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1. Nice Art: Blue Estate to be collected


Let’s leave this day with some nice are, a preview of a deluxe hardcover collection of BLUE ESTATE by Viktor Kalvachev and Kosta Yanev. The art provided below is all by different artists — can you spot them?

As dueling crime families battle in the glitziest and grittiest parts of Los Angeles, Rachel Maddox tries to disentangle her life from her abusive action-hero husband in this Eisner Award-nominated tale of desperate starlets, suspiciously macho actors, bungling mobsters, and hapless private dicks.

Kalvachev’s work on BLUE ESTATE garnered nominations for Best Cover Artist and Best Coloring Eisner Awards in 2012. His stunning painted covers and vivid coloring unite the work of a dozen artists — including Nathan Fox, Tomm Coker, Dave Johnson, Paul Maybury, and Marley Zarcone — whose different styles bring different moods and effects to his and Kosta Yanev’s over-the-top story (scripted with incisive wit by Andrew Osborne).

BLUE ESTATE will be in comic book stores on September 10 and in bookstores onSeptember 23. In addition to collecting all twelve issues of the Image Comics series, it’s packed with bonus material, including Kalvachev’s character and location designs, and an exclusive making-of feature about the 2014 HESAW/Focus Home Interactive Blue Estate video game, released for the PlayStation 4 in 2014, featuring art and character designs.

For more information about all things BLUE ESTATE, visitwww.blueestatecomic.com and www.blueestatethegame.com.

bluestate2 bluestate3 bluestate4 bluestate5

4 Comments on Nice Art: Blue Estate to be collected, last added: 8/21/2014
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2. Yale Stewart apologizes after accusations of harassment

Oh god where to begin. The short version is that Judge Dread artist Ulises Farinas calling out Yale Stewart over what Farinas deemed ill-advised charity efforts then led to Stewart, the artist of the webcomic JL8, being outed as a naked selfie sender, and then apologizing while putting his webcomic on hiatus.



IT ALL STARTED when Farinas, above, who is something of an opinionated Internet user, called out Stewart’s practice of selling wallpapers themed to various events in the news for $1 with proceeds going to charity. What put Farinas over the edge was this one, which referred to the situation in Ferguson:
Farinas wrote:

Every fucking time there’s some big tragedy, this dude makes a wallpaper to benefit (insert charity) and it just looks like a shameless ploy at self promotion.
Instead of making a cutesy little wallpaper of DC heroes you don’t own, supporting media entities that already ignore brown people, that have news companies that spin a narrative that blames the victims of police brutality and not the aggressors, why don’t you just shutup and privately donate as much as you want to ACLU, whenever you want, and not just when #ferguson is all over twitter.
Putting two images of SPACE COPS as your “SUPPORT FERGUSON” wallpaper, and offering it for a DOLLAR, is fucking gross. And i hate that we can’t distinguish between support and capitalism.
You know the only reason the dollar is going to the ACLU, is he because the product he’s selling isn’t a wallpaper, its himself.


This took place a few days, and led to a lot more back and forth and then, over Twitter, an increasing number of references to “Dick pics” with Stewart at the center, perhaps spurred by this Tweet of Farinas:

As far as The Beat can ascertain, rumors of Stewart sending unsolicited pictures of himself in a depantsed state have been around for quite a while. The new Twitter flutterings grew and grew, leading to Stewart to take down his twitter account and then announcing that he was putting JL8 on hiatus. Jl8 is a very adorable strip that Stewart has been drawing for a few years that is basically a “Lil JLA” strip. It is COMPLETELY unauthorized by DC—although Stewart was eventually hired to work on some officially licensed Capstone books featuring DC characters— and if there is one thing that amazes me about this whole thing is that he was able to get away with this for so long!

Anyway, while many people seemed to be aware of Stewart’s exhibitionist texts, it wasn’t until Unleash the Fanboy offered a spirited is muddled defense of him with a post called Ulises Farinas Is A Jealous Idiot. I Stand Behind Yale Stewart that the cries for proof got louder. And it all grew when Stewart, who lives at home, said that since the outcry began, his mother had received a threatening phone call regarding the situation.

While some doubted the accusers with the usual abuse, over night a picture of Stewart, tool in hand, was finally posted on 4chan, leading to his public apology:

Good morning.

As some of you may be aware, there have been some rumors circulating about my personal conduct with women in the comics industry. The accusation is that I’ve sent unsolicited intimate photos of myself to fans, colleagues, or possibly both.

Sexual harassment is incredibly serious business, and I believe anyone who has followed me for any period of time knows that I often speak against it. No one should be subject to such behavior. It’s invasive, disrespectful, and occasionally dangerous.

Have I sent intimate photos of myself to women before? Yes. I’ll absolutely admit to that. As a 26 year-old bachelor with a relatively healthy sex life in the internet age, these things happen. However, every photo sent was in direct response to either a photo received or a specific request.

Or so I thought.

Two years ago, I was engaged in two separate relationships with women whom I was sexually active with. Given the nature of these relationships, my experiences in past relationships, and various dialogues with these women, I thought it had been established within each relationship that intimate or explicit photos were acceptable, possibly even desired.

I GROSSLY misread the situation.

It has been brought to my attention that both of these women were uncomfortable with my behavior, and needless to say, I’m absolutely disgusted with myself. How I could so horribly misinterpret the situation confounds me, but that confusion pales in comparison to the shame of knowing that I did the very thing to these two women that I openly chastise people for on a regular basis. Also, beyond that, that these women felt this way for TWO YEARS without me knowing and attempting to make amends, which is wholly unacceptable in its own right.

I have reached out to both of these women and have made private apologies, but I felt it was my responsibility to make a public one as well. As stated earlier, I believe sexual harassment to be an incredibly serious issue, and while the harassment in question was a terrible and ignorant mistake, it does not change the fact that that’s what this was, and I accept full responsibility.

I strive to treat everyone with respect, as I feel those who know me personally or follow my comics work would attest, and as such I hope that helps frame how sorry I truly am that all of this happened. The best I can do is own up to it, acknowledge that I made an incredible error in judgement, and finally, make sure that I learn from this mistake and never repeat it moving forward.

In addition, if there’s anyone else out there who feels like I’ve made them uncomfortable, on any level, please let me know. Clearly I’ve misread situations before, and I don’t want to go years again thinking nothing’s wrong only to learn I’ve hurt someone.

Finally, I’ll be making a donation of $1000 to RAINN, as they’re an organization at the forefront of both preventing and aiding victims of sexual harassment and assault. Hopefully my small donation will in some way help them in educating even just one person, preventing another situation such as this.

My deepest, sincerest apologies to all.



A couple of observation about all this:

• Sending naughty texts is a perfectly normal thing to do. Sending unsolicited pictures of your junk to people is not okay, however. It’s my understanding that Stewart had been accused of doing this for quite some time, and had seemingly unwittingly built a bad reputation over this.

• Now that’s he’s had his sensitivity raised and apologized—and made a $1000 donation to RAINN—after a suitable amount of time Stewart can concentrate on what he does best, drawing, IF HE BEHAVES HIMSELF. I don’t think there’s any real disconnect between doing a kids strip and doing adult things in other spheres of your life. As long as they don’t cross over, you’re good. Someone called Stewart the Anthony Weiner of comics and you’ll recall that Weiner—the one time NYC mayoral candidate who was caught sending pictures of his franks and beans to women while still married and running for office—tried a comeback and what stalled it is that he kept on sending pictures of his junk to people! The key to a comeback is learning from your mistakes and not harassing people any more.

• It’s shameful that the women who were on the receiving end of Stewart’s texts were doubted and tarred with the usual slurs and counter-accusations. Why is this it hard to believe that a male cartoonist would send out naked selfies? If I were to question anything in this WHOLE STORY it would be the threatening phone call because…

• WHO THE HELL TAKES TIMES TO MAKE THREATENING PHONE CALLS OVER COMIC BOOKS? Seriously this is becoming a thing now whenever there’s a comic book kerfuffle. That is also SO NOT COOL, people. Stop it, just stop it.

• Cartoonists doing shady, kinky things is nothing new. Neither is such behavior being talked about over dinners and drinks. BUT things have changed. This is the latest example of how harassment issues are played out over social media, and while I don’t see this going away any time soon, crowd justice is rough justice, so people, if you’re doing something bad and about to get caught, better to stop doing that bad thing and taking appropriate steps in private.

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3. Denis KItchen on The Best of Comix Book–”One of the Greatest Things Stan Lee ever Did”

The Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Went Underground

is in B&W/  and Full color, HardCover  an exclusive Kitchen Sink Press imprint under Dark Horse  ISBN:978-1-61655-258-9

Intro by Stan Lee

Forward by Denis Kitchen

Designed and Edited by John Lind


Pam Auditore

Tall, affable, plain spoken Wisconsinite, Denis Kitchen smiles wistfully, “I loved putting this collection together.  It’s a nice anniversary.”  Hardly the hippie, bomb throwing revolutionary Nixon might  associate with with the words: “Undeground Comic Artist.”

In 1973 Denis Kitchen and Stan Lee pulled off what can only be considered, in hindsight, a  coup.  Bringing together the Marvel and Underground Comic Book Creators in almost unimaginable collaboration.  Taking place during the turbulent spill over from the 1960s with the The Vietnam War winding down; Watergatewhite flight from citiessocial unrest  and a New York City as grey and dilapidated as “Taxi Driver” depicts.

At the time, Stan Lee and his bullpen at Marvel were struggling to churn out Super Heroes, Westerns, Science Fiction, Fantasy, War Comics, Hot Rods, Romances and whatever would keep the company alive and paying their bills.


Reacting to and expressing the societal upheaval and the angst of the times, Underground Comics emerged first in Head Shops, then local Bookshops.  Artists like SpainBill GriffithR. CrumbTrina Robbins were free to do what creators at DC and Marvel could not, express freely and personally what they saw going on in their own lives and the world around them without having to censor for  profanity, nudity or subject matter. Expressing their own visions through writing and artwork.

It may seem quaint now, in the time of a Deviant Art Digital hyperspace, where one can upload  and share  with just about everyone anything conceivable,  from Justin Beiber fan fiction to Banksy’s or Shepard Fairey’s latest and greatest.  Yet, once, Underground Comic Art was not only ground breaking, but dangerous and could have serious consequences such as shutting down businesses, along with jail time and financial ruin.

Back then, the US Mail was your only delivery system or your car.  Your tools–paper, pencil, ink, mimeographs, with  Xerox Copiers expensive even for Marvel.  Your only means of distribution were friends, Comic Shops, Head Shops, and some BookshopsMarvel’s were mainly Newsstands, local groceries, local bookstores and candy shops.  Getting kicked off of any one of those racks could mean never making a cent again.


Among those first to collect and publish his own Underground Comics was Denis Kitchen with his Mom’s HomeMade Comics in 1969. Issues of which Kitchen sent to publishers like Stan Lee and Harvey Kurtzman.  Kitchen later went on to publish other Comic Book creators under Kitchen Sink Press.  Such legal  issues of censorship and community standards is why Mr. Kitchen is one of the Founder of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

By the ’50s and ’60s Marvel, DC, and Harvey Comics  were squarely  aiming at the growing demographic of Baby Boomers while laboring under a self imposed Comics Code to protect minors.

Which made the explosion of Underground Comics during the hey day of suburbia and the middle class all the more “subversive” and “scandalous” with its humor, nudity,  crudity,  and profanity, would feel so refreshing and right for the times.

Clearly not meant for the young teens or little kids the major Comic Book publishers were catering  to.  These comics dealt with political and social issues were generally called, “anti-establishment”, made for a slightly older, “hipper” crowd–late high school to college crowd. Many Underground Cartoonists would find their way into the glossy folds of “Mad magazine” and “National Lampoon“, but others like Mr. Kitchen and, others of his cadre like  Art Speiglemen, were charting a more independent, less conventionally commercial path.  Creating space for other self-published  Independent Comics to flourish in the ‘80′s, like those of  Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, and the Hernandez Bros, then Terry Moore and Peter Bagge in the ‘90′s and so on into the future.

With ever a sharp eye on popular culture, Stan Lee, no doubt , was eager to capitalize on the Underground audience hoping to expand Marvel’s.

Maus--Marvel Comix Book

Maus–Marvel Comix Book

According to Kitchen,  his collaboration with Lee, “Stems from  a time when Underground Comics were florishing and suddenly we had what we called ‘the Crash of ’73.”  A glut of material in Head Shops and local book stores and a Supreme Court ruling that threw obscenity laws into local jurisdictions. It was deadly to the Undergrounds, a lot of Head Shops and Bookshops were suddenly paranoid that they would be busted due to obscenity.  I genuinely feared Kitchen Sink Press and all my cohorts would go under.”

Luckily, Denis had been corresponding with Lee.  “We had this curious pen pal relationship.  He offered me a job a couple of times.  Of course, I was flattered but said, ‘No,’ until the Crash. He happened to call and I said, ‘Let’s talk.’  I flew to New York City and found he was amazingly receptive to an experimental magazine. One where we hoped to take the essence of the Underground and plug it into Marvel’s distribution system.

It took a lot of negotiating to find out how far Marvel could compromise.  Stan ended up being amazingly receptive to using four letter words, and we even got away with full frontal nuditity, anything we wanted.”

Katrina Robbins

Comix Book –Wonder Person by Katrina Robbins

But don’t think it was a collaboration without conflict.

“There were fights over copyrights and getting art back, too “But we wore him (Stan Lee) down, so by the Third issue he said, “Goddamit, you can have your rights back, you can have your art back.’  So all this stuff that they had never done before, I was able to persuade him to do.”

The end was nigh when word of this new magazine began reaching the ears of Stan’s regular bullpen of writers and artists “it turned into a Pandora’s Box for Stan.  The regulars and freelancers were like, ‘How come you’re doing this stuff with these Hippies? And you’re not letting us?  We’ve been with you longer?’  And it was hard for Stan to walk that back.”

Consequently, “After the third issue, Stan pulled the plug.  I had a couple of issues in the can and I asked him if he’d let me print the rest under Kitchen Sink, and he agreed, which was amazingly generous. ”

The Corpse Goblin Ogre by S. Clay Wilson

The Corpse Goblin Ogre by S. Clay Wilson

“In retrospect it’s kind of astonishing. When I look back at it now, that it happened at all and the kind of latitude we had.  Artists like S. Clay Wilson, Justin Green, Trina Robbins, Art Spieglman (including the first national appearence of “Maus”).  You can go down the list, all the big guys in Underground Comics, except Crumb, were in it.  And most Underground Comic fans today don’t even know it happened.”

“When we decided to collect it Stan, graciously agreed to the intro.  He actually called it one of the greatest things he ever did,” Denis Kitchen beams.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Denis Kitchen and Stan Lee signed a special insert in 250 special copies ot the The Best of Comix Book only available only from Things From Another World, Dark Horse’s online retail outlet.


2 Comments on Denis KItchen on The Best of Comix Book–”One of the Greatest Things Stan Lee ever Did”, last added: 8/21/2014
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4. Here’s the cover to the Sam Alden issue of Frontier


Youth in Decline’s flagship publication is Frontier, a slim but essential Risographed book featuring the work of one cartoonist. Past issues have spotlighted Uno Moralez, Hellen Jo, Sascha Hommer, Ping Shu and now Sam Alden. And here’s the cover. The issue goes on sales at SPX and will feature a new 36-page comic by Alden.

Alden’s work has already been published by Uncivilizaed, and his “Hawaii 1997″ has been widely anthologized. Expect this to be a hot ticket item at SPX!

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5. Dynamite Launches Their Own Digital Comics Store With Ten Cent DRM-Free Downloads

This digital comic could be yours for a dime.

This digital comic could be yours for a dime. 

Dynamite is launching their own digital comics store today.  The comics will DRM-Free, which makes DRM-free the new (and welcome) trend in digital.  And just because they can, they’re launching with some $0.10 comics and 10% of all digital sales for the first month will be donated to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

The initial format they’re offering the comics in is .PDF, with plans for ePub and .CBZ in the future.  Dynamite is also planning on rolling out the library slowly, with new releases posted each Wednesday.  You might be thinking there’s not going to be a lot of DRM-free titles coming out of Dynamite, given all the licenses they deal with, but that doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case.  Besides the creator-owned, Dynamite-owned and public domain properties, the first batch includes Dresden Files, Wheel of Time, Pathfinder, Green Hornet and it looks like the pulp line will be DRM-Free, too, with The Shadow being the first of the Conde Naste characters in the store.  Figure it will take several months for Dynamite to get their entire back catalog online, but the Wednesday release schedule is established.

Dynamite is also offering some free wallpapers on their digital page.

(As an aside, if you haven’t read Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg!, it’s a hugely influential classic that happens to be in the initial roll out.  Definitely worth your time.)

This is yet another domino falling after Amazon’s acquisition of Comixology.  We’ve seen already seen Valiant expand to iVerse and Madefire, where they used to be exclusive.  Now Dynamite is opening their own digital sales outlet.  It’s not a common practice for publishers to go exclusive with Amazon, so we’ll probably have a few more changes to the digital landscape sooner than later.

Official PR follows:

Dynamite Entertainment Launches New DRM-Free Digital Comics Program;
New Digital Initiative Benefits Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

August 20, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ:  Dynamite Entertainment is excited to announce the debut of its brand new digital comic program featuring DRM-free comics. Launching initially with comics available in PDF file format, the initiative makes a selection of its most popular and celebrated titles ready for download today directly by consumers.  The sale of DRM-free digital comics coincides with the comic book and graphic novel publisher’s 10th anniversary celebration, and can be found at their company website’s dedicated digital sales page: http://dynamite.com/digital/

The program launches today with an available selection of over 80 individual comic books, which includes creator-owned, company-owned and licensed titles from Dynamite’s massive library.  The debut selection represents a wide variety of titles, spanning numerous genres, featuring name brand creators including Kevin Smith, Bill Willingham, Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, Alex Ross, Gail Simone, Robert Jordan, Jim Butcher, Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson, Frank Cho, Art and Franco, Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, and more, as well as highlighting some of the industry’s most beloved characters (Red SonjaVampirella, and The Boys, just to name a few).
Cryptozoic Man by Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson
Blood Queen by Troy Brownfield and Fritz Casas
The Boys         by Garth Ennis and Darick Robinson
Captain Action Cat by Art Baltazar, Franco, and Chris Smits
Captain Victory & the Galactic Rangers by Joe Casey, Nathan Fox, and more
Chaos! by Tim Seely and Mirka Andolfo
Chastity by Marc Andreyko and Dave Acosta
American Flagg by Howard Chaykin
The Devilers by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Matt Triano
Evil Ernie: Origin of Evil by Jesse Snider and Jason Craig
Garth Ennis’ Red Team by Garth Ennis and Craig Cermak
Jennifer Blood: Born Again by Steven Grant and Kewber Baal
Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: War Cry by Jim Butcher, Mark Powers, and Carlos Gomez
Jungle Girl by Frank Cho, Doug Murray, and Adriano Batista
Justice, Inc. by Michael Uslan and Giovanni Timpano
Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet by Kevin Smith and Jonathan Lau
Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure      by Bill Willingham and Sergio Fernandez Davila
Miss Fury         by Rob Williams and Jack Herbert
The Mocking Dead by Fred Van Lente and Max Dunbar
The Ninjettes by Al Ewing and Eman Casallos
Pathfinder: Dark Waters Rising by Jim Zub and Andrew Huerta
Project Superpowers by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross, and Carlos Paul
Red Sonja by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani
Red Sonja: Blue by Peter Brett and Walter Geovani
Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, Chuck Dixon, and Chase Conley
The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow by Howard Chaykin
Terminal Hero by Peter Milligan and Piotr Kowalski
The Trial of Sherlock Holmes by Leah Moore, John Reppion, and Aaron Campbell
Vampirella by Nancy A. Collins and Patrick Berkenkotter
Vampirella Master Series by Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, and more
Vampirella vs. Fluffy by Mark Rahner and Cezar Razek

In celebration of their 10th anniversary, Dynamite will offer ten of its comic books at 10 cents apiece, introducing new readers to Dynamite’s most accessible and successful titles at a great value.  The introductory-priced comic books include:

Blood Queen #1
The Boys #1
Evil Ernie: Origin of Evil #1
Jungle Girl #0
• Kevin Smith’s Green Hornet #1
Miss Fury #1
The Mocking Dead #1
• Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time #1
The Trial of Sherlock Holmes #1
Vampirella #1

Dynamite will also offer ten (10) free wallpapers to consumers featuring The BoysCryptozoic Man, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, Neil Gaiman and Alice Cooper’s The Last TemptationRed Sonja, and Vampirella.  These wallpapers can be downloaded from Dynamite’s digital DRM-free page for a limited time.

Following today’s launch, Dynamite plans to release its DRM-free comics on a weekly basis, every Wednesday, with new offerings announced via the company’s Facebook, Twitter, and website as they are made available for download.  There will be a slow, focused roll-out over time that will grow the available titles to reflect the vast majority of Dynamite’s library.

Throughout its first month of operation, Dynamite will donate ten percent of all sales to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers.

Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, says, “CBLDF is delighted to be named as the charitable partner for Dynamite Digital! As comics advance in so many new directions, the CBLDF remains vigilant in our efforts to protect the comics medium in each aspect.  Dynamite’s contribution underscores our commitment to protect comics in the digital environment as vociferously as we do in the comic store and education spaces.”

“The market has been growing for DRM-free content. Each and every day, fans want to choose how to buy and enjoy their comics, and we’re taking our titles to the next level for digital sales,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “Expanding into DRM-free content, made available directly to consumers from our website, is simply giving the consumers the option for what they want and how they want it, and continues to reach out to a non-traditional comic-reading audience, and then bring those readers in to the direct comics market to our retail partners.  We’re optimistic that the availability of comics in a digital fashion will continue to draw new readers to the medium, helping to continue to complement the growth for physical sales through our retail comic store partners. Following the trend we’ve seen over the past few years in our industry of digital helping to grow the physical for retailers and the market overall, the world’s continuing love affair with books in print will benefit from a surge in Dynamite interest.”

Barrucci adds, “As part of our launch, we’re donating a portion of all sales to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.  Charles, Alex, and their team work tirelessly to protect our First Amendment rights.  The Fund needs the help of the industry to continue to support free speech.”

“DRM” (Digital Rights Management) refers to the technology used by publishers, copyright holders, and other individuals to control the use of digital content and devices after sale.  Dynamite’s goal is to offer their titles DRM-free, thereby growing the company and granting comic creators more opportunities to make great products.  Dynamite is eager to take this next step with fans as it continues to expand on its own digital offerings.
Dynamite’s current digital offerings include same-day-as-print releases through Comixology, iVerse, Dark Horse, iBooks, and Amazon Kindle.  Recently, Dynamite worked in conjunction with Humble Bundle, Inc. to offer a 10th Anniversary bundle for sale for a limited time, dedicating a portion of profits such worthwhile charity organizations as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Doctors Without Borders, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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6. Disney releases first, enormous picture of Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, who WILL save the world

Well it wasn’t really enormous, but it is bigger than an ant. Yet it does not show star Paul Rudd as Ant-Man but rather as brooding hoodie man.

A white man in a hoodie. Safe as houses.

Anyway, according to an UNUSUALLY excited press release from Disney, Ant-Man just went into production with Peyton Reed (“Bring it On,” “The Break-Up”) directing. The departure of director[mastermind Edgar Wright., and subsequent desperate search for a director , put everyone in a bad mood over this movie, but after Guardian’s stunning success Wright will soon be but a footnote, I’m afraid, and all will be forgiven.

The rest of the Ant-Man cast includes Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, Hank’s daughter, and Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Abby Ryder Fortson, Judy Greer, David Dastmalchian, Wood Harris, John Slattery, Gregg Turkington and rapper T.I..

Btw the way, in case you were wondering “Will the tiny Ant-Man save the world just like every other Marvel hero thus devaluing the difficulty of saving the world while proving that even someone as small as an ant can be a big hero with heart and determination” the answer is YES, Ant-Man WILL save the world!

Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

We shouldn’t complain; saving the world is to Marvel heroes as meeting Prince Charming is to early disney Princesses.

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7. More Comics folks take the Ice Bucket Challenge: Haspiel, Fowler, etc.

As reported yesterday, the Ice Bucket Challenge fad is hitting comics and it’s spreading like wildfire. The viral fad involves having a bucket of ice dumped over you to create more awareness of ALS — Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis— a “progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord” and can cause total paralysis.

Those taking the challenge posted results to Facebook, which will not allow me to embed the videos because Facebook. But here’s a list of the latest to take the plunge:

Dean Haspiel, who did it sirtless, as I hardly need even mention.

Cryptozoic’s John Nee

Tess Fowler, whose nephew actually suffers from ALS.

Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci

ComicWow!’s Josh Geppi

Have you taken the challenge? Link it up in the comments! And please be careful. We don’t want any William Henry Harrison’s here.

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8. Boom!’s Humble Bundle has a few hours to go


These comics-based Humble Bundle’s continue to do very well. a Boom! bundle is wrapping up a few hours from when you read this already having raised more than $242,898.07 with 23,784 purchases. Charity proceeds benefit the CBLDF. Hurry up and you can still get all the following:

After initially offering over 90 issues of a wide variety of comics when it launched on August 6,BOOM! Studios added an additional tier of titles on August 13 to help boost interest in the raise. Titles that were added include:
Fairy Quest: Outlaws (collects the complete miniseries)
Written by Paul Jenkins
Illustrated by Humberto Ramos
In Fablewood, where all fairy tales live side-by-side, Red Riding Hood and Wolf risk everything so that they can remain friends.
Polarity TP (collects the complete miniseries)
Written by Max Bemis
Illustrated by Jorge Coelho
From the mind of Say Anything frontman Max Bemis comes a story about a man with bipolar disorder who discovers his meds have been, in fact, suppressing his super powers.

Suicide Risk Vol. 1 TP (issues #1-4)
Suicide Risk  Vol. 2 TP (issues #5-9)
Written by Mike Carey
Illustrated by Elena Casagrande
This smart deconstruction of the superhero genre tells of a beat cop, who, after watching too many of his friends die at the hands of super-powered villains, decides to take a risk by artificially unlocking his own abilities.

Protocol: Orphans #1-4 (collects the complete miniseries)
Written by Peter Facinelli, Rob DeFranco, and Michael Alan Nelson
Illustrated by Mariano Navarro
Grabbed up by the United States government and thrown into training camps, orphans around the country have been raised to become America’s next generation of super spies. Now, as adults, they live amongst us, ready for “the family” to call them back into action.

The initial campaign contained:

Curse #1-4 (collects the complete miniseries)
Written by Tim Daniel and Michael Moreci
Illustrated by Colin Lorimer and Riley Rossmo
To pay for his son’s medical treatment, a man sets out to earn the bounty on a killer who has been terrorizing his small town, only to discover the murderer is a werewolf.
Day Men #1-3
Written by Matt Gagnon and Michael Alan Nelson
Illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze
To protect their vampire employers during the daytime, a select group of humans are trained to serve as their fixers, problem-solvers, and protectors.
Dead Letters #1-4
Written by Christopher Sebela
Illustrated by Chris Visions
A man wakes up with no memory of how he got where he is and will have to use every trick from his forgotten repertoire to outrun and outsmart his way through a hardboiled wonderland of gang wars, femme fatales, and big secrets.
Evil Empire #1-3
Written by Max Bemis
Illustrated by Ransom Getty and Andrea Mutti
Say Anything frontman Max Bemis’ gripping story explores a scenario in which we watch modern society gradually evolve (or is it devolve?) into an evil empire.
Hit #1-4 (collects the complete miniseries)
Written by Bryce Carlson
Illustrated by Vanesa R. Del Rey
In 1955 Los Angeles, while infamous gangster Mickey Cohen rots in a prison cell, clandestine groups of LAPD detectives moonlight as sanctioned hitmen knows as “Hit Squads.”
Imagine Agents #1-4 (collects the complete miniseries)
Written by Brian Joines
Illustrated by Bachan
An agency responsible for keeping kids’ imaginary friends in line is confronted by a plot by an evil faction to become real.
RoboCop: Last Stand Part 1 TP (4 issues)
Written by Frank Miller and Steven Grant
Illustrated by Korkut Öztekin
Based on Frank Miller’s unused screenplay for the RoboCop 3 film, RoboCop takes a last stand against OCP to protect the citizens of Detroit.
RoboCop (2014) #1-2
Written by Joshua Williamson
Illustrated by Carlos Magno
Picking up right after the end of the first film, a deadly and charismatic criminal is released from jail and instantly targets RoboCop for destruction.
Sons of Anarchy #1-11
Written by Christopher Golden and Ed Brisson
Illustrated by Damian Couceiro
Based on the hit FX Network TV show. The only people standing between the daughter of an old SAMCRO member and certain death are the Sons of Anarchy.
Those who pay more than the average price will also receive:
Hacktivist #1-4 (collects the complete miniseries)                                                    
Created by Alyssa Milano
Written Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing
Illustrated by Marcus To and Ian Herring
The owners of the largest social media company in the world moonlight as do-gooder hackers, but are compromised when the US government moves in.
Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #1-6 (collects the complete miniseries)
Written by David Petersen
Illustrated by David Petersen
This is the third collected volume in the continuing saga of the Eisner Award-winning and critically acclaimed fantasy comic series about an elite group of warriors charged with protecting the mouse territories.
Planet of the Apes Vols. 1-4 (16 issues)
Written by Daryl Gregory
Illustrated by Carlos Magno
Find out what happens 1,300 years before the arrival of Colonel George Taylor from the original 1968 Planet of the Apes movie! Ape and Human societies have reached a new golden age, but peace never lasts for long.
Six-Gun Gorilla TP (6 issues) (collects the complete miniseries)
Written by Simon Spurrier
Illustrated by Jeff Stokely
On another world in the 22nd century, a rogue gorilla gunslinger and his companion wander across a wilderness in the grips of a civil war, encountering lawlessness, natives, and perversions of civilization in a world at the crossroads between the past and the future.
Translucid #1-3
Written by Claudio Sanchez and Chondra Echert
Illustrated by Daniel Bayliss
From the mind of Coheed and Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez and his wife/writing partner Chondra Echert, this is the superhero story you’ve wanted but never thought you’d see, exploring the thin line between heroes and villains, and the space between childhood hope and loss.
The Woods #1-3
Written by James Tynion IV
Illustrated by Michael Dialynas
An entire high school is transported to a strange, primordial wilderness and confronted with trying to survive.
Readers who pay $15 or more will receive all of the above, plus:
Bee and PuppyCat #1-2
Written by Natasha Allegri and Garrett Jackson
Illustrated by Natasha Allegri
Based on the popular web series, it’s a quirky new take on the magical girl genre with Bee, the forever unemployed main character who can’t seem to figure out life, and the mysterious PuppyCat, a stray…whatever it is…that she stumbled across who has a powerful secret.
Bravest Warriors Vol. 1 (4 issues)
Written by Joey Comeau
Illustrated by Mike Holmes
Based on the hit animated series! Join Chris, Wallow, Beth and Danny, four 16-year-old heroes-for-hire, as they warp from galaxy to galaxy, saving alien races with the power of their…emotions.
Lumberjanes #1-4
Written by Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson
Illustrated by Brooke Allen
Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!
The Midas Flesh #1-8 (collects the complete miniseries)
Written by Ryan North
Illustrated by Braden Lamb and Shelli Paroline
The space crew of Joey, Fatima and Cooper have decided to return to Earth—a planet completely sectioned off, abandoned, and covered in gold—to find out exactly what happened to this once thriving planet and see if they can use that knowledge against the evil empire that’s tracking them down. As luck would have it, they just landed the most powerful weapon in the universe: some ancient dead guy’s body.
As with all Humble Bundles, customers can choose how their purchase dollars are allocated, between the publisher, Humble Bundle, and the determined charity (CBLDF).

1 Comments on Boom!’s Humble Bundle has a few hours to go, last added: 8/21/2014
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9. KIbbles ‘n’ Bits 8/20/14: big old catch up

§ It seems a bunch of folks missed out on the Party Central main hotel for SPX. The Comics Reporter has info on the back up hotel. It’s true that one of the things that makes SPX so much fun is everyone being in one clubhouse but I think starting the day with a brisk 3/4 mile walk has its benefits as well.

§ Tim O’Neill talks to Jesse Jacobs, whose Safari Honeymoon is one o the more intriguing books of the year.

How and when did your interest in edenic landscapes originate?

I’ve always loved nature. My day job allows me to visit a number of small farms, and I have been inspired by some of the people I have been meeting. Permaculture techniques, which really take advantage of the natural systems that exist in nature, I find especially interesting. There exists an amazingly intricate system that provides so much, and there are people who are succeeding in tapping into that harmony without exploitation.

§ Anne Ishii interviews Annie Koyama, one of the nicest people in comics.

I understand it’s important to support starving artists, but why art books, or books in general?

Only because that’s what I love. I love to look at books, I love art, so that was a no brainer to me. It certainly wasn’t a conscious decision. It organically morphed into this. It was totally accidental. And, how do you choose the artist that you sponsor? It’s really simple. I go online and look at their work. If I like the work, I pursue the artist.

§ Brigid Alverson profiles The Distribution Engine, a new company bringing lots of cool UK comics to the US. More cool comics! Gotta catch em all.

§ xkcd’s Randall Munroe is not only a Hugo Award winner, he’s soon to be published by a major publishing house. His “What If” columns with scientific looks at various hypotheticals, will be published next month, and here’s an excerpt:

The forests of New York 1,000 years ago would be full of chestnut trees. Before a blight passed through in the early twentieth century, the hardwood forests of eastern North America were about 25 percent chestnut. Now, only their stumps survive. You can still come across these stumps in New England forests today. They periodically sprout new shoots, only to see them wither as the blight takes hold. Someday, before too long, the last of the stumps will die.

Or you can read the whole column here.

§ Some grade school kids made a History of Buffalo Graphic Novel Kids do the darnedest things.

Post tells WBFO News his favorite part of participating in the summer program was when they began to color in their sketches and received a certificate from New York State Senator Tim Kennedy. He issued certificates of congratulations to the students who completed the project.

§ Marvel’s Star Wars editor Jordan D. White is profiled at Mancave (?):

MCD: When Marvel obtained the license back in the ’80s they were free to explore the expanded universe. Have there been any callbacks to that continuity?

JDW: Actually–let me take that back–there IS a big thing we have not announced yet that will be revealing stuff in comics first. It’s a big part of a character’s backstory that is important to them but that has not been shown before. We’re going to have the chance to reveal it in comics first. I can’t say what or where yet…but I will eventually.


§ Here’s a look back at Deogratias by J.P. Stassen Kate Polak, one of First Second’s early offerings, about the Rwanda genocide. This was a moving book, and one that deserves to be remembered:

Deogratias, in contrast, is an intensely quiet graphic novel. The title character rarely speaks, and while we see the pre-genocide world partially through his memories, he never contextualizes them, or connects them to the silent, dirty man we see in the post-genocide era. The characters who speak in the pre-genocide era have relatively normal lives and normal concerns. The characters who speak in the post-genocide era carefully avoid any reference to the events of April-July 1994. What I find perhaps most important about Deogratias is the extent to which Stassen emphasizes the unreliability of images and the emotional responses they provoke in readers.

§ When is the next indie show? When is the table deadline? Con-Mon has the answer! Link via The Tiny Report.

§ Remember that whole Howard the Duck thing that happened a few weeks back? 13th Dimension interviews Frank Brunner, the co-creator of Howard. I’ll cut to the chase:

Did you get paid on the old movie?

Nope! All I got was the blame for it being a bomb when I moved to Hollywood!

How is Marvel treating you in regards to the resurgence and upcoming film?

I hear DC pays creators more respect than Marvel does. It seems ironic that the company that is breaking box-office records left and right, tends to ignore the people who actually did the work. So far, they have been pretty quiet. It’s enough to make you want to break out singing Dylan’s Blowin’ In the Wind.

§ I can never see the name Frank Brunner without remembering one of the most embarrassing incidents of my life. Being a HUUUUGE Howard the Duck fan, I was very thrilled back in the day, when Brunner paid a visit to my then boss Marv Wolfman back at the old Disney Comics offices. We were all sitting having a nice chat when Brunner suddenly pointed to my head with an alarmed expression. “Is that a bug in your hair?” he said. And then I started screaming reflexively, loudly and uncontrollably because having a bug in my hair is one of my phobias. It turned out I was wearing a scarf and there was a moth in it. I’m sure Brunner thought I was a total wackadoo after that.

§ I don’t quite get this story about some folks in Victoria, TX trying to get the city council to give them grant money for a comic-con, but it worked.

After the seven-person committee responsible for doling out hotel occupancy tax dollars recommended zilch to the convention, Anthony Pedone, executive director of Victoria TX Indie Film Fest, offered up $10,000 of his own $45,000 grant. The City Council voted 6-1 to give $9,726 to the convention and to take a portion from all recipients to give $10,000 to Warrior’s Weekend, which had also been turned down for funding. The money, known as HOT funds – short for hotel occupancy tax – comes from a tax hotel and motel guests pay on rented rooms. The state collects 6 percent, and the city collects 7 percent, which can only be used to promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry.

§ Finally in my newly revived RSS feed, I see Alan David Doane is blogging again, and a few weeks ago he brought up a rather interesting topic:now no one really cares now that Miracleman is being reprinted, and even the once notorious birth issue barely got a peep”

I’m amazed at how little the ongoing Miracleman reprints, set to lead up to new issues by Neil Gaiman, completing his unfinished run, are being talked about. This week’s re-release of one of the two most controversial issues in the series didn’t even merit a mention in the most prominent weekly new releases rundown on a site dedicated to reporting on comics. It’s a curious omission by a site that has been curiously silent about this title, given how rich a topic of discussion it has the potential to be, combining overall narrative excellence with creators right issues, and how Marvel is handling not only the reissuing of one of the most important superhero comics in history, but how they are handling such elements as Winter’s birth. There’s a slight buzzing in the back of my head that tells me Moore’s penultimate issue, in which the destruction of London is vividly, violently depicted (resulting in Miracleman #15 being the other hugely controversial issue in the run), might actually get talked about by major websites that purport to report on comics. If that’s the case — that the vagina issue is ignored while the BIG DEATH ISSUE is deemed worth talking about — man, comics as a culture is even more fucked than I already figured it is.


§ I also rediscovered Alex Jay’s Stripper’s Guide which has a fine history of Gustave Verbeck, the guy behind the Upside Downs and many other very disturbing comic strips of the belle epoch. Every image in The Upside Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo, to give it the proper title, could be turned upside down for a completely different image. Definitely one of the greatest feats in comics history. It lasted for two years!

§ Finally, congrats to Beat alum and Eisner nominee Zainab Akhtar on joining Comics Alliance. She is missed, but everyone’s gotta move on.

5 Comments on KIbbles ‘n’ Bits 8/20/14: big old catch up, last added: 8/21/2014
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10. Hard Drive Crash Recovery Continues at Stately Beat Manor

NERD COMPUTER ALERT! I know computer stuff isn’t entertaining but I like writing out my experiences just for Google.

I got my laptop back! You may recall that my MacBookPro died just before Comic-Con. A recovery of my files prior to hard drive replacement was made more difficult by the fact that all the folders were locked. But it all turned out pretty good, I think.

I got a copy of Disk Warrior, which is absolutely a lifesaver when a drive crashes. As my MacBookAir has no DVD drive and no firewre or thunderbolt port for target mode anyway, I had to use my iMac at the office. I booted the old MBP in target mode and ran Disk Warrior for about 8 hours. I had only 32 disk errors, so that isn’t long — I’ve heard of disks that have 10Ks of errors that run Disk Warrior for weeks…After this I was able to made a Carbon Copy Cloner back up of the repaired but unsavable disk image…then it was off to Tekserve where my new Crucial 512 gig SSD was installed. (I got the drive on Amazon with my affiliate money. It was VERY affordable!

I just got the repaired MBP back today and was able to restore about 80% of my files and 99% of the important ones from the back up I’d made! And this new drive is fast as hell! So it all worked out pretty good! I use my MBP in clamshell mode which supposedly shortens its life by years, and the thing runs hot as a toaster so it may still be only temporary.

So now I’m backing up EVERYTHING to Backblaze, which has unlimited storage of one disk for $5 a month or $50 a year. (You can also back up an attached external disk drive.) Because the one bad thing, I’m told, is that SSD/Flash drives don’t give you any warning when they crash. They just go BLAM and it’s as if it has been run over by a car. It’s dead Jim. So cloud backup is pretty much a necessity.

As mentioned previously, ALL DRIVES CRASH EVENTUALLY.



If you have a Mac here is the basic protocol against that day:

• Schedule regular backups with Carbon Copy Cloner (or Time Machine which some people say isn’t as good, but you can run that every day) By regular I mean once a day.
• Disk Warrior
• Cheap cloud backup storage

I’m a digital hoarder who still gets upset thinking about a back-up drive that crashed and took 10 gigs of music with it. I don’t remember what the music was but I didn’t like losing it. I feel that this simple regimen is enough to avoid a nervous breakdown for the next time there’s a crash.

With my powerful workhorse back, there will be much more posting here. For various reasons it was just a slog on the MBA. (DO NOT hook up an old MBA to an external monitor!!!!) I hear the new MacBookAir’s can spin around and jump through rings of fire without so much as a fan turning on but I’m not going to upgrade the whole system until next year.

6 Comments on Hard Drive Crash Recovery Continues at Stately Beat Manor, last added: 8/21/2014
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11. Farel Dalrymple On Crafting ‘The Wrenchies’, Contributing To ‘Prophet’, And His Career Influences


By Harper Harris

Farel Dalrymple, best known for his work on the alternative comics series, Pop Gun War at Dark Horse and his contributions to Brandon Graham and Simon Roy’s Prophet for Image (drawing the “John Prophet with a tail” chapters) has recently received critical raves for his latest original graphic novel: The Wrenchies for First Second.

The Wrenchies centers on ruthless gang of young children in a Post Apocalyptic wasteland who fight against the oppression of “the Shadowmen”. This conflict is somewhat thrown on its head when a young boy from our world named Orson; dressed in superhero regalia, with a ghost pal and a love of comics, finds a way to enter into the future and joins this team of misfits.  From there, an epic quest commences and the lines between reality and fiction blur in one of the most stunning pieces of sequential art I’ve laid eyes on this year.

I sat down this past weekend to chat with Dalrymple about the origins of this new effort, his career path thus far, and just what influences drive him creatively.

Harper: Farel, were you a big comics reader as a kid or when did you come into it and how did that turn into a career at some point?

Farel:  Yeah, I read a lot of comics growing up. I guess it was like the biggest thing that my time was most consumed with. I thought a lot about being a cartoonist like kind of when I was ending high school – I remember actually sending away for information for the Joe Kubert Cartooning School which I didn’t end up going to, but yeah, I had this idea for years.  I was like, “Oh, I’m going to be a cartoonist.”  But I think by the time I started going to junior college, I was in my 20s and that’s when I eventually went to art school.  And even then, I was still making comics the whole time but I wasn’t necessarily thinking like, “Oh, I’m going to do this as a career.”  And then by the time I got out of art school, I knew that’s kind of what I wanted to do.  I just wasn’t extremely sure how to break in or anything like that.  It was just kind of like “oh, I want to make a comic book”, so I just kind of started making my own comic books.  And then I started getting some commercial work, doing that and I don’t know, [illustration] just seems to be the only thing that I’ve kind of been halfway decent at.

Harper:  When you were starting out and now, who and what are kind of your biggest influences when you write and when you draw?

Farel:  Well, I think drawing comics, like the act of like storytelling, that kind of thing, I think that mostly just comes from – like when I went to art school, I didn’t study cartooning, I was studying illustration and painting and stuff like that…but I feel like most of that stuff is just from reading Marvel Comics growing up.  So it’s like not story-wise necessarily but like how I tell a story, I feel like it’s very much out of that school, the 70s and 80s Marvel Comics, John Buscema and guys like that.  Also Heavy Metal type stuff, like Moebius, guys like that.  There’s some European influence and a little bit of manga. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Miyazaki is one of my favorite mangas and Akira. I really like those books a lot.


Harper: Let’s get into The Wrenchies a little bit.  Reading the book, it seems to draw from this like massive array of ideas and philosophies and movies and comics and all sorts of different areas.  What were kind of your sources of inspirations for the story?

Farel:  The Wrenchies is such an amalgam of things for me.  I was kind of trying to include all these things from popular culture that I really liked.  One of the big inspirations for The Wrenchies was – especially the way the kids interacted with each other – was this 1979 film Over the Edge.  I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that.

Harper:  Oh, I haven’t.

Farel:  It’s Matt Dillon’s first movie.

Harper:  Ah.

Farel:  It’s about these kids in Colorado or California or something like that, there’s basically nothing in this town for them to do, they’re just sort of bored, and so they party all the time, like drink and do drugs and they end up like rioting at the school and shooting cops and things like that. I just really like the way these kids interacted with each other.  It just seemed realistic.  And so even though my story’s total fantasy, like weird kind of silly stuff, I tried to not just have all these sort of different things that I liked putting them in there but it was – the kind of underlying thing was really personal to me, particularly philosophy.  I’m not a big student of philosophy necessarily but for example, the book The Brothers Karamazov, I really like the way that book made me feel like when I read it, I kept having to put it down and think about it and I guess that’s kind of what I was trying to do with The Wrenchies. I don’t know if I succeeded in that. I might have just ended up confusing a lot of people but it all makes sense to me when I read it and look at it.  But yeah, there is this kind of really personal nature to it that I tried to sort of make fun for people to read. But I don’t know, hopefully it won’t be like too frustrating for anyone like trying to decipher it or figure out what it’s supposed to mean, because it’s ultimately just a fantasy story that hopefully is fun.

Harper:  With so many different characters and all the timelines, where did the story start for you?  Was it with Sherwood and Orson that start the book, the Wrenchies gang that the title comes from, or Hollis?

Farel:  That’s kind of interesting – the story of The Wrenchies actually was inspired from the – the short story that I have in the back of The Wrenchies, “Photogalactica” which was originally in an anthology called Meathaus, it was the last Meathaus anthology we did, Meathaus S.O.S.  It was just a group of people from New York and other places that I was involved with, we put out this anthology and I couldn’t remember exactly why I wrote that particular story, but that was definitely like the springboard for The Wrenchies, and the character Hollis actually, though I used in some other stuff from way before that for an anthology for Chris Pitzer’s book Project: Superior and then a follow up Superior Showcase.  I just wrote a couple stories about this goofy kid and when I was plotting out the whole story of The Wrenchies, I got kind of wrapped up, because I wanted him in the story. I didn’t exactly know where but I kind of got wrapped up in him as a character, I’m really drawn to him. And so he became, I guess, kind of the heart of the story, kind of. The main character, to me, is Sherwood, but Hollis is kind of the hero of the story, so he kind of took on a bigger role as I was writing it and stuff.

Harper: I know The Wrenchies has been something you’ve been working on for a pretty long time. How has the idea changed from when you started on it until the point when it was finished?  Was it totally different by the time you reached completion or is it something that you had a pretty clear vision of when you started?


Farel:  When I was first writing it, I was working on a book, an older book that I did called Pop Gun War.  I was working on a sequel and this was about seven years ago.  When I moved to Portland, I met an agent and I was having trouble working on that story because I wasn’t really getting paid for it, it was just kind of something I wanted to do.  So when I met this agent, she suggested I pitch an original story to First Second and I had this “Photogalactica” thing and I was thinking about down the road, developing it into something else. I put together this pitch and the agent wanted me to come up with some art. I wrote three pages of plot and I did 15 or so different drawings. I feel like the plot, the bare bones nature of it, is pretty close to what ended up being the final book, definitely the ending is the same. I’ve added a lot of stuff over the years, filling it out.  But, it’s pretty much the same, like I knew those chapters were going to be divided in such a way and which characters were going to be prominent and which story was going to be told in what style. There were definitely a lot of things that changed, but the basic premise of the story was the same.

Harper: What was your process on the writing side, since this was something that you’re writing and drawing?  Were you always writing a script or were you creating any sort of thumbnails?

Farel:  Yeah, I was kind of doing thumbnails as I worked on it.  Maybe 30 pages at a time or something like that I would try to thumbnail.  Basically a chapter or half a chapter, I would go ahead and thumbnail a bunch of pages and then I switched up my process a little bit from chapter to chapter. I had some lulls when I wasn’t as productive as I would have liked to have been. Just problem solving mainly, like storytelling challenges and kind of making certain things line up with other things.  Kind of brought me to a standstill a couple of times.

Harper:  I can imagine with something this complicated…

Farel:  And plus too there was the not realizing when I started how ambitious that I was being.  It took me a lot longer than I thought it was going to take, so I was also having to work on other stuff in the between time to like pay rent and things like that. But, the last chunk of the book, I had a pretty good system down where I would just use a wall of my studio to have all the pages up that I had left to do and I would just thumbnail right on that, on the wall. I put up a big piece of paper anyway, I didn’t do it actually on the physical wall. I’d just try to wake up every day, work on a spread and try to finish the spread in a day and then check that off the little list on the wall so I had kind of a visual thing to look at.  I didn’t quite do one every day but I definitely picked up my pace there at the end which was kind of nice to prove to myself.  Like okay, I can do that, I can work a little fast if I really, really need to!  But most of the time, I was taking my time with it.

Harper:  I can just kind of imagine this like giant thing on the wall with yarn, strings and different colors and all these timelines connected like a – you Wrenchies-Sampler_Page_03know, some crazy thing….

Farel:  Oh yeah, it did look a little serial killer-ish.

Harper:  Yeah, that’s exactly what I was thinking.

Farel:  I kept adding notes – that was a thing too, the last chapter,  that was kind of the hardest to sort of figure out, was to make everything kind of sync up because all the years that I was working on it, I kept like adding and getting ideas for things.  “Oh, I want to do this and this” and “this will develop the Sherwood character more” and “I’ll put this in”. I had to edit a bunch of stuff out just to get it done because it would have been like twice the size as it is now if I just kept going.

Harper:  How much fun did you have drawing the cross-sections of the secret headquarters?  Those are definitely some of my favorite pages in the book.

Farel:  Oh yeah, that was a blast.  I love doing stuff like that.  It would be fun to do more –sadly, it doesn’t lend itself I guess to the best storytelling, you know? It’s a fun visual thing.

Harper:  Yeah, that’s for the companion book with all the maps to the hideouts.  So of all the characters in The Wrenchies, which character do you feel like you kind of most identify with or maybe when you were a kid, which one of these characters would you have identified with?

Farel:  Well, I guess that’s why I like that Hollis guy so much.  I remember hearing someone talk about that character, they sounded like irritated by him and I didn’t take it personally or anything but it was just kind of funny to me that this person had almost like a negative emotional response to him ’cause I love him.  I know he’s kind of supposed to be dorky or nerdy or whatever, you know, like I guess kind of sweetly pathetic or something.  There’s just, I guess, a lot of me in there, from when I was that age or around that age or I guess even now, sometimes. I’d say him probably the most.  But there’s also Sherwood, there’s a lot of autobiographical elements in that character, kind of obvious ones. Not obviously the fantastic stuff, but my anxieties and neurosis and all that was kind of cathartic for me working on him.  It was kind of like including myself as a character in the book.  From a more relatable level though, its Hollis for sure.

Harper:  Yeah, that makes sense.  And you use Sherwood to literally slay your demons, right?

Farel:  Yeah, exactly.

Harper:  What drew you to putting the plot together in such a kind of non-linear fashion?  Was there an inspiration or an influence that kind of led to that format for the book?

Farel:  I can’t really think of anything book wise to compare it to. I tend to think a lot of movies do that and can kind of get away with it.  I don’t know why that is, but Pulp Fiction and Fight Club and stuff like that,  I feel like that’s more common in that medium.  To me, writing this book, it didn’t seem like it was a big deal to me to do that.  I wasn’t necessarily trying to make a comic book that’s going to be a movie–I was kind of trying to do the opposite–it was just the most easy way to organize everything for me. The Wrenchies is like five different like comic books that are all telling the same story.  It’s akin to the old Fantastic Four, even within the issue they would have different chapters and stuff and I just really like that sort of thing. Pop Gun War was kind of similar too, though I did release that in issues first. I guess with The Wrenchies, it was more – I could make each chapter as many or as little pages as I wanted to, so I just tried to kind of keep them all sort of similar in length wise.  I felt like the quest chapter I could have made three times as long as it was, but I also started working on a web comic at the same time. I had to decide if I would incorporate some of this admittedly fun material here or there. I decided to hold some of it back for this webcomic.

Harper:  Was there ever a thought to do The Wrenchies in single issue serialized form or was it always an idea as a graphic novel?

Farel:  I thought about it, but I guess I wasn’t on my mind when I first met the agent and went to First Second with the pitch.  It was after I actually started working on it and was like, “Oh man, this would be so much easier if I could just do it issue by issue” –particularly in getting feedback from people after they see it in print. I had never really worked on anything like that long in isolation before, but First Second doesn’t really do that kind of single issue thing typically beyond the promotional Battling Boy comic. They’re all just graphic novels. That was kind of the deal going into it, so it was too late at that point to serialize it.  I thought about doing it online or something, but I was so focused on just trying to get the thing done that I was just, “Okay, I’ve just got to like keep my head down and power through this”.


Harper:  So I saw the other day the Remainder short story that’s on Tor.com. How did that come about?  Where did that come in the process?

Farel:  That was Gina Gagliano at First Second, she’s their publicist and I’ve been working with her a lot, going over some different promotional ideas and things like that. Because First Second is owned by McMillan ultimately, and they’re also owned by Tor, I think they have like a good relationship and she suggested it to me.  She was like, “Hey, do you want to do a 10 page story on Tor.com that’ll come out around the same time the book’s coming out, this promotional thing?”  It sounded like a good idea to me, so I just started working out ideas in my sketchbook. I did all The Wrenchies pages on bristle board or watercolor paper, but “Remainder” I just started drawing in my sketchbook. I kind of did a little bit of a different process, where there was a mix of some Photoshop in there, which in The Wrenchies there’s hardly any Photoshop at all.  It’s mostly just scanned straight in with some cleanup around the edges. The actual art is like pretty much what you see is what you get with the pages: the original pages. The “Remainder” story I kind of did a little more piecemeal where I would do a spread and then kind of try to clean up the seam, hopefully it looks pretty seamless. I guess people that have a little savvier of an eye can spot the differences in the art style, I guess.

Harper:  It was just neat to see, for one, more of Bug Gun Guy, which is also the greatest character name of all time, I have to say.

Farel:  Yeah, that just came out of Hollis, I wrote a scene in The Wrenchies where Hollis referred to him as that. So, while I was writing this story, I just started calling him that and it was like okay, that’s just going to be his name.  But all that stuff in there is like the title of that, “Remainder”, and those two characters that feature kind of more prominently in that story are characters that kind of disappear in the book, so it’s like a little follow up to them.  I guess that – that part was kind of fun, you know, like getting to do a little like “Hey, what happened to these guys” kind of thing.

Harper:  Do you plan on doing any other kind of stories within The Wrenchies universe or anything else like “Remainder”?

Farel:  Oh yeah.  All the stuff that I write, the comics that I do myself, are all in the same universe and I can do whatever I want with them. I have some like crossover characters between like the Pop Gun War stuff that I do, like Hollis is going to be in the next Pop Gun War story.

Harper:  Awesome.

Farel:  And yeah, the web comic that I mentioned earlier, I just think of that as being in the same post-apocalyptic whatever fantasy world that The Wrenchies live in. There might be some crossover going on in there in the future, I don’t know.  I want to do a Wrenchies sequel, just like a straight up part two. Particularly to follow more of Sherwood’s life on board this space station that I talk about in The Wrenchies.  As I was working on it, I was kind of throwing things in a file for the next book, which I haven’t really started even really thinking too much about how I’m going to organize it all.  But I definitely want to do a Wrenchies follow up and possibly like a third one too.

Harper:  I’ll be watching for the expanding “Farel-verse”, I guess, right?

Farel:  I like that.

Harper: I wanted to briefly talk about the title that led me to find your work, which is Prophet. You did a lot of work on that in the very beginning of when they relaunched it. How did you find yourself on that project?

Farel:  Well, that was pretty much through Brandon Graham who’s an amazing cartoonist in his own right, with King City and Multiple Warheads. I don’t even know exactly how it came about but, Rob Liefeld was relaunching his line from the 90s and I don’t know if he suggested doing it or Eric Stephenson asked him to do it personally, I’m not sure. Somehow, down the road, he told me he was writing this science fiction comic: “It’s Conan in space.” I never really read the old Prophet but I loved that description.  I said: “Oh, I love Conan and Conan in space, that sounds amazing!  I want to do that!”  That was really fun to do and I kind of couldn’t really afford to do it because I was supposed to be working on The Wrenchies, but it was such a cool opportunity getting to work with Brandon who’s one of my favorite cartoonists. I guess the weird factor of that book too, I don’t really see a lot of American comics that look anything like that or seem anything like that, so it just seemed like just kind of an amazing opportunity that I couldn’t turn down.  I only did two issues really, so that should have just been a quick thing for me, but I spent way too long on that, especially that second issue I spent way too long working on.  But, I’m glad I did it and yeah, it’s awesome getting to work with all those guys on that series and hang out with them too.  I did a little on some of the later issues, a couple pages here and there and some covers. I would have loved to have drawn more of that because that is a really cool series. It’s one of my favorites.

Harper:  With Earth War coming up, are you going to be involved in that at all?

Farel:  No, I’ve got too much stuff on my plate.  I’d love too. I think Simon (Roy) is writing that too, right?

Harper: Yeah, they’ve started heavily co-writing.

Farel:  Yeah, that would have been really cool.  I think they kind of have their whole like art team locked in. And…they’re doing that Strike File stuff which I wanted to do some stuff for that too, but I just…

Harper:  Oh, the Farel-verse calls!

Farel: Yeah, I know, that’s what I’m saying.  I’m 42 now, I’ve got to get on the Farel-verse train.

Harper:  The material that you’re working on now, what can your fans look forward to coming out in the next couple months or years?

Farel:  Well, the two things, I just did like three pages for a Captain Victory kind of reboot thing.  I think Dynamite is putting it out, so I’m just finishing that up. I’m also working on a science fiction love story with a writer, Chris Stevens, that’s going to be in Dark Horse Presents once I get enough pages done on it.  I only have eight done at the moment but that’s going to be around 90 pages or something like that when it’s finished. I’m also working on that Pop Gun War sequel again.  I started working on that again.

Harper:  Do you know which issue of Dark Hose Presents that story’s going to start in?

Farel:  I don’t know actually.  I was supposed to have enough stuff done to have it be in the first issue but that was months and months ago.  But, with all The Wrenchies promotional stuff, I haven’t had time to work on it.  At this point there’s not really a date set.  I think it’s just once I get enough pages to where it’s a safe bet that I won’t make the book late or anything, I think they’re going to start scheduling it.  I’m kind of driving the writer a little crazy I think with how slow I’m being on it.

Harper:  Where can your fans find more of your work and find all your stuff online and follow you on all the social media and all that good stuff?

Farel:  Well, I have a website, it’s just FarelDalrymple.com.  Or that’s also PopGunWar.com. I have links there to Facebook and all that stuff.  My web comic which I have been taking a break from the past couple months, but I’m going to get back on it is called It Will All Hurt and it’s on the Study Group Comics website which has a bunch of other web comics by a bunch of brilliant cartoonists.

2 Comments on Farel Dalrymple On Crafting ‘The Wrenchies’, Contributing To ‘Prophet’, And His Career Influences, last added: 8/21/2014
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12. Frank Miller speaks from the NY Times to Playboy, on sex, violence and masculinity


With Sin City 2 finally opening this weekend, creator and co-director Frank Miller is making the PR rounds, speaking out at length publicly for the first time since the mixed reception of Holy Terror and his incendiary Occupy comments. First up was a very nice front page of the Arts & Leisure piece in the Sinday Times — which is as close to anointment as a cultural figure as it gets. There was a polite Dave Itzkoff profile (ALERT: I am quoted in the piece):
Purveyor of a Stylish Brutality in which he talks about the reception of The Spirit for the first time:

“It tossed me back on my heels,” Mr. Miller said of the film’s failure. “And it made me smarter. There are a million things that can go wrong with a movie, and you’ve got to get them all right. I still approach the set with great confidence.”

There’s also a positive review of his books by Dana Jennings:

His loose line often jumps the tracks into raw Expressionism. Many of the drawings look as if they were backlit by chain lightning, and his renderings make snow, rain and cigarette smoke look as sentient as his characters. His panels are all slash and shadow, evoking the bold ink work of old comics masters like Milton Caniff and Alex Toth.
One of the most exquisite sequences in “Big Damn Sin City” comes in the brief story “Silent Night,” as the hulking Marv shambles through a blizzard, the snow whipping in an almost galactic darkness. Marv is a crucifix-wearing bruiser trying to set the world as right as he can, and in these few pages Northern Renaissance woodcut precision meets graphic novel guts.

20Q Frank Miller p. 100 101 by Gavin Bond.jpg

And today there’s a 20 Questions with Miller in Playboy (NSFW) condustced by Rob Tannenbaum. A publicist made an excerpt available:

On his early Hollywood experiences:  “I came back from RoboCop2 convinced that writing a screenplay was the equivalent of building a fire hydrant and then having dogs run around and piss on it.  I swore I’d never touch movies again.  I don’t see how I could function in film if I didn’t have my comics.  I think screenplays are essentially stupid.  I certainly do not regard working in Hollywood as a step up from comics, by any means.”
On why he changed his mind and helped adapt Sin City for the big screen:  “Because Robert Rodriguez said he wanted to show me what he would do with Sin City.  The irony here is that I designed Sin City so it could not be adapted to film.  I wanted to show people what comics would do that movies couldn’t.  When Rodriguez showed up, I was so ornery.  I ignored his first three phone calls.  I wouldn’t even meet him in my home.  I met him at a Hell’s Kitchen bar.  He showed me some rough work he’d done, and it was impressive.  I thanked him and told him the answer was no.  He went back to Texas.  Then he said maybe we could shoot a scene just to see what it was like.  It’s not the sort of offer you turn down.  So I went to Texas, where he had built a fully functional set, and at one point Marley Shelton looked at me with her beautiful big eyes and said, ‘Why did my character hire somebody to kill her?’  Marley grasped it all and went out and gave three times the performance she had before.  I walked over to Robert, kicked him in the shins and said, ‘I’m in.’”
On his current relationship with Robert Rodriguez:  “He’s the P.T. Barnum, the overall boss of the crew and t
20Q Frank Miller Playbill by Gavin Bond.jpg
he most energetic force on the set.  I’ve often joked with him that if he were Elvis Presley, I’d be Bob Dylan, because I like to go off alone and work quietly with people.  I’m the guy actors go to when they need to ask a question about the characters.  On my comic strips I work alone.  When I first got involved in filmmaking, which I never thought I’d do, my biggest fear was working with actors.  And it ended up being my greatest joy, because I know the backstories of all the characters and I finally have somebody to explain them to.”
On the prevalence of sex and violence in his films:  “It’s not possible to tell a good story without conflict, and the best forms of conflict are sex and violence.  I make no apologies for the kind of work I do.  You’ll find plenty of violence and sex in grand opera and epic poetry too.”
On how 300 rattled Iranian politicians:  “I’m ready for my fatwa now.  [laughs]  I’m banned from Iran, but believe me, I’ve made much greater sacrifices.  What I love is that I actually made the Iranian government change its historical policy toward Persia.  It went from despising the empire of Persia to all of a sudden loving it, after 300.  Persia had been a globe-spanning empire, then Muhammad came along and changed the mentality and rewrote all the histories.  Iran’s days of empire are long gone, and they were just looking for something to get pissed off about.”
On his thoughts about movies adapted from comics he wrote:  “When people come out with movies about characters I’ve worked on, I always hate them.  I have my own ideas about what the characters are like.  I mean, I can’t watch a Batman movie.  I’ve seen pieces of them, but I generally think, No, that’s not him.  And I walk out of the theater before it’s over.”
On whether or not the stigma of being a comic-book artist will ever vanish:  “I hope not.  I hope we never lose it.  People like to refer to comic books as graphic novels or sequential storytelling, all kinds of crazy words.  Graphic novels sounds like we’re porn.  I like the term comic book, because it sounds like something you fold up and put in your back pocket.  I like the goofiness of them.  One reason I enjoy the Marvel Comics movies is that they’re fun.  A lot of superhero movies are pompous.  At one point I was watching Superman, and all I could do was an impersonation of him saying, ‘Hi, I can fly and you can’t.’  Whereas Captain America, the Hulk and Iron Man are a bunch of mixed-up crazy kids, just like the readers.”
On his “maladjusted” childhood:  “I was maladjusted only in that I didn’t get along with the rest of the world very well.  But I was a happy enough kid.  I had an idyllic childhood in the country.  My grades were pretty good until high school, when I discovered girls, marijuana and beer.”
On his views about masculinity:  “I believe there has been a crisis of masculinity in modern times, and the 1940s-style gentleman needs to make a comeback—the sort of man who opens the door for women and compliments them and does things for them.  I believe it’s a biological function of men, because we tend to be larger than women, to be protective of them.  If I were to try to zero in, comic-book-like, on when masculinity went awry, I’d say it was when Rod Stewart sang, ‘You are my lover, you’re my best friend,’ rather than allowing there to be two people in his life who served two very important functions.” 

Oh, Frank Miller.

Miller’s frail appearance at San Diego has elicited many comments and emails. Whether you think the above is wacky or not, clearly his personality is intact.

Sin City 2 opens this Friday.

Photo credit: Playboy/Gavin Bond

16 Comments on Frank Miller speaks from the NY Times to Playboy, on sex, violence and masculinity, last added: 8/21/2014
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13. Report: Hobby games industry hits $700 million

ICv2 has a new report on the size of a market, this time the hobby game market—games like Magic, Warhammer,various card capture games, D&D and so on which he estimates as being a $700 million industry — not far below the comics industry size of $870 million. : Here’s the pr:
Pop culture experts ICv2 released today the results of their study on the hobby game market and it shows that the North American market totaled $700 million at retail for 2013.  Breaking down the estimate for the total industry by category shows that collectible games was the largest at $450 million; miniatures second at $125 million; boardgames were third at $75 million; card and dice games fourth at $35 million; with RPGs coming in last at $15 million.  “Hobby games” are defined as those games produced for “gamers”and are most often sold in the hobby channel or game and card specialty stores, but these items are not limited to sales in that market.


ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp commented, “A $700 million market is a significant geek culture market segment.  With the growth it’s been experiencing, a billion dollar market is within reach in the next few years, and hopefully this kind of industry analysis will help us get there.  I cannot thank enough the industry insiders who helped us compile these estimates.  Without their willingness to speak frankly with us about their own estimates of market size and the reasoning behind them, we would have been unable to complete this project.”

The hobby game industry remained strong in the Spring season of 2014, according to information compiled by ICv2.  In collectible games, WizKids’ Dice Masters was the red hot and hard-to-find item due to high demand.  Magic: The Gathering led the pack, but not as strongly as previous seasons.  Boardgames continued to grow with support from hard core gamers and an influx of mainstream gamers coming over from other markets.  The heat in the miniatures category came from Star Wars X-Wing and Star Trek Attack Wing, with any extra space filled by anticipation of the new edition of Warhammer 40K.  The big news in the Card and Dice Game category was high interest and quick sell-out of both Boss Monster and Adventure Time Card Wars.  The largest change overall in the RPG category was the failure ofDungeons & Dragons to hit the Top 5 list for Spring, before the release of the new edition.  This change is a first in ICv2′s decade long history of sales reporting on the hobby game industry.

1 Comments on Report: Hobby games industry hits $700 million, last added: 8/20/2014
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14. MariNaomi begins Cartoonists of Color Databse


Cartoonist MariNaomi is starting a database of cartoonists of color (COC) and you can upload your details as explained in the link. There’s a FAQ:

What is a Cartoonist of Color?
Cartoonists of Color (COC) is a play off of the acronym “POC.” POC stands for “person of color.” A POC is anyone who identifies as non-Caucasian (non-white). In these forthcoming pages, you’ll find comics creators of various ethnicities: African American, Korean Canadian, Indian Singaporian, Turkish American, Iranian British, Japanese American and so many more. 

Why a Cartoonists of Color Database?
For visibility. For academia. For inspiration. For community building.

How can I submit my info to this database?
To submit a creator (yourself or anyone), please fill out this form.

1 Comments on MariNaomi begins Cartoonists of Color Databse, last added: 8/20/2014
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15. New documentary on the DOOMED Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie from 1994

Before Marvel became the toast of tinsel town, there were some pretty dreadful Marvel-based movies—and I’m not just talking Howard the Duck. Dolph Lundgren starred as The Punisher in 1989, but the movie got only a very limited theatrical release. A 1990 version of Captain America starring JD Salinger’s son, Matt, was so bad it sat on the shelf fro two years before being released in the dead of night on cable. BU worst of all was a Fantastic Four movie produced by legendary horror filmmaker Roger Corman that never got released at all, although bootlegs have long circulated. (There’s an awful JLA pilot from a little bit later that is also pretty horrid, but not much worse than the Superboy TV show that actually aired for a season.) All this would change just three years later with the release of the first Blade movie, and the avalanche of superhero movies would follow to the point where, they are the bread and butter of the whole filmmaking industry.

But if you want to see how NOT to do it, some folks have put together a whole documentary about the making of the FF film, called DOOMED: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s THE FANTASTIC FOUR And you can see a sneak peek above. According to the PR, this documentary will “shed new light on the mysterious circumstances surrounding this legendary cult classic and “lost” Roger Corman film, THE FANTASTIC FOUR.” I didn’t know that there were that many secrets besides the movie being very rough, but director Marty Langford and executive producer Mark Sikes will reveal all in this film. One of the problems, as revealed in the above snippet, is that they had only $1 million to make the movie. Even in 1994 that didn’t get you very far. (although I do like the non-CGI Thing a bit.) Marvel historian Sean Howe will appear, and I’m sure there will be lots of dirt in the final film.

The movie was partially crowdfunded, and you can follow along with more news on how to see it on Facebook of course.


5 Comments on New documentary on the DOOMED Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie from 1994, last added: 8/20/2014
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16. Comics stars taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — UPDATED with Bendis and more

So far, I’ve only found one — Billy Tucci! Tragically, Tucci did not call out other comics folks, so the charity meme has not yet spread to out part of the world. But let’s give Billy a hand for doing it!

In case you missed it, the ice bucket challenge is meant to draw attention to ALS, aka Lou Gehrig disease. When called out, you must either dump a bucket of ice over yourself or donate $100 to the ALS Foundation. Most celebs who have been doing this do both. You make a mideo of yours;f getting dumbed on, and call out someone to take the challenge next at the end of your video.

It’s a fun way to while away the summer—somehow I don’t think this would be as popular in November. People who have done it so far include Lady Gaga, Robert Downey Jr., Justin Bieber (he didn’t actually use ice), Steven Spielberg, Carrie Underwood, Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, the NY Mets, the NY Jets, and a bunch of nerdlebrities folks like Tom Hiddleston (very popular),

Chris Pratt, Nathan Fillion, James Gunn and Stephen Amell.

I found Dave Bautista’s by far the most impressive however.

When we look back at the summer of 2014, will it be as the time that famous people dumped ice on themselves? In these turmoil filled days, it’s nice to have something giving and fun and silly to talk about.

Meanwhile, comic folk, step up!

UPDATED: OK OK, I missed Brian Bendis:

Who calls out Fraction and Oeming.

And Frank Tieri, although I can’t find his video,

who called out Scott Snyder:

I’m told Dynamite’s Nick Barrucci also took the challenge.

So NOW we’re getting somewhere!

2 Comments on Comics stars taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — UPDATED with Bendis and more, last added: 8/20/2014
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17. Unassuming Barber Shop: The Watcher


If you’ve been reading Marvel’s latest summer event series Original Sin, you know that (spoiler alert) the Watcher is dead.

Uatu will no doubt return someday. Until then, I wonder how many Marvel writers are furious. I would be. The Watcher is the perfect cliffhanger. Spider-man: “Hey Shocker, this is just a run-of-the-mill bank heist, right? Wait, is that Uatu in the shimmering haze above the city? Uh oh.”

The Watcher was created by Lee and Kirby for the April 1963 Fantastic Four #13. In the story, the FF essentially win the space race by traveling to the mysterious Blue Area of the moon.


But they are not alone. ff13dHot on their trail are the Soviets in the form of the Red Ghost and a bunch of test subject apes who (when exposed to cosmic radiation) become Super-apes.


On the moon, all parties meet Uatu, who reveals his passive, but commanding presence. He is, as Mark Alexander notes, Kirby’s “first space god.” We were trying to get up there for some reason, right? A lot of weird sixties political stuff happens after that (spoiler: we win), so track down the story. It is also the first FF issue inked by Steve Ditko.


The moon is the real main attraction here. These were big years for the space race, with John Glenn achieving Earth orbit in 1962, thus narrowing the gap with the Russians. In this first appearance, the Watcher is just a symbolic plot device to mediate the Cold War. He is also kind of a spy, providing a big, white moral presence in space. This idea of learning secrets from the air also might hint at the Cuban Missile Crisis of the previous year. Our aerial reconnaissance of Cuba was called Operation Blue Moon.

The Watcher would become a much bigger part of classic FF stories to come.


But the Watcher himself? He’s so Marvel now, but he may have started at DC. A story in the Julie Schwartz-edited Strange Adventures #8 from May 1951 called “Evolution Plus”  has some interesting similarities. Written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Bob Oksner, the story featured a scientist named “Ralph Gain” who creates an evolution machine that uses cosmic rays to evolve animals into all sorts of interesting forms.


But Ralph has a jealous friend named Johnny Farrel who accidentally kills his pal Ralph and uses the machine on himself. Ralph doesn’t know what he is doing (it’s science), so he gets transformed into a variety of weird creatures, including this one:


Johnny eventually overloads the machine and turns into a giant amoeba. By the end, he is trapped in one body forever: a gorilla’s.

Now a super-ape, Ralph walks through the city in a fedora and oversized trenchcoat. The first image is from Strange Adventures, the second from FF #1:


Fantastic Four 3

Johnny the Gorilla-Man ends up in a zoo, a victim of his own greed. He can still write, albeit poorly.


Strange Adventures #18 is also important to collectors because it is the first gorilla cover, inciting the Ape Craze of the fifties.

Maybe it launched more than that.


Until next time, so long Uatu. We have plenty of memories.


Brad Ricca is the author of Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster – The Creators of Superman, now available in paperback. He also writes the column “Luminous Beings Are We” for StarWars.com. Visit www.super-boys.com and follow @BradJRicca.

NOTE:  In case you missed our last, two-part mega-installment about the Dark Knight that ran during the maelstrom of Comic-Con, be sure to catch up on Batman Country here.

1 Comments on Unassuming Barber Shop: The Watcher, last added: 8/20/2014
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18. Marvel Month-to-Month Sales July 2014: Raucous Raccoon Rockets up the Ranks

rocket raccoon #1by Jason Enright

This is a pretty standard month. Overall, comics sales were strong this month, and while many ongoing Marvel books followed standard attrition rates, they made up for those losses with several anniversary specials and new debuts that posted strong numbers. The big brand to follow is Guardians of the Galaxy which launches several new spin-off series this month to capitalize on the movie release. Let’s look at a breakdown of this month’s Marvel books.

91 titles in total
16 double shipped books
5 X-Men books (7 if you count X-Factor and X-Force)
7 Avengers books (8 if you count the Ultimates)
5 100th Anniversary specials
19 Original Sin and Original Sin Tie-In books

2 titles over 100,000 copies
4 titles between 75,000 and 100,000 copies
9 titles between 50,000 and 75,000 copies
45 titles between 25,000 and 50,000 copies
31 titles under 25,000
3 $4.99 books
84 $3.99 books
4 $2.99 books

Now let’s dive into the numbers.

Thanks as always to ICV2.com and Milton Griepp for their permission to use these figures.

07/14  Rocket Raccoon #1  -  293,913*  (---)

So Rocket Raccoon debuted with big numbers, but we have to clarify that about 100,000 copies out of that order were part of a promotion with Loot Crate so the actual sales of Rocket Raccoon are closer to 200,000. Still a very strong debut and a big win for Marvel’s little raccoon.

3. Amazing SPIDER-MAN
07/04  Am Spi #506   –  84,755
07/09  Am Spi #590   -	 116,779
07/11  Am Spi #658   -	 135,568
07/12  Am Spi #688   -  58,976
07/13  Superior #13 -  81,678  (  -0.8%)
07/13  Superior #14 -  80,839  (  -1.0%)
08/13  Superior #15 -  78,636  (  -2.7%)
08/13  Superior #16 -  78,087  (  -0.7%)
09/13  Superior #17 -  89,118  ( +14.1%)
09/13  Superior #18 -  80,178  ( -10.0%)
10/13  Superior #19 -  83,671  (  +4.4%)
10/13  Superior #20 -  85,309  (  +2.0%)
11/13  Superior #21 -  74,940  ( -12.2%)
11/13  Superior #22 -  81,250  (  +8.4%)
12/13  Superior #23 -  77,105  (  -5.1%)
12/13  Superior #24 -  76,131  (  -1.3%)
01/14  Superior #25 -  77,311  (   1.5%)
01/14  Superior #26 -  72,591  (  -6.1%)
02/14  Supr #27.Now -  86,405  (  19.0%)
02/14  Superior #28 -  75,477  ( -12.6%)
03/14  Superior #29 -  76,568  (   1.4%)
03/14  Superior #30 -  75,431  (  -1.5%)
04/14  Superior #31 – 135,484  (  79.6%)[13,234]
04/14  Amazing v3 #1- 532,586  ( 293.1%)[23,871]
05/14  Amazing v3 #2- 123,945  ( -76.7%)
06/14  Amazing v3 #3- 109,029  ( -12.0%)
07/14  Amazing v3 #4- 117,917  (   8.2%)O.S. Tie-In
6 mnth  (  62.4%)
1 year  (  45.9%)
2 year  ( 100.0%)
3 year  ( -13.0%)
5 year  (   1.0%)
10 year (  39.1%)

Amazing Spider-Man gets a slight boost due to being an Original Sin tie-in issue. There’s no doubt that Spider-Man will stay one of Marvel’s top books, but the real question is how long it can stay above 100k.

4,6. Original Sin #0
04/14  Original Sin #0 -  73,024 [6,166] 
05/14  Original Sin #1 - 147,045  (101.4%)
05/14  Original Sin #2 -  92,643  (-37.0%)
06/14  Original Sin #3 –  93,351  (  0.8%)
06/14  Original Sin #4 -  88,508  ( -5.2%)
07/14  Original Sin #5 -  91,420  (  3.3%)
06/14  Original Sin #6 -  89,324  ( -2.3%)

Original Sin is staying pretty close to 100k and should end with very strong numbers.

5. SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1
07/14  Spider-Man 2099 #1  -  90,690  (---)

90k is a pretty strong debut for Spider-Man 2099 which bodes well for it in the long term. If it can keep its issue 2 drop to 30% and stay above 60k, then it will be off to a really good start.

07/14  Legendary Star Lord #1 - 78,501 (---)

Another big debut for a Guardians of the Galaxy spin-off book. Not as strong as Rocket Raccoon but still looking good. It will be interesting to watch how big the drops are on this book. I expect this to level out somewhere in the 30k to 40k range in 6 months.

11. Amazing Spider-Man #1.X
05/14  Amazing Spi #1.1  - 116,555 
06/14  Amazing Spi #1.2  -  86,315  (-25.9%)
07/14  Amazing Spi #1.3  -  74,285  (-13.9%)

This is a Spider-man year one story running concurrently with the main Spider-Man book. It is not selling as well as the main book, but with the drops shrinking quickly it looks to be doing pretty well for Marvel.

07/09  Guardians v2 #16 -  26,587
07/13  Guardians v3 #5  - 110,372  ( +54.2%)
08/13  ---
09/13  Guardians v3 #6  -  69,030  ( -37.5%)
10/13  Guardians v3 #7  -  68,647  (  -0.6%)
10/13  Guardians v3 #8  -  63,494  (  -7.5%)
11/13  ---
12/13  Guardians v3 #9  -  57,665  (  -9.2%)
12/13  Guardians v3 #10 -  53,527  (  -7.2%)
01/14  Guardian #11.NOW -  61,111  (  14.7%)
02/14  Guardians v3 #12 -  55,454  (  -9.3%)
03/14  Guardians v3 #13 -  56,764  (   2.4%)
04/14  Guardians v3 #14 -  53,976  (  -4.9%)
05/14  Guardians v3 #15 -  54,332  (   0.7%)
06/14  Guardians v3 #16 -  54,827  (   0.9%)
07/14  Guardians v3 #17 -  62,986  (  14.9%)
6 mnth  (    3.1%)
1 year  (  -42.9%)
5 year  (  136.9%)

We see a nice sales bump for Guardians of the Galaxy as we get closer to the release of the film in August. I’d be very interested to see if this just represents retailers stocking up in anticipation or if they are actually seeing increased interest and increased sales. It will also be interesting to see how long this sales bump lasts before the interest dies down and sales attrition begins again.

07/13  All-New X-Men #14 -  74,848  ( -3.6%)
08/13  All-New X-Men #15 -  73,035  ( -2.4%)
09/13  All-New X-Men #16 -  84,218  (+15.3%)
10/13  All-New X-Men #17 -  82,843  ( -1.6%)
11/13  All-New X-Men #18 -  82,365  ( -0.6%)
11/13  All-New X-Men #19 -  71,044  (-13.7%)
12/13  All-New X-Men #20 -  68,189  ( -4.0%)
01/14  All-New X-Men #21 -  62,876  ( -7.8%)
01/14  All-New #22.NOW   -  76,565  (+21.8%)
02/14  All-New X-Men #23 -  64,625  (-15.6%)
03/14  All-New X-Men #24 -  63,739  ( -1.4%)
04/14  All-New X-Men #25 -  63,827  (  0.1%)
04/14  All-New X-Men #26 -  58,918  ( -7.7%)
05/14  All-New X-Men #27 -  62,269  (  5.7%)
06/14  All-New X-Men #28 -  57,135  ( -8.2%)
06/14  All-New X-Men #29 -  58,817  (  2.9%)
6 mnth  ( -23.2%)
1 year  ( -21.4%)

All-New X-Men gets a nice little bump this month as it wraps up its current storyline. It’ll be interesting to see how long this series can hold on this 58k level it’s been hovering around for a few months.

28, 36. AVENGERS
07/04  Avengers v3 #83 –  105,622
07/11  Avengers v4 #14 –  62,580
07/12  Avengers v4 #27 -  63,169
07/13  Avengers v5 #15 -  68,472  (  -8.5%)
07/13  Avengers v5 #16 -  72,842  (  +6.4%)
08/13  Avengers v5 #17 -  68,962  (  -5.3%)
08/13  Avengers v5 #18 -  74,697  (  +8.3%)
09/13  Avengers v5 #19 -  92,489  ( +23.8%)
09/13  Avengers v5 #20 -  74,388  ( -19.6%)
10/13  Avengers v5 #21 -  71,751  (  -3.5%)
10/13  Avengers v5 #22 -  70,735  (  -1.4%)
11/13  Avengers v5 #23 -  66,501  (  -6.0%)
12/13  Avengers#24.NOW - 127,466  ( +91.7%)
01/14  Avengers v5 #25 -  65,591  ( -48.5%)
02/14  Avengers v5 #26 –  59,775  (  -8.9%)
03/14  Avengers v5 #27 -  53,966  (  -9.7%)
04/14  Avengers v5 #28 -  52,808  (  -2.1%)
05/14  Avengers v5 #29 -  58,661  (  11.1%)
05/14  Avengers v5 #30 -  57,099  (  -2.7%)
06/14  Avengers v5 #31 -  53,933  (  -5.5%) O.S. Tie-In
07/14  Avengers v5 #32 -  56,595  (   4.9%) O.S. Tie-In
07/14  Avengers v5 #33 -  51,874  (  -8.3%) O.S. Tie-In
6 mnth  ( -20.9%)
1 year  ( -28.8%)
2 year  ( -18.0%)
3 year  ( -17.1%)
10 year ( -50.9%)

The first issue of Avengers this month gets a nice boost from being an Original Sin Tie-In but then second issue drops to Avengers’ lowest sales number yet for the current series. In the short run these Original Sin Tie-ins seem to help sales but don’t have a long term effect on sales.

07/04  Uncanny X-Men #446   –  96,966
07/09  Uncanny X-Men #513   –  83,344
07/11  Uncanny X-Men #541   -  55,856
07/12  Uncanny X-Men v2 #16 -  63,835
07/13  Uncanny X-Men v3 #8  -  70,274  (  -4.7%)
07/13  Uncanny X-Men v3 #9  -  67,338  (  -4.2%)
08/13  Uncanny X-Men v3 #10 -  70,903  (  +5.3%)
08/13  Uncanny X-Men v3 #11 -  65,700  (  -7.3%)
09/13  Uncanny X-Men v3 #12 -  76,790  ( +16.9%)
10/13  Uncanny X-Men v3 #13 -  75,202  (  -2.1%)
11/13  Uncanny X-Men v3 #14 -  65,655  ( -12.7%)
12/13  Uncanny #15.INH      -  62,692  (  -4.5%)
01/14  Uncanny X-Men v3 #16 -  58,676  (  -6.4%)
02/14  Uncanny X-Men v3 #17 –  56,163  (  -4.3%)
03/14  Uncanny X-Men v3 #18 -  54,902  (  -2.2%)
03/14  U X-Men #19.NOW      -  64,514  (  17.5%)
04/14  Uncanny X-Men v3 #20 -  55,359  ( -14.2%)
05/14  Uncanny X-Men v3 #21 -  54,747  (  -1.1%)
06/14  Uncanny X-Men v3 #22 -  52,731  (  -3.7%)
07/14  Uncanny X-Men v3 #23 -  55,738  (   5.7%)
07/14  Uncanny X-Men v3 #24 -  53,677  (   5.7%) O.S. Tie-In
6 mnth  (  -8.5%)
1 year  ( -20.3%)
2 year  ( -16.0%)
3 year  (  -3.9%)
5 year  ( -35.6%)
10 year ( -44.6%)

The “Last Will” storyline begins with issue #23 and brings with it a decent sales boost. Issue 24 is branded as an Original Sin Tie-in even though it really isn’t and the branding doesn’t really help bolster sales.

33, 52. DEADPOOL vs.
04/14 Dpool vs. Carnage #1 – 57,275 [4,497]
04/14 Dpool vs. Carnage #2 – 49,374 (-13.8%) [2,757]
05/14 Dpool vs. Carnage #3 – 46,688 (-5.4%)
06/14 Dpool vs. Carnage #4 – 47,228 ( 1.2%)
07/14 Dpool vs. X-Force #1 - 54,762 ( --- )
07/14 Dpool vs. X-Force #2 - 45,047 (-17.7%)

So I decided to list Deadpool Vs. X-Force as a continuation of Deadpool Vs. Carnage so that I could follow the sales trend. Issue 1 of the new series has a decent starting point but issue 2 drops to below where the last mini-series ended. Not sure if this means X-Force is less popular than Carnage or just that retailers just expect this series to sell very similarly to the last one.

07/13  Uncanny Avengers #10 - 68,768  ( -4.3%)
08/13  Uncanny Avengers #11 - 65,447  ( -4.8%)
09/13  Uncanny Avengers #12 - 73,357  (+12.1%)
10/13  Uncanny Avengers #13 - 60,597  (-17.4%)
11/13  Uncanny Avengers #14 - 60,750  ( +0.3%)
12/13  Uncanny Avengers #15 - 57,035  ( -6.1%)
01/14  Uncanny Avengers #16 - 54,670  ( -4.1%)
02/14  Uncanny Avengers #17 – 53,181  ( -2.7%)
03/14  U Avengers #18.NOW   - 63,516  ( 19.4%)
04/14  Uncanny Avengers #19 – 52,381  (-17.5%)
05/14  Uncanny Avengers #20 – 51,886  ( -0.9%)
06/14  Uncanny Avengers #21 – 49,762  ( -4.1%)
07/14  Uncanny Avengers #22 – 50,253  (  1.0%)
6 mnth  (  -8.1%)
1 year  ( -26.9%)

Here we see a little boost for Uncanny Avengers as it nears this story arc’s conclusion and amps up for AXIS. With this book being so closely tied to AXIS it will be interesting to see how that book affects this series’ sales over the next few months.

39, 49. DEADPOOL
07/09  Deadpool v3 #12  - 58,768  
07/11  Deadpool v3 #40 -  27,303 
07/12  Deadpool v3 #56 -  28,706 
07/13  Deadpool v4 #13 -  47,006  (  -2.7%)
08/13  Deadpool v4 #14 -  45,870  (  -2.4%)
08/13  Deadpool v4 #15 -  46,169  (  +0.7%)
09/13  Deadpool v4 #16 -  45,675  (  -1.1%)
09/13  Deadpool v4 #17 -  45,348  (  -0.7%)
10/13  Deadpool v4 #18 -  47,096  (  +3.9%)
11/13  Deadpool v4 #19 -  44,184  (  -6.2%)
12/13  Deadpool v4 #20 -  43,653  (  -1.2%)
12/13  Deadpool v4 #21 -  43,066  (  -1.3%)
01/14  Deadpool v4 #22 -  41,765  (  -3.0%)
02/14  Deadpool v4 #23 -  41,204  (  -1.3%)
02/14  Deadpool v4 #24 -  41,130  (  -0.2%)
03/14  D'pool #25.NOW  -  48,775  (  18.6%)
03/14  Deadpool v4 #26 -  44,141  (  -9.5%)
04/14  Deadpool v4 #27 -  62,037  (  40.5%)[1,992]
05/14  Deadpool v4 #28 -  45,858  (  26.1%)
05/14  Deadpool v4 #29 -  52,403  (  14.3%) O.S. Tie-In
06/14  Deadpool v4 #30 -  54,072  (  14.3%) O.S. Tie-In
07/14  Deadpool v4 #31 -  49,930  (  -7.7%) O.S. Tie-In
07/14  Deadpool v4 #32 -  46,829  (  -6.2%) O.S. Tie-In
6 mnth  (  12.1%)
1 year  (  -0.4%)
2 year  (  63.0%)
3 year  (  71.5%)
5 year  ( -20.3%)

Last month the Original Sin tie-in issues helped boost sales but this month we see a drop in sales. The sales are still higher than before the tie-in issues but are pretty close to the sales numbers before the tie-in event started.

43, 51. ORIGINAL SIN #5.X
07/14  Original Sin #5.1 – 48,596
07/14  Original Sin #5.2 – 46,110 (  -5.1%)

This series doesn’t sell as well as the main Original Sin series, but does sell better than the Thor or Loki series that crossover in this miniseries. So I suppose this can be seen as a win for both of those series, as it may draw new readers in to check out those books.

07/04  Wolverine v3 #17 –  66,593
07/09  Wolverine v3 #76 -  73,968
07/11  Wolverine v4 #12 -  42,110	 
07/12	 Wolverine #310	 -  60,880	 
07/13  Wolverine v5 #6  -  40,593  (  -7.1%)
07/13  Wolverine v5 #7  -  38,605  (  -4.9%)
08/13  Wolverine v5 #8  -  39,830  (  -3.2%)
09/13  Wolverine v5 #9  -  35,920  (  -9.8%)
10/13  Wolverine v5 #10 -  34,651  (  -3.5%)
11/13  Wolverine v5 #11 -  35,394  (  +2.1%)
12/13  Wolverine v5 #12 -  32,274  (  -8.8%)
01/14  Wolverine v5 #13 -  31,164  (  -3.4%)
02/14  Wolverine v6 #1  -  88,923  ( 185.3%)
02/14  Wolverine v6 #2  -  47,339  ( -46.8%)
03/14  Wolverine v6 #3  -  40,735  ( -14.0%)
04/14  Wolverine v6 #4  -  37,732  (  -7.4%)
04/14  Wolverine v6 #5  -  37,563  (  -0.4%)
05/14  Wolverine v6 #6  -  35,571  (  -5.3%)
05/14  Wolverine v6 #7  -  35,039  (  -1.5%)
06/14  Wolverine v6 #8  -  40,491  (  15.6%)
06/14  Wolverine v6 #9  -  42,333  (   4.5%)
07/14  Wolverine v6 #10 -  47,813  (  12.9%)
6 mnth  (  53.4%)
1 year  (  23.9%)
2 year  ( -21.0%)
3 year  (  13.5%)
5 year  ( -35.4%)
10 year ( -28.2%)

Wolverine continues to grow as we get closer to the big death issue, proving that gimmicks like character deaths still equate to a big sales boost for Marvel, which means they’ll keep relying on them.

07/14  Storm #1 – 47,566

Storm debuts at about the same level as Cyclops but lower than Magneto or Nightcrawler. If this series follows the same trajectory as those it will be 25k series in a few months. Issue 2 sales will paint a better picture as we see how far it drops.

07/14 100th Ann Spec. Spider-Man #1 – 46,386

This is an anniversary special selling a little over 1/3 of what Spider-Man normally sells and is the best-selling of the 5 anniversary specials.

07/09  New Avengers v1 #55 -  84,689  
07/11  New Avengers v2 #14 -  58,306  
07/12  New Avengers v2 #24 -  62,739  
07/13  New Avengers v3 #8  -  58,044  (  -3.5%)
08/13  New Avengers v3 #9  -  60,534  (  +4.3%)
09/13  New Avengers v3 #10 -  60,682  (  +0.2%)
10/13  New Avengers v3 #11 -  63,231  (  +4.2%)
11/13  New Avengers v3 #12 -  58,807  (  -7.0%)
12/13  N Avengers #13.INH  -  56,624  (  -3.7%)
01/14  ---
02/14  New Avengers v3 #14 -  50,668  ( -10.5%)
03/14  New Avengers v3 #15 -  47,178  (  -6.9%)
03/14  N Avengers #16.NOW  -  48,731  (   0.0%)
04/14  New Avengers v3 #17 -  45,885  (  -5.8%)
05/14  New Avengers v3 #18 -  43,668  (  -4.8%)
06/14  New Avengers v3 #19 -  41,989  (  -3.8%)
06/14  New Avengers v3 #20 -  41,962  (  -0.1%)
07/14  New Avengers v3 #21 -  42,699  (   1.8%)
1 year  ( -26.4%)
2 year  ( -32.0%)
3 year  ( -26.8%)
5 year  ( -49.6%)

There’s a slight boost for New Avengers which may be leveling out around 40k which is a healthy number.

57, 65. ORIGINAL SIN #3.X
06/14  Original Sin #3.1 – 45,338
07/14  Original Sin #3.2 – 41,756 ( -7.9%)
07/14  Original Sin #3.3 – 40,402 ( -3.2%)

Very small drops for this tie-in miniseries that crosses over Hulk and Iron Man and sells a bit stronger than either of those books sells separately.

07/14  GotG Most Wanted #1 – 40,880

Yet another Guardians spin-off book sells pretty well for Marvel.

07/14 Dpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #1 – 40,790
07/14 Dpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #2 – 38,683 (-5.2%)
07/14 Dpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #3 – 37,449 (-3.2%)
07/14 Dpool Dracula’s Gauntlet #4 – 36,581 (-2.3%)

Another Deadpool miniseries sells very well for Marvel. Deadpool is now singlehandedly a franchise unto himself. He is more popular than any single X-Men or Avenger or Guardian character. He prints money for Marvel and is quickly becoming a brand like Spider-Man.

07/14  100th Ann Special X-Men #1 – 40,584

Second best-selling Anniversary special sells about 2/3 of what the best-selling x-book normally sells.

07/04  Astonishing X-Men #3  - 129,369  
07/11  Astonishing X-Men #40 -  35,593  
07/12  Astonishing X-Men #52 -  35,766  
07/13  Astonishing X-Men #64 -  22,649  (  -2.9%)
08/13  Astonishing X-Men #65 -  22,010  (  -2.8%)
08/13  Astonishing X-Men #66 -  21,757  (  -1.1%)
09/13  Astonishing X-Men #67 -  21,044  (  -3.3%)
10/13  Astonishing X-Men #68 -  21,023  (  -0.0%)
11/13  Amazing X-Men v2 #1   - 112,337  (+434.4%)
12/13  Amazing X-Men v2 #2   -  60,870  ( -45.8%)
01/14  Amazing X-Men v2 #3   -  51,431  ( -15.5%)
02/14  Amazing X-Men v2 #4   -  48,161  (  -6.4%)
03/14  Amazing X-Men v2 #5   -  46,242  (  -4.0%)
04/14  Amazing X-Men v2 #6   -  45,095  (  -2.5%)
05/14  Amazing X-Men v2 #7   -  42,512  (  -5.7%)
06/14  Amazing X-Men v2 #8   -  41,613  (  -2.1%)
07/14  Amazing X-Men v2 #9   -  40,562  (  -2.5%)
6  mnth  ( -21.1%)
1  year  (  79.1%)
2  year  (  13.0%)
3  year  (  14.0%)
10 year  ( -68.6%)

Amazing X-Men is dropping each month, but at least drops are relatively stable around 2 to 2.5%.

07/14  100th Ann Special GotG #1 – 40,449

Guardians Anniversary special sells about 2/3 of what the actual GotG book sells.

70, 83. X-MEN
07/04  X-Men v2 #159 -  93,169  
07/11  X-Men v3 #15  -  43,038  
07/12  X-Men v3 #31  -  35,091  
07/13  X-Men v4 #3  -  65,270  ( -11.2%)
08/13  X-Men v4 #4  -  64,010  (  -1.9%)
09/13  X-Men v4 #5  -  73,357  ( +14.6%)
10/13  X-Men v4 #6  -  71,990  (  -1.9%)
11/13  X-Men v4 #7  -  56,968  ( -20.9%)
12/13  X-Men v4 #8  -  53,201  (  -6.6%)
01/14  X-Men v4 #9  -  49,412  (  -7.1%)
02/14  X-M  #10.Now -  52,486  (   6.2%)
02/14  X-Men v4 #11 -  47,498  (  -9.5%)
03/14  X-Men v4 #12 -  44,135  (  -7.1%)
04/14  X-Men v4 #13 -  42,065  (  -4.7%)
05/14  X-Men v4 #14 -  39,499  (  -6.1%)
06/14  X-Men v4 #15 -  38,271  (  -3.1%)
07/14  X-Men v4 #16 -  38,937  (   1.7%)
07/14  X-Men v4 #17 -  36,255  (  -6.9%)
6  mnth  ( -26.6%)
1  year  ( -44.5%)
2  year  (   3.0%)
3  year  ( -15.8%)
10 year  ( -61.1%)

Two issues of X-Men this month, the first sees a slight sales bump and the second brings with it a drop. At this point in this series life it should be dropping 2 to 3% each month not 5 to 7%. Hopefully, those drops will start shrinking soon.

07/11  Moon Knight v4 #3  -  33,768  
03/14  Moon Knight v5 #1  -  58,022 (  --- ) [7,266]
04/14  Moon Knight v5 #2  -  40,885 (-29.5%) [3,621]
05/14  Moon Knight v5 #3  -  42,607 (  4.2%)
06/14  Moon Knight v5 #4  -  40,348 ( -5.3%)
07/14  Moon Knight v5 #5  -  38,630 ( -4.3%)
3 year  ( 14.4%)

This book has been very stable around 40k, but with the creative team leaving after issue 6, I expect sales to start dropping.

07/04  Thor v2 #82 - 36,096
07/11  Thor v4 #4  - 44,586  
07/12  Thor v4 #17 - 30,879 
07/13  Thor v5 #10 - 46,204  ( -5.9%)
08/13  Thor v5 #11 - 45,397  ( -1.7%)
08/13  Thor v5 #12 - 44,865  ( -1.2%)
09/13  Thor v5 #13 - 48,007  ( +7.0%)
10/13  Thor v5 #14 - 46,008  ( -4.2%)
11/13  Thor v5 #15 - 41,259  (-10.3%)
12/13  Thor v5 #16 - 39,597  ( -4.0%)
01/14  Thor v5 #17 - 38,913  ( -1.7%)
01/14  Thor v5 #18 - 38,190  ( -1.9%)
02/14  Thor #19.Now– 42,034  ( 10.1%)
03/14  Thor v5 #20 – 37,895  ( -9.8%)
04/14  Thor v5 #21 – 38,055  (  0.4%)
05/14  Thor v5 #22 – 36,945  ( -2.9%)
06/14  Thor v5 #23 – 36,540  ( -1.1%)
07/14  Thor v5 #24 – 38,330  (  4.9%)
6 mnth  (   0.4%)
1 year  ( -17.0%)
2 year  (  24.0%)
3 year  ( -14.0%)
10 year (   6.2%)

A nice little boost for Thor this month as the current story arc starts to wrap up and make room for the introduction of a new Thor and a new issue 1 in a few months.

07/04  Daredevil v2 #62  – 52,939
07/11  Daredevil v3 #1   – 64,866
07/12  Daredevil v3 #15  - 38,469 
07/13  Daredevil v3 #28 - 35,364  ( -1.3%)
07/13  Daredevil v3 #29 - 34,915  ( -1.3%)
08/13  Daredevil v3 #30 - 35,240  ( +0.9%)
09/13  Daredevil v3 #31 - 36,666  ( +4.0%)
10/13  Daredevil v3 #32 - 34,957  ( -4.7%)
11/13  Daredevil v3 #33 - 32,966  ( -5.7%)
12/13  Daredevil v3 #34 - 32,331  ( -1.9%)
01/14  Daredevil v3 #35 - 32,067  ( -0.8%)
02/14  Daredevil v3 #36 – 31,494  ( -1.8%)
03/14  Daredevil v4 #1  - 76,006  (141.3%)[1,948]
04/14  Daredevil #1.50  - 48,462  (-36.2%)
04/14  Daredevil v4 #2  - 42,811  (-11.7%)
05/14  Daredevil v4 #3  - 39,316  (-8.2%)
06/14  Daredevil v4 #4  - 37,902  (-3.6%)
07/14  Daredevil v4 #5  - 36,825  (-2.8%)
07/14  Daredevil v4 #6  - 37,959  ( 3.1%)O.S. Tie-In
07/14  Daredevil  #0.1  - 33,437
6 Mnth  (  18.4%)
1 Year  (   8.7%)
2 Year  (  -1.0%)
3 Year  ( -41.5%)
10 Year ( -28.3%)

This month we got issue 6 of the new series which saw a nice sales bump due to being an Original Sin tie-in and we got a .1 issue which collected the Road Warrior digital-first story that connects the old series to the new one. That story sold slightly less than the current series sells.

07/04  Ult. Spider-Man v1 #62 –  98,968
07/09  Ult. Spider Requiem #1 –  40,858
07/12  Ult. Spider-Man v3 #12 -  42,050
07/13  Ult. Spider-Man v3 #25 - 33,271  ( -2.2%)
08/13  Ult. Spider-Man v3 #26 - 32,932  ( -1.0%)
09/13  Ult. Spider-Man v3 #27 - 32,200  ( -2.2%)
10/13  Ult. Spider-Man v3 #28 - 31,462  ( -2.3%)
11/13  Cataclysm USM #1 of 3  - 36,541  (+16.1%)
12/13  Cataclysm USM #2 of 3  - 30,293  (-17.1%)
01/14  Cataclysm USM #3 of 3  - 27,650  ( -8.7%)
02/14  ---
03/14  ---
04/14  Ult. Spider-Man #200   - 41,608  ( 50.5%)
05/14  M.M. Ult Spider-Man #1 - 45,864  ( 10.2%)
06/14  M.M. Ult Spider-Man #2 - 38,231  (-16.6%)
06/14  M.M. Ult Spider-Man #3 - 37,240  ( -2.6%)
6 mnth  (  34.7%)
1 year  (  11.9%)
2 year  ( -11.0%)
5 year  (  -8.9%)
10 year ( -62.4%)

That is a very healthy drop for issue 3 Ultimate Spider-Man. Let’s hope it stabilizes around 35k and keeps the struggling Ultimate universe afloat.

07/14  100th Ann Spec. Avengers #1 – 36,063

The Avengers anniversary special sells 3/5 of what the main Avengers book sells. Not as strong as some of the other specials but it still does well.

02/14  Ms. Marvel #1 -  50,286  (  --- ) [15,155]
03/14  Ms. Marvel #2 -  38,357  (-23.7%) [3,440]
04/14  Ms. Marvel #3 -  37,140  ( -3.2%)
05/14  Ms. Marvel #4 -  34,839  ( -6.2%)
06/14  Ms. Marvel #5 -  33,795  ( -3.0%)
07/14  Ms. Marvel #6 -  36,041  (  6.6%)

Look at that! As Ms. Marvel #1 enters its 6th printing, the 6th issue sees an increase in sales. Looks like retailers are adjusting to match continued demand for this hot new series.

06/14  Original Sins #1 – 39,660
06/14  Original Sins #2 – 36,099 ( -9.0%)
07/14  Original Sins #3 – 34,686 ( -3.9%)
07/14  Original Sins #4 – 32,076 ( -7.5%)

This Original Sin tie-in series is selling under half of the main series. Perhaps there is some overcrowding going on as there are 19 original sin related books this month.

50, 57. Original Sins #1
06/14  Original Sins #1 – 39,660
06/14  Original Sins #2 – 36,099
07/04  Captain America v4 #29  - 40,224  
07/09  Captain America    #601 – 87,786  
07/11  Captain America    #1   - 99,926  
07/12  Captain America v6 #15  - 36,433  
07/13  Captain America v7 #9  - 40,796  (  -6.8%)
08/13  Captain America v7 #10 - 39,356  (  -3.5%)
09/13  Captain America v7 #11 - 38,521  (  -2.1%)
10/13  Captain America v7 #12 - 38,684  (  +0.4%)
11/13  Captain America v7 #13 - 36,147  (  -6.6%)
12/13  Captain America v7 #14 - 34,532  (  -4.5%)
01/14  Captain America v7 #15 - 33,433  (  -3.2%)
02/14  Capt AmericaV7 #16.Now – 36,534  (   9.3%)
02/14  Captain America v7 #17 – 33,312  (  -8.8%)
03/14  Captain America v7 #18 – 33,642  (   1.0%)
04/14  Captain America v7 #19 – 34,420  (   2.3%)
05/14  Captain America v7 #20 – 30,341  (  -9.3%)
06/14  Captain America v7 #21 – 30,427  (   0.3%)
07/14  Captain America v7 #22 – 34,563  (  13.6%)
6 Mnth  (   3.4%)
1 Year  ( -15.3%)
2 Year  (  -5.0%)
3 Year  ( -65.4%)
5 Year  ( -60.6%)
10 Year ( -14.1%)

Captain America gets a nice sales bump. Perhaps interest is growing as this storyline comes to a conclusion and the introduction of a new Captain America draws closer.

07/13  ---
08/13  ---
09/13  ---
10/13  Hawkeye v4 #13 - 40,476  ( -0.9%)
11/13  Hawkeye v4 #14 - 39,863  ( -1.5%)
11/13  Hawkeye v4 #15 – 39,546  ( -0.8%)
12/13  ---
01/14  Hawkeye v4 #16 - 37,074  ( -6.3%)
02/14  ---
03/14  Hawkeye v4 #17 – 35,545  ( -4.1%)
04/14  Hawkeye v4 #18 – 35,045  ( -1.4%)
07/14  Hawkeye v4 #19 – 34,131  ( -2.6%)
6 mnth  (  -7.9%)
1 year  ( -16.4%)

For a book with lots of delays plaguing it, the sales for Hawkeye are remarkably stable.

07/04  Fantastic Four #516   – 48,583
07/09  Fantastic Four #569   – 44,680
07/12  Fantastic Four #608   - 37,776
07/13  Fantastic Four v5 #10 - 34,018  (  -8.2%)
08/13  Fantastic Four v5 #11 - 32,665  (  -4.0%)
09/13  Fantastic Four v5 #12 - 31,426  (  -3.8%)
10/13  Fantastic Four v5 #13 - 31,561  (  +0.4%)
11/13  Fantastic Four v5 #14 - 28,679  (  -9.1%)
12/13  Fantastic Four v5 #15 - 27,610  (  -3.7%)
01/14  Fantastic Four v5 #16 - 28,045  (   1.6%)
02/14  Fantastic Four v6 #1  - 65,775  ( 134.5%)
03/14  Fantastic Four v6 #2  - 37,569  ( -42.9%)
04/14  Fantastic Four v6 #3  - 34,930  (  -7.0%)
05/14  Fantastic Four v6 #4  - 33,263  (  -4.8%)
05/14  Fantastic Four v6 #5  - 33,336  (   0.2%)
06/14  Fantastic Four v6 #6  - 33,177  (  -0.5%) O.S. Tie-In
07/14  Fantastic Four v6 #7  - 33,687  (   1.5%) O.S. Tie-In
6 mnth  (  20.1%)
1 year  (  -1.0%)
2 year  ( -11.0%)
5 year  ( -24.6%)
10 year ( -30.7%)

The original sin tie-ins don’t help this book grow its sales any but help it stay very stable. It will be interesting to see if the sales drop and how big a of drop it may be after the tie-in concludes.

07/12  Wolverine/X-Men #12  - 61,029  
07/13  Wolverine/X-Men #33 - 42,269  ( +6.2%)
08/13  Wolverine/X-Men #34 - 38,473  ( -9.0%)
08/13  Wolverine/X-Men #35 - 38,046  ( -1.1%)
09/13  Wolverine/X-Men #36 - 59,684  (+56.9%)
10/13  Wolverine/X-Men #37 - 57,434  ( -3.8%)
11/13  Wolverine/X-Men #38 - 39,098  (-31.9%)
12/13  Wolverine/X-Men #39 - 39,063  ( -0.1%)
01/14  Wolverine/X-Men #40 - 36,855  ( -5.7%)
02/14  Wolverine/X-Men #41 – 35,800  ( -2.9%)
02/14  Wolverine/X-Men #42 – 35,392  ( -1.1%)
03/14  Wolver/X-Men v2 #1  - 54,675  ( 54.5%)
03/14  Wolver/X-Men v2 #2  - 40,386  (-26.1%)
04/14  Wolver/X-Men v2 #3  - 36,407  ( -9.9%)
05/14  Wolver/X-Men v2 #4  - 33,521  ( -7.9%)
06/14  Wolver/X-Men v2 #5  - 32,511  ( -3.0%)
07/14  Wolver/X-Men v2 #6  - 32,995  (  1.5%)
6 Mnth  ( -10.5%)
1 Year  ( -21.9%)
2 Year  ( -46.0%)

This series is very stable right now around 32-33k. No word yet on how the death of Wolverine may affect it.

07/04  Silver Surfer v5 #8 -  22,027  
03/14  Silver Surfer v7 #1 -  64,919  (  --- )[2,757]
04/14  Silver Surfer v7 #2 -  39,132  (-39.7%)
06/14  Silver Surfer v7 #3 -  36,075  ( -7.8%)
07/14  Silver Surfer v7 #4 -  32,747  ( -9.2%)
10 year ( 48.7%)

This Silver Surfer series is not stabilizing out as quickly as one would hope for and it looks like it’ll level out around 25k at this point.

95, 98. Magneto
03/14  Magneto #1 – 55,337
04/14  Magneto #2 – 35,772  (-35.4%)[2,297]
05/14  Magneto #3 – 35,504  ( -0.7%)
05/14  Magneto #4 – 33,070  ( -6.9%)
06/14  Magneto #5 – 32,837  ( -0.7%)
07/14  Magneto #6 – 32,675  ( -0.5%)
07/14  Magneto #7 – 31,001  ( -5.1%)

Magneto continues to lose about 1000 issues a month. Hopefully, these drops start shrinking and the books levels out soon.

06/14  Savage Hulk #1 – 44,177
07/14  Savage Hulk #1 – 31,194 ( -29.4%)

Issue 2 of Savage Hulk only drops around 30% which is pretty good. Hopefully, the drops continue to shrink and this series can stay healthy.

07/14 100th Ann Spec. Fan. Four #1 – 28,626

This anniversary special sells slightly lower than the main book.

07/14  Iron Man Special #1 – 28,046

An Iron Man special which sells slightly less than the regular Iron Man book normally sells.

104. Nightcrawler
04/14  Nightcrawler #1 – 49,426
05/14  Nightcrawler #2 – 35,356 (-28.5%)
06/14  Nightcrawler #3 – 31,743 (-10.2%)
07/14  Nightcrawler #4 – 27,990 (-11.8%)

There is another large 10% drop for Nightcrawler. This book needs to stabilize soon or it could drop into cancellation territory.

110. Iron Fist: Living Weapon
07/04  Iron Fist #5    -  19,777  
04/14  Iron Fist LW #1 -  53,613 (  --- )[2,350]
05/14  Iron Fist LW #2 -  33,643 ( -37.2%)
06/14  Iron Fist LW #3 -  29,816 ( -11.4%)
07/14  Iron Fist LW #4 -  26,147 ( -12.3%)
10 year (32.2%)

Similarly to Nightcrawler, Iron Fist is dropping pretty quickly. If it continues on this course it will be below 20k in 3 issues which would be very bad for it in the long term.

07/04  Punisher v7 #9  – 46,885
07/09  Punisher v8 #7  – 31,206
07/12  Punisher v9 #13 - 23,075
09/13  Trial #1 of 2   - 22,626
10/13  Trial #2 of 2   - 20,143  (-11.0%)
11/13  ---
12/13  ---
01/14  ---
02/14  Punisher v10 #1 – 54,558  (   --- )
02/14  Punisher v10 #2 – 31,709  ( -41.9%)
03/14  Punisher v10 #3 – 29,636  (  -5.6%)
04/14  Punisher v10 #4 – 28,435  (  -5.0%)
05/14  Punisher v10 #5 – 27,471  (  -3.4%)
06/14  Punisher v10 #6 – 26,606  (  -3.1%)
06/14  Punisher v10 #7 – 26,192  (  -1.6%)
07/14  Punisher v10 #8 – 25,957  (  -0.9%)
2 year  (  12.0%)
5 year  ( -16.8%)
10 year ( -44.6%)

The drops on Punisher keep shrinking. This is a healthy place for it to level out and stabilize.

05/14  Cyclops #1 – 47,468
06/14  Cyclops #2 – 31,132 ( -34.4%)
07/14  Cyclops #3 – 25,925 ( -16.7%)

The drops are shrinking but this book is already at the level where it should stabilize. It needs to level out at this sales level or it will be in trouble soon.

07/09  Mighty Avengers   #27 -  64,637  
09/13  Mighty Avengers v2 #1 - 101,921
10/13  Mighty Avengers v2 #2 -  54,862  (-46.2%)
11/13  Mighty Avengers v2 #3 -  42,210  (-23.1%)
12/13  Mighty Avengers v2 #4 -  35,740  (-15.3%)
01/14  Mighty Avengers#5.INH -  30,251  (-15.4%)
02/14  Mighty Avengers v2 #6 -  27,195  (-10.1%)
02/14  Mighty Avengers v2 #7 -  26,512  ( -2.5%)
03/14  Mighty Avengers v2 #8 -  24,933  ( -6.0%)
04/14  Mighty Avengers v2 #9 -  23,903  ( -4.1%)
05/14  Mighty Avengers v2 #10 - 28,711  ( 20.1%)
06/14  Mighty Avengers v2 #11 - 26,221  ( -8.7%) O.S. Tie-In
07/14  Mighty Avengers v2 #12 - 24,851  ( -5.2%) O.S. Tie-In
6 Mnth  ( -17.9%)
5 Year  ( -61.6%)

The Original Sin tie-ins have helped this series survive but it needs to be doing a lot better in order to survive long term.

01/14  Avengers World #1 - 86,727
01/14  Avengers World #2 - 53,693  (-38.1%)
02/14  Avengers World #3 – 39,999  (-25.5%)
03/14  Avengers World #4 – 34,397  (-14.0%)
04/14  Avengers World #5 – 31,110  ( -9.6%)
05/14  Avengers World #6 – 28,969  ( -6.9%)
06/14  Avengers World #7 – 27,854  ( -3.8%)
06/14  Avengers World #8 – 26,912  ( -3.4%)
07/14  Avengers World #9 – 24,771  ( -8.0%)
07/14  Avengers World #10– 24,196  ( -2.3%)
6 Mnth  ( -53.9%)

This book drops 2000 issues and falls below 25k. It needs to stabilize soon which doesn’t seem likely to happen soon.

120. NOVA
07/09  Nova v4 #25 - 25,660
07/13  Nova v5 #6  - 34,234  ( -6.3%)
08/13  Nova v5 #7  - 31,937  ( -6.7%)
09/13  Nova v5 #8  - 37,767  (+18.3%)
10/13  Nova v5 #9  - 32,323  (-14.4%)
11/13  Nova v5 #10 - 32,716  ( +1.2%)
12/13  Nova v5 #11 - 27,982  (-14.5%)
01/14  Nova v5 #12 - 25,043  ( -10.5%)
02/14  Nova#13.Now – 26,147  (   4.4%)
03/14  Nova v5 #14 – 23,459  ( -10.3%)
03/14  Nova v5 #15 – 22,996  (  -2.0%)
04/14  Nova v5 #16 – 22,020  (  -4.2%)
05/14  Nova v5 #17 – 21,652  (  -1.7%)
06/14  Nova v5 #18 – 25,875  (  19.5%) O.S. Tie-In
07/14  Nova v5 #19 – 24,580  (  -5.0%) O.S. Tie-In
6 Mnth  (  -1.8%)
1 Year  ( -28.2%)
5 Year  (  -4.2%)

The Original Tie-in gave this series a much-needed boost last month but even that boost is starting to slip. This book definitely seems to be in trouble.

01/14  Black Widow #1 - 53,879
01/14  Black Widow #2 - 31,260  ( -42.0%)
02/14  Black Widow #3 – 28,127  ( -10.0%)
03/14  Black Widow #4 – 27,378  (  -2.7%)
04/14  Black Widow #5 – 27,055  (  -1.2%)
05/14  Black Widow #6 – 26,136  (  -3.4%)
06/14  Black Widow #7 – 25,423  (  -2.7%)
07/14  Black Widow #8 – 24,555  (  -3.4%)
6 Mnth  (  -54.4%)

This book continues to lose around 1000 issues each month. It needs to find its level soon if it wants to survive.

125. X-FORCE
07/09  X-Force v3 #17 - 61,063  
07/11  X-Force v4 #12 - 55,413 
07/12  X-Force v4 #28 - 46,367  
07/13  X-Force v5 #8  - 37,781  ( -6.4%)
07/13  X-Force v5 #9  - 36,978  ( -2.1%)
08/13  X-Force v5 #10 - 35,329  ( -4.5%)
09/13  X-Force v5 #11 - 36,186  ( +2.4%)
10/13  X-Force v5 #12 - 32,559  (-10.0%)
10/13  X-Force v5 #13 - 30,567  ( -6.1%)
11/13  X-Force v5 #14 - 28,885  ( -5.5%)
12/13  X-Force v5 #15 - 27,567  ( -4.6%)
01/14  X-Force v5 #16 - 27,701  (  0.5%)
01/14  X-Force v5 #17 - 27,319  ( -1.4%)
02/14  X-Force v6 #1  - 47,427  ( 73.6%)
03/14  X-Force v6 #2  - 33,079  (-30.3%)
04/14  X-Force v6 #3  - 29,541  (-10.7%)
04/14  X-Force v6 #4  - 28,067  ( -5.0%)
05/14  X-Force v6 #5  - 26,215  ( -6.6%)
06/14  X-Force v6 #6  - 24,358  ( -7.1%)
07/14  X-Force v6 #7  - 23,675  ( -2.8%)
6 mnth  ( -13.3%)
1 year  ( -36.0%)
2 year  ( -49.0%)
3 year  ( -57.3%)
5 year  ( -61.2%)

X-Force also continues to drop around 1000 copies each month and is now well below where it was before the soft relaunch.

07/09  Ms. Marvel #42        - 25,086  
07/12  Captain Marvel #1     - 42,582  
07/13  Captain Marvel v6 #14 - 19,320  ( -1.8%)
08/13  Captain Marvel v6 #15 - 23,511  (+21.7%)
09/13  Captain Marvel v6 #16 - 22,845  ( -2.8%)
10/13  ---
11/13  Captain Marvel v6 #17 - 18,173  (-20.5%)
12/13  ---
01/14  ---
02/14  ---
03/14  Captain Marvel v7 #1  - 44,248  
04/14  Captain Marvel v7 #2  - 28,008 (-36.7%)
05/14  Captain Marvel v7 #3  - 26,057 ( -7.0%)
06/14  Captain Marvel v7 #4  - 24,062 ( -7.7%)
07/14  Captain Marvel v7 #5  - 23,666 ( -1.6%)
1 year  (  22.5%)
2 year  ( -43.0%)
5 year  (  -5.7%)

The drop got smaller this month but this series is getting into the danger zone and needs to level out above 20k.

07/04  She-Hulk v1  #4  - 25,790
07/09  Sav She-Hulk #4  - 18,272  
07/13  Red She-Hulk #67 – 12,560
02/14  She-Hulk #1      - 41,921  (  --- )[3,270]
03/14  She-Hulk #2      - 26,675  (-36.3%)
04/14  She-Hulk #3      - 27,398  (  2.7%)
05/14  She-Hulk #4      - 25,543  ( -6.8%)
06/14  She-Hulk #5      - 24,736  ( -3.2%)
07/14  She-Hulk #6      - 23,562  ( -3.2%)
1 Year   ( 87.6%)
5 Year   ( 29.0%)
10 Year  ( -8.6%)

A drop of 1000 books for She-Hulk this month signals a trend for the books in this level of sales. Like the other books in this segment, She-Hulk needs to stabilize soon.

134, 135. ALL-NEW X-FACTOR
07/09  X-Factor #46    - 31,192  
07/11  X-Factor #222   - 24,794  
07/12  X-Factor #240   - 23,223  
07/13  X-Factor #259   - 20,065  ( -0.4%)
08/13  X-Factor #260   - 19,982  ( -0.4%)
08/13  X-Factor #261   - 19,781  ( -1.0%)
09/13  X-Factor #262   - 20,382  ( +3.0%)
10/13  ---
11/13  ---
12/13  ---
01/14  X-Factor v4 #1  - 45,727  (
01/14  X-Factor v4 #2  - 32,228  ( -29.5%)
02/14  X-Factor v4 #3  - 29,915  (  -3.2%)
03/14  X-Factor v4 #4  - 27,337  (  -8.6%)
03/14  X-Factor v4 #5  - 26,656  (  -2.5%)
04/14  X-Factor v4 #6  - 26,029  (  -2.4%)
05/14  X-Factor v4 #7  - 24,873  (  -4.4%)
05/14  X-Factor v4 #8  - 24,283  (  -2.4%)
06/14  X-Factor v4 #9  - 23,720  (  -2.3%)
07/14  X-Factor v4 #10 - 22,563  (  -4.9%)
07/14  X-Factor v4 #11 - 22,428  (  -0.6%)
6 Mnth  ( -30.4%)
1 Year  (  11.8%)
2 Year  (  -3.0%)
3 Year  (  -9.5%)
5 Year  ( -28.1%)

X-Factor drops 1000 books and is dangerously close to the 20k mark which is often a point of no return for a lot of books.

07/04  Invaders #0          - 46,540  
01/14 All-New Invaders #1 - 55,167
02/14 All-New Invaders #2 – 32,293 (-41.5%)
03/14 All-New Invaders #3 – 27,329 (-15.4%)
04/14 All-New Invaders #4 – 22,927 (-16.1%)
05/14 All-New Invaders #5 – 21,843 ( -4.7%)
06/14 All-New Invaders #6 – 23,470 (  7.4%) O.S. Tie-In
07/14 All-New Invaders #7 – 22,332 ( -4.8%) O.S. Tie-In 
07/14 All-New Invaders #8 – 19,865 (-11.0%) 
6  Mnth  ( -64.0%)
10 Year  ( -57.3%)

Big news is here is that issue 8 drops 3000 copies after the Original Sin tie-in ends. There are a lot of other books benefitting from Original Sin right now and if they see drops like this too, they could be in big trouble.

07/11  Ghost Rider #1 - 41,308  
03/14  All New Ghost Rider  #1  -  50,072 (  --- )[2,567]
04/14  All New Ghost Rider  #2  -  29,429 (-41.2%)
05/14  All New Ghost Rider  #3  -  27,756 ( -5.7%)
06/14  All New Ghost Rider  #4  -  24,627 (-11.3%)
07/14  All New Ghost Rider  #5  -  21,820 (-11.4%)
3 year (-47.2%)

Big 3000 issue drop for Ghost Rider this month does not bode well for this issue especially as it faces upcoming creative team changes.

07/09  Thunderbolts  #134  - 40,858  
07/11  Thunderbolts  #160  - 27,810  
07/13  Thunderbolts v2 #12 - 29,081  ( -5.0%)
07/13  Thunderbolts v2 #13 - 28,528  ( -1.9%)
08/13  Thunderbolts v2 #14 - 30,620  ( +7.3%)
09/13  Thunderbolts v2 #15 - 29,703  ( -3.0%)
10/13  Thunderbolts v2 #16 - 29,334  ( -1.2%)
10/13  Thunderbolts v2 #17 - 28,324  ( -3.4%)
11/13  Thunderbolts v2 #18 - 26,502  ( -6.4%)
12/13  Thunderbolts v2 #19 - 24,959  ( -5.8%)
01/14  Thunderblts #20.NOW - 28,994  ( 16.2%)
01/14  Thunderbolts v2 #21 - 24,293  (-16.2%)
02/14  Thunderbolts v2 #22 – 23,629  ( -2.7%)
03/14  Thunderbolts v2 #23 – 22,701  ( -3.9%)
04/14  Thunderbolts v2 #24 – 22,619  ( -0.4%)
04/14  Thunderbolts v2 #25 – 22,092  ( -2.3%)
05/14  Thunderbolts v2 #26 – 21,771  ( -1.5%)
06/14  Thunderbolts v2 #27 – 21,778  (  0.0%)
07/14  Thunderbolts v2 #28 – 21,652  ( -0.6%)
6 Mnth  ( -10.9%)
1 Year  ( -24.1%)
3 Year  ( -22.1%)
5 Year  ( -47.0%)

This book keeps dropping but at least the drops are small. Still, this is too little, too late, as the series has already been cancelled and will end at issue 32.

07/11  Secret Avengers    #15 - 46,712
07/12  Secret Avengers    #29 - 41,653
07/13  Secret Avengers v2 #6  - 28,908  (  -8.0%)
08/13  Secret Avengers v2 #7  - 27,222  (  -5.8%)
08/13  Secret Avengers v2 #8  - 26,150  (  -3.9%)
09/13  Secret Avengers v2 #9  - 24,870  (  -4.9%)
10/13  Secret Avengers v2 #10 - 29,134  ( +17.1%)
11/13  Secret Avengers v2 #11 - 25,326  ( -13.1%)
12/13  Secret Avengers v2 #12 - 23,863  (  -5.8%)
12/13  Secret Avengers v2 #13 - 23,172  (  -2.9%)
01/14  Secret Avengers v2 #14 - 21,372  (  -7.8%)
02/14  Secret Avengers v2 #15 – 20,059  (  -6.1%)
02/14  Secret Avengers v2 #16 – 20,022  (  -0.2%)
03/14  Secret Avengers v3 #1  - 34,036  (  70.0%)
04/14  Secret Avengers v3 #2  - 24,724  ( -27.4%)
05/14  Secret Avengers v3 #3  - 22,860  (  -7.5%)
06/14  Secret Avengers v3 #4  - 21,335  (  -6.7%)
07/14  Secret Avengers v3 #5  - 20,088  (  -5.8%)
07/14  Secret Avengers v3 #6  - 19,435  (  -3.3%)
6 Mnth  (  -9.1%)
1 Year  ( -32.8%)
2 Year  ( -53.0%)
3 Year  ( -58.4%)

Secret Avengers drops 2000 more issues and falls below the 20k line.

07/13  Savage Wolverine #7  -  40,946  (-31.1%)
08/13  ---
09/13  Savage Wolverine #8  -  38,208  ( -6.7%)
10/13  Savage Wolverine #9  -  36,451  ( -4.6%)
10/13  Savage Wolverine #10 -  33,627  ( -7.7%)
11/13  Savage Wolverine #11 -  30,338  ( -9.8%)
11/13  Savage Wolverine #12 -  29,739  ( -2.0%)
12/13  Savage Wolverine #13 -  27,490  ( -7.6%)
01/14  Savage #14.NOW       -  30,370  ( 10.5%)
02/14  Savage Wolverine #15 -  25,190  (-17.1%)
03/14  Savage Wolverine #16 -  24,008  ( -4.7%)
04/14  Savage Wolverine #17 -  22,350  ( -6.9%)
05/14  Savage Wolverine #18 -  21,599  ( -3.4%)
05/14  Savage Wolverine #19 -  21,144  ( -2.1%)
06/14  Savage Wolverine #20 -  20,725  ( -2.0%)
07/14  Savage Wolverine #21 -  20,050  ( -3.3%)
6 Mnth  ( -34.0%)
1 Year  ( -51.0%)

The drop this month is a little bigger than last month. There were no new issues solicited in October so it looks like this will be ending soon.

152. Elektra
04/14  Elektra #1 -  47,676 (  --- )
05/14  Elektra #2 -  26,612 (-44.2%)
06/14  Elektra #3 -  22,773 (-14.4%)
07/14  Elektra #4 -  19,125 (-16.0%)

Another big drop brings this series below 20k and into the danger zone.

07/12  Winter Soldier #08 – 27,317
02/14  W. Soldier BM  #1  - 31,137  (  --- )
03/14  W. Soldier BM  #2  - 24,831  (-20.3%)
04/14  W. Soldier BM  #3  - 22,203  (-10.6%)
05/14  W. Soldier BM  #4  - 19,930  (-10.2%)
07/14  W. Soldier BM  #5  - 18,876  ( -5.3%)
2 Year  ( -31.0%)

The final issue of this mini-series ends with less than stellar numbers. Hopefully, the new upcoming Winter Soldier solo series can do better.

07/11  Ult Av vs. New Ult   #6  - 42,760
07/12  Ult comics Ultimates #13 - 32,380
07/13  Ultimates v5 #27 -  20,024  ( -3.7%)
07/13  Ultimates v5 #28 -  19,859  ( -0.8%)
08/13  Ultimates v5 #29 -  19,657  ( -1.0%)
09/13  Ultimates v5 #30 -  19,420  ( -1.2%)
10/13  ---
11/13  Cataclysm #1 of 3 - 28,422  (+46.4%)
12/13  Cataclysm #2 of 3 - 24,819  (-12.7%)
01/14  Cataclysm #3 of 3 - 21,705  (-12.5%)
02/14  ---
03/14  ---
04/14  All-New Ult #1   - 30,308  ( 39.6%)
05/14  All-New Ult #2   - 24,165  (-20.3%)
06/14  All-New Ult #3   - 21,898  ( -9.4%)
06/14  All-New Ult #4   - 20,561  ( -6.1%)
07/14  All-New Ult #5   - 18,199  (-11.5%)
6 Mnth  ( -31.0%)
1 Year  (  -8.4%)
2 Year  ( -44.0%)
3 Year  ( -57.4%)

And the second Ultimate universe book falls below 20k. Will this series get cancelled liked Ultimate FF did?

01/14  Miracleman #1 - 52,313
01/14  Miracleman #2 - 36,927  ( -29.4%)
02/14  Miracleman #3 – 25,970  ( -32.6%)  
03/14  Miracleman #4 – 23,557  (  -9.3%)
04/14  ---
05/14  Miracleman #5 – 22,399  (  -4.9%)
05/14  Miracleman #6 – 20,598  (  -8.0%)
06/14  Miracleman #7 – 19,123  (  -7.2%)
07/14  Miracleman #8 – 17,654  (  -7.7%)

Miracleman continues to consistently drop around 1500 copies a month.

02/14  New Warriors #1  -  45,765  (  --- )
03/14  New Warriors #2  -  26,006  (-43.2%)
04/14  New Warriors #3  -  23,105  (-11.2%)
05/14  New Warriors #4  -  19,900  (-13.9%)
06/14  New Warriors #5  -  18,576  ( -6.7%)
06/14  New Warriors #6  -  18,156  ( -2.3%)
07/14  New Warriors #7  -  17,304  ( -4.7%)

New Warriors continues a steady slide downward. Still solicited for October.

07/13  Superior Foes #1 - 61,413
08/13  Superior Foes #2 - 34,300  (-44.1%)
09/13  Superior Foes #3 - 30,081  (-12.3%)
10/13  Superior Foes #4 - 26,884  (-10.6%)
11/13  Superior Foes #5 - 23,694  (-11.9%)
11/13  Superior Foes #6 - 21,367  ( -9.8%)
12/13  Superior Foes #7 - 20,858  ( -2.4%)
01/14  ---
02/14  Superior Foes #8 – 19,193  ( -8.0%)
03/14  Superior Foes #9 – 18,620  ( -3.0%)
03/14  Superior Foes #10- 18,437  ( -1.0%)
04/14  Superior Foes #11- 18,143  ( -1.6%)
05/14  ---
06/14  Superior Foes #12- 17,826  ( -1.7%)
07/14  Superior Foes #13- 16,903  ( -5.2%)
1 Year  ( -72.5%)

How long can it go?

07/11  Avengers Academy #16  - 56,379  
07/12  Avengers Academy #33  - 32,243  
07/13  Avengers Arena #12 - 23,969  ( -2.1%)
08/13  Avengers Arean #13 - 22,955  ( -4.2%)
08/13  Avengers Arena #14 - 23,204  ( +1.1%)
09/13  Avengers Arena #15 - 22,180  ( -4.4%)
10/13  Avengers Arena #16 - 22,179  ( -0.0%)
11/13  Avengers Arena #17 - 20,744  ( -6.5%)
11/13  Avengers Arena #18 - 20,712  ( -0.2%)
12/13  ---
01/14  ---
02/14  ---
03/14  Avengers Undrcvr #1- 31,936
04/14  Avengers Undrcvr #2- 23,746  (-25.65)
04/14  Avengers Undrcvr #3- 21,830  ( -8.1%)
05/14  Avengers Undrcvr #4- 19,696  ( -9.8%)
06/14  Avengers Undrcvr #5- 18,115  ( -8.0%)
06/14  Avengers Undrcvr #6- 17,771  ( -9.8%)
07/14  Avengers Undrcvr #7- 16,705  ( -6.0%)
1 year  ( -30.3%)
2 year  ( -48.0%)
3 year  ( -34.2%)

Cancelled ends with issue 10.

192. Ultimate FF
07/04  Ultimate FF #8    – 92,928
04/14  Ultimate FF v2 #1 -  23,316  (  --- )
05/14  Ultimate FF v2 #2 -  17,059  (-26.8%)
06/14  Ultimate FF v2 #3 -  14,413  (-15.5%)
07/14  Ultimate FF v2 #4 -  12,187  (-15.4%)
07/14  Ultimate FF v2 #5 -  11,778  ( -3.4%)
10 Year ( -87.3%)

Second to last issue.

06/14  Figment #1  -  12,735  (  --- )
07/14  Figment #2  -  11,929  ( -6.3%)

Very small second issue drop, but then again it doesn’t have very low to go.

05/14 Murder Inc #1  -  18,474  (  --- )
06/14 Murder Inc #2  -  13,561  (-26.6%)
07/14 Murder Inc #3  -  11,444  (-15.6%)

Bendis’s newest creator-owned book continues to drop. These are somewhat acceptable numbers for an indie book but are not good numbers for a Bendis book.

04/14  All New Doop #1  -  22,614  (  --- )
05/14  All New Doop #2  -  15,022  (-33.6%)
06/14  All New Doop #3  -  12,625  (-16.0%)
07/14  All New Doop #4  -  10,992  (-12.9%)

Second to last issue.

05/14 Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1 - 19,315 (  --- )
06/14 Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #2 - 13,093 (-32.2%)
07/14 Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #3 - 10,221 (-21.9%)

Second to last issue.

158. Iron Patriot
07/11  Iron Man 2.0 #6 -  20,390
03/14  Iron Patriot #1 -  31,773  (  --- )
04/14  Iron Patriot #2 -  18,495  (-41.8%)
05/14  Iron Patriot #3 -  14,840  (-19.8%)
06/14  Iron Patriot #4 -  12,597  (-15.1%)
07/14  Iron Patriot #5 -  10,001  (-20.6%)
3 year  ( -51.0%)

Last issue.

6-Month Comparisons


62.4%	Amazing Spider-Man #4 (O.S. Tie-In)
53.4%	Wolverine #10
34.7%	M Morales Ultimate Spider-Man #3
20.1%	Fantastic Four #7 (O.S. Tie-In)
19.5%	Deadpool #31 (O.S. Tie-In)
18.4%	Daredevil #6 (O.S. Tie-In)
14.8%	Daredevil #5
12.1%	Deadpool #32 (O.S. Tie-In)
3.4%	Captain America #22
3.1%	Guardians of Galaxy #17
0.4%	Thor God of Thunder #24
-1.8%	Nova #19 (O.S. Tie-In)
-5.0%	Uncanny X-Men #23
-6.0%	Secret Avengers #5
-7.9%	Hawkeye #19
-8.1%	Uncanny Avengers #22
-8.5%	Uncanny X-Men #24 (O.S. Tie-In)
-9.1%	Secret Avengers #6
-10.5%	Wolverine And X-Men #6
-10.9%	Thunderbolts #28
-13.3%	X-Force #7
-13.7%	Avengers #32 (O.S. Tie-In)
-17.9%	Mighty Avengers #12 (O.S. Tie-In)
-20.9%	Avengers #33 (O.S. Tie-In)
-21.1%	Amazing X-Men #9
-21.2%	X-Men #16
-23.2%	All New X-Men #29
-26.6%	X-Men #17
-30.0%	All New X-Factor #10
-30.4%	All New X-Factor #11
-31.0%	All New Ultimates #5
-34.0%	Savage Wolverine #21
-53.9%	Avengers World #9
-54.4%	Black Widow #8
-54.9%	Avengers World #10
-59.5%	All New Invaders #7 (O.S. Tie-In)
-64.0%	All New Invaders #8

1 Year Comparisons


87.6%	She-Hulk #6
79.1%	Amazing X-Men #9
45.9%	Amazing Spider-Man #4 (O.S. Tie-In)
23.9%	Wolverine #10
22.5%	Captain Marvel #5
12.4%	All New X-Factor #10
11.9%	M Morales Ultimate Spider-Man #3
11.8%	All New X-Factor #11
8.7%	Daredevil #6 (O.S. Tie-In)
6.2%	Deadpool #31 (O.S. Tie-In)
5.5%	Daredevil #5
-0.4%	Deadpool #32 (O.S. Tie-In)
-1.0%	Fantastic Four #7 (O.S. Tie-In)
-8.4%	All New Ultimates #5
-15.3%	Captain America #22
-16.4%	Hawkeye #19
-17.0%	Thor God of Thunder #24
-17.2%	Uncanny X-Men #23
-20.3%	Uncanny X-Men #24 (O.S. Tie-In)
-21.4%	All New X-Men #29
-21.9%	Wolverine And X-Men #6
-22.3%	Avengers #32 (O.S. Tie-In)
-24.1%	Thunderbolts #28
-26.4%	New Avengers #21
-26.9%	Uncanny Avengers #22
-28.2%	Nova #19 (O.S. Tie-In)
-28.8%	Avengers #33 (O.S. Tie-In)
-30.3%	Avengers Undercover #7
-30.5%	Secret Avengers #5
-32.8%	Secret Avengers #6
-36.0%	X-Force #7
-40.3%	X-Men #16
-42.9%	Guardians of Galaxy #17
-44.5%	X-Men #17
-51.0%	Savage Wolverine #21
-72.5%	Sup. Foes of Spider-Man #13

2 Year Comparisons


100%	Amazing Spider-Man #4 (O.S. Tie-In)
74%	Deadpool #31 (O.S. Tie-In)
63%	Deadpool #32 (O.S. Tie-In)
24%	Thor God of Thunder #24
13%	Amazing X-Men #9
12%	Punisher #8
11%	X-Men #16
3%	X-Men #17
-1%	Daredevil #6 (O.S. Tie-In)
-3%	All New X-Factor #10
-3%	All New X-Factor #11
-4%	Daredevil #5
-5%	Captain America #22
-10%	Avengers #32 (O.S. Tie-In)
-11%	Fantastic Four #7 (O.S. Tie-In)
-11%	Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man #3
-13%	Uncanny X-Men #23
-16%	Uncanny X-Men #24 (O.S. Tie-In)
-18%	Avengers #33 (O.S. Tie-In)
-21%	Wolverine #10
-31%	Winter Soldier Bitter March #5
-32%	New Avengers #21
-43%	Captain Marvel #5
-44%	All New Ultimates #5
-46%	Wolverine And X-Men #6
-48%	Avengers Undercover #7
-49%	X-Force #7
-52%	Secret Avengers #5
-53%	Secret Avengers #6

3 Year Comparisons


82.9%	Deadpool #31 (O.S. Tie-In)
71.5%	Deadpool #32 (O.S. Tie-In)
14.4%	Moon Knight #5
14.0%	Amazing X-Men #9
13.5%	Wolverine #10
-0.2%	Uncanny X-Men #23
-3.9%	Uncanny X-Men #24 (O.S. Tie-In)
-9.0%	All New X-Factor #10
-9.5%	X-Men #16
-9.5%	All New X-Factor #11
-9.6%	Avengers #32 (O.S. Tie-In)
-13.0%	Amazing Spider-Man #4 (O.S. Tie-In)
-14.0%	Thor God of Thunder #24
-15.8%	X-Men #17
-17.1%	Avengers #33 (O.S. Tie-In)
-22.1%	Thunderbolts #28
-26.8%	New Avengers #21
-34.2%	Avengers Undercover #7
-41.5%	Daredevil #6 (O.S. Tie-In)
-43.2%	Daredevil #5
-47.2%	All New Ghost Rider #5
-51.0%	Iron Patriot #5
-57.0%	Secret Avengers #5
-57.3%	X-Force #7
-57.4%	All New Ultimates #5
-58.4%	Secret Avengers #6
-65.4%	Captain America #22

5 Year Comparisons


136.9%	Guardians of Galaxy #17
29.0%	She-Hulk #6
25.5%	Hawkeye #19
1.0%	Amazing Spider-Man #4 (O.S. Tie-In)
-4.2%	Nova #19 (O.S. Tie-In)
-5.7%	Captain Marvel #5
-8.9%	M Morales Ultimate Spider-Man #3
-15.0%	Deadpool #31 (O.S. Tie-In)
-16.8%	Punisher #8
-20.3%	Deadpool #32 (O.S. Tie-In)
-24.6%	Fantastic Four #7 (O.S. Tie-In)
-27.7%	All New X-Factor #10
-28.1%	All New X-Factor #11
-33.1%	Uncanny X-Men #23
-35.4%	Wolverine #10
-35.6%	Uncanny X-Men #24 (O.S. Tie-In)
-47.0%	Thunderbolts #28
-49.6%	New Avengers #21
-60.6%	Captain America #22
-61.2%	X-Force #7
-61.6%	Mighty Ave #12 (O.S. Tie-In)

10 Year Comparisons


48.7%	Silver Surfer #4
39.1%	Amazing Spider-Man #4 (O.S. Tie-In)
32.2%	Iron Fist Living Weapon #4
6.2%	Thor God of Thunder #24
-8.6%	She-Hulk #6
-14.1%	Captain America #22
-28.2%	Wolverine #10
-28.3%	Daredevil #6 (O.S. Tie-In)
-30.4%	Daredevil #5
-30.7%	Fantastic Four #7 (O.S. Tie-In)
-42.5%	Uncanny X-Men #23
-44.6%	Punisher #8
-44.6%	Uncanny X-Men #24 (O.S. Tie-In)
-46.4%	Avengers #32 (O.S. Tie-In)
-50.9%	Avengers #33 (O.S. Tie-In)
-52.0%	All New Invaders #7 (O.S. Tie-In)
-57.3%	All New Invaders #8
-58.2%	X-Men #16
-61.1%	X-Men #17
-62.4%	M Morales Ultimate Spider-Man #3
-68.6%	Amazing X-Men #9
-86.9%	Ultimate FF #4
-87.3%	Ultimate FF #5

So there you have the numbers for this month. There is a lot of standard attrition on most books that are seeing a steady decline in sales. There are a few bright spots. Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool are growing into well-established brands on their own while Spider-Man, X-Men and Avengers continue to be the supporting pillars of the Marvel Universe. What trends are you seeing at your stores? Is there event fatigue over Original Sin? Are fans excited for Death of Wolverine and AXIS? Sales have picked up this summer, but what books are pushing that growth? Sound off in the comments below.

15 Comments on Marvel Month-to-Month Sales July 2014: Raucous Raccoon Rockets up the Ranks, last added: 8/20/2014
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19. 2014 Ignatz Nominees announced: Yang, Shiga, Deitch among nominees

The 2014 Ignatz Awards have announced their nominations. As usual with this indie-comics focused award the nominees are an eclectic bunch, maybe even more eclectic than usual, going from the National Book Award-nominees Boxers and Saints in the Outstaind Graphic Novel category, to a mix of mostly little known outside indie circles nominees in Newcomer, Story and Comic…and that’s why the Ignatzes are great, they introduce us to a whole new list of comics to check out.

The nominees were chosen by a five-person jury this year consisting of Darryl Ayo, Austin English, Melissa Mendes, Thien Pham and Whit Taylor. Winners will be chonse by the attendees of the Small Press Expo on September 13th and presented in a gala awards ceremony that night, sponsored by Comixology and Submit.

And the nominees are:


Outstanding Artist
Sam Bosma – Fantasy Basketball
Kim Deitch – The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley
Sophie Goldstein – Darwin Carmichael is Going To Hell; Edna II; House of Women
Ed Piskor – Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1
Jesse Reklaw – Couch Tag

Outstanding Anthology or Collection

Amazing Facts and Beyond - Kevin Huizenga and Dan Zettwoch
The End – Anders Nilsen
Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2 – Leslie Stein
Sock Monkey Treasury – Tony Millionaire
QU33R – ed. Robert Kirby

Outstanding Graphic Novel

The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley – Kim Deitch
The Boxer – Reinhard Kleist
Boxers and Saints – Gene Luen Yang
This One Summer – Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
War of Streets and Houses – Sophie Yanow

Outstanding Story

“Brownout Biscuit,” from Octopus Pie: Dead Forever – Meredith Gran
Destination X – John Martz
The Grassy Knoll – Nick Drnaso
“Jobs” from Life Zone – Simon Hanselmann
“Mom” from Viewotron #2 – Sam Sharpe


Promising New Talent

Luke Howard -Trevor
Cathy G. Johnson – Jeremiah; Boy Genius; Until It Runs Clear
Nick Offerman – Orange; Onions
Keiler Roberts – Powdered Milk
Daryl Seitchik – Missy

Outstanding Series
The Black Feather Falls – Ellen Lindner
Demon – Jason Shiga
Powdered Milk – Keiler Roberts
Sky in Stereo – Sacha Mardou
Towerkind – Kat Verhoeven


Outstanding Comic
Blammo #8 – Noah Van Sciver
Cosplayers – Dash Shaw
It Will All Hurt #2- Farel Dalrymple
Misliving Amended – Adam Buttrick
Wicked Chicken Queen – Sam Alden

Outstanding Minicomic
The Grassy Knoll – Nick Drnaso
House of Women – Sophie Goldstein
Never Forgets – Yumi Sakugawa
Test Tube #1 – Carlos Gonzalez
Up to the Top – Ian Sampson

Outstanding Online Comic

Band for Life by Anya Davidson

Big Dogs at Nite by Dane Martin

Demon by Jason Shiga

On Hiatus by Pete Toms

Vattu by Evan Dahm

1 Comments on 2014 Ignatz Nominees announced: Yang, Shiga, Deitch among nominees, last added: 8/20/2014
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20. Webcomics alert: Daryl Cunningham’s “You Might as Well Live”

Suicide bridge 1.jpg
The national dialogue on the subject of mental health and depression following the suicide of Robi0n Williams continues. Daryl Cunningham, author of the really excellent Psychatric Tales, has been blunt about his own battles with depression in the past and offers You Might As Well Live, about the finality of suicide.

The ink is via Brigid Alverson, who discusses her own history of panic attacks — now I have travelled and worked with Brigid and if there’s one person who I could never see having a panic attack, it’s cool-as-a-cucumber Brigid….but there you go. Everyone is at risk, everyone has their own battles, and everyone should be there to lend a helping hand whenever needed.

0 Comments on Webcomics alert: Daryl Cunningham’s “You Might as Well Live” as of 1/1/1900
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21. Today is the Harvey Awards voting deadline — hurry hurry


Industry professionals may cast the votes in the 2014 Harvey Awards — no time stamp is mentioned but I’d hurry up and get it done if I were you.

The Harveys will be handed out on September 6, 2014 during the Baltimore Comic-Con.

3 Comments on Today is the Harvey Awards voting deadline — hurry hurry, last added: 8/20/2014
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22. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 8/17/14: Definitive proof that you cannot fight in high heels


§ Cartoonist Julia Gfrörer has begun a column for TCJ.com called Symbol Reader, in which she analyses comics for their deeper meanings and how those meanings are conveyed, as with “These Cans” by Joe Decie:

It’s a paradox: the thing which exists does not really exist because its material state goes unappreciated; the consumer interacts primarily with the metaphysical idea which has replaced the thing, yet he does this ritualistically, by interfacing with the irrelevant object itself. Decie reinforces this paradox in his artistic choices. His narrative sketch of the drink’s abstract joys is circumspect. He doesn’t tell us what song it reminds him of or why (I decided it’s “God Lives Through”), he doesn’t show us the nostalgic pop-top in action (merely—significantly—the hole described by its absence), or even identify the feeling as nostalgia. Like him, we are unable to access enjoyment by drinking it, but then he also withholds from us the secondary enjoyment of its symbolic power.

This is an outgrowth of a tumblr by Gfrörer on the same subject, also called SYMBOL READER. Remember how I”m always calling for most contextual analysis of indie comics? This is what I was talking about.

§ Megan Purdy at Women Write About Comics has a bunch of similar craft-related links, including Deb Aoki on OEL manga, and so on.

§ SPX is a few weeks away! EEK! Did you get a hotel room? The North Bethesda Marriott has been sold out for weeks, I’m told. Anyway, Rob McMonigal has started a series of SPX Spotlight posts looking at the many comics that will be there.

§ Occasional Beat contributor Megan Byrd weighs in on Dawson-gate and actually reads Angie Bongiolatti along the way:

The novel is heavy with philosophical questions about socialism, identity, and the deep chasm between beliefs and how one actually practices politics in daily life. The story occasionally flashbacks to the late 90′s when the main characters are younger, more carefree, and slightly more concerned with sex than politics. Anything described as a “literary graphic novel” is already a hard sell to comic book stores, and this is definitely one of those books. Low pre-order numbers through Diamond, the largest comic book distributor, does not surprise me in the least. Without strong buzz or knowledge of previous work, store owners are reluctant to order anything from the back pages of Previews, especially from publishers that have only a few listings in the 300+ page catalog. It is an exhausting task to comb through Previews each month to place orders for the things you know customers want, let alone ordering books you think they might possibly be interested in based on the cover alone.

§ Ronda Rousey played Smurfette the Strong Female Character in Expendables 3, and sounds off on superheroines while revealing that you can’t actually fight in high heels. Because if anyone could do it, Rousey could do it, so it must really be impossible.

§ Speaking of Expendables 3, it was a floperoonie, coming in behind the new Ninja Turtles movie and Guardians of the Galaxy still going strong.  Some attempted to attribute this to piracy, other politely coughed while pointing out that for a can’t-miss idea, the first two Expendables movies were just awful and this one looked just as bad.

3 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 8/17/14: Definitive proof that you cannot fight in high heels, last added: 8/20/2014
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23. Randall Munroe wins Hugo Award for “Time”


When Randall Munroe finished “Time,” a hugely vast comic which unfurled as one giant image over the next 123 days, I felt certain this astounding, one-of-a-kind achievement would get some Eisner notice, but this year’s jury had other ideas, and that’s okay. However it was nominated and won the Graphic Story Hugo Award, which were presented yesterday at the World SF Con at Loncon 3. io9 has an account of all the pageantry, which did not include fat jokes, but did include funny dressing up. The infamous Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones, “The Rains of Castamere,” beat out Doctor Who and Orphan Black which shocked many but hey, Red Wedding.

Here’s all the winners, via Shelf Awareness:

Best Novel: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
Best Novella: “Equoid” by Charles Stross (Tor.com, 9/2013)
Best Novelette: “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal (maryrobinettekowal.com /Tor.com, 9/2013)
Best Short Story: “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu (Tor.com, 2/2013)
Best Related Work: “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative” by Kameron Hurley (A Dribble of Ink)
Best Graphic Story: “Time” by Randall Munroe (xkcd)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Gravity, written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Esperanto Filmoj, Heyday Films, Warner Bros.)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Game of Thrones: “The Rains of Castamere” written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by David Nutter (HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)
Best Editor, Short Form: Ellen Datlow
Best Editor, Long Form: Ginjer Buchanan
Best Professional Artist: Julie Dillon
Best Semiprozine: Lightspeed magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams, Rich Horton and Stefan Rudnicki
Best Fanzine: A Dribble of Ink, edited by Aidan Moher
Best Fancast: SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester
Best Fan Writer: Kameron Hurley
Best Fan Artist: Sarah Webb

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24. Marvel Returns To Walmart With Clearance Prices

IMG_20140817_173437Ever been to a comic convention and seen the $5 trade paperback booth?  Essentially the clearance sale?  Well, Marvel’s returned to Walmart and the price point is $5 for a new printing of what’s mostly fairly old books.

Today, I purchased Spider-Man: Big Time at the local Walmart.  It appears to be a new printing of the 2011 tpb, with “Exclusive Complete Graphic Novel” across the cover and “Bonus! Extra Digital Issue of Amazing Spider-Man FREE!” also on the cover.  (Note: I’ll be kind and say the digital offer on the cover is misleading.  I redeemed my code, and while you do get a digital copy of the the Big Time tpb, I don’t have any extra issue in my account.)

The inside covers show a Captain America tpb – the Winter Soldier edition that’s volume 1 of the Brubaker run; an Avengers tpb – volume 1 of the 2011 series that started out with Bendis and JRJr; and the first volume of the current Guardian of the Galaxy series.  Presumably all are $5 editions, since they have the same “exclusive” banners and trade dress.

Also interesting: the spine of my Spider-Man book has a “1″ on it, suggesting this is a series.

Even more interesting: there’s an ad for discount subscriptions in the back of the book.  45% off subscriptions to Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy.  (Regular discounts seem to be 25%-40%.)

While Spidey’s film rights are owned by Sony, there are no Fantastic Four, X-Men or Fox film rights titles mentioned here.  That may or may not be a coincidence.

Subscription ad

Subscription ad

To my recollection, this would be at least Marvel’s third attempt to crack the Walmart market in the last 5 years.  And really, if the deal isn’t a money loser (and you have to watch that with Walmart), they really should want to.  Walmart has not quite 4,300 U.S. locations and another 6,100 international locations, so there are more outlets than the Direct Market and a lot of them will be in areas not serviced by the Direct Market.  It makes total sense.

With the exception of the Guardians of the Galaxy book, these reprints are all a few years old.  For the Spider-Man and Avengers volumes, this is found money.  For Captain America, perhaps less so with the recent film.  For GoG… the timing is interesting and I can’t imagine the other retailers are particularly happy about this appearing while the movie is in theaters.  This could potentially cannibalize some GoG sales while the movie is hot.  It isn’t like Marvel is making a large margin off a $5 book.  Walmart is a notoriously tough negotiator for deep discounts and I’d be surprise if there was much more than a $1/book margin.  Possibly less.  Then again, 10 copies per store and 4,300 domestic stores could theoretically mean a quick $43K per title.  It does raise the question of what Marvel’s endgame is here.

Could they:

  1. Be dropping the first issue at a deep discount to get readers interested and then issue subsequent volumes at normal pricing?
  2. Be releasing regular cheap editions of older titles as quick and easy income and to try and increase brand awareness outside the comic shops?
  3. Be using this as more of a loss leader to try and get the subscription form in front of people who may not be served by the direct market?  (A big discount advertised to a Walmart demographic?  That makes sense.)
  4. Be using this as more of a loss leader to try and get people onto their digital platform as they prepare to start selling current issues?
Inside front cover / Guardians of the Galaxy ad

Inside front cover / Guardians of the Galaxy ad

And maybe this is just a test batch like previous efforts.  But you’d think Marvel would have some sort of plan past just getting a low margin placed with a retailer notorious for demanding high discounts.  (I’m also curious how Marvel classifies these books for the incentive payments that function as royalties.)

If they’re going for more tpbs in those series, while Spidey and Cap were relatively cross-over free, it seems to me like there are a fair amount of cross-overs in Avengers that might not make a lot of sense out of context and didn’t GoG just get done with an X-Men (Fox film rights) crossover?

File this one under “keep an eye on.”  If more titles or second volumes appear, this could be a big deal.

7 Comments on Marvel Returns To Walmart With Clearance Prices, last added: 8/20/2014
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25. And finally…here is the dancing Baby Groot you have been clamoring for

Disney has released a clip of Dancing Baby Groot even though (spoilers)


it spoils the end of the movie. I guess good social media is worth more than spoiling movies in the era of downloads and….social media.

Anyway…..it’s sweet.

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