by Marc-Oliver Frisch

With Final Crisis and Batman both showing up on shelves and spawning more crossover books, August was the strongest month for DC Comics’ periodical business in quite a while. Thanks to the new high-profile spin-off titles Final Crisis: Revelations, Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, DC Universe: Last Will and Testament and Final Crisis: Superman Beyond, and to a persistently spectacular performance of the “Batman RIP” tie-ins, average sales of the publisher’s DC Universe line rose to their highest level to date in 2008.

The average periodical numbers of DC’s Vertigo and WildStorm sublabels, meanwhile, appear to be making some small progress towards climbing out of their respective all-time lows, although you wouldn’t guess it from looking at any individual titles. At Vertigo, neither the new monthly series Air nor the returning [email protected] provided much in the way of ecouragement. And at WildStorm, the rest of the relaunched WildStorm Universe books turned up, making it official that the entire line is now less popular than Ambush Bug.

The North American direct market’s top-selling comic in terms of dollar-value in August 2008 was, quite remarkably, not a periodical at all, by the way. It was the Watchmen collection, first released in 1988, the latest edition of which sold an estimated 43,393 units to North American direct-market retailers in August. When a trailer for the upcoming film adaptation was shown in conjunction with The Dark Knight, demand for the book skyrocketed, apparently. So, all told, August was definitely one of DC’s better months in recent history.

See below for the details, and please mind the disclaimers 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 - FINAL CRISIS
05/2008: Final Crisis #1 of 7 -- 144,826          [166,641]
06/2008: Final Crisis #2 of 7 -- 126,082 (-12.9%) [134,116]
07/2008: --
08/2008: Final Crisis #3 of 7 -- 123,881 (- 1.8%)

Final Crisis sales continue to level out very quickly. Those brave souls who stuck around to read the book despite DC’s promotional efforts actually seem to like it. For Marvel’s Secret Invasion, on the other hand, the opposite seems to be true, so while there’s still a tremendous commercial gulf between the two rival blockbuster series, the distance has been melting away.

August’s Final Crisis Director’s Cut Special #1 charted with an estimated 14,937 units (they’ve been added to the above sales of issue #1), and June’s Final Crisis #2 and July’s one-shot Final Crisis: Requiem #1 sold another estimated 2,496 and 5,759 units in August, meanwhile, further supporting the notion that people do like the story, in this case.

In the way of gimmickry, the usual applies: There was a 50/50 variant-cover edition of Final Crisis #3.


—–

—–

4 - BATMAN
08/2001: Batman #594 --  43,266*
08/2002: Batman #606 --  44,218*
08/2003: Batman #618 -- 147,126 [152,526]
08/2004: Batman #631 --  72,287 [ 74,830]
08/2005: Batman #643 --  66,396
08/2005: Batman #644 --  65,128
08/2006: Batman #656 --  95,982 [ 99,024]
-------------------------------
08/2007: Batman #667 --  78,578 (- 6.2%) [ 82,418]
08/2007: Batman #668 --  76,962 (- 2.1%)
09/2007: Batman #669 --  73,471 (- 4.5%)
10/2007: Batman #670 --  76,890 (+ 4.7%) [ 86,049] 
11/2007: Batman #671 --  76,764 (- 0.2%) [ 80,440]
12/2007: Batman #672 --  71,189 (- 7.3%)
01/2008: Batman #673 --  69,234 (- 2.8%)
02/2008: Batman #674 --  68,208 (- 1.5%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: Batman #675 --  71,138 (+ 4.3%)
05/2008: Batman #676 -- 105,039 (+47.9%) [122,877]
05/2008: Batman #677 --  96,116 (- 8.5%) [111,065]
06/2008: --
07/2008: Batman #678 -- 103,213 (+ 7.4%)
08/2008: Batman #679 -- 103,588 (+ 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: +51.9%
1 year  : +33.2%
2 years : + 7.9%
5 years : -29.8%

The “Batman RIP” storyline keeps performing impressively, holding Batman sales above 100K and resulting in sigificant sales boosts for tie-in arcs in Detective Comics, Nightwing and Robin. Incidentally, the “Batman RIP” books are the only four DC titles displaying an increase in the two-year comparisons in August.

That said, it’s odd that there are no reorders for any of the “Batman RIP” issues or tie-ins on the chart. Usually, they’re the best sign that something’s working, and their absence for a major event tends to mean that retailers overshot the mark with their orders.

Which contradicts the fact that “Batman RIP” has been going strong for three months now, of course. If there was an abundance of unsold material across comics stores, the numbers would likely have reflected that by now. The remaining possibilities, then, are that (a) retailers were right on the mark with their July “Batman RIP” orders, or (b) DC sold out of most of their July “Batman RIP” books, with not enough leftover copies – and, to date, reprints – to make the chart again in August.

Like previous issues of the “Batman RIP” story, Batman #679 was promoted with a 1-for-25 variant-cover edition, meaning that retailers had to buy 25 regular-edition copies to be able to buy one variant-edition copy.

—–

12 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
08/2001: JLA #57            --  69,451*
08/2002: JLA #69            --  62,577* 
08/2003: JLA #84            --  59,130
08/2003: JLA #85            --  58,380
08/2004: JLA #103           --  61,719
08/2004: JLA #104           --  60,750
08/2005: JLA #117           --  87,995 [ 89,163]
08/2006: Justice League #1  -- 212,581 [251,266]
--------------------------------------
08/2007: Justice League #12 -- 131,420 (+ 7.0%) [137,181]
09/2007: Justice League #13 -- 119,471 (- 9.1%) [124,006]
10/2007: Justice League #14 -- 101,763 (-14.8%)
11/2007: --
12/2007: Justice League #15 -- 100,234 (- 1.5%)
12/2007: Justice League #16 --  95,557 (- 4.7%)
01/2008: Justice League #17 --  94,712 (- 0.9%)
02/2008: Justice League #18 --  89,803 (- 5.2%)
03/2008: Justice League #19 --  87,482 (- 2.6%)
04/2008: Justice League #20 --  85,807 (- 1.9%)
05/2008: Justice League #21 --  90,035 (+ 4.9%)
06/2008: Justice League #22 --  85,013 (- 5.6%)
07/2008: Justice League #23 --  82,953 (- 2.4%)
08/2008: Justice League #24 --  81,451 (- 1.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.3%
1 year  : -38.0%
2 years : -61.7%
5 years : +38.6%

Justice League maintains the gentle downward slide of the last six months.

—–

15 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
08/2001: JSA #27             --  41,077*
08/2002: JSA #39             --  43,024*
08/2003: JSA #51             --  43,387
08/2004: JSA #64             --  41,312
08/2005: JSA #76             --  51,928
---------------------------------------
08/2007: Justice Society #8  --  87,606 (-  1.4%)
09/2007: Justice Society #9  --  84,117 (-  4.0%)
10/2007: Justice Society #10 --  99,424 (+ 18.2%)
11/2007: --
12/2007: Justice Society #11 --  89,613 (-  9.9%)
01/2008: --
02/2008: Justice Society #12 --  84,162 (-  6.1%)
02/2008: Justice Society #13 --  82,702 (-  1.7%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: Justice Society #14 --  80,507 (-  2.7%)
05/2008: Justice Society #15 --  78,311 (-  2.7%)
06/2008: Justice Society #16 --  77,328 (-  1.3%)
07/2008: Justice Society #17 --  75,532 (-  2.3%)
08/2008: Justice Society #18 --  73,485 (-  2.7%)
----------------
6 months: -11.9%
1 year  : -16.1%
2 years :   n.a.
5 years : +69.4%

Another title continuing a slow but steady sales decline, with no sign that it’s going to be bottoming out anytime soon.

After its initial sales spike, the current storyline – a sequel to the popular Kingdom Come miniseries from the mid-nineties – has shed almost 30,000 units since it began back in issue #10. This doesn’t really suggest that the target audience is particularly happy with the book’s direction, although, in fairness, it’s still selling in more than respectable quantities.

Justice Society numbers have been bolstered with 1-for-10 variant-cover editions.

—–

16 - DETECTIVE COMICS
08/2001: Detective Comics #761 -- 38,269*
08/2002: Detective Comics #773 -- 42,436*
08/2003: Detective Comics #785 -- 37,988
08/2004: Detective Comics #797 -- 50,695 [52,811]
08/2005: Detective Comics #809 -- 49,087
08/2005: Detective Comics #810 -- 48,270
08/2006: Detective Comics #822 -- 66,372
----------------------------------------
08/2007: Detective Comics #835 -- 50,479 (- 5.6%)
09/2007: Detective Comics #836 -- 49,475 (- 2.0%)
10/2007: Detective Comics #837 -- 51,363 (+ 3.8%)
11/2007: Detective Comics #838 -- 60,267 (+17.3%) [65,293]
12/2007: Detective Comics #839 -- 62,297 (+ 3.4%) [65,773]
01/2008: Detective Comics #840 -- 51,579 (-17.2%)
02/2008: Detective Comics #841 -- 50,535 (- 2.0%)
03/2008: Detective Comics #842 -- 49,425 (- 2.2%)
04/2008: Detective Comics #843 -- 48,431 (- 2.0%)
05/2008: Detective Comics #844 -- 48,394 (- 0.1%)
06/2008: Detective Comics #845 -- 48,920 (+ 1.2%)
07/2008: Detective Comics #846 -- 72,417 (+48.0%)
08/2008: Detective Comics #847 -- 71,134 (- 1.8%)
----------------
6 months: +40.8%
1 year  : +40.9%
2 years : + 7.2%
5 years : +87.3%

Detective Comics largely maintains the sales boost provided by its participation in “Batman RIP.”

—–

20 - FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF 3 WORLDS
08/2008: Legion of 3 Worlds #1 of 3 -- 68,306
22 - DC UNIVERSE: LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
08/2008: Last Will and Testament #1 -- 67,063
26 - FINAL CRISIS: SUPERMAN BEYOND
08/2008: Superman Beyond #1 of 2 -- 63,137
29 - FINAL CRISIS: REVELATIONS
08/2008: Revelations #1 of 5 -- 58,434

Following the pattern established by Final Crisis and Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge, August’s new set of spin-off titles all come in with underwhelming sales.

They seem to be in the same league as the competition’s Secret Invasion: Thor, Secret Invasion: X-Men and Secret Invasion: The Amazing Spider-Man, granted, but let’s keep in mind that those books provide random and repetitive punch-’em-ups which are cursory at best to Secret Invasion proper. The Final Crisis spin-offs, on the other hand, were promoted as major parts of the storyline and are by the company’s top-flight creative personnel.

That none of them managed to crack 70,000 units certainly supports the notion that the market was tired of Final Crisis long before the first issue shipped. The fact that their debut issues are all cuddling up within 10,000 units of each other also suggests that retailers didn’t quite know what to do with them, mind you, so it’s still possible that we’re going to see some major corrections in the next few months.

Record of gimmicks: All of these comics were supported with 50/50 variant-cover editions. All of them had a $ 3.99 price tag, except for Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1, which was $ 4.50 and came with a set of cardboard 3D goggles.

—–

32 - NIGHTWING
08/2001: Nightwing #60  -- 35,521*
08/2002: Nightwing #72  -- 33,420*
08/2003: Nightwing #84  -- 29,410
08/2004: Nightwing #96  -- 44,558 [47,479]
08/2005: Nightwing #111 -- 36,146
08/2006: Nightwing #123 -- 40,111
---------------------------------
08/2007: Nightwing #135 -- 29,923 (- 1.0%)
09/2007: Nightwing #136 -- 29,256 (- 2.2%)
10/2007: Nightwing #137 -- 28,363 (- 3.1%)
11/2007: Nightwing #138 -- 46,757 (+64.9%) [52,282]
12/2007: Nightwing #139 -- 49,291 (+ 5.4%) [52,607]
01/2008: Nightwing #140 -- 32,305 (-34.5%)
02/2008: Nightwing #141 -- 30,980 (- 4.1%)
03/2008: Nightwing #142 -- 30,253 (- 2.4%)
04/2008: Nightwing #143 -- 29,914 (- 1.1%)
05/2008: Nightwing #144 -- 29,367 (- 1.8%)
06/2008: Nightwing #145 -- 29,435 (+ 0.2%)
07/2008: Nightwing #146 -- 29,494 (+ 0.2%)
08/2008: Nightwing #147 -- 56,300 (+90.9%)
----------------
6 months: +81.7%
1 year  : +88.2%
2 years : +40.4%
5 years : +91.4%
33/77 - ROBIN
08/2001: Robin #93  -- 26,228*
08/2002: Robin #105 -- 26,009*
08/2003: Robin #117 -- 21,454
08/2004: Robin #129 -- 45,642 [48,392]
08/2005: Robin #141 -- 28,564
08/2006: Robin #153 -- 36,608
-----------------------------
08/2007: Robin #165 -- 25,397 (-  2.2%)
09/2007: Robin #166 -- 24,877 (-  2.1%)
10/2007: Robin #167 -- 24,625 (-  1.0%)
11/2007: Robin #168 -- 50,672 (+105.8%) [57,442]
12/2007: Robin #169 -- 48,665 (-  4.0%) [51,441]
01/2008: Robin #170 -- 30,048 (- 38.3%)
02/2008: Robin #171 -- 27,781 (-  7.6%)
03/2008: Robin #172 -- 26,912 (-  3.1%)
04/2008: Robin #173 -- 26,357 (-  2.1%)
05/2008: Robin #174 -- 26,209 (-  0.6%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Robin #175 -- 53,880 (+105.6%)
08/2008: Robin #176 -- 54,912 (+  1.9%)
08/2008: Robin #177 -- 31,346 (- 42.9%)
-----------------
6 months: + 55.3%
1 year  : + 69.8%
2 years : + 17.8%
5 years : +101.0%

“Batman RIP” comes along and gives Nightwing the expected boost. With issue #177, Robin is no longer part of the crossover, meanwhile, but retains a good 5,000 extra units.

Again, it’s odd that there are no reorders on the chart for any of the July tie-ins, but so far, “Batman RIP” is delivering.

—–

35 - FINAL CRISIS: ROGUES' REVENGE
07/2008: Rogues' Revenge #1 of 3 -- 62,482          [67,371]
08/2008: Rogues' Revenge #2 of 3 -- 54,404 (-12.9%)

Rogues’ Revenge seems to be going the same way as Final Crisis itself: Underwhelming debut sales, followed by a very quick drop-off and a respectable amount of reorders – an estimated 4,889 units of a second printing of issue #1, in this case.

This doesn’t quite make up for the book’s rather lackluster sales level, but, at the very least, it suggests that those people who did read it liked it. That’s a start.

—–

36 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
08/2003: Superman/Batman #1  -- 134,135 [159,018]
08/2004: --
08/2005: --
08/2006: Superman/Batman #29 --  90,665
---------------------------------------
08/2007: Superman/Batman #39 --  59,622 (-11.9%)
09/2007: Superman/Batman #40 --  57,410 (- 3.7%)
10/2007: Superman/Batman #41 --  54,928 (- 4.3%)
11/2007: Superman/Batman #42 --  54,341 (- 1.1%)
11/2007: Superman/Batman #43 --  53,489 (- 1.6%)
12/2007: Superman/Batman #44 --  53,057 (- 0.8%)
01/2008: Superman/Batman #45 --  52,119 (- 1.8%)
02/2008: Superman/Batman #46 --  52,009 (- 0.2%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: Superman/Batman #47 --  52,557 (+ 1.1%)
05/2008: Superman/Batman #48 --  52,845 (+ 0.6%)
06/2008: Superman/Batman #49 --  52,579 (- 0.5%)
07/2008: Superman/Batman #50 --  61,321 (+16.6%)
08/2008: Superman/Batman #51 --  51,701 (-15.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 0.6%
1 year  : -13.3%
2 years : -43.0%
5 years : -61.5%

With the token increase for July’s variant-cover-boosted “anniversary” number gone, Superman/Batman sales are back in their usual area. The book has levelled out nicely over the last half-year, actually – the current creative team must be doing something right.

—-

42 - ACTION COMICS
08/2001: Action Comics #782 -- 43,603* 
08/2002: Action Comics #794 -- 32,651*
08/2003: Action Comics #806 -- 30,852
08/2004: Action Comics #818 -- 43,257
08/2005: Action Comics #830 -- 48,469
08/2006: Action Comics #842 -- 57,964
-------------------------------------
08/2007: Action Comics #853 -- 49,694 (- 1.2%)
08/2007: Action Comics #854 -- 48,455 (- 2.5%)
08/2007: Action Comics #855 -- 55,536 (+14.6%)
09/2007: --
10/2007: Action Comics #856 -- 53,815 (- 3.1%)
10/2007: Action Comics #857 -- 51,401 (- 4.5%)
10/2007: Action Comics #858 -- 54,596 (+ 6.2%) [59,031]
11/2007: Action Comics #859 -- 54,572 (- 0.0%)
12/2007: Action Comics #860 -- 56,254 (+ 3.1%)
01/2008: Action Comics #861 -- 56,093 (- 0.3%)
02/2008: Action Comics #862 -- 55,658 (- 0.8%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: Action Comics #863 -- 56,882 (+ 2.2%)
04/2008: Action Comics #864 -- 48,438 (-14.9%)
05/2008: Action Comics #865 -- 46,764 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: Action Comics #866 -- 50,158 (+ 7.3%)
07/2008: Action Comics #867 -- 49,363 (- 1.6%)
08/2008: Action Comics #868 -- 49,556 (+ 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: -11.0%
1 year  : + 1.0%
2 years : -14.5%
5 years : +60.6%

Action Comics appears to be settling down in the orbit around 50K, which is a decent level, historically.

—–

43/44/47/49 - TRINITY
06/2008: Trinity #1  -- 70,435 
06/2008: Trinity #2  -- 63,596 (- 9.7%)
06/2008: Trinity #3  -- 60,979 (- 4.1%)
06/2008: Trinity #4  -- 58,758 (- 3.6%)
07/2008: Trinity #5  -- 54,681 (- 6.9%)
07/2008: Trinity #6  -- 53,299 (- 2.5%)
07/2008: Trinity #7  -- 52,407 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: Trinity #8  -- 51,376 (- 2.0%)
07/2008: Trinity #9  -- 62,252 (+21.2%)
08/2008: Trinity #10 -- 48,199 (-22.6%)
08/2008: Trinity #11 -- 47,485 (- 1.5%)
08/2008: Trinity #12 -- 46,521 (- 2.0%)
08/2008: Trinity #13 -- 45,827 (- 1.5%)

Okay, what’s more likely: that Trinity sales inexplicably shot skyward by 20% for the last week of July and dropped back again for the first week of August, or that Diamond forgot to subtract 20% from the sales of Trinity #9 due to its returnability? Never mind, it’s a rhetorical question.

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Trinity numbers will see another 20% surge on the September chart, because issue #14 was, I believe, the first one to which the returnability scheme did not apply. If I’m right, I’ll adjust the June, July and August statistics accordingly; I’ve already done so for the average sales charts, for that matter.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about and want to find out, please go and read last month’s column, because I don’t want to wade through it again. All you really need to know, though, is that nothing unusual happened to Trinity sales so far, and that the book probably sells between 50 and 60K in the North American direct market right now.

—–

46 - SUPERMAN
08/2001: Superman #173 --  46,948*
08/2002: Superman #185 --  36,661*
08/2003: Superman #196 --  33,648
08/2004: Superman #208 -- 129,256
08/2005: Superman #220 --  61,264
08/2006: Superman #655 --  66,976
---------------------------------
08/2007: Superman #666 --  53,566 (+ 3.1%)
09/2007: Superman #667 --  48,608 (- 9.3%)
10/2007: Superman #668 --  47,948 (- 1.4%)
10/2007: Superman #669 --  47,271 (- 1.4%)
11/2007: Superman #670 --  48,407 (+ 2.4%)
12/2007: Superman #671 --  45,290 (- 6.4%)
01/2008: Superman #672 --  44,656 (- 1.4%)
02/2008: Superman #673 --  41,580 (- 6.9%)
03/2008: Superman #674 --  41,715 (+ 0.3%)
04/2008: Superman #675 --  54,855 (+31.5%)
05/2008: Superman #676 --  45,644 (-16.8%)
06/2008: Superman #677 --  54,634 (+19.7%)
07/2008: Superman #678 --  47,670 (-12.8%)
08/2008: Superman #679 --  46,615 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: +12.1%
1 year  : -13.0%
2 years : -30.4%
5 years : +38.5%

Superman sales are back in a slow decline. The creative changeover from Kurt Busiek to James Robinson doesn’t seem to have made much of an impression on retailers.

—–

48 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
08/2006: Green Lantern Corps #3  -- 51,485
------------------------------------------
08/2007: Green Lantern Corps #15 -- 51,572 (+13.2%) [57,751]
09/2007: --
10/2007: Green Lantern Corps #16 -- 60,862 (+18.0%)
10/2007: Green Lantern Corps #17 -- 59,223 (- 2.7%)
11/2007: Green Lantern Corps #18 -- 55,838 (- 5.7%) [59,049]
12/2007: Green Lantern Corps #19 -- 50,516 (- 9.5%)
01/2008: Green Lantern Corps #20 -- 44,607 (-11.7%) [48,577]
02/2008: Green Lantern Corps #21 -- 47,582 (+ 6.7%)
03/2008: Green Lantern Corps #22 -- 46,736 (- 1.8%)
04/2008: Green Lantern Corps #23 -- 46,780 (+ 0.1%)
05/2008: Green Lantern Corps #24 -- 46,948 (+ 0.4%)
06/2008: Green Lantern Corps #25 -- 47,399 (+ 1.0%)
07/2008: Green Lantern Corps #26 -- 46,098 (- 2.8%)
08/2008: Green Lantern Corps #27 -- 46,045 (- 0.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.2%
1 year  : -10.7%
2 years : -10.6%

Holding level at 46K, and waiting for the next big storyline to arrive.

—–

57 - TEEN TITANS
08/2003: Teen Titans #2    -- 61,528 [75,499]
08/2004: Teen Titans #14   -- 63,894
08/2005: Teen Titans #27   -- 74,782 [75,996]
08/2006: Teen Titans #38   -- 69,232
------------------------------------
08/2007: Teen Titans #50   -- 69,620 (+17.5%)
09/2007: Teen Titans #51   -- 57,851 (-16.9%)
10/2007: Teen Titans #52   -- 55,176 (- 4.6%)
11/2007: Teen Titans #53   -- 54,387 (- 1.4%)
12/2007: Teen Titans #54   -- 53,790 (- 1.1%)
01/2008: Teen Titans #55   -- 52,376 (- 2.6%)
02/2008: Teen Titans #56   -- 50,283 (- 4.0%)
03/2008: Teen Titans #57   -- 49,109 (- 2.3%)
04/2008: Teen Titans #58   -- 47,357 (- 3.6%)
05/2008: Teen Titans #59   -- 46,306 (- 2.2%)
06/2008: Teen Titans #60   -- 45,036 (- 2.7%)
07/2008: Teen Titans #61   -- 44,666 (- 0.8%)
08/2008: Teen Titans #62   -- 43,258 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: -14.0%
1 year  : -37.9%
2 years : -37.5%
5 years : -29.7%
65 - WONDER WOMAN
08/2001: Wonder Woman #173 --  32,337*
08/2002: Wonder Woman #184 --  24,842*
08/2003: Wonder Woman #195 --  29,558 [31,522]
08/2004: Wonder Woman #207 --  27,187
08/2005: Wonder Woman #220 --  38,370 [51,212]
08/2006: Wonder Woman #2   --  84,618 [87,276]
-------------------------------------
08/2007: Wonder Woman #12  --  50,880 (- 4.0%)
09/2007: --
10/2007: Wonder Woman #13  --  48,385 (- 4.9%)
11/2007: Wonder Woman #14  --  53,090 (+ 9.7%)
12/2007: Wonder Woman #15  --  44,628 (-15.9%)
01/2008: Wonder Woman #16  --  42,897 (- 3.9%)
02/2008: Wonder Woman #17  --  41,948 (- 2.2%)
03/2008: Wonder Woman #18  --  40,771 (- 2.8%)
04/2008: Wonder Woman #19  --  39,489 (- 3.1%)
05/2008: Wonder Woman #20  --  38,116 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: Wonder Woman #21  --  37,086 (- 2.7%)
07/2008: Wonder Woman #22  --  36,514 (- 1.5%)
08/2008: Wonder Woman #23  --  35,562 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: -15.2%
1 year  : -30.1%
2 years : -58.0%
5 years : +20.3%

Both Teen Titans and Wonder Woman keep declining too fast, each having lost another 1,000 units since July. Something’s not klicking with the audience here.

—–

69 - BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS
08/2003: Outsiders #3  -- 45,079 [47,323]
08/2004: --
08/2005: Outsiders #27 -- 44,021
08/2006: Outsiders #39 -- 40,524
--------------------------------
08/2007: FoaK #1 of 5  -- 36,565 (+10.4%)
08/2007: FoaK #2 of 5  -- 35,087 (- 4.0%)
08/2007: FoaK #3 of 5  -- 34,702 (- 1.1%)
08/2007: FoaK #4 of 5  -- 34,125 (- 1.7%)
08/2007: FoaK #5 of 5  -- 33,694 (- 1.3%)
09/2007: Outsiders #50 -- 38,212 (+13.4%)
10/2007: --
11/2007: Batsiders #1  -- 60,690 (+58.8%)
11/2007: Batsiders #2  -- 42,827 (-29.4%)
12/2007: Batsiders #3  -- 40,371 (- 5.7%)
01/2008: --
02/2008: Batsiders #4  -- 37,903 (- 6.1%)
03/2008: Batsiders #5  -- 36,797 (- 2.9%)
04/2008: Batsiders #6  -- 36,551 (- 0.7%)
05/2008: Batsiders #7  -- 35,071 (- 4.1%)
06/2008: Batsiders #8  -- 34,640 (- 1.2%)
07/2008: Batsiders #9  -- 34,401 (- 0.7%)
08/2008: Batsiders #10 -- 33,645 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -11.2%
1 year  : - 3.4%
2 years : -17.0%
5 years : -25.4%

Slowly declining. The book joins “Batman RIP” with issue #11, so expect a hefty increase on the September chart.

—–

74 - BOOSTER GOLD
08/2007: Booster Gold #1  -- 53,689          [57,811]
09/2007: Booster Gold #2  -- 47,102 (-12.3%)
10/2007: Booster Gold #3  -- 39,374 (-16.4%)
11/2007: Booster Gold #4  -- 37,683 (- 4.3%)

12/2007: Booster Gold #5  -- 38,228 (+ 1.5%)
01/2008: Booster Gold #6  -- 36,292 (- 5.1%)
02/2008: Booster Gold #0  -- 37,808 (+ 4.2%)
03/2008: Booster Gold #7  -- 36,140 (- 4.4%)
04/2008: Booster Gold #8  -- 35,982 (- 0.4%)
05/2008: Booster Gold #9  -- 35,030 (- 2.7%)
06/2008: Booster Gold #10 -- 34,435 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: BGold #1,000,000 -- 34,431 (- 0.0%)
08/2008: Booster Gold #11 -- 32,900 (- 4.5%)
----------------
6 months: -13.0%
1 year  : -38.7%

Booster Gold #11 was the first of four fill-in issues, so the drop-off is not unusual. Given that the book’s success seems to have been closely associated with writers Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz, the question is what happens when the new permanent writer takes over with issue #15.

On that note, I also strongly question the wisdom of taking a four-month break between Stories That Matter. Booster Gold has been holding its own pretty well, granted, but not that well. Even under the best of circumstances, the book will have to face an uphill struggle if it wants to stick around, and four months of water-treading most probably won’t help.

—–

76 - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
08/2007: The Brave and the Bold #6  -- 52,011 (- 3.8%)
09/2007: --
10/2007: The Brave and the Bold #7  -- 48,693 (- 6.4%)
11/2007: The Brave and the Bold #8  -- 45,629 (- 6.3%)
12/2007: The Brave and the Bold #9  -- 43,475 (- 4.7%)
01/2008: --
02/2008: The Brave and the Bold #10 -- 39,124 (-10.0%)
03/2008: The Brave and the Bold #11 -- 37,751 (- 3.5%)
04/2008: The Brave and the Bold #12 -- 37,739 (- 0.0%)
05/2008: The Brave and the Bold #13 -- 35,814 (- 5.1%)
06/2008: The Brave and the Bold #14 -- 34,361 (- 4.1%)
07/2008: The Brave and the Bold #15 -- 32,688 (- 4.9%)
08/2008: The Brave and the Bold #16 -- 31,522 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: -19.4%
1 year  : -39.4%

The August issue ends writer Mark Waid’s tenure on the book, which had The Brave and the Bold start out with an unexpectedly high 90,000 units, only to see it crash down to 30,000 with the next fifteen issues.

Next up for the book are two arcs written by Marv Wolfman and David Hine, respectively, and then J. Michael Straczynski, DC’s biggest commercial signing in years, is meant to take over.

Let’s be blunt, now: I’m increasingly skeptical whether Straczynski will ever get here. Considering the rate at which book’s numbers have been declining, I’d at least expect DC to relaunch it with a new #1, and, ideally, to throw in a new title as well while they’re at it.

—–

83 - THE FLASH
08/2001: Flash #177     --  26,760*
08/2002: Flash #189     --  29,591*
08/2003: Flash #201     --  35,207 [37,568]
08/2004: Flash #213     --  41,363
08/2005: Flash #225     --  50,242 [52,386]
08/2006: Flash: FMA #3  --  70,633 [72,067]
----------------------------------
08/2007: Flash #231     --  91,123 (-  7.7%)
09/2007: Flash #232     --  56,969 (- 37.5%)
10/2007: Flash #233     --  51,152 (- 10.2%)
11/2007: Flash #234     --  46,435 (-  9.2%)
12/2007: Flash #235     --  43,788 (-  5.7%)
01/2008: Flash #236     --  41,464 (-  5.3%)
02/2008: Flash #237     --  37,719 (-  9.0%)
03/2008: Flash #238     --  35,606 (-  5.6%)
04/2008: Flash #239     --  33,741 (-  5.2%)
05/2008: Flash #240     --  31,944 (-  5.3%)
06/2008: Flash #241     --  30,810 (-  3.6%)
07/2008: Flash #242     --  30,325 (-  1.6%)
08/2008: Flash #243     --  29,647 (-  2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -21.4%
1 year  : -67.5%
2 years : -58.0%
5 years : -15.8%

Sales are levelling out somewhat, just in time for the property’s next revamp.

—–

84 - GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY
08/2001: Green Arrow #7   -- 80,726*
08/2002: Green Arrow #16  -- 59,946*
08/2003: Green Arrow #29  -- 41,534
08/2004: Green Arrow #41  -- 32,269
08/2005: Green Arrow #53 --  32,474
08/2006: Green Arrow #65  -- 35,705
-----------------------------------
08/2007: Year One #3 of 6 -- 32,971 (+ 2.3%)
08/2007: Year One #4 of 6 -- 31,885 (- 3.3%)
09/2007: Year One #5 of 6 -- 31,504 (- 1.2%)
10/2007: Year One #6 of 6 -- 30,943 (- 1.8%)
10/2007: Arrow/Canary #1  -- 52,183 (+68.6%)
11/2007: Arrow/Canary #2  -- 42,827 (-17.9%)
12/2007: Arrow/Canary #3  -- 40,321 (- 5.9%)
01/2008: Arrow/Canary #4  -- 35,039 (-13.1%)
02/2008: Arrow/Canary #5  -- 36,662 (+ 4.6%)
03/2008: Arrow/Canary #6  -- 32,621 (-11.0%)
04/2008: Arrow/Canary #7  -- 32,033 (- 1.8%) 
05/2008: Arrow/Canary #8  -- 30,864 (- 3.7%)
06/2008: Arrow/Canary #9  -- 30,330 (- 1.7%)
07/2008: Arrow/Canary #10 -- 29,604 (- 2.4%)
08/2008: Arrow/Canary #11 -- 28,694 (- 3.1%)
----------------
6 months: -21.7%
1 year  : -11.5%
2 years : -19.6%
5 years : -30.9%

Declining. The book’s relaunch hasn’t quite caught on.

—–

88 - SUPERGIRL
08/2001: Supergirl #61 --  24,874*
08/2002: Supergirl #73 --  18,925*
08/2005: Supergirl #1  -- 123,370 [165,579]
08/2006: Supergirl #9  --  74,252
---------------------------------
08/2007: Supergirl #20 --  46,862 (- 3.5%)
09/2007: Supergirl #21 --  44,656 (- 4.7%)
10/2007: Supergirl #22 --  41,758 (- 6.5%)
11/2007: Supergirl #23 --  45,460 (+ 8.9%)
12/2007: Supergirl #24 --  37,922 (-16.6%)
01/2008: Supergirl #25 --  36,459 (- 3.9%)
02/2008: Supergirl #26 --  34,186 (- 6.2%)
03/2008: Supergirl #27 --  32,596 (- 4.7%)
04/2008: Supergirl #28 --  31,379 (- 3.7%)
05/2008: Supergirl #29 --  30,192 (- 3.8%)
06/2008: Supergirl #30 --  29,553 (- 2.1%)
07/2008: Supergirl #31 --  28,813 (- 2.5%)
08/2008: Supergirl #32 --  28,114 (- 2.4%)
----------------
6 months: -17.8%
1 year  : -40.0%
2 years : -62.1%

Well, usually a steady loss of more than 2% per month is nothing to write home about, but given the book’s free-fall over the last two years, it’s clearly an improvement. Of course, yet another new creative team is waiting around the corner, so it’s all moot.

—–

90 - TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE
01/2008: Teen Titans: Year One #1 of 6 -- 43,057
02/2008: Teen Titans: Year One #2 of 6 -- 35,761 (-17.0%)
03/2008: Teen Titans: Year One #3 of 6 -- 33,125 (- 7.4%)
04/2008: Teen Titans: Year One #4 of 6 -- 30,483 (- 8.0%)
05/2008: --
06/2008: Teen Titans: Year One #5 of 6 -- 29,073 (- 4.6%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: Teen Titans: Year One #6 of 6 -- 27,741 (- 4.6%)
----------------
6 months: -22.4%

Given the lackluster sales of the mother title, Teen Titans: Year One finishes with decent enough numbers, despite some big drops early on.

—–

91 - BATGIRL
08/2001: Batgirl #19     -- 35,137*
08/2002: Batgirl #31     -- 35,144
08/2003: Batgirl #43     -- 27,998
08/2004: Batgirl #55     -- 39,469 [43,494]
08/2005: Batgirl #67     -- 28,159
----------------------------------
07/2008: Batgirl #1 of 6 -- 34,411
08/2008: Batgirl #2 of 6 -- 27,710 (-19.5%)
----------------
5 years : - 1.0%

That’s a harsh drop-off for a six-issue series.

—–

96 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
08/2001: Legion Worlds #5     -- 20,685*
08/2002: Legion #11           -- 24,988*
08/2003: Legion #23           -- 22,466
08/2004: Legion #37           -- 23,479
08/2004: Legion #38           -- 23,327
08/2005: Legion of SH #9      -- 35,834
08/2006: Supergirl & LoSH #21 -- 39,852
---------------------------------------
08/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #33 -- 29,315 (- 1.7%)
09/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #34 -- 28,294 (- 3.5%)
10/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #35 -- 27,370 (- 3.3%)
11/2007: Supergirl & LoSH #36 -- 26,814 (- 2.0%)
12/2007: Legion of SH #37     -- 45,803 (+70.8%)
01/2008: Legion of SH #38     -- 33,045 (-27.9%)
02/2008: Legion of SH #39     -- 31,123 (- 5.8%)
03/2008: Legion of SH #40     -- 30,377 (- 2.4%)
04/2008: Legion of SH #41     -- 28,939 (- 4.7%)
05/2008: Legion of SH #42     -- 27,940 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Legion of SH #43     -- 27,531 (- 1.5%)
07/2008: Legion of SH #44     -- 29,954 (+ 8.8%)
08/2008: Legion of SH #45     -- 25,783 (-13.9%)
----------------
6 months: -17.2%
1 year  : -12.1%
2 years : -35.3%
5 years : +14.8%

Numbers for the July issue went up due to a 1-for-10 variant-cover edition, but in August the title more than catches up with reality. The book is cancelled with issue #50, as it turns out, so the drop is probably not a glitch.

—–

101 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
08/2007: Batman Confidential #8  -- 30,077 (- 6.8%)
09/2007: Batman Confidential #9  -- 28,845 (- 4.1%)
10/2007: Batman Confidential #10 -- 28,724 (- 0.5%)
11/2007: Batman Confidential #11 -- 27,397 (- 4.6%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: --
02/2008: Batman Confidential #12 -- 27,208 (- 0.7%)
02/2008: Batman Confidential #13 -- 25,735 (- 5.4%)
03/2008: Batman Confidential #14 -- 25,330 (- 1.6%)
03/2008: Batman Confidential #15 -- 24,283 (- 4.1%)
04/2008: Batman Confidential #16 -- 24,038 (- 1.0%)
05/2008: Batman Confidential #17 -- 25,017 (+ 4.1%)
06/2008: Batman Confidential #18 -- 24,881 (- 0.5%)
07/2008: Batman Confidential #19 -- 25,037 (+ 0.6%)
08/2008: Batman Confidential #20 -- 24,654 (- 1.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.9%
1 year  : -11.4%

The Batgirl arc keeps holding up nicely.

—–

105 - HAWKMAN SPECIAL
08/2002: Hawkman #6   -- 37,187*
08/2003: Hawkman #18  -- 28,557
08/2004: Hawkman #31  -- 24,035
08/2005: Hawkman #43  -- 22,010
08/2006: Hawkgirl #55 -- 23,880
-------------------------------
08/2008: Special #1   -- 22,499 (+50.2%)
----------------
2 years: - 5.8%
5 years: -21.2%

Not too many people were particularly looking for a Hawkman book in August, it seems – or a Holy War spin-off, for that matter, although it does outsell the miniseries, to be fair.

—–

107 - BIRDS OF PREY
08/2001: Birds of Prey #34  -- 23,472*
08/2002: Birds of Prey #46  -- 26,876*
08/2003: Birds of Prey #58  -- 27,851
08/2004: Birds of Prey #71  -- 32,298
08/2004: Birds of Prey #72  -- 31,835
08/2005: Birds of Prey #85  -- 32,076
08/2006: Birds of Prey #97  -- 31,578
-------------------------------------
08/2007: Birds of Prey #109 -- 28,268 (+ 0.9%)
09/2007: Birds of Prey #110 -- 27,148 (- 4.0%)
10/2007: Birds of Prey #111 -- 26,400 (- 2.8%)
11/2007: Birds of Prey #112 -- 25,117 (- 4.9%)
12/2007: Birds of Prey #113 -- 24,717 (- 1.6%)
01/2008: Birds of Prey #114 -- 24,211 (- 2.1%)
02/2008: Birds of Prey #115 -- 23,157 (- 4.4%)
03/2008: Birds of Prey #116 -- 22,627 (- 2.3%)
04/2008: Birds of Prey #117 -- 22,181 (- 2.0%)
05/2008: Birds of Prey #118 -- 21,941 (- 1.1%)
06/2008: Birds of Prey #119 -- 21,593 (- 1.6%)
07/2008: Birds of Prey #120 -- 21,572 (- 0.1%)
08/2008: Birds of Prey #121 -- 22,406 (+ 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.2%
1 year  : -20.7%
2 years : -29.1%
5 years : -19.6%

The August issue begins a storyline that follows up on Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s popular The Killing Joke – which was the other twenty -year-old DC book besides Watchmen setting Diamond’s “graphic novel” chart on fire in August, by the way.

Since “Batman RIP” doesn’t really seem to involve the Joker very much, it’s fair game, I guess. It’s a nice way of tying in with The Dark Knight and getting a few extra sales. Which makes me wonder why didn’t they promote it more. With some proper attention from the marketing department, this could easily have done a lot better.

—–

109 - RANN/THANAGAR: HOLY WAR
05/2008: Holy War #1 of 8 -- 37,179
06/2008: Holy War #2 of 8 -- 26,446 (-28.9%)
07/2008: Holy War #3 of 8 -- 23,955 (- 9.4%)
08/2008: Holy War #4 of 8 -- 21,836 (- 8.9%)

This one’s disappearing from the radar.

—–

111 - WORLD OF WARCRAFT (WildStorm)
11/2007: World of WarCraft #1  -- 44,508          [49,271]
12/2007: World of WarCraft #2  -- 32,740 (-34.9%) [36,340]
01/2008: World of WarCraft #3  -- 31,183 (- 4.8%)
02/2008: World of WarCraft #4  -- 28,982 (- 7.1%)
03/2008: World of WarCraft #5  -- 27,159 (- 9.4%)
04/2008: World of WarCraft #6  -- 26,271 (- 3.3%)
05/2008: World of WarCraft #7  -- 24,589 (- 6.4%)
06/2008: World of WarCraft #8  -- 23,310 (- 5.2%)
07/2008: World of WarCraft #9  -- 22,203 (- 4.8%)
08/2008: World of WarCraft #10 -- 20,883 (- 6.0%)
----------------
6 months: -28.0%

The video-game adaptation keeps plummeting down the charts. As usual, there was a 50/50 variant-cover edition.

In fairness, I should mention that the first World of WarCraft harcover collection was DC’s fifth-bestselling “graphic novel” in August, with estimated first-month sales of 4,382. That’s not stellar, but perfectly alright for this sort of thing.

And, of course, World of WarCraft is still WildStorm’s bestselling periodical, despite its unrelenting sales free-fall.

—–

112 - BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT
05/2008: Gotham After Midnight #1  of 12 -- 29,570
06/2008: Gotham After Midnight #2  of 12 -- 24,259 (-18.0%)
07/2008: Gotham After Midnight #3  of 12 -- 22,663 (- 6.6%)
08/2008: Gotham After Midnight #4  of 12 -- 20,863 (- 7.9%)
114 - DC/WILDSTORM: DREAMWAR
04/2008: Dreamwar #1 of 6 -- 34,794
05/2008: Dreamwar #2 of 6 -- 24,732 (-28.9%)
06/2008: Dreamwar #3 of 6 -- 23,555 (- 4.8%)
07/2008: Dreamwar #4 of 6 -- 21,392 (- 9.2%)
08/2008: Dreamwar #5 of 6 -- 20,459 (- 4.4%)
115 - REIGN IN HELL
07/2008: Reign in Hell #1 of 8 -- 29,003
08/2008: Reign in Hell #2 of 8 -- 20,459 (-29.5%)
116 - TANGENT: SUPERMAN'S REIGN
03/2008: Tangent #1 of 12 -- 32,378
04/2008: Tangent #2 of 12 -- 25,652 (-20.8%)
05/2008: Tangent #3 of 12 -- 22,858 (-14.2%)
06/2008: Tangent #4 of 12 -- 21,701 (- 5.1%)
07/2008: Tangent #5 of 12 -- 21,061 (- 3.0%)
08/2008: Tangent #6 of 12 -- 20,314 (- 3.6%)

These are the kind of numbers you get for this type of book these days, rather than the kind you want.

“This type of book,” in this case, meaning out-of-continuity miniseries that were demanded by nobody in particular. I can see an extended shelf-life for Batman: Gotham After Midnight once it’s collected. But the other ones, probably not so much.

The first issue of Reign in Hell was promoted with a 1-for-10 variant-cover edition, for the record, but that’s still a pretty large second-issue drop.

—–

123 - CATWOMAN
08/2002: Catwoman #10 -- 27,937*
08/2003: --
08/2004: Catwoman #34 -- 37,033 [42,098]
08/2005: Catwoman #46 -- 20,702 [21,718]
08/2006: Catwoman #58 -- 26,568
-------------------------------
08/2007: Catwoman #70 -- 20,518 (+ 5.8%)
09/2007: Catwoman #71 -- 19,492 (- 5.0%)
10/2007: Catwoman #72 -- 19,473 (- 0.1%)
11/2007: Catwoman #73 -- 18,815 (- 3.4%)
12/2007: Catwoman #74 -- 18,623 (- 1.0%)
01/2008: Catwoman #75 -- 21,580 (+15.9%)
02/2008: Catwoman #76 -- 18,798 (-12.9%)
03/2008: Catwoman #77 -- 18,609 (- 1.0%)
04/2008: Catwoman #78 -- 18,553 (- 0.3%)
05/2008: Catwoman #79 -- 17,999 (- 3.0%)
06/2008: Catwoman #80 -- 17,797 (- 1.1%)
07/2008: Catwoman #81 -- 17,766 (- 0.2%)
08/2008: Catwoman #82 -- 17,662 (- 0.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.0%
1 year  : -13.9%
2 years : -33.5%
5 years :   n.a.

Cancelled. To be fair, Catwoman was never more than a cult favorite, commercially, even when Ed Brubaker, Darwyn Cooke and friends did their much-lauded relaunch in 2001. Right before DC began to muck with the book’s style two years in, the numbers were down at 23K. They were consistent, granted, but hardly anything to write home about.

Perhaps there’s just not enough of an audience for the character to sustain her own series.

—–

124 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
05/2008: House of Mystery #1  -- 27,492
06/2008: House of Mystery #2  -- 19,485 (-29.1%)
06/2008: House of Mystery #3  -- 18,407 (- 5.5%)
07/2008: House of Mystery #4  -- 17,569 (- 4.6%)

House of Mystery hasn’t levelled out yet, and it’s hard to make any meaningful statements about its long-term prospects before the second arc comes around. That said, for now the numbers look solid.

A reprint of issue #1 made the August chart at No. 300 with an estimated 2,041 units, by the way. I’d have added it to the above figure, but DC called the book Vertigo Double Shot #1 and threw a reprint of Young Liars #1 into the mix, so it’s not really a straightforward second printing. Still, it’s an encouraging sign for the series, at least.

—–

127/129 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)
08/2006: Jack of Fables #2  -- 23,554
-------------------------------------
08/2007: Jack of Fables #13 -- 19,187 (- 0.8%)
09/2007: Jack of Fables #14 -- 18,728 (- 2.4%)
10/2007: Jack of Fables #15 -- 18,329 (- 2.1%)
10/2007: Jack of Fables #16 -- 17,743 (- 3.2%)
11/2007: Jack of Fables #17 -- 17,456 (- 1.6%)
12/2007: Jack of Fables #18 -- 17,242 (- 1.2%)
01/2008: Jack of Fables #19 -- 16,886 (- 2.1%)
02/2008: Jack of Fables #20 -- 16,650 (- 1.4%)
03/2008: Jack of Fables #21 -- 16,597 (- 0.3%)
04/2008: Jack of Fables #22 -- 16,305 (- 1.8%)
05/2008: --
06/2008: Jack of Fables #23 -- 16,144 (- 1.0%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: Jack of Fables #24 -- 15,953 (- 1.2%)
08/2008: Jack of Fables #25 -- 15,642 (- 2.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.1%
1 year  : -17.7%
2 years : -32.9%

Standard attrition.

—–

128 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
08/2001: The Authority #25    -- 41,046*
08/2003: The Authority v2 #4  -- 30,926
08/2004: The Authority v2 #14 -- 20,327
08/2005: Revolution #11 of 12 -- 18,823
---------------------------------------
08/2007: --
09/2007: --
10/2007: Prime #1 of 6        -- 21,992 (-44.9%)
11/2007: Prime #2 of 6        -- 17,717 (-19.4%)
12/2007: Prime #3 of 6        -- 16,623 (- 6.2%)
01/2008: Prime #4 of 6        -- 15,058 (- 9.4%)
02/2008: Prime #5 of 6        -- 14,099 (- 6.4%)
03/2008: Prime #6 of 6        -- 13,369 (- 5.2%)
04/2008: --
05/2008: --
06/2008: --
07/2008: --
08/2008: The Authority v4 #1  -- 15,735 (+17.7%)
----------------
6 months: +11.6%
1 year  :  n.a.
5 years : -49.1%

There’s not much to say, really. These numbers suck, and it’s not a surprise to anyone, at this stage.

—–

135 - AMBUSH BUG: YEAR NONE
07/2008: Ambush Bug: Year None #1 of 6 -- 19,088
08/2008: Ambush Bug: Year None #2 of 6 -- 14,627 (-23.4%)

That’s a little steep, in terms of second-issue drops. But hey, the book is doing much better than any of the newly relaunched WildStorm Universe titles will be, two issues into their runs.

—–

142 - WILDCATS: WORLD'S END (WildStorm)
08/2001: Vol. 2 #26      -- 16,346*
08/2002: Version 3.0 #1  -- 22,127*
08/2003: Version 3.0 #13 -- 14,742
08/2004: Version 3.0 #24 -- 13,359
----------------------------------
07/2008: World's End #1  -- 16,895 (-79.5%)
08/2008: World's End #2  -- 13,311 (-21.2%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.
5 years : - 9.7%

As their flagship series, Wildcats, readily serves to demonstrate.

Time for another relaunch?

—–

144 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
06/2008: Madame Xanadu #1  -- 22,073
07/2008: Madame Xanadu #2  -- 16,655 (-24.6%)
08/2008: Madame Xanadu #3  -- 13,052 (- 3.3%)

Madame Xanadu sales are bottoming out quickly. Bearing in mind that the first issue was promoted with a 1-for-10 variant-cover edition, that’s a smooth overall drop-off, particularly for an ongoing series.

—–

145 - DC SPECIAL: CYBORG
05/2008: Cyborg #1 of 5 -- 18,783
06/2008: Cyborg #2 of 5 -- 14,960 (-20.4%)
07/2008: Cyborg #3 of 5 -- 13,490 (- 9.8%)
08/2008: Cyborg #4 of 5 -- 13,011 (- 3.6%)

Bottoming out, but well below the radar.

—–

146 - CHECKMATE
08/2006: Checkmate #5  -- 31,252
--------------------------------
08/2007: Checkmate #17 -- 19,841 (- 1.9%)
09/2007: Checkmate #18 -- 18,742 (- 5.5%)
10/2007: Checkmate #19 -- 18,096 (- 3.5%)
11/2007: Checkmate #20 -- 17,663 (- 2.4%)
12/2007: Checkmate #21 -- 17,363 (- 1.7%)
01/2008: Checkmate #22 -- 17,087 (- 1.6%)
02/2008: Checkmate #23 -- 16,595 (- 2.9%)
03/2008: Checkmate #24 -- 16,147 (- 2.7%)
04/2008: Checkmate #25 -- 15,857 (- 1.8%)
05/2008: Checkmate #26 -- 15,167 (- 4.4%)
06/2008: Checkmate #27 -- 14,642 (- 3.5%)
07/2008: Checkmate #28 -- 13,921 (- 4.9%)
08/2008: Checkmate #29 -- 13,000 (- 6.6%)
----------------
6 months: -21.7%
1 year  : -34.5%
2 years : -58.4%

Cancelled with issue #31. As expected the decline has been speeding up since original writer Greg Rucka left the book back in April.

—–

147 - JONAH HEX
08/2006: Jonah Hex #10 -- 19,772
--------------------------------
08/2007: Jonah Hex #22 -- 15,362 (- 2.4%)
09/2007: Jonah Hex #23 -- 15,157 (- 1.4%)
10/2007: Jonah Hex #24 -- 14,749 (- 2.7%)
11/2007: Jonah Hex #25 -- 14,577 (- 1.2%)
12/2007: Jonah Hex #26 -- 14,088 (- 3.5%)
01/2008: Jonah Hex #27 -- 13,881 (- 1.5%)
02/2008: Jonah Hex #28 -- 13,614 (- 1.9%)
03/2008: Jonah Hex #29 -- 13,439 (- 1.3%)
04/2008: Jonah Hex #30 -- 13,253 (- 1.4%)
05/2008: Jonah Hex #31 -- 13,140 (- 0.9%)
06/2008: Jonah Hex #32 -- 12,969 (- 1.3%)
07/2008: Jonah Hex #33 -- 14,281 (+10.1%)
08/2008: Jonah Hex #34 -- 12,969 (- 9.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.7%
1 year  : -15.6%
2 years : -34.4%

Dropping right back to its regular level after the issue drawn by guest penciler Darwyn Cooke.

—–

153 - MANHUNTER
08/2004: Manhunter #1  -- 25,517
08/2005: Manhunter #13 -- 22,110
08/2006: Manhunter #25 -- 15,175
--------------------------------
12/2006: Manhunter #26 -- 23,767 (+56.6%)
01/2007: Manhunter #27 -- 17,842 (-24.9%)
02/2007: Manhunter #28 -- 17,182 (- 3.4%)
03/2007: Manhunter #29 -- 17,234 (+ 0.3%)
04/2007: Manhunter #30 -- 16,373 (- 5.0%)
--------------------------------
06/2008: Manhunter #31 -- 15,694 (- 4.2%)
07/2008: Manhunter #32 -- 13,740 (-12.5%)
08/2008: Manhunter #33 -- 12,700 (- 7.6%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  :  n.a.
2 years : -16.3%

Evidently, retailers are treating Manhunter as a miniseries now. In theory, it’s been a very smooth drop-off so far, but if you compare the current numbers to the rest of the series, then there’s obviously quite a decline going on. Unless there’s some significant trend reversal, I don’t see the book returning for another encore in its present incarnation, to be honest.

—–

154 - BLUE BEETLE
08/2006: Blue Beetle #6  -- 33,181
----------------------------------
08/2007: Blue Beetle #18 -- 19,140 (+18.7%)
09/2007: Blue Beetle #19 -- 15,737 (-17.8%)
10/2007: Blue Beetle #20 -- 27,611 (+75.5%)
11/2007: Blue Beetle #21 -- 15,645 (-43.3%)
12/2007: Blue Beetle #22 -- 15,256 (- 2.5%)
01/2008: Blue Beetle #23 -- 14,961 (- 1.9%)
02/2008: Blue Beetle #24 -- 14,378 (- 3.9%)
03/2008: Blue Beetle #25 -- 14,304 (- 0.5%)
04/2008: Blue Beetle #26 -- 14,285 (- 0.1%)
05/2008: Blue Beetle #27 -- 13,802 (- 3.4%)
06/2008: -- 
07/2008: Blue Beetle #28 -- 13,620 (- 1.3%)
07/2008: Blue Beetle #29 -- 13,310 (- 2.3%)
08/2008: Blue Beetle #30 -- 12,669 (- 4.8%)
----------------
6 months: -11.9%
1 year  : -33.8%
2 years : -61.8%

With the original creative team all gone now, retailers don’t seem to have a lot of faith in the book. There have been some anecdotal reports of Blue Beetle doing disproportionally well outside the direct market. If it wants to survive the next six months, it would certainly have to.

—–

155 - THE SPIRIT
08/2007: The Spirit #9     -- 20,841 (- 5.2%)
09/2007: The Spirit #10    -- 19,962 (- 4.2%)
10/2007: --
11/2007: The Spirit #11    -- 18,892 (- 5.4%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: The Spirit #12    -- 18,894 (+ 0.0%)
01/2008: The Spirit #13    -- 17,475 (- 7.5%)
02/2008: The Spirit #14    -- 17,277 (- 1.1%)
03/2008: The Spirit #15    -- 16,038 (- 7.2%)
04/2008: The Spirit #16    -- 14,697 (- 8.4%)
05/2008: The Spirit #17    -- 14,057 (- 4.4%)
06/2008: The Spirit #18    -- 13,257 (- 5.7%)
07/2008: The Spirit #19    -- 12,709 (- 4.1%)
08/2008: The Spirit #20    -- 12,358 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: -28.5%
1 year  : -40.7%

The Spirit seems to be bottoming out somewhat. Despite officially being a DC Universe title, the series is actually produced by WildStorm, mind you; if this means that it has to perform according to WildStorm standards rather than DC Universe standards, numbers consistently above 10K may be enough to keep it afloat.

—–

160 - SIMON DARK
10/2007: Simon Dark #1  -- 24,256
11/2007: Simon Dark #2  -- 18,492 (-23.8%)
12/2007: Simon Dark #3  -- 17,391 (- 6.0%)
01/2008: Simon Dark #4  -- 16,242 (- 6.6%)
02/2008: Simon Dark #5  -- 15,360 (- 5.4%)
03/2008: Simon Dark #6  -- 14,684 (- 4.4%)
04/2008: Simon Dark #7  -- 13,936 (- 5.1%)
05/2008: Simon Dark #8  -- 13,222 (- 5.1%)
06/2008: Simon Dark #9  -- 12,514 (- 5.4%)
07/2008: Simon Dark #10 -- 12,038 (- 3.8%)
08/2008: Simon Dark #11 -- 11,529 (- 4.2%)
----------------
6 months: -24.9%

These sales still aren’t really bottoming out. The first Simon Dark paperback showed up in August, with estimated first-month sales of 2,424 in the North American direct market. That’s not a great debut, frankly. If they were waiting for the collection numbers to justify the book’s existence, things aren’t looking very good.

—–

163 - AIR (Vertigo)
08/2008: Air #1  -- 11,094

A new Vertigo monthly by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker, Air is about the fears involved with air travel after September 11; and if the first issue is any indication, it’s hanging that theme on a mystery plot. So, all told, the book seems to be somewhere in the middle between more traditional Vertigo fare like House of Mystery and Madame Xanadu, and “everything else,” such as Young Liars or [email protected].

Notably, Vertigo are trying another new stunt to sell the book. After introducing variant-cover editions with Northlanders, this time they’re offering a special incentive with the first three issues of Air, granting retailers full returnability if they order a specific quantity.

That’s also why there are two asterisks next to Air #1 on the Diamond chart. Presumably, as with Trinity, this means that the chart only reports 80% of the book’s actual direct-market sales, which would put Air #1 at an estimated 13,868 units. As usual when this happens, that’s the number that went into the average numbers chart below.

That said, the incentive doesn’t seem to have had much of an effect on the book’s numbers; they’re about what you’d expect for that sort of thing. They’re in the same area as those of Young Liars, which seems to be the new default template retailers use for Vertigo titles with no established names like Brian Wood or Matt Wagner attached to them.

—–

164 - GEN13 (WildStorm)
08/2001: Gen13 #68 -- 20,460*
08/2003: Gen13 #12 -- 14,521
----------------------------
08/2007: Gen13 #11 -- 16,955 (- 4.3%)
09/2007: Gen13 #12 -- 16,112 (- 5.0%)
10/2007: Gen13 #13 -- 15,539 (- 3.6%)
11/2007: Gen13 #14 -- 14,831 (- 4.6%)
12/2007: Gen13 #15 -- 14,330 (- 3.4%)
01/2008: Gen13 #16 -- 13,618 (- 5.0%)
02/2008: Gen13 #17 -- 12,844 (- 5.7%)
03/2008: Gen13 #18 -- 12,396 (- 3.5%)
04/2008: Gen13 #19 -- 11,887 (- 4.1%)
05/2008: Gen13 #20 -- 11,429 (- 3.9%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: --
08/2008: Gen13 #21 -- 11,074 (- 3.1%)
----------------
6 months: -13.8%
1 year  : -34.7%
5 years : -23.7%

The book returns from its two-month hiatus to take part in the “World’s End” relaunch of the WildStorm Universe line – with absolutely no effect on sales.

And they should be happy about that. Because, as you’ll see once we get to StormWatch: PHD, it could actually have been worse.

—–

165 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
12/2007: Northlanders #1  -- 19,805
01/2008: Northlanders #2  -- 15,945 (-19.5%)
02/2008: Northlanders #3  -- 14,699 (- 7.8%)
03/2008: Northlanders #4  -- 12,851 (-12.6%)
04/2008: Northlanders #5  -- 12,278 (- 4.5%)
05/2008: Northlanders #6  -- 12,009 (- 2.2%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Northlanders #7  -- 11,918 (- 0.8%)
07/2008: Northlanders #8  -- 11,477 (- 3.7%)
08/2008: Northlanders #9  -- 11,063 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: -24.7%

Northlanders maintains a slow decline. Since it’s written by Brian Wood, the series can probably count on solid paperback sales once the first collection turns up.

—–

167 - 100 BULLETS (Vertigo)
08/2001: 100 Bullets #27 -- 16,766*
08/2002: 100 Bullets #37 -- 16,944*
08/2002: 100 Bullets #38 -- 16,975*
08/2003: --
08/2004: 100 Bullets #52 -- 16,669
08/2005: 100 Bullets #63 -- 14,793
08/2006: 100 Bullets #75 -- 13,322
----------------------------------
08/2007: --
09/2007: 100 Bullets #85 -- 11,888 (- 2.1%)
10/2007: --
11/2007: 100 Bullets #86 -- 11,599 (- 2.4%)
12/2007: --
01/2008: 100 Bullets #87 -- 11,244 (- 3.1%)
02/2008: 100 Bullets #88 -- 11,077 (- 1.5%)
03/2008: 100 Bullets #89 -- 10,878 (- 1.8%)
04/2008: 100 Bullets #90 -- 10,856 (- 0.2%)
05/2008: 100 Bullets #91 -- 10,736 (- 1.1%)
06/2008: 100 Bullets #92 -- 10,797 (+ 0.6%)
07/2008: 100 Bullets #93 -- 10,796 (- 0.0%)
08/2008: 100 Bullets #94 -- 10,721 (- 0.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 3.2%
1 year  :   n.a.
2 years : -19.5%
5 years :   n.a.

The book keeps hovering near 11K. There has been quite a bit of erosion of 100 Bullets sales over the years, but for the last six months, the numbers have been rock-solid.

First-month collection sales in the direct market of 100 Bullets remain the second-highest after Fables among Vertigo’s current titles, meanwhile.

—–

171 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
02/2008: Tiny Titans #1  -- 15,238
03/2008: Tiny Titans #2  -- 11,432 (-25.0%)
04/2008: Tiny Titans #3  -- 11,197 (- 2.1%)
05/2008: Tiny Titans #4  -- 10,369 (- 7.4%)
06/2008: Tiny Titans #5  -- 10,909 (+ 5.2%)
07/2008: Tiny Titans #6  -- 10,636 (- 2.5%)
08/2008: Tiny Titans #7  -- 10,234 (- 3.8%)
----------------
6 months: -32.8%

A Johnny DC book. See disclaimers.

—–

172 - SUPERNATURAL: RISING SON (WildStorm)
08/2007: Origins #4         -- 13,915 (- 6.1%)
09/2007: Origins #5         -- 13,034 (- 6.3%)
10/2007: Origins #6         -- 12,350 (- 5.5%)
11/2007: --
12/2007: --
01/2008: --
02/2008: --
03/2008: --
04/2008: Rising Son #1 of 6 -- 16,013 (+29.7%)
05/2008: Rising Son #2 of 6 -- 11,846 (-26.0%)
06/2008: Rising Son #3 of 6 -- 11,276 (- 4.8%)
07/2008: Rising Son #4 of 6 -- 10,676 (- 5.3%)
08/2008: Rising Son #5 of 6 -- 10,110 (- 5.3%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -27.4%

These are fairly regular limited-series drops, if you account for the fact that issue #1 came with a 1-for-10 variant-cover edition.

—–

174 - THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT
05/2008: The War That Time Forgot #1  of 8  -- 18,243
06/2008: The War That Time Forgot #2  of 8  -- 13,296 (-27.1%)
07/2008: The War That Time Forgot #3  of 8  -- 11,407 (-14.2%)
08/2008: The War That Time Forgot #4  of 8  --  9,965 (-12.6%)

Horrible sales, obviously.

—–

178 - DMZ (Vertigo)
08/2006: DMZ #10 -- 14,704
--------------------------
08/2007: DMZ #22 -- 12,175 (-2.1%)
09/2007: DMZ #23 -- 11,858 (-2.6%)
10/2007: DMZ #24 -- 11,583 (-2.3%)
11/2007: DMZ #25 -- 11,277 (-2.6%)
12/2007: DMZ #26 -- 11,027 (-2.2%)
01/2008: DMZ #27 -- 10,662 (-3.3%)
02/2008: DMZ #28 -- 10,463 (-1.9%)
03/2008: DMZ #29 -- 10,266 (-1.9%)
04/2008: DMZ #30 -- 10,038 (-2.2%)
05/2008: DMZ #31 --  9,911 (-1.3%)
06/2008: DMZ #32 --  9,760 (-1.5%)
07/2008: DMZ #33 --  9,364 (-4.1%)
08/2008: DMZ #34 --  9,561 (+2.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 8.6%
1 year  : -21.5%
2 years : -35.0%

The slight increase suggests that the 4% drop in July was a glitch – maybe a box of DMZ #33 fell off a truck in New Jersey.

The latest paperback collection, DMZ, Vol. 5: The Hidden War, also shipped in August, with estimated sales of 6,143 – the highest first-month direct-market numbers the book has seen to date.

Which is interesting on a number of levels. If you factor in the falling sales of the monthly, the reorders for the paperback collections and the sales outside the direct market, what it means, for instance, is that it’s very likely that DMZ periodical issues are being outsold by DMZ collections right now; the same may be true for 100 Bullets. And if the trend of shrinking periodical sales and growing collection sales continues, then at some point in the not-too-distant future there’s probably going to be a situation where the periodical is no longer a loss-leader, but an appendage that’s outlived its usefulness not only in creative terms, but in commercial ones as well.

I don’t see any evidence yet that we’re at a point where the situation can be generalized. It’s probably fair to say that the notion of ditching the periodicals with some properties or creators is a lot more realistic now than it was a couple of years ago, however. With DMZ as one of the forerunners of that shifting market, that certainly explains why we’re seeing all those Brian Wood reissues from Vertigo lately.

—–

183 - STORMWATCH: PHD (WildStorm)
08/2002: Team Achilles #2    -- 21,463*
08/2003: Team Achilles #14   -- 12,314
--------------------------------------
08/2007: StormWatch: PHD #10 -- 11,106 (- 2.7%)
09/2007: StormWatch: PHD #11 -- 10,440 (- 6.0%)
10/2007: StormWatch: PHD #12 -- 10,011 (- 4.1%)
11/2007: --
12/2007: --
01/2008: --
02/2008: --
03/2008: --
04/2008: --
05/2008: --
06/2008: --
07/2008: --
08/2008: StormWatch: PHD #13 --  8,650 (-13.6%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : -22.1%
5 years : -29.8%

This is, pretty much, the final nail in the coffin of the WildStorm Universe line. The relaunch didn’t just not help StormWatch: PHD sales – it seems to have actively hurt them.

Nor does that come as a big surprise, given that the only thing the book had going for it a year ago was the buzz of Christos Gage’s stories. Exchanging the bloody writer is really the last thing you want to do in that situation.

What a horrible clusterfuck they’ve made of this line.

—–

184 - HELLBLAZER PRESENTS: CHAS KNOWLEDGE (Vertigo)
07/2008: Chas Knowledge #1 of 5 -- 10,465
08/2008: Chas Knowledge #2 of 5 --  8,608 (-17.5%)
186 - TOR
05/2008: Tor #1 of 6 -- 15,147
06/2008: Tor #2 of 6 -- 11,100 (-26.7%)
07/2008: Tor #3 of 6 --  9,504 (-14.3%)
08/2008: Tor #4 of 6 --  8,598 (- 9.5%)

The periodical sales for Tor and Chas are awful, but both series are probably going to earn their keep once they’ve been collected.

—–

187 - INFINITY INC.
09/2007: Infinity Inc. #1  -- 33,400
10/2007: Infinity Inc. #2  -- 24,158 (-27.7%)
11/2007: Infinity Inc. #3  -- 18,776 (-22.3%)
12/2007: Infinity Inc. #4  -- 15,861 (-15.5%)
01/2008: Infinity Inc. #5  -- 13,951 (-12.0%)
02/2008: Infinity Inc. #6  -- 12,523 (-10.2%)
03/2008: Infinity Inc. #7  -- 11,328 (- 9.5%)
04/2008: Infinity Inc. #8  -- 10,649 (- 6.0%)
05/2008: Infinity Inc. #9  --  9,993 (- 6.2%)
06/2008: Infinity Inc. #10 --  9,500 (- 4.9%)
07/2008: Infinity Inc. #11 --  9,003 (- 5.2%)
08/2008: Infinity Inc. #12 --  8,577 (- 4.7%)
----------------
6 months: -31.5%

Cancelled. Infinity Inc. may have been a tad too quirky for the direct market.

—–

192 - YOUNG LIARS (Vertigo)
03/2008: Young Liars #1  -- 13,177
04/2008: Young Liars #2  --  9,917 (-24.7%)
05/2008: Young Liars #3  --  8,954 (- 9.7%)
06/2008: Young Liars #4  --  8,590 (- 4.1%)
07/2008: Young Liars #5  --  8,172 (- 4.9%)
08/2008: Young Liars #6  --  7,862 (- 3.8%)

Slowly finding its level.

—–

194 - STORMING PARADISE (WildStorm)
07/2008: Storming Paradise #1 of 6 -- 9,965
08/2008: Storming Paradise #2 of 6 -- 7,282 (-26.9%)

That’s a disastrous second-issue drop for a miniseries, and there are no variant-cover editions or other gimmicks that might explain it, either.

—–

195 - LOST BOYS: REIGN OF FROGS (WildStorm)
05/2008: Reign of Frogs #1 of 4 -- 11,999
06/2008: Reign of Frogs #2 of 4 --  9,231 (-23.1%)
07/2008: Reign of Frogs #3 of 4 --  8,012 (-13.2%)
08/2008: Reign of Frogs #4 of 4 --  7,220 (- 9.9%)

One of WildStorm’s less successful licensed properties.

—–

199 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
08/2007: Scalped #8  --  7,942 (- 4.4%)
09/2007: Scalped #9  --  7,678 (- 3.3%)
10/2007: Scalped #10 --  7,536 (- 1.9%)
11/2007: Scalped #11 --  7,323 (- 2.8%) 
12/2007: Scalped #12 --  7,048 (- 3.8%)
01/2008: Scalped #13 --  6,993 (- 0.8%)
02/2008: Scalped #14 --  6,903 (- 1.3%)
03/2008: Scalped #15 --  7,004 (+ 1.5%)
04/2008: Scalped #16 --  7,071 (+ 1.0%)
05/2008: Scalped #17 --  6,927 (- 2.0%)
06/2008: Scalped #18 --  7,020 (+ 1.3%)
07/2008: Scalped #19 --  7,221 (+ 2.9%)
08/2008: Scalped #20 --  7,034 (- 2.6%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.9%
1 year  : -11.4%

Scalped keeps hovering at 7,000 units. The third paperback collection is due in October. Considering what’s going on with DMZ right now, this may be another title to watch.

—–

203 - BATMAN STRIKES! (Johnny DC)
08/2001: Gotham Adventures #41 -- 12,145*
08/2002: Gotham Adventures #53 -- 12,469*
08/2003: Batman Adventures #5  -- 13,609
08/2004: Batman Adventures #17 -- 11,862
08/2005: Batman Strikes! #12   --  9,528
08/2006: Batman Strikes! #24   --  8,139
----------------------------------------
08/2007: Batman Strikes! #36   --  7,511 (+ 4.0%)
09/2007: Batman Strikes! #37   --  6,833 (- 9.0%)
10/2007: Batman Strikes! #38   --  6,664 (- 2.5%)
11/2007: Batman Strikes! #39   --  6,464 (- 3.0%)
12/2007: Batman Strikes! #40   --  6,492 (+ 0.4%)
01/2008: Batman Strikes! #41   --  6,723 (+ 3.6%)
02/2008: Batman Strikes! #42   --  6,623 (- 1.5%)
03/2008: Batman Strikes! #43   --  6,544 (- 1.2%)
04/2008: Batman Strikes! #44   --  7,541 (+15.2%)
05/2008: Batman Strikes! #45   --  6,611 (-12.3%)
06/2008: Batman Strikes! #46   --  7,118 (+ 7.7%)
07/2008: Batman Strikes! #47   --  7,711 (+ 8.3%)
08/2008: Batman Strikes! #48   --  6,702 (-13.1%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.2%
1 year  : -10.8%
2 years : -17.7%
5 years : -50.8%

A Johnny DC title. See disclaimers.

—–

204 - [email protected]: THE ART OF WAR (Vertigo)
08/2007: [email protected] #6  --  7,858 (- 6.3%)
09/2007: [email protected] #7  --  7,310 (- 7.0%)
10/2007: [email protected] #8  --  7,010 (- 4.1%)
11/2007: [email protected] #9  --  6,617 (- 5.6%)
12/2007: [email protected] #10 --  6,364 (- 3.8%)
01/2008: [email protected] #11 --  6,023 (- 5.4%)
02/2008: [email protected] #12 --  5,777 (- 4.1%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: --
05/2008: --
06/2008: --
07/2008: --
08/2008: AoW #1 of 6   --  6,692 (+15.8%)
----------------
6 months: +15.8%
1 year  : -14.8%

Well, there is a sales increase, at least. To be honest, that’s more than I would have expected.

—–

205 - THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE AUTHORITY: JACK HAWKSMOOR (WildStorm)
03/2008: Jack Hawksmoor #1 of 6 -- 10,967
04/2008: Jack Hawksmoor #2 of 6 --  8,771 (-20.0%)
05/2008: Jack Hawksmoor #3 of 6 --  7,996 (- 8.8%)
06/2008: Jack Hawksmoor #4 of 6 --  7,299 (- 8.7%)
07/2008: Jack Hawksmoor #5 of 6 --  6,920 (- 5.2%)
08/2008: Jack Hawksmoor #6 of 6 --  6,681 (- 3.5%)

Another tanked WildStorm Universe book.

—–

206 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
03/2008: Super Friends #1  -- 12,554
04/2008: Super Friends #2  --  8,935 (-28.8%)
05/2008: Super Friends #3  --  8,037 (-10.1%)
06/2008: Super Friends #4  --  8,038 (+ 0.0%)
07/2008: Super Friends #5  --  7,141 (-11.2%)
08/2008: Super Friends #6  --  6,671 (- 6.6%)

Two Johnny DC titles. See disclaimers.

—–

213 - CHUCK (WildStorm)
06/2008: Chuck #1 of 6 -- 10,513
07/2008: Chuck #2 of 6 --  7,411 (-29.5%)
08/2008: Chuck #3 of 6 --  6,267 (-15.4%)

Awful numbers.

—–

217 - THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES IN THE 31ST CENTURY (Johnny DC)
08/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #5  --  7,681 (- 6.7%)
09/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #6  --  7,362 (- 4.2%)
10/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #7  --  7,010 (- 4.8%)
11/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #8  --  6,886 (- 1.8%)
12/2007: The LoSH in the 31st Century #9  --  6,777 (- 1.6%)
01/2008: The LoSH in the 31st Century #10 --  6,674 (- 1.5%)
02/2008: The LoSH in the 31st Century #11 --  6,568 (- 1.6%)
03/2008: The LoSH in the 31st Century #12 --  6,331 (- 3.6%)
04/2008: The LoSH in the 31st Century #13 --  6,331 (  0.0%)
05/2008: The LoSH in the 31st Century #14 --  6,203 (- 2.0%)
06/2008: The LoSH in the 31st Century #15 --  6,565 (+ 5.8%)
07/2008: The LoSH in the 31st Century #16 --  6,289 (- 4.2%)
08/2008: The LoSH in the 31st Century #17 --  5,925 (- 5.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.8%
1 year  : -22.9%

A Johnny DC title. See disclaimers.

—–

228 - THE VINYL UNDERGROUND (Vertigo)
10/2007: The Vinyl Underground #1  -- 10,823
11/2007: The Vinyl Underground #2  --  8,237 (-23.9%)
12/2007: The Vinyl Underground #3  --  7,432 (- 9.8%)
01/2008: The Vinyl Underground #4  --  6,854 (- 7.8%)
02/2008: The Vinyl Underground #5  --  6,384 (- 6.9%)
03/2008: The Vinyl Underground #6  --  6,035 (- 5.5%)
04/2008: The Vinyl Underground #7  --  5,862 (- 2.9%)
05/2008: The Vinyl Underground #8  --  5,572 (- 5.0%)
06/2008: The Vinyl Underground #9  --  5,445 (- 2.3%)
07/2008: The Vinyl Underground #10 --  5,238 (- 3.8%)
08/2008: The Vinyl Underground #11 --  5,107 (- 2.5%)
----------------
6 months: -20.0%

Cancelled with issue #12.

—–

229 - FAMILY DYNAMIC (Johnny DC)
08/2008: Family Dynamic #1 of 6  -- 5,086

A Johnny DC book. After the first issue had already been solicited, the title was downsized to a three-issue series.

—–

245 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
08/2001: Scooby Doo #51  -- 5,322*
08/2002: Scooby Doo #63  -- 6,827*
08/2003: Scooby Doo #75  -- 6,135
08/2004: Scooby Doo #87  -- 5,436
08/2005: Scooby Doo #99  -- 4,654
08/2006: Scooby Doo #111 -- 4,492
---------------------------------
08/2007: Scooby Doo #123 -- 4,641 (+ 4.9%)
09/2007: Scooby Doo #124 -- 4,401 (- 5.2%)
10/2007: Scooby Doo #125 -- 4,407 (+ 0.1%)
11/2007: Scooby Doo #126 -- 4,237 (- 3.9%)
12/2007: Scooby Doo #127 -- 4,293 (+ 1.3%)
01/2008: Scooby Doo #128 -- 4,147 (- 3.4%)
02/2008: Scooby Doo #129 -- 4,161 (+ 0.4%)
03/2008: Scooby Doo #130 -- 4,463 (+ 7.3%)
04/2008: Scooby Doo #131 -- 4,403 (- 1.3%)
05/2008: Scooby Doo #132 -- 4,309 (- 2.1%)
06/2008: Scooby Doo #133 -- 4,501 (+ 4.5%)
07/2008: Scooby Doo #134 -- 4,286 (- 4.8%)
08/2008: Scooby Doo #135 -- 4,226 (- 1.4%)
----------------
6 months: + 1.6%
1 year  : - 8.9%
2 years : - 5.9%
5 years : -31.1%

And another Johnny DC book. See disclaimers.

—–

264 - CASEY BLUE: BEYOND TOMORROW (WildStorm)
05/2008: Beyond Tomorrow #1 of 6 -- 6,264
06/2008: Beyond Tomorrow #2 of 6 -- 4,726 (-24.6%)
07/2008: Beyond Tomorrow #3 of 6 -- ?
08/2008: Beyond Tomorrow #4 of 6 -- 3,491

Back in the Top 300, at least.

—–

282 - LOONEY TUNES (Johnny DC)
08/2001: Looney Tunes #81  -- 3,046*
08/2002: Looney Tunes #93  -- 3,560*
08/2003: Looney Tunes #105 -- 3,502
08/2004: Looney Tunes #117 -- 3,159
08/2005: Looney Tunes #129 -- 2,736
08/2006: Looney Tunes #141 -- 2,783
-----------------------------------
08/2007: Looney Tunes #153 -- 2,755 (- 3.8%)
09/2007: Looney Tunes #154 -- 2,740 (- 0.6%)
10/2007: Looney Tunes #155 -- ?
11/2007: Looney Tunes #156 -- ?
12/2007: Looney Tunes #157 -- 2,641
01/2008: Looney Tunes #158 -- 2,596 (- 1.7%)
02/2008: Looney Tunes #159 -- 2,606 (+ 0.4%)
03/2008: Looney Tunes #160 -- 2,807 (+ 7.7%)
04/2008: Looney Tunes #161 -- ? 
05/2008: Looney Tunes #162 -- ? 
06/2008: Looney Tunes #163 -- 2,793
07/2008: Looney Tunes #164 -- ? 
08/2008: Looney Tunes #165 -- 2,662
----------------
6 months: + 2.2%
1 year  : - 3.4%
2 years : - 4.4%
5 years : -24.0%

Johnny DC. See disclaimers.

—–

300 - VERTIGO DOUBLE SHOT (Vertigo)
08/2008: Double Shot #1  -- 2,041

A reprint of House of Mystery #1 and Young Liars #1.

—–

REORDERS:
133 -- 14,937: Final Crisis Director's Cut Special #1
218 --  5,759: Final Crisis: Requiem #1
234 --  4,889: Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #1 (2nd)
287 --  2,496: Final Crisis #2

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+ 81.7%: Nightwing
+ 55.3%: Robin
+ 51.9%: Batman
+ 40.8%: Detective Comics
+ 15.8%: [email protected]
+ 12.1%: Superman
+ 11.6%: The Authority
+  2.2%: Looney Tunes
+  1.9%: Scalped
+  1.6%: Scooby-Doo
+  1.2%: Batman Strikes
-  0.6%: Superman/Batman
-  3.2%: Birds of Prey
-  3.2%: GL Corps
-  3.2%: 100 Bullets
-  4.7%: Jonah Hex
-  5.1%: Jack of Fables
-  6.0%: Catwoman
-  6.9%: Batman Confidential
-  8.6%: DMZ
-  9.3%: JLA
-  9.8%: LoSH 31
- 11.0%: Action Comics
- 11.2%: Outsiders
- 11.9%: Blue Beetle
- 11.9%: JSA
- 13.0%: Booster Gold
- 13.8%: Gen13
- 14.0%: Teen Titans
- 15.2%: Wonder Woman
- 17.2%: Legion
- 17.8%: Supergirl
- 19.4%: Brave & Bold
- 20.0%: Vinyl Underground
- 21.4%: Flash
- 21.7%: Checkmate
- 21.7%: Green Arrow
- 22.4%: Teen Titans: Year One
- 24.7%: Northlanders
- 24.9%: Simon Dark
- 28.0%: Warcraft
- 28.5%: Spirit
- 31.5%: Infinity Inc.
- 32.8%: Tiny Titans

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 88.2%: Nightwing
+ 69.8%: Robin
+ 40.9%: Detective Comics
+ 33.2%: Batman
+  1.0%: Action Comics
-  3.4%: Looney Tunes
-  3.4%: Outsiders
-  8.9%: Scooby-Doo
- 10.7%: GL Corps
- 10.8%: Batma Strikes
- 11.4%: Batman Confidential
- 11.4%: Scalped
- 11.5%: Green Arrow
- 12.1%: Legion
- 13.0%: Superman
- 13.3%: Superman/Batman
- 13.9%: Catwoman
- 14.8%: [email protected]
- 15.6%: Jonah Hex
- 16.1%: JSA
- 17.7%: Jack of Fables
- 20.7%: Birds of Prey
- 21.5%: DMZ
- 22.1%: StormWatch
- 22.9%: LoSH 31
- 27.4%: Supernatural
- 30.1%: Wonder Woman
- 33.8%: Blue Beetle
- 34.5%: Checkmate
- 34.7%: Gen13
- 37.9%: Teen Titans
- 38.0%: JLA
- 38.7%: Booster Gold
- 39.4%: Brave & Bold
- 40.0%: Supergirl
- 40.7%: Spirit
- 67.5%: Flash

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 40.4%: Nightwing
+ 17.8%: Robin
+  7.9%: Batman
+  7.2%: Detective Comics
-  4.4%: Looney Tunes
-  5.9%: Scooby-Doo
- 10.6%: GL Corps
- 14.5%: Action Comics
- 16.3%: Manhunter
- 17.0%: Outsiders
- 17.7%: Batma Strikes
- 19.5%: 100 Bullets
- 19.6%: Green Arrow
- 29.1%: Birds of Prey
- 30.4%: Superman
- 32.9%: Jack of Fables
- 33.5%: Catwoman
- 34.4%: Jonah Hex
- 35.0%: DMZ
- 35.3%: Legion
- 37.5%: Teen Titans
- 43.0%: Superman/Batman
- 58.0%: Flash
- 58.0%: Wonder Woman
- 58.4%: Checkmate
- 61.7%: JLA
- 61.8%: Blue Beetle
- 62.1%: Supergirl

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+101.0%: Robin
+ 91.4%: Nightwing
+ 87.3%: Detective Comics
+ 69.4%: JSA
+ 60.6%: Action Comics
+ 38.6%: JLA
+ 38.5%: Superman
+ 20.3%: Wonder Woman
+ 14.8%: Legion
-  1.0%: Batgirl
-  9.7%: Wildcats
- 15.8%: Flash
- 19.6%: Birds of Prey
- 23.7%: Gen13
- 24.0%: Looney Tunes
- 25.4%: Outsiders
- 29.7%: Teen Titans
- 29.8%: Batman
- 29.8%: StormWatch
- 30.9%: Green Arrow
- 31.1%: Scooby-Doo
- 49.1%: The Authority
- 50.8%: Batma Strikes
- 61.5%: Superman/Batman

—–

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

DC COMICS
08/2003: 28,270
08/2004: 29,318
08/2005: 35,930
08/2006: 42,497
---------------
08/2007: 35,107
09/2007: 32,332 (- 7.9%)
10/2007: 31,489 (- 2.6%)
11/2007: 29,427 (- 6.6%)
12/2007: 33,138 (+12.6%)
01/2008: 27,033 (-18.4%)
02/2008: 27,652 (+ 2.3%)
03/2008: 26,423 (- 4.5%)
04/2008: 28,051 (+ 6.1%)
05/2008: 27,075 (- 3.5%)
06/2008: 27,388 (+ 1.2%)
07/2008: 27,436 (+ 0.2%)
08/2008: 29,678 (+ 8.2%)
----------------
6 months: + 7.3%
1 year  : -15.5%
2 years : -30.2%
3 years : -17.4%
4 years : + 1.2%
5 years : + 5.0%
DC UNIVERSE
08/2003: 32,946
08/2004: 34,018
08/2005: 46,527
08/2006: 54,382
---------------
08/2007: 47,049
09/2007: 42,894 (- 8.8%)
10/2007: 39,409 (- 8.1%)
11/2007: 37,257 (- 5.5%)
12/2007: 40,074 (+ 7.6%)
01/2008: 33,654 (-16.0%)
02/2008: 35,994 (+ 7.0%)
03/2008: 33,151 (- 7.9%)
04/2008: 35,452 (+ 6.9%)
05/2008: 35,230 (- 0.6%)
06/2008: 35,831 (+ 1.7%)
07/2008: 35,553 (- 0.8%)
08/2008: 38,502 (+ 8.3%)
----------------
6 months: + 7.0%
1 year  : -18.2%
2 years : -29.2%
3 years : -17.3%
4 years : +13.2%
5 years : +16.9%
VERTIGO
08/2003: 17,396
08/2004: 18,298
08/2005: 13,652
08/2006: 16,107
---------------
08/2007: 10,817 (-11.3%)
09/2007: 11,806 (+ 9.1%)
10/2007: 10,678 (- 9.6%)
11/2007: 10,946 (+ 2.5%)
12/2007: 11,035 (+ 0.8%)
01/2008: 10,115 (- 8.3%)
02/2008: 10,885 (+ 7.6%)
03/2008: 10,484 (- 3.7%)
04/2008: 10,550 (+ 0.6%)
05/2008: 10,418 (- 1.3%)
06/2008: 10,491 (+ 0.7%)
07/2008: 10,821 (+ 3.2%)
08/2008: 10,979 (+ 1.5%)
----------------
6 months: + 0.9%
1 year  : + 1.5%
2 years : -31.8%
3 years : -19.6%
4 years : -40.0%
5 years : -36.9%
WILDSTORM
08/2003: 20,185
08/2004: 15,701
08/2005: 15,998
08/2006: 14,741
---------------
07/2007: 11,234 (- 8.5%)
08/2007: 10,744 (- 4.4%)
09/2007: 11,379 (+ 5.9%)
10/2007: 11,960 (+ 5.1%)
11/2007: 15,109 (+26.3%)
12/2007: 15,601 (+ 3.3%)
01/2008: 14,033 (-10.1%)
02/2008: 13,155 (- 6.3%)
03/2008: 12,842 (- 2.4%)
04/2008: 12,156 (- 5.3%)
05/2008:  9,812 (-19.3%)
06/2008:  9,806 (- 0.1%)
07/2008:  9,875 (+ 0.7%)
08/2008: 10,560 (+ 6.9%)
----------------
6 months: -19.7%
1 year  : - 6.0%
2 years : -28.4%
3 years : -34.0%
4 years : -32.7%
5 years : -47.7%

—–
OTHER PUBLISHERS

13 - BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (Dark Horse Comics)
08/2001: Buffy #36 --  16,817*
08/2002: Buffy #48 --  16,241*
08/2003: Buffy #60 --  14,580
-----------------------------
08/2007: --
09/2007: Buffy #6  --  96,556 (- 4.2%) [107,551]
10/2007: Buffy #7  --  94,144 (- 2.4%) [101,979]
11/2007: Buffy #8  --  91,595 (- 2.7%) [ 96,975]
12/2007: Buffy #9  --  89,556 (- 2.2%)
01/2008: Buffy #10 --  88,474 (- 1.2%)
02/2008: Buffy #11 --  88,070 (- 0.5%)
03/2008: Buffy #12 --  88,930 (+ 1.0%)
04/2008: Buffy #13 --  83,580 (- 6.0%)
05/2008: Buffy #14 --  82,069 (- 1.8%)
06/2008: Buffy #15 --  80,464 (- 2.0%)
07/2008: Buffy #16 --  82,031 (+ 2.0%)
08/2008: Buffy #17 --  79,307 (- 3.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 10.0%
1 year  :   n.a.
5 years : +443.9%
54 - ANGEL: AFTER THE FALL (IDW)
11/2007: After the Fall #1      -- 47,563 (+648.9%) [74,342]
12/2007: After the Fall #2      -- 44,792 (-  5.8%) [56,396]
01/2008: After the Fall #3      -- 46,013 (+  2.7%) [50,175]
02/2008: After the Fall #4      -- 48,407 (+  5.2%) [57,555]
03/2008: After the Fall #5      -- 49,558 (+  2.4%) 
04/2008: After the Fall #6      -- 46,645 (-  5.9%) [51,044]
05/2008: After the Fall #7      -- 45,430 (-  2.6%)
06/2008: After the Fall #8      -- 47,888 (+  5.4%)
06/2008: After the Fall #9      -- 47,081 (-  1.7%)
07/2008: After the Fall #10     -- 43,024 (-  8.6%) [45,510]
08/2008: After the Fall #11     -- 44,905 (+  4.4%)
-----------------
6 months: -  7.2%
71 - SPIKE: AFTER THE FALL (IDW)
07/2008: Spike: After the Fall #1 of 4 -- 36,874
08/2008: Spike: After the Fall #2 of 4 -- 33,635 (-8.8%)

For the second month in a row, Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-offs Angel and Spike take the three top non-Marvel, non-DC spots on the direct market chart.

The numbers are perfectly solid. For Spike: After the Fall in particular, that’s a very smooth second-issue drop-off. All three titles were promoted with variant-cover editions, as usual.

—–

97 - CONAN (Dark Horse Comics)
08/2004: Conan #7                -- 47,052
08/2005: Conan #19               -- 35,455
08/2006: Conan #31               -- 30,887
------------------------------------------
08/2007: Conan #43               -- 23,843 (- 1.8%)
09/2007: --
10/2007: Conan #44               -- 23,632 (- 0.9%)
10/2007: Conan #45               -- 23,504 (- 0.5%)
11/2007: Conan #46               -- 22,937 (- 2.4%)
12/2007: Conan #47               -- 22,140 (- 3.5%)
01/2008: Conan #48               -- 21,850 (- 1.3%)
02/2008: Conan #49               -- 21,690 (- 0.7%)
03/2008: --
04/2008: --
05/2008: Conan #50               -- 22,542 (+ 3.9%)
06/2008: Conan the Cimmerian #0  -- ?
07/2008: Conan the Cimmerian #1  -- 31,296 (+38.8%)
08/2008: Conan the Cimmerian #2  -- 25,762 (-17.7%)
----------------
6 months: +18.8%
1 year  : + 8.1%
2 years : -16.6%

That’s an average second-issue drop after July’s relaunch, but the numbers remain slightly ahead of the book’s previous level.

—–

86 - STAR WARS: LEGACY (Dark Horse Comics)
08/2006: --
----------------------------------------
08/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #15 -- 31,539 (-0.4%)
09/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #16 -- 31,240 (-1.0%)
10/2007: -- 
11/2007: Star Wars: Legacy #17 -- 31,197 (-0.1%)
12/2007: -- 
01/2008: Star Wars: Legacy #18 -- 31,038 (-0.5%)
02/2008: Star Wars: Legacy #19 -- 30,953 (-0.3%)
02/2008: Star Wars: Legacy #20 -- 29,896 (-3.4%)
03/2008: Star Wars: Legacy #21 -- 30,228 (+1.1%)
04/2008: Star Wars: Legacy #22 -- 30,205 (-0.1%)
05/2008: Star Wars: Legacy #23 -- 30,355 (+0.5%)
05/2008: Star Wars: Legacy #24 -- 29,601 (-2.5%)
06/2008: Star Wars: Legacy #25 -- 29,548 (-0.2%)
07/2008: Star Wars: Legacy #26 -- 29,123 (-1.4%)
08/2008: Star Wars: Legacy #27 -- 28,549 (-2.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.2%
1 year  : - 9.5%
2 years :  n.a.

Continuing a slow decline.

—–

100 - HELLBOY: THE CROOKED MAN (Dark Horse Comics)
08/2001: Conqueror Worm #4 of 4 -- 22,195*
08/2007: Darkness Calls #5 of 6 -- 24,743
-----------------------------------------
07/2008: Crooked Man #1 of 3    -- 29,083 (+19.7%)
08/2008: Crooked Man #2 of 3    -- 25,555 (-12.1%)
----------------
1 year  : + 3.3%

Rock-solid sales.

—–

93 - THE BOYS (Dynamite Entertainment)
08/2006: The Boys #1  -- 31,636 [37,795]
08/2006: The Boys #2  -- 26,165 [32,075]
-------------------------------
08/2007: The Boys #9  -- 32,570 (+ 6.3%)
09/2007: The Boys #10 -- 32,077 (- 1.5%)
10/2007: The Boys #11 -- 30,852 (- 3.8%)
11/2007: The Boys #12 -- 29,754 (- 3.6%)
12/2007: The Boys #13 -- 29,195 (- 1.9%)
01/2008: The Boys #14 -- 28,559 (- 2.2%)
02/2008: The Boys #15 -- 28,347 (- 0.7%)
03/2008: The Boys #16 -- 27,886 (- 1.6%)
04/2008: The Boys #17 -- 28,057 (+ 0.6%)
05/2008: The Boys #18 -- 27,951 (- 0.4%)
06/2008: The Boys #19 -- 27,576 (- 1.3%)
07/2008: The Boys #20 -- 27,571 (- 0.0%)
07/2008: The Boys #21 -- 27,523 (- 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 2.9%
1 year  : -15.5%
2 years : - 4.8%

For the second month in a row now, there’s almost no drop-off. The Boys remains the defining WildStorm title on the stands, because it’s precisely the kind of thing they used to be good at ten years ago. By rejecting it and allowing it to prosper elsewhere without out-of-touch meddling from upper management, it seems, WildStorm has firmly established itself as the imprint that nobody really needs anymore.

—–

101 - THE WALKING DEAD (Image Comics)
08/2004: --
08/2005: Walking Dead #21 -- 17,668
08/2006: Walking Dead #30 -- 20,540
-----------------------------------
08/2007: Walking Dead #40 -- 22,989 (+ 2.2%)
08/2007: Walking Dead #41 -- 22,681 (- 1.3%)
09/2007: Walking Dead #42 -- 23,107 (+ 1.9%)
10/2007: Walking Dead #43 -- 22,737 (- 1.6%)
11/2007: Walking Dead #43 -- 22,569 (- 0.7%)
12/2007: Walking Dead #45 -- 22,674 (+ 0.5%)
01/2008: --
02/2008: Walking Dead #46 -- 22,870 (+ 0.9%)
03/2008: Walking Dead #47 -- 22,612 (- 1.1%)
04/2008: Walking Dead #48 -- 22,465 (- 0.7%)
05/2008: Walking Dead #49 -- 23,102 (+ 2.8%)
06/2008: --
07/2008: Walking Dead #50 -- 27,691 (+19.9%)
08/2008: Walking Dead #51 -- 23,121 (-16.5%)
-----------------
6 months: +  1.1%
1 year  : +  1.3%
2 years : + 12.6%

The desultory “anniversary” increase vanishes, as expected, but The Walking Dead still sold better than any previous issue except #50 in August.

—–
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.

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

1 COMMENT

  1. I completely understand why people are buying DMZ in trade vs. singles. It’s a book that I really enjoy but, as far as I’m concerned, it just doesn’t work in singles. At all. I feel the same way about Scalped.

    Actually, now that I think about it the only Vertigo series that I’ve enjoyed in singles in recent years have been the Fables books – which I think work in singles, but work far, far, far better in Trade.

    That being said, I keep buying the singles in the vain hope that my purchase will keep the books I like alive even a little bit longer. I’m still sad about the departures of the Exterminators, American Virgin, and Crossing Midnight. I just let arcs pile up in the short-box next to my bed and once one is finished it gets popped into the to-read pile on my night-stand.

  2. so – if more people are switching from floppies to trades for some titles (hypothetically) – why is walking dead increasing in pamphlet sales? just an outlier?

  3. John Byrne’s star trek and assignment earth books dont even make the top 300…oh how the mighty have fallen!!! Remember when Byrne’s name alone meant 50,000 in sales?? Now his online temper tantrums, bland vanilla art, and snore inducing writing have wittled down his fanbase to a few thousand fanboys. Talk about diminished expectations.

    A truly sad state of affairs for Johnny Byrne..:(

  4. “that it’s very likely that DMZ periodical issues are being outsold by DMZ collections right now”

    This is not a leap to make. In fact, this has been the status quo for at least two years. I would go so far as to say this is true of the vast majority of Vertigo books. The other bit about how soon monthlies will be no more than a useless appendage… well, not so much. I think they serve a variety of purposes, financial being only one of them.

  5. Comicbook periodicals help pay the cost of production. Once a series is established both commercially and critically, then they become secondary. The economics might need to be reworked, so that lower circulation numbers are still feasible. Perhaps an author eschews royalties on the periodicals in exchange for greater royalties on the trades. The issues do serve as instant Advance Reader Copies; just bundle them together and send them off.

    One suggestion I made to DC was to issue the periodicals in black-and-white (or grey scale), perhaps in magazines similar to Shonen Jump. (The previews seen at conventions are in black-and-white.) Following the Japanese model, the popular story arcs can then be collected into full-color trades. DC already publishes a black-and-white magazine with a circulation of 200,000, costing only $4.99!

    One more thing… go and read #36 Superman/Batman #51!

  6. arch 14

    Walking Dead is an unusual book in that its individual issue sales don’t fall, and seem to slightly increase over time. But more than that, many of the customers at my LCS buy BOTH the issues and the collected editions. They find the story so engaging they don’t want to wait for the trade.

  7. I don’t read all the titles here, so I can’t comment on some of them, but…

    TANGENT: SUPERMAN’S REIGN is actually a pretty good story of a different Earth.

    WONDER WOMAN issue 24 is the start of a new story. Gail Simone wrote a story full of good ideas. I think this is her best issue so far. In the previous story, WW had some evil in her soul. Is it gone or not? We shall see. For those who haven’t been reading it, WW is also now engaged. In issue 24, she takes hubby-to-be home to meet Mother. Plus, it’s got huge, white apes. With briefcases.

    BATSIDERS—cute way to shorten the title.

    JACK OF FABLES—my favorite bit in this every month is the one-page Babe the Blue Ox fantasy.

    SIMON DARK—I think this should have been a Vertigo book.

    TINY TITANS—if you aren’t buying this for, or reading it to, your kids or nephews and nieces, you hate them. 10,000 issues sold is a tragedy. Much love to Jann Jones for this one.

    TOR—simply waiting for the collection, something I seldom do.

    YOUNG LIARS—there are a lot of odd things happening in this book, some horribly gory things, but it doesn’t come together for me. Sorry, but I am done with this one.

  8. Torsten, I agree with you, but I can’t see it happening until the bottom completely falls out of the periodical market and maybe then it’s too late. With magazines tanking due to lack of ad revenue it’s probably not an easy sell to the bosses either. In a perfect world where I was boss, DC would have a Shonen Jump style book for their Bat titles, their Superman titles and a Justice League title with back ups featuring the GL, Flash level characters. In the meantime though I’d like to see more books piggybacked together (flip books!) or feature more back up stories and any other incentives (backmatter) which make people get something they won’t get in a trade. I do think when people look at declining sales they forget that where 10-20 years ago a character might only appear in a team book they now carry 3 titles at any given time. The big 2 are overexposing minor characters and exhausting whatever small fanbase they have and oversaturing the demand to maximize short term profits.

    I think [email protected] will sink back down to previous levels. The story seems to jump right back in with no real introduction of the characters or storylines. I imagine new readers who picked it up will feel lost and old readers don’t even seem to get a refresher. I had hoped for a new start but it really felt like it just picked up where it left off.

    Regarding Byrne, I feel like if he “slicked” up his style and dropped the small scratchy lines, going back to the more solid feel his art had in his Fantastic Four days his work would have a lot more appeal. I don’t know if the hatching was a reaction to the Image crowd or him trying to work faster and hacking it out but it loses any appeal his art might have to me.

    Arch, I think some people started reading Walking Dead trades and switch to singles in order to more quickly find out what’s happening “now” in the series. Perhaps the continue to buy the trades but I’d been they drop them but that is offset by new readers jumping on.

  9. I agree DC should try the manga business model (B&W newsprint magazine as a loss-leader for the collections) especially with it’s Johnny DC stuff. Mix in some reprint material and they could have a great entry level book.

    “DC already publishes a black-and-white magazine with a circulation of 200,000, costing only $4.99!”

    What is this?

  10. I think he’s talking about MAD. Which, you can’t really adapt that exact format to superhero comics, but it’s a starting point, I suppose.

  11. All this speculation about Vertigo’s future seems curiously out of touch with reality, as these questions were pretty definitely answered by Karen Berger six months ago. To quote, again, from the NYCC Vertigo panel:

    “The final question was if the panelists see the audience for Vertigo comics, or comics in general, growing. Berger replied that Vertigo’s “backlist has become our frontlist,” as collections generate most of their sales. “Some monthlies sell well, some don’t,” but she confirmed that Vertigo is committed to monthly comics.”

    That pretty much settles it, so why speculate any further?

  12. “I just let arcs pile up in the short-box next to my bed and once one is finished it gets popped into the to-read pile on my night-stand. ”

    Ed, that’s exactly the way I read my Vertigo books. And there still is a difference to trade-waiting, as most books have the occasional two-parter or even stand-alone, so the gaps in reading aren’t quite as long as they would be if you only read the trades.

  13. As one who collects only graphic novels, I pay little attention to monthly sales other than to be sure my favorites aren’t being cancelled. Also; outside of Thor (cuz I’m a huge JMS fan), I’m exclusive to the DC Universe.

    I think that the problem with numbers is the market. It’s obvious that the majority of fans love long story arcs concerning their favorite characters, and that is why monthlies are falling off, they want it in collected volumes to show the genius of great writing. That is why Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison are selling well above everyone else (and that’s not a harsh criticism of everyone else). Personally I buy whatever they put out in graphic novel form (not even knowing storylines, etc.) because I know I’m going to have a great 5-6 issue story that with leave me astounded at their brilliance! In individual issues I’ve always found it harder to become enraptured in a deep story….of course that may be due to my lack of intelligence (lol).

    Regarding J. Byrne….his time is up, he was a genius in the 80’s, but times have changed and he hasn’t. I won’t touch anything with his name on it, unless I need sleep. Seriously though, He should consider doing children’s books where his single-minded storylines and artwork can still have a good audience…and He can influence the upcoming generations in a positive way while they will still appreciate his art and writing style. Of course, many parents (in the “know”) probably wouldn’t buy his stuff for their kids considering he is a whining has-been who can’t “move on”.

  14. re: Wildstorm: “the entire line is now less popular than Ambush Bug.” Comparing the average per line sales BOTH Wildstorm and Vertigo are less popular than Ambush Bug. If Vertigo didn’t have Watchmen backlist sales counted in, would they be considered a success?

  15. Scalped is definitely a book that is enjoyable issue by issue. You do not need to read this book in trade to enjoy the storyline. It is very much “Walking Dead”-ish in that you want to know what happens month-in and month-out. This is by far the best crime book out there. I can’t believe Bad Horse started doing the H. MAN! I said “NO!” outloud when I was reading that. Totally awesome.

  16. “Time for another relaunch?”

    Ugh. Don’t even joke — they might actually do it. Despite some quite good moments in the new Authority incarnation, I can’t get back into the line. It’s just trying too hard.

  17. —–
    229 – FAMILY DYNAMIC (Johnny DC)

    08/2008: Family Dynamic #1 of 6 — 5,086

    A Johnny DC book. After the first issue had already been solicited, the title was downsized to a three-issue series.

    —–

    Y’know, considering that FD was misclassified as a Johnny DC title (and we didn’t even get the benefit of thr typical JDC extra newsstand sales mentioned in the disclaimers) and had absolutely no promotion from DC Comics whatsoever, 5, 086 doesn’t seem all that bad. #229 — woo-hoo!

  18. Yeah, I was wondering about that.

    There’s no Johnny DC logo on the FAMILY DYNAMIC covers, as I recall, but the book was solicited in the Johnny DC section of DC’s previews.

    I certainly agree that placement probably didn’t help the book’s sales. I’ll make a note to correct the book’s listing next month.

  19. Blue Beetle’s current arc (which is a quasi-crossover with Manhunter) conveniently ends with the December issue. I wonder if they’ll bother starting another arc. Manhunter begins a new arc in December, so presumably it’s lasting a while, even though sales are abysmal. The shop I go to has the back issues stocked with miscellaneous one-shots and mini-series (like the Raven thing and DC Halloween).

  20. Mark-Oliver,

    No, Family Dynamic was misclassified as a Johnny DC book by DC, not by you. It clearly doesn’t belong in the JDC “family”, but that’s where we ended up. And yet, somehow FD doesn’t get the benefits of being a JDC title: it’s not sold through channels other than the direct market, and it wasn’t advertised in other JDC books. What we did get, though, was the stigma associated with being a kids’ book — low orders and a spot on the kids’ comic rack at the local comic shop.

    What, me bitter? :)

  21. @ Bad Wolf: Watchmen is not a Vertigo book. Never was a Vertigo book, but I’m intrigued by the assumption that former high quality properties used to be Vertigo books. Remember Sandman and Hellblazer didn’t start as Vertigo either. Vertigo didn’t exist yet.

    Anyway=- I was thinking today about how much i don’t like that Titans books (i’m not reading it) and I wanted to check it’s sales.

    Is it not included on this chart? If so why not?

    Thanks!

  22. Tim:

    Right. I was perplexed by the lack of a Johnny DC logo, but apparently, none of the Johnny DC books have one. (For that matter, it also has a $ 2.25 cover price, like the rest of the JDC books.)

    Uh, Awesome Dude:

    TITANS skipped two months, because, apparently, someone decided a change of direction was required, three issues into the series.

    Issue #4 was released in September, though.

  23. Re:Booster Gold

    Having several months of fill-ins becomes evne more bizarre when you look at who the new writer is– series creator (and artist during Johns’s tenure and Dixon’s fill-in) Dan Jurgens. Why not just have Jurgens take over immediately? or maybe after the Dixon two-parter, if someone really wanted that published. I know I dropped for the issue(s) between Dixon and Jurgens getting the writing slot.

  24. “TITANS skipped two months, because, apparently, someone decided a change of direction was required, three issues into the series.

    Issue #4 was released in September, though. ”

    Which was a stupid idea as the original art/direction was great. The change has in fact lead me to dropping the title now.