DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: September 2011

Batman #1 new 52
by Marc-Oliver Frisch

September was business as usual for DC Comics’ periodical sales, as… oh, wait.

The “New 52″ project, a relaunch of its complete superhero line via 52 #1 issues, made September 2011 a record-breaking month for DC Comics — and a joyously eventful one for the people watching their sales. It’s not often that publishers attempt something on this scale, unfortunately, so it’s nice not to come up with 52 different ways of expressing that sales have mostly been going down, for a change. It’s a little bit like that myth about Eskimos and the words they have for snow.

Anyway: The average DC comic book sold an estimated 57,224 units in September, the average DC Universe comic book a whopping 67,411 units. That’s more than double what it was in August for both, as well as more than in any previous month since sole distributor Diamond started releasing information on actual sales to specialty retailers in March 2003. The month that comes closest is May 2006, when DC’s line-wide “One Year Later” initiative kicked off, with 44,554 (DC total) and 59,505 (DC Universe) units, respectively.

And, while we’re breaking records: May 2006 was also the only previous time when the total dollar value of DC’s periodical comic books exceeded 10 million, with an estimated $10,157,965. In September 2011, the amount was $10.9 million for DC total and $10.5 million for the DC Universe line, which never broke the 10-million mark on its own before. (Average cover prices were about the same, by the way: $3.05 for DC total and $3.04 for DC Universe in 2006, and vice versa in 2011.)

In terms of the estimated total number of copies shifted, it’s a closer shave, but September 2011 still wins versus the previous record month, which, again, was May 2006. That month, the publisher sold an estimated 3.4 million books total, 3.0 million of which DC Universe comic books. In September 2011, it was 3.6 million DC comic books, of which 3.4 were DC Universe titles.

Incidentally, as you may guess from reading the introduction, we’ll be coming back to the year 2006 a few more times in the comparisons below. For now, let’s just say September was a really good month for DC and the DC Universe line in particular.

DC’s Vertigo imprint didn’t set any records in September, meanwhile, but dropped below the 10K mark again for the first time since November 2010.

A procedural note: The fact that 41 of the “New 52″ titles below are listed with higher numbers than over at ICv2.com is not an error. It’s because Diamond only reported 90% of their sales on the chart, to compensate for the fact that they were made returnable by DC if retailers met a specific sales quota. Since Diamond’s way of accounting for the incentive seems fairly arbitrary, I’ve re-added the missing 10% for those books to get a more accurate picture. Just keep in mind that those numbers probably wouldn’t have been as high if retailers weren’t required to meet a certain threshold to qualify for returnability. It’s just one more gimmick that publishers use — the other 11 “New 52″ titles were promoted through variant-cover editions and special discounts, for instance, and Marvel uses its own share of sales-boosting incentives.

Finally, a special thanks to John Jackson Miller for pointing out that Diamond indeed only took off 10% for returnability in September, as opposed to 20%, as they did in previous cases. If you’re interested in comic-book sales, by the way, check out Miller’s Web site, <em>The Comics Chronicles</em> — it’s an essential resource for anyone dealing with these numbers, stuffed with sales data and context going back decades.

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.

—–

1 - BATMAN
09/2006: Batman #657 --  91,357 [ 96,127]
09/2007: Batman #669 --  73,471
09/2008: --
09/2009: Batman #690 --  77,001
-------------------------------
09/2010: Batman #703 --  77,033 (+  4.9%)
10/2010: --
11/2010: Batman #704 --  65,212 (- 15.4%)
12/2010: Batman #705 --  63,262 (-  3.0%)
01/2011: Batman #706 --  60,231 (-  4.8%)
02/2011: Batman #707 --  58,803 (-  2.4%)
03/2011: Batman #708 --  58,594 (-  0.4%)
04/2011: Batman #709 --  56,578 (-  3.4%)
05/2011: Batman #710 --  55,086 (-  2.6%)
06/2011: Batman #711 --  53,113 (-  3.6%)
07/2011: Batman #712 --  51,385 (-  3.3%)
08/2011: Batman #713 --  51,760 (+  0.7%)
09/2011: Batman #1   -- 188,420 (+264.0%)
-----------------
6 months: +221.6%
1 year  : +144.6%
2 years : +144.7%
5 years : +106.3%

Perhaps surprisingly, Grant Morrison’s Action Comics did not take the top spot in the chart, but Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman relaunch. Even more surprisingly, it also beats last August’s Justice League #1 by about 3,000 units.

In retrospect, it makes sense, though, given the recent success of the property in film and videogames, the good reception of Scott Snyder’s American Vampire and Detective Comics and, maybe, Greg Capullo’s draw as a major artist of the 1990s who hasn’t done any work for DC, to date.

According to ICv2.com‘s estimates, these are the highest first-month sales for Batman since September 2003, when Batman #619, the conclusion of Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee’s “Hush” storyline, sold an estimated 233,775 units. (The total count for that issue, including all reorders that made the chart in subsequent months, ended up being 308,945.) If you look at other titles published since March 2003, 188K is still very good, but nowhere near record-breaking. See last month’s column for a run-down of the best-selling comics of the period covered by our current estimates.

So, ultimately, the September numbers further support the notion that, rather than to kick-start the direct market by bringing in huge crowds of people that have never set foot in a comics store before, DC mobilized the full potential of the market as it stands, in a way that hasn’t been managed since 2006. Which is still a great success, of course, given the economic situation and the sales erosion of the last couple of years.

By the way: Batman #1 was promoted with a 1:25 variant-cover edition and a 1:200 variant-cover edition, as were Justice League #1, Action Comics #1, Green Lantern #1 and Flash #1. The special discount mentioned in the introduction, which also required retailers to meet a certain quota, applies to Batwoman #1, Green Lantern: New Guardians #1, Stormwatch #1, Swamp Thing #1, Teen Titans #1 and Wonder Woman #1, meanwhile. I’ll just mention them here, so keep in mind that these promotional initiatives are likely to have affected the numbers of those books. Whether it affected them more than the thresholds for returnability reflected the other 41 titles or less so, we have no way of knowing.

—–

2 - ACTION COMICS
09/2006: Action Comics #843 --  56,084
09/2007: --
09/2008: Action Comics #869 --  49,597
09/2009: Action Comics #881 --  36,183
--------------------------------------
09/2010: Action Comics #893 --  33,948 (-  6.7%)
10/2010: Action Comics #894 --  42,291 (+ 24.6%)
11/2010: Action Comics #895 --  33,089 (- 21.8%)
12/2010: Action Comics #896 --  32,357 (-  2.2%)
01/2011: Action Comics #897 --  32,134 (-  0.7%)
02/2011: Action Comics #898 --  31,935 (-  0.6%)
03/2011: Action Comics #899 --  31,808 (-  0.4%)
04/2011: Action Comics #900 --  60,152 (+ 89.1%) [73,004]
05/2011: Action Comics #901 --  44,143 (- 26.6%)
06/2011: Action Comics #902 --  41,960 (-  5.0%)
07/2011: Action Comics #903 --  40,205 (-  4.2%)
08/2011: Action Comics #904 --  39,323 (-  2.2%)
09/2011: Action Comics #1   -- 182,748 (+364.7%)
-----------------
6 months: +474.5%
1 year  : +438.3%
2 years : +405.1%
5 years : +225.9%

Grant Morrison and Rags Morales reinvent Superman with the book’s highest recorded sales since Diamond started reporting actual numbers in March 2003. The issue that held the record until now was Action Comics #844, the start of the Johns/Donner/Kubert run, which had estimated first-month numbers of 78,869 in October 2006.

It’s not unusual for Morrison’s major projects to hit 100K+ sales levels, of course, but a book that shifts 180K in its first month is a record even for him, in the period covered by these estimates. So far, the closest he came was with 52 #1, which moved an estimated 176,214 units in May 2006, and All Star Superman #1, which sold 170,802 copies in November 2005.

—–

3 - GREEN LANTERN
09/2006: Green Lantern #13  --  78,101
09/2007: Green Lantern #23  --  79,084 [82,168]
09/2008: Green Lantern #34  --  63,825
09/2009: Green Lantern #46  -- 103,666
--------------------------------------
09/2010: Green Lantern #57  --  85,179 (+ 1.2%)
10/2010: Green Lantern #58  --  81,626 (- 4.2%)
11/2010: Green Lantern #59  --  76,173 (- 6.7%)
12/2010: Green Lantern #60  --  76,360 (+ 0.3%)
12/2010: Green Lantern #61  --  72,203 (- 5.4%)
01/2011: --
02/2011: Green Lantern #62  --  71,517 (- 1.0%)
03/2011: Green Lantern #63  --  75,632 (+ 5.8%)
03/2011: Green Lantern #64  --  76,898 (+ 1.7%)
04/2011: Green Lantern #65  --  75,780 (- 1.5%)
05/2011: Green Lantern #66  --  75,371 (- 0.5%)
06/2011: --
07/2011: Green Lantern #67  --  74,521 (- 1.1%)
08/2011: --
09/2011: Green Lantern #1   -- 141,682 (+90.1%)
-----------------
6 months: + 85.8%
1 year  : + 66.3%
2 years : + 36.7%
5 years : + 81.4%

Green Lantern and its spin-off titles were already doing perfectly well before the relaunch, so it’s only natural that the increases aren’t entirely as explosive here as in some other cases.

Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke’s new debut issue is the best-selling one since Green Lantern #1 from May 2005, also written by Johns, which sold an estimated 168,353 in its first month and has recorded total sales of 180,483.

—–

4 - THE FLASH
09/2006: Flash: FMA #4   --  66,663
09/2007: Flash #232      --  56,969
09/2008: Flash #244      --  29,180
09/2009: --
-----------------------------------
09/2010: Flash #5        --  62,063 (-  4.3%)
10/2010: --
11/2010: Flash #6        --  57,673 (-  7.1%)
12/2010: Flash #7        --  56,304 (-  2.4%)
12/2010: Flash #8        --  53,975 (-  4.1%)
01/2011: --
02/2011: Flash #9        --  55,980 (+  3.7%)
03/2011: --
04/2011: Flash #10       --  54,953 (-  1.8%)
04/2011: Flash #11       --  54,633 (-  0.6%)
05/2011: Flash #12       --  54,914 (+  0.5%)
06/2011: --
07/2011: --
08/2011: --
09/2010: Flash #1        -- 129,260 (+135.4%)
-----------------
6 months:   n.a.
1 year  : +108.3%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : + 93.9%

The creative team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato turn in the second record-breaking launch of the month.

To date, the best-selling recorded issues of Flash were the previous relaunch debuts of the last few years: The Flash #1 (April 2010, 100,903 units), The Flash: Rebirth #1 (April 2009, 102,429), All Flash #1 (July 2007, 98,694) and Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1 (June 2006, 120,404).

The new relaunch beats all of those quite handsomely and puts the Flash next to Batman, Superman and Green Lantern, as far as DC’s most popular comics properties are concerned. The rest of the Top 10 is filled out with another Superman book and three more Batman titles.

Considering that Geoff Johns — maybe the most popular Flash creator of the last 10 years and certainly one of the three most popular writers in superhero comics right now — is nowhere in sight here, that’s quite a good number for the “New 52″ relaunch.

—–

5 - SUPERMAN
09/2006: Superman #656 --  64,288
09/2007: Superman #667 --  48,608
09/2008: Superman #680 --  46,585
09/2009: Superman #692 --  37,695
---------------------------------
09/2010: --
10/2010: Superman #703 --  50,460 (+  0.9%)
10/2010: Superman #704 --  46,741 (-  7.4%)
11/2010: Superman #705 --  46,261 (-  1.0%)
12/2010: Superman #706 --  43,027 (-  7.0%)
01/2011: Superman #707 --  41,843 (-  2.8%)
02/2011: Superman #708 --  40,639 (-  2.9%)
03/2011: Superman #709 --  39,846 (-  2.0%)
04/2011: Superman #710 --  39,644 (-  0.5%)
05/2011: Superman #711 --  38,471 (-  3.0%)
06/2011: Superman #712 --  37,362 (-  2.9%)
07/2011: Superman #713 --  36,646 (-  1.9%)
08/2011: Superman #714 --  35,919 (-  2.0%)
09/2011: Superman #1   -- 131,529 (+266.2%)
-----------------
6 months: +230.1%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : +248.9%
5 years : +104.6%

It’s been a while since Superman sold this well — issues #204 through #207, to be specific, which sold between 231,411 and 138,984 units in their first calendar months in 2004 (there was a numbering change in-between, before you ask). Those were the first four issues of the Jeph Loeb/Jim Lee run, though, so I’d say George Pérez and Jesús Merino are off to a good start.

But of course — and this goes for most of the books below as well — it’s premature to draw conclusions on the performance of individual books, at this juncture. We’ll have to wait another few months until sales to retailers reflect what’s really going on out there with any given series, presumably.

—–

6 - DETECTIVE COMICS
09/2006: Detective Comics #823 --  64,215
09/2007: Detective Comics #836 --  49,475
09/2008: Detective Comics #848 --  68,306
09/2009: Detective Comics #857 --  57,063
-----------------------------------------
09/2010: Detective Comics #869 --  37,394 (-  3.3%)
10/2010: Detective Comics #870 --  35,674 (-  4.6%)
11/2010: Detective Comics #871 --  36,941 (+  3.6%)
12/2010: Detective Comics #872 --  37,961 (+  2.8%) [39,758]
01/2011: Detective Comics #873 --  38,417 (+  1.2%)
02/2011: Detective Comics #874 --  39,106 (+  1.8%)
03/2011: Detective Comics #875 --  40,047 (+  2.4%)
04/2011: Detective Comics #876 --  40,133 (+  0.2%)
05/2011: Detective Comics #877 --  39,609 (-  1.3%)
06/2011: Detective Comics #878 --  39,152 (-  1.2%)
07/2011: Detective Comics #879 --  39,185 (+  0.1%)
07/2011: Detective Comics #880 --  38,585 (-  1.5%)
08/2011: Detective Comics #881 --  39,729 (+  3.0%)
09/2011: Detective Comics #1   -- 114,880 (+189.2%)
-----------------
6 months: +186.9%
1 year  : +207.2%
2 years : +101.3%
5 years : + 78.9%

Tony Daniel, who’d been steering Batman for the last couple of years, takes over the character’s original title with the book’s highest sales to date. The previous record holder was issue #853, the second part of Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert’s “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” story, which sold 104,107 copies in April 2009.

—–

7 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
12/2010: Dark Knight #1  --  89,985           [92,791]
01/2011: --
02/2011: --
03/2011: Dark Knight #2  --  71,108 (- 21.0%)
04/2011: --
05/2011: --
06/2011: --
07/2011: Dark Knight #3  --  62,792 (- 11.7%)
07/2011: Dark Knight #4  --  57,333 (-  8.7%)
08/2011: Dark Knight #5  --  52,908 (-  7.7%)
09/2011: Dark Knight #1  -- 109,321 (+106.6%)
-----------------
6 months: + 53.7%

David Finch and his last-minute co-writer Paul Jenkins beat the debut of the book’s last incarnation.

—–

10 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
09/2009: Batman and Robin #4  -- 106,925
----------------------------------------
09/2010: Batman and Robin #14 --  82,894 (- 3.4%)
10/2010: Batman and Robin #15 --  80,173 (- 3.3%)
11/2010: Batman and Robin #16 --  80,343 (+ 0.2%)
11/2010: Batman and Robin #17 --  70,600 (-12.1%)
12/2010: Batman and Robin #18 --  68,814 (- 2.5%)
01/2011: Batman and Robin #19 --  61,785 (-10.2%)
02/2011: Batman and Robin #20 --  60,642 (- 1.9%)
03/2011: Batman and Robin #21 --  59,818 (- 1.4%)
04/2011: Batman and Robin #22 --  59,076 (- 1.2%)
05/2011: Batman and Robin #23 --  57,525 (- 2.6%)
06/2011: Batman and Robin #24 --  54,984 (- 4.4%)
07/2011: Batman and Robin #25 --  55,172 (+ 0.3%)
08/2011: Batman and Robin #26 --  52,704 (- 4.5%)
09/2011: Batman and Robin #1  --  94,713 (+79.7%)
----------------
6 months: +58.3%
1 year  : +14.3%
2 years : -11.4%

Well, it’s the highest sales for Batman and Robin since issue #6 from November 2009. So no record-breaking here.

Still, it’s worth noting that all four Batman titles (and both Superman ones) made the Top 10. So if there was any question whether retailers were going to gravitate towards known quantities when placing their orders, this should settle it.

—–

11 - GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS
09/2010: Emerald Warriors #2  -- 56,289 (-17.6%)
10/2010: Emerald Warriors #3  -- 50,490 (-10.3%)
11/2010: Emerald Warriors #4  -- 46,319 (- 8.3%)
12/2010: Emerald Warriors #5  -- 44,077 (- 4.8%)
01/2011: Emerald Warriors #6  -- 43,471 (- 1.4%)
02/2011: Emerald Warriors #7  -- 44,828 (+ 3.1%)
03/2011: Emerald Warriors #8  -- 51,322 (+14.5%) [54,110]
04/2011: Emerald Warriors #9  -- 51,784 (+ 0.5%)
05/2011: Emerald Warriors #10 -- 52,971 (+ 2.3%)
06/2011: Emerald Warriors #11 -- 53,927 (+ 1.8%)
07/2011: Emerald Warriors #12 -- 48,087 (-10.8%)
08/2011: Emerald Warriors #13 -- 44,228 (- 8.0%)
09/2011: New Guardians #1     -- 84,033 (+90.0%)
----------------
6 months: +63.7%
1 year  : +49.3%

This one’s by the creative team that did Green Lantern Corps until August. The book’s predecessor Emerald Warriors debuted with first-month sales of 68,332 in August 2010, so this is a very good number.

—–

12 - BATGIRL
09/2008: Batgirl #3 of 6 -- 24,932
09/2009: Batgirl #2      -- 40,626
----------------------------------
09/2010: Batgirl #14     -- 26,861 (-  1.4%)
10/2010: --
11/2010: Batgirl #15     -- 25,827 (-  3.9%)
12/2010: Batgirl #16     -- 25,225 (-  2.3%)
01/2011: Batgirl #17     -- 25,189 (-  0.1%)
02/2011: Batgirl #18     -- 24,390 (-  3.2%)
03/2011: Batgirl #19     -- 24,821 (+  1.8%)
04/2011: Batgirl #20     -- 24,310 (-  2.1%)
05/2011: Batgirl #21     -- 24,043 (-  1.1%)
06/2011: Batgirl #22     -- 23,323 (-  3.0%)
07/2011: Batgirl #23     -- 22,619 (-  3.0%)
08/2011: Batgirl #24     -- 22,695 (+  0.3%)
09/2011: Batgirl #1      -- 90,543 (+299.0%)
-----------------
6 months: +264.8%
1 year  : +237.1%
2 years : +122.9%

The combination of writer Gail Simone and getting the Barbara Gordon character back in the leading role seems to have convinced retailers to order way, way more copies of Batgirl than in any previous recorded month. The last relaunch sold an estimated 51,724 units with its debut issue in August 2009.

—–

13 - WONDER WOMAN
09/2006: --
09/2007: --
09/2008: Wonder Woman #24  --  34,583
09/2009: Wonder Woman #36  --  28,806
-------------------------------------
09/2010: Wonder Woman #603 --  38,852 (+  2.2%)
10/2010: Wonder Woman #604 --  37,405 (-  3.7%)
11/2010: --
12/2010: Wonder Woman #605 --  35,495 (-  5.1%)
01/2011: Wonder Woman #606 --  33,601 (-  5.3%)
02/2011: Wonder Woman #607 --  33,053 (-  1.6%)
03/2011: Wonder Woman #608 --  32,540 (-  1.6%)
03/2011: Wonder Woman #609 --  31,421 (-  3.4%)
04/2011: Wonder Woman #610 --  31,002 (-  1.3%)
05/2011: --
06/2011: Wonder Woman #611 --  30,874 (-  0.4%)
06/2011: Wonder Woman #612 --  30,690 (-  0.6%)
07/2011: Wonder Woman #613 --  29,720 (-  3.2%)
08/2011: Wonder Woman #614 --  29,223 (-  1.7%)
09/2011: Wonder Woman #1   --  76,214 (+160.8%)
-----------------
6 months: +138.3%
1 year  : + 96.2%
2 years : +164.6%
5 years :  n.a.

Measured against the pre-publication hype Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman relaunch received, this number isn’t all that impressive — and certainly not measured against DC’s treatment of the character as one of the company’s “big three” heroes along with Superman and Batman.

In the context of estimates recorded since March 2003, for that matter, the new debut is only the fourth-best-selling Wonder Woman book. The top three spots are taken by the first three issues of the 2006 relaunch, which sold between 132,580 and 76,998 units.

So, clearly, it’s still the guys who are wearing the pants at DC.

—–

14 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
09/2006: Green Lantern Corps #4  -- 46,619
09/2007: --
09/2008: Green Lantern Corps #28 -- 44,939
09/2009: Green Lantern Corps #40 -- 83,112
------------------------------------------
09/2010: Green Lantern Corps #52 -- 63,577 (- 5.3%)
10/2010: Green Lantern Corps #53 -- 60,808 (- 4.4%)
11/2010: Green Lantern Corps #54 -- 57,448 (- 5.5%)
12/2010: Green Lantern Corps #55 -- 54,387 (- 5.3%)
01/2011: Green Lantern Corps #56 -- 53,646 (- 1.4%)
02/2011: Green Lantern Corps #57 -- 52,770 (- 1.6%)
03/2011: Green Lantern Corps #58 -- 60,100 (+13.9%)
04/2011: Green Lantern Corps #59 -- 60,162 (+ 0.1%)
05/2011: Green Lantern Corps #60 -- 60,964 (+ 1.3%)
06/2011: --
07/2011: Green Lantern Corps #61 -- 60,836 (- 0.2%)
07/2011: Green Lantern Corps #62 -- 57,928 (- 4.8%)
08/2011: Green Lantern Corps #63 -- 53,372 (- 7.9%)
09/2011: Green Lantern Corps #1  -- 83,077 (+55.7%)
----------------
6 months: +38.2%
1 year  : +30.7%
2 years : - 0.0%
5 years : +78.2%

As I say above, the Green Lantern franchise was already doing very well, so the fact that the relaunch only gets Green Lantern Corps numbers back to the level of the Blackest Night tie-in issues from two years ago isn’t necessarily a surprise. It’s still a big number for a Green Lantern spin-off.

—–

15 - TEEN TITANS
09/2006: Teen Titans #39  -- 65,969
09/2007: Teen Titans #51  -- 57,851
09/2008: Teen Titans #63  -- 41,790
09/2009: Teen Titans #75  -- 32,808
-----------------------------------
09/2010: Teen Titans #87  -- 23,259 (-  6.9%)
10/2010: Teen Titans #88  -- 27,637 (+ 18.8%)
11/2010: Teen Titans #89  -- 26,444 (-  4.3%)
12/2010: Teen Titans #90  -- 25,997 (-  1.7%)
01/2011: Teen Titans #91  -- 25,443 (-  2.1%)
02/2011: Teen Titans #92  -- 26,170 (+  2.9%)
03/2011: Teen Titans #93  -- 24,957 (-  4.6%)
04/2011: Teen Titans #94  -- 25,187 (+  0.9%)
05/2011: Teen Titans #95  -- 24,738 (-  1.8%)
06/2011: Teen Titans #96  -- 23,849 (-  3.6%)
07/2011: Teen Titans #97  -- 23,138 (-  3.0%)
07/2011: Teen Titans #98  -- 23,095 (-  0.2%)
08/2011: Teen Titans #99  -- 23,756 (+  2.9%)
08/2011: Teen Titans #100 -- 27,459 (+ 15.6%)
09/2011: Teen Titans #1   -- 73,675 (+168.3%)
-----------------
6 months: +195.2%
1 year  : +216.8%
2 years : +124.6%
5 years : + 11.7%

Scott Lobdell and Brett Booth restore Teen Titans sales to the glory days of, ah, 2006.

—–

16 - AQUAMAN
09/2011: Aquaman #1  -- 80,302

That’s a great number for Aquaman, certainly, even considering the book is by the creative team of Blackest Night.

The last Aquaman title ran for 39 issues from 2002 through 2006. Between #4 (the first one covered by current estimates) and #39, its numbers dropped from 36,908 to 18,326 units. The debut issue had initial orders of 45,112, which would presumably place its actual first-month sales around the 50K mark.

—–

17 - BATWOMAN
11/2010: Batwoman #0  --  43,891
--------------------------------
09/2011: Batwoman #1  --  72,228 (+64.6%)

The first issue of the Rucka/Williams “Batgirl” stint in Detective Comics sold an estimated 72,808 units in June 2009, so it seems clear what retailers used as a reference point for the new series.

—–

19 - RED LANTERNS
09/2011: Red Lanterns #1  -- 73,940

The latest Green Lantern spin-off is the fourth book in the franchise, if you’re keeping count, so sales of 70K+ are rather good.

—–

20 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
06/2011: FP: Secret Seven #1 of 3 -- 33,069
07/2011: FP: Secret Seven #2 of 3 -- 25,745 (- 22.2%)
08/2011: FP: Secret Seven #3 of 3 -- 23,747 (-  7.8%)
09/2011: Justice League Dark #1   -- 69,840 (+194.1%)

Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin do a Vertigo-styled Justice League spin-off.

—–

21 - NIGHTWING
09/2006: Nightwing #124 -- 38,251
09/2007: Nightwing #136 -- 29,256
09/2008: Nightwing #148 -- 53,210
---------------------------------
09/2011: Nightwing #1   -- 69,686
-----------------
5 years : + 82.2%

These are the book’s highest sales by about 20,000 units in the batch of estimates dating back to 2003. Evidently, Nightwing’s stint as Batman convinced retailers to up their orders for the relaunch.

—–

24 - JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL
09/2011: Justice League International #1  -- 67,866

The lower-selling of the two Justice League spin-off books by about 2,000 copies.

—–

28 - GREEN ARROW
09/2006: Green Arrow #66  -- 33,793
09/2007: Year One #5 of 6 -- 31,504
09/2008: Arrow/Canary #12 -- 27,896
09/2009: Arrow&Canary #24 -- 18,780
-----------------------------------
09/2010: Green Arrow #4   -- 44,220 (-  4.5%)
10/2010: Green Arrow #5   -- 42,188 (-  4.6%)
11/2010: Green Arrow #6   -- 39,575 (-  6.2%)
12/2010: Green Arrow #7   -- 36,835 (-  6.9%)
01/2011: Green Arrow #8   -- 35,307 (-  4.2%)
02/2011: Green Arrow #9   -- 33,922 (-  3.9%)
03/2011: Green Arrow #10  -- 33,085 (-  2.5%)
04/2011: Green Arrow #11  -- 32,669 (-  1.3%)
05/2011: Green Arrow #12  -- 31,742 (-  2.8%)
06/2011: Green Arrow #13  -- 27,552 (- 13.2%)
07/2011: Green Arrow #14  -- 25,568 (-  7.2%)
08/2011: Green Arrow #15  -- 23,883 (-  6.6%)
09/2011: Green Arrow #1   -- 61,680 (+158.3%)
-----------------
6 months: + 86.7%
1 year  : + 39.5%
2 years : +228.4%
5 years : + 82.5%

The July 2007 relaunch sold an estimated 52,183 units, the June 2010 one managed 54,400, and now the book hits 61,680, its highest sales in the period since March 2003. Diminishing returns don’t seem to be an issue for Green Arrow. Maybe they should do a relaunch.

—–

24 - SWAMP THING
09/2011: Swamp Thing #1  -- 54,757

Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette return the character to the DC Universe proper. The last Swamp Thing title at Vertigo launched with an estimated 33,382 units in March 2004 and was cancelled in August 2006, with sales of 7,448 for the final issue, #29.

—–

31 - SUPERGIRL
09/2006: Supergirl #10 --  67,358
09/2007: Supergirl #21 --  44,656
09/2008: Supergirl #33 --  27,609
09/2009: Supergirl #45 --  32,240
---------------------------------
09/2010: Supergirl #56 --  25,034 (-  3.3%)
10/2010: Supergirl #57 --  23,842 (-  4.8%)
11/2010: Supergirl #58 --  25,412 (+  6.6%)
12/2010: Supergirl #59 --  22,606 (- 11.0%)
01/2011: Supergirl #60 --  22,568 (-  0.2%)
02/2011: Supergirl #61 --  22,048 (-  2.3%)
03/2011: Supergirl #62 --  21,786 (-  1.2%)
04/2011: Supergirl #63 --  21,598 (-  0.9%)
05/2011: Supergirl #64 --  21,411 (-  0.9%)
06/2011: Supergirl #65 --  20,985 (-  2.0%)
07/2011: Supergirl #66 --  20,001 (-  4.7%)
08/2011: Supergirl #67 --  19,764 (-  1.2%)
09/2011: Supergirl #1  --  60,058 (+203.9%)
-----------------
6 months: +175.7%
1 year  : +139.9%
2 years : + 86.3%
5 years : - 10.8%

That’s the best Supergirl sales since issue #11, released in November 2006.

—–

33 - CATWOMAN
09/2006: Catwoman #59 -- 25,324
09/2007: Catwoman #71 -- 19,492
-------------------------------
09/2011: Catwoman #1  -- 59,633
-----------------
5 years : +135.5%

Catwoman gets another record-setting number for the period covered by the current set of estimates, by more than 20,000 units.

—–

39 - RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS
09/2011: Red Hood #1  -- 56,112

Another Scott Lobdell-written title, this time a team book starring former Robin Jason Todd in a threesome with Starfire and some dude that shoots arrows.

—–

40 - BIRDS OF PREY
09/2006: Birds of Prey #98  -- 32,715
09/2007: Birds of Prey #110 -- 27,148
09/2008: Birds of Prey #122 -- 21,318
-------------------------------------
09/2010: Birds of Prey #5   -- 40,146 (- 13.0%)
10/2010: --
11/2010: Birds of Prey #6   -- 34,440 (- 14.2%)
12/2010: Birds of Prey #7   -- 33,114 (-  3.9%)
01/2011: Birds of Prey #8   -- 31,616 (-  4.5%)
02/2011: Birds of Prey #9   -- 30,641 (-  3.1%)
03/2011: Birds of Prey #10  -- 30,777 (+  0.4%)
04/2011: Birds of Prey #11  -- 30,270 (-  1.7%)
05/2011: Birds of Prey #12  -- 29,690 (-  1.9%)
06/2011: Birds of Prey #13  -- 28,992 (-  2.4%)
07/2011: Birds of Prey #14  -- 27,102 (-  6.5%)
08/2011: Birds of Prey #15  -- 26,043 (-  3.9%)
09/2011: Birds of Prey #1   -- 56,073 (+115.3%)
-----------------
6 months: + 82.1%
1 year  : + 39.7%
5 years : + 71.4%

Even though fan-favorite writer Gail Simone isn’t helming the series, it beats the May 2010 relaunch by about 6,000 units.

—–

41 - THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN
09/2006: Hawkgirl #56       -- 21,560
-------------------------------------
09/2011: Savage Hawkman #1  -- 55,954
-----------------
5 years : +159.5%

The last series was launched in 2002, renamed Hawkgirl in 2006 and cancelled with estimated sales below 15K in 2007.

—–

42 - SUPERBOY
11/2010: Superboy #1  --  39,701
12/2010: Superboy #2  --  31,761 (- 20.0%)
01/2011: Superboy #3  --  29,550 (-  7.0%)
02/2011: Superboy #4  --  27,448 (-  7.1%)
03/2011: Superboy #5  --  27,215 (-  0.9%)
04/2011: Superboy #6  --  30,490 (+ 12.0%)
05/2011: Superboy #7  --  24,622 (- 19.3%)
06/2011: Superboy #8  --  23,037 (-  6.4%)
07/2011: Superboy #9  --  22,102 (-  4.1%)
08/2011: Superboy #10 --  20,563 (-  7.0%)
08/2011: Superboy #11 --  20,317 (-  1.2%)
09/2011: Superboy #1  --  55,608 (+173.7%)
-----------------
6 months: +104.3%

Completing the Scott Lobdell renaissance at DC, the new Superboy beats the last revamp — which happened less than a year ago — by about 16,000 copies.

—–

44 - JUSTICE LEAGUE
09/2006: Justice League #2  -- 143,412 [158,480]
09/2007: Justice League #13 -- 119,471 [124,006]
09/2008: --
09/2009: Justice League #37 --  55,478
--------------------------------------
09/2010: JL of America #49   --  57,616 (-  5.1%)
10/2010: JL of America #50   --  59,686 (+  3.6%)
11/2010: JL of America #51   --  50,887 (- 14.7%)
12/2010: JL of America #52   --  48,501 (-  4.7%)
01/2011: JL of America #53   --  47,093 (-  2.9%)
02/2011: JL of America #54   --  46,269 (-  1.8%)
03/2011: JL of America #55   --  50,533 (+  9.2%)
04/2011: JL of America #56   --  47,179 (-  6.6%)
05/2011: JL of America #57   --  46,729 (-  1.0%)
06/2011: JL of America #58   --  45,442 (-  2.8%)
07/2011: JL of America #59   --  43,545 (-  4.2%)
08/2011: JL of America #60   --  42,587 (-  2.2%)
08/2011: Justice League #1   -- 185,776 (+336.2%) [232,426]
09/2011: --
-----------------
6 months: n/a
1 year  : n/a
2 years : n/a
5 years : n/a

Justice League #2 didn’t come out until October, but a lot of reorders for the debut issue showed up on the chart in September — and beat 24 of the “New 52″ debut issues, incidentally.

The book shifted another 46,650 units, which puts its total numbers past 200K and in the same ball park as those of the 2006 relaunch by Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes.

—–

45 - STORMWATCH
09/2007: StormWatch: PHD #11  -- 10,440
09/2008: StormWatch: PHD #14  --  7,883
09/2009: StormWatch: PHD #23  --  4,840
---------------------------------------
09/2011: Stormwatch #1        -- 46,397
-----------------
2 years : +858.6%

Paul Cornell’s Stormwatch relaunch is the best-selling of the three former WildStorm titles that are part of the “New 52″ initiative.

It’s the most spectacular two-year comparison of the pack, certainly, but given the pitiable state of the WildStorm Universe line when DC pulled the plug, that’s not all that surprising.

—–

46 - THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN
09/2006: Firestorm #29 -- 17,449
--------------------------------
09/2011: Firestorm #1  -- 51,537
-----------------
5 years : +195.4%

Co-writers Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone relaunch another C-list DC character.

—–

47 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
09/2006: Supergirl & LoSH #22 -- 36,735
09/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #34 -- 28,294
09/2008: LoSH #46             -- 24,959
---------------------------------------
09/2010: LoSH #5              -- 32,417 (-  5.3%)
10/2010: LoSH #6              -- 30,246 (-  6.7%)
11/2010: LoSH #7              -- 26,439 (- 12.6%)
12/2010: LoSH #8              -- 25,063 (-  5.2%)
01/2011: LoSH #9              -- 24,230 (-  3.3%)
02/2011: LoSH #10             -- 23,738 (-  2.0%)
03/2011: LoSH #11             -- 23,667 (-  0.3%)
04/2011: LoSH #12             -- 23,419 (-  1.1%)
05/2011: LoSH #13             -- 23,105 (-  1.3%)
06/2011: LoSH #14             -- 22,600 (-  2.2%)
07/2011: LoSH #15             -- 21,788 (-  3.6%)
08/2011: LoSH #16             -- 21,373 (-  1.9%)
09/2011: LoSH #1              -- 50,402 (+135.8%)
-----------------
6 months: +113.0%
1 year  : + 55.5%
5 years : + 37.2%

The 2010 relaunch, helmed by Paul Levitz, sold 44,415 units in its first month, Jim Shooter’s return to the book in 2007 managed 45,803, the first “One Year Later” issue sold 47,426 units in 2006, and the Mark Waid/Barry Kitson version launched in 2004, finally, shifted an estimated 50,691 units with its debut issue.

The “New 52″ series, once again helmed by Levitz, comes in at pretty much the exact same number as that latter comic.

—–

49 - SUICIDE SQUAD
09/2007: Raise the Flag #1 of 8 -- 29,506
-----------------------------------------
09/2011: Suicide Squad #1       -- 49,979
54 - DEATHSTROKE
09/2011: Deathstroke #1  -- 47,028

These were virtual unknowns for retailers, and they’re very similar types of books, so it makes sense that sales are similar.

—–

56 - LEGION LOST
09/2011: Legion Lost #1  -- 46,362

Replacing Adventure Comics as the resident Legion spin-off.

—–

57 - ANIMAL MAN
09/2009: Last Days #5 of 6 -- 11,791
------------------------------------
09/2011: Animal Man #1     -- 46,051
-----------------
2 years : +290.6%

Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman bring back another former Vertigo property. The two-year comparison is with the Last Days of Animal Man miniseries, the last Animal Man title proper ran from 1988 through 1995.

—–

58 - BATWING
09/2011: Batwing #1  -- 45,980

Spinning out of Grant Morrison’s Batman stories.

—–

60 - DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS
09/2011: DCU Presents #1  -- 45,701

Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang kick off the book with a Deadman arc.

—–

62 - BLUE BEETLE
09/2006: Blue Beetle #7  -- 29,079
09/2007: Blue Beetle #19 -- 15,737
09/2008: Blue Beetle #31 -- 12,302
----------------------------------
09/2011: Blue Beetle #1  -- 44,448
-----------------
5 years : + 52.9%

The last Blue Beetle series, which ran for 36 issues from 2006 through 2009, debuted with estimated sales of 50,678 in its first month and went on to sell 69,752 total.

—–

63 - CAPTAIN ATOM
09/2011: Captain Atom #1  -- 44,110

There was a nine-issue Captain Atom miniseries (as part of a WildStorm Universe publishing event) that launched with estimated sales of 40,662 in October 2005 and was down to 20,279 by its final issue.

—–

65 - ALL STAR WESTERN
09/2006: Jonah Hex #11 -- 18,957
09/2007: Jonah Hex #23 -- 15,157
09/2008: Jonah Hex #35 -- 13,231
09/2009: Jonah Hex #47 -- 12,231
--------------------------------
09/2010: Jonah Hex #59 -- 11,444 (-  2.8%)
10/2010: Jonah Hex #60 -- 11,141 (-  2.7%)
11/2010: Jonah Hex #61 -- 10,796 (-  3.1%)
12/2010: Jonah Hex #62 -- 10,899 (+  1.0%)
01/2011: Jonah Hex #63 -- 10,752 (-  1.4%)
02/2011: Jonah Hex #64 -- 10,255 (-  4.6%)
03/2011: Jonah Hex #65 -- 10,353 (+  1.0%)
04/2011: Jonah Hex #66 -- 10,335 (-  0.2%)
05/2011: Jonah Hex #67 -- 10,288 (-  0.5%)
06/2011: Jonah Hex #68 -- 10,224 (-  0.6%)
07/2011: Jonah Hex #69 -- 10,521 (+  2.9%)
08/2011: Jonah Hex #70 -- 10,369 (-  1.5%)
09/2011: ASW #1        -- 43,681 (+321.3%)
-----------------
6 months: +321.9%
1 year  : +281.7%
2 years : +257.1%
5 years : +130.4%

Well, All Star Western is, pretty much, just a straight relaunch of Jonah Hex with a different title, so I’d say this is a huge vote of confidence from retailers.

—–

68 - HAWK & DOVE
09/2011: Hawk & Dove #1  -- 42,294

I’m somewhat surprised this didn’t do better, to be honest.

Say what you will about Rob Liefeld’s art, but it used to sell a lot of books. Given the nostalgia factor of his return to these characters, I certainly didn’t expect the book to land in the lowest-selling quarter of the relaunch.

—–

71 - RESURRECTION MAN
09/2011: Resurrection Man #1  -- 41,740
72 - DEMON KNIGHTS
09/2011: Demon Knights #1  -- 41,602
73 - FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E.
06/2011: FP: Frankenstein #1 of 3 -- 30,508
07/2011: FP: Frankenstein #2 of 3 -- 23,900 (-21.7%)
08/2011: FP: Frankenstein #3 of 3 -- 23,131 (- 3.2%)
09/2011: Frankenstein #1          -- 41,551 (+79.6%)

Co-writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning relaunch one of the weirder DC Universe titles of the 1990s (the original ran for 28 issues in 1997 and 1998), Paul Cornell does a series set in the Dark Ages of the DC Universe and indie creator Jeff Lemire follows up his Flashpoint tie-in miniseries with an ongoing title.

What these three titles have in common is that they’re set on the dark fringes of the relaunched superhero line and don’t have much of a recent sales history. That may explain why they’re right next to each other on the chart.

—–

74 - MISTER TERRIFIC
09/2011: Mister Terrific #1  -- 41,450
75 - GRIFTER
09/2011: Grifter #1  -- 41,222
76 - VOODOO
09/2011: Voodoo #1  -- 40,301
77 - BLACKHAWKS
09/2011: Blackhawks #1  -- 40,014
78 - I, VAMPIRE
09/2011: I, Vampire #1  -- 39,683
80 - STATIC SHOCK
06/2011: Special #1 of 1  --  9,976
-----------------------------------
09/2011: Static Shock #1  -- 37,782 (+278.7%)
81 - MEN OF WAR
09/2011: Men of War #1  -- 37,488
82 - O.M.A.C.
09/2011: O.M.A.C. #1  -- 37,312

And the same picture here, for this bunch of direct-market odd ducks — war, sci-fi, vampires, two former WildStorm Universe titles, a Milestone Media property, a first-time solo book starring a D-stringer and a Jack Kirby pastiche.

These were virtual unknowns for retailers: None of the eight lowest-selling “New 52″ titles have any recent sales history that retailers could have relied on for their orders. They’re practically new introductions to the direct market. So, ultimately, it’s not surprising to see that they’re grouped together like this, and at the bottom end of the “New 52″.

—–

118 - FABLES (Vertigo)
09/2006: Fables #53  -- 25,388
09/2007: Fables #65  -- 25,311
09/2008: Fables #75  -- 25,266
09/2008: Fables #76  -- 23,914
09/2009: Fables #88  -- 21,508
------------------------------
09/2010: Fables #98  -- 19,594 (- 0.2%)
10/2010: Fables #99  -- 19,656 (+ 0.3%)
11/2010: --
12/2010: Fables #100 -- 23,014 (+17.1%)
01/2011: Fables #101 -- 19,183 (-16.7%)
02/2011: Fables #102 -- 19,215 (+ 0.2%)
03/2011: Fables #103 -- 18,910 (- 1.6%)
04/2011: Fables #104 -- 18,811 (- 0.5%)
05/2011: Fables #105 -- 18,749 (- 0.3%)
06/2011: Fables #106 -- 18,505 (- 1.3%)
07/2011: Fables #107 -- 18,523 (+ 0.1%)
08/2011: Fables #108 -- 18,390 (- 0.7%)
09/2011: Fables #109 -- 18,072 (- 1.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.4%
1 year  : - 7.8%
2 years : -16.0%
5 years : -28.8%

Over at Vertigo, September was business as usual, meanwhile.

The publisher recently announced a couple of new ongoing titles, so it doesn’t look like they’re giving up on the idea quite yet, after all.

—–

137 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE (Vertigo)
09/2010: American Vampire #6  -- 23,349 (- 6.1%)
10/2010: American Vampire #7  -- 21,910 (- 6.2%)
11/2010: American Vampire #8  -- 19,850 (- 9.4%)
12/2010: American Vampire #9  -- 19,019 (- 4.2%)
12/2010: American Vampire #10 -- 17,761 (- 6.6%)
01/2011: American Vampire #11 -- 16,969 (- 4.5%)
02/2011: American Vampire #12 -- 16,522 (- 2.6%)
03/2011: American Vampire #13 -- 17,269 (+ 4.5%)
04/2011: American Vampire #14 -- 16,168 (- 6.4%)
05/2011: American Vampire #15 -- 15,876 (- 1.8%)
06/2011: American Vampire #16 -- 15,705 (- 1.1%)
07/2011: American Vampire #17 -- 15,565 (- 0.9%)
08/2011: American Vampire #18 -- 15,423 (- 0.9%)
09/2011: American Vampire #19 -- 15,288 (- 0.9%)
----------------
6 months: -11.5%
1 year  : -34.5%
146 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST (Vertigo)
06/2011: Survival #1 of 5 -- 17,160
07/2011: Survival #2 of 5 -- 14,590 (-15.0%)
08/2011: Survival #3 of 5 -- 14,696 (+ 0.7%)
09/2011: Survival #4 of 5 -- 14,204 (- 3.5%)

Pretty consistent numbers over here.

—–

177 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
09/2009: The Unwritten #5  -- 16,011
------------------------------------
09/2010: The Unwritten #17 -- 12,796 (+ 0.2%)
10/2010: The Unwritten #18 -- 12,273 (- 4.1%)
11/2010: The Unwritten #19 -- 12,036 (- 1.9%)
12/2010: The Unwritten #20 -- 11,684 (- 2.9%)
01/2011: The Unwritten #21 -- 11,443 (- 2.1%)
02/2011: The Unwritten #22 -- 11,371 (- 0.6%)
03/2011: The Unwritten #23 -- 11,319 (- 0.5%)
04/2011: The Unwritten #24 -- 11,028 (- 2.6%)
05/2011: The Unwritten #25 -- 11,137 (+ 1.0%)
06/2011: The Unwritten #26 -- 10,979 (- 1.4%)
07/2011: The Unwritten #27 -- 10,787 (- 1.8%)
08/2011: The Unwritten #28 -- 10,731 (- 0.5%)
09/2011: The Unwritten #29 -- 10,511 (- 2.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.1%
1 year  : -17.9%
2 years : -34.4%

Standard attrition.

—–

183 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
09/2006: Hellblazer #224 -- 13,704
09/2007: Hellblazer #236 -- 12,938
09/2008: Hellblazer #247 -- 11,851
09/2009: Hellblazer #259 -- 10,813
----------------------------------
09/2010: Hellblazer #271 --  9,851 (-0.8%)
10/2010: Hellblazer #272 --  9,650 (-2.0%)
11/2010: Hellblazer #273 --  9,645 (-0.1%)
12/2010: Hellblazer #274 --  9,342 (-3.1%)
01/2011: Hellblazer #275 --  9,507 (+1.8%)
02/2011: Hellblazer #276 --  9,466 (-0.4%)
03/2011: Hellblazer #277 --  9,525 (+0.6%)
04/2011: Hellblazer #278 --  9,417 (-1.1%)
05/2011: Hellblazer #279 --  9,454 (+0.4%)
06/2011: Hellblazer #280 --  9,329 (-1.3%)
07/2011: Hellblazer #281 --  9,225 (-1.1%)
08/2011: Hellblazer #282 --  9,372 (+1.5%)
09/2011: Hellblazer #283 --  9,597 (+2.4%)
----------------
6 months: + 0.8%
1 year  : - 2.6%
2 years : -11.3%
5 years : -30.0%

Maybe the slight increase is due to John Constantine’s role in Justice League Dark.

—–

187 - I, ZOMBIE (Vertigo)
09/2010: I, Zombie #5  -- 14,839 (- 5.9%)
10/2010: I, Zombie #6  -- 13,782 (- 7.1%)
11/2010: I, Zombie #7  -- 12,800 (- 7.1%)
12/2010: I, Zombie #8  -- 12,038 (- 6.0%)
01/2011: I, Zombie #9  -- 11,536 (- 4.2%)
02/2011: I, Zombie #10 -- 11,182 (- 3.1%)
03/2011: I, Zombie #11 -- 10,874 (- 2.8%)
04/2011: I, Zombie #12 -- 10,727 (- 1.4%)
05/2011: I, Zombie #13 -- 10,567 (- 1.5%)
06/2011: I, Zombie #14 -- 10,320 (- 2.3%)
07/2011: I, Zombie #15 -- 10,006 (- 3.0%)
08/2011: I, Zombie #16 --  9,568 (- 4.4%)
09/2011: I, Zombie #17 --  9,316 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: -14.3%
1 year  : -37.2%

Sliding down.

—–

210 - YOUNG JUSTICE (Johnny DC)
01/2011: Young Justice #0  --  9,412
02/2011: Young Justice #1  -- 10,777 (+14.5%)
03/2011: Young Justice #2  --  9,612 (-10.8%)
04/2011: Young Justice #3  --  9,407 (- 2.1%)
05/2011: Young Justice #4  --  9,729 (+ 3.4%)
06/2011: Young Justice #5  --  8,988 (- 7.6%)
07/2011: Young Justice #6  --  8,642 (- 3.9%)
08/2011: Young Justice #7  --  8,062 (- 6.7%)
09/2011: Young Justice #8  --  7,930 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: -17.5%

A Johnny DC title. See disclaimers below.

—–

212 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
09/2009: Sweet Tooth #1  -- 18,657
----------------------------------
09/2010: Sweet Tooth #13 --  9,097 (- 1.6%)
10/2010: Sweet Tooth #14 --  8,933 (- 1.8%)
11/2010: Sweet Tooth #15 --  8,750 (- 2.1%)
12/2010: Sweet Tooth #16 --  8,602 (- 1.7%)
01/2011: Sweet Tooth #17 --  8,522 (- 0.9%)
02/2011: Sweet Tooth #18 --  8,466 (- 0.7%)
03/2011: Sweet Tooth #19 --  8,532 (+ 0.8%)
04/2011: Sweet Tooth #20 --  8,361 (- 2.0%)
05/2011: Sweet Tooth #21 --  8,360 (- 0.0%)
06/2011: Sweet Tooth #22 --  8,252 (- 1.3%)
07/2011: Sweet Tooth #23 --  8,018 (- 2.8%)
08/2011: Sweet Tooth #24 --  7,948 (- 0.9%)
09/2011: Sweet Tooth #25 --  7,896 (- 0.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.5%
1 year  : -13.2%
2 years : -57.7%

To be fair, that two-year comparison is with issue #1, which was a $ 1.00 promotional issue. Apart from that, the numbers have been relatively stable over the last year.

Still, Sweet Tooth remains the lowest-selling Vertigo title that doesn’t have an official ending date yet.

—–

216 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
09/2008: Tiny Titans #8  --  9,795
09/2009: Tiny Titans #20 --  8,435
----------------------------------
09/2010: Tiny Titans #32 --  8,073 (+ 1.1%)
10/2010: Tiny Titans #33 --  8,045 (- 0.4%)
11/2010: Tiny Titans #34 --  7,713 (- 4.1%)
12/2010: Tiny Titans #35 --  7,515 (- 2.6%)
01/2011: Tiny Titans #36 --  7,480 (- 0.5%)
02/2011: Tiny Titans #37 --  7,426 (- 0.7%)
03/2011: Tiny Titans #38 --  7,372 (- 0.7%)
04/2011: Tiny Titans #39 --  7,445 (+ 1.0%)
05/2011: Tiny Titans #40 --  7,847 (+ 5.4%)
06/2011: Tiny Titans #41 --  7,811 (- 0.5%)
07/2011: Tiny Titans #42 --  7,664 (- 1.9%)
08/2011: Tiny Titans #43 --  7,534 (- 1.7%)
09/2011: Tiny Titans #44 --  7,619 (+ 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: + 3.4%
1 year  : - 5.6%
2 years : - 9.7%

A Johnny DC book, see disclaimers.

—–

229 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
09/2008: Northlanders #10 -- 10,738
09/2009: Northlanders #20 --  8,786
-----------------------------------
09/2010: Northlanders #32 --  7,321 (- 0.8%)
10/2010: Northlanders #33 --  7,169 (- 2.1%)
11/2010: Northlanders #34 --  7,018 (- 2.1%)
12/2010: Northlanders #35 --  7,061 (+ 0.6%)
01/2011: Northlanders #36 --  6,806 (- 3.6%)
02/2011: Northlanders #37 --  7,006 (+ 2.9%)
03/2011: Northlanders #38 --  7,020 (+ 0.2%)
04/2011: Northlanders #39 --  6,983 (- 0.5%)
05/2011: Northlanders #40 --  7,055 (+ 1.0%)
06/2011: Northlanders #41 --  6,954 (- 1.4%)
07/2011: Northlanders #42 --  6,989 (+ 0.5%)
08/2011: Northlanders #43 --  6,901 (- 1.3%)
09/2011: Northlanders #44 --  6,858 (- 0.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.3%
1 year  : - 6.3%
2 years : -21.9%

Cancelled with issue #50.

—–

240 - THE ALL-NEW BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
09/2006: Batman Strikes! #25   --  7,765
09/2007: Batman Strikes! #37   --  6,833
09/2008: Batman Strikes! #49   --  6,387
09/2009: Brave & Bold #9       --  7,064
----------------------------------------
09/2010: Brave & Bold #21      --  6,345 (+  1.6%)
10/2010: Brave & Bold #22      --  6,044 (-  4.7%)
11/2010: All-New BBB #1        --  8,408 (+ 39.1%)
12/2010: All-New BBB #2        --  6,688 (- 20.5%)
01/2011: All-New BBB #3        --  6,557 (-  2.0%)
02/2011: All-New BBB #4        --  6,561 (+  0.1%)
03/2011: All-New BBB #5        --  6,463 (-  1.5%)
04/2011: All-New BBB #6        --  6,324 (-  2.1%)
05/2011: All-New BBB #7        --  6,869 (+  8.6%)
06/2011: All-New BBB #8        --  6,645 (-  3.3%)
07/2011: All-New BBB #9        --  6,404 (-  3.6%)
08/2011: All-New BBB #10       --  6,351 (-  0.8%)
09/2011: All-New BBB #11       --  6,410 (+  0.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 0.8%
1 year  : + 1.0%
2 years : - 9.3%
5 years : -17.5%

Another Johnny DC book.

—–

241 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
09/2008: House of Mystery #5  -- 16,721
09/2009: House of Mystery #17 -- 11,142
---------------------------------------
09/2010: House of Mystery #29 --  8,087 (- 1.8%)
10/2010: House of Mystery #30 --  7,913 (- 2.2%)
11/2010: House of Mystery #31 --  7,610 (- 3.8%)
12/2010: House of Mystery #32 --  7,348 (- 3.4%)
01/2011: House of Mystery #33 --  7,227 (- 1.7%)
02/2011: House of Mystery #34 --  7,092 (- 1.9%)
03/2011: House of Mystery #35 --  7,170 (+ 1.1%)
04/2011: House of Mystery #36 --  7,096 (- 1.0%)
05/2011: House of Mystery #37 --  6,909 (- 2.6%)
06/2011: House of Mystery #38 --  6,763 (- 2.1%)
07/2011: House of Mystery #39 --  6,627 (- 2.0%)
08/2011: House of Mystery #40 --  6,512 (- 1.7%)
09/2011: House of Mystery #41 --  6,387 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -10.9%
1 year  : -21.0%
2 years : -42.7%

Cancelled with issue #42.

—–

244 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
09/2007: Scalped #9  --  7,678
09/2008: Scalped #21 --  7,029
09/2009: --
------------------------------
09/2010: --
10/2010: Scalped #41 --  6,623 (+ 0.5%)
10/2010: Scalped #42 --  6,476 (- 2.2%)
11/2010: Scalped #43 --  6,324 (- 2.4%)
12/2010: Scalped #44 --  6,192 (- 2.1%)
01/2011: Scalped #45 --  6,187 (- 0.1%)
02/2011: Scalped #46 --  6,179 (- 0.1%)
03/2011: Scalped #47 --  6,222 (+ 0.7%)
04/2011: Scalped #48 --  6,272 (+ 0.8%)
05/2011: --
06/2011: Scalped #49 --  6,333 (+ 1.0%)
06/2011: Scalped #50 --  6,471 (+ 2.2%)
07/2011: --
08/2011: Scalped #51 --  6,409 (- 1.0%)
09/2011: Scalped #52 --  6,270 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: + 0.8%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.

Ending with issue #60.

—–

254 - DMZ (Vertigo)
09/2006: DMZ #11 -- 14,562
09/2007: DMZ #23 -- 11,858
09/2008: --
09/2009: DMZ #45 --  7,589
--------------------------
09/2010: DMZ #57 --  6,333 (-2.9%)
10/2010: DMZ #58 --  6,198 (-2.1%)
11/2010: DMZ #59 --  6,046 (-2.5%)
12/2010: DMZ #60 --  6,023 (-0.4%)
01/2011: DMZ #61 --  5,855 (-2.8%)
02/2011: DMZ #62 --  5,781 (-1.3%)
03/2011: DMZ #63 --  5,877 (+1.7%)
04/2011: DMZ #64 --  5,851 (-0.4%)
05/2011: DMZ #65 --  5,865 (+0.2%)
06/2011: DMZ #66 --  5,825 (-0.7%)
07/2011: DMZ #67 --  5,720 (-1.8%)
08/2011: DMZ #68 --  5,668 (-0.9%)
09/2011: DMZ #69 --  5,544 (-2.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.7%
1 year  : -12.5%
2 years : -27.0%
5 years : -61.9%

Ending with issue #72.

—–

272 - SCOOBY DOO: WHERE ARE YOU? (Johnny DC)
09/2006: Scooby Doo #112 -- 4,385
09/2007: Scooby Doo #124 -- 4,401
09/2008: Scooby Doo #136 -- 4,283
09/2009: Scooby Doo #148 -- 4,103
---------------------------------
09/2010: SD:WAY? #1      -- 6,186 (+51.2%)
10/2010: SD:WAY? #2      -- 4,926 (-20.4%)
11/2010: SD:WAY? #3      -- 4,861 (- 1.3%)
12/2010: SD:WAY? #4      -- 4,802 (- 1.2%)
01/2011: SD:WAY? #5      -- 4,540 (- 5.5%)
02/2011: SD:WAY? #6      -- 4,456 (- 1.9%)
03/2011: SD:WAY? #7      -- 4,522 (+ 1.5%)
04/2011: SD:WAY? #8      -- 4,599 (+ 1.7%)
05/2011: SD:WAY? #9      -- 4,838 (+ 5.2%)
06/2011: SD:WAY? #10     -- 4,774 (- 1.3%)
07/2011: SD:WAY? #11     -- 4,791 (+ 0.4%)
08/2011: SD:WAY? #12     -- 4,686 (- 2.2%)
09/2011: SD:WAY? #13     -- 4,701 (+ 0.3%)
----------------
6 months: + 4.0%
1 year  : -24.0%
2 years : +14.6%
5 years : + 7.2%

A Johnny DC title, see small print.

REORDERS:
266: 4,972 -- Flashpoint #5

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+474.5%: Action Comics
+321.9%: All Star Western
+264.8%: Batgirl
+230.1%: Superman
+221.6%: Batman
+195.2%: Teen Titans
+186.9%: Detective Comics
+175.7%: Supergirl
+138.3%: Wonder Woman
+113.0%: LoSH
+104.3%: Superboy
+ 86.7%: Green Arrow
+ 85.8%: Green Lantern
+ 82.1%: Birds of Prey
+ 63.7%: New Guardians
+ 58.3%: Batman and Robin
+ 53.7%: Dark Knight
+ 38.2%: GL Corps
+  4.0%: Scooby-Doo
+  3.4%: Tiny Titans
+  0.8%: Hellblazer
+  0.8%: Scalped
-  0.8%: All-New BBB
-  2.3%: Northlanders
-  4.4%: Fables
-  5.7%: DMZ
-  7.1%: Unwritten
-  7.5%: Sweet Tooth
- 10.9%: House of Mystery
- 11.5%: American Vampire
- 14.3%: I, Zombie
- 17.5%: Young Justice

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+438.3%: Action Comics
+281.7%: All Star Western
+237.1%: Batgirl
+216.8%: Teen Titans
+207.2%: Detective Comics
+144.6%: Batman
+139.9%: Supergirl
+108.3%: Flash
+ 96.2%: Wonder Woman
+ 66.3%: Green Lantern
+ 55.5%: LoSH
+ 49.3%: New Guardians
+ 39.7%: Birds of Prey
+ 39.5%: Green Arrow
+ 30.7%: GL Corps
+ 14.3%: Batman and Robin
+  1.0%: All-New BBB
+  0.8%: Scalped
-  2.6%: Hellblazer
-  5.6%: Tiny Titans
-  6.3%: Northlanders
-  7.8%: Fables
- 12.5%: DMZ
- 13.2%: Sweet Tooth
- 17.9%: Unwritten
- 21.0%: House of Mystery
- 24.0%: Scooby-Doo
- 34.5%: American Vampire
- 37.2%: I, Zombie

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+858.6%: Stormwatch
+405.1%: Action Comics
+290.6%: Animal Man
+257.1%: All Star Western
+248.9%: Superman
+228.4%: Green Arrow
+164.6%: Wonder Woman
+144.7%: Batman
+124.6%: Teen Titans
+122.9%: Batgirl
+101.3%: Detective Comics
+ 86.3%: Supergirl
+ 36.7%: Green Lantern
+ 14.6%: Scooby-Doo
-  0.0%: GL Corps
-  9.3%: All-New BBB
-  9.7%: Tiny Titans
- 11.3%: Hellblazer
- 11.4%: Batman and Robin
- 16.0%: Fables
- 21.9%: Northlanders
- 27.0%: DMZ
- 34.4%: Unwritten
- 42.7%: House of Mystery
- 57.7%: Sweet Tooth

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+225.9%: Action Comics
+195.4%: Firestorm
+159.5%: Hawkman
+135.5%: Catwoman
+130.4%: All Star Western
+106.3%: Batman
+104.6%: Superman
+ 93.9%: Flash
+ 82.5%: Green Arrow
+ 82.2%: Nightwing
+ 81.4%: Green Lantern
+ 78.9%: Detective Comics
+ 78.2%: GL Corps
+ 71.4%: Birds of Prey
+ 52.9%: Blue Beetle
+ 37.2%: LoSH
+ 11.7%: Teen Titans
+  7.2%: Scooby-Doo
- 10.8%: Supergirl
- 17.5%: All-New BBB
- 28.8%: Fables
- 30.0%: Hellblazer
- 61.9%: DMZ

—–

Average Periodical Sales
(not counting reprints, reorders shipping after the initial month of release, Johnny DC titles and magazines)

DC COMICS
09/2006: 34,920
09/2007: 32,332
09/2008: 25,562
09/2009: 28,493**
---------------
09/2010: 23,212 (-  0.5%)**
10/2010: 23,756 (-  2.3%)**
11/2010: 25,497 (+  7.3%)**
12/2010: 23,869 (-  6.4%)**
01/2011: 21,922 (-  8.2%)**
02/2011: 23,252 (+  6.1%)**
03/2011: 23,976 (+  3.1%)**
04/2011: 25,651 (+  7.0%)
05/2011: 24,561 (-  4.3%)**
06/2011: 25,814 (+  5.1%)**
07/2011: 26,138 (+  1.3%)**
08/2011: 25,632 (-  1.9%)**
09/2011: 57,224 (+123.3%)
-----------------
6 months: +138.7%
1 year  : +146.5%
2 years : +100.8%
5 years : + 63.9%
DC UNIVERSE
09/2006: 46,329
09/2007: 42,894
09/2008: 33,591
09/2009: 36,725**
---------------
09/2010: 32,042 (-  4.1%)
10/2010: 32,832 (+  2.5%)
11/2010: 34,180 (+  4.1%)
12/2010: 30,870 (-  9.7%)
01/2011: 24,321 (- 21.2%)**
02/2011: 25,887 (+  6.4%)**
03/2011: 26,720 (+  3.2%)**
04/2011: 29,126 (+  9.0%)
05/2011: 27,745 (-  4.7%)**
06/2011: 28,673 (+  3.4%)**
07/2011: 28,586 (-  0.3%)**
08/2011: 27,761 (-  2.9%)**
09/2011: 67,411 (+142.8%)
-----------------
6 months: +152.3%
1 year  : +110.4%
2 years : + 83.6%
5 years : + 45.5%
VERTIGO
09/2006: 15,399
09/2007: 11,806
09/2008: 11,748
09/2009: 11,345
---------------
09/2010: 11,622 (+27.8%)
10/2010:  9,546 (-17.9%)
11/2010:  9,034 (- 5.4%)
12/2010: 11,193 (+23.9%)
01/2011: 10,145 (- 9.4%)
02/2011: 10,295 (+ 1.5%)
03/2011: 10,450 (+ 1.5%)
04/2011: 10,014 (- 4.2%)
05/2011: 10,668 (+ 6.5%)
06/2011: 10,415 (- 2.4%)
07/2011: 10,784 (+ 3.5%)
08/2011: 10,147 (- 5.9%)
09/2011:  9,995 (- 1.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.4%
1 year  : -14.0%
2 years : -11.9%
5 years : -35.1%

—–
Disclaimers, et cetera

The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.

ICv2.com‘s estimates are somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month.

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass-market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Re-orders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial calendar month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month.

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after a book’s initial calendar month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in parenthesis behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]”). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average between them will be used.

Titles released under the Johnny DC imprint and magazines, such as Mad, mostly sell through channels other than the direct market, so direct-market sales don’t tell us much about their performance. For most Vertigo titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well. To learn (a little) more about Vertigo’s collection sales, go right here.

** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales are likely to be less than that.

For a more lyrical approach to discussing sales figures that covers all the essentials in a more condensed, less tedious fashion, finally, go right here.

—–
Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Laughter alert: Lisa Hanawalt's "What Dogs Want"

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We only JUST SAW Drive last night* so we could finally read this hilarious commentary by Lisa Hanawalt when to our joyful giggles, there was a new Hanawalt portfolio up at The Hairpin entitled What Dogs Want and it is great from this first image to the last, surprise twist ending.

My mom is especially going to love this feature. Right, mom?

*Loved it.

R. Crumb's rejected gay marriage New Yorker cover: The rest of the story

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Last year, R. Crumb announced he wouldn’t be working for the New Yorker any more after one of his covers was rejected with no stated reason. Now VICE magazine’s Nadja Sayej has unearthed the cover as (of all things) the illustration for a bookmark in the Danish catalog from the Venice Biennale art show. It was for a story on gay marriage and shows what may (or may not) be a drag king and drag queen applying for a marriage license.

The cardboard placeholder featured a color comic by R. Crumb depicting a drag queen and king holding hands in front of a marriage-license clerk. On its flip side was a blurb from Crumb explaining that the image was intended to be the cover of a 2009 issue of the New Yorker but was rejected for reasons unknown. Although I was excited to obtain such a rare and odd artifact, things didn’t quite add up.


Sayej manages to obtain an interview with Crumb and finds out much more about the cover:

Did the rejection offend you?
I’m in a privileged position because I don’t need the money. When you go to the cover editor’s office, you notice that the walls are covered with rejected New Yorker covers. Sometimes there are two rejected covers for each issue. I don’t know what the usual policy is, but I was given no explanation from David Remnick, the editor in chief, who makes the final decisions.
[snip]

Do you think the New Yorker is homophobic?
I think it’s the opposite. The New Yorker is majorly politically correct, terrified of offending some gay person. I asked this gay friend of mine, Paul Morris, “If you saw this cover on the New Yorker, would you be offended?” He said, “I’d wanna hang it on my wall!”


Super bonus: Johnny Ryan draws a portrait of Crumb!
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Event report: Meeting Lily Renée and Trina Robbins

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Alexa at Ladies Making Comics has a delightful report up on an event at Books of Wonder with Trina Robbins and Golden Age cartoonist Lily Renée, who is the subject of a new biographical comic written by Robbins. A nice reminder that “Women in Comics” didn’t start last month, last year, or even the last decade!

Lily soon arrived and everyone soon settled in to listen to Trina’s presentation, with Lily’s occasional comments, of her remarkable life.  One of the first images to really strike me was a picture of an adolescent Lily with her mother, a friend of her mother’s, and that woman’s daughter.  Lily explained that her mother’s friend—also Jewish—later managed to survive the concentration camps, because she was a doctor.  One key tragic fact that almost always gets left out of Holocaust narratives is that Germanic Europe before the rise of the Nazis was one of the most socially progressive areas in the world at the time, with rampant women’s liberation and a thriving queer community.

As Trina went through the slides, sometimes Lily had a lot to say, but some, as with a picture of the wreckage following Kristallnacht, she had nothing to add. Though later, after talking about her time in England and going through the Blitz, she mentioned that she became very good at drawing ruins.  She also talked about working as a maternity ward nurse in Leeds during that time, and the sense of purpose it gave her to protect the babies and bring them to the bomb shelter.

Stan Lee wins Producers Guild's Vanguard Award

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When he isn’t pacting, Stan Lee is getting awards! This January he’ll be presented with the Vanguard Award from the Producers Guild of America.

“Stan Lee’s creative vision and imagination has produced some of the most beloved and visually stunning characters and adventures in history,” said Producers Guild Awards co-chairs Paula Wagner and Michael Manheim in a statement announcing the award.

“He not only has created content that will forever be in our culture but continues to make strides in the digital and new media realms, keeping the comic book industry fresh and exciting. Stan’s accomplishments truly encompass the spirit of the Vanguard Award and we are proud to honor him.”


The Producers Guild awards are part of a flurry of awards that recognize various disciplines in filmmaking. Previous winners of the Vanguard Award include George Lucas and John Lasseter.

PR below:

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that internationally acclaimed comic book legend Stan Lee will receive the Producers Guild’s 2012 Vanguard Award. The award will be presented to Lee at the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 21st at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. 

Known to millions as the man who propelled Marvel Comics to its preeminent position in the comic book industry, Lee’s famous co-creations include Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, X- Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, The Avengers, Silver Surfer and Dr. Strange, among many others. 

“Stan Lee’s creative vision and imagination has produced some of the most beloved and visually stunning characters and adventures in history,” said Producers Guild Awards co-chairs Paula Wagner and Michael Manheim. “He not only has created content that will forever be in our culture but continues to make strides in the digital and new media realms, keeping the comic book industry fresh and exciting. Stan’s accomplishments truly encompass the spirit of the Vanguard Award and we are proud to honor him.” 

 “I am extremely appreciative that the Producers Guild has chosen me for this distinguished award,” said Lee. “I am eager to continue to expand comic book storytelling into the digital space and am honored to be awarded alongside such amazing visionaries.” 

The Producers Guild’s Vanguard Award recognizes achievements in new media and technology. Previous recipients of the award include George Lucas, John Lasseter, YouTube founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Will Wright, and the 2011 recipients Michael V. Lewis and Joshua Greer of RealD. 

 As a producer, writer, editor, publisher, actor, host and executive, Stan ‘the Man’ Lee has exerted more influence over the comic book industry than anyone in history, creating or co-created 90% of Marvel’s most recognized comic characters. His creations have spawned books, films, television series, video games, web series, Broadway shows and more. 

Lee became publisher of Marvel Comics in 1972 and is presently the Chairman Emeritus of Marvel Enterprises, Inc. and a member of the Editorial Board of Marvel Comics. In 1977, he introduced Spider-Man as a syndicated newspaper strip which now appears in more than 500 newspapers worldwide. In 1981 Lee transformed his Spider-Man and Hulk creations into syndicated television cartoons, supervising such animated series as “X-Men,” “Spider-Man” and “The Hulk.” Lee has also executive produced such recent films as the SPIDER-MAN franchise, IRON MAN I & II, THOR, the X-MEN franchise, HULK, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER and GHOST RIDER, among many others.  

In 2001, Lee co-founded POW! Entertainment where he currently serves as Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, with Gill Champion and Arthur Lieberman, to develop film, television and video game properties. The company recently announced two projects with 1821 Comics, a multi-platform imprint titled “Stan Lee’s Kid’s Universe” and a graphic novel titled Romeo and Juliet: The War, a reimagining of the story 200 years in the future. POW! also recently partnered with Michael Eisner’s Vuguru to produce original digital content and separately partnered with A Squared Entertainment and Archie Comics to release the first title of the Stan Lee Comics banner “Mighty Seven” in 2012. Additionally, POW! is developing seven new movie franchises, two TV series, two live-action shows and their first non-American superhero to provide new characters across various platforms for a new generation of fans. 

Bil Keane 1922-2011

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Via Jeff Keane’s Facebook page, word has come that Bil Keane, creator of the iconic Family Circus comic strip, has died. He was 89.

Begun in 1960, the single panel strip followed the mundane activities of Billy, Dolly, Jeffy, and P.J. and heir long suffering parents. Keane’s gentle humor was often the target of biting satire’s — recent parodies replaced the kid captions with quotes from Nietzsche and HP Lovecraft — but to a country expanding its suburban lifestyle in the post war years, the strip clearly resonated. Given that it was based on Keane’s own family, the resonance was personal. Keane’s most imitated elements include the “Not me!’ panels and the famed dotted line strips in which a path of childlike destruction was usually charter.

Keane’s son Jeff continues to draw the strip; anther son, Glen, is a noted animator.

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