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by David 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 July’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.

Image shipped 62 comics in November, compared to 55 in October and 73 in September.

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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 as was the practice of this column under the previous administration.)


WD 148

21 - THE WALKING DEAD ($2.99)
11/2005: The Walking Dead #22  --  17,623
11/2010: The Walking Dead #79  --  28,971 
11/2011: The Walking Dead #91  --  31,813
11/2012: The Walking Dead #104 --  57,456 
11/2013: The Walking Dead #116 --  69,913
11/2013: The Walking Dead #117 --  68,818
-----------------------------------------
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%) 
09/2015: The Walking Dead #146 --  69,006 (- 16.7%) 
10/2015: The Walking Dead #147 --  67,056 (-  2.8%) 
11/2015: The Walking Dead #148 --  65,526 (-  2.3%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  4.9%
1 year  : -  3.8%
2 years : -  5.5%
5 years : +126.2%
10 years: +253.9%

Back to being Image’s #1 book again this month. Sales appear to be softening just a bit as of late, though I’m sure the upcoming issue #150 will give it another boost.

36 - SAGA ($2.99)
11/2012: Saga #7  -- 46,971  [53,267] 
11/2013: Saga #16 -- 54,593
---------------------------
11/2014: --
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: Saga #25 -- 55,972 (+  0.8%) 
03/2015: Saga #26 -- 54,892 (-  1.9%)
04/2015: Saga #27 -- 54,897 (+  0.0%)
05/2015: Saga #28 -- 55,239 (+  0.6%)
06/2015: Saga #29 -- 55,131 (-  0.2%) 
07/2015: Saga #30 -- 60,937 (+ 10.5%) 
08/2015: -- 
09/2015: -- 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Saga #31 -- 53,980 (- 11.4%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  2.3%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : -  1.1%

Saga returns from its planned between-story-arcs gap a bit softer than previously. We’ve likely reached the threshold of how Saga will sell in floppies. Don’t worry though, as it sells gangbusters in trade collections, many of which go to a completely different audience than regularly frequents comic stores. Saga is that rare beast that appeals greatly to many different types of readers (and without the benefit of a movie or a TV series), which is something that the comics world need more of.

46 - PAPER GIRLS ($2.99)
10/2015: Paper Girls #1  -- 75,585 
11/2015: Paper Girls #2  -- 46,274 (- 38.8%)

A typical second issue drop. Given the amount of on-the-street buzz that is orbiting this book, it may be just the sort of Saga-like hit I was just asking for; time will tell…

65 - 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%) 
09/2015: We Stand On Guard #3 of 6 -- 44,050 (- 15.0%) 
10/2015: We Stand On Guard #4 of 6 -- 40,197 (-  8.7%) 
11/2015: We Stand On Guard #5 of 6 -- 37,227 (-  7.4%)

Brian K. Vaughan has the #2, #3 & #4 books at Image this month. I think he’s found a home…

Also note that the top four books at Image all sell for $2.99, which is the opposite of what you’ll find at other publishers. Remember folks, the economics of Image is different!

71 - HUCK ($3.50)
11/2015: Huck #1 -- 35,299

New superhero-ish series from Mark Millar & Rafael Albuquerque. Decent numbers and may not show as much of a 2nd issue decline as retailers likely have a good idea on how much this sort of thing will sell in their particular stores.

92 - MONSTRESS ($4.99)
11/2015: Monstress #1 -- 33,045

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.)

Yet another new series, this one a steampunk/fantasy series by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda. Triple-sized for its debut.

79 - THE GODDAMNED ($3.99)
11/2015: The Goddamned #1 -- 33,809

Jason Aaron & R.M. Guera debut their new ‘biblical noir’ series. This I suspect was one that retailers had little clue as to how it would sell in their stores. Debuts higher than I would have expected, but Aaron has been building a name for himself with his mainstream Marvel work so that may have factored in.

87 - I HATE FAIRYLAND ($3.50)
10/2015: I Hate Fairyland #1 -- 50,318 
11/2015: I Hate Fairyland #2 -- 31,626 (- 37.1%)

A typical second issue percentage drop for Skottie Young’s series.

102 - TOKYO GHOST ($3.99)
09/2015: Tokyo Ghost #1 -- 39,682 
10/2015: Tokyo Ghost #2 -- 27,688 (- 30.2%) 
11/2015: Tokyo Ghost #3 -- 25,198 (-  9.0%)

Already starting the leveling-out process, so this should likely stabilize in the 15-20K range, which is perfectly good for an Image book.

104 - OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA ($2.99)
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%) 
09/2015: Outcast #12 -- 26,115 (-  3.6%) 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Outcast #13 -- 24,051 (-  7.9%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 17.0%
1 year  : - 39.8%

Hmm, that percentage drop is a bit on the high side for the start of a new story arc. A TV series is coming to Cinemax sometime in 2016.

106 - 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%) 
09/2015: -- 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Descender #7  -- 23,684 (-  3.8%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 40.4%

Returns for its second story-arc.

122 - THE WICKED + THE DIVINE ($3.50)
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%) 
09/2015: Wicked + Divine #13 -- 20,706 (+  2.7%) 
10/2015: Wicked + Divine #14 -- 20,154 (-  2.7%) 
11/2015: Wicked + Divine #15 -- 19,360 (-  3.9%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  5.8%
1 year  :    n.a.

After many months teetering above the 20K line, W+D finally slips below it.

126 - JUPITER'S CIRCLE ($3.50)
11/2013: --
--------------------------------------
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%) 
09/2015: Jupiter's Circle #6 -- 18,732 (-  0.8%) 
10/2015: --
11/2015: Jupiter's Crc v2 #1 -- 18,175 (-  3.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 25.8%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years :    n.a.

Relaunches with a new #1, but retailers treat it as just the next issue.

128 - BLACK MAGICK ($3.99)
10/2015: Black Magick #1 -- 28,429 
11/2015: Black Magick #2 -- 17,686 (- 37.8%)

A totally expected second issue drop.

135 - THE FADE OUT ($3.50)
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%) 
09/2015: Fade Out #9  -- 18,201 (-  6.2%) 
10/2015: Fade Out #10 -- 17,582 (-  3.4%) 
11/2015: Fade Out #11 -- 16,785 (-  3.4%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 18.8%
1 year  : - 37.9%

Penultimate issue.

136 - SOUTHERN BASTARDS ($3.50)
11/2014: --
12/2014: Southern Bastards #6  -- 18,637 (- 15.0%) 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: Southern Bastards #7  -- 17,523 (-  6.0%) 
03/2015: --
04/2015: Southern Bastards #8  -- 17,473 (-  0.3%)
05/2015: --
06/2015: Southern Bastards #9  -- 18,327 (+  4.9%) 
07/2015: Southern Bastards #10 -- 25,741 (+ 40.5%) 
08/2015: --
09/2015: --
10/2015: Southern Bastards #11 -- 17,306 (- 32.8%) 
11/2015: Southern Bastards #12 -- 16,681 (-  3.6%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  :    n.a.

Was just chosen as a sélection polar for the 2016 Angoulême festival, which will likely do wonders for its European collection sales.

142 - CITIZEN JACK ($3.99)
11/2015: Citizen Jack #1 -- 16,605

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 new political horror comedy from Sam Humphries & Tommy Patterson. Listed as an ongoing series, but unless it bucks the typical sales trend this isn’t a good sales number to start at for longevity.

139 - PRETTY DEADLY ($3.50)
11/2013: Pretty Deadly #2  -- 25,939
------------------------------------
11/2014: --
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: -- 
03/2015: --
04/2015: --
05/2015: --
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: -- 
09/2015: -- 
10/2015: --
11/2015: Pretty Deadly #6  -- 15,494 (- 19.4%)
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : - 40.3%

Returns after quite a long absence; the last issue was published in April 2014 (19,218 copies). I’m presuming that the trade collection sales have been relatively strong.

141 - SPAWN ($2.99)
10/2005: --
11/2010: -- 
11/2011: Spawn #213      -- 13,369 
11/2012: Spawn #225      -- 26,872  
11/2013: Spawn #237      -- 14,411 
----------------------------------
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%) 
09/2015: Spawn #256      -- 15,087 (-  4.0%) 
10/2015: Spawn #257      -- 15,266 (+  1.2%) 
11/2015: Spawn #258      -- 15,163 (-  0.7%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  4.7%
1 year  : + 27.1%
2 years : +  5.2%
5 years :    n.a.
10 years:    n.a.

Still kickin’ it after all these years.

143 - BLACK SCIENCE ($3.99)
11/2013: Black Science #1  -- 40,873 
------------------------------------
11/2014: --
12/2014: Black Science #11 -- 19,688 (-  6.8%) 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: -- 
03/2015: Black Science #12 -- 26,112 (+ 32.6%)
04/2015: Black Science #13 -- 17,876 (- 31.5%) 
05/2015: Black Science #14 -- 17,090 (-  4.4%)
06/2015: Black Science #15 -- 17,932 (+  4.9%) 
07/2015: Black Science #16 -- 18,298 (+  2.0%) 
08/2015: -- 
09/2015: -- 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Black Science #17 -- 15,094 (- 17.5%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 11.7%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : - 63.1%

Returns from hiatus with a rather sizable drop.

146 - LAZARUS ($3.50)
11/2013: --
-------------------------------
11/2014: Lazarus #13 -- 16,094 (-  4.4%)
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: Lazarus #14 -- 15,896 (-  1.2%) 
02/2015: Lazarus #15 -- 15,237 (-  4.1%) 
03/2015: --
04/2015: Lazarus #16 -- 15,138 (-  0.6%)
05/2015: --
06/2015: Lazarus #17 -- 14,980 (-  1.0%) 
07/2015: Lazarus #18 -- 14,563 (-  2.8%) 
08/2015: --
09/2015: Lazarus #19 -- 14,506 (-  0.4%) 
10/2015: --
11/2015: Lazarus #19 -- 14,218 (-  2.0%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 11.7%
2 years :    n.a.
147 - VELVET ($3.50)
11/2013: --
-------------------------------
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%) 
09/2015: -- 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Velvet #12 -- 14,206 (-  4.0%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 16.6%
2 years :    n.a.

An irregular schedule doesn’t necessarily hurt things, but neither does it do much to promote growth. I’m buying both of these series in floppies, but really wishing I’d instead gone the trade route, which is pretty much how I’m treating all new Image series these days.

148 - RINGSIDE ($3.99)
11/2015: Citizen Jack #1 -- 14,205

See Citizen Jack above.

162 - THE BEAUTY ($3.50)
08/2015: The Beauty #1  -- 25,245
09/2015: The Beauty #2  -- 17,337 (- 31.3%)
10/2015: The Beauty #3  -- 14,935 (- 13.9%)
11/2015: The Beauty #4  -- 13,369 (- 10.5%)

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.)

156 - RAT QUEENS ($3.99)
11/2013: Rat Queens #3  -- 11,967
---------------------------------
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%) 
09/2015: Rat Queens #12 -- 13,615 (-  4.6%) 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Rat Queens #13 -- 13,075 (-  4.0%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : +  9.3%

The rare title that shows a positive 2 year growth. But the scheduling irregularities are eating away.

158 - INVINCIBLE ($2.99)
11/2005: Invincible #27  -- 11,775
11/2010: Invincible #75  -- 17,029 
11/2011: Invincible #84  -- 15,067
11/2011: Invincible #85  -- 14,678
11/2012: Invincible #97  -- 14,548 
11/2013: --
----------------------------------
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%) 
09/2015: Invincible #123 -- 12,758 (-  1.9%) 
10/2015: Invincible #124 -- 13,186 (+  3.4%) 
11/2015: Invincible #125 -- 12,561 (-  4.7%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  4.8%
1 year  : -  5.4%
2 years :    n.a.
5 years : - 26.2%
10 years: +  6.7%

A bit of a corrective dip.

159 - AUTUMNLANDS ($2.99)
11/2014: Tooth & Claw #1    -- 41,181  
12/2014: Autumnlands T&C #2 -- 36,599 (- 11.1%)
01/2015: Autumnlands T&C #3 -- 22,190 (- 39.4%) 
02/2015: Autumnlands T&C #4 -- 17,700 (- 20.2%) 
03/2015: Autumnlands T&C #5 -- 16,054 (-  9.3%)
04/2015: --
05/2015: --
06/2015: Autumnlands T&C #6 -- 15,321 (-  4.6%) 
07/2015: -- 
08/2015: -- 
09/2015: -- 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Autumnlands #7     -- 12,227 (- 20.2%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 70.3%

Returns from its hiatus for a new story arc sans the Tooth & Claw subtitle but rather worse for the gap with a sizable decline.

It is becoming more and more common for Image books to follow the Saga model, taking a several month gap between story arcs. But most books are not Saga, and out-of-sight, out-of-mind is often the order of the day. There may be perfectly valid reasons for taking a long hiatus (cash flow, deadlines, etc.), but these gaps can have deleterious effects on sales, especially if the book isn’t a top seller.

On the bright side, Autumnlands is still outselling Busiek’s other creator-owned book over at Vertigo, Astro City.

170 - BIRTHRIGHT ($2.99)
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%) 
09/2015: --
10/2015: --
11/2015: Birthright #11 -- 10,989 (-  0.7%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 12.5%
1 year  : - 40.5%

Finally starting to stabilize, and just in time.

172 - LIMBO ($2.99)
11/2015: Limbo #1 -- 10,869

New surreal noir comic from Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard. Not a good start, sales-wise.

188 - NAILBITER ($2.99)
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%) 
09/2015: --
10/2015: Nailbiter #16 --  9,719 (-  2.2%) 
11/2015: Nailbiter #17 --  9,333 (-  4.0%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 12.7%
1 year  : - 24.5%

192 - CHEW ($3.50)
11/2010: Chew #15 -- 13,047
11/2011: --
11/2012: Chew #30 -- 12,756 
11/2013: --
------------------------------------
11/2014: Chew #44 -- 10,526 (-  2.3%) 
12/2014: Chew #45 -- 10,407 (-  1.1%) 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: Chew #46 -- 15,073 (+ 44.8%) 
03/2015: Chew #47 --  9,785 (- 35.1%)
04/2015: Chew #48 --  9,707 (-  0.8%)
05/2015: Chew #49 --  9,583 (-  1.3%)
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: Chew #50 -- 10,679 (+ 11.4%) 
08/2015: -- 
09/2015: -- 
10/2015: Chew #51 --  9,652 (-  9.6%) 
11/2015: Chew #52 --  9,056 (-  6.2%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  5.5%
1 year  : - 14.0%
2 years :    n.a.
5 years : - 30.6%

I believe this is scheduled to end somewhere around issue #60. It’s had a good run, and appears to sell decently in collected editions both here and overseas.

194 - 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%)  
09/2015: -- 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Airboy #4 of 4 --  8,980 (- 15.8%)

Previous issues were returnable, but this final issue was not.

204 - WAYWARD ($3.50)
11/2014: Wayward #4  -- 10,318 (-  4.4%)
12/2014: Wayward #5  -- 10,009 (-  3.0%) 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: -- 
03/2015: Wayward #6  -- 12,247 (+ 22.4%)
04/2015: Wayward #7  --  8,389 (- 31.5%)
05/2015: Wayward #8  --  8,073 (-  3.8%)
06/2015: Wayward #9  --  7,913 (-  2.0%) 
07/2015: Wayward #10 --  7,859 (-  0.7%) 
08/2015: -- 
09/2015: -- 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Wayward #11 --  8,024 (+  4.4%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  0.6%
1 year  : - 22.2%

Actually sees a bit of a rise of a couple hundred copies after its three-month hiatus. So y’know, forget everything I said earlier.

223 - SAINTS ($2.99)
10/2015: Saints #1 -- 15,871 
11/2015: Saints #2 --  8,010 (- 49.5%)

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.)

That’s a fairly large second issue drop; not a good sign.

224 - FASTER THAN LIGHT ($2.99)
09/2015: Faster Than Light #1 -- 16,711 
10/2015: Faster Than Light #2 -- 10,098 (- 39.6%) 
11/2015: Faster Than Light #3 --  7,992 (- 20.9%)

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 slightly higher than normal third issue drop.

230 - AXCEND ($3.50)
10/2015: Axcend #1 -- 15,197 
11/2015: Axcend #2 --  7,725 (-49.2%)

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.)

That’s a fairly large second issue drop; not a good sign.

I suspect that Image might be publishing too many different titles at this point, and that new books without marquee creators attached end up getting lost in the shuffle.

216 - PHONOGRAM: THE IMMATERIAL GIRL ($3.99)
08/2015: Immaterial Girl #1 of 6 -- 15,856 (+516.2%)
09/2015: Immaterial Girl #2 of 6 -- 10,615 (- 33.1%)
10/2015: Immaterial Girl #3 of 6 --  9,012 (- 15.1%)
11/2015: Immaterial Girl #4 of 6 --  7,660 (- 15.0%)

Still dropping, a bit large for its fourth issue. But this will likely have decent long-tail trade sales.

220 - WITCHBLADE ($5.99)
11/2005: Witchblade #89  -- 15,519
11/2010: Witchblade #139 -- 10,113 
11/2011: Witchblade #149 --  8,391 
11/2012: --  
11/2013: -- 
----------------------------------
11/2014: Witchblade #179 --  6,041 
12/2014: -- 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: Witchblade #180 --  5,985 (-  0.9%)
03/2015: Witchblade #181 --  5,964 (-  0.4%)
04/2015: Witchblade #182 --  ?????
05/2015: --
06/2015: -- 
07/2015: Witchblade #183 --  5,974 
08/2015: -- 
09/2015: Witchblade #184 --  5,589 (-  3.5%) 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Witchblade #185 --  7,562 (+ 35.3%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  6.3%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : - 23.1%
5 years : - 46.9%
10 years: - 64.0%

The final issue of Witchblade, a title that has been running for twenty years (the first issue is cover-dated November 1995). It’s a comic from another time, when the studios were largely the order of the day instead of the exception at Image, which these days is dominated by creator-owned books. For a while it even left Image when Top Cow split off for a bit. It was a top selling, hot book back in its day, but sales in the 5K range just cannot be sustainable. I suspect it may be back someday, with a new #1 and an ‘exciting new creative team.’ But best to let it rest for a few years, I should think. Still, 185 issues is a good run for any comic book.

233 - 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%) 
09/2015: Savior #6 of 8 --  7,891 (-  6.5%) 
10/2015: Savior #7 of 8 --  7,170 (-  9.1%) 
11/2015: Savior #8 of 8 --  6,807 (-  5.1%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 50.0%

Final issue of a series that never really found its footing.

234 - SWITCH ($3.99)
10/2015: Switch #1 -- 11,442 
11/2015: Switch #2 --  6,788 (- 40.7%)

This is the print edition of a Webcomic, so presumably there are other revenue streams at work here.

236 - 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%) 
09/2015: Rumble #7  --  7,613 (- 13.6%) 
10/2015: Rumble #8  --  7,084 (-  6.9%) 
11/2015: Rumble #9  --  6,774 (-  4.4%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.

Has been solicited through #10.

239 - CODENAME BABOUSKA: CONCLAVE OF DEATH ($3.99)
10/2015: Conclave of Death #1 -- 12,290 
11/2015: Conclave of Death #2 --  6,538 (- 46.8%)

That’s a fairly large second issue drop; not a good sign.

239 - MYTHIC ($3.99)
05/2015: Mythic #1  -- 32,297 
06/2015: Mythic #2  -- 13,838 (- 57.2%) 
07/2015: Mythic #3  -- 10,197 (- 26.3%) 
08/2015: -- 
09/2015: Mythic #4  --  7,417 (- 27.3%) 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Mythic #5  --  6,538 (- 11.9%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 79.8%

A tie on the Diamond chart.

254 - INVISIBLE REPUBLIC ($2.99)
03/2015: Invisible Republic #1  -- 22,974 
04/2015: Invisible Republic #2  -- 15,586 (- 32.2%)
05/2015: Invisible Republic #3  --  8,359 (- 46.4%)
06/2015: Invisible Republic #4  --  7,836 (-  6.3%) 
07/2015: Invisible Republic #5  --  7,187 (-  8.3%) 
08/2015: -- 
09/2015: Invisible Republic #6  --  6,415 (- 10.7%) 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Invisible Republic #7  --  5,897 (-  8.1%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 29.5%

259 - RASPUTIN ($3.50)
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%) 
09/2015: Rasputin #9  --  6,021 (-  9.0%) 
10/2015: Rasputin #10 --  5,802 (-  3.6%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 50.4%

262 - 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%) 
09/2015: -- 
10/2015: -- 
11/2015: Kaptara #5  --  5,467 (- 24.1%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 67.1%

Mind the gap.

266 - POSTAL FBI DOSSIER ($3.99)
11/2015: Postal FBI Dossier #1 -- 5,256

This was some kind of sourcebook/character profile thing? If so, I’m surprised that it sold better than the parent title!

272 - 8HOUSE ($2.99)
07/2015: #1 Arclight pt1  -- 16,335  
08/2015: #2 Arclight pt2  --  9,463 (- 42.1%)  
09/2015: #3 Kiem     pt1  --  8,245 (- 12.9%)  
10/2015: #4 Yorris   pt1  --  6,107 (- 25.9%)  
11/2015: #5 Yorris   pt2  --  4,987 (- 18.3%)

Just not catching on.

274 - 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%) 
09/2015: Drifter #8  --  5,459 (-  8.8%) 
10/2015: --
11/2015: Drifter #9  --  4,950 (-  9.3%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 76.3%

276 - 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%) 
09/2015: Postal #7  --  5,169 (-  3.9%) 
10/2015: --
11/2015: Postal #8  --  4,882 (-  5.6%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 22.5%

286 - SEX ($2.99)
11/2013: --
--------------------------
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%) 
09/2015: Sex #24 --  ????? (< 5,049)
10/2015: --
11/2015: Sex #25 --  4,660 
-----------------
6 months: - 27.2%
1 year  : - 26.7%
2 years :    n.a.

287 - STRAY BULLETS: SUNSHINE & ROSES ($3.50)
11/2005: Stray Bullets #40   --  5,187
--------------------------------------
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   
09/2015: Sunshine & Roses #8 --  ????? (< 5,049)
10/2015: --
11/2015: Sunshine & Roses #9 --  4,583   
-----------------
6 months: - 13.1%
1 year  :    n.a.
10 years: - 11.6%

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  
09/2015: --
10/2015: Humans #8  --  4,365 (-  3.2%) 
11/2015: Humans #9  --  4,205 (-  3.7%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 75.7%

Penultimate issue.

Image titles shipping but not making the Top 300 in November include: 68: Last Rights, Astronauts in Trouble, Dark Corridor, Elephantmen, The Fuse, Reyn, Roche Limit: Clandestiny, Shutter, Thought Bubble Anthology.

Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that any of them are in danger of being cancelled; 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.

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 300/400 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300/400 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 National Newspaper Association, 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.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Good work, and thanks for filling in. We hear so much about the big two, it’s good to see the progressive end of our inductry get some notice.

    I would say that while Image indeed is putting out a slew of titles, it would be nice to see Marvel and DC cut some of their fat before Image does, if only to get some books out there to diversify our hobby.

  2. 234 – SWITCH ($3.99)
    10/2015: Switch #1 — 11,442
    11/2015: Switch #2 — 6,788 (- 40.7%)
    This is the print edition of a Webcomic, so presumably there are other revenue streams at work here.

    Sadly, no. Stjepan has been lamenting this books low sales on twitter/podcasts. If he makes anything off of his deviantart stuff, it’s not much.

  3. Shame about 8House. I’ve been enjoying it. Quite worried about Kaptara and hoping it can at least finish off a second arc.

  4. Switch may have suffered from lack of name recognition. Nothing on its incredible generic name brought to mind the widely reported “Teen Witchblade” project it was.

    Teen Witchblade may be an awkward name, but it was FAR more visible.

    Google has 55 100 results for “teen witchblade sejic” and 13 700 for “switch sejic”, by the way.

  5. Phil Hester’s seeming inability to write a book that catches on with many fans is just baffling to me. I like pretty much all of his original, non-superhero work, and I like “Mythic”, so it’s depressing to me to see these numbers.

  6. I agree with the sentiment that Image publishes too many titles right now. The stuff near the top is strong, and the stuff in the middle is healthy, but as noted in this column a fair number of titles are launching in the low 10,000s range, and quickly drop to the 5,000s. Again, Image has different economics, but that just doesn’t seem good for the long run. However, I’d like to see Trade sales of these series listed here as well, like we see Xavier do on his Marvel column; it would make it clearer if some of these series may be juggernauts in trade.

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