by Marc-Oliver Frisch

July brought the expected boost for DC Comics’ periodical business. Largely thanks to Geoff Johns’ Blackest Night series and its various spin-off and tie-in books, the average DC Comics and DC Universe periodical sales increased significantly, to their highest levels in almost two years. The weekly Wednesday Comics, DC’s other big launch in July, debuted with much more modest figures: Wednesday Comics #1 charted at No. 36, with estimated sales well below 50,000 units.

Average periodical sales of the Vertigo and WildStorm imprints remained at their usual levels, with just above 11,000 and 8,000 units, respectively, and no trend reversals in sight. Notably, Vertigo published another $ 1.00 loss-leader with Greek Street #1, but failed to match the sales of its predecessor, The Unwritten #1. At WildStorm, Free Realms debuted, but the first issue of a twelve-part series based on a role-playing game missed the chart altogether, evidently.

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.

—–

2 - BLACKEST NIGHT
07/2009: Blackest Night #1 of 8  -- 177,105

At this stage, given the encouraging sales of both Green Lantern series over the last year, it doesn’t come as a great surprise that Blackest Night is a sales juggernaut. The book beats June’s Batman and Robin #1 by about 8,500 units and is only 16,000 units behind July’s top book, Marvel’s Reborn #1, which was massively hyped.

Like Batman and Robin #1, Blackest Night #1 was promoted not just with the usual 1-for-25 variant-cover edition, but also with a more limited 1-for-250 cover edition. (For the uninitiated, this means that retailers had to order 250 copies of the regular comic to be able to order one limited edition.) This could mean that the figure we see is massively inflated, which would result in a large second-issue drop, but it doesn’t seem like this happened with Batman and Robin #2 — see below.

—–

3 - BATMAN AND ROBIN
06/2009: Batman and Robin #1  -- 168,604          [178,171]
07/2009: Batman and Robin #2  -- 117,986 (-30.2%)

Well, here you go.

That is a fairly steep second-issue drop, but not the gigantic downward correction you might have expected. Thirty percent — a drop of no less than 50,000 units, in this case — is at the upper end of the spectrum, certainly, but it’s still part of the spectrum. Also, another estimated 9,567 units of issue #1 were sold to retailers in July, so there’s no indication of an unusually high supply of unsold copies clogging the shelves due to the 1-for-250 variant-cover edition.

Which, I suppose, means that either retailers passed on the incentive or the demand for the book was so great to begin with that it didn’t make much of a difference to orders.

Either way, these are good numbers so far.

—–

5/6 - GREEN LANTERN
07/2004: Green Lantern #179 --  35,562 [37,456]
07/2005: --
07/2006: Green Lantern #12  --  80,292
07/2007: Green Lantern #21  --  81,929 [93,052]
--------------------------------------
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%) [74,005]
01/2009: Green Lantern #37  --  65,556 (+ 1.2%) [71,331]
02/2009: Green Lantern #38  --  68,908 (+ 5.1%) [77,372]
03/2008: --
04/2008: Green Lantern #39  --  79,792 (+15.8%) [84,784]
04/2008: Green Lantern #40  --  76,665 (- 3.9%) [84,705]
05/2008: Green Lantern #41  --  81,491 (+ 6.3%)
06/2008: Green Lantern #42  --  84,131 (+ 3.2%)
07/2008: Green Lantern #43  -- 109,426 (+30.1%)
07/2008: Green Lantern #44  -- 105,063 (- 4.0%)
-----------------
6 months: + 63.4%
1 year  : + 68.1%
2 years : + 30.9% 
5 years : +201.6%

The beginning of “Blackest Night” – the crossover – proper adds another big boost to Green Lantern sales. These are fantastic numbers.

As usual, both July issues were supported through 1-for-25 variant-cover editions.

—–

12/16/17 - BLACKEST NIGHT: TALES OF THE CORPS
07/2009: Blackest Night: TotC #1 of 3  -- 83,466
07/2009: Blackest Night: TotC #2 of 3  -- 77,278 (-7.4%)
07/2009: Blackest Night: TotC #3 of 3  -- 75,136 (-2.8%)

The first miniseries spun out of Blackest Night, evidently providing stories set in the past of some of the characters, was published weekly in July. Sales are perfectly good for this type of book.

Each issue was promoted through a 1-for-25 variant-cover edition.

—–

14 - BATMAN
07/2004: Batman #630 --  69,026 [ 70,414]
07/2005: Batman #642 --  65,435
07/2006: Batman #655 -- 113,567 [123,903]
07/2007: Batman #666 --  83,781
-------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Batman #686 -- 111,353 (+53.3%) [128,780]
03/2009: BfC #1 of 3 --  91,619 (-17.7%) [103,913]
04/2009: BfC #2 of 3 --  89,120 (- 2.7%)
05/2009: BfC #3 of 3 --  89,170 (+ 0.1%)
06/2009: Batman #687 --  96,913 (+ 8.7%)
07/2009: Batman #688 --  83,040 (-14.3%)
----------------
6 months: +14.3%
1 year  : -19.6%
2 years : - 0.9%
5 years : +20.3%

Batman was promoted through a 1-for-10 variant-cover edition in June, but not in July. Bearing this in mind, that’s a fairly small second-issue drop for the new direction. And, for that matter, sales are still well within the range of the Grant Morrison run.

—–

15 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
07/2006: Green Lantern Corps #2  -- 56,886
07/2007: Green Lantern Corps #14 -- 45,393 [61,493]
------------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Green Lantern Corps #33 -- 44,607 (+ 0.7%) [50,171]
03/2009: Green Lantern Corps #34 -- 54,162 (+21.4%)
04/2009: Green Lantern Corps #35 -- 58,769 (+ 8.5%)
05/2009: Green Lantern Corps #36 -- 61,591 (+ 4.8%)
06/2009: Green Lantern Corps #37 -- 63,574 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern Corps #38 -- 82,415 (+29.6%)
----------------
6 months: +86.0%
1 year  : +78.8%
2 years : +81.6%

The secondary Green Lantern book also gets another hefty increase out of “Blackest Night,” on top of the previous seven issues’ constant growth. As usual, the series was supported with a 1-for-25 variant edition.

—–

21 - JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE
07/2009: Cry for Justice #1 of 6  -- 68,317

The long delayed story by writer James Robinson and artist Mauro Cascioli was originally meant to launch a new ongoing Justice League series, then turned into a six-issue mini, then upgraded into a seven-issue mini. And now it appears that Robinson will be writing the ongoing Justice League of America series, after all. It must be incredibly complicated to work at DC.

These are decent debut numbers, at any rate. The book outsells the regular series by 10,000 units, but that’s no great feat, at this stage.

—–

23 - DETECTIVE COMICS
07/2004: Detective Comics #796 --  36,806
07/2005: Detective Comics #808 --  37,952
07/2006: Detective Comics #821 --  67,345
07/2007: Detective Comics #834 --  53,461
-----------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Detective Comics #853 -- 104,107 (+83.8%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Detective Comics #854 --  72,808 (-30.1%) [79,573]
07/2009: Detective Comics #855 --  61,205 (-15.9%)
-----------------
6 months: +  8.0%
1 year  : - 15.5%
2 years : + 15.5%
5 years : + 66.3%

See comments on Batman, basically — the second part of Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III’s Batwoman storyline wasn’t promoted with a variant edition, but still manages to pull in very solid sales, in both the long-term and the short-term comparisons. Also, issue #854 sold another 6,765 copies in July, so there is a clear demand for the story.

—–

26 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
07/2004: JLA #101           --  64,615
07/2004: JLA #102           --  63,249
07/2005: JLA #116           --  87,644 [ 91,030]
07/2006: Justice League #0  -- 162,378 [169,199]
07/2007: Justice League #11 -- 122,823
--------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Justice League #30 --  69,710 (- 3.3%)
03/2009: Justice League #31 --  68,759 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Justice League #32 --  66,021 (- 4.0%)
05/2009: Justice League #33 --  63,867 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: Justice League #34 --  61,115 (- 4.3%)
07/2009: Justice League #35 --  58,915 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: -18.3%
1 year  : -29.0%
2 years : -52.0%
5 years : - 7.9%

Correction: The June issue was written by Dwayne McDuffie, not by Len Wein, as I claimed last month, and as initially solicited by DC. Evidently, they switched things around when McDuffie was fired from the book, so Wein’s story ended up being published in issue #35 instead of #34. Not that any of this makes a great deal of difference to the book’s sales, mind you — Justice League keeps sliding down the chart, the same it’s been for the last two years.

—–

29 - FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF 3 WORLDS
08/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 of 5 -- 68,306         [73,914]
09/2008: --
10/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #2 of 5 -- 64,412 (-5.7%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: --
01/2009: --
02/2009: Legion of 3 Worlds #3 of 5 -- 61,358 (-4.7%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Legion of 3 Worlds #4 of 5 -- 56,888 (-7.3%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: Legion of 3 Worlds #5 of 5 -- 55,970 (-1.6%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.

The straggler from last year concludes with solid sales, making way for Geoff Johns’ new Adventure Comics series that launched in August.

——

32 - RED ROBIN
07/2004: Robin #128    -- 37,253 [38,511]
07/2005: Robin #140    -- 28,909
07/2006: Robin #152    -- 37,466
07/2007: Robin #164    -- 25,955
--------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Robin #183    -- 31,682 (+ 10.5%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: Red Robin #1  -- 64,261 (+102.8%) [71,925]
07/2009: Red Robin #2  -- 51,593 (- 19.7%)
-----------------
6 months: + 79.9%
1 year  : -  4.3%
2 years : -  1.2%
5 years : + 38.5%

Red Robin remains very comfortably ahead of its previous incarnation. Like Batman and Detective Comics, the book was no longer supported with variant editions in July, so it should be bottoming out soon now. The first issue sold another 7,664 units in July — always a good sign.

—–

33 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
07/2004: JSA #63             --  41,595
07/2005: JSA #75             --  55,410
07/2006: JSA #87             --  49,583
07/2007: Justice Society #7  --  88,883
---------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Justice Society #24 --  65,207 (+  6.2%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Justice Society #25 --  65,713 (+  0.8%)
04/2009: Justice Society #26 --  81,200 (+ 23.6%)
05/2009: Justice Society #27 --  56,102 (- 30.9%)
06/2009: Justice Society #28 --  52,673 (-  6.1%)
07/2009: Justice Society #29 --  51,375 (-  2.5%)
----------------
6 months: -16.3%
1 year  : -32.0%
2 years : -42.2%
5 years : +23.5%

The new creative team of writers Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges and artist Jesus Merino debuted in July, but it doesn’t seem like retailers were very impressed. Given that Willingham’s recent DC Universe work (Salvation Run, Shadowpact) didn’t exactly set the charts on fire, this doesn’t come as a great surprise.

—–

36/43/52/58 - WEDNESDAY COMICS
07/2009: Wednesday Comics #1  of 12  -- 47,980
07/2009: Wednesday Comics #2  of 12  -- 42,382 (-11.7%)
07/2009: Wednesday Comics #3  of 12  -- 39,050 (- 7.9%)
07/2009: Wednesday Comics #4  of 12  -- 36,143 (- 7.4%)

Well, speaking of “not impressive.”

Perhaps it was a mistake to regard Wednesday Comics, DC’s latest weekly series, as a potential juggernaut to begin with. But a first issue that fails to crack 50K still seems like a big disappointment, given the book’s creative roster — and that number is the result of what retailers ordered before the audience knew the book was newsprint, which DC conveniently forgot to mention in the solicitation copy.

On the other hand, Wednesday Comics was always going to be an experiment, of course, and at $ 3.99 for a comic printed on a 16-page newspaper, economics are very different than for a standard periodical.

—–

38 - TITANS
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%)
02/2009: Titans #10     -- 36,361 (- 3.5%)
03/2009: Titans #11     -- 35,240 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: Titans #12     -- 36,014 (+ 2.2%)
05/2009: Titans #13     -- 34,343 (- 4.6%)
06/2009: Titans #14     -- 32,321 (- 5.9%)
07/2009: Titans #15     -- 46,189 (+42.9%)
----------------
6 months: +22.5%
1 year  :  n.a.

The July issue was touted as a lead-in to August’s Blackest Night: Titans miniseries, hence the hefty sales increase.

—–

41 - BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM
06/2009: Batman: SoG #1  -- 57,650
07/2009: Batman: SoG #2  -- 44,240 (-23.3%)

Again, given that issue #1 was promoted with a 1-for-25 variant-cover edition and issue #2 wasn’t, that’s a very smooth second-issue drop. The Batman line is holding up very well.

—–

48 - SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON
03/2009: WoNK #1 of 12 -- 50,050
04/2009: WoNK #2 of 12 -- 44,880 (-10.3%)
05/2009: WoNK #3 of 12 -- 42,153 (- 6.1%)
06/2009: WoNK #4 of 12 -- 41,620 (- 1.3%)
07/2009: WoNK #5 of 12 -- 39,939 (- 4.0%)

The best-selling Superman book drops below 40K.

—–

50 - GOTHAM CITY SIRENS
07/2004: Birds of Prey #69  -- 31,904
07/2004: Birds of Prey #70  -- 31,683
07/2005: Birds of Prey #84  -- 29,982
07/2006: Birds of Prey #96  -- 32,219
07/2007: Birds of Prey #108 -- 28,025
-------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Birds of Prey #127 -- 21,424 (+ 3.1%)
03/2009: Oracle #1 of 3     -- 34,081 (+59.1%)
04/2009: Oracle #2 of 3     -- 33,731 (- 1.0%)
05/2009: Oracle #3 of 3     -- 35,328 (+ 4.7%)
06/2009: GC Sirens #1       -- 52,439 (+48.4%)
07/2009: GC Sirens #2       -- 39,518 (-24.6%)
-----------------
6 months: + 90.3%
1 year  : + 83.2%
2 years : + 41.0%
5 years : + 24.3%

See comments on Streets of Gotham. The “bad girl”-themed Batman spin-off keeps doing very well.

—–

51 - SUPERMAN
07/2004: Superman #207 -- 138,984 [140,177]
07/2005: Superman #219 --  71,036 [ 84,145]
07/2006: Superman #654 --  69,526
07/2007: Superman #664 --  52,313
07/2007: Superman #665 --  51,936
---------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Superman #685 --  48,027 (- 1.0%)
03/2009: Superman #686 --  44,976 (- 6.4%)
04/2009: Superman #687 --  43,041 (- 4.3%)
05/2009: Superman #688 --  41,642 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: Superman #689 --  40,366 (- 3.1%)
07/2009: Superman #690 --  39,472 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -18.6%
1 year  : -17.2%
2 years : -24.3%
5 years : -71.6%

Superman sales keep drifting down the chart.

—–

54 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
07/2004: Superman/Batman #11 -- 143,712 [149,902]
07/2005: Superman/Batman #21 -- 108,341
07/2006: Superman/Batman #28 --  92,603
07/2007: Superman/Batman #38 --  67,695
---------------------------------------
07/2008: Superman/Batman #50 --  61,321 (+16.6%)
08/2008: Superman/Batman #51 --  51,701 (-15.7%)
09/2008: Superman/Batman #52 --  50,000 (- 3.3%)
10/2008: Superman/Batman #53 --  48,187 (- 3.6%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Superman/Batman #54 --  45,968 (- 4.6%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Superman/Batman #55 --  43,962 (- 4.4%)
03/2009: Superman/Batman #56 --  42,464 (- 3.4%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #57 --  41,743 (- 1.7%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #58 --  41,000 (- 1.8%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #59 --  40,182 (- 2.0%)
05/2009: Superman/Batman #60 --  39,531 (- 1.6%)
06/2009: Superman/Batman #61 --  38,228 (- 3.3%)
07/2009: Superman/Batman #62 --  38,412 (+ 0.5%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -37.4%
2 years : -43.3%
5 years : -73.3%

Interesting. Issue #62 has a Supergirl/Robin team-up – both properties that have been doing well lately. It’s also the first issue drawn by former Blue Beetle artist Rafael Albuquerque.

—–

55 - ACTION COMICS
07/2004: Action Comics #817 -- 45,178
07/2005: Action Comics #829 -- 62,994 [76,896]
07/2006: Action Comics #841 -- 58,657
07/2007: Action Comics #851 -- 76,500
07/2007: Action Comics #852 -- 50,294
-------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Action Comics #874 -- 48,360 (- 6.9%)
03/2009: Action Comics #875 -- 47,079 (- 2.7%)
04/2009: Action Comics #876 -- 43,368 (- 7.9%)
05/2009: Action Comics #877 -- 41,772 (- 3.7%)
06/2009: Action Comics #878 -- 40,011 (- 4.2%)
07/2009: Action Comics #879 -- 38,324 (- 4.2%)
----------------
6 months: -26.2%
1 year  : -22.4%
2 years : -39.6%
5 years : -15.2%

Another Superman series sliding down.

—–

59 - POWER GIRL
05/2009: Power Girl #1  -- 47,322
06/2009: Power Girl #2  -- 36,756 (-22.3%)
07/2009: Power Girl #3  -- 35,163 (- 4.3%)

The numbers may be bottoming out quickly, but upon closer inspection, the small third-issue drop could also be gimmick-driven: Issues #1 and #2 were promoted with 50/50 variant editions, while #3 came with a rarer 1-for-10 variant-cover edition.

—–

61 - SUPERGIRL
07/2006: Supergirl #7  --  85,175
07/2006: Supergirl #8  --  76,942
07/2007: Supergirl #19 --  48,576
---------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Supergirl #38 --  34,225 (+ 0.5%)
03/2009: Supergirl #39 --  33,713 (- 1.5%)
04/2009: Supergirl #40 --  34,080 (+ 1.1%)
05/2009: Supergirl #41 --  33,441 (- 1.9%)
06/2009: Supergirl #42 --  32,705 (- 2.2%)
07/2009: Supergirl #43 --  32,849 (+ 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.6%
1 year  : +14.0%
2 years : -32.4%

According to the advertising copy, Supergirl #43 sets up a crossover between the Superman titles in August. Presumably, that’s what nudged sales upward.

—–

65 - TEEN TITANS
07/2004: Teen Titans #13 -- 65,658
07/2005: Teen Titans #26 -- 68,353
07/2006: Teen Titans #37 -- 71,263
07/2007: Teen Titans #49 -- 59,258
----------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Teen Titans #68 -- 35,096 (- 2.2%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Teen Titans #69 -- 35,375 (+ 0.8%)
04/2009: Teen Titans #70 -- 35,412 (+ 0.1%)
05/2009: Teen Titans #71 -- 34,110 (- 3.7%)
06/2009: Teen Titans #72 -- 32,512 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: Teen Titans #73 -- 30,990 (- 4.7%)
----------------
6 months: -13.6%
1 year  : -30.6%
2 years : -47.7% 
5 years : -52.8%

Teen Titans numbers keep crashing.

—–

66 - WONDER WOMAN
07/2004: Wonder Woman #206 --  28,038
07/2005: Wonder Woman #218 --  34,366
07/2005: Wonder Woman #219 --  53,460 [92,164]
07/2006: --
07/2007: Wonder Woman #11  --  52,983
-------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Wonder Woman #29  --  33,237 (+ 1.9%)
03/2009: Wonder Woman #30  --  33,365 (+ 0.4%)
04/2009: Wonder Woman #31  --  31,857 (- 4.5%)
05/2009: Wonder Woman #32  --  33,065 (+ 3.8%)
06/2009: Wonder Woman #33  --  32,755 (- 0.9%)
07/2009: Wonder Woman #34  --  30,131 (- 8.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.6%
1 year  : -17.5%
2 years : -43.1%
5 years : + 7.5%

Wonder Woman #34 is the first issue in a while that wasn’t promoted with a variant-cover edition, resulting in a stiff drop in sales.

—–

77 - JSA VS. KOBRA: ENGINES OF FAITH
06/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #1 of 6 -- 32,237
07/2009: JSA Vs. Kobra #2 of 6 -- 25,591 (-20.6%)

That’s a steep second-issue drop for a miniseries.

—–

81 - SECRET SIX
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%)
02/2009: Secret Six #6      -- 24,758 (- 0.6%)
03/2009: Secret Six #7      -- 24,365 (- 1.6%)
04/2009: Secret Six #8      -- 24,338 (- 0.1%)
05/2009: Secret Six #9      -- 27,116 (+11.4%)
06/2009: Secret Six #10     -- 24,272 (-10.5%)
07/2009: Secret Six #11     -- 24,357 (+ 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.2%

Good news: Secret Six keeps clinging to the 24K+ area. (Issue #9 tied in with Batman: Battle for the Cowl, hence the temporary increase.)

—–

82 - THE OUTSIDERS
07/2004: Outsiders #14 -- 41,954
07/2005: Outsiders #26 -- 43,226
07/2006: Outsiders #38 -- 41,974
07/2007: Outsiders #49 -- 33,110
--------------------------------
07/2008: Batsiders #9  -- 34,401 (- 0.7%)
08/2008: Batsiders #10 -- 33,645 (- 2.2%)
09/2008: Batsiders #11 -- 49,945 (+48.5%)
10/2008: Batsiders #12 -- 46,649 (- 6.6%)
11/2008: Batsiders #13 -- 42,939 (- 8.0%)
12/2008: Batsiders #14 -- 32,163 (-25.1%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Special #1    -- 35,727 (+11.1%)
02/2009: Outsiders #15 -- 30,024 (-16.0%)
03/2009: Outsiders #16 -- 27,977 (- 6.8%)
04/2009: Outsiders #17 -- 27,171 (- 2.9%)
05/2009: Outsiders #18 -- 25,995 (- 4.3%)
06/2009: Outsiders #19 -- 27,485 (+ 5.7%)
07/2009: Outsiders #20 -- 24,323 (-11.5%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -29.3%
2 years : -26.5%
5 years : -42.0%

With the boost from the random variant-cover edition for issue #19 gone, sales are back in decline.

—–

92 - FABLES (Vertigo)
07/2004: Fables #27 -- 25,146
07/2005: Fables #39 -- 24,617
07/2006: Fables #51 -- 25,087
07/2007: Fables #63 -- 25,603
-----------------------------
07/2008: Fables #74 -- 24,166 (+1.6%)
08/2008: --
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%)
02/2009: Fables #81 -- 22,517 (-0.4%)
03/2009: Fables #82 -- 22,445 (-0.3%)
04/2009: Fables #83 -- 23,630 (+5.3%)
05/2009: Fables #84 -- 23,634 (+0.0%)
06/2009: Fables #85 -- 23,439 (-0.8%)
07/2009: Fables #86 -- 22,447 (-4.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 0.8%
1 year  : - 7.1%
2 years : -12.3%
5 years : -10.7%

Fables resumes its usual orbit after “The Great Fables Crossover.” It bears repeating from time to time that the book’s sales remain rock-solid.

—–

93 - BOOSTER GOLD
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%)
02/2009: Booster Gold #17 -- 24,732 (- 2.9%)
03/2009: Booster Gold #18 -- 23,737 (- 4.0%)
04/2009: Booster Gold #19 -- 23,203 (- 2.3%)
05/2009: Booster Gold #20 -- 22,549 (- 2.8%)
06/2009: Booster Gold #21 -- 23,222 (+ 3.0%)
07/2009: Booster Gold #22 -- 22,414 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months: -12.0%
1 year  : -34.9%

After the slight increase brought by the debut of the new “Blue Beetle” back-up strip in June, Booster Gold sales are back in decline.

—–

98 - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
07/2007: The Brave and the Bold #5  -- 54,047
---------------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: The Brave and the Bold #22 -- 23,507 (- 3.6%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: The Brave and the Bold #23 -- 22,312 (- 5.1%)
06/2009: The Brave and the Bold #24 -- 21,272 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: The Brave and the Bold #25 -- 21,234 (- 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: -12.9%
1 year  : -35.0%
2 years : -60.7%

I have no idea why sales would be bottoming out, at this stage, but there you go.

—–

101 - GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY
07/2004: Green Arrow #40  -- 32,635
07/2005: Green Arrow #52  -- 35,656
07/2006: Green Arrow #64  -- 36,148
07/2007: Year One #1 of 6 -- 37,090
07/2007: Year One #2 of 6 -- 32,222 [34,962]
-----------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Arrow/Canary #17 -- 23,392 (- 4.2%)
03/2009: Arrow/Canary #18 -- 22,699 (- 3.0%)
04/2009: Arrow/Canary #19 -- 21,933 (- 3.4%)
05/2009: Arrow/Canary #20 -- 21,445 (- 2.2%)
06/2009: Arrow/Canary #21 -- 20,807 (- 3.0%)
07/2009: Arrow&Canary #22 -- 20,571 (- 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: -15.8%
1 year  : -30.5%
2 years : -40.6%
5 years : -37.0%

The title changed from Green Arrow/Black Canary to Green Arrow & Black Canary in July, because Black Canary got split off into her own back-up strip, increasing the page count to 30 and the cover price to $ 3.99. The immediate reaction from retailers is indifference.

—–

104 - GREEK STREET (Vertigo)
07/2009: Greek Street #1  -- 20,422

Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfelice’s new ongoing series debuts with less than impressive numbers, given the $ 1.00 price tag of the first issue.

Compared with May’s The Unwritten #1, which was also two thirds a promotional give-away comic and sold an estimated 26,915 in its first calendar month, this seems to be a case of diminished returns.

Given that the $ 1.00 debuts are still a fairly new promotional device for Vertigo, it’s still much too soon to call them a success or a failure, of course; it’s entirely possible that we’ll see a delayed effect for the periodical or the eventual collection.

For now, though, 20,000 units sold of a new 32-page Peter Milligan comic published by Vertigo for a buck seems like a disappointing number. It raises the question if Vertigo would be able to move any more periodicals through the direct market if they gave them away for free.

—–

111 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
07/2007: Batman Confidential #7  -- 32,272
------------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Batman Confidential #26 -- 20,134 (- 1.9%)
03/2009: Batman Confidential #27 -- 19,934 (- 1.0%)
04/2009: Batman Confidential #28 -- 19,540 (- 2.0%)
05/2009: Batman Confidential #29 -- 18,867 (- 3.4%)
06/2009: Batman Confidential #30 -- 18,443 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Batman Confidential #31 -- 19,225 (+ 4.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.3%
1 year  : -23.2%
2 years : -40.4%

Meanwhile, over in the DC Universe — or on the fringes of it, at least — the start of a new five-parter by Milligan brings a modest increase.

—–

120 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
05/2009: The Unwritten #1  -- 26,915          [31,081]
06/2009: The Unwritten #2  -- 16,290 (-39.5%)
07/2009: The Unwritten #3  -- 17,028 (+ 4.5%)

Things that don’t usually happen with Vertigo series these days: (1) There is no third-issue drop. (2) A reprint of issue #1 sells another 4,166 units two months after the fact — and it’s $ 1.99 now, actually, instead of the $ 1.00 cover price of the first printing.

Again, it’s too early to say much about the effects of the $ 1.00 debuts, but these are very encouraging signs, for a change.

—–

124/132/150/173/229 - WATCHMEN SPECIAL EDITION REPRINTS
12/2008: Watchmen #1                 -- 20,974 [23,042]
03/2009: Saga of the Swamp Thing #21 -- 21,052 [27,107]
03/2009: Transmetropolitan #1        -- 18,604 [24,773]
03/2009: Planetary #21               -- 20,207 [26,116]
04/2009: Preacher #1                 -- 28,574
04/2009: Identity Crisis #1          -- 22,497
07/2009: Y: The Last Man #1          -- 16,354
07/2009: Green Lantern: Rebirth #1   -- 15,438
07/2009: All Star Superman #1        -- 11,656
07/2009: Tom Strong #1               --  7,719
07/2009: Batman #608                 -- 13,399

In the post-Watchmen department, on the other hand, interest appears to be cooling off.

DC released five more $ 1.00 specials as part of their “After Watchmen: What’s Next?” initiative in July, with all kinds of funny results. For one thing, the best-selling of the bunch is also the one that’s not a superhero book. For another, the one that sold the fewest units by far is the only one of the bunch that’s by Watchmen writer Alan Moore.

The reprints are still pulling in decent numbers, mind you, given that all these comics came out in the last ten years and are among the most-reprinted material of that period.

—–

126 - FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: RUN
05/2009: Run #1 of 6 -- 29,065
06/2009: Run #2 of 6 -- 21,429 (-26.3%)
07/2009: Run #3 of 6 -- 16,212 (-24.4%)

The four Final Crisis Aftermath miniseries are crashing terribly — see below for Escape, Dance and Ink; it’s not pretty.

—–

130/168 - VERTIGO SPECIAL EDITIONS
07/2009: Fables #1/Peter & Max Preview -- 15,509
07/2009: 100 Bullets #1/Vertigo Crime  -- 12,033

Two more $ 1.00 books from Vertigo, but these are samplers rather than actual new comics or straightforward reprints. The sales are perfectly good for this type of material, I’d say.

—–

133 - FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: ESCAPE
05/2009: Escape #1 of 6 -- 29,065
06/2009: Escape #2 of 6 -- 20,576 (-29.2%)
07/2009: Escape #3 of 6 -- 15,294 (-25.7%)

Another Final Crisis Aftermath book with abysmal sales.

—–

134 - ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE (WildStorm)
06/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #1 of 4 -- 32,690 
07/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #2 of 4 -- 29,721 
08/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #3 of 4 -- 28,152 
10/2005: The Dark Age/Book 1 #4 of 4 -- 27,367
----------------------------------------------
11/2006: The Dark Age/Book 2 #1 of 4 -- 26,993 
02/2007: The Dark Age/Book 2 #2 of 4 -- 23,412 
04/2007: The Dark Age/Book 2 #3 of 4 -- 22,727 
09/2007: The Dark Age/Book 2 #4 of 4 -- 19,764
----------------------------------------------
05/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #1 of 4 -- 18,281 (- 7.5%)
06/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #2 of 4 -- 16,405 (-10.3%)
07/2009: The Dark Age/Book 3 #3 of 4 -- 15,291 (- 6.8%)
----------------
2 years :  n.a.
5 years :  n.a.

The figures for one of WildStorm’s few remaining titles with sales above 10K don’t look particularly encouraging, either. Perhaps The Dark Age has been dragging on too long to retain the audience’s interest — the arc started more than four years ago, at this point, and more than half of the readership seems to have jumped ship since then.

—–

136 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)
07/2007: --
-------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Jack of Fables #31 -- 13,586 (- 1.2%)
03/2009: Jack of Fables #32 -- 13,595 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Jack of Fables #33 -- 19,242 (+41.5%)
05/2009: Jack of Fables #34 -- 19,420 (+ 0.9%)
06/2009: Jack of Fables #35 -- 19,571 (+ 0.8%)
07/2009: Jack of Fables #36 -- 15,256 (-22.1%)
----------------
6 months: +11.0%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.

Jack of Fables retains some of the boost from “The Great Fables Crossover.”

—–

138 - FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: DANCE
05/2009: Dance #1 of 6 -- 27,491
06/2009: Dance #2 of 6 -- 19,420 (-29.4%)
07/2009: Dance #3 of 6 -- 14,505 (-25.3%)

Awful sales, see above.

—–

140 - SOLOMON GRUNDY
01/2009: Faces of Evil: Grundy #1 -- 27,093
02/2009: --
03/2009: Solomon Grundy #1 of 7   -- 23,175 (-14.5%)
04/2009: Solomon Grundy #2 of 7   -- 18,516 (-20.1%)
05/2009: Solomon Grundy #3 of 7   -- 16,482 (-11.0%)
06/2009: Solomon Grundy #4 of 7   -- 15,167 (- 8.0%)
07/2009: Solomon Grundy #5 of 7   -- 14,043 (- 7.4%)

Another miniseries that’s in a free-fall. This is what you get without promotion in a market whose audience has been taught for five years that only the big crossovers and status-quo-altering stories matter.

—–

142 - FREDDY VS. JASON VS. ASH: NIGHTMARE WARRIORS (WildStorm)
11/2007: Freddy/Jason/Ash #1 of 6   -- 23,306 [27,515]
11/2007: Freddy/Jason/Ash #2 of 6   -- 15,291
12/2007: Freddy/Jason/Ash #3 of 6   -- 15,348
01/2008: Freddy/Jason/Ash #4 of 6   -- 17,170
02/2008: Freddy/Jason/Ash #5 of 6   -- 17,120
03/2008: Freddy/Jason/Ash #6 of 6   -- 17,096
---------------------------------------------
06/2009: Nightmare Warriors #1 of 6 -- 21,395
07/2009: Nightmare Warriors #2 of 6 -- 13,938 (-34.9%)

The first issue was published with three different covers that could be ordered separately, whereas the second one came with a 1-for-10 variant. Either way, that’s a steep drop-off, for the second issue of a limited series, but also compared with the previous volume.

—–

147 - FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: INK
05/2009: Ink #1 of 6 -- 25,479
06/2009: Ink #2 of 6 -- 17,964 (-29.5%)
07/2009: Ink #3 of 6 -- 13,643 (-24.1%)

See above.

—–

156 - THE LAST DAYS OF ANIMAL MAN
05/2009: TLDoAM #1 of 6 -- 18,976
06/2009: TLDoAM #2 of 6 -- 14,469 (-23.8%)
07/2009: TLDoAM #3 of 6 -- 12,998 (-10.2%)

Another miniseries dropping off the map.

—–

158 - WORLD OF WARCRAFT (WildStorm)
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%)
02/2009: World of WarCraft #16 -- 14,177 (- 5.5%)
03/2009: World of WarCraft #17 -- 13,614 (- 4.0%)
04/2009: World of WarCraft #18 -- 13,110 (- 3.7%)
05/2009: World of WarCraft #19 -- 12,536 (- 4.4%)
06/2009: World of WarCraft #20 -- 12,274 (- 2.1%)
07/2009: World of WarCraft #21 -- 12,656 (+ 3.1%)
----------------
6 months: -15.6%
1 year  : -43.0%

No idea why sales are going up, but it doesn’t make the year-on-year comparison any prettier.

—–

159 - JONAH HEX
07/2006: Jonah Hex #9  -- 20,385
07/2007: Jonah Hex #21 -- 15,734
--------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Jonah Hex #40 -- 11,631 (- 0.6%)
03/2009: Jonah Hex #41 -- 11,564 (- 0.6%)
04/2009: Jonah Hex #42 -- 11,551 (- 0.1%)
05/2009: Jonah Hex #43 -- 11,606 (+ 0.5%)
06/2009: Jonah Hex #44 -- 11,592 (- 0.1%)
07/2009: Jonah Hex #45 -- 12,588 (+ 8.6%)
----------------
6 months: + 7.5%
1 year  : -11.9%
2 years : -20.0%

Another unexpected sales increase, by almost a thousand units, no less. The July issue is the second chapter in a six-part storyline, with no changes in creative personnel. Is Jonah Hex suddenly catching on, four years into its run?

—–

162 - R.E.B.E.L.S.
02/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #1  -- 23,739
03/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #2  -- 16,122 (-32.1%)
04/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #3  -- 14,442 (-10.4%)
05/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #4  -- 13,468 (- 6.7%)
06/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #5  -- 12,909 (- 4.2%)
07/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #6  -- 12,349 (- 4.3%)

Sales keep slipping.

—–

171 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
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%)
02/2009: House of Mystery #10 -- 13,098 (- 4.7%)
03/2009: House of Mystery #11 -- 12,785 (- 2.4%)
04/2009: House of Mystery #12 -- 12,636 (- 1.2%)
05/2009: House of Mystery #13 -- 14,358 (+13.6%)
06/2009: House of Mystery #14 -- 12,039 (-16.2%)
07/2009: House of Mystery #15 -- 11,809 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -14.1%
1 year  : -35.9%

Standard attrition.

—–

176 - WARLORD
07/2006: Warlord #6  -- 14,786
------------------------------
04/2009: Warlord #1  -- 17,540
05/2009: Warlord #2  -- 13,390 (-23.7%)
06/2009: Warlord #3  -- 12,283 (- 8.3%)
07/2009: Warlord #4  -- 11,445 (- 6.8%)

Bottoming out very slowly. For a DC Universe series, these are very low figures.

—–

184 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
07/2004: Hellblazer #198 -- 14,772
07/2005: Hellblazer #210 -- 14,801
07/2006: Hellblazer #222 -- 13,912
07/2007: Hellblazer #234 -- 13,112
----------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: Hellblazer #252 -- 11,174 (-1.0%)
03/2009: Hellblazer #253 -- 11,132 (-0.4%)
04/2009: Hellblazer #254 -- 11,053 (-0.7%)
05/2009: Hellblazer #255 -- 10,937 (-1.1%)
06/2009: Hellblazer #256 -- 10,898 (-0.4%)
07/2009: Hellblazer #257 -- 10,762 (-1.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.7%
1 year  : -11.0%
2 years : -17.9%
5 years : -27.2%

Hellblazer maintains its slow decline.

—–

185 - STRANGE ADVENTURES
03/2009: Strange Adventures #1 of 8  --  22,820
04/2009: Strange Adventures #2 of 8  --  14,499 (-36.5%)
05/2009: Strange Adventures #3 of 8  --  12,515 (-13.7%)
06/2009: Strange Adventures #4 of 8  --  11,441 (- 8.6%)
07/2009: Strange Adventures #5 of 8  --  10,758 (- 6.0%)

According to DC, no further Jim Starlin projects are planned. Looking at these numbers, that doesn’t come as a great surprise.

—–

190 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
07/2008: Madame Xanadu #2  -- 16,655 (-24.6%)
08/2008: Madame Xanadu #3  -- 13,052 (- 3.3%)
09/2008: Madame Xanadu #4  -- 12,329 (- 5.5%)
10/2008: Madame Xanadu #5  -- 11,392 (- 7.6%)
11/2008: Madame Xanadu #6  -- 12,340 (+ 8.3%)
12/2008: Madame Xanadu #7  -- 10,272 (-16.8%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Madame Xanadu #8  --  9,932 (- 3.3%)
03/2009: Madame Xanadu #9  --  9,798 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Madame Xanadu #10 --  9,664 (- 1.4%)
05/2009: Madame Xanadu #11 -- 10,179 (+ 5.3%)
06/2009: Madame Xanadu #12 --  9,949 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Madame Xanadu #13 -- 10,009 (+ 0.6%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -39.9%

The arc drawn by Michael Wm. Kaluta clings on to the 10K mark.

—–

192 - VIGILANTE
12/2008: Vigilante #1      -- 18,236
01/2009: Vigilante #2      -- 13,855 (-24.0%)
02/2009: Vigilante #3      -- 11,264 (-18.7%)
03/2009: Vigilante #4      -- 11,125 (- 1.2%)
04/2009: Vigilante #5      -- 21,290 (+91.4%)
05/2009: Vigilante #6      -- 18,677 (-12.3%)
06/2009: Vigilante #7      -- 11,483 (-38.5%)
07/2009: Vigilante #8      --  9,942 (-13.4%)
----------------
6 months: -28.2%

Cancelled with issue #12, not surprisingly.

—–

199/201 - GEARS OF WAR (WildStorm)
10/2008: GoW #1  -- 19,718
11/2008: GoW #2  -- 12,964 (-34.3%)
12/2008: GoW #3  -- 12,095 (- 6.7%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: GoW #4  -- 12,864 (+ 6.4%)
03/2009: GoW #5  -- 11,394 (-11.4%)
04/2009: GoW #6  -- 11,506 (+ 1.0%)
05/2009: GoW #7  --  9,955 (-13.5%)
06/2009: --
07/2009: GoW #8  --  9,368 (- 5.9%)
07/2009: GoW #9  --  9,009 (- 3.8%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.

The numbers for this videogame adaptation keep dropping.

—–

202 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
07/2005: Revolution #10 of 12 -- 18,878
07/2007: --
---------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: The Authority v4 #7  -- 10,553 (- 1.1%)
03/2009: The Authority v4 #8  --  9,990 (- 5.3%)
04/2009: The Authority v4 #9  --  9,748 (- 2.4%)
05/2009: The Authority v4 #10 --  9,531 (- 2.2%)
06/2009: The Authority v4 #11 --  9,204 (- 3.4%)
07/2009: The Authority v4 #12 --  8,918 (- 3.1%)
----------------
6 months: -16.4%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years :  n.a.
5 years :  n.a.

The WildStorm Universe flagship title keeps sliding down the chart.

—–

204 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
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%)
02/2008: --
03/2008: Northlanders #15 --  9,443 (- 0.2%)
04/2008: Northlanders #16 --  9,323 (- 1.3%)
05/2008: Northlanders #17 --  9,239 (- 0.9%)
06/2008: Northlanders #18 --  8,877 (- 3.9%)
07/2008: Northlanders #19 --  8,722 (- 1.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.9%
1 year  : -26.8%

Standard attrition.

—–

208 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
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%)
02/2009: Tiny Titans #13 --  8,710 (- 0.3%)
03/2009: Tiny Titans #14 --  8,736 (+ 0.3%)
04/2009: Tiny Titans #15 --  9,207 (+ 5.4%)
05/2009: Tiny Titans #16 --  8,844 (- 3.9%)
06/2009: Tiny Titans #17 --  8,640 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Tiny Titans #18 --  8,576 (- 0.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.8%
1 year  : -19.4%

A Johnny DC book, see small print.

—–

216 - NORTH 40 (WildStorm)
07/2009: North 40 #1 of 6 -- 8,163

North 40 is WildStorm’s latest creator-owned title. It starts out with considerably better numbers than Mysterius or Killapalooza (or Vertigo’s Bang! Tango, for that matter), but that’s damning with faint praise.

—–

220 - THE SPIRIT
07/2007: The Spirit #8     -- 21,984
------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: The Spirit #26    --  9,405 (- 1.8%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: The Spirit #27    --  8,785 (- 6.6%)
05/2009: The Spirit #28    --  8,329 (- 5.2%)
06/2009: The Spirit #29    --  8,273 (- 0.7%)
06/2009: The Spirit #30    --  8,103 (- 2.1%)
07/2009: The Spirit #31    --  7,882 (- 2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -17.7%
1 year  : -38.0%
2 years : -64.2%

Cancelled with issue #32.

—–

224 - DMZ (Vertigo)
07/2006: DMZ #9  -- 14,786
07/2007: DMZ #21 -- 12,433
--------------------------
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%)
02/2009: DMZ #39 --  8,353 (-1.2%)
03/2009: DMZ #40 --  8,167 (-2.2%)
04/2009: DMZ #41 --  8,061 (-1.3%)
05/2009: --  
06/2009: DMZ #42 --  7,927 (-1.7%)
07/2009: DMZ #43 --  7,806 (-1.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.7%
1 year  : -19.4%
2 years : -37.2%

Standard attrition.

—–

232 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
07/2004: Version 3.0 #23 -- 13,481
07/2007: --
----------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: World's End #8  --  9,040 (- 5.2%)
03/2009: World's End #9  --  8,758 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: World's End #10 --  8,460 (- 3.4%)
05/2009: World's End #11 --  8,165 (- 3.5%)
06/2009: World's End #12 --  7,863 (- 3.7%)
07/2009: World's End #13 --  7,609 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: -20.2%
1 year  : -55.0%
2 years :  n.a.
5 years : -43.6%

No trend reversals in sight for this WildStorm Universe series, either.

—–

234 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
07/2004: Batman Adventures #16 -- 12,328
07/2005: Batman Strikes! #11   --  9,796
07/2006: Batman Strikes! #23   --  8,154
07/2007: Batman Strikes! #35   --  7,222
----------------------------------------
07/2008: Batman Strikes! #47   --  7,711 (+  8.3%)
08/2008: Batman Strikes! #48   --  6,702 (- 13.1%)
09/2008: Batman Strikes! #49   --  6,387 (-  4.7%)
10/2008: Batman Strikes! #50   --  6,413 (+  0.4%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: --
01/2009: Brave & Bold #1       -- 13,935 (+117.3%)
02/2009: Brave & Bold #2       --  8,678 (- 37.7%)
03/2009: Brave & Bold #3       --  8,184 (-  5.7%)
04/2009: Brave & Bold #4       --  8,381 (+  2.4%)
05/2009: Brave & Bold #5       --  7,994 (-  4.6%)
06/2009: Brave & Bold #6       --  7,614 (-  4.8%)
07/2009: Brave & Bold #7       --  7,441 (-  2.3%)
----------------
6 months: -46.6%
1 year  : - 3.5%
2 years : + 3.0%
5 years : -39.6%

A Johnny DC title. See small print.

—–

237 - 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%)
02/2009: Unknown Soldier #5  --  8,348 (- 4.2%)
03/2009: Unknown Soldier #6  --  8,177 (- 2.1%)
04/2009: Unknown Soldier #7  --  8,631 (+ 5.6%)
05/2009: Unknown Soldier #8  --  7,705 (-10.7%)
06/2009: Unknown Soldier #9  --  7,586 (- 1.6%)
07/2009: Unknown Soldier #10 --  7,256 (- 4.4%)
----------------
6 months: -16.7%
240 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
07/2007: Scalped #7  --  8,303
------------------------------
07/2008: Scalped #19 --  7,221 (+ 2.9%)
08/2008: Scalped #20 --  7,034 (- 2.6%)
09/2008: Scalped #21 --  7,029 (- 0.1%)
10/2008: Scalped #22 --  6,964 (- 0.9%)
11/2008: Scalped #23 --  6,910 (- 0.8%)
12/2008: Scalped #24 --  6,777 (- 1.9%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Scalped #25 --  6,887 (+ 1.6%)
03/2009: Scalped #26 --  6,866 (- 0.3%)
04/2009: Scalped #27 --  6,950 (+ 1.2%)
04/2009: Scalped #28 --  6,860 (- 1.3%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Scalped #29 --  7,078 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Scalped #30 --  7,059 (- 0.3%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : - 2.2%
2 years : -15.0%
244 - 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%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: Air #7  -- 10,290 (+35.3%)
04/2009: Air #8  --  7,216 (-29.9%)
05/2009: Air #9  --  7,115 (- 1.4%)
06/2009: Air #10 --  6,954 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Air #11 --  6,793 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months: -10.7%

The three lowest-selling remaining Vertigo periodicals: Scalped has been sticking to the 7,000 unit mark for well over a year now, which may not look like much, but is still remarkable; and Unknown Soldier and Air keep slipping down the charts more or less steadily.

—–

245 - BILLY BATSON & THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM (Johnny DC)
07/2008: Billy Batson #1  -- 20,340
08/2008: --
09/2008: Billy Batson #2  -- 12,363 (-39.2%)
10/2008: --
11/2008: --
12/2008: Billy Batson #3  --  9,852 (-20.3%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Billy Batson #4  --  8,470 (-14.0%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Billy Batson #5  --  7,869 (- 7.1%)
07/2009: Billy Batson #6  --  6,771 (-14.0%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -66.7%

Another Johnny DC book.

—–

250 - THE MIGHTY
02/2009: The Mighty #1  --  17,956
03/2009: The Mighty #2  --  10,624 (-40.8%)
04/2009: The Mighty #3  --   8,777 (-17.4%)
05/2009: The Mighty #4  --   7,565 (-13.8%)
06/2009: The Mighty #5  --   7,104 (- 6.1%)
07/2009: The Mighty #6  --   6,660 (- 6.3%)

A creator-owned book published in the DC Universe line drawing disastrous numbers.

—–

269 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
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%)
02/2009: Super Friends #12 --  5,394 (- 1.9%)
03/2009: Super Friends #13 --  5,387 (- 0.1%)
04/2009: Super Friends #14 --  5,792 (+ 7.5%)
05/2009: Super Friends #15 --  5,513 (- 4.8%)
06/2009: Super Friends #16 --  5,548 (+ 0.6%)
07/2009: Super Friends #17 --  5,368 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.4%
1 year  : -24.8%

Johnny DC.

—–

271 - YOUNG LIARS (Vertigo)
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%)
02/2009: Young Liars #12 --  5,820 (- 4.3%)
03/2009: Young Liars #13 --  5,735 (- 1.5%)
04/2009: Young Liars #14 --  5,698 (- 0.7%)
05/2009: Young Liars #15 --  5,518 (- 3.2%)
06/2009: Young Liars #16 --  5,374 (- 2.6%)
07/2009: Young Liars #17 --  5,326 (- 0.9%)
----------------
6 months: -12.4%
1 year  : -34.8%

Cancelled with issue #18.

—–

274 - STORMWATCH: PHD (WildStorm)
07/2007: StormWatch: PHD #9  -- 11,419
--------------------------------------
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%)
02/2009: StormWatch: PHD #19 --  5,708 (- 5.3%)
03/2009: StormWatch: PHD #20 --  5,555 (- 2.7%)
04/2009: --
05/2009: StormWatch: PHD #21 --  5,370 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: --
07/2009: StormWatch: PHD #22 --  5,090 (- 5.2%)
----------------
6 months: -15.6%
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -55.4%
5 years :  n.a.

This WildStorm Universe book keeps lurching on bimonthly.

—–

287 - DEAD ROMEO
0 /2009: Dead Romeo #1 of 6 --  9,439
0 /2009: Dead Romeo #2 of 6 --  6,155 (-34.8%)
06/2009: Dead Romeo #3 of 6 --  5,068 (-17.7%)
07/2009: Dead Romeo #4 of 6 --  4,417 (-12.9%)

Terrible sales, particularly for something sold under the DC Universe banner.

—–

297 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
07/2004: Scooby Doo #86  -- 5,536
07/2005: Scooby Doo #98  -- 4,666
07/2006: Scooby Doo #110 -- 4,781
07/2007: Scooby Doo #122 -- 4,424
---------------------------------
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
02/2009: Scooby Doo #141 -- 3,861 (+ 1.6%)
03/2009: Scooby Doo #142 -- 3,863 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Scooby Doo #143 -- 4,610 (+19.3%)
05/2009: Scooby Doo #144 -- 4,062 (-11.9%)
06/2009: Scooby Doo #145 -- 4,093 (+ 0.8%)
07/2009: Scooby Doo #146 -- 4,110 (+ 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: + 8.2%
1 year  : - 4.1%
2 years : - 7.1%
5 years : -25.8%

And another Johnny DC book.

—–

N/A - FREE REALMS (WildStorm)
07/2009: Free Realms #1  of 12 -- ?
N/A - KILLAPALOOZA (WildStorm)
05/2009: Killapalooza #1 of 6 --  7,031
06/2009: Killapalooza #2 of 6 --  4,316 (-38.6%)
07/2009: Killapalooza #3 of 6 --  ?
N/A - PROTOTYPE (WildStorm)
04/2009: Prototype #1 of 6 -- 8,871
05/2009: Prototype #2 of 6 -- 4,906 (-44.7%)
06/2009: Prototype #3 of 6 -- 4,259 (-13.2%)
07/2009: Prototype #4 of 6 -- ?
N/A - BANG! TANGO (Vertigo)
02/2009: Bang! Tango #1 of 6 --  6,743
03/2009: Bang! Tango #2 of 6 --  4,539 (-32.7%)
04/2009: Bang! Tango #3 of 6 --  3,847 (-15.3%)
05/2009: Bang! Tango #4 of 6 --  3,448 (-10.4%)
06/2009: Bang! Tango #5 of 6 --  3,220 (- 6.6%)
07/2009: Bang! Tango #6 of 6 --  ?

For the sixth time in the year, several Vertigo and WildStorm titles failed to make the Top 300 again in July. Notably, the new series Free Realms, based on a role-playing game, seems to have missed the chart entirely with its debut issue, which to put it mildly, doesn’t bode well for the rest of its planned 12-issue run. (To be fair, Free Realms #1 was solicited at a later date than usual and came out in the last week of July, so there is a possibility that sales – or part of them – slipped into August.)

As usual, for the sake of the averages below, I’m presuming that all of these books sold as many units as the No. 300 title on the chart, which in July means 4,062. Their actual numbers are probably lower.

—–

REORDERS:
197:  9,567 -- Batman and Robin #1
231:  7,664 -- Red Robin #1
246:  6,765 -- Detective Comics #854
296:  4,166 -- The Unwritten #1
6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 90.3%: Gotham City Sirens
+ 86.0%: Green Lantern Corps
+ 79.9%: Red Robin
+ 63.4%: Green Lantern
+ 22.5%: Titans
+ 14.3%: Batman
+ 11.0%: Jack of Fables
+  8.2%: Scooby-Doo
+  8.0%: Detective Comics
+  7.5%: Jonah Hex
-  0.8%: Fables
-  1.8%: Tiny Titans
-  2.2%: Secret Six
-  2.4%: Super Friends
-  3.6%: Supergirl
-  4.7%: Hellblazer
-  6.3%: Batman Confidential
-  7.6%: Wonder Woman
-  7.7%: DMZ
-  7.9%: Northlanders
- 10.7%: Air
- 12.0%: Booster Gold
- 12.4%: Young Liars
- 12.9%: Brave & Bold
- 13.6%: Teen Titans
- 14.1%: House of Mystery
- 15.6%: StormWatch
- 15.6%: World of WarCraft
- 15.8%: Green Arrow
- 16.3%: JSA
- 16.4%: Authority
- 16.7%: Unknown Soldier
- 17.7%: Spirit
- 18.3%: JLA
- 18.6%: Superman
- 20.2%: Wildcats
- 26.2%: Action Comics
- 28.2%: Vigilante
- 46.6%: Batman: Brave & Bold

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 83.2%: Gotham City Sirens
+ 78.8%: Green Lantern Corps
+ 68.1%: Green Lantern
+ 14.0%: Supergirl
-  2.2%: Scalped
-  3.5%: Batman: Brave & Bold
-  4.1%: Scooby-Doo
-  4.3%: Red Robin
-  7.1%: Fables
- 11.0%: Hellblazer
- 11.9%: Jonah Hex
- 15.0%: Detective Comics
- 17.2%: Superman
- 17.5%: Wonder Woman
- 19.4%: DMZ
- 19.4%: Tiny Titans
- 19.6%: Batman
- 22.4%: Action Comics
- 23.2%: Batman Confidential
- 24.8%: Super Friends
- 26.8%: Northlanders
- 29.0%: JLA
- 29.3%: Outsiders
- 30.5%: Green Arrow
- 30.6%: Teen Titans
- 32.0%: JSA
- 34.8%: Young Liars
- 34.9%: Booster Gold
- 35.0%: Brave & Bold
- 35.9%: House of Mystery
- 37.4%: Superman/Batman
- 38.0%: Spirit
- 39.9%: Madame Xanadu
- 43.0%: WoW
- 55.0%: Wildcats
- 66.7%: Billy Batson

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 81.6%: Green Lantern Corps
+ 41.0%: Gotham City Sirens
+ 30.9%: Green Lantern
+ 15.5%: Detective Comics
+  3.0%: Batman: Brave & Bold
-  0.9%: Batman
-  1.2%: Red Robin
-  7.1%: Scooby-Doo
- 12.3%: Fables
- 15.0%: Scalped
- 17.9%: Hellblazer
- 20.0%: Jonah Hex
- 24.3%: Superman
- 26.5%: Outsiders
- 32.4%: Supergirl
- 37.2%: DMZ
- 39.6%: Action Comics
- 40.4%: Batman Confidential
- 40.6%: Green Arrow
- 42.2%: JSA
- 43.1%: Wonder Woman
- 43.3%: Superman/Batman
- 47.7%: Teen Titans
- 52.0%: JLA
- 55.4%: StormWatch
- 60.7%: Brave & Bold
- 64.2%: Spirit

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+201.6%: Green Lantern
+ 81.6%: Green Lantern Corps
+ 66.3%: Detective Comics
+ 38.5%: Red Robin
+ 24.3%: Gotham City Sirens
+ 23.5%: JSA
+ 20.3%: Batman
+  7.5%: Wonder Woman
-  7.9%: JLA
- 10.7%: Fables
- 15.2%: Action Comics
- 25.8%: Scooby-Doo
- 27.2%: Hellblazer
- 37.0%: Green Arrow
- 39.6%: Batman: Brave & Bold
- 42.0%: Outsiders
- 43.6%: Wildcats
- 52.8%: Teen Titans
- 71.6%: Superman
- 73.3%: Superman/Batman

—–

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

DC COMICS
07/2004: 30,542
07/2005: 36,375
07/2006: 41,406
07/2007: 35,617
---------------
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%)
02/2009: 23,080 (- 4.9%)
03/2009: 21,792 (- 5.6%)
04/2009: 27,373 (+25.6%)**
05/2009: 24,386 (-10.9%)
06/2009: 25,880 (+ 6.1%)**
07/2009: 30,905 (+19.4%)**
----------------
6 months: +27.3%
1 year  : +12.6%
2 years : -13.2%
5 years : + 1.2%
DC UNIVERSE
07/2004: 34,975
07/2005: 45,385
07/2006: 51,714
07/2007: 49,149
---------------
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%)
02/2009: 30,224 (- 7.6%)
03/2009: 31,336 (+ 3.7%)
04/2009: 38,150 (+21.8%)
05/2009: 33,163 (-13.1%)
06/2009: 36,329 (+ 9.6%)
07/2009: 41,218 (+13.9%)
----------------
6 months: +26.0%
1 year  : +15.3%
2 years : -16.1%
5 years : +17.9%
VERTIGO
07/2004: 18,107
07/2005: 16,641
07/2006: 16,684
07/2007: 12,193
---------------
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%)
02/2009: 11,353 (+ 3.4%)
03/2009: 10,177 (-10.4%)
04/2009: 10,767 (+ 5.8%)
05/2009: 12,918 (+20.0%)
06/2009: 11,166 (-13.6%)
07/2009: 11,055 (- 1.0%)**
----------------
6 months: + 0.7%
1 year  : + 2.2%
2 years : - 9.3%
5 years : -39.0%
WILDSTORM
07/2004: 17,670
07/2005: 15,134
07/2006: 12,778
07/2007: 11,234
---------------
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%)
02/2009:  8,019 (+17.1%)
03/2009:  8,954 (+11.7%)
04/2009:  8,277 (- 7.6%)**
05/2009:  8,579 (+ 3.7%)
06/2009:  8,805 (+ 2.6%)**
07/2009:  8,519 (- 3.3%)**
----------------
6 months: +24.4%
1 year  : -13.7%
2 years : -24.2%
5 years : -51.8%

—–
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. I still argue that for getting new characters out there, Action/Superman sales aren’t that bad. DC Entertainment (or whatever it was rebranded as) has a whole has a lot more to gain with 40K people seeing Nightwing/Flamebird or Mon-El/Guardian/Steel/etc. than 55K seeing Superman and Secret Origin should sell quite a few copies when it comes out.

    Granted, if the sales keep slipping, I’m not sure how long that’s true for.

  2. ” FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: ESCAPE” I’m quite enjoying this but you can tell from the first issue and the structure that it’s a story that will read far better as a trade.

  3. Unwritten triples the price on #2 ($2.99), and loses 10,000 readers. The story is strong enough to generate positive word-of-mouth, but true success will be seen when the trade collection is issued.

    While consumers think of it as a 16-page newsprint comic, economically it is actually a 64-page comic book, selling for $3.99. If DC can make money selling a 64-page newsprint comic for $3.99, then they could probably sell a 32-page newsprint comic for $2.99 (Johnny DC = $2.50). Would fans care?

  4. The irony on the Solomon Grundy book is that the final issue does end up tying in to Blackest Night, but by that point very few people are left reading the book to care.

  5. Wednesday Comics strikes me as a definite niche product and I’m actually surprised it’s initial orders were for 50k. I bet the attrition, once retailers have a chance to guage their customers’ interest, is going to be pretty harsh.

  6. @Torsten – How is it that the Wednesday Comics are economically a 64-page comic book, selling for $3.99?

    I just am not catching on to the logic there is all.

  7. @brandon: Economically it’s a 64-page comic book because each of its 16 pages are 4 times the size of a regular comic book page.

  8. I am disappointed with the Wednesday Comics numbers. In my store it’s among the bestsellers, finishing in the top ten every week. We did hype the hell out of it with flyers and signage and on our website. We also ordered aggressively, knowning that if it bombed I was taking a two or three week hit with FOC. I’m very happy with the sales and hope they repeat this next summer. I have heard that some retailers locally did not order heavy on this item, and due to the experimental nature of the product, I don’t really blame them. Myself and my staff where so excited about the book it was easy to sell.

    Dan Veltre
    Dewey’s Comic City, Madison, NJ

  9. @Dan Radice: I very, VERY much doubt that the writers & artists are working for quadruple their normal page rate. Plus there are other cost-cutting measures, like not having an actual cover.

  10. I hope that the declining numbers for the Superman books will be perceived by the “Powers That Be” at the new DC Entertainment that the current story lines were a mistake. I was a regular consumer of Superman, Action and Supergirl until the “World of New Krypton” started. I did not like that whole storyline and ended up dropping all of the Superman books. I wish they would publish a book that just had Superman being Superman.

    I have noticed that some of the most entertaining comics to have come out recently are the Marvel Adventure Avengers and Marvel Super Heroes comics. They are fun takes on the iconic characters and there are no continuity issues to distract from the fun. I know those books have terrible sales in the Direct Market (4,000 to 5,000 per month), but I have really grown to prefer them over the regular Marvel universe. Even though the Marvel Adventure comics are appropriate for “all ages,” they don’t seem to aimed at only 10 year old readers.

    I’d love to see DC Entertainment try to publish a line of comics similar to the Marvel Adventure line, somewhat like the various DC Animated Universe comic series that used to be published, but not tied so clearly to the DCAU. Even though they probably wouldn’t sell great in the Direct Market, it would nice to have some Superman and Batman comics that did not involve crossovers or require knowledge of years of continuity to enjoy.

  11. FC: Escape is one of the most underrated DC books out there right now. Though it got such a bad reception from the knuckledraggers that I worry that orders will drop off even worse come issue 4 whose solicitation corresponds with the 1st issue’s ship date.

    And I still think Wednesday Comics did okay by DC’s point of view. Someone else had said that they were expecting a ‘niche’ sales level and that’s exactly what they got if not better. Though I’ll be interested to see what numbers look like for the third month’s sales.

  12. For the talent and the markerting, Wednesday Comics has to be considered a bust. It’s sad it busted, but it was never really clear what DC was aiming for with it. Were they trying to attract new readers, were they trying to reward the hardcore comics crowd?

    Anyway, overall, a strong July due to Blackest Night. I’ll be interested to see how that plays out.

  13. I still don’t get why Gotham City Sirens is being compared to Birds of Prey when they have nothing to do with each other.

    Catwoman had her own book and now stars in Sirens. That’s a valid comparison.

    Oracle starred in BoP and is now a key player in the new Batgirl series — which, not coincidentally, was explicitly teased from the Oracle mini.

    The only common denominator is BoP and Sirens each star groups of women. To compare them solely on those grounds is sexist.

    Please. Get it right.

  14. WEDNESDAY COMICS’ continued slide down the charts is utterly baffling. How in the world can a book that consistently sells out in large shops =before= =lunch= each Wednesday keep shedding sales? Are shop managers wiping their brows and breathing sighs of relief that they’ve managed to sell this piece of oddness yet again, then cutting their numbers and hoping they can pull one over on the suckers next time around?

    This is what’s gonna kill the DM. Not any changes in corporate structures, not the alleged crowding-out of new readers. This treatment by the retailers of any project that doesn’t fit into a neat little box as absolutely radioactive, no matter what its sell-through percentage, no matter how much clamor exists for re-orders, is absolutely driving a regression to the mean where nothing but the tried-and-true gets cleared.

    I’ll reiterate: this is a book that is selling out on Wednesday mornings. In an environment where a given issue is considered a success if it moves within three months. And retailers are trying to kill it all the same. It’s business suicide.

  15. YKW, all four of these issues were ordered before retailers saw how issue one was going to sell. So maybe dial back the “retailers are fools!” rhetoric a bit and realize that maybe a well-intentioned conservatism in ordering (based on Solo, a not-dissimilar product) is evident in these first weeks?

    Everyone’s guessing that the orders are going to drop next month. I don’t think so. I know that for my part, I was interested but cautious (again, I loved Solo but it was hard as hell to sell to most of my customers) and ordered lighter than I should have with the first three issues. I scrambled to bump the numbers up, and by the time we figured out where the level was, we were more than double, almost triple, the numbers we had initially assumed. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case in a number of markets, as retailers saw a book they expected to have to hand-sell the hell out of flying off the shelves with nothing more than the usually unreliable buzz on the Internet.

    Also… is 50K (and we must remember these numbers are rounded off and often reported as a touch low, and that this doesn’t include the second print numbers) disappointing for a $3.99 newsprint comic? One that sounded like a niche product aimed at folks with nostalgia for newspaper Sunday funnies? I don’t think so. I can’t imagine DC thought this book was going to settle in the top 20, and given the reaction it got in San Diego (well after the first numbers had come into DC corporate) I think it’s safe to say that these numbers, while not up there with Blackest Night and other gigantic events, are probably being received pretty well. After all, at San Diego and other Cons, several DC folks were talking quite loudly about what was going to be in the next set, which doesn’t sound like the reaction of folks who were disappointed with the early sales reports.

  16. “Wednesday Comics #1 & #2 had second printings. Are those numbers included here?”

    The reprints didn’t come out until the end of August, so they’re not included in the July numbers. Issues #1, #3 and #4 show up again on the August chart, however, so I think it’s a fair guess that the August sales of #1 include a portion of the reprint edition.

  17. “The only common denominator is BoP and Sirens each star groups of women.”

    Groups of Batman-related women, based in Gotham City, one title supplanting the other in the publishing line-up. Good enough for me.

  18. To ykw and everyone else who is assuming that their experience can be applied to every area, might I suggest that that is not necessarily the case?

    My area of Southern California seems to be swamped with Wednesday Comics. My two nearest lcs’ have both bundled the first several issues and are trying to sell them at 50% off and still have more than a few bundles remaining if you or anyone else is interested. Both stores look to have ordered optimistically and have been left with dozens of unsold copies. My most regular lcs placed Wednesday Comics at the front, right by the register, as well as on the stands in the “W”s.

    Who here is advocating that stores should not cut back on a product that they clearly over ordered on?

  19. I know that there is often a disconnect between sales and quality, but I can’t help thinking of the latter when reading some of the comments within the article as to why some series are struggling.

    For example, I saw the previews of both Greek Street and The Unwritten. The Unwritten looked appealing to me, while Greek Street did not. That is only my opinion, but if enough other people did happen to share my opinion then perhaps that helped to account for why one of the $1 titles has done noticeably better than the other.

    Might the material itself sometimes be more of a factor on sales than the promotional program?

  20. For what it’s worth, I pre-ordered WEDNESDAY COMICS and to be honest, I found it a rather dull and worthy exercise in format nostalgia, to the point where the issues are now piling up unread, and I’m trying to summon up the will-power to actually plough through them. I’ve paid for them now, and I suppose I’d better see whether it picks up, but to be honest I’m really not looking forward to it.

  21. “…at San Diego and other Cons, several DC folks were talking quite loudly about what was going to be in the next set…”

    This piece of information just made my day! Didio said a second round was under consideration, but that sounds like a confirmation. Thank you for that, Randy!

    Wednesday Comics is the best thing to happen to comics in years, it is absolutely brilliant both in concept and in execution. I was pleasantly surprised by its numbers, since I also expected ‘niche sales’, instead of outselling Superman and Titans!

  22. “My two nearest lcs’ have both bundled the first several issues and are trying to sell them at 50% off and still have more than a few bundles remaining if you or anyone else is interested.”

    They clearly aren’t trying very hard, then. eBay resellers aren’t having much trouble moving bundles of the first four issues slightly above combined cover price (plus s/h), while complete runs are moving briskly with several resellers at forty bucks a pop (or more than ten bucks over what you’d have paid for it at, say, DCBS).

    Sounds like there’s a good deal of demand for these books that isn’t being met in the LCSes of the land, your two-store local experience notwithstanding.

  23. “For what it’s worth, I pre-ordered WEDNESDAY COMICS and to be honest, I found it a rather dull and worthy exercise in format nostalgia, to the point where the issues are now piling up unread, and I’m trying to summon up the will-power to actually plough through them.”

    Completely agree, for what it’s worth. If I’d known the book was newsprint, I wouldn’t have bought it, for one thing.

    For another, it’s a complete creative failure. The only strips developing characters and scenarios in a way that’s compelling and suits the format at all are “Batman” and “The Flash.” The “Wonder Woman” strip arguably tries to do something innovative, but fails completely; the panels are often microscopic and confused, the coloring doesn’t agree with the paper at all and the font takes far too much effort to decipher.

    A lot of the other strips certainly LOOK great, which is no surprise given the participation of people like Sook, Pope, Baker or Allred, but the stories are frustratingly dull and uninspired. I was hoping they’d seize the opportunity to do something innovative, but instead the highest ambition of most of the creators seems to have been to do a bunch of throwaway nostalgic riffs on newspaper strips — and most don’t even manage that much.

    It’s a wasted opportunity and, frankly, not worth the money.

  24. Well, the August numbers are out, so let’s add those in for Wednesday Comics, shall we?

    36/43/52/58 – WEDNESDAY COMICS
    07/2009: Wednesday Comics #1 of 12 — 47,980 [+3,834]
    07/2009: Wednesday Comics #2 of 12 — 42,382 (-11.7%)
    07/2009: Wednesday Comics #3 of 12 — 39,050 (- 7.9%) [+3,373]
    07/2009: Wednesday Comics #4 of 12 — 36,143 (- 7.4%) [+4,643]
    08/2009: Wednesday Comics #5 of 12 — 38,657 (+ 6.9%)
    08/2009: Wednesday Comics #6 of 12 — 37,803 (- 2.2%)
    08/2009: Wednesday Comics #7 of 12 — 36,783 (- 2.6%)
    08/2009: Wednesday Comics #8 of 12 — 35,970 (- 2.2%)

    First week sales between issue #4 and #8 dropped a measly 173 copies, and reorders for the first 4 issues were somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% of the initial numbers. That certainly doesn’t sound like a failure to me.

  25. “Completely agree, for what it’s worth. If I’d known the book was newsprint, I wouldn’t have bought it, for one thing.”

    Which shows a complete lack of understanding of the print processes involved: if any other sort of paper stock was used, then there would have been visible crease lines on the folds, whereas newsprint doesn’t have hard creases, which enables the full use of the larger page format. As an example of what the Wednesday Comics would have looked at had it been printed on coated stock, may I suggest you seek out the old, free Dark Horse Extra, where each comic had to be formatted to fit the folds of the page.

    “For another, it’s a complete creative failure”

    “A lot of the other strips certainly LOOK great,”

    Firstly, aren’t these mutually exclusive? Secondly, for all the supposed ‘nostalgic’ riffs on old newspaper strips, maybe another way of looking at the Wednesday Comics is to see what techniques can be taken from old newspaper comics that have been rendered obsolete by the traditional comic book format over the past forty years in light of the eventual move to digital format, which will open up possibilities in page design and story telling.

    If digital/online comics are the future then traditional formatting of comics will need to be abandoned, both in layout and frequency, and the adoption of other methods will be needed. The format of the Wednesday Comics reads to me as a loss leading experiment by DC in this direction and, far from being a ‘nostalgic’ look at old comics should be congratulated for attempting something different.

  26. @ Jason Green, Thanks so much, that’s great. Now, if you can do that for another 75 or so titles, we can post the August article early!! ;)

  27. I bought BLACKEST NIGHT #1 and went “Bleah!” It read like an attempt to do a superhero version of a cheap zombie flick, in which the excitement is based on seeing who dies and becomes a zombie. Kirk Warren’s review of B.N. #2 at http://www.weeklycrisis.com confirmed my suspicions. Did I miss some deeper elements in the storyline that would make future issues worth getting?

    Moods as colors

    From what I’ve seen, the various versions of the Green Lanterns’ rings are an attempt to base powers on mood rings (see the chart above). Am I being overly cynical?

    Firstly, aren’t these mutually exclusive?

    No, art can look nice, even great, and still be empty of meaning if the writing is deficient.

    I’ve been buying WEDNESDAY COMICS out of a desire to buy something from DC, since the Marvel Universe has become a wasteland, but, like others, there’s hardly anything in there that I have a desire to read. The storyline that’s worked the best in terms of pacing, etc., seems to be DiDio’s METAL MEN, but that’s superheroes written for preteens. Perhaps the shortness of the installments hampers the storytelling.

    SRS

  28. I have a hard time accepting that Wednesday Comics is a creative failure. Sure, some of the strips are uninspired but most of them are excellent, particularly the ones not tied into any form of DCU continuity at all. I’ve never read a Barry Allen Flash comic as interesting as this one. Ditto Kamandi. Paul Pope’s Strange Adventures is so good I wish it would be picked up as a monthly.

    I think the sales are right where they should be for an experiment of this kind. It has gotten people talking about comics again. It brought me back into my local LCS after a long lay-off and now has me sampling other titles. What matters most now is how it will be collected.

  29. I bought (into) Wednesday Comics for the first 4 issues, then gave up. There was not enough progress in the stories from week to week to satisfy me; it gave me the feeling that stories were getting padded out in order to stretch them to last 12 issues.

    Too bad that I was left with that impression, because I still think the format and the basic concept is strong, and could be used as a low cost reprint vehicle, or an all in one, à la Spirit section, etc.

    I feel the price point was too high, that it should have retailed for $2.49 or max $2.99

    Also, I think that the strip creators need to do full size newsprint mockups and present them to focus groups to see if people can actually read these things before they print them.

  30. Speaking as someone with little affection for Kirby’s post-Marvel output, the Kamandi strip by Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook has been a rip-roaring adventure that, yes, is essentially a pastiche of the Hal Foster/Alex Raymond glory days…but WOW! Could I actually be pining for an ongoing Kamandi series from Gibbons and Sook? I….I think I am!

    Across the board, I enjoy the artwork (though not a big fan of Paul Pope…I know…heresy in these parts), but the writing just isn’t doing it for me. Few of the writers seemed to understand the unique form and pacing of newspaper comics, which made for some very wordy and clunky experiences.

    A noble experiment, but I think a stronger editorial vision would have prevented the random, “ad hoc” feel of the project.

  31. Dave: Would that I had that much free time! =^p

    More food for thought, here’s Trinity’s first 8 issues:

    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%)

    …and 52’s first 8 issues…

    05/2006: 52 Week 1 — 140,971 [143,611]
    05/2006: 52 Week 2 — 128,393 (- 8.9%) [130,704]
    05/2006: 52 Week 3 — 123,982 (- 3.4%) [126,913]
    05/2006: 52 Week 4 — 121,440 (- 2.1%) [125,297]
    06/2006: 52 Week 5 — 111,895 (- 7.9%)
    06/2006: 52 Week 6 — 110,028 (- 1.7%) [111,732]
    06/2006: 52 Week 7 — 110,188 (+ 0.2%) [112,618]
    06/2006: 52 Week 8 — 105,107 (- 4.6%) [108,775]

    Comparing first month sales…
    52 #1 vs. #8: -25.4%
    Trinity #1 vs. #8: -27.1%
    Wednesday Comics #1 vs. #8: -25.0%

    All fairly comparable drops. But then compare #4 to #8…

    52 #4 vs. #8: -13.4%
    Trinity #4 vs. #8: -12.6%
    Wednesday Comics #4 vs. #8: 0.5%

    And compare the amount of reorders that made the charts for the first issue of each…

    52 #1: 2640 copies, +1.9% of total
    Trinity #1: 0
    Wednesday Comics #1: 3834 copies, +8.0% of total

    …and it looks like Wednesday Comics, besides having less overall sales, has more “legs” than its two weekly predecessors.

  32. I suspect Wednesday Comics would have sold substantially better if it had been priced at $2.99. It seems the extra dollar plus the lack of collectability that comes with printing on newsprint was a deal-breaker for a lot of people, even though I don’t think it should be (it certainly takes longer to read than a normal comic, or even a $3.99 one).

    It was an experiment, so I don’t think it’s surprising that some of the strips didn’t work (notably Wonder Woman, Teen Titans, and Superman). But I think enough of them did work to make it worthwhile, and I hope DC will take another stab at it next summer. I’m not sure if they’d consider these sales reason to do so, or not.

  33. “Which shows a complete lack of understanding of the print processes involved:”

    Or a complete lack of interest in paying $ 50 for a pile of flabby throwaway rags that have ALL KINDS of creases once I’m through with them.

    Even the few stories I’m enjoying (“Batman” and “Flash” and, at least visually, some of the other material), I doubt I’m ever going to touch again in this format.

    “Firstly, aren’t these mutually exclusive?”

    Not at all. Comics are a storytelling medium, so if the pretty pictures aren’t in the service of a compelling narrative with intriguing characters, something’s missing. In WEDNESDAY COMICS, a lot is missing.

  34. “I still argue that for getting new characters out there, Action/Superman sales aren’t that bad. DC Entertainment has a whole has a lot more to gain with 40K people seeing Nightwing/Flamebird or Mon-El/Guardian/Steel/etc. than 55K seeing Superman”

    Maybe if the characters were good or had some sort of compelling elements but they’re not. They are derivative, rehashed concepts.

    Flamebird and Nightwing, in addition to having terrible names, have ugly costumes and a convoluted backstory that makes them nothing but supporting players to Superman. Same with Mon-El really. Guardian is a rehash and a clone, and no where as interesting as the Seven Soldiers version. As for Steel, I think Warners got all they’re going to get out of him 12 years ago.

    The idea of replacing Superman with other characters while he’s gone isn’t bad, thats basically what 52 was. However the characters they’re replaced him with, while also tying them into a single over-arching story was the wrong move.

  35. “Flamebird and Nightwing, in addition to having terrible names, have ugly costumes and a convoluted backstory that makes them nothing but supporting players to Superman.”

    Don’t forget the terribly amateurish artwork on “Action Comics”. Once again, DC utterly confounds me by assigning “farm team” artists to the titles of their flagship character. To my dying day, I will never understand that mindset. It was already asking a bit much to continue buying books without the lead character (though Ed Brubaker’s Cap-less Captain America proved it was possible), but assigning sub-par artists make it a real deal-breaker.

  36. I noticed a comic featuring Mon-El last week, and I recall the character from my days reading LSH, but –! The logic behind Mon-El serving as a substitute Superman doesn’t work, since he’s from the future, the status of which is determined by preceding events. Affecting his own past produces the usual time travel problems, and supposing that the 31st century exists independently of the 21st eliminates the need to affect events in the past.

    As time travel problems go, though, I suppose the Mon-El problem is no worse than trying to recall what connection Rachel has to the future over in the MU.

    SRS

  37. Brandon… when folded, Wednesday Comics is a 64-page UNCUT comic book. Actually, since the dimensions are Silver-Age size, the page size is a little bit larger than the current Modern Age dimensions.

    Compare the splash-page-only design of Superman #75 to the page designs of Wednesday Comics. At four panels to a page, Superman #75 would amount to six pages of a Wednesday Comics layout.

    DC does publish a kid-friendly line based on their animated properties. It’s called “Johnny DC”, and if you scroll down to the bottom of the sales charts, you’ll see them listed. Not only are they printed monthly, but they get collected into affordable paperbacks as well. (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade)

  38. Hey, wouldn’t it be great if Wednesday Comics was 10 cents, just like old time comics? Betcha they’d sell another 3,000 copies at that price. Also betcha that there would still be complaints about how the stories read and the collectible-ness of it and the quality of the paper for the price and whatever else pissy people are wanting to whine about.

  39. The most puzzling thing about Wednesday Comics to me is that, in a comic publishing world that it tilting towards trades and electronic delivery, who the hell wants to read comics in the newspaper?

  40. chris7, I got the feeling that the Wednesday Comics concept was a hybrid, one pointed at comic collectors, of course, otherwise call it DC Classic or something, instead of referring to “Wednesday” in the title.

    And the list of strips seems like a real attempt to be retro and a throwback to the “innocent” days of DC Silver Age stories.

    Of course, are the Silver Age comic readers still going to Direct Market comic shops at all, let alone each Wednesday. And are they going to want to read the adventures of Supergirl chasing a cat, and Flash appearing and reappearing in the same room for 12 weeks?

    Most likely the young comic readers of today could care less about their dad’s Silver Age comic heroes as they battle bank robbers and Nazis. They prefer dark, grim stories of superheroes who are tormented by psychosis, ha ha.

    And yes, they want to read them on their ipods, not as printed with ink on newsprint.

  41. There are many people who prefer tactile media to digital. If anything, print and digital will have to co-exist in a many similar to the dominant MP3 and the niched vinyl LP. There will always be an audience for books, comics, etc, who will be willing to pay for the privilege.

  42. Okay I will be the nerd to explain Mon-El.

    Originally, Mon-El was a character in Superboy, who showed up in Smallville in a rocket with a note from Jor-El, so Supes thought he was his long-lost older brother (hence the name). Turns out that Mon-El visited Krypton from Daxam and then ended up on Earth later. The lead poisoning kicked in on Earth and Supes put Mon-El in the Phantom Zone to save his life. THEN, in the 30th century, Brainiac 5 developed a cure, Mon-El left the Phantom Zone after a 1000 years and joined the Legion.

    So, he’s not “from the future,” he’s just in the future. In a way, it’s no different than seeing an immortal character in the present being featured in a story set in the past.

    All that said, I think that Action and Superman are very good reads, thanks mainly to Rucka and JDR being great writers who are often better at writing B and C list characters than the Big Guns.

  43. “Once again, DC utterly confounds me by assigning “farm team” artists to the titles of their flagship character. To my dying day, I will never understand that mindset.”

    I think they ought to do this more often, all the time really. Superman/Batman/etc. will sell over 40K regardless and no matter who you put on them, but they’re not going to sell more than 100K or so. The real money isn’t in the comics but in the licensing and these characters are already out there in the public consciousness. They could never print a Superman comic again and they could still license him 50 years down the line.

    B and C level characters on the other hand need all the support they can get in today’s market. It does DC a lot more good in the long run to put up-and-coming writers and artists on the top-tier characters and the “superstar” writers and artists on books that won’t sell at all on character name value. That way you have your best talent working on the new and underdeveloped characters that wouldn’t be able to sustain a title on their own. All sales sort of gravitate towards the middle, but there’s a whole lot more to gain as an R&D factory for making new and underutilized characters marketable than by selling twenty-thousand more comics to the direct market, no?

    In the meantime, if the up-and-coming writers and artists who are working on the top-tier books do solid work, they’re likely to get some buzz as they’ll be seen by more eyes than they would have been working on El Diablo or REBELS and they can be transitioned off to lower-level books once they make a name for themselves.

    I doubt it’d make the talent as happy as it’s sort of counter-intuitive on some level, but hey, that’s how I’d run my armchair corporate comics.

  44. “All sales sort of gravitate towards the middle, but there’s a whole lot more to gain as an R&D factory for making new and underutilized characters marketable than by selling twenty-thousand more comics to the direct market, no?”

    Given the changes in management at both Marvel and DC, perhaps now would be a good time to push for decent creator-participation deals. Surely, that would be beneficial to both the companies and the creators.

  45. So, he’s not “from the future,” he’s just in the future.

    That seems reasonable, but there’s still a loop.

    Say I disappeared today, for “n” years without aging, then was freed from my predicament and used a time travel machine to travel back to today, tp pick up where I left off. My presence would still alter events from the moment I reappeared. If I wanted to go back to the future I left, to see friends or whatever, I (logically) couldn’t. That future would no longer exist. From the viewpoint of a person living in the present one second per second, all futures are only potential. The treatment of Mon-El would only work if, upon being freed from the Phantom Zone, he instantly snapped back to the point at which he left — in which case, he’d be doomed, of course.

    I’m sorry if that seems like nitpicking, but there are ways to do time travel stories that work. The STAR TREK reboot works, whether one uses the “many universes” or an alternate timeline approach.

    SRS

  46. BTW, I leafed through BLACKEST NIGHT #3 briefly this afternoon, scanned the last page. . . BLEAH!! I’d rather eat sweet potatoes slathered with Cool Whip.

    SRS

  47. How about that Scalped eh? Gripping 7k ever so tightly! One thing I did notice was DC’s marketshare has been steadily creeping up from 29% to 34%, chipping away at Marvel’s commanding lead. Blackest Night is a monster success for DC, along with the shuffle of the Bat titles. I agree with Morrison that those last pages of Final Crisis should have been omitted. Batman should have “died” to the readers at the end of the series.

  48. “The real money isn’t in the comics but in the licensing and these characters are already out there in the public consciousness. They could never print a Superman comic again and they could still license him 50 years down the line.”

    I wasn’t coming from the big picture of licensing, etc. I was coming at it from a the much smaller “I can’t believe I’m paying this much money for such lousy art” perspective. At the very least, it’s a bizarre decision to make in light of the main character not even appearing in the books. Brubaker’s Cap-less Captain America had top-notch artwork to complement the top-notch writing, but the amateur-hour stuff appearing in Action Comics is an embarrassment….or it SHOULD be.

  49. For What it’s worth, I’ve been feeding the current Superman/Action/Supergirl storylines to my mostly non-comics-reading wife and she’s been loving them. So, clearly, the writers/artists are doing something right. Or something that could be right, if more people read comics to begin with. (And had spouses who could explain things like who Chris Kent is, etc.)

    Also, another vote for “Kamandi” as being fantastic; clearly my favorite strip in Wednesday Comics. (Which I’m a few weeks behind in reading as well.) I think the idea of a “Sunday Comics Section” revival is key to the idea behind WC, so I find strips like Kamandi, Flash, Strange Adventures and even Supergirl a lot more fun and effective than the basically one normal comic book page a week we’re getting from the Batman and Superman strips.

    Finally, Mark-Oliver, did Alan Moore not write Swamp Thing 21 now? Your commentary implies that the only comic he wrote in the “After Watchmen” promotion was Tom Strong 1, so I wasn’t sure… ;-)

  50. Marc-Oliver: “Groups of Batman-related women, based in Gotham City, one title supplanting the other in the publishing line-up. Good enough for me.”

    Hold on there.

    1) BoP had Oracle and Huntress, fine. But Black Canary is not Batman family and neither were Misfit, Lady Blackhawk, Manhunter (regardless of her new status), etc., etc. BoP got away from being strictly a Batbook a long time ago.

    2) The Birds left Gotham a few years ago (but I’m quibbling).

    3) BoP was cancelled the same time Catwoman was. Sirens didn’t necessarily supplant Birds, as you suggest. It was all part of a linewide shake-up.

    4) You’re still leaning on gender, not character. Catwoman is the common thread between her old book and Sirens. Oracle is the common thread between her old book and Batgirl.

    I would wager that readers wanting to read more about Barbara Gordon would pick up Batgirl and those wanting to read more about Selina Kyle would pick up Sirens.

    5) If you’re waiting to compare Batgirl to the previous Batgirl titles, I can see that. But Sirens either should stand on its own or be compared to Catwoman.

    6) I also want to point out again that DC itself pushed the new Batgirl title in the tease at the end of the Oracle mini. “Next: Batgirl #1.” They didn’t tease to Sirens. That should tell you something about how the publisher connects the dots.

    I do enjoy your column tho. I just think you’re wrong on this one.

  51. honestly…wednesday comics was an experiment…and a damn interesting one.

    the numbers are fine…no one is losing a dime and hopefully all you retailers out there did o.k. with them.

    oh, and al…supergirl stops chasing that cat next week…so you can relax. lol…

  52. Is the Mon-El in Superman someone who returned from 31st century to teh present or has he been released (in new continuity) from the Phantom Zone in the present?

    I had assumed it was the latter, but will admit to having already forgotten the answer, even though I read the Superman books.

  53. No one’s talking about how kids are reacting Wednesday Comics! (If they removed the curse words, it would be the perfect Pixar all ages product.)

    My 11 year-old doesn’t read many comics, but he loves Wednesday Comics (with the exception of the confusing Wonder Woman and the repetitious Sgt. Rock – how many weeks does he really need to get beat up?).

    He was unfamiliar with over half the characters, yet reads them all religiously, w/Supergirl being his “fun” favorite (mine too), while Strange Adventures, Superman, Kamandi, and Flash rank as adventure favorites.

    Nothing makes me happier than seeing him laying on the floor, leg kicking in the air, reading an issue of Wednesday Comics that covers half the carpet. Then we start talking about what will happen next week . . .

  54. i think it is time for someone new to take a try with this column
    i think a different perspective would be a nice change pace
    it seems obvious that the current writer has become jaded with doing this for such a long period

  55. This has been touched on very little here, so I’ll chime in: I was looking forward to Wednesday Comics for a number of reasons… until I found out the price was $3.99. SERIOUSLY?? I just can’t believe people aren’t touching more on that outrageous price. That should have been NO MORE than $1.99… the newsprint is fine for what they were doing, but charging that insane amount for that is just inexcusable. By this accounting, an issue of USA Today should run, what, about $16.99 a pop? You think people will buy a $17 dollar newspaper?? Apparently the fine folks at DC would have no trouble with that… let’s hope they never go that direction! But given the current $39.99 for the “DC Classics” books, much less the $24.99 for the thin hardbacks, I guess I should not be surprised by the not-so-subtle greed (read: doing their part to keep the TW shareholders happy) going on there.

    I love me some DC Comics, and have been for a couple of decades now. Yes, I know times are different, but the $4 comic book? Why not $7 for a copy of Batman? Well, it will sell at that price… it’ll drop 20,000 or so readers but what the hell? Given the percentage price-increases today, I guess that’s about where it will go in a year or so. In 20 years, there will be a meeting at Time Warner where a bunch of chowderhead corporate types will be sitting around wondering why no one buys those comic books like in the old days. And why it was so hard to bring in kids (new readers) when they have to pony up $15 a week to buy comics… THREE comics. What kid can afford to go pick up 10 or 15 books a week like we did 15 years ago or so? Hell, what adult can afford to buy that many comics a week??

    “Why did comics die?” they will ask. Sad to say, the people that ask those questions are the same ones that set the prices…

  56. Jonathan,

    “Finally, Mark-Oliver, did Alan Moore not write Swamp Thing 21 now? Your commentary implies that the only comic he wrote in the “After Watchmen” promotion was Tom Strong 1, so I wasn’t sure…”

    I was referring to the bunch of specials that came out in July only.

  57. Dan,

    “BoP was cancelled the same time Catwoman was.”

    Not quite. CATWOMAN ended back in August 2008. BIRDS OF REY was cancelled as part of the recent shake-up, then replaced with the ORACLE series, then replaced with GOTHAM CITY SIRENS.

    “You’re still leaning on gender, not character.”

    Well, so’s DC — or are you suggesting that the terms “birds” and “sirens” are purely coincidental to the fact that the characters happen to be female? What I’m leaning on, more precisely, is gender, as well as the fact that it’s a group consisting of women related to Batman, as well as timing.

    I’m not suggesting it’s the same book, but DC clearly used the recent relaunch of their line to revamp their token Batman-related-chicks title. On that basis, I think it’s fair game to compare the two in terms of their performance.

  58. So an interesting angle I don’t see being mentioned with Wednesday Comics is piracy. Specifically: it is the only non-Johnny DC book that is currently not being pirated at a rapid clip.

    The biggest books in a given week for DC will be scanned and uploaded to the usual pirate sites for free download in about 24 hours. Usually everything DC’s released in a given week is up within 48 hours.

    With Wednesday Comics this has not been the case. The first pirate scan of the book arrived a full week late, and scans for issues 2 through 4 arrived even later. Issues 5 through 7 arrived well over a month after print publication. There are no scans available for issues 8 through 10 yet (to my knowledge).

    I have to wonder if that isn’t factoring into the bump-up for sales in issue 5 and the very soft decline in subsequent issue sales. This is the one major cape book that the audience can’t just go out and download the day after it comes out.

  59. Mark Chiarello said, I believe at the Wednesday Comics panel at SD, that printing it on newsprint was part of the cost, since newsprint is actually “more expensive” than other paper grades these days.

    So, it’s a double whammy for those who aren’t buying because of the price or because it’s on newsprint.

    And I read the Mon-El wiki entry too and decided not to post it, as it made my head hurt.

  60. Mark, Syn, and everyone else wondering about Mon-El:

    He’s been extracted from the Phantom Zone today and hasn’t been there a thousand years yet, met/joined the Legion, etc.

    This makes it even more problematic, because the story has to bend over backwards to make sure he doesn’t get any inkling of his future, which Supes and several DC characters would know, while still being part of the Justice League and having free reign in Metropolis.

    Also, the book is about as boring as watching paint dry and I’ve dropped it, which hurts because I love the character.

  61. This makes it even more problematic, because the story has to bend over backwards to make sure he doesn’t get any inkling of his future, which Supes and several DC characters would know. . .

    That might be an excellent example of why comics are difficult to read. A writer could think that the situation is dramatic — not letting the guy know what’s ahead, lest there be a paradox or other complications — but the character’s continuity is already so impossibly convoluted that he’s just unusable. And the first version of the character was bad. . .

    When situations involving versions of characters arise, I generally argue that the defective versions should be tossed out or ignored. In the case of the Scarlet Witch, for example, the only “real” version of the character is the Lee/Thomas/Englehart. . .Englehart one; the Byrne/Bendis version is grossly defective and unusable. Some writers and editors, though, won’t consider quality; they’ll see all versions as equally valid. And in the case of a “Crisis”-type universal revamp, how does one stay with the good version when the universe is different? Perhaps I’m fortunate in not following DC characters.

    SRS

  62. “the newsprint is fine for what they were doing, but charging that insane amount for that is just inexcusable. By this accounting, an issue of USA Today should run, what, about $16.99 a pop? You think people will buy a $17 dollar newspaper??”

    The economies of Wednesday Comics are going to be different than for USA Today.

    USA Today has a *lot* more advertising within its pages.

    Plus, it has a much higher circulation/printrun, which means that they can get their paper and printing (on a per unit basis) much more cheaply, and charge more per advertisement.

  63. @ TonyC

    “Yes, I know times are different, but the $4 comic book? Why not $7 for a copy of Batman?”

    Clearly you don’t. There’s a not subtle push in comics to move up to $3.99 as a standard price point, and frankly I’d argue the inflation on comics has been much less than the vast majority of other products, especially nonessential ones. Things are more expensive, and the cost of printing has gone up more than many others. That’s just the way it goes. You don’t like it, you don’t *have* to buy it.

    But seriously, you very clearly have no idea of the economics behind comics. The final issue of Wednesday Comics will cost my shop a little over $1.87 US. So Diamond, DC, and EVERY CREATOR INVOLVED get paid out of $1.87 an issue. Minus production costs.

    And before you rattle on about how greedy retailers are, charging twice what they paid, consider that everything from rent to employees salaries is paid pretty much exclusively on these little markups. $2 at a time. And the bigger the store, the higher the rent. And keep in mind, there’s something like a 70% markup on most clothes and a lot of electronics so even percent-wise, that’s not huge.

    There isn’t a whole lot of money in a single comic, so seriously, shut up. You’re spouting off ignorantly because you dislike a price point. Whatever. Don’t buy it. But don’t slap the word greed on people without even the slightest idea of the economics involved. There ISN’T A LOT OF MONEY THERE so they need what they can get. You know, so they can provide JOBS in a RECESSION.

  64. Wow. Brendan. Chill. Hostile much?

    >>>There’s a not subtle push in comics to move up to $3.99 as a standard price point,

    Huh? Which comics are you getting in your shop?… oh wait, you’re saying it’s not SUBTLE… oh, ok. You acknowledge the greed. Good for you.

    I read along with your comments with no problems until that last paragraph. Of course, you don’t know me, but if you did you’d know I don’t spout off “ignorantly”… but that doesn’t stop you from assuming you know everything about me. Now THAT is a mark of ignorance, my hostile friend. So don’t get your fur up when I respond on your level, huh pal?

    I happen to work in the printing business. I know the cost of paper. I know the cost of printing. I know times are incredibly tough for our industry. You are so superior to me you think because you own a shop? FIne. I work in printing, so seriously, shut up. (wow, that’s catchy! thanks) And I’ve also worked retail at a comic book shop. So, seriously, shut up when you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

    Yes, I understand that, gee, DC Comics does not get $3.99 for every Wednesday comic they sell, and they don’t get to pony around that massive windfall for every creator. You speak as if every creator working on this is putting out a full comic book every week. They are doing ONE 12 page story… how much do you think these guys are paid, anyway? And your employees (god help them), well… sorry dude. Times are freakin’ tough, aren’t they? The bigger the store the higher the rent? Wow. Thanks for clearing that one up for me. Perhaps if you can’t afford a bigger store you should just relocate to something you can afford, no?

    And I don’t give a red rat’s azz about the markups on clothes etc… what possible bearing does that have on the discussion at hand? It is what it is for the comics industry… and again, you don’t think $3.99 is going to keep 50,000 readers away from something barely bigger than the (FREE) comic shop news. (and yes, I know they sell ads, thank you all… even so, if newsprint (the price of which, btw, has been going down for the last several months) is so damn costly, why don’t the fine folks at CSN switch on over to that nice glossy paper, since it’s so much cheaper now, according to the man at DC Comics. And inflation on nonessentials is not on the level with comics? Has the price at your local theatre gone up 25% this year? Are cds in your state now going for $20 retail instead of $15? Dvds?? Automobiles? 25% higher there, are they? Huh. I’d suggest you get the hell out of that little pocket of runaway inflation.

    And yes, I also know they work on the “yes, we lose 10,000 readers when we raise the price a dollar but the 30,000 that are left will increase our profits” principal. You think they are SO concerned about these profits because, you know, they are SOOOOO fired up to provide jobs for us fine citizens? And you call ME ignorant? Cheezuz. TW and now Disney… they care about ONE thing, and it ain’t keeping your fine retail establishment going, or really keeping you happy and well-fed. They care about WHAT THEY ARE REPORTING TO THE SHAREHOLDERS. PERIOD. END OF STORY.

  65. A couple of points. First, comics can’t be printed like they were back in the good old days because the old four-color drum printers that they used then have been replaced by modern printers that act more like a Xerox machine.

    Those old printers, which were designed to work easily on the old newsprint, really couldn’t be used on the slicker paper that came in with the late eighties. If you can remember, that’s when newspapers started adding color photos, and USA Today appeared on your newsstands. Printers didn’t change over to the new technology just for comics at the time, but the changeover allowed comics to upgrade to better paper and inks for reasonable prices.

    Those old printers were either sold to the Third World or junked.

    So imagining that DC Comics can print “Wednesday’s Comics” for the prices they printed a comic book in the seventies is false.

    That said, the printing process they are using on Wednesday’s Comics aren’t top-notch, and the paper is several grades lower than DC Comics standard paper that they are using on most of the rest of the line.

    Am I making excuses for a $3.99 comic book? Absolutely not. I think DC was insane to increase prices on their books by a dollar this year, and oh look! sales are plummeting.

    Comics doesn’t often use the “Loss Leader” principle, which is how your local grocery store can offer a gallon of milk for 99 cents; your grocery store figure onces they get you in the door for the milk you’ll pick up other stuff too.

    They should have used that principle with Wednesday’s comics, which is a great product to introduce new people to comics.

    This could have been a legendary success if they had sold it at 50 cents or maybe even 99 cents. And it would have got the butts wakling through the door of comic book stores. At the price of a “real” premium comic book, it was doomed to mediocre numbers.

    Still, even with a stiff drop-off this thing is still selling better than half of DC’s ongoing books. Not a rip-roaring success, but good enough.

  66. Lynxara: I would guess that the reason Wednesday’s Comics haven’t been quickly pirated is that the page size is a lot bigger than the standard scanner size. It would actually take a bit of work to scan the pages a piece at a time and then reassemble them with PhotoShop.

  67. “I think DC was insane to increase prices on their books by a dollar this year, and oh look! sales are plummeting.”

    Erm, no. DC’s numbers were in decline well before the price increases. Now that they started jumping to $ 3.99 on several titles (which, in contrast to Marvel, is coupled with an increase of story pages), the numbers are actually stabilizing again. It really doesn’t seem to make much of a difference to retailers or their customers.

  68. >>>Comics cost so much because of the lost sales to the thieves who download from pirate sites.>>

    Seriously? Comics have turned into music? I would have thought this would not be as prevalent here since so many readers and collectors want something they can hold in their hands and put in a box. How big have downloads of Batman and Spiderman become?

    Tammany: Well, thanks for making that point. I hope Brendan doesn’t chew YOUR head off for that opinion. And trust me, there are still enough old-fashioned web presses out there that can run 4c newsprint… maybe DC just didn’t want to look around in, oh, Tennessee to get their product run. And before Brendan jumps in accusing me of being ignorant and telling me I don’t know about the economics involved, shipping costs etc etc… hey, why didn’t they find a printer in Memphis (and yes, there is at least one) to do the job and deliver it across town to the DIAMOND WAREHOUSES? Do you think they looked into that? Ha! Right!

    >>>There isn’t a whole lot of money in a single comic, so seriously, shut up. You’re spouting off ignorantly because you dislike a price point. Whatever. Don’t buy it.>>>

    I didn’t buy it, thanks for the helpful hint. Me and 50,000 of my closest friends. Again, at $1.99 or less? Sign me up for the year.

  69. Which makes your argument bullshit given that:

    1)it’s back
    2)the scanning and distribution apparatus for online scans were never tied with scans daily in the first place

  70. “Comics cost so much because of the lost sales to the thieves who download from pirate sites.”

    Nope. Comics cost so much because comics readers are stupid enough to pay that much for them. It’s no great mystery. Comics are just like every other product out there. Death, taxes, and greedy corporations; there is nothing new under the sun.

  71. # Marc-Oliver Frisch Said:
    09/17/09 at 1:45 am

    “Groups of Batman-related women, based in Gotham City, one title supplanting the other in the publishing line-up. Good enough for me.”

    Me:
    It’s actually been years since the BoP had been based in Gotham. They moved to Metropolis first and then Platinum Flats.

  72. @TonyC:

    If I’m hostile, it’s just because I get pissy with people who throw the word greed around every time a business actually aims to make money. There isn’t a whole lot of money in single issue sales, which was a point I was illustrating. And comics don’t really sell in the quantities where they can afford to make the bare minimum, nor have they for a very long time. And I only illustrated the costs associated with running a shop because complaints of greed from DC seemed like a likely jumping point for complaints about greedy store owners argument based around their percentage. It was a preemptive thing and probably not the best move to make.

    I probably did come off too harshly and I apologize for that, but ‘greed’ is a mighty powerful word and I think it’s pretty well inaccurate here. It’s an art project aimed at a niche audience using top flight creators (many of whom probably demand a higher page rate than others, and it’s still only 7 pages less than a standard comic) printed on 64 pages worth of paper. $3.99 is not an unreasonable price for it. As I said, if you don’t want to pay it, that’s fine. Accusing DC of being greedy for wanting to make money off a product is a little absurd though.

  73. I’m going to have to third the opinion that Sirens is not appropriate as a followup to Birds/Oracle.

    Sirens should either stand on its own, or be compared to Catwoman.

    Oracle, if it must be fed into something, should feed into Batgirl.

    Also, Jimmy, POWER GIRL is awesome. It’s a FUN book, like BOOSTER GOLD, and that’s about the highest compliment I can give in an industry dominated by depressing dark gritty books.

  74. Nobody apart from Marc has the opinion that Sirens is a follow up to BoP, the follow up to BoP, via Oracle, is quite clearly Batgirl and Sirens is quite clearly the follow up to Catwoman.

    The main characters from BoP and Catwoman are in those titles, it’s not remotely difficult to spot.

    Marc screwed up and this will apparently mean the long term sales comparisons for both titles will be wrong until they are cancelled.