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This month’s DC sales column is not being hosted at The Beat. However if you speak German you can read it here. The column will return in an English language version next month.


  1. And Marc didn’t even write anything mean about Green Lantern this month. Though Before Watchmen obviously gets a few more steps in the back. Anyway, you’re not missing much controversity this month, dear non-English readers.

  2. I chose not to run this for two reasons:

    #1 this is an English language blog, because Americans don’t learn other languages the way everyone else does.

    #2 Over the years this column has been accused by highly passionate and talented and major people in the comics industry of killing titles, killing careers, changing what retailers buy and so on. I don’t think this column is that powerful but I take these considerations seriously enough that I don’t feel comfortable running a joke column.

  3. So given these two reasons does this mean that the DC column will no longer be done by the same author or will not be done at all? Will the Marvel one? I ask because the article says it’ll be next month but the reasons The Beat give reason to believe otherwise. I think it’s silly people blaming a sales chart for their book not doing well. For me, I use it as motivator to try and get people on board like with Scalped I got some friends to buy the trades when I realized it was only selling 7k monthlies.
    Also, out of curiosity and because it struck me as very odd, why is the article in german? Has it always been done in german and in english and other languages?

  4. Reason #1 is weird. So people who aren’t Americans all learn German? Is that the most common second language outside the US? Or am I missing the joke?

  5. So… Marc-Oliver usually writes the column in English, but this month he chose to write it in German??

  6. Hmm, free speech in the comics industry hard at work….

    Are they passionate and talented and major folks in the comic industry who have no ethical problem with exploiting the works of other passionate and talented major and minor folks in the industry… who did not have the business savvy, financial independence or army of lawyers to defend their rights or characters as their careers got crushed?
    Their books are tanking because they are bad and exploitative. Endlessly regurgitating the endless reboot or remix, not because of a column or a Twitter feed. This what I meant before in my Image comments, their isn’t much independence or new blood coming into the industry going on, just the same circle of insiders rebranding themselves and angling the system like they are doing here. DC has one of the giants of corporate and America and Hollywood behind them. Why so touchy? Can’t they “market ” the “Savage Hawkman:” back into existence?

  7. I could be misreading this but it seems what Heidi is actually saying is “some of my mates don’t like that we shine a light on the fact that their titles don’t shift many units, so I stepped on it for them” – that is how it comes across.

  8. Well, at the very least I’d like to have the numbers and adds/drops in the same place, for continuity’s sake, even if you can’t run the commentary.

    On the other hand, I liked how Google translate changed the title of “HELLBLAZER” to “BRIGHT BLAZER”, so there’s that.


  9. Frankly, I think that the column seems to be ‘working its magic’ on all the usual critics. Who cares if they’re too lazy to use a translator?

  10. The numbers were worthwhile. The snarkiness and general negative attitude of the author towards all things DC was not.

    The column should have been discontinued, or at least given to someone else to write. I won’t miss it.

  11. It’s incredibly entertaining to read through Google translate. As an example, here is Google’s translation of the Scooby-Doo description:

    The funny Dane with the baggy cheeks attracts every month for the five thousand loyal fans in the U.S. comic shops. However, the dealer is the title of the Johnny DC segment only half the battle: This series, based on animated series for children, set above average number of copies over Abonnemonts, the newsagents and supermarkets and are therefore less sensitive to the paragraph in the comic shops reliant than other DC-segments. In the statistics of average sales figures (see below), they therefore are neglected.

    I can’t help but imagine this being spoken by Sascha Cohen’s Borat.

  12. The Watcher:
    I have not come here to announce the coming of Galactus or to make jokes at DC ‘s expense.. Fear not thy sensitive DC .Perhaps in absence of book numbers or jollies, we should ponder why a big bad company is so afraid of a blog column….What does the future hold for the land of 40 k books or below. Will thy Time Warner overlords just keep 6 money-making comics in the end, fire the staff that doesn’t have bat-ears in their titles and bring back characters occasionally just to hold on to copyrights. Will Superman the Movie translate into Superman the readers for comics (probably not).
    The Watcher waits and wonders….

  13. Is this WTF Certified? This seems WTF Certified. I don’t understand (It IS one of my favorite features on the site, whatever the heck you guys are doing with it this month…I’m not sure who I’m supposed to be annoyed with though. Did Paul write it in German only and refuse to provide an English version to The Beat…? Or did the Beat not want to publish it because it was too funny or their was concern of careers being damaged, and so it’s…elsewhere, but just this month?)

  14. The Beat’s reasoning makes sense…I wouldn’t want a prominent industry blog to run bad business news about me, either. I would also passionately make a case to leave me alone if I thought I could hide the truth about my business.

    In all seriousness…obviously, the independent sales analysis also won’t appear this month because if it did, that would be a mighty odd conflict of interest. The indie sales analysis highlights just how poor the sales are for books made by people who are putting their livelihood where there mouth is. No consistent corporate paychecks there…if someone drops an indie book because of bad sales data, the creator suffers and their career is actually killed. So, in order to avoid a horrific conflict of interest, you’re not going to run that column this month or possibly ever again?

    The Google translation of MOF’s analysis is epic! That funny Dane with the big cheeks indeed! Bright Blazer, ho!

  15. I think next month Paul should write the Marvel column in a Scottish dialect (or a Chris Claremont version of one) in solidarity.

  16. I heard that, too. Paul even put his stamp of approval on the idea, so you know it’s true!

    Why is Heidi violating MOF’s first, third, ninth and twelfth amendment rights?

  17. You got it just right when you said “Snyder currently it creates – just like John to best times – almost single-handedly, the otherwise smooth aufzuhübschen booklets balance of the publisher. “

  18. The Beat has the usual dilemma that sadly has infected all of the press – a desire to maintain access to upper level executives of whatever subject they cover. Its why the press can’t be trusted anymore because they filter everything through “will this piss my contacts off?” question.

    Once that starts you pretty much can only post happy, rosy PR things or wait until someone else posts something negative and then cover it yourself only because “I am an only reporting what they reported” defense kicks in. Its why places like Bleeding Cool tends to break the comic news while the others have pretty much just become variations of the later years of Wizard were the only question of the day is “whose stuff are we promoting today?” At least they had enough sense to get paid for their advertising hidden as journalism style.

    Any case if the column is forced to move elsewhere, hope they let us know here so can update my links and RSS feed.

    Personally I like the snark and don’t have a problem with it. If anything I wish all the columns were snark fests. If being rude in a column or comments is enough to get anything cancelled or ruin careers then the industry would have died about the same time as the internet became mainstream.

  19. You’ve GOT to be kidding.

    So after running Marc’s tough commentary month after month, I finally __ FINALLY decide that I’ve had enough and refuse to run the one column that most of my readers won’t be able to understand?

    Wow I can see why the comments are the best part!

  20. I just don’t understand what’s going on. The three sentences in the post above are kind of confusing as to what’s up. That’s all.

  21. “You’ve GOT to be kidding.

    So after running Marc’s tough commentary month after month, I finally __ FINALLY decide that I’ve had enough and refuse to run the one column that most of my readers won’t be able to understand?

    Wow I can see why the comments are the best part!”

    Wait now am confused further. Did he want it published on in German? If so then yeah I agree editorially it doesn’t belong on this website. But if cut because of outside influence then that is a different animal.

    Ironically, assuming the Google Translate didn’t smooth out the snark, it was actually toned down compared to previous ones. As for wishing all columns had snark, I should elaborate that to mean only the sale report columns like this one, not all Beat posts.

  22. @The Beat

    I’m really confused…did you or did you not write the following:

    “Over the years this column has been accused by highly passionate and talented and major people in the comics industry of killing titles, killing careers, changing what retailers buy and so on. I don’t think this column is that powerful but I take these considerations seriously enough that I don’t feel comfortable running a joke column.”

    I might be having an off day, but that reads to me like you don’t want to run the column because people “in the comics industry” don’t like the content. But your second comment makes it sound like you didn’t run it due to the language being used.

    “refuse to run the one column that most of my readers won’t be able to understand”

    I mean, this is hardly important stuff either way, but either way there’s some confusing inconsistency going on here. Maybe a do-over on explaining why the column wasn’t run would help?

  23. This is the one column I read every month. Why he did it in German beats the hell out of me. But I like his tough commentary. DC has earned every bit of it. And this is coming from a lifelong DC fan (at least up until this New 52 junk).

  24. “I’ll be really impressed if she can violate his rights under the third.”

    Me too. Get busy quartering those soldiers Heidi! I’ll even contribute to the Kickstarter to make it a reality.

  25. What I am getting from all this is:
    The column is in German (only) this month. On the whim of its creator.
    So, it is not being posted here, since The Beat’s large non-German readership would not understand it anyway. Plus, to run it could be interpreted as mocking the company that it analyzes.

    Anyway, I just went to the blog page that hosts the column and looked at the numbers there. I miss the comments, but I am busy, and there was nothing there that I absolutely needed to read. The numbers are enough.
    Maybe next month the column will run in English again.

  26. Ich frage mich, ob an dieser Stelle Heidi nur wünscht sie hatte die Säule laufen in der vorgelegten Form …

  27. Wow, whether or not I agreed with the witticisms found on the monthly analysis, this is so sad that the Beat has to bow to pressure from DC fiends. Yet another to give up reading DC comics.

  28. The sales columns are by far the most interesting articles on The Beat, mainly because they aren’t PR fluff. I guess I’ll have to follow Marc-Oliver elsewhere (and brush up on my German).

  29. “Look, seriously, can I just stamp on this idea that Heidi vetoed the column because of its content?”

    Not really, given that she straight-up said that she did. Of course, it was because that content was in *German*, but still…

    And really, if industry complaints about the column weren’t a factor in not running it, why bring them up?

  30. So is this a news, analysis and editorial site? Or have you just decided fuck it I’ll do puff pieces cause no one gets upset. I am pretty sure is already using that URL.

  31. This is hilarious.
    I was jonesing for this column. and I can’t read German.

    but I’m going to learn just because of this column! viva la lingua!

  32. The rage in the comments is always the best part of these columns, so I have no complaints with this new approach.

  33. Wait a minute a former DC employee and editor who just wrote a piece on how the New 52 Saved Comics is pulling a monthly article that uses DC sales figures in negative light? Okay next someone is going to tell me FoxNews isn’t actually fair and balanced.

  34. Ben Lipman hits the nail on the head. Rather fantastic.

    Re: Heidi’s comments. It could have perhaps been worded better, but it’s pretty clear the column was not run because it was written in German and to run it would give appearances of running a sham/jesting/mock column (instead of a serious analysis).

  35. My primary concern is Marc-Oliver’s assertion that Milton Griepp should consider switching to an all-German language format, stating, “the site is in English, unfortunately.” If this bizarre fad catches on, all the major American comics sales analyses may be affected. Does anybody know if John Jackson Miller is bilingual?


  36. Here’s my second favorite part: “The Batman sales figures once again show clear who wears the pants in the current DC Universe. Scott Snyder…comics sell like hot cakes.” So that’s what happened to Wonder Woman’s pants; DC gave them to Snyder.


  37. The Beat: “Your comments are too snarky…you should tone down we receive to much critics by our readers…”

    Marc-Oliver Frisch: “Mmm…yeah you are right…I’ll see what I can do…maybe I could write the column in German…”

    The Beat: “Sound great to me! Nobody will have nothing bad to say if they don’t understand you.”

    Marc-Oliver Frisch: “Deal”

  38. Dear MOF defenders: While I certainly respect your right to defend a column you enjoy reading, a bit more honesty and less hysteria would be welcome. The problem with this column was never the fact that the numbers painted a negative image of DC’s sales success or even the occasional snarky remark. The problem was the relentless negativity in the comments, including personal attacks on creators and editors, suggestions that DC should stop publishing certain books or entire lines of books and slanderous rumour-mongering. There is a good example of this last one in the current column: MOF writes that Robert Venditti was fired from Constantine, even though all websites have clearly reported that he had to step down because of time constraints. If Heidi has finally decided that she doesn’t want this kind of column on her website, that is clearly her right and it is simply idiotic to accuse her of censorship or of bowing to company pressure.

  39. Louis Lane: “To wear the pants” means “to have the power” in German. Slightly sexist, if you think about it.

  40. The funy Thing is, this column isn’t nearly as snarky as some
    of the others there.
    He made a point that many books keep changing writers,
    and that isn’t an opinion, it’s fact.
    Yes, naturally he makes a quick joke about thumbling Before
    Watchman sales, but he did that for months now.
    The only thing that’s really critical are his thoughts about
    DC’s treatment of their hired writers.

  41. Funny, I had no problems reading the numbers in this month’s column. I must remember more of my college German than I thought.

    Then again, I thought the whole thing was an extended riff on the old Molly Ivins joke, “it probably read better in the original German.”

  42. Poor DC. Ever since they’ve decided to take a bottom line approach: heavy emphasis on creators as assembly-line workers in order to get the quickest and cheapest way for the product to come to market, using a general threshold to cut a title if it’s not performing, and then 11th hour alterations to the content…

    i’d be concerned about a column that can’t help but make apparent, the flagging sales in anything but a Snyder-Lemire-Johns-Lee-Batman-GL book too and trying to suss out the possible reasons. It must be very scary for them. It kinda confirms it what with them feeling that their influence in the market is so fragile that it’s threatened by this column.

    By the by, it doesn’t look like a Freedom Fighters ongoing is necessary with numbers like those minis are doing. Also, I’ll be watching the latest round of titles that are trying to desperately make use of new creative teams/new directions to attract readers back to titles they’ve already left for dead: Batwing, Demon Knights, and Stormwatch. I’m curious to see where Threshold launched too. Dial H and LOSH seem to have particular problems with these writers not being the replaceable WFH drones DC is fond of swapping out, yet these two books look to be next to approach the kill zone.

    The nice thing about this churn strategy is it’s logical to root for titles fans are disatisfied with to be cut out as it gives way to new and potentially more satisfying titles.

  43. So, honestly (if I may be so) the two main reasons I actually read The Beat are for the DC and Marvel Month-to-Month sales. The rest is fluff. Yeah, I said it. But that’s just for ME, so chill. So PLEASE, if you don’t want Marc to write the DC column, have someone else do it. I mean, just have the same person write them both. Makes sense to me, at least. But don’t lose it, that would just be sad. (And one less reason for me to head on over to The Beat.)

  44. It’s become pretty obvious that MOF hasn’t really given a crap about this column in a long time. He’s like Larry King during his last few years in radio, doing it because he’s always done it but not willing to put any real effort into it any more. All it is now is consistent grinding of his various axes against DC as a representative of the comic industry as a whole and an outlet for an apparently generally pissy attitude overall.

    I suggested a while ago swapping the authors of the DC and Marvel sales columns. Since MOF clearly has no particular affection for DC and now we clearly see he doesn’t even care about the column itself, why not?


  45. “it would give appearances of running a sham/jesting/mock column (instead of a serious analysis).”

    How much serious analysis has the column ever had?


  46. The Google Translator variant is actually a fun chapter in the life of the Beat’s DC Month-To-Month column.

    That this didn’t get published and then with all of the requisite controversy it’s garnered, it’s actually more entertaining than the numbers this month.

  47. So, newest chapter in MOF ongoing struggles to grow actual sense of humor is to produce column in German? Wow…
    It’s actually very humane of Heidi to not put this column on this site. I mean, watching retarded kid eating dog shit can be funny but in the same time it’s kinda cruel. So kudos to Beat, if you cannot prevent retard from eating shit at least don’t sell tickets to that show.

  48. This is usually by far the most entertaining sales column on the Web for my taste. However, doing it in German is a strange and not-at-all funny joke, so I can see why it was dropped for the month. It’s one of those things that was probably uproariously funny in Marc’s head, and not at all on the page.

    On the other hand Heidi’s explanation #2 was, I’m sorry to say, badly stated. You can see from all the confused responses that it was a confusing statement. It could be read as though it’s saying that the main reason not to run the column was the fact that it’s usually controversial, rather than the “joke” aspect.

  49. Wow Carlos “retard” guess you missed the not being a dick and making fun of handicapped people thing. Another classy DC fan.

  50. I guess this is what got everyone riled up:

    >>I don’t think this column is that powerful but I take these considerations seriously enough that I don’t feel comfortable running a joke column.

    Let’s break it down, as Daniel Tosh would say.

    “I don’t think this column is that powerful”
    in other words after having talked to many retailers and asked point blank, none of them read these sales charts, see what isn’t selling and order less of them. As one put it “Anyone who did that would be a very bad retailer. I order based on what sells in my store not what I read online.”

    “but I take these considerations seriously enough
    Even though I have found no evidence that reading these columns kills books or careers, you can’t prove a negative, and human nature being what it is, is it possible that some really bad stores DO jut see what M-O and Paul and Chris think and run their stores based on these columns. In other words, I see no EVIDENCE of the deleterious effects, but I cannot rule out that they will never ever happen.

    that I don’t feel comfortable running a joke column.
    With that in mind, I read these columns carefully and very mindful of the fact that some people in the comics industry take them very seriously—whatever you think of the writing, Marc and Paul have been doing this statistical analysis for more than a decade and on that level they are a sound body of research. People’s careers are NOT a joking matter to me, and being mindful of the potential for harm, I chose not to run a column that is meant as a joke.

    M-O and I have discussed this , we’re cool with each other’s decisions and next month everything will be back to normal.

  51. “Wow Carlos “retard” guess you missed the not being a dick”

    But, but…he was just being SNARKY. People just looooooove snark.


  52. Why would Germans care how much comics sold in America?

    And your reasons are STILL not as clear as they should be.

  53. “Why would Germans care how much comics sold in America?”

    Because we enjoy reading them and are curious to find out which ones are doing well and which ones might be in danger of cancellation. Sure, worldwide sales figures would be far more interesting, but sadly those aren’t available.

  54. That explanation makes sense. The confusion should have been expected since the original post read like an April Fool’s joke. Thanks for clarifying.

  55. With respect, could you just find someone else to do the DC column every month?

    It’s been apparent for about a year or so (or more?) that Mr. Frisch doesn’t really give half a crap about DC, and as a result the people (like me) who have an enjoyable informative time reading these columns. It’d probably be fairer to have Joe Quesada do the column……or Bill Jemas 2000 retrieved via time machine and hopped up on crystal meth and Jack Daniels.

  56. Why? This is one of the most honest columns out there. He probrably liked DC comics at one time and doesn’t feel like drinking the Kool aid of late.

    More people should have a point of view. I understand the journalistic concerns about giving DC a fair shake with no jokes but look at DC’s behavior and contempt towards its characters, creators and audience with its corporate hubris,.Not just in recent times bullying out of line creators or with Watchmen but all the way back to humiliating Jerry Siege for wanting some part of Superman or firing Gardner Fox and others who created its characters for just wanting some health insurance and regular benefits as grown men with families. And showing no regrets for that, either in the past or present. Painting DC as corporation not being given a fair shake isn’t valid. They are bullying gangsters in the end, And thats basically what their comics are about.

  57. “This is one of the most honest columns out there”

    Being negative or snarky is not the same thing as honest.


  58. I was out of town last week, so just for the record:

    “The column is in German (only) this month. On the whim of its creator.
    So, it is not being posted here, since The Beat’s large non-German readership would not understand it anyway.”

    Yes. Next month, it’s back to French.

  59. “Being negative or snarky is not the same thing as honest.”
    For this permanently PR-spinning flack corporation, it certainly is.

  60. “Yes. Next month, it’s back to French.”

    This line alone almost makes up for the funky format this month.

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