DIG060464_1._QL80_TTD_

by Dave Carter

Greetings, sales charts fans! It’s time once again to look at Image Comics’s sales figures.

Just a reminder that I’m not doing this as a permanent gig; just filling in until Heidi finds someone to take on the indy month-to-month chart.

Please refer to last month’s column for a preamble and explanation as to why sales standards for Image books are likely to be different than those for DC or Marvel.

Warning: The commentary below may contain reasoned analysis, speculation (unfounded and otherwise), opinion, and/or snark. Those looking for a more straightforward analysis are directed to John Jackson Miller’s excellent Comichron analysis, posted earlier this month over at Comichron!

Please consider the fine print at the end of the column. Thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com’s estimates can be found here.

(Note that the percentage comparisons are done with total orders including reorder activity, as opposed to initial orders.)


 

7 - THE WALKING DEAD ($2.99)
08/2005: The Walking Dead #21  --  17,668
08/2010: The Walking Dead #76  --  26,553 
08/2011: The Walking Dead #88  --  31,839
08/2012: The Walking Dead #101 --  51,732 
08/2013: The Walking Dead #113 --  70,273
-----------------------------------------
08/2014: The Walking Dead #130 --  71,885 (-  1.4%) 
09/2014: The Walking Dead #131 --  69,810 (-  2.9%) 
10/2014: The Walking Dead #132 -- 326,334 (+367.5%) 
10/2014: The Walking Dead #133 --  69,561 (- 78.7%) 
11/2014: The Walking Dead #134 --  68,093 (-  2.1%) 
12/2014: The Walking Dead #135 --  67,361 (-  1.1%) 
01/2015: The Walking Dead #136 --  66,097 (-  1.9%) 
02/2015: The Walking Dead #137 --  65,620 (-  0.7%) 
03/2015: The Walking Dead #138 --  66,778 (+  1.8%)
03/2015: The Walking Dead #139 --  67,349 (+  0.9%)
04/2015: The Walking Dead #140 --  66,553 (-  1.2%)
05/2015: The Walking Dead #141 --  68,931 (+  3.6%)
06/2015: The Walking Dead #142 --  68,221 (-  1.0%) 
06/2015: The Walking Dead #143 --  67,989 (-  0.3%) 
07/2015: The Walking Dead #144 --  79,496 (+ 16.9%) 
08/2015: The Walking Dead #145 --  82,792 (+  4.1%) 
-----------------
6 months: + 26.2%
1 year  : + 15.2%
2 years : + 17.8%
5 years : +211.8%
10 years: +368.6%

The Walking Dead gets a boost with its new storyline by restarting at issue #1… Nah, I’m just kidding. It gets a sales boost at the start of a new storyline and keeps its same ol’ numbering, now up in the mid-hundreds. Issue #145 has the best sales numbers for a non-variant-sporting issue of The Walking Dead. It’s also the only comic in the Diamond Top 20 with a $2.99 cover price—all the others are from Marvel or DC and run $3.99.

Also showing up on the chart this month is the Image Giant-Sized Artist’s Proof Edition of the Walking Dead #1, at #294 with sales of 4,509 and retail priced at $19.99.

23 - WE STAND ON GUARD ($2.99)
07/2015: We Stand On Guard #1 of 6 -- 78,690 
08/2015: We Stand On Guard #2 of 6 -- 51,848 (- 34.1%)

Even with an expected second issue drop Brian K. Vaughan & Steve Skroce’s WSOG comes in with great sales. It’s the only other comic besides TWD in the top twenty-five with a $2.99 cover price.

78 - OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA ($2.99)
08/2014: Outcast #3  -- 46,717 (- 15.3%)
09/2014: Outcast #4  -- 45,401 (-  2.8%) 
10/2014: -- 
11/2014: Outcast #5  -- 39,967 (- 12.0%)
12/2014: Outcast #6  -- 36,354 (-  9.0%) 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: -- 
03/2015: Outcast #7  -- 38,077 (+  4.7%)
04/2015: Outcast #8  -- 36,188 (-  5.0%)
05/2015: Outcast #9  -- 28,961 (- 20.0%)
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: Outcast #10 -- 28,012 (-  3.3%) 
08/2015: Outcast #11 -- 27,087 (-  3.3%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 42.0%

With Saga on hiatus and Sex Criminal running late, Outcast comes in third on the Image rankings this month. Still selling well, though not the juggernaut that TWD is.

105 - THE BEAUTY ($3.50)
08/2015: The Beauty #1  -- 25,245

Returnable, so the figures have been adjusted up 10% from what was reported by Diamond/ICv2. (For an explanation why this is done for returnable items, please see the fine print at the end of this post.)

The winner of the recent Top Cow Pilot Season, Jeremy Haun & Jason A. Hurley’s The Beauty, makes its regular series debut.

92 - DESCENDER ($2.99)
03/2015: Descender #1  -- 61,910           [69,011]
04/2015: Descender #2  -- 43,946 (- 36.3%)
05/2015: Descender #3  -- 29,717 (- 32.4%)
06/2015: Descender #4  -- 27,163 (-  8.6%) 
07/2015: Descender #5  -- 26,039 (-  4.1%) 
08/2015: Descender #6  -- 24,615 (-  5.5%)

Has descended quite a bit since its debut, but still selling well and will be back for a second story arc in November.

110 - EAST OF WEST ($3.50)
08/2013: East of West #5  -- 36,345
-----------------------------------
08/2014: -- 
09/2014: East of West #15 -- 25,593 (-  2.9%) 
10/2014: -- 
11/2014: -- 
12/2014: East of West #16 -- 35,920 (+ 40.4%) 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: East of West #17 -- 23,482 (- 34.6%) 
03/2015: East of West #18 -- 23,080 (-  1.7%)
04/2015: --
05/2015: East of West #19 -- 22,482 (-  2.6%)
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: East of West #20 -- 21,778 (-  3.1%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  7.3%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : - 40.1%

Hickman & Dragota’s post-Apocalypse saga has become increasingly sporadic in the past year, no doubt due in part to Hickman’s waging of certain secret wars…

115 - THE WICKED + THE DIVINE ($3.50)
08/2014: Wicked + Divine #3  -- 27,208 (-  2.7%)
09/2014: Wicked + Divine #4  -- 25,668 (-  5.7%) 
10/2014: Wicked + Divine #5  -- 25,424 (-  1.0%) 
11/2014: --
12/2014: Wicked + Divine #6  -- 22,159 (- 12.8%) 
01/2015: Wicked + Divine #7  -- 20,893 (-  5.7%) 
02/2015: Wicked + Divine #8  -- 20,515 (-  1.8%) 
03/2015: Wicked + Divine #9  -- 20,360 (-  0.8%)
04/2015: --
05/2015: Wicked + Divine #10 -- 20,562 (+  1.0%)
06/2015: Wicked + Divine #11 -- 20,579 (+  0.1%) 
07/2015: Wicked + Divine #12 -- 20,335 (-  1.2%) 
08/2015: Wicked + Divine #13 -- 20,161 (-  1.2%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  1.7%
1 year  : - 25.9%

Has been remarkably consistent over the past several months.

118 - THE FADE OUT ($3.50)
08/2014: Fade Out #1  -- 34,447 
09/2014: -- 
10/2014: Fade Out #2  -- 30,577 (- 11.2%) 
11/2014: Fade Out #3  -- 27,042 (- 11.6%)
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: Fade Out #4  -- 23,902 (- 11.6%) 
02/2015: -- 
03/2015: --
04/2015: Fade Out #5  -- 22,303 (-  6.7%)
05/2015: Fade Out #6  -- 20,678 (-  7.3%)
06/2015: Fade Out #7  -- 20,191 (-  2.4%) 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: Fade Out #8  -- 19,416 (-  3.9%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 43.6%

Brubaker & Phillips’ latest noir is selling well but still looking for its level.

125 - JUPITER'S CIRCLE ($3.50)
08/2013: --
--------------------------------------
08/2014: -- 
09/2014: -- 
10/2014: -- 
11/2014: --
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: Jupiter's Legacy #5 -- 29,055 (- 21.3%) 
02/2015: -- 
03/2015: --
04/2015: Jupiter's Circle #1 -- 32,542 (+ 12.0%)
05/2015: Jupiter's Circle #2 -- 24,499 (- 24.7%)
06/2015: Jupiter's Circle #3 -- 21,287 (- 13.1%) 
07/2015: Jupiter's Circle #4 -- 19,522 (-  8.3%) 
08/2015: Jupiter's Circle #5 -- 18,889 (-  3.2%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years :    n.a.

A second Jupiter’s Circle volume follows this one; still no sign of when the main Jupiter’s Legacy series will return.

130 - INJECTION ($2.99)
05/2015: Injection #1  -- 41,648 
06/2015: Injection #2  -- 23,484 (- 43.6%) 
07/2015: Injection #3  -- 19,754 (- 15.9%) 
08/2015: Injection #4  -- 17,113 (- 13.4%)

Still dropping; maybe it will settle out soon?

134 - PHONOGRAM: THE IMMATERIAL GIRL ($3.99)
02/2010: Singles Club #7 of 7    --  2,573
-------------------------------------
08/2015: Immaterial Girl #1 of 6 -- 15,856 (+516.2%)

Only two of the seven issues of the previous Phonogram series even made it on the chart (whose floor was a lot lower back then), and no issue of Phonogram had ever sold more than 4K. But after a stint on Young Avengers and the success of their latest series (Wicked + Divine), Gillen & McKelvie decided to give Phonogram another go, and it has definitely paid off. No doubt this will drop over the coming months (I’m guessing to around 10K…), but there will be a collected edition, and since I’m sure that continued sales of the previous Phonogram collections also played into the calculus to return to the series, this will do just fine.

And since Young Avengers was brought up: that book was cancelled with sales holding in the low- to mid-20K range. Which is not good enough for a Marvel book, but it was buzzy and Gillen & McKelvie were able to take most of that buzz back with them to Image, first for Wicked and now for Phonogram, where that buzz can provide the kind of sales that can keep their creator-owned works afloat.

135 - LOW ($3.50)
08/2014: Low #2  -- 31,269 (- 34.4%)
09/2014: Low #3  -- 26,739 (- 14.5%) 
10/2014: Low #4  -- 23,530 (- 12.0%)  
11/2014: --
12/2014: Low #5  -- 21,584 (-  8.3%) 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: Low #6  -- 19,832 (-  8.1%) 
03/2015: --
04/2015: -- 
05/2015: --
06/2015: Low #7  -- 24,317 (+ 22.6%) 
07/2015: Low #8  -- 16,169 (- 33.5%) 
08/2015: Low #9  -- 15,717 (-  2.8%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 20.7%
1 year  : - 49.7%

Stabilizing; it looks like retailers gambled on a post-trade bump that never materialized.

135 - SPAWN ($2.99)
08/2005: Spawn #148      -- 27,546
08/2010: -- 
08/2011: Spawn #210      -- 14,100 
08/2012: Spawn #222      -- 18,336  
08/2013: Spawn #234      -- 15,930 
----------------------------------
08/2014: Spawn #246      -- 13,343 (+ 10.4%) 
09/2014: -- 
10/2014: Spawn #247      -- 12,023 (-  9.9%) 
11/2014: Spawn #248      -- 11,934 (-  0.7%) 
12/2014: Spawn #249      -- 12,121 (+  1.6%) 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: Spawn #250      -- 60,357 (+398.0%)
03/2015: Resurrection #1 -- 29,787 (- 50.6%)
04/2015: Spawn #251      -- 17,443 (- 71.1%)
05/2015: Spawn #252      -- 15,904 (-  8.8%)
06/2015: Spawn #253      -- 15,993 (+  0.6%) 
07/2015: Spawn #254      -- 15,421 (-  3.6%) 
08/2015: Spawn #255      -- 15,717 (+  1.9%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 74.0%
1 year  : + 17.8%
2 years : -  1.3%
5 years :    n.a.
10 years: - 42.9%

A rare instance of a tie on the Diamond chart as both Low & Spawn come in at 15,717 copies.

140 - VELVET ($3.50)
08/2014: --
09/2014: Velvet #7  -- 17,901 (-  4.7%) 
10/2014: --  
11/2014: Velvet #8  -- 17,035 (-  4.8%)
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: Velvet #9  -- 16,274 (-  4.5%) 
03/2015: --
04/2015: Velvet #10 -- 15,720 (-  3.4%) 
05/2015: --
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: Velvet #11 -- 14,802 (-  5.8%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 20.7%
1 year  : - 49.7%

There’s no post-trade bump for Velvet, and given the title’s irregular schedule it doesn’t surprise me.

150 - RAT QUEENS ($3.99)
08/2014: --
09/2014: -- 
10/2014: Rat Queens #8  -- 14,726 (+ 14.1%)  
11/2014: --
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: Braga Spec #1  -- 15,017 (+  2.0%) 
02/2015: -- 
03/2015: Rat Queens #9  -- 14,425 (-  2.0%)
04/2015: Rat Queens #10 -- 14,228 (-  1.4%) 
05/2015: --
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: Rat Queens #11 -- 14,271 (+  0.3%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  :    n.a.

Despite all the behind-the-scenes artist turmoil and irregular schedule, Rat Queens has been holding remarkably consistent in sales.

153 - TREES ($2.99)
08/2014: Trees #4  -- 23,639 (-  9.8%)
09/2014: Trees #5  -- 22,244 (-  5.9%) 
10/2014: Trees #6  -- 20,720 (-  6.9%) 
11/2014: Trees #7  -- 19,287 (-  6.9%)
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: Trees #8  -- 18,012 (-  6.6%) 
02/2015: -- 
03/2015: --
04/2015: --
05/2015: Trees #9  -- 15,821 (- 12.2%)
06/2015: Trees #10 -- 14,913 (-  5.7%) 
07/2015: Trees #11 -- 14,273 (-  4.3%) 
08/2015: Trees #12 -- 13,569 (-  4.9%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 42.6%

A comic at this stage of the game can’t afford to keep losing 5% per month.

163 - DARK CORRIDOR ($3.99)
08/2015: Dark Corridor #1  -- 13,222

Returnable, so the figures have been adjusted up 10% from what was reported by Diamond/ICv2. (For an explanation why this is done for returnable items, please see the fine print at the end of this post.)

That’s an okay debut for Rich Tommaso’s latest comic. The big question is if it can stabilize around the 10K mark…

156 - INVINCIBLE ($2.99)
08/2005: Invincible #25  -- 12,031
08/2010: Invincible #74  -- 15,735 
08/2011: Invincible #82  -- 15,105
08/2012: Invincible #94  -- 14,355 
08/2013: --
----------------------------------
08/2014: Invincible #113 -- 13,642 (-  5.3%) 
09/2014: Invincible #114 -- 13,921 (+  2.0%) 
10/2014: -- 
11/2014: Invincible #115 -- 13,277 (-  4.6%) 
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: Invincible #116 -- 13,125 (-  1.1%) 
02/2015: Invincible #117 -- 12,627 (-  3.8%) 
03/2015: Invincible #118 -- ??????
04/2015: Invincible #119 -- 13,492
05/2015: Invincible #120 -- 13,191 (-  2.2%)
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: Invincible #121 -- 13,075 (-  0.9%) 
08/2015: Invincible #122 -- 13,001 (-  0.6%) 
-----------------
6 months: +  3.0%
1 year  : -  4.7%
2 years :    n.a.
5 years : - 17.4%
10 years: +  8.1%

While down a couple thousand from its peak sales a few years ago, Invincible remains an overall steady performer.

166 - WOLF ($3.50)
07/2015: Wolf #1  -- 18,864  
08/2015: Wolf #2  -- 12,898 (- 31.6%)

Returnable, so the figures have been adjusted up 10% from what was reported by Diamond/ICv2. (For an explanation why this is done for returnable items, please see the fine print at the end of this post.)

Figure another 10-15% drop for issue #3 and then if it stabilizes it’ll be okay.

165 - DEADLY CLASS ($3.50)
08/2014: --
09/2014: Deadly Class #7  -- 14,834 (-  9.0%) 
10/2014: Deadly Class #8  -- 15,003 (+  1.1%) 
11/2014: Deadly Class #9  -- 14,148 (-  5.7%)
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: Deadly Class #10 -- 13,552 (-  4.2%) 
02/2015: Deadly Class #11 -- 12,805 (-  5.5%) 
03/2015: --
04/2015: Deadly Class #12 -- 13,780 (+  7.6%)
05/2015: Deadly Class #13 -- 12,299 (- 10.7%)
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: Deadly Class #14 -- 11,798 (-  4.1%) 
08/2015: Deadly Class #15 -- 11,779 (-  0.2%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  8.0%
1 year  :    n.a.

Looks like it is finally settling in.

183 - ISLAND ($7.99)
07/2015: Island #1  -- 16,677  
07/2015: Island #2  -- 11,092 (- 33.5%)

Returnable, so the figures have been adjusted up 10% from what was reported by Diamond/ICv2. (For an explanation why this is done for returnable items, please see the fine print at the end of this post.)

A pretty standard second issue drop, and still decent sales for an $8 oversized anthology book.

172 - BIRTHRIGHT ($2.99)
10/2014: Birthright #1  -- 27,234  
11/2014: Birthright #2  -- 18,484 (- 32.1%)
12/2014: Birthright #3  -- 14,247 (- 22.9%) 
01/2015: Birthright #4  -- 13,506 (-  5.2%) 
02/2015: Birthright #5  -- 13,218 (-  2.1%) 
03/2015: --
04/2015: Birthright #6  -- 14,081 (+  6.5%)
05/2015: Birthright #7  -- 12,561 (- 10.8%)
06/2015: Birthright #8  -- 12,058 (-  4.0%) 
07/2015: Birthright #9  -- 11,496 (-  4.7%) 
08/2015: Birthright #10 -- 11,072 (-  3.7%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 16.2%

Trying ever so hard to stabilize, but not quite yet.

175 - MANIFEST DESTINY ($2.99)
08/2014: Manifest Destiny #9  -- 14,672 (-  2.6%)
09/2014: Manifest Destiny #10 -- 14,312 (-  2.5%) 
10/2014: Manifest Destiny #11 -- 13,620 (-  4.8%) 
11/2014: --
12/2014: Manifest Destiny #12 -- 12,987 (-  4.6%) 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: Manifest Destiny #13 -- 17,891 (+ 37.8%) 
03/2015: --
04/2015: Manifest Destiny #14 -- 11,716 (- 34.5%)
05/2015: --
06/2015: Manifest Destiny #15 -- 11,389 (-  2.8%) 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: Manifest Destiny #16 -- 10,986 (-  3.5%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 38.6%
1 year  : - 25.1%

A perfect example of a book where retailers increase orders at the start of a new story arc with the hopes that the trade collection will bring in new readers, but then those new readers don’t materialize and the sales drop immediately back down. If this is selling well in collections then those readers are not all that interested in converting to the single issues.

189 - AIRBOY ($2.99)
06/2015: Airboy #1 of 4 -- 21,405  
07/2015: Airboy #2 of 4 -- 11,883 (- 44.5%)  
08/2015: Airboy #3 of 4 -- 10,668 (- 10.2%)

Returnable, so the figures have been adjusted up 10% from what was reported by Diamond/ICv2. (For an explanation why this is done for returnable items, please see the fine print at the end of this post.)

A typical third issue drop.

184 - NAILBITER ($2.99)
08/2014: Nailbiter #4  -- 14,706 (- 11.3%)
09/2014: Nailbiter #5  -- 14,947 (+  1.6%) 
10/2014: Nailbiter #6  -- 13,340 (- 10.8%) 
11/2014: Nailbiter #7  -- 12,361 (-  7.3%)
12/2014: Nailbiter #8  -- 12,096 (-  2.1%) 
01/2015: Nailbiter #9  -- 11,222 (-  7.2%) 
02/2015: Nailbiter #10 -- 10,889 (-  3.0%) 
03/2015: --
04/2015: Nailbiter #11 -- 12,868 (+ 18.2%)
05/2015: Nailbiter #12 -- 10,688 (- 16.9%)
06/2015: Nailbiter #13 -- 10,456 (-  2.2%) 
07/2015: Nailbiter #14 -- 10,130 (-  3.1%) 
08/2015: Nailbiter #15 --  9,934 (-  1.9%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  8.8%
1 year  : - 32.4%

Not a very big percentage drop, but enough to drop Nailbiter below 10K.

190 - ODY-C ($3.99)
11/2014: ODY-C #1  -- 52,155  
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: ODY-C #2  -- 23,448 (- 55.0%) 
02/2015: ODY-C #3  -- 18,509 (- 21.1%) 
03/2015: --
04/2015: ODY-C #4  -- 14,086 (- 23.9%)
05/2015: ODY-C #5  -- 12,557 (- 10.9%)
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: ODY-C #6  --  9,679 (- 22.9%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 47.7%

Things are not going well here, as ODY-C doesn’t even get a post-collection bump. The collection was priced at $9.99, which while it may help bring new readers to the collections doesn’t tend to help the sales of the single issues. Because why spend $20 for the singles when you could wait a month and spend half that on the trade?

208 - 8HOUSE: ARCLIGHT ($2.99)
07/2015: Arclight #1  -- 16,335  
08/2015: Arclight #2  --  9,463 (- 42.1%)

Returnable, so the figures have been adjusted up 10% from what was reported by Diamond/ICv2. (For an explanation why this is done for returnable items, please see the fine print at the end of this post.)

That’s a pretty steep second issue drop; the next couple of issues will tell if 8House will be viable.

206 - RUMBLE ($3.50)
12/2014: Rumble #1  -- 24,780 
01/2015: Rumble #2  -- 14,580 (- 41.2%) 
02/2015: Rumble #3  -- 12,192 (- 16.4%) 
03/2015: Rumble #4  -- 10,138 (- 16.8%)
04/2015: Rumble #5  --  9,458 (-  6.7%)
05/2015: --
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: Rumble #6  --  8,810 (-  6.9%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 27.7%

Another book with a $9.99 trade, and the effects are similar: no post-collection bump.

211 - SAVIOR ($2.99)
04/2015: Savior #1 of 8 -- 26,870 
05/2015: Savior #2 of 8 -- 13,625 (- 49.3%)
06/2015: Savior #3 of 8 -- 11,312 (- 17.0%) 
07/2015: Savior #4 of 8 --  9,559 (- 15.5%) 
08/2015: Savior #5 of 8 --  8,440 (- 11.7%)

Still dropping more than is comfortable. I’m sure it will live out its planned eight issues, but I doubt it’ll return for a follow-up series. (Then again, after Phonogram, anything is possible…)

213 - STARVE ($3.50)
06/2015: Starve #1  -- 24,847  
07/2015: Starve #2  -- 10,646 (- 57.2%)  
08/2015: Starve #3  --  8,379 (- 21.3%)

Not really catching on.

217 - SPREAD ($3.50)
08/2014: Spread #2  -- 15,244 (- 27.9%)
09/2014: Spread #3  -- 15,691 (+  2.9%) 
10/2014: -- 
11/2014: Spread #4  -- 13.288 (- 15.3%)
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: Spread #5  -- 11,115 (- 16.4%) 
02/2015: -- 
03/2015: Spread #6  -- 10,203 (-  8.2%)
04/2015: Spread #7  -- 10,955 (+  7.4%)
05/2015: --
06/2015: Spread #8  --  8,388 (- 23.4%) 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: Spread #9  --  7,866 (-  6.2%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 48.4%

Spread did get a bit of a post-collection bump, but it didn’t take.

222 - THEY'RE NOT LIKE US ($2.99)
12/2014: They're Not Like Us #1  -- 18,015          [24,920] 
01/2015: They're Not Like Us #2  -- 10,028 (- 59.8%) 
02/2015: They're Not Like Us #3  --  9,424 (-  6.0%) 
03/2015: They're Not Like Us #4  --  9,255 (-  1.8%)
04/2015: They're Not Like Us #5  --  8,903 (-  3.8%)
05/2015: They're Not Like Us #6  --  8,368 (-  6.0%)
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: They're Not Like Us #7  --  7,599 (-  9.2%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 19.4%

Yet another book with a $9.99 trade and no post-collection bump.

228 - SONS OF THE DEVIL ($2.99)
05/2015: Sons of the Devil #1  -- 21,331 
06/2015: Sons of the Devil #2  -- 11,959 (- 43.9%) 
07/2015: Sons of the Devil #3  --  9,805 (- 18.0%) 
08/2015: Sons of the Devil #4  --  7,373 (- 24.8%)

The fist issue that wasn’t returnable.

231 - KAPTARA ($3.50)
04/2015: Kaptara #1  -- 23,263          [31,921] 
05/2015: Kaptara #2  -- 16,635 (- 47.9%) 
06/2015: Kaptara #3  --  8,605 (- 48.3%) 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: Kaptara #4  --  7,201 (- 16.3%)

Doesn’t seem to be catching on.

235 - REVIVAL ($3.99)
08/2012: Revival #2  -- 10,486 
08/2013: Revival #13 -- 12,549 
------------------------------
08/2014: Revival #23 --  9,424 (-  5.1%) 
09/2014: -- 
10/2014: Revival #24 --  9,019 (-  4.3%) 
11/2014: Revival #25 --  9,535 (+  5.7%) 
12/2014: Revival #26 --  8,696 (-  8.8%)
01/2015: Revival #27 --  8,057 (-  7.3%) 
02/2015: -- 
03/2015: Revival #28 --  7,913 (-  1.8%)
04/2015: Revival #29 --  7,786 (-  1.6%)
05/2015: --
06/2015: Revival #30 --  7,545 (-  3.1%) 
07/2015: Revival #31 --  7,337 (-  2.8%) 
08/2015: Revival #32 --  7,019 (-  4.3%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 25.5%
2 years : - 44.1%

Continues to slip down. I don’t know if there’s a planned end in sight, or if maybe collection sales are strong enough to keep it afloat for a while.

238 - EMPTY ZONE ($3.50)
06/2015: Empty Zone #1  -- 12,877  
07/2015: Empty Zone #2  --  7,385 (- 42.6%)  
08/2015: Empty Zone #3  --  6,759 (-  8.5%)

Not a bad third issue drop, but this is the sales area where you might start to worry, or there may be other factors at play besides single issue sales. It’s hard to tell sometimes with these Image books.

242 - THIEF OF THIEVES ($2.99)
08/2012: Thief of Thieves #7  -- 18,266 
08/2013: Thief of Thieves #16 -- 13,182 
---------------------------------------
08/2014: Thief of Thieves #23 --  9,069 (-  4.1%) 
09/2014: -- 
10/2014: Thief of Thieves #24 --  8,731 (-  3.7%) 
11/2014: Thief of Thieves #25 --  8,336 (-  4.5%) 
12/2014: --
01/2015: Thief of Thieves #26 --  7,428 (- 10.9%) 
02/2015: -- 
03/2015: Thief of Thieves #27 --  7,099 (-  4.4%)
04/2015: --
05/2015: Thief of Thieves #28 --  7,186 (+  1.2%)
06/2015: Thief of Thieves #29 --  6,884 (-  4.2%) 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: Thief of Thieves #30 --  6,642 (-  3.5%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 26.8%
2 years : - 49.6%

The irregular schedule certainly can’t be helping matters.

244 - RASPUTIN ($3.50)
10/2014: Rasputin #1  -- 21,373  
11/2014: Rasputin #2  -- 11,693 (- 45.3%)
12/2014: Rasputin #3  --  9,775 (- 16.4%) 
01/2015: Rasputin #4  --  9,264 (-  5.2%) 
02/2015: Rasputin #5  --  8,723 (-  5.8%) 
03/2015: --
04/2015: --
05/2015: --
06/2015: Rasputin #6  --  8,017 (-  8.1%) 
07/2015: Rasputin #7  --  6,996 (- 12.7%) 
08/2015: Rasputin #8  --  6,618 (-  5.4%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 24.1%

256 - DRIFTER ($3.50)
11/2014: Drifter #1  -- 20,887  
12/2014: Drifter #2  -- 10,443 (- 50.0%)
01/2015: Drifter #3  --  8,924 (- 14.5%) 
02/2015: Drifter #4  --  8,111 (-  9.1%) 
03/2015: Drifter #5  --  7,712 (-  4.9%) 
04/2015: --
05/2015: --
06/2015: --
07/2015: Drifter #6  --  6,741 (- 12.6%) 
08/2015: Drifter #7  --  5,984 (- 11.2%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 24.5%

Still losing a good percentage chunk each month.

268 - POSTAL ($3.99)
02/2015: Postal #1  -- 13,967 
03/2015: Postal #2  --  8,464 (- 39.4%)
04/2015: Postal #3  --  7,031 (- 16.9%)
05/2015: Postal #4  --  6,296 (- 10.5%)
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: Postal #5  --  5,835 (-  7.3%) 
08/2015: Postal #6  --  5,380 (-  7.8%)

Still dropping.

273 - SHUTTER ($3.99)
08/2014: Shutter #5  --  8,140 (- 10.6%)
09/2014: Shutter #6  --  7,499 (-  7.9%) 
10/2014: -- 
11/2014: --
12/2014: Shutter #7  -- 10,669 (+ 42.3%) 
01/2015: Shutter #8  --  6,587 (- 38.3%) 
02/2015: Shutter #9  --  5,881 (- 16.4%) 
03/2015: Shutter #10 --  5,497 (- 10.7%)
04/2015: Shutter #11 --  ????? (< 6,352)
05/2015: Shutter #12 --  5,023 
06/2015: --
07/2015: Shutter #13 --  ????? (< 5,446)
08/2015: Shutter #14 --  5,160  
-----------------
6 months: - 12.3%
1 year  : - 36.6%

Missed the Top 300 a couple of times this year, but appears to have stabilized at around 5K.

278 - SEX ($2.99)
08/2013: Sex #6  -- 14,488
--------------------------
08/2014: Sex #15 --  7,601 (-  2.9%) 
09/2014: Sex #16 --  7,167 (-  5.7%) 
10/2014: Sex #17 --  6,709 (-  6.4%) 
11/2014: Sex #18 --  6,361 (-  5.2%)
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: Sex #19 --  5,775 (-  9.2%) 
02/2015: Sex #20 --  5,573 (-  3.5%) 
03/2015: --
04/2015: --
05/2015: Sex #21 --  6,400 (+ 14.8%)
06/2015: Sex #22 --  5,206 (- 18.7%) 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: Sex #23 --  5,046 (-  3.1%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  9.5%
1 year  : - 33.6%
2 years : - 65.2%

Issue #21 saw a boost from multiple covers.

278 - STRAY BULLETS: SUNSHINE & ROSES ($3.50)
08/2005: --
--------------------------
08/2014: The Killers #6      --  6,525 (-  6.0%) 
09/2014: The Killers #7      --  ????? (< 6,306) 
10/2014: The Killers #8      --  ????? (< 6,298) 
11/2014: --
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: Sunshine & Roses #1 -- 14,122 (-  3.5%) 
03/2015: Sunshine & Roses #2 --  5,688 (- 59.7%)
04/2015: Sunshine & Roses #3 --  ????? (< 6,352)
05/2015: Sunshine & Roses #4 --  5,274 
06/2015: Sunshine & Roses #5 --  5,207 (-  1.3%) 
07/2015: Sunshine & Roses #6 --  ????? (< 5,446) 
08/2015: Sunshine & Roses #7 --  4,827   
-----------------
6 months: - 65.8%
1 year  : - 26.0%
10 years:    n.a.

The issue of Stray Bullets prior to the 8.5 year gap, #40 in November 2005, sold 5,187.

295 - HUMANS ($2.99)
11/2014: Humans #1  -- 17,274  
12/2014: Humans #2  --  7,132 (- 58.7%) 
01/2015: Humans #3  --  5,870 (- 17.7%)
02/2015: Humans #4  --  5,299 (-  9.7%) 
03/2015: --
04/2015: --
05/2015: --
06/2015: Humans #5  --  5,274 (-  0.5%) 
07/2015: Humans #6  --  ????? (< 5,446) 
08/2015: Humans #7  --  4,509  
-----------------
6 months: - 14.9%

296 - MORNING GLORIES ($3.50)
08/2010: Morning Glories #1  --  8,687 [14,104] 
08/2011: Morning Glories #11 -- 10,653
08/2012: Morning Glories #21 --  8,686 
08/2013: Morning Glories #30 --  7,883
--------------------------------------
08/2014: -- 
09/2014: Morning Glories #40 --  ????? 
10/2014: Morning Glories #41 --  ????? 
11/2014: Morning Glories #42 --  5,322 
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: Morning Glories #43 --  4,988 (-  6.3%) 
03/2015: Morning Glories #44 --  4,917 (-  1.4%)
04/2015: Morning Glories #45 --  ?????
05/2015: --
06/2015: Morning Glories #46 --  ????? 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: Morning Glories #47 --  4,461 
-----------------
6 months: - 10.6%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : - 43.4%
5 years : - 68.4%

At five years, one of the longer running Image titles. I’m presuming it sells relatively well in trade collections for it to keep going at this level.

Image titles shipping but not making the Top 300 in August include: Astronauts in Trouble, The Covenant, The Fuse, Mantle, Minimum Wage, Oddly Normal, Reyn, Roche Limit, Savage Dragon (2 issues), Skullkickers, Valhalla Mad.

Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that any of them are in danger of being cancelled. As was discussed in the opening, there are many reasons that the creators of these books may desire to keep them going.

The Fine Print (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 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.

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales of physical comics to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass-market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Re-orders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial calendar month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month. Keep in mind that sales for some titles may include incentives to acquire variants and not every unit sold is necessarily even intended to be sold to a customer.

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after a book’s initial calendar month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in brackets 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 between them will be used.

Titles which are returnable have their numbers artificially adjusted down by Diamond. To make up for that this column increases the reported numbers for those titles by 10%. Which is likely also wrong, but it’s a different and likely less wrong kind of wrong, and experience has shown that this leads to sales figures which are more consistent.

Image is not a normal comics publisher, and the typical metrics for sales success may not apply. For many 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.

Please keep in mind that raw sales numbers do not tell us about how profitable a book is for a publisher or for the creators.

Above all, do not allow sales numbers to dictate your purchasing and enjoyment of a particular comic. If you enjoy reading a comic series then go right on buying and reading that comic, no matter what the sales figures say.

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

Opinions expressed in this column are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, Heidi MacDonald or anyone at The Comics Beat, the American Frozen Food Institute, or my former neighbor’s dog Miles.

The author of this column does weekly snapshots of Amazon comic sales charts at http://yetanothercomicsblog.blogspot.com/ and tweets about comics and related subjects on Twitter at @davereadscomics (PM me there is you need to contact me).

As always, we welcome your comments and corrections below. Please try to keep things civilized.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Whoever thought that SEX could be boring? (but it is, in the comic book)…

    I wish more people were buying so many of the excellent books by Image (I stopped buying overpriced Marvels nowadays, and fewer DCs).

    Astronauts in Trouble, Thief of Thieves, They’re Not Like Us, Birthright, Savior, and Nailbiter are amongst the best adult offerings in comics! If you aren’t trying them, then look at them again PLEASE!

  2. …which reminds me why I don’t read sales number columns: They’re too depressing. Things I’m learning, though:

    $9.99 trades don’t always work. Someone posted recently about why his collection wasn’t going to be $10 and why others should consider a more profitable number for their first volume. I can see why now.

    Some of my favorite books sell in painfully low numbers. (“Thief of Thieves” is that low? ::sigh:: “Shutter”? “Rumble”?) If I ever launched an Image book I’d name it “Secret Wars: Something or Other” just to stay over the 10,000 number. Marvel’s lawyers won’t notice, right?

    And something Robert Kirkman has been preaching for years: A regular schedule is a big help in selling an on-going series. All those misses months and sporadic issues will kill you.

  3. Great column!
    I just don’t understand your remark on the no post-collectino bump for the 9.99$ trade. This price of 9.99$ is only for the first trades of almost all the Image titles. after that, the price is normal for all the others trades.
    So if, in fact, the first 5-6 issues of the Image titles should sell less (because it’s way les expensive to buy the first arc in trade), there shoul dbe more people switching to the single format after that, because only the first collection is at a lower price. So pricing those first collections at 9.99$ should, on the contrary, help the single sales past the first issue arc.
    I know that’s what I’m doing right now: waiting for the first trade and then, if I like it, switching to the singles. It’s especially easy with Image, as there is often a small gap beetween arcs in single issues.

  4. What Image is probably lacking right now is labels. It seems like they are just launching as much series as they can, but it’s difficult to differentiate one from the other.
    There should be some lines under the Image imprint. Probably not easy to do, but it would help. I gave their chance to randomly chosen first trade series, and some of them really lower my enthousiasm for the whole Image revival boost. The quality of the series published really goes from one extreme to the other, and there is almost nothing helping the reader to choose which titles are the most likely to please him.
    And yes, the Skybound label, even with some glinches here and there (Invincible a little, Thief of Thieves a little more) has gained a standart for quality. I know, personnaly, that I can trust them almost with blind eyes. Thatmakes a difference.
    Image needs something else like that, perhaps putting different series under an “editor”, who would only be the man chosing which serie he wants to see published under his small imprint.

  5. Velvet, Fade Out, Lazarus, Saga, Drifter, They’re Not Like Us, Manifest Destiny, Outcast, etc. All amazing books. I mean, has anyone cracked open a copy of Drifter and looked at the art alone? It’s freakin’ gorgeous. Like, European comics gorgeous.

  6. Jim Valentino has also a nice label, Shadowline, at Image. But I don’t remember if it’s written on the cover of books.
    And I’m also surprised by the 9.99 comment for the same reasons as Xavier. I would like to add that first issues of Image series are most of the time are to find: speculation for one reason, limited printing for another. So when issue 6 is published, it’s very difficult to get issues 1, 2 and 3. Or really overpriced. A 9.99 price enables all readers to get the beginning of a series (without getting digital versions – which at the end is near 10$).

  7. A couple of the post-trade jumps (and some first-issue-to-second-issue drops) you’re seeing are down to a program Image had (and technically still has) with retailers, wherein they would get a bunch of copies on consignment for a period of time.

    And no, the $9.99 trade doesn’t always help the singles market – but a HUGE factor in that is retailers not utilizing the sales opportunity. I see a huge difference in attempting to sell a person on a volume one at $9.99 than I do for a book sitting at $14.99 – though a caveat: it’s been quite a while since the $9.99 scheme began, and I firmly believe that Image or whoever could adjust that to $11.99 with little change. Or more to wit, take a look at what places like Scholastic are publishing their serialized all ages books at for price points. They have the resources to have market tested the hell out of their price points, and have threshold-priced those books at a point where parents pick it up and don’t give the price a second thought. That’d be my advice.

  8. Brandon, I can’t think of a returnable Image title that didn’t do the first THREE issues (so not a drop from #1 to #2)

    One problem with the $9.99 trade is that there are SO MANY of them, and not all books are served by the “hand sell” equally. And, without that hand-sell, all the $9.99 trade does is reduce EVERYone’s income.

    Ales Kot announced that MATERIAL was ending (early), and I would assume that at least some of that was due to the first trade being $9.99…. and only selling 1600 copies in month #1

    -B

  9. Too many Image books now a bad thing? Like a previous commenter said, it seems Image is just throwing handfuls of books out there and watching them sink or swim. I love so many of the Image books right now, but my wallet dissuades me from trying many of the new offerings.

    I regularly pick up Velvet, Lazarus, Injection, Trees, Starve, We Stand on Guard, 8house, Stray Bullets, They’re Not like Us, but that’s about all I can afford. There’s another 4 or 5 I would love to try, but can’t.

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