DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: January 2011

DC kicks off the year with a new sales record: Average numbers of the DC Universe line dropped by 21% in January, to 24,321 — the lowest number in the history of these charts, by about 4,000 units.

Traditionally a weak month in the comic-book market, January 2011 was even more of a downer than usual for DC. With only five titles selling above the 50k mark, average comic-book sales of the company at large fell to 21,922, the lowest figure since March 2009, while average Vertigo sales clung to the 10,000-unit mark, as they’ve done for the last three years.

The poor January performance of the DC Universe line comes thanks to three different kinds of erosion. First up, DC failed to get Green Lantern, Batman Incorporated and The Flash out of the door, three of its major titles, while a fourth one, Batman: The Dark Knight, was still late from December.

Second, DC is looking at a whole range of failing titles: Out of the 43 ongoing monthly DC Universe series currently on sale, eight have been marked for cancellation and won’t be around come June 2011. That’s almost 20% of the imprint’s regular output. And there are eight more — Doc Savage, The Spirit, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Jonah Hex, Booster Gold, Power Girl, Zatanna and Gotham City Sirens — that look less than healthy and sell fewer copies than some of the ones that have already been axed.

At the tail end of the spectrum, finally, six former WildStorm titles were absorbed into the DC Universe line in January, where they end up being the six lowest-selling books and dragging down the average. (If WildStorm were still around, this would be another new low for them: The six books, one of which missed the charts altogether, have average sales of less than 4,000 units.)

So, for better or ill, 2011 is set to be a year of transition for DC, with some heavy lifting in the company’s periodical line.

See below for the details, and please consider the small print at the end of the column. Thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com‘s estimates can be found here.

Tonight to do: Jacob Ciocci/Paper Rad at Cartoon Polymaths

Another great event in the Cartoon Polymaths exhibit:

Video artist, performer, visual artist, and musician Jacob Ciocci is featured in the Cartoon Polymaths exhibit as a member of the collaborative art group Paper Rad. Ciocci has also collaborated with Peter Burr of the music and video duo Hooliganship, who regularly curate tours and DVD releases featuring new independent animated shorts under the Cartune Xprez banner. Burr displays a specially curated selection of recent animated shorts, and Ciocci shows and discusses his recent video work.

Wizard gets new stock symbol — WIZD

Via PR, the official launch of the Wizard World “digi-zine” and also news that they have officially changed their stock ticker symbol to WIZD — when Wizard went public, it did so by buying out the failed energy company Go Energy, which had the ticker symbol GOEE. Luckily, you can now find all your Wizard SEC filings right here. In recent news, nothing too exciting, aside from switching accountants:

The new TCJ.com launches with new editors Nadel and Hodler

As long rumored, the much maligned Comics Journal website has re-launched with a new editorial team: Dan Nadel and Tim Hodler, founders of the Comics Comics website and zine, will bring their view of contemporary comics to the hallowed brand of TCJ.com.

Hodler started things off with an editorial which, amazingly, did not talk about how crappy websites are; insead it laid out a pretty exciting vision for the new site:

This site is divided into several sections which will continue to grow over the days and weeks and months to come: Feature articles, including lengthy interviews, investigative journalism, and long-form critical and historical essays; regular columns on a variety of subjects; a steady stream of book reviews; thorough and easily navigated event listings; an ever-growing archive of The Comics Journal‘s thirty-plus years as a print magazine (by the end of 2011, each and every issue will be online)—this will be available in full to magazine subscribers only; and of course this daily blog, which will be a catch-all for short items, selective link-blogging, and a forum for guest voices and bad jokes.

Emerald City Comicon attendance: 25,000?

This weekend’s Emerald City Comicon seems to have been a raging success, if only from the amount of “highly refreshed” tweets we saw all weekend. The Seattle Times has a preview which notes that some 25,000 people were expected.

Based on the number of pictures like this one from @alisonst showing packed crowds, it would seem that the first year going from a two- to a three-day show was a raging success.

HOW DO PEOPLE FIND THE TIME: Lego South Park Musical

Someone made a Lego version of the song “Do What You Wanna Do” from the “Elementary School Musical” episode of South Park.

In this episode, the boys find that the whole school has gone crazy for musicals because of a cute boy named Briden, and resist attempts to break into song every time there is an emotional moment. It turns out Bridon doesn’t even want to sing all the time and the episode ends with all the roles reversed.