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New 52: Well that was fun


Wow, we’re zonked and we didn’t even do anything. But the beehive of activity over this weeks New 52 debut was exhausting just to follow on twitter. Yesterday Jim Lee and Geoff Johns made a barnstorming tour of NYC comics shops, calling ahead and then showing up for flash-style 45 minute signings. They hit Manhattan, Hanleys, Forbidden Planet and St. Marks and somewhere in between Lee did an NPR interview.

This enthusiastic blitzkrieg was somewhat reminiscent of the 90s comics days, when Image signings required giant tents, creators did crazy signing tours, and unsold skids of comics were sometimes left in the wake. It was a silly time, yes, but there was genuine fan excitement; one senses Jim Lee’s hand behind some of the current promotion, and there has definitely been excitement generated. Even Marvelites were complimentary, perhaps reaching the zenith when Lee retweeted Marvel’s CB Cebulski retweeting writer Nick Spencer:

“@nickspencer: Don’t care what company it is- anything that has people lined up at Midnight & on the front of @nytimes is great for comics.”

Indeed, it was a feel good day for everyone involved. (Photo via Janelle Asselin.)

As for Justice League 1, its position reminds us of another savior book, New X-Men #144, the debut of the Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely run. This was at the end of comics’ last great slide, a sad time when sales were about at current levels but didn’t have piracy to blame for it. I remember remarking at the time that the orders on New X-Men would indicate the maximum size of the direct market — who wouldn’t want a copy of this hot book by the creators of FLEX MENTALLO? According to Comichron, New X-men #114 sold some 144,835 copies. JL’s sales are somewhere north of 200,000 so we’re actually doing BETTER by that measure.

Speaking of Comichron, proprietor John Jackson Miller has made some updates to the site, in light of all the attention his figures are getting:

This is the track for all years for which he has data:

This is just for the last three years, coinciding with the recession in the general economy:

Market shares for the major publishers:

And a blog post with context.

  1. Dear Jim, Geoff, DD and the Comics Press,

    Here’s why most of us old school comics fans aren’t buying this latest “new” DC Universe…

    This reboot only makes it easier for older people who already know how and where to find your “new” comics to get them. Your solution doesn’t address the REAL problem: There’s not one of those 52 “new” comics I could recommend that my daughter buy my voracious comic book-reading, eight-year-old granddaughter Zoe, if she could actually find a comic book store in her town, much less one that stocks age-appropriate material.

    Frankly, I didn’t grasp this problem either, until we sent a slew of old-school Power Pack single-issue comics from the 80s to Zoe for her 8th birthday, and my daughter had to explain why these comics were small and stapled, rather than perfect-bound, larger and more pages.

    You have A LOT of work to do, and going digital day-and-date is only one problem solved… So when’s that line of kids comics coming?

    Good Luck,


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