All-New Marvel Month-to-Month Sales January 2014 Now with a new writer!

All-New Marvel Month-to-Month Sales January 2014 Now with a new writer!http://ift.tt/1d3fyKO

STK634872

By Jason Enright

Hi everyone! My name is Jason Enright and I am going to be analyzing the Marvel sales charts for you. I have a background as a comic book retailer and now a comic book marketing specialist. As we go along I’ll be adding in my thoughts as to why we may be seeing these numbers and what they tell me as a fan, retailer, and marketing guy.

A few things to keep in mind about these charts:

1. The direct market (comic book shops that order through Diamond) does not track sell-through. So these numbers don’t represent what actually sold, but instead represent what retailers ordered. A book can get high orders and sit on the shelf (which often leads to lower orders in later months) and a book can be under-ordered and sell out (see Black Widow further down this chart). These numbers are what retailers estimated would sell in their shops.

2. We currently don’t have any digital sales data so this is only a look at what is selling in stores. Until we somehow convince Marvel and all the other publishers to release their digital sales numbers, we have no clue how well most of these books are really doing, as digital is a very quickly growing marketplace which sees a lot of new first-time comic readers.

So all that being said, think of this as a snapshot of one portion of the comics industry. Where this is really helpful is to look at the trends. How does a comic do over time, does it grow or shrink? How do gimmicks like variant covers, crossovers, renumbering, etc. effect sales? At what point does a book start to face cancellation or relaunch?

So why don’t we get started?

Thanks as always to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com‘s estimates can be found here.

3,21. AVENGERS WORLD

01/14 Avengers World #1 – 86,727

01/14 Avengers World #2 – 53,693 (-38.1%)

02/14 Avengers World #3

03/14 Avengers World #4

04/14 Avengers World #5

A new book debuting with 7 variant covers while issue 2 has 3 variants. Not as strong a debut as other recent Avengers titles and with a sharp drop on orders for issue 2 already. This begs the question is there enough goodwill towards the Avengers to support 5 Avengers titles? Or will they start to cannibalize each other and cause marketplace confusion? If I was still a retailer, I’d be asking how I sell this as a unique title distinct from the other 4. What makes this Avengers book different?

5,7. SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN

01/04 Amazing #503 87,366 ( -11.5%)

01/09 Amazing #584 63,735 ( +21.3%)

01/11 Amazing #651 56,749 ( +36.2%)

01/12 Amazing #677 57,186 ( +35.0%)



01/13 Superior #1 – 209,944 ( -23.2%)

01/13 Superior #2 – 118,104 ( -43.7%)

02/13 Superior #3 – 101,811 ( -13.8%)

02/13 Superior #4 – 95,892 ( -5.8%)

03/13 Superior #5 – 94,224 ( -1.7%)

03/13 Superior #6 – 86,614 ( -8.1%)

03/13 S. S-M #6AU – 85,807 ( -0.9%)

04/13 Superior #7 – 87,945 ( +2.5%)

04/13 Superior #8 – 85,671 ( -2.6%)

05/13 Superior #9 – 93,656 ( +9.3%)

05/13 Superior #10 – 85,346 ( -8.9%)

06/13 Superior #11 – 84,219 ( -1.3%)

06/13 Superior #12 – 82,338 ( -2.2%)

07/13 Superior #13 – 81,678 ( -0.8%)

07/13 Superior #14 – 80,839 ( -1.0%)

08/13 Superior #15 – 78,636 ( -2.7%)

08/13 Superior #16 – 78,087 ( -0.7%)

09/13 Superior #17 – 89,118 ( +14.1%)

09/13 Superior #18 – 80,178 ( -10.0%)

10/13 Superior #19 – 83,671 ( +4.4%)

10/13 Superior #20 – 85,309 ( +2.0%)

11/13 Superior #21 – 74,940 ( -12.2%)

11/13 Superior #22 – 81,250 ( +8.4%)

12/13 Superior #23 – 77,105 ( -5.1%)

12/13 Superior #24 – 76,131 ( -1.3%)

01/14 Superior #25 – 77,311 ( +1.5%)

01/14 Superior #26 – 72,591 ( -6.1%)

Issue 25 sees a small bump because it had a variant, but then issue 26 sees a sharper drop than the normal standard attrition. Still this book has remained significantly popular almost two years in and will surely see a large sales boost from the return of Peter Parker and the ‘Amazing’ moniker in April.

6,14. ALL-NEW X-MEN

01/13 All-New X-Men #5 – 86,301 ( -5.1%)

01/13 All-New X-Men #6 – 85,403 ( -1.0%)

02/13 All-New X-Men #7 – 85,234 ( -0.2%)

03/13 All-New X-Men #8 – 90,990 ( +6.8%)

03/13 All-New X-Men #9 – 81,692 (-10.2%)

04/13 All-New X-Men #10 – 84,760 ( +3.8%)

05/13 All-New X-Men #11 – 80,582 ( -4.9%)

06/13 All-New X-Men #12 – 82,178 ( +2.0%)

06/13 All-New X-Men #13 – 77,656 ( -5.5%)

07/13 All-New X-Men #14 – 74,848 ( -3.6%)

08/13 All-New X-Men #15 – 73,035 ( -2.4%)

09/13 All-New X-Men #16 – 84,218 (+15.3%)

10/13 All-New X-Men #17 – 82,843 ( -1.6%)

11/13 All-New X-Men #18 – 82,365 ( -0.6%)

11/13 All-New X-Men #19 – 71,044 (-13.7%)

12/13 All-New X-Men #20 – 68,189 ( -4.0%)

01/14 All-New X-Men #21 – 62,876 ( -7.8%)

01/14 All-New #22.NOW – 76,565 (+21.8%)

We see a pretty nice bump for issue 22.now which has 5 variants and is the beginning of the Trial of Jean Grey crossover with Bendis’s Guardians of the Galaxy series. This is a book to keep an eye on since it has spent much of the last 6 months as part of one crossover or another but then sees a drop of around 10,000 copies whenever it has to stand on its own.

9. AVENGERS

01/04 Avengers v3 #76 – 57,487 ( +14.1%)

01/09

01/11 Avengers v4 #9 – 64,867 ( +1.1%)

01/12 Avengers v4 #21 – 54,803 ( +19.7%)



01/13 Avengers v5 #3 – 92,165 ( -6.9%)

01/13 Avengers v5 #4 – 83,088 ( -9.8%)

02/13 Avengers v5 #5 – 82,452 ( -0.8%)

02/13 Avengers v5 #6 – 84,868 ( +2.9%)

03/13 Avengers v5 #7 – 78,278 ( -7.8%)

03/13 Avengers v5 #8 – 82,691 ( +5.6%)

04/13 Avengers v5 #9 – 77,780 ( -5.9%)

04/13 Avengers v5 #10 – 78,905 ( +1.4%)

05/13 Avengers v5 #11 – 70,687 ( -10.4%)

05/13 Avengers v5 #12 – 74,978 ( +6.1%)

06/13 Avengers v5 #13 – 68,624 ( -8.5%)

06/13 Avengers v5 #14 – 74,846 ( +9.1%)

07/13 Avengers v5 #15 – 68,472 ( -8.5%)

07/13 Avengers v5 #16 – 72,842 ( +6.4%)

08/13 Avengers v5 #17 – 68,962 ( -5.3%)

08/13 Avengers v5 #18 – 74,697 ( +8.3%)

09/13 Avengers v5 #19 – 92,489 ( +23.8%)

09/13 Avengers v5 #20 – 74,388 ( -19.6%)

10/13 Avengers v5 #21 – 71,751 ( -3.5%)

10/13 Avengers v5 #22 – 70,735 ( -1.4%)

11/13 Avengers v5 #23 – 66,501 ( -6.0%)

12/13 Avengrs. #24.NOW – 127,466 ( +91.7%)

01/14 Avengers v5 #25 – 65,591 ( -48.5%)

The 24.Now issue and its 6 variants saw a huge increase in orders but even with 3 variants issue 25 dropped right back into the standard attrition this series has been seeing. It will be interesting to see how far the sales on this drop between now and its next crossover (Original Sin) coming in May.

13. ORIGIN II

09/01 Origin #1 of 6 – 135,561

10/01 Origin #2 of 6 – 131,582

10/01 Origin #3 of 6 – 128,978

12/01 Origin #4 of 6 – 168,460

01/02 Origin #5 of 6 – 178,231

02/02 Origin #6 of 6 – 179,251



12/13 Origin II #1 of 5 – 131,724

01/14 Origin II #2 of 5 – 64,631 ( -50.9%)

Just for fun, I’d thought I’d compare Origin II to the original. As you can see, although the first issue had a strong debut thanks to its 5 variant covers, Issue 2 sees a significant sales drop. It is not quite as big a hit as its predecessor, which saw sales growth as it continued.

15. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

01/09 Guardianz v2 #9 – 28,494 (+114.5%)



02/13 Guardians #0.1 – 80,344

03/13 Guardians v3 #1 – 217,993 (+171.3%)

04/13 Guardians v3 #2 – 88,184 ( -59.5%)

05/13 —

06/13 Guardians v3 #3 – 75,633 ( -14.2%)

06/13 Guardians v3 #4 – 71,575 ( -5.4%)

07/13 Guardians v3 #5 – 110,372 ( +54.2%)

08/13 —

09/13 Guardians v3 #6 – 69,030 ( -37.5%)

10/13 Guardians v3 #7 – 68,647 ( -0.6%)

10/13 Guardians v3 #8 – 63,494 ( -7.5%)

11/13 —

12/13 Guardians v3 #9 – 57,665 ( -9.2%)

12/13 Guardians v3 #10 – 53,527 ( -7.2%)

01/14 Guardian #11.NOW – 61,111 ( +14.7%)

02/14 Guardians v3 #12

03/14 Guardians v3 #13

04/14 Guardians v3 #14

A nice sales bump for issue 11.Now which has 5 variants and crosses over with All-New X-Men. Recently, this book has been seeing a drop in orders. It’ll be interesting to see if this book sees renewed interest with the marketing push for the new movie beginning in earnest. Although with the trade collections currently out of print until April, interested new fans may find it difficult to catch up on the comic series.

17. UNCANNY X-MEN

01/04 Uncanny X-men #437 – 89,923 ( -34.7%)

01/09 Uncanny X-Men Ann. #2- 62,485 ( -6.1%)

01/11 Uncanny X-Men #532 – 54,071 ( +8.5%)

01/12 Uncanny X-men #4 – 63,175 ( -7.0%)



02/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #1 – 177,463 (+169.0%)

02/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #2 – 94,615 ( -46.7%)

03/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #3 – 85,775 ( -9.3%)

04/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #4 – 80,047 ( -6.7%)

04/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #5 – 78,919 ( -1.4%)

05/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #6 – 73,621 ( -6.7%)

06/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #7 – 73,719 ( +0.1%)

07/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #8 – 70,274 ( -4.7%)

07/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #9 – 67,338 ( -4.2%)

08/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #10 – 70,903 ( +5.3%)

08/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #11 – 65,700 ( -7.3%)

09/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #12 – 76,790 ( +16.9%)

10/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #13 – 75,202 ( -2.1%)

11/13 Uncanny X-Men v3 #14 – 65,655 ( -12.7%)

12/13 Uncanny #15.INH – 62,692 ( -4.5%)

01/14 Uncanny X-Men v3 #16 – 58,676 ( -6.4%)

As soon as ‘Battle of the Atom’ ended, this book’s sales started dropping again. Whether this is indicative of X-Men fatigue, or a case of too many x-books (currently 5) crowding the marketplace, it is worrying that these big flagship books can’t maintain sales without annual reboots.

18. ALL-NEW INVADERS

01/14 All-New Invaders #1 – 55,167

02/14 Invaders #2

03/14 Invaders #3

04/14 Invaders #4

#1 – 5 variants

#2 – variant

#3 – 2 variants

With 5 variant covers backing it up, this is a rather low number for a debut. If this sees the regular issue 2 sales drop of 40% to 50%, this will become a 25k to 30k book in a month and then start seeing standard attrition. The prognosis for the Invaders doesn’t look good.

19. UNCANNY AVENGERS

01/13 Uncanny Avengers #3 – 92,165 (-19.3%)

02/13 Uncanny Avengers #4 – 87,539 ( -5.0%)

03/13 Uncanny Avengers #5 – 84,382 ( -3.6%)

04/13 Uncanny Avengers #6 – 80,863 ( -4.2%)

04/13 Uncanny Avengers #7 – 77,027 ( -4.7%)

05/13 Uncanny Avengers #8 – 75,655 ( -1.8%)

05/13 Uncanny Av. #8AU – 72,514 ( -4.2%)

06/13 Uncanny Avengers #9 – 71,842 ( -0.9%)

07/13 Uncanny Avengers #10 – 68,768 ( -4.3%)

08/13 Uncanny Avengers #11 – 65,447 ( -4.8%)

09/13 Uncanny Avengers #12 – 73,357 (+12.1%)

10/13 Uncanny Avengers #13 – 60,597 (-17.4%)

11/13 Uncanny Avengers #14 – 60,750 ( +0.3%)

12/13 Uncanny Avengers #15 – 57,035 ( -6.1%)

01/14 Uncanny Avengers #16 – 54,670 ( -4.1%)

With no variants to back it up, we see this book dropping 3,000 copies a month. Even with rumors of characters dying and ultimate battles looming. With no crossovers or events in the near future, it’ll be interesting to see if this book is able to stabilize.

20,63. BLACK WIDOW

04/10 Black Widow v4. #1 – 32,807



01/14 Black Widow #1 – 53,879

01/14 Black Widow #2 – 31,260 ( -42.0%)

02/14 Black Widow #3

03/14 Black Widow #4

04/14 Black Widow #5

#1 – 5 variants

#2-3 – 1 variant

Part of the new All-New Marvel Now launch and one of Marvel’s new wave of female-led books, you can see that its first issue did much better than the last time Black Widow had her own series, but that big issue 2 drop is concerning. However, some have argued that the main audience for these books isn’t going to comic shops but instead buying digitally. We’ll have to wait and see if this series finds a fan base as some of the other Avengers spinoff series like Captain Marvel and Hawkeye have.

23,44. MIRACLEMAN

01/14 Miracleman #1 – 52,313

01/14 Miracleman #2 – 36,927 ( -29.4%)

Not sure what Marvel was hoping with this recolored reprint of this early 90s Alan Moore series, but the retailers and readers don’t seem to be going along for the ride. A sharp drop for issue 2 even with 4 variants supporting it.

24. AMAZING X-MEN

01/09 Astonishing X-Men #28 – 72,589 ( -29.1%)

01/12 Astonishing X-Men #46 – 31,134 ( +65.0%)



01/13 Astonishing X-Men #58 – 25,159 ( -4.2%)

02/13 Astonishing X-Men #59 – 24,195 ( -3.8%)

03/13 Astonishing X-Men #60 – 27,683 ( +14.4%)

04/13 Astonishing X-Men #61 – 27,090 ( -2.1%)

05/13 Astonishing X-Men #62 – 24,121 ( -11.0%)

06/13 Astonishing X-Men #63 – 23,326 ( -3.3%)

07/13 Astonishing X-Men #64 – 22,649 ( -2.9%)

08/13 Astonishing X-Men #65 – 22,010 ( -2.8%)

08/13 Astonishing X-Men #66 – 21,757 ( -1.1%)

09/13 Astonishing X-Men #67 – 21,044 ( -3.3%)

10/13 Astonishing X-Men #68 – 21,023 ( -0.0%)

11/13 Amazing X-Men v2 #1 – 112,337 (+434.4%)

12/13 Amazing X-Men v2 #2 – 60,870 ( -45.8%)

01/14 Amazing X-Men v2 #3 – 51,431 ( -15.5%)

Steep drops for issue 2 and 3. With this being the fifth X-men book and the second following Wolverine’s team, it begs the question of how many times a month you can go to the X-well before people get tired of it. Not even the return of fan-favorite Nightcrawler seems to be a boost for this series.

25. X-MEN

01/11 X-Men v3 #7 – 64,615 ( -23.5%)

01/12 X-Men v3 #23 – 38,719 ( +28.0%)



01/13 X-Men v3 #40 – 28,515 ( -2.8%)

02/13 X-Men v3 #41 – 32,488 ( +13.9%)

03/13 —

04/13 —

05/13 X-Men v4 #1 – 183,297 (+464.2%)

06/13 X-Men v4 #2 – 73,542 ( -59.9%)

07/13 X-Men v4 #3 – 65,270 ( -11.2%)

08/13 X-Men v4 #4 – 64,010 ( -1.9%)

09/13 X-Men v4 #5 – 73,357 ( +14.6%)

10/13 X-Men v4 #6 – 71,990 ( -1.9%)

11/13 X-Men v4 #7 – 56,968 ( -20.9%)

12/13 X-Men v4 #8 – 53,201 ( -6.6%)

01/14 X-Men v4 #9 – 49,412 ( -7.1%)

No variants for the last few months and we’ve seen this book take a big hit in sales numbers. It saw a bit of a bump during the ‘Battle of the Atom’ crossover but now it seems like it is struggling to find the bottom level of its sales.

27,36. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEADPOOL

01/14 Night #1 of 4 – 47,596

01/14 Night #2 of 4 – 40,241 (-15.5%)

Decent debut that matches pretty closely to the sales of the main title. ‘Deadpool’ continues to be the little brand that could with its impressive ability to draw sales.

30,57. ALL-NEW X-FACTOR

01/09 X-factor #39 – 32,786 (+39.5%)

01/11 X-factor #213 – 25,403 (+80.0%)

01/12 X-factor #230 – 25,707 (+78.0%)



01/13 X-Factor #250 – 22,521 ( +6.2%)

02/13 X-Factor #251 – 21,096 ( -6.3%)

02/13 X-Factor #252 – 20,929 ( -0.8%)

03/13 X-Factor #253 – 20,835 ( -0.4%)

04/13 X-Factor #254 – 20,579 ( -1.2%)

05/13 X-Factor #255 – 20,442 ( -0.7%)

05/13 X-Factor #256 – 20,602 ( +0.8%)

06/13 X-Factor #257 – 20,264 ( -1.6%)

06/13 X-Factor #258 – 20,154 ( -0.5%)

07/13 X-Factor #259 – 20,065 ( -0.4%)

08/13 X-Factor #260 – 19,982 ( -0.4%)

08/13 X-Factor #261 – 19,781 ( -1.0%)

09/13 X-Factor #262 – 20,382 ( +3.0%)

10/13 —

11/13 —

12/13 —

01/14 X-Factor v4 #1 – 45,727

01/14 X-Factor v4 #2 – 32,228 (-29.5%)

Multiple variants for both issues and we see an increase over the previous X-factor sales but not a big enough bump that it won’t fall back to previous numbers in a few months. It seems pretty clear that X-Factor is just going to comfortable live in the 20,000 range.

33. DEADPOOL

01/09 Deadpool v3 #6 – 46,535 ( -10.3%)

01/11 Deadpool v3 #31 – 29,167 ( +43.2%)

01/12 Deadpool v3 #49 – 49,567 ( -16.0%)



01/13 Deadpool v4 #4 – 57,061 ( -11.7%)

02/13 Deadpool v4 #5 – 57,312 ( +0.4%)

03/13 Deadpool v4 #6 – 57,095 ( -0.4%)

04/13 Deadpool v4 #7 – 57,016 ( -0.1%)

04/13 Deadpool v4 #8 – 52,851 ( -7.3%)

05/13 Deadpool v4 #9 – 51,296 ( -2.9%)

05/13 Deadpool v4 #10 – 50,461 ( -1.6%)

06/13 Deadpool v4 #11 – 54,110 ( +7.2%)

06/13 Deadpool v4 #12 – 48,315 ( -10.7%)

07/13 Deadpool v4 #13 – 47,006 ( -2.7%)

08/13 Deadpool v4 #14 – 45,870 ( -2.4%)

08/13 Deadpool v4 #15 – 46,169 ( +0.7%)

09/13 Deadpool v4 #16 – 45,675 ( -1.1%)

09/13 Deadpool v4 #17 – 45,348 ( -0.7%)

10/13 Deadpool v4 #18 – 47,096 ( +3.9%)

11/13 Deadpool v4 #19 – 44,184 ( -6.2%)

12/13 Deadpool v4 #20 – 43,653 ( -1.2%)

12/13 Deadpool v4 #21 – 43,066 ( -1.3%)

01/14 Deadpool v4 #22 – 41,765 ( -3.0%)

This series is standing pretty solid at the 40k mark and should see a significant boost from the upcoming wedding storyline. Deadpool is becoming a strong brand for Marvel outside of the comics as well with a video game and an upcoming HeroClix set which is pretty impressive for a character who is kind of a goofball.

37,39. THOR: GOD OF THUNDE

01/04 Thor v2 #73 – 31,150 ( +24.9%)

01/11 Thor #619 – 42,899 ( -9.3%)

01/12 Thor v4 #10 – 37,487 ( +4.0%)



01/13 Thor v5 #4 – 50,478 ( -9.1%)

02/13 Thor v5 #5 – 51,861 ( +2.7%)

03/13 Thor v5 #6 – 50,481 ( -2.7%)

04/13 Thor v5 #7 – 51,526 ( +2.1%)

05/13 Thor v5 #8 – 48,622 ( -5.6%)

06/13 Thor v5 #9 – 49,125 ( +1.0%)

07/13 Thor v5 #10 – 46,204 ( -5.9%)

08/13 Thor v5 #11 – 45,397 ( -1.7%)

08/13 Thor v5 #12 – 44,865 ( -1.2%)

09/13 Thor v5 #13 – 48,007 ( +7.0%)

10/13 Thor v5 #14 – 46,008 ( -4.2%)

11/13 Thor v5 #15 – 41,259 (-10.3%)

12/13 Thor v5 #16 – 39,597 ( -4.0%)

01/14 Thor v5 #17 – 38,913 ( -1.7%)

01/14 Thor v5 #18 – 38,190 ( -1.9%)

No variants or special gimmicks/crossovers and yet pretty stable sales. This book might be finding its level sales point right around 35 to 40k which is pretty good. Although it always surprises me that even with 2 major Hollywood blockbusters these books don’t sell better, especially when you look and see that ten years ago—before any of the films—this book sold roughly the same amount of books a month.

43. HAWKEYE

01/13 Hawkeye v4 #7 – 37,000 (+10.6%)

02/13 Hawkeye v4 #8 – 36,898 ( -0.3%)

03/13 —

04/13 Hawkeye v4 #9 – 39,678 ( +7.5%)

05/13 Hawkeye v4 #10 – 42,090 ( +6.1%)

06/13 Hawkeye v4 #11 – 40,510 ( -3.8%)

06/13 Hawkeye v4 #12 – 40,837 ( +0.8%)

07/13 —

08/13 —

09/13 —

10/13 Hawkeye v4 #13 – 40,476 ( -0.9%)

11/13 Hawkeye v4 #14 – 39,863 ( -1.5%)

11/13 Hawkeye v4 #15

12/13 —

01/14 Hawkeye v4 #16 – 37,074 ( -7.0%)

Even without variants or crossovers this book continues to sell pretty well. Although with big delays between issues, it will be interesting to see if those delays start to hurt sales. The real success of this series is evident if you look at the Bookscan numbers from 2013 where it was Marvel’s best-selling graphic novel. This book has found critical and sales success outside of the direct market in ways no other Marvel title currently has. It also seems to be the inspiration for many of their new Avengers solo books which also show what the Avengers do on their days off from being Avengers. Time will tell if Marvel finds similar success with those titles.

45. WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN



01/13 Wolverine/X-Men #23 – 43,963 ( -3.7%)

01/13 Wolverine/X-Men #24 – 44,716 ( +1.7%)

02/13 Wolverine/X-Men #25 – 45,057 ( +0.8%)

03/13 Wolverine/X-Men #26 – 42,019 ( -6.7%)

03/13 Wolverine/X-Men #27 – 41,960 ( -0.1%)

04/13 Wolv & X-Men #27AU – 47,055 (+12.1%)

04/13 Wolverine/X-Men #28 – 42,718 ( -9.2%)

05/13 Wolverine/X-Men #29 – 40,451 ( -5.3%)

05/13 Wolverine/X-Men #30 – 40,019 ( -1.1%)

06/13 Wolverine/X-Men #31 – 41,661 ( +4.1%)

06/13 Wolverine/X-Men #32 – 39,790 ( -4.5%)

07/13 Wolverine/X-Men #33 – 42,269 ( +6.2%)

08/13 Wolverine/X-Men #34 – 38,473 ( -9.0%)

08/13 Wolverine/X-Men #35 – 38,046 ( -1.1%)

09/13 Wolverine/X-Men #36 – 59,684 (+56.9%)

10/13 Wolverine/X-Men #37 – 57,434 ( -3.8%)

11/13 Wolverine/X-Men #38 – 39,098 (-31.9%)

12/13 Wolverine/X-Men #39 – 39,063 ( -0.1%)

01/14 Wolverine/X-Men #40 – 36,855 ( -5.7%)

This series has seen some sales drop recently but will be relaunching as a #1 in March as part of even newer Marvel Now All-New. It’ll be interesting to see how much of a boost the relaunch gives it in the long run.

52. CAPTAIN AMERICA

01/04 Capt. America v3 #22 – 41,278 ( -19.0%)

01/09 Capt. America v6 #46 – 73,162 ( -54.3%)

01/11 Capt. America #614 – 42,119 ( -20.6%)

01/12 Capt. America v7 #7 – 46,954 ( -29.0%)



01/13 Captain America v8 #3 – 59,836 ( -7.1%)

02/13 Captain America v8 #4 – 53,112 ( -11.2%)

03/13 Captain America v8 #5 – 49,186 ( -7.4%)

04/13 Captain America v8 #6 – 47,802 ( -2.8%)

05/13 Captain America v8 #7 – 44,024 ( -7.9%)

06/13 Captain America v8 #8 – 43,791 ( -0.5%)

07/13 Captain America v8 #9 – 40,796 ( -6.8%)

08/13 Captain America v8 #10 – 39,356 ( -3.5%)

09/13 Captain America v8 #11 – 38,521 ( -2.1%)

10/13 Captain America v8 #12 – 38,684 ( +0.4%)

11/13 Captain America v8 #13 – 36,147 ( -6.6%)

12/13 Captain America v8 #14 – 34,532 ( -4.5%)

01/14 Captain America v8 #15 – 33,433 ( -3.2%)

Interestingly enough, this book isn’t getting a tie-in comic or reboot to go along with the upcoming Marvel studios film. It will be getting a .now issue and some variants though. Still the sales on this aren’t very high or even very stable for a book starring one of Marvel’s A-list Avengers characters.

53. INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK

01/04 Inc. Hulk v3 #64 – 51,960 ( -36.4%)

01/11 Inc. Hulks #620 – 30,992 ( +6.7%)

01/12 Inc. Hulk v4 #3 – 45,876 ( -28.0%)



01/13 Indestructible #3 – 59,431 ( -6.6%)

02/13 Indestructible #4 – 56,214 ( -5.4%)

03/13 Indestructible #5 – 54,967 ( -2.2%)

04/13 Indestructible #6 – 55,470 ( +0.9%)

05/13 Indestructible #7 – 49,956 ( -9.9%)

05/13 Indestructible #8 – 48,866 ( -2.2%)

06/13 Indestructible #9 – 49,427 ( +1.1%)

07/13 Indestructible #10 – 45,531 ( -7.9%)

07/13 Indestructible #11 – 45,241 ( -0.6%)

08/13 Indestructible #12 – 43,673 ( -3.5%)

09/13 Indestructible #13 – 41,805 ( -4.3%)

10/13 Indestructible #14 – 40,963 ( -2.0%)

11/13 Indestructible #15 – 37,025 ( -9.6%)

11/13 Indestructible #16 – 35,871 ( -3.1%)

12/13 Hulk #17.INH – 35,679 ( -0.5%)

01/14 Hulk #18.INH – 33,056 ( -7.4%)

Another A-list Avenger solo book having trouble maintaining sales even with an Inhumanity tie-in. This one will probably be part of their next wave of reboots but for now we have to wonder how low the sales will go.

54. ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE

01/14 Point One – 32,929

A one-shot book containing short stories that tie in to some of the new series coming out such as Ms. Marvel.

58. DAREDEVIL

01/04 Dardevil v2 #56 – 56,367 (-43.1%)

01/09 Daredevil v2 #115- 40,202 (-20.2%)

01/11 DD Reborn #1 – 34,310 ( -6.5%)

01/12 Daredevil v3 #8 – 43,494 (-26.0%)



01/13 Daredevil v3 #22 – 36,102 ( +0.7%)

02/13 Daredevil v3 #23 – 37,170 ( +3.0%)

03/13 Daredevil v3 #24 – 37,231 ( +0.2%)

04/13 Daredevil v3 #25 – 39,678 ( +6.6%)

05/13 Daredevil v3 #26 – 39,788 ( +0.3%)

06/13 Daredevil v3 #27 – 35,834 ( -9.9%)

07/13 Daredevil v3 #28 – 35,364 ( -1.3%)

07/13 Daredevil v3 #29 – 34,915 ( -1.3%)

08/13 Daredevil v3 #30 – 35,240 ( +0.9%)

09/13 Daredevil v3 #31 – 36,666 ( +4.0%)

10/13 Daredevil v3 #32 – 34,957 ( -4.7%)

11/13 Daredevil v3 #33 – 32,966 ( -5.7%)

12/13 Daredevil v3 #34 – 32,331 ( -1.9%)

01/14 Daredevil v3 #35 – 32,067 ( -0.8%)

Sales have been slumping for what is consistently one of marvel’s best books, but never fear we are about two months away from a soft reboot which should re-invigorate sales for a bit.

64. WOLVERINE

01/04 Wolverine v3 #10 – 71,395 ( -56.3%)

01/11 Wolverine v4 #5 – 46,920 ( -33.6%)

01/12 Wolverine #300 – 58,681 ( -47.0%)



03/13 Wolverine v5 #1 – 117,669 (+242.4%)

04/13 Wolverine v5 #2 – 57,165 ( -51.4%)

05/13 Wolverine v5 #3 – 49,629 ( -13.2%)

06/13 Wolverine v5 #4 – 46,784 ( -5.7%)

06/13 Wolverine v5 #5 – 43,694 ( -6.6%)

07/13 Wolverine v5 #6 – 40,593 ( -7.1%)

07/13 Wolverine v5 #7 – 38,605 ( -4.9%)

08/13 Wolverine v5 #8 – 39,830 ( -3.2%)

09/13 Wolverine v5 #9 – 35,920 ( -9.8%)

10/13 Wolverine v5 #10 – 34,651 ( -3.5%)

11/13 Wolverine v5 #11 – 35,394 ( +2.1%)

12/13 Wolverine v5 #12 – 32,274 ( -8.8%)

01/14 Wolverine v5 #13 – 31,164 ( -3.4%)

Numbers have gotten pretty low, but they are relaunching next month with a new #1 so that should help.

65,66. IRON MAN



01/13 Iron Man v6 #5 – 50,899 ( -10.2%)

02/13 Iron Man v6 #6 – 46,206 ( -9.2%)

03/13 Iron Man v6 #7 – 44,040 ( -4.7%)

04/13 Iron Man v6 #8 – 43,974 ( -0.1%)

05/13 Iron Man v6 #9 – 78,006 ( +77.4%)

05/13 Iron Man v6 #10 – 45,424 ( -41.8%)

06/13 Iron Man v6 #11 – 44,409 ( -2.2%)

07/13 Iron Man v6 #12 – 40,405 ( -9.0%)

07/13 Iron Man v6 #13 – 39,534 ( -2.2%)

08/13 Iron Man v6 #14 – 38,137 ( -3.5%)

09/13 Iron Man v6 #15 – 36,346 ( -4.7%)

10/13 Iron Man v6 #16 – 35,924 ( -1.2%)

10/13 Iron Man v6 #17 – 39,047 ( +8.7%)

11/13 Iron Man v6 #18 – 36,135 ( -7.5%)

12/13 Iron Man v6 #19 – 32,537 ( -10.0%)

01/14 Iron Man v6 #20 – 30,533 ( -6.2%)

01/14 Iron #20.INH – 30,512 ( -0.1%)

The Inhumanity tie-in doesn’t help boost sales, but maybe the upcoming .Now issue will. It seems a shame that Marvel’s biggest movie star can’t maintain better sales numbers in the comics world.

67. SAVAGE WOLVERINE

01/13 Savage Wolverine #1 – 102,530

02/13 Savage Wolverine #2 – 58,254 (-43.2%)

03/13 Savage Wolverine #3 – 50,310 (-13.6%)

04/13 Savage Wolverine #4 – 45,933 ( -8.7%)

05/13 Savage Wolverine #5 – 42,328 ( -7.8%)

06/13 Savage Wolverine #6 – 59,410 (+40.4%)

07/13 Savage Wolverine #7 – 40,946 (-31.1%)

08/13 —

09/13 Savage Wolverine #8 – 38,208 ( -6.7%)

10/13 Savage Wolverine #9 – 36,451 ( -4.6%)

10/13 Savage Wolverine #10 – 33,627 ( -7.7%)

11/13 Savage Wolverine #11 – 30,338 ( -9.8%)

11/13 Savage Wolverine #12 – 29,739 ( -2.0%)

12/13 Savage Wolverine #13 – 27,490 ( -7.6%)

01/14 Savage #14.NOW – 30,370 (+10.5%)

Nice bump from the .Now and its 4 variants, but still this second Wolverine series isn’t bringing in huge sales.

68. MIGHTY AVENGERS

09/13 Mighty Avengers v2 #1 – 101,921

10/13 Mighty Avengers v2 #2 – 54,862 (-46.2%)

11/13 Mighty Avengers v2 #3 – 42,210 (-23.1%)

12/13 Mighty Avengers v2 #4 – 35,740 (-15.3%)

01/14 Mighty Avengers v2 #5 – 30,251 (-15.4%)

Big sales drop for yet another Avengers team book that isn’t that distinguishable in concept from the other 5. A shame too as this one is actually pretty cool.

69. INHUMANITY: SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN

01/14 One-shot – 30,126

Decent numbers but nowhere near what Superior normally sells.

71,84. CATACLYSM

07/13 Hunger #1 of 4 – 70,835

08/13 Hunger #2 of 4 – 44,929 (-36.6%)

09/13 —

10/13 Hunger #3 of 4 – 39,915 (-11.2%)

10/13 Hunger #4 of 4 – 36,775 ( -7.9%)

10/13 Cataclysm #0.1 – 37,589 ( +2.2%)

11/13 Cataclysm #1 of 5 – 42,109 (+12.0%)

12/13 Cataclysm #2 of 5 – 33,348 (-20.8%)

01/14 Cataclysm #3 of 5 – 29,566 (-11.3%)

01/14 Cataclysm #4 of 5 – 26,363 (-10.8%)

Excitement for this world-shattering event is winding down. Hopefully, the post-event relaunch will help bolster the falling sales of the Ultimate universe.

72,93. THUNDERBOLTS

01/09 Thunderbolts #128 – 39,207 (-26.0%)

01/11 Thunderbolts #152 – 26,515 ( +9.3%)

01/12 Thunderbolts #168 – 20,585 ( +41%)



01/13 Thunderbolts v2 #3 – 44,272 (-13.0%)

02/13 Thunderbolts v2 #4 – 43,287 ( -2.2%)

02/13 Thunderbolts v2 #5 – 41,663 ( -3.8%)

03/13 Thunderbolts v2 #6 – 39,293 ( -5.7%)

03/13 Thunderbolts v2 #7 – 38,553 ( -1.9%)

04/13 Thunderbolts v2 #8 – 36,979 ( -4.1%)

05/13 Thunderbolts v2 #9 – 32,855 (-11.2%)

06/13 Thunderbolts v2 #10 – 32,682 ( -0.5%)

06/13 Thunderbolts v2 #11 – 30,618 ( -6.3%)

07/13 Thunderbolts v2 #12 – 29,081 ( -5.0%)

07/13 Thunderbolts v2 #13 – 28,528 ( -1.9%)

08/13 Thunderbolts v2 #14 – 30,620 ( +7.3%)

09/13 Thunderbolts v2 #15 – 29,703 ( -3.0%)

10/13 Thunderbolts v2 #16 – 29,334 ( -1.2%)

10/13 Thunderbolts v2 #17 – 28,324 ( -3.4%)

11/13 Thunderbolts v2 #18 – 26,502 ( -6.4%)

12/13 Thunderbolts v2 #19 – 24,959 ( -5.8%)

01/14 Thunderblts #20.NOW – 28,994 (+16.2%)

01/14 Thunderbolts v2 #21 – 24,293 (-16.2%)

Again we see a nice boost from the .NOW issue and its 4 variant but then the numbers drop right back down afterwards. This is starting to get into relaunch territory.

75,82. CABLE & X-FORCE

01/13 Cable & X-Force #3 – 51,761 (-10.3%)

02/13 Cable & X-Force #4 – 46,104 (-10.9%)

03/13 Cable & X-Force #5 – 44,680 ( -3.1%)

03/13 Cable & X-Force #6 – 42,896 ( -4.0%)

04/13 Cable & X-Force #7 – 41,500 ( -3.3%)

05/13 Cable & X-Force #8 – 39,041 ( -5.9%)

06/13 Cable & X-Force #9 – 38,414 ( -1.6%)

06/13 Cable & X-Force #10 – 36,104 ( -6.0%)

07/13 Cable & X-Force #11 – 34,240 ( -5.2%)

08/13 Cable & X-Force #12 – 33,127 ( -3.3%)

08/13 Cable & X-Force #13 – 32,104 ( -3.1%)

09/13 Cable & X-Force #14 – 31,053 ( -3.3%)

10/13 Cable & X-Force #15 – 30,658 ( -1.3%)

11/13 Cable & X-Force #16 – 28,564 ( -6.8%)

12/13 Cable & X-Force #17 – 27,712 ( -3.0%)

01/14 Cable & X-Force #18 – 27,285 ( -1.5%)

01/14 Cable & X-Force #19 – 28,208 ( +3.4%)

Final issue before this book merges with the other X-force book for a relaunch.

76. FANTASTIC FOUR

01/04 Fantastic Four #509 – 50,275 (-44.2%)

01/09 Fantastic Four #563 – 52,731 (-46.8%)

01/11 Fantastic Four #587 -115,448 (-75.7%)

01/12 Fantastic Four #602 – 45,131 (-38%)



01/13 Fantastic Four v5 #3 – 50,555 ( -13.5%)

02/13 Fantastic Four v5 #4 – 44,999 ( -11.0%)

03/13 Fantastic Four v5 #5 – 42,590 ( -5.4%)

03/13 Fantastic Four #5AU – 45,756 ( +7.4%)

04/13 Fantastic Four v5 #6 – 41,291 ( -4.8%)

04/13 Fantastic Four v5 #7 – 39,314 ( -4.8%)

05/13 Fantastic Four v5 #8 – 37,309 ( -5.1%)

06/13 Fantastic Four v5 #9 – 37,071 ( -0.6%)

07/13 Fantastic Four v5 #10 – 34,018 ( -8.2%)

08/13 Fantastic Four v5 #11 – 32,665 ( -4.0%)

09/13 Fantastic Four v5 #12 – 31,426 ( -3.8%)

10/13 Fantastic Four v5 #13 – 31,561 ( +0.4%)

11/13 Fantastic Four v5 #14 – 28,679 ( -9.1%)

12/13 Fantastic Four v5 #15 – 27,610 ( -3.7%)

01/14 Fantastic Four v5 #16 – 28,045 ( +1.6%)

Final issue before the relaunch. Sales on this dropped very quickly and the relaunch button is being pushed only a year after the last relaunch.

77,81. UNCANNY X-FORCE

01/09 X-force v3 #11 – 5,1801 (-47.3%)

01/11 X-force v4 #4 – 51,381 (-46.8%)

01/12 X-Force v4 #19.1- 50,399 (-46%)



01/13 X-Force v5 #1 – 86,187 (+80.5%)

02/13 X-Force v5 #2 – 56,713 (-34.2%)

03/13 X-Force v5 #3 – 51,721 ( -8.8%)

04/13 —

05/13 X-Force v5 #4 – 47,727 ( -7.7%)

05/13 X-Force v5 #5 – 45,674 ( -4.3%)

06/13 X-Force v5 #6 – 42,496 ( -7.0%)

06/13 X-Force v5 #7 – 40,380 ( -5.0%)

07/13 X-Force v5 #8 – 37,781 ( -6.4%)

07/13 X-Force v5 #9 – 36,978 ( -2.1%)

08/13 X-Force v5 #10 – 35,329 ( -4.5%)

09/13 X-Force v5 #11 – 36,186 ( +2.4%)

10/13 X-Force v5 #12 – 32,559 (-10.0%)

10/13 X-Force v5 #13 – 30,567 ( -6.1%)

11/13 X-Force v5 #14 – 28,885 ( -5.5%)

12/13 X-Force v5 #15 – 27,567 ( -4.6%)

01/14 X-Force v5 #16 – 27,701 ( +0.5%)

01/14 X-Force v5 #17 – 27,319 ( -1.4%)

Last issue before the relaunch/merger with the other X-force book which will hopefully give a boost to sales.

78. CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN

01/04 Spider-Man #52 – 95,882 (-71.2%)

01/09 Spider-Man #130 – 49,622 (-44.3%)

01/11 Spider-Man #152 – 33,481 (-17.4%)

01/12 Spider-Man v3 #6 – 49,840 (-45%)



01/13 Spider-Man v3 #19 – 36,017 ( -2.5%)

02/13 Spider-Man v3 #20 – 35,461 ( -1.5%)

03/13 Spider-Man v3 #21 – 35,284 ( -0.5%)

04/13 Spider-Man v3 #22 – 34,918 ( -1.0%)

05/13 Spider-Man v3 #23 – 35,581 ( +1.9%)

06/13 Spider-Man v3 #24 – 34,011 ( -4.4%)

07/13 Spider-Man v3 #25 – 33,271 ( -2.2%)

08/13 Spider-Man v3 #26 – 32,932 ( -1.0%)

09/13 Spider-Man v3 #27 – 32,200 ( -2.2%)

10/13 Spider-Man v3 #28 – 31,462 ( -2.3%)

11/13 Cataclysm #1 of 3 – 36,541 (+16.1%)

12/13 Cataclysm #2 of 3 – 30,293 (-17.1%)

01/14 Cataclysm #3 of 3 – 27,650 ( -8.7%)

With the conclusion of Cataclysm this book will take a 2-month break before issue #200 and then see a post-event relaunch. These Ultimate books aren’t doing so great but the relaunches shake up the teams in some interesting ways that could breathe new life into this line of books.

86. NOVA

01/09 Nova v4 #21 – 25,639 ( -2.3%)



02/13 Nova v5 #1 – 80,857

03/13 Nova v5 #2 – 46,725 (-42.2%)

04/13 Nova v5 #3 – 40,548 (-13.2%)

05/13 Nova v5 #4 – 38,151 ( -5.9%)

06/13 Nova v5 #5 – 36,545 ( -4.2%)

07/13 Nova v5 #6 – 34,234 ( -6.3%)

08/13 Nova v5 #7 – 31,937 ( -6.7%)

09/13 Nova v5 #8 – 37,767 (+18.3%)

10/13 Nova v5 #9 – 32,323 (-14.4%)

11/13 Nova v5 #10 – 32,716 ( +1.2%)

12/13 Nova v5 #11 – 27,982 (-14.5%)

01/14 Nova v5 #12 – 25,043 (-10.5%)

These numbers aren’t looking too promising, but there is a .Now issue coming up with some variants that could help boost sales for a month. The question here is will Nova get a relaunch or some sort of crossover with another more popular book or just get cancelled?

88. DISNEY KINGDOMS: SEEKERS OF THE WEIRD

01/14 Seekers #1 of 5 – 24,910

3 Variants on this miniseries and the launch numbers aren’t too great. Feels like this could have benefitted from a clearer marketing strategy or as being launched as part of a larger Disney-themed line.

91. GEORGE ROMERO EMPIRE OF THE DEAD: ACT ONE

01/14 Act One #1 of 5 – 24,515

Another miniseries with variant support that launches quite low.

100. SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP

01/12 Avenging #3 -52,371 ( -56%)



01/13 Avenging #16 – 29,032 ( -30.1%)

02/13 Avenging #17 – 30,783 ( +6.0%)

03/13 Avenging #18 – 31,657 ( +2.8%)

04/13 Avenging #19 – 28,740 ( -9.2%)

05/13 Avenging #20 – 27,609 ( -3.9%)

05/13 Avenging #21 – 27,251 ( -1.3%)

06/13 Avenging #22 – 26,799 ( -1.7%)

07/13 Superior Team-Up #1 – 76,959 (+187.2%)

08/13 Superior Team-Up #2 – 41,155 ( -46.5%)

09/13 Superior Team-Up #3 – 37,363 ( -9.2%)

10/13 Superior Team-Up #4 – 36,296 ( -3.6%)

10/13 Superior Team-Up #5 – 30,424 ( -16.2%)

11/13 Superior Team-Up #6 – 27,189 ( -10.6%)

12/13 Sup. Team-up #7.NOW – 25,514 ( -6.2%)

12/13 Superior Team-Up #8 – 24,296 ( -4.8%)

01/14 Superior Team-Up #9 – 23,071 ( -5.0%)

This book wasn’t solicited for May, so issue 12 may be its last issue or it may see a relaunch to match back up with the new Amazing Spider-man book.

103. YOUNG AVENGERS

01/13 Young Avengers v2 #1 – 76,144

02/13 Young Avengers v2 #2 – 43,559 (-42.8%)

03/13 Young Avengers v2 #3 – 38,469 (-11.7%)

04/13 Young Avengers v2 #4 – 34,378 (-10.6%)

05/13 Young Avengers v2 #5 – 32,159 ( -6.5%)

06/13 Young Avengers v2 #6 – 30,822 ( -4.2%)

07/13 Young Avengers v2 #7 – 28,596 ( -7.2%)

07/13 Young Avengers v2 #8 – 27,844 ( -2.6%)

08/13 Young Avengers v2 #9 – 26,720 ( -4.0%)

09/13 Young Avengers v2 #10 – 25,874 ( -3.2%)

10/13 Young Avengers v2 #11 – 25,754 ( -0.5%)

11/13 Young Avengers v2 #12 – 23,790 ( -7.6%)

12/13 Young Avengers v2 #13 – 23,019 ( -3.2%)

12/13 Young Avengers v2 #14 – 22,692 ( -1.4%)

01/14 Young Avengers v2 #15 – 21,961 ( -3.2%)

Final issue of this ‘season’ of Young Avengers. No word yet on a new season starting anytime soon. This book had a large online following and it will be bear watching to see how it does sales wise as a graphic novel over the next few years.

105. AVENGERS ASSEMBLE

01/13 Avengers Assemble #11 – 31,027 ( -8.8%)

02/13 Avengers Assemble #12 – 29,475 ( -5.0%)

03/13 Avengers Assemble #13 – 28,432 ( -3.6%)

04/13 Av. Assemble #14AU – 35,985 (+26.6%)

05/13 Av. Assemble #15AU – 33,183 ( -7.8%)

06/13 Avengers Assemble #16 – 27,497 (-17.1%)

07/13 Avengers Assemble #17 – 26,640 ( -3.1%)

08/13 Avengers Assemble #18 – 30,597 (+14.9%)

09/13 Avengers Assemble #19 – 29,564 ( -3.4%)

10/13 Avengers Assemble #20 – 28,886 ( -2.3%)

11/13 Avengers Assemble #21 – 24,831 (-14.0%)

12/13 Av. Assemble #22.INH – 24,168 ( -2.7%)

01/14 Av. Assemble #23.INH – 21,943 ( -9.2%)

Wrapping up with issue 25 in March. When this launched 2 years ago it was meant to be the book that movie fans would gravitate towards as it shared the same cast but slowly moved away from that concept and got lost amidst the plethora of other Avengers team books.

107. CATACLYSM: ULTIMATES

01/11 U.C. Avengers 3 #6- 33,454 (-35.1%)

01/12 Ultimates v5 #6 – 34,865 (-38%)



01/13 Ultimates v5 #20 – 25,613 ( -5.0%)

02/13 Ultimates v5 #21 – 23,811 ( -7.0%)

03/13 Ultimates v5 #22 – 23,442 ( -1.5%)

04/13 Ultimates v5 #23 – 22,778 ( -2.8%)

05/13 Ultimates v5 #24 – 21,429 ( -5.9%)

06/13 Ultimates v5 #25 – 21,636 ( +1.0%)

06/13 Ultimates v5 #26 – 20,785 ( -3.9%)

07/13 Ultimates v5 #27 – 20,024 ( -3.7%)

07/13 Ultimates v5 #28 – 19,859 ( -0.8%)

08/13 Ultimates v5 #29 – 19,657 ( -1.0%)

09/13 Ultimates v5 #30 – 19,420 ( -1.2%)

10/13 —

11/13 Cataclysm #1 of 3 – 28,422 (+46.4%)

12/13 Cataclysm #2 of 3 – 24,819 (-12.7%)

01/14 Cataclysm #3 of 3 – 21,705 (-12.5%)

Relaunching in April with a new cast of Avengers post-cataclysm. It looks like an interesting line-up that could help boost the withering Ultimate universe books.

108. FF

01/12 FF #14 – 42,609 (-49%)



01/13 FF v2 #3 – 41,108 (-10.8%)

02/13 FF v2 #4 – 35,815 (-12.9%)

03/13 FF v2 #5 – 34,601 ( -3.4%)

04/13 FF v2 #6 – 32,937 ( -4.8%)

05/13 FF v2 #7 – 30,960 ( -6.0%)

05/13 FF v2 #8 – 30,061 ( -2.9%)

06/13 —

07/13 FF v2 #9 – 29,180 ( -2.9%)

07/13 FF v2 #10 – 27,304 ( -6.4%)

08/13 FF v2 #11 – 26,243 ( -3.9%)

09/13 FF v2 #12 – 25,443 ( -3.0%)

10/13 FF v2 #13 – 23,997 ( -5.7%)

11/13 FF v2 #14 – 22,726 ( -5.3%)

12/13 FF v2 #15 – 22,034 ( -3.0%)

01/14 FF v2 #16 – 21,658 ( -1.7%)

Final issue.

109. INHUMANITY: THE AWAKENING

12/13 Awakening #1 of 2 – 25,582

01/14 Awakening #2 of 2 – 21,391 (-16.4%)

Inhumanity tie-in that follows some of the young X-men and Avengers Academy kids but did not garner a large number of orders.

110. SECRET AVENGERS

01/11 Secret Avengers #9 – 50,748 ( -57.9%)

01/12 Secret Avengers #21 – 38,082 ( -44%)



01/13 Secret Avengers #36 – 29,330 ( -4.6%)

01/13 Secret Avengers #37 – 32,139 ( +9.6%)

02/13 Secret Avengers v2 #1 – 85,267 (+196.4%)

03/13 Secret Avengers v2 #2 – 46,419 ( -45.6%)

04/13 Secret Avengers v2 #3 – 38,676 ( -16.7%)

05/13 Secret Avengers v2 #4 – 33,428 ( -13.6%)

06/13 Secret Avengers v2 #5 – 31,437 ( -6.0%)

07/13 Secret Avengers v2 #6 – 28,908 ( -8.0%)

08/13 Secret Avengers v2 #7 – 27,222 ( -5.8%)

08/13 Secret Avengers v2 #8 – 26,150 ( -3.9%)

09/13 Secret Avengers v2 #9 – 24,870 ( -4.9%)

10/13 Secret Avengers v2 #10 – 29,134 ( +17.1%)

11/13 Secret Avengers v2 #11 – 25,326 ( -13.1%)

12/13 Secret Avengers v2 #12 – 23,863 ( -5.8%)

12/13 Secret Avengers v2 #13 – 23,172 ( -2.9%)

01/14 Secret Avengers v2 #14 – 21,372 ( -7.8%)

Relaunching in March to bolster its very low sales numbers.

113. CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE X-MEN

01/13 X-Men v2 #21 – 23,479 ( -5.3%)

02/13 X-Men v2 #22 – 22,456 ( -4.4%)

02/13 X-Men v2 #23 – 22,197 ( -1.2%)

03/13 X-Men v2 #24 – 21,862 ( -1.5%)

04/13 X-Men v2 #25 – 21,139 ( -3.3%)

05/13 X-Men v2 #26 – 20,330 ( -3.8%)

06/13 X-Men v2 #27 – 19,298 ( -5.1%)

06/13 X-Men v2 #28 – 19,421 ( +0.6%)

07/13 X-Men v2 #29 – 19,381 ( -0.2%)

08/13 X-Men v2 #30 – 18,634 ( -3.9%)

09/13 X-Men v2 #31 – 18,220 ( -2.2%)

10/13 X-Men v2 #32 – 17,921 ( -1.6%)

10/13 X-Men v2 #33 – 17,719 ( -1.1%)

11/13 Cataclysm #1 of 3 – 26,328 (+48.6%)

12/13 Cataclysm #2 of 3 – 22,508 (-14.5%)

01/14 Cataclysm #3 of 3 – 20,431 ( -9.2%)

Being replaced by a new Ultimate FF book after Cataclysm.

115. AVENGERS A.I.

07/13 Avengers A.I. #1 – 68,130

08/13 Avengers A.I. #2 – 37,079 (-45.6%)

09/13 Avengers A.I. #3 – 29,776 (-19.7%)

10/13 Avengers A.I. #4 – 25,770 (-13.5%)

10/13 Avengers A.I. #5 – 23,146 (-10.2%)

11/13 Avengers A.I. #6 – 20,037 (-13.4%)

12/13 Avengers A.I. #7 – 19,879 ( -0.8%)

01/14 A.I. #8.NOW – 20,084 ( +1.0%)

Small bump from the .Now issue and the multiple variants but this book isn’t doing a very good job distinguishing itself from the other 5 Avengers team books.

119. MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN

10/13 MK Spider-Man v2 #1 of 5 – 38,379

11/13 MK Spider-Man v2 #2 of 5 – 26,581 (-30.7%)

12/13 MK Spider-Man v2 #3 of 5 – 22,878 (-13.9%)

01/14 MK Spider-Man v2 #4 of 5 – 19,328 (-15.5%)

This experiment with the Marvel Knights line wraps up next month. Not terrible sales for a miniseries but nothing extraordinary either.

124. A+X

01/13 A+X #4 – 48,091 (-15.2%)

02/13 —

03/13 A+X #5 – 37,250 (-22.5%)

03/13 A+X #6 – 34,434 ( -7.6%)

04/13 A+X #7 – 31,183 ( -9.4%)

05/13 A+X #8 – 26,967 (-13.5%)

06/13 A+X #9 – 25,803 ( -4.3%)

07/13 A+X #10 – 24,371 ( -5.5%)

08/13 A+X #11 – 23,222 ( -4.7%)

09/13 A+X #12 – 21,282 ( -8.4%)

10/13 A+X #13 – 20,908 ( -1.8%)

11/13 A+X #14 – 19,318 ( -7.6%)

12/13 A+X #15 – 18,648 ( -3.5%)

01/14 A+X #16 – 17,913 ( -3.9%)

Ends in March with issue 18.

125,126. X-MEN LEGACY

01/04 New X-Men #151 – 124,048 (-85.6%)

01/09 X-Men legacy #220 – 59,268 (-69.9%)

01/11 X-Men Legacy #244 – 40,193 (-55.5%)

01/12 X-Men legacy #261 – 37,577 (-52%)



01/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #4 – 37,673 (-17.0%)

01/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #5 – 34,823 ( -7.6%)

02/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #6 – 31,074 (-10.8%)

03/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #7 – 29,231 ( -5.9%)

03/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #8 – 28,174 ( -3.6%)

04/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #9 – 28,405 ( +0.8%)

05/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #10 – 25,911 ( -8.8%)

05/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #11 – 25,048 ( -3.3%)

06/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #12 – 23,996 ( -4.2%)

07/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #13 – 23,146 ( -3.5%)

07/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #14 – 22,119 ( -4.4%)

08/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #15 – 21,599 ( -2.4%)

09/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #16 – 20,995 ( -2.8%)

09/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #17 – 20,382 ( -2.9%)

10/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #18 – 19,767 ( -3.0%)

11/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #19 – 19,149 ( -3.1%)

11/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #20 – 18,754 ( -2.1%)

12/13 X-Men Legacy v2 #21 – 18,754 ( n/c )

01/14 X-Men Legacy v2 #22 – 17,868 ( -4.7%)

01/14 X-Men Legacy v2 #23 – 17,636 ( -1.3%)

Looks like March’s issue 300 may be the last issue for this series. No word yet on a relaunch.

130,142,146. REVOLUTIONARY WAR

01/14 Alpha – 16,788

01/14 Dark Angel – 14,083

01/14 Knights of Pendragon – 13,440

Not a great launch for these even with variants.

131. MARVEL KNIGHTS: X-MEN

11/13 X-Men #1 of 5 – 30,214

12/13 X-Men #2 of 5 – 22,549 (-25.4%)

01/14 X-Men #3 of 5 – 16,581 (-26.5%)

Not doing as well as the MK Spider-Man series.

137. DAREDEVIL: DARK NIGHTS

06/13 Dark Nights #1 of 8

07/13 Dark Nights #2 of 8 – 22,322 (-13.3%)

08/13 Dark Nights #3 of 8 – 20,659 ( -7.5%)

09/13 Dark Nights #4 of 8 – 19,364 ( -6.3%)

10/13 Dark Nights #5 of 8 – 18,163 ( -6.2%)

11/13 Dark Nights #6 of 8 – 17,032 ( -6.2%)

12/13 Dark Nights #7 of 8 – 15,996 ( -6.1%)

01/14 Dark Nights #8 of 8 – 14,861 ( -7.1%)

This miniseries ends with less-than-stellar sales.

140. MARVEL KNIGHTS: HULK

12/13 Hulk #1 of 4 – 22,169

01/14 Hulk #2 of 4 – 14,568 (-34.3%)

The bottom of the pack for the new Marvel Knights books.

150. WOLVERINE MAX

01/13 Wolverine: Max #3 – 24,058 (-11.6%)

02/13 Wolverine: Max #4 – 22,072 ( -8.3%)

03/13 Wolverine: Max #5 – 20,479 ( -7.2%)

04/13 Wolverine: Max #6 – 19,316 ( -5.7%)

05/13 Wolverine: Max #7 – 18,239 ( -5.6%)

06/13 Wolverine: Max #8 – 17,247 ( -5.4%)

07/13 Wolverine: Max #9 – 16,931 ( -1.8%)

08/13 Wolverine: Max #10 – 16,057 ( -5.2%)

09/13 Wolverine: Max #11 – 15,707 ( -2.2%)

10/13 Wolverine: Max #12 – 15,106 ( -3.8%)

11/13 Wolverine: Max #13 – 14,341 ( -5.1%)

12/13 Wolverine: Max #14 – 14,118 ( -1.6%)

01/14 Wolverine: Max #15 – 13,368 ( -5.3%)

Final issue for this low-selling Wolverine series.

187. FANTOMEX MAX

10/13 Fantomex Max #1 of 4 – 19,259

11/13 Fantomex Max #2 of 4 – 14,171 (-26.4%)

12/13 Fantomex Max #3 of 4 – 12,064 (-14.9%)

01/14 Fantomex Max #4 of 4 – 9,890 (-18.0%)

Final issue.

223. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: MOVIE ADAPTATION

01/14 #1 of 2 – 7,563

02/14 #2 of 2

Not a lot of interest in this.

283. PAINKILLER JANE [Icon]

11/13 Painkiller Jane #1 of 4 – 8,967

12/13 Painkiller Jane #2 of 4 – 6,196 (-30.9%)

01/14 Painkiller Jane #3 of 4 – 5,248 (-15.3&)

Ends next month.

290. MARVEL UNIVERSE AVENGERS ASSEMBLE

01/13 MU Avengers #10 – 4,951 ( -4.9%)

02/13 MU Avengers #11 – 4,940 ( -0.2%)

03/13 MU Avengers #12 – 4,960 ( +0.4%)

04/13 MU Avengers #13 – 4,911 ( -1.0%)

05/13 MU Avengers #14 – ?,??? ( ??? )

06/13 MU Avengers #15 – 4,744 ( ??? )

07/13 MU Avengers #16 – ?,??? ( ??? )

08/13 MU Avengers #17 – ?,??? ( ??? )

09/13 MU Avengers #18 – ?,??? ( ??? )

10/13 MUA Assemble #1 – 14,713 ( ??? )

11/13 MUA Assemble #2 – 6,530 (-55.6%)

12/13 MUA Assemble #3 – 5,548 (-15.0%)

01/14 MUA Assemble #4 – 5,082 ( -8.4%)

Barely holding onto its place on the top 300 chart.

Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk: Agents of S.M.A.S.H. did not chart.

6 Month Comparisons

+127.9% ALL NEW X-FACTOR #1

+127.1% AMAZING X-MEN #3

+8.4% CATACLYSM ULTIMATES #3

+5.4% CATACLYSM ULTIMATE X-MEN #3

+2.3% ALL NEW X-MEN #22.NOW

-0.3% THUNDERBOLTS #20.NOW

-4.2% AVENGERS #25

-5.3% SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #25

-9.2% HAWKEYE #16

-9.3% DAREDEVIL #35

-11.1% SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #26

-11.1% DEADPOOL #22

-12.8% WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #40

-15.8% THOR GOD OF THUNDER #17

-16.0% ALL NEW X-MEN #21

-16.5% THUNDERBOLTS #21

-16.5% UNCANNY X-MEN #16

-16.9% CATACLYSM ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3

-17.3% THOR GOD OF THUNDER #18

-17.6% FANTASTIC FOUR #16

-17.6% CABLE AND X-FORCE #19

-17.6% AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #23.INH

-18.0% CAPTAIN AMERICA #15

-20.3% CABLE AND X-FORCE #18

-20.5% UNCANNY AVENGERS #16

-21.0% WOLVERINE MAX #15 (MR)

-22.8% X-MEN LEGACY #22

-23.2% YOUNG AVENGERS #15

-23.2% WOLVERINE #13

-23.8% X-MEN LEGACY #23

-24.3% X-MEN #9

-24.4% IRON MAN #20

-25.8% FF #16

-25.8% SAVAGE WOLVERINE #14.NOW

-26.1% SECRET AVENGERS #14

-26.5% A PLUS X #16

-26.7% UNCANNY X-FORCE #16

-26.8% NOVA #12

-27.4% INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #18.INH

-27.7% UNCANNY X-FORCE #17

-33.4% DAREDEVIL DARK NIGHTS #8

-44.6% GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #11.NOW

-58.3% CATACLYSM ULTIMATES LAST STAND #3

-62.8% CATACLYSM ULTIMATES LAST STAND #4

-70.0% SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM UP #9

-70.5% AVENGERS AI #8.NOW

1 Year Comparisons

104.4% AMAZING X-MEN #3

103.0% ALL NEW X-FACTOR #1

73.3% X-MEN #9

0.2% HAWKEYE #16

-11.2% DAREDEVIL #35

-11.3% ALL NEW X-MEN #22.NOW

-13.0% CATACLYSM ULTIMATE X-MEN #3

-15.3% CATACLYSM ULTIMATES #3

-16.2% WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #40

-20.5% SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM UP #9

-22.9% THOR GOD OF THUNDER #17

-23.2% CATACLYSM ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3

-24.3% THOR GOD OF THUNDER #18

-26.8% DEADPOOL #22

-27.1% SECRET AVENGERS #14

-27.1% ALL NEW X-MEN #21

-28.8% AVENGERS #25

-29.3% AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #23.INH

-34.5% THUNDERBOLTS #20.NOW

-36.3% UNCANNY X-MEN #16

-40.0% IRON MAN #20

-44.1% CAPTAIN AMERICA #15

-44.4% INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #18.INH

-44.4% WOLVERINE MAX #15 (MR)

-44.5% FANTASTIC FOUR #16

-45.1% THUNDERBOLTS #21

-45.5% CABLE AND X-FORCE #19

-47.3% CABLE AND X-FORCE #18

-47.3% FF #16

-52.6% X-MEN LEGACY #22

-53.2% X-MEN LEGACY #23

-62.8% A PLUS X #16

-63.2% SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #25

-65.4% SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #26

-67.9% UNCANNY X-FORCE #16

-68.3% UNCANNY X-FORCE #17

-70.4% SAVAGE WOLVERINE #14.NOW

-71.2% YOUNG AVENGERS #15

2 Year Comparisons

+78% ALL NEW X-FACTOR #1

+65% AMAZING X-MEN #3

+41% THUNDERBOLTS #20.NOW

+35% SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #25

+28% X-MEN #9

+19.7% AVENGERS #25

+4% THOR GOD OF THUNDER #17

-7% UNCANNY X-MEN #16

-13% IRON MAN #20

-16% DEADPOOL #22

-26% DAREDEVIL #35

-28% INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #18.INH

-29% CAPTAIN AMERICA #15

-38% CATACLYSM ULTIMATES #3

-38% FANTASTIC FOUR #16

-38% WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #40

-40% CATACLYSM ULTIMATE X-MEN #3

-44% SECRET AVENGERS #14

-45% CATACLYSM ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3

-46% UNCANNY X-FORCE #17

-47% WOLVERINE #13

-49% FF #16

-52% X-MEN LEGACY #22

-56% SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM UP #9

3 Year Comparisons

+80.0% ALL NEW X-FACTOR #1

+43.2% DEADPOOL #22

+36.2% SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #25

+9.3% THUNDERBOLTS #20.NOW

+8.5% UNCANNY X-MEN #16

+6.7% INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #18.INH

+1.1% AVENGERS #25

-6.5% DAREDEVIL #35

-9.3% THOR GOD OF THUNDER #17

-17.4% CATACLYSM ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3

-20.6% CAPTAIN AMERICA #15

-23.5% X-MEN #9

-33.6% WOLVERINE #13

-35.1% CATACLYSM ULTIMATES #3

-43.7% IRON MAN #20

-46.8% UNCANNY X-FORCE #17

-55.5% X-MEN LEGACY #22

-57.9% SECRET AVENGERS #14

-75.7% FANTASTIC FOUR #16

5 Year Comparisons

+114.5% GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #11.NOW

+39.5% ALL NEW X-FACTOR #1

+21.3% SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #25

– 2.3% NOVA #12

– 6.1% UNCANNY X-MEN #16

-10.3% DEADPOOL #22

-20.2% DAREDEVIL #35

-26.0% THUNDERBOLTS #20.NOW

-29.1% AMAZING X-MEN #3

-38.0% IRON MAN #20

-44.3% CATACLYSM ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3

-46.8% FANTASTIC FOUR #16

-47.3% UNCANNY X-FORCE #17

-54.3% CAPTAIN AMERICA #15

-69.9% X-MEN LEGACY #22

10 Year Comparisons

+24.9% THOR GOD OF THUNDER #17

+14.1% AVENGERS #25

+ 1.1% IRON MAN #20

-11.5% SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #25

-19.0% CAPTAIN AMERICA #15

-34.7% UNCANNY X-MEN #16

-36.4% INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #18.INH

-43.1% DAREDEVIL #35

-44.2% FANTASTIC FOUR #16

-56.3% WOLVERINE #13

-71.2% CATACLYSM ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3

-79.5% CATACLYSM ULTIMATE X-MEN #3

-85.6% X-MEN LEGACY #22

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The Beat Podcasts! More To Come: A New Con for New York

The Beat Podcasts! More To Come: A New Con for New Yorkhttp://ift.tt/Yg2pXO

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Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In this week’s podcast the More to Come Crew – Heidi “The Beat” MacDonald, Calvin Reid and Kate Fitzsimons – discuss Special Edition, the new New York comics-only show from ReedPop (the creators of NYCC), convention woes in Denver and South Bend, Osamu Tezuka‘s backlist goes digital, Viz coming to India, the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie, casting for the Fantastic Four movie and more on PW Comics World’s More To Come.

Now tune in Fridays for our regularly scheduled podcast!

Listen to this episode in streaming here, download it direct here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the PublishersWeekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

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First look at Skottie Young’s Rocket Raccoon interiors

First look at Skottie Young’s Rocket Raccoon interiorshttp://ift.tt/OKt7pW

Rocket_Raccoon_1_CoverAs announced yesterday, Skottie Young, Eisner winning artist, will be writing and drawing a ROCKET RACCOON ongoing series in July. And here’s some interior pages. Also of note: David Peterson (Mouse Guard) will be supplying a variant cover. Sold and sold.

As defenders of the cosmos go, Rocket Raccoon has faced his fair share of galactic battles. He’s been a hero to the weak, a champion of the good, a protector to the innocent, and  a heartthrob to many intergalactic species across the cosmos. But is he ready to be a raccoon on the run?!

Rocket’s high-flying life of adventure and heroism may soon be a thing of the past when he becomes framed for something he didn’t do! And the authorities aren’t the only ones hot on his TAIL! (Yeah, we went there.) “I figure that a guy like Rocket, with his attitude, has swindled his way over many planets and charmed many ladies,” says writer/artist Skottie Young. “He’s racked up a malitia of ex-girlfriends I’m dubbing the Exterminators. They’re all fed up and they’ve decided it’s time they dish out some payback on his furry little tail.”

With his pal Groot at his side, Rocket will have to blast his way out of trouble (and blast his way into some) if he wants to clear his name. Along the way he’ll tussle with some of the fiercest creatures in the known galaxy! But they’re about to bite off more than they can chew if they think they can go toe-to-paw against the shortest Guardian with the biggest gun!

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Jim Zub “I Can’t Wait Until People See What’s Coming Up” [Interview]

Jim Zub “I Can’t Wait Until People See What’s Coming Up” [Interview]http://ift.tt/1fwgmEp

Jim Zub’s 2014 is picking up some real speed right now. Most well-known for his series Skullkickers with Edwin Huang and Misty Coats, which is soon heading towards the penultimate arc, he’s building up a head of stream to take him straight through into 2015. Alongside his creator-owned fantasy sword-swinging monster-kicking fighty fight series, he’s also now writing various projects for DC, Marvel, Dynamite and many others.

One of the most interesting things about Zub as a creator, and what first caught my attention, is his openness about his career and creative process. The extensive comic book tutorials on his website offer some brilliant advice on a range of topics, from publicity to building a creative team, and right through to the tricky stuff nobody else talks about – like, for instance money.

Which means there’s a lot to talk to him about! Ahead of issue #25 of Skullkickers – which you’ll get to see preview pages from below – he spoke to me about building Skullkickers, assembling the team, and how he’s managed to keep interest in the series so high.

SK25-Cover

Steve: Skullkickers started as two short stories in Image anthology collections. Why take it to an ongoing series? What about the characters or world made you want to continue on with their story?

Jim: Erik Larsen, who was publisher at Image when the Popgun anthology came out, really liked those two short stories. He was the one who asked if we wanted to do a full comic with the same characters.

I think the concept, two mercenary monster-mashers get themselves into capers and have to violently find a way out, lent itself to a continued adventure. It was open-ended and became a vehicle I could use to explore and poke fun at well worn fantasy storytelling tropes.

Steve: The original two shorts were with Chris Stevens, although for Skullkickers proper you’ve been working with Edwin Huang. How did you connect with him?

Jim: Chris and I did the Popgun stories and he was originally on board as the artist for the proposed 5 issue mini-series, but in order to work on the regular series with any regularity he’d need to stop doing freelance work for months at a time and financially that just wasn’t possible. Add in some other curveballs that were thrown into his life and it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t going to happen. I mothballed the Skullkickers first issue script and expected it would never be illustrated.

Cut to about a year and a half later. Edwin was getting ready to graduate from art school and he’d contacted the UDON studio, where I was working as a Project Manager, looking for a job. There weren’t any positions available but I liked the quality of his samples so he and I stayed in touch. I recommended that he have more sequential samples in his portfolio and, when he asked if he could work from one of my scripts, I passed him the script for Skullkickers #1. Within a few pages I could see that he’s be a great fit and thankfully he felt the same way. He finished up issue #1 and I re-pitched it to Eric Stephenson, who gave it the green light.

SK25_Page_04

Steve: What about his art drew your attention? Were you looking for something particular for Skullkickers?

Jim: Edwin’s style is clean and crisp with clear storytelling and great expressions. It’s cartoonish where it needs to be without slipping into something too exaggerated or loose. Even when he’s drawing grim and violent stuff there’s a playful quality to it that reminds me of Mike Wieringo or Paul Smith.

Steve: Misty Coats has been colouring the series since the start, and has become a firm part of the creative team. Did you invite her to the series, or was she recommended by Edwin? 

Jim: Misty was recommended to me by colorist Christina Strain. We had line art all done for issue #1 and I knew that Christina knew all kinds of colorists who were just getting their start. I showed her the line art and explained the colorful-animated look I wanted for the series and she suggested Misty. The first two pages of issue #1 are actually Misty’s sample pages. They were perfect.

Steve: As the series has gone on, how do you feel that the style of the comic has changed? Do you think that, as you’ve all grown closer as a creative team, you’ve experimented more?

Jim: When I’m in the midst of working on an issue it kind of feels like it’s always looked the same, but when I refer back to earlier issues and compare I’m amazed at how far we’ve come. There’s a far greater understanding of how we all work well together – the humor, the art, the lettering, all of it. I’m not afraid to try weird things and the rest of the team trusts that there’s a method to the madness, which is very encouraging.

With work for hire I always send a completed script whereas with Skullkickers I’ll sometimes just send Edwin a handful of pages to work on as I squeeze in some Skullkickers writing time inbetween other projects. He’s an absolute pro and just rolls with it.

SK26-12

Steve: Although obviously it’s great that Skullkickers has continued on for such a long time, does it also get harder to promote and talk about the series, the longer it continues? Have you found that attention starts to fall off a little over time, and PR becomes more important?

Jim: Absolutely and it’s something that’s really hard to explain to people. Getting readers to stay excited and committed to a longer running series can be quite difficult. There’s an understandable obsession with the ‘new’ thing –new series, relaunches, the latest announcements. We’re all guilty of jumping to the new shiny thing and taking older stuff for granted. That’s the kind of thing we mocked with our 5 new #1’s in 5 months thing last year (Uncanny Skullkickers, Savage Skullkickers, etc.), but it’s become bizarrely prophetic since then.

Our newest solicit for Skullkickers #27 kind of sums it all up:

Not a new #1 – Not a reboot – Not a paradigm-shifting crossover event… and yet, still totally worth picking up and reading, we promise!”

Steve: How did that relaunch/rebranding idea come about – and did it actually prove to give the series a boost in sales?

Jim: Like a lot of the jokes in Skullkickers that relaunch/adjective thing happened because I wanted to take something real and exaggerate it to a ridiculous degree. The sheer number of first issues that were being announced at the time, with the DC New 52 and Marvel Now at the forefront, was mind-boggling. It felt like every bit of promotional press was being sucked up by those first issues and that a bunch of wonderful long running series weren’t getting any attention at all.

I love that books like The Walking Dead, Invincible, and Savage Dragon have been able to continue doing what they do issue after issue, arc after arc. Artists like Ryan Ottley should be lauded for their commitment and consistency, but that’s just not how the attention span of the industry seems to work.

Skullkickers is a funny book and I felt like we could poke holes in relaunch-itis by pushing it to an extreme. I figured we’d get some interest and mild amusement, but I didn’t anticipate that we’d almost double our sales for a few months and be a talking point in the whole relaunch culture. That was unexpected. Our print sales settled back down over time, but I could instantly see why publishers get so tempted by that shiny red ‘first issue’ button. It’s Pavlovian. Readers and retailers respond.

SK25_Page_14

Steve: Do you think that comics can even be pitched as lasting for, say, fifty issues anymore? Do you think we’re heading (as companies like Marvel seem to be considering) into a place where stories last for a set run, maybe 12 or so issues, and then wrap up the storyline?

Jim: Skullkickers wasn’t pitched as a long run and I doubt many stories are or should be, to be honest. I think it’s good to plan a story that could work in a shorter run but has potential to go further and delve deeper if the market responds well to it. Better that than expecting a massive run and having to truncate it awkwardly when it doesn’t work out.

Superheroes function as a perpetual license extension of the characters and concepts, so they defy standard storytelling expectations or most finite runs, but I think this is where creator-owned comics work so well as a singular vision of those creators. The length of the comic is built for the story, whatever that may be. I love that John Layman can say “Chew will be 60 issues” once it launches successfully – and then carry that out.

Steve: How soon into starting the series did you plan out your ‘exit plan’, so to speak? At what point did you decide how the story would end?

Jim: When sales numbers came in for issue #3 Eric Stephenson asked if we wanted to make the series ongoing. At that point I sat down and planned out the bigger story framework, with six arcs as my ‘ideal’ length. When I wrote issue 4 I started foreshadowing future storylines and we’ve rolled it out from there. Although I wrote other comics before it, Skullkickers really feels like the start of my comic writing career. I’m really happy we’re going to see that 6 arc master plan through.

Steve: How do you think the comic market responds to comedic titles, at present? It seems like recently there’s been a visible movement towards comedic titles like Quantum & Woody, Deadpool, Harley Quinn and so forth.

Jim: It shouldn’t surprise anyone that people want to enjoy their escapist entertainment and that stories that bring a smile to their face have great value. That I even have to explain this to people is kind of ridiculous. People like being happy – Full stop. Bringing joy to an audience is not something to be ashamed of.

Marvel’s capitalized on this very well with their movies. Each and every one of the Marvel Studio films is a crowd-pleaser with a strong mix of action and humor. When people leave the movie theatre they’re smiling and are quick to recommend them to others.

Thankfully comics seem to be finally shaking off the “we’re serious, dammit, so please take us seriously” shtick. You get reflected back what you give. The industry tried serious grim self-loathing for the last 25 years and that’s what it got back in return.

I have serious stories in me but, by and large, I want to read joyous energetic adventure and that’s what I tend to put into my work. Call me crazy, but I want to write raccoons with laser machine guns more than brooding navel gazers with blackened seeds of hate in their heart.

Steve: Issue #25 of Skullkickers is out this March, heading towards the penultimate story arc for the series. As you start to wrap up the overall story, what can readers expect from the next few issues?

Jim: In our third story arc we delved into Rex’s past and showed where his golden gun came from. This story arc, A Dozen Cousins and a Crumpled Crown, will show more background on Rolf, our pint-sized murder machine. Expect lots of dwarves – dwarven problem solving, dwarven history, and dwarven justice.

All of the seemingly random and ridiculous threads we’ve put out in the first four story arcs are starting to tie together in weird and wonderful ways. If you’ve been reading from the beginning you’ll see larger patterns emerging, but the current story is still fun and accessible. It’s still all about frantic fantasy fun.

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Steve: While Skullkickers may be wrapping up shortly, you have a number of new projects coming up – you’re writing Samurai Jack for IDW, you have an Amanda Waller one-shot at DC Comics. How do you balance your various projects against each other?

Jim: Probably the most valuable thing I learned while working at UDON was how to gauge my own productivity and how to break larger tasks down into smaller more manageable tasks I could schedule around.

On an ongoing series you’re always multi-tasking – Issues are being planned, solicits are dine up, scripts are written, pages are being drawn, coloring and lettering is being proofed. It’s a constant barrage of material on 3-4 issues at the same time and it’s never boring. I enjoy the process and, more often than not, I enjoy having a lot of different projects on the go at once.

Steve: A repeated mantra in comics is “it’s not hard to get into comics – it’s hard to STAY in comics.” Is it difficult to keep a sense of momentum, as a creator?

Jim: I think you go through little personal booms and busts, definitely. You can get neurotic about whether or not you’re doing it “right”, whatever that means, and where things might be a year from now, 3 years, 5 years. All of that just distracts you from doing the best job you can in the here and now. I try to just focus on making my current writing the best it can be and hope that readers, retailers, and editors enjoy what I’m doing enough to keep asking for more.

If creators want to be visible and stay in the business they need to keep creating and that’s easier than ever. Digital outlets, conventions, and publishers of all sizes coupled with professional quality art/publishing tools at our fingertips gives almost anyone the ability to create and get in the ring.

Steve: What else do you have coming up over the next year? Do you have any further creator-owned projects in the works, at all?

Jim: Honestly, it’s pretty nutso right now, in a good way.

If you total up the projects that have already been announced with projects that haven’t been revealed yet I have 7 different comics I’m working on with 6 publishers – Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, IDW, and Dynamite. I’m excited to show people a greater range to my work.

At least one of those is a new creator-owned series that I think that’ll turn heads when it’s revealed in a couple months.

2014 is incredibly exciting so far and I can’t wait until people see what’s coming up.

I hope that if people are enjoying Skullkickers, Samurai Jack, or Pathfinder they’ll check in with other comics I’m working on as they’re announced and released.

The best way to keep up on what I’m doing is through my website: www.jimzub.com. In addition to announcements and interviews I’ve got tutorials about writing, pitching, and working in comics that people may find helpful.

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Many thanks to Jim for his time! Skullkickers returns after a hiatus this March with issue #25 – the final order date being March 3rd. As mentioned, you can find out more about Jim on his website – or follow him on Twitter!

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ComicsPRO: Image’s Eric Stephenson addresses retailers “I want to make your stores stronger”

ComicsPRO: Image’s Eric Stephenson addresses retailers “I want to make your stores stronger”http://ift.tt/1obmKWU

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ComicsPRO, the annual retailer meeting is underway in Atlanta and its quickly become the #1 business focused gathering of the year. While the press isn’t allowed, retailer Matt Price has the most reliable on the scene reporting here.

Image Publisher Eric Stephenson delivered a speech to retailers this morning and here’s the text, courtesy of Image comics:


I hope you don’t mind if I deviate from standard practice, but instead of talking about Image Comics this morning, I’d like to talk about you.

This is my fourth year at ComicsPRO, and one of the reasons I keep coming back is because I feel like the retailers who make up this organization have a genuine interest in improving this industry.

We get a lot of great feedback at this event, and I think you only have to look at the many changes Image has made over the last few years to see that it’s feedback we take to heart.

More than any other industry gathering, I feel like a lot of important work gets done here, and I’m proud to be involved in that process.

You talk, we listen, and I think that ongoing dialogue between publishers and retailers is one of the things that make the Direct Market so unique.

Simply put: You care.

As a result, while other stores – other comic book stores, mass-market bookstores, entire chains – have disappeared from the retail landscape, you’re still here, and in many cases, you’re stronger than ever.

Sales will always fluctuate, but given that print was being pronounced dead as early as 20 years ago, the comics market has remained remarkably stable.

It’s funny, when I first started working at Image back in 2001, the bookstore market was just beginning to take comics and graphic novels seriously. Some predicted this would have an adverse effect on the direct market, but you’re still here.

Not too long after that, when digital comics emerged as an alternative to print, there were even more gloomy predictions, but still, the Direct Market survived.

And the Direct Market will continue to survive, as long as there are people like you.

Every publisher here talks to your counterparts in the bookstore market, and do you know what they’re telling us?

They’re telling us graphic novels are one of the only categories of print publishing that is growing.

That’s something you should be proud of, because while a growing graphic novel section in your local Barnes & Noble might not seem like something you should be happy about, you can rest assured that even the largest of those graphic novel sections is smaller than your own.

Even though, on the surface, it may seem discouraging that sales for graphic novels are soaring on Amazon, what that really means is that the audience for comics is continuing to grow.

And it’s our job – yours, mine, all of ours – to figure out how to reach that growing audience and drive them to the Direct Market, because as bookstores continue to close and chains continue to disappear, the best place to get comics in the future will continue to be the best place to get comics now:

Your stores.

And I want to make your stores stronger.

Now, you probably already know this about me, but I’m not particularly content with the status quo.

We know what this business was like in the past, and it’s plain enough to see how it is now.

What we should be focusing on is the future.

We should all be challenging ourselves to make things better, and I want to challenge us all to build a better industry.

One of the first things we need to do is stop looking at the comics market as the “big two” or the “big three.”

There are only two kinds of comics that matter: good comics and bad comics.

Everything else should be irrelevant.

So stop letting publishers lie to you and deceive you and your readers so they can prop up their position in this industry in their craven attempts to appease shareholders.

That may help them in the short-term, and maybe it puts an extra couple coins in your change purse at the end of the week, but the reality of the situation is they have literally everything BUT your best interests at heart.

It starts with bi-weekly and weekly shipping and it extends into pricing.

Are $4.99 and $7.99 comics going to help our industry in the long run?

No, but they sure help the bottom line at the end of the year.

Same with gimmick covers and insane incentives to qualify for variants that will only have a limited appeal for a limited amount of time.

Everybody moans about variants, but here’s the honest to goodness truth:

You stop ordering variants; we’ll stop making them.

They are only produced to shore up market share, that’s it and that’s all, and when used in conjunction with quantity-based incentives, they don’t sell more comics, they just result in stacks of unsold books that send the wrong message to your customers about the titles, your stores, and our industry.

That type of marketing is built on short-term sales goals that do little to grow and sustain readership, and it’s a trick that’s been done to death in other industries, to diminishing returns.

If you want an example of how this works outside of comics – just look at the music industry, where they’ve nearly re-issued, re-mastered, and re-packaged themselves into an early grave.

Box sets, deluxe sets, double-packs, multi-packs, and premium prices for premium packaging. In an age where virtually everything is available digitally and for less money, the record companies chose to milk their nostalgia-starved customer base for every last penny, and look where it’s gotten them.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania is only going to line their pockets for so long, and there are only so many “unreleased” Hendrix albums that are going to bring people in the door of the precious few record stores that are left standing in the wake of years of short-term thinking.

But that’s the music industry.

We can do better than that.

If we seriously want a better comics industry, the number one priority of every single person in this room should be the sustainability of this medium and the vitality of the marketplace.

Constantly re-launching, re-numbering, and re-booting series after series, staging contrived events designed to appeal to a demographic destined only to a slow march toward attrition, and pretending that endless waves of nostalgia for old movies, old toys, old cartoons, and old video games somehow equals ideas or innovation will not make us stronger.

Nostalgia has its place, and I’ll admit, there can be a certain sepia-toned appeal to fondly looking back on our younger, more innocent days, but if we want this industry to outlive us, we have to start looking at things like grown ups.

Superheroes are great.

I grew up reading superhero comics.

But over the years, when the writers and artists and editors and publishers I looked up to talked about advancing the medium, about producing more challenging content, and creating comics that appealed to adults, never once did I mistake what they were saying to be, “We need to find a way for superhero comics to appeal to more adults.”

This is the comic book industry, not the superhero industry, and if we want to stick around for the long haul, we need to recognize that and capitalize on that, because as much as I fond as I am of the superhero comics I read when I was younger, the full scope of what comics are and what comics can be is what will ultimately bring the world into your stores.

Right now, the fastest growing demographic for Image Comics, and I’m willing to speculate, for the entire industry, is women.

For years, I’ve listened to people talk about bringing more women into the marketplace.

Over the last few years, with your help, we’ve been doing exactly that.

You’ve seen the audience that’s building up around SAGA. You’ve seen how female readers respond to books like SEX CRIMINALS, LAZARUS, VELVET, PRETTY DEADLY, ROCKET GIRL, and RAT QUEENS, and one of our best-received announcements at Image Expo was Kelly Sue DeConnick’s new series BITCH PLANET.

We’re not the first to put out material that appealed to women – there’s a whole roomful of incredible people I wouldn’t be able to look in the eye if I made that kind of ludicrous claim – but I think we are among a select group in this industry who realize that there’s more to gain from broadening our horizons than by remaining staunchly beholden to the shrinking fan base that is supposedly excited about sequels to decrepit old crossovers like SECRET WARS II.

It is comics like SAGA that get new readers in your door.

I know this, because I have met SAGA readers.

They read SAGA, they read RACHEL RISING, they read Julia Wertz, they read FABLES, they read Nicole Georges and Kate Beaton, they read Hope Larson, Jeffrey Brown, and LOVE & ROCKETS…

They read all of that and more, but even better still:

They are hungry for more.

There is a vast and growing readership out there that is excited about discovering comic books, but as long as we continue to present comics to the world in the Biff Bang Pow! context of Marvel and DC, with shop windows full of pictures of Spider-Man and Superman, we will fail to reach it.

The biggest problem with comic books is that even now, even after all the amazing progress we’ve made as an industry over the last 20 years, the vast majority of people have no idea whatsoever about how much the comics medium has to offer.

As an industry, we still cling to the shortsighted and mistaken notion that presenting ourselves to the world as Marvel and DC, as superhero movies, is the key to reaching a wider audience, and it’s just not.

People know what Spider-Man is. People know what Superman is. They know Batman. They know the X-Men.

And you know what? They’ve already made their mind up about that stuff, and that’s why the success of those movies has yet to translate into an avalanche of readers into our industry.

We have trained the world to think of comics as “Marvel and DC superheroes.”

And the world has stayed away.

We need to fix that.

If we want to reach out to new readers, to different readers, we need to look at what we’re pitching them.

More than that, we need to look at who our customer base is – not just who is coming into the stores, but who ISN’T – and ask what we can do to make our marketplace more appealing to them.

ANYONE who isn’t currently buying comics should be our target audience.

THAT is who we want coming into comic book stores, and it is new creativity that is going to pave their way to your door.

We talk about being obsessed with expanding our audience, but if publishing lesser versions of people’s favorite cartoons, toys, and TV shows is the best we can do, then we are doomed to failure.

Simply reframing work from other media as comic books is the absolute worst representation of comics.

We can invite readers to innovate with us, but repurposing someone else’s ideas as comic books isn’t innovation – at best, it’s imitation, and we are all so much better than that.

New creativity that is native to comics is what makes this industry stronger. It shows what comics do, what comics can BE.

Look at THE WALKING DEAD.

I know, I know – it’s a hit television show.

But before that – long before that – it was a hit comic book.

THE WALKING DEAD came out of nowhere one October, and it increased in sales month over month, year after year, for a full five years before there was a television show.

THE WALKING DEAD is one of the most successful franchises in the history of comics – we have sold millions of units of comic books, trade paperbacks, toys, statues, apparel, and hardcovers – and it is completely homegrown.

It started right here, in the Direct Market, with new creativity – with your support of new creativity.

THE WALKING DEAD is a towering achievement, an incredible success.

And YOU helped make that happen.

YOU helped build that success.

Robert Kirkman, Image Comics, you – we did that TOGETHER.

And we’re working together to build the next WALKING DEAD as we speak.

If you look at THE WALKING DEAD’s sales pre-television show, back in the days when sales were just great, as opposed to phenomenal, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ SAGA is just kicking the shit of those numbers.

The trade paperbacks, the comics – SAGA is a massive success.

And I will say it once again: It all started with new creativity and your support of new creativity.

Both of those books – THE WALKING DEAD and SAGA – have brought a lot of new readers into your stores.

It is not a coincidence that both of those books are published by Image.

And we publish a lot more books that can help you expand this market.

New creativity is the future of this industry, not the latest SPIDER-MAN #1.

People come to comic book stores looking for original content, because it’s what we do best, not for comic book versions of things that are done better in other mediums.

If we seriously want to expand the marketplace and appeal to new readers, different readers, we can only do that by developing new things that only exist in our market.

While the rest of the entertainment industry lays back in the cut and churns out sequel after remake after reboot after sequel, we need to be on the frontline with the biggest, boldest, and best of the new ideas that will keep this industry healthy and strong for years to come.

Let the rest of the world come to US – let them make movies and TV shows and toys and cartoons based on what WE do.

Their dearth of ideas and their continued fascination with our unbridled creativity will only make us stronger.

THE WALKING DEAD is proof of this.

Like I said, THE WALKING DEAD comic book was selling great before it was a television show.

Now it sells even better.

And that’s because the show made people aware of the comic – and those people came to your stores to get that comic.

Because they want the real thing.

TRANSFORMERS comics will never be the real thing.

GI JOE comics will never be the real thing.

STAR WARS comics will never be the real thing.

Those comics are for fans that love the real thing so much, they want more – but there’s the important thing to understand:

They don’t want more comics – they just want more of the thing they love.

Those comics are accessories to an existing interest, an add-on, an upsell, easy surplus for the parent products – icing on the cake.

Comics are so much more than that, and this industry has existed as long as it has because of the ingenuity of men and women all over the world who yearn to share the fruits of their imaginations, not simply find new ways to prolong the life of existing IPs.

So much of the comics experience is about sharing.

We share our thoughts and feelings about comics with each other; we share the comics we love with our friends; writers and artists share the worlds they’ve created with their readers.

Something that sets the Direct Market apart from the rest of the retail world is the amazing communal experience you can only find in comic book stores.

That communal spirit has been part of the Direct Market’s success since its very inception, and now is the time to foster that spirit so that it continues to grow.

Do more signings. Plan more sales. Throw parties. Invite writers and artists to speak at your store, or in your community, as an adjunct to regular signings.

A lot of stores are hosting book clubs – we need more of that, focused on as many subjects as your customers can think of.

Host workshops and help foster new creativity yourselves, so that you’re directly involved in cultivating the next generation of comic book creators.

Be more inclusive – one of the best sales tools at your disposal is your ability to build a community around your store. Make your store a destination for everyone – men, women, and children of every background.

I’ve been to a lot of your stores, and some of you are doing amazing work already, but there is always more that can be done.

Ask yourself what you could do better, and what you could do to reach that one person you’re not bringing into the store.

If there are people in your community who aren’t comfortable going into comic book stores, ask them why. Ask what you could be doing that you’re not.

Comic book stores are one of our industry’s most valuable resources, and we should all be doing everything we can to make sure that continues to be the case for years into the future.

We don’t want people buying their comics in Targets or Wal-Marts, or as a giveaway with a toy. We want people to come right here to the very heart of our business.

We want them to come to you.

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Titan Announce “Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor” and “Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor”

Titan Announce “Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor” and “Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor”http://ift.tt/1hq9spt

Titan were announced as the new owners of the Doctor Who license last year, spurring many to wonder what their plans with the franchise would be. As it turns out, their plan is to have two books based on the space-travelling Time Lord, both of which have been announced today.

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The first book will be Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor, featuring David Tennant’s version of the character and with the creative team of Nick Abadzis and Elena Casagrande on the first arc. Interestingly, they have also announced that the second arc will see Robbie Morrison coming in to the series.

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The second book will be Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor, featuring Matt Smith’s version of the character. This book will have a creative team of Al Ewing, Rob Williams and Simon Fraser. Ewing, Williams and Morrison are all named as ‘series architects’, suggesting they’ll be overseeing the line as a whole.

Rumours also abound that there will be a series called Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor, featuring Peter Capaldi’s upcoming take on the character. That book is probably quite a way away, however.

The two covers above are by Alice X. Zhang. Both books will be released on the same time – the 23rd July.

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The Beat Podcasts! More To Come: A New Con for New York Conflicts with Two Existing Cons

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Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In this week’s podcast the More to Come Crew – Heidi “The Beat” MacDonald, Calvin Reid and Kate Fitzsimons – discuss Special Edition, the new New York comics-only show from ReedPop (the creators of NYCC), convention woes in Denver and South Bend, Osamu Tezuka‘s backlist goes digital, Viz coming to India, the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie, casting for the Fantastic Four movie and more on PW Comics World’s More To Come.

Now tune in Fridays for our regularly scheduled podcast!

Listen to this episode in streaming here, download it direct here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the PublishersWeekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

All-New Marvel Month-to-Month Sales January 2014 Now with a new writer!

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By Jason Enright

Hi everyone! My name is Jason Enright and I am going to be analyzing the Marvel sales charts for you. I have a background as a comic book retailer and now a comic book marketing specialist. As we go along I’ll be adding in my thoughts as to why we may be seeing these numbers and what they tell me as a fan, retailer, and marketing guy.

A few things to keep in mind about these charts:

1. The direct market (comic book shops that order through Diamond) does not track sell-through. So these numbers don’t represent what actually sold, but instead represent what retailers ordered. A book can get high orders and sit on the shelf (which often leads to lower orders in later months) and a book can be under-ordered and sell out (see Black Widow further down this chart). These numbers are what retailers estimated would sell in their shops.

2. We currently don’t have any digital sales data so this is only a look at what is selling in stores. Until we somehow convince Marvel and all the other publishers to release their digital sales numbers, we have no clue how well most of these books are really doing, as digital is a very quickly growing marketplace which sees a lot of new first-time comic readers.

So all that being said, think of this as a snapshot of one portion of the comics industry. Where this is really helpful is to look at the trends. How does a comic do over time, does it grow or shrink? How do gimmicks like variant covers, crossovers, renumbering, etc. effect sales? At what point does a book start to face cancellation or relaunch?

So why don’t we get started?

Thanks as always to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com‘s estimates can be found here.
3,21. AVENGERS WORLD
01/14 Avengers World #1 – 86,727
01/14 Avengers World #2 – 53,693 (-38.1%)
02/14 Avengers World #3
03/14 Avengers World #4
04/14 Avengers World #5

A new book debuting with 7 variant covers while issue 2 has 3 variants. Not as strong a debut as other recent Avengers titles and with a sharp drop on orders for issue 2 already. This begs the question is there enough goodwill towards the Avengers to support 5 Avengers titles? Or will they start to cannibalize each other and cause marketplace confusion? If I was still a retailer, I’d be asking how I sell this as a unique title distinct from the other 4. What makes this Avengers book different?
[Read more…]

First look at Skottie Young’s Rocket Raccoon interiors

Rocket_Raccoon_1_CoverAs announced yesterday, Skottie Young, Eisner winning artist, will be writing and drawing a ROCKET RACCOON ongoing series in July. And here’s some interior pages. Also of note: David Peterson (Mouse Guard) will be supplying a variant cover. Sold and sold.

As defenders of the cosmos go, Rocket Raccoon has faced his fair share of galactic battles. He’s been a hero to the weak, a champion of the good, a protector to the innocent, and  a heartthrob to many intergalactic species across the cosmos. But is he ready to be a raccoon on the run?!

Rocket’s high-flying life of adventure and heroism may soon be a thing of the past when he becomes framed for something he didn’t do! And the authorities aren’t the only ones hot on his TAIL! (Yeah, we went there.) “I figure that a guy like Rocket, with his attitude, has swindled his way over many planets and charmed many ladies,” says writer/artist Skottie Young. “He’s racked up a malitia of ex-girlfriends I’m dubbing the Exterminators. They’re all fed up and they’ve decided it’s time they dish out some payback on his furry little tail.”

With his pal Groot at his side, Rocket will have to blast his way out of trouble (and blast his way into some) if he wants to clear his name. Along the way he’ll tussle with some of the fiercest creatures in the known galaxy! But they’re about to bite off more than they can chew if they think they can go toe-to-paw against the shortest Guardian with the biggest gun!

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Jim Zub “I Can’t Wait Until People See What’s Coming Up” [Interview]

Jim Zub’s 2014 is picking up some real speed right now. Most well-known for his series Skullkickers with Edwin Huang and Misty Coats, which is soon heading towards the penultimate arc, he’s building up a head of stream to take him straight through into 2015. Alongside his creator-owned fantasy sword-swinging monster-kicking fighty fight series, he’s also now writing various projects for DC, Marvel, Dynamite and many others.

One of the most interesting things about Zub as a creator, and what first caught my attention, is his openness about his career and creative process. The extensive comic book tutorials on his website offer some brilliant advice on a range of topics, from publicity to building a creative team, and right through to the tricky stuff nobody else talks about – like, for instance money.

Which means there’s a lot to talk to him about! Ahead of issue #25 of Skullkickers – which you’ll get to see preview pages from below – he spoke to me about building Skullkickers, assembling the team, and how he’s managed to keep interest in the series so high. [Read more…]

Titan Announce “Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor” and “Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor”

Titan were announced as the new owners of the Doctor Who license last year, spurring many to wonder what their plans with the franchise would be. As it turns out, their plan is to have two books based on the space-travelling Time Lord, both of which have been announced today.

[Read more…]

ComicsPRO: Image’s Eric Stephenson addresses retailers “I want to make your stores stronger”

SAGA #14 cover art by Fiona Staples

SAGA #14 cover art by Fiona Staples

Image Publisher Eric Stephenson delivered a speech to retailers this morning and here’s the text, courtesy of Image comics:


I hope you don’t mind if I deviate from standard practice, but instead of talking about Image Comics this morning, I’d like to talk about you.

This is my fourth year at ComicsPRO, and one of the reasons I keep coming back is because I feel like the retailers who make up this organization have a genuine interest in improving this industry.

We get a lot of great feedback at this event, and I think you only have to look at the many changes Image has made over the last few years to see that it’s feedback we take to heart.

More than any other industry gathering, I feel like a lot of important work gets done here, and I’m proud to be involved in that process.

You talk, we listen, and I think that ongoing dialogue between publishers and retailers is one of the things that make the Direct Market so unique.

Simply put: You care.

As a result, while other stores – other comic book stores, mass-market bookstores, entire chains – have disappeared from the retail landscape, you’re still here, and in many cases, you’re stronger than ever.

Sales will always fluctuate, but given that print was being pronounced dead as early as 20 years ago, the comics market has remained remarkably stable.

It’s funny, when I first started working at Image back in 2001, the bookstore market was just beginning to take comics and graphic novels seriously. Some predicted this would have an adverse effect on the direct market, but you’re still here.

Not too long after that, when digital comics emerged as an alternative to print, there were even more gloomy predictions, but still, the Direct Market survived.

And the Direct Market will continue to survive, as long as there are people like you.

Every publisher here talks to your counterparts in the bookstore market, and do you know what they’re telling us?

They’re telling us graphic novels are one of the only categories of print publishing that is growing.

That’s something you should be proud of, because while a growing graphic novel section in your local Barnes & Noble might not seem like something you should be happy about, you can rest assured that even the largest of those graphic novel sections is smaller than your own.

Even though, on the surface, it may seem discouraging that sales for graphic novels are soaring on Amazon, what that really means is that the audience for comics is continuing to grow.

And it’s our job – yours, mine, all of ours – to figure out how to reach that growing audience and drive them to the Direct Market, because as bookstores continue to close and chains continue to disappear, the best place to get comics in the future will continue to be the best place to get comics now:

Your stores.

And I want to make your stores stronger.

Now, you probably already know this about me, but I’m not particularly content with the status quo.

We know what this business was like in the past, and it’s plain enough to see how it is now.

What we should be focusing on is the future.

We should all be challenging ourselves to make things better, and I want to challenge us all to build a better industry.

One of the first things we need to do is stop looking at the comics market as the “big two” or the “big three.”

There are only two kinds of comics that matter: good comics and bad comics.

Everything else should be irrelevant.

So stop letting publishers lie to you and deceive you and your readers so they can prop up their position in this industry in their craven attempts to appease shareholders.

That may help them in the short-term, and maybe it puts an extra couple coins in your change purse at the end of the week, but the reality of the situation is they have literally everything BUT your best interests at heart.

It starts with bi-weekly and weekly shipping and it extends into pricing.

Are $4.99 and $7.99 comics going to help our industry in the long run?

No, but they sure help the bottom line at the end of the year.

Same with gimmick covers and insane incentives to qualify for variants that will only have a limited appeal for a limited amount of time.

Everybody moans about variants, but here’s the honest to goodness truth:

You stop ordering variants; we’ll stop making them.

They are only produced to shore up market share, that’s it and that’s all, and when used in conjunction with quantity-based incentives, they don’t sell more comics, they just result in stacks of unsold books that send the wrong message to your customers about the titles, your stores, and our industry.

That type of marketing is built on short-term sales goals that do little to grow and sustain readership, and it’s a trick that’s been done to death in other industries, to diminishing returns.

If you want an example of how this works outside of comics – just look at the music industry, where they’ve nearly re-issued, re-mastered, and re-packaged themselves into an early grave.

Box sets, deluxe sets, double-packs, multi-packs, and premium prices for premium packaging. In an age where virtually everything is available digitally and for less money, the record companies chose to milk their nostalgia-starved customer base for every last penny, and look where it’s gotten them.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania is only going to line their pockets for so long, and there are only so many “unreleased” Hendrix albums that are going to bring people in the door of the precious few record stores that are left standing in the wake of years of short-term thinking.

But that’s the music industry.

We can do better than that.

If we seriously want a better comics industry, the number one priority of every single person in this room should be the sustainability of this medium and the vitality of the marketplace.

Constantly re-launching, re-numbering, and re-booting series after series, staging contrived events designed to appeal to a demographic destined only to a slow march toward attrition, and pretending that endless waves of nostalgia for old movies, old toys, old cartoons, and old video games somehow equals ideas or innovation will not make us stronger.

Nostalgia has its place, and I’ll admit, there can be a certain sepia-toned appeal to fondly looking back on our younger, more innocent days, but if we want this industry to outlive us, we have to start looking at things like grown ups.

Superheroes are great.

I grew up reading superhero comics.

But over the years, when the writers and artists and editors and publishers I looked up to talked about advancing the medium, about producing more challenging content, and creating comics that appealed to adults, never once did I mistake what they were saying to be, “We need to find a way for superhero comics to appeal to more adults.”

This is the comic book industry, not the superhero industry, and if we want to stick around for the long haul, we need to recognize that and capitalize on that, because as much as I fond as I am of the superhero comics I read when I was younger, the full scope of what comics are and what comics can be is what will ultimately bring the world into your stores.

Right now, the fastest growing demographic for Image Comics, and I’m willing to speculate, for the entire industry, is women.

For years, I’ve listened to people talk about bringing more women into the marketplace.

Over the last few years, with your help, we’ve been doing exactly that.

You’ve seen the audience that’s building up around SAGA. You’ve seen how female readers respond to books like SEX CRIMINALS, LAZARUS, VELVET, PRETTY DEADLY, ROCKET GIRL, and RAT QUEENS, and one of our best-received announcements at Image Expo was Kelly Sue DeConnick’s new series BITCH PLANET.

We’re not the first to put out material that appealed to women – there’s a whole roomful of incredible people I wouldn’t be able to look in the eye if I made that kind of ludicrous claim – but I think we are among a select group in this industry who realize that there’s more to gain from broadening our horizons than by remaining staunchly beholden to the shrinking fan base that is supposedly excited about sequels to decrepit old crossovers like SECRET WARS II.

It is comics like SAGA that get new readers in your door.

I know this, because I have met SAGA readers.

They read SAGA, they read RACHEL RISING, they read Julia Wertz, they read FABLES, they read Nicole Georges and Kate Beaton, they read Hope Larson, Jeffrey Brown, and LOVE & ROCKETS…

They read all of that and more, but even better still:

They are hungry for more.

There is a vast and growing readership out there that is excited about discovering comic books, but as long as we continue to present comics to the world in the Biff Bang Pow! context of Marvel and DC, with shop windows full of pictures of Spider-Man and Superman, we will fail to reach it.

The biggest problem with comic books is that even now, even after all the amazing progress we’ve made as an industry over the last 20 years, the vast majority of people have no idea whatsoever about how much the comics medium has to offer.

As an industry, we still cling to the shortsighted and mistaken notion that presenting ourselves to the world as Marvel and DC, as superhero movies, is the key to reaching a wider audience, and it’s just not.

People know what Spider-Man is. People know what Superman is. They know Batman. They know the X-Men.

And you know what? They’ve already made their mind up about that stuff, and that’s why the success of those movies has yet to translate into an avalanche of readers into our industry.

We have trained the world to think of comics as “Marvel and DC superheroes.”

And the world has stayed away.

We need to fix that.

If we want to reach out to new readers, to different readers, we need to look at what we’re pitching them.

More than that, we need to look at who our customer base is – not just who is coming into the stores, but who ISN’T – and ask what we can do to make our marketplace more appealing to them.

ANYONE who isn’t currently buying comics should be our target audience.

THAT is who we want coming into comic book stores, and it is new creativity that is going to pave their way to your door.

We talk about being obsessed with expanding our audience, but if publishing lesser versions of people’s favorite cartoons, toys, and TV shows is the best we can do, then we are doomed to failure.

Simply reframing work from other media as comic books is the absolute worst representation of comics.

We can invite readers to innovate with us, but repurposing someone else’s ideas as comic books isn’t innovation – at best, it’s imitation, and we are all so much better than that.

New creativity that is native to comics is what makes this industry stronger. It shows what comics do, what comics can BE.

Look at THE WALKING DEAD.

I know, I know – it’s a hit television show.

But before that – long before that – it was a hit comic book.

THE WALKING DEAD came out of nowhere one October, and it increased in sales month over month, year after year, for a full five years before there was a television show.

THE WALKING DEAD is one of the most successful franchises in the history of comics – we have sold millions of units of comic books, trade paperbacks, toys, statues, apparel, and hardcovers – and it is completely homegrown.

It started right here, in the Direct Market, with new creativity – with your support of new creativity.

THE WALKING DEAD is a towering achievement, an incredible success.

And YOU helped make that happen.

YOU helped build that success.

Robert Kirkman, Image Comics, you – we did that TOGETHER.

And we’re working together to build the next WALKING DEAD as we speak.

If you look at THE WALKING DEAD’s sales pre-television show, back in the days when sales were just great, as opposed to phenomenal, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ SAGA is just kicking the shit of those numbers.

The trade paperbacks, the comics – SAGA is a massive success.

And I will say it once again: It all started with new creativity and your support of new creativity.

Both of those books – THE WALKING DEAD and SAGA – have brought a lot of new readers into your stores.

It is not a coincidence that both of those books are published by Image.

And we publish a lot more books that can help you expand this market.

New creativity is the future of this industry, not the latest SPIDER-MAN #1.

People come to comic book stores looking for original content, because it’s what we do best, not for comic book versions of things that are done better in other mediums.

If we seriously want to expand the marketplace and appeal to new readers, different readers, we can only do that by developing new things that only exist in our market.

While the rest of the entertainment industry lays back in the cut and churns out sequel after remake after reboot after sequel, we need to be on the frontline with the biggest, boldest, and best of the new ideas that will keep this industry healthy and strong for years to come.

Let the rest of the world come to US – let them make movies and TV shows and toys and cartoons based on what WE do.

Their dearth of ideas and their continued fascination with our unbridled creativity will only make us stronger.

THE WALKING DEAD is proof of this.

Like I said, THE WALKING DEAD comic book was selling great before it was a television show.

Now it sells even better.

And that’s because the show made people aware of the comic – and those people came to your stores to get that comic.

Because they want the real thing.

TRANSFORMERS comics will never be the real thing.

GI JOE comics will never be the real thing.

STAR WARS comics will never be the real thing.

Those comics are for fans that love the real thing so much, they want more – but there’s the important thing to understand:

They don’t want more comics – they just want more of the thing they love.

Those comics are accessories to an existing interest, an add-on, an upsell, easy surplus for the parent products – icing on the cake.

Comics are so much more than that, and this industry has existed as long as it has because of the ingenuity of men and women all over the world who yearn to share the fruits of their imaginations, not simply find new ways to prolong the life of existing IPs.

So much of the comics experience is about sharing.

We share our thoughts and feelings about comics with each other; we share the comics we love with our friends; writers and artists share the worlds they’ve created with their readers.

Something that sets the Direct Market apart from the rest of the retail world is the amazing communal experience you can only find in comic book stores.

That communal spirit has been part of the Direct Market’s success since its very inception, and now is the time to foster that spirit so that it continues to grow.

Do more signings. Plan more sales. Throw parties. Invite writers and artists to speak at your store, or in your community, as an adjunct to regular signings.

A lot of stores are hosting book clubs – we need more of that, focused on as many subjects as your customers can think of.

Host workshops and help foster new creativity yourselves, so that you’re directly involved in cultivating the next generation of comic book creators.

Be more inclusive – one of the best sales tools at your disposal is your ability to build a community around your store. Make your store a destination for everyone – men, women, and children of every background.

I’ve been to a lot of your stores, and some of you are doing amazing work already, but there is always more that can be done.

Ask yourself what you could do better, and what you could do to reach that one person you’re not bringing into the store.

If there are people in your community who aren’t comfortable going into comic book stores, ask them why. Ask what you could be doing that you’re not.

Comic book stores are one of our industry’s most valuable resources, and we should all be doing everything we can to make sure that continues to be the case for years into the future.

We don’t want people buying their comics in Targets or Wal-Marts, or as a giveaway with a toy. We want people to come right here to the very heart of our business.

We want them to come to you.

All-Star Western is NOT Cancelled

All-Star Western is NOT Cancelledhttp://ift.tt/1dHWu1J

Contrary to the reports from this past week, writer Jimmy Palmiotti has taken to Twitter – and The Beat’s comment section – to state that All-Star Western has not been cancelled by DC.

And in fact, seeing as how it hasn’t been cancelled with issue #31 – how about we do a mini-campaign today to get some more people trying out the series?

All_Star_Western_1

I get a bit tired with cancellation-worshippers online, sometimes, who seem to wait until a series is cancelled before jumping into comment threads and declaring their own brilliance at having avoided the series completely. Or that they knew from the start that a series was doomed, because it tackled a different genre or featured a female lead or whatever. I sometimes think, y’know, maybe we should do more to offer a bit of support for titles we’re enjoying.

Of the thirty-ish issues of All-Star Western which have come out so far, I’ve read probably around twenty of them – and I’ve enjoyed the majority of what I’ve read. There’s been a steady creative team in the form of Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Moritat since the very first issue – back in 2011 – and they’ve tackled a mainstream DC title which is set in the distant past and tells western stories.

That is, surely, one of the things we want to see more of from DC? Risks like that, with a consistent creative team? So what I’d suggest, today, is – you try an issue. The current arc has been teaming lead character Jonah Hex up with a variety of different characters – from Superman to Swamp Thing – for a series of one-and-done issues. If you’d like to see what it’s like when a creative team get given a longer leash by their publisher – head to Comixology today and try an issue.

Or, when the next issue – issue #29 – is released next month and you see it in your local store… try it? At most, you’ve lost a few dollars you might’ve spent on a coffee. And maybe you’ll find a new comic you like.

I might try this a few times over the next few months, perhaps, on The Beat. Looking at the indie sales chart here on the site, there are many other acclaimed series which could always do with a sales boost. And hey, we have a bit of a soapbox here that I can use, people read the site a little – what if once a fortnight or so we gather together and offer a little surge of support for a series we think more people should read? Head to ComiXology or our LCS and try something we’ve seen on the shelves, but never tried until now.

In the comments below, please let us know if you try an issue of All Star Western, and let us know if you enjoyed it, too! And what other books do you think should be getting a little more attention from readers? I know the majority of fans don’t take pleasure from hearing that a comic has been cancelled – which titles would you like to try and give a Beat Boost to? Maybe we can create a ripple effect! Maybe?

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Want to Win Your Oscar Pool And Be The Envy of Millions? Try These Tips!

Want to Win Your Oscar Pool And Be The Envy of Millions? Try These Tips!http://ift.tt/1eE9Uev

OSCAR_2002

Yes, Alex Ross designed the official ABC Oscar poster in 2002!

[No comics content here.  This falls under “pop culture” and general geekery. ]

So, your waistline (and gastrointestinal tract) has recovered from the Super Bowl.  You’re sick and tired of the weather.  You seek another diversion.  Well, next Sunday, Hollywood holds their soiree, handing out Oscar statuettes (“Academy Awards of Merit”, according to the rule book).

Situated right before March Madness, the Oscars allow for a warm-up to the office pools which proliferate during the NCAA tournament, and give the sports widows something to watch before hubby disappears into his mancave.

But… how to pick the winners?  The Academy has frequently been criticized for ignoring blockbusters, as most geeks realize when their favorite movies are relegated to the special effects category.  Sure, there is the glitz, the celebrity star power, but overall, the Oscars are a bit boring.  (But, then, so is football.)

So, unless you live in a major metropolitan area, the following nominees are probably the first time you’ve heard, let alone seen, of them.  ABSCAM?  Retroviral drugs?  Navy SEALs?  Nebraska?  And those are the Best Picture nominees!  Take a look at the foreign films!

Here’s the technique I use, and my picks.  I don’t know what Nate Silver likes, and I’m not a cinema geek, so take the following with whatever disdain and cynicism you use when reading online.  Of course, feel free to share your comments below!

Consideration #1:  Is the award voted by the entire AMPAS membership, or it limited?

Consideration #2:  Did Oscar snub a particular film which was later lauded by a guild?

Consideration #3: Which did the guilds select as winners?

Consideration #4:  What’s the buzz?  What did BAFTA and others pick?

—–

BEST PICTURE 

[Rule Sixteen  Everyone votes for this one.  Pick this last.  Sometimes, a movie will sweep the show.  The results from the other categories will give some indication.  Any controversy can also effect voting.  Sometimes, a film can earn the technical awards, but lose this award.  Sometimes, the Oscars split awards between three good films, as happened at the 73rd Academy Awards.  So, Gravity… mid-year, some nitpicking on the scientific liberties, not great acting.  12 Years a Slave is trending online.  Does the Academy use a preferential voting system like they did in 2009, when there were ten nominees, allowing a second-favorite to pull ahead of the media darling?  There is nothing stated in the current rules.]

“12 Years a Slave” (unusual, in that it might only win two awards)

“American Hustle”  [SAG ensemble award]

“Captain Phillips”

“Dallas Buyers Club”

“Gravity”

“Her”

“Nebraska”

“Philomena”

“The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST DIRECTOR

[Rule Ten  All members vote.  The Directors Guild of America is usually a good indicator, only missing seven winners.]

David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”

Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”

Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”

Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

[Rule Six  All members vote.  The Screen Actors Guild Awards are the barometer.]

BEST ACTOR

Christian Bale, “American Hustle”

Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”

Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

BEST ACTRESS

Amy Adams, “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”

Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”

Judi Dench, “Philomena”

Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”

Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”

June Squibb, “Nebraska”

Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”

Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”

Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”

Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”

Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club” [Want to win an acting Oscar?  Cross-dress, preferably in a movie with a strong message.]

[Rule Twenty-Three  Everyone votes.  The Writers Guild of America is the barometer for these two categories.  Sometimes, a great movie which is too … innovative for the Academy will get a screenplay Oscar as a consolation prize.  Consider: “Pulp Fiction”.]

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“American Hustle” – Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell

“Blue Jasmine” – Written by Woody Allen
“Her” – Written by Spike Jonze

“Nebraska” – Written by Bob Nelson

“Dallas Buyers Club” – Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“Before Midnight” – Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
“Captain Phillips” – Screenplay by Billy Ray

“Philomena” – Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope

“12 Years a Slave” – Screenplay by John Ridley

“The Wolf of Wall Street” – Screenplay by Terence Winter

BEST ANIMATED FILM

[Rule Seven  Everyone votes.  There is no animation guild, although ASIFA does laud many animated films.  My gut choice is below.]

“The Croods”

“Despicable Me 2”

“Ernest & Celestine”
“Frozen” [Best Edited Film, GRA: Best editing of Music in a Musical Feature, CAS: Animated Feature, numerous VES visual effects awards]

“The Wind Rises”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

[Rule Eight  Everyone votes.  The American Society of Cinematographers is the predictive guild.

“The Grandmaster”
“Gravity”

“Inside Llewyn Davis”

“Nebraska”

“Prisoners”

—-

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

[Rule Nine  Everyone votes.  The Costume Designers Guild awards achievement.  Blue Jasmine won a CDG for contemporary design.  Factor that into Best Picture.  For you geeks, Hunger Games: Catching Fire won the fantasy award.]

Michael Wilkinson, “American Hustle”

William Chang Suk Ping, “The Grandmaster”

Catherine Martin, “The Great Gatsby”

Michael O’Connor, “The Invisible Woman”
Patricia Norris, “12 Years a Slave”  [GDG Period]

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

[Rule Eleven  Everyone who has watched all nominated films may vote.  For both documentary categories, you can scan other awards, as well as guess which is the most politically correct or reflects the spirit of the times.]

“The Act of Killing”Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen

“Cutie and the Boxer” Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher

“Dirty Wars” Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill  [Best Sound Editing of a documentary]

“The Square” Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer [Directors Guild Award]
“20 Feet from Stardom” Nominees to be determined [best edited documentary]

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

“CaveDigger” Jeffrey Karoff

“Facing Fear” Jason Cohen

“Karama Has No Walls” Sara Ishaq

“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” Edgar Barens

[I’m going with “Prison hospice” as part of the HIV zeitgeist.]

BEST FILM EDITING

[Rule Twelve  Everyone votes.  American Cinema Editors hand out the Eddies.

“American Hustle” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten (comedy or musical)

“Captain Phillips” Christopher Rouse  (drama)

“Dallas Buyers Club” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa

“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger

“12 Years a Slave” Joe Walker

—-

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

[Rule Thirteen  Voting open to everyone who has seen all five nominated films.  If a movie is nominated for Foreign Film and Best Picture, it will most likely win BFLF and not BP.  Same goes for Best Animated Feature.  These films are the official selection of each country’s film society.  Best strategy: consider other Oscar nominations, then check Rotten Tomatoes and online buzz.]

“The Broken Circle Breakdown” Belgium (RT: 79/74%)
“The Great Beauty” Italy  (RT’s pick, 92/93%) (BAFTA winner)

“The Hunt” Denmark (93/92%)

“The Missing Picture” Cambodia (97/100%, 30 reviews)

“Omar” Palestine (89/96%)

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

[Rule Fourteen  Everyone votes.  The Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild gives out awards.

“Dallas Buyers Club” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews (best period/character makeup

“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” Stephen Prouty (special makeup effects)

“The Lone Ranger” Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny  (Johnny Depp received a special award.  Which goes without saying… McFarlane Toys should do a Johnny Depp line of figurines.)

—-

[Rule Fifteen   Everyone votes.  Hey, there’s a Best Musical Award (15.I.C)!  There is a union for musicians, and some sort of composers guild, but neither seems to give out awards.  My suggestion?  Check online reviewers for buzz.  John Williams is the record holder for Oscar nominations.]

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

John Williams, “The Book Thief” [11 more nominations and he passes Walt Disney as the record holder.  Disney gets an asterisk…he produced many of the films which won.]
Steven Price, “Gravity”

William Butler and Owen Pallett, “Her”

Alexandre Desplat, “Philomena”

Thomas Newman, “Saving Mr. Banks”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone”

Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel

“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”

Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams

“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

[Of note: each film can nominate three songs.  Disney choose to nominate only one song from Frozen, possibly to avoid splitting the vote.  Idina Menzel will perform the song at the Oscars.  It may be the highlight of the show, along with U2.]

“The Moon Song” from “Her”

Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze

“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”

Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

[Rule Seventeen   Everyone votes.  The Art Directors Guild honors achievement in this field.]

“American Hustle”

Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler

“Gravity”
Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard [fantasy film]

“The Great Gatsby”

Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn [period film]

“Her”

Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena [contemporary film]

“12 Years a Slave”

Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

[Rule Nineteen  Everyone votes who has watched all of the nominated films.  Check online for critics picks.]

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Feral” Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
“Get a Horse!” Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim

“Mr. Hublot” Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares

“Possessions” Shuhei Morita

“Room on the Broom” Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)” Esteban Crespo
“Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)” Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras

“Helium” Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson

“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)” Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari

“The Voorman Problem” Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

BEST SOUND EDITING

[Rule Twenty  Everyone votes.  The Motion Picture Sound Editors give out the Golden Reel Awards.  There’s also the Cinema Audio Society which honors sound mixing.]

“All Is Lost” Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns

“Captain Phillips” Oliver Tarney [GRA: dialogue and ADR]
“Gravity” Glenn Freemantle  [GRA: sound effects]

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Brent Burge

“Lone Survivor” Wylie Stateman

BEST SOUND MIXING

[Rule Twenty-One  Everyone votes.]

“Captain Phillips” Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
“Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro [GRA:sound effects, CAS:Motion Picture]

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson

“Inside Llewyn Davis” Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

“Lone Survivor” Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

[Rule Twenty-Two  Everyone votes.  The Visual Effects Society (winner of this year’s best industry logo) gives out accolades.]

“Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould (Visual Effects feature, plus numerous others)

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds  (Best Feature Film character)

“Iron Man 3” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick

“The Lone Ranger” Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier (regular feature)

“Star Trek Into Darkness” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

My picks for the Razzies?  Movie 43 for every category.  I watched this on NetFlix with friends (yeah, we were drunk), and I wished I’d hadn’t.

Just in case anyone from ABC or AMPAS is reading…

Please schedule the Oscars so that the ceremony starts at 7PM EST/4 PM PST.  Run the red carpet pregame show from 5-7 PM.  The show itself usually runs under four hours, giving ABC plenty of time to stage the show.  If it ends early, then ABC can fill the remaining time with post-game interviews and commentary.  The extra time can be filled with stuff that keeps the viewers watching… and might even allow more names to be added to the always controversial “In Memoriam” segment.

Yes, I know it’s unlikely, but at least they moved it from Monday, when ABC would routinely waste an hour of prime time with a forgettable Barbara Walters interview special.  They will also finally start streaming the Oscars live this year!  (That’s what you get when your membership is old, white, and male.)

#call_to_action h4{padding:0px 5px;}

All-Star Western is NOT Cancelled

Contrary to the reports from this past week, writer Jimmy Palmiotti has taken to Twitter – and The Beat’s comment section – to state that All-Star Western has not been cancelled by DC.

And in fact, seeing as how it hasn’t been cancelled with issue #31 – how about we do a mini-campaign today to get some more people trying out the series?

[Read more…]

Want to Win Your Oscar Pool And Be The Envy of Millions? Try These Tips!

OSCAR_2002

Yes, Alex Ross designed the official ABC Oscar poster in 2002!

[No comics content here.  This falls under “pop culture” and general geekery. ]

So, your waistline (and gastrointestinal tract) has recovered from the Super Bowl.  You’re sick and tired of the weather.  You seek another diversion.  Well, next Sunday, Hollywood holds their soiree, handing out Oscar statuettes (“Academy Awards of Merit”, according to the rule book).

Situated right before March Madness, the Oscars allow for a warm-up to the office pools which proliferate during the NCAA tournament, and give the sports widows something to watch before hubby disappears into his mancave.

But… how to pick the winners?  The Academy has frequently been criticized for ignoring blockbusters, as most geeks realize when their favorite movies are relegated to the special effects category.  Sure, there is the glitz, the celebrity star power, but overall, the Oscars are a bit boring.  (But, then, so is football.)

So, unless you live in a major metropolitan area, the following nominees are probably the first time you’ve heard, let alone seen, of them.  ABSCAM?  Retroviral drugs?  Navy SEALs?  Nebraska?  And those are the Best Picture nominees!  Take a look at the foreign films!

Here’s the technique I use, and my picks.  I don’t know what Nate Silver likes, and I’m not a cinema geek, so take the following with whatever disdain and cynicism you use when reading online.  Of course, feel free to share your comments below!

Consideration #1:  Is the award voted by the entire AMPAS membership, or it limited?

Consideration #2:  Did Oscar snub a particular film which was later lauded by a guild?

Consideration #3: Which did the guilds select as winners?

Consideration #4:  What’s the buzz?  What did BAFTA and others pick?

—–

BEST PICTURE 

[Rule Sixteen  Everyone votes for this one.  Pick this last.  Sometimes, a movie will sweep the show.  The results from the other categories will give some indication.  Any controversy can also effect voting.  Sometimes, a film can earn the technical awards, but lose this award.  Sometimes, the Oscars split awards between three good films, as happened at the 73rd Academy Awards.  So, Gravity… mid-year, some nitpicking on the scientific liberties, not great acting.  12 Years a Slave is trending online.  Does the Academy use a preferential voting system like they did in 2009, when there were ten nominees, allowing a second-favorite to pull ahead of the media darling?  There is nothing stated in the current rules.]

“12 Years a Slave” (unusual, in that it might only win two awards)
“American Hustle”  [SAG ensemble award]
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Gravity”
“Her”
“Nebraska”
“Philomena”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST DIRECTOR

[Rule Ten  All members vote.  The Directors Guild of America is usually a good indicator, only missing seven winners.]

David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

[Rule Six  All members vote.  The Screen Actors Guild Awards are the barometer.]

BEST ACTOR

Christian Bale, “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

BEST ACTRESS

Amy Adams, “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”
Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”
Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club” [Want to win an acting Oscar?  Cross-dress, preferably in a movie with a strong message.]

[Rule Twenty-Three  Everyone votes.  The Writers Guild of America is the barometer for these two categories.  Sometimes, a great movie which is too … innovative for the Academy will get a screenplay Oscar as a consolation prize.  Consider: “Pulp Fiction”.]

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“American Hustle” – Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
“Blue Jasmine” – Written by Woody Allen
“Her” – Written by Spike Jonze
“Nebraska” – Written by Bob Nelson
“Dallas Buyers Club” – Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“Before Midnight” – Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
“Captain Phillips” – Screenplay by Billy Ray
“Philomena” – Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
“12 Years a Slave” – Screenplay by John Ridley
“The Wolf of Wall Street” – Screenplay by Terence Winter

BEST ANIMATED FILM

[Rule Seven  Everyone votes.  There is no animation guild, although ASIFA does laud many animated films.  My gut choice is below.]

“The Croods”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Ernest & Celestine”
“Frozen” [Best Edited Film, GRA: Best editing of Music in a Musical Feature, CAS: Animated Feature, numerous VES visual effects awards]
“The Wind Rises”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

[Rule Eight  Everyone votes.  The American Society of Cinematographers is the predictive guild.

“The Grandmaster”
“Gravity”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Nebraska”
“Prisoners”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

[Rule Nine  Everyone votes.  The Costume Designers Guild awards achievement.  Blue Jasmine won a CDG for contemporary design.  Factor that into Best Picture.  For you geeks, Hunger Games: Catching Fire won the fantasy award.]

Michael Wilkinson, “American Hustle”
William Chang Suk Ping, “The Grandmaster”
Catherine Martin, “The Great Gatsby”
Michael O’Connor, “The Invisible Woman”
Patricia Norris, “12 Years a Slave”  [GDG Period]

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

[Rule Eleven  Everyone who has watched all nominated films may vote.  For both documentary categories, you can scan other awards, as well as guess which is the most politically correct or reflects the spirit of the times.]

“The Act of Killing”Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
“Cutie and the Boxer” Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
“Dirty Wars” Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill  [Best Sound Editing of a documentary]
“The Square” Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer [Directors Guild Award]
“20 Feet from Stardom” Nominees to be determined [best edited documentary]

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

“CaveDigger” Jeffrey Karoff
“Facing Fear” Jason Cohen
“Karama Has No Walls” Sara Ishaq
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” Edgar Barens

[I’m going with “Prison hospice” as part of the HIV zeitgeist.]

BEST FILM EDITING

[Rule Twelve  Everyone votes.  American Cinema Editors hand out the Eddies.

“American Hustle” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten (comedy or musical)
“Captain Phillips” Christopher Rouse  (drama)
“Dallas Buyers Club” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
“12 Years a Slave” Joe Walker

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

[Rule Thirteen  Voting open to everyone who has seen all five nominated films.  If a movie is nominated for Foreign Film and Best Picture, it will most likely win BFLF and not BP.  Same goes for Best Animated Feature.  These films are the official selection of each country’s film society.  Best strategy: consider other Oscar nominations, then check Rotten Tomatoes and online buzz.]

“The Broken Circle Breakdown” Belgium (RT: 79/74%)
“The Great Beauty” Italy  (RT’s pick, 92/93%) (BAFTA winner)
“The Hunt” Denmark (93/92%)
“The Missing Picture” Cambodia (97/100%, 30 reviews)
“Omar” Palestine (89/96%)

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

[Rule Fourteen  Everyone votes.  The Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild gives out awards.

“Dallas Buyers Club” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews (best period/character makeup
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” Stephen Prouty (special makeup effects)
“The Lone Ranger” Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny  (Johnny Depp received a special award.  Which goes without saying… McFarlane Toys should do a Johnny Depp line of figurines.)

[Rule Fifteen   Everyone votes.  Hey, there’s a Best Musical Award (15.I.C)!  There is a union for musicians, and some sort of composers guild, but neither seems to give out awards.  My suggestion?  Check online reviewers for buzz.  John Williams is the record holder for Oscar nominations.]

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

John Williams, “The Book Thief” [11 more nominations and he passes Walt Disney as the record holder.  Disney gets an asterisk…he produced many of the films which won.]
Steven Price, “Gravity”
William Butler and Owen Pallett, “Her”
Alexandre Desplat, “Philomena”
Thomas Newman, “Saving Mr. Banks”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone”
Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel

“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams

“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

[Of note: each film can nominate three songs.  Disney choose to nominate only one song from Frozen, possibly to avoid splitting the vote.  Idina Menzel will perform the song at the Oscars.  It may be the highlight of the show, along with U2.]

“The Moon Song” from “Her”
Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze

“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

[Rule Seventeen   Everyone votes.  The Art Directors Guild honors achievement in this field.]

“American Hustle”
Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler

“Gravity”
Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard [fantasy film]

“The Great Gatsby”
Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn [period film]

“Her”
Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena [contemporary film]

“12 Years a Slave”
Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

[Rule Nineteen  Everyone votes who has watched all of the nominated films.  Check online for critics picks.]

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Feral” Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
“Get a Horse!” Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
“Mr. Hublot” Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
“Possessions” Shuhei Morita
“Room on the Broom” Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)” Esteban Crespo
“Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)” Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
“Helium” Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)” Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
“The Voorman Problem” Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

BEST SOUND EDITING

[Rule Twenty  Everyone votes.  The Motion Picture Sound Editors give out the Golden Reel Awards.  There’s also the Cinema Audio Society which honors sound mixing.]

“All Is Lost” Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
“Captain Phillips” Oliver Tarney [GRA: dialogue and ADR]
“Gravity” Glenn Freemantle  [GRA: sound effects]
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Brent Burge
“Lone Survivor” Wylie Stateman

BEST SOUND MIXING

[Rule Twenty-One  Everyone votes.]

“Captain Phillips” Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
“Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro [GRA:sound effects, CAS:Motion Picture]
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
“Lone Survivor” Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

[Rule Twenty-Two  Everyone votes.  The Visual Effects Society (winner of this year’s best industry logo) gives out accolades.]

“Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould (Visual Effects feature, plus numerous others)
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds  (Best Feature Film character)
“Iron Man 3” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
“The Lone Ranger” Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier (regular feature)
“Star Trek Into Darkness” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

My picks for the Razzies?  Movie 43 for every category.  I watched this on NetFlix with friends (yeah, we were drunk), and I wished I’d hadn’t.

Just in case anyone from ABC or AMPAS is reading…

Please schedule the Oscars so that the ceremony starts at 7PM EST/4 PM PST.  Run the red carpet pregame show from 5-7 PM.  The show itself usually runs under four hours, giving ABC plenty of time to stage the show.  If it ends early, then ABC can fill the remaining time with post-game interviews and commentary.  The extra time can be filled with stuff that keeps the viewers watching… and might even allow more names to be added to the always controversial “In Memoriam” segment.

Yes, I know it’s unlikely, but at least they moved it from Monday, when ABC would routinely waste an hour of prime time with a forgettable Barbara Walters interview special.  They will also finally start streaming the Oscars live this year!  (That’s what you get when your membership is old, white, and male.)