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1. Monthly etymology gleanings for November 2014

As always, I want to thank those who have commented on the posts and written me letters bypassing the “official channels” (though nothing can be more in- or unofficial than this blog; I distinguish between inofficial and unofficial, to the disapproval of the spellchecker and some editors). I only wish there were more comments and letters. With regard to my “bimonthly” gleanings, I did think of calling them bimestrial but decided that even with my propensity for hard words I could not afford such a monster. Trimestrial and quarterly are another matter. By the way, I would not call fortnightly a quaint Briticism. The noun fortnight is indeed unknown in the United States, but anyone who reads books by British authors will recognize it. It is sennight “seven nights; a week,” as opposed to “fourteen nights; two weeks,” that is truly dead, except to Walter Scott’s few remaining admirers.

The comments on livid were quite helpful, so that perhaps livid with rage does mean “white.” I was also delighted to see Stephen Goranson’s antedating of hully gully. Unfortunately, I do not know this word’s etymology and have little chance of ever discovering it, but I will risk repeating my tentative idea. Wherever the name of this game was coined, it seems to have been “Anglicized,” and in English reduplicating compounds of the Humpty Dumpty, humdrum, and helter-skelter type, those in which the first element begins with an h, the determining part is usually the second, while the first is added for the sake of rhyme. If this rule works for hully gully, the clue to the word’s origin is hidden in gully, with a possible reference to a dupe, a gull, a gullible person; hully is, figuratively speaking, an empty nut. A mere guess, to repeat once again Walter Skeat’s favorite phrase.

The future of spelling reform and realpolitik

Some time ago I promised to return to this theme, and now that the year (one more year!) is coming to an end, I would like to make good on my promise. There would have been no need to keep beating this moribund horse but for a rejoinder by Mr. Steve Bett to my modest proposal for simplifying English spelling. I am afraid that the reformers of our generation won’t be more successful than those who wrote pleading letters to journals in the thirties of the nineteenth century. Perhaps the Congress being planned by the Society will succeed in making powerful elites on both sides of the Atlantic interested in the sorry plight of English spellers. I wish it luck, and in the meantime will touch briefly on the discussion within the Society.

Number 1 by OpenClips. CC0 via Pixabay.
Number 1 by OpenClips. CC0 via Pixabay.

In the past, minimal reformers, Mr. Bett asserts, usually failed to implement the first step. The first step is not an issue as long as we agree that there should be one. Any improvement will be beneficial, for example, doing away with some useless double letters (till ~ until); regularizing doublets like speak ~ speech; abolishing c in scion, scene, scepter ~ scepter, and, less obviously, scent; substituting sk for sc in scathe, scavenger, and the like (by the way, in the United States, skeptic is the norm); accepting (akcepting?) the verbal suffix -ize for -ise and of -or for -our throughout — I can go on and on, but the question is not where to begin but whether we want a gradual or a one-fell-swoop reform. Although I am ready to begin anywhere, I am an advocate of painless medicine and don’t believe in the success of hav, liv, and giv, however silly the present norm may be (those words are too frequent to be tampered with), while til and unskathed will probably meet with little resistance.

I am familiar with several excellent proposals of what may be called phonetic spelling. No one, Mr. Bett assures me, advocates phonetic spelling. “What about phonemic spelling?” he asks. This is mere quibbling. Some dialectologists, especially in Norway, used an extremely elaborate transcription for rendering the pronunciation of their subjects. To read it is a torture. Of course, no one advocates such a system. Speakers deal with phonemes rather than “sounds.” But Mr. Bett writes bás Róman alfàbet shud rèmán ùnchánjd for “base Roman alphabet should remain unchanged.” I am all for alfabet (ph is a nuisance) and with some reservations for shud, but the rest is, in my opinion, untenable. It matters little whether this system is clever, convenient, or easy to remember. If we offer it to the public, we’ll be laughed out of court.

Mr. Bett indicates that publishers are reluctant to introduce changes and that lexicographers are not interested in becoming the standard bearers of the reform. He is right. That is why it is necessary to find a body (The Board of Education? Parliament? Congress?) that has the authority to impose changes. I have made this point many times and hope that the projected Congress will not come away empty-handed. We will fail without influential sponsors, but first of all, the Society needs an agenda, agree to the basic principles of a program, and for at least some time refrain from infighting.

The indefinite pronoun one once again

I was asked whether I am uncomfortable with phrases like to keep oneself to oneself. No, I am not, and I don’t object to the sentence one should mind one’s own business. A colleague of mine has observed that the French and the Germans, with their on and man are better off than those who grapple with one in English. No doubt about it. All this is especially irritating because the indefinite pronoun one seems to owe its existence to French on. However, on and man, can function only as the subject of the sentence. Nothing in the world is perfect.

1024px-Sir_John_Vanbrugh_by_Thomas_Murray
Sir John Vanbrugh by Thomas Murray (died 1735). Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Our dance around pronouns sometimes assumes grotesque dimensions. In an email, a student informed me that her cousin is sick and she has to take care of them. She does not know, she added, when they will be well enough, to allow her to attend classes. Not that I am inordinately curious, but it is funny that I was protected from knowing whether “they” are a man or a woman. In my archive, I have only one similar example (I quoted it long ago): “If John calls, tell them I’ll soon be back.” Being brainwashed may have unexpected consequences.

Earl and the Herulians

Our faithful correspondent Mr. John Larsson wrote me a letter about the word earl. I have a good deal to say about it. But if he has access to the excellent but now defunct periodical General Linguistics, he will find all he needs in the article on the Herulians and earls by Marvin Taylor in Volume 30 for 1992 (the article begins on p. 109).

The OED: Behind the scenes

Many people realize what a gigantic effort it took to produce the Oxford English Dictionary, but only insiders are aware of how hard it is to do what seems trivial to a non-specialist. Next year we’ll mark the centennial of James A. H. Murray’s death, and I hope that this anniversary will not be ignored the way Skeat’s centennial was in 2012. Today I will cite one example of the OED’s labors in the early stages of work on it. In 1866, Cornelius Payne, Jun. was reading John Vanbrugh’s plays for the projected dictionary, and in Notes and Queries, Series 3, No. X for July 7 he asked the readers to explain several passages he did not understand. Two of them follow. 1) Clarissa: “I wish he would quarrel with me to-day a little, to pass away the time.” Flippanta: “Why, if you please to drop yourself in his way, six to four but he scolds one Rubbers with you.” 2) Sir Francis:…here, John Moody, get us a tankard of good hearty stuff presently. J. Moody: Sir, here’s Norfolk-nog to be had at next door.” Rubber(s) is a well-known card term, and it also means “quarrel.” See rubber, the end of the entry. Norfolk-nog did not make its way into the dictionary because no idiomatic sense is attached to it: the phrase means “nog made and served in Norfolk” (however, the OED did not neglect Norfolk). Such was and still is the price of every step. Read and wonder. And if you have a taste for Restoration drama, read Vanbrugh’s plays: moderately enjoyable but not always fit for the most innocent children (like those surrounding us today).

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2. The Classical world from A to Z

For over 2,000 years the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome have captivated our collective imagination and provided inspiration for many aspects of our lives, from culture, literature, drama, cinema, and television to society, education, and politics. With over 700 entries on everything and anything related to the classical world in the Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization, we created an A-Z list of facts you should know about the time period.

Alexander the Great: He believed himself the descendent of Heracles, Perseus, and Zeus. By 331 he had begun to represent himself as the direct son of Zeus, with dual paternity comparable to that of Heracles.

Baths: Public baths, often located near the forum (civic centre), were a normal part of Roman towns in Italy by the 1st century BC, and seem to have existed at Rome even earlier. Bathing occupied a central position in the social life of the day.

Christianity: By the end of the 4th century, Christianity had largely triumphed over its religious competition, although a pagan Hellenic tradition would continue to flourish in the Greek world and rural and local cults also persisted.

Democracy: Political rights were restricted to adult male Athenians. Women, foreigners, and slaves were excluded. An Athenian came of age at 18 when he became a member of his father’s deme and was enrolled in the deme’s roster, but as epheboi, most young Athenians were liable for military service for two years, before at the age of 20, they could be enrolled in the roster of citizen who had access to the assembly. Full political rights were obtained at 30 when a citizen was allowed to present himself as candidate at the annual sortation of magistrate and jurors.

The goddess Juno
The goddess Juno. Photo by Carole Raddato. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr.

Education, Greek: Greek ideas of education, whether theoretical or practical, encompassed upbringing and cultural training in the widest sense, not merely school and formal education. The poets were regarded as the educators of their society.

Food and drink: The Ancient diet was based on cereals, legumes, oil, and wine. Meat was a luxury for most people.

Gems: Precious stones were valued in antiquity as possessing magical and medicinal virtues, as ornaments, and as seals when engraved with a device.

Hephaestus was the Greek god of fire, of blacksmiths, and of artisans.

Ivory plaques at all classical periods decorated furniture and were used for the flesh parts of cult statues and for temple doors.

Juno was an old and important Italian goddess and one of the chief deities of Rome. Her name derives from the same root as iuventas (youth), but her original nature remains obscure.

Kinship in antiquity constituted a network of social relationship constructed through marriage and legitimate filiation, and usually included non-kin — especially slaves.

Libraries: The Great Roman libraries provided reading-rooms, one for Greek and one for Latin with books in niches around the walls. Books would generally be stored in cupboards which might be numbered for reference.

Marriage in the ancient world was a matter of personal law, and therefore a full Roman marriage could exist only if both parties were Roman citizen or had the right to contract marriage, either by grant to a group or individually.

Narrative: An interest in the theory of narrative is already apparent in Aristotle, whose Poetics may be considered the first treatise of narratology.

Ostracism in Athenian society the 5th century BC was a method of banishing a citizen for ten years. It is often hard to tell why a particular man was ostracized. Sometimes the Athenians seem to have ostracized a man to express their rejection of a policy for which he stood for.

Plato of Athens descended from wealthy and influential Athenian families on both sides. He rejected marriage and the family duty of producing citizen sons; he founded a philosophical school, the Academy; and he published written philosophical works.

Quintilian, a Roman rhetorician, advised that children start learning Greek before Latin. The Roman Empire was bilingual at the official, and multilingual at the individual and non-official, level.

Ritual: The central rite of Greek and Roman religion is animal sacrifice. It was understood as a gift to the gods.

Samaritans, the inhabitants of Samaria saw themselves as the direct descendants of the northern Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, left behind by the Assyrians in 722 BC.

Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus. Photo by David Stanley. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.

Toga: The toga was the principal garment of the free-born Roman male. As a result of Roman conquest the toga spread to some extent into the Roman western provinces, but in the east it never replaced the Greek rectangular mantle.

Urbanization: During the 5th, 4th, and 3rd centuries, urban forms spread to mainland northern Greece, both to the seaboard under the direct influence of southern cities, and inland in Macedonia, Thessaly, and even Epirus, in association with the greater political unification of those territories.

Venus: From the 3rd century BC, Venus was the patron of all persuasive seductions, between gods and mortals, and between men and women.

Wine was the everyday drink of all classes in Greece and Rome. It was also a key component of one of the central social institutions of the élite, the dinner and drinking party. On such occasions large quantities of wine were drunk, but it was invariably heavily diluted with water. It was considered a mark of uncivilized peoples, untouched by Classical culture, that they drank wine neat with supposed disastrous effects on their mental and physical health.

Xanthus was called the largest city in Lycia (southern Asia Minor). The city was known to Homer, and Herodotus described its capitulation to Persia in the famous siege of 545 BC.

Zeus, the Indo-European god of the bright sky, is transformed in Greece into Zeus the weather god, whose paramount and specific place of worship is a mountain top.

Featured image: Colosseum in Rome, Italy — April 2007 by Diliff. CC-BY-SA-2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

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3. Thanksgiving and the economics of sharing

For this American, my favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. Why? I have an image in my mind of Native Americans and colonists meeting and sharing food together; they share knowledge and stories. In the midst of their concerns about each other, they found respect for each other. Their spirit of sharing is a great inspiration.

As an economist in this upside-down world of people stressing over their future and present, I find answers in that image of Thanksgiving. People eventually survive by sharing with each other as a community. The poor are fed. The sick are cared for. The struggling are helped, and communal ties are strengthened.

Thanksgiving morning at Lake Tahoe. Photo by Beau Rogers. CC BY-NC 2.0 via beaurogers Flickr
Thanksgiving morning at Lake Tahoe. Photo by Beau Rogers. CC BY-NC 2.0 via beaurogers Flickr

There is a term in economics, social capital. This term refers to the cultural interactions within a society forming cohesion, coordination, and cooperation that allow an economy to function better. An economy relies on people from diverse backgrounds talking, sharing concerns, negotiating, making plans, and working toward common goals. The social quality of their communication determines the true strength and potential of their economy.

When the Native Americans and the colonists met and shared, I see social capital being built. The society became stronger. People would be better able to have their needs met. There would be less conflict and more enjoyment of work. The societuy would be able to grow in potential.

The focus of my research as an economist is in the area of labor share, which is the percentage of the income from production that is shared with labor. I research how changes in labor share affect such things as potential production, employment, productivity, investment, and even monetary policy from a central bank.

In almost all advanced countries, even in China where labor share was already low, labor share has fallen in an exorbitant way since the turn of the century. What has been the effect of labor receiving less share of a national income? Potential output has fallen. Unemployment will be higher than before. Productivity growth will stall much quicker, or even fall as in the United Kingdom. Nominal interest rates from central banks will be stuck near 0%.

The fall in labor share represents a problem in the social capital of advanced countries. Labor is being excluded from economic development. Their concerns are not being heard, while corporate profits extend to new records. Labor’s wages are expected to fall in order for companies to be more competitive globally.

Stop. Take a moment of silence.

Acknowledge the growing problem of inequality, and return now to celebrate this holiday of Thanksgiving. Within this day exists the answers to our economic concerns. As societies, we only need to share more. And in sharing, we show our respect for the value of people within society.

A man can’t get rich if he takes proper care of his family.

The Navajo, or Diné, have a saying: “A man can’t get rich if he takes proper care of his family.” The wisdom embodied in this saying is immense. The wisdom not only assures the strength of each member of the community by building social capital, but it assures a stronger economy.

Now we need to answer the question: Who is family?

Here comes the true meaning of Thanksgiving: We are all family. The poor, the rich, the uneducated, the educated, the powerful, and the powerless, as well as those of different races and cultures. Families, friends, and strangers are invited into our homes to celebrate Thanksgiving. The abundance is shared and ties of respect are celebrated.

The extent to which a society can see everyone within the society as family determines the potential of their economy and eventually the quality of life. So Thanksgiving is a moment to celebrate how different people can embrace each other in a spirit of sharing. In that sharing, a broader vision of family is cultivated. In that vision, sick economies can be healed.

Featured image ‘Home to Thanksgiving’ litohraph by Currier and Ives (1867). Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

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4. Nigerian Writers Series

       Hoping to emulate the success of the African Writers Series -- see, for example, my review of James Currey's history of The African Writers Series and the Launch of African Literature, Africa Writes Back -- the Association of Nigerian Authors.has launched a Nigerian Writers Series, now announcing the first ten titles (from fifty total and thirty-eight 'valid' submissions) that will be published by a variety of Nigerian publishers.
       See also Henry Akubuiro in The Sun on the New dawn for Nigerian writers this might facilitate.
       Sounds like a good idea, in any case, and I hope to eventually see some of these titles.

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5. Athens Prize for Literature

       As Theodoros Grigoriadis reports at his weblog, they've announced this year's winners of the Greek Athens Prize for Literature, with Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena winning the best translated category (dominated by translations from the English; see the shortlist, which included titles by Coetzee, McEwan, Banville, and Hollinghurst) and Tηλέμαχος Κώτσιας' Kώδικας Τιμής taking the Greek novel prize (see also the Ψυχογιός publicity page).

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6. Bookselling in ... the US

       In The Los Angeles Times Frank Shyong describes how To Survive in the U.S., Chinese Bookstores Evolve Way Beyond Books.
       Yes:

Internet competition has forced bookstores across the nation to close, but in the San Gabriel Valley, they've evolved. Chinese bookstores ship packages, repair laptops, supply lottery tickets. One bookstore became a classroom, another a convenience store.
       Sadly:
As for books, they mostly gather dust.

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7. I hadn't understood review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Diego De Silva's I hadn't understood.
       The second in De Silva's series is about to come out -- My Mother-in-Law Drinks; see the Europa editions publicity page, or pre-order your cppy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- but I figured I should get to this one first.

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8. AMS/SMT 2014: Highlights from the OUP booth

We had a great time at this year’s AMS/SMT meeting! Milwaukee was a bit chilly, but we drank lots of coffee, cozied up with thrilling new books, and listened to some fantastic presentations!

Weren’t able to make it, or just feeling nostalgic? Take a tour through the eyes of OUP music, and check out some memorable highlights from this year’s joint meeting:

You can find out more information about the AMS/SMT 2014 conference by visiting their website. We already can’t wait for next year!

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9. From Film to Funny Books: Kyle Higgins on Donning the C.O.W.L. [Interview]

By Matt O’Keefe

While still enjoying an extended stay in Gotham as the writer of series like Gates of GothamNightwing, Batman Eternal and Batman Beyond 2.0, Kyle Higgins has ventured into Chicago for his first creator-owned comic book. C.O.W.L. is an Image series written by Higgins and Alec Siegel about the Chicago Organized Workers League, the first superhero labor union, that continues the the story that began in The League, a short film written by the duo. Now that C.O.W.L. has completed its inaugural arc, I spoke with Higgins about the book, learning more about how it came together and what lies ahead. Here is that interview, along with exclusive preview pages from Issues 6 and 7.

COWLTPB001 web From Film to Funny Books: Kyle Higgins on Donning the C.O.W.L. [Interview]

C.O.W.L. Volume 1: Principles of Power. Art by Rod Reis.

When I first heard about C.O.W.L. I wasn’t very interested because I thought superheroes had been done to death. I was happy to be proven wrong. Have other people shared that initial hesitation with you?

Not in so many words, no. But I totally understand what you mean. And to be honest, that was something that weighed on me a lot. Alec and I have always believed in our story, our world, and what we thought the book could be, but still… we were preparing to jump into the creator owned sphere at our favorite publisher and we were leading with a period superhero piece. I was definitely worried about the reaction, and whether anyone would give the book a shot. We very much felt like if people picked up the first issue it’d be clear that we weren’t doing a “superhero” book. Thankfully, it seems like people get that, as the response has been pretty great. I’m crossing my fingers that more people find the series now that the trade is out. We’ve got our legs under us now, and really, things are just starting to heat up for Chicago and C.O.W.L.

The transmedia element is what eventually drew me in. Did you know you wanted C.O.W.L. to be a comic when you were making the short film?

Yes and no. I remember, before deciding to do it as a film, trying to write the concept as a comic… but I was twenty and had no idea what I was doing (laughs). Truthfully, I never thought I’d write for a living, much less comics. In high school and college, with the rare exception of a short story here and there… I only ever wrote so I would have material to direct. But, when we finished The League and it opened doors for us at Marvel, I knew it was an opportunity too good to pass up. At that point, with a couple comics under our belt, Alec and I started talking about how cool The League would be as an ongoing story—either in TV or in comics. We never really felt like it worked as a feature film, since so much of what makes it interesting are the characters and the world building. That was actually one of the biggest story limitations with the short—while it’s set in the world of a superhero labor union, we actually did very little with that concept. The short is really just a superhero murder mystery.

Anyway, fast forward six years and here we are.

poster1 685x1028 From Film to Funny Books: Kyle Higgins on Donning the C.O.W.L. [Interview]

Poster for “The League” short film. Art by Eoin Colgan.

Have non-comic book readers who are fans of The League translated into an audience for C.O.W.L.?

In so far as friends, family, and old classmates, sure. But really, the film was never that widely seen. It’s available now through iTunes and Amazon, but at this point, I think most people who check it out are fans of C.O.W.L. I try to plug it in the C.O.W.L. letters’ column as much as possible. On the whole, I’m still very proud of it.

Both the film and the comic are heavily stylized. How does that help the comic, both in the market and creatively?

That’s one of the reasons Alec and I held off on pursuing it for a long time. We knew that if we were going to do a comic involving superheroes in any way, the series would need to be visually unique. With the time period and the noir overtones, we didn’t want it to look like a superhero book. The other thing is that, after three years of writing Batman books, my taste has changed. I used to only like big, mainstream-styled comic art, but more and more I started to find myself attracted to very stylized work. What Trevor McCarthy did on our Nightrunner story and then on Gates of Gotham really started to broaden my horizons. And, you know, that’s not to say Trevor isn’t a mainstream artist—I think he is—but his style is off center. Very kinetic and animated. And I love it.

So, as that relates to C.O.W.L., when we found Rod, we thought it could be a very different and interesting fit.

The unique style of C.O.W.L., from the multimedia art to the sound effects to the use of white space, really makes it stand out. How did you and Alec, Rod Reis and Troy Peteri settle on that design?

It starts with Rod. He came onto the project with a lot of ideas for his art, and started painting sequences to show us. They all included sound effects built into the art, and from those pages, Troy latched onto the idea of lettering the book in a kind of ‘80s, Epic Comics style. Specifically, with strokeless balloons. Trevor, Rod, and I started talking about covers and I really wanted to play up a Saul Bass, Robert McGinnis feel. It was a fine line to walk though, because although we’re trying to evoke the style of ‘60s illustration, we don’t want the book to necessarily feel like it was published in 1962, if that makes sense.

COWL 007001 final 668x1028 From Film to Funny Books: Kyle Higgins on Donning the C.O.W.L. [Interview]

Art by Rod Reis for C.O.W.L. #7.

Where did you find Rod Reis?

Rod and I worked together at DC for about a year and a half, on Nightwing. He colored Eddy Barrows and several other artists on the series, and like any great colorist, brought a consistent palette to the book that carried over from artist to artist while still enhancing what made each one unique. Coming from a filmmaking and cinematography background, coloring is hugely important to me. It’s as significant as the line art, and when someone opens a comic, it’s the coloring they notice first. It’s also what sets the mood for the reading experience. After the first six months on Nightwing, Rod and I finally met at NYCC. He was doing water color commissions, which were incredible. I remember asking him if he’d ever be up for doing sequentials and, albeit timidly, he said it could be fun. Fast forward about a year, and we did a little eight page story for Brian Buccellato’s Foster anthology. Off that, I showed Alec and threw out the idea of C.O.W.L.

COWL 007002 final 668x1028 From Film to Funny Books: Kyle Higgins on Donning the C.O.W.L. [Interview]

Art by Rod Reis for C.O.W.L. #7.

A common complaint I hear about creating a new superhero universes is how difficult it is to come up with original names for the heroes and villains. Did you struggle with that?

We struggle with that monthly (laughs). Yeah, it’s pretty hard. Of course, we named our main characters years ago, but any new characters we introduce… yeah. It’s a constant discussion and thesaurus checking.

You’ve spent a lot of time in Gotham recently with Nightwing, Batman Beyond 2.0 and Batman Eternal. Did you ever consider using a fictional city instead of Chicago when creating The League?

Never. With the exception of Gotham—and Bludhaven, because I love that Dixon/McDaniel Nightwing run so much—I don’t like fictional cities. It’s one of the big things that made Marvel books so appealing to me as a kid. The stories were taking place in a real American city, one that I could go to. That, to me, helps ground the fantastic elements in superhero stories.

The other thing, specifically relating to The League, is that the concept of a superhero labor union works best when it’s set against the backdrop of an era and a city where labor relations were prominent. Chicago’s political history, and its history with labor, adds extra weight to the idea of an organization like C.O.W.L. Why not take advantage of that to help ground the series?

61JJ3ZA h L. SS280 From Film to Funny Books: Kyle Higgins on Donning the C.O.W.L. [Interview]

Cover for the C.O.W.L. soundtrack.

You’ve done a ton of worldbuilding in the short time the comic’s been around. It has a map, you sell C.O.W.L. patches and there’s even a soundtrack for the series. Is that kind of worldbuilding something you expect to do with all your creator-owned comics, or is C.O.W.L. a special case?

It all depends on the book and the idea. Personally, I love anything that adds to the escapism and enhances the reading experience. Anything that plays into the world building aspect of a story. However, I think some stories lend themselves to those things more than others. My next book totally lends itself to that, so I’ll be having a lot of fun with it, but I could see doing a little crime book down the line that may not.

And for anyone who is just now hearing about the soundtrack, which is titled The C.O.W.L. Sessions, I highly recommend it. It’s the brainchild of Joe Clark, an incredibly talented jazz composer in Chicago, who scored The League. Joe wrote this album as if someone in the world of C.O.W.L. were composing tracks about the superheroes of the city. So, it’s very of-the-world, both in its subject matter as well as its ‘60s hard-bop style.

You describe your comic book writing style as cinematic. What makes it cinematic storytelling?

Well, first off… me saying it’s “cinematic” is probably a gross overstatement. I don’t think there’s anything super overt about the way I write, but I did come up writing screenplays. So, that’s the style and form I’ve been most comfortable in. As such, I tend to think of panel descriptions, shots, and coverage in film terms because that’s what I know. The other big thing is in my structure and pacing. I tend to be very rigid in these areas—I like to crosscut a lot, tend to stay away from internal voice over, cover dialogue exchanges with lots of back-and-forth reaction shots, etc.

That said, I’m trying to break free of some of these things and really push my stuff in different directions. The new book I’m working on right now has a lot more experimentation in both its form and structure, and there are certain stylistic things that I’ve never done before that I’m trying on it.

A common complaint over the past decade or so is that comics have become too influenced by cinematic storytelling. How do you strike that balance between your cinematic storytelling sensibilities and making sure the comics you write still stay true to their roots?

Yeah, that’s a really good question, and something I’ve become much more thoughtful about lately. I mean, there are things you can do in comics that you can’t do in any other medium. So, more and more, I find myself looking to exploit those aspects of the medium. For example, my first issue of Batman Beyond 2.0 features conversations over a radio between Terry and Bruce Wayne, for the whole issue. Except… at the end of the issue, we reveal that Terry hasn’t been speaking to Bruce the whole time: he’s been speaking to Dick Grayson. It’s a bait and switch that you couldn’t do in any other medium, because you’d recognize the person’s voice as not being Bruce Wayne’s. It’s a bit you can only do in comics.

The other cool thing about working with Rod is that he challenges me in a lot of these areas. I learn a lot from him, in the way he likes to depict scenes so they work well graphically on the page, whereas I sometimes think of scenes in just shots and edits. Rod’s decision to start building his sound effects into his art has also given me a lot of ideas—issue seven’s opening has a really cool sequence that takes advantage of sound effects in ways that can only be depicted in comics, with the actual sound effect letters being used as weapons… which depicts a character’s power of being able to amplify and convert sound. A guy actually gets tripped by an O in the word KLOP.

COWL 006009 final 668x1028 From Film to Funny Books: Kyle Higgins on Donning the C.O.W.L. [Interview]

Art for C.O.W.L. #6. Illustrated by Elsa Charretier and colored by Rod Reis.

You do a great job with what I assume is a limited budget for The League. Still, how has the lack of budget restrictions from the comics medium opened up your storytelling?

The biggest way it’s changed things for me is that it’s not even a thought. I mean, like you said, we don’t have any budget restrictions when it comes to comics. We have time and energy restrictions, sure, but if you plan ahead and get on the same page with your artist, pretty much anything is possible. Now, does that mean bigger is always better? Not necessariy, no. It all comes down to what the story requires. It’s a case by case basis. There have been times when editors have told me it needs to be bigger because it can be bigger, and that’s a huge benefit we have in comics over something like television. I understand their rationale, and they’ve certainly been right at times, but on the flipside… I don’t think every story has to be about the potential destruction of a city, you know what I mean?

You mentioned previously that you were planning to shoot another short film in August. Did that come to fruition, and can you say anything about it?

Ah, it did not… and it’s totally my own fault. I had something in mind, and just wasn’t able to put it together fast enough. I do still plan on directing a new short, but there are some other live action projects in the works, too that—hopefully—I’ll be able to talk about in the near future.

What’s the long-term game plan for C.O.W.L.? Do you have an end in mind?

We’ve got some endings in mind, more for our characters than anything. Alec and I have been building this world for so many years that we have a lot of stories we want to tell. A lot of them are with the current cast in the book… but some of them aren’t. You can read into that however you like (laughs).

The plan, though, is to keep publishing the book for as long as we can. And really, what that means, is for as long as our sales are there. Our numbers are okay right now, and we’re hopeful that having the trade out will stabilize things a bit, as more people hear about the series. This is my first creator owned book, but from what I can tell it’s kind of a war of attrition. The more issues and trades you can put out, the more the book will support itself. However, surviving long enough to get all those issues and trades out is the big challenge.

Are you enjoying the dive into creator-owned comics? Can we expect more from you soon?

Honestly? I absolutely love it. You have no idea. I enjoy writing Batman and other superhero books a great deal, but there’s nothing quite like building your own world and calling your own shots. Of course, there are a whole host of different challenges that come with doing your own book that you don’t get on work-for-hire projects, but as someone who’s incredibly OCD about pretty much everything, I really thrive in this type of environment. And, I’m super proud of the work. So, yes. You can expect to hear about my next creator-owned series very soon.

COWL 006010 final 668x1028 From Film to Funny Books: Kyle Higgins on Donning the C.O.W.L. [Interview]

Art for C.O.W.L. #6. Illustrated by Elsa Charretier and colored by Rod Reis.

Rod Reis created such a signature look for the series. Did that make it difficult to bring in a guest artist for Issue 6?

No, because issue six is designed as an of-the-world one shot. IE, it’s a 1962 comic that Geoffrey Warner licensed his likeness and life story for. The whole point of the issue is to tell his origin, but also have it exist within the world of C.O.W.L. So in that regard, bringing in a different artist was very natrual. And, issue six won’t be collected in the standard trades. Our hope is to do a couple more of these one shots, and then maybe one day collect them in their own 1962 Marvel-masterworks-esque trade. But, we’ll see.

You recently shared that the physical copy of C.O.W.L. #6 will have a page you can cut out and mail in to receive a patch. Why did you decide to do that giveaway, and how daunting to you expect it to be to fulfill?

Well, considering we’re asking comic buyers to cut their comics… I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t that many (laughs). You know, this was actually my girlfriend Jen Aprahamian’s idea. She offered to create ads to go inside the book (and those ads include ads for other Image books as if they were coming out in 1962, which Jen painted all the art for) and we talked about how cool it would be to get a P.O. box and do a mail-in giveaway. Books back then used to do things like this, with cutouts, so we opted to stay authentic. That said, we ran the ad on the inside back cover, so for anyone who does cut out the ad and mail it in, they won’t be damaging any of the art. Of course, if they ultimately decide to buy two copies of the issue in order to always have a pristine one, that’s cool too (laughs).

What’s coming up in the second arc of C.O.W.L.?

The second arc deals with Geoffrey’s decision at the end of issue five, which was to start working with mob-boss Camden Stone to create a false-flag operation in Chicago: they’re going to create super villains in an attempt to justify C.O.W.L. getting a new contract with the city. I said this in the letters’ column, but this is actually where Alec and I had initially planned to kick the series off. However, in order to really make Geoffrey’s choice resonate, we felt it was important to build to it. Back him into a corner and show why he was doing what he was doing. What C.O.W.L. and the Grey Raven mantle means to him.

The thing to keep in mind about C.O.W.L. is that it’s a look at the death of a superhero labor union, not the birth of one. So, the second arc will be following this trajectory, looking at the lengths that people are willing to go to stave death off. It’s going to be a lot of fun… well, for Alec, me, and the readers. Maybe not so much for the members of C.O.W.L. (laughs).

The other big threads in this arc are John Pierce’s murder, as well as the introduction of CPD detective Evelyn Thompson, who used to be a member of C.O.W.L. We’ll also get into what happened between Geoffrey and his former sidekick, Sparrow, and Radia will be taking a much firmer stand in the city and the organization.

I can’t wait for people to see what we’ve got planned.

 

C.O.W.L. Volume 1: Principles of Power is now on sale. Issue 6 of C.O.W.L., featuring art by Elsa Charretier, comes out in comic book stores Wednesday 11/26.

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10. DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: October 2014 – The Sweet Smell of Success

STK652874 DC Comics Month to Month Sales: October 2014   The Sweet Smell of Success
by David Carter

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

After last month’s Futures End 3D cover extravataganza, things return to normal in October. DC continued their freely-orderable variant cover program, with the theme this month being Monster covers. The comics with variant covers are still selling higher than they would have without them, but at this point the month-to-month effects are largely subsumed by regular considerations such as creative team changes, crossovers, and standard attrition.

October saw the debuts of several DCU titles, to varying effectiveness. Deathstroke by Tony Daniel and several Batman-related titles did relatively well, while a couple of supernatural-theme books (Trinity of Sin and Klarion) did less so. October was also the debut of the highly-touted revamped Batgirl, which saw the comic jump up to a top-twenty title.

DC’s third weekly title, Earth 2: World’s End, debuted in October. Here are the first month sales of all three weekly series (plus the most recent issue for BE & FE):

Batman Eternal: 105,754; 84,466; 79,703; 78,009 … 52,438 (#30)
Futures End: 77,867; 62,862; 59,148; 58,496 … 35,452 (#26)
E2 World End: 48,248; 40,190; 38,496; 37,874

All three had their first month’s issues returnable. (Also, Batman Eternal had significant reorder activity that is not included in the above.)

All three weekly series will be ending in March as DCE pauses for their move to the West Coast (see below). All indications are that there will be a weekly Batman series resuming in the summer. Whether theyll try for a second and third weekly series as well remains to be seen. On the one hand a weekly series selling in the 30K range is better than 4 monthly series selling around 20K or less. On the other, constant multiple weekly series stand the chance of burning out readers, and they seem to be a lot more logistically complicated from a production standpoint.

Speaking of DCEs West Coast move and weekly series…

In April & May of next year, DC will run a two month event, Convergence, that will see the suspension of their regular publication schedule for 40 two-issue series and a weekly spine series. This event is being handled by a separate editorial team that is not part of the move out west, so that the regular crew (those who are making the move) can get things together out in California, presumably new people are hired, etc.

(It is unclear at this point if Vertigo will cease its regular output for those two months as well, or if the cessation applies only to DCU titles. IIRC the Digital First titles are already being produced out of the West Coast offices so presumably they will go on as usual.)

In the commentary below youll see me refer to the Convergence Gap, that two month period that the regular DCU titles wont be published. It is my belief that there is a shake-up of sorts coming: Many low-selling titles will have their final issue in March, and several new titles will be launched over the summer. Further, there is chatter that the tight centralized editorial control of the New 52 will be relaxing and that new titles (and some existing ones getting new creative teams) will be more creator-driven, along the lines of what the Bat-books have been doing recently with new Batgirl, Gotham Academy, and Gotham by Midnight. Post-Convergence Gap may also see the dropping of the New 52 designation. (Its been three years now, so its getting harder to justify calling it new anymore!)

It is less clear in my mind what will be happening with Vertigo, but this front-piece is already getting overly long so Ill save my Vertigo speculation for next months column.

Please chime in the comments below with your predictions for what will become of DCs publishing slate after the Convergence Gap.

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

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

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


6 - BATMAN ($4.99)
10/2004: Batman #633    --  69,946 
10/2009: Batman #691    --  71,431 
10/2010: Batman #704    --  65,212
10/2011: Batman #2      -- 172,428 [198,765]
10/2012: Batman #13     -- 148,305 [169,666] 
-------------------------------
10/2013: Batman #24     -- 124,652 (-  3.5%)
11/2013: Batman #25     -- 125,602 (+  0.8%)
12/2013: Batman #26     -- 119,443 (-  4.9%)
01/2014: Batman #27     -- 115,492 (-  1.7%) [117,395]
02/2014: Batman #28     -- 114,089 (-  1.3%) [115,891]
03/2014: Batman #29     -- 116,926 (+  0.9%)
04/2014: Batman #30     -- 108,998 (-  6.8%)
05/2014: Batman #31     -- 107,499 (+  0.2%) [109,170]
06/2014: Batman #32     -- 130,077 (+ 19.2%) 
07/2014: Batman #33     -- 117,996 (-  9.3%) 
08/2014: Batman #34     -- 112,186 (-  4.9%) 
09/2014: Futures End #1 -- 142,980 (+ 27.4%) 
10/2014: Batman #35     -- 118,860 (- 16.9%) 
-----------------
6 months: +  9.0%
1 year  : -  4.6%
2 years : - 29.9%
5 years : + 66.4%
10 years: + 69.9%
Since #1: - 46.8%

Due to Walking Dead Loot Crateness and Marvel’s ending The Death of Wolverine and starting Thor and Axis, Batman falls down to sixth on the chart this month. But the positive here is that the start of Snyder & Capullo’s “Endgame” comes in higher than the end of “Zero Year.” And that’s for a $4.99 cover-priced issue. No doubt the combination of Batman vs. the Justice League and The Joker led to heightened interest. The was a Monster variant of course and an incentive variant, but those are par for the course these days. A Monster-Selfie differential of positive 6.5K.

9 - HARLEY QUINN ANNUAL ($5.99)
10/2014: Harley Quinn Annual #1 -- 97,312 

Well now. The Harley Quinn annual utilizes four freely-orderable variants (standard & international editions, in regular and Bombshell covers) and a scratch & sniff gimmick to sell nearly 100K copies, which is a good 30K more than the regular series and way more than any other Annual in recent memory. And that’s for a $5.99 comic. Fantastic sales.

12, 13 - JUSTICE LEAGUE ($3.99)
10/2004: JLA #107            --  65,225 [68,082]
10/2009: JL of America #38   --  61,012
10/2010: JL of America #50   --  59,686
10/2011: Justice League #2   -- 196,569
10/2012: Justice League #13  -- 117,752
---------------------------------------
10/2013: Justice League #24  --  98,491 (+ 18.0%)
11/2013: --
12/2013: Justice League #25  --  94,004 (-  4.6%)
12/2013: Justice League #26  --  90,592 (-  3.6%)
01/2014: Justice League #27  --  84,674 (-  6.5%)
02/2014: Justice League #28  --  80,901 (-  4.5%)
03/2014: --
04/2014: Justice League #29  --  78,912 (-  2.5%)
05/2014: Justice League #30  --  77,456 (-  1.8%)
06/2014: Justice League #31  --  75,803 (-  2.1%)
07/2014: Justice League #32  --  88,179 (+ 16.3%)
08/2014: --
09/2014: Justice League #33  --  79,447 (-  9.9%)
09/2014: Futures End #1      -- 104,246 (+ 31.2%)
10/2014: Justice League #34  --  75,400 (- 27.7%)
10/2014: Justice League #35  --  75,264 (-  0.2%)
-----------------
6 months: -  4.5%
1 year  : - 23.5%
2 years : - 36.0%
5 years : + 23.5%
10 years: + 10.6%
Since #1: - 61.6%

Two issues in October as Justice League catches back up to the rest of the New 52 launch titles. Issue #34 had a Selfie variant and #35 had a Monsters variant; they were both ordered for October though and the numbers come in almost exactly even. But sales with the freely-orderable variants are now back down to where they were before DC started that program, meaning that the new Variant covers scheme has granted them about a five month reprieve from the usual attrition.

17 - HARLEY QUINN ($2.99)
11/2013: Harley Quinn #0  -- 114,212           [141,580]
12/2013: Harley Quinn #1  --  92,153 (- 10.8%) [120,312]
01/2014: Harley Quinn #2  --  66,363 (- 26.9%) [ 82,031]
02/2014: Harley Quinn #3  --  63,967 (- 18.6%) [ 72,820]
03/2014: Harley Quinn #4  --  63,120 (-  5.5%)
04/2014: Harley Quinn #5  --  63,155 (+  0.1%)
05/2014: Harley Quinn #6  --  62,467 (-  1.1%)
06/2014: Harley Quinn #7  --  93,266 (+ 49.3%)
07/2014: Harley Quinn #8  --  76,827 (- 17.6%)
08/2014: Harley Quinn #9  --  71,522 (-  6.9%)
08/2014: Harley Quinn #10 --  58,500 (- 18.2%)
09/2014: Futures End #1   -- 119,180 (+103.7%)
10/2014: Harley Quinn #11 --  68,557 (- 42.5%)
-----------------
6 months: +  8.6%
Since #0: - 51.6%

Recall that #10 didn’t have a freely-orderable variant, so the Monster-Selfie differential of -3K is compared to #9. Sales are subject to standard attrition (once you look past the variant cover undulations), but this is still easily one of DC’s best selling titles.

19 - BATGIRL ($2.99)
10/2004: Batgirl #57    -- 39,631  [41,136]
10/2009: Batgirl #3     -- 37,011
10/2010: --
10/2011: Batgirl #2     -- 83,586
10/2012: Batgirl #13    -- 50,074  [71,109]
----------------------------------
10/2013: Batgirl #24    -- 36,666 (-  2.8%)
11/2013: Batgirl #25    -- 40,752 (+ 11.1%)
12/2013: Batgirl #26    -- 34,885 (- 14.4%)
01/2014: Batgirl #27    -- 37,226 (+  6.7%)
02/2014: Batgirl #28    -- 34,567 (-  7.1%)
03/2014: Batgirl #29    -- 33,223 (-  3.9%)
04/2014: Batgirl #30    -- 32,698 (-  1.6%)
05/2014: Batgirl #31    -- 31,522 (-  3.6%)
06/2014: Batgirl #32    -- 47,304 (+ 50.1%)
07/2014: Batgirl #33    -- 37,186 (- 21.4%)
08/2014: Batgirl #34    -- 34,590 (-  7.0%)
09/2014: Futures End #1 -- 67,933 (+ 96.4%)
10/2014: Batgirl #35    -- 62,644 (-  7.8%)
-----------------
6 months: + 91.6%
1 year  : + 70.9%
2 years : - 11.9%
5 years : + 69.3%
10 years: + 32.3%
Since #1: - 41.5%

Arguably one of DC’s most anticipated comics of the Fall, the new creative team for and reinvention of Batgirl scores an impressive 62K copies. And the comic has gone into a second print, which is a sign for consumer demand. This is good supporting evidence for DC relaxing their rigid house-style control over the DCU and opening things up to more varied and creator-driven approaches.

The real rub will come next month, when we see if retailers treat #36 as a second issue and drop their orders accordingly, or if customer demand is high enough that we see more of a standard attrition. It went into a 2nd printing, which is a good indicator of actual customer demand.

Oh, and a Monster-Selfie differential of a whopping +28K. (There was also an incentive variant.)

25 - DETECTIVE COMICS ($3.99)
10/2004: Detective Comics #799 --  48,228
10/2009: Detective Comics #858 --  58,599
10/2010: Detective Comics #870 --  35,674
10/2011: Detective Comics #2   -- 123,099
10/2012: Detective Comics #13  --  76,392
-----------------------------------------
10/2013: Detective Comics #24  --  59,310 (- 12.9%)
11/2013: Detective Comics #25  --  64,392 (+  8.6%)
12/2013: Detective Comics #26  --  56,538 (- 12.2%)
01/2014: Detective Comics #27  --  88,702 (+ 59.8%) [90,335]
02/2014: Detective Comics #28  --  56,619 (- 37.3%)
03/2014: Detective Comics #29  --  55,486 (-  2.0%)
04/2014: Detective Comics #30  --  56,149 (+  1.2%)
05/2014: Detective Comics #31  --  54,518 (-  2.9%)
06/2014: Detective Comics #32  --  72,988 (+ 33.9%)
07/2014: Detective Comics #33  --  62,856 (- 13.9%)
08/2014: Detective Comics #34  --  58,812 (-  6.4%)
09/2014: Futures End #1        --  96,081 (+ 63.4%)
10/2014: Detective Comics #35  --  57,385 (- 40.3%)
-----------------
6 months: +  2.2%
1 year  : -  3.2%
2 years : - 24.9%
5 years : -  2.1%
10 years: + 19.0%
Since #1: - 63.6%

The first of a two-part fill-in by Benjamin Percy & John Paul Leon. A Monster-Selfie differential of just -1.5K.

28 - BATMAN AND... ($2.99)
10/2009: Batman and Robin #5  -- 101,607
10/2010: Batman and Robin #15 --  80,173
10/2011: Batman and Robin #2  --  98,807
10/2012: Batman and Robin #13 --  63,097
----------------------------------------
10/2013: and Two-Face #24     --  52,060 (- 25.0%)
11/2013: and Two-Face #25     --  53,374 (+  2.5%)
12/2013: and Two-Face #26     --  46,611 (- 12.7%)
01/2014: and Two-Face #27     --  45,462 (-  2.5%)
02/2014: and Two-Face #28     --  43,380 (-  4.6%)
03/2014: and Aquaman #29      --  43,295 (-  0.2%)
04/2014: and Wonder Woman #30 --  44,832 (+  3.6%)
05/2014: and Frankenstein #31 --  42,150 (-  6.0%)
06/2014: and Ra's al Ghul #32 --  56,311 (+ 33.6%)
07/2014: Batman and Robin #33 --  56,269 (-  0.1%)
08/2014: Batman and Robin #34 --  53,403 (-  5.1%)
09/2014: Futures End #1       --  83,783 (+ 56.9%)
10/2014: Batman and Robin #35 --  54,616 (- 34.8%)
----------------
6 months: + 21.8%
1 year  : +  4.9%
2 years : - 13.4%
5 years : - 46.2%
Since #1: - 52.9%

Another title showing a bit of growth, with a Monster-Selfie differential of a positive 1.2K.

29, 32, 35, 38, 39 - BATMAN ETERNAL ($2.99)
04/2014: Batman Eternal #1  -- 105,754           [110,916]
04/2014: Batman Eternal #2  --  84,566 (- 20.2%) [ 88,468]
04/2014: Batman Eternal #3  --  79,703 (-  4.8%) [ 84,183]
04/2014: Batman Eternal #4  --  78,009 (-  1.7%) [ 82,743]
05/2014: Batman Eternal #5  --  73,475 (- 11.2%)
05/2014: Batman Eternal #6  --  70,983 (-  3.4%)
05/2014: Batman Eternal #7  --  68,251 (-  3.8%)
05/2014: Batman Eternal #8  --  68,523 (+  0.4%)
06/2014: Batman Eternal #9  --  68,295 (-  0.3%)
06/2014: Batman Eternal #10 --  67,203 (-  1.6%)
06/2014: Batman Eternal #11 --  65,770 (-  2.1%)
06/2014: Batman Eternal #12 --  65,374 (-  0.6%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #13 --  63,828 (-  2.4%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #14 --  63,138 (-  1.1%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #15 --  62,137 (-  1.6%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #16 --  61,149 (-  1.6%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #17 --  60,013 (-  1.9%)
08/2014: Batman Eternal #18 --  58,998 (-  1.7%)
08/2014: Batman Eternal #19 --  58,368 (-  1.1%)
08/2014: Batman Eternal #20 --  57,906 (-  0.8%)
08/2014: Batman Eternal #21 --  57,525 (-  0.7%)
09/2014: Batman Eternal #22 --  56,793 (-  1.3%)
09/2014: Batman Eternal #23 --  56,152 (-  1.1%)
09/2014: Batman Eternal #24 --  56,002 (-  0.3%)
09/2014: Batman Eternal #25 --  55,662 (-  0.6%)
10/2014: Batman Eternal #26 --  54,199 (-  2.6%)
10/2014: Batman Eternal #27 --  53,511 (-  1.3%)
10/2014: Batman Eternal #28 --  52,918 (-  1.1%)
10/2014: Batman Eternal #29 --  52,284 (-  1.2%)
10/2014: Batman Eternal #30 --  52,438 (+  0.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 42.7%
Since #1: - 52.7%

Five issues of the weekly in October. It appears to have stabilized in the low 50K range, with issue #30 even showing a slight uptick. There are reports that a Batman weekly will continue post-Covergence, though I would expect that we’ll see a start-over at #1 and possibly a different title as well.

30 - DEATHSTROKE ($2.99)
10/2011: Deathstroke #2  -- 44,647 
10/2012: Deathstroke #13 -- 15,078 
----------------------------------------
05/2013: Deathstroke #20 -- 11,768 (-  5.0%)
--
10/2014: Deathstroke #1  -- 54,059 (+359.4%) 
-----------------
2 years : +258.5%

Tony Daniel brings his significant fan base to a relaunch of Deathstroke, and the results are very good. The first issue of the relaunch comes in higher than the first month sales of the New 52 launch (47,028) and within spitting distance of its total sales (56,820). Given Deathstroke’s sales history, it’s quite clear than Daniel is the draw here.

There was gong to be a second printing of #1, but that has been cancelled. I’m not sure what to make of that in terms of customer demand.

31 - SUPERMAN ($3.99)
10/2004: Superman #210  -- 113,480 [114,272]
10/2009: Superman #693  --  35,395
10/2010: Superman #703  --  50,460
10/2010: Superman #704  --  46,741
10/2011: Superman #2    -- 104,703
10/2012: Superman #13   --  52,155
---------------------------------
10/2013: Superman #24   --  39,580 (- 33.8%)
11/2013: Superman #25   --  39,295 (-  0.7%)
12/2013: Superman #26   --  36,877 (-  6.2%)
01/2014: Superman #27   --  35,266 (-  4.4%)
02/2014: Superman #28   --  34,296 (-  2.8%)
03/2014: Superman #29   --  33,633 (-  1.9%)
04/2014: Superman #30   --  37,316 (+ 11.0%)
05/2014: Superman #31   --  40,534 (+  8.6%)
06/2014: Superman #32   --  89,140 (+155.4%) [103,508]
07/2014: Superman #33   --  62,998 (- 39.1%)
08/2014: Superman #34   --  56,568 (- 10.2%)
09/2014: Futures End #1 --  77,949 (+ 37.8%)
10/2014: Superman #35   --  53,692 (- 31.1%)
-----------------
6 months: + 43.9%
1 year  : + 35.7%
2 years : +  2.9%
5 years : + 51.7%
10 years: - 53.0%
Since #1: - 64.2%

The Johns-Romita Superman appears to be settling into the low 50K range, which is historically fairly decent for Superman but perhaps lower than would be hoped for form a high-profile creative team. The Monster-Selfie differential is about -3K.

33 - THE MULTIVERSITY ($4.99)
08/2014: The Multiversity #1  -- 90,551 
09/2014: SoS-H: CotC-W    #1  -- 65,022 (- 28.2%)
10/2014: The Just         #1  -- 53,301 (- 18.0%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 41.1%

Not bad sales for an oversized mini-series with no real tie to the regular DCU titles, but DC may have been hoping for more. November’s Pax Americana is likely to see an uptick.

36 - GRAYSON ($2.99)
10/2004: Nightwing #98  -- 43,618
10/2011: Nightwing #2   -- 73,054
10/2012: Nightwing #13  -- 47,171
---------------------------------
10/2013: Nightwing #24  -- 39,853 (-  1.7%)
11/2013: Nightwing #25  -- 44,039 (+ 10.5%)
12/2013: Nightwing #26  -- 38,452 (- 12.7%)
01/2014: Nightwing #27  -- 38,325 (-  0.3%)
02/2014: Nightwing #28  -- 36,940 (-  3.6%)
03/2014: Nightwing #29  -- 36,814 (-  0.3%)
04/2014: --
05/2014: Nightwing #30  -- 43,923 (+ 19.3%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: Grayson #1     -- 81,433 (+ 85.4%)
08/2014: Grayson #2     -- 56,486 (- 30.6%)
09/2014: Futures End #1 -- 76,551 (+ 52.7%)
10/2014: Grayson #3     -- 52,849 (- 31.0%)
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : + 32.6%
2 years : + 12.0%
10 years: + 21.2%
Since #1: - 35.1%

Looks like it will eventually settle in around 50K, which would historically be a very good number for a comic starring the former Nightwing. The Monster-Selfie differential is about -3.5K.

40, 42 - BATMAN/SUPERMAN ($3.99)
10/2004: --
10/2009: Superman/Batman #65 --  34,585
10/2010: Superman/Batman #77 --  31,741
---------------------------------------
10/2013: Batman/Superman #4  --  82,990 (- 14.0%)
11/2013: Batman/Superman #5  --  77,198 (-  7.0%)
12/2013: Batman/Superman #6  --  68,857 (- 10.8%)
01/2014: Batman/Superman #7  --  61,074 (- 11.3%)
02/2014: Batman/Superman #8  --  59,138 (-  3.2%)
03/2014: --
04/2014: Batman/Superman #9  --  56,223 (-  4.9%)
05/2014: Batman/Superman #10 --  54,844 (-  4.9%)
05/2014: Batman/Superman #11 --  53,504 (-  4.9%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: Batman/Superman #12 --  68,345 (+ 27.7%)
08/2014: Batman/Superman #13 --  55,954 (- 18.1%)
09/2014: Futures End #1      --  87,339 (+ 56.1%)
10/2014: Batman/Superman #14 --  52,270 (- 40.2%)
10/2014: Batman/Superman #15 --  50,226 (-  3.9%)
-----------------
6 months: -  8.8%
1 year  : - 38.2%
5 years : + 48.2%
10 years:    n.a.
Since #1: - 66.7%

Two issues in October as Batman/Superman makes up for skipping a month earlier in the year. Issue #14 had a Selfie variant, and #15 had a Monsters variant.

57, 72, 82, 83 - EARTH 2 - WORLD'S END ($2.99)
10/2014: E2 World's End #1  -- 48,249
10/2014: E2 World's End #2  -- 40,190 (- 16.7%)
10/2014: E2 World's End #3  -- 38,496 (-  4.2%)
10/2014: E2 World's End #4  -- 37,874 (-  1.6%)

Returnable, so the numbers are adjusted up by 10% from the estimates. (For why this is done for returnable comics, please see the fine print at the end of this column.)

DC’s third weekly series debuts pretty much where one would expect, falling to the level of the main Earth 2 title by the fourth issue. It’s presently outselling Futures End, but I suspect this won’t last past next month.

49 - SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN ($3.99)
10/2013: Superman/Wonder Woman #1  -- 94,859
11/2013: Superman/Wonder Woman #2  -- 60,185 (- 36.6%)
12/2013: Superman/Wonder Woman #3  -- 51,357 (- 14.7%)
01/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #4  -- 47,350 (-  7.8%)
02/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #5  -- 44,847 (-  5.3%)
03/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #6  -- 43,308 (-  3.4%)
04/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #7  -- 45,157 (+  4.3%)
05/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #8  -- 47,803 (+  5.9%)
06/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #9  -- 62,659 (+ 31.1%)
07/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #10 -- 50,254 (- 19.8%)
08/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #11 -- 50,550 (+  0.6%)
09/2014: Futures End #1            -- 77,169 (+ 52.7%)
10/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #12 -- 47,885 (- 37.9%)
-----------------
6 months: +  6.0%
1 year  : - 49.5%
Since #1: - 49.5%

Back down to where it was before the freely-orderable variants began. A Monster-Selfie differential of close to -3K.

53 - ARKHAM MANOR ($2.99)
10/2014: Arkham Manor #1  -- 45,922

New Batman-related series with the oddball high concept of Wayne Manor becoming the new Arkham Asylum. No freely-orderable variant, but there was an incentive variant.

46K is not a terrible number, but if it follows standard declines (-25% for issue #2, -15% for #3, -10% for issue #4, -3% thereafter) it will be down at around 25K by issue #6. Given the oddball concept this may be the best that could be hoped for.

54 - GREEN LANTERN ($2.99)
10/2004: GL: Rebirth #1     --  95,092 [178,414]
10/2009: Green Lantern #47  -- 101,349
10/2010: Green Lantern #58  --  81,626
10/2011: Green Lantern #2   -- 142,344 
10/2012: Green Lantern #13  --  91,814
--------------------------------------
10/2013: Green Lantern #24  --  57,109 (- 19.4%)
11/2013: Green Lantern #25  --  54,322 (-  5.2%)
12/2013: Green Lantern #26  --  51,420 (-  5.0%)
01/2014: Green Lantern #27  --  48,831 (-  5.0%)
02/2014: GL/Red Lanterns#28 --  49,200 (+  5.6%) [51,548]
03/2014: Green Lantern #29  --  45,797 (- 11.2%)
04/2014: Green Lantern #30  --  44,483 (-  2.9%)
05/2014: Green Lantern #31  --  43,769 (-  1.6%)
06/2014: Green Lantern #32  --  56,315 (+ 28.7%)
07/2014: Green Lantern #33  --  47,279 (- 16.0%)
08/2014: Green Lantern #34  --  43,846 (-  7.3%)
09/2014: Futures End #1     --  77,372 (+ 76.5%)
10/2014: Green Lantern #35  --  45,893 (- 40.7%)
-----------------
6 months: +  3.2%
1 year  : - 19.6%
2 years : - 50.0%
5 years : - 54.7%
10 years: - 74.3%
Since #1: - 72.9%

The line-wide crossover featuring the New Gods begins this month. The flagship title show a modest growth of 2K copies, which is better than another drop. Typically the best-selling title in a crossover shows the least gain, so this isn’t surprising.

5 - ACTION COMICS ($3.99)
10/2004: Action Comics #820 --  41,114
10/2009: Action Comics #882 --  35,754
10/2010: Action Comics #894 --  42,291
10/2011: Action Comics #2   -- 153,855
10/2012: Action Comics #13  --  67,241
--------------------------------------
10/2013: Action Comics #24  --  39,620 (- 23.5%)
11/2013: Action Comics #25  --  46,550 (+ 17.5%)
12/2013: Action Comics #26  --  37,489 (- 19.5%)
01/2014: Action Comics #27  --  36,042 (-  3.9%)
02/2014: Action Comics #28  --  35,305 (-  2.0%)
03/2014: Action Comics #29  --  34,231 (-  3.0%)
04/2014: Action Comics #30  --  37,809 (+ 10.5%)
05/2014: Action Comics #31  --  41,081 (+  8.7%)
06/2014: Action Comics #32  --  55,400 (+ 34.9%)
07/2014: Action Comics #33  --  49,457 (- 10.7%)
08/2014: Action Comics #34  --  46,746 (-  5.5%)
09/2014: Futures End #1     --  74,497 (+ 59.4%)
10/2014: Action Comics #35  --  45,152 (- 39.4%)
-----------------
6 months: + 19.4%
1 year  : + 14.0%
2 years : - 32.9%
5 years : + 26.3%
10 years: +  9.8%
Since #1: - 77.5%

A postscript to “Superman: Doomed” drops about 1.5K. It will be interesting to see what happens to the titles involved in “Superman: Doomed” next month when the crossover is all said and done. It was a nice little boost to the mid-tier titles that participated.

58 - GOTHAM ACADEMY ($2.99)
10/2014: Gotham Academy #1  -- 43,338

Not the greatest numbers for a debut issue, as it seems that retailers didn’t quite know what to make of this Batman-related title set in a boarding school. But since it has gone into a second printing, it would appear that demand was higher than anticipated.

Anyway, this is a fantabulous comic and you should all go out and give it a try right now. Even if you don’t think it’s your cup of tea. Why? Because it is part of DC’s recent movement away from their house style for the DCU and if you want more variety in your DCU comics, you should be willing to support that variety by at least trying the new comics they are putting out there.

Plus you may just end up liking it as much as I do.

60 - GREEN LANTERN / NEW GODS: GODHEAD ($4.99)
10/2014: GL/NG Godhead #1  -- 42,937

A special kicking off the latest line-wide Green Lantern crossover. It sells under the main GL title, which means there may be a couple thousand readers out there who are a bit confused as to what is going on. Or a couple thousand people who just buy every issue of Green Lantern and throw it in mylar without reading it.

64 - NEW SUICIDE SQUAD ($2.99)
10/2011: Suicide Squad #2      -- 49,570
10/2012: Suicide Squad #13     -- 27,644
-----------------------------------------
10/2013: Suicide Squad #24     -- 27,762 (+ 25.3%)
11/2013: Suicide Squad #25     -- 27,067 (-  2.5%)
12/2013: Suicide Squad #26     -- 25,346 (-  6.4%)
01/2014: Suicide Squad #27     -- 24,175 (-  4.6%)
02/2014: Suicide Squad #28     -- 22,882 (-  5.3%)
03/2014: Suicide Squad #29     -- 22,162 (-  3.1%)
04/2014: --
05/2014: Suicide Squad #30     -- 22,063 (-  0.4%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: New Suicide Squad #1  -- 49,260 (+123.3%)
08/2014: New Suicide Squad #2  -- 38,477 (- 21.9%)
09/2014: Futures End #1        -- 73,599 (+ 91.3%)
10/2014: New Suicide Squad #3  -- 39,498 (- 46.3%)
-----------------
6 months:     n.a.
1 year  : + 42.3
2 years : + 42.9%
Since #1: - 19.8%

Oh hey, the figures for issue #3 are actually up about 1K over those of issue #2. That almost never happens, and is a good sign that there is some decent demand for this title. Which is good, as DC has a vested interest in keeping a Suicide Squad comic around while Warner is working on a movie.

65 - TEEN TITANS ($2.99)
10/2004: Teen Titans #17  -- 63,154 [67,926]
10/2009: Teen Titans #76  -- 29,166
10/2010: Teen Titans #88  -- 27,637
10/2011: Teen Titans #2   -- 72,107
10/2012: Teen Titans #13  -- 41,059
-----------------------------------
10/2013: Teen Titans #24  -- 34,536 (- 30.8%)
11/2013: Teen Titans #25  -- 32,395 (-  6.2%)
12/2013: Teen Titans #26  -- 29,149 (- 10.0%)
01/2014: Teen Titans #27  -- 27,558 (-  5.5%)
02/2014: Teen Titans #28  -- 26,732 (-  3.0%)
03/2014: Teen Titans #29  -- 25,969 (-  2.9%)
04/2014: Teen Titans #30  -- 25,709 (-  1.0%)
05/2014: --
06/2014: --
07/2014: Teen Titans #1   -- 52,358 (+103.7%)
08/2014: Teen Titans #2   -- 40,687 (- 22.3%)
09/2014: Futures End #1   -- 62,915 (+ 54.6%)
10/2014: Teen Titans #3   -- 39,198 (- 37.7%)
-----------------
6 months: + 54.5%
1 year  : + 15.0%
2 years : -  3.3%
5 years : + 36.1%
10 years: - 41.5%
Since #1: - 25.1%

Still sliding a bit.

66 - LOBO ($2.99)
12/2009: Highway to Hell #2 -- 13,435
--
--
10/2014: Lobo #1            -- 39,047 (+190.6%)

Near as I can tell, the most recent Lobo comic was the second issue of the prestige format Lobo: Highway to Hell back in 2009. Given that Lobo hasn’t been a hot property since the 1990s, these numbers are about as good as could be expected.

I do question why DC didn’t make the first issues of all of their new titles this month returnable. Surely that would have helped with retailers taking a chance on them and increasing the possibility that they would find new readers.

68 - JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED ($3.99)
04/2014: Justice League United #0  -- 68,431 
05/2014: Justice League United #1  -- 64,209 (-  6.2%) 
06/2014: Justice League United #2  -- 62,928 (-  2.0%) 
07/2014: Justice League United #3  -- 47,919 (- 23.9%) 
08/2014: Justice League United #4  -- 42,504 (- 11.3%) 
09/2014: Futures End #1            -- 72,839 (+ 71.4%)
10/2014: Justice League United #5  -- 38,066 (- 47.7%) 
-----------------
Since #0: - 44.4%

Still dropping, and there’s a Monsters variant (Monster-Selfie differential of 4.5K). DC was able to keep sales up for the first few issues with zero-issue shenanigans and variant covers, but reality is catching up now. Which is kind of a shame as this is a solid super-hero team book, but you can’t just throw a bunch of B- and C-list characters into a book and call it Justice League and expect it to sell like it is actually the Justice League. (See JL Dark…)

69 - EARTH 2 ($2.99)
10/2012: Earth 2 #5     -- 61,529
------------------------------
10/2013: Earth 2 #16    -- 38,389 (- 26.7%)
11/2013: Earth 2 #17    -- 39,846 (+  3.8%)
12/2013: Earth 2 #18    -- 37,130 (-  6.8%)
01/2014: Earth 2 #19    -- 36,103 (-  2.8%)
02/2014: Earth 2 #20    -- 35,732 (-  1.0%)
03/2014: Earth 2 #21    -- 35,295 (-  1.2%)
04/2014: Earth 2 #22    -- 34,970 (-  0.9%)
05/2014: Earth 2 #23    -- 34,531 (-  1.3%)
06/2014: Earth 2 #24    -- 47,277 (+ 36.9%)
07/2014: Earth 2 #25    -- 39,726 (- 16.0%)
08/2014: Earth 2 #26    -- 37,396 (-  5.9%)
09/2014: Futures End #1 -- 65,212 (+ 73.7%)
10/2014: Earth 2 #27    -- 37,925 (- 41.6%)
----------------
6 months: +  8.5%
1 year  : -  1.2%
2 years : - 38.4%
Since #1: - 63.0%

A slight uptick over issue #26. It appears that at least some retailers figured there might be an increase of interest to go along with the new weekly title. A Monster-Selfie differential of positive 0.5K.

70 - FLASH ($2.99)
10/2004: Flash #215       --  44,024  [51,882]
10/2009: --
10/2010: --
10/2011: Flash #2         -- 114,137
10/2012: Flash #13        --  49,936
-----------------------------------
10/2013: Flash #24        --  38,190 (- 25.2%)
11/2013: Flash #25        --  41,838 (+  9.6%)
12/2013: Flash #26        --  36,601 (- 12.5%)
01/2014: Flash #27        --  34,902 (-  4.6%)
02/2014: Flash #28        --  33,853 (-  3.0%)
03/2014: Flash #29        --  33,241 (-  1.8%)
04/2014: Flash #30        --  33,300 (+  5.8%) [35,157]
05/2014: Flash #31        --  34,240 (-  2.6%)
06/2014: Flash #32        --  47,188 (+ 37.8%)
07/2014: Flash #33        --  39,669 (- 15.9%)
08/2014: Flash #34        --  37,109 (-  6.5%)
09/2014: Futures End #1   --  70,368 (+ 89.6%)
10/2014: Flash #35        --  37,484 (- 46.7%)
-----------------
6 months: +  6.6%
1 year  : -  1.8%
2 years : - 24.9%
5 years :    n.a.
10 years: - 27.8%
Since #1: - 74.6%

Another comic showing a slight uptick over August (a Monster-Selfie differential of positive 0.3K), in this case possibly due to anticipated increased demand from the new TV series.

73, 74, 76, 79, 80 - The New 52  Futures End ($2.99)
05/2014: Futures End #0  -- ?????? 
05/2014: Futures End #1  -- 77,867 
05/2014: Futures End #2  -- 62,862 (- 19.3%) 
05/2014: Futures End #3  -- 59,148 (-  5.9%)
05/2014: Futures End #4  -- 58,496 (-  1.1%)
06/2014: Futures End #5  -- 53,645 (-  8.3%)
06/2014: Futures End #6  -- 51,543 (-  3.9%)
06/2014: Futures End #7  -- 50,266 (-  2.5%)
06/2014: Futures End #8  -- 49,138 (-  2.2%)
07/2014: Futures End #9  -- 52,083 (+  6.0%)
07/2014: Futures End #10 -- 46,001 (- 11.7%)
07/2014: Futures End #11 -- 45,222 (-  1.7%)
07/2014: Futures End #12 -- 43,228 (-  4.4%)
07/2014: Futures End #13 -- 42,803 (-  1.0%)
08/2014: Futures End #14 -- 41,185 (-  3.8%)
08/2014: Futures End #15 -- 40,541 (-  1.6%)
08/2014: Futures End #16 -- 40,077 (-  1.1%)
08/2014: Futures End #17 -- 39,750 (-  0.8%)
09/2014: Futures End #18 -- 38,778 (-  2.4%)
09/2014: Futures End #19 -- 38,377 (-  1.0%)
09/2014: Futures End #20 -- 37,990 (-  1.0%)
09/2014: Futures End #21 -- 37,861 (-  0.3%)
10/2014: Futures End #22 -- 36,468 (-  3.7%)
10/2014: Futures End #23 -- 36,120 (-  1.0%)
10/2014: Futures End #24 -- 35,937 (-  0.5%)
10/2014: Futures End #25 -- 35,585 (-  1.0%)
10/2014: Futures End #26 -- 35,452 (-  0.4%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 54.5%

Looks like we’ve settled into a pattern here…

84 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS ($2.99)
10/2009: Green Lantern Corps #41 -- 81,377
10/2010: Green Lantern Corps #53 -- 60,808
10/2011: Green Lantern Corps #2  -- 78,501
10/2012: Green Lantern Corps #13 -- 50,773
------------------------------------------
10/2013: Green Lantern Corps #24 -- 37,312 (+  3.0%)
11/2013: Green Lantern Corps #25 -- 38,369 (+  2.8%)
12/2013: Green Lantern Corps #26 -- 32,797 (- 14.5%)
01/2014: Green Lantern Corps #27 -- 31,447 (-  4.1%)
02/2014: Green Lantern Corps #28 -- 29,142 (-  7.3%)
03/2014: Green Lantern Corps #29 -- 27,754 (-  4.8%)
04/2014: Green Lantern Corps #30 -- 26,640 (-  4.0%)
05/2014: Green Lantern Corps #31 -- 28,449 (+  6.8%)
06/2014: Green Lantern Corps #32 -- 40,734 (+ 43.2%)
07/2014: Green Lantern Corps #33 -- 32,877 (- 19.3%)
08/2014: Green Lantern Corps #34 -- 29,471 (- 10.4%)
09/2014: Futures End #1          -- 58,325 (+ 97.9%)
10/2014: Green Lantern Corps #35 -- 34,222 (- 41.3%)
----------------
6 months: + 28.5%
1 year  : -  8.3%
2 years : - 32.6%
5 years : - 57.9%
Since #1: - 63.9%

The increase over August is easy to explain here: it’s from the line-wide crossover, which is always good for bumping up the lower-selling GL Family titles by a few thousand. A Monsters-Selfie differential of +4.5K.

87 - SINESTRO ($2.99)
04/2014: Sinestro #1    -- 46,480 
05/2014: Sinestro #2    -- 34,640 (- 25.5%) 
06/2014: Sinestro #3    -- 30,422 (- 12.2%) 
07/2014: Sinestro #4    -- 28,095 (-  7.6%) 
08/2014: Sinestro #5    -- 26,867 (-  4.4%) 
09/2014: Futures End #1 -- 60,761 (+126.2%)
10/2014: Sinestro #6    -- 33,621 (- 44.7%) 
-----------------
Since #1: - 27.7%

Joins the line-wide crossover and adds a freely-orderable variant for the first time, giving it quite the boost. It also gives us an important data point: GLC kept the variant and added about 4.5K in sales. If we figure that Sinestro would have added about the same from the cross-over, we can guesstimate that the new variant cover added about 3K or so in additional sales.

94 - AQUAMAN ($2.99)
09/2004: Aquaman #23    -- 22,369
09/2011: Aquaman #2     -- 79,156 [83,626]
09/2012: Aquaman #13    -- 54,648
------------------------------
10/2013: Aquaman #24    -- 42,248 (- 21.3%)
11/2013: Aquaman #25    -- 41,264 (-  2.3%)
12/2013: Aquaman #26    -- 38,841 (-  5.9%)
01/2014: Aquaman #27    -- 36,610 (-  5.7%)
02/2014: Aquaman #28    -- 34,939 (-  4.6%)
03/2014: Aquaman #29    -- 33,907 (-  3.0%)
04/2014: Aquaman #30    -- 32,859 (-  3.1%)
05/2014: Aquaman #31    -- 32,076 (-  2.4%)
06/2014: Aquaman #32    -- 44,853 (+ 39.8%)
07/2014: Aquaman #33    -- 36,140 (- 19.4%)
08/2014: Aquaman #34    -- 33,380 (-  7.6%)
09/2014: Futures End #1 -- 65,212 (+ 95.4%)
10/2014: Aquaman #35    -- 32,238 (- 50.6%)
-----------------
6 months: -  1.9%
1 year  : - 23.7%
2 years : - 41.0%
10 years: + 44.1%
Since #1: - 70.3%

Sales are back down to just about where they were before the variants started. A Monsters-Selfie differential of -1K.

108 - GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS ($2.99)
09/2011: New Guardians #2  -- 71,713
09/2012: New Guardians #13 -- 48,500
------------------------------------
10/2013: New Guardians #24 -- 35,417 (+  2.7%)
11/2013: New Guardians #25 -- 32,069 (-  9.5%)
12/2013: New Guardians #26 -- 30,489 (-  4.9%)
01/2014: New Guardians #27 -- 28,346 (-  7.0%)
02/2014: New Guardians #28 -- 27,212 (-  4.0%)
03/2014: New Guardians #29 -- 25,296 (-  7.0%)
04/2014: New Guardians #30 -- 24,727 (-  2.2%)
05/2014: New Guardians #31 -- 23,886 (-  3.4%)
06/2014: New Guardians #32 -- 23,142 (-  3.1%)
07/2014: New Guardians #33 -- 22,797 (-  1.5%)
08/2014: New Guardians #34 -- 22,052 (-  3.3%)
09/2014: Futures End #1    -- 55,863 (+153.3%)
10/2014: New Guardians #35 -- 26,702 (- 52.2%)
----------------
6 months: +  8.0%
1 year  : - 24.6%
2 years : - 44.9%
Since #1: - 72.4%

Sales jump up about 4.5K due to the crossover, but that probably won’t help the title survive past The Convergence Gap.

110 - JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED ANNUAL ($4.99)
10/2014: JL United Annual #1 -- 26,629 

The Annual kicks off the next JLU storyline, and sees the return of the Legion of Super-Heroes to the DCU. These sales are disappointing on both accounts. (Don’t expect to see the LoSH return to its own title anytime soon.)

111 - RED LANTERNS ($2.99)
09/2011: Red Lanterns #2  -- 74,163
09/2012: Red Lanterns #13 -- 42,804
-----------------------------------
10/2013: Red Lanterns #24 -- 30,771 (+  3.9%)
11/2013: Red Lanterns #25 -- 27,786 (-  9.7%)
12/2013: Red Lanterns #26 -- 26,242 (-  5.6%)
01/2014: Red Lanterns #27 -- 24,477 (-  6.7%)
02/2014: Green Lant/RL#28 -- 49,200 (+110.6%) [51,548]
03/2014: Red Lanterns #29 -- 25,153 (- 51.2%)
04/2014: Red Lanterns #30 -- 24,350 (-  3.2%)
05/2014: Red Lanterns #31 -- 24,307 (-  0.2%)
06/2014: Red Lanterns #32 -- 23,720 (-  2.4%)
07/2014: Red Lanterns #33 -- 23,355 (-  1.5%)
08/2014: Red Lanterns #34 -- 22,761 (-  2.5%)
09/2014: Futures End #1   -- 56,030 (+146.2%)
10/2014: Red Lanterns #35 -- 26,534 (- 52.6%)
----------------
6 months: +  9.0%
1 year  : - 13.8%
2 years : - 38.0%
Since #1: - 70.2%

See GL:NG above.

112 - SUPERGIRL ($2.99)
10/2009: Supergirl #46  -- 30,377
10/2010: Supergirl #57  -- 23,842
10/2011: Supergirl #2   -- 61,388
10/2012: Supergirl #13  -- 29,450
---------------------------------
10/2013: Supergirl #24  -- 23,321 (-  5.8%)
11/2013: Supergirl #25  -- 25,377 (+  8.8%)
12/2013: Supergirl #26  -- 22,646 (- 10.8%)
01/2014: Supergirl #27  -- 21,954 (-  3.1%)
02/2014: Supergirl #28  -- 23,567 (+  7.3%)
03/2014: Supergirl #29  -- 22,883 (-  2.9%)
04/2014: Supergirl #30  -- 23,410 (+  2.3%)
05/2014: Supergirl #31  -- 22,783 (-  2.7%)
06/2014: Supergirl #32  -- 22,481 (-  1.3%)
07/2014: Supergirl #33  -- 22,802 (+  1.4%)
08/2014: Supergirl #34  -- 26,510 (+ 16.3%)
09/2014: Futures End #1 -- 55,706 (+110.1%)
10/2014: Supergirl #35  -- 26,371 (- 52.7%)
-----------------
6 months: + 12.6%
1 year  : + 13.1%
2 years : - 10.5%
5 years : - 13.2%
Since #1: - 64.5%

A “Superman: Doomed” aftermath. Gets a new creative team and change of direction in October.

113 - CATWOMAN ($2.99)
10/2004: Catwoman #36   -- 37,554 [40,226]
10/2011: Catwoman #2    -- 63,573
10/2012: Catwoman #13   -- 40,147 [60,257]
---------------------------------
10/2013: Catwoman #24   -- 35,134 (+ 44.8%)
11/2013: Catwoman #25   -- 29,471 (- 16.1%)
12/2013: Catwoman #26   -- 26,482 (- 10.1%)
01/2014: Catwoman #27   -- 24,956 (-  5.8%)
02/2014: Catwoman #28   -- 23,974 (-  3.9%)
03/2014: Catwoman #29   -- 22,236 (-  7.2%)
04/2014: Catwoman #30   -- 20,968 (-  5.7%)
05/2014: Catwoman #31   -- 20,144 (-  3.9%)
06/2014: Catwoman #32   -- 33,694 (+ 67.3%)
07/2014: Catwoman #33   -- 18,945 (- 43.8%)
08/2014: Catwoman #34   -- 23,497 (+ 24.0%)
09/2014: Futures End #1 -- 56,939 (+142.3%)
10/2014: Catwoman #35   -- 25,970 (+ 24.0%)
-----------------
6 months: + 23.9%
1 year  : - 26.1%
2 years : - 56.9%
10 years: - 35.4%
Since #1: - 65.6%

A new creative team and a new direction, spinning out of Batman Eternal (which hasn’t finished yet, so kind of spoils the Catwoman storyline there, but whatever). I bought it because it had a fantastic variant cover, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the story within. A Monster-Selfie differential of +2.5K.

117 - SECRET ORIGINS ($4.99)
04/2014: Secret Origins #1  -- 38,742 
05/2014: Secret Origins #2  -- 32,966 (- 14.9%) 
06/2014: Secret Origins #3  -- 28,351 (- 14.0%) 
07/2014: Secret Origins #4  -- 37,181 (+ 31.1%) 
08/2014: Secret Origins #5  -- 24,126 (- 35.1%) 
09/2004: --
10/2014: Secret Origins #6  -- 24,775 (+  2.7%) 
-----------------
Since #1: - 36.1%

Returns after a scheduled month off. Wonder Woman was the headliner, which probably contributed to the slight increase.

118 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK ($3.99)
10/2011: Justice League Dark #2  -- 63,392
10/2012: Justice League Dark #13 -- 30,008
-------------------------------------------
10/2013: Justice League Dark #24 -- 45,401 (+  0.6%)
11/2013: Justice League Dark #25 -- 38,760 (- 14.6%)
12/2013: Justice League Dark #26 -- 36,353 (-  6.2%)
01/2014: Justice League Dark #27 -- 32,576 (- 10.4%)
02/2014: Justice League Dark #28 -- 30,519 (-  6.3%)
03/2014: Justice League Dark #29 -- 29,202 (-  4.3%)
04/2014: Justice League Dark #30 -- 27,695 (-  5.2%)
05/2014: Justice League Dark #31 -- 25,337 (-  8.5%)
06/2014: Justice League Dark #32 -- 38,219 (+ 50.8%)
07/2014: Justice League Dark #33 -- 28,297 (- 26.0%)
08/2014: Justice League Dark #34 -- 25,258 (- 10.7%)
09/2014: Futures End #1          -- 58,529 (+131.7%)
10/2014: Justice League Dark #35 -- 24,462 (- 58.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 11.7%
1 year  : - 46.1%
2 years : - 18.5%
Since #1: - 70.2%

The lowest selling issue yet, even with the Monsters variant. A Monster-Selfie differential of just under -1K. May not be headed for outright cancellation (there is a movie in development after all), but changes are going to have to come soon.

122 - THE FLASH: SEASON ZERO (Digital-First) ($2.99)
10/2014: Flash Season 0 #1 -- 23,501 

The top-rated non DCU title this month ties in to The Flash television series. While its long-term health as a series will depend primarily on its digital sales, print sales do count in the mix.

124 - GREEN ARROW ($2.99)
10/2004: Green Arrow #43  -- 32,133
10/2009: Arrow/Canary #25 -- 18,013
10/2010: Green Arrow #5   -- 42,188
10/2011: Green Arrow #2   -- 58,708
10/2012: Green Arrow #13  -- 22,057
-----------------------------------
10/2013: Green Arrow #24  -- 24,620 (- 43.1%)
11/2013: Green Arrow #25  -- 29,591 (+ 20.2%)
12/2013: Green Arrow #26  -- 24,687 (- 16.6%)
01/2014: Green Arrow #27  -- 23,785 (-  3.7%)
02/2014: Green Arrow #28  -- 26,725 (+ 12.4%)
03/2014: Green Arrow #29  -- 23,698 (- 11.3%)
04/2014: Green Arrow #30  -- 23,577 (-  0.5%)
05/2014: Green Arrow #31  -- 23,475 (-  0.4%)
06/2014: Green Arrow #32  -- 23,602 (+  0.5%)
07/2014: Green Arrow #33  -- 23,452 (-  0.6%)
08/2014: Green Arrow #34  -- 22,927 (-  2.2%)
09/2014: Futures End #1   -- 61,915 (+170.1%)
10/2014: Green Arrow #35  -- 23,346 (- 62.3%)
-----------------
6 months: -  1.0%
1 year  : -  5.2%
2 years : +  5.8%
5 years : + 29.6%
10 years: - 27.3%
Since #1: - 67.7%

The new creative team debuts, but with only the slightest of increase over issue #34 (about 400 copies). That’s not a big show of confidence.

125 - TRINITY OF SIN ($2.99)
10/2014: Trinity of Sin #1 -- 22,683 

The last regular issue of ToS: Pandora sold 10,651; the last regular issue of ToS: Phantom Stranger sold 10,882. So the new combined title comes in a just over the sales of those two combined. Viewed at through those rose-colored glasses this is a successful (re-)launch. But if sales on this drop the standard amounts for new titles, this will be back in the danger zone pretty soon.

126 - BATMAN '66 MEETS THE GREEN HORNET (Digital-First) ($2.99)
06/2014: Batman 66/GH #1 of 6 -- 32,983
07/2014: Batman 66/GH #2 of 6 -- 25,392 (- 23.0%)
08/2014: Batman 66/GH #3 of 6 -- 24,409 (-  3.9%)
09/2014: Batman 66/GH #4 of 6 -- 23,397 (-  4.1%)
10/2014: Batman 66/GH #5 of 6 -- 22,614 (-  3.3%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 31.4%

Penultimate issue. Still doing rather well for this sort of thing.

138 - KLARION ($2.99)
11/2005: 7 Soldiers Klarion #4 -- 28,996 
--
--
10/2014: Klarion #1            -- 20,870 (- 28.0%) 

And in this month’s What Were They Thinking? category… Minimal promotion for a new title featuring a D-List character gets sales pretty much where you’d expect. On the plus side, it does sell better than artist Trevor McCarthy’s previous gig (Batwoman) is doing at the moment..

146 - WORLDS' FINEST ($2.99)
10/2012: Worlds' Finest #5  -- 35,951 
-------------------------------------
10/2013: Worlds' Finest #16 -- 22,987 (-  4.9%)
11/2013: Worlds' Finest #17 -- 21,920 (-  4.6%)
12/2013: Worlds' Finest #18 -- 21,039 (-  4.0%)
01/2014: Worlds' Finest #19 -- 20,998 (-  0.2%)
02/2014: Worlds' Finest #20 -- 25,585 (+ 31.5%) [27,613]
03/2014: Worlds' Finest #21 -- 25,676 (-  7.0%)
04/2014: Worlds' Finest #22 -- 21,485 (- 16.3%)
05/2014: Worlds' Finest #23 -- 21,118 (-  1.7%)
06/2014: Worlds' Finest #24 -- 20,900 (-  1.0%)
07/2014: Worlds' Finest #25 -- 19,957 (-  4.5%)
08/2014: Worlds' Finest #26 -- 19,772 (-  0.9%)
09/2014: Futures End #1     -- 55,376 (+153.3%)
10/2014: Worlds' Finest #27 -- 20,234 (- 63.5%)
-----------------
6 months: -  5.8%
1 year  : - 12.0%
2 years : - 43.7%
Since #1: - 70.9%

The start of “The Secret History of Superman & Batman,” loosely tying in to the Earth 2 weekly. A slight uptick (about 0.5K), but don’t kid yourself, this isn’t surviving past the Convergence Gap, at least not in anything resembling its present form.

149 - RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS ($2.99)
10/2010: Red Hood Lost Days #5  -- 22,967
10/2011: Red Hood & Outlaws #2  -- 59,382
10/2012: Red Hood & Outlaws #13 -- 35,420
-------------------------------
10/2013: Red Hood & Outlaws #24 -- 27,128 (-  5.9%)
11/2013: Red Hood & Outlaws #25 -- 30,632 (+ 12.9%)
12/2013: Red Hood & Outlaws #26 -- 25,382 (- 17.1%)
01/2014: Red Hood & Outlaws #27 -- 24,813 (-  2.2%)
02/2014: Red Hood & Outlaws #28 -- 23,236 (-  6.4%)
03/2014: Red Hood & Outlaws #29 -- 22,316 (-  4.0%)
04/2014: Red Hood & Outlaws #30 -- 21,718 (-  2.7%)
05/2014: Red Hood & Outlaws #31 -- 21,257 (-  2.1%)
06/2014: Red Hood & Outlaws #32 -- 33,081 (+ 55.6%)
07/2014: Red Hood & Outlaws #33 -- 20,669 (- 37.5%)
08/2014: Red Hood & Outlaws #34 -- 20,069 (-  2.9%)
09/2014: Futures End #1         -- 54,984 (+174.0%)
10/2014: Red Hood & Outlaws #35 -- 19,837 (- 63.9%)
----------------
6 months: -  8.7%
1 year  : - 26.9%
2 years : - 44.0%
Since #1: - 71.8%

Drops below 20K for the first time. Another title that may be in its last days.

150 - JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 ($2.99)
12/2013: Justice League 3K #1  -- 57,726
01/2014: Justice League 3K #2  -- 41,423 (-28.2%)
02/2014: Justice League 3K #3  -- 33,308 (-19.6%)
03/2014: Justice League 3K #4  -- 30,127 (- 9.6%)
04/2014: Justice League 3K #5  -- 27,529 (- 8.6%)
05/2014: Justice League 3K #6  -- 25,738 (- 6.5%)
06/2014: Justice League 3K #7  -- 24,172 (- 6.1%)
07/2014: Justice League 3K #8  -- 22,604 (- 6.5%)
08/2014: Justice League 3K #9  -- 20,974 (- 7.2%)
09/2014: --
10/2014: Justice League 3K #10 -- 19,623 (- 6.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 28.7% 
Since #1: - 66.0%

Back after a scheduled month off, but still dropping with percentages drops still twice as high as standard attrition. The Bwah-hah-hah era Booster Gold and Blue Beetle show up in issue #11, so maybe that will stem the bleeding?

157, 165 - INJUSTICE: YEAR THREE (Digital-First) ($2.99)
10/2013: Injustice #10    -- 24,788 (+ 1.9%)
11/2013: Injustice #11    -- 22,704 (- 8.4%)
12/2013: Injustice #12    -- 21,871 (- 3.7%)
01/2014: Injustice Y2 #1  -- 24,700 (+12.9%)
02/2014: Injustice Y2 #2  -- 22,703 (- 8.1%)
03/2014: Injustice Y2 #3  -- 20,693 (- 8.9%)
04/2014: Injustice Y2 #4  -- 20,310 (- 1.9%)
05/2014: Injustice Y2 #5  -- 19,834 (- 2.3%)
06/2014: Injustice Y2 #6  -- 19,353 (- 2.4%)
07/2014: Injustice Y2 #7  -- 19,811 (+ 2.4%)
07/2014: Injustice Y2 #8  -- 18,931 (- 4.4%)
08/2014: Injustice Y2 #9  -- 18,397 (- 2.8%)
08/2014: Injustice Y2 #10 -- 18,068 (- 1.8%)
09/2014: Injustice Y2 #11 -- 18,086 (+ 0.1%)
09/2014: Injustice Y2 #12 -- 17,829 (- 1.4%)
10/2014: Injustice Y3 #1  -- 19,307 (+ 8.3%)
10/2014: Injustice Y3 #2  -- 17,884 (- 7.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 11.9%
1 year  : - 27.9%
Since #1: -  7.4%

By issue #2 the Year 3 relaunch is right back to where the final issue of Year 2 was. Still DC’s best-selling digital title, so no worries in the short term about this being cancelled (though digital sales are starting to slide as well…)

154 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK ANNUAL ($4.99)
10/2012: Justice League Dark Annual #1 -- 32,293 
10/2014: Justice League Dark Annual #2 -- 18,161 (- 33.3%) 
----------------
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : - 33.3%
Since #1: - 33.3%

Comes in over 6K lower than the parent title.

155 - SENSATION COMICS FEAT WONDER WOMAN (Digital-First) ($3.99)
08/2014: Sensation Comics #1 -- 29,640
09/2014: Sensation Comics #2 -- 22,085 (- 25.5%)
10/2014: Sensation Comics #3 -- 17,996 (- 18.5%)
----------------
Since #1: - 39.3%

A typical third issue drop.

This was the issue that featured the first part of the Gilbert Hernandez Wonder Woman story; plus two other WW stories: one featuring Diana as a rock star by Sean E. Williams and Marguerite Sauvage, and one a team-up with Catwoman Ollie Masters & Amy Mebberson. However, you couldn’t tell that from the cover, which featured a Woman Woman in bloody, brutal combat with Orcs drawn in a typical New 52 style. (This was also true of the digital versions of the issues that featured the Hernandez story.) This is such a grievous failure of marketing that it boggles the mind.

159 - ARROW: SEASON 2.5 (Digital-First) ($2.99)
10/2013: Arrow #12           --  8,148 (-  5.5%) 
--
--
10/2014: Arrow Season 2.5 #1 -- 17,364 (+113.1%) 
----------------
1 year  : +113.1%

Another TV tie-in. The first issue of the physical reprints of the digital-first series set between seasons two and three comes in a darn sight better than the previous Arrow series. Of course that series started off at over 25K and within a year fell to nearly 8K, so we’ll have to see…

160 - SWAMP THING ($2.99)
10/2004: Swamp Thing #8  -- 18,711
10/2011: Swamp Thing #2  -- 58,634
10/2012: Swamp Thing #13 -- 36,069
----------------------------------
10/2013: Swamp Thing #24 -- 21,724 (- 46.2%)
11/2013: Swamp Thing #25 -- 21,141 (-  2.7%)
12/2013: Swamp Thing #26 -- 20,247 (-  4.2%)
01/2014: Swamp Thing #27 -- 19,755 (-  2.4%)
02/2014: Swamp Thing #28 -- 19,146 (-  3.1%)
03/2014: Swamp Thing #29 -- 18,837 (-  1.6%)
04/2014: Swamp Thing #30 -- 18,458 (-  2.0%)
05/2014: Swamp Thing #31 -- 18,249 (-  1.1%)
06/2014: Swamp Thing #32 -- 18,483 (+  1.3%)
07/2014: Swamp Thing #33 -- 17,905 (-  3.1%)
08/2014: Swamp Thing #34 -- 17,570 (-  1.9%)
09/2014: Futures End #1  -- 51,918 (+195.5%)
10/2014: Swamp Thing #35 -- 17,354 (- 66.6%)
----------------
6 months: -  6.0%
1 year  : - 20.1%
2 years : - 51.9%
10 years: -  7.3%
Since #1: - 76.4%

Ordinarily I’d say that Swamp Thing won’t survive the Convergence Gap, but historically the normal rules don’t apply to Swamp Thing. In any event, with Soule leaving soon (for his Marvel exclusive gig) there will be some sort of shake-up even if the title isn’t outright cancelled.

164 - AQUAMAN AND THE OTHERS ($2.99)
04/2014: Aquaman & Others #1  -- 34,056 
05/2014: Aquaman & Others #2  -- 26,198 (- 23.1%) 
06/2014: Aquaman & Others #3  -- 23,109 (- 11.8%) 
07/2014: Aquaman & Others #4  -- 20,520 (- 11.2%) 
08/2014: Aquaman & Others #5  -- 18,639 (-  9.2%) 
09/2014: Futures End #1       -- 53,531 (+174.0%)
10/2014: Aquaman & Others #6  -- 17,086 (- 68.1%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 49.8%
Since #1: - 49.8%

I’m pretty sure this one isn’t going to survive the Convergence Gap.

164 - INJUSTICE ANNUAL ($4.99)
11/2013: Injustice Year 1 Annual #1 -- 21,764 
10/2014: Injustice Year 2 Annual #1 -- 17,086 (- 21.5%) 

The Injustice Annual is not a digital first title, and comes in almost exactly where the final print issue of Year Two did.

167 - BATWOMAN ($2.99)
10/2011: Batwoman #2    -- 74,392
10/2012: Batwoman #13   -- 37,315
--------------------------------
10/2013: Batwoman #24   -- 25,609 (-  2.3%)
11/2013: Batwoman #25   -- 25,987 (+  1.5%)
12/2013: Batwoman #26   -- 23,311 (- 10.3%)
01/2014: Batwoman #27   -- 22,461 (-  3.6%)
02/2014: Batwoman #28   -- 20,672 (-  8.0%)
03/2014: Batwoman #29   -- 19,750 (-  4.5%)
04/2014: Batwoman #30   -- 19,204 (-  2.8%)
05/2014: Batwoman #31   -- 18,463 (-  3.9%)
06/2014: Batwoman #32   -- 33,538 (+ 81.6%)
07/2014: Batwoman #33   -- 23,922 (- 28.7%)
08/2014: Batwoman #34   -- 16,909 (- 29.3%)
09/2014: Futures End #1 -- 50,914 (+201.1%)
10/2014: Batwoman #35   -- 16,767 (- 67.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 12.7%
1 year  : - 34.5%
2 years : - 55.1%
Since #1: - 80.9%

Sales would suggest that this is another title that won’t survive the Convergence Gap, but DC’s stubborn insistence that their editorial meddling was correct may dictate otherwise.

171 - BATMAN '66 (Digital-First) ($2.99)
10/2013: Batman '66 #4  -- 30,099 (- 8.7%)
11/2013: Batman '66 #5  -- 26,785 (-11.0%)
12/2013: Batman '66 #6  -- 24,374 (- 9.0%)
01/2014: Batman '66 #7  -- 21,802 (-10.6%)
02/2014: Batman '66 #8  -- 19,795 (- 9.2%)
03/2014: Batman '66 #9  -- 18,802 (- 5.0%)
04/2014: Batman '66 #10 -- 17,917 (- 4.7%)
05/2014: Batman '66 #11 -- 18,642 (+ 4.0%)
06/2014: Batman '66 #12 -- 17,286 (- 7.3%)
07/2014: Batman '66 #13 -- 17,264 (- 0.1%)
08/2014: Batman '66 #14 -- 21,456 (+24.3%)
09/2014: Batman '66 #15 -- 16,842 (-21.5%)
10/2014: Batman '66 #16 -- 15,923 (- 5.5%)
-----------------
6 months: -  5.5%
1 year  : - 43.8%
Since #1: - 68.4%

I’d completely missed that this went from a $3.99 to a $2.99 title back in July. Though that really didn’t seem to affect sales much, except accounting for that one month halt in attrition.

172 - SWAMP THING ANNUAL ($4.99)
10/2012: Swamp Thing Annual #1 -- 32,293 
10/2013: Swamp Thing Annual #2 -- 19,628 (- 39.2%) 
10/2014: Swamp Thing Annual #3 -- 15,685 (- 20.1%) 
----------------
1 year  : - 20.1%
2 years : - 51.4%
Since #1: - 51.4%

I wonder what the calculus is that leads DC to do an Annual for one of the worst-selling DCU titles?

Oh, here’s an interesting tidbit: The 1 year drops for both the main Swamp Thing title and the Annual are the same: -20.1%

173 - CONSTANTINE ($2.99)
10/2004: Hellblazer #201 -- 15,262
10/2009: Hellblazer #260 -- 10,767
10/2010: Hellblazer #272 --  9,650
10/2011: Hellblazer #284 --  9,608
10/2012: Hellblazer #296 --  9,255
----------------------------------
10/2013: Constantine #7  -- 22,954 (-  8.8%)
11/2013: Constantine #8  -- 20,981 (-  8.6%)
12/2013: Constantine #9  -- 22,403 (+  6.8%)
01/2014: Constantine #10 -- 20,729 (-  7.5%)
02/2014: Constantine #11 -- 20,385 (-  1.7%)
03/2014: Constantine #12 -- 20,051 (-  1.6%)
04/2014: Constantine #13 -- 18,454 (-  8.0%)
05/2014: Constantine #14 -- 17,422 (-  5.6%)
06/2014: Constantine #15 -- 16,704 (-  4.1%)
07/2014: Constantine #16 -- 16,235 (-  2.8%)
08/2014: Constantine #17 -- 15,647 (-  2.8%)
09/2014: Futures End #1  -- 51,990 (+232.3%)
10/2014: Constantine #18 -- 15,647 (- 69.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 15.2%
1 year  : - 31.8%
2 years : + 69.1%
5 years : + 45.3%
10 years: +  2.5%
Since #1: - 58.3%

The Constantine television show finally debuted in October, and while the numbers for the pilot were decent, it has been slipping since then. It was not picked up for the back-nine, but allegedly is still under consideration for a second season. If not renewed, that bodes ill for the continuation of the comics past the Convergence Gap, though as a former Vertigo title it may not be playing by the same rules as the other DCU titles.

187 - AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SECOND CYCLE (Vertigo) ($2.99)
10/2010: American Vampire #7     --  21,910
10/2011: --
10/2012: American Vampire #32    --  14,857
-------------------------------------------
10/2013: --
11/2013: --
12/2013: --
01/2014: --
02/2014: --
03/2014: American Vampire 2Cy #1 --  20,863 (+ 64.3%)
04/2014: American Vampire 2Cy #2 --  17,068 (- 18.2%)
05/2014: American Vampire 2Cy #3 --  15,642 (-  8.4%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: American Vampire 2Cy #4 --  15,400 (-  1.5%)
08/2014: --
09/2014: --
10/2014: American Vampire 2Cy #5 --  14,621 (-  7.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 14.3%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : -  1.6%
Since #1: - 31.6%

The good news for American Vampire is that it’s the best-selling Vertigo title for the month. The bad news is that isn’t a very high bar at the moment. Issue #5 of the Second Cycle was originally solicited for August.

192 - BATMAN BEYOND UNIVERSE (Digital-First) ($3.99)
10/2012: Unlimited #9  -- 19,877
---------------------------------
10/2013: Universe #3   -- 17,658 (- 3.7%)
11/2013: Universe #4   -- 16,889 (- 4.4%)
12/2013: Universe #5   -- 15,857 (- 6.1%)
01/2014: Universe #6   -- 15,070 (- 5.0%)
02/2014: Universe #7   -- 14,435 (- 4.2%)
03/2014: Universe #8   -- 14,097 (- 2.3%)
04/2014: Universe #9   -- 13,807 (- 2.1%)
05/2014: Universe #10  -- 13,869 (+ 0.4%)
06/2014: Universe #11  -- 14,068 (+ 1.4%)
07/2014: Universe #12  -- 14,419 (+ 2.5%)
08/2014: Universe #13  -- 14,215 (- 1.4%)
09/2014: Universe #14  -- 14,061 (- 1.1%)
10/2014: Universe #15  -- 13,739 (- 2.3%)
----------------
6 months: -  0.5%
1 year  : - 22.2%
2 years : - 30.9%
Since #1: - 41.2%

The modest gains made from Batman Beyond’s role in Futures End have been slowly eaten away by standard attrition.

193 - FABLES (Vertigo) ($2.99)
10/2004: Fables #30  -- 25,390
10/2009: Fables #89  -- 21,118
10/2010: Fables #99  -- 19,656
10/2011: Fables #110 -- 18,109
10/2012: Fables #122 -- 16,513
------------------------------
10/2013: Fables #134 -- 14,575 (- 0.4%)
11/2013: Fables #135 -- 14,383 (- 1.3%)
12/2013: Fables #136 -- 14,220 (- 1.1%)
01/2014: Fables #137 -- 14,172 (- 0.3%)
02/2014: Fables #138 -- 14,109 (- 0.4%)
03/2014: Fables #139 -- 13,936 (- 1.2%)
04/2014: --
05/2014: Fables #140 -- 13,977 (+ 0.3%)
06/2014: Fables #141 -- 13,997 (+ 0.1%)
07/2014: Fables #142 -- 13,831 (- 1.2%)
08/2014: Fables #143 -- 13,672 (- 1.1%)
09/2014: Fables #144 -- 13,551 (- 0.9%)
10/2014: Fables #145 -- 13,723 (+ 1.3%)
----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : -  5.8%
2 years : - 16.9%
5 years : - 35.0%
10 years: - 46.0%
Since #1: - 37.7%

A modest gain of a couple hundred copies, which is something that has happened every so often though out this title’s storied run. Just five issues remain until the end.

203 - ASTRO CITY (Vertigo) ($3.99)
10/2004: Visitor's Guide -- 20,249
10/2009: Astra #2        -- 13,847
10/2010: --
10/2011: --
10/2012: --
---------------------------------------
10/2013: Astro City #5   -- 16,927 (- 4.1%)
11/2013: Astro City #6   -- 16,031 (- 5.3%)
12/2013: Astro City #7   -- 15,360 (- 4.2%)
01/2014: Astro City #8   -- 14,831 (- 3.4%)
02/2014: Astro City #9   -- 14,289 (- 3.7%)
03/2014: Astro City #10  -- 14,094 (- 1.4%)
04/2014: Astro City #11  -- 13,909 (- 1.3%)
05/2014: Astro City #12  -- 13,795 (- 0.8%)
06/2014: Astro City #13  -- 13,419 (- 2.7%)
07/2014: --
08/2014: Astro City #14  -- 13,069 (- 2.6%)
09/2014: Astro City #15  -- 12,660 (- 3.1%)
10/2014: Astro City #16  -- 12,480 (- 1.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 10.3%
1 year  : - 26.3%
2 years :    n.a.
5 years : -  9.9%
10 years: - 38.4%
Since #1: - 54.9%

Drops a couple hundred copies.

At this point, anything over 10K is good for Vertigo, which means that the imprint is like an indy publisher within the larger DCE division of Warner.

204 - BATMAN ESSENTIALS ($1.00)
09/2014: Batman and Son   #1 -- 18,188
09/2014: Gotham Central   #1 --  9,252
10/2014: The Black Mirror #1 -- 12,437

A bargain priced edition of Scott Snyder’s early Batman comics (with the always excellent Jock on art).

211 - HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ($2.99)
10/2012: He-Man & MotU #3  -- 18,269 
------------------------------------
10/2013: He-Man & MotU #7  -- 16,059 (- 1.4%)
11/2013: He-Man & MotU #8  -- 15,154 (- 5.6%)
12/2013: He-Man & MotU #9  -- 14,465 (- 4.5%)
01/2014: --
02/2014: He-Man & MotU #10 -- 13,816 (- 4.5%)
03/2014: He-Man & MotU #11 -- 13,090 (- 5.3%)
04/2014: He-Man & MotU #12 -- 12,718 (- 2.8%)
05/2014: He-Man & MotU #13 -- 12,430 (- 2.3%)
06/2014: He-Man & MotU #14 -- 12,144 (- 2.3%)
07/2014: He-Man & MotU #15 -- 11,905 (- 2.0%)
08/2014: He-Man & MotU #16 -- 11,721 (- 1.5%)
09/2014: He-Man & MotU #17 -- 11,756 (+ 0.3%)
10/2014: He-Man & MotU #18 -- 11,501 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: -  9.6%
1 year  : - 28.4%
2 years : - 37.0%
Since #1: - 54.5%

A relaunch is nigh (in December).

214 - INFINITE CRISIS: FIGHT FOR THE MULTIVERSE (Digital-First) ($3.99)
07/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #1 -- 26,096
08/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #2 -- 15,340 (- 41.2%)
09/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #3 -- 13,884 (-  9.5%)
10/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #4 -- 11,348 (- 18.3%)
----------------
Since #1: - 56.5%

Ouch, that is not a healthy drop at this stage of the game.

219 - FAIREST (Vertigo) ($2.99)
10/2012: Fairest #8  -- 18,376
------------------------------
10/2013: Fairest #20 -- 13,008 (- 2.0%)
11/2013: --
12/2013: Fairest #21 -- 12,718 (- 2.2%)
01/2014: Fairest #22 -- 12,434 (- 2.2%)
02/2014: Fairest #23 -- 12,350 (- 0.7%)
03/2014: Fairest #24 -- 11,872 (- 3.9%)
04/2014: Fairest #25 -- 11,801 (- 0.6%)
05/2014: Fairest #26 -- 11,493 (- 2.6%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: Fairest #27 -- 11,329 (- 1.4%)
08/2014: Fairest #28 -- 10,989 (- 3.0%)
09/2014: Fairest #29 -- 10,772 (- 2.0%)
10/2014: Fairest #30 -- 10,711 (- 0.6%)
----------------
6 months: -  9.2%
1 year  : - 17.7%
2 years : - 41.7%
Since #1: - 66.3%

A tiny drop as the title eases towards its finale (issue #33).

224 - INFINITY MAN AND THE FOREVER PEOPLE ($2.99)
06/2014: Infinity Man & FP #1 -- 24,907
07/2014: Infinity Man & FP #2 -- 15,903 (- 36.2%)
08/2014: Infinity Man & FP #3 -- 12,390 (- 22.1%)
09/2014: Futures End #1       -- 45,586 (+267.9%)
10/2014: Infinity Man & FP #4 -- 10,275 (- 77.5%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 58.7%

A tie-in to the “Godhead” crossover (though not actually one of the official chapters), but you couldn’t really tell from the sales figures.

I will be completely gobsmacked if this title survives the Convergence Gap.

230 - SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 CHAOS (Digital-First) ($3.99)
10/2004: --
10/2012: Smallville S11 #6     -- 19,663
--------------------------------------
10/2013: Smallville S11 #18    -- 13,794 (- 2.5%)
11/2013: Smallville S11 #19    -- 13,286 (- 3.7%)
12/2013: Smallville Alien #1   -- 13,019 (- 2.0%)
01/2014: Smallville Alien #2   -- 11,768 (- 9.6%)
02/2014: Smallville Alien #3   -- 11,061 (- 6.0%)
03/2014: Smallville Alien #4   -- 10,570 (- 4.4%)
04/2014: Smallville Lantern #1 -- 12,391 (+17.2%)
05/2014: Smallville Lantern #2 -- 11,372 (- 8.2%)
06/2014: Smallville Lantern #3 -- 11,401 (+ 0.3%)
07/2014: Smallville Lantern #4 -- 11,243 (- 1.4%)
08/2014: Smallville Chaos #1   -- 10,716 (- 4.7%)
09/2014: Smallville Chaos #2   --  9,801 (- 8.5%)
10/2014: Smallville Chaos #3   --  9,661 (- 1.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 22.0%
1 year  : - 30.0%
2 years : - 50.9%
10 years: -  9.8%

Crisis, which follows Chaos, will be the final installment of Smallville Season 11 (the final digital charter just came out). Given the overall trajectory that’s probably a good decision.

I think it was a mistake to bring it so many elements of the standard DCU into the Smallville mythos. Batman and Wonder Woman? Sure. But Monitors? Sinestro Corps? Multiple parallel worlds? Things just got confusing. I give the issues of this to my dad to read, as he was a fan of the TV show, and he remarked while reading through Chaos that he didn’t really know what was going on half the time. As a digital first title, this should have stayed aimed towards the casual fan and not gone so far inside baseball.

237 - STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES FEAT GI ZOMBIE ($2.99)
07/2014: SSWS GI Zombie #1 -- 18,762 
08/2014: SSWS GI Zombie #2 -- 11,724 (- 37.5%) 
09/2014: Futures End #1    -- 44,333 (+278.1%)
10/2014: SSWS GI Zombie #3 --  9,228 (- 79.2%) 
-----------------
Since #1: - 50.8%

It saddens me to see a perfectly good series like this dropping to oblivion so rapidly.

248 - THE NAMES (Vertigo) ($2.99)
09/2014: The Names #1 of 8 -- 17,266 
10/2014: The Names #2 of 8 --  9,056 (- 47.6%) 

Returnable, so adjusted up 10% from the reported numbers (see the disclaimers at the end of this column for why we make this adjustment).

That’s a high second issue drop. Presumably this is headed for trade, so sales of the individual issues don’t really matter. You can count on one hand the number of limited series that DC has cancelled before they reach their end.

241 - BODIES (Vertigo) ($2.99)
07/2014:Bodies #1 of 8 -- 17,500 
08/2014:Bodies #2 of 8 -- 11,283 (-33.8%) 
09/2014:Bodies #3 of 8 --  9,439 (-16.3%) 
10/2014:Bodies #4 of 8 --  8,828 (- 6.5%) 

—————-
Since #1: – 48.2%

Issues #1 & #3 were returnable, #2 and #4 were not. As with Bodies this is presumably this is headed for trade; sales of individual issues for a Vertigo limited series are somewhat immaterial.

255 - TEEN TITANS GO! (Digital-First) ($2.99)
10/2004: Teen Titans Go! #12 -- 14,609
--------------------------------------
12/2013: Teen Titans Go! #1  -- 13,441 (+82.0%)
01/2014: --
02/2014: Teen Titans Go! #2  --  9,038 (-32.8%)
03/2014: --
04/2014: Teen Titans Go! #3  --  8,185 (- 9.4%)
05/2014: --
06/2014: Teen Titans Go! #4  --  8,667 (+ 5.9%)
07/2014: --
08/2014: Teen Titans Go! #5  --  8,688 (+ 0.2%)
09/2014: --
10/2014: Teen Titans Go! #6  --  8,677 (- 0.1%)
-----------------
6 months: +  6.0%
10 years: - 40.6%
Since #1: - 35.4%

Returnable, and adjusted accordingly.

Sales for #6 are essentially identical to those of #5, so it looks like TTG has found its level.

256 - TINY TITANS: RETURN TO THE TREEHOUSE (All-Ages) ($2.99)
10/2009: Tiny Titans #21   --  8,259
10/2010: Tiny Titans #33   --  8,045
10/2011: Tiny Titans #45   --  7,836
---------------------------------------
06/2014: Treehouse #1 of 6 -- 13,021 (+ 55.7%)
07/2014: Treehouse #2 of 6 -- 11,387 (- 12.5%)
08/2014: Treehouse #3 of 6 --  8,929 (- 21.6%)
09/2014: Treehouse #4 of 6 --  8,824 (-  1.2%)
10/2014: Treehouse #5 of 6 --  8,630 (-  2.2%)
-----------------
5 years : +  4.5%
Since #1: - 33.7%

Returnable, and adjusted accordingly.

Drops a couple hundred copies, but this looks like the natural level for a Tiny Titans comic.

267 - COFFIN HILL (Vertigo) ($2.99)
10/2013: Coffin Hill #1  -- 24,129
11/2013: Coffin Hill #2  -- 14,472 (-40.0%)
12/2013: Coffin Hill #3  -- 12,337 (-14.8%)
01/2014: Coffin Hill #4  -- 11,306 (- 8.4%)
02/2014: Coffin Hill #5  -- 10,435 (- 7.7%)
03/2014: Coffin Hill #6  --  9,982 (- 4.3%)
04/2014: Coffin Hill #7  --  9,547 (- 4.4%)
05/2014: --
06/2014: Coffin Hill #8  --  8,764 (- 8.2%)
07/2014: Coffin Hill #9  --  8,396 (- 4.2%)
08/2014: Coffin Hill #10 --  7,710 (- 8.1%)
09/2014: Coffin Hill #11 --  7,422 (- 3.7%)
10/2014: Coffin Hill #12 --  7,136 (- 3.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 25.3%
1 year  : - 70.4%
Since #1: - 70.4%

Issue #15 has been solicited for February, and marks the start of a new storyline.

If you’re wondering about trade sales, the first (bargain priced) collection had first month sales (through Diamond) of 2,885.

297 - THE UNWRITTEN V2 APOCALYPSE (Vertigo) ($3.99)
10/2010: The Unwritten #18  -- 12,273
10/2011: The Unwritten #30  -- 10,481
10/2012: The Unwritten #42  --  8,881
------------------------------------
10/2013: The Unwritten #54  --  8,871 (- 1.2%)
11/2013: --
12/2013: --
01/2014: Unwritten vol2 #1  -- 11,975 (+35.0%)
02/2014: Unwritten vol2 #2  --  8,291 (-30.8%)
03/2014: Unwritten vol2 #3  --  7,890 (- 4.8%)
04/2014: Unwritten vol2 #4  --  7,652 (- 3.0%)
05/2014: Unwritten vol2 #5  --  7,267 (- 5.0%)
06/2014: Unwritten vol2 #6  --  7,133 (- 1.8%)
07/2014: Unwritten vol2 #7  --  6,918 (- 3.0%)
08/2014: Unwritten vol2 #8  --  6,575 (- 5.0%)
09/2014: Unwritten vol2 #9  --  6,400 (- 2.7%)
10/2014: Unwritten vol2 #10 --  6,407 (+ 0.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 16.3%
1 year  : - 27.8%
2 years : - 27.9%
Since #1: - 46.5%

Adds seven copies this month. Ending with issue #12.

298 - VERTIGO QUARTERLY CMYK (Vertigo) ($7.99)
04/2014: Cyan #1    -- 9,456 
05/2014: --
06/2014: --
07/2014: Magenta #1 -- 7,360 (- 22.2%) 
08/2014: --
09/2014: --
10/2014: Yellow #1  -- 6,384 (- 13.3%) 
----------------
6 months: - 32.5%
Since #1: - 32.5%

A typical third issue drop, despite the atypical numbering being used.

+302 - FBP: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS (Vertigo) ($2.99)
10/2013: FBP #4      -- 11,600 (-17.0%)
11/2013: FBP #5      -- 10,391 (-10.4%)
12/2013: FBP #6      --  9,543 (- 8.2%)
01/2014: FBP #7      --  8,971 (- 6.0%)
02/2014: --
03/2014: FBP #8      --  7,852 (-12.5%)
04/2014: FBP #9      --  7,619 (- 3.0%)
05/2014: FBP #10     --  7,242 (- 4.9%)
06/2014: FBP #11     --  6,958 (- 3.9%)
07/2014: FBP #12     --  ????? (< 6,594)
08/2014: FBP #13     --  6,189
09/2014: --
10/2014: FBP #14     --  ????? (< 6,298)
-----------------
6 months:    ???%
1 year  :    ???%
Since #1:    ???%
+302 - HINTERKIND (Vertigo) ($2.99)
10/2013: Hinterkind #1  -- 23,516
11/2013: Hinterkind #2  -- 13,994 (-40.5%)
12/2013: Hinterkind #3  -- 11,659 (-16.7%)
01/2014: Hinterkind #4  --  9,693 (-16.9%)
02/2014: Hinterkind #5  --  8,948 (- 7.7%)
03/2014: Hinterkind #6  --  8,306 (- 7.2%)
04/2014: --
05/2014: Hinterkind #7  --  7,487 (- 9.9%)
06/2014: Hinterkind #8  --  7,212 (- 3.7%)
07/2014: Hinterkind #9  --  6,686 (- 7.3%)
08/2014: Hinterkind #10 --  6,283 (- 6.0%)
09/2014: Hinterkind #11 --  ????? (< 6,262)
10/2014: Hinterkind #12 --  ????? (< 6,298)
-----------------
6 months:    ???%
1 year  :    ???%
Since #1:    ???%
+302 - DEAD BOY DETECTIVES (Vertigo) ($2.99)
12/2013: Dead Boy Detectives #1 -- 21,478
01/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #2   -- 12,276 (-42.8%)
02/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #3  --  9,889 (-19.4%)
03/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #4  --  8,872 (-10.3%)
04/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #5  --  7,957 (-10.3%)
05/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #6  --  7,305 (- 8.2%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #7  --  ????? (< 6,594)
08/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #8  --  5,968
09/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #9  --  ????? (< 6,262)
10/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #10 --  ????? (< 6,298)
-----------------
6 months:    ???%
Since #1:    ???%

Three Vertigo titles miss the top 300 this month, with sales less than 6,298. Dead Boy Detectives has not been solicited past December, the end of its second story arc, so it looks like that has been silently cancelled. FBP & Hinterkind are starting up new story arcs, so they'll be around for a bit longer at least. But I'm surprised they weren't canned a while ago. Clearly DC is looking for something from these titles other than selling comic books. (For instance, FBP is in development as a movie at Warner, so that may be keeping it around.)

---

+302 - SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? (All-Ages) ($2.99)
10/2004: Scooby-Doo #89                -- 5,449
10/2009: Scooby-Doo #149               -- 4,005
10/2010: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #2  -- 4,926
10/2011: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #14 -- ?????
10/2012: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #26 -- ?????
----------------------------------------
10/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #38 -- 4,983 (+3.0%)
11/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #39 -- ????? 
12/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #40 -- 4,754 
01/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #41 -- 4,649 (-2.2%)
02/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #42 -- 4,540 (-2.3%)
03/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #43 -- 4,623 (+1.8%)
04/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #44 -- 4,650 (+0.6%)
05/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #45 -- 4,840 (+4.1%)
06/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #46 -- ????? (< 4,560)
07/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #47 -- ????? (< 6,594)
08/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #48 -- ????? (< 5,357)
09/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #49 -- ????? (< 6,262)
10/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #50 -- ????? (< 6,298)
-----------------
6 months:    ???%
1 year  :    ???%
2 years :    ???%
5 years :    ???%
10 years:    ???%
Since #1:    ???%
+302 - LOONEY TUNES (All-Ages) ($2.99)
10/2004: Looney Tunes #119 -- 3,218
10/2009: Looney Tunes #191 -- ?????
10/2010: Looney Tunes #183 -- ?????
10/2011: Looney Tunes #203 -- ?????
10/2012: Looney Tunes #209 -- ?????
----------------------------------------
10/2013: Looney Tunes #215 -- ?????
11/2013: -- 
12/2013: Looney Tunes #216 -- 2,822 
01/2014: --
02/2014: Looney Tunes #217 -- 2,784 (- 1.3%)
03/2014: -- 
04/2014: Looney Tunes #218 -- ????? (< 2,823)
05/2014: -- 
06/2014: Looney Tunes #219 -- ????? (< 4,560)
07/2014: -- 
08/2014: Looney Tunes #220 -- ????? (< 5,357)
09/2014: -- 
10/2014: Looney Tunes #221 -- ????? (< 6,298)
-----------------
6 months:   ????%
1 year  :   ????%
2 years :   ????%
5 years :   ????%
10 years:   ????%

As long as the threshold for the Diamond charts is above 6K, it is highly unlikely that we'll see these two all-ages titles ever charting in the top 300. Again, DC is clearly looking for something other than sales to North American comic shops out of these titles. (E.g.. I've heard that Scooby-Doo comics do decently in Europe.)

--

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

DC COMICS
10/2004: 30,125
10/2009: 27,525
10/2010: 23,756
10/2011: 51,342
10/2012: 32,901
---------------
10/2013: 31,928 (- 41.8%)**
11/2013: 32,664 (+  2.3%)
12/2013: ??????
01/2014: 27,881 
02/2014: 27,070 (-  2.9%)
03/2014: 26,776 (-  1.1%)
04/2014: 29,202 (+  9.1%)**
05/2014: 31,764 (+  8.8%)
06/2014: 32,834 (+  3.4%)**
07/2014: 32,760 (+  0.2%)**
08/2014: 28,951 (- 11.6%)**
09/2014: 46,869 (+ 61.9%)**
10/2014: 31,505 (- 32.8%)**
-----------------
6 months: +  8.9%
1 year  : -  1.3%
2 years : -  4.2%
5 years : + 14.5%
10 years: +  4.6%

DC UNIVERSE
10/2004: 35,481
10/2009: 34,795
10/2010: 32,832
10/2011: 59,219
10/2012: 36,571
---------------
10/2013: 33,568 (- 45.0%)**
11/2013: 35,282 (+  5.1%)
12/2013: ??????
01/2014: 33,120 
02/2014: 33,327 (+  0.6%) 
03/2014: 32,007 (-  4.0%) 
04/2014: 36,447 (+ 13.9%) 
05/2014: 39,555 (+  8.5%) 
06/2014: 42,733 (+  8.0%) 
07/2014: 40,945 (-  4.2%) 
08/2014: 36,645 (- 10.5%) 
09/2014: 63,401 (+ 73.0%)** 
10/2014: 40,107 (- 36.7%)
-----------------
6 months: + 10.0%
1 year  : + 19.5%
2 years : +  9.7%
5 years : + 15.3%
10 years: + 13.0%

VERTIGO
10/2004: 17,102
10/2009: 10,551
10/2010:  9,546
10/2011: 10,643
10/2012: 11,496
---------------
10/2013: 22,228 (+ 48.7%)**
11/2013: 13,958 (- 37.2%)
12/2013: ??????
01/2014: 11,473 
02/2014: 13,215 (+ 15.2%) 
03/2014: 19,179 (+ 45.1%) 
04/2014: 11,214 (- 41.5%) 
05/2014: 11,778 (+  5.0%) 
06/2014: 11,372 (-  3.4%) 
07/2014: 15,803 (+ 39.0%)** 
08/2014:  9,082 (- 42.5%)
09/2014: 10,022 (+ 10.4%)**
10/2014:  9,066 (-  9.5%)**
-----------------
6 months: - 19.2%
1 year  : - 29.2%
2 years : - 21.1%
5 years : - 14.1%
10 years: - 47.0%


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

+ 91.6% - Batgirl
+ 54.5% - Teen Titans
+ 43.9% - Superman
+ 28.5% - Green Lantern Corps
+ 23.9% - Catwoman
+ 21.8% - Batman and Robin
+ 19.4% - Action Comics
+  9.0% - Batman
+  9.0% - Red Lanterns
+  8.6% - Harley Quinn
+  8.5% - Earth 2
+  8.0% - Green Lantern: New Guardians
+  6.6% - Flash
+  6.0% - Superman/Wonder Woman
+  6.0% - Teen Titans Go!
+  3.2% - Green Lantern
+  2.2% - Detective Comics
+  1.6% - Supergirl
-  0.5% - Batman Beyond Universe
-  1.0% - Green Arrow
-  1.9% - Aquaman
-  4.5% - Justice League
-  5.5% - Batman '66
-  5.8% - Worlds' Finest
-  6.0% - Swamp Thing
-  8.7% - Red Hood and the Outlaws
-  8.8% - Batman/Superman
-  9.2% - Fairest
-  9.6% - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
- 10.3% - Astro City
- 11.7% - Justice League Dark
- 11.9% - Injustice
- 12.7% - Batwoman
- 14.3% - American Vampire
- 15.2% - Constantine
- 16.3% - The Unwritten
- 22.0% - Smallville Season 11
- 25.3% - Coffin Hill
- 28.7% - Justice League 3000
- 32.5% - Vertigo Quarterly
- 49.8% - Aquaman and the Others


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

+113.1% - Arrow
+ 70.9% - Batgirl
+ 42.3% - New Suicide Squad (Suicide Squad)
+ 35.7% - Superman
+ 32.6% - Grayson (Nightwing)
+ 15.0% - Teen Titans
+ 14.0% - Action Comics
+ 13.1% - Supergirl
+  4.9% - Batman and Robin
-  1.2% - Earth 2
-  1.8% - Flash
-  3.2% - Detective Comics
-  4.6% - Batman
-  5.2% - Green Arrow
-  5.8% - Fables
-  8.3% - Green Lantern Corps
- 12.0% - Worlds' Finest
- 13.8% - Red Lanterns
- 17.7% - Fairest
- 19.6% - Green Lantern
- 20.1% - Swamp Thing
- 20.1% - Swamp Thing Annual
- 22.2% - Batman Beyond Universe
- 23.5% - Justice League
- 23.7% - Aquaman
- 24.6% - Green Lantern: New Guardians
- 26.1% - Catwoman
- 26.3% - Astro City
- 26.9% - Red Hood and the Outlaws
- 27.8% - The Unwritten
- 27.9% - Injustice
- 28.4% - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
- 30.0% - Smallville Season 11
- 31.8% - Constantine
- 34.5% - Batwoman
- 38.2% - Batman/Superman
- 43.8% - Batman '66
- 46.1% - Justice League Dark
- 49.5% - Superman/Wonder Woman
- 70.4% - Coffin Hill


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

+258.5% - Deathstroke
+ 69.1% - Constantine (Hellblazer)
+ 42.9% - New Suicide Squad (Suicide Squad)
+ 12.0% - Grayson (Nightwing)
+  5.8% - Green Arrow
+  2.9% - Superman
-  1.6% - American Vampire
-  3.3% - Teen Titans
- 10.5% - Supergirl
- 11.9% - Batgirl
- 13.4% - Batman and Robin
- 16.9% - Fables
- 18.5% - Justice League Dark
- 24.9% - Flash
- 24.9% - Detective Comics
- 27.9% - The Unwritten
- 29.9% - Batman
- 30.9% - Batman Beyond
- 32.6% - Green Lantern Corps
- 32.9% - Action Comics
- 33.3% - Justice League Dark Annual
- 36.0% - Justice League
- 37.0% - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
- 38.0% - Red Lanterns
- 38.4% - Earth 2
- 41.0% - Aquaman
- 41.7% - Fairest
- 43.7% - Worlds' Finest
- 44.0% - Red Hood and the Outlaws
- 44.9% - Green Lantern: New Guardians
- 50.0% - Green Lantern
- 50.9% - Smallville Season 11
- 51.4% - Swamp Thing Annual
- 51.9% - Swamp Thing
- 55.1% - Batwoman
- 56.9% - Catwoman

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

+ 69.3% - Batgirl
+ 66.4% - Batman
+ 51.7% - Superman
+ 48.2% - Batman/Superman
+ 45.3% - Constantine (Hellblazer)
+ 36.1% - Teen Titans
+ 29.6% - Green Arrow
+ 26.3% - Action Comics
+ 23.5% - Justice League (Justice League of America)
+  4.5% - Tiny Titans
-  2.1% - Detective Comics
-  9.9% - Astro City
- 13.2% - Supergirl
- 35.0% - Fables
- 46.2% - Batman and Robin
- 54.7% - Green Lantern
- 57.9% - Green Lantern Corps


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

+ 69.9% - Batman
+ 44.1% - Aquaman
+ 32.3% - Batgirl
+ 21.2% - Grayson (Nightwing)
+ 19.0% - Detective Comics
+ 10.6% - Justice League (JLA)
+  9.8% - Action Comics
+  2.5% - Constantine (Hellblazer)
-  7.3% - Swamp Thing
-  9.8% - Smallville
- 27.3% - Green Arrow
- 27.8% - Flash
- 35.4% - Catwoman
- 38.4% - Astro City
- 40.6% - Teen Titans Go!
- 41.5% - Teen Titans
- 46.0% - Fables
- 53.0% - Superman
- 74.3% - Green Lantern


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

DCU: Average: 40,107. Median: 37,996.

3.0 - Batman
2.4 - Harley Quinn Annual
1.9 - Justice League (34)
1.9 - Justice League (35)
1.7 - Harley Quinn
1.6 - Batgirl
1.4 - Detective Comics
1.4 - Batman and Robin
1.4 - Batman Eternal (26)
1.3 - Deathstroke
1.3 - Superman
1.3 - Batman Eternal (27)
1.3 - The Multiversity
1.3 - Batman Eternal (28)
1.3 - Grayson
1.3 - Batman Eternal (30)
1.3 - Batman Eternal (29)
1.3 - Batan/Superman (14)
1.3 - Batan/Superman (15)
1.2 - Earth 2: World's End (1)
1.2 - Superman/Wonder Woman
1.1 - Arkham Manor
1.1 - Green Lantern
1.1 - Action Comics
1.1 - Green Lantern/New Gods: Godhead
1.0 - Earth 2: World's End (2)
1.0 - New Suicide Squad
1.0 - Teen Titans
1.0 - Lobo
1.0 - Earth 2: World's End (3)
0.9 - Justice League United
0.9 - Earth 2
0.9 - Earth 2: World's End (4)
0.9 - Flash
0.9 - The New 52 - Futures End (22)
0.9 - The New 52 - Futures End (23)
0.9 - The New 52 - Futures End (24)
0.9 - The New 52 - Futures End (25)
0.9 - The New 52 - Futures End (26)
0.9 - Green Lantern Corps
0.8 - Sinestro
0.8 - Aquaman
0.7 - Green Lantern: New Guardians
0.7 - Justice League United Annual
0.7 - Red Lanterns
0.7 - Supergirl
0.6 - Catwoman
0.6 - Secret Origins
0.6 - Justice League Dark
0.6 - Green Arrow
0.6 - Trinity of Sin
0.5 - Klarion
0.5 - Worlds' Finest
0.5 - Red Hood and the Outlaws
0.5 - Justice League 3000
0.5 - Justice League Dark Annual
0.4 - Swamp Thing
0.4 - Aquaman and the Others
0.4 - Batwoman
0.4 - Swamp Thing Annual
0.4 - Constantine
0.3 - Infinity Man and the Forever People
0.2 - Star-Spangled War Stories feat. G.I. Zombie

Vertigo: Average: 9,066*. Median: 7,982*

1.7 - American Vampire
1.5 - Fables
1.4 - Astro City
1.2 - Fairest
1.0 - The Names
1.0 - Bodies
0.8 - Coffin Hill
0.7 - The Unwritten
0.7 - Vertigo Quarterly
0.7 - Hinterkind *
0.7 - FBP *
0.7 - Dead Boy Detectives *

Digital First & Other: Average: 13,928*. Median: 14,831*.

1.7 - Flash Season Zero
1.6 - Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet
1.4 - Injustice Year Three (1)
1.3 - Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman
1.3 - Injustice Year Three (2)
1.2 - Arrow Season 2.5
1.2 - Injustice Year Two Annual
1.1 - Batman '66
1.0 - Batman Beyond Universe
0.8 - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
0.8 - Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse
0.7 - Smallville Chaos
0.6 - Teen Titans Go!
0.6 - Tiny Titans Return to the Treehouse
0.3 - Scooby-Doo Where Are You? *
0.2 - Looney Tunes *

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

---
The Fine Print (Disclaimers, et cetera)
The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.
ICv2.com's estimates are somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it's a "month-to-month" column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month.

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

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after a book's initial calendar month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in brackets behind those issues (e.g. "[36,599]"). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average between them will be used.

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

Titles released under the All-Ages line and magazines, such as Mad, mostly sell through channels other than the direct market, so direct-market sales don't tell us much about their performance. For most Vertigo titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well. To learn (a little) more about Vertigo's collection sales, go right here.

Please keep in mind that raw sales numbers do not tell us about how profitable a book is for a publisher or for the creators.
Above all, do not allow sales numbers to dictate your purchasing and enjoyment of a particular comic. If you enjoy reading a comic series then go right on buying and reading that comic, no matter what the sales figures say.

** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300/400 chart in that month. In those cases, it's assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300/400 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales are likely to be less than that.

Opinions expressed in this column are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, Heidi MacDonald or anyone at The Comics Beat, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or my neighbor's dog Miles.

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

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

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11. RIP Sharon Sakai

nbt461 b88174574z.120140912140804000gio4louk.10 RIP Sharon Sakai
Sharon Sakai, wife of Usagi Yojimbo artist Stan Sakai passed away this morning after a long battle with a brain tumor. Sakai wrote on Facebook:

Sharon passed away at 9:00 this morning.

She died exactly the way she wanted to–at home, surrounded by her family. Matthew flew home from up north, where he is going to school, yesterday.

Thank you all so much for your love, prayers and support.


Sharon was beloved by all who knew her from conventions or in real life, and my heart goes out to Stan and his family. Sharon’s long battle, and her family’s attempts to cope with its effects were chronicled in a matter of fact fashion by Sakai on his FB page, and several benefits were held for them in the past year.

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12. CCI is aware of offensive remarks by alleged SDCC committee member

Last night twitter user Bill in San diego @BillntwrkBill got very vocal about the Ferguson protests on his account. Which is his right, as laid out by our Bill of Rights. However, it went over the line of what one might call civil commentary with calling the mother of a dead teenager a “whiny bitch” for grieving for her son, and a lot of other offensive rhetoric.

But here’s the interesting part. His bio lists

U. S . Navy Vet. Comic Con Regular Committee member. Married to wonderful woman. My tweets are my own. Go to CCI official website for factual information. Socal


and Comic-Con did indeed come up in several tweets. Bill (identified in this thread on his misdeeds as Bill Purcell) claimed he was not a committee member, but rather a volunteer. A volunteer who offered to give out passes for sexual favors?
billpurcell CCI is aware of offensive remarks by alleged SDCC committee member

And other sexual threats against comics industry members.

Although Bill claimed he was a volunteer for the con, I’m told he was actually a committee member for a while. And he was not a volunteer last year.

While, once again, expressing civilized opinions of current events is perfectly acceptable even if you disagree, using an association with one of the world’s biggest entertainment events—one which has a laudable track record for inclusion and diversity—as a platform for abusive, name calling language and threatening rape is probably not acceptable.

I reached out to Comic-Con and was told “This matter has been brought to our attention and we may be able to comment later in the day.”

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13. Black Friday ’14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)

by Zachary Clemente

gift guide Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)If you’re like me, you don’t have any siblings, which is a real shame since I really want to get kids into comics. Thankfully, I have enough younger cousins who are easily susceptible to the gift of comics no matter the occasion, so I spoil them rotten at pretty much every turn.

I hope they actually like them.

Either way, here’s a collection of great gifts to get your younger cousins (or siblings or children or whatever – take your pick) this Black Friday consumer-fest in preparation for the upcoming holidays.

Quicklinks:

STK644501 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Adventure Time Fionna & Cake Mathematical Edition Hardcover – $29.99 (-25%) TFAW

Literally one of the most beautiful books I’ve read – whether you’re a fan of Adventure Time’s sometimes heroines, this loving tale of friendship with melt your heart. This is the collected series. Written and Drawn by Natasha Allegri.

prv14944 cov 772x1028 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise Library Edition HC - $23.99 (-40%) TFAW

A must read for any fan of the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series. This hardcover collects the three volumes of Gene Luen Yang’s canonical stories of the events directly after the end of the hit series, Drawn by Gurihiru. There are two more series after this one; “The Search” and “The Rift”.

4064457 01 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Bride’s Story, Vol. 1 – $13.24 (-22%) Amazon

There is literally nothing like Kaoru Mori‘s series about the life of Amir Halgal, a young woman living during 19th century Silk Road, betrothed to a boy 8 years younger than her. Bride’s Story represents this situations with care, keeping the events historically accurate while making it accessible and entertaining for contemporary audiences. Additionally, Mori’s art is unparalleled with this series, currently 6 volumes in total.

BandettePresto Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Bandette Volume 1: Presto! Hardcover – $7.49 (-50%) TFAW

A lighthearted jaunt through the life of Bandette – the first collection of Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover‘s “harmless” crime romp is delightful and exquisitely executed. The second volume to out April 2015.

BATMAN 66 vol1 nm1mbsipz0  527c205d3e9f65.33103894 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Batman ’66 Vol. 1 Hardcover – $12.64 (-37%) Amazon

Bringing back the spectacular fun of the classic Batman series, Jeff Parker writes dastardly deeds and timeless heroics with artists Jonathan Case, Ty Templeton, Joe Quinones, Sandy Jarrell, Ruben Procopio, and Colleen Coover. Batman ’66 currently has 2 volumes out, with the 3rd out April 2015.

cvr9781421550640 9781421550640 hr Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Box Set - $42.00 (-30%) Amazon

Actually the most amazing thing on this list. While most American readers are familiar with Hayao Miyazaki‘s early masterpiece in animated form – it was original a manga – a far deeper and involved story about Nausicaä’s adventures. I literally cannot recommend this enough. The whole series is printed in two gorgeous hardcover books in this set.

91Z0pfjw9UL Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Battling Boy Vol. 1 Paperback – $9.68 (-39%) Amazon

A distillation of everything cosmic about Kirby and magical about Miyazaki; Paul Pope‘s entrance into all-ages comics is a fantastic tome for anyone looking for adventure. This is the first of two volumes, with an offshoot series Aurora West having one of two books currently out.

71iS9Uek5CL Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Smile/Sister Boxed Set – $18.68 (-15%) Midtown

No offense, but if Raina Telgemeier‘s work isn’t on your radar, better move out from under that rock and pick it up. I recently attended an event where she ran a workshop and it was literally swimming with eager children.

dcb772b0 e6df 43fa a11a 20f906690597 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Ms. Marvel Paperback Vol. 1 – No Normal – $12.79 (-20%) TFAW

Same as above, if you aren’t aware of what Marvel is doing with the name “Ms. Marvel” you need to check out this book. Meet Kamala Khan, a teenage superheroine who is learning the ropes of how to juggle a like of crime-fighting and being an inconspicuous teenager in a devoutly Islamic household; it’s tremendous and important work. Written by G. Willow Wilson and Drawn by Adrian Alphona, this is an ongoing series.

Ewoks SoE Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Star Wars: Ewoks – Shadows of Endor – $3.99 (-50%) TFAW

There literally isn’t a reason to pick up Zack Giallongo‘s wonderful Star Wars book. He has a marvelous style that allows for epic battles and violence while riding the line of accessibility for all readers. Also, c’mon – Ewoks are the cutest. This is currently a standalone book.

johnny boo cover new lg Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Johnny Boo Hardcover Vol. 1 – Best Little Ghost in the World - $4.97 (-50%) TFAW

There are so many books by Vermonter James Kochalka that could (and should) be on this list, but the Johnny Boo series is my favorite. There are currently 6 super-cute volumes out and they’re all really fun.

Costume Quest Invastion Of The Candy Snatchers Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Costume Quest Hardcover: Invasion Of Candy Snatchers - $19.99 (-20%) TFAW

For me, this was a dream come true. Zac Gorman is well-known online for crafting wholly unique animated comics that distill that feeling of beating a temple in The Legend of Zelda on the first try at 2 in the morning. Since then, he’s been making amazing comics in print. Costume Quest is a property from the immensely wonderful company Double Fine (Psychonauts, Broken Age) and well-deserving of a beautiful comic.

MAY140616 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)How Toons: Tools Of Mass Construction  – $9.74 (-35%) TFAW

That’s right. There’s a comic made to teach kids how to use DIY projects to practice science and explore engineering principles (safely enough). Created by Nick Dragotta, Saul GriffithJoost Bonsen, and Ingrid Dragotta, How Toons is the perfect gift for that would be physicist or doctor without seeming forced.

2005185 sailor moon 1 600dpi Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Sailor Moon Kodansha Edition Vol. 1 - $6.65 (-39%) Amazon

Fair warning – there are like 12 volumes of the premier Shōjo manga by Naoko Takeuchi, so in for a penny in for pound. Retranslated and reprinted starting a few years ago, the adventures of Usagi Tsukino, the leader of Sailor Senshi, are an absolute joy to read.

nov090804 Black Friday 14: Presents for Younger Cousins (And Other Such Family Members)Kazu Kibuishi’s Copper – $6.49 (-50%) TFAW

Last but not least, is Kazu Kibiushi‘s early work, Copper. Don’t get me wrong, his work on Amulet, Flight, Daisy Kutter, and more are amazing – especially as a fan of seeing his progression. However, nothing – any I mean nothing – has gotten as close to the tone and feeling that Calvin & Hobbes encapsulated; and we have to celebrate that.

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14. 10 more Convergence titles with Wolfman on Titans, Wein on Swamp Thing, etc.

The combination fan wish fulfillment and classic writer comeback that is Convergence—DC’s two month fill in event slated for next March and April while the company moves—have been announced, via The Nerdist and IGN. Once again it’s old  home week with Marv Wolfman writing the Teen titans, Len Wein writing Swamp Thing, and artists including Tim Truman back at DC for one last go round.

This was originally going to be an event that featured a lot of younger creators, and there is one—EGOs artist Gus Storms is drawing the Legion.

BTW this event has gotten less and less attention as the weeks go on. Of course, the timing what with world news, is unfortunate. Also, holiday.

Convergence Adventures of Superman 674x1024 10 more Convergence titles with Wolfman on Titans, Wein on Swamp Thing, etc.

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artists: Roberto Viacava and Andy Owens
Colorist: Sotocolor
Superman and Supergirl try to escape the city through the Phantom Zone, but they enter a portion they’ve never seen before and learn that Supergirl is destined to die if they return to their proper time and dimension. True story

01 Batman and the Outsiders COLOR 1057x1600 300x454 10 more Convergence titles with Wolfman on Titans, Wein on Swamp Thing, etc.

BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: Carlos D’Anda
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
After a year under the dome, the Outsiders have gone their separate ways, but when OMAC attacks, Batman must find out if they have what it takes to still be a team.

Convergence Flash 10 more Convergence titles with Wolfman on Titans, Wein on Swamp Thing, etc.

THE FLASH
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Federico Dallocchio
Colorist: Veronica Gandini
Trapped in Gotham, Barry Allen has nowhere to run. He fights on, seeking justice as well as a way to save the city. But he faces a Tangent Universe foe that thinks faster than the Flash could ever move.

05 GreenLanternCorps COLOR 1044x1600 10 more Convergence titles with Wolfman on Titans, Wein on Swamp Thing, etc.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS

Writer: David Gallaher

Artists: Steve Ellis and Ande Parks

Colorist: Hi-Fi
Say the Oath, save the world! If only being the Green Lantern Corps was that easy. Hal has resigned, John is busy, and Guy is pissed. Together for the first time—they’ll save Gotham or die trying.

Convergence Hawkman 615x475 10 more Convergence titles with Wolfman on Titans, Wein on Swamp Thing, etc.

HAWKMAN

Writer: Jeff Parker

Artists: Tim Truman and Enrique Alcatena

Colorist: John Kalisz
Hawkman and Hawkgirl put their Shadow War on hold as they face the anthropomorphic might of rat-men and bat-men in the deadly land of Kamandi!

06 JLA COLOR 1039x1600 300x461 10 more Convergence titles with Wolfman on Titans, Wein on Swamp Thing, etc.

JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist: ChrisCross
Colorist: Snakebite Cortez
With their heavy hitters sidelined, Elongated Man must lead the much-maligned “Detroit Justice League” against the overwhelming power of the heroes from the Tangent Universe!

09 NewTeenTitans COLOR 1041x1600 300x461 10 more Convergence titles with Wolfman on Titans, Wein on Swamp Thing, etc.

NEW TEEN TITANS
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artists: Nicola Scott and Marc Deering
Colorist: Jeromy Cox
Titans Together! Fighting against the might of the Tangent Universe’s Doom Patrol, we are reminded why this is the greatest Titans team of all.

Convergence Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes 668x1024 10 more Convergence titles with Wolfman on Titans, Wein on Swamp Thing, etc.

SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES

Writer: Stuart Moore

Artists: Gus Storms and Mark Farmer

Colorist: John Rauch
While Brainiac 5 struggles to break through the dome, Superboy tries to keep the Legion of Super-Heroes spirits up—but then the Atomic Knights ride into town.

Convergence Swamp Thing 668x1024 10 more Convergence titles with Wolfman on Titans, Wein on Swamp Thing, etc.

SWAMP THING
Writer: Len Wein
Artist: Kelley Jones
Colorist: Michelle Madsen
Swamp Thing struggles to survive when the dome cuts off his contact with the Green.

04 WonderWoman COLOR 1006x1528 10 more Convergence titles with Wolfman on Titans, Wein on Swamp Thing, etc.

WONDER WOMAN
Writer: Larry Hama
Art and Color: Josh Middleton
White-jumpsuit-clad Diana Prince is in the grips of a Domesday cult when her lover Steve Trevor leaps into the fray to save Etta Candy from vampires of Red Rain.

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15. Ferguson. Power.

Ferguson, Missouri. Nov. 24, 2014. (Photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters)


from "Power" by Audre Lorde:

I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds
and a dead child dragging his shattered black
face off the edge of my sleep
blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders
is the only liquid for miles
and my stomach
churns at the imagined taste while
my mouth splits into dry lips
without loyalty or reason
thirsting for the wetness of his blood
as it sinks into the whiteness
of the desert where I am lost
without imagery or magic
trying to make power out of hatred and destruction
trying to heal my dying son with kisses
only the sun will bleach his bones quicker.

(photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

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16. Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books

Well, sort of. It’s well known that some used book prices on Amazon are just kind of…loony. Take for instance, Monsters Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books by Ken Dahl, an excellent book about a guy who thinks he has herpes by Ken Dahl, published by Secret Acres but now out of print. (A new edition is planned for next year.) In the meantime, you can get a used copy for a mere $394.94… or brand new for $11,964.08.

$11,964.08

Is this real? I doubt it. I know most of these books mentioned below can be found placidly waiting in bargain boxes at cons. Paging Frank Santoro!

I know a lot of old manga books do legit go for some high prices. For instance, TokyoPop’s Rave Master (4,5,6,7,8,9) Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books in a nice set, goes for $168 in library binding (that’s hardcover) and
but $8,038.21 used. And they wonder why people turn to piracy! 


Some other pricey old books: Battle Royale Ultimate Edition Volume 5 (v. 5) Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books = $499.00

Julie Doucet & Michel Go W/DVD Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books – $173.16

The recent Passion of Gengoroh Tagame Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books by now defunct Picturebox is listed at $226.73 used, and $598.77 new. I know this book does have a loyal fetish following so…supply and demand.

Another Picturebox book, C.F.: Powr Mastrs Vol. 1  Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books by Fort Thunder alum CF is listed at $134.62 used, $154.47 new. Glad I saved my copies!

TeratoidHeights Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books

Digging around some more long gone publishers, I found this from Highwater, Mat Brinkman’s Teratoid Heights Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books at $220.00. That was a great book!

And then there’s Buenaventura Press, which published Souvlaki Circus by finnish artist Amanda Vähämäki Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books $265.35 used, or $331.68 new/

Oddly, the book that you’d think would be the most valuable, the huge epic Kramers Ergot 7 Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books goes for a mere $140.00 used and only $112.50 new! The retail price was $125 so this is a bargain. Some people in the comments mention copies going for $1000 back in the day—the print run was destroyed by mold under mysterious circumstances—but obviously now its just another large, beautiful object to keep around the house.

Not just out of business publishers. I checked Dark Horse and found The Hellboy Collection: The Story So Far Volumes 1-7 Bundle Want some valuable comics? Try these rare small press books going for $2,881.50. I used to have all these but I think I sold them to the Strand for $20. =(

The moral of the story? Never throw anything out! I don’t!

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17. Let’s get dangerous: Darkwing Duck writing credit kerfuffle

Darkwing Cover by lazesummerstone Lets get dangerous: Darkwing Duck writing credit kerfuffle

This thing is going on with a new publisher called Joe Books, and the credits on Boom! Studio’s long ago (2010) Darkwing Duck series. Yes. The Outhouse has a succinct round-up but as best as I can make out, here’s what happened:

* In 2010 Boom! published a Darkwing Duck comic book, edited by Aaron Sparrow and written by Ian Brill.

* Sparrow left Boom! after three issues were published. Depending on who you ask, he either left notes for Brill or actually wrote most of the subsequent series, leaving Brill’s name as writer on the credits.

* In the intervening years, Sparrow and Brill engaged in an internet kerfuffle over who actually wrote these books. (Links are in the Outhouse piece, and I’m not gonna look them up.)

* In recent days, a new publisher has emerged, Joe Books, led by Adam Fortier, formerly of Speakeasy and Boom and several other places. While they haven’t been making a lot of pr moves, they did announce a Darkwing Duck omnibus in this month’s Previews…with Sparrow rewriting it to bring it closer in line to his vision, as related by artist James Silvana:

Aaron Sparrow, the editor and driving force of the DW comics has gone back and painstakingly rewritten the book to bring it in step with the classic Disney Afternoon series. I also had the opportunity to revisit the art and make this edition the true Terror That Flaps In The Night. This omnibus also features the stellar work of Darkwing creator Tad Stones, artist Sabrina Alberghetti, writer Ian Brill, colorists Andrew Dalhouse and Lisa Moore, letterer Deron Bennett and cover artist Amy Mebberson.

* This led Brill to take to Tumblr to state how hurt he was by all this:

Currently a reprint collection of the Darkwing Duck comic that we worked on in 2010 and 2011 is being offered in Previews. In the announcement of this collection it said to be “painstakingly rewritten” to “bring it in step with the classic Disney Afternoon series.” We believe that this will not be the book that readers enjoyed when the series was originally published. We do not feel it is right to rewrite comics for a reprint collection. Since we feel this book will not reflect our intentions for the material we wish for our names to be removed from the book, and for our names to not be used in the promotion of the book. We have contacted Joe Books and made this request. This is our only and final comment about the situation. 

-Former Darkwing Duck writer Ian Brill and former Darkwing Duck editor Christopher Burns

* So heated was the controversy that former Boom! marketing director Chip Mosher chimed in on the situation with his own timeline, supporting Brill.

Could James, the artist on the book, have communicated with his good friend Aaron about each issue and then incorporated some of Aaron’s comments in future issues even though Aaron wasn’t officially involved in the series? Sure. I expect as much as they are very close. But that’s not “writing” or “co-writing.” Ian sat down at his laptop on every script. He broke down the pages and story beats and wrote the dialogue. That’s what writers do. They write!

It’s always disappointing in comics to see someone take credit for another’s hard work. I give Aaron a ton of credit for getting the series going at BOOM! and keeping the Darkwing Duck flame alive for the past three years. But I have real problems with him taking credit for Ian’s work and I think everyone who has written a comic would find it painful to have their former editor re-write their work without asking them about it first. It’s just a really sad, sad situation.

And there you have it.

What no one has come out and said is….IT’S FREAKING DARKWING DUCK, NOT THE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE!

I poked around and found…passions running high on this topic! Disney fans seem to have taken up the “Sparrow Is The Original Author” campaign on various forums, which is…just like Disney fans. That is all I will say about that. I also understand that many times Disney proper tinkers with licensed work in various formats, and this may be one of those things.

Still…it’s Darkwing Duck! A character I worked on during my Disney years and loved very much. Gosslyn and Launchpad and Negaduck…it was a pretty good world. I’ve never read these new comics, but I’m sure they’re fine whoever wrote them, but my advice to Sparrow (who I don’t know) and Brill (who used to write for me when he was a journalist) is move on and create something of your own!

If you want a REAL Darkwing Duck scandal, read this post by the great Doug Gray on how I, as editor, ruined his marvelous “Darkwing vs. Fluffy Trilogy” stories from 1993! This was one of my favorite stories I got to edit at Disney Adventures, and I don’t remember why I made so many changes but…Doug, I’m sorry. I would do it all differently now.

I haven’t seen much press from Joe Books aside from some stuff on BC. The website is minimal. Piecing all this together it looks like they have the Disney/Pixar comics license for a while, so all I can say is: TALESPIN. IT IS TIME.

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18. Holiday mode engage!

ThanksCovs11 Holiday mode engage!

I’m hitting the road for Thanksgiving frolic, so we’re shifting into exciting HOLIDAY mode at the Beat! Oh there will be some news stories, and some GIft Guide suggestions, but also a lot of art and comics recommendations that I’ve been stockpiling for no good reason. Also, Beat contribours will be along with their own gift guide suggestions.

I’m also rounding up Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, so ping me with those.

Also if you have any suggestions for webcomics to read, gifts to buy, or cranberry sauce recipes, feel free to share in the comments!

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19. Cervantes Prize to Juan Goytisolo

       The Premio de Literatura en Lengua Castellana Miguel de Cervantes is the biggest Spanish-language author prize, and they've finally gotten around to giving it to the greatest -- and by far the most important -- living Spanish-writing author, Juan Goytisolo (though they haven't gotten around to mentioning that at the official site yet, last I checked ...); see, for example, the Latin American Herald Tribune report, Juan Goytisolo Wins 2014 Cervantes Prize.
       The Premio Cervantes has an impressive list of winners -- including Alejo Carpentier (1977), Jorge Luis Borges (1979), Octavio Paz (1981), Carlos Fuentes (1987), Miguel Delibes (1993), Mario Vargas Llosa (1994), and Álvaro Mutis (2001) -- but of course they'll never be able to live down not giving Gabriel García Márquez the prize, and they took their time with this other big-omission-to-date; thankfully, they came to their senses.
       There aren't too many incontestable all-time literary greats around right now -- Handke is one of the few in the same league -- but there's little doubt that Goytisolo is one of them. No doubt, actually.

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20. IMPAC award longlist

       The bizarre literary prize that is the International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award has announced its longlist -- 142 books, a (sort of) impressive 49 in translation, originally written in 16 languages.
       On the one hand, it's a neat idea -- libraries from around the world nominate books ! On the other hand, it's a batty idea -- libraries from select few libraries in parts of the world (preferably apparently not ... off-color parts of the world) nominate (far too often local) works.
       Yes, this is a prize which has as many nominators (one) from Liechtenstein as it does from all of Africa. More nominators from Iceland (one) than Japan (zero). More nominators from the Caribbean (two -- Jamaica and Barbados) than all of South America (one -- Brazil).
       And of course nationalism rules the day (surely the first rule here should be: you can't nominate a book by an author from the country you represent). So, for example, the National Library of Liechtenstein nominated ... Kurt J. Jaeger's The Abyssinian Cache because ... well, of course they did -- who wouldn't have ? Because you've seen The Abyssinian Cache at your local library/bookstore/friend's house. Amazon ranking 5,956,751 ? Pah -- it's published (meaning in this case also: self-published) by illustrious ... Windsor Verlag, with which you're as familiar as you are with Kurt J. Jaeger (who admirably and industriously also self-translated his masterpiece). (In case you unfathomably haven't gotten a copy for yourself yet: see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.)
       Look: I don't know, Kurt J. Jaeger may be the next coming of Günter Grass, Thomas Bernhard, and W.G.Sebald rolled into one -- but this sure smells to me like a hometown boy being put up for a prize that is way, way out of his league.
       Somehow, among the 141 other international contenders not a single work written in Arabic or Japanese makes the cut ? Sure, impressively a title translated from the Malay is in the mix -- but, hey, guess what: it was nominated by the National Library of Malaysia. For god's sake, the 'Literature Translation Institute of Korea Library' nominated two titles whose translation into English their parent organization subsidized -- how is that okay ? how is that permissible ? (And why is one of those -- At Least We Can Apologize by Lee Ki-ho -- listed on the 2015 Printable Longlist but not on the list of The Nominees ? I know it's hard to keep track of so many titles, but ... sheesh.)

       Anyway, the result is a mix of some really good stuff and ... works by ... how shall I put it politely ? less widely recognized ? local authors such as Kurt J. Jaeger. One hopes the judges will be able to separate the wheat from The Abyssinian Cache the chaff.

       A fair number of the nominated titles are under review at the complete review (and I'm also surprised by how many more I've read but didn't get around to reviewing) -- alas, not (yet ?) The Abyssinian Cache:

       The shortlist will be announced in April -- but, boy, do they have their work cut out for them trying to (re)gain the slightest bit of credibility .....

       See also M.Lynx Qualey on The Curious Relationship Between the IMPAC Prize and Arabic Literature at Arabic Literature (in English).

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21. Keytar Appreciation 101

What is a keytar, anyway? Well, along with being (to me) the coolest electronic instrument ever, it’s a midi controller-sometimes-synthesizer that you can wear over your shoulder like a guitar. The Grove Music Online article on electronic instruments says that “Lightweight portable keyboard controllers, worn like a guitar, became popular with rock and jazz-rock keyboard performers around 1980, since they enabled the player to walk round the stage.”

While some use it to simulate the sound of a guitar, as in this laudable “Little Wing” cover:

Others embrace its synthesizer side, as in this lovely Michael Jackson medley:

One can find photographic evidence of several prominent musicians playing the keytar, such as Herbie Hancock, Rick Wakeman (Yes), James Brown, Matthew Bellamy (Muse), and Lady Gaga, who seems to have a penchant for custom-designed keytars. And lest you think that keytars are largely a curiosity of the late twentieth century (why would you think that?), new models are still being introduced: Japanese synthesizer giant Korg released one this year.

Though it’s possible the initial makers of keytars were unaware of it, the instrument actually has an acoustic predecessor in the orphica. As you can read in the just-published second edition of the Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, the orphica was a miniature piano that could be worn over the shoulder with a strap:

Orphica, by manufacturer Rollig, end 18th century, Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali di Roma. By LPLT. Creative Commons license via Wikimedia Commons.
Orphica, by manufacturer Rollig, end of the 18th century, Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali di Roma. Photo by LPLT. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Its name and shape was meant to recall the ancient Orphic lyre, and it was known in England as the “weekend piano.” Patented in 1795, nearly 200 years before the keytar came into existence, there are only about forty extant orphicas. The instrument’s greatest claim to fame is that, according to an 1827 letter written by a childhood friend, Beethoven may have composed a piece for it (possibly WoO 51). Which makes me wonder: had Beethoven been alive in the 1980s, what kind of keytar-led band would he have formed?

Headline image credit: Piano keys picture. Photo by Truls. CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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22. Peanut butter: the vegetarian conspiracy

There is something quintessentially American about peanut butter. While people in other parts of the world eat it, nowhere is it devoured with the same gusto as in the United States, where peanut butter is ensconced in an estimated 85% of home kitchens. Who exactly invented peanut butter is unknown; the only person to make that claim was Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the chief medical officer at the Sanatarium, the fashionable health retreat in Battle Creek, Michigan. Kellogg, a vegetarian who invented Corn Flakes, was seeking an alternative for “cows’ butter.” He thought puréed nutmeats might work, and in the early 1890s Kellogg experimented with processing nuts through steel rollers. He served the nut butters to his patients at the Sanatarium, who loved them. Remarkably, in less than a decade peanut butter would emerge from the province of extremist “health nuts” to become a mainstream American fad food.

America’s elite visited the Battle Creek Sanatarium to recover their health, and many fell in love with the foods served there—particularly peanut butter. It soon became a passion with health-food advocates nationwide, and newspapers and magazines quoted vegetarians extolling its virtues. A vegetarianism advocate, Ellen Goodell Smith, published the first recipe for a peanut butter sandwich in her Practical Cook and Text Book for General Use (1896).

Homemade peanut butter was initially ground in a mortar and pestle, but this required considerable effort. It was also made with a hand-cranked meat- or coffee-grinder, but these did not produce a smooth butter. Joseph Lambert, an employee at the Sanatarium, adapted a meat-grinder to make it more suitable for producing nut butters at home. He also invented or acquired the rights to other small appliances, all intended to simplify the making of nut butters. These included a stovetop nut roaster, a small blancher (to remove the skins from the nuts), and a hand grinder that cranked out a smooth, creamy product. In 1896, Lambert left the Sanatarium and set up his own company to manufacture and sell the equipment.

Lambert mailed advertising flyers to households throughout the United States, and some recipients who bought the equipment started their own small businesses selling nut products. As nut butters became more popular, these machines proved inadequate to keep up with demand, so Lambert ramped up production of larger ones. He also published leaflets and booklets extolling the high food value of nuts and their butters. His wife, Almeda Lambert, published A Guide for Nut Cookery (1899), America’s first book devoted solely to cooking with nuts.

Vegetarians — who at the time practiced what we may now consider veganism — enjoyed all sorts of nut butters, which weren’t simply novel spreads for sandwiches but also sustaining, high-protein meat substitutes. But peanuts were the cheapest nuts, and it was peanut butter that dominated the field. It was first manufactured in small quantities by individuals and sold locally from door to door, but before long, small factories sprang up and peanut butter became a familiar article on grocers’ shelves. The American Vegetarian Society (AVS) sold peanut butter and actively promoted its sale through advertisements in magazines. In 1897 the AVS also began promoting the sale of the “Vegetarian Society Mill,” with an accompanying eight-page pamphlet encouraging vegetarians to create home-based peanut butter businesses. Vegetarians all over the country began to manufacture commercial peanut butter. The Vegetarian Food & Nut Company, in Washington, D.C., sold a product called “Dr. Shindler’s Peanut Butter” throughout the United States for decades. The company also produced private-label peanut butter for grocery store chains, and non-vegetarians quickly adopted the tasty new product.

The Atlantic Peanut Refinery in Philadelphia, launched in December 1898, may have been the first company to use the words “peanut butter” on its label. The term was picked up by other commercial manufacturers, although a New Haven, Connecticut, manufacturer preferred the term “Peanolia,” (later shortened to Penolia), and registered it in 1899.

By 1899, an estimated two million pounds of peanut butter were manufactured annually in the United States, and by the turn of the century, ten peanut-butter manufacturers competed for the burgeoning US market. From its origin just six years earlier as an alternative to creamery butter, peanut butter had established itself as an American pantry staple and a necessity for schoolchildren’s lunch pails.

Headline image credit: Peanut Butter Texture, by freestock.ca. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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23. Religion and the paranormal

OUP author Diana Walsh Pasulka recently caught up with fellow scholar of religion Jeffrey J. Kripal, to discuss the study of the supernatural and the paranormal within the university.

Diana Walsh Pasulka: You’ve written about the origin of the term paranormal and its link to the British and American Spiritualist movements. You’ve noted that the paranormal is inextricably linked to the idea of the sacred. How do you see the paranormal as different from the idea of the supernatural, which has traditionally been used to describe events that exceed naturalist explanations, like miracles, for instance?

Jeffrey J. Kripal: As a category or coinage, the paranormal is an attempted secularization of the supernatural. I like to translate it as the “super natural.” This is what the original inventors of the term meant, anyway. They meant to suggest that (a) psychical phenomena were quite real but (b) beyond our present scientific modeling and theorizing. The phenomena in question were thus both “normal” but also “beyond” (para-). Someday, these theorists thought, we would be able to incorporate these phenomena into our understanding of the natural world. So, for example, poltergeist phenomena were read not as the work of “angry ghosts” floating around but as expressions of the “ghosts of anger,” that is, they understood these as exteriorized symbolic expressions of pent-up frustration, conflict or angst. This may have been an advance, but it is still deeply offensive to our rationalisms. How, say, an abused or conflicted adolescent can start the curtains on fire or explode a vase at a distance might still be natural, but this is clearly a nature behaving in some most extraordinary or special ways. This is a kind of supernature.

A 14-year-old domestic servant, Therese Selles, experiences poltergeist / spontaneous PK activity in the home of her employer, the Todeschini family at Cheragas, Algeria, as featured on the cover of the French magazine La Vie Mysterieuse in 1911. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
A 14-year-old domestic servant, Therese Selles, experiences poltergeist / spontaneous PK activity in the home of her employer, the Todeschini family at Cheragas, Algeria, as featured on the cover of the French magazine La Vie Mysterieuse in 1911. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Diana Walsh Pasulka: In your most recent work you’ve called for a renewed examination of the supernatural and paranormal aspects of religion. You’ve also noted the irony that scholars of religion have tended to avoid these subjects even as they are presumably at the heart of most religious traditions. Can you say a bit more about how you would like to see this renewed emphasis develop? For example, is this an interdisciplinary project?

Jeffrey J. Kripal: I find it curious that the study of religion has “taken off the table” precisely those anomalous aspects of human experience that lie behind or within some of the most universally distributed religious ideas–say, strikingly real encounters with dead loved ones who carry some empirical information (say, about the means or mode of their death) that in turn give rise to the belief in a surviving “soul.” We are allowed to treat these beliefs as “discourses” or as power-plays, of course, but never as empirical phenomena in their own right. Then we are told that there is nothing essentially “religious” about religion, that it is all just context and construction, which, of course, is perfectly true, since we just took all of the stuff that is not just context and construction off the table. I find this situation circular, inadequate and, above all, depressing. It is not that it is wrong. It is simply that it is half-right. I think it is time to bring the other half back in and re-enchant reason.

Diana Walsh Pasulka: You’ve stated that popular culture has adopted the paranormal elements that have been well documented in the history of religion and folklore. Do you see popular culture, science fiction and superhero movies, for instance, replacing this aspect of religion? Or, perhaps, complimenting it? Or, does this development indicate something entirely different?

Jeffrey J. Kripal: I think the paranormal has migrated into popular culture and entertainment because it has been effectively exiled from both elite intellectual culture (which is more or less controlled now by scientific or Marxist materialism) and, oddly, the religious traditions themselves. But paranormal phenomena are clearly part of our human nature, part of human history. If we will not talk about them either in our public intellectual and scientific lives or in our public religious lives, where are they supposed to go? They will never go away, by the way, not at least as long as we are here, and for one simple reason: they are expressions of us.

Headline image credit: Urach waterfall. CC0 via Pixabay.

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24. Band Aid (an infographic)

On this day in 1984, musical aficionados from the worlds of pop and rock came together to record the iconic ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ single for Band Aid. The single has gone down in history as an example of the power of music to help right the wrongs in the world. The song leapt to the number one spot over the Christmas of 1984, selling over a million copies in under a week and totalling sales of three million by the end of that year. The Band Aid super-group featured the cream of eighties pop, including David Bowie, Phil Collins, George Michael, Sting, Cliff Richard and Paul McCartney.

The sales target for the single was £70,000, all of which was to be donated to the African famine relief fund. With support from Radio 1 DJs and a Top of the Pops Christmas Special, sales sky-rocketed and Geldof, feeling the strength of public opinion behind him, went toe-to-toe with the conservative government in an attempt to have tax on the single waived. Margaret Thatcher initially refused the plea, but as public outcry grew, Thatcher caved-in to public demands and the tax on sales worth nearly £9 million was donated back to charity.

Bob Geldof and a host of artists old and new have re-recorded the single to help raise funds to stem the Ebola crisis. Our infographic marks the 30th anniversary of the original recording and illustrates the movers and shakers that made this monumental milestone in pop history possible.

Band-Aid-30th-Infographic-Blog

To view free articles examining the cause, the people, and the music, you can open the graphic as a PDF.

Headline image credit: Live Aid at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, 1985. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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25. The not so thin blue line: policing economic crime

Fraud is one of the most costly crimes to society, with the last estimate produced by the now disbanded National Fraud Authority suggesting that in 2012 this figure was £52 billion. Yet the response from the Government, from the criminal justice system, and – most importantly – law enforcement, does not match the magnitude of the problem.

These are difficult times for the police. The most recent statistics on police numbers suggesting that officer levels have returned to where they were in 2002 as a consequence of deep funding cuts imposed by the coalition government. Nevertheless, in view of the cost of fraud – which is certainly a significant under-estimation due to the fact that not all frauds are reported and no law enforcement agency has a 100% detection rate – the public has a right to expect that the policing response to fraud is proportionate to these losses, and on a par with resources dedicated to investigating other acquisitive crimes such as burglary and robbery.

We are told that crime rates are falling, so why would this be an issue? Well, closer inspection of the Crime Survey for England and Wales reveals that the estimate of crime does not include any data for credit or debit card fraud, yet the last estimate by the National Fraud Authority was that in 2012 fraud was estimated to have cost the financial services sector over £5 billion. Fraud itself is on the increase; data evidence shows that reported fraud by individuals has risen by 17% in the 12 months to the end of March 2014. Yet again, it is only right for the public to expect that there are adequate police resources to tackle this rising crime problem.

So let us explore what the policing response to fraud actually amounts to in terms of officers dedicated to investigating this type of crime. Over the last 20 years there have been several studies that have illustrated a decline in specialist police resources dedicated to investigating fraud. During the mid-1980s, research by Michael Levi suggested there were 588 fraud squad officers. The Fraud Review published in 2006 identified that this figure had reduced to 416, which included 126 in London, and that this resource was actually under threat. Further research conducted by Robert Gannon and Alan Doig in 2008 suggested that in the last decade there had been a slight reduction in the number of police officers dedicated to the investigation of fraud, to around 400 officers. This in itself evidences the low priority that fraud is given by law enforcement, when considering that numbers of police officers rose year on year from 2000 to 2010.

Balancing The Account. Photo by Ken Teegardin. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr

To obtain a more up-to-date picture of policing resources dedicated to fraud, during the Summer/Autumn of 2013 a research team from the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain data from Police Constabularies on the resources dedicated to fraud and economic crime. The term ‘economic crime’ was used because some forces have an economic crime unit. However, these units focus not only on the investigation of fraud, but a range of other financially related offences such as  money laundering, counterfeit currency, and criminal involvement in a financial enterprise to name but a few. The expectation was that, in line with the overall reduction in police numbers, this figure would show a further decline in resources dedicated to fraud.

This was not to be the case. The numbers show that the resources allocated to tackling economic crime – excluding ‘financial investigators’ – within police forces in England and Wales currently stands at 624.3 (full time equivalent), higher than in 2006. This figure represents a mix of specialist police and civilian investigators, reflecting current trends in the increased civilianisation of some policing activities.

However, do not get too euphoric: this figure actually represents only 0.27% of all police personnel, further illustrating that the trait of giving fraud the status of a “Cinderella crime” continues. Even more worrying is that of the 48 police constabularies in the UK, seven police forces claimed they did not have an economic crime unit. So, don’t become a victim of fraud in Cumbria, North Wales, Bedfordshire, or Gloucestershire to name a few, as there won’t be anybody available to investigate your case! This may also explain why many frauds reported to the national fraud reporting centre Action Fraud never get investigated. Similarly, how many civilian fraud investigators referring an internal fraud case to the police will be familiar with the response “the offender has been sacked, what more do you want?”

Although the ‘thin blue line’ turned out to be not so thin after all, when considering that the number of recorded fraud cases has risen by two fifths over the last three years, and that there are four times as many officers dedicated to investigating benefit fraud (which only accounts for £1.9 billion of a £52 billion fraud problem), the fact that the police are only able to offer 0.27% of the total resource to fraud and economic crime does seem rather thin. Whilst the announcement that the Metropolitan Police Operation Falcon will create the largest cyber-crime and fraud team in Europe, the present policing figures really do suggest that it’s ‘open season’ for fraudsters.

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