OUCH. After staying ahead of the pace in the floundering retail economy, the comics “fantasy economy” crashed hard in May, ICv2 reports. It isn’t pretty.

After rebounding in April, comic sales dropped a staggering 19% in May versus May 2008, while graphic novel sales declined by 13%, leading to an overall drop-off for the month of 18%. A lack of potent #1 issues as well as the absence of Dark Avengers certainly didn’t help comic sales this May, a month in which no single title even came close to breaking the 100K barrier. In contrast in May of 2008, which boasted seven titles over 100,000, comic sales were boosted by Final Crisis #1, Avengers/Invaders #1, Invincible Iron Man #1, and Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1, all of which made the top ten along with 4 Secret Invasion titles and two issues of Batman RIP. The paucity of big event titles and strong #1s, the continuing deep recession, and the financial drag of higher cover prices all worked together to help produce the steep decline in comic numbers in May.

Periodical and GN sales analysis
Top 300 Comics Actual–May 2009
Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual–May 2009

John Jackson Miller has his own analysis at Comichron:

The top of the chart, again, was the main factor. Diamond’s Top 50 were off 28%, or 1 million copies, from last May, and that’s the lion’s share of the shortfall. Last May had Secret Invasion #2, Final Crisis #1, and three other #1s in the Top 6. Meanwhile, the highest ranking premiere this May was in 20th place, New Mutants #1. This month’s top-seller at Diamond, New Avengers #53, only sold around half the issues of last year’s top-seller.

Too many stunts? Not enough stunts? Not enough regular periodical sales? Too many webcomics? Everyone will trot out their favorite theory, no doubt.

There are more #1s in June, so hopefully, the market will rebound. This kind of drop makes the “Doomsday Scenario” look not quite so farfetched.


  1. I wonder how the price increase to $3.99 factors into this.

    I’ve been steadily dropping titles once it’s gotten into the $3.99 range, my most recent order was about 50% – 60% of the total I used to spend before the price bump.

  2. Here’s something interesting…. the only Watchmen on the list is the International version way down at 277. Have we finally reached a saturation point in the market? After being a perennial inhabitant of bestseller list for years, coupled with the reported millions of copies dropped in the past 12 months, can there be that many potential customers left to get a hold of a copy?

  3. On a preliminary skim of the Marvel figures, it looks like John is right (as you’d expect), and May was simply an exceptionally quiet month. It’s not a case of sales plummetting on individual titles; there just aren’t any major, attention-grabbing titles out there right now, to replace the event minis of a year ago. Even a lot of the Dark Reign tie-in arcs are now over. May 2008 was the height of the crossover season, so you’d expect this year to be down substantially.

  4. Tone I disagree. Paper does fill you up.

    I just had a ’90’s Youngblood on Rye (with a touch of Dijon mustard) that was magnificent!

    the Tiki

  5. If the cost of comic books is a concern, then dropping series and/or waiting for the TPBs becomes the sensible thing to do. And, if not buying single issues weekly results in not buying TPBs because he forgets to do so or he finds other things to spend the money on — well, the comics weren’t all that entertaining, were they?

    It’s unfortunate to see people citing the absence of “#1” issues and events (stunts) as reasons for the steep drop in sales. Both ways of promoting series are artificial means of attracting readers and have very little to do with story content. Marvel’s “Dark Reign” event, which has various villains impersonating various heroes, has all the sophistication and depth of the “Marvel Apes” stunt, and so many tie-ins that even if I wanted to buy them all, I couldn’t justify the expense.

    Can Marvel’s event-centered strategy survive a steep drop in sales? The point at which someone decides he can no longer afford to buy tie-ins and keep up with events will vary from person to person, of course, but Marvel’s emphasis on having series tie into events would make dropping out of the market easier, I’d think. I doubt that a return to promoting series as standalone products, engaging by themselves, is possible.


  6. I can tell you that there’s a clear reduction in the amount of comics and tpbs on the shelves of my weekly LCS. It appears that they’re not willing to take a risk on the tpbs they don’t think will sell well.

    Example from last week: a pile of FINAL CRISIS hardcovers and no FINAL CRISIS COMPANION Tpbs.

    Additionally, there were no copies of:

    I don’t track the floppies but it looks like there are less as well.

  7. My concern is this method of tracking sales only shows what the distributor sells to retail stores and has no way of gauging sell-through. So, we really can’t say these sales numbers are a fair gauge of customer purchasing trends. What we can say is retailers bought less.

    Are there a lot of retailers feeling the crunch? Would a summer event book matter? Just saying – oh, there’s no summer event book so that’s why sales are low – really misses the point.

  8. I know May was a pretty cheap month for me (which was nice, because I was able to use the money I didn’t spend on monthlies to grab the I Kill Giants trade), but it was mostly because there just wasn’t much out. Each of the big two just finished up major events and haven’t launched into the next yet.

    As soon as DC starts Blackest Night and Marvel starts the Marvels Project my wallet will be hurting again.

  9. Nate Horn said:

    “My concern is this method of tracking sales only shows what the distributor sells to retail stores and has no way of gauging sell-through.”

    Quite true, as we all know. However, this is the only method there is to track comic book sales, so this is what we have to work with.

    And, I argue, these numbers ARE indicative of what HAS BEEN selling over the past few months. Retailers adjust their future orders based on past sales. If a retailer has 5 copies left of a book after a month, he will lower the number he orders the next month. When enough retailers order fewer copies, the sales charts reflect the lower sales.

    This is called a lagging indicator. Someone with more knowledge of the inside workings of the market should be able to figure out how much the sales charts to retailers lags behind sales to consumers.

  10. “Can Marvel’s event-centered strategy survive a steep drop in sales?”

    That misses the point, though. The reason for the drop in May is that there WEREN’T any major events. There weren’t even any failed attempts at major events.

    (A possible reason for this is that ULTIMATUM is running massively behind schedule; they might originally have had May set aside for the relaunch of the Ultimate imprint.)

  11. Seeing all of these different arguments all over the map, I feel compelled to barge in for just a moment…

    I’ve been reading comics for the last 30 years (and yes, I was knee-high to a grasshopper, why do you ask?). I’m also a former comic shop owner. Let me explain the view from the ground level for the publishers and insiders:

    Your books suck.

    No, seriously. Not a flame. There is absolutely NOTHING in the comics field to get excited about right now. Yeah, “Blackest Night” looks like it’s gonna be a coolness sandwich, and sure, Marvels is a nice read. BUT (and notice it’s a big ol’ but) how am I supposed to get them?

    Wal-Mart? Nope. They carry Archie and Shonen Jump and a whole bunch of kid-friendly mags, but not a single ish of Amazing Spiderman, nor Green Lantern, nor even Superman, for cryin’ out loud!

    Then there’s the cost. $3.99? For a single comic book?! Sorry, the disposable income is long gone by now, and probably won’t be back ’til the 2010 elections.

    For these three reasons (mainly) I have not bought a comic in the last twelve months. And I probably won’t start again, either, because I finally broke the habit. Sad, but true…

  12. Amen, Pencilsharp.

    I love it when people say the economy is what’s affecting interest in comics, the prices, etc.

    The plain simple truth is, the comics of today suck.


    Real, real bad.

    Someone let us know when Dan Didio and Joe Quesada retires.

  13. BTW, I broke the habit too.. with extra special thanks to both Quesada and Dan Didio.

    My wallet throws them an extra special thanks each week that I no longer go into the shops anymore.

  14. I find it weird that if people become dissatisfied with what DC and Marvel are doing they drop the entire artform. There’s plenty of other stuff out there, maybe you guys have just outgrown the long underwear books?

  15. Have to agree with PencilSharp and Brett. I’ve read comics for over 30 years as well, owned and operated a comic shop for 5 of those years and have worked off-and-on creating comics. I’m one of the most enthusiastic and vocal supporters of the medium you will ever meet. But the vast majority of comics today (particularly from Marvel and DC) do absolutely nothing for me. And I can count almost a dozen good friends who’ve come to feel the same way over the last 10-15 years.
    And now we’re inching towards a $3.99 median price? Sorry, that’s unsustainable, particularly in this economy. I’m pretty sure by the time we get anywhere near a $5 cover price, 90% of monthly comics will be history.

  16. Yeah, the recession is bad and it’s taken a bite out of my spending. But over the last three months I’ve found about 5 comics I actually wanted to buy. Between comics I liked ending, or slowing down, or disappearing altogether (the Twelve?), there hasn’t been much for me lately.

    And the 3.99 price point for Marvel can’t be helping!

    On the plus side, Luthor Arkwright TPB arrived from Amazon yesterday, and I started reading it last night. A huge, meaty, self-contained, well-written Science Fiction graphic novel for about $10? Now we’re talking!

  17. If you cant find any DC or Marvels books you like, then the problem is probably with your taste rather than Didio or Quesada, the quality of comics not a days is far far from bad.

  18. PencilSharp: “There is absolutely NOTHING in the comics field to get excited about right now.”

    Normally I’d agree 100% with you, ESPECIALLY with the mainstream comics.

    But for the first time in years (and I’ve been reading comics since 1969!) there’s something coming out this summer that I’m actually looking forward to.

    DC’s “Wednesday’s Comics”, the weekly series looks like a product that I’ll have no problem paying the $3.99 price tag for.
    Top talent writing and drawing stories that AREN’T tied in with any stupid company wide crossover and are presented in a large format, look like the type of entertainment that these companies should have been offering readers for years.

  19. I would note (as it’s a part of the analysis I didn’t run) that the mode and median prices in the Top 300 remain $2.99. It would vary from publisher to publisher, of course.

    The $2.99-$3.99 price point gap is one of the larger ones in comics history, but not unprecedented — the 15-cent to 20-cent transition of the early 1970s and the 75-cent to $1 transition of the late 1980s being the most dramatic jumps we’ve seen by percentage. (Although actually, DC sought to blunt the 15-20 cent transition with 25-cent giants.)

  20. I find it amazing that people who claim they don’t read comics any more still come to a comics site to complain. Get A Life!

  21. I told you guys so. MOST of the “high sales” on both Marvel and DC over the last few years are mainly due to gimmicks/stunts. It’s the 90’s all over again.

  22. Two things stand out.

    1. No big company wide events, no big sales.
    2. Is the actual number of books published different YOY?

  23. As John Jackson Miller points out on his site about revenue:

    May 2009: $18.68 million
    Versus 1 year ago this month: -19%
    Versus 5 years ago this month: +5%
    Versus 10 years ago this month: +10%

    Which means 2008 was the sales high point, not that 2009 is the beginning of the end per se. 2009 is still ahead of previous benchmarks. So this “crash” may just be a correction from the 2008 levels.

    Without knowing any of the publisher’s actual profit margin it’s hard to say if 18.69 million in revenue is alarming or not.

  24. Garret, this is not an actual count of all offerings, but the top five publishers combined for 239 entries in the Top 300 — 10 fewer than last May. Marvel had more entries this May; DC, Image, and Dark Horse, fewer. IDW unchanged. Again this is not a count taking in all comics offered, including those outside the Top 300 — and there are sometimes distortions in the count caused by variants being recorded separately.

    Heidi’s question prompted me to look at the TPB list for last year…


    There are some fair-sized “event books” there, too, if we want to call them that. I note that the 100th place TPB actually moved more copies this May, so we may have a situation where last year’s TPB list, like its comics list, was more top-loaded. Last year’s list had 13 items that had orders above $100k at full retail. This year: three. Again, part of what happens with trades is we can see an echo of strong periodical sales — the material being collected — from the months before; we may be in a period where we’re seeing material traded that had softer sales in their first run.

    We’re also looking at what was a very high mass-market exposure period for genre properties last year — the Iron Man/Indy/Hulk/Dark Knight stretch — so we might say that there were more events outside the comics shop, too.

  25. Also from JJM’s site regarding revenue:

    May 2009: $6.88 million
    Versus 1 year ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: -13%
    Versus 5 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: +33%
    Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: +111%

    Tough to argue the demise of the direct market when they see a 10 year trend like that.

    Again, not knowing the profit margin it’s hard to gauge if 6.8 million is good versus just average, but I’d venture to guess they have lower costs on TPBs than singles. Plus, these figures dont count book store sales, right?

    People may hate the editors, directions, stories, price points, but the raw data doesn’t support a crash based on revenue trend.

    Now if this continues for a year or two….well….different story.

  26. Completing the thought — it’s helpful to remember that the TPB market and list is not a thing unto itself, but integrally tied to the periodical market in many ways. We call them graphic novels, but the number of OGNs on the list is not that large.

    There’s a dissertation out there for someone who can figure out how initial periodical sales influences TPB collection sales. I suspect, as with box office versus DVD sales, there are some general effects and a whole lot of exceptions, mostly on the mainstream-vs.-alternative dimension.

  27. I just checked with Image and am very happy to report that my numbers on our ELEPHANTMEN: FATAl DISEASES hardcover are way higher than reported on the ICV list — 1694 initial orders with 455 in reorders in just two weeks… our best debut for a collection yet.


  28. While not challenging that very good news, Richard — a question to ask is why Diamond’s public release said what it did. The book is recorded as a 5/27 release in Diamond’s file, and only the copies that actually shipped for that Wednesday would normally be reflected. The Diamond press release does not reflect later copies, nor its UK orders, nor book trade sales for publishers Diamond handles them for; that often accounts for much of the differential that publishers see.

    ICV2, John Mayo and I use different publisher sources for these things that usually square up very closely with the estimates (this month, they did so VERY closely) but there are always outliers in individual entries for various reasons. In this case, where there is a large difference, I’d wonder if they only had a partial report from warehousing about what shipped when they ran the data. We’ve seen odd things like this in charts near the holidays.

  29. One thing of note on the GN side is Watchmen. The fact that Watchmen is not on the GN list is sad in that it breaks a looooong streak, but easily explained. Any retail store worth their salt is sitting on PLENTY of Watchmen TPs thanks to DCs generous consignment programs. I personally did not place an order for Watchmen in May. While I won’t divulge exact numbers in public, I can promise I came nowhere near selling out in May, either. It is a safe bet that many other comic stores are in the same situation.

    Also, often Alan Coil’s posts make my blood boil, but he sure hit the nail on the head in these comments

  30. Alan Coil Says:

    06/16/09 at 2:36 pm
    I find it amazing that people who claim they don’t read comics any more still come to a comics site to complain. Get A Life!

    First, are you sure they’re not reading? Maybe they’re just not BUYING.

    Second, if they’re not reading or buying what’s coming out right now, they might actually still give a crap about comics in general and thus enjoy talking about them.

    At one point a few years ago, I was buying two single issues a month of long-running series that I wanted to buy until they ended, but I was mostly disinterested in what was coming out. Staying connected to the industry though message boards and news sites I was able to find new stuff worth reading and worked myself back up to an expensive monthly habit. Now, I’m down to ZERO comics per month, but I still enjoy comics and I still read comics… just not this month or probably for the near future.

    There are tons of worthwhile comics coming out every month. Few of them are solicited by Marvel and DC. I’m buying them as TPBs when I get around to it.

  31. I find it sad that there’s a mentality that you need a first issue in order to have top sales. Was there ever or will there ever be a time where a company can just put out a consistent book that sells well instead of hinging your sales on these damn gimmick events and first issues?

  32. I don’t think people have anything against “gimmick events” if they are good/enjoyable ones (and they don’t feel they wasted their money on them). Personally I thought “Secret Invasion” was a good read and I enjoyed the recent “Battle for the Cowl” event. Same goes for #1’s (ala “Flash: Rebirth” and “Batman and Robin”).

  33. Personally I thought “Secret Invasion” was a good read and I enjoyed the recent “Battle for the Cowl” event.

    You seem to be unaware of just how badly “Secret Invasion” failed as a storyline. The rationale in SI for keeping the abductees alive — needing them for DNA samples — was obsolete years ago; the basic premise for the event, that impersonation was undetectable, wasn’t valid; the “alien virus” gimmick ignored the existence of embedded processors. Marvel has tried to make their stories more “relevant,” but when Bendis and others thoroughly bungle the realistic aspects of the stories, the result is stories worse than those produced by writers who used pseudoscience systematically.


  34. For what it’s worth, the discount, mail-order service I just joined (Heroes Corner) reports that their business has been going through the roof over the past few months, so it looks like part of the equation is comic book buyers leaving the brick & mortar shops and heading for the deep discounts of online dealers.

    Or taking the other response to the ridiculous cover prices: Just leaving comics altogether.

  35. I find it sad that there’s a mentality that you need a first issue in order to have top sales.

    As a consumer, I’ll more times than not buy a #1 for no other reason than because it’s usually a good jumping on point. If retailers are taking this type of behavior into account when they are placing their orders with Diamond, I don’t know. Since these lists only reflect what retailers are buying, I’m not sure it really matters what I buy or why I buy it.

  36. If you look back at the GN/TPB charts since Jan. or Feb., you’ll notice there was a month or two where high Watchmen order levels were really propping up the overall levels. Now that Watchmen mania has reverted back to “normal” levels (the book is old enough to drink, after all), you’re seeing the real levels. How much worse it if the new LEOG was thrown into the comics list as an over-sized prestige format?

    I’d _like_ to say Watchmen is part of a normal cycle of movie selling books, but it’s the gold standard, not the norm.

  37. Former Marvel Zombie here. (Broke the habit in the early 1990s when I discovered there was finite money and more interesting comics from other publishers.) In 1997, the last year I did not pay rent, I budgeted $100 a week for comics purchases (periodicals, books, merchandise). If I did that now, most of that budget would buy trades, not periodicals.

    Currently, I get by on $20 or less a week on periodical comics. The only titles I’m following on a regular basis: Green Lantern/GLC (more curious about the formalism of the rings than on the characters), Spider-Man Family (lots of good stuff), Irredeemable, Savior 28, and the Fables crossover. Looking at the April/June Previews, all of my bookmarks are for books, not comics, and most of those are either original or classic reprints, not recent material. Absolute Justice might be the newest material.

    Give me a free DC or Marvel comic and I’ll read it. Will I continue reading a series with subsequent free issues? Depends on the story.

  38. Mark Engblom cited that Heroes Corner (and presumably other online retailers, like DCBS) is doing gangbuster business. This is at least partly attributable to the high(er) cover price driving buyers to find discounts online. Another contributing factor that should be considered is that comic shops are closing left and right, leaving readers with no choice to get their fix but the online retailers.

    The sad fact is that the depressed economy combined with the huge increase in cover prices may be the death knell for comic shops.

  39. I thought you told us last week that publishing sales charts was killing sales. So, obviously, what happened in May was that you published more sales information, and people stopped buying comics.

    I just hope you’re happy with what you’ve done.

  40. I don’t recall if I posted this in a different thread or my post got eaten, but I wondered yesterday if there’s any data on the number/percentage of LCS buyers who are getting books at a discount, being it online or brick and mortar?

    That is to say, how many people are not paying $3.99 for “$3.99 books” but are paying $3.10 or $2.99 or less?

  41. Curious. May is the month when Diamond’s new benchmark levels went into full effect, and thus, all the smaller publishers of pamphlet style comics were pretty much no longer in the Previews catalog or seriously rethinking what they were going to solicit. And strangely, pamphlet style comic sales were down. Hmm.

    It’s probably just a weird coincidence.

  42. If existing stores are going out of business then it stands to reason that some of their customer base will migrate to online stores instead.

    That said, I’ve just switched to mail order and my new retailer says that he’s getting plenty of new customers of late as well. And in my case, it’s simply a case of having an awful local store who have tried my patience one too many times.

  43. Diego-San,

    Thanks for the clarification because what you said is true. Just because many of us don’t like or buy NEW comics does not mean we’re done with the medium. As for me, I love the medium and the art form and still read comics all the time, I’m just reading back issues, not the new ones.

    As for coming to comic sites even though we don’t buy new comics, some of us come to these sites because they’re great. I absolutely LOVE Heidi’s site and yes, many of the comics news sites are more entertaining than the comics themselves.

    As for Alan Coil and his comment to get a life, its funny because every site I go to has repeated comments by this guy, almost like he has nothing else better to do than to comment on all the people making comments. Seems to me that if he had a full and satisfied existence, not only would he not care, he wouldn’t have the time on his hands to post on so many news sites. So, if anyone should get a life, its Alan Coil.

  44. Diamond’s accounts with mail-order businesses are part of the orders reflected in the monthly tables, from what I understand. The numbers are folded in with the parent store’s orders — or, if there is no storefront, treated as a regular retail account (although there may be differences to those accounts’ discount structures — I haven’t seen the terms of sale lately).

    To Mark Coale, what percentage of retail people are paying would certainly be good to know, although I can’t see how we ever will find out. I did some polling in Comics Retailer magazine in the 1990s and some of the retailer groups and forums may share that info now, but it’s hard to get a representative sample.

    I do believe that the average retailer is discounting far less than in the days of extreme retailer competition of the early 1990s, where I saw competing Diamond and Capital accounts across the street from each other charging walk-in customers 45% off off the rack. No margin of error whatsoever back then, and it ended as we’d expect…

  45. Brett said:

    “As for Alan Coil and his comment to get a life, its funny because every site I go to has repeated comments by this guy, almost like he has nothing else better to do than to comment on all the people making comments. Seems to me that if he had a full and satisfied existence, not only would he not care, he wouldn’t have the time on his hands to post on so many news sites. So, if anyone should get a life, its Alan Coil. ”

    I take issue with repeated comments, but, yes, I do need to get a life. Do you happen to know where I can get a job? I’ve been unemployed for nearly 2 years now. Unemployment here in Michigan is over 12%.

    News sites where I post: Robot 6, Comics Should Be Good, and here. Sometimes at Comics Worth Reading and Savage Critics, but they aren’t exactly news sites. That’s usually less than an hour a day.

    But the good news is I don’t live in my mother’s basement. She died years ago. And, before you feel a need to bring it up, no, I ain’t been laid in quite a while, either.

    Anything else you’d like to know about my life, Brett? I’m willing to share more details if you’d like.

  46. Regarding Watchmen, Tim at More Fun Comics is correct. Many retailers stocked up heavily on these when the consignment program was offered. It should also be pointed out that returns for this program were due back to Diamond in May so deducting those returns from current sales may account for the books absence from the charts this month.

    Watchmen is still selling steadily here, albeit more slowly than prior to the movie’s release.

  47. Bruce MacIntosh Says: Another contributing factor that should be considered is that comic shops are closing left and right, leaving readers with no choice to get their fix but the online retailers.

    Or quit, of course. A percentage will no doubt move online in that scenario, but I would expect that a significant chunk of the “casual” customers – those who buy a small number of comics each month – and even some of the heavier buyers, would just stop in such a scenario.

  48. Hate to see the fall of the local comic shop, but I know too many that are struggling. The two nearest me probably couldn’t make it without selling Magic: The Gathering cards and other nick-nacks like that. It’s a shame there isn’t a way to return to the days of the spinner rack.

    I’ll be curious to see where the next phase of comics evolution takes us; without the LCS I’m thinking things like the Longbox project are probably going to move in and take over, with a shift in the big publishers to graphic novels and all the left-overs eaten up by small press.

    My biggest fear would be that consumers and creators turn to vanity presses, thereby causing the industry and big time bookstore chains to be turned off to comics altogether while having to sort through some really poorly executed ideas slipping through without professional edits or critiques.

  49. “Just because many of us don’t like or buy NEW comics does not mean we’re done with the medium.”

    This is very true. For instance, the Inferno hardcover just came out, and by far, it is my favorite book this year so far, excepting Legion of Three Worlds.

    These days, something inconceivable has happened — I am actually able to see a point in the future where I might no longer buy new comics.

    But I’ll always be around to buy 70s/80s/90s reprints.

  50. Wraith said: “It’s the 90’s all over again.”

    What killed comics in the 90’s?

    1. Too many titles.

    2. Gimmick issues.

    3. Rising cover prices.

    4. Lack of quality.

    What do we see today?

    1. Too many titles.

    2. Gimmick issues.

    3. Rising cover prices.

    4. Lack of quality.

    Sure, the art is still good overall, but there’s a lot of art in independents especially, that looks like a child drew it. That sort of art has been creeping it’s way into some Marvel and DC comics, too, i noticed. Why is that? There must be a lot of former artists out there with more talent than most artists today who would work for Marvel and DC if given the chance. Why is the best talent not sought out by the comics companies anymore if they have a choice? At 2.99+ i think the readers would like to see the best art available.

    Of course, when i said lack of quality, what i really meant is the writing. That’s by far, the biggest problem facing comics today, i think. It used to be that a comic had a feature length story that was contained in a single issue with lots of action to boot, but what do we see now? Larger panels with less dialogue and less action that take up a whole comic so that a storyline is usually not completed until after multiple issues, so what you get is a lot of nothing as a result. I guess fans of large panels with no action would like it, but who likes that? When i’m looking for a comic to buy, i flip through it and if i see a lot of talking and no action in the story i put it back on the shelf. All talk and no action is not what superhero comics are supposed to be about. Just think if the superhero cartoons were like that. Cancellation would come pretty soon, i think.