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26. Webcomic alerrt: Sam Alden debuts his new “MS Paint” comics

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I saw Sam Alden reading these at the NY Comcis SYmposium the other night and let’s just say it gets better and better. He uses a 500×500 pixel grid to do everything.

1 Comments on Webcomic alerrt: Sam Alden debuts his new “MS Paint” comics, last added: 4/15/2014
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27. The Genre-Bending World of Hinterkind (Reviewing the V. 1 TPB, “The Waking World”)

vertigo-hinterkind-tpb-1Vertigo’s new fantasy-ish title Hinterkind recently released its first trade paperback collection, The Waking World.  If you only glanced at the covers, it’s probably not what you’re expecting.  Oh, sure it’s got the mythical monsters you’d expect to see in something like Vertigo’s elder statesman title Fables, but there’s a layer of science fiction, a layer that’s very close to zombie apocalypse and a bit more political intrigue than you might expect.

Writer Ian Edginton and artist Francesco Trifogli have created something that appears to be a bit more than the sum of its otherwise familiar parts.  Honestly, it reminded me the most of Planet of the Apes, but we’ll circle back to that.

Hinterkind is set 15 minutes into the future.  Mother Nature struck back against the humans in the form of a super flu virus.  Some people were naturally immune and they survived, gathering together in small communities in the ruins of the old cities.  What they don’t initially know, is that the creatures of fairy tales have also returned.  Led by the Sidhe (elves if you want to be common about it), the “Hinterkind” as they call themselves are ready for some revenge on the humans who drove them all into hiding those many years ago.  They’d also like to eat them.  Of course the humans are all a bit isolated and may not have quite figured that out yet.

The narrative goes primarily in two directions: the viewpoint of a group of survivors in the ruins of New York City and the viewpoint of the royal class of the Sidhe, who are more or less organizing the Hinterkind.  The human survivors are the world building story as they start to realize there’s a whole lot more going on in their world than they previously thought.  On the Sidhe side, there’s considerable variance of opinion on who should be running things and what should be done with the surviving humans.

There’s also, from both perspectives, events that really read like somebody took Ronald Reagan’s old campaign line about the scariest sentence in the English language being “we’re from the government and we’re hear to help” and really ran with it.

Why did this book remind me of Planet of the Apes?  A couple reasons.  The ruins of the world and the hunted humans which both somewhat jibe with the zombie apocalypse feel.  There’s a sequence in the tpb that can’t help but remind me of Beneath the Planet of the Apes and the politics of what should be done with the humans strongly resonates with the BOOM! sorely under-appreciated Planet of the Apes series a couple years back, which dealt with the political relations between apes and humans before the humans started losing the ability to talk.

Hinterkind is awash with SF/F tropes and there are many different things you could pick apart here as possible influences.  It’s very early in what’s obviously a much longer tale.  The “waking world” title refers to the Hinterkind waking up and returning and the humans slowly waking up to the fact they’re not alone and in a pretty bad spot.  The table is set for the two narratives to take off.  We see the initial skirmishes and conflicts appear.  Where it’s immediately going isn’t entirely clear, nor is it quite certain how quickly the threads will collide.

I liked it well enough.  Hinterkind does well in scope and carving out enough of its own identity.  What to compare it to for recommendations, though.  That’s a hard one because it combines so many things.  The press releases likes to compare it to Game of Thrones, probably based on the Sidhe skulduggery and having a couple different narrative threads.  I can see it, but I’m not sure that’s the most apt, this being post-apocalyptic and having many more magical creatures running around.  Game of Thrones meets Planet of the Apes might be the better Hollywood style tagline.  If you like fall of civilization stores and don’t mind mixing your science fiction and fantasy, that’s probably a good cognitive place to start.

On the other hand, if you don’t want scientists in your fantasy, this will probably cause you angst.

Perhaps the most important thing to say is Hinterkind is not some boiler plate Fables replacement, something you could have thought when it was rolled out.  It is it’s own thing and an enjoyable one if you’re not a purist to one particular sub-genre.

2 Comments on The Genre-Bending World of Hinterkind (Reviewing the V. 1 TPB, “The Waking World”), last added: 4/15/2014
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28. What is it like to be a man in comics?

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So yesterday I tweeted this, and there was quite a bit of outcry before during and after about Janelle Asselin’s Tumblr post, linked to in this said tweet. The kind of short version of it all is:

• Janelle write a column on CBR about the cover for the new Teen Titans title, pointing out that despite starring teens, this book seems to be aimed at a non-teen audience, based on the cover.

Even the newer series, “Teen Titans Go!” premiered as the #1 show in its time slot, not just for boys but for kids aged 2-11. Kids and teens are into the idea of the Teen Titans, and there’s money to be made off of even tangentially relating to that crowd. Virtually all of DC’s New 52 books appear to be aimed at the exact same demographic: Males 18-39. And this cover is made for that demographic. It shows that, once again, DC is relaunching a book with no thought to targeting wider demographics or a new audience. This is not a cover you run if you’re trying to appeal to teenagers, and it’s especially not going to appeal to teen girls. Sure, the team may not be the same as the animated Teen Titans team, but there are ways to frame the characters to draw in new readers. For one, they could look like an actual team. For another, you could avoid cluttering up the background with imagery that offers nothing to a new reader, instead creating a distraction from the team you’re presenting.

 

• Commenters took offense to this observation and acted like assholes. A comics pro took great exception to it on twitter. One sample:


There were like 1000 more, but this seems to kind of get to the heart of the marketing matter, which is what Asselin was actually talking about. I think it’s worth pointing out that The Teen Titans Go comic was indeed cancelled…in 2008 after a 55 issue run, which is longer than any currently running DC comics aimed at adults. 55 issues is hardly a failure, even allowing for the difference between 2008 and 2014.

• Anyway the original column has racked up more than 500 comments. Which is crazy. I know there is mad hate for the Teen Titans Go! cartoon among DC comics fans, and, seemingly, frantic hostility in regard to anything that strays from the core demographic. I know I make fun of Bombshells and Giant Tits Teen and all that, but I guess playing to the base is what works in the DCU, no matter what the size of that base is.

• AT THE SAME TIME, Asselin began an online survey regarding sexual harassment in comics that has gotten more than 1000 responses. And some of them used the sweet sweet anonymity of the internet to threaten Asselin with rape and imagine rape fantasies involving her and other prominent women in comics. From her Tumblr post:

I’ve gotten all manner of bullshit within the survey now, but at least the ones with the rape threats or other asshole comments tell me which responses to disregard.  If you really want to “get me” and prove that sexual harassment doesn’t exist in comics, I don’t know, maybe it’s better for you to answer honestly about how you haven’t been sexually harassed. Because certainly sending me rape threats proves my point, not yours.

 

• And you know, that’s fucked up.

So two things:

1) As far as the whole marketing thing goes, the Wikileaks for all of this is this interview with Paul Dini where he explains what really goes on in cartoonland, and why the female audience is dismissed. The DC Teen Titans cover is part of a whole legacy of that thinking—when I saw that and the New Suicide Squad cover, I thought they were both harsh-looking and seemed rushed, not because of the artists involved but just because that’s how things look now. And like I said, this is marketing to the base. For whatever reason.

2) I was chatting with a few men in comics and they were shocked about this whole rape threat thing. I’m sure I have way less of it than most women in comics for whatever reason, but I’ve had threats and posturing and innuendo and blah blah. Some people are devastated by this kind of thing, and I’m not here to judge them. But I’m kind of amazed that men are unaware of this. And it is true that male editors and writers and artists in comics have gotten death threats over some stupid comic book thing, so there is a whole culture of insane threats. But the rape thing is a special gift just for the girls.

And you know what? This is not women’s problem. This is MEN’S PROBLEM. I know most internet trolls are teenaged boys who don’t know any better, but this is MAN’S THING. This is something you men need to figure out and condemn and deal with. There should be MAN RULES about it, like how you’re not supposed to go into the urinal next to another guy, that kind of thing. Belittling, embarrassing, threatening and shaming women should not be some kind of masculine rite of passage. It should be the opposite of being a real man.

The other night, I was walking home, as I do just about every night, and someone threw a bottle at me from the high rise next to the building where I live. I didn’t see the bottle, but it landed behind me and shards of broken glass hit my head. There are some crazy people in my neighborhood—I live a few blocks from Bellevue—but in general it’s pretty safe. Someone threw an egg at me a few years ago, but that missed too. I do not feel that it was my fault that I was walking home at night and someone threw a bottle at me. I feel that it was my right to walk the street in front of my house. And I think most people would agree that throwing a bottle at someone walking home is the aberrant behavior here. And that’s what we’re talking about with these rape threats. They are the internet equivalent of bottle throwing.

Some people criticized my tweet on the basis that no woman should eve be threatened with rape PERIOD. And yes, no woman, man, child or anything in between should ever be threatened with rape for anything, not a video game review, a comic book cover criticism, wearing particular clothing, going out in public or anything ever. I did add “for analyzing a comic book cover” to highlight the absurdity of the whole idiotic event not because I think there are some things women do that should be answered with a rape threat.

In closing, I would like to salute the bravery and professionalism of Janelle Asselin. She put her opinions out there knowing what kind of response she would get and she still did it, in hopes of perhaps getting people to think and to shed light on matters that are not discussed enough. Just because these things are hidden does not mean that men do not have this problem.

I would also like to thank the many, many wonderful men in comics who have been supportive and proactive about this. Because, as I’ve said many times, comics people are the best people. A few rotten apples don’t spoil the barrel…but no one likes the smell.

I have turned the comments on this post off. If you like what I have said, there are social media buttons at the top of the post. Or email me at comicsbeat at gmail.com

6 Comments on What is it like to be a man in comics?, last added: 4/18/2014
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29. FIVE YEARS LATER, Grant Morrison’s MULTIVERISTY is finally coming out

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Sometimes the wheels of comics grind exceedingly slow, and Multiversity, a now somewhat outdated multiversical look at the DCU that folds in various timelines, masterminded by Multiverse expert Grant Morrison, is one of those things. It was announced in 2009, and has been biding it’s time since then, even as the DCU it was set to explore got 52ed out of existence. Back in September of 2012, a few Watchmen-esque pencils by Frank Quitely were shown at the DC Comics blog and iFanboy—yes this project has been kicking around so long that iFanboy actually was a website.

ANYWAY, an official pub date has been announced! August 2014! It is happening, CBR tells us with some color art by Ivan Rris and Joe Prado (colors by Nei Ruffino) that has…an odd look to it. Each issues will be 40 pages long Chris Sprouse and Karl Story, Ben Oliver, Frank Quitely, Cameron Stewart and more. Morrison describes the series thusly:

“‘The Multiversity’ has been a labor of love almost eight years in the making, and brings together an unstoppable supergroup of artists — Reis, Sprouse, Oliver, Quitely, Stewart and more — with a cast of unforgettable characters from the 52 alternative Earths of the known DC Multiverse!

“Prepare to meet the Vampire Justice League of Earth-43, the Justice Riders of Earth-18, Superdemon, Doc Fate, the super-sons of Superman and Batman, the rampaging Retaliators of Earth-8, the Atomic Knights of Justice, Dino-Cop, Sister Miracle, Lady Quark, the legion of Sivanas, the Nazi New Reichsmen of Earth-10 and the LATEST, greatest superhero of Earth-Prime — YOU!

Comprising seven complete adventures — each set in a different parallel universe — a two part framing story, and comprehensive guidebook to the many worlds of the Multiverse, ‘The Multiversity’ is more than just a multi-part comic book series, it’s a cosmos-spanning, soul-shaking experience that puts YOU on the front line in the Battle For All Creation against the demonic destroyers known as the Gentry!

But beware! Power has a cost, and at the heart of this epic tale waits the cursed and malignant comic book called ‘Ultra Comics’…

How safe is YOUR head?

Join us, if you dare, for ‘The Multiversity!’” — Grant Morrison


Hurrah! Grant Morrison doing Grant Morrison things! What is not to love.

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7 Comments on FIVE YEARS LATER, Grant Morrison’s MULTIVERISTY is finally coming out, last added: 4/16/2014
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30. Bone gives Shades of Grey a run as one of the 10 Most Banned Books of 2013

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If you were to guess what the 10 most banned or challenged books in the US in 2013 were, you might guess 50 Shades of Grey for its class-consciousness tinged bondage romance; or John Green’s Looking for Alaska with its classic themes of coming of age and the required drugs and sexuality. And yes both those books are on the list, released today by the American LIbrary Association. But also on the list? Jeff Smith’s Bone series, which we’re told by the CBLDF, has been cited for “Political viewpoint, racism, violence.”

Racism? Is this that anti-Rat Creature party we’ve been hearing about? Or the Rockjaw Defense League?

While Bone is a bit of a shock to be on the list, the first one is also odd because it’s so clearly a kids book: Captain Underpants. I mean sure kids shouldn’t be exposed to underpants, unless they are being told to put on a clean pair because it’s Tuesday already, but…honestly don’t the censors of America have better things to do?

Here’s the complete Top Ten:

1) Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey (Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence.)
2) The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison (Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence.)
3) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.)
4) Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James (Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.)
5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group.)
6) A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone (Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit.)
7) Looking for Alaska, by John Green (Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.)
8) The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.)
9) Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya (Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit.
10) Bone (series), by Jeff Smith (Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence.)

According to the CBLDF,

This is Bone’s first appearance on ALA’s annual list of challenged books, but it isn’t the first time it’s run affoul of censors. In 2012, it was banned in Texas at Crestview Elementary and moved to the junior high library because it was deemed unsuited to the age group. In April of 2010, a Minnesota parentpetitioned for the series’ removal from her son’s school library, when she discovered images she believed to be promoting drinking and smoking. A letter from Smith decrying the ban attempt was read aloud at the committee’s hearing, and the challenge was ultimately rejected by a 10-1 vote, to the praise of Smith and CBLDF.

6 Comments on Bone gives Shades of Grey a run as one of the 10 Most Banned Books of 2013, last added: 4/17/2014
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31. DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: March 2014 — Forever Unchained Overture

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by David Carter

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

DC take the top four spots on the Diamond sales charts, as all four of their bestselling titles (Batman, Forever Evil, Sandman Overture and Superman Unchained) actually shipped in the same month! Despite that, DC still fell short of their top competitor Marvel by about 9% in both dollar and unit share, as Marvel have many more comics that perform in the 50-70K unit space than DC does. And average sales hit the lowest level since the New 52 began.

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 right here at The Beat! All of the opinions expressed in this column are my own and do not reflect those of my employers, Heidi McDonald or anyone at The Beat, the Centers for Disease Control, or my neighbors’ dog Miles.

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 now done with total orders including reorder activity, as opposed to initial orders as was the practice of this column under the previous administration.)

1 - BATMAN ($4.99)
03/2004: Batman #625   --  83,371
03/2009: Batman BfC #1 --  91,619 [103,913] 
03/2010: Batman #697   --  61,157
03/2011: Batman #708   --  58,594
03/2012: Batman #7     -- 131,091 
-------------------------------
03/2013: Batman #18    -- 137,893 (-  8.5%)
04/2013: Batman #19    -- 132,147 (-  4.2%)
05/2013: Batman #20    -- 129,039 (-  2.4%)
06/2013: Batman #21    -- 142,088 (+ 21.5%) [156,845]
07/2013: Batman #22    -- 132,047 (- 15.8%)
08/2013: Batman #23    -- 128,230 (-  2.9%)
09/2013: #23.1: Jkr    -- 151,351 (+ 18.0%)
09/2013: #23.2: Rdlr   -- 140,065 (-  7.5%)
09/2013: #23.3: Pngn   -- 120,026 (- 14.3%)
09/2013: #23.4: Bane   -- 124,382 (+  7.6%) [129,156]
10/2013: Batman #24    -- 124,652 (-  3.5%)
11/2013: Batman #25    -- 125,602 (+  0.8%)
12/2013: Batman #26    -- 119,443 (-  4.9%)
01/2014: Batman #27    -- 115,492 (-  1.7%) [117,395]
02/2014: Batman #28    -- 114,089 (-  1.3%) [115,891]
03/2014: Batman #29    -- 116,926 (+  0.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 13.5%
1 year  : - 15.2%
2 years : - 10.8%
5 years : + 12.5%
10 years: + 40.2%
Since #1: - 47.6%

Sales tick back up a bit as “Zero Year” is rejoined after an unscheduled one-month break. Sales are actually probably a smudge higher than that, as the combo pack edition missed the top 400 this month (and probably not by much: the #400 title moved 1,874 units this month, and last month’s Batman combo pack was 1,802). While sales have slid some since the beginning of “Zero Year,” the title seems to have stabilized around 116K, which is still good enough for the #1 slot in this slightly depressed market.

Also, the 6 month comparisons this month for most of the DCU titles are for the Villains Month stunt issues. Where there were multiple issues in September 2013 the sales figures have been averaged for comparison purposes, and keep in mind that we are comparing to a gimmick month where regular sales forces were not really in play.

2 - SUPERMAN UNCHAINED ($3.99)
06/2013: Superman Unchained #1  -- 256,792          [271,721]
07/2013: Superman Unchained #2  -- 165,754 (-35.5%)
08/2013: Superman Unchained #3  -- 136,319 (-17.8%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: --
11/2013: Superman Unchained #4  -- 110,611 (-18.9%)
12/2013: Superman Unchained #5  --  96,322 (-12.9%)
01/2014: --
02/2014: --
03/2014: Superman Unchained #6  --  94,147 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months:    n.a.
Since #1: - 65.4%

Not a bad drop off from the previous issue, especially given the two month gap. As of this writing, issue #7 has been delayed until mid-May, and issues #8 & #9 have been yanked from the schedule all together (to be resolicited at a later date).

3 - FOREVER EVIL ($3.99)
09/2013: Forever Evil #1 -- 139,976           [147,016]
10/2013: Forever Evil #2 -- 112,944 (- 23.2%)
11/2013: Forever Evil #3 -- 105,755 (-  6.4%)
12/2013: Forever Evil #4 --  99,351 (-  6.1%)
01/2014: -- 
02/2014: Forever Evil #5 --  92,014 (-  7.4%)
03/2014: Forever Evil #6 --  92,036 (+  0.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 37.4%
Since #1: - 37.4%

Remarkably stable numbers; I guess as a group retailers figured that anyone in for issue #5 was probably going to stick around for issue #6. Meanwhile, issue #7 has been delayed until May, which is going to cause all sorts of havoc with the shipping schedule for tie-in books over the next couple of months.¶

4 - SANDMAN OVERTURE (Vertigo) ($3.99)
10/2013: Sandman Overture #1 -- 103,668 (+436.4%) [107,858]
11/2013: -- 
12/2013: -- 
01/2014: -- 
02/2014: -- 
03/2014: Sandman Overture #2 --  89,711 (- 14.9%)  [91,839]
-----------------
Since #1: - 14.9%

Easily the Vertigo flagship title by a county mile. An additional 2,128 units show up for the Combo Pack edition. A 14.9% drop isn’t bad at all for a second issue, especially given the extra-long delay between issues. This comic was originally supposed to be bi-monthly, but that’s clearly out the window now (Gaiman has stated that he thinks the third issue will be out sometime in July, which makes this closer to quarterly.) The delay also means that the hardcover collection will almost certainly not be available for the holiday shopping season.

(After this point in the chart, all further titles are being outsold by Image’s The Walking Dead.)

14 - HARLEY QUINN ($2.99)
11/2013: Harley Quinn #0  -- 114,212           [125,850]
12/2013: Harley Quinn #1  --  92,153 (- 13.2%) [109,246]
01/2014: Harley Quinn #2  --  66,363 (- 30.0%) [ 76,484]
02/2014: Harley Quinn #3  --  63,967 (- 12.7%) [ 66,787]
03/2014: Harley Quinn #4  --  63,120 (-  5.5%)
-----------------
Since #0: - 49.8%

Initial orders for #4 are nearly on par with those for #3, and all four previous issues have reorder activity that make the chart this month (and the total sales and percentage calculations above have been adjusted accordingly). The combination of a lighthearted approach with a Bat-family character in the regular DCU continuity seems to be a hit with many fans; DC needs more books performing in the 60K range like this.

18 - DETECTIVE COMICS ($3.99)
03/2004: Detective Comics #791 --  34,899
03/2009: --
03/2010: Detective Comics #862 --  44,687
03/2010: Detective Comics #863 --  43,119
03/2011: Detective Comics #875 --  40,047
03/2012: Detective Comics #7   --  89,981
-----------------------------------------
03/2013: Detective Comics #18  --  76,237 (- 11.2%)
04/2013: Detective Comics #19  --  77,922 (+  2.2%)
05/2013: Detective Comics #20  --  78,252 (+  0.4%)
06/2013: Detective Comics #21  --  65,200 (- 16.7%)
07/2013: Detective Comics #22  --  63,949 (-  1.9%)
08/2013: Detective Comics #23  --  61,448 (-  3.9%)
09/2013: #23.1: Poison Ivy     --  78,522 (+ 27.8%)
09/2013: #23.2: Harley Quinn   --  89,636 (+ 14.2%)
09/2013: #23.3: Scarecrow      --  73,043 (- 18.5%)
09/2013: #23.4: Man-Bat        --  68,110 (-  6.8%)
10/2013: Detective Comics #24  --  59,310 (- 12.9%)
11/2013: Detective Comics #25  --  64,392 (+  8.6%)
12/2013: Detective Comics #26  --  56,538 (- 12.2%)
01/2014: Detective Comics #27  --  88,702 (+ 59.8%) [90,335]
02/2014: Detective Comics #28  --  56,619 (- 37.3%)
03/2014: Detective Comics #29  --  55,486 (-  2.0%)
-----------------
6 months: -  28.2%
1 year  : -  27.2%
2 years : -  38.3%
5 years : n.a.
10 years: +  59.0%
Since #1: -  64.8%

The final issue of “Gothtopia,” and the last issue before the new creative team arrives with issue #30. I’ll admit to be very curious to see what the sales figures do in April; Buccelato & Manapul aren’t as high-profile a team as Johns & Romita will be on Superman, but their run on Flash received not a small amount of positive critical notice and it will be interesting to see how well they perform sales-wise on a high-profile character like Batman.

22 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA ($3.99)
03/2004: JLA #94             --  76,134  [77,822]
03/2004: JLA #95             --  69,898  [73,620]
03/2009: JL of America #31   --  68,759
03/2010: JL of America #43   --  56,461
03/2011: JL of America #55   --  50,533
---------------------------------------
03/2013: JL of America #2    --  91,734 (-71.9%)
04/2013: --
05/2013: JL of America #3    --  83,283 (- 9.2%)
05/2013: JL of America #4    --  77,856 (- 6.5%)
06/2013: JL of America #5    --  71,793 (- 7.8%)
07/2013: JL of America #6    --  86,192 (+32.2%) [94,923]
08/2013: JL of America #7    --  93,777 (- 1.2%)
09/2013: #7.1: Deadshot      --  66,815 (-28.8%)
09/2013: #7.2: Killer Frost  --  62,706 (- 6.2%)
09/2013: #7.3: Shadow Thief  --  60,397 (- 3.7%)
09/2013: #7.4: Black Adam    --  74,875 (+24.0%)
10/2013: JL of America #8    --  77,305 (+ 3.2%)
11/2013: JL of America #9    --  71,008 (- 8.1%)
12/2013: JL of America #10   --  65,678 (- 7.5%)
01/2014: JL of America #11   --  65,365 (- 0.5%)
02/2014: JL of America #12   --  56,259 (-13.9%)
03/2014: JL of America #13   --  54,349 (- 3.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 17.9%
1 year  : - 40.8%
5 years : - 21.0%
10 years: - 28.2%
Since #1: - 83.4%

Penultimate issue. The final issue will be delayed until May due to Forever Evil lateness.

24 - BATMAN/SUPERMAN ANNUAL ($4.99)
03/2014: Batman/Superman Ann #1  --  52,937

Delayed from January, but since the regular issue of Batman/Superman didn’t ship this month (see commentary on Worlds’ Finest below) it all kind of balances out.

31 - GREEN LANTERN ($2.99)
03/2004: Green Lantern #175 --  29,780 [30,730]
03/2009: --
03/2010: Green Lantern #52  --  97,369
03/2011: Green Lantern #63  --  75,632
03/2011: Green Lantern #64  --  76,898
03/2012: Green Lantern #7   --  90,232
--------------------------------------
03/2013: Green Lantern #18  --  69,801 (- 1.8%)
04/2013: Green Lantern #19  --  71,018 (+ 1.7%)
05/2013: Green Lantern #20  --  67,414 (- 5.1%)
06/2013: Green Lantern #21  --  71,870 (+ 6.6%)
07/2013: Green Lantern #22  --  62,415 (-13.2%)
08/2013: Green Lantern #23  --  59,176 (- 5.2%)
09/2013: #23.1: Relic       --  66,495 (+12.4%)
09/2013: #23.2: Mongul      --  63,731 (- 4.2%)
09/2013: #23.3: Black Hand  --  62,753 (- 1.5%)
09/2013: #23.4: Sinestro    --  70,893 (+13.0%)
10/2013: Green Lantern #24  --  57,109 (-19.4%)
11/2013: Green Lantern #25  --  54,322 (- 5.2%)
12/2013: Green Lantern #26  --  51,420 (- 5.0%)
01/2014: Green Lantern #27  --  48,831 (- 5.0%)
02/2014: GL/Red Lanterns#28 --  49,200 (+ 5.6%) [51,548]
03/2014: Green Lantern #29  --  45,797 (-11.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 30.6%
1 year  : - 34.4%
2 years : - 49.2%
5 years : n.a.
10 years: + 49.2%
Since #1: - 72.9%

Oh dear. Orders on the issue after the double-book stunt with Red Lanterns actually fall even further, indicating that retailers didn’t have much confidence there. However, issue #28 shows some reorder activity, so at least some retailers underestimated demand and may have done so in the follow-up month as well. We may have to wait another month or two before we can gauge the success of the stunt.

36 - SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN ($3.99)
10/2013: Superman/Wonder Woman #1  -- 94,859
11/2013: Superman/Wonder Woman #2  -- 60,185 (-36.6%)
12/2013: Superman/Wonder Woman #3  -- 51,357 (-14.7%)
01/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #4  -- 47,350 (- 7.8%)
02/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #5  -- 44,847 (- 5.3%)
03/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #6  -- 43,308 (- 3.4%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 52.7%

The declines are continuing to slow as the title hones in on its level, probably lower than DC would have liked. Next month it joins in the “Doomed” storyline, but it’s crossing over with titles that sell lower than it does, and crossovers are not usually not much of a gain for the top seller in the crossover.

37 - BATMAN AND. ($2.99)
03/2010: Batman and Robin #10 --  85,292
03/2011: Batman and Robin #21 --  59,818
03/2012: Batman and Robin #7  --  68,010
----------------------------------------
03/2013: Batman and Robin #18 --  69,614 (+25.6%) [76,575]
04/2013: and Red Robin #19    --  89,182 (+16.5%)
05/2013: and Red Hood #20     --  65,222 (-26.9%)
06/2013: and Batgirl #21      --  60,601 (- 7.1%)
07/2013: and Catwoman #22     --  57,808 (- 4.6%)
08/2013: and Nightwing #23    --  55,707 (- 3.6%)
09/2013: #23.1: Two-Face      --  77,073 (+38.4%)
09/2013: #23.2: Court of Owls --  75,546 (- 2.0%)
09/2013: #23.3: Ra's al Ghul  --  73,746 (- 2.4%)
09/2013: #23.4: Killer Croc   --  69,428 (- 5.9%)
10/2013: and Two-Face #24     --  52,060 (-25.0%)
11/2013: and Two-Face #25     --  53,374 (+ 2.5%)
12/2013: and Two-Face #26     --  46,611 (-12.7%)
01/2014: and Two-Face #27     --  45,462 (- 2.5%)
02/2014: and Two-Face #28     --  43,380 (- 4.6%)
03/2014: and Aquaman #29      --  43,295 (- 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 41.5%
1 year  : - 43.5%
2 years : - 37.3%
Since #1: - 62.7%

A very tiny drop this month, as the natural attrition is offset by the relative popularity of Aquaman as a guest star over Two-Face.

(After this point in the chart, all further titles are outsold by Dark Horse’s adaptation of an early draft of George Lucas’s Star Wars script.)

We’ve now reached the mid-list portion of DC’s sales: Those books that mostly feature their long time characters that tend to sell in the 30-40K range (barring any events, crossovers, reboots, creative team changes, etc.)

47 - NIGHTWING ($2.99)
03/2004: Nightwing #91 --  29,330
03/2012: Nightwing #7   -- 50,489
---------------------------------
03/2013: Nightwing #18  -- 48,223 (-22.4%) [53,978]
04/2013: Nightwing #19  -- 46,978 (- 2.6%)
05/2013: Nightwing #20  -- 45,038 (- 4.1%)
06/2013: Nightwing #21  -- 43,353 (- 3.7%)
07/2013: Nightwing #22  -- 42,073 (- 3.0%)
08/2013: Nightwing #23  -- 40,522 (- 3.7%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Nightwing #24  -- 39,853 (- 1.7%)
11/2013: Nightwing #25  -- 44,039 (+10.5%)
12/2013: Nightwing #26  -- 38,452 (-12.7%)
01/2014: Nightwing #27  -- 38,325 (- 0.3%)
02/2014: Nightwing #28  -- 36,940 (- 3.6%)
03/2014: Nightwing #29  -- 36,814 (- 0.3%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 31.8%
2 years : - 27.1%
10 years: + 25.5%
Since #1: - 58.0%

A tiny drop for the penultimate issue. The final issue will be delayed until May due to Forever Evil lateness.

49 - EARTH 2 ($2.99)
03/2013: Earth 2 #10 -- 46,213 (- 4.1%)
04/2013: Earth 2 #11 -- 45,468 (- 1.6%)
05/2013: Earth 2 #12 -- 43,983 (- 3.3%)
06/2013: Earth 2 #13 -- 42,916 (- 2.4%)
07/2013: Earth 2 #14 -- 42,022 (- 2.1%)
08/2013: Earth 2 #15 -- 40,845 (- 2.8%)
09/2013: #15.1: Desd -- 51,850 (+26.9%)
09/2013: #15.2: SlGr -- 52,369 (+ 1.0%)
10/2013: Earth 2 #16 -- 38,389 (-26.7%)
11/2013: Earth 2 #17 -- 39,846 (+ 3.8%)
12/2013: Earth 2 #18 -- 37,130 (- 6.8%)
01/2014: Earth 2 #19 -- 36,103 (- 2.8%)
02/2014: Earth 2 #20 -- 35,732 (- 1.0%)
03/2014: Earth 2 #21 -- 35,295 (- 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 32.3%
1 year  : - 23.6%
Since #1: - 65.6%

Another relatively small drop; seems to be a theme here in the mid-list, which is mildly encouraging.

51 - BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT ($2.99)
03/2011: Dark Knight #2  --  71,108
03/2012: Dark Knight #7  --  74,297
-----------------------------------
03/2013: Dark Knight #18 --  54,269 (-  3.1%)
04/2013: Dark Knight #19 --  52,644 (-  3.0%)
05/2013: Dark Knight #20 --  50,423 (-  4.2%)
06/2013: Dark Knight #21 --  48,612 (-  3.6%)
07/2013: Dark Knight #22 --  47,096 (-  3.1%)
08/2013: Dark Knight #23 --  45,584 (-  3.2%)
09/2013: #23.1: Vtrlqust --  57,363 (+ 25.8%)
09/2013: #23.2: MrFreeze --  57,349 (-  0.0%)
09/2013: #23.3: Clayface --  55,084 (-  4.0%)
09/2013: #23.4: JkrsDgtr --  64,952 (+ 56.2%) [86,016]
10/2013: Dark Knight #24 --  43,382 (- 49.6%)
11/2013: Dark Knight #25 --  41,634 (-  4.0%)
12/2013: Dark Knight #26 --  39,980 (-  4.0%)
01/2014: Dark Knight #27 --  37,898 (-  5.2%)
02/2014: Dark Knight #28 --  35,455 (-  6.4%)
03/2014: Dark Knight #29 --  34,836 (-  1.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 45.5%
1 year  : - 35.8%
2 years : - 53.1%
Since #1: - 72.9%

Final issue, helping to make way for Batman Eternal next month.

52 - FOREVER EVIL: ARKHAM WAR ($2.99)
10/2013: Arkham War #1 of 6 -- 52,004
11/2013: Arkham War #2 of 6 -- 44,133 (-15.1%)
12/2013: Arkham War #3 of 6 -- 39,919 (- 9.5%)
01/2014: Arkham War #4 of 6 -- 37,973 (- 4.9%)
02/2014: Arkham War #5 of 6 -- 35,564 (- 6.3%)
03/2014: Arkham War #6 of 6 -- 34,743 (- 2.3%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 33.2%

The best-selling of the three Forever Evil minis comes to an end.

54 - ACTION COMICS ($3.99)
03/2004: Action Comics #813 --  66,038
03/2009: Action Comics #875 --  47,079
03/2010: Action Comics #887 --  29,460
03/2011: Action Comics #899 --  31,808
03/2012: Action Comics #7   --  91,822
--------------------------------------
03/2013: Action Comics #18  --  61,879 (+  8.2%)
04/2013: Action Comics #19  --  52,007 (- 16.0%)
05/2013: Action Comics #20  --  48,324 (-  7.1%)
06/2013: Action Comics #21  --  46,475 (-  3.8%)
07/2013: Action Comics #22  --  44,861 (-  3.5%)
08/2013: Action Comics #23  --  42,603 (-  5.0%)
09/2013: #23.1: Cyborg Smn  --  69,796 (+ 63.8%)
09/2013: #23.2: Zod         --  69,356 (-  0.6%)
09/2013: #23.3: Lex Luthor  --  67,621 (-  2.5%)
09/2013: #23.4: Metallo     --  51,807 (- 23.4%)
10/2013: Action Comics #24  --  39,620 (- 23.5%)
11/2013: Action Comics #25  --  46,550 (+ 17.5%)
12/2013: Action Comics #26  --  37,489 (- 19.5%)
01/2014: Action Comics #27  --  36,042 (-  3.9%)
02/2014: Action Comics #28  --  35,305 (-  2.0%)
03/2014: Action Comics #29  --  34,231 (-  3.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 45.4%
1 year  : - 42.9%
2 years : - 61.6%
5 years : - 25.0%
10 years: - 46.5%
Since #1: - 83.0%

Drifting down, standard attrition style. Joins up with “Doomed” next month.

57 - AQUAMAN ($2.99)
03/2004: Aquaman #15 -- 24,753
03/2012: Aquaman #6  -- 63,450
------------------------------
03/2013: Aquaman #18 -- 53,337 (- 8.9%)
04/2013: --
05/2013: Aquaman #19 -- 53,415 (+ 0.1%)
05/2013: Aquaman #20 -- 49,697 (- 7.0%)
06/2013: Aquaman #21 -- 46,832 (- 5.8%)
07/2013: Aquaman #22 -- 45,653 (- 2.5%)
08/2013: Aquaman #23 -- 44,140 (- 3.3%)
09/2013: #23.1: BMta -- 58,207 (+31.9%)
09/2013: #23.2: OMtr -- 53,679 (- 7.8%)
10/2013: Aquaman #24 -- 42,248 (-21.3%)
11/2013: Aquaman #25 -- 41,264 (- 2.3%)
12/2013: Aquaman #26 -- 38,841 (- 5.9%)
01/2014: Aquaman #27 -- 36,610 (- 5.7%)
02/2014: Aquaman #28 -- 34,939 (- 4.6%)
03/2014: Aquaman #29 -- 33,907 (- 3.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 39.4%
1 year  : - 36.4%
2 years : - 46.6%
10 years: + 37.0%
Since #1: - 68.8%

The spin-off debuts next month.

59 - SUPERMAN ($2.99)
03/2004: Superman #203 --  83,096
03/2009: Superman #686 --  44,976
03/2010: Superman #696 --  31,940
03/2011: Superman #709 --  39,846
03/2012: Superman #7   --  66,588
---------------------------------
03/2013: Superman #17  --  49,666 (-  1.9%)
03/2013: Superman #18  --  48,236 (-  2.9%)
04/2013: Superman #19  --  48,598 (+  0.8%)
05/2013: Superman #20  --  45,458 (-  6.5%)
06/2013: Superman #21  --  44,285 (-  2.6%)
07/2013: Superman #22  --  42,961 (-  3.0%)
08/2013: Superman #23  --  42,155 (-  1.9%)
09/2013: #23.1: Bzarro --  59,589 (+ 41.4%)
09/2013: #23.2: Brniac --  58,197 (-  2.3%)
09/2013: #23.3: H'el   --  55,069 (-  5.4%)
09/2013: #23.4: Prsite --  59,811 (+  8.6%)
10/2013: Superman #24  --  39,580 (- 33.8%)
11/2013: Superman #25  --  39,295 (-  0.7%)
12/2013: Superman #26  --  36,877 (-  6.2%)
01/2014: Superman #27  --  35,266 (-  4.4%)
02/2014: Superman #28  --  34,296 (-  2.8%)
03/2014: Superman #29  --  33,633 (-  1.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 42.2%
1 year  : - 31.3%
2 years : - 49.5%
5 years : - 25.2%
10 years: - 59.5%
Since #1: - 77.6%

Just 3 months until Johns & Romita arrive. But before that: “Doomed” in April & May.

60 - FLASH ($2.99)
03/2004: Flash #208       --  42,386 [44,679]
03/2010: --
03/2011: --
03/2012: Flash #7         --  64,975
-----------------------------------
03/2013: Flash #18        --  41,659 (-  3.0%)
04/2013: Flash #19        --  42,079 (+  1.0%)
05/2013: Flash #20        --  39,667 (-  5.7%)
06/2013: Flash #21        --  38,848 (-  2.1%)
07/2013: Flash #22        --  38,993 (+  0.4%)
08/2013: Flash #23        --  38,860 (-  0.3%)
09/2013: #23.1: Grodd     --  52,901 (+ 36.1%)
09/2013: #23.2: RvrsFlsh  --  53,359 (+  0.9%)
09/2013: #23.3: Rogues    --  51,072 (-  4.3%)
10/2013: Flash #24        --  38,190 (- 25.2%)
11/2013: Flash #25        --  41,838 (+  9.6%)
12/2013: Flash #26        --  36,601 (- 12.5%)
01/2014: Flash #27        --  34,902 (-  4.6%)
02/2014: Flash #28        --  33,853 (-  3.0%)
03/2014: Flash #29        --  33,241 (-  1.8%)
-----------------
6 months: - 36.6%
1 year  : - 20.2%
2 years : - 48.8%
10 years: - 25.6%
Since #1: - 77.5%

The new creative team debuts next month.

61 - BATGIRL ($2.99)
03/2004: Batgirl #50     -- 29,897 [31,876]
03/2010: Batgirl #8      -- 30,886
03/2011: Batgirl #19     -- 24,043
03/2012: Batgirl #7      -- 50,791
----------------------------------
03/2013: Batgirl #18     -- 51,677 (- 21.4%)
04/2013: Batgirl #19     -- 45,939 (- 11.1%)
05/2013: Batgirl #20     -- 42,600 (-  7.3%)
06/2013: Batgirl #21     -- 40,252 (-  5.5%)
07/2013: Batgirl #22     -- 39,218 (-  2.6%)
08/2013: Batgirl #23     -- 37,707 (-  3.9%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Batgirl #24     -- 36,666 (-  2.8%)
11/2013: Batgirl #25     -- 40,752 (+ 11.1%)
12/2013: Batgirl #26     -- 34,885 (- 14.4%)
01/2014: Batgirl #27     -- 37,226 (+  6.7%)
02/2014: Batgirl #28     -- 34,567 (-  7.1%)
03/2014: Batgirl #28     -- 33,223 (-  3.9%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.%
1 year  : - 35.7%
2 years : - 34.6%
10 years: +  4.2%
Since #1: - 69.0%
65 - WONDER WOMAN ($2.99)
03/2004: Wonder Woman #202 --  28,646
03/2009: Wonder Woman #30  --  33,365
03/2010: Wonder Woman #42  --  25,240
03/2011: Wonder Woman #608 --  32,540
03/2012: Wonder Woman #7   --  51,314
-------------------------------------
03/2013: Wonder Woman #18  --  38,406 (-  1.8%)
04/2013: Wonder Woman #19  --  46,492 (+ 21.1%)
05/2013: Wonder Woman #20  --  37,132 (- 20.1%)
06/2013: Wonder Woman #21  --  35,999 (-  3.1%)
07/2013: Wonder Woman #22  --  35,539 (-  1.3%)
08/2013: Wonder Woman #23  --  34,747 (-  2.2%)
09/2013: #23.1: Cheetah    --  49,297 (+ 41.9%)
09/2013: #23.2: First Born --  44,154 (- 10.4%)
10/2013: Wonder Woman #24  --  34,308 (- 22.3%)
11/2013: Wonder Woman #25  --  33,532 (-  2.3%)
12/2013: Wonder Woman #26  --  32,773 (-  2.3%)
01/2014: Wonder Woman #27  --  32,035 (-  2.3%)
02/2014: Wonder Woman #28  --  31,464 (-  1.8%)
03/2014: Wonder Woman #29  --  30,989 (-  1.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 33.7%
1 year  : - 19.3%
2 years : - 39.6%
5 years : -  7.1%
10 years: +  8.2%
Since #1: - 67.7%

Stubbornly treading above the 30K line. Has it been announced yet when the Finches are to take over?

66 - JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 ($2.99)
12/2013: Justice League 3K #1 -- 57,726
01/2014: Justice League 3K #2 -- 41,423 (-28.2%)
02/2014: Justice League 3K #3 -- 33,308 (-19.6%)
03/2014: Justice League 3K #4 -- 30,127 (- 9.6%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 47.8%

Still finding its level, which unless there’s an unforeseen turn-around will be under 30K.

70 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK ($3.99)
03/2012: Justice League Dark #7   -- 36,089
-------------------------------------------
03/2013: Justice League Dark #18  -- 25,664 (-  0.7%)
04/2013: Justice League Dark #19  -- 25,407 (-  1.0%)
05/2013: Justice League Dark #20  -- 24,693 (-  2.8%)
06/2013: Justice League Dark #21  -- 24,663 (-  0.1%)
07/2013: Justice League Dark #22  -- 68,294 (+225.6%) [80,302]
08/2013: Justice League Dark #23  -- 71,157 (+  4.2%) [75,782]
09/2013: #23.1: Creeper           -- 46,326 (- 34.9%)
09/2013: #23.2: Eclipso           -- 45,138 (-  2.6%)
10/2013: Justice League Dark #24  -- 45,401 (+  0.6%)
11/2013: Justice League Dark #25  -- 38,760 (- 14.6%)
12/2013: Justice League Dark #26  -- 36,353 (-  6.2%)
01/2014: Justice League Dark #27  -- 32,576 (- 10.4%)
02/2014: Justice League Dark #28  -- 30,519 (-  6.3%)
03/2014: Justice League Dark #29  -- 29,202 (-  4.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 36.1%
1 year  : + 13.8%
2 years : - 19.1%
Since #1: - 64.4%

Drops back below 30K as the Forever Evil crossover continues.

This ends the DCU mid-list. The DCU titles beyond this point should be considered to be ‘in trouble.’ That doesn’t necessarily mean that cancellation is on the immediate horizon, but *something* is going to have to change, whether it be a change in creative teams or a crossover or a gimmick, to keep them away from the cancellation bear.

76 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS ($2.99)
03/2009: Green Lantern Corps #34 -- 54,162
03/2010: Green Lantern Corps #46 -- 76,720
03/2011: Green Lantern Corps #58 -- 60,100
03/2012: Green Lantern Corps #7  -- 48,692
------------------------------------------
03/2013: Green Lantern Corps #18 -- 44,215 (- 0.6%)
04/2013: Green Lantern Corps #19 -- 43,903 (- 0.7%)
05/2013: Green Lantern Corps #20 -- 43,026 (- 2.0%)
06/2013: Green Lantern Corps #21 -- 45,423 (+ 5.6%)
07/2013: Green Lantern Corps #22 -- 42,194 (- 7.1%)
08/2013: Green Lantern Corps #23 -- 36,229 (-14.1%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Green Lantern Corps #24 -- 37,312 (+ 3.0%)
11/2013: Green Lantern Corps #25 -- 38,369 (+ 2.8%)
12/2013: Green Lantern Corps #26 -- 32,797 (-14.5%)
01/2014: Green Lantern Corps #27 -- 31,447 (- 4.1%)
02/2014: Green Lantern Corps #28 -- 29,142 (- 7.3%)
03/2014: Green Lantern Corps #29 -- 27,754 (- 4.8%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 37.2%
2 years : - 43.0%
5 years : - 48.8%
Since #1: - 70.7%

A Green Lantern crossover is needed, stat!

(After this point in the chart, all further titles are outsold by Dynamite Entertainment’s reboot of the classic Gold Key character Magnus: Robot Fighter; and by IDW’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.)

84 - THE WAKE (Vertigo) ($2.99)
05/2013: The Wake #1 of 10  -- 44,867          [50,188]
06/2013: The Wake #2 of 10  -- 32,562 (-35.1%)
07/2013: The Wake #3 of 10  -- 30,622 (- 6.0%)
08/2013: -- 
09/2013: The Wake #4 of 10  -- 31,674 (+ 3.4%)
10/2013: -- 
11/2013: The Wake #5 of 10  -- 30,463 (- 3.8%)
12/2013: -- 
01/2014: -- 
02/2014: The Wake #6 of 10  -- 26,843 (-11.9%)
03/2014: The Wake #7 of 10  -- 26,500 (- 1.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 16.3% 
Since #1: - 47.2%

Looks like it has maybe found its new post-gap level.

86 - TEEN TITANS ($2.99)
03/2004: Teen Titans #9   -- 69,056
03/2009: --
03/2010: Teen Titans #81  -- 25,758
03/2011: Teen Titans #93  -- 24,957
03/2012: Teen Titans #7   -- 51,402
-----------------------------------
03/2013: Teen Titans #18  -- 42,055 (+  7.3%)
04/2013: Teen Titans #19  -- 39,532 (-  6.0%)
05/2013: Teen Titans #20  -- 36,391 (-  8.0%)
06/2013: Teen Titans #21  -- 34,710 (-  4.6%)
07/2013: Teen Titans #22  -- 33,062 (-  4.8%)
08/2013: Teen Titans #23  -- 31,742 (-  4.0%)
09/2013: #23.1: Trigon    -- 48,974 (+ 54.3%)
09/2013: #23.2: Dthstroke -- 49,920 (+  1.9%)
10/2013: Teen Titans #24  -- 34,536 (- 30.8%)
11/2013: Teen Titans #25  -- 32,395 (-  6.2%)
12/2013: Teen Titans #26  -- 29,149 (- 10.0%)
01/2014: Teen Titans #27  -- 27,558 (-  5.5%)
02/2014: Teen Titans #28  -- 26,732 (-  3.0%)
03/2014: Teen Titans #29  -- 25,969 (-  2.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 47.5%
1 year  : - 38.2%
2 years : - 49.5%
5 years : n.a.
10 years: - 62.4%
Since #1: - 70.8%

Penultimate issue, but will be re-launched over the summer.

87 - WORLDS' FINEST ($2.99)
03/2013: Worlds' Finest #10 -- 28,469 (+ 0.5%)
04/2013: Worlds' Finest #11 -- 27,453 (- 3.6%)
05/2013: Worlds' Finest #12 -- 27,073 (- 1.4%)
06/2013: Worlds' Finest #13 -- 25,815 (- 4.7%)
07/2013: Worlds' Finest #14 -- 25,143 (- 2.6%)
08/2013: Worlds' Finest #15 -- 24,159 (- 3.9%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Worlds' Finest #16 -- 22,987 (- 4.9%)
11/2013: Worlds' Finest #17 -- 21,920 (- 4.6%)
12/2013: Worlds' Finest #18 -- 21,039 (- 4.0%)
01/2014: Worlds' Finest #19 -- 20,998 (- 0.2%)
02/2014: Worlds' Finest #20 -- 25,585 (+31.5%) [27,613]
03/2014: Worlds' Finest #21 -- 25,676 (- 7.0%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : -  9.8%
Since #1: - 63.1%

Part 4 of the “First Contact” crossover with Superman/Batman, which is notable because part three of the crossover (Batman/Superman #9) has been delayed until April. I’m pretty sure that the delay was announced at the last minute, after retailer FoC, so this issue was ordered under the assumption that there would be a part 3 for customers to purchase at the time.

But for some positive news, the second part of the crossover (issue #20) received another 2,028 units in re-order activity, so there’s greater interest in some quarters than what retailers had initially thought. (And since there was really no way for retailers to know, I can’t blame them for erring on the conservative side.)

88 - GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS ($2.99)
03/2012: New Guardians #7  -- 48,422
---------------------------------------
03/2013: New Guardians #18 -- 42,028 (- 0.6%)
04/2013: New Guardians #19 -- 41,481 (- 1.3%)
05/2013: New Guardians #20 -- 40,569 (- 2.2%)
06/2013: New Guardians #21 -- 42,290 (+ 4.2%)
07/2013: New Guardians #22 -- 40,788 (- 3.6%)
08/2013: New Guardians #23 -- 34,473 (-15.5%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: New Guardians #24 -- 35,417 (+ 2.7%)
11/2013: New Guardians #25 -- 32,069 (- 9.5%)
12/2013: New Guardians #26 -- 30,489 (- 4.9%)
01/2014: New Guardians #27 -- 28,346 (- 7.0%)
02/2014: New Guardians #28 -- 27,212 (- 4.0%)
03/2014: New Guardians #29 -- 25,296 (- 7.0%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 39.8%
2 years : - 47.8%
Since #1: - 73.8%

Drops another 2,000 units this month. DC should be thinking about pruning the Green Lantern line.

89 - RED LANTERNS ($2.99)
03/2012: Red Lanterns #7  -- 43,450
-----------------------------------
03/2013: Red Lanterns #18 -- 35,203 (-  1.8%)
04/2013: Red Lanterns #19 -- 34,673 (-  1.5%)
05/2013: Red Lanterns #20 -- 33,923 (-  2.2%)
06/2013: Red Lanterns #21 -- 37,312 (+ 10.0%)
07/2013: Red Lanterns #22 -- 35,236 (-  5.6%)
08/2013: Red Lanterns #23 -- 29,623 (- 15.9%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Red Lanterns #24 -- 30,771 (+  3.9%)
11/2013: Red Lanterns #25 -- 27,786 (-  9.7%)
12/2013: Red Lanterns #26 -- 26,242 (-  5.6%)
01/2014: Red Lanterns #27 -- 24,477 (-  6.7%)
02/2014: Green Lant/RL#28 -- 49,200 (+110.6%) [51,548]
03/2014: Red Lanterns #29 -- 25,153 (- 51.2%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 28.5%
2 years : - 42.1%
Since #1: - 71.8%

Only about 700 units above the pre-stunt issue. But as noted above there was re-order activity on that issue so maybe there will be an adjustment in the months to come?

(After this point in the chart, all further titles are outsold by Archie Comics’ Afterlife with Archie.)

95 - GREEN ARROW ($2.99)
03/2004: Green Arrow #36  -- 34,707
03/2009: Arrow/Canary #18 -- 22,699
03/2010: Arrow&Canary #31 -- 28,486
03/2011: Green Arrow #10  -- 33,085
03/2012: Green Arrow #7   -- 29,004
-----------------------------------
03/2013: Green Arrow #18  -- 28,080 (- 22.1%)
04/2013: Green Arrow #19  -- 29,922 (+  6.6%)
05/2013: Green Arrow #20  -- 27,541 (-  8.0%)
06/2013: Green Arrow #21  -- 26,924 (-  2.2%)
07/2013: Green Arrow #22  -- 26,172 (-  2.8%)
08/2013: Green Arrow #23  -- 25,449 (-  2.8%)
09/2013: #23.1: CtVertigo -- 43,234 (+ 69.9%)
10/2013: Green Arrow #24  -- 24,620 (- 43.1%)
11/2013: Green Arrow #25  -- 29,591 (+ 20.2%)
12/2013: Green Arrow #26  -- 24,687 (- 16.6%)
01/2014: Green Arrow #27  -- 23,785 (-  3.7%)
02/2014: Green Arrow #28  -- 26,725 (+ 12.4%)
03/2014: Green Arrow #29  -- 23,698 (- 11.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 45.2%
1 year  : - 15.6%
2 years : - 18.3%
5 years : +  4.4%
10 years: - 31.7%
Since #1: - 67.2%

What to make of last month’s sales bump, which has now evaporated? It’s tempting to attribute it to variant cover shenanigans, but there were plenty of other titles that had variants the same month that didn’t see a bump. Maybe there was some other kind of order incentive last month? Maybe DC over shipped an extra copy to each Diamond account? Or something else? Any insight is appreciated!

99 - SUPERGIRL ($2.99)
03/2009: Supergirl #39 --  33,713
03/2010: Supergirl #51 --  29,845
03/2011: Supergirl #62 --  21,786
03/2012: Supergirl #7  --  37,041
---------------------------------
03/2013: Supergirl #18 --  28,051 (-  7.0%)
04/2013: Supergirl #19 --  29,558 (+  5.4%)
05/2013: Supergirl #20 --  27,509 (-  6.9%)
06/2013: Supergirl #21 --  25,856 (-  6.0%)
07/2013: Supergirl #22 --  25,514 (-  1.3%)
08/2013: Supergirl #23 --  24,747 (-  3.0%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Supergirl #24 --  23,321 (-  5.8%)
11/2013: Supergirl #25 --  25,377 (+  8.8%)
12/2013: Supergirl #26 --  22,646 (- 10.8%)
01/2014: Supergirl #27 --  21,954 (-  3.1%)
02/2014: Supergirl #28 --  23,567 (+  7.3%)
03/2014: Supergirl #29 --  22,883 (-  2.9%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 18.4%
2 years : - 38,2%
5 years : - 32.1%
Since #1: - 69.2%

Red Lantern Supergirl falls right back into standard attrition.

100 - FOREVER EVIL: ROGUES' REBELLION ($2.99)
10/2013: Rogues' Rebellion #1 of 6 -- 36,545
11/2013: Rogues' Rebellion #2 of 6 -- 30,317 (-17.0%)
12/2013: Rogues' Rebellion #3 of 6 -- 27,363 (- 9.7%)
01/2014: Rogues' Rebellion #4 of 6 -- 25,657 (- 6.2%)
02/2014: Rogues' Rebellion #5 of 6 -- 23,725 (- 7.5%)
03/2014: Rogues' Rebellion #6 of 6 -- 22,802 (- 3.9%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 37.6%

Well‚Äîthat’s now over.

—-

104 - RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS ($2.99)
03/2012: Red Hood #7  -- 38,630
-------------------------------
03/2013: Red Hood #18 -- 37,731 (-28.9%) [42,901]
04/2013: Red Hood #19 -- 36,630 (- 2.9%)
05/2013: Red Hood #20 -- 35,542 (- 3.0%)
06/2013: Red Hood #21 -- 32,416 (- 8.8%)
07/2013: Red Hood #22 -- 30,534 (- 5.8%)
08/2013: Red Hood #23 -- 28,821 (- 5.6%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Red Hood #24 -- 27,128 (- 5.9%)
11/2013: Red Hood #25 -- 30,632 (+12.9%)
12/2013: Red Hood #26 -- 25,382 (-17.1%)
01/2014: Red Hood #27 -- 24,813 ( -2.2%)
02/2014: Red Hood #28 -- 23,236 ( -6.4%)
03/2014: Red Hood #29 -- 22,316 ( -4.0%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 48.0%
2 years : - 41.8%
Since #1: - 68.2%

Creative team changes in the near future.

105 - CATWOMAN ($2.99)
03/2004: Catwoman #28 -- 23,955
03/2012: Catwoman #7  -- 41,447
-------------------------------
03/2013: Catwoman #18 -- 33,220 (+10.0%)
04/2013: Catwoman #19 -- 28,058 (-15.5%)
05/2013: Catwoman #20 -- 26,886 (- 4.2%)
06/2013: Catwoman #21 -- 25,611 (- 4.7%)
07/2013: Catwoman #22 -- 24,737 (- 3.4%)
08/2013: Catwoman #23 -- 24,262 (- 1.9%) [38,290]
09/2013: --
10/2013: Catwoman #24 -- 35,134 (+44.8%)
11/2013: Catwoman #25 -- 29,471 (-16.1%)
12/2013: Catwoman #26 -- 26,482 (-10.1%)
01/2014: Catwoman #27 -- 24,956 (- 5.8%)
02/2014: Catwoman #28 -- 23,974 (- 3.9%)
03/2014: Catwoman #29 -- 22,236 (- 7.2%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 33.1%
2 years : - 46.4%
10 years: -  7.2%
Since #1: - 70.6%

With “Gothtopia” over the drop gets bigger, so maybe the cross-over was propping it up a bit after all.

106 - SUICIDE SQUAD ($2.99)
03/2012: Suicide Squad #7       -- 32,908
-----------------------------------------
03/2013: Suicide Squad #18      -- 25,232 (-  4.3%)
04/2013: Suicide Squad #19      -- 24,300 (-  3.7%)
05/2013: Suicide Squad #20      -- 23,537 (-  3.1%)
06/2013: Suicide Squad #21      -- 22,907 (-  2.7%)
07/2013: Suicide Squad #22      -- 22,447 (-  2.0%)
08/2013: Suicide Squad #23      -- 22,166 (-  1.3%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Suicide Squad #24      -- 27,762 (+ 25.3%)
11/2013: Suicide Squad #25      -- 27,067 (-  2.5%)
12/2013: Suicide Squad #26      -- 25,346 (-  6.4%)
01/2014: Suicide Squad #27      -- 24,175 (-  4.6%)
02/2014: Suicide Squad #28      -- 22,882 (-  5.3%)
03/2014: Suicide Squad #29      -- 22,162 (-  3.1%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 12.2%
2 years : - 32.7%
Since #1: - 64.1%

Still crossing over with Forever Evil. Ends with #30, to be reborn in July as New Suicide Squad. (To be followed two years later by New and Improved Suicide Squad with Foaming Bubble Action!)

116 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SECOND CYCLE (Vertigo) ($3.99)
03/2010: American Vampire #1     --  33,762  [36,831]
03/2011: American Vampire #13    --  17,269
03/2012: American Vampire #25    --  14,598
-------------------------------------------
03/2013: --
04/2013: --
05/2013: --
06/2013: American Vampire LRtH   --  16,042 (+ 19.6%)
07/2013: --
08/2013: American Vampire Anthol --  12,695 (- 20.9%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: --
11/2013: --
12/2013: --
01/2014: --
02/2014: --
03/2014: American Vampire 2Cy #1 --  20,863 (+ 64.3%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : n.a.
2 years : + 42.9%

Returnable, so adjusted up 10% (see fine print at end of column). These are the best numbers since the early Steven King days of the title, so the reboot seems to be having some amount of benefit (as likely does a 1:50 variant cover) We’ll know in a few months if it sticks…

109 - INJUSTICE: YEAR TWO (Digital-First) ($2.99)
03/2013: Injustice #3    -- 18,608 (+ 9.0%) [24,469]
04/2013: Injustice #4    -- 21,669 (+16.5%) [26,739]
05/2013: Injustice #5    -- 25,215 (+16.4%)
06/2013: Injustice #6    -- 26,011 (+ 3.2%)
07/2013: Injustice #7    -- 25,731 (- 1.1%)
08/2013: Injustice #8    -- 25,223 (- 2.0%)
09/2013: Injustice #9    -- 24,333 (- 3.5%)
10/2013: Injustice #10   -- 24,788 (+ 1.9%)
11/2013: Injustice #11   -- 22,704 (- 8.4%)
12/2013: Injustice #12   -- 21,871 (- 3.7%)
01/2014: Injustice Y2 #1 -- 24,700 (+12.9%)
02/2014: Injustice Y2 #2 -- 22,703 (- 8.1%)
03/2014: Injustice Y2 #3 -- 20,693 (- 8.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 10.0%
1 year  : - 22.0%
Since #1: -  8.1%

Drop another 2K units as the gain from the relaunch is now gone. A digital-first comic, so the usual economics don’t apply. Glancing at various digital charts, this appears to be DC’s best-selling digital-first series in those realms, by a large margin.

111 - CONSTANTINE ($2.99)
03/2004: Hellblazer #194 -- 14,957
03/2009: Hellblazer #253 -- 11,132
03/2010: Hellblazer #265 -- 10,295
03/2011: Hellblazer #277 --  9,525
03/2012: Hellblazer #289 --  9,363
----------------------------------
03/2013: Constantine #1  -- 37,564 (+200.0%)
04/2013: Constantine #2  -- 30,789 (- 18.0%)
05/2013: Constantine #3  -- 29,106 (-  5.5%)
06/2013: Constantine #4  -- 26,417 (-  9.2%)
07/2013: Constantine #5  -- 30,664 (+ 32.6%) [35,027]
08/2013: Constantine #6  -- 25,174 (- 28.1%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Constantine #7  -- 22,954 (-  8.8%)
11/2013: Constantine #8  -- 20,981 (-  8.6%)
12/2013: Constantine #9  -- 22,403 (+  6.8%)
01/2014: Constantine #10 -- 20,729 (-  7.5%)
02/2014: Constantine #11 -- 20,385 (-  1.7%)
03/2014: Constantine #12 -- 20,051 (-  1.6%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 46.6%
2 years : +114.2%
5 years : + 80.1%
10 years: + 34.1%
Since #1: - 46.6%

Still hovering just over 20K as Forever Evil: Blight continues.

113 - BATWOMAN ($2.99)
03/2012: Batwoman #7  --  49,227
--------------------------------
03/2013: Batwoman #18 --  31,381 (- 2.1%)
04/2013: Batwoman #19 --  31,538 (+ 0.5%)
05/2013: Batwoman #20 --  29,698 (- 5.8%)
06/2013: Batwoman #21 --  28,173 (- 5.1%)
07/2013: Batwoman #22 --  27,400 (- 2.7%)
08/2013: Batwoman #23 --  26,223 (- 4.3%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Batwoman #24 --  25,609 (- 2.3%)
11/2013: Batwoman #25 --  25,987 (+ 1.5%)
12/2013: Batwoman #26 --  23,311 (-10.3%)
01/2014: Batwoman #27 --  22,461 (- 3.6%)
02/2014: Batwoman #28 --  20,672 (- 8.0%)
03/2014: Batwoman #29 --  19,750 (- 4.5%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 37.1%
2 years : - 59.9%
Since #1: - 77.5%

Drops below 20K, with no weddings on the horizon.

115 - FOREVER EVIL: A.R.G.U.S. ($2.99)
10/2013: A.R.G.U.S. #1 of 6 -- 32,146
11/2013: A.R.G.U.S. #2 of 6 -- 25,071 (-22.0%)
12/2013: A.R.G.U.S. #3 of 6 -- 22,758 (- 9.2%)
01/2014: A.R.G.U.S. #4 of 6 -- 20,294 (-10.8%)
02/2014: A.R.G.U.S. #5 of 6 -- 19,157 (- 5.6%)
03/2014: A.R.G.U.S. #6 of 6 -- 18,893 (- 0.9%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 40.9%

The last drop is also the tiniest.

117 - SWAMP THING ($2.99)
03/2004: Swamp Thing #1  -- 33,382  [34,654]
03/2012: Swamp Thing #7  -- 40,268
----------------------------------
03/2013: Swamp Thing #18 -- 30,716 (- 2.5%)
04/2013: Swamp Thing #19 -- 29,254 (- 4.8%)
05/2013: Swamp Thing #20 -- 27,338 (- 6.6%)
06/2013: Swamp Thing #21 -- 25,186 (- 7.9%)
07/2013: Swamp Thing #22 -- 23,885 (- 5.2%)
08/2013: Swamp Thing #23 -- 22,695 (- 5.0%)
09/2013: #23.1: Arcane   -- 40,390 (+78.0%)
10/2013: Swamp Thing #24 -- 21,724 (-46.2%)
11/2013: Swamp Thing #25 -- 21,141 (- 2.7%)
12/2013: Swamp Thing #26 -- 20,247 (- 4.2%)
01/2014: Swamp Thing #27 -- 19,755 (- 2.4%)
02/2014: Swamp Thing #28 -- 19,146 (- 3.1%)
03/2014: Swamp Thing #29 -- 18,837 (- 1.6%)
----------------
6 months: - 53.4%
1 year  : - 38.7%
2 years : - 53.2%
10 years: - 45.6%
Since #1: - 74.4%

While I’m enjoying the current creative team’s take on Swampy, I’m afraid that my $3 and those of the other 18,836 people won’t be enough to keep things going as they are for much longer. But it’s hard to tell what DC’s tolerance is for former Vertigo properties now in the DCU.

118 - BATMAN '66 (Digital-First) ($3.99)
07/2013: Batman '66 #1  -- 50,430
08/2013: Batman '66 #2  -- 37,113 (-26.4%)
09/2013: Batman '66 #3  -- 32,954 (-11.2%)
10/2013: Batman '66 #4  -- 30,099 (- 8.7%)
11/2013: Batman '66 #5  -- 26,785 (-11.0%)
12/2013: Batman '66 #6  -- 24,374 (- 9.0%)
01/2014: Batman '66 #7  -- 21,802 (-10.6%)
02/2014: Batman '66 #8  -- 19,795 (- 9.2%)
03/2014: Batman '66 #9  -- 18,802 (- 5.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 42.9%
Since #1: - 62.7%

The lowest percentage drop yet, but really needs to turn things around soon.

120 - TRILLIUM (Vertigo) ($2.99)
08/2013: Trillium #1 of 8  -- 30,712 
09/2013: Trillium #2 of 8  -- 24,482 (-20.3%)
10/2013: Trillium #3 of 8  -- 23,037 (- 5.9%)
11/2013: Trillium #4 of 8  -- 20,915 (- 9.2%)
12/2013: Trillium #5 of 8  -- 20,035 (- 4.2%)
01/2014: -- 
02/2014: Trillium #6 of 8  -- 18,819 (- 6.1%)
03/2014: Trillium #7 of 8  -- 18,594 (- 1.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 24.1%
Since #1: - 39.5%

Penultimate issue.

123 - DC UNIVERSE VS. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ($2.99)
09/2013: DCU vs. MotU #1 of 6 -- 35,269
10/2013: DCU vs. MotU #2 of 6 -- 23,037 (-34.7%)
11/2013: --
12/2013: DCU vs. MotU #3 of 6 -- 21,325 (- 7.4%)
01/2013: DCU vs. MotU #4 of 6 -- 19,289 (- 9.5%)
02/2013: DCU vs. MotU #5 of 6 -- 18,769 (- 2.7%)
02/2013: DCU vs. MotU #6 of 6 -- 17,500 (- 6.8%)
-----------------
6 months: - 50.4%
Since #1: - 50.4%

Final issue.

124 - ANIMAL MAN ($2.99)
03/2012: Animal Man #6     -- 38,504
------------------------------------
03/2013: Animal Man #18    -- 28,711 (- 2.4%)
04/2013: Animal Man #19    -- 27,562 (- 4.0%)
05/2013: Animal Man #20    -- 25,807 (- 6.4%)
06/2013: Animal Man #21    -- 23,862 (- 7.5%)
07/2013: Animal Man #22    -- 22,974 (- 3.7%)
08/2013: Animal Man #23    -- 21,634 (- 5.8%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Animal Man #24    -- 20,554 (- 5.0%)
11/2013: Animal Man #25    -- 19,710 (- 4.1%)
12/2013: Animal Man #26    -- 18,823 (- 4.5%)
01/2014: Animal Man #27    -- 18,401 (- 2.2%)
02/2014: Animal Man #28    -- 17,559 (- 4.6%)
03/2014: Animal Man #29    -- 17,473 (- 0.5%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : -39.1%
2 years : -54.6%
Since #1: -73.2%

Final issue evidences an almost imperceptible drop of just 86 copies.

125 - TRINITY OF SIN: PANDORA ($2.99)
07/2013: Pandora #1  -- 35,106          [41,678]
07/2013: Pandora #2  -- 32,170 (-15.1%) [35,385]
08/2013: Pandora #3  -- 34,563 (- 2.3%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Pandora #4  -- 25,708 (-25.6%)
11/2013: Pandora #5  -- 21,267 (-17.3%)
12/2013: Pandora #6  -- 20,563 (- 3.3%)
01/2014: Pandora #7  -- 18,984 (- 7.7%)
02/2014: Pandora #8  -- 17,703 (- 6.7%)
03/2014: Pandora #9  -- 17,032 (- 3.8%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.
Since #1: - 59.1%

Still part of Forever Evil; still not cancelled.

126 - BIRDS OF PREY ($2.99)
03/2004: Birds of Prey #65  -- 29,731
03/2009: Birds of Prey #128 -- 21,424
03/2011: Birds of Prey #10  -- 30,641
03/2012: Birds of Prey #7   -- 30,376
-------------------------------------
03/2013: Birds of Prey #18  -- 21,957 (-  0.7%)
04/2013: Birds of Prey #19  -- 21,707 (-  1.1%)
05/2013: Birds of Prey #20  -- 21,126 (-  2.7%)
06/2013: Birds of Prey #21  -- 20,767 (-  1.7%)
07/2013: Birds of Prey #22  -- 20,209 (-  2.7%)
08/2013: Birds of Prey #23  -- 19,364 (-  4.2%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Birds of Prey #24  -- 18,382 (-  5.1%)
11/2013: Birds of Prey #25  -- 22,751 (+ 23.8%)
12/2013: Birds of Prey #26  -- 17,497 (- 23.1%)
01/2014: Birds of Prey #27  -- 19,387 (+ 10.8%)
02/2014: Birds of Prey #28  -- 18,092 (-  6.7%)
03/2014: Birds of Prey #29  -- 16,795 (-  7.2%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 23.5%
2 years : - 44.7%
5 years : - 21.6%
10 years: - 43.5%
Since #1: - 74.7%

No more “Gothtopia”; still dropping.

127 - SUICIDE SQUAD: AMANDA WALLER ($4.99)
03/2014: Suicide Squad Amanda Waller #1 --  16,534

Another one-shot featuring DC’s female supporting characters. Retailers ordered at 75% of the parent title, which seems reasonable.

129 - TRINITY OF SIN: THE PHANTOM STRANGER ($2.99)
03/2013: Phantom Stranger #6  -- 17,375 (- 3.6%)
04/2013: Phantom Stranger #7  -- 17,326 (- 0.3%)
05/2013: Phantom Stranger #8  -- 16,269 (- 6.1%)
06/2013: ToS: PS #9           -- 17,241 (+ 6.0%)
07/2013: ToS: PS #10          -- 20,636 (+19.7%)
08/2013: ToS: PS #11          -- 26,986 (+30.8%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: ToS: PS #12          -- 19,732 (-26.9%)
11/2013: ToS: PS #13          -- 17,779 (- 9.9%)
12/2013: ToS: PS #14          -- 18,649 (+ 4.9%)
01/2013: ToS: PS #15          -- 17,435 (- 6.5%)
02/2014: ToS: PS #16          -- 17,012 (- 2.4%)
03/2014: ToS: PS #17          -- 16,395 (- 3.6%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : -  5.6%
Since #1: - 59.1%

Still part of Forever Evil. Still not cancelled.

130 - SUPERBOY ($2.99)
03/2011: Superboy #5  --  27,448
03/2012: Superboy #7  --  34,520
--------------------------------
03/2013: Superboy #18 --  24,455 (-  8.6%)
04/2013: Superboy #19 --  24,211 (-  1.0%)
05/2013: Superboy #20 --  22,508 (-  7.0%)
06/2013: Superboy #21 --  20,952 (-  6.9%)
07/2013: Superboy #22 --  19,984 (-  4.6%)
08/2013: Superboy #23 --  20,235 (+  1.3%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Superboy #24 --  18,341 (-  9.4%)
11/2013: Superboy #25 --  21,449 (+ 16.9%)
12/2013: Superboy #26 --  17,690 (- 17.5%)
01/2014: Superboy #27 --  17,392 (-  1.7%)
02/2014: Superboy #28 --  16,448 (-  5.4%)
03/2014: Superboy #29 --  15,776 (-  4.1%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 35.5%
2 years : - 54.3%
Since #1: - 77.2%

The Bold New Direction continues to bring not-so-bold sales.

140 - BATMAN BEYOND UNIVERSE (Digital-First) ($3.99)
03/2012: Unlimited #2   -- 23,570
---------------------------------
03/2013: Unlimited #14  -- 16,456 (- 3.3%)
04/2013: Unlimited #15  -- 16,283 (- 1.1%)
05/2013: Unlimited #16  -- 15,822 (- 2.8%)
06/2013: Unlimited #17  -- 15,464 (- 2.3%)
07/2013: Unlimited #18  -- 15,275 (- 1.2%)
08/2013: Universe #1    -- 23,358 (+52.9%)
09/2013: Universe #2    -- 18,332 (-21.5%)
10/2013: Universe #3    -- 17,658 (- 3.7%)
11/2013: Universe #4    -- 16,889 (- 4.4%)
12/2013: Universe #5    -- 15,857 (- 6.1%)
01/2014: Universe #6    -- 15,070 (- 5.0%)
02/2014: Universe #7    -- 14,435 (- 4.2%)
03/2014: Universe #8    -- 14,097 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 23.1%
1 year  : - 14.3%
2 years : - 40.2%
Since #1: - 39.6%

I’ll be interested to see if Batman Beyond’s high-profile role in the upcoming New DC Futures End weekly brings any added interest in this title in the coming months.

141 - ASTRO CITY (Vertigo) ($3.99)
03/2004: --
03/2009: --
03/2010: Astro City DA 4 #2   -- 13,118
03/2011: --
03/2012: --
---------------------------------------
06/2013: Astro City #1        -- 27,700
07/2013: Astro City #2        -- 20,193 (-27.1%)
08/2013: Astro City #3        -- 18,802 (- 6.9%)
09/2013: Astro City #4        -- 17,641 (- 6.2%)
10/2013: Astro City #5        -- 16,927 (- 4.1%)
11/2013: Astro City #6        -- 16,031 (- 5.3%)
12/2013: Astro City #7        -- 15,360 (- 4.2%)
01/2014: Astro City #8        -- 14,831 (- 3.4%)
02/2014: Astro City #9        -- 14,289 (- 3.7%)
03/2014: Astro City #10       -- 14,094 (- 1.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 20.1%
5 years :    n.a.
10 years:    n.a.
Since #1: - 49.1%

Settling in around 14K for the time being.

142 - TALON ($2.99)
03/2013: Talon #6  -- 25,440 (- 9.2%)
04/2013: Talon #7  -- 24,045 (- 5.5%)
05/2013: Talon #8  -- 22,710 (- 5.6%)
06/2013: Talon #9  -- 21,755 (- 4.2%)
07/2013: Talon #10 -- 20,296 (- 6.7%)
08/2013: Talon #11 -- 19,449 (- 4.2%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Talon #12 -- 18,218 (- 6.3%)
11/2013: Talon #13 -- 17,218 (- 5.5%)
12/2013: Talon #14 -- 16,373 (- 4.9%)
01/2014: Talon #15 -- 15,455 (- 5.6%)
02/2014: Talon #16 -- 14,691 (- 4.9%)
03/2014: Talon #17 -- 13,956 (- 5.0%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 45.1%
Since #1: - 76.6%

Final issue. Started with (reorder-adjusted) orders of near 60K, then just kept dropping month after month after month. My theory is that the market is already so saturated with Batman-related comics that a comic starring a new, tertiary character was just never going to be able to survive.

143 - FABLES (Vertigo) ($2.99)
03/2004: Fables #23  -- 25,211
03/2009: Fables #82  -- 22,445
03/2010: Fables #93  -- 20,003
03/2011: Fables #103 -- 18,910
03/2012: Fables #115 -- 17,384
------------------------------
03/2013: Fables #127 -- 15,529 (+ 0.3%)
04/2013: Fables #128 -- 15,606 (+ 0.5%)
05/2013: Fables #129 -- 15,380 (- 1.5%)
06/2013: Fables #130 -- 15,129 (- 1.6%)
07/2013: Fables #131 -- 15,109 (- 0.1%)
08/2013: Fables #132 -- 14,893 (- 1.4%)
09/2013: Fables #133 -- 14,639 (- 1.7%)
10/2013: Fables #134 -- 14,575 (- 0.4%)
11/2013: Fables #135 -- 14,383 (- 1.3%)
12/2013: Fables #136 -- 14,220 (- 1.1%)
01/2014: Fables #137 -- 14,172 (- 0.3%)
02/2014: Fables #138 -- 14,109 (- 0.4%)
03/2014: Fables #139 -- 13,936 (- 1.2%)
----------------
6 months: -  4.8%
1 year  : - 10.3%
2 years : - 19.8%
5 years : - 37.9%
10 years: - 44.7%
Since #1: - 36.7%

Dips below 14K for the first time. At least one of those lost 173 copies is my fault: I forgot to pre-order and ended up having to buy a shelf copy.

(After this point in the chart, all further titles are outsold by Boom Studio’s Adventure Time.)

149 - HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ($2.99)
04/2013: He-Man & MotU #1  -- 25,254 (+53.6%)
05/2013: He-Man & MotU #2  -- 19,410 (-23.1%)
06/2013: He-Man & MotU #3  -- 18,227 (- 5.8%)
07/2013: He-Man & MotU #4  -- 18,101 (- 1.0%)
08/2013: He-Man & MotU #5  -- 16,898 (- 6.6%)
09/2013: He-Man & MotU #6  -- 16,294 (- 3.6%)
10/2013: He-Man & MotU #7  -- 16,059 (- 1.4%)
11/2013: He-Man & MotU #8  -- 15,154 (- 5.6%)
12/2013: He-Man & MotU #9  -- 14,465 (- 4.5%)
01/2014: --
02/2014: He-Man & MotU #10 -- 13,816 (- 4.5%)
03/2014: He-Man & MotU #11 -- 13,090 (- 5.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 19.7%
Since #1: - 48.2%

A new storyline begins in issue #14, so this will be sticking around at least a while longer.

150 - LARFLEEZE ($2.99)
06/2013: Larfleeze #1  -- 36,638
07/2013: Larfleeze #2  -- 30,221 (-17.5%)
08/2013: Larfleeze #3  -- 21,955 (-27.4%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Larfleeze #4  -- 18,061 (-17.7%)
11/2013: Larfleeze #5  -- 16,157 (-10.5%)
12/2013: Larfleeze #6  -- 15,081 (- 6.7%)
01/2014: Larfleeze #7  -- 13,950 (- 7.5%)
02/2014: Larfleeze #8  -- 13,338 (- 4.4%)
03/2014: Larfleeze #9  -- 12,797 (- 4.1%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.
Since #1: - 65.1%

The end is nigh.

154 - ALL STAR WESTERN ($3.99)
03/2009: Jonah Hex #41 -- 11,564
03/2010: Jonah Hex #53 -- 11,213
03/2011: Jonah Hex #64 -- 10,255
03/2012: ASW #7        -- 25,349
--------------------------------
03/2013: ASW #18       -- 16,897 (- 2.9%)
04/2013: ASW #19       -- 16,838 (- 0.4%)
05/2013: ASW #20       -- 16,184 (- 3.9%)
06/2013: ASW #21       -- 15,788 (- 2.5%)
07/2013: ASW #22       -- 15,376 (- 2.6%)
08/2013: ASW #23       -- 15,276 (- 0.7%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: ASW #24       -- 14,378 (- 5.9%)
11/2013: ASW #25       -- 13,937 (- 3.1%)
12/2013: ASW #26       -- 13,440 (- 3.6%)
01/2014: ASW #27       -- 13,238 (- 1.5%)
02/2014: ASW #28       -- 12,782 (- 3.4%)
03/2014: ASW #29       -- 12,503 (- 2.2%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 26.0%
2 years : - 50.7%
5 years : +  8.1%
Since #1: - 77.3%

The comic gods continue to shine favor upon All Star Western as the cancellation bear continues to look the other way. Not that I’m complaining; I’ll continue to buy as long as DC keeps publishing.

(After this point in the chart, all further titles are outsold by Valiant’s Unity.)

160 - FAIREST (Vertigo) ($2.99)
03/2012: Fairest #1  -- 31,769
------------------------------
03/2013: Fairest #13 -- 15,693 (- 2.8%)
04/2013: Fairest #14 -- 15,269 (- 2.7%)
05/2013: Fairest #15 -- 14,959 (- 2.0%)
06/2013: Fairest #16 -- 14,289 (- 4.5%)
07/2013: Fairest #17 -- 13,915 (- 2.6%)
08/2013: Fairest #18 -- 13,511 (- 2.9%)
09/2013: Fairest #19 -- 13,278 (- 1.7%)
10/2013: Fairest #20 -- 13,008 (- 2.0%)
11/2013: --
12/2013: Fairest #21 -- 12,718 (- 2.2%)
01/2014: Fairest #22 -- 12,434 (- 2.2%)
02/2014: Fairest #23 -- 12,350 (- 0.7%)
03/2014: Fairest #24 -- 11,872 (- 3.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 10.6%
1 year  : - 24.3%
2 years : - 62.6%
Since #1: - 62.6%

A bit of steeper percentage drop than usual.

After this point in the chart, all further titles are outsold by Avatar’s God is Dead.)

169 - ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (Digital-First) ($3.99)
05/2013: Adventures of Superman #1  -- 30,992
06/2013: Adventures of Superman #2  -- 22,407 (-27.7%)
07/2013: Adventures of Superman #3  -- 19,453 (-13.2%)
08/2013: Adventures of Superman #4  -- 17,370 (-10.7%)
09/2013: Adventures of Superman #5  -- 16,011 (- 7.8%)
10/2013: Adventures of Superman #6  -- 14,484 (- 9.5%)
11/2013: Adventures of Superman #7  -- 13,140 (- 9.3%)
12/2013: Adventures of Superman #8  -- 12,142 (- 7.6%)
01/2014: Adventures of Superman #9  -- 11,425 (- 5.9%)
02/2014: Adventures of Superman #10 -- 11,075 (- 3.1%)
03/2014: Adventures of Superman #11 -- 11,102 (+ 0.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 30.7%
Since #1: - 64.2%

Hey look: growth! Granted it’s only 27 copies, but that’s better than losing copies like nearly every other title.

173 - SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 ALIEN (Digital-First) ($3.99)
03/2004: Smallville #7       -- 14,673
--------------------------------------
03/2013: Smallville S11 #11  -- 16,502 (- 3.1%)
04/2013: Smallville S11 #12  -- 15,930 (- 3.5%)
05/2013: Smallville S11 #13  -- 15,442 (- 3.1%)
06/2013: Smallville S11 #14  -- 15,097 (- 2.2%)
07/2013: Smallville S11 #15  -- 14,930 (- 1.1%)
08/2013: Smallville S11 #16  -- 14,640 (- 1.9%)
09/2013: Smallville S11 #17  -- 14,153 (- 3.3%)
10/2013: Smallville S11 #18  -- 13,794 (- 2.5%)
11/2013: Smallville S11 #19  -- 13,286 (- 3.7%)
12/2013: Smallville Alien #1 -- 13,019 (- 2.0%)
01/2014: Smallville Alien #2 -- 11,768 (- 9.6%)
02/2014: Smallville Alien #3 -- 11,061 (- 6.0%)
03/2014: Smallville Alien #4 -- 10,570 (- 4.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 25.3%
1 year  : - 35.9%
10 years: - 28.0%
Since #1: - 18.8%

There’s some question about how well these digital-first title sell in their digital incarnation. We’ll can’t really know, because nobody is releasing anything even close to sales figures for us to look at. But we can look at comiXology and do some back-of-the-envelope calculations to try to get some idea:

There are no comprehensive sales charts on comiXology like there are for Diamond, but they do post a top-selling chart which is updated periodically. So I’ve been looking in on it for the past few weeks, and it appears that for a few days after a new issue of Smallville is released, it tends to hang around on the chart in the same area as that of print-native comics that, in their print incarnations, sell around 50-60K.

In the past we’ve heard anecdotal evidence that for Marvel & DC, digital sales for print-native comics are about 10% of the print. Obviously this will vary from title to title, and for all we know they have increased lately (in 2013, Image said that digital was up to 15% of their total sales,and it may be even more for smaller publishers who have a hard time getting into mainstream comic stores). But we’ll take the 10% number for now and say that places the digital sales for Smallville at around 5-6K, or roughly 50% (give or take) of the print version.

We can give this a smell test: the digital version of Injustice tends to rank up with the top print-native sellers (Batman, Walking Dead, etc.), or 10% of 100K which is 10K, or again about 50% of the print version.

These numbers are obviously wrong, but I think probably in the ballpark. So following this (far from perfect) reasoning it appears that: 1) Even for digital-first comics, the print sales are higher than digital; 2) they do, however, see a far great share of their sales from digital than from print; and 3) that number of digital sales is somewhere around half of the print sales.

(As for differing price points and page counts, we’re talking $0.99 for three digital issues that are combined into one $3.99 print comic, or really six of one, half a baker’s dozen of another for the publisher, once you factor in printing and distribution costs.)

And there are other factors to consider, such as long-tail effects that are easier to realize in digital sales, and the different cost model that DC supposedly employs for the production its digital-first offerings, that will go into their viability.

As I’ve said, these calculations are no doubt wrong, based on assumptions and hearsay. They could be way wrong, and if comiXology or DC want to come forward with actual sales figures then we’ll know just how far off I am.

But, one thing that we can probably say with some degree of certainty is that the digital-first titles that are selling better in print are probably also selling better digitally. So we can look at print sales of digital-first titles as a proxy for their total sales.

Stated again: I could be—and probably am—wrong about this, given the large number of assumptions made in the absence of anything resembling hard data. Keep this in mind when you are eviscerating me in the comments below.

181 - COFFIN HILL (Vertigo) ($2.99)
10/2013: Coffin Hill #1  -- 24,129
11/2013: Coffin Hill #2  -- 14,472 (-40.0%)
12/2013: Coffin Hill #3  -- 12,337 (-14.8%)
01/2014: Coffin Hill #4  -- 11,306 (- 8.4%)
02/2014: Coffin Hill #5  -- 10,435 (- 7.7%)
03/2014: Coffin Hill #6  --  9,982 (- 4.3%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 56.8%

Drops below 10K. Maybe enough people will pick up the bargain-priced first trade to keep this going a while?

183 - LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR (Digital-First) ($9.99)

12/2013: LoDK 100p Super Spect #1  -- 11,091 (-14.8%)
01/2014: --
02/2014: --
03/2014: LoDK 100p Super Spect #2  --  9,926 (-10.5%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 10.5%

Actually not a bad second issue drop, and given that this is a $10-price point digital-first comic, not bad sales. Not sure how many more there will be though as the digital version apparently ended in late 2013.

185 - BATWING ($2.99)
03/2012: Batwing #7  -- 21,643
------------------------------
03/2013: Batwing #18 -- 12,084 (- 4.1%)
04/2013: Batwing #19 -- 13,570 (+12.3%)
05/2013: Batwing #20 -- 13,302 (- 2.0%)
06/2013: Batwing #21 -- 12,437 (- 6.5%)
07/2013: Batwing #22 -- 12,062 (- 3.0%)
08/2013: Batwing #23 -- 11,584 (- 4.0%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Batwing #24 -- 11,114 (- 4.1%)
11/2013: Batwing #25 -- 16,207 (+45.8%)
12/2013: Batwing #26 -- 10,753 (-33.7%)
01/2014: Batwing #27 -- 12,461 (+15.9%)
02/2014: Batwing #28 -- 11,786 (- 5.4%)
03/2014: Batwing #29 --  9,864 (-16.3%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 18.4%
2 years : - 54.4%
Since #1: - 81.6%

Drops below 10K. Still be solicited, so DC are continuing to stand behind this title, but I don’t know how much longer it can go on like this.

189 - BATMAN: LI'L GOTHAM (Digital-First) ($2.99)
04/2013: Li'l Gotham #1  -- 27,591
05/2013: Li'l Gotham #2  -- 18,573 (-32.7%)
06/2013: Li'l Gotham #3  -- 18,578 (+ 0.0%)
07/2013: Li'l Gotham #4  -- 21,646 (+16.5%)
08/2013: Li'l Gotham #5  -- 14,696 (-32.1%)
09/2013: Li'l Gotham #6  -- 13,654 (- 7.1%)
10/2013: Li'l Gotham #7  -- 12,919 (- 5.4%)
11/2013: Li'l Gotham #8  -- 12,054 (- 6.7%)
12/2013: Li'l Gotham #9  -- 11,078 (- 8.1%)
01/2014: Li'l Gotham #10 -- 10,639 (- 4.0%)
02/2014: Li'l Gotham #11 -- 10,030 (- 5.7%)
03/2014: Li'l Gotham #11 --  9,722 (- 3.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 28.8%
Since #1: - 64.8%

The final issue drops below 10K.

(After this point in the chart, all further titles are outsold by Archie Comics’ Sonic the Hedgehog.)

203 - DEAD BOY DETECTIVES (Vertigo) ($2.99)
12/2013: Dead Boy Detectives #1 -- 21,478
01/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #2 -- 12,276 (-42.8%)
02/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #3 --  9,889 (-19.4%)
03/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #4 --  8,872 (-10.3%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 54.0%

Declines continue.

219 - ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR #1 (Vertigo) ($2.99)
02/2014: Royals #1 of 6 --  14,031 
03/2014: Royals #2 of 6 --   8,725 (-37.8%) 
-----------------
Since #1: - 37.8%

Returnable, so the figures here are adjusted up 10% to account for Diamond’s reporting them lower than actual.

That’s a fairly typical 2nd issue drop for a Vertigo title, but the numbers on issue #1 were far lower than has been usual as of late. (Though as noted last month these numbers do not include orders from Diamond UK, and this is a very British-oriented comic, so overall sales may be higher than is indicated by the Diamond US sales.)

213 - HINTERKIND (Vertigo) ($2.99)
10/2013: Hinterkind #1  -- 23,516
11/2013: Hinterkind #2  -- 13,994 (-40.5%)
12/2013: Hinterkind #3  -- 11,659 (-16.7%)
01/2014: Hinterkind #4  --  9,693 (-16.9%)
02/2014: Hinterkind #5  --  8,948 (- 7.7%)
03/2014: Hinterkind #6  --  8,306 (- 7.2%)

—————–
Since #1: – 64.7%

Declines continue.

221 - THE UNWRITTEN V2 APOCALYPSE (Vertigo) ($3.99)
03/2010: The Unwritten #8  -- 15,314
03/2011: The Unwritten #20 -- 12,273
03/2012: The Unwritten #32 -- 10,481
------------------------------------
03/2013: The Unwritten #47 --  8,267 (- 1.0%)
04/2013: The Unwritten #48 --  8,226 (- 0.5%)
05/2013: The Unwritten #49 --  8,234 (+ 0.1%)
06/2013: The Unwritten #50 -- 10,124 (+23.0%)
07/2013: The Unwritten #51 --  9,143 (- 9.7%)
08/2013: The Unwritten #52 --  9,033 (- 1.2%)
09/2013: The Unwritten #53 --  8,982 (- 0.6%)
10/2013: The Unwritten #54 --  8,871 (- 1.2%)
11/2013: --
12/2013: --
01/2014: Unwritten vol2 #1 -- 11,975 (+35.0%)
02/2014: Unwritten vol2 #2 --  8,291 (-30.8%)
03/2014: Unwritten vol2 #3 --  7,890 (- 4.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 12.2%
1 year  : -  4.6%
2 years : - 24.7%
Since #1: - 34.1%

No longer returnable, and the numbers are now at the lowest point yet for the title. Trade sales are probably strong enough for DC to let this go to its natural conclusion, as long as that conclusion isn’t too far off.

(After this point in the chart, all further titles are outsold by Oni’s Bunker.)

225 - FBP: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS (Vertigo)
07/2013: Collider #1 -- 17,336          [20,361]
08/2013: FBP #2      -- 14,068 (-30.9%)
09/2013: FBP #3      -- 13,977 (- 0.6%)
10/2013: FBP #4      -- 11,600 (-17.0%)
11/2013: FBP #5      -- 10,391 (-10.4%)
12/2013: FBP #6      --  9,543 (- 8.2%)
01/2014: FBP #7      --  8,971 (- 6.0%)
02/2014: --
03/2014: FBP #8      --  7,852 (-12.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 43.8%
Since #1: - 61.4%

Back after a (planned) month off, and still losing orders at an alarming rate.

But.!

Last week it was announced that the property has been picked up as a possible film, with David S. Goyer attached as a producer. So despite being the lowest-selling Vertigo title look for DC to do everything possible to keep the book alive as long as the film is in active development. (Also, if you pay attention to the trade paperback sales on Amazon, you’ll know when the casting call sheets go out!)

226 - STORMWATCH ($2.99)
03/2004: Stormwatch: TA #21   -- 10,922
03/2009: --
03/2012: Stormwatch #7        -- 24,384
---------------------------------------
03/2013: Stormwatch #18       -- 13,255 (- 2.9%)
04/2013: Stormwatch #19       -- 13,626 (+ 2.8%)
05/2013: Stormwatch #20       -- 13,049 (- 4.2%)
06/2013: Stormwatch #21       -- 12,277 (- 5.9%)
07/2013: Stormwatch #22       -- 11,792 (- 4.0%)
08/2013: Stormwatch #23       -- 10,969 (- 7.0%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: Stormwatch #24       -- 10,067 (- 8.2%)
11/2013: Stormwatch #25       --  9,881 (- 1.9%)
12/2013: Stormwatch #26       --  9,052 (- 8.4%)
01/2014: Stormwatch #27       --  8,612 (- 4.9%)
02/2014: Stormwatch #28       --  8,207 (- 4.7%)
03/2014: Stormwatch #29       --  7,837 (- 4.5%)
-----------------
6 months: n.a.
1 year  : - 40.9%
2 years : - 67.9%
5 years : n.a.
10 years: - 28.2%
Since #1: - 86.3%

The penultimate issue drops below 8K.

231 - SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP (All-Ages)
11/2013: Scooby-Doo Team-Up #1  -- 13,036
12/2013: --
01/2014: Scooby-Doo Team-Up #2  --  9,882 (-31.1%)
02/2014: --
03/2014: Scooby-Doo Team-Up #3  --  8,452 (-14.5%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 41.1%

Returnable, and adjusted accordingly. Meanwhile, on Earth 4, where the title is Batman & Scooby-Doo Team-Up, this title is selling twice as many copies.

248 - SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED - CRISIS OF IMAGINATION (Digital-First) ($2.99)
01/2014: Scribblenauts Crisis #1 -- 11,572
02/2014: Scribblenauts Crisis #2 --  7,101 (-38.6%)
03/2014: Scribblenauts Crisis #3 --  6,738 (- 5.1%)
----------------
Since #1: - 41.8%

Based on a video game property, so maybe the digital sales are stronger than usual.

(After this point in the chart, all further titles are outsold by Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales: Robyn Hood Legend. and Bongo Comics’ Simpsons Comics.)

259 - THE MOVEMENT ($2.99)
05/2013: The Movement #1  -- 29,246
06/2013: The Movement #2  -- 18,001 (-38.5%)
07/2013: The Movement #3  -- 14,524 (-19.3%)
08/2013: The Movement #4  -- 11,095 (-23.6%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: The Movement #5  --  9,110 (-17.9%)
11/2013: The Movement #6  --  7,957 (-12.7%)
12/2013: The Movement #7  --  7,252 (- 8.9%)
01/2014: The Movement #8  --  6,629 (- 8.6%)
02/2014: The Movement #9  --  6,417 (- 3.2%)
03/2014: The Movement #10 --  6,281 (- 2.1%)
----------------
6 months: n.a.
Since #1: -78.5%

The drops are slowing, and it may yet end up with the final issue (#12) over 6K.

254 - BEWARE THE BATMAN (All-Ages) ($2.99)
03/2004: Batman Adventures #12 -- 12,189
03/2009: Brave & Bold #3       --  8,184
03/2010: Brave & Bold #15      --  6,208
03/2011: All-New BBB #5        --  6,463
----------------------------------------
10/2013: Beware the Batman #1  -- 19,830
11/2013: Beware the Batman #2  -- 10,368 (-47.7%)
12/2013: Beware the Batman #3  --  8,627 (-16.8%)
01/2014: Beware the Batman #4  --  7,226 (-16.2%)
02/2014: Beware the Batman #5  --  6,494 (-10.1%)
03/2014: Beware the Batman #6  --  6,069 (- 6.5%)
-----------------
5 years : - 25.8%
10 years: - 50.2%
Since #1: - 69.4%

Returnable (and adjusted accordingly). I mistakenly bought that last month’s issue was the final issue, but DC still had one more up their sleeves.

309 - THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (Digital-First) ($3.99)
01/2014: The Vampire Diaries #1 -- 10,855
02/2014: The Vampire Diaries #2 --  6,132 (-43.5%)
03/2014: The Vampire Diaries #3 --  4,734 (-22.8%)
----------------
Since #1: - 56.4%

Double ouch. How low will this be allowed to go?

330 - SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? (All-Ages) ($2.99)
03/2004: Scooby-Doo #82                -- 5,377
03/2009: Scooby-Doo #142               -- 3,863
03/2010: Scooby-Doo #154               -- 3,846
03/2011: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #7  -- 4,522
03/2012: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #19 -- 4,677
----------------------------------------
03/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #31 -- 4,770 (+0.4%)
04/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #32 -- 4,688 (-1.7%)
05/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #33 -- ????? 
06/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #34 -- 4,881 
07/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #35 -- ????? 
08/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #36 -- 4,903 
09/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #37 -- 4,840 (-1.3%)
10/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #38 -- 4,983 (+3.0%)
11/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #39 -- ????? 
12/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #40 -- 4,754 
01/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #41 -- 4,649 (-2.2%)
02/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #42 -- 4,540 (-2.3%)
03/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #43 -- 4,623 (+1.8%)
-----------------
6 months: -  4.5%
1 year  : -  3.1%
2 years : -  1.2%
5 years : + 19.7%
10 years: - 14.0%
Since #1: - 25.3%

Returnable (and adjusted accordingly).

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

DC COMICS
03/2004: 32,148
03/2009: 21,792
03/2010: 23,299
03/2011: 23,976
03/2012: 29,697
---------------
03/2013: 30,819 (- 11.2%)**
04/2013: 29,914 (-  2.9%)
05/2013: 31,412 (+  5.0%)
06/2013: 34,517 (+  9.9%)
07/2013: 34,402 (-  0.3%)
08/2013: 30,843 (- 10.4%)
09/2013: 54,892 (+ 78.0%)
10/2013: 31,928 (- 41.8%)**
11/2013: 32,664 (+  2.3%)
12/2013: ??????
01/2014: 27,881 
02/2014: 27,070 (-  2.9%)
03/2014: 26,776 (-  1.1%)
-----------------
6 months: - 51.2%
1 year  : - 13.1%
2 years : -  9.8%
5 years : + 22.9%
10 years: - 16.7%

DC UNIVERSE
03/2004: 39,727
03/2009: 31,336
03/2010: 32,375
03/2011: 26,720
03/2012: 33,229
---------------
03/2013: 32,294 (- 12.3%)**
04/2013: 31,426 (-  2.7%)
05/2013: 32,015 (+  1.9%)
06/2013: 37,133 (+ 16.0%)
07/2013: 36,524 (-  1.6%)
08/2013: 33,583 (-  8.1%)
09/2013: 61,036 (+ 81.8%)
10/2013: 33,568 (- 45.0%)**
11/2013: 35,282 (+  5.1%)
12/2013: ??????
01/2014: 33,120 
02/2014: 33,327 (+  0.6%) 
03/2014: 32,007 (-  4.0%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 47.6%
1 year  : -  0.9%
2 years : -  3.7%
5 years : +  2.1%
10 years: - 19.4%

VERTIGO
03/2004: 16,445
03/2009: 10,177
03/2010: 11,394
03/2011: 10,450
03/2012: 12,688
---------------
03/2013: 11,055 (- 8.0%)
04/2013: 11,467 (+ 3.7%)
05/2013: 20,860 (+81.9%)
06/2013: 17,368 (-16.7%)
07/2013: 16,099 (- 7.3%)
08/2013: 14,130 (-12.2%)
09/2013: 14,951 (+ 5.8%)
10/2013: 22,228 (+48.7%)**
11/2013: 13,958 (-37.2%)
12/2013: ??????
01/2014: 11,473 
02/2014: 13,215 (+15.2%) 
03/2014: 19,179 (+45.1%) 
-----------------
6 months: + 28.3%
1 year  : + 73.5%
2 years : + 51.2%
5 years : + 88.5%
10 years: + 16.6%

6 month comparisons
===================

-  4.8% - Fables
- 10.0% - Injustice
- 10.6% - Fairest
- 12.2% - The Unwritten
- 13.5% - Batman
- 16.3% - The Wake
- 17.9% - Justice League of America
- 19.7% - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
- 20.1% - Astro City
- 23.1% - Batman Beyond Universe
- 24.1% - Trillium
- 25.3% - Smallville
- 28.2% - Detective Comics
- 28.8% - Batman: Li'l Gotham
- 30.6% - Green Lantern
- 30.7% - Adventures of Superman
- 32.3% - Earth 2
- 33.7% - Wonder Woman
- 36.1% - Justice League Dark
- 36.6% - Flash
- 37.4% - Forever Evil
- 39.4% - Aquaman
- 41.5% - Batman and.
- 42.2% - Superman
- 42.9% - Batman '66
- 43.8% - FBP
- 45.2% - Green Arrow
- 45.4% - Action Comics
- 45.5% - Batman: The Dark Knight
- 47.5% - Teen Titans
- 50.4% - DCU vs. Masters of the Universe
- 53.4% - Swamp Thing

1 year comparisons
===================

+ 13.8% - Justice League Dark
-  4.6% - The Unwritten
-  5.6% - Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger
-  9.8% - Worlds' Finest
- 10.3% - Fables
- 12.2% - Suicide Squad
- 14.3% - Batman Beyond
- 15.2% - Batman
- 15.6% - Green Arrow
- 18.4% - Supergirl
- 18.4% - Batwing
- 19.3% - Wonder Woman
- 20.2% - Flash
- 22.0% - Injustice
- 23.5% - Birds of Prey
- 23.6% - Earth 2
- 24.3% - Fairest
- 26.0% - All Star Western
- 27.2% - Detective Comics
- 28.5% - Red Lanterns
- 31.3% - Superman
- 31.8% - Nightwing
- 33.1% - Catwoman
- 34.4% - Green Lantern
- 35.5% - Superboy
- 35.7% - Batgirl
- 35.8% - Batman: The Dark Knight
- 35.9% - Smallville
- 36.4% - Aquaman
- 37.1% - Batwoman
- 37.2% - Green Lantern Corps
- 38.2% - Teen Titans
- 38.7% - Swamp Thing
- 39.1% - Animal Man
- 39.8% - Green Lantern New Guardians
- 40.8% - Justice League of America
- 40.9% - Stormwatch
- 42.9% - Action Comics
- 43.5% - Batman and.
- 45.1% - Talon
- 46.6% - Constantine
- 48.0% - Red Hood and the Outlaws

2 year comparisons
===================

+114.2% - Constantine (Hellblazer)
+ 42.9% - American Vampire
- 10.8% - Batman
- 18.3% - Green Arrow
- 19.1% - Justice League Dark
- 19.8% - Fables
- 24.7% - The Unwritten
- 27.1% - Nightwing
- 32.7% - Suicide Squad
- 34.6% - Batgirl
- 37.3% - Batman and.
- 38.2% - Supergirl
- 38.3% - Detective Comics
- 39.6% - Wonder Woman
- 41.8% - Red Hood and the Outlaws
- 42.1% - Red Lanterns
- 43.0% - Green Lantern Corps
- 44.7% - Birds of Prey
- 46.4% - Catwoman
- 46.6% - Aquaman
- 47.8% - Green Lantern New Guardians
- 48.8% - Flash
- 49.2% - Green Lantern
- 49.5% - Superman
- 49.5% - Teen Titans
- 50.7% - All Star Western
- 53.1% - Batman: The Dark Night
- 53.2% - Swamp Thing
- 54.3% - Superboy
- 54.4% - Batwing
- 54.6% - Animal Man
- 59.9% - Batwoman
- 61.6% - Action Comics
- 62.6% - Fairest
- 67.9% - Stormwatch

5 year comparisons
===================

+ 80.1% - Constantine (Hellblazer)
+ 12.5% - Batman
+  8.1% - All Star Western (Jonah Hex)
+  4.4% - Green Arrow
-  7.1% - Wonder Woman
- 21.0% - Justice League of America
- 21.6% - Birds of Prey
- 25.0% - Action Comics
- 25.2% - Superman
- 32.1% - Supergirl
- 37.9% - Fables
- 48.8% - Green Lantern Corps

10 year comparisons
===================

+ 50.9% - Detective Comics
+ 49.2% - Green Lantern
+ 40.2% - Batman
+ 37.0% - Aquaman
+ 34.1% - Constantine (Hellblazer)
+ 25.5% - Nightwing
+  8.2% - Wonder Woman
+  4.2% - Batgirl
-  7.2% - Catwoman
- 25.6% - Flash
- 28.0% - Smallville
- 28.2% - Stormwatch (Team Achilles)
- 28.2% - Justice League of America (JLA)
- 31.7% - Green Arrow
- 43.5% - Birds of Prey
- 44.7% - Fables
- 45.6% - Swamp Thing
- 46.5% - Action Comics
- 59.5% - Superman
- 62.4% - Teen Titans

Sales Indices
=============

DCU: Average: 32,007. Median: 25,676

3.7 - Batman
2.9 - Superman Unchained
2.9 - Forever Evil
2.0 - Harley Quinn
1.7 - Detective Comics
1.7 - Justice League of America
1.7 - Batman/Superman Annual
1.4 - Green Lantern
1.4 - Superman/Wonder Woman
1.4 - Batman and.
1.2 - Nightwing
1.1 - Earth 2
1.1 - Batman: The Dark Knight
1.1 - Forever Evil: Arkham War
1.1 - Action Comics
1.1 - Aquaman
1.1 - Superman
1.0 - Flash
1.0 - Batgirl
1.0 - Wonder Woman
0.9 - Justice League 3000
0.9 - Justice League Dark
0.9 - Green Lantern Corps
0.8 - Teen Titans
0.8 - Worlds' Finest
0.8 - Green Lantern New Guardians
0.8 - Red Lanterns
0.7 - Green Arrow
0.7 - Supergirl
0.7 - Forever Evil Rogues' Rebellion
0.7 - Red Hood and the Outlaws
0.7 - Catwoman
0.7 - Suicide Squad
0.6 - Constantine
0.6 - Batwoman
0.6 - Forever Evil ARGUS
0.6 - Swamp Thing
0.5 - Animal Man
0.5 - Trinity of Sin: Pandora
0.5 - Birds of Prey
0.5 - Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller
0.5 - Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger
0.5 - Superboy
0.4 - Talon
0.4 - Larfleeze
0.4 - All Star Western
0.3 - Batwing
0.2 - Stormwatch
0.2 - The Movement

Vertigo: Average: 19,179. Median: 11,872.

4.8 - Sandman Overture
1.4 - The Wake
1.1 - American Vampire 2nd Cycle
1.0 - Trillium
0.7 - Astro City
0.7 - Fables
0.6 - Fairest
0.5 - Coffin Hill
0.5 - Dead Boy Detectives
0.5 - The Royals
0.4 - Hinterkind
0.4 - The Unwritten vol. 2
0.4 - FBP

Digital First & Other (non-all-ages): Average: 12,452. Median: 11,102.

1.7 - Injustice Year 2
1.5 - Batman '66
1.4 - DC Universe vs. Masters of the Universe
1.1 - Batman Beyond Universe
1.1 - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
0.9 - Adventures of Superman
0.8 - Smallville Season 11: Alien
0.8 - Legends of the Dark Knight 100 page Super Spectacular
0.8 - Batman: Li'l Gotham
0.5 - Scribblenauts Unleashed
0.4 - The Vampire Diaries

The sales index number is a ratio of the title’s current month sales to the average sales figure of the line to which is belongs for that month. So a sales index number of 1.0 means that a title sold very close to the sales average for that line.

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.

Titles released under the All-Ages line 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 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.

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.

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

15 Comments on DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: March 2014 — Forever Unchained Overture, last added: 4/16/2014
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32. Indie Bookstores are survivors, just like comics shops

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Speaking of Amazology, Lauren Davis at io9 got right to the darkest conspiracy theories of all with a post titledWill Amazon Do To Comic Shops What It Did To Book Stores? Amazon is generally considered to employ a Genghis Khan like strategy in seeking to wipe bookstores off the face of the earth, however, even the comments on the above piece point out that Amazon has been more toxic to the chain bookstores than indie shops. In fact, a piece from last fall pointed out, Amazon Slayed a Negative 77 Indie Bookstores in 2012, accompanied by the above chart, showed that indie bookstores are hanging in there.

While the New York Times has been announcing the end of Manhattan as a paradise for bookstores—and painful closures like Rizzoli Books, Shakespeare & Co. and St Marks Books have left great sucking chest wounds for Manhattan booklovers—luckily indie bookstores are slinging to life in the wake of insanely surging rents. :

But alarmist rhetoric aside, it was a familiar tale: Not about the end of reading, but about New York real estate — inexorably rising rents and the few businesses that can afford them. It’s a challenging landscape for anybody, but probably especially challenging for bookstores after all. The same Department of Labor database the Times cited, showing a nearly 30 percent decline in Manhattan bookstores between 2000 and 2012, also found Brooklyn actually gaining a bookstore (from 50 to 51) in the same period. Look closely at a few of those — as well as Manhattan’s hardiest survivors — and the city’s Darwinian, post-Bloomberg ecosystem begins to look less like a literary desert than a harsh but productive driver of bookstore evolution. Here’s how a few of the success stories have managed.

Getting back to Davis’s original question about Amazon and comics shops, the survival—best sales EVER for some— for local comics shops has to be seen as part of the pattern of the indie bookstore revival. As I’ve said many, many times, if you offered the publisher of any kind of book genre a dedicated network of 2000 stores all tirelessly devoted to selling your product — they would leap at the chance. The above profile of local NYC indie bookstores didn’t include a single comics shop, which is a little surprising to me—although five of the six have held graphic novel events. Maybe it’s time for some general rebranding here?As for the survival of comics shops, specifically, Davis write:

But as with prose books, not everyone is going to want to make the switch from paper to digital. Some people simply prefer the experience of reading on paper, and many folks collect single issues of comics—although it will be interesting to see if the latter changes with the rise of digital comics. And there’s a social aspect to comic book stores that is distinct from what you see in a bookstore. The weekly ritual of going to the shop on Wednesdays to discuss the latest issue with your fellow readers won’t be replicated by the mere availability of digital comics. Still, it will be interesting to see what Amazon plans to do in the digital comics space and how retailers feel about the purchase.

Although Comixology’s retailer services—including pull lists and digital storefronts—will remain in place, at least one retailer, The Golden Apple’s Ryan Leibowitz, sees an Amazon-driven Comixology as MORE useful:

The fact is, Amazon is more retailer friendly (sort of). What I mean is that their whole platform is based on businesses and individuals to have hosted webstores that they take a cut from. We already have an Amazon Webstore and my hope is that they integrate our Comixology Digital store to it. And unlike Comixology, We keep the purchased amount from the customer (minus the Amazon fee) not the other way around like Comixology does currently.

Also, comic books are not like CDs and/or regular prose books, they are collectible. What I mean is that they have value and are meant to be collected, cherished and enjoyed for generations. i don’t see comic shops falling over like bookstores without a geek fight…with lightsabers!

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Above, the Golden Apple in Los Angeles, CA, via FB

8 Comments on Indie Bookstores are survivors, just like comics shops, last added: 4/15/2014
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33. Reports: Linework NW was a hit

Linework NW 4_12_14.JPG
Over the weekend Portland, OR saw Linework NW debut as a new indie-styled comic arts festival to replace Stumptown, which has merged with Rose City Comic-Con. Held at the more indie-complaint Norse Hall it sounds from all reports that the show had a great energy. Dark Horse’s David Scroggy was kind enough to send in the attached two pictures, one of the crowd and another of the great Jim Woodring drawing. Scroggy noted, “There was a tremendous energy present. It was like an early Stumptown.”

Jim Woodring drawing 4_12_14.JPG

If you’re friends with co-director Zack Soto on FB you can see a ton of photos and comments, but I don’t think he’d mind me sharing this comment:

You guys. I’m so fried, I’m not even going to try and write a serious recap/thankyous/shout out thingie till tomorrow BUT I will say THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH. Today was definitely one of the best days of my life. Linework NW did good and everyone who worked on it did good and everyone who attended it did good and so forth. Really lots of fun and love.

Jason JFish Fischer has a photo album here.

Finally here is a video of Jim Woodring drawing with his giant pen at the show. If giant pen drawing is the mark of a successful event then this was a winner ll the way.

1 Comments on Reports: Linework NW was a hit, last added: 4/14/2014
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34. Comixamazon weekend round-up

comixologyWWW-0e01a.jpg

People are STILL talking about Amazon’s announced plans to acquire Comixology, although it has settled into the wait and see mode for now, as the deal won’t be final until June. But while you’re making up your own forecasts, here’s more of what people were saying.

¶ JK Parkin at Robot 6 has a good overall round-up of reaction. :

¶ Albert Ching has the longest sitdown with David Steinberger and David Nagger of Amazon and perhaps the clearest statements of how new and developing this all is:

It’s early still, but for both of sides, what are you hoping to see from this deal? David S., how do you envision comiXology growing in ways that might not have been possible otherwise?

Steinberger: What’s interesting about Amazons’ approach, and one of the things that attracted me to it, is that when you have a functioning company that’s doing well, Amazon first just gets to know the company, puts the resources behind the company, we finish this transaction, and then we talk about what’s next. Then, we start brainstorming what we can do together. At that point, we really start digging in. In the meantime, we just do our business. As a wholly owned subsidiary, we get to continue our relationships the way they are, we get to keep moving in the direction we’ve been moving in, and we get to explore the possibilities forthcoming. That’s a very long-winded way to say we actually have not, believe it or not, made huge plans, on new features and new combinations that any one of us can think up a million really great things to do. We’ve got to think of those, and pick them out, and get it done.


Nagger says they are equally open as well.

Tech writer Andy Ihnatko delivers a benediction to the deal by comparing Kindle editions vs Guided View—Comixology’s native format has a clear superiority over Amazon’s.

ComiXology’s books are a joy to read, with a “guided panel view” mode that’s created by a storyteller’s perspective, not an engineer’s. Its comics are sumptuous, ultra-definition, fully zoomable pages that allow me to appreciate the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into a great page of art. I buy all of my comics digitally because reading a ComiXology comic is far more enjoyable than even the printed editions. How’s the Amazon experience? It’s the exact reverse. I bought Lucy Knisley’s fantastic graphic novel “Relish: My Life in the Kitchen” as a Kindle edition. I got through about a third of it before I went back to Amazon.com and ordered the printed paperback. The Kindle was just too hard to navigate and read.

¶ Over at Comics Alliance I take part in a podcast discussion along with Andy Khouri, Alison Baker, Chris Roberson and Matt D. Wilson. Some good informed discussion here.

4 Comments on Comixamazon weekend round-up, last added: 4/14/2014
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35. Commentary: An Inevitable Surprise—Amazon buys ComiXology


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by Rob Salkowitz

Is Amazon’s acquisition of comiXology the beginning of the end, or just the end of the beginning, of digital comics’ golden age?

It didn’t take a genius to predict that something was going to happen with comiXology this year. The company had come too far, too fast. The iron was hot. The only question was, what form would the exit take? IPO? Acquisition? If so, by whom?

Yesterday we found out. It was the short-odds bet, the prohibitive favorite, that ended up in the money.

Amazon was always the most likely home for the winner of the digital comics derby. I said as much in Comics and the Business of Pop Culture, which came out in 2012, but I wasn’t alone. The largest online merchant, purveyor and would-be publisher of digital content, and cloud computing host is simply too good a fit for the top cloud-based digital revenue app and self-publishing platform.

But now that it’s official, there’s a bit of a chill in the air, almost as cold as the champagne on ice at the comiXology offices. Yes, it’s great for them and it’s great for Amazon. But is it great for the rest of us?

Why now? Rumors had been flying about a comiXology exit for a while, and when the story of an Amazon acquisition surfaced a couple of weeks ago, no one was surprised. The company had been doing everything that you do when you want to get bought: primping itself up for the mainstream and business press, talking about growth and market opportunities rather than dwelling on previous successes, hiring executives who inspire confidence in the larger financial community, cutting costs by retrenching from previous sponsorships, and then going eerily quiet.

For those of us accustomed to a constant drumbeat of comiXology announcements, releases and infographics, this last detail was as sure a clue that something was up as the famous dog that didn’t bark.

Why worry? As inevitable as comiXology’s Amazon adventure seems in retrospect, it’s still a shock. Part of that is because it took the comics world a long time to warm up to the idea of digital distribution at all.

comiXology did many things right in its rise to the top in terms of technology, industry partnerships and outmaneuvering competitors, but no achievement ranks as highly as winning over the skeptics. It did that with a full-court press of above-and-beyond efforts to sustain the entire comics/fandom ecosystem, not just line its own pockets.

Unlike other digital upstarts who blithely predicted the demise of the old distribution system, comiXology bent over backward to allay fears, all the while suggesting that digital would help, not hurt, print.

Early in the game, comiXology created an affiliate program to enable brick and mortar retailers in comics’ embattled direct market to participate in revenues from digital sales, which the company recently upgraded to tablet-friendly HTML5 templates. While not a perfect solution, this program represents a greater effort than music or video distributors attempted in terms of sustaining a physical retail channel.

In early 2013, it launched the comiXology Submit! portal to enable self-publishers and independent creators to list their titles in comiXology’s catalog alongside branded best sellers. So far, the company has followed through on commitments to publicize and promote these works, and is working on a recommendation engine to bring lesser-known works to the attention of more mainstream fans.

comiXology has bestowed its largess across the fan landscape, becoming a name sponsor of many of the industry’s largest conventions, a benefactor of creator friendly groups like the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and the host of lavish and popular parties at San Diego, New York, Baltimore and other large fan gatherings.

That’s a hell of a record, and a lot of it comes directly from CEO David Steinberger’s genuine affection for comics culture, combined with his rare ability to see business success as a broad, long-term goal – a mission seemingly shared by his entire team.

Is that affection or outlook shared by Amazon? As the Magic 8-ball would say, signs point to no.

What next? ComiXology trod a very narrow path toward a brand of success that was not a zero-sum gain. Ham-fisted management could mess things up in a variety of ways, including:

  • Violating the platform neutrality that has served comiXology well, tipping off some kind of war with Apple and Google, or somehow trying to lock people into the Kindle ecosystem.
  • Showing favoritism among publishers based on willingness to play ball with Amazon’s terms.
  • Driving one or both of the Big Two to think they’d be better off selling through their own channels than the unified storefront that offers fans so much convenience and choice.
  • Forcing creators into a less advantageous self-publishing situation than they currently enjoy with Submit.

Steinberger’s open letter on the acquisition yesterday assures fans and customers that “ComiXology will retain its identity as an Amazon subsidiary and we’re not anywhere near done “taking comics further.”

Press releases cite examples “from Audible to Zappos” of Amazon acquisitions that have been allowed to do business as usual, just with more support and a bigger platform. And it’s true that Amazon, unlike, say, Yahoo or Microsoft, does not have a record of smothering its adopted children under rolls of fat or strangling them in the crib.

That’s encouraging, but the plain fact is that independent and successful comiXology was a clean win for comics, fans, publishing and even brick and mortar retailers, whereas a comiXology nestled under the wing of a rapacious predator raises concern.

Endless summer? In my book, the forecast where Amazon acquired comiXology was part of a scenario called “Endless Summer,” wherein a highly-commercialized geek culture is dominated by giant corporate interests. Other features of that scenario include a Disney/Marvel theme park, a DC division entirely subsumed within Warner Entertainment (now merged with Facebook) out of Burbank, comic megaconventions as far as the eye can see, and the debut of a Power Man/Iron Fist musical on Broadway.

That wasn’t the only available future for geek culture in 2011/2012, but it certainly seems to be the one we are headed towards. And we just took another large step in that direction yesterday.

– Rob Salkowitz (@robsalk) is author of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture and is working on a new project on the future of marketing and retail in the digital age.

 

5 Comments on Commentary: An Inevitable Surprise—Amazon buys ComiXology, last added: 4/13/2014
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36. Lust and Yang win LA TImes Book Prizes

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The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were handed out last night and the winner in the graphic novel division was Ulli Lust’s Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, published in the US by Fantagraphics.

Gene Yang’s Boxers and Saints won in the YA Literature category—a strong win for a GN in a traditionally prose only category. Yang’s work—he’s also a two time National Book Award nominee—continues to help define the new role for graphic novels as literature.

JK Rowling won in the Mystery category for The Cuckoo’s Calling which she wrote under a pen-name to avoid being ghettoized in Potter’s field.

The other nominees in the graphic novel category were • David B., “Incidents in the Night: Volume 1,” Uncivilized Books
• Ben Katchor, “Hand-Drying in America: And Other Stories,” Pantheon
• Ulli Lust, “Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life,” Fantagraphics
• Anders Nilsen, “The End,” Fantagraphics
• Joe Sacco, “The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme,” W. W. Norton & Co.

I would have been pleased with any of the winners, but Lust’s book was one of my favorites of the year and is truly a novel with a dense examination of youthful ignorance, gender roles, the limits of friendship and early punk culture viewed through an impromptu trip to Italy by two Austrian girls without money. If you haven’t read it, do so!

The complete list of winners.

Biography: “Bolivar: American Liberator” by Marie Arana
Current Interest: “Five Days at Memorial” by Sheri Fink
Fiction: “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki
Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction: “We Need New Names” by NoViolet Bulawayo
Graphic Novel/Comics: “Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life” by Ulli Lust
History: “The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914” by Christopher Clark
Mystery/Thriller: “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith
Poetry: “Collected Poems” by Ron Padgett
Science and Technology: “Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?” by Alan Weisman
Young Adult Literature: “Boxers & Saints” by Gene Luen Yang

2 Comments on Lust and Yang win LA TImes Book Prizes, last added: 4/12/2014
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37. The Beat Podcasts! More To Come: MoCCA Fest 2014

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Straight from the offices of Publishers Weekly, it’s More to Come! Your podcast source of comics news and discussion starring The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

In this week’s podcast the More to Come Crew – Heidi “The Beat” MacDonald, Calvin Reid and Kate Fitzsimons – discuss this year’s MoCCA Arts Fest and Emerald City Comic Con – with interviews from the MoCCA floor, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, new comics to screen deals including Federal Bureau of Physics and Sinister Six and more on PW Comics World’s More To Come.

Now tune in Fridays for our regularly scheduled podcast!

Listen to this episode in streaming here, download it direct here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the PublishersWeekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

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38. Retailers can unlock The Woods secret cover

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We’ve been having a lot of coverage of Booms! Lumberjanes this week, but the next hot book from Boom is likely to be The Woods by writer James Tynion IV (Batman Eternal, Red Hood and the Outlaws) and artist Michael Dialynas (Amala’s Blade, Spera). The issue goes on sale on May 7, but before that retailers have been offered an an “unlockable” variant cover by Joe Eisma (Morning Glories). Retailers can order this cover in any ammount as long as they increase their orders on issue #1 by 20%.

As for The Woods itself, it sounds reminiscent of such classics as Drifting Classroom and Battle Royale:

In THE WOODS, an entire high school campus with over 500 students, teachers, and staff suddenly vanishes and reappears in the middle of an alien-looking wilderness next to a towering, mysterious obelisk. Left to fend for themselves in a hostile environment, the group tries to find out where they are, why they’re there, and how to get back home.

As a bonus here are the other variant covers for the issue

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Cover A by Ramón Pérez

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Cover B by Matthew Woodson (1 in 10 intermix)

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Cover C by Paul Duffield (1 in 25 retailer incentive)

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39. RIP: Courtney Utt

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Designer Courtney Utt, who was responsible for some of Viz’s most distinctive covers, passed away recently at the age of just 37 following a long battle with brain cancer.

You can see much of Utt’s work here.
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40. Will Comixology go the way of Audible or Zappos?

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The great digital hope has been acquired by one of the giant fire breathing kaiju of the digital era. Will they trample tiny cottages beneath their feet or become a lovable behemoth? Ask me in a year. In the meantime…

First off, will you be able to read your comics? A story at the Guardian indicates yes…but…

The firm also sought to reassure users that their comic collections, some of which are in the thousands of dollars, were safe after the acquisition. “Of course [they are safe]! Our goal is to build on each other’s strengths and create the best service for all comic and graphic novel customers.” But it declined comment on whether it would “guarantee” that customers would always be able to read the comics they had purchased.


No guarantees. That is pretty much standard with any digital media. Folks have pointed to Jmanga’s collapse for a model of how you can lose your collection from something that seemed solid. Of course, in the short term, Amazon and Comixology will keep you reading all your comics. Even the most gloomy analysis—Amazon acquired a competitor to wipe them out—suggest that where there’s smoke there’s money. Digital comics are obviously a growth product of the future and Amazon will want to keep and grow that business, even if it is just to move Comixology to their Kindle storefront.While we can only speculate at this point, it’s worth noting that among the dozens of companies Amazon has acquired there are many different models for how that development evolves. For instance, in 2005 Amazon bought POD company Booksurge, eventually turning it into Createspace, now an Amazon-like portal for uploading and selling your books via Amazon, Kindle and other Amazon services.

Audible is company selling audio books that may offer a very direct comparison to Comixology. The Audible store is still a standalone, but with a Amazon branding. And to buy books you need to sign in with your Amazon account, something that we imagine could happen very quickly with Comixology. Books sold on Audible are subject to Amazon’s customer ratings and everything else you get on the main Amazon site. So really, Audible is a dedicated webstore for audiobooks just in case you are easily confused by going to Amazon and being bothered by those print things.

On the other hand, there’s Zappos, the world’s biggest shoe store. As a woman, I love shoes, and I have to confess I had no idea that Zappos was owned by Amazon and I have purchased shoes through both! They offer different brands, different pricing and a different user experience.

Zappos also retains its own fairly unique corporate culture, as this story indicates.

During the 4-hour meeting, Hsieh talked about how Zappos’ traditional organizational structure is being replaced with Holacracy, a radical “self-governing” operating system where there are no job titles and no managers. The term Holacracy is derived from the Greek word holon, which means a whole that’s part of a greater whole. Instead of a top-down hierarchy, there’s a flatter “holarchy” that distributes power more evenly. The company will be made up of different circles—there will be around 400 circles at Zappos once the rollout is complete in December 2014—and employees can have any number of roles within those circles. This way, there’s no hiding under titles; radical transparency is the goal.


While it’s clear that Amazon offers different levels of autonomy for its company, it’s also true that comics are more like books than shoes, and the ebook business is one that Amazon is already very active in with its game changing Kindle business.

A frequently brought up question in my emails and DMs was how Amazon and Apple will play together. These two get along in a more Godzilla vs Mecha Godzilla way, so don’t expect loving cooperation. For instance, you can’t actually buy anything through the iOS Kindle app, unlike Comixology’s where you can spend away. As the Register put it, “Amazon therefore just acquired itself an app that lets it do things Apple doesn’t like it to do.”

UPDATE: as mentioned in the comments, I had this exactly backwards. It’s Amazon who refuses to pay Apple’s share of the costs, so will you see them ditch in-app purchases to spite Apple? Comixology was the top grossing non-game app on the iPad in 2013 and #11 overall,which must have meant significant profit. Would Apple Amazon cut off its nose to spite its face?

Yes. Oh yes.

At the Big Five (Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook) level it’s all a pissing contest. And Amazon does NOT play nicey nicey.

Of course, there is the brick and mortar aspect to the story. While ComicsPRO just released a fairly defensive statement, at least one retailer was glad he never signed up with CX’s retailer service:


As you may recall, when Comixology first got on the scene they smartly made peace with retailers by offering a bunch of services for stores, such as digitized pull lists. They also offered a digital storefront that some stores used, a model that found much more success than Diamond’s attempt at the same. Some retailers were always wary of the system however, and now it looks like they may have been the wise ones after all.

Winners in all of this may be digital alternatives. iVerse is still around, with some unique services, including its potentially large library lending system. Sequential is an indie-focused stand alone app that just signed up Top Shelf, NBM and Fantagraphics. Image and 2000AD have held on to their own drm-free download sales. And of course Dark Horse has its own digital store.

That said, there’s no questions but that Comixology was the leader in this space, with its sales dwarfing other digital vendors’. And of course, everybody was already selling through Amazon, whether it was actual books, or Kindle editions. Tieing in Amazon’s formidable user reviews and related material makes discoverability much easier for comics, one area where Comixology had a ways to go.

And what about Submit? While it’s been specifically mentioned that this service will continue—users upload their own content and sell them via Comixology splitting the revenue. This is a lot like what many of Amazon’s services are already like, including the Kindle Direct Publishing portal. HOWEVER, Kindle charges a “digital delivery” fee by the MB of upload, as Todd Allen explored in this 2011 piece. This adds up to significant costs. Moving to a KDP model from the Submit one would be pretty onerous for indie comics creators. On the other hands, maybe it wasn’t a big cash cow to begin with, as this post from Ryan Estrada shows.

With Submit submissions already backed up for six months, this never really caught fire, I think, and most creators have been moving to Gumroad, Sellify or their own Paypal storefronts. DIY and the maker ethic are going strong in indie comics.

Then there’s the whole Guided View trademark matter…something I’ll need a whole other post to get into.

Finally, how much did Amazon pay for Comixology? We may never know but history offers guides. The terms of the Booksurge acquisition were never disclosed. Amazon purchased Woot!, a daily deal’s type tech store for $110 million in cash. Audible sold for $300 million and Zappos for $940 million. I guess people like shoes more than books.

13 Comments on Will Comixology go the way of Audible or Zappos?, last added: 4/13/2014
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41. ComicsPRO responds to Comixology/Amazon deal

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With all kinds of concerns running rampant today about what Amazon’s acquisition of Comixology means for the comics industry, ComicsPRO, the retailers organization, has released a statement:

“There’s always a concern when a huge corporation that shows little need to turn a profit tries to convert a niche market into a commodity. Fortunately there is a tactile element to comics that no deep-discounting web entity will ever be able to replicate. So as long as there continues to be fans for the real thing, there will be comics and comic book stores.”


Developing.

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42. What we learned about getting a Comic-Con hotel room from Hoteloween 2014

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Yesterday was the day when Travel Planners sent out hotel notifications and it was joy for a few and grief for many more. I finished my own entry at 2:20 and got my first choice. Ben, who had the same hotel list, finished 20 second later and got nothing. Why? Well, I chose a single room and he chose double. Looking at the time stamps of others, it seems that asking for more beds may have been a harder order to fill than a single bed, which is more flexible.

There isn’t too much to say about this. As we all know there are mote people who want to stay downtown than there are hotels downtown. I got the Hyatt, which the older I get, doesn’t seem all that close, as it’s about a mile to Hall H. Supposedly if the convention center expansion is ever approved, the Bayside Hilton will also double its number of rooms. And add a whopping 500. Still only a drop in the bucket.

A few tricks and tips:

• For next year, I recommend hiring a youthful gamer to enter the lottery for you. Seriously, this is the Hunger Games for complimentary turndown service. I know I hit submit once and had to go back and fix something…in the micro seconds it took to do that everyone was getting the Omni.

• It’s better to click on the “give me anything” option than get nothing. A hotel on the shuttle route is better than throwing yourself on the mercy of the secondary market.

• Room swapping is going on in this Subreddit thread

• There is another thread here.

• The second bite at the apple for official hotel reservations—probably rooms shucked due to being extras or what not and not wanting to pony up $600+ for the deposit—opens on April 23, 2014

• The Unofficial SDCC Blog has a good round-up here. It looks like all hotel rooms were gone within five minutes. Getting in under a minute and you got your room. UNDER 60 seconds.

• Lots and lots of cartoonists, journalists and Important People Who Make Comic-Con What It Is did not get hotel rooms. I know just because you actually make comics or interview Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t mean you should get a good hotel room. It would be totally against the egalitarian spirit of Comic-Con to give special dispensation to any group like this. However, when Hoteloween first began, exhibitors complained that they needed to be at booths early and a 30 minute shuttle ride was a major problem. Thus began the ultra secret exhibitor hotel room lottery which takes place early in the year and gives exhibitors a well deserved crack at the rooms of their choice. I’m sure there is a limit on how many rooms you can get for your booth—otherwise some enterprising soul would get a booth just to get hotel rooms for his other friends. And yes I know there is a year long wait list for booths, as well, but they eventually come through. Unlike a room with balcony at the Horton Grand.

• What is true is that big exhibitors always book extra rooms and creative types can throw themselves on the mercy of their publisher for that. So now the bargaining begins. May the odds be ever in your favor!

7 Comments on What we learned about getting a Comic-Con hotel room from Hoteloween 2014, last added: 4/12/2014
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43. A few more details on the Comixology/Amazon deal

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The Beat just participated in a conference call with Comixology CEO David Steinberger and Amazon’s vp of digital content David Naggar, and while details are at Publisher’s Weekly, everyone sounded very chipper about Amazon’s planned acquisition of Comixology.

“Comixology is in a better place than ever for the diversity of our content ad the diversity of our audience,” Steinberger said. “Amazon is good at a lot of things we’re not great at yet.”

Comixology will be staying in New York and all employees have been made offers. Steinberger noted that Amazon has been a great partner for other companies that have acquired such as Audible and Zappos. The Submit program will also continue—Amazon has a lot of upload it yourself programs so this is no surprise.

“We’ve got a long history of buying companies we admire and that’s the case here,” said Nagger. ” We’ve admired them for the customer focus and customer experience they’ve created for several years so it made sense to bring them into the Amazon family.”

He also told PW:

Naggar was also enthusiastic when asked about Comixology Submit, Comixology’s digital comics self-publishing platform. While he said, “Amazon doesn’t make a lot of plans before it makes an acquisition, so we’ll have to figure it all out over time. But Kindle Digital Publishing has been big for us and so we love Comixology Submit. Comixology has had a positive impact on physical and digital comics.”

In a statement on Comixology, Steinberger wrote:

Dearest readers,

I’m very excited to share some big news with you: we have just announced that comiXology is becoming a part of the Amazon family!

More than seven years ago, John D. Roberts, Peter Jaffe, and I set out to connect people to comic books and graphic novels they’d love, and we’re so excited about how far we’ve come. Thanks to the books we are privileged to present and the platform we created, there’s access to more diverse content than ever, allowing all readers to enter the amazing world of comics.

We have long had the goal of making every person on the planet a comics fan. With Amazon’s help, this crazy goal is more possible than ever before. With the Kindle, Amazon has shown a passion for reinventing the reading experience, just like comiXology has shown for comics and graphic novels.

ComiXology will retain its identity as an Amazon subsidiary and we’re not anywhere near done “taking comics further.” We are confident that – with Amazon by our side, who shares our desire for innovation and a relentless focus on customers – we’ve only just begun.

We wouldn’t be here without you, our customers. Thank you. The best is yet to come!


While this cannot have surprised anyone who was paying attention, the fact that it is happened—and as Janelle Asselin pointed out, not both Amazon AND Apple get a piece of your digital comics money—Amazon’s aggressive model against brick and mortar, and tough terms with print publishers don’t exactly point to the same kind of warm and cuddly company as Comixology.

And here’s some tweet reactions from the industry:

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44. Amazon buys Comixology

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Well, we’d been hearing something is up and it is. Amazon has acquired Comixology. People have been discussing this possibility for a while, and we’ll have more details shortly.
The move was announced by both Comixology and Amazon.

As seen below Amazon will acquire Comixology in Q2 for an undisclosed purchase price. Comixology will remain in New York and Amazon promises to invest in the company.

When we’d heard that Comixology suddenly pulled out of a sponsorship deal at ECCC, we knew something was up, and most informed folks seemed to think a deal would be coming in a few weeks. Although Amazon always seemed the most likely suitor for Comixology, other companies were always in the rumor mix. But in the end the most likely suitor won the bride.

Amazon’s recent entry into comics publishing and their own digital platforms—and their own attempt at Guided View—always made this a natural fit. Comixology’s impressive comics sales via iPad and desktop gained a lot of attention making the Comixology app the biggest grossing non-gaming app on the Apple platform.

While there is more to come on this, and Amazon’s rep as a faceless 800 pound gorilla may cause some alarm, there is no question that digital comics just got as real as they can get.

Amazon.com today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire comiXology, the company that revolutionized the digital comics reading experience with their immersive Guided View technology and makes discovering, buying, and reading comic books and graphic novels easier and more fun than ever before.

“ComiXology’s mission is to spread the love of comics and graphic novels in all forms,” said David Steinberger, co-founder and CEO of comiXology. “There is no better home for comiXology than Amazon to see this vision through. Working together, we look to accelerate a new age for comic books and graphic novels.”

“Amazon and comiXology share a passion for reinventing reading in a digital world,” said David Naggar, Amazon Vice President, Content Acquisition and Independent Publishing. “We’ve long admired the passion comiXology brings to changing the way we buy and read comics and graphic novels. We look forward to investing in the business, growing the team, and together, bringing comics and graphic novels to even more readers.”

Founded in 2007, comiXology offers a broad library of digital comic book content from over 75 of the top publishers as well as top independent creators.

Following the acquisition, comiXology’s headquarters will remain in New York.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Subject to various closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.

 

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45. All the Lumberjanes #1 covers by Fink, Corsetto, Buscema etc

Lumberjanes is a new comic from Boom! that came out yesterday and seems aimed squarely at the Adventure Time/Tumblr/Cutecore comics audience, with a story by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen and Shannon Watters. And to back it up there are no fewer than 12 variant covers for various stores and events. And here they are.

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Cover A by Noelle Stevenson

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Cover B by Maddie Flores

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Cover C by Lauren Zuke

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Emerald City Comic Con Exclusive Cover by Kate Leth

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Collector’s Paradise Exclusive Cover by Aimee Fleck

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Challengers Comics Exclusive Cover by Kali Ciesemier

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Cards, Comics & Collectibles Exclusive Cover by Stephanie Buscema

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WonderCon Exclusive Cover by Jess Fink

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Calgary Expo Exclusive Cover by Megan Hutchison

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Laughing Ogre/Big Planet Comics Exclusive Cover by Danielle Corsetto

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Casablanca Comics Exclusive Cover by Melanie Tingdahl

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BOOM! Studios Webstore Exclusive Cover by Brooke Allen

4 Comments on All the Lumberjanes #1 covers by Fink, Corsetto, Buscema etc, last added: 4/11/2014
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46. News Flash: New Suicide Squad, new Dash Shaw, new Ted Rall, more

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Cosplayers is a new comic by Dash Shaw about…cosplayers.

Annie and Verti are two teen cosplayers with too much time on their hands. Annie wants to act, and Verti wants to be a photographer/filmmaker. Together, they embark on making a film starring themselves and featuring an unsuspecting cast of extras they record via hidden camera. What could possibly go wrong?


Here’s a trailer:

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• The second collection of TODD, THE UGLIEST KID ON EARTH by Ken Kristensen and MK Perker will feature an intro by Larry king, as Todd “confronts something even darker: the unholy intersection of comic book conventions, public television, and paranormal investigation — a conspiracy that literally goes as deep as the dark abyss of Hell.”
 
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• DC has announced a bunch of new #1s in their New 52 line, including a new book for New Suicide Squad by writer Sean Ryan (formerly a DC editor) and artist Jeremy Roberts, who won that Harley Quinn art contest everyone got so upset about. Joker’s Daughter, Deathstroke, and Black Manta are joining the team if the cover art is any indication. Also judging by the cover, the first villain they face will be a sinister blue light source.

The title New Suicide Squad invites all kinds of alarm. If there is ever an All New Suicide Squad #1 it will be time to get worried.

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• DC also announced the Teen Titan hadn’t gone away after all, and Will Pfeifer and Kenneth Rocafort will do the creative duties. New team members Red Robin, Wonder Girl, Raven, Bunker, and Beast Boy will “offer ‘bold, exciting and sometimes dangerous ideas’ on how to protect a world full of superpowered teens,” Newsarama told us.

• Mild mannered political cartoonist Ted Rall has teamed up with Scott Stantis, Stephanie McMillan and Stephen Notely for an online publications called Four Cartoonists of the Apocalypse.

Every week, you’ll get a rotating series of updates from one of us, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at sketches, ideas, drafts or more. You can also nab a “Four Cartoonists of the Apocalypse” T-shirt, featuring work from Stephanie McMillan.


This project will be available via Beacon, which features a $5 a month subscription model that gets you ALL the articles on the site. However, Rall’s projects will need 400 backers to get going. They have 336 as I write this, so it’s looking good.

2 Comments on News Flash: New Suicide Squad, new Dash Shaw, new Ted Rall, more, last added: 4/10/2014
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47. Manga sales are still pretty big

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While American comics publishers are usually secretive about the print runs, apparently Japanese publishers aren’t quite as stingy with numbers. It was just announced that #13the latest volume of Attack on Titan, the international mega hit, had a print run of 2.75 million—a record for Kodansha and a LOT more than the 40,000 print run for the first volume. Anime News Network has put together more 1st printing numbers from Kodansha, Shogakukan, Shueisha from April 2013 through March 2014. While manga sales have been slipping in Japan due to piracy and other factors, the print runs are still massive by US standards. For instance, after Attack on Titan, Saint Young Men Volume 9 printed 935,000 copes and Vagabond vlumer 35 printed 900,000 copies.

For Shogakykan, Silver Spoon volume 11 led the way with 1.2 million, and Detective Conan volume 79 with 700,000. At Shueisha, the grand daddy of tham all is still One PIece, with 4 million copies printed for volume 73, followed by
Naruto Volume 68 1.4 million
Kuroko’s Basketball volume 24 1 million and
Assassination Classroom volume 3 with 1 million

All I can say is: we need to get this thing called Assassination Classroom over here ASAP.

6 Comments on Manga sales are still pretty big, last added: 4/11/2014
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48. QMx releases DC Bombshells posters by Ant Lucia

DC has been doing themed variant cover months such as the recent Steampunk on, and in June it’s Bombshells based on artist Ant Lucia’s popular figurines which recast DC heroines as WWII pin-ups.

I just report the news, folks. And you know, different strokes.

ANYWAY, collectibles company Quantum Mechanix Inc. (QMx), is releasing posters based on Lucia’s statues and covers. Each poster will be rendered on a museum quality 18”x24” art print and will be priced at $14.95. They are definitely attractive images.
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49. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/10/14: Check out the SCHMUCK Kickstarter!

§ Mark Evanier reports that original Airboy artist Fred Kida, a nominee for this year’s Eisner Hall of Fame, has passed away at 93.

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The Kickstarter for Seth Kushner’s SCHMUCK: A Graphic Novel is in its last days with about $2500 to go. With art by Joseph Remnant, Nick Bertozzi, Gregory Benton, Dean Haspiel and many more illustrating stories of awkward young adulthood, this books should be published. There’s some good stuff here. One of the rewards is the award winning photographer Kushner giving you a photography lesson for $250. AND a copy of the book. Check it out.

§ CBR’s chart cruncher John Mayo weighs in on these controversial times with his own analysis including this moebius strip about selling non Big Two comics:

There is a bit of a chicken and the egg situation going on here. The smaller publishers are in fewer stores, causing them to sell less, which in turn causes them to be in fewer stores because they sell less. In many cases, sales will go up on a title if retailers and readers would just give it a chance. The problem is, there is no major incentive for retailers to put a title on the rack in the hopes it will sell. When ordering in the single digit number of units, it is very risky for a retailer to take a chance on a title. The best way to remove that risk for a retailer is to tell you retailer about the comics you are planning on buying during the preorder phase. If you seem something you want to buy in Previews, help your retailer out and tell them. Some people dislike the preorder nature of the comic book industry, and there are many valid reasons for this. However, the reality is, the current marketplace is preorder-driven, and those preorders determine what does and does not get published in the future.


Yep Comics 101 right there.

§ It is not an Indie Comics CAF until the Secret Acres crew weighs in, even if they ARE on the steering committee. It is instructive to read the grumblings about the show from two years ago and the positive reviews now. See, things can be fixed! If you wanna read my report, it’s here.

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§ MUST READ!!! Ryan Holmberg offers some groundbreaking research as he examines how the work of american cartoonists Rose O’Neill and Grace Drayton influenced manga artist Matsumoto Katsuji, who essentially invented the kawaii (cute) look.

The recent show, a retrospective of illustrator and manga author Matsumoto Katsuji (1904-86), was filled with the kind of frilly, sentimental shōjo stuff that usually makes me gag. But there was at the center of the show a ray of sharp, clarifying light that has changed my understanding of the development of manga in that transitional era of the 1930s, when the medium went from adult pastime and occasional kids plaything to big-time commercial entertainment. In that spotlight stood one work in particular: Matsumoto’s The Mysterious Clover (Nazo no kuroobaa), an 16-page, magazine-format (7 x 10 in.), premium insert furoku for the April 1934 issue of the monthly Shōjo no tomo (A Girl’s Friend), an iconic magazine in the history of shōjo culture.

§ Mairghread Scott and Sarah Stone talk about the new comic for the fan created female Transformer Windblade. I don’t get how robots have gender or whatever, but Scott and Stone do, luckily.

§ As you MAY have heard last night’s Agents of SHIELD finally revealed that the producers were right and they WERE building towards something all along. I stand corrected. In this case…tieing in with Captain America: Winter Soldier. Corey Blake examines this Marvel Cinematic Crossover

Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out less than a week ago, and the plot of last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. weaved in and around that movie’s story, which significantly altered the course of the show’s storylines and will continue to do so for the remainder of the season. Structurally, it was almost like reading the Infinity War crossover issues of Silver Sable and the Wild Pack. All that was missing was editor’s notes directing viewers to “*See Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in theaters now! -Ed.,” Pop-Up Video style. For those immersed and aware enough (and able to afford movie tickets), this is a really fun experience. It really feels like #ItsAllConnected, as the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Facebook and Twitter accounts have been telling us. It’s exciting, unprecedented, and feels very much like reading a classic Marvel event.


This seems to have significantly excited the base so we can only say well played. However since the next Marvel movie is Guardians in August, hopefully more will happen on AoS before then.
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§ There were a minor kerfuffle last week about a review of Walt Kelly that sort of excused the contemporary racist caricatures of his work. Luckily Brian Kremins wrote a much better piece that puts Kelly’s work into an even broader social context, including Bridgeport, CT, a grim industrial swath located in the generally affluent suburbs of Connecticut. I can say that because I lived near Bridgeport until I was 10. While Kelly did create some stories that make us very uncomfortable now, he also had a complicated history, as befits a great artist. It is a very sad thing that almost every great cartoonist of the first half of the 20th century used racist imagery; and even sadder that they lived in a society where this imagery was tolerated and condoned. Papering over everything now would be fun, but we’re not living in a post racial society yet, so the time for papering is not yet. And yes, Walt Kelly is still one of the great cartoonists.

§ Disney’s Infinity game—a mix of sandbox video gaming and collectible figurines that includes many Disney and Pixar characters—will be adding Marvel characters, it seems, as suggested by the unsubtle video above that show’s Captain America’s Shield whizzing by Captain Jack, Sully, the Incredibles and so on. Also, the end of the trailer states “Bring on the super heroes.” Disney’s characters have always existed in some multi universal crossover state—think Disney World!—so this is only sensible. Woodgod vs Charles Muntz, I’m calling it.

§ A review and comments on Mimi Pond’s graphic novel ‘Over Easy’ in the Los Angeles Times

§ What did comics fanzines looked like in 1980? This link will tell you. Spoiler: they were not as immediately attractive as Tumblr.

§ The Asbury Park Comic con is this weekend, and local boy made good Brendan Leach is profiled with the classic headline Comic books not kid stuff for aspiring graphic novelist:

He found himself mining his childhood memories to bring to life the scenes set in Asbury Park. He recalled snapshots of seeing the rock band Weezer at The Stone Pony and huddling on the beach with friends to listen to the muffled echoes of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band practicing inside the Convention Center. Maintaining a realistic look to Asbury Park in “Iron Bound” was no small task. So when his memory failed him, Leach utilized Google Maps to get a bird’s-eye view on the town. He didn’t just want you to see the boardwalk, he wanted you to feel the sunwarmed beams burning your bare feet.


§ If you enjoyed Spurge’s interview with Zack Soto, here’s a companion piece, Rob McMonigal interviewingLineworks co-director François Vigneault:

Panel Patter: What were some of the challenges in putting together a small press show in such a short time, and how did you handle them?

Vigneault:  There are many, many challenges, but luckily we had some strong experience between us that allowed us to pull it together. For my part, I previously ran the San Francisco Zine Fest for six years, so I had a good idea of the difficulties that awaited us. I would say the biggest thing is just juggling all the various balls at once. If you put too much focus on any one thing you soon realize you have neglected some other, essential part. We also had some nasty surprises with last minute cancellations; you’ve always got to have a back-up plan for those contingencies!

2 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 4/10/14: Check out the SCHMUCK Kickstarter!, last added: 4/11/2014
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50. Tumblr-gedden as Tumblr removes Disqus and custom code from some sites

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Tumblr users who have been reveling in its ability to share content—and block trolls via the plug-in Disqus—got a rude shock today when due to code problems, users found their custom themes disabled and their comment boards wiped out. Among the missing—DC Women Kicking Ass’s lively comments section. DCWKA’s Sue took to Twitter to mourn the loss, and just as I write this it looks like she may have found the missing posts, but others were still searching.



Tumblr is great for sharing but, amazingly, lacks a built in commenting section. Disqus enabled not only comments, but a sophisticated blocking system which enabled many diverse communities to flourish without the chilling effect of trolling endemic to most of the internet.

However, Tumblr has also never been that friendly to plug-ins. While Tumblr hadn’t responded to an inquiry as I write this, it’s mostly likely the changes had to do with Heartbleed, the terrifying vulnerability that affects 2 out of 3 websites via the ubiquitous OpenSSL interface. This weakness, discoevred just yesterday, allows hackers to access passwords, sources, cookies, emails, passwords, you name it. (Is Heartbleed another name for I Killed The Watcher?)

My ISP already closed down open SSL and fixed one of my servers…but the vulnerability was there for two years—meaning its time to change those passwords YET AGAIN. The internet is NOT a safe place.

Tumblr has long been seen as a fairyland free for all of content and anonymity…even though last May it was purchased by Yahoo, which is notorious for bungling acquisitions under its previous ownership. While the current problems showcase the weakness of specific HTTPS vulnerabilities, it’s also a reminder that unless you have access to backing up your content, it can be removed in a heartbeat.

4 Comments on Tumblr-gedden as Tumblr removes Disqus and custom code from some sites, last added: 4/10/2014
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