren’t really handbooks in the normal sense, but they’re filling the same slot on the schedule, so I’m treating them as part of the same series for now.

189. WOMEN OF MARVEL
11/10  #1 of 2 - 8,145

Reprints from Marvel’s digital service.

And from here on, it’s all-ages books, movie adaptations, promotional material and so forth, all included here for the sake of completeness.

191. AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES
11/10  #1 of 4 - 7,934

209. TRON: ORIGINAL MOVIE ADAPTATION
11/10  #1 of 2 - 6,854

226. X-MEN: CURSE OF THE MUTANTS SPOTLIGHT
11/10  One-shot - 5,962

228.  AVENGERS VS PET AVENGERS
02/10  Tails        - 8,214  (-27.6%)
03/10  Unleashed #1 - 8,554  ( +4.1%)
04/10  #2 of 4      - 6,767  (-20.9%)
05/10  #3 of 4      - 6,339  ( -6.3%)
06/10  #4 of 4      - 6,166  ( -2.7%)
07/10  Dogs/Summer  - 5,142  (-16.6%)
08/10  ---
09/10  ---
10/10  #1 of 4      - 7,097  (+38.0%)
11/10  #2 of 4      - 5,871  (-17.3%)
                     6 mnth  ( -7.4%)

231. TRON: THE BETRAYAL
10/10  #1 of 2 - 10,934
11/10  #2 of 2 -  5,742  (-47.5%)

233,236. SPIDER-MAN  [Marvel Adventures]
11/06  #9  - 6,637
11/07  #21 - 6,529
11/08  #33 - 6,126
=====
11/09  #57 - 4,501  (  -1.7%)
12/09  #58 - 4,352  (  -3.3%)
01/10  #59 - 4,315  (  -0.9%)
02/10  #60 - 4,212  (  -2.4%)
03/10  #61 - 4,200  (  -2.8%)
04/10  #1  - 9,770  (+132.6%)
05/10  #2  - 7,709  ( -21.1%)
06/10  #3  - 7,200  (  -6.6%)
07/10  #4  - 6,347  ( -11.8%)
08/10  #5  - 6,202  (  -2.3%)
09/10  #6  - 5,779  (  -6.8%)
10/10  ---
11/10  #7  - 5,603  (  -3.0%)
11/10  #8  - 5,269  (  -6.0%)
            6 mnth  ( -31.7%)
            1 year  ( +17.1%)
            2 year  ( -14.0%)
            3 year  ( -19.3%)
            4 year  ( -20.6%)

243. SUPER HERO SQUAD
11/09  #3  - 4,384  (  -2.5%)
12/09  #4  - 4,132  (  -5.7%)
01/10  #1  - 9,709  (+135.0%)
02/10  #2  - 5,691  ( -41.4%)
03/10  #3  - 5,399  (  -5.1%)
04/10  #4  - 5,822  (  +7.8%)
05/10  #5  - 5,639  (  -3.1%)
06/10  #6  - 6,029  (  +6.9%)
07/10  #7  - 5,328  ( -11.6%)
08/10  #8  - 5,358  (  +0.6%)
09/10  #9  - 5,304  (  -1.0%)
10/10  #10 - 5,139  (  -3.1%)
11/10  #11 - 4,977  (  -3.2%)
            6 mnth  ( -11.7%)
            1 year  ( +13.5%)

266. MARVELMAN FAMILY'S FINEST
07/10  #1 of 6 - 17,739
08/10  #2 of 6 -  9,324  (-47.4%)
09/10  #3 of 6 -  6,151  (-34.0%)
10/10  #4 of 6 -  4,707  (-23.5%)
11/10  #5 of 6 -  3,993  (-15.2%)

276. SUPER HEROES  [Marvel Adventures]
11/08  #5  - 4,233
=====
11/09  #17 - 3,308  ( +1.8%)
12/09  #18 - ?,???  (  ??? )
01/10  #19 - 3,103  (  ??? )
02/10  #20 - 3,008  ( -3.1%)
03/10  #21 - ?,???  (  ??? )
04/10  #1  - 8,107  (  ??? )
05/10  #2  - 6,360  (-21.5%)
06/10  #3  - 5,678  (-10.7%)
07/10  #4  - 4,564  (-19.6%)
08/10  #5  - 4,418  ( -3.2%)
09/10  #6  - ?,???  (  ??? )
10/10  #7  - 3,800  (  ??? )
11/10  #8  - 3,541  ( -6.8%)
            6 mnth  (-44.3%)
            1 year  ( +7.0%)
            2 year  (-16.3%)

293. OFFICIAL INDEX TO THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
11/09  #11  - 3,739  ( -6.1%)
12/09  #12  - 3,689  ( -1.3%)
01/10  #13  - 3,248  (-12.0%)
02/10  #14  - 3,161  ( -2.7%)
03/10  ---
04/10  ---
05/10  #1   - 4,997  (+58.1%)
06/10  #2   - ?,???  (  ??? )
07/10  #3   - 3,776  (  ??? )
08/10  #4   - 3,448  ( -8.7%)
09/10  #5   - ?,???  (  ??? )
10/10  #6   - ?,???  (  ??? )
11/10  #7   - 2,947  (  ??? )
             6 mnth  (-41.0%)
             1 year  (-21.2%)


6 month comparisons
===================

+ 73.3% - Wolverine
+ 40.5% - Chaos War/Hercules
+  2.2% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
-  1.8% - Fantastic Four
-  4.7% - Thunderbolts
-  7.3% - Amazing Spider-Man
-  7.4% - Pet Avengers
-  9.6% - Uncanny X-Force
- 11.7% - Super Hero Squad
- 18.0% - Secret Warriors
- 18.8% - New Avengers
- 20.4% - Thor
- 21.3% - X-Men Forever
- 22.0% - Hulk
- 23.6% - Invincible Iron Man
- 24.7% - Uncanny X-Men
- 26.4% - Incredible Hulks
- 26.7% - Deadpool
- 29.4% - Daken: Dark Wolverine
- 30.5% - Ultimate Comics Avengers
- 31.7% - Spider-Man (Marvel Adventures)
- 33.5% - Deadpool Team-Up
- 35.3% - Deadpool Corps
- 36.2% - X-Factor
- 36.5% - Black Widow
- 37.3% - X-Men Legacy
- 38.5% - Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- 41.0% - Official Index to the Marvel Universe
- 44.3% - Super Heroes (Marvel Adventures)
- 45.8% - Secret Avengers
- 47.4% - Avengers
- 53.0% - New Mutants
- 53.1% - Iron Man Legacy
- 63.4% - Black Panther


1 year comparisons
==================

+ 42.9% - Wolverine
+ 17.1% - Spider-Man (Marvel Adventures)
+ 14.0% - Chaos War/Hercules
+ 13.5% - Super Hero Squad
+  7.0% - Super Heroes (Marvel Adventures)
+  4.7% - Uncanny X-Force
+  1.5% - Thunderbolts
-  4.3% - Fantastic Four
-  8.2% - Thor
- 10.3% - New Avengers
- 13.9% - X-Men Legacy
- 14.0% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 15.5% - Incredible Hulks
- 16.6% - Uncanny X-Men
- 17.4% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 19.6% - Punisher
- 21.2% - Official Index to the Marvel Universe
- 23.7% - New Mutants
- 23.8% - Secret Warriors
- 26.5% - Hulk
- 33.0% - Deadpool
- 33.5% - Invincible Iron Man
- 34.6% - The Stand
- 37.6% - Daken: Dark Wolverine
- 37.7% - Ultimate Comics Avengers
- 41.6% - X-Men Forever
- 45.9% - Black Panther
- 51.0% - Captain America
- 55.3% - Deadpool Team-Up


2 year comparisons
==================

-  1.3% - Uncanny X-Force
-  8.5% - Thunderbolts
- 14.0% - Spider-Man (Marvel Adventures)
- 16.3% - Super Heroes (Marvel Adventures)
- 17.0% - Invincible Iron Man
- 20.0% - Chaos War/Hercules
- 21.0% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 22.3% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 25.4% - Uncanny X-Men
- 25.5% - X-Factor
- 31.1% - X-Men Legacy
- 33.2% - Punisher
- 36.8% - Deadpool
- 37.3% - Captain America
- 38.5% - Fantastic Four
- 45.1% - Wolverine
- 57.4% - Hulk
- 62.1% - Incredible Hulks


3 year comparisons
==================

- 19.3% - Spider-Man (Marvel Adventures)
- 21.5% - Wolverine
- 34.1% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 35.4% - Captain America
- 35.6% - Fantastic Four
- 38.1% - New Avengers
- 43.4% - Uncanny X-Men
- 52.1% - Punisher
- 53.9% - Thor
- 56.9% - X-Men Legacy
- 63.6% - Black Panther
- 66.2% - Incredible Hulks
- 66.3% - X-Factor

4 year comparisons
==================

+ 13.7% - Thunderbolts
- 20.6% - Spider-Man (Marvel Adventures)
- 34.5% - Uncanny X-Men
- 37.8% - X-Factor
- 40.7% - Captain America
- 45.4% - X-Men Legacy
- 46.6% - Invincible Iron Man
- 47.4% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 48.4% - Wolverine
- 55.7% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 59.2% - Incredible Hulks
- 64.8% - New Avengers
- 74.9% - Black Panther
- 80.5% - Punisher


5 year comparisons
==================

+ 25.6% - Thunderbolts
+  5.1% - Captain America
- 16.5% - Incredible Hulks
- 21.0% - Fantastic Four
- 30.0% - Uncanny X-Men
- 34.0% - Amazing Spider-Man
- 40.0% - Wolverine
- 44.2% - X-Men Legacy
- 47.1% - New Avengers
- 47.2% - Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
- 67.6% - Black Panther

Dark Horse Presents returns in 2011

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The influential and historic DARK HORSE PRESENTS anthology — last seen as an online anthology available on MySpace and later adapted to print — will be back in April 2011, according to a press release and these two covers. Frank Miller’s XERXES is the prequel to 300 which he’s been talking about for a while. Paul Chadwick’s Concrete has been a reader favorite for a few decades now.

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The 80-page format is similar to the print MySpace anthologies, as opposed to the periodical size of the original.

Crime does not pay: 2 busted for selling bogus Comic-Con passes

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Two young men from LA have pled guilty to selling bogus Comic-Con passes. The two advertised their counterfeit passes on Craigslist and sold them to two women for $120 each. The purchasers were dismayed to find the tickets were phony when they arrived at the show.

The charge is a misdemeanor and the criminals have been sentenced to pay a $750 fine, complete 10 days of public work service and pay restitution to the victims.

A couple of our own thoughts: $120 is not by any stretch of the imagination an outrageous amount to pay to get into the Con, so this wasn’t even outrageous price gouging. CCI officials have been dedicated in stating that buying tickets away from the con’s own ticketing system is risky for just such a reason — the prosecution shows that the city is also serious about cracking down.

Of course, with the con’s own troubles merely selling tickets to the 2011 show, demand and desires are going to soar even more — along with prices. StubHub has provided a safe, legal marketplace for the supply and demand of tickets at other sporting and concert events — people pay what the market will bear, and it’s often a lot. Is the same system an inevitability for Comic-Con?

Second thoughts at DC

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Via Fuck Yeah Silver Age Secrets!

News rewind: Kibbles 'n' Bits — 12/28/10

Stuff we’ve been bookmarking:

§ You know you’ve arrived when internet blowhards start yapping about you. In this case, a right-wing blogger protests the new Franco-Algerian-Muslim Batman of France.

This follows similar protests over the casting of dark-skinned Idris Elba as Heimdall in the Thor movie, with white supremacists calling for a boycott, if by boycott you mean a move that got them more press than they could possibly have hoped for. They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work. Elba has been philosophical since concerns were first raised earlier this year: “Thor has a hammer that flies to him when he clicks his fingers. That’s OK, but the color of my skin is wrong?”

§ Laura Hudson chats with Fantagraphics’ Eric Reynolds about their digital plans, a notable move since you rarely see companies as slow to adapt to digital as Fanta talking about their non-moves. They do have their reasons:

We place a lot of value on the aesthetics of book packaging and design on top of the actual content, and digital delivery is never going to fully replicate that fetishistic love of a well-printed and packaged book. So I still have some concerns about the aesthetic experience of reading our books on a screen. I realize that digital comics are here to stay at this point, even as they continue to evolve, and so I know it’s something we have to address but I don’t simply want to do it for the sake of it, for whatever financial windfall there may be. I want the material to be as well-served as it is in book form, if that’s possible. It’s only been in the past year that I’ve seen that potential approach reality.

§ While we just blog, Fleen’s Gary Tyrrell is an actual HERO.

§ Tom Spurgeon’s annual holiday interview series is the comics internet’s holiday version of nice hot cider after a trip to the skating pond. Two thus far stand out: an interview with Zunar , the Malaysian cartoonist who has been fighting for his freedom all year due to his politically unpopular cartoons.

And, in a less life or death matter, CBR’s Kiel Phegley who speaks truth on a variety of industry issues, such as his analysis of the DC-related decisions being faced at Warners:

What do you want to do with them: exploit their assets for more cell phone apps and movies, or reorganize them in a way that will make them #1 with a consumer base who likes to wrap paper products in little plastic baggies?


Yep, that’s about the size of it.

The vacation continues

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Rather expectedly, my flight this morning to snowbound NYC was canceled.

Unexpectedly, I can’t get another flight home until Friday.

Oops.

I had a bunch of things I was working on for this week, but I foolishly neglected to upload them to the server and they’re all sitting on my home computer. Oh well.

As I mentioned on Twitter last night, I’ve been in England so long that I now understand cricket. Ricky Ponting. Disgrace. Britain batting picked up after lunch. See?

News rewind: Injured Spider-man actor takes first steps

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As you probably know, the Spider-Man musical claimed another victim when Christopher Tierney, 31, the main aerobatic Spider-Man, plummeted 20 feet when his safety harness malfunctioned. Although he managed to tuck and roll in the fall, the injuries threaten his career as a dancer:

Timothy Tierney said doctors were “cautiously optimistic” that his son would eventually resume his performing career. “If they’d had to fuse Chris’s vertebrae during surgery, that would have just been very awkward for dancing, because his mobility would have been restricted,” he said. “Fortunately, they did not have to fuse. The doctors have some pins in his body and rods in his body for now to hold everything together, but a great deal of this is about self-healing, and time.


If you detect a bit of a dad preparing for the massive settlement that Tierney has coming to him at some point, the injuries justify it: a hairline fracture in his skull, a broken scapula, a broken bone close to his elbow, four broken ribs, a bruised lung and three fractured vertebrae.

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Tierney wants to return to the show, he’s telling everyone, even while he’s hobbling around on a walker.

The Taiwanese news service has their own way of reporting this story:

The long strange trip

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I know you don’t come here to see my vacation photos, but if there was ever a Man Against Weather post, it’s been my Christmas trip to the UK. My arrival last weekend — with a connecting flight in Paris — got caught up in the ongoing European travel crisis — earlier and more plentiful than usual snows across France, the UK and Northern Europe left thousands of people stranded for days at major hubs Heathrow in London, Charles de Gaulle in Paris and Schiphol in Amsterdam. I know two days stranded in Paris sounds about as awful as a kitten, but two days standing in line for 9 hours at a clip, no money, no power, and no language skills was pretty hellish — and I had it easy.

I arrived at CDG on last Sunday at 8 am local time. I left Tuesday morning about the same time, after two canceled flights and two nights in hotels. I can’t complain about being put up in a decent hotel and given meal tickets — apparently the EU travelers bill of rights is a pretty generous document — but everything else about how the situation was handled was grim and Kafkaesque — people would stand in line for five hours only to be told it was the wrong line, and so on. I spend morning to night on Monday standing in line to get a new flight, along with people going from Osaka to Johannesburg, Rio to Birmingham, Marseilles to Copenhagen…instead of taking everyone on a canceled flight as one problem, everyone got thrown into one giant line. By the time I got to the front, there were well over a thousand people in line with canceled flights (some folks said there were 3,000 people in the line — your crowd estimates may vary.) At that point there were literally three Air France employees at desks helping the line. Yeah, Kafkaesque.

From what I’ve seen on the news, Heathrow might have been worse. People were camped out for as much as five days, trains were canceled and the MP for transportation** is now seen on TV every few minutes, looking grave and concerned.

My luggage is still lost — but so are thousands of other people’s. Hopeful to get it back, but we’ll see. It took the efforts of an insider just to get it logged into the tracking system.

There were some good parts of the Paris ordeal. During one all-day line, I fell in with a crew straight out of central casting: a pregnant member of the US Air Force stationed in London, a teenager from South Africa going home to Cambridge, a Brummie snowboarder with a broken arm from a fall in Italy, a oil rig worker from Newcastle going home from Germany, and an Australian school teacher who lives in London — who uses graphic novels to teach. They were a good lot, and by the end of the day we were scavenging food and bedding for each other (this is not hyperbole.) In fact, considering the bizarre nature of the ordeal, the general civility and good behavior that I witnessed the entire time was nothing short of incredible. (I do hear there were incidents and police and the army were called out in various spots, though.)

However, if I may be the Ugly American for a moment, as I was stuck in Paris, I felt that the amount of snow that fell on CDG was nothing that would have given JFK much of a problem. Of course, now I’m going to see if that is true, as my trip home coincides with the immense blizzard that just shut down the East Coast! TRAVEL FAIL. Can anything go right? Will my faith in NYC snow clearing equipment be justified? Tune in Wednesday.

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Luckily, I’m surrounded by family and friends until then. So while I wait for flight information, I’ll just put on another cup of tea.

I may have more to impart after tomorrow’s adventure but for today here are some TRAVEL TIPS.

• Even if it’s only a ONE HOUR LAYOVER in a foreign clime, make sure you have access to LOCAL CURRENCY, and A LOCAL POWER ADAPTER. Not being able to charge my phone while trying to keep FMB and his family updated was a nightmare.

DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT ever make a credit card call from a European phone! I know this was incredibly stupid but when I did it I was demoralized, hungry, and jetlagged and not thinking straight. I paid the price.

• Along those lines: IT DOESN’T HURT TO TRAVEL WITH AN INTERNATIONAL PHONE CARD.

DON’T TRAVEL AT CHRISTMAS. This is what one guy at the airport told me, and he may just have been right.

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OBLIGATORY COMICS CONTENT:

• The Novotel hotel in Roissypôle where I spent last Sunday actually had BD on display in the lobby: Blacksad, XIII, and Debuy and Berberian.

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•I know this has been pointed out many times, but UK customs documents STILL note that prohibited and restricted goods into the UK include firearms, drugs, pornography, meat and poultry….and: HORROR COMICS. Luckily, I left my Kazuo Umezu at home.

Anyway, safe travels to everyone wherever you may be…and wish me luck tomorrow.

**I’m not sure exactly what she does, to be honest.