by Marc-Oliver Frisch DC Comics’ periodical business had one of its better months in May, thanks to a host of new launches that were received well by retailers. The new arrivals include the DC Universe titles Brightest Day, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, Justice League: Generation Lost and Birds of Prey, as well as […]
This week: Jim Lee and Tom Brevoort reveal astonishing new publishing policies; “Brand New Day” ends, maybe; Mark Waid is sick of superhero comics; Gary Groth comments; and more.
This week, a quick one, while he’s away: Are Chris Ware and John Romita Jr. working in the same medium? Was Wonder Woman in the Avengers back in 1993? Do you still not care about the World Cup? And does the most interesting new comics release this week start with a “W,” too?
This week: World Cup drama, comic-book direct-market retail drama, Dan DiDio comedy, a comic so awful that the New York Times reports on it, and a couple of Kurt Busiek books worth your time.
This week: Boom! Studios dives into digital-distribution breach; more on green, pink and blue people and race in comics; Marvel and DC Comics advertisement behemoths for September; the clunkiness of Ex Machina; and a troika of must-read Grant Morrison reprints.
April brought a hat trick for recently crowned DC Entertainment executive Geoff Johns, who wrote the three top-selling North American comic books.
Thanks to the strong debuts of Brightest Day and The Flash, DC Comics’ April numbers remained rock-solid after the conclusion of Blackest Night. The two new titles took the two top spots in the Top 300 chart, while Green Lantern, Batman and Robin and Green Lantern Corps also placed in the Top 10. Compared to Marvel, the publisher was still a distant second in terms of market share, however, and DC’s average and total sales have seen better days.
At WildStorm, average comic-book sales fell below the 6K mark for the second time in the imprint’s history. This wasn’t unexpected, given that neither of WildStorm’s two top-selling series, Astro City and Ex Machina, came out in April. At Vertigo, meanwhile, average sales appear to be solidifying around 10K again, thanks to a range of books that are selling well for a change.
See below for the details, and please consider the small print at the end of the column. Thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com’s estimates can be found here.
This week: Marvel gets ready to shift serial business away from comics retailers; Comic-Salon Erlangen foto parade, with cocks and blue people; more conversations worth having from Tom Spurgeon; DC editor Ian Sattler calms the critics, ends debate; why translating from English is a challenge; and your new comics recommendation of the week, delicious like a bag of boogers.
Douglas Wolk and the Techland crew discuss the hardcover edition of Wednesday Comics (so does the Comics Alliance crew, by the way).
I’m in the liked-it-in-theory camp on Wednesday Comics. I bought all the issues, but found most of the strips so mind-numbingly dull and nostalgia-driven that I lost interest after the first one. Wednesday Comics has some great art by Paul Pope, Karl Kerschl, Ryan Sook, Kyle Baker and many others. But with few exceptions, it reads like a bunch of people paying homage to the kinds of comics strips they liked as kids, rather than some of the most promising storytellers in the field making a serious attempt at exploring an off-beat format.
o “I’ve Never Sent a Prose Reader to Amazon Because Amazon Doesn’t Leer; I’d Like to Stop Doing It in Comics” Comics reporter Tom Spurgeon poses three rarely discussed questions on comics as a culture and industry. The questions concern the moral aspects of archival reprints, the general and specific unfriendliness of comics specialty stores […]
The major publishers started releasing their advertisements for comics shipping in August 2010. At DC, the big thing of the month is J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis’s Superman: Earth One paperback, an original book-length reinvention of Superman at 136 pages, with a retail price of $ 19.99.
I’m inclined to say that there’s potential in this move and it’s about time and such, but then again, I’m not even sure how to measure that book’s success right now. Will it have to reach people in bookstores to do what it’s supposed to? Probably. On the other hand, though, I’m thinking that it could be a major step in the right direction even if it "just" manages to break, say, 25K in the direct market in its first month.
That sort of success would be a limited one, but in the long term, it might lead to a transformation of that market segment that the field as a whole could stand to profit from tremendously, even if it doesn’t catch on with a mainstream audience immediately.
In other DC news, they’re starting to test the waters for 22-page, $ 3.99 comics with the new ongoing series Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors, in addition to the previously launched miniseries Time Masters and The Mighty Crusaders.