by Marc-Oliver Frisch

The big news on the January sales chart is a catastrophic crash of WildStorm’s average periodical sales. The monthly direct-market numbers of the DC Comics sub-label hovered around the 10K mark for most of the past twelve months, but in the new year, the bottom dropped out: WildStorm’s average sales nosedived by 27.2 percent compared to the previous month, to an estimated 6,851 units.

Compared to January sales from 2004 through 2008, the loss ranges from 51 to 62 percent. Compared to six months ago, one of the weakest months for WildStorm periodicals last year, it’s still a 30.6-percent decline.

The reason for the dramatic decline of WildStorm periodical sales is simple: The imprint currently stands on three pillars, none of which seems able to support its own weight. The traditional WildStorm Universe superhero properties, based on characters created by WildStorm founder Jim Lee, have been waning for years commercially; none of the more recent creator-owned properties have been remotely able to recapture the early success of Astro City or Ex Machina (the one notable exception being The Boys, which was promptly taken elsewhere by its creators due to creative differences with the management); and the vast majority of WildStorm’s licensed titles adapting videogame, television or film properties fail miserably.

As a result of the WildStorm plunge, average DC Comics sales dropped to their lowest point since industry website ICv2.com started publishing actual-sales estimates in March 2003. Across all three major imprints, the publisher’s average periodical sales declined by 9.4 percent in January.

January marked a decline for the DC Universe and Vertigo imprints, as well. Sales of the average DC Universe periodical dropped by 6.7 percent in January, sales of the average Vertigo periodical by 5.4 percent. The January 2009 numbers are not the lowest estimated sales for either the DC Universe or Vertigo lines in the context of the last five years, but they’re still far down in the spectrum.

See below for the analysis, 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.

—–

3/4 - FINAL CRISIS
05/2008: Final Crisis #1 of 7 -- 144,826          [166,641]
06/2008: Final Crisis #2 of 7 -- 126,082 (-12.9%) [134,116]
07/2008: --
08/2008: Final Crisis #3 of 7 -- 123,881 (- 1.8%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Final Crisis #4 of 7 -- 115,666 (- 6.6%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Final Crisis #5 of 7 -- 109,181 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: Final Crisis #6 of 7 -- 123,345 (+13.0%) 
01/2009: Final Crisis #7 of 7 -- 103,292 (-16.3%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.

Final Crisis #6, in case you missed it, was the issue where Batman finally died (well, kind of), after emphatically not perishing at the end the “Batman R.I.P.” storyline in his own title back in November. It was easy to miss, certainly, since the mainstream media largely ignored the story in favor of the Barack Obama issue of Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man that came out on the same day — see Paul O’Brien’s column on that.

Still, DC evidently got a solid sales boost out of the event. The number shown above actually includes the 12,453 units of a second printing that also came out in January but was listed separately on the chart. If Diamond had combined the two listings, Final Crisis #6 would have taken the No. 2 spot on the Top 300 chart, outselling the debut of Marvel’s Dark Avengers by 5,000 units.

Sales of both issues were increased through the usual 50/50 variant-cover editions.

—–

7 - BATMAN
01/2004: Batman #623 --  89,051 [102,319]
01/2005: Batman #636 --  58,630 [ 60,528]
01/2006: Batman #649 --  62,379 [ 64,645]
01/2007: Batman #662 --  72,499 (- 4.0%)
-------------------------------
01/2008: Batman #673 --  69,234 (- 2.8%)
02/2008: Batman #674 --  68,208 (- 1.5%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: Batman #675 --  71,138 (+ 4.3%)
05/2008: Batman #676 -- 105,039 (+47.9%) [122,877]
05/2008: Batman #677 --  96,116 (- 8.5%) [111,065]
06/2008: --
07/2008: Batman #678 -- 103,213 (+ 7.4%)
08/2008: Batman #679 -- 103,588 (+ 0.4%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Batman #680 -- 103,941 (+ 0.3%)
11/2008: Batman #681 -- 103,151 (- 0.8%) [114,657]
12/2008: Batman #682 --  93,469 (- 9.4%)
12/2008: Batman #683 --  90,272 (- 3.4%) [ 91,885]
12/2008: Batman #684 --  79,953 (-11.4%) [ 82,903]
01/2009: Batman #685 --  72,654 (- 9.1%)
----------------
6 months: -29.6%
1 year  : + 4.9%
2 years : + 0.2%
5 years : -18.4%

The January issue was part of “Faces of Evil,” a line-wide publishing event that involves the participating series switching to a villain’s point of view for one issue; in addition, Batman #685 was also the second part of a crossover with Detective Comics #852.

That said, if any of this had a positive effect on sales here, it’s drowned by the post-“Batman R.I.P.” decline that has Batman sales dropping back toward their usual level. Overall, the book is doing fine, though: The numbers are still slightly higher than they were a year ago, and the February issue started a two-parter by author Neil Gaiman.

Also, thanks to the relatively low entry threshold of the Top 300, the two previous issues made the chart again in January. As usual, the total number is shown in brackets.

—–

9 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
01/2004: JLA #92            --  58,008
01/2005: JLA #110           --  64,094
01/2006: JLA #124           --  74,069
01/2007: --
--------------------------------------
01/2008: Justice League #17 --  94,712 (- 0.9%)
02/2008: Justice League #18 --  89,803 (- 5.2%)
03/2008: Justice League #19 --  87,482 (- 2.6%)
04/2008: Justice League #20 --  85,807 (- 1.9%)
05/2008: Justice League #21 --  90,035 (+ 4.9%)
06/2008: Justice League #22 --  85,013 (- 5.6%)
07/2008: Justice League #23 --  82,953 (- 2.4%)
08/2008: Justice League #24 --  81,451 (- 1.8%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Justice League #25 --  80,731 (- 0.9%)
10/2008: Justice League #26 --  77,353 (- 4.2%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Justice League #27 --  75,803 (- 2.0%)
12/2008: Justice League #28 --  72,728 (- 4.1%)
01/2009: Justice League #29 --  72,116 (- 0.8%)
----------------
6 months: -13.1%
1 year  : -23.9%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : +24.3%

Given the book’s erratic decline over the past year, it’s hard to tell whether sales are really bottoming out here, as the comparatively small drop in January would suggest. Then again, it’s another “Faces of Evil” issue, so maybe that’s the reason.

—–

11 - GREEN LANTERN
01/2004: Green Lantern #173 --  30,099
01/2005: --
01/2006: Green Lantern #7   --  84,723
01/2007: Green Lantern #16  --  66,105
--------------------------------------
01/2008: Green Lantern #27  --  67,600 (- 3.4%)
02/2008: --
03/2008: Green Lantern #28  --  68,073 (+ 0.7%)
03/2008: Green Lantern #29  --  66,536 (- 2.3%)
04/2008: Green Lantern #30  --  65,347 (- 1.9%)
05/2008: Green Lantern #31  --  65,874 (+ 0.8%)
06/2008: Green Lantern #32  --  64,839 (- 1.6%)
07/2008: Green Lantern #33  --  63,814 (- 1.6%)
08/2008: --
09/2008: Green Lantern #34  --  63,825 (+ 0.0%)
10/2008: Green Lantern #35  --  63,383 (- 0.7%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Green Lantern #36  --  64,755 (+ 2.2%) [68,315]
01/2009: Green Lantern #37  --  65,556 (+ 1.2%)
-----------------
6 months: +  2.7%
1 year  : -  3.0%
2 years : -  0.8%
5 years : +117.8%

Green Lantern also participates in “Faces of Evil,” and once more, it’s hard to tell whether there’s any effect on the numbers. There’s a slight increase, but the current storyline was on a slow climb anyway, so who knows. It doesn’t seem to have hurt, at any rate.

Green Lantern #36 made the chart again in January with another 3,560 units, meanwhile.

—–

14 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
01/2004: JSA #56             --  44,713
01/2005: JSA #69             --  43,650
01/2006: JSA #81             --  50,078
01/2007: Justice Society #2  --  86,180 [92,459]
---------------------------------------
01/2008: --
02/2008: Justice Society #12 --  84,162 (-  6.1%)
02/2008: Justice Society #13 --  82,702 (-  1.7%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: Justice Society #14 --  80,507 (-  2.7%)
05/2008: Justice Society #15 --  78,311 (-  2.7%)
06/2008: Justice Society #16 --  77,328 (-  1.3%)
07/2008: Justice Society #17 --  75,532 (-  2.3%)
08/2008: Justice Society #18 --  73,485 (-  2.7%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Justice Society #19 --  72,073 (-  1.9%)
11/2008: Justice Society #20 --  71,355 (-  1.0%)
12/2008: Justice Society #21 --  69,662 (-  2.4%)
12/2008: Justice Society #22 --  67,615 (-  2.9%)
01/2009: Justice Society #23 --  61,385 (-  9.2%)
----------------
6 months: -18.7%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : -28.8%
5 years : +37.3%

The lengthy storyline following up on the popular Kingdom Come series from the 1990s ended in December. In fairness, the January issue was also the first one without a variant-cover edition — the drop in Superman and Action Comics sales (see below) suggests that this may be a bigger factor than you might have thought.

Oh, and it was another “Faces of Evil” story.

—–

17 - DETECTIVE COMICS
01/2004: Detective Comics #790 -- 35,505
01/2005: Detective Comics #802 -- 40,842
01/2006: Detective Comics #815 -- 35,569
01/2007: --
----------------------------------------
01/2008: Detective Comics #840 -- 51,579 (-17.2%)
02/2008: Detective Comics #841 -- 50,535 (- 2.0%)
03/2008: Detective Comics #842 -- 49,425 (- 2.2%)
04/2008: Detective Comics #843 -- 48,431 (- 2.0%)
05/2008: Detective Comics #844 -- 48,394 (- 0.1%)
06/2008: Detective Comics #845 -- 48,920 (+ 1.2%)
07/2008: Detective Comics #846 -- 72,417 (+48.0%)
08/2008: Detective Comics #847 -- 71,134 (- 1.8%)
09/2008: Detective Comics #848 -- 68,306 (- 4.0%)
10/2008: Detective Comics #849 -- 65,878 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Detective Comics #850 -- 64,196 (- 2.6%)
12/2008: Detective Comics #851 -- 64,961 (+ 1.2%)
01/2009: Detective Comics #852 -- 56,656 (-12.8%)
----------------
6 months: -21.8%
1 year  : + 9.8%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : +59.6%

Sales continue dropping after the spike caused by “Batman R.I.P.” As indicated earlier, Detective Comics #852 is part of a crossover with Batman, as well as another “Faces of Evil” story. As I’m writing this, the next issue, which has the second half of Neil Gaiman’s story, is delayed until April, according to DC’s website.

—–

19 - FINAL CRISIS: SUPERMAN BEYOND
08/2008: Superman Beyond #1 of 2 -- 63,137         [66,662]
09/2008: --
10/2008: --
11/2008: --
12/2008: --
01/2009: Superman Beyond #2 of 2 -- 52,703 (-16.5%)

That’s an average second-issue drop. After a five-month hiatus, DC is probably perfectly happy with these sales.

Thanks to its “3D” gimmick (including glasses), Superman Beyond had a cover price of $ 4.50. As usual, there was a 50/50 variant-cover edition.

—-

20 - ACTION COMICS
01/2004: Action Comics #811 -- 33,920 [35,871]
01/2005: Action Comics #823 -- 36,638
01/2006: Action Comics #835 -- 41,114
01/2007: --
-------------------------------------
01/2008: Action Comics #861 -- 56,093 (- 0.3%)
02/2008: Action Comics #862 -- 55,658 (- 0.8%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: Action Comics #863 -- 56,882 (+ 2.2%)
04/2008: Action Comics #864 -- 48,438 (-14.9%)
05/2008: Action Comics #865 -- 46,764 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: Action Comics #866 -- 50,158 (+ 7.3%) [53,198]
07/2008: Action Comics #867 -- 49,363 (- 1.6%)
08/2008: Action Comics #868 -- 49,556 (+ 0.4%)
09/2008: Action Comics #869 -- 49,597 (+ 0.1%)
10/2008: Action Comics #870 -- 57,407 (+15.8%)
11/2008: Action Comics #871 -- 58,547 (+ 2.0%)
12/2008: Action Comics #872 -- 57,175 (- 2.3%)
01/2009: Action Comics #873 -- 51,940 (- 9.2%)
----------------
6 months: + 5.2%
1 year  : - 7.4%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : +53.1%
25 - SUPERMAN
01/2004: Superman #201 --  35,986 [37,155]
01/2005: --
01/2006: Superman #225 --  61,768
01/2007: Superman #658 --  60,682
---------------------------------
01/2008: Superman #672 --  44,656 (- 1.4%)
02/2008: Superman #673 --  41,580 (- 6.9%)
03/2008: Superman #674 --  41,715 (+ 0.3%)
04/2008: Superman #675 --  54,855 (+31.5%)
05/2008: Superman #676 --  45,644 (-16.8%)
06/2008: Superman #677 --  54,634 (+19.7%)
07/2008: Superman #678 --  47,670 (-12.8%)
08/2008: Superman #679 --  46,615 (- 2.2%)
09/2008: Superman #680 --  46,585 (- 0.1%)
10/2008: Superman #681 --  54,611 (+17.2%) [57,212]
11/2008: Superman #682 --  55,435 (+ 1.5%)
12/2008: Superman #683 --  55,287 (- 0.3%)
01/2009: Superman #684 --  48,489 (-12.3%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.7%
1 year  : + 8.6%
2 years : -20.1%
5 years : +34.7%

Why do Action Comics and Superman sales drop so harshly in the middle of the “New Krypton” crossover? Well, evidently somebody at DC suddenly decided to have a moratorium on 1-for-10 variant-cover editions in January for some reason, resulting in a hefty step down for the numbers of the books that used to have them.

Either that, or it’s because they’re both “Faces of Evil” issues; but that seems unlikely.

As for why there were so few variant-cover editions from DC in January, maybe the company itself isn’t sure how much these things distort the market anymore? They seem to be back in February, at any rate, so it doesn’t seem like anyone had an epiphany.

—–

29 - FINAL CRISIS: REVELATIONS
08/2008: Revelations #1 of 5 -- 58,434
09/2008: Revelations #2 of 5 -- 54,706 (-6.4%)
10/2008: Revelations #3 of 5 -- 52,864 (-3.4%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Revelations #4 of 5 -- 49,987 (-5.4%)
01/2009: Revelations #5 of 5 -- 46,593 (-6.8%)

Overall, that’s a relatively smooth drop-off. As usual, there was a 50/50 variant-cover edition.

—–

32 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
01/2006: GLC: Recharge #4 of 5   -- 59,952 [61,540]
01/2007: Green Lantern Corps #8  -- 36,924
------------------------------------------
01/2008: Green Lantern Corps #20 -- 44,607 (-11.7%) [48,577]
02/2008: Green Lantern Corps #21 -- 47,582 (+ 6.7%)
03/2008: Green Lantern Corps #22 -- 46,736 (- 1.8%)
04/2008: Green Lantern Corps #23 -- 46,780 (+ 0.1%)
05/2008: Green Lantern Corps #24 -- 46,948 (+ 0.4%)
06/2008: Green Lantern Corps #25 -- 47,399 (+ 1.0%)
07/2008: Green Lantern Corps #26 -- 46,098 (- 2.8%)
08/2008: Green Lantern Corps #27 -- 46,045 (- 0.1%)
09/2008: Green Lantern Corps #28 -- 44,939 (- 2.4%)
10/2008: Green Lantern Corps #29 -- 46,316 (+ 3.1%)
11/2008: Green Lantern Corps #30 -- 43,600 (- 5.9%)
12/2008: Green Lantern Corps #31 -- 44,033 (+ 0.9%)
01/2009: Green Lantern Corps #32 -- 44,312 (+ 0.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.9%
1 year  : - 0.7%
2 years : +20.0%

Green Lantern Corps #32 is another “Faces of Evil” story, but again we’re out of luck, since the current storyline’s had very solid sales to begin with.

—–

37 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN ANNUAL
01/2009: Annual #3 -- 38,521

The mother series sells around 45K at present, so DC might have been better off packaging this as a regular issue. Superman/Batman had a skip month anyway in January, so it’s not like it would have been logistically difficult in any way.

—–

38/39/40/43 - TRINITY
06/2008: Trinity #1  -- 88,044 
06/2008: Trinity #2  -- 79,495 (- 9.7%)
06/2008: Trinity #3  -- 76,224 (- 4.1%)
06/2008: Trinity #4  -- 73,448 (- 3.6%)
07/2008: Trinity #5  -- 68,351 (- 6.9%)
07/2008: Trinity #6  -- 66,624 (- 2.5%)
07/2008: Trinity #7  -- 65,509 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: Trinity #8  -- 64,220 (- 2.0%)
07/2008: Trinity #9  -- 62,252 (- 3.1%)
08/2008: Trinity #10 -- 60,249 (- 3.2%)
08/2008: Trinity #11 -- 59,356 (- 1.5%)
08/2008: Trinity #12 -- 58,151 (- 2.0%)
08/2008: Trinity #13 -- 57,284 (- 1.5%)
09/2008: Trinity #14 -- 53,736 (- 6.2%)
09/2008: Trinity #15 -- 53,101 (- 1.2%)
09/2008: Trinity #16 -- 52,316 (- 1.5%)
09/2008: Trinity #17 -- 51,318 (- 1.9%)
10/2008: Trinity #18 -- 49,174 (- 4.2%)
10/2008: Trinity #19 -- 48,551 (- 1.3%)
10/2008: Trinity #20 -- 47,927 (- 1.3%)
10/2008: Trinity #21 -- 47,252 (- 1.4%)
10/2008: Trinity #22 -- 46,638 (- 1.3%)
11/2008: Trinity #23 -- 44,971 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Trinity #24 -- 44,498 (- 1.1%)
11/2008: Trinity #25 -- 43,804 (- 1.6%)
11/2008: Trinity #26 -- 43,210 (- 1.4%)
12/2008: Trinity #27 -- 41,725 (- 3.4%)
12/2008: Trinity #28 -- 41,510 (- 0.5%)
12/2008: Trinity #29 -- 40,883 (- 1.5%)
12/2008: Trinity #30 -- 40,771 (- 0.3%)
12/2008: Trinity #31 -- 40,575 (- 0.5%)
01/2009: Trinity #32 -- 38,332 (- 5.5%)
01/2009: Trinity #33 -- 38,325 (- 0.0%)
01/2009: Trinity #34 -- 37,933 (- 1.0%)
01/2009: Trinity #35 -- 37,119 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -42.0%

The book’s sales decline accelerates. More than anything else, Trinity looks like a victim of the market DC and Marvel have created over the last five years.

—–

41 - TITANS
04/2008: Titans #1      -- 75,584 (+52.0%)
05/2008: Titans #2      -- 57,358 (-24.1%)
06/2008: Titans #3      -- 54,512 (- 5.0%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: --
09/2008: Titans #4      -- 51,755 (- 5.1%)
09/2008: Titans #5      -- 49,959 (- 3.5%)
10/2008: Titans #6      -- 45,453 (- 9.0%)
11/2008: Titans #7      -- 41,507 (- 8.7%)
12/2008: Titans #8      -- 39,154 (- 5.7%)
01/2009: Titans #9      -- 37,693 (- 3.7%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
45 - TEEN TITANS
01/2004: Teen Titans #7  -- 68,142 [69,428]
01/2005: Teen Titans #20 -- 65,953 [67,781]
01/2006: Teen Titans #31 -- 65,223
01/2007: Teen Titans #43 -- 60,290 [62,560]
----------------------------------
01/2008: Teen Titans #55 -- 52,376 (- 2.6%)
02/2008: Teen Titans #56 -- 50,283 (- 4.0%)
03/2008: Teen Titans #57 -- 49,109 (- 2.3%)
04/2008: Teen Titans #58 -- 47,357 (- 3.6%)
05/2008: Teen Titans #59 -- 46,306 (- 2.2%)
06/2008: Teen Titans #60 -- 45,036 (- 2.7%)
07/2008: Teen Titans #61 -- 44,666 (- 0.8%)
08/2008: Teen Titans #62 -- 43,258 (- 3.2%)
09/2008: Teen Titans #63 -- 41,790 (- 3.4%)
10/2008: Teen Titans #64 -- 39,695 (- 5.0%)
11/2008: Teen Titans #65 -- 37,880 (- 4.6%)
12/2008: Teen Titans #66 -- 36,808 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: Teen Titans #67 -- 35,877 (- 2.5%)
----------------
6 months: -19.7%
1 year  : -31.5%
2 years : -40.5%
5 years : -47.4%

Two more “Faces of Evil” issues. The decline of both Titans series seems to be bottoming out, although it’s certainly taking its time.

—–

46 - NIGHTWING
01/2004: Nightwing #89  -- 28,835
01/2005: Nightwing #101 -- 38,098 [41,243]
01/2005: Nightwing #102 -- 36,093 [40,271]
01/2006: Nightwing #116 -- 35,113 [37,851]
01/2007: Nightwing #128 -- 33,930
---------------------------------
01/2008: Nightwing #140 -- 32,305 (-34.5%)
02/2008: Nightwing #141 -- 30,980 (- 4.1%)
03/2008: Nightwing #142 -- 30,253 (- 2.4%)
04/2008: Nightwing #143 -- 29,914 (- 1.1%)
05/2008: Nightwing #144 -- 29,367 (- 1.8%)
06/2008: Nightwing #145 -- 29,435 (+ 0.2%)
07/2008: Nightwing #146 -- 29,494 (+ 0.2%)
08/2008: Nightwing #147 -- 56,300 (+90.9%)
09/2008: Nightwing #148 -- 53,210 (- 5.5%)
10/2008: Nightwing #149 -- 50,588 (- 4.9%)
11/2008: Nightwing #150 -- 50,993 (+ 0.8%)
12/2008: Nightwing #151 -- 35,210 (-31.0%)
01/2009: Nightwing #152 -- 35,637 (+ 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: +20.8%
1 year  : +10.3%
2 years : + 5.0%
5 years : +23.6%

Does “Faces of Evil” have a positive effect on sales? Again, we can’t say, because Nightwing #152 was also touted as a “Batman R.I.P.” epilogue.

—–

48 - SUPERGIRL
01/2006: --
01/2007: --
---------------------------------
01/2008: Supergirl #25 --  36,459 (- 3.9%)
02/2008: Supergirl #26 --  34,186 (- 6.2%)
03/2008: Supergirl #27 --  32,596 (- 4.7%)
04/2008: Supergirl #28 --  31,379 (- 3.7%)
05/2008: Supergirl #29 --  30,192 (- 3.8%)
06/2008: Supergirl #30 --  29,553 (- 2.1%)
07/2008: Supergirl #31 --  28,813 (- 2.5%)
08/2008: Supergirl #32 --  28,114 (- 2.4%)
09/2008: Supergirl #33 --  27,609 (- 1.8%)
10/2008: Supergirl #34 --  33,958 (+23.0%)
11/2008: Supergirl #35 --  45,518 (+34.0%)
12/2008: Supergirl #36 --  45,491 (- 0.1%)
01/2009: Supergirl #37 --  34,060 (-25.1%)
----------------
6 months: +18.2%
1 year  : - 6.6%
2 years :  n.a.

With “New Krypton” over and no more variant-cover editions, Supergirl sales take an expected hit. Surprisingly, they’re still significantly higher than before “New Krypton.” Is it because of “Faces of Evil”? Probably not.

—–

52 - WONDER WOMAN
01/2004: Wonder Woman #200 --  38,007 [43,800]
01/2005: Wonder Woman #212 --  25,610
01/2006: Wonder Woman #225 --  42,661
01/2007: --
-------------------------------------
01/2008: Wonder Woman #16  --  42,897 (- 3.9%)
02/2008: Wonder Woman #17  --  41,948 (- 2.2%)
03/2008: Wonder Woman #18  --  40,771 (- 2.8%)
04/2008: Wonder Woman #19  --  39,489 (- 3.1%)
05/2008: Wonder Woman #20  --  38,116 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: Wonder Woman #21  --  37,086 (- 2.7%)
07/2008: Wonder Woman #22  --  36,514 (- 1.5%)
08/2008: Wonder Woman #23  --  35,562 (- 2.6%)
09/2008: Wonder Woman #24  --  34,583 (- 2.8%)
10/2008: Wonder Woman #25  --  33,583 (- 2.9%)
11/2008: Wonder Woman #26  --  33,277 (- 0.9%)
12/2008: Wonder Woman #27  --  32,322 (- 2.9%)
01/2009: Wonder Woman #28  --  32,622 (+ 0.9%)
----------------
6 months: -10.7%
1 year  : -24.0%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -14.2%

This is another “Faces of Evil” issue. Unlike the previous issue, Wonder Woman #28 came with a variant-cover edition (a 1-for-10 one, probably, although the solicitation text doesn’t say), explaining the slight sales increase.

——

57 - ROBIN
01/2004: Robin #122 -- 26,413 [27,397]
01/2005: Robin #134 -- 32,850
01/2006: Robin #146 -- 29,499 [31,851]
01/2007: Robin #158 -- 29,464
-----------------------------
01/2008: Robin #170 -- 30,048 (- 38.3%)
02/2008: Robin #171 -- 27,781 (-  7.6%)
03/2008: Robin #172 -- 26,912 (-  3.1%)
04/2008: Robin #173 -- 26,357 (-  2.1%)
05/2008: Robin #174 -- 26,209 (-  0.6%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Robin #175 -- 53,880 (+105.6%)
08/2008: Robin #176 -- 54,912 (+  1.9%)
08/2008: Robin #177 -- 31,346 (- 42.9%)
09/2008: Robin #178 -- 32,234 (+  2.8%)
10/2008: Robin #179 -- 30,081 (-  6.7%)
11/2008: Robin #180 -- 28,399 (-  5.6%)
12/2008: Robin #181 -- 27,891 (-  1.8%)
01/2009: Robin #182 -- 28,684 (+  2.8%)
-----------------
6 months: - 46.8%
1 year  : -  4.5%
2 years : -  2.7%
5 years : +  8.6%

“Batman R.I.P.” was name-checked in the advertising copy for Robin #182, so maybe that’s the reason for the increase, or maybe “Faces of Evil” actually brought in some extra readers. We’ll never know.

—–

62/63/67/88 - FACES OF EVIL
01/2009: Grundy #1      -- 27,093
01/2009: Prometheus #1  -- 26,504
01/2009: Deathstroke #1 -- 26,998
01/2009: Kobra #1       -- 22,007

These are the Faces of Evil one-shot specials in order of publication. No surprises here, except that poor Kobra should hire a new PR guy; I was wondering what he’s doing out of G.I. Joe, personally.

—–

72 - BOOSTER GOLD
01/2008: Booster Gold #6  -- 36,292 (- 5.1%)
02/2008: Booster Gold #0  -- 37,808 (+ 4.2%)
03/2008: Booster Gold #7  -- 36,140 (- 4.4%)
04/2008: Booster Gold #8  -- 35,982 (- 0.4%)
05/2008: Booster Gold #9  -- 35,030 (- 2.7%)
06/2008: Booster Gold #10 -- 34,435 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: BGold #1,000,000 -- 34,431 (- 0.0%)
08/2008: Booster Gold #11 -- 32,900 (- 4.5%)
09/2008: Booster Gold #12 -- 32,049 (- 2.6%)
10/2008: Booster Gold #13 -- 29,914 (- 6.7%)
11/2008: Booster Gold #14 -- 28,260 (- 5.5%)
12/2008: Booster Gold #15 -- 26,835 (- 5.0%)
01/2009: Booster Gold #16 -- 25,472 (- 5.1%)
----------------
6 months: -26.0%
1 year  : -29.8%

The numbers keep dropping, with no end in sight — “Faces of Evil” notwithstanding, to nobody’s surprise.

—–

75 - SECRET SIX
05/2006: Secret Six #1 of 6 -- 54,961 [57,425]
07/2006: Secret Six #2 of 6 -- 47,346
08/2006: Secret Six #3 of 6 -- 44,507
09/2006: Secret Six #4 of 6 -- 40,782
10/2006: Secret Six #5 of 6 -- 36,628
12/2006: Secret Six #6 of 6 -- 35,513
-------------------------------------
09/2008: Secret Six #1      -- 31,673 (-10.8%)
10/2008: Secret Six #2      -- 27,846 (-12.1%)
11/2008: Secret Six #3      -- 26,053 (- 6.4%)
12/2008: Secret Six #4      -- 24,657 (- 5.4%)
01/2009: Secret Six #5      -- 24,899 (+ 1.0%)

This, on the other hand, appears to be a genuine increase. It’s only 200 copies and change, mind you, and it may be partly due to “Faces of Evil,” so I wouldn’t break out the champagne just yet. The mere fact that Secret Six doesn’t drop in January is mildly encouraging, however.

—–

76 - GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY
01/2004: Green Arrow #34  -- 35,986
01/2005: Green Arrow #46  -- 32,469
01/2006: Green Arrow #58  -- 30,990
01/2007: Green Arrow #70  -- 31,798
-----------------------------------
01/2008: Arrow/Canary #4  -- 35,039 (-13.1%)
02/2008: Arrow/Canary #5  -- 36,662 (+ 4.6%)
03/2008: Arrow/Canary #6  -- 32,621 (-11.0%)
04/2008: Arrow/Canary #7  -- 32,033 (- 1.8%) 
05/2008: Arrow/Canary #8  -- 30,864 (- 3.7%)
06/2008: Arrow/Canary #9  -- 30,330 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: Arrow/Canary #10 -- 29,604 (- 2.4%)
08/2008: Arrow/Canary #11 -- 28,694 (- 3.1%)
09/2008: Arrow/Canary #12 -- 27,896 (- 2.8%)
10/2008: Arrow/Canary #13 -- 26,890 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Arrow/Canary #14 -- 25,599 (- 4.8%)
12/2008: Arrow/Canary #15 -- 24,526 (- 4.2%)
01/2009: Arrow/Canary #16 -- 24,419 (- 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: -17.5%
1 year  : -30.3%
2 years : -23.2%
5 years : -32.1%

Sales are holding level in January, which is highly unusual for Green Arrow/Black Canary. Maybe “Faces of Evil” actually helps a little bit.

—–

77 - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
01/2008: --
02/2008: The Brave and the Bold #10 -- 39,124 (-10.0%)
03/2008: The Brave and the Bold #11 -- 37,751 (- 3.5%)
04/2008: The Brave and the Bold #12 -- 37,739 (- 0.0%)
05/2008: The Brave and the Bold #13 -- 35,814 (- 5.1%)
06/2008: The Brave and the Bold #14 -- 34,361 (- 4.1%)
07/2008: The Brave and the Bold #15 -- 32,688 (- 4.9%)
08/2008: The Brave and the Bold #16 -- 31,522 (- 3.6%)
09/2008: The Brave and the Bold #17 -- 29,857 (- 5.3%)
10/2008: The Brave and the Bold #18 -- 28,199 (- 5.5%)
11/2008: The Brave and the Bold #19 -- 26,407 (- 6.4%)
12/2008: The Brave and the Bold #20 -- 25,050 (- 5.1%)
01/2009: The Brave and the Bold #21 -- 24,375 (- 2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -25.4%
1 year  :   n.a.

The numbers are bottoming out. The Brave and the Bold #23 has finally been solicited for May, meanwhile, but without J. Michael Straczynski’s name in the credits. Suffice it to say, the more issues DC releases before turning the book over to Straczynski, the lower his launch pad for the inevitable sales boost will be.

Unless someone at the company comes to their senses and orders a relaunch, that is.

—–

80 - TERROR TITANS
10/2008: Terror Titans #1 of 6 -- 33,001
11/2008: Terror Titans #2 of 6 -- 27,023 (-18.1%)
12/2008: Terror Titans #3 of 6 -- 24,059 (-11.0%)
01/2009: Terror Titans #4 of 6 -- 23,068 (- 4.1%)

Bottoming out.

—–

84 - FABLES (Vertigo)
01/2004: Fables #21 -- 25,326
01/2005: Fables #33 -- 24,367
01/2006: Fables #45 -- 24,297
01/2007: Fables #57 -- 25,744
-----------------------------
01/2008: --
02/2008: Fables #69 -- 24,337 (-1.0%)
02/2008: Fables #70 -- 23,975 (-1.5%)
03/2008: Fables #71 -- 24,006 (+0.1%)
04/2008: Fables #72 -- 23,853 (-0.6%)
05/2008: Fables #73 -- 23,785 (-0.3%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Fables #74 -- 24,166 (+1.6%)
06/2008: --
09/2008: Fables #75 -- 25,266 (+4.6%)
09/2008: Fables #76 -- 23,914 (-5.4%)
10/2008: Fables #77 -- 23,761 (-0.6%)
11/2008: Fables #78 -- 23,345 (-1.8%)
12/2008: Fables #79 -- 22,769 (-2.5%)
01/2009: Fables #80 -- 22,617 (-0.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.4%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : -12.2%
5 years : -10.7%

Sales of Vertigo’s highest-selling periodical series continue their slow decline.

—–

86 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
01/2004: Legion #29 -- 24,908
01/2005: LoSH #2    -- 42,261 [48,584]
01/2006: LoSH #13   -- 32,730
01/2007: SLoSH #26  -- 32,342
-----------------------------
01/2008: LoSH #38   -- 33,045 (-27.9%)
02/2008: LoSH #39   -- 31,123 (- 5.8%)
03/2008: LoSH #40   -- 30,377 (- 2.4%)
04/2008: LoSH #41   -- 28,939 (- 4.7%)
05/2008: LoSH #42   -- 27,940 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: LoSH #43   -- 27,531 (- 1.5%)
07/2008: LoSH #44   -- 29,954 (+ 8.8%)
08/2008: LoSH #45   -- 25,783 (-13.9%)
09/2008: LoSH #46   -- 24,959 (- 3.2%)
10/2008: LoSH #47   -- 23,751 (- 4.8%)
11/2008: LoSH #48   -- 22,917 (- 3.5%)
12/2008: LoSH #49   -- 22,180 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: LoSH #50   -- 22,327 (+ 0.7%)
----------------
6 months: -22.3%
1 year  : -32.4%
2 years : -31.0%
5 years : -10.4%

The final issue of the property’s current incarnation gets a slight boost, presumably on the basis that its number is a multiple of 25.

In one of those baffling management catastrophes that seem to happen all the time at DC, the entire creative team was exchanged on short notice, just one issue before completing a year-long storyline — according to the credits, the writer is one “Justin Thyme” (a commonly used pseudonym for hack jobs), while the title of the story is “Hack the Infinity Net!”

I’m sure this guarantees people are going to be standing in line for the paperback collections for decades to come.

—–

94 - SANDMAN: DREAM HUNTERS (Vertigo)
11/2008: Dream Hunters #1 of 4 -- 32,638
12/2008: Dream Hunters #2 of 4 -- 24,031 (-26.4%)
01/2009: Dream Hunters #3 of 4 -- 21,157 (-12.0%)

That’s a horrible drop, which comes despite a 1-for-25 variant-cover edition.

—–

96 - BIRDS OF PREY
01/2004: Birds of Prey #63  -- 29,725
01/2005: Birds of Prey #78  -- 29,456
01/2006: Birds of Prey #90  -- 30,460
01/2007: Birds of Prey #102 -- 29,043
-------------------------------------
01/2008: Birds of Prey #114 -- 24,211 (- 2.1%)
02/2008: Birds of Prey #115 -- 23,157 (- 4.4%)
03/2008: Birds of Prey #116 -- 22,627 (- 2.3%)
04/2008: Birds of Prey #117 -- 22,181 (- 2.0%)
05/2008: Birds of Prey #118 -- 21,941 (- 1.1%)
06/2008: Birds of Prey #119 -- 21,593 (- 1.6%)
07/2008: Birds of Prey #120 -- 21,572 (- 0.1%)
08/2008: Birds of Prey #121 -- 22,406 (+ 3.9%)
09/2008: Birds of Prey #122 -- 21,318 (- 4.9%)
10/2008: Birds of Prey #123 -- 21,110 (- 1.0%)
11/2008: Birds of Prey #124 -- 20,959 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: Birds of Prey #125 -- 20,161 (- 3.8%)
01/2009: Birds of Prey #126 -- 20,772 (+ 3.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.7%
1 year  : -14.2%
2 years : -28.5%
5 years : -30.1%

Maybe the sales increase is due to “Faces of Evil,” after all. I can’t see any other reason, at any rate.

—–

97 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
01/2007: Batman Confidential #2  -- 47,451
------------------------------------------
01/2008: --
02/2008: Batman Confidential #12 -- 27,208 (- 0.7%)
02/2008: Batman Confidential #13 -- 25,735 (- 5.4%)
03/2008: Batman Confidential #14 -- 25,330 (- 1.6%)
03/2008: Batman Confidential #15 -- 24,283 (- 4.1%)
04/2008: Batman Confidential #16 -- 24,038 (- 1.0%)
05/2008: Batman Confidential #17 -- 25,017 (+ 4.1%)
06/2008: Batman Confidential #18 -- 24,881 (- 0.5%)
07/2008: Batman Confidential #19 -- 25,037 (+ 0.6%)
08/2008: Batman Confidential #20 -- 24,654 (- 1.5%)
09/2008: Batman Confidential #21 -- 24,515 (- 0.6%)
10/2008: Batman Confidential #22 -- 24,281 (- 1.0%)
11/2008: Batman Confidential #23 -- 22,909 (- 5.7%)
12/2008: Batman Confidential #24 -- 21,470 (- 6.3%)
01/2009: Batman Confidential #25 -- 20,517 (- 4.4%)
----------------
6 months: -18.1%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -56.8%

Surely, this can’t go on for much longer.

—–

108 - TANGENT: SUPERMAN'S REIGN
03/2008: Tangent #1  of 12 -- 32,378
04/2008: Tangent #2  of 12 -- 25,652 (-20.8%)
05/2008: Tangent #3  of 12 -- 22,858 (-14.2%)
06/2008: Tangent #4  of 12 -- 21,701 (- 5.1%)
07/2008: Tangent #5  of 12 -- 21,061 (- 3.0%)
08/2008: Tangent #6  of 12 -- 20,314 (- 3.6%)
09/2008: Tangent #7  of 12 -- 19,269 (- 5.1%)
10/2008: Tangent #8  of 12 -- 18,273 (- 5.2%)
11/2008: Tangent #9  of 12 -- 17,523 (- 4.1%)
12/2008: Tangent #10 of 12 -- 17,030 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: Tangent #11 of 12 -- 16,369 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: -36.5%
109 - BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT
05/2008: Gotham After Midnight #1  of 12 -- 29,570
06/2008: Gotham After Midnight #2  of 12 -- 24,259 (-18.0%)
07/2008: Gotham After Midnight #3  of 12 -- 22,663 (- 6.6%)
08/2008: Gotham After Midnight #4  of 12 -- 20,863 (- 7.9%)
09/2008: Gotham After Midnight #5  of 12 -- 19,747 (- 5.4%)
10/2008: Gotham After Midnight #6  of 12 -- 18,980 (- 3.9%)
11/2008: Gotham After Midnight #7  of 12 -- 17,802 (- 6.2%)
12/2008: Gotham After Midnight #8  of 12 -- 17,236 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: Gotham After Midnight #9  of 12 -- 16,354 (- 5.1%)
----------------
6 months: -27.8%
113 - SUPERMAN/SUPERGIRL: MAELSTROM
11/2008: Maelstrom #1 of 5 -- 24,041
11/2008: Maelstrom #2 of 5 -- 21,652 (- 9.9%)
12/2008: Maelstrom #3 of 5 -- 17,815 (-17.7%)
12/2008: Maelstrom #4 of 5 -- 16,918 (- 5.0%)
01/2009: Maelstrom #5 of 5 -- 15,337 (-12.5%)

The usual clutter of books on the fringes of the DC Universe that don’t sell.

As Maelstrom demonstrates, retailers still inexplicably make the number of copies they order of a subsequent issue dependent on whether it ships in the same calendar month. Is there any actual evidence that more people want Maelstrom #2 just because it comes out two weeks after issue #1 rather than four?

—–

114 - SGT. ROCK: LOST BATTALION
11/2008: Lost Battalion #1 of 6 -- 22,641
12/2008: Lost Battalion #2 of 6 -- 17,525 (-22.6%)
01/2009: Lost Battalion #3 of 6 -- 15,330 (-12.5%)

That’s a terrible drop-off, but not unexpected.

—–

116 - WORLD OF WARCRAFT (WildStorm)
01/2008: World of WarCraft #3  -- 31,183 (- 4.8%)
02/2008: World of WarCraft #4  -- 28,982 (- 7.1%)
03/2008: World of WarCraft #5  -- 27,159 (- 9.4%)
04/2008: World of WarCraft #6  -- 26,271 (- 3.3%)
05/2008: World of WarCraft #7  -- 24,589 (- 6.4%)
06/2008: World of WarCraft #8  -- 23,310 (- 5.2%)
07/2008: World of WarCraft #9  -- 22,203 (- 4.8%)
08/2008: World of WarCraft #10 -- 20,883 (- 6.0%)
09/2008: World of WarCraft #11 -- 19,331 (- 7.4%)
10/2008: World of WarCraft #12 -- 18,200 (- 5.9%)
11/2008: World of WarCraft #13 -- 17,017 (- 6.5%)
12/2008: World of WarCraft #14 -- 16,058 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: World of WarCraft #15 -- 14,996 (- 6.6%)
----------------
6 months: -32.5%
1 year  : -51.9%

Sales keep dropping, with no end in sight. Evidently, the variant-cover editions don’t make much of a difference in this case; issue #15 was the first issue that didn’t have one, and sales still do their usual thing.

—–

121 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
01/2009: Brave & Bold #1  -- 13,935

A new Johnny DC series. See disclaimers.

—–

122 - VIGILANTE
09/2005: Vigilante #1 of 6 -- 24,533
11/2005: Vigilante #2 of 6 -- 18,712
11/2005: Vigilante #3 of 6 -- 16,412
12/2005: Vigilante #4 of 6 -- 13,344
01/2006: Vigilante #5 of 6 -- 11,939
02/2006: Vigilante #6 of 6 -- 11,382
------------------------------------
12/2008: Vigilante #1      -- 18,236
01/2009: Vigilante #2      -- 13,855 (-24.0%)

The usual drop-off.

—–

123/132 - BLACK LIGHTNING: YEAR ONE
01/2009: Year One #1 of 6 -- 13,804
01/2009: Year One #2 of 6 -- 12,286 (-11.0%)

There’s probably the same phenomenon at work here that I mentioned earlier: Because the first two issues ship in the same calendar month, retailers don’t slash their orders as much as they normally would have.

—–

125 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)
01/2007: Jack of Fables #7  -- 20,314
-------------------------------------
01/2008: Jack of Fables #19 -- 16,886 (- 2.1%)
02/2008: Jack of Fables #20 -- 16,650 (- 1.4%)
03/2008: Jack of Fables #21 -- 16,597 (- 0.3%)
04/2008: Jack of Fables #22 -- 16,305 (- 1.8%)
05/2008: --
06/2008: Jack of Fables #23 -- 16,144 (- 1.0%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: Jack of Fables #24 -- 15,953 (- 1.2%)
08/2008: Jack of Fables #25 -- 15,642 (- 2.0%)
09/2008: Jack of Fables #26 -- 15,471 (- 1.1%)
10/2008: Jack of Fables #27 -- 15,092 (- 2.5%)
11/2008: Jack of Fables #28 -- 14,528 (- 3.7%)
12/2008: Jack of Fables #29 -- 14,151 (- 2.6%)
01/2009: Jack of Fables #30 -- 13,746 (- 2.9%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -18.6%
2 years : -32.3%

The slow but noticeable decline continues.

—–

126 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
05/2008: House of Mystery #1  -- 27,492
06/2008: House of Mystery #2  -- 19,485 (-29.1%)
07/2008: House of Mystery #3  -- 18,407 (- 5.5%)
08/2008: House of Mystery #4  -- 17,569 (- 4.6%)
09/2008: House of Mystery #5  -- 16,721 (- 4.8%)
10/2008: House of Mystery #6  -- 15,934 (- 4.7%)
11/2008: House of Mystery #7  -- 15,120 (- 5.1%)
12/2008: House of Mystery #8  -- 14,273 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: House of Mystery #9  -- 13,739 (- 3.7%)
----------------
6 months: -25.4%

House of Mystery sales are finding their level, slowly but surely.

—–

134 - REIGN IN HELL
07/2008: Reign in Hell #1 of 8 -- 29,003
08/2008: Reign in Hell #2 of 8 -- 20,459 (-29.5%)
09/2008: Reign in Hell #3 of 8 -- 17,964 (-12.2%)
10/2008: Reign in Hell #4 of 8 -- 15,123 (-15.8%)
11/2008: Reign in Hell #5 of 8 -- 13,565 (-10.3%)
12/2008: Reign in Hell #6 of 8 -- 12,945 (- 4.6%)
01/2009: Reign in Hell #7 of 8 -- 12,111 (- 6.4%)
----------------
6 months: -58.2%

Terrible, terrible numbers.

—–

136 - JONAH HEX
01/2006: Jonah Hex #3  -- 24,671
01/2007: Jonah Hex #15 -- 17,987
--------------------------------
01/2008: Jonah Hex #27 -- 13,881 (- 1.5%)
02/2008: Jonah Hex #28 -- 13,614 (- 1.9%)
03/2008: Jonah Hex #29 -- 13,439 (- 1.3%)
04/2008: Jonah Hex #30 -- 13,253 (- 1.4%)
05/2008: Jonah Hex #31 -- 13,140 (- 0.9%)
06/2008: Jonah Hex #32 -- 12,969 (- 1.3%)
07/2008: Jonah Hex #33 -- 14,281 (+10.1%)
08/2008: Jonah Hex #34 -- 12,969 (- 9.2%)
09/2008: Jonah Hex #35 -- 13,231 (+ 2.0%)
10/2008: Jonah Hex #36 -- 12,629 (- 4.6%)
11/2008: Jonah Hex #37 -- 12,537 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: Jonah Hex #38 -- 12,132 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: Jonah Hex #39 -- 11,705 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months: -18.0%
1 year  : -15.7%
2 years : -34.9%

According to DC Comics editor Dan DiDio, the company keeps Jonah Hex around despite its lackluster sales because it’s off the beaten path for the publisher.

—–

139 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
01/2004: Hellblazer #192 -- 15,094
01/2005: Hellblazer #204 -- 14,523
01/2006: Hellblazer #216 -- 14,590
01/2007: Hellblazer #228 -- 12,956
----------------------------------
01/2008: Hellblazer #240 -- 12,213 (-1.1%)
02/2008: Hellblazer #241 -- 11,998 (-1.8%)
03/2008: Hellblazer #242 -- 11,916 (-0.7%)
04/2008: Hellblazer #243 -- 11,958 (+0.4%)
05/2008: Hellblazer #244 -- 11,826 (-1.1%)
06/2008: Hellblazer #245 -- 11,897 (+0.6%)
07/2008: Hellblazer #246 -- 12,088 (+1.6%)
08/2008: --
09/2008: Hellblazer #247 -- 11,851 (-2.0%)
10/2008: Hellblazer #248 -- 11,600 (-2.1%)
11/2008: Hellblazer #249 -- 11,445 (-1.3%)
12/2008: Hellblazer #250 -- 12,478 (+9.0%)
01/2009: Hellblazer #251 -- 11,290 (-9.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.6%
1 year  : - 7.6%
2 years : -12.9%
5 years : -25.2%

There goes the anniversary boost. On balance, retailers take no notice of new writer Peter Milligan’s first full issue; Hellblazer just continues its usual slow decline.

—–

144 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
01/2004: The Authority v2 #9  -- 22,797
01/2005: Revolution #4 of 12  -- 20,984
01/2007: --
---------------------------------------
01/2008: Prime #4 of 6        -- 15,058 (- 9.4%)
02/2008: Prime #5 of 6        -- 14,099 (- 6.4%)
03/2008: Prime #6 of 6        -- 13,369 (- 5.2%)
04/2008: --
05/2008: --
06/2008: --
07/2008: --
08/2008: The Authority v4 #1  -- 15,735 (+17.7%)
09/2008: The Authority v4 #2  -- 14,324 (- 9.0%)
10/2008: The Authority v4 #3  -- 13,408 (- 6.4%)
11/2008: The Authority v4 #4  -- 12,450 (- 7.2%)
12/2008: The Authority v4 #5  -- 11,534 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: The Authority v4 #6  -- 10,673 (- 7.5%)
----------------
1 year  : -29.1%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -53.2%

The numbers of the WildStorm Universe line’s current flagship title continue to do the opposite of bottoming out.

Recent statements by WildStorm editorial suggest that the company is still convinced of the notion that the audience desperately needs the WildStorm Universe and its characters, and all that’s needed to make them realize it is just one more big shakeup.

—–

145 - BLUE BEETLE
01/2007: Blue Beetle #11 -- 19,865
----------------------------------
01/2008: Blue Beetle #23 -- 14,961 (- 1.9%)
02/2008: Blue Beetle #24 -- 14,378 (- 3.9%)
03/2008: Blue Beetle #25 -- 14,304 (- 0.5%)
04/2008: Blue Beetle #26 -- 14,285 (- 0.1%)
05/2008: Blue Beetle #27 -- 13,802 (- 3.4%)
06/2008: -- 
07/2008: Blue Beetle #28 -- 13,620 (- 1.3%)
07/2008: Blue Beetle #29 -- 13,310 (- 2.3%)
08/2008: Blue Beetle #30 -- 12,669 (- 4.8%)
09/2008: Blue Beetle #31 -- 12,302 (- 2.9%)
10/2008: Blue Beetle #32 -- 11,828 (- 3.9%)
11/2008: Blue Beetle #33 -- 11,452 (- 3.2%)
12/2008: Blue Beetle #34 -- 11,020 (- 3.8%)
01/2009: Blue Beetle #35 -- 10,593 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: -21.3%
1 year  : -29.2%
2 years : -46.7%

Cancelled with issue #36.

—–

148 - HAUNTED TANK (Vertigo)
12/2008: Haunted Tank #1 of 5 -- 16,021
01/2009: Haunted Tank #2 of 5 -- 10,448 (-34.8%)

There was a variant-cover edition that bloated the numbers of issue #1, to be fair, but still: That’s a horrible second-issue drop for a five-part miniseries.

—–

149 - 100 BULLETS (Vertigo)
01/2004: --
01/2005: 100 Bullets #57  -- 15,068
01/2006: 100 Bullets #68  -- 13,879
01/2007: 100 Bullets #80  -- 12,651
-----------------------------------
01/2008: 100 Bullets #87  -- 11,244 (- 3.1%)
02/2008: 100 Bullets #88  -- 11,077 (- 1.5%)
03/2008: 100 Bullets #89  -- 10,878 (- 1.8%)
04/2008: 100 Bullets #90  -- 10,856 (- 0.2%)
05/2008: 100 Bullets #91  -- 10,736 (- 1.1%)
06/2008: 100 Bullets #92  -- 10,797 (+ 0.6%)
07/2008: 100 Bullets #93  -- 10,796 (- 0.0%)
08/2008: 100 Bullets #94  -- 10,721 (- 0.7%)
09/2008: 100 Bullets #95  -- 10,669 (- 0.5%)
10/2008: 100 Bullets #96  -- 10,654 (- 0.1%)
11/2008: 100 Bullets #97  -- 10,580 (- 0.7%)
12/2008: 100 Bullets #98  -- 10,515 (- 0.6%)
01/2009: 100 Bullets #99  -- 10,411 (- 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.6%
1 year  : - 7.4%
2 years : -17.7%
5 years :   n.a.

With one issue to go, 100 Bullets looks like it’s going to cross the finish line with 10K+. With first-month paperback sales in the direct market alone at around 7,000 units, though, that’s probably not a major concern for anyone.

—–

152 - MANHUNTER
01/2005: Manhunter #6  -- 14,335
01/2006: Manhunter #18 -- 13,212
--------------------------------
12/2006: Manhunter #26 -- 23,767 (+56.6%)
01/2007: Manhunter #27 -- 17,842 (-24.9%)
02/2007: Manhunter #28 -- 17,182 (- 3.4%)
03/2007: Manhunter #29 -- 17,234 (+ 0.3%)
04/2007: Manhunter #30 -- 16,373 (- 5.0%)
--------------------------------
06/2008: Manhunter #31 -- 15,694 (- 4.2%)
07/2008: Manhunter #32 -- 13,740 (-12.5%)
08/2008: Manhunter #33 -- 12,700 (- 7.6%)
09/2008: Manhunter #34 -- 12,234 (- 3.7%)
10/2008: Manhunter #35 -- 11,652 (- 4.8%)
11/2008: Manhunter #36 -- 11,017 (- 5.5%)
12/2008: Manhunter #37 -- 10,263 (- 6.8%)
01/2009: Manhunter #38 --  9,866 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: -28.2%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -44.7%

—–

154 - THE X-FILES (WildStorm)
07/2008: Special #0      -- 23,805
08/2008: --
09/2008: --
10/2008: --
11/2008: X-Files #1 of 6 -- 16,042 (-32.6%)
12/2008: X-Files #2 of 6 -- 11,562 (-27.9%)
01/2009: X-Files #3 of 6 --  9,808 (-15.2%)
----------------
6 months: -58.8%

God-awful numbers for yet another licensed property at WildStorm.

—–

155 - THE SPIRIT
01/2007: The Spirit #2     -- 27,245
------------------------------------
01/2008: The Spirit #12    -- 18,894 (+ 0.0%)
01/2008: The Spirit #13    -- 17,475 (- 7.5%)
02/2008: The Spirit #14    -- 17,277 (- 1.1%)
03/2008: The Spirit #15    -- 16,038 (- 7.2%)
04/2008: The Spirit #16    -- 14,697 (- 8.4%)
05/2008: The Spirit #17    -- 14,057 (- 4.4%)
06/2008: The Spirit #18    -- 13,257 (- 5.7%)
07/2008: The Spirit #19    -- 12,709 (- 4.1%)
08/2008: The Spirit #20    -- 12,358 (- 2.8%)
09/2008: The Spirit #21    -- 11,551 (- 6.5%)
10/2008: The Spirit #22    -- 10,997 (- 4.8%)
11/2008: The Spirit #23    -- 10,372 (- 5.7%)
12/2008: The Spirit #24    -- 10,048 (- 3.1%)
01/2009: The Spirit #25    --  9,576 (- 4.7%)
----------------
6 months: -24.7%
1 year  : -49.3%
2 years : -64.9%

With issue #26, a new creative team takes over. The Spirit is an inofficial WildStorm production, so there’s probably some rope left, despite the dreadful decline; sales are still far above the average for WildStorm, after all.

—–

157 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
01/2004: Version 3.0 #18 -- 13,465
01/2006: Nemesis #5 of 9 -- 14,983
01/2007: --
----------------------------------
07/2008: World's End #1  -- 16,895 (-79.5%)
08/2008: World's End #2  -- 13,311 (-21.2%)
09/2008: World's End #3  -- 13,559 (+ 1.9%)
10/2008: World's End #4  -- 12,431 (- 8.3%)
11/2008: World's End #5  -- 11,280 (- 9.3%)
12/2008: World's End #6  -- 10,450 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: World's End #7  --  9,539 (- 8.7%)
----------------
6 months: -43.5%
1 year  :  n.a.
5 years : -29.2%

The second-highest-selling WildStorm Universe series also remains in a free-fall.

—–

158 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
01/2008: Northlanders #2  -- 15,945 (-19.5%)
02/2008: Northlanders #3  -- 14,699 (- 7.8%)
03/2008: Northlanders #4  -- 12,851 (-12.6%)
04/2008: Northlanders #5  -- 12,278 (- 4.5%)
05/2008: Northlanders #6  -- 12,009 (- 2.2%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Northlanders #7  -- 11,918 (- 0.8%)
07/2008: Northlanders #8  -- 11,477 (- 3.7%)
08/2008: Northlanders #9  -- 11,063 (- 3.6%)
09/2008: Northlanders #10 -- 10,738 (- 2.9%)
10/2008: Northlanders #11 -- 10,353 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: Northlanders #12 -- 10,048 (- 3.0%)
12/2008: Northlanders #13 --  9,777 (- 2.7%)
01/2009: Northlanders #14 --  9,467 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: -19.1%
1 year  : -40.6%

The book maintains a slow but steady decline.

—–

161 - VIXEN: RETURN OF THE LION
10/2008: Vixen #1 of 5 -- 16,246
11/2008: Vixen #2 of 5 -- 11,206 (-31.0%)
12/2008: Vixen #3 of 5 --  9,739 (-13.1%)
01/2009: Vixen #4 of 5 --  8,900 (- 8.6%)

These sales are crashing and burning, as you’d expect for a DC Universe book without any major characters thrown out there to fend for itself.

—–

164 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
02/2008: Tiny Titans #1  -- 15,238
03/2008: Tiny Titans #2  -- 11,432 (-25.0%)
04/2008: Tiny Titans #3  -- 11,197 (- 2.1%)
05/2008: Tiny Titans #4  -- 10,369 (- 7.4%)
06/2008: Tiny Titans #5  -- 10,909 (+ 5.2%)
07/2008: Tiny Titans #6  -- 10,636 (- 2.5%)
08/2008: Tiny Titans #7  -- 10,234 (- 3.8%)
09/2008: Tiny Titans #8  --  9,795 (- 4.3%)
10/2008: Tiny Titans #9  --  9,521 (- 2.8%)
11/2008: Tiny Titans #10 --  9,239 (- 3.0%)
12/2008: Tiny Titans #11 --  9,085 (- 1.7%)
01/2009: Tiny Titans #12 --  8,733 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: -17.9%

Another Johnny DC book. See small print.

—–

166 - UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Vertigo)
10/2008: Unknown Soldier #1  -- 16,038
11/2008: Unknown Soldier #2  -- 10,553 (-34.2%)
12/2008: Unknown Soldier #3  --  9,926 (- 5.9%)
01/2009: Unknown Soldier #4  --  8,711 (-12.2%)

This book is tanking badly.

—–

169 - DMZ (Vertigo)
01/2006: DMZ #3  -- 14,503
01/2007: DMZ #15 -- 13,340
--------------------------
01/2008: DMZ #27 -- 10,662 (-3.3%)
02/2008: DMZ #28 -- 10,463 (-1.9%)
03/2008: DMZ #29 -- 10,266 (-1.9%)
04/2008: DMZ #30 -- 10,038 (-2.2%)
05/2008: DMZ #31 --  9,911 (-1.3%)
06/2008: DMZ #32 --  9,760 (-1.5%)
07/2008: DMZ #33 --  9,684 (-0.8%)
08/2008: DMZ #34 --  9,561 (-1.3%)
09/2008: --  
10/2008: DMZ #35 --  9,240 (-3.4%)
11/2008: DMZ #36 --  8,851 (-4.2%)
12/2008: DMZ #37 --  8,823 (-0.3%)
01/2009: DMZ #38 --  8,457 (-4.2%)
----------------
6 months: -12.7%
1 year  : -20.7%
2 years : -36.6%

The decline has been speeding up over the last six months.

—–

170 - SIMON DARK
01/2008: Simon Dark #4  -- 16,242 (- 6.6%)
02/2008: Simon Dark #5  -- 15,360 (- 5.4%)
03/2008: Simon Dark #6  -- 14,684 (- 4.4%)
04/2008: Simon Dark #7  -- 13,936 (- 5.1%)
05/2008: Simon Dark #8  -- 13,222 (- 5.1%)
06/2008: Simon Dark #9  -- 12,514 (- 5.4%)
07/2008: Simon Dark #10 -- 12,038 (- 3.8%)
08/2008: Simon Dark #11 -- 11,529 (- 4.2%)
09/2008: Simon Dark #12 -- 10,895 (- 5.5%)
10/2008: Simon Dark #13 -- 10,404 (- 4.5%)
11/2008: Simon Dark #14 --  9,582 (- 7.9%)
12/2008: Simon Dark #15 --  9,076 (- 5.3%)
01/2009: Simon Dark #16 --  8,421 (- 7.2%)
----------------
6 months: -30.1%
1 year  : -48.2%

Cancelled with issue #18.

—–

172 - GEN13 (WildStorm)
01/2007: Gen13 #4  -- 27,615
----------------------------
01/2008: Gen13 #16 -- 13,618 (- 5.0%)
02/2008: Gen13 #17 -- 12,844 (- 5.7%)
03/2008: Gen13 #18 -- 12,396 (- 3.5%)
04/2008: Gen13 #19 -- 11,887 (- 4.1%)
05/2008: Gen13 #20 -- 11,429 (- 3.9%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: --
08/2008: Gen13 #21 -- 11,074 (- 3.1%)
09/2008: Gen13 #22 -- 10,533 (- 4.9%)
10/2008: Gen13 #23 -- 10,061 (- 4.5%)
11/2008: Gen13 #24 --  9,460 (- 6.0%)
12/2008: Gen13 #25 --  8,954 (- 5.4%)
01/2009: Gen13 #26 --  8,341 (- 6.9%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -38.8%
2 years : -69.8%

Another WildStorm Universe series with terrible numbers. Come April, Gen13 will go bi-monthly.

—–

174 - FRINGE (WildStorm)
09/2008: Fringe #1 of 6 -- 15,929
10/2008: --
11/2008: --
12/2008: --
01/2009: Fringe #2 of 6 --  8,239 (-48.3%)

That’s an abysmal second-issue drop for WildStorm’s latest licensed property, obviously.

—–

178 - AIR (Vertigo)
08/2008: Air #1  -- 13,868
09/2008: Air #2  -- 10,971 (-20.9%)
10/2008: Air #3  -- 10,061 (- 8.3%)
11/2008: Air #4  --  8,913 (-11.4%)
12/2008: Air #5  --  8,412 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: Air #6  --  7,607 (- 9.6%)

Well, there’s good news and bad news in the latest drop in sales for Air.

The good news is that DC’s offer of returnability to retailers ordering a certain amount of copies of issues #1 through #5 seems to have been moderately successful in terms of getting the comics into stores.

The bad news, though, is that retailers evidently cut back their orders right away once the program was over, which presumably means that the heightened availability did not result in more sales to customers.

—–

186 - THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT
05/2008: The War That Time Forgot #1  of 8  -- 18,243
06/2008: The War That Time Forgot #2  of 8  -- 13,296 (-27.1%)
07/2008: The War That Time Forgot #3  of 8  -- 11,407 (-14.2%)
08/2008: The War That Time Forgot #4  of 8  --  9,965 (-12.6%)
09/2008: The War That Time Forgot #5  of 12 --  9,153 (- 8.2%)
10/2008: The War That Time Forgot #6  of 12 --  8,243 (- 9.9%)
11/2008: The War That Time Forgot #7  of 12 --  7,700 (- 6.6%)
12/2008: The War That Time Forgot #8  of 12 --  7,403 (- 3.9%)
01/2009: The War That Time Forgot #9  of 12 --  6,960 (- 6.0%)
----------------
6 months: -39.0%

Another out-of-continuity series playing out beneath the radar.

—–

192 - SUPERGIRL: COSMIC ADVENTURES IN THE 8TH GRADE (Johnny DC)
12/2008: Supergirl: CAit8G #1  -- 9,281
01/2009: Supergirl: CAit8G #2  -- 6,488 (-30.1%)

A Johnny DC book. See disclaimers.

—–

198 - YOUNG LIARS (Vertigo)
03/2008: Young Liars #1  -- 13,177
04/2008: Young Liars #2  --  9,917 (-24.7%)
05/2008: Young Liars #3  --  8,954 (- 9.7%)
06/2008: Young Liars #4  --  8,590 (- 4.1%)
07/2008: Young Liars #5  --  8,172 (- 4.9%)
08/2008: Young Liars #6  --  7,862 (- 3.8%)
09/2008: Young Liars #7  --  7,520 (- 4.4%)
10/2008: Young Liars #8  --  7,265 (- 3.4%)
11/2008: Young Liars #9  --  6,775 (- 6.8%)
12/2008: Young Liars #10 --  6,646 (- 1.9%)
01/2009: Young Liars #11 --  6,081 (- 8.5%)
----------------
6 months: -25.6%

These numbers aren’t looking very good.

—–

199 - STORMWATCH: PHD (WildStorm)
01/2004: StormWatch: TA #18  -- 10,579
01/2007: StormWatch: PHD #3  -- 18,371
--------------------------------------
08/2008: StormWatch: PHD #13 --  8,650 (-13.6%)
09/2008: StormWatch: PHD #14 --  7,883 (- 8.9%)
10/2008: StormWatch: PHD #15 --  7,411 (- 6.0%)
11/2008: StormWatch: PHD #16 --  6,824 (- 7.9%)
12/2008: StormWatch: PHD #17 --  6,468 (- 5.2%)
01/2009: StormWatch: PHD #18 --  6,030 (- 6.8%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -67.2%
5 years : -43.0%

Similar to Gen13, the series is evidently going bi-monthly — or maybe it’s just on a skip month in April. Either way, StormWatch surely isn’t long for this world, at this point.

—–

200/213 - RESISTANCE (WildStorm)
01/2009: Resistance #1 of 6  -- 6,001
01/2009: Resistance #2 of 6  -- 5,166 (-13.9%)
205 - MYSTERIUS (WildStorm)
01/2009: Mysterius #1 of 6  -- 5,667

The Resistance is WildStorm’s latest comic based on a licensed property, and again it only barely manages to crack the 6,000 unit mark. It’s more than could be said of The Mirror’s Edge and Push, and only slightly below the debut-issue sales for Ferryman — see below for all of those titles.

Mysterius, a new creator-owned title, sees equally low numbers.

—–

207 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
03/2008: Super Friends #1  -- 12,554
04/2008: Super Friends #2  --  8,935 (-28.8%)
05/2008: Super Friends #3  --  8,037 (-10.1%)
06/2008: Super Friends #4  --  8,038 (+ 0.0%)
07/2008: Super Friends #5  --  7,141 (-11.2%)
08/2008: Super Friends #6  --  6,671 (- 6.6%)
09/2008: Super Friends #7  --  6,428 (- 3.6%)
10/2008: Super Friends #8  --  6,153 (- 4.3%)
11/2008: Super Friends #9  --  5,739 (- 6.7%)
12/2008: Super Friends #10 --  5,543 (- 3.4%)
01/2009: Super Friends #11 --  5,500 (- 0.8%)
----------------
6 months: -23.0%

A Johnny DC book. See disclaimers.

—–

208 - GREATEST HITS (Vertigo)
09/2008: Greatest Hits #1 of 6 -- 13,142
10/2008: Greatest Hits #2 of 6 --  8,222 (-37.4%)
11/2008: Greatest Hits #3 of 6 --  6,737 (-18.1%)
12/2008: Greatest Hits #4 of 6 --  5,991 (-11.1%)
01/2009: Greatest Hits #5 of 6 --  5,493 (- 8.3%)
224 - [email protected]: THE ART OF WAR (Vertigo)
01/2008: [email protected] #11 --  6,023 (- 5.4%)
02/2008: [email protected] #12 --  5,777 (- 4.1%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: --
05/2008: --
06/2008: --
07/2008: --
08/2008: AoW #1 of 6   --  6,692 (+15.8%)
09/2008: AoW #2 of 6   --  5,669 (-15.3%)
10/2008: AoW #3 of 6   --  5,311 (- 6.3%)
11/2008: AoW #4 of 6   --  5,003 (- 5.8%)
12/2008: AoW #5 of 6   --  4,786 (- 4.3%)
01/2009: AoW #6 of 6   --  4,497 (- 6.0%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -25.3%
231 - EL DIABLO
09/2008: El Diablo #1 of 6 -- 11,510
10/2008: El Diablo #2 of 6 --  7,349 (-36.2%)
11/2008: El Diablo #3 of 6 --  5,531 (-24.7%)
12/2008: El Diablo #4 of 6 --  4,683 (-15.3%)
01/2009: El Diablo #5 of 6 --  4,192 (-10.5%)

Two miniseries from Vertigo, one from the DC Universe line, all with abominable sales. Whereas [email protected] and Greatest Hits stand a reasonable chance at making some money once they’re collected, I imagine it might take a while longer for El Diablo.

—–

234 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
01/2004: Scooby Doo #80  -- 5,307
01/2005: Scooby Doo #92  -- 4,872
01/2006: Scooby Doo #104 -- 4,454
01/2007: Scooby Doo #116 -- 4,285
---------------------------------
01/2008: Scooby Doo #128 -- 4,147 (- 3.4%)
02/2008: Scooby Doo #129 -- 4,161 (+ 0.4%)
03/2008: Scooby Doo #130 -- 4,463 (+ 7.3%)
04/2008: Scooby Doo #131 -- 4,403 (- 1.3%)
05/2008: Scooby Doo #132 -- 4,309 (- 2.1%)
06/2008: Scooby Doo #133 -- 4,501 (+ 4.5%)
07/2008: Scooby Doo #134 -- 4,286 (- 4.8%)
08/2008: Scooby Doo #135 -- 4,226 (- 1.4%)
09/2008: Scooby Doo #136 -- 4,283 (+ 1.4%)
10/2008: Scooby Doo #137 -- ?
11/2008: Scooby Doo #138 -- 4,068
12/2008: Scooby Doo #139 -- ?
01/2009: Scooby Doo #140 -- 3,800
----------------
6 months: -11.3%
1 year  : - 8.4%
2 years : -11.3%
5 years : -28.4%

Another Johnny DC book. See disclaimers.

—–

244 - MIRROR'S EDGE (WildStorm)
10/2008: Mirror's Edge #1 of 6 -- 5,800
11/2008: --
12/2008: Mirror's Edge #2 of 6 -- ?
01/2009: Mirror's Edge #3 of 6 -- 3,211
255/262 - PUSH (WildStorm)
11/2008: Push #1 of 6 -- 5,706
11/2008: Push #2 of 6 -- 4,829 (-15.4%)
12/2008: Push #3 of 6 -- ?
01/2009: Push #4 of 6 -- 2,790
01/2009: Push #5 of 6 -- 2,674 (- 4.2%)
256 - FERRYMAN (WildStorm)
10/2008: Ferryman #1 of 5 -- 6,392
10/2008: Ferryman #2 of 5 -- 5,093 (-20.3%) [7,666]
11/2008: Ferryman #3 of 5 -- 3,818 (-25.0%)
12/2008: Ferryman #4 of 5 -- ?
01/2009: Ferryman #5 of 5 -- 2,775

Are these doomed WildStorm titles selling anywhere outside the direct market? They’d have to be to justify their continued publication, but to date, I’m not aware of any evidence that they are.

—–

273 - LOONEY TUNES (Johnny DC)
01/2002: Looney Tunes #86  -- 3,031*
01/2003: Looney Tunes #98  -- 3,253*
01/2004: Looney Tunes #110 -- 3,197
01/2005: Looney Tunes #122 -- 2,896
01/2006: Looney Tunes #134 -- 2,601
01/2007: Looney Tunes #146 -- 2,588
-----------------------------------
01/2008: Looney Tunes #158 -- 2,596 (- 1.7%)
02/2008: Looney Tunes #159 -- 2,606 (+ 0.4%)
03/2008: Looney Tunes #160 -- 2,807 (+ 7.7%)
04/2008: Looney Tunes #161 -- ? 
05/2008: Looney Tunes #162 -- ? 
06/2008: Looney Tunes #163 -- 2,793
07/2008: Looney Tunes #164 -- ? 
08/2008: Looney Tunes #165 -- 2,662
09/2008: Looney Tunes #166 -- ? 
10/2008: Looney Tunes #167 -- ? 
11/2008: Looney Tunes #168 -- 2,610
12/2008: Looney Tunes #169 -- ? 
01/2008: Looney Tunes #170 -- 2,354
----------------
6 months:  ?
1 year  : - 9.3%
2 years : - 9.0%
5 years : -26.4%

And one more Johnny DC series. Also on the chart in January were Mad Magazine and the Johnny DC book Cartoon Network Action Pack; given that neither of the two has made the Top 300 in over a year at this point, I’ll leave it at mentioning them, though.

—–

REORDERS:
130: 12,453 -- Final Crisis #6
237:  3,560 -- Green Lantern #36
254:  2,950 -- Batman #684
261:  2,710 -- Final Crisis: Secret Files #1
275:  2,318 -- Batman: Cacophony #2
300:  1,613 -- Batman #683
6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 20.8%: Nightwing
+ 18.2%: Supergirl
+  5.2%: Action Comics
+  2.7%: Green Lantern
+  1.7%: Superman
-  3.6%: 100 Bullets
-  3.7%: Birds of Prey
-  3.9%: GL Corps
-  6.4%: Fables
-  6.6%: Hellblazer
- 10.7%: Wonder Woman
- 11.3%: Scooby-Doo
- 12.7%: DMZ
- 13.1%: JLA
- 17.5%: Green Arrow
- 17.9%: Tiny Titans
- 18.0%: Jonah Hex
- 18.1%: Batman Confidential
- 18.6%: Jack of Fables
- 18.7%: JSA
- 19.1%: Northlanders
- 19.7%: Teen Titans
- 21.3%: Blue Beetle
- 21.8%: Detective Comics
- 22.3%: LoSH
- 23.0%: Super Friends
- 24.7%: Spirit
- 25.4%: Brave & Bold
- 25.4%: House of Mystery
- 25.6%: Young Liars
- 26.0%: Booster Gold
- 27.8%: Gotham After Midnight
- 28.2%: Manhunter
- 29.6%: Batman
- 30.1%: Simon Dark
- 32.5%: WoW
- 36.5%: Tangent
- 39.0%: War That Time Forgot
- 42.0%: Trinity
- 43.5%: Wildcats
- 46.8%: Robin
- 58.2%: Reign in Hell
- 58.8%: X-Files

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 10.3%: Nightwing
+  9.8%: Detective Comics
+  8.6%: Superman
+  4.9%: Batman
-  0.7%: GL Corps
-  3.0%: Green Lantern
-  4.5%: Robin
-  6.6%: Supergirl
-  7.4%: Action Comics
-  7.4%: 100 Bullets
-  7.6%: Hellblazer
-  8.4%: Scooby-Doo
-  9.3%: Looney Tunes
- 14.2%: Birds of Prey
- 15.7%: Jonah Hex
- 18.6%: Jack of Fables
- 20.7%: DMZ
- 23.9%: JLA
- 24.0%: Wonder Woman
- 25.3%: [email protected]
- 29.1%: Authority
- 29.2%: Blue Beetle
- 29.8%: Booster Gold
- 30.3%: Green Arrow
- 31.5%: Teen Titans
- 32.4%: LoSH
- 38.8%: Gen13
- 40.6%: Northlanders
- 48.2%: Simon Dark
- 49.3%: Spirit
- 51.9%: WoW

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 20.0%: GL Corps
+  5.0%: Nightwing
+  0.2%: Batman
-  0.8%: Green Lantern
-  2.7%: Robin
-  9.0%: Looney Tunes
- 11.3%: Scooby-Doo
- 12.2%: Fables
- 12.9%: Hellblazer
- 17.7%: 100 Bullets
- 20.1%: Superman
- 23.2%: Green Arrow
- 28.5%: Birds of Prey
- 28.8%: JSA
- 31.0%: LoSH
- 32.3%: Jack of Fables
- 34.9%: Jonah Hex
- 36.6%: DMZ
- 40.5%: Teen Titans
- 44.7%: Manhunter
- 46.7%: Blue Beetle
- 56.8%: Batman Confidential
- 64.9%: Spirit
- 67.2%: StormWatch
- 69.8%: Gen13

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+117.8%: Green Lantern
+ 59.6%: Detective Comics
+ 53.1%: Action Comics
+ 37.3%: JSA
+ 34.7%: Superman
+ 24.3%: JLA
+ 23.6%: Nightwing
+ 20.0%: GL Corps
+  8.6%: Robin
- 10.4%: LoSH
- 10.7%: Fables
- 14.2%: Wonder Woman
- 18.4%: Batman
- 25.2%: Hellblazer
- 26.4%: Looney Tunes
- 28.4%: Scooby-Doo
- 29.2%: Wildcats
- 30.1%: Birds of Prey
- 32.1%: Green Arrow
- 43.0%: StormWatch
- 47.4%: Teen Titans
- 53.2%: Authority

—–

Average Periodical Sales
(not counting reprints, reorders shipping after the initial month of release, Johnny DC titles and magazines)

DC COMICS
01/2004: 24,889
01/2005: 24,650
01/2006: 33,019
01/2007: 29,706
---------------
01/2008: 27,033 (-18.4%)
02/2008: 27,652 (+ 2.3%)
03/2008: 26,423 (- 4.5%)
04/2008: 28,051 (+ 6.1%)
05/2008: 27,075 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: 27,367 (+ 1.1%)
07/2008: 27,436 (+ 0.3%)**
08/2008: 29,678 (+ 8.2%)
09/2008: 25,562 (-13.9%)
10/2008: 29,109 (+13.9%)**
11/2008: 25,340 (-13.0%)
12/2008: 26,793 (+ 5.7%)**
01/2009: 24,273 (- 9.4%)
----------------
6 months: -11.5%
1 year  : -10.2%
2 years : -18.3%
3 years : -26.5%
4 years : - 1.5%
5 years : - 2.5%
DC UNIVERSE
01/2004: 29,783
01/2005: 30,156
01/2006: 40,118
01/2007: 38,302
---------------
01/2008: 33,654 (-16.0%)
02/2008: 35,994 (+ 7.0%)
03/2008: 33,151 (- 7.9%)
04/2008: 35,452 (+ 6.9%)
05/2008: 35,230 (- 0.6%)
06/2008: 35,800 (+ 1.6%)
07/2008: 35,553 (- 0.7%)
08/2008: 38,502 (+ 8.3%)
09/2008: 33,591 (-13.0%)
10/2008: 37,273 (+11.0%)
11/2008: 33,096 (-11.2%)
12/2008: 35,050 (+ 5.9%)
01/2009: 32,705 (- 6.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.0%
1 year  : - 2.8%
2 years : -14.6%
3 years : -18.5%
4 years : + 8.5%
5 years : + 9.8%
VERTIGO
01/2004: 15,069
01/2005: 13,262
01/2006: 15,036
01/2007: 13,572
---------------
01/2008: 10,115 (- 8.3%)
02/2008: 10,885 (+ 7.6%)
03/2008: 10,484 (- 3.7%)
04/2008: 10,550 (+ 0.6%)
05/2008: 10,418 (- 1.3%)
06/2008: 10,491 (+ 0.7%)
07/2008: 10,821 (+ 3.2%)**
08/2008: 10,979 (+ 1.5%)
09/2008: 11,748 (+ 7.0%)
10/2008: 11,284 (- 4.0%)
11/2008: 11,936 (+ 5.8%)
12/2008: 11,603 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: 10,980 (- 5.4%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.5%
1 year  : + 8.6%
2 years : -19.1%
3 years : -27.0%
4 years : -17.2%
5 years : -27.1%
WILDSTORM
01/2004: 14,234
01/2005: 17,591
01/2006: 17,505
01/2007: 14,525
---------------
01/2008: 14,033 (-10.1%)
02/2008: 13,155 (- 6.3%)
03/2008: 12,842 (- 2.4%)
04/2008: 12,156 (- 5.3%)
05/2008:  9,812 (-19.3%)
06/2008:  9,806 (- 0.1%)
07/2008:  9,875 (+ 0.7%)**
08/2008: 10,064 (+ 1.9%)
09/2008: 11,864 (+17.9%)
10/2008: 10,736 (- 9.5%)**
11/2008: 10,220 (- 4.8%)
12/2008:  9,415 (- 7.9%)**
01/2009:  6,851 (-27.2%)
----------------
6 months: -30.6%
1 year  : -51.2%
2 years : -52.8%
3 years : -60.9%
4 years : -61.1%
5 years : -51.9%

—–
Disclaimers, et cetera

The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.

ICv2.com‘s estimates are traditionally known to be somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month. The estimates from March 2001 to February 2003 (marked with an asterisk) were for initial orders rather than actual sales, so they’re only roughly compatible with the subsequent figures.

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Reorders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month.

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after the book’s initial month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in parenthesis behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]”). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average will be used.

Titles released under the Johnny DC imprint and magazines, such as Mad, mostly sell through channels other than the direct market, so direct-market sales don’t tell us much about their performance. For most Vertigo and some WildStorm titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well. To learn (a little) more about Vertigo’s collection sales, go right here.

** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales may be less than that.

—–
Germany-based Marc-Oliver Frisch has a weblog and regularly contributes to Comicgate.

1 COMMENT

  1. The non-DC books are usually included in the DC monthly run down. That Obama Spidey number is crazy and with the number of variants, it drives me mad trying to figure out the number of actual readers of most Marvel books.

  2. Nightwing is up 5% for 2 years, 10% over 1 year and 20% over 6 months and it gets axed? And its up 23% over 5 years? That seems pretty consistent to me. Why kill a book that is actually performing well?

    And I say this as someone who has read perhaps 2 issues of the series (though judging by these numbers that puts me in the minority.)

  3. Because they’re Batrelaunching the whole Batline.

    And because, for reasons which escape me, they’re bound & determined to give the “Nightwing” name to the Superman books for a new character in Action Comics.

  4. From what I gather, the WildStorm video game licensed titles are sold primarily at video game stores…Gears of War #1 sold, what, 20,000 through the direct market and an additional 380,000 outside it?

    Now if I could somehow replicate that with Wildcats…;)

    Best,

    CNG

  5. “No surprises here, except that poor Kobra should hire a new PR guy; I was wondering what he’s doing out of G.I. Joe, personally.”

    awesome!

  6. in light of our numbers, jeff and i are now hard at work on a mysterius video game.

    it’ll mostly be running away from things and hiding.

    we’re making it in my garage out of bits of wood.

  7. 01/2009: Kobra #1 — 22,007
    “These are the Faces of Evil one-shot specials in order of publication. No surprises here, except that poor Kobra should hire a new PR guy; I was wondering what he’s doing out of G.I. Joe, personally.”

    Cobra Command suddenly finding himself in this DC title might explain why DC made it returnable last week. ;)

  8. [quote] The reason for the dramatic decline of WildStorm periodical sales is simple: The imprint currently stands on three pillars, none of which seems able to support its own weight. The traditional WildStorm Universe superhero properties, based on characters created by WildStorm founder Jim Lee, have been waning for years commercially; none of the more recent creator-owned properties have been remotely able to recapture the early success of Astro City or Ex Machina (the one notable exception being The Boys, which was promptly taken elsewhere by its creators due to creative differences with the management); and the vast majority of WildStorm’s licensed titles adapting videogame, television or film properties fail miserably. [/quote]

    I see a couple of reasons why this might be happening.

    1) No Jim Lee. Or J. Scott Campbell. Or…
    I mean, come on. Fans of old WildCATS want to see Jim Lee artwork. No Jim Lee, no interst by old fans, no orders by stores. Which leads to…
    2) No interest by stores.
    My LCS only stocks Astro City. It’s impossible to just pick up a copy of certain Wildstorm books at my LCS because the shelves are stocked with mainline DC and Marvel Universe books. Wildstorm’s being shoved off the shelves like Tower Comics in the 60’s.
    3) Non LCS outlets.
    The video game tie-in books show up in stores like EB and Gamestop. World of Warcraft is easier to find in other stores than in my LCS.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Wildstorm should be spearheading DC’s efforts of providing content on the web. Their line is good but tough to find in the regular comic stores. Offer new stories on the web for a subscription fee. Maybe even up on iTunes. Wildstorm ought to be DC’s Epic Comics Line, offering new content by fan favorites in a new distribution system. An online version of some of the video game books would probably do well, and I betcha online versions of Ex Machina and Astro City would also do well.

  9. Gawd, what’s the point of DC publishing comics these days? Unless it’s a character or concept that has been around for more than 20 years, DC can’t maintain interest or momentum, and even then most (re)launches are doomed. I know the economy sucks, but looking at this list makes me wonder how much longer the pamphlet strategy will go on…

  10. I wonder if this; along with the obvious economy problems, could be a sign that more fans are purchasing collections of monthlies in trade-paperback form?

    I suppose if there is a spike in sales on the Graphic Novels charts we’ll know.

  11. I’m one of the people who dropped the Sandman mini after the first issue. Loved it, but I decided I’d enjoy it more as a trade.

  12. Sphinx Magoo said:

    “It’s impossible to just pick up a copy of certain Wildstorm books at my LCS because the shelves are stocked with mainline DC and Marvel Universe books. Wildstorm’s being shoved off the shelves like Tower Comics in the 60’s.”

    The reason they are3 not selling is that they have continuously shot themselves in the foot over the last 3 years or so with poor stories, poor art, and a very poor publishing schedule. They rebooted the super-hero part of Wildstorm a while back, and then didn’t put out any issues for what seemed like 3 months.

    I’ve tried a few times over the last 5 years to get into the Wildstorm Universe, and just couldn’t. I even bought that dreadful Midnighter/Grifter mini-series.

  13. George St. Louis said:

    “Gawd, what’s the point of DC publishing comics these days?”

    Because monthly comics are a loss leader. DC/Warner makes big money from licensing (and reprints).

  14. jason said:

    “it’s not just the economy. the quality and direction of the line is partly to blame”

    Marvel’s sales are down similar percentages, too.

  15. “Recent statements by WildStorm editorial suggest that the company is still convinced of the notion that the audience desperately needs the WildStorm Universe and its characters, and all that’s needed to make them realize it is just one more big shakeup.”

    Oh, please tell me you’re joking.

  16. “There’s probably the same phenomenon at work here that I mentioned earlier: Because the first two issues ship in the same calendar month, retailers don’t slash their orders as much as they normally would have.”

    Speaking as a retailer, it’s hard to judge how the sales will be within the first week or two, and you can’t slash your orders a day beforehand…usually by the time you really know how the book is selling, the next one’s on its way. And that’s just if you ordered enough to warrent drastically slashing orders. With smaller amounts, we might not even notice the need with other ordering concerns in mind.

    That’s from my experience, anyway. But then, I continually sell out of Final Crisis, Batman, and Green Lantern at (relatively) high levels. That includes tie-ins like Revelations so my store seems more the exception than the rule.

  17. The current low sales on DC (and Marvel) comics are mainly due to MOST (not all) of their books being aimed mainly at two groups of readers. The first group is the current existing and shrinking older teen and adult comic fans who have been reading these comics since they were kids. The second group is the almost mythical and non existent new ADULT readers who DC (and Marvel) hopes will start reading their superhero books after they see the movies or learn from a mainstream news report about how “mature” and/or “adult” their current superhero comics are.

  18. Perhaps giving an idea of what Vertigo is willing to tolerate in terms of periodical sales, David Lapham said he’s been told there will be a third Young Liars collection, so that title seems safe up to issue #18.

  19. Alan,

    “The economy is really hitting hard right now.”

    Is it, now? I’m not convinced. We’re seeing nothing here that wasn’t already happening when the economy was still considered intact.

    If you’re right and THIS is the big impact, then everybody in the direct market can open a bottle of champagne tonight because they got off so easy.

  20. Brian,

    “Not to be greedy, but where are the non-DC books?”

    There were a lot of new non-DC books in the Top 100 in January that hadn’t been in there for a while, and I just didn’t have the extra hour to run the numbers and research all the pertinent variant covers and ordering schemes.

    Maybe I’ll post something at the blog when I find the time, or maybe I’ll do an update every six months or so.

  21. Steven,

    Thanks for the link.

    On the rumored 450,000 units, WildStorm General Manager Hank Kanalz says:

    “I can neither confirm nor deny that we moved that, or more, but I can say that the book has been successful for us. It will be interesting to see how the first hardcover collection of the first six issues will do, as that will be available in places the comic book was not.”

    This makes me suspect that the number is bogus, at least as far as “sales” are concerned.

    If the hardcover “will be available in places the comic book was not,” that strongly implies that the comic book was NOT available in those places, right? In which case there’s plainly no way it sold 450,000 units.

    What I suspect is that DC simply made a special deal with a videogame company or chain store to give away free copies of the book.

    As always, though, if somebody can shed any more light on this, I’d be eternally grateful.

  22. Brendan,

    Thanks for the insight.

    I’m still fuzzy here, though: Once you’ve made a guess for the first issue of a biweekly series, why presume that the second-issue drop is going to be much smaller than it would be for a monthly comic?

  23. “Once you’ve made a guess for the first issue of a biweekly series, why presume that the second-issue drop is going to be much smaller than it would be for a monthly comic? ”

    That’s something that has always puzzled me about both weekly comics and mini-series. I get that the first issues of a series would sell more as people are trying out the series. But why is it with weekly comics (this includes Amazing Spider-Man) in any given month that the issues will fall into places, say, 23,24,26,29? One would think that all the retailers would order the same amount for that month, e.g., 20 copies of each issue. Then maybe 19 or 18 for all of the following month. With mini-series, you get to issue 9-of-12, and suddenly the numbers fall each month. Why would customers follow a series for 9 months, then stop buying it? I understand that there are always customers who stop buying some comics because of their financial situation, but why not finish a story you have enjoyed for 9 months?

  24. “Nightwing is up 5% for 2 years, 10% over 1 year and 20% over 6 months and it gets axed? And its up 23% over 5 years? That seems pretty consistent to me. Why kill a book that is actually performing well? ”

    Because DC will ALWAYS screw over their other books for Superman and Batman.
    It doesn’t matter how popular or well something sells, If DC has plans for Superman and Batman, none of that means anything to them.

  25. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I know the Wildstorm guys were DELIGHTED with the response to some of their licensed material this year. Good for them, they’re good folks and the books have been very good as well.

  26. I’m surprised you didn’t predict a last-issue spike on 100 Bullets. Your analysis that it will squeak in just over 10K seems to indicate that you don’t think people will rush out in droves to pick up the final issue, to maybe read some last twists to see if it’s worth it to follow the end of the series in trades. I see that in Jan ’08, Y The Last Man only picked up 3K for its last issue. And while it was doing more than twice as many sales as 100 Bullets is at the moment for its regular issues, I still wouldn’t be shocked to see an equivalent bump by last-page-of-the-mystery readers and speculators for 100 Bullets.

  27. While Faces of Evil was touted beforehand as

    “a line-wide publishing event that involves the participating series switching to a villain’s point of view for one issue” (or words to that effect)

    What really happened is that DC had a cover gimmick for one month that hurt sales on some titles because the logos were obscured by character names no one was interested in, and helped some titles because the logos were obscured by character names people WERE interested in. That’s what happened here.

  28. “What I suspect is that DC simply made a special deal with a videogame company or chain store to give away free copies of the book.”

    This is totally anecdotal but I got a copy of Gears of War #1 from a friend of mine who works at Gamestop. They were giving it away free with pre-orders of Gears of War 2 (street date 11/7/08). A quick search of Diamond’s New Release archives reveals Gears #1 hit comics shops on 10/8/08 so the timing seems to match.
    I didn’t pre-order the game, my buddy just yoinked me a copy because he knows I like comics.

  29. I’d be curious to see, if possible, a comparison of numbers for “faces of evil” month and “faces month” that did DC maybe 10 years ago?

  30. “If the hardcover “will be available in places the comic book was not,” that strongly implies that the comic book was NOT available in those places, right? In which case there’s plainly no way it sold 450,000 units.”

    Well, he could have just been referring to book stores, which I assume did not/are not carrying the floppies.

  31. Sandman: Dream Hunters started out as a Hardcover Graphic Novel and about midway through DC asked that it be retooled to first run as a four issue mini-series. I would have to speculate that most people just used the first issue to decide if they wanted to wait to buy it in hardcover – it’s originally intended format.

  32. “According to DC Comics editor Dan DiDio, the company keeps Jonah Hex around despite its lackluster sales because it’s off the beaten path for the publisher.”

    According to MegaCon interview I read on Newsarama, Jimmy P. is allowed to write poor selling book because he used give DiDio comic books (that he got as comp for free). I can’t believe there’s an EiC that justify not cancelling books that don’t sell with such a lame excuse.

  33. Kenneth M. Lin makes an astounding accusation:

    “According to MegaCon interview I read on Newsarama, Jimmy P. is allowed to write poor selling book because he used give DiDio comic books (that he got as comp for free). I can’t believe there’s an EiC that justify not cancelling books that don’t sell with such a lame excuse. ”

    Did anyone else see this interview? Was it something that was said in jest?

    I’d think the reason Jonah Hex hasn’t been cancelled is that the trade paperback collections sell well.

  34. “I’d think the reason Jonah Hex hasn’t been cancelled is that the trade paperback collections sell well. ”

    Supposedly, they do lights-out business in Europe (thus the near-obsession with getting artists on the book with big Euro followings). Which kinda makes one wonder why DC doesn’t simply give up the pretense of publishing the floppies — given that, at their level of sales, they cannot possibly be making money given overhead issues such as printing costs and cost-of-talent — and simply release two or three HC OGNs a year instead.

    You can’t tell me that a 96-page Jordi Bernet-drawn JONAH HEX OGN wouldn’t outsell an Azzarello-penned JOKER HC by orders of magnitude — maybe not here (though I’d be loathe to bet against it!), but globally.

  35. kenneth, half reading things gets more people in trouble than anything else.

    Dan Didio and I are friends and worked together before he ever was e.i.c of dc comics. dan used to go thru my comp box every month and I gave him anything i didn’t want.

    its what friends do.

    what you forgot to mention was that having Dan, and Joe Q for that matter in the positions they are in makes it harder for me to get work because they do not want to be accused of playing favorites.

    that said, Jonah Hex is a western that could sell better monthly, but does well as a trade and better internationally. because of the new series, the people at warner thought it would be a good time to try to make the film and we think thats awesome. Its dream casting all around in our eyes.

    anyone that follows the books knows we work our hearts out making it the best we could and the idea that it has something to do with dan being a friend is insulting.

    it stands on its own two legs and honestly, both alan and mark are correct as well.

    so, business wise the book makes sense on a number of levels and in the coming months, the numbers will increase a little at a time we hope.

    JIMMY P.

    ps: ykw…lol..a jordi hardcover…nice!!!

  36. Wildstorm puts out good stuff. I just read the first TPB of The Programme, and it’s pretty good even if that sort of thing has already been done quite a bit.

  37. Paul, I asked a Gamestop manager who said that they gave the comics away as a GameStop preorder bonus, along with a special code for downloading something off of XBox Live. Preorders are a big part of Gamestop’s business. This doesn’t mean there weren’t sales there as well, just that it does seem to have been part of a larger official giveaway promotion.

  38. Ykw: The serials don’t have to cover the costs of production on their own. The question is whether the story will turn a profit in all its various formats. If it does, then just off the top of my head, I can think of four good reasons for publishing a serial version:

    1. Not all the serial buyers would pick up a graphic novel, so going straight to OGN would probably lose some sales. (This depends on the audience in question, but it’ll apply to a lot of books.)

    2. Serials bring in advertising revenue. OGNs don’t.

    3. If the serial is well received, it’ll be good publicity for the collection – in much the same way that paperback books can be hyped on the strength of reaction to the hardback.

    4. It brings in some money while the project is still underway. That’s good for cashflow.

  39. Just wanted to mention that I really appreciate all the work done to bring us these reports. Fascinating stuff.

    Oh, and I really enjoy JONAH HEX. Keep it coming, DC!

  40. “The economy is really hitting hard right now.”

    However much this may actually factor into things, one can’t deny the generally poor quality of DC’s books on the whole, its impossibly awful mismanagement of its franchises, and failure to advertise in any meaningful way. Every one of those titles deserves the numbers it’s getting. All personnel in management at DC ought to be ashamed of themselves.

  41. “And yet DC has more than one third of the market. Hmmm.”

    Which is all relative and doesn’t speak for its singular performance.

  42. It probably doesn’t help they have pretty much sanded down the Wildstorm superhero books. They seemed to be pretty popular when they were edgy, but when they make them like everything else, not so much.

  43. These numbers are depressing.

    These are ALL the DC books that are currently ongoing and above 40k:

    JLA and JSA
    GL and GLC
    Superman and Action

    That’s it. EVERY other ongoing is below 40.

    (Not counting Batman/Detective because of the hiatus for Battle for the Cowl.)

    If Geoff Johns were hit by a car tomorrow, DC would collapse.