Funnybook Babylon has an interesting charticle looking at the runs of various Vertigo ongoing series over the years, following some speculation that books were being canceled there because of increased scrutiny from DC’s new management. Chris Eckert suggests this is not the case, or at least not the only factor, by showing that the lowest-selling titles are always canceled, although nowadays the best-selling title is something that would have been canceled a decade ago. Eckert also runs a chart showing relative Amazon rankings for various Vertigo trades, a weak metric but all we have to go on.
DMZ, Northlanders and Scalped, though performing only marginally better than the doomed books on a monthly basis, are all several years into their runs. While there’s been attrition on the monthly level, it appears they all enjoy a fairly robust life in collections: though it’s over four years old, the first volume of DMZ appears to be outselling all of the newer trades from the canceled books, both in comic shops and on Amazon. One could argue this is an unfair fight, since these surviving books have had longer to find an audience, and if you gave them time, they would flourish. But none of the surviving books ever had sales as low as Air, Greek Street or Unknown Soldier, and there is little to no precedent for a book suddenly finding a new audience a year or more after it debuts.
Whatever the current state of affairs, we know you chart lovers will love this one!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.