August 2010 wasn’t a great month for the direct market as a whole, and DC Comics was no exception. The current tent-pole title Brightest Day and its tie-in books kept performing solidly overall, but a number of other high-profile books, including Green Lantern, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, Batman and Robin and The Flash missed their August shipping dates, putting a bit of a dent in DC’s periodical performance: Overall dollar sales for new comic books were the lowest since June 2009, and average unit sales dropped to their second-lowest point of the last 12 months.
For the publisher’s Vertigo brand, August was particularly tough, with estimated average unit sales dropping to a new all-time low of 9,094. Again, though, the schedule is the culprit: With American Vampire, Joe the Barbarian and Jack of Fables, some of Vertigo’s best-selling comic-book titles didn’t come out in August. At the WildStorm imprint, average unit sales crashed back to just above 6K, and in this case, the schedule had little to do with it. At this stage, it’s not hard to see why DC is pulling the plug on WildStorm.