You know how one day you had never heard of a thing and then the next day you heard about it three different places from completely different sources? Thus it is with The Beat and Connie Sun, an aspiring cartoonist who draws in between her day job in “higher education.” Despite the “aspiring part” her comics are sweet and charming and will send you into the weekend with a smile.
This super sweet story about artist Karl Kesel and his wife adopting a baby and then selling his Silver Age comics collection to pay for medical bills is a great way to end the week. The Kesels had been assigned a drug affected baby and this meant their child was born with a methadone addiction and has to be hospitalized for six weeks:
Did we mention it’s free? And has Emily Flake? DOOOOOOO ITTTTTTTT.
In May, DC reminded us that the old sales-boosting tricks still work. In June, we’re reminded how short-lived those sales increases are. Coming out of the “Night of the Owls” crossover, the Batman line basically dropped right back to its previous levels, and the same applies to other titles participating in other crossovers in May; second, DC cut many of its variant-cover editions in June, with predictable results; third, the six replacement “New 52” titles all show second-issue drops between 20% and 44% in June; finally, a range of “New 52” titles display bigger-than-usual drops for no readily available reason in June, so it seems retailers weren’t done yet trying to catch up with actual demand, after all.
As a result of all this, DC’s numbers were actually slightly down in June, despite the Before Watchmen launch and despite the fact that DC published two more DC Universe (and one more Vertigo) titles than they did in May. The DC Universe imprint’s estimated average comic-book unit sales dropped from 39,179 units in May to 37,599, total unit sales from 2.69 million to 2.67 million, and total dollar sales from $9.05 million to $8.98 million.
On the up side, though, the numbers are still golden overall, thanks, of course, to the four juggernaut debut issues of the Before Watchmen line, all of which made the Top 10 and cleared between 110,000 and 120,000 units each. Consequently, average DC Universe unit sales were still the 25th highest ever since March 2003, total DC Universe unit sales the 8th highest, and total DC Universe dollar sales the 6th highest. While it seems unlikely that DC will be able to sustain these types of sales levels through the rest of the year, it’s well worth mentioning: They’re doing very well right now.
Although ICV2 is reporting that Kickstarter has banned retailer rewards—selling a bundle of copies of your product at a discount—this is not entirely true. I wrote about the phenomenon of getting retailers in the loop for crowdfunding projects over at Publisher’s Weekly last year, so I did a little digging.
Considering that I spent decades trying to pop my collar like Terry Downe, I would have to agree.
The Walking Dead #100 led the charts in July, even as DC just barely edged out Marvel in both dollars and units—a sign that Marvel NOW can’t come soon enough perhaps. BATMAN: EARTH ONE led the graphic novel charts, topping a strong month for DC.
Sales were generally flat from June, although remain much higher year to year. Comics were down a tad while GNs declined in dollars but gained in units.
And you thought comics had it bad. It’s been a banner year for video game sexual harassment—or at least video game sexual harassment awareness. The Anita Sarkeesian Kickstarter and subsequent online abuse has been well documented, and it’s been discussed so much that the Times is ON it with a piece that nonetheless serves as a good round-up. This is the last frontier, as anonymity and youth add up to a culture of harassment—which spills over into the real world as when a female gamer was harassed by the captain of her own team IRL (above.) The Times says it’s gone so far even video game makers are trying to do something: