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1. Have we become what we hate?

In 1971, William Irvin Thompson, a professor at York University in Toronto, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times entitled, “We Become What We Hate,” describing the way in which “thoughts can become inverted when they are reflected in actions.”

He cited several scientific, sociocultural, economic, and political situations where the maxim appeared to be true. The physician who believed he was inventing a pill to help women become pregnant had actually invented the oral contraceptive. Germany and Japan, having lost World War II, had become peaceful consumer societies. The People’s Republic of China had become, at least back in 1971, a puritanical nation.

Today, many of the values that we, as a nation, profess — protection of civil rights and human rights, assistance for the needy, support for international cooperation, and promotion of peace — have become inverted in our actions. As a nation, we say one thing, but often do the opposite.

As a nation, we profess protection of civil rights. But our criminal justice system and our systems for federal, state, and local elections discriminate against people of color and other minorities.

As a nation, we profess protection of human rights. But we have imprisoned “enemy combatants” without charges, stripped them of their rights as prisoners of war, and tortured many of them in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

As a nation, we profess adherence to the late Senator Hubert H. Humphrey’s dictum that the true measure of a government is how it cares for the young, the old, the sick, and the needy. But we set the minimum wage at a level at which working people cannot survive. We inadequately fund human services for those who need them most. And, even after implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we continue to be the only industrialized country that does not ensure health care for all its citizens.

As a nation, we profess support for international cooperation. But we fail to sign treaties to ban antipersonnel landmines and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. And we, as a nation, contribute much less than our fair share of foreign assistance to low-income countries.

As a nation, we profess commitment to world peace. But we lead all other countries, by far, in both arms sales and military expenditures.

In many ways, we, as a nation, have become what we hate.

Image Credit: Dispersed, Occupy Oakland Move In Day. Photo by Glenn Halog. CC by NC 2.0 via Flickr.

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2. Four reasons for ISIS’s success

The editors of Oxford Islamic Studies Online asked several experts the following question:

The world has watched as ISIS (ISIL, the “Islamic State”) has moved from being a small but extreme section of the Syrian opposition to a powerful organization in control of a large swath of Iraq and Syria. Even President Obama recently admitted that the US was surprised by the success of ISIS in that region. Why have they been so successful, and why now?

Political Scientist Robert A. Pape and undergraduate research associate Sarah Morell, both from the University of Chicago, share their thoughts.

ISIS has been successful for four primary reasons. First, the group has tapped into the marginalization of the Sunni population in Iraq to gain territory and local support. Second, ISIS fighters are battle-hardened strategists fighting against an unmotivated Iraqi army. Third, the group exploits natural resources to fund their operations. And fourth, ISIS has utilized a brilliant social media strategy to recruit fighters and increase their international recognition. One of the important aspects cutting across these four elements is the unification of anti-American populations across Iraq and Syria — remnants of the Saddam regime, Iraqi civilians driven to militant behavior during the US occupation, transnational jihadists, and the tribes who were hung out to dry following the withdrawal of US forces in 2011.

The Sunni population’s hatred of the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad has allowed ISIS to quickly overtake huge swaths of Iraqi Sunni territory. The Iraq parliamentary elections in 2010 were a critical moment in this story. The Iraqiyya coalition, led by Ayad Allawi, won support of the Sunni population to win the plurality of seats in Iraq’s parliament. Maliki’s party came second by a slim two-seat margin. Despite Allawi’s electoral victory, Maliki and his Shia coalition — backed by the United States — succeeded in forming a government with Maliki as Prime Minister.

Inside of the Baghdad Convention Center, where the Council of Representatives of Iraq meets. By James (Jim) Gordon. CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Inside of the Baghdad Convention Center, where the Council of Representatives of Iraq meets. By James (Jim) Gordon. CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

In the months following the election, Maliki targeted Sunni leaders in an effort to consolidate Shia domination of Baghdad. Many of these were the same Sunni leaders successfully mobilized by US forces during the occupation — in an operation that became known as the Anbar Awakening — to cripple al-Qa’ida in Iraq strongholds within the Sunni population. When the US withdrew, they directed the aid to the Maliki government with the expectation that Maliki would distribute it fairly. Instead, the day after the US forces withdrew in December 2011, Iraq’s Judicial Council issued an arrest warrant for Iraqi Vice President Hashimi, a key Sunni leader. Arrests of Sunni leaders and their staffs continued, sparking widespread Sunni protests in Anbar province. When ISIS — a Sunni extremist group — rolled into Iraq, many in the Sunni population cooperated, viewing the group as the lesser of two evils.

The second element in the ISIS success story is their military strategy. Their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, spent four years as a prisoner in the Bucca Camp before assuming control of AQI (ISIS’s predecessor) in 2010. He seized upon the opportunity of the Syrian civil war to fuel a resurgence of the group. As a result, today’s ISIS militants are battle-hardened through their Syrian experience fighting moderate rebels. The Washington Post has described Baghdadi as “a shrewd strategist, a prolific fundraiser, and a ruthless killer.”

In Iraq, ISIS has adopted “an operational form that allows decentralized commanders to use their experienced fighters against the weakest points of its foes,” writes Robert Farley in The National Interest. “At the same time, the center retains enough operational control to conduct medium-to-long term planning on how to allocate forces, logistics, and reinforcements.” Their strategy — hitting their adversaries at their weakest points while avoiding fights they cannot win — has created a narrative of momentum that increases the group’s morale and prestige.

ISIS has also carved out a territory in Iraq that Shia and Kurdish forces will not fight and die to retake, an argument articulated by Kenneth Pollack at Brookings. ISIS has not tried to take Baghdad because they know they would lose; Shia forces would be motivated to expend blood and treasure to defeat ISIS on their home turf. Some experts believe the Kurds, likewise, are unlikely to commit forces to retake Sunni territory. This mentality also plays into the catastrophic performance of the Iraqi Security Forces at Mosul, forces composed disproportionately of Kurds and Sunni Arabs; when confronted with Sunni militants, these soldiers “were never going to fight to the death for Maliki and against Sunni militants looking to stop him,” writes Pollack.

Third, ISIS has also been able to seize key natural resources in Syria to fund their operations, probably making them one of the wealthiest terror groups in history. ISIS is in control of 60% of Syria’s oil assets, including the Al Omar, Tanak, and Shadadi oil fields. According to the US Treasury, the group’s oil sales are pulling in about $1 million a day. This enables ISIS to increasingly become “a hybrid organization, on the model of Hezbollah,” writes Steve Coll in The New Yorker — “part terrorist network, part guerrilla army, part proto-state.”

Finally, ISIS has developed a sophisticated social media campaign to “recruit, radicalize, and raise funds,” according to J. M. Berger in The Atlantic. The piece details ISIS’s Arabic-language Twitter app called The Dawn of Glad Tidings, advertised as a way to keep up on the latest news about the group. On the day ISIS marched into Mosul, the app sent almost 40,000 tweets. The group has displayed a lighter side to the militants, such as videos showing young children breaking their Ramadan fast with ISIS fighters. These strategies “project strength and promote engagement online” while also romanticizing their fight, attracting new recruits from around the world and inspiring lone wolf attacks.

Since June 2014, the United Sates has pursued a policy of offshore balancing — over-the-horizon air and naval power, Special Forces, and empowerment of local allies — to contain and undermine ISIS. The crucial local groups are the Sunni tribes. These leaders were responsible for the near-collapse of AQI during the Anbar Awakening, and could well be able to defeat ISIS in the future.

This is part two of a series of articles discussing ISIS. Part one is by Hanin Ghaddar, Lebanese journalist and editor. Part two is by Shadi Hamid, fellow at the Brookings Institution. Part three is by Charles Kurzman, Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Headline image credit: Coalition airstrike on ISIL position in Kobane on 22 October 2014. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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3. Russian book trailers

       At Russia Beyond the Headlines Julia Shevelkina reports that: 'Russian bookstores are using movie style trailers to grab people's attention and promote interest in reading', in Bringing a touch of Hollywood sparkle to Russian bookstores.
       'Sparkle' may be a bit of an exaggeration, but see for yourself: several examples are on offer.

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4. Hakka literature

       In the Taipei Times Lii Wen reports that Awards celebrate Hakka literature, reporting on the fifth Tung Blossom Literary Awards (桐花文學獎).

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5. The myth-eaten corpse of Robert Burns

‘Oh, that this too, too solid flesh would melt,’ so wrote the other bard, Shakespeare.

Scotland’s bard, Robert Burns, has had a surfeit of biographical attention: upwards of three hundred biographical treatments, and as if many of these were not fanciful enough hundreds of novels, short stories, theatrical, television, and film treatments that often strain well beyond credulity.

Burns has been pursued beyond (or properly in) the grave in even more extreme ways. His remains have been disinterred twice, the second time so that his skull might be examined for the purposes of phrenology. In death he has been bothered again very recently in the run up to Scotland’s referendum in October 2014. Would Burns have been a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ voter, a Nationalist or a Unionist, was often posed and answered across media outlets.

This de-historicised Burns, someone who never actually had any kind of political vote in life, who had no access to nationalist, or indeed, unionist ideology, in the modern senses is nothing new. During World War I, the minute book of the Dumfries Volunteer Militia, in which Burns had enlisted in 1795 in the face of threatened French invasion, was rediscovered. It was published in 1919 by William Will of the London Burns Club with a rather emotional introduction claiming that the minute-book’s records showing Burns’s impeccable conduct as a militiaman was proof of the poet’s sound British patriotism and how he might be compared to the many brave British soldiers who had just taken on the Kaiser. In response, those who had been recently constructing a pacifist Burns spluttered with indignation. Wasn’t the Scottish Bard the man who had written ‘Why Shouldna Poor Folk Mowe [make love]’ during the 1790s:

When Princes and Prelates and het-headed zealots
All Europe hae set in a lowe             [noisy turmoil]
The poor man lies down, nor envies a crown,
And comforts himself with a mowe.

Image Credit: Portrait of Robert Burns, Ayr, Scotland. Library of Congress.
Portrait of Robert Burns, Ayr, Scotland. Library of Congress.

This is an increasingly obscene song, an anti-war text saying, ‘a plague on all your houses’ (to paraphrase the other bard again): the poor should choose love, and not war – the latter being the result of much more shameful shenanigans by their supposed lords and masters.

Ironically enough in ‘To A Louse’, Burns wrote:

O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
        An’ foolish notion

The problem is that Burns would be dizzy with the multifarious contradictoriness of it all if he could truly emerge from the grave and attempt to see himself as others have seen him. Ultimately, what we have with Burns is the man who may or may not have been Scotland’s greatest poet, but who is certainly Scotland’s greatest song-writer (with the production of twice as many songs as poems) — the nearest Scotland has, a bit cheesy though the comparison is, to Lennon and McCartney. These songs and poems express indeed many different ideas, moods, emotions, and characters. They sympathise with radically different viewpoints (for instance, Burns can write empathetically on occasion about both Mary Queen of Scots (Catholic Stuart tyrant) and the Covenanters (Calvinist fanatics, according to their respective detractors)). Burns’s work is both his living achievement and the real remains over which we ought to pore. In the end there is no real Burns, but instead a fictional one and the important fictions are of his making.

Image Credit: Scottish Highlands by Gustave Doré (1875). Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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6. Immoral philosophy

I call myself a moral philosopher. However, I sometimes worry that I might actually be an immoral philosopher. I worry that there might be something morally wrong with making the arguments I make. Let me explain.

When it comes to preventing poverty related deaths, it is almost universally agreed that Peter Singer is one of the good guys. His landmark 1971 article, “Famine, Affluence and Morality” (FAM), not only launched a rich new area of philosophical discussion, but also led to millions in donations to famine relief. In the month after Singer restated the argument from FAM in a piece in the New York Times, UNICEF and OXFAM claimed to have received about $660, 000 more than they usually took in from the phone numbers given in the piece. His organisation, “The Life You Can Save”, used to keep a running estimate of total donations generated. When I last checked the website on 13th February 2012, this figure stood at $62, 741, 848.

Singer argues that the typical person living in an affluent country is morally required to give most of his or her money away to prevent poverty related deaths. To fail to give as much as you can to charities that save children dying of poverty is every bit as bad as walking past a child drowning in a pond because you don’t want to ruin your new shoes. Singer argues that any difference between the child in the pond and the child dying of poverty is morally irrelevant, so failure to help must be morally equivalent. For an approachable version of his argument see Peter Unger, who developed and refined Singer’s arguments in his 1996 book, Living High and Letting Die.

I’ve argued that Singer and Unger are wrong: failing to donate to charity is not equivalent to walking past a drowning child. Morality does – and must – pay attention to features such as distance, personal connection and how many other people are in a position to help. I defend what seems to me to be the commonsense position that while most people are required to give much more than they currently do to charities such as Oxfam, they are not required to give the extreme proportions suggested by Singer and Unger.

GOMA_OXFAM
Saving lives, by Oxfam East Africa, CC-BY-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

So, Singer and Unger are the good guys when it comes to debates on poverty-related death. I’m arguing that Singer and Unger are wrong. I’m arguing against the good guys. Does that make me one of the bad guys? It is true that my own position is that most people are required to give more than they do. But isn’t there still something morally dubious about arguing for weaker moral requirements to save lives? Singer and Unger’s position is clear and easy to understand. It offers a strong call to action that seems to actually work – to make people put their hands in their pockets. Isn’t it wrong to risk jeopardising that given the possibility that people will focus only on the arguments I give against extreme requirements to aid?

On reflection, I don’t think what I do is immoral philosophy. The job of moral philosophers is to help people to decide what to believe about moral issues on the basis of reasoned reflection. Moral philosophers provide arguments and critique the arguments of others. We won’t be able to do this properly if we shy away from attacking some arguments because it is good for people to believe them.

In addition, the Singer/Unger position doesn’t really offer a clear, simple conclusion about what to do. For Singer and Unger, there is a nice simple answer about what morality requires us to do: keep giving until giving more would cost us something more morally significant than the harm we could prevent; in other words, keep giving till you have given most of your money away. However, this doesn’t translate into a simple answer about what we should do, overall. For, on Singer’s view, we might not be rationally required or overall required to do what we are morally required to.

This need to separate moral requirements from overall requirements is a result of the extreme, impersonal view of morality espoused by Singer. The demands of Singer’s morality are so extreme it must sometimes be reasonable to ignore them. A more modest understanding of morality, which takes into account the agent’s special concern with what is near and dear to her, avoids this problem. Its demands are reasonable so cannot be reasonably ignored. Looked at in this way, my position gives a clearer and simpler answer to the question of what we should do in response to global poverty. It tells us both what is morally and rationally required. Providing such an answer surely can’t be immoral philosophy.

Headline image credit: Devil gate, Paris, by PHGCOM (Own work). CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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7. The Beat Podcasts: More To Come – Miss Lasko-Gross interview

logo pod more to come 1400 300x300 The Beat Podcasts: More To Come   Miss Lasko Gross interviewBrought to you by Publishers Weekly, it’s More To Come, the weekly podcast of comics news, interviews and discussion with Calvin Reid, Kate Fitzsimons and The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald.

 In this week’s podcast Calvin Reid interviews acclaimed comic creator Miss Lasko-Gross about her background in comics, her new graphic novel ‘Henni’ – a story about religious extremism, feminism and funny animals, the growth of a graphic novel and more on PW Comics World’s More To Come.

Download this episode direct here, listen to it in streaming here and catch up with our previous podcasts on the Publishers Weekly website, or subscribe to More To Come on iTunes

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8. Clues, code-breaking, and cruciverbalists: the language of crosswords

The recent release of The Imitation Game has revealed the important role crosswords played in the recruitment of code-breakers at Bletchley Park. In response to complaints that its crosswords were too easy, The Daily Telegraph organised a contest in which entrants attempted to solve a puzzle in less than 12 minutes. Successful competitors subsequently found themselves being approached by the War Office, and later working as cryptographers at Bletchley Park.

The birth of the crossword

The crossword was the invention of Liverpool émigré Arthur Wynne, whose first puzzle appeared in the New York World in 1913. This initial foray was christened a Word-Cross; the instruction in subsequent issues to ‘Find the missing cross words’ led to the birth of the cross-word. Although Wynne’s invention was initially greeted with scepticism, by the 1920s it had established itself as a popular pastime, entertaining and frustrating generations of solvers, solutionists, puzzle-heads, and cruciverbalists (Latin for ‘crossworders’).

Bletchley Park." Photo by Adam Foster. CC by 2.0 via Flickr.
“Bletchley Park.” Photo by Adam Foster. CC by 2.0 via Flickr.

Crosswords consist of a grid made up of black and white boxes, in which the answers, also known as lights, are to be written. The term light derives from the word’s wider use to refer to facts or suggestions which help to explain, or ‘cast light upon’, a problem. The puzzle consists of a series of clues, a word that derives from Old English cleowen ‘ball of thread’. Since a ball of thread could be used to help guide someone out of a maze – just as Ariadne’s thread came to Theseus’s aid in the Minotaur’s labyrinth – it developed the figurative sense of a piece of evidence leading to a solution, especially in the investigation of a crime.  The spelling changed from clew to clue under the influence of French in the seventeenth century; the same shift affected words like blew, glew, rew, and trew.

Anagrams, homophones, and Spoonerisms: clues in crosswords

In the earliest crosswords the clue consisted of a straightforward synonym (Greek ‘with name’) – this type is still popular in concise or so-called quick crosswords. A later development saw the emergence of the cryptic clue (from a Greek word meaning ‘hidden’), where, in addition to a definition, another route to the answer is concealed within a form of wordplay. Wordplay devices include the anagram, from a Greek word meaning ‘transposition of letters’, and the charade, from a French word referring to a type of riddle in which each syllable of a word, or a complete word, is described, or acted out – as in the game charades. A well-known example, by prolific Guardian setter Rufus, is ‘Two girls, one on each knee’ (7). Combining two girls’ names, Pat and Ella, gives you a word for the kneecap: PATELLA.

Punning on similar-sounding words, or homophones (Greek ‘same sound’), is a common trick. A reference to Spooner requires a solver to transpose the initial sounds of two or more words; this derives from a supposed predisposition to such slips of the tongue in the speech of Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), Warden of New College Oxford, whose alleged Spoonerisms include a toast to ‘our queer dean’ and upbraiding a student who ‘hissed all his mystery lectures’. Other devious devices of misdirection include reversals, double definitions, containers (where all or part of word must be placed within another), and words hidden inside others, or between two or more words. In the type known as &lit. (short for ‘& literally so’), the whole clue serves as both definition and wordplay, as in this clue by Rufus:  ‘I’m a leader of Muslims”. Here the word play gives IMA+M (the leader, i.e. first letter, of Muslims), while the whole clue stands as the definition.

Crossword compilers and setters

Crossword compilers, or setters, traditionally remain anonymous (Greek ‘without name’), or assume pseudonyms (Greek ‘false name’). Famous exponents of the art include Torquemada and Ximenes, who assumed the names of Spanish inquisitors, Afrit, the name of a mythological Arabic demon hidden in that of the setter A.F.Ritchie, and Araucaria, the Latin name for the monkey puzzle tree. Some crosswords conceal a name or message within the grid, perhaps along the diagonal, or using the unchecked letters (or unches), which do not cross with other words in the grid. This is known as a nina, a term deriving from the practice of the American cartoonist Al Hirschfield of hiding the name of his daughter Nina in his illustrations.

If you’re a budding code-cracker and fancy pitting your wits against the cryptographers of Bletchley Park, you can find the original Telegraph puzzle here.

But remember, you only have 12 minutes to solve it.

A version of this blog post first appeared on the OxfordWords blog.

Image Credit: “Crosswords.” Photo by Jessica Whittle. CC by NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr.

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9. Working in the intensive care unit: an interview with Dr. Robert Stevens

When patients are discharged from the intensive care unit it’s great news for everyone. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean the road to recovery is straight. As breakthroughs and new technology increase the survival rate for highly critical patients, the number of possible further complications rises, meaning life after the ICU can be complex. Joe Hitchcock from Oxford University Press’s medical publishing team spoke to Dr. Robert D. Stevens, Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, to find out more.

Can you tell us a little about your career?

As a junior doctor in the intensive care unit, I observed that prowess in resuscitation is a double edged sword. We were getting better and better at promoting survival, but at what cost in the long term? I decided I would dedicate my career to the recovery process that follows severe illnesses and injuries. Currently, my team has several cohort studies under way in human subjects with head injury, stroke and sepsis. We’re looking at their long term outcomes and also imaging their brains. I have a laboratory in which we are studying a range of neurologic readouts in mice following brain injury. We’re looking at the biology of neuronal plasticity and studying stem cells as a treatment to promote recovery of function.

What is Post-ICU medicine and what does it aim to achieve?

Medicine is increasingly a victim of its own successes. People are surviving complex and terrifying illnesses, which only years ago would almost certainly have been fatal. This means there is an ever-growing population of “survivors”. Like survivors of cancer, survivors of intensive care bring with them an entirely new set of clinical problems, demanding new approaches. We propose Post-ICU Medicine as an umbrella term for this new domain of medical practice and research, which is specifically concerned with the biology, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and disabilities resulting from critical illness.

What do you mean by the “legacy” of critical illnesses?

The “legacy” of critical illness refers to what people “carry with them” after living through a life threatening illness in the intensive care unit (ICU). It is the sum of consequences, both physical and mental, some temporary others permanent, which unfold in the weeks, months and years after someone is discharged from the ICU.

In what ways might a patient’s post-ICU experience differ from public/idealized expectations?

There is a widely held perception, or perhaps an anticipation, that acute and severe illnesses, such as sepsis or respiratory failure, are a zero-sum game: You may die from this illness, but if you survive you have a good chance of recovering completely and of going on with your life as if nothing had happened. This notion has been turned on its head. We know now that the post-ICU experience presents physical and psychological challenges for a high proportion of patients. Even the most fortunate, those we might regard as having recovered successfully, often acknowledge problems months after they have left the hospital. They report that they feel weak, have difficulties concentrating, are impulsive, anxious or depressed. When tested formally, they are often score below population means on tests of memory, attention, and functional status.

Clinicians in Intensive Care Unit by Calleamanecer. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Clinicians in Intensive Care Unit by Calleamanecer. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Have you observed patterns in the way patients recover?

I do not know that there are any easily classifiable patterns. There are countless possible trajectories of recovery which we are only beginning to characterize with some degree of scientific rigor. In reality, just as each patient is biologically unique, so too is his or her recovery. One of the main tasks of Post-ICU Medicine is to identify and validate markers (e.g. genetic variants, protein expression) that allow us to predict and track recovery patterns with a much higher level of confidence and reliability.

 How do you assess and treat patients who have a multitude of Post-ICU conditions, psychological and physical?

Ideally, a single provider would be able to follow and treat patients in the post-ICU period. However, the range of different problems — neurologic, cognitive, psychological, cardiac, pulmonary, renal, musculoskeletal, digestive, nutritional, endocrine, social, economic — which these patients present with, are beyond the scope of even a very knowledgeable practitioner. Some groups that specialize in post-ICU follow up care have adopted a different approach, in which patients are evaluated by a multi-disciplinary “Recovery Team” with a wide array of minimally-overlapping knowledge and skills. The latter may include internists, specialists in rehabilitation, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, neurologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, orthopaedic surgeons, rheumatologists, and social workers. Patients recovering from critical illness are evaluated periodically and referred to the different members of the Recovery Team depending on clinical symptoms and signs. While evidence is mounting regarding the benefits of integrated post-ICU Recovery Team approach, such interventions area resource intensive and costly and are not currently available to the vast majority of recovering post-ICU patients.

Is it possible to accurately predict patient rehabilitation and recovery trajectories?

This is the “holy grail” of post-ICU medicine, and even of critical care medicine more generally. We desperately need discriminative methods to predict recovery trajectories. Current predictive approaches rely on multiple logistic regression models often using a mix of demographic and clinical severity variables. These models are terribly inaccurate, to the point of being quite useless in the clinical setting. New approaches are needed which analyse large biological datasets – patterns of gene and protein expression, changes in the microbiome, changes in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, alterations in brain functional and metabolic activity. The great hope is that models emerging from these more sophisticated data sets will allow individualized or personalized approaches to outcome prediction and treatment.

If recovery is considered a gradated process, when is a patient “cured”?

The World Health Organization states that physical and mental well-being are a right of all human beings. It is likely that the insults and injuries suffered in the ICU can never be completely healed or cured. However, the good news is that some ICU survivors achieve astonishing levels of recovery. We need to study these individuals – the ones who do very well and surpass all expectations for recovery– as they seem to  have biological or psychological characteristics (e.g. resilience factors, motivation) which set them apart. Knowing more about these characteristics may help us treat those with less favorable recovery profiles.

What might the post-ICU medicine look like in the distant future?

I believe that mortality will continue to decline for a range of illnesses an injuries encountered in the ICU. The key task will be to maximize health status in those who survive.  I expect that major discoveries will be made regarding organ-specific patterns of gene and protein expression and molecular signalling which drive post-injury recovery versus failure — and that this knowledge will enable novel treatment strategies. I anticipate that important advances will be made in the regeneration tissues and organs using stem cell and tissue engineering approaches.

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10. The death of Sir Winston Churchill, 24 January 1965

As anyone knows who has looked at the newspapers over the festive season, 2015 is a bumper year for anniversaries: among them Magna Carta (800 years), Agincourt (600 years), and Waterloo (200 years). But it is January which sees the first of 2015’s major commemorations, for it is fifty years since Sir Winston Churchill died (on the 24th) and received a magnificent state funeral (on the 30th). As Churchill himself had earlier predicted, he died on just the same day as his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, had done, in 1895, exactly seventy years before.

The arrangements for Churchill’s funeral, codenamed ‘Operation Hope Not’, had long been in the planning, which meant that Churchill would receive the grandest obsequies afforded to any commoner since the funerals of Nelson and Wellington. And unlike Magna Carta or Agincourt or Waterloo, there are many of us still alive who can vividly remember those sad yet stirring events of half a century ago. My generation (I was born in 1950) grew up in what were, among other things, the sunset years of Churchillian apotheosis. They may, as Lord Moran’s diary makes searingly plain, have been sad and enfeebled years for Churchill himself, but they were also years of unprecedented acclaim and veneration. During the last decade of his life, he was the most famous man alive. On his ninetieth birthday, thousands of greeting cards were sent, addressed to ‘The Greatest Man in the World, London’, and they were all delivered to Churchill’s home. During his last days, when he lay dying, there were many who found it impossible to contemplate the world without him, just as Queen Victoria had earlier wondered, at the time of his death in 1852, how Britain would manage without the Duke of Wellington.

Winston Churchill, 1944. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Like all such great ceremonial occasions, the funeral itself had many meanings, and for those of us who watched it on television, by turns enthralled and tearful, it has also left many memories. In one guise, it was the final act homage to the man who had been described as ‘the saviour of his country’, and who had lived a life so full of years and achievement and honour and controversy that it was impossible to believe anyone in Britain would see his like again. But it was also, and in a rather different emotional and historical register, not only the last rites of the great man himself, but also a requiem for Britain as a great power. While Churchill might have saved his country during the Second World War, he could not preserve its global greatness thereafter. It was this sorrowful realization that had darkened his final years, just as his funeral, attended by so many world leaders and heads of state, was the last time that a British figure could command such global attention and recognition. (The turn out for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, in 2013, was nothing like as illustrious.) These multiple meanings made the ceremonial the more moving, just as there were many episodes which made it unforgettable: the bearer party struggling and straining to carry the huge, lead-lined coffin up the steps of St Paul’s; Clement Attlee—Churchill’s former political adversary—old and frail, but determined to be there as one of the pallbearers, sitting on a chair outside the west door brought especially for him; the cranes of the London docks dipping in salute, as Churchill’s coffin was born up the Thames from Tower Pier to Waterloo Station; and the funeral train, hauled by a steam engine of the Battle of Britain class, named Winston Churchill, steaming out of the station.

For many of us, the funeral was made the more memorable by Richard Dimbleby’s commentary. Already stricken with cancer, he must have known that this would be the last he would deliver for a great state occasion (he would, indeed, be dead before the year was out), and this awareness of his own impending mortality gave to his commentary a tone of tender resignation that he had never quite achieved before. As his son, Jonathan, would later observe in his biography of his father, ‘Richard Dimbleby’s public was Churchill’s public, and he had spoken their emotions.’

Fifty years on, the intensity of those emotions cannot be recovered, but many events have been planned to commemorate Churchill’s passing, and to ponder the nature of his legacy. Two years ago, a committee was put together, consisting of representatives of the many institutions and individuals that constitute the greater Churchill world, both in Britain and around the world, which it has been my privilege to chair. Significant events are planned for 30 January: in Parliament, where a wreath will be laid; on the River Thames, where Havengore, the ship that bore Churchill’s coffin, will retrace its journey; and at Westminster Abbey, where there will be a special evensong. It will be a moving and resonant day, and the prelude to many other events around the country and around the world. Will any other British prime minister be so vividly and gratefully remembered fifty years after his—or her—death?

Headline image credit: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, New Bond Street, London. Sculpted by Lawrence Holofcener. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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11. Soumission in ... Germany

       As I mentioned last week, Michel Houellebecq's Soumission has been a phenomenal success in France.
       It's now come out in Germany -- and its run continues: boersenblatt.net reports that it easily debuted at number one on the German bestseller lists, that 150,000 copies have sold, and tha it is going into its fourth printing (within a week of publication). So, yeah, it's doing reasonably well.
       Meanwhile, the US/UK publishers are ... still getting their act together ? UK publication is slated for the fall, while the Americans seem to have been totally taken by surprise that anyone might be interested in this (his longtime publisher Knopf losing the title to Farrar, Straus & Giroux -- out of indifference ? -- who themselves seem a bit overwhelmed by what they've lucked into).
       If fiction in translation is really being taken more seriously in the US/UK you'd (well, I'd ...) figure they could get a potentially 'hot' title like this out within a reasonable time. (Hey, even the Italian translation is already out. Remember that the next time you make fun of Italy's ridiculous economy and extol the superiority of all business-conducting-ways in the US. Ha.)

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12. Sami Rohr Prize finalists

       They've announced the five finalists for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, the impressively endowed -- the winner gets US$100,000 -- prize for: "a book of literary merit that stimulates an interest in themes of Jewish concern".
       They alternate between rewarding fiction and non; this year is fortunately a fiction-year. Nevertheless, none of the finalists are under review at the complete review.

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13. Rubble Flora review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the first English translation of Selected Poems by Volker Braun, Rubble Flora, translated by David Constantine and Karen Leeder and published by Seagull Books.
       As longtime readers know, I've long been a Braun fan -- the first review of a Braun-title went up some fifteen years ago ! -- and I'm currently enjoying the second volume of his work diary, Werktage 1990 - 2008. Here's hoping he finally makes some proper inroads into the English-language markets.

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14. The works of Walter Savage Landor

Though he’s largely forgotten today, Walter Savage Landor was one of the major authors of his time—of both his times, in fact, for he was long-lived enough to produce major writing during both the Romantic and the Victorian eras. He kept writing and publishing promiscuously through his long life (he died in his ninetieth year) which puts him in a unique category. Maybe the problem is that he outlived his own reputation. Byron, Shelly and Keats all died in their twenties, and this fact somehow seals-in their importance as poets. Landor’s close friend Southey died at the beginning of the 1840s. Landor lived on, writing and publishing poetry, prose, drama, English and Latin. He forged friendships now with men like Robert Browning—who was deeply influenced by Landor’s writing—John Forster and Charles Dickens (Dickens named his second son Walter Savage Landor Dickens in his friend’s honour). His Victorian reputation was higher than his sales; but and if we’re puzzled by how completely his literary reputation was eclipsed during the 20th century in part that may simply be a function of his prolixity. Landor’s Collected Works was published between 1927 and 1936 in sixteen fat volumes; and even that capacious edition doesn’t by any means contain everything Landor published. It omits, for instance, his voluminous Latin writing—for Landor was the last English writer to produce a substantial body of work in that dead language. In late life he once said ‘I am sometimes at a loss for an English word; for a Latin—never!’

His most substantial prose writings were the Imaginary Conversations: dozens and dozens of prose dialogues between famous historical figures, and occasionally between fictionalised versions of living individuals, varying in length from a few pages each to seventy or eighty. The prose is exquisite, balanced, beautifully mannered and expressed and full of potent epigrams and apothegms on art, society, history, morals and religion. Nobody reads the Imaginary Conversations any more. Then there are the epics—his masterpiece, Gebir (1798), an heroic poem of immense ambition, was greeted by bafflement and ridicule on its initial publication. Landor’s experimental epic idiom was simply too obscure for his readers even to understand—though Lamb claimed the poem has ‘lucid interludes’, and Shelley loved it. Critic William Gifford was less kind: he called the poem ‘a jumble of incomprehensible trash; the effusion of a mad and muddy brain.’ Landor decided to address the question of the poem’s obscurity the best way he knew: by translating the entire epic into Latin (Gebirus, 1803). Ah, those were the days!

He wrote shoals of beautiful lyrics and elegies. He wrote volumes-full of plays, all cod-Shakespearian blank-verse dramas. He wrote historical novels, one of which (Pericles and Aspasia, 1836) is very good. He wrote classical idylls, pastoral poetry—he was a passionate gardener—epigrams and epitaphs in English and Latin. The sheer amount of work he produced may explain the decline in his reputation; for looking new readers surveying the cliff-face of text to climb may find it offputting.

Walter_Savage_Landor_ILN
The late Walter Savage Landor. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

It’s worth the ascent, though. Landor was a choleric individual, given to sudden rages, whilst also magnanimous, kind-hearted and loyal to his friends. Dickens wrote him into Bleak House as the character Boythorn; and a Boythorn-ish energy and vitality very often breaks through the classical refinement of the verse. Unhappily married (he and his wife separated in 1835) he lived through a series of towering, unrequired passions for other, married women. This hopelessness, paradoxically, gives force to some of the best poetry Landor ever wrote: love poems in which the impossibility of love only magnifies the intensity of affection. It’s idea Landor understands better almost than any other writer: that the strongest feelings are predicated upon absence rather than presence.  Here’s his short lyric ‘Dirce’ (1831):

Stand close around, ye Stygian set,

With Dirce in one boat convey’d,

Or Charon, seeing, may forget

That he is old, and she a shade.

This says that Dirce is so beautiful that, were he to see her, Charon might ‘forget himself’, and presumably ignore the obstacles of his own dotage and the fact that she is ‘a shade’ to make erotic advances.  But in fact the ‘forgetting’ in this lyric involves a much more complex mode of amnesia.  It’s tempting to read the poem as being about a particular affect: the melancholy, hopeless desire of an old man for the ideal of youthful female beauty.  Desire haunted by the sense that, really, it would be better not to feel desire at all—that to desire is in some sense to ‘forget yourself.’  That idiom is an interesting one, actually; as if an old man feeling sexual desire is in some sense ‘forgetting’ not just that he is old, and that young girls aren’t interested in clapped-out old codgers, but more crucially forgetting that he isn’t the sort of person who feels in that way at all.  Perhaps we tend to think of desire not as something to be remembered or forgotten, but as something experienced directly.  In its compact way this poem suggests otherwise.

Renunciation is another of Landor’s perennial themes.  One of his most famous quatrains runs:

I strove with none, for none was worth my strife;

Nature I loved; and next to Nature, Art.

I warmed both hands before the fire of life;

It sinks, and I am ready to depart.

Written in 1849, on the occasion of Landor’s 74th birthday, this has a certain clean dignity, both stylistically and in terms of what it is saying; although it takes part of its force from the knowledge that (as I mention above) Landor actually strove with people all the time, all through his life: personally, cholerically, in law courts, in print and face-to-face.  The second line of the poem, by (it seems to me) rather pointedly omitting ‘people’ from the things that Landor has spent his life loving, rather reinforces this notion.  One consequence of a man, particularly a large man like Landor, standing in front of the fire to warm his hands is to block off the heat from everybody else in the room. And that seems appropriate too, somehow.

Featured image credit: ‘Inscription from Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864) to Robert Browning (1812-1889)’ by Provenance Online Project. CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr

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15. Court ruling in JK Rowling Libel Case Challenged

Associated Newspapers has appealed against the ruling made in 2013 in a libel case brought forth by J.K. Rowling. Ms. Rowling brought forth the suit after the Daily Mail published an article with the title “How JK Rowling’s sob story about her past as a single mother has left the churchgoers who cared for her upset and bewildered.” As a part of court proceedings, Ms. Rowling was allowed to read a unilateral statement in open court. The court ruled that a monetary compensation, of an amount agreed upon by both parties, was to be paid (which Ms. Rowling promptly donated to charity), and a formal apology was to be published. Both forms of compensation were performed, and Ms. Rowling accepted the apology in January 2014.

  Associated Newspapers does not dispute that Ms. Rowling was entitled to make her statement in open court, nor does it dispute the proper compensations which it has put forth. The Associated Newspapers object to a number of terms and conditions in the proposed statement. The Irish Examiner reports:

Associated’s counsel, Andrew Caldecott QC, told Lord Justice Longmore, Lord Justice Ryder and Lady Justice Sharp that Mr Justice Tugendhat’s ruling, in April last year, was a “most unsatisfactory precedent” and one, which if generally followed, would create difficulties for the offer of amends regime. Mr Caldecott said: “Although this appeal raises important issues, it in no way seeks to dilute or qualify the published apologies to Ms Rowling which she was properly and rightly entitled to.”

Mr Caldecott said that the whole purpose of a statement in open court was to attract wide publicity, which made it the more important that the statement was confined to, and accurately reflected, the pleaded claim.

Justin Rushbrooke QC, for Rowling, said that the appeal did not, as claimed, raise any important issue of principle or practice in defamation law, but was plainly misconceived and an “exercise in nit-picking”.

He said that only rarely should a defendant be permitted to dictate to a claimant what she was permitted to say in a statement in open court.

It was primarily a matter between the court and the party wishing to make a statement, and the proper arbiter of what was acceptable in a unilateral statement was the judge.   The judges are expected to reserve their decision to a later date.

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16. First Look: Silk #1 by Thompson and Lee

Silk 1 Cover First Look: Silk #1 by Thompson and Lee
As you may recall, several new lady members of the Spider-verse awe swinging your way in the coming days. One of them is Cindy Moon, a young woman who was bitten by the same spider that bit Peter Parker! Wow can you believe that happened!!! She was hidden away fro years but now her powers are on display and has her own comic book, by Robbie Thompson and Stacey Lee with variant covers by Dave Johnson, Lee and Scottie Young

“Cindy fascinates me,” says series writer Robbie Thompson, in an interview with Marvel.com. “She gave up 10 years of her life and the world moved on without her. What does that do to a person?”

Now, Cindy is back in New York City, patrolling it’s rooftops as SILK! And she’s going to make up for lost time. Searching for her past, defining her own future, and webbing wrong-doers along the way. Now is your chance to hop on board one of the slickest new launches of 2015 as SILK #1 swings in to comic shops this February!

Silk 1 Young Variant First Look: Silk #1 by Thompson and Lee

Silk 1 Lee Variant First Look: Silk #1 by Thompson and Lee

Silk 1 Preview 1 First Look: Silk #1 by Thompson and Lee

Silk 1 Preview 4 First Look: Silk #1 by Thompson and Lee

Silk 1 Preview 2 First Look: Silk #1 by Thompson and Lee

Silk 1 Preview 3 First Look: Silk #1 by Thompson and Lee

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17. Emma Watson’s UN Speech at Davos

This morning, Emma Watson made a speech, in front of business and world leaders, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Having been very successful with her UN speech last September, Ms. Watson announced a new initiative to ending gender inequality, as a part of her HeForShe campaign. As a UN Women’s goodwill ambassador, Ms. Watson laid forth a plan for a year-long initiative called “IMPACT 10x10x10.” This new plan resolves to “to address deficiencies in women’s empowerment and gender equality” according to The Guardian.

After her speech, Ms. Watson opened up her Twitter to accept and answer questions about her gender-equality campaigns.

Ms. Watson’s speech at Davos can be seen below:

 

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18. New “Casual Vacancy” TV show Book Cover

Little, Brown Book Group has released a new edition of J.K. Rowling’s adult novel, The Casual Vacancy. A picture of the cover was posted on The Casual Vacancy Facebook page, and can be seen below. The new book cover is being released to promote BBC One’s three-part mini series drama of the novel. The cover depicts Michael Gambon (Howard Mollison), Keeley Hawes (Samantha Mollison), Brian Vernal (“Fats”), and Abigail Lawrie (Krystal Weedon), clustered in a not-so-happy looking group against a “Pragford” backdrop. J.K. Rowling’s mini series has captured a couple Harry Potter cast members–Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore), and Simon McBurney (the voice of Kreacher) who plays Colin Wall in the mini series.  The Casual Vacancy mini series will premiere this February in the United Kingdom. It is set to become an HBO special in the United States at a later date.  

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19. irunfrombears: An Iceberg Flipped Over, and Its Underside Is...



irunfrombears:

An Iceberg Flipped Over, and Its Underside Is Breathtaking



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20. Indie Month-to-Month Sales November 2014: Image Rising

4049162 wytches2coverhi Indie Month to Month Sales November 2014: Image Rising

By Kate Reynolds

November saw a slew of new titles from Image with some pretty serious sales, most notably ODY-C from Matt Fraction and Tooth & Claw from Kurt Busiek. Wytches, the new Scott Snyder title from Image continues. It was also a good month for Dark Horse as the “Fire and Stone” event keeps chugging along.

Marvel and DC have finally stopped having major events, so we are back this month with almost 140 indie titles for you. Overall indie title sales were down 23.3% at 1,488,193 comparedto last month’s 1,939571. for an average sale of 10,706.

Image is still number one with an 10.2% dollar share and a 11.06% market share. They had 7 of the top 100 books overall. IDW came in at second place with a 5.65% dollar share and a 4.53% market share. Next, Dark Horse had a 4.85% dollar share and a 3.58% market share, Dynamite has a 2.84% dollar share and a 2.54% market share, while Boom! has a 2.73% dollar share and a 2.68% market share.

UK and European sales from Diamond UK are not reported in this chart.

Thanks to icv2.com and Milton Griepp for permission to use these numbers, which are estimates only.

14. Walking Dead #134 (Image)

8/1/2014:  Walking Dead #130 - $71,885 (-1.4%)
9/1/2014:  Walking Dead #131 - 69,810 (-2.95)
10/1/2014:Walking Dead #132 - 326,334 (+367.5)
10/1/2014: Walking Dead #133 - 69,561 (-78.7%)
11/1/2014: Walking Dead #134 - 68,093 (-2.1%)

Slight drop, but still holding steady in the upper sixty thousand range. It doesn’t looks like this is going anywhere anytime soon.

19. Wytches #2 (Image)
10/1/2014: WYTCHES #1 - 67,996
11/1/2014: WYTCHES #2 - 58,345 (-14.2%)

Snyder’s new book at Image appears to be a smashing success, with a negligible drop between the first and second issues of the series. Can’t wait for more!

36. ODY-C #1 (Image)
11/1/2014: ODYC #1 - 47,414

Yet another solid start to Matt Fraction’s futuristic re-telling of The Odyssey . It’s gender-bending psychedelic fun.

45. Tooth & Claw (Image)
11/1/2014: TOOTH & CLAW #1 - 41,181

Haven’t had the pleasure of reading this book yet, but surely 40,000 people can’t be wrong? It’s already getting a second printing, and due to some copyright issues, a new title.

47. Outcast #5 (Image)
6/1/2014: Outcast #1 - 71,788	
7/1/2014: Outcast #2 - 55,126 (-23.2%)
8/1/2014: Outcast #3 - 46,717 (-15.2%)
9/1/2014: Outcast #4 - 45,401 (-2.8%)
11/1/2014:Outcast #5 - 39,967 (-12.0%)

Looks like it might stabilize in the 30k range. Needless to say Kirkman and Azaceta are bringing plenty of readers.

90. My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #25 (IDW)
5/1/2014: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #19 - 22,820 (-12.5%)
6/1/2014: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #20 - 20,711 (-9.2%)
7/1/2014: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #21 - 20,871 (+0.8%)
8/1/2014: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #22 - 21,642 (+3.7%)
9/1/2014: My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #23 - 19,491 (-9.9%)
10/1/2014:My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #24 - 20,762 (+6.5%)
11/1/2014:My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #25 - 26,619 (+28.2%)

Slight upswing last month for the ponies.

98.Fade Out (Image)
8/1/2014:  FADE OUT #1 - 34,447	
10/1/2014: FADE OUT #2 - 27,797 (-19.3%)
11/1/2014: FADE OUT #3 - 24,584 (-11.6%)

If Fade Out follows the trend from Phillips and Brubaker’s previous series Fatale, it should level out in the high teens soon. Looks like they have another mid-range hit on their hands.

109. Drifter #1 (Image)
11/1/2014: DRIFTER #1 - 20,887

November saw several new titles from Image, and this piece of mind-bending science fiction has pulled in a respectable amount of readers.

116. Trees (Image)
5/1/2014: Trees #1 - 31,926    --
6/1/2014: Trees #2 - 25,515 (-20.1%)
7/1/2014: Trees #3 - 23,822 (-6.6%)
8/1/2014: Trees #4 - 23,639 (-0.8%)
9/1/2014: Trees #5 - 22,244 (-5.9%)
10/1/2014: Trees #6 - 20,720 (-6.9%)
11/1/2014: Trees #7 - 19,287 (-6.9%)

Slight drop for this title, but considering how many “Best Comics of 2014″ lists I’ve seen it on, I wouldn’t be worried.

119. Birthright #2 (Image) 
10/1/2014: BIRTHRIGHT #1 - 27,234	
11/1/2014: BIRTHRIGHT #2 - 18,484 (-32.1%)

This is a healthy second issue drop that could lead to stabilization in the lower teens.

121. Intersect #1 (Image)
11/1/2014: INTERSECT #1 - 18,292

Not a bad debut for Ray Fawkes’s new series of doom and madness.

125. The Humans #1 (Image) 
11/1/2014: HUMANS #1 - 17,274.

Whether it’s the public’s obsessions with apes or nostalgia for the 70’s exploitation genre, Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller has certainly captured the attention of a nice chunk of readers.

127. BTVS Season 10 #9 (Dark Horse)
6/1/2014: Btvs Season 10 #4 - 19,365 (-5.8%)
7/1/2014: Btvs Season 10 #5 - 18,827 (-2.8%)
8/1/2014: Btvs Season 10 #6 - 18,121 (-3.7%)
9/1/2014: Btvs Season 10 #7 - 17,701 (-2.3%)
10/1/2014: BTVS Season 10 #8 - 17,729 (+1.6%)
11/1/2014: BTVS Season10 #9 - 17,067 (-3.7%)

Let’s face it, despite a little dip last month, Buffy is still slaying it.

128. Velvet #8 (Image)
10/1/2013: Velvet #1 - 41,897	--
12/1/2013: Velvet #2 - 25,549 (-39.0%)
1/1/2014:  Velvet #3 - 23,177 (-9.3%)
3/1/2014:  Velvet #4 - 21,412 (-7.6%)
5/1/2014:  Velvet #5 - 20,258 (-5.4%)
7/1/2014:  Velvet #6 - 18,775 (-7.3%)
9/1/2014:  Velvet #7 - 17,901 (-4.7%)
11/1/2014: Velvet #8 - 17,035 (-4.8%)

A slight drop as we hit the middle of the second story-arc, but the titular silver-streaked agent still commands attention.

132. TMNT Ghostbusters #2 (IDW)
10/1/2014: TMNT GHOSTBUSTERS #1 - 21,223	
11/1/2014: TMNT GHOSTBUSTERS #2	- 16,624 (-21.7%)

This comic manages to capture the essence of each franchise and flawlessly blends them together. With a healthy second issue drop, this mini-series is mirroring the strong sales of the TMNT ongoing.

134. Lazarus #13 (Image)
4/1/2014:  Lazarus #8  - 19,826	(-1.6%)
7/1/2014:  Lazarus #9  - 19,066	(-3.8%)
8/1/2014:  Lazarus #10 - 18,051	(-5.3%)
9/1/2014:  Lazarus #11 - 16,531	(-8.4%)
10/1/2014: Lazarus #12 - 16,838	(+1.9%)
11/1/2014: Lazarus #13 - 16,094	(-4.4%)

There’s a slight slump coming into the second arc of Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s post-apocalyptic series. However, there should be more excitement coming up if Forever Carlyle completes her current mission as ordered.

135. John Carter Warlord #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
11/1/2014: JOHN CARTER WARLORD #1 - 15,930

I’m always pleased to see Edgar Rice Burroughs’s legacy continuing on – especially with such sturdy numbers for the Warlord’s new series. This is also one of the strongest debuts a Dynamite title has seen recently.

139. My Little Pony Friends Forever #11 (IDW)
7/1/2014:  My Little Pony Friends Forever #7  - 19,850	(+9.5%)
8/1/2014:  My Little Pony Friends Forever #8  - 17,444	(-12%)
9/1/2014:  My Little Pony Friends Forever #9  - 16,803	(-3.7%)
10/1/2014: My Little Pony Friends Forever #10 - 16,587	(-1.3%)
11/1/2014: MYy Little Pony Friends Forever #11 - 15,630	(-5.8%)

Not even friends are strong enough to fight off the standard attrition of ongoing series.

143. Django Zorro #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) 
11/1/2014: DJANGO ZORRO #1 - 15,468

First of all, you did read the title right. It’s a serious team-up between Django and Zorro, partially written by Quentin Tarantino himself. Secondly, knowing that, I’m surprised that it had fewer readers than John Carter.

144. Doctor Who 12th #2 (Titan) 
10/1/2014: DOCTOR WHO 12TH #1 - 33,891	
11/1/2014: DOCTOR WHO 12TH #2 - 15,277 (-54.9%)

A rather large first drop for the second issue. Only the Doctor himself could tell us where it will go from here.

146. TMNT Ongoing (IDW)
6/1/2014:  TMNT Ongoing #35 - 15,174	(-13.0%)
7/1/2014:  TMNT Ongoing #36 - 15,415	(+1.6%)
8/1/2014:  TMNT Ongoing #37 - 15,470	(+0.4%)
10/1/2014: TMNT Ongoing #38 - 15,498	(+0.2%)
10/1/2014: TMNT Ongoing #39 - 15,235	(-1.7%)
11/1/2014: TMNT Ongoing #40 - 14,734	(-3.3%)

A slight dip for the Turtles this month, still sales are very steady.

148. MPH #4 (Image)
5/1/2014: Mph #1  - 35,632	--
6/1/2014: Mph #2  - 21,937	(-38.4%)
9/1/2014: Mph #3  - 16,881	(-23.04%) 
11/1/2014: MPH #4 - 14,657	(-13.2%)

Only one issue left of Millar and Dan Fegredo’s book.

149. Doctor Who 10th #4 (Titan)
7/1/2014:  Doctor Who 10th #1 - 39,707	
8/1/2014:  Doctor Who 10th #2 - 10,410	(-73.8%)
10/1/2014: Doctor Who 10th #3 - 14,608	(+40.30%)
11/1/2014: Doctor Who 10th #4 - 14,296	(-2.1%)

Like the Doctor himself, this title has been all over the place in terms of sales. This month sees a tiny drop in numbers, but some much needed stabilization.

152. Deadly Class #9 (Image)
4/1/2014:  Deadly Class #4 - 17,855	(-3.7%)
5/1/2014:  Deadly Class #5 - 17,099	(-4.2%)
6/1/2014:  Deadly Class #6 - 16,305	(-4.6%)
9/1/2014:  Deadly Class #7 - 14,834	(-9.0%)
10/1/2014: Deadly Class  #8 - 15,003	(+1.1%)
11/1/2014: Deadly Class #9 - 14,148	(-6.7%)

This is my favorite book that Remender has out right now – which is helped by the art of Wes Craig and Lee Loughridge. Regardless, a slight drop this month for Deadly Class.

154. Alien vs. Predator Fire and Stone #2 (Dark Horse)
10/1/2014: ALIEN VS PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #1 - 20,319	
11/1/2014: ALIEN VS PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #2 - 13,942	(-31.4%)

A normal second issue drop. Not normal – how seriously amazing the Fire and Stone event has been so far.

155. Prometheus Fire and Stone #3 (Dark Horse)
9/1/2014:  Prometheus Fire And Stone #1 - 19,468	
10/1/2014: Prometheus Fire and Stone #2	- 14,407 (-24.8%)
11/1/2014: Prometheus Fire and Stone #3	- 13,624 (-5.4%)

Still leveling.

159. Aliens Fire and Stone #3 (Dark Horse)
9/1/2013:  Aliens Fire and Stone #1 - 19,878	
10/1/2014: Aliens Fire and Stone #2 - 14,240 (-28.4%)
11/1/2014: Aliens Fire and Stone#3 - 13,357 (-6.2%)

Still leveling.

160. Spread #4 (Image)
7/1/2014:  Spread #1 - 21,150	
8/1/2014:  Spread #2 - 15,244	(-27.9%)
9/1/2014:  Spread #3 - 15,691	(+2.9%)
11/1/2014: Spread #4 - 13,288	(-15.3%)

A significant drop this month for Justin Jordan’s post-apocalyptic tale. Ideally the sales as the first story-arc concludes in the next two issues.

161. Invincible #115 (Image)
5/1/2014:  Invincible #111 - 18,440	(+46.8%)
6/1/2014:  Invincible #112 - 14,413	(-21.8%)
8/1/2014:  Invincible #113 - 13,642	(-5.3%)
9/1/2014:  Invincible #114 - 13,921	(+2.0%)
11/1/2014: Invincible #115 - 13,277	(-4.6%)

Sturdy numbers.

166. Transformers vs. GI Joe #4 (IDW)
7/1/2014:  Transformers Vs GI Joe #1 - 23,009	
8/1/2014:  Transformers Vs GI Joe #2 - 15,472	(-32.8%)
10/1/2014: Transformers Vs GI Joe #3 - 14,293	(-7.6%)
11/1/2014: Transformers Vs GI Joe #4 - 12,733	(-10.9%)

I’ve yet to actually read a Transformers vs. GI Joe comic, mainly because I get too enamored with the art. A drop this month, but it’s still selling better than either ongoing Transformers or GI Joe title.

167. Predator Fire and Stone #2 (Dark Horse)
10/1/2014: PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #1 - 17,166	
11/1/2014: PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #2 - 12,695	(-26.0%)

These numbers officially tell us that Xenomorphs (Aliens) are more popular with earthlings than Predators. Argument settled.

168. Nailbiter (Image)
5/1/2014:  Nailbiter #1 - 22,746	
6/1/2014:  Nailbiter #2 - 15,193	(-33.2%)
7/1/2014:  Nailbiter #3 - 16,581	(+9.1%)
8/1/2014:  Nailbiter #4 - 14,706	(-11.3%)
9/1/2014:  Nailbiter #5 - 14,947	(+1.6%)
10/1/2014: Nailbiter #6 - 13,340	(-10.8%)
11/1/2014: Nailbiter #7 - 12,361	(-5.3%)

I can’t believe Nailbiter lost readers this month. Did they not realize that Brian Michael Bendis has a cameo in issue seven?

169. Manhattan Projects #25 (Image)
4/1/2014:  Manhattan Projects #20 - 14,253	(-3.8%)
6/1/2014:  Manhattan Projects #21 - 15,126	(+6.1%)
7/1/2014:  Manhattan Projects #22 - 13,319	(-11.9%)
8/1/2014:  Manhattan Projects #23 - 13,157	(-1.2%)
10/1/2014: Manhattan Projects #24 - 12,693	(-4.0%)
11/1/2014: Manhattan Projects #25 - 12,236	(-3.6%)

Despite the numbers (which are fairly normal for a comic of this duration), Manhattan Projects still has some great stories left.

170. Copperhead #3 (Image)
9/1/2014:  Copperhead #1 - 24,272	
10/1/2014: Copperhead #2 - 17,250	(-28.9%)
11/1/2014: Copperhead #3 - 12,079	(-30.0%)

Another large drop for Copperhead, ideally we’ll see more stable numbers next issue.

172. Spawn #248 (Image)
5/1/2014:  Spawn #243 - 11,714	(-1.0%)
6/1/2014:  Spawn #244 - 11,837	(+1.0%)
7/1/2014:  Spawn #245 - 12,090	(+2.1%)
8/1/2014:  Spawn #246 - 13,343	(+10.4%)
10/1/2014: Spawn #247 - 12,023	(-9.9%)
11/1/2014: Spawn #248 - 11,934	(-0.7%)

After a few months of growth, it looks like Spawn is dropping back to normal.

173. Rasputin #2 (Image)
10/1/2014: RASPUTIN #1 - 21,373	
11/1/2014: RASPUTIN #2 - 11,693	(-45.3%)

If you know anything about the mythos of Rasputin, you’ll know that what doesn’t kill him makes Rasputin even stronger. I’m assuming this still applies to a substantial numbers drop between the first two issues.

174. Star Trek City on the Edge of Forever #5 (IDW)
6/1/2014:  Star Trek City O/T Edge Of Forever #1 - 12,028	
7/1/2014:  Star Trek City O/T Edge Of Forever #2 - 11,224	(-6.7%)
8/1/2014:  Star Trek City O/T Edge Of Forever #3 - 11,767	(+4.8%)
9/1/2014:  Star Trek City O/T Edge Of Forever #4 - 11,785	(+0.1%)
11/1/2014: Star Trek City O/T Edge of Forever #5 - 11,614	(-1.5%)

Negligible decline in sales this month, Star Trek fans are one of the few consistent things in the universe.

175. Big Trouble in Little China #6 (BOOM! Studios)
6/1/2014:  Big Trouble In Little China #1 - 24,160	--
7/1/2014:  Big Trouble In Little China #2 - 14,838	(-38.6%)
8/1/2014:  Big Trouble In Little China #3 - 14,076	(-5.1%)
9/1/2014:  Big Trouble in Little China #4 - 13,370	(-5.0%)
10/1/2014: Big Trouble in Little China #5 - 12,598	(-5.8%)
11/1/2014: Big Trouble in Little China #6 - 11,483	(-8.9%)

A steady decline since the first issue, though the comic seems to be nearing stable territory.

178. Angel and Faith Season 10 #8 (Dark Horse)
4/1/2014:  Angel And Faith Season 10 #1	- 17,820	(+33.6%)
5/1/2014:  Angel And Faith Season 10 #2	- 14,200	(-20.3%)
6/1/2014:  Angel And Faith Season 10 #3	- 13,029	(-8.2%)
7/1/2014:  Angel And Faith Season 10 #4	- 12,468	(-4.3%)
8/1/2014:  Angel And Faith Season 10 #5	- 11,957	(-4.1%)
9/1/2014:  Angel And Faith Season 10 #6 - 11,593	(-3.5%)
10/1/2014: Angel And Faith Season 10 #7	- 11,457	(-1.2%)
11/1/2014: Angel And Faith Season 10 #8	- 11,129	(-2.9%)

While not as popular as Buffy, this title is steadily supported by fans of the darker duo.

181. Red Sonja #13 (Dynamite Entertainment)
4/1/2014:  Red Sonja #8	 - 12,392	(-1.8%)
5/1/2014:  Red Sonja #9	 - 11,850	(-4.4%)
6/1/2014:  Red Sonja #10 - 11,685	(-1.4%)
8/1/2014:  Red Sonja #11 - 11,298	(-3.4%)
9/1/2014:  Red Sonja #12 - 11,431	(+1.3)
11/1/2014: Red Sonja #13 - 10,600	(-7.3%)

A new story-arc and a slight drop, we still don’t know which will prove more dangerous to the red She-Devil.

183. Chew #44 (Image)
2/1/2014:  Chew #40 - 11,193	(-2.6%)
4/1/2014:  Chew #41 - 10,835	(-3.2%)
6/1/2014:  Chew #42 - 10,981	(-1.3%)
9/1/2014:  Chew #43 - 10,777	(-1.9%)
11/1/2014: CHEW #44 - 10,526	(-2.3%)

I typically read Chew in trades, but murmurings in the comic community recently have made me want to dive in again. Not that you would be able to tell from these boringly steady sales.

185. Wayward #4 (Image)
8/1/2014:  Wayward #1 - 29,240	
9/1/2014:  Wayward #2 - 15,053	(-48.5%)
10/1/2014: Wayward #3 - 10,795	(-28.3%)
11/1/2014: Wayward #4 - 10,318	(-2.3%)

Wayward is finally settling in to a solid place.

186. Bob's Burgers #4 (Dynamite Entertainment)
8/1/2014:  Bobs Burgers #1 - 20,157	
9/1/2014:  Bobs Burgers #2 - 11,030  (-45.2%)
10/1/2014: Bobs Burgers #3 - 9,571   (-13.2%)
11/1/2014: Bobs Burgers #4 - 10,160  (+6.2%)

Bob’s Burgers ended on a positive note this month. For readers of the comic, is it really the same without the voices?

187. Star Trek Ongoing #38 (IDW)
2/1/2014:  Star Trek #30	$3.99	IDW	9,906	(-2.2%)
3/1/2014:  Star Trek #31	$3.99	IDW	9,781	(-1.3%)
4/1/2014:  Star Trek #32	$3.99	IDW	10,801	(+10.4%)
5/1/2014:  Star Trek #33	$3.99	IDW	9,729	(-9.9%)
6/1/2014:  Star Trek #34	$3.99	IDW	10,216	(+4.8%)
7/1/2014:  Star Trek #35	$3.99	IDW	10,089	(-1.2%)
8/1/2014:  Star Trek #36	$3.99	IDW	10,017	(-0.7%)
9/1/2014:  Star Trek #37	$3.99	IDW	9,893	(-1.2%)
11/1/2014: Star Trek #38	$3.99	IDW	10,150	(+2.6%)

Slow and steady.

188. Edward Scissorhands #2 (IDW)
10/1/2014: EDWARD SCISSORHANDS #1 - 13,533
11/1/2014: EDWARD SCISSORHANDS #2 - 10,121 (-25.2%)

Kate Leth’s delightful writing cements a strong readership with a relatively minor second issue drop.

189. X-Files Seasons 10 #8 (IDW)

7/1/2014:  X-Files Season 10 #14 - 10,850	(-5.6%)
8/1/2014:  X-Files Season 10 #15 - 10,581	(-2.5%)
9/1/2014:  X-Files Season 10 #16 - 10,067	(-4.9%)
10/1/2013: X-Files Season 10 #17 - 9,865	(-2.0%)
11/1/2014: X-Files Season 10 #18 - 9,915	(+0.5%)

Slight upswing this month.

191. Lumberjanes #8 (BOOM! Studios)
7/1/2014:  Lumberjanes #4 - 9,988	(+9.2%)
9/1/2014:  Lumberjanes #5 - 10,099	(+1.1%)
9/1/2014:  Lumberjanes #6 - 10,029	(-0.7%)
10/1/2014: Lumberjanes #7 - 9,999	(-0.3%)
11/1/2014:Lumberjanes #8 - 9,543	(-4.6%)

Wow. Issue eight guys, that ending was crazy. I’m still processing.

192. Revival #25 (Image)
5/1/2014:  Revival #20 - 10,341	(-0.4%)
6/1/2014:  Revival #21 - 9,808	(-5.2%)
7/1/2014:  Revival #22 - 9,931	(-1.9%)
8/1/2014:  Revival #23 - 9,425	(-5.9%)
10/1/2014: Revival #24 - 9,019	(-4.7%)
11/1/2014: Revival #25 - 9,535	(+5.7%)

Slight increase for Revival.

193. Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #35 (IDW)
7/1/2014:  Transformers More Than Meets Eye #30 - 9,395	 (-1.6%)
8/1/2014:  Transformers More Than Meets Eye #31 - 10,063 (+7.1%)
9/1/2014:  Transformers More Than Meets Eye #32 - 9,857	 (-2.0%)
9/1/2014:  Transformers More Than Meets Eye #33	- 9,744	 (-1.1%)
10/1/2014: Transformers More Than Meets Eye #34 - 9,670	 (-0.8%)
11/1/2014: Transformers More Than Meets Eye #35 - 9,390	(-2.9%)

Some negligible attrition.

194. Sinergy #1 (Image)
11/1/2014: SINERGY #1 - 9,380

A week debut for Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma’s new series. Despite the low numbers, the premise of the book “sex unlocks girls sixth sense” could just be a sleeper hit.

195. Transformers Robots in Disguise #35 (IDW)
6/1/2014:  Transformers Robots In Disguise #30 - 9,714	(+1.8%)
7/1/2014:  Transformers Robots In Disguise #31 - 8,706	(-10.4%)
8/1/2014:  Transformers Robots In Disguise #32 - 9,762	(+12.1%)
9/1/2014:  Transformers Robots In Disguise #33 - 10,815	(+10.8%)
10/1/2014: Transformers Robots In Disguise #34 - 9,418	(-12.9%)
11/1/2014: Transformers Robots In Disguise #35 - 9,354	(-0.7%)

With minor ups and down, Transformers has found it’s niche.

197. Roche Limit #3 (Image)
9/1/2014:  Roche Limit #1 - 23,404    --
10/1/2014: Roche Limit #2 - 11,424 (-51.2%)
11/1/2014: Roche Limit #3 - 9,296  (-18.9%)

Still searching for solid ground.

198. Dawn Vampirella #2 (Dynamite Entertainment)
9/1/2014:  Dawn Vampirella #1 - 13,368	--
11/1/2014: Dawn Vampirella #2 - 9,248	(-30.8%)

A normal second issue drop-off.

199. Transformers Drift Empire of Stone #1 (IDW)
11/1/2014: TRANSFORMERS DRIFT EMPIRE OF STONE #1 - 9,246

Apparently we needed one more Transformer book. There are enough readers to support it.

201. Fairy Quest Outcasts #1 (BOOM! Studios)
11/1/2014: FAIRY QUEST OUTCASTS #1 - 8,958

I just read a quick synopsis of this issue, and it stole my heart. Here’s hoping it doesn’t lose too many readers in the second issue!

202. Alex + Ada #10 (Image)
6/1/2014:  Alex + Ada #7  - 9,579 (-2.9%)
8/1/2014:  Alex + Ada #8  - 9,453 (-1.3%)
10/1/2014: Alex + Ada #9  - 9,370 (-0.9%)
11/1/2014: Alex + Ada #10 - 8,946 (-4.5%)

Some attrition at play here, but the core audience still seems committed. I know I am!

203. Ten Grande #11 (Image)
2/1/2014:  Ten Grand #7  - 13,201 (-14.1%)
3/1/2014:  Ten Grand #8  - 12,117 (-8.2%)
4/1/2014:  Ten Grand #9  - 11,210 (-7.5%)
7/1/2014:  Ten Grand #10 - 10,354 (-7.6%)
11/1/2014: Ten Grand #11 - 8,932 (-13.7%)

I’d like to attribute these drops to attrition, but Ten Grande has suffered some sizable decline this year.

206. Sonic the Hedgehog #266 (Archie Comics)
1/1/2014:  Sonic The Hedgehog #256	$2.99	ARC	9,840	(-5.6%)
2/1/2014:  Sonic The Hedgehog #257	$2.99	ARC	9,325	(-5.2%)
3/1/2014:  Sonic The Hedgehog #258	$2.99	ARC	9,023	(-3.2%)
4/1/2014:  Sonic The Hedgehog #259	$2.99	ARC	6,228	(+5.2%)
5/1/2014:  Sonic The Hedgehog #260	$2.99	ARC	8,866	(-6.6%)
6/1/2014:  Sonic The Hedgehog #261	$2.99	ARC	8,822	(-0.5%)
7/1/2014:  Sonic The Hedgehog #262	$2.99	ARC	8,971	(+1.7%)
8/1/2014:  Sonic The Hedgehog #263	$2.99	ARC	9,135	(+1.8%)
9/1/2014:  Sonic The Hedgehog #264	$3.99	ARC	9,019	(-1.3%)
10/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #265	$3.99	ARC	8,869	(-1.7%)
11/1/2014: Sonic The Hedgehog #266	$3.99	ARC	8,822	(-0.5%)

Overall a fairly solid year for this series.

207. Deep State #1 (BOOM! Studios)
11/1/2014: DEEP STATE #1 - 8,768

Neither new series from Boom! managed to hit the 10k reader mark. This is totally a conspiracy that the agents from Deep State should look into.

208. Shadow Show #1 (IDW)
11/1/2014: SHADOW SHOW #1 - 8,634

This tribute to Ray Bradbury features new stories from Joe Hill and Jason Ciaramella (with art by Charles Paul Wilson). Perhaps the low reader numbers suggest the book had too many literary references?

209. GI Joe (2014) #3 (IDW)
9/1/2014:  GI JOE (2014) #1 - 16,848	
10/1/2014: GI JOE (2014) #2 - 9,708	(-42.4%)
11/1/2014: GI JOE (2014) #3 - 8,602	(-11.4%)

A small drop for the third issue. We’ll probably just see natural attrition at play with readers from here on out.

210. Grendel vs. Shadow #3 (Dark Horse)
9/1/2014	Grendel Vs Shadow #1 - 11,514	
10/1/2014	Grendel Vs Shadow #2 - 9,571	(-17.1%)
11/1/2014	Grendel Vs Shadow #3 - 8,516	(-11.0 %)

This book costs $5.99. You could *almost* buy two other comics for the price of this single comic. All that to say the slight drop this month isn’t too bad considering how much the book itself costs.

211. Annihilator #3 (Legendary Comics)
9/1/2014:  Annihilator #1	$3.99	RAN	10,345	--
10/1/2014: Annihilator #2	$3.99	RAN	6,482	(-37.3%)
11/1/2014: Annihilator #3	$3.99	RAN	8,383	(+29.3%)

After a large second issue drop, the third issue of Annihilator manages to pick up some new readers. I’m assuming word of mouth probably caught on for the third issue of Grant Morrison and Frazier Irving’s new comic.

213. X-O Manowar #30 (Valiant)
5/1/2014:  X-O Manowar #25 - 12,493	(+45.4%)
6/1/2014:  X-O Manowar #26 - 10,083	(-19.3%)
7/1/2014:  X-O Manowar #27 - 9,183	(-8.9%)
8/1/2014:  X-O Manowar #28 - 9,634	(+4.9%)
9/1/2014:  X-O Manowar #29 - 8,566	(-11.1%)
11/1/2014: X-O Manowar #30 - 8,354	(-2.5%)

Numbers in near stasis for this month.

214. Thief of Thieves #25 (Image)
5/1/2014:  Thief Of Thieves #21 - 9,625	(-2.5%)
7/1/2014:  Thief Of Thieves #22 - 9,457	(-1.7%)
8/1/2014:  Thief Of Thieves #23 - 9,069	(-4.1%)
10/1/2014: Thief Of Thieves #24 - 8,731	(-3.7%)
11/1/2014: Thief Of Thieves #25 - 8,336	(-4.2%)

Standard attrition.

215. Conan the Avenger #8 (Dark Horse)
4/1/2014:  Conan The Avenger #1	- 11,565 (+7.7%)
5/1/2014:  Conan The Avenger #2	- 9,946	(-14.0%)
6/1/2013:  Conan The Avenger #3	- 9,486	(-4.6%)
7/1/2014:  Conan The Avenger #4	- 9,182	(-3.2%)
8/1/2014:  Conan The Avenger #5	- 8,941	(-2.6%)
9/1/2014:  Conan The Avenger #6	- 8,820	(-1.4%)
10/1/2014: Conan The Avenger #7	- 8,547	(-3.1%)
11/1/2014: Conan The Avenger #8	- 8,250	(-3.5%)

There aren’t very many synonyms for the word “attrition” so I’m going to make a new one. This title is suffering from smorgnerf.

216. Cowl #6 (Image)
5/1/2014:  Cowl #1 - 20,851	--
6/1/2014:  Cowl #2 - 13,569	(-34.9%)
7/1/2014:  Cowl #3 - 11,604	(-14.5%)
8/1/2014:  Cowl #4 - 10,893	(-6.1%)
9/1/2014:  Cowl #5 - 9,852		(-9.6%)
11/1/2014: Cowl #6 - 8,208	(-16.7%)

A rather large drop this month. This is one of the many series included in the second Humble Image Bundle in January which might help the series pick up a few readers.

217. Tomb Raider #10 (Dark Horse)
6/1/2013:  Tomb Raider #5  - 10,536	(-6.8%)
7/1/2014:  Tomb Raider #6  - 10,149	(-3.7%)
8/1/2014:  Tomb Raider #7  - 9,429	(-7.1%)
9/1/2014:  Tomb Raider #8  - 9,125	(-3.2%)
10/1/2014: Tomb Raider #9  - 8,748	(-4.1%)
11/1/2014: Tomb Raider #10 - 8,153	(-6.8%)

Some normal attrition going on here – or should we say smorgnerf? Either way, the numbers are slowly dropping.

218. Transformers Primacy #4 (IDW)
8/1/2014:  Transformers Primacy #1 - 10,472	
9/1/2014:  Transformers Primacy #2 - 10,172	(-2.9%)
10/1/2014: Transformers Primacy #3 - 8,452	(-16.9%)
11/1/2014: Transformers Primacy #4 - 8,051	(-4.7%)

Small drop, looks like Primacy is finally finding it’s feet.

219. God Hates Astronauts #3 (Image)
9/1/2014:  God Hates Astronauts #1 - 16,689	
10/1/2014: God Hates Astronauts #2 - 10,178	(-39.0%)
11/1/2014: God Hates Astronauts #3 - 8,017	(-21.2%)

The numbers for this title have dropped quickly proving there may actually be things too weird for comics readers. Looking for these numbers to stabilize next month.

221. Godzilla Cataclysm #4 (IDW)
8/1/2014:  Godzilla Cataclysm #1 - 11,868	
9/1/2014:  Godzilla Cataclysm #2 - 8,859  (-25.4%)
10/1/2014: Godzilla Cataclysm #3 - 8,624  (-2.7%)
11/1/2014: Godzilla Cataclysm #4 - 7,981  (-7.5%)

I’ve never really understood Godzilla. Luckily I don’t need to “get it” in order to understand it suffered a loss this month.

,Strong>223. GI Joe A Real American Hero #208 (IDW)
3/1/2014:  GI Joe A Real American Hero #200 - 11,780 (+77.1%)
4/1/2014:  GI Joe A Real American Hero #201 - 8,294  (-29.6%)
5/1/2014:  GI Joe A Real American Hero #202 - 6,781  (-18.2%)
6/1/2014:  GI Joe A Real American Hero #203 - 6,791  (+0.1%)
7/1/2014:  GI Joe A Real American Hero #204 - 6,706  (-1.3%)
8/1/2014:  GI Joe A Real American Hero #205 - 6,562  (-2.1%)
9/1/2014:  GI Joe A Real American Hero #206 - 7,651  (+16.6%)
10/1/2014:  GI Joe A Real American Hero #207 - 6,494  (-16.1%)
11/1/2014: GI Joe A Real American Hero #208 - 7,810  (+20.3%)

Attrition may be the Joe’s biggest enemy, and they gave it a pounding this month with a large bump.

224. Skylanders #2 (IDW)
10/1/2014: SKYLANDERS #1 - 12,361	
11/1/2014: SKYLANDERS #2 - 7,665 (-38.0%)

I imagine that if children had their own purchasing power and actually KNEW about this comic that sales would skyrocket. Elementary aged children are maniacs for Skylanders. A normal sized second issue drop though, and still glad to see publishers gearing more comics towards kids.

225. Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur's Gate #2 (IDW)
10/1/2014: Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldurs Gate  #1 - 9,341	
11/1/2014: Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldurs Gate  #2 - 7,642 (-18.2%)

Smaller than average second issue drop.
.

226. X-Files Year Zero #5 (IDW)
7/1/2014:  X-Files Year Zero #1	- 10,333	
8/1/2014:  X-Files Year Zero #2	- 8,794	(-14.9%)
10/1/2014: X-Files Year Zero #3	- 8,467	(-3.8%)
10/1/2014: X-Files Year Zero #4	- 8,049	(-4.9%)
11/1/2014: X-Files Year Zero #5	- 7,599	(-5.6%)

Only minor losses.

228. BPRD Hell on Earth #125 (Dark Horse)
6/1/2014:  Bprd Hell On Earth #120 - 8,127	(-2.2%)
7/2/2014:  Bprd Hell On Earth #121 - 8,092	(-0.4%)
8/1/2014:  Bprd Hell On Earth #122 - 8,004	(-1.1%)
9/1/2014:  Bprd Hell On Earth #123 - 7,762	(-3.0%)
10/1/2014: Bprd Hell On Earth #124 - 7,759	0%
11/1/2014: Bprd Hell On Earth #125 - 7,534	(-2.9%)

The Mignolaverse just keeps on chugging away.

229. New Vampirella #6 (Dynamite Entertainment)
6/1/2014:  New Vampirella #1 - 22,864	
7/1/2014:  New Vampirella #2 - 9,445	(-58.7%)
8/1/2014:  New Vampirella #3 - 8,732	(-7.5%)
9/1/2014:  New Vampirella #4 - 8,287	(-5.1%)
10/1/2014: New Vampirella#5 - 7,784	(-6.1%)
11/1/2014: New Vampirella #6 - 7,378	(-5.2%)

This title started out strong, but “new” titling can only change stats for so long.

231. October Faction #2 (IDW)
10/1/2014: OCTOBER FACTION #1 - 9,181	
11/1/2014: OCTOBER FACTION #2 - 7,174	(-21.9%)

Normal second issue drop.

232. Sonic Universe #70 (Archie Comics)
10/1/2014: SONIC UNIVERSE #68 - 7,438	(-1.8%)
10/1/2014: SONIC UNIVERSE #69 - 7,378	(-0.8%)
11/1/2014: SONIC UNIVERSE #70 - 7,161	(-2.9%)

Sonic Universe has had roughly 7k readers for over ten issues. Way to be consistent guys.

234. Godzilla Rulers of the Earth #18 (IDW)
6/1/2014:   Godzilla Rulers Of The Earth #13 - 6,980	(-11.5%)
7/1/2014:   Godzilla Rulers Of The Earth #14 - 7,144	(+2.3%)
8/1/2014:   Godzilla Rulers Of The Earth #15 - 7,156	(+0.2%)
9/1/2014:   Godzilla Rulers Of The Earth #16 - 7,181	(+0.3%)
10/1/2014: Godzilla Rulers Of The Earth #17 - 7,167	(-0.2%)
11/1/2014: Godzilla Rulers Of The Earth #18 - 7,065	(-1.4%)

This is another one of those strangely consistent comics.

235. Justice Inc. #4 (Dynamite Entertainment)
8/1/2014:  Justice Inc #1 - 12,020	
9/1/2014:  Justice Inc #2 - 8,651	(-28.0%)
10/1/2014: Justice Inc #3 - 7,546	(-12.8%)
11/1/2014: Justice Inc #4 - 7,057	(-6.5%)

Stabilizing just in time for the final two issues of the series.

236. Bee and Puppycat #6 (BOOM! Studios)
5/1/2014:    Bee And Puppycat #1 - 12,204   --
6/1/2014:    Bee And Puppycat #2 - 7,557	(-38.1%)
8/1/2014:    Bee And Puppycat #3 - 8,031	(+6.3%)
9/1/2014:    Bee and Puppycat #4	- 7,556	(-5.9%)
10/1/2014:  Bee And Puppycat #5 - 7,255	(-4.0%)
11/1/2014:  Bee And Puppycat #6 - 7,055	(-2.8%)

Some minor attrition for Bee and Puppycat. It’s tempting to single-handedly buy a few hundred issues just to see the numbers rise.

237. Elfquest Final Quest #6 (Dark Horse)
1/1/2014:  Elfquest Final Quest #1 - 9,861	(+1.9%)
3/1/2014:  Elfquest Final Quest #2 - 8,390	(-14.9%)
5/1/2014:  Elfquest Final Quest #3 - 7,967	(-5.0%)
7/1/2014:  Elfquest Final Quest #4 - 7,622	(-3.7%)
9/1/2014:  Elfquest Final Quest #5 - 7,364	(-3.4%)
11/1/2014:Elfquest Final Quest #6 - 6,961	(-5.5%)

Some normal attrition at play. I’m sure Richard and Wendy Pini are used to this by now considering Elf Quest has been around for DECADES.

238. Bloodshot #25 (Valiant)
10/1/2014: BLOODSHOT #24 - VAL	--	
11/1/2014: BLOODSHOT #25 - VAL	6,955

With #24 this went from a team book back to a solo title. Despite the major change, there hasn’t been a spike in numbers for the series.

241. Eternal Warrior Days of Steel #1 (Valiant)
11/1/2014: ETERNAL WARRIOR DAYS OF STEEL #1 - 6,785

Not exactly the numbers you’d want for a first issue. Luckily this mini-series is only 3 issues long.

242. Mega Man (Archie Comics)
10/1/2014: MEGA MAN #41	- 6,899	(-0.4%)
10/1/2014: MEGA MAN #42	- 6,946	(+0.7%)
11/1/2014: MEGA MAN #43	- 6,771	(-2.5%)

Yup.

244. Archer and Armstrong One Perfect #1 (Valiant)
11/1/2014: ARCHER & ARMSTRONG ONE PERCENT #1 - 6,738

The debut of a new villain for Archer and Armstrong continues sales-wise where the previous series left off.

245. Game of Thrones #22 (Dynamite Entertainment)
3/1/2014:  Game Of Thrones #19 (Mr) - 7,043	(-6.3%)
4/1/2014:  Game Of Thrones #20 (Mr) - 6,938	(-1.5%)
8/1/2014:  Game Of Thrones #21 (Mr) - 7,010	(+1.0%)
11/1/2014: Game Of Thrones #22 (MR) - 6,696	(-4.5%)

Is there as much nudity in the comic as there is in the HBO series?

246. Angry Birds Transformers #1 (IDW)
11/1/2014: ANGRY BIRDS TRANSFORMERS #1 - 6,667

I’ve never exactly understood the appeal of the Angry Birds franchise, but there are apparently thousands of people that do. I’m curious though, are the Angry Birds actually transforming or what?

247. Vampirella Feary Tales #2 (Dynamite Entertainment)
10/1/2014: VAMPIRELLA FEARY TALES #1 - 10,571	
11/1/2014: VAMPIRELLA FEARY TALES #2 - 6,607	(-37.5%)

A second issue drop.

248. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1 (BOOM! Studios)
11/1/2014: DAWN OF PLANET OF APES #1 - 6,569

It’s not exactly the number you’d hope to debut a new title to, but hey, it still made the list!

249. The Woods #7 (BOOM! Studios)
5/1/2014: The Woods #1 - 13,916	--
6/1/2014: The Woods #2 - 9,352	(-32.8%)
7/1/2014: The Woods #3 - 8,852	(-5.3%)
8/1/3014: The Woods #4 - 8,272	(-6.6%)
9/1/2014: The Woods #5 - 7,649	(-7/5%)
10/1/2014: The Woods #6 - 7,103	(-7.1%)
11/1/2014: The Woods #7 - 6,554	(-7.7%)

Seeing some small losses this month, maybe the swarm ate some of the readers?

250.Adventure Time Banana Guard Academy #5 (BOOM! Studios)
7/1/2014:  Adv Time Banana Guard Academy #1 - 10,402	
8/1/2014:  Adv Time Banana Guard Academy #2 - 8,287	(-20.4%)
10/1/2014: Adv Time Banana Guard Academy #3 - 7,977	(-3.7%)
10/1/2014: Adv Time Banana Guard Academy #4 - 7,453	(-6.6%)
11/1/2014: Adv Time Banana Guard Academy #5 - 6,514	(-12.6%)

The Adventure Time comics are some of Boom’s bread and butter….and bananas. We’re seeing a large drop off of readers for the fifth issue, but the series may regain some of those for the sixth and final issue.

251. Unity #12 (Valiant)
6/1/2014:  Unity #8  - 9,442	(+9.1%)
7/1/2014:  Unity #9  - 8,485	(-10.1%)
8/1/2014:  Unity #10 - 8,491	(0.0%)
9/1/2014:  Unity #11 - 7,602	(-10.5%)
11/1/2014: Unity #12 - 6,508	(-14.4%)

A new story arc with some fixed decline on the side.

252. Sex #18 (Image)
1/1/2014:  Sex #10 - 9,947	(-7.1%)
2/1/2014:  Sex #11 - 9,302	(-6.5%)
3/1/2014:  Sex #12 - 8,830	(-5.1%)
5/1/2014:  Sex #13 - 8,192	(-7.2%)
6/1/2014:  Sex #14 - 7,824	(-4.5%)
8/1/2014:  Sex #15 - 7,601	(-2.9%)
9/1/2014:  Sex #16 - 7,167	(-5.7%)
10/1/2014: Sex #17 - 6,709	(-6.4%)
11/1/2014: Sex #18 - 6,361	(-5.2%)

Attrition.

256. Sons of Anarchy #15 (BOOM! Studios)
7/1/2014:  Sons Of Anarchy #11 - 7,394	(-5.9%)
8/1/2014:  Sons Of Anarchy #12 - 6,955	(-5.9%)
9/1/2014:  Sons of Anarchy #13 - 6,506	(-6.5%)
10/1/2014: Sons of Anarchy #14 - 6,537	0.00%
11/1/2014: Sons of Anarchy #15 - 6,271	(-4.1%)

The comic carries on, even if the show no longer does.

257. Samurai Jack #14 (IDW)
7/1/2014:  Samurai Jack #10 - 6,741	(-20.4%)
8/1/2014:  Samurai Jack #11 - 7,489	(+11.1%)
9/1/2014:  Samurai Jack #12 - 7,135	(-4.7%)
10/1/2014: Samurai Jack #13 - 6,657	(-6.7%)
11/1/2014: Samurai Jack #14 - 6,245	(-6.2%)

Seems like Samurai Jack has hit its stride.

258. TMNT New Animated Adventures #17 (IDW)
6/1/2014:  TMNT New Animated Adventures #12 - 7,577	(+24.7%)
7/1/2014:  TMNT New Animated Adventures #13 - 7,158	(-5.5%)
8/1/2014:  TMNT New Animated Adventures #14 - 6,420	(-10.3%)
9/1/2014:  TMNT New Animated Adventures #15 - 7,589	(+18.2%)
10/1/2014: TMNT New Animated Adventures #16 - ????	????
11/1/2014: TMNT New Animated Adventures #17 - 6,228	????

Back on the chart.

259. Spongebob Comics #38 (Uniten Plankton Pictures)
8/1/2014:  Spongebob Comics #35 - 6,491	(+0.6%)
9/1/2014:  Spongebob Comics #36 - 6,405	(-1.3%)
10/1/2014: Spongebob Comics #37 - 6,417	0.00%
11/1/2014: Spongebob Comics #38 - 6,201	(-3.4%)

Minor drop, the numbers are fairly steady for Spongebob. It will be interesting to see whether Spongebob’s new movie will increase his comic sales in the next few months.

260. Capture Creatures #1 (BOOM! Studios)
11/1/2014	CAPTURE CREATURES #1	$3.99	BOO	6,171

Kids comics don’t always make the flashiest of entrances into the comic world. However, Frank Gibson and Becky Dreistadt’s Capture Creatures does warrant your children’s attention. Needless to say, I’m hoping this one takes off!

263. Strain Night Eternal #4 (Dark Horse)
8/1/2014:  Strain Night Eternal #1 - 9,394	
9/1/2014:  Strain Night Eternal #2 - 7,540	(-19.7%)
10/1/2014: Strain Night Eternal #3 - 7,021	(-6.9%)
11/1/2014: Strain Night Eternal #4 - 6,162	(-12.2%)

The sales on this still haven’t stabilized.

264. Goners #2 (Image)
10/1/2014	GONERS #1 - 12,496	
11/1/2014	GONERS #2 - 6,145	(-50.8%)

A dramatic second issue drop.

265. Judge Dredd #25 (IDW)
2/1/2014:  Judge Dredd #16 - 6,456	(-2.5%)
3/1/2014:  Judge Dredd #17 - 6,475	(+0.3%)
4/1/2014:  Judge Dredd #18 - 6,274	(-3.1%)
5/1/2014:  Judge Dredd #19 - 6,152	(-1.9%)
7/1/2014:  Judge Dredd #20 - ????	????
7/1/2014:  Judge Dredd #21 - ????	????
9/1/2014:  Judge Dredd #22 - 5,715	????
9/1/2014:  Judge Dredd #23 - ????	????
10/1/2014: Judge Dredd #24 - ????	????
11/1/2014: Judge Dredd #25 - 6,055	????

It’s been awhile since we had solid numbers for this title.

266. Penny Dora & The Wishing Box #1 (Image)
11/1/2014	PENNY DORA & THE WISHING BOX #1	$2.99	IMA	6,043

Remember what I said about kids comics and weak debuts?

267. Witchblade #179 (Image)
1/1/2014:  Witchblade #172 - 6,221	(-14.3%)
3/1/2014:  Witchblade #173 - 6,109	(-1.8%)
4/1/2014:  Witchblade #174 - 6,049	(-0.9%)
6/1/2014:  Witchblade #175 - 7,843	(+29.7%)
7/1/2014:  Witchblade #176 - ????	????
7/1/2014:  Witchblade #177 - ????	????
10/1/2014: Witchblade #178 - ????	????
11/1/2014: Witchblade #179 - 6,041	????

Back on the board!

268. Baltimore Wolf and the Apostle #2 (Dark Horse)
10/1/2014: BALTIMORE WOLF AND THE APOSTLE #1 - 6,711	
11/1/2014: BALTIMORE WOLF AND THE APOSTLE #2 - 6,027	(-10.2%)

This is the tiniest second issue drop on the list this month.

269. Futurama Comics #73 (Bongo Comics)
1/1/2013:  Futurama Comics #65 - 6,091	(-5.3%)
3/1/2013:  Futurama Comics #66 - 6,295	(+3.3%)
5/1/2013:  Futurama Comics #67 - 6,230	(-1.0%)
8/1/2013:  Futurama Comics #68 - 6,245	(+0.4%)
10/1/2013: Futurama Comics #69 - ????	????
2/1/2014:  Futurama Comics #70 - 5,901	????
5/1/2014:  Futurama Comics #71 - 5,914	(+0.2)
9/1/2014:  Futurama Comics #72 - ????	????
11/1/2014:Futurama Comics #73 - 5,994	????

From what data we have, it looks like the numbers are almost in stasis.

271. American Legends #1 (Image)
11/1/2014	AMERICAN LEGENDS #1	$3.99	IMA	5,986

No love for America guys?

272. Punks the Comics #2 (Image)
10/1/2014	PUNKS THE COMIC #1	$3.99	IMA	13,853	
11/1/2014	PUNKS THE COMIC #2	$3.99	IMA	5,968	(-56.9%)

If all the punks read a comic about punks, does that make the comic too mainstream?

273. Resurrectionists #1 (Dark Horse)
11/1/2014	RESURRECTIONISTS #1	$3.50	DAR	5,943
274. God Is Dead #24 (Avatar Press)
8/1/2014	God Is Dead #18 - 7,358	(-5.2%)
9/1/2014	God Is Dead #19 - 6,857	(-6.8%)
9/1/2014	God Is Dead #20 - 6,667	(-2.8%)
10/1/2014	God Is Dead #21 - 6,579	(-1.3%)
10/1/2014	God Is Dead #22 - 6,457	(-1.9%)
10/1/2014	God Is Dead #23 - ????	????
11/1/2014	God Is Dead #24 - 5,902	????

Some decline as we come to the end of the current story arc.

275. Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody #2 (Valiant)
10/1/2014	Q2 RTN QUANTUM & WOODY #1 - 8,226	
11/1/2014	Q2 RTN QUANTUM & WOODY #2 - 5,802	(-29.5%)

Normal second issue drop.

276. Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #89 (Broadsword Comics)
1/1/2014:  Tarot Witch Of The Black Rose #84 - 6,234	(-0.3%)
3/1/2014:  Tarot Witch Of The Black Rose #85 - 6,075	(-2.6%)
5/1/2014:  Tarot Witch Of The Black Rose #86 - 6,078	(+0.1%)
8/1/2014:  Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #87 - ????	????
10/1/2014: Tarot Witch of the Black Rose #88 - ????	????
11/1/2014: Tarot Wtich of the Black Rose #89 - 5,773	????

Back on the board.

278 & 286. Usagi Yojimbo Senso #4 & #5(Dark Horse)
8/1/2014:  Usagi Yojimbo Senso #1 - 7,633	--
9/1/2014:  Usagi Yojimbo Senso #2 - 6,438	(-15.7%)
10/1/2014: Usagi Yojimbo Senso #3 - ????	????
11/1/2014: Usagi Yojimbo Senso #4 - 5,720	????
11/1/2014: Usagi Yojimbo Senso #5 - 5,451	(-4.7%)

I’m going to assume that it’s just standard attrition.

279. Massive #29 (Dark Horse)
1/1/2014:  Massive #19 - 7,387	(-4.9%)
2/1/2014:  Massive #20 - 6,976	(-5.6%)
3/1/2014:  Massive #21 - 6,841	(-1.9%)
4/1/2014:  Massive #22 - 6,650	(-2.8%)
5/1/2014:  Massive #23 - 6,470	(-2.7%)
6/1/2014:  Massive #24 - 6,372	(-1.5%)
7/1/2014:  Massive #25 - ????	????
8/1/2014:  Massive #26 - 6,144	????
9/1/2014:  Massive #27 - ????	????
10/1/2014: Massive #28 - ????	????
11/1/2014:  Massive #29 - 5,681	????

The Massive has had a good run – only one issue left!

281. Death Vigil #5 (Image)
7/1/2014:  Death Vigil #1 - 12,832	
8/1/2014:  Death Vigil #2 - 7,003	(-45.4%)
9/1/2014:  Death Vigil #3 - 6,308	(-9.9%)
10/1/2014: Death Vigil #4 - ????	????
11/1/2014: Death Vigil #5 - 5,612	????

Back on the board this month showing some natural attrition.

282. Sleepy Hollow #2 (BOOM! Studios)
10/1/2014	SLEEPY HOLLOW #1	$3.99	BOO	10,403	
11/1/2014	SLEEPY HOLLOW #2	$3.99	BOO	5,611	(-46.1%)

A dramatic second drop for the new series. If the comic is anything like the show we could have a slow burn building up.

283. Delinquents #4 (Valiant)
8/1/2014:  Delinquents #1 - 12,912	
9/1/2014:  Delinquents #2 - 6,964	(-46.1%)
10/1/2014: Delinquents #3 - ????	????
11/1/2014: Delinquents #4 - 5,541	????

This probably won’t stay above the cut-off line for long as it falls to attrition.

284. Red Sonja Black Tower #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)
9/1/2014:  Red Sonja Black Tower #1 - 7,519	
10/1/2014: Red Sonja Black Tower #2 - ????	????
11/1/2014: Red Sonja Black Tower #3 - 5,518	????

This mini-series hasn’t lost too many followers.

285. Purgatori #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)
9/1/2014:  Purgatori #1 - 11,718	--
10/1/2014: Purgatori #2 - ????	????
11/1/2014:Purgatori #3 - 5,475	????

Looks like Purgatori has lost roughly half of it’s readers since the first issue.

287 & 295. Crossed Badlands #65 & #66 (Avatar)
9/1/2014:  Crossed Badlands #59 - 5,991	????
9/1/2014:  Crossed Badlands #60 - 5,991	(0.0%)
9/1/2014:  Crossed Badlands #61 - ????		????
9/1/2014:  Crossed Badlands #62 - ????		????
10/1/2014: Crossed Badlands #63 - ????	????
10/1/2014: Crossed Badlands #64 - ????	????
11/1/2014: Crossed Badlands #65 - 5,410	????
11/1/2014: Crossed Badlands #66 - 5,303	(-2.0%)

Consistently staying in the 5k range.

288. Magnus Robot Fighter #8 (Dynamite Entertainment)
3/1/2014:  Magnus Robot Fighter #1 - 27,497	
4/1/2014:  Magnus Robot Fighter #2 - 9,898	(-64.0%)
5/1/2014:  Magnus Robot Fighter #3 - 8,333	(-15.8%)
6/1/2014:  Magnus Robot Fighter #4 - 7,898	(-5.2%)
7/1/2014:  Magnus Robot Fighter #5 - 7,205	(-8.8%)
9/1/2014:  Magnus Robot Fighter #6 - ????	????
10/1/2014: Magnus Robot Fighter #7 - ????	????
11/1/2014: Magnus Robot Fighter #8 - 5,402	????

Continued attrition.

289. Sidekick #9 (Image)
8/1/2013:  Sidekick #1 - 27,832	--
9/1/2013:  Sidekick #2 - 14,533	(-47.8%)
10/1/2013: Sidekick #3 - 11,371	(-21.8%)
11/1/2013: Sidekick #4 - 9,976	(-12.3%)
2/1/2014:  Sidekick #5 - 8,943	(-10.3%)
4/1/2014:  Sidekick #6 - 8,192	(-8.4%)
7/1/2014:  Sidekick #7 - 6,900	(-15.8%)
9/1/2014:  Sidekick #8 - 6,320	(-8.4%)
11/1/2014: Sidekick #9 - 5,382	(-14.8%)

Large drop this month.

290. Lone Ranger Vindicated #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
11/1/2014: LONE RANGER VINDICATED #1 - 5,379

Hey, at least it made the list.

291. GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #104 (Zenescope)
5/1/2014:  GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #97  - 6,055	(+2.1%)
6/1/2014:  GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #98  - 5,828	(-3.7%)
7/1/2014:  GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #99  - 7,472	(+28.2%)
7/1/2014:  GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #100 - 11,722	(+56.9%)
8/1/2014:  GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #101 - 6,740	(-42.5%)
9/1/2014:  GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #102 - 6,462	(-4.1%)
10/1/2014: GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #105 - ????	????
11/1/2014: GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #104 - 5,341	????

Lost a few readers since the last time we had solid numbers.

292. Army of Darkness Hitched #4 (Dynamite Entertainment)
7/1/2014	Army Of Darkness Hitched #1	$3.99	DE	10,956	
9/1/2014	Army Of Darkness Hitched #2	$3.99	DE	6,379	(-54.3%)
10/1/2014	Army of Darkness Hitched #3	$3.99	DE	????	????
11/1/2014	Army of Darkness Hitched  #4	$3.99	DE	5,336	????

A small drop.

293. Borderlands Fall of Fyrestone #4 (IDW)
7/1/2014:  Borderlands Fall Of Fyrestone #1 - 8,830	
9/1/2014:  Borderlands Fall Of Fyrestone #2 - 5,680	(-35.7%)
10/1/2014: Borderlands Fall of Fyrestone #3 - ????	????
11/1/2014: Borderlands Fall Of Fyrestone #4 - 5,331	????

Ending the story-arc with very minor losses.

294. Morning Glories #42 (Image)
4/1/2014:  Morning Glories #38 - 6,007	(-1.8%)
7/1/2014:  Morning Glories #39 - ????	????
9/1/2014:  Morning Glories #40 - ????	????
10/1/2014: Morning Glories #41 - ????	????
11/1/2014: Morning Glories #42 - 5,322	????

Back on the board.

296. Alice Cooper #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)
9/1/2014:  Alice Cooper #1 - 10,295	--
10/1/2014: Alice Cooper #2 - 6,432	(-37.5%)
11/1/2014: Alice Cooper #3 - 5,292	(-17.7%)

Leveling out.

298. Rush Clockwork Angels #6 (BOOM! Studios)
3/1/2014:  Rush Clockwork Angels #1 - 11,602	
4/1/2014:  Rush Clockwork Angels #2 - 6,452	(-43.6%)
6/1/2014:  Rush Clockwork Angels #3 - 6,169	(-4.4%)
8/1/2014:  Rush Clockwork Angels #4 - 5,932	(-3.8%)
9/1/2014:  Rush Clockwork Angels #5 - ????	????
11/1/2014:  Rush Clockwork Angels #6 - 5,257	????

Standard attrition.

299. Bart Simpson Comics #93 (Bongo Comics)
11/1/2013: Bart Simpson Comics #87 - 5,213	????
1/1/2014:  Bart Simpson Comics #88 - 5,020	(-3.7%)
3/1/2014:  Bart Simpson Comics #89 - 4,940	(-1.6%)
5/1/2014:  Bart Simpson Comics #90 - ????	????
7/1/2014:  Bart Simpson Comics #91 - ????	????
9/1/2014:  Bart Simpson Comics #92 - ????	????
11/1/2014:  Bart Simpson Comics #93 - 5,220	????

Staying in the same range as normal.

300. Turok Dinosaur Hunter #10 (Dynamite Entertainment)
6/1/2014	Turok Dinosaur Hunter #5  - 7,803	(-7.4%)
7/1/2014	Turok Dinosaur Hunter #6  - 7,352	(-5.8%)
9/1/2014	Turok Dinosaur Hunter #7  - 6,829	(-7.1%)
10/1/2014	Turok Dinosaur Hunter #8  - ???? 	????
11/1/2014	Turok Dinosaur Hunter #9  - 5,757	????
11/1/2014	Turok Dinosaur Hunter #10 - 5,214	(-9.4%)

======

All figures on this chart are estimates for comics sold by Diamond to direct market retailers. They include reorders that shipped in the same month. Books shipping in the first week of a month will have more time for reorders to appear than ones shipping in the last week of the month, when reorders will slip to the following month.

7 Comments on Indie Month-to-Month Sales November 2014: Image Rising, last added: 1/25/2015
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21. Howard the Duck Dies on a Marvel Variant Cover (Not Really)

Screen Shot 2015 01 23 at 10.09.18 AM 218x300 Howard the Duck Dies on a Marvel Variant Cover (Not Really)Howard the Duck’s life is in jeopardy, or so the newest Marvel variant cover on the first issue of his ongoing series makes us believe. The new comic book has an interesting new cover that shows Howard in various stages of life. Towards the end of the the seven cycles, fans get a sneak peak at a gravestone.

Howard the Duck #1 will be available for purchase on March 4th.

The gravestone states:

Here Lies Howard T. Duck 1973-2015. “Valiantly gave his life during the Secret Wars.”

Will Howard die before the debut of his ongoing series?

With Chip Zdarsky’s irreverent sense of humor, it’s likely that this is some kind of hoax. The very last image in the evolution cover shows Howard alive and well. As Newsarama states, the duck is playing a part in the upcoming Secret Wars story as he is attached to the “New Quack City” region in the crossover.

To figure out some of the nuts and bolts on how the cover actually works, Marvel sent out a video. It’s important to note that all these covers are numbered and unique.

Marvel stated that the idea for this slightly gimmicky variant cover was born out of the successful launch of the recent Ant-Man #1 shrinking cover.

Marvel Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing David Gabriel explained:

“The Ant-Man #1 Shrinking Variant was such a successful experiment, we knew we wanted to try it again right away,” Gabriel said. “Each one of these variants is numbered and completely unique, showcasing a different Howard at a different size. Waugh!”

 

1 Comments on Howard the Duck Dies on a Marvel Variant Cover (Not Really), last added: 1/24/2015
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22. Marge and Bill Woggon selected for the Eisner Hall of Fame, 13 on the ballot

Marjorie “Marge” Henderson Buehl, the magazine cartoonist who created Little Lulu, and Bill Woggon, creator of Katy Keane, an early example of crowd sourced comics, have been selected for the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame by this year’s judges. An additional 13 names will be on the ballot for the awards: Lynda Barry, John Byrne, Chris Claremont, Howard Cruse, Kim Deitch, Matt Groening, Denis Kitchen, Frank Miller, Francoise Mouly, Paul S. Newman, Lily Renée Peters Phillips, Bob Powell, and Frank Robbins. Four will be selected for the Hall and announced at the ceremony at Comic-Con.

Online voting is now open for industry professionals (writer, artist, cartoonist, colorist, letterer, editors, publishers) as well as retailers, graphic novels librarians, and comics historian/educators. The deadline is March 31.

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Marjorie Henderson Buell (“Marge”) (1904–1993)
Marge started drawing Little Lulu for the Saturday Evening Post in 1935, creating a mischievous tot with a spark for ingenuity that we know to this day. Lulu was created as a foil to the existng character Henry. It was turned into a comic strip eventually and the comics by John Stanley and Irving Tripp. Although the Stanley Lulu stories are the best known today, Marge’s Lulu was very popular in its own right, with many licensing deals—including one as the mascot for Kleenex from 1952-1965–and an animated series. Marge was a cartoonist from the age of 16 and created other comic strips and illustrated many books.

Marjoriebuell Marge and Bill Woggon selected for the Eisner Hall of Fame, 13 on the ballot

eisners2015 hof woggon 1 Marge and Bill Woggon selected for the Eisner Hall of Fame, 13 on the ballot

Bill Woggon (1911–2003)
Bill Woggon created “Katy Keene, the Pinup Queen” for Archie Comics in 1945, a fashionable character far above the usual Riverdale shenanigans. readers were encouraged to send in their own designs for clothes and other series props, and Keene would use them in the strips, giving credit to readers. The strip was revived in the 80s with some newer artists but Woggon was still around to take an active hand. He also worked on Millie the Lovable Monster for Dell, and his elegant, streamlined style for perfect for the fashions that the strip spotlighted.
po Marge and Bill Woggon selected for the Eisner Hall of Fame, 13 on the ballot

2 Comments on Marge and Bill Woggon selected for the Eisner Hall of Fame, 13 on the ballot, last added: 1/24/2015
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23. Unassuming Barber Shop: Salvador Dali’s Sub-Mariner

ubs Unassuming Barber Shop: Salvador Dalis Sub Mariner

In a previous post, we looked at how Carl Burgos’ original Human Torch might have been inspired by helldivers at the 1939 New York World’s Fair (Unassuming Barber Shop is all about that “might”). But you can’t talk about the Torch without his elemental counterpart: the Sub-Mariner.

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There are multiple accounts of how Bill Everett created Namor for April 1939’s Motion Pictures Funnies before the character’s wider debut in Martin Goodman’s Marvel Comics #1 in October 1939. In Steranko’s History of Comics, Everett himself recounts that

Carl [Burgos] and I were quite close friends, and we usually held our story conferences very informally over a drink. We were discussing the new book in the Webster Bar and between us, whether it was his idea or mine or a combination of both, we decided on using the two elements, fire and water…

Everett cites Coleridge, the god Mercury, and even a pulpy story of himself being rescued by a mysterious man off the coast of Florida: on a boat wracked by wave and wind, Everett is about to succumb to the ocean depths, but he is miraculously saved by . . . someone. He turns around to thank the person, but THERE IS NO ONE THERE.

Steranko calls this story “slightly fictionalized.”

Like the Torch divers, Namor might have been inspired by swimmers. Or at least one of them. Principal among the “fish men” of swimming who graced the sports pages back then was a young man named Johnny Weissmuller. Johnny (so I don’t have to keep typing “Weissmuller”), was a Michigan lifeguard, born in Romania, who would go unbeaten during his entire amateur swimming career, including the Olympics in 1924 and 1928 – all on his staple diet of ice cream and coffee. Johnny also swam at the New York Athletic Club, whose team was called the “Winged Foot Men.”

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Johnny would go on to become a movie star, starring in Tarzan films beginning with 1932’s Tarzan, The Ape Man. Johnny also participated in numerous traveling swim shows, culminating in Billy Rose’s Aquacade. The timing is perhaps too tight for Everett seeing Johnny at the Fair, but the swimmer’s photos and exploits were well-documented in the press. Here is what Johnny looked like, shown here alongside a blue Subby from Marvel Comics #1:

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Attention eyebrows, wavy hair, pointy ears, and cheekbones.  Publicity stills from Tarzan also suggest Everett’s composition in Marvel #2.

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Equating Namor with the most popular swimmer of the time is kind of a slow-pitched fastball. Even if Johnny was a model for Namor, what about the elaborate aquatic setting that would so define his arrogant personality? The Fair might have had a say in that, too. One of the weirdest exhibits at the Fair was Salvador Dali’s The Dream of Venus. Nicknamed the “Surrealist Funhouse,” the whole shebang was designed by Dali (known for his pliable clocks) to represent an underwater “dream of love.” After buying tickets from an enormous fish, families and gawkers would walk between the giant legs of a woman to enter an undersea kingdom that made no sense whatsoever. Instead of the fish and fun facts that one would normally find in an aquarium-style setting, visitors saw underwater typewriters and telephones — and women wearing lobsters. It was crazy and magnificent; it was Dali.

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There was plenty in the Dream to suggest Everett’s Atlantis, especially Namor’s countrymen with their large, fishlike eyes.

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The Dream had branches of coral everywhere and men in clunky dark diving suits. So did Marvel Comics #1:

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The heart of Dream of Venus was Venus herself, who took the form of a nude actress reclined atop a nearly forty-foot bed, dreaming of love under silken red sheets.

The rest of the installation included several “dream pools,” where live women would answer rubber telephones, milk a fake cow, and comb their hair. Philip Medicus, the New Yorker who took extensive home movies of the Fair, gives us the only real footage from inside the Dream. Medicus (who was also “a noted collector of swords”) focuses his camera almost entirely on a single woman (which he did a lot in his movies), but the asthetics of the Dream — hazy, underwater, undulating — look very similar to those great opening panels of Subby’s first appearance.

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The exhibit was subject to some censorship by Fair officials, but the nudity stayed. And Namor himself — pictured above in a Hefner-like single sheet of red fabric — is still comics’ ultimate male chauvinist.

Women were indeed much of the focus of Dali’s work, which was completed in an astounding eight weeks. As visitors were confronted by the women of the Dream, there is a sense of real exotic wonder at the heart of Dali’s sexy surrealism. In the comic, readers saw this in Fen (Namor’s mother) and Dorma (his cousin).

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Dorma, in Italian, means sleep.

Dali himself was also interested in comics. Craig Yoe’s great Modern Arf reprints a 1935 Dali cartoon — along with many other comics artists who were  inspired by his work.

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Sadly, the Dream was dismantled after the Fair. Even as imagination, it still remains a touchstone in space-time for those interested in surrealism. Still, not everyone agrees on its importance. In last fall’s Edge of Spider-Verse #1, written by David Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky with art by Richard Isanove, Dali finds a new enemy. The story (which is cool), is about the so-called Spider-Man Noir, who operates on an alternate Earth circa 1939. In this timeline, Pete, MJ, and Aunt May make a visit to the Fair:

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That’s cool, Aunt May. To each their own.

Today marks the 26th anniversary of Salvador Dali’s death.

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

6 Comments on Unassuming Barber Shop: Salvador Dali’s Sub-Mariner, last added: 1/25/2015
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24. Khouri steps down at Comics Alliance as Wheeler and Asselin-Moore take over

QzGW4GO0 Khouri steps down at Comics Alliance as Wheeler and Asselin Moore take over

As announced on Twitter and expanded on via Tumblr Andy Khouri is stepping down as editor in chief at Comics Alliance, and the dynamic duo of Andrew Wheeler and Janelle Asselin-Moore will shares duties.

Today is my last day as the editor of ComicsAlliance. I’ve chosen to reduce my responsibilities to that of a freelance assistant and consultant, before phasing out completely. I’m very gladly handing the keys to my top choices to run the site: Andrew Wheeler and Janelle Asselin. They will make CA better, I have no doubt whatsoever.

Stepping away isn’t an easy decision, but it’s the right one for me and for the site. There’s a lot pulling me in different directions right now, including some major, long term personal projects that have caused me distraction from my duties (nothing bad or tragic, just very big and time consuming and pretty boring to talk about — I’m fine, we’re all fine), as well as some professional opportunities that really aren’t compatible with running a media enterprise like CA. I’ve only so much time and so many resources, and I’m afraid something had to give.


This is the third comics site to lose its EIC in the last few months. We just mentioned Multiversity’s Matthew Meylikhov announcement he was moving on, and Lucas Siegel quietly left Newsarama a few months ago. DOES THIS MEAN THE DEATH OF COMICS WEBSITES??? I don’t think so, but this is a hard life and as awesome as it is, sometimes you gotta put you first.

I really respected Andy as a fellow journo, shared several panels with him, and always enjoyed catching up with him at shows. He has definitely followed in the tracks of former DA editors Laura Hudson and Joe Hughes and made the site a very strong repository for original features, something badly needed in the hurry up internet world. All that said, Janelle and Andrew are equally awesome and there are two of them, so we have every reason to expect continued good things.

I suspected we’d see the payoff of several looming changes in the business in 2015, and if the first month is any indicator, I was right! Buckle your seatbelt.

PS: DO NOT BE A STRANGER, ANDY, DO YOU HEAR ME?

1 Comments on Khouri steps down at Comics Alliance as Wheeler and Asselin-Moore take over, last added: 1/23/2015
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25. #fourcomics unleashes a stream of comics we love on Twitter

Jim Zub kicked it off:

And then the hashtag spread like wildfire. What four comics would you pick as the ones that influenced you? While I’m often preoccupied with the business machinations of the industry it is, in the end, something we read that moves us, entertains us. Or sometimes we simply to sit back and enjoy the beauty. The hashtag didn’t really spread to the indie cartoonists I follow, so while there’s a lot of Love & Rockets, there’s also a lot of Swamp Thing, a lot of Frank Miller, a lot of X-Men and Spidey, and a lot of Love & Rockets, but in the end, all that really matters is that comics are so cool. That’s why I’m here and you’re here. A selection:

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