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26. Leonardo da Vinci myths, explained

By Kandice Rawlings


Leonardo da Vinci was born 562 years ago today, and we’re still fascinated with his life and work. It’s no real mystery why – he was an extraordinary person, a genius and a celebrity in his own lifetime. He left behind some remarkable artifacts in the form of paintings and writings and drawings on all manner of subjects. But there’s much about Leonardo we don’t know, making him susceptible to a number myths, theories, and entertaining but inaccurate representations in popular culture. The following are some of my favorites.

Leonardo_da_Vinci_-_presumed_self-portrait_-_WGA12798

Leonardo da Vinci, Presumed Self Portrait, circa 1512. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Myth #1 – Leonardo was gay.

Leonardo’s possible homosexuality is one of the more prevalent – and more plausible – myths circulating about the artist, and has the backing of none other than Sigmund Freud. There’s no way of knowing Leonardo’s sexual orientation for sure, but he isn’t known to have had romantic relationships with any women, never married, and in 1476 was accused (but later cleared) of charges of sodomy – then a capital crime in Florence. Scholars’ opinions on the issue fall along a spectrum between “maybe” and “very probably”.

Conclusion: Maybe true.

Myth #2 – Leonardo wrote backward to keep his ideas secret, and his notebooks weren’t “decoded” until long after his death.

For all his skill, Leonardo was not a prolific painter – the major part of his surviving output is in the form of his notebooks filled with theoretical and scientific writings, notes, and drawings. His strange habit of writing backward in these notebooks has been used to perpetuate the image of the artist as a mysterious, secretive person. But in fact it’s much more likely that Leonardo wrote this way simply because he was left-handed, and found it easier to write across the page from right to left and in reverse. No decoding is necessary – just a mirror. Leonardo’s theoretical writings and other notes were preserved by his follower and heir Francesco Melzi, and were widely known, at least in artistic circles, during the 16th and 17th centuries. Published extracts began appearing in 1651.

Conclusion: False.

Myth #3 – Leonardo put “secret” codes and symbols in his works.

I’d rather not get into all the problems with The Da Vinci Code too much, but I have to credit this 2003 book, by renowned author Dan Brown, for a lot of these theories. Aside from the fact that the book is full of factual errors (example: Leonardo’s “hundreds of Vatican commissions,” which actually number in the vicinity of zero) and twists the historical record, its readings of Leonardo’s artworks are based on some fundamentally flawed conceptions about the making, meaning, and purpose of art in the Italian Renaissance. In Leonardo’s world, paintings like the Last Supper in Milan were made according to patrons’ requirements, with very specific Christian meanings to be conveyed. Despite Leonardo’s artistic innovations, the content of his religious paintings and portrayal of religious figures (with the exception of some details in an altarpiece from the 1480s) were not untraditional.

Conclusion: False.

396px-Mona_Lisa

Leonardo da Vinci, The Mona Lisa, between 1503-1505. Louvre. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Myth #4 – The Mona Lisa is a self-portrait/male lover in disguise/woman with high cholesterol.

Martin Kemp has observed, “The silly season for the Mona Lisa never closes.” The ridiculous theories about this painting abound. Here’s what we can say with reasonable certainty: Leonardo started the painting, probably a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, a merchant’s wife, while in Florence around 1503. For unknown reasons, he didn’t deliver it to the patron, however, and it ended up in the possession of his workshop assistant Salai (who some think was Leonardo’s lover – again, without evidence). There’s no reason to think that Leonardo recorded in this painting his own features or those of Salai, even if, as many art historians believe, he continued to work on the painting after he left Florence for Milan and then France. In a theory that deviates from the usual speculation about the identity of the sitter, an Italian scientist thinks that the way Leonardo portrayed the sitter shows she had high cholesterol. Right, because Renaissance paintings are straightforward, scientific images, pretty much just like MRIs and X-rays.

Conclusion: False.

Myth #5 – Leonardo made the image of Christ on the Shroud of Turin.

The Shroud of Turin is a relic purported to be the shroud that Christ’s body was buried in after the Crucifixion. According to its legend, the image of his body was miraculously transferred to the cloth when he was resurrected. The idea that Leonardo forged it depends on claims that the proportions of Christ’s face as depicted on the shroud match those in a drawing that is thought to be a self-portrait by the artist, and that Leonardo devised a photographic process that transferred the image of his face to the shroud. The fact that the shroud dates to at least the mid-14th century, a hundred years before Leonardo’s birth, just makes this already kooky theory even harder to buy. I’ll admit, though, that I haven’t read the whole book explaining it … and I’m not going to.

Conclusion: False.

Myth #6 – Leonardo was a vegetarian.

Vegetarianism would have been pretty unthinkable in Renaissance Italy (and veganism just plain absurd); people probably ate about as much meat as they could afford. The most commonly cited quote used to back up this claim is taken from a novel (see p. 227) and often misattributed to Leonardo himself. None of Leonardo’s own writings or early biographies mentions any unconventional eating habits. There’s really only one documentary source that might be relevant, a letter written by a possible acquaintance of the artist, who compares Leonardo to people in India who don’t eat meat or allow others to harm living things. Pretty tenuous, but vegetarians love to claim him.

Conclusion: Probably false.

Myth #7 – Leonardo invented bicycles, helicopters, submarines, and parachutes.

It’s true that Leonardo was fascinated with mechanics, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, flight, and military engineering, which he touted in his famous letter to Ludovico Sforza seeking a position at the court of Milan. Leonardo’s notebooks contain many designs for machines and devices related to these explorations. But these were, for the most part, probably not ideas that Leonardo considered thoroughly enough to actually build and demonstrate. In the case of the bicycle, the drawing was likely made by someone else, and might even be a modern forgery.

Conclusion: Not so much.

Leonardo_Design_for_a_Flying_Machine,_c._1488

Leonardo da Vinci, Design for a Flying Machine, 1488. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Myth #8 – Leonardo built robots.

While it sounds nutty, this one’s not so far off the mark, if you consider automatons – mechanical devices that seem to move on their own – to be robots. In a plot line of the cable fantasy drama Da Vinci’s Demons, Leonardo constructs a flying mechanical bird to dazzle the crowds gathered in the Cathedral piazza for Easter. A reliable historical record instead points to a lion that Leonardo made for the King of France’s triumphal entry into Milan in 1509. One observer’s description reads:

When the King entered Milan, besides the other entertainments, Lionardo da Vinci, the famous painter and our Florentine, devised the following intervention: he represented a lion above the gate, which, lying down, got onto its feet when the King came in, and with its paw opened up its chest and pulled out blue balls full of gold lilies, which he threw and strewed about on the ground. Afterwards he pulled out his heart and, pressing it, more gold lilies came out … Stopping beside this spectacle, [the King] liked it and took much pleasure in it.

Wow.

Conclusion: True.

If you’re interested in learning more about Leonardo, including the current locations of his works, read his biography from the Benezit Dictionary of Artists, or, for a longer treatment, pick up the accessible but smart book by leading expert Martin Kemp.

Kandice Rawlings is Associate Editor of Oxford Art Online and the Benezit Dictionary of Artists. She holds a PhD in art history from Rutgers University.

Oxford Art Online offers access to the most authoritative, inclusive, and easily searchable online art resources available today. Through a single, elegant gateway users can access — and simultaneously cross-search — an expanding range of Oxford’s acclaimed art reference works: Grove Art Online, the Benezit Dictionary of Artists, the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, as well as many specially commissioned articles and bibliographies available exclusively online.

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27. Twelve Minutes to Midnight -- Christopher Edge

Twelve minutes to midnightI love this cover art. Very Gorey-esque, no?

London, 1899.

Bedlam Hospital has a disturbing problem: every night, at precisely Twelve Minutes to Midnight, the inmates begin feverishly writing gibberish—on paper, on the walls, on themselves; in pencil, in ink, in blood. In the morning, none of the inmates have any memory of their actions, and every night, the madness spreads further. Having exhausted every medical avenue*, the authorities turn to Montgomery Flinch, an author who has recently taken England by storm with his macabre tales of terror published in the Penny Dreadful.

Little do they know, Montgomery Flinch doesn't exist. The stories are actually written by thirteen-year-old Penelope Treadwell, the orphaned heiress who owns the Penny Dreadful.

But Penelope isn't going to let a trifling detail like THAT prevent her from investigating...

Pros:

  • Loads of atmosphere, action, and tense moments.
  • Details like the secret door leading to the SPOILER, and the mysterious, beautiful widow are nice nods to the genre and suggest a real affection for it.
  • Edge doesn't condescend to his audience: he doesn't over-explain plot points, and he never actually spills the beans about the specific events the prisoners are writing about. Deciphering those texts isn't necessary to enjoy the story, but they'll make a nice Easter Egg for any readers with a basic knowledge of twentieth-century history.

Cons:

  • I got the impression that Edge was shooting for Late Nineteenth-Century Verbose and Flowery, but there's a distinct lack of rhythm in the prose. For example: "Behind him, Alfie failed to hide the smirk on his face as he took a sip from one of Monty's discarded glasses before grimacing in sudden disgust." In other words, much of the book feels like one big run-on sentence.
  • There's nothing in the way of character arc or growth: at the end of the story, the main characters are exactly who they were at the beginning. (I suppose that could be chalked up as a nod to the conventions of the genre, but as always, I don't like that as an argument, as it suggests that genre fiction is somehow 'lesser' than 'literary' fiction. Anyway.)
  • For a smart girl, Penelope is amazingly slow to put two and two together. Also, three-quarters of the way in, a plot point requires her to suddenly possess Crazy Science Skills which she explains away by saying that she's 'always' had a strong interest in science. It was so out of left field that I wrote NANCY DREW MOMENT in my notes.

Nutshell: Plenty of atmosphere and action, but no character development or emotional depth.

_____________________________

*I think? Hopefully this wasn't their first choice of solution?

_____________________________

Book source: ILLed through my library.

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28. Best Translated Book Award shortlist

       The Best Translated Book Award shortlist will be announced today at 10:00 AM (EST); this post will be updated around then with the list and some commentary.

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29. A conversation with Alodie Larson, Editor of Grove Art Online

We are delighted to present a Q&A with the Editor of Grove Art Online, Alodie Larson. She began at Oxford last June, coming from JSTOR, where she spent four years as part of their editorial team, acquiring new journals for the archive. In the below interview, you’ll get to know Alodie as Editor, and also learn her thoughts on art history research and publishing. You can also find her Letter from the Editor on Oxford Art Online.

Can you tell us a little about your background?

When I was young, I would draw house plans (with elevations in the shape of animals) and make artwork with whatever I could find. In college, I studied architecture and the history of art; I completed my MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art, focusing on the architecture of Georgian England. Afterward, I moved to New York and lived in a comically small apartment with my brilliant friend who studied with me in London. She worked at Christie’s, and she kept me from straying too far from the art world while I worked at Random House. I began in the audio/digital department and later moved to the children’s division; I was lucky to learn from talented editors who were generous with their time. I became intimately familiar with Louis L’Amour novels, and I read Twilight when it was a stack of 8 ½ x 11 copy paper. I joined JSTOR in 2009, where I managed their list of journals in art and architecture. I contributed to a project to digitize a group of rare art journals like 291 and The Crayon, as well as to an effort to build a database of historical auction catalogs, all of which JSTOR made freely available along with their other content in the public domain. I also worked on business and sociology, which helped me to appreciate how research methods differ between disciplines. I am delighted to be here at Oxford as the steward of the Grove Dictionary of Art. In my free time I like to travel, visit museums, go to the opera, and refinish furniture. I am still somewhat disappointed that my current house plan is not shaped like a giraffe.

What is your favorite piece of art, of all time, and why?

I love Bernini’s David – the artist’s skill and inventiveness make this sculpture a singularly perfect object. In Bernini’s hands, marble seems to melt, as if it could be smoothed and stretched to his design. Grove’s biography explains this gift: “He felt that one of his greatest achievements was to have made marble appear as malleable as wax and so, in a certain sense, to have combined painting and sculpture into a new medium, one in which the sculptor handles marble as freely as a painter handles oils or fresco.” Unlike Michelangelo’s calm, anticipatory David, Bernini’s figure projects determination and energy. His body twists in motion, and as you circle him, you feel you are both being wound up together. I leave this sculpture feeling as if I have been flung out of the gallery, propelled by his purposeful strength.

David stands in my favorite museum, the Galleria Borghese, which adds to its grandeur as it is the original location intended for the sculpture. In the early 17th< century, Cardinal Scipione Borghese oversaw construction of the building—then the Villa Borghese—and commissioned David as well as a number of other stellar works from Bernini including Apollo and Daphne and Pluto and Proserpina. I relish seeing these sculptures in the magnificent home of Scipione’s original collection.

NLW Larson

Galleria Borghese, Rome. Photo courtesy of the Alodie Larson.

Since it’s impossible to get someone with an art background to answer this question briefly, I must add that I also particularly admire the work of Eduard Vuillard, Mark Rothko, Grant Wood, James Turrell, William Morris, Daniel Burnham, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Franz Kline, Xu Bing, and McKim, Mead & White. Closer to home, I have two favorite works of art that belong to me. The first is a watercolor sketch of Piccadilly Circus that I bought at a market in the courtyard of the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio in Milan. With minimal strokes it evokes the London crossroads on a rainy night in the late 50s (back when Gordon’s Gin and Wrigley’s Chewing Gum took up prime real estate in the neon collage).

Piccadilly_Circus_in_London_1962_Brighter

Piccadilly Circus in London, 1962. Photo by Andrew Eick. Creative Commons license via Wikimedia Commons.

The second is a watercolor illustration of “Dradpot the Inverted Drool” drawn by my grandfather, Max V. Exner. He devoted his life to music but was a terrific artist as well, and our family lore has it that he was offered a job with Walt Disney Studios in the 1930s when a member of the company saw him doodling in a restaurant.

Also, in a beautiful, financially responsible future, I will have enough disposable income to buy an original work by David Shrigley. I urge him to try to become less famous so that I can afford this.

What is your favorite article in Grove Art Online?

I’m grateful that this role allows me to learn about artists I’ve never studied, and my favorite articles to read are those on subjects with which I’m not particularly familiar. Our forthcoming update includes new biographies on an outstanding group of contemporary artists from Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Ghana, Senegal, and South Africa, which I have enjoyed.

I am partial to the articles written by some of my favorite architectural historians, particularly Leland M. Roth, whose Understanding Architecture (1993) is, I think, one of the most engaging introductory texts. His Grove article on the urban development of Boston gives a great overview of the subject. I also like David Watkin’s article on Sir John Soane. An excellent summary of Soane’s life and work, it is an absorbing narrative with entertaining flourishes. (“Despite Soane’s high professional standing, his idiosyncratic style was often ridiculed by contemporaries in such phrases as ‘ribbed like loins of pork’.”) I have always admired Soane’s work and his unconventional museum.

The breakfast parlour at Sir John Soane's Museum as pictured in the Illustrated London News in 1864

The breakfast parlour at Sir John Soane’s Museum as pictured in the Illustrated London News in 1864. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

What are some of the challenges of transitioning art history resources to an online environment?

Together, Grove and Benezit contain over 200,000 entries and images, and it is a challenge to organize that much information online in a clear, intuitive way that ensures researchers will find the articles they need. Many Grove entries first appeared in the print publication, The Dictionary of Art, and the article titles weren’t designed to fit well with modern keyword searches. Important essays can be buried within several layers of subheadings in long articles, sometimes with only date ranges as section titles. For a print work, it makes sense; you’d want all of the articles on a topic or region to be gathered together and located within the same physical volume. However, in an online environment, ideal heading structure would aid successful keyword matches and avoid cumbersomely long entries.

Despite the challenges, an online environment offers more powerful research options. Both Grove and Benezit are organized under a robust taxonomy, and this information allows users to narrow content by categories such as art form, location, or period. Rich search functionality and linking helps users to move between topics more swiftly than print research would permit. An online environment also allows our resource to respond quickly to new developments. We constantly update and expand the body of articles in our encyclopedia (though updates are not instantaneous, as our content is peer-reviewed, supervised by our distinguished Editorial Board and Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Nicola Courtright).

Oxford Art Online hosts thousands of images. Are there any challenges in hosting these on the site?

Yes, as with our articles, the volume of objects presents a challenge. Grove Art contains over 7,000 images, including many well-known artworks that would be discussed as part of an introductory survey course. Keyword searches usually connect researchers with the images relevant to their work, but we’re working to develop more powerful tools with which to both search and view images.

Obtaining image permissions can also be a challenge, but we are grateful for our partnerships with organizations like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Resource, Bridgeman Art Library, and the National Gallery of Art, which have brought a rich group of images to GroveBenezit, too, benefits from important partnerships with the Frick Art Reference Library and ArtistSignatures.com, which provide thousands of artists’ portraits and signatures on Oxford Art Online.

How do you envision art history research being done in 20 years?

I believe research in art history will become more collaborative, interdisciplinary, and international. Art libraries have undertaken enormously useful digitization projects, making objects in their collections available to scholars in far flung locations. I’m impressed with primary source projects like the collaboration between the Met and the Frick libraries to digitize the exhibition materials of the Macbeth Gallery, and Yale’s Blue Mountain Project, which digitized a collection of avant-garde art, music, and literary periodicals from 1848-1923. A number of other university libraries have excellent digital collections for art research, including the University of Washington, the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin, Harvard University, University of Wisconsin, and Columbia University, which hosts the addictively interesting Robert Biggert Collection of Architectural Vignettes on Commercial Stationery.

Courtesy of The Biggert Collection of Architectural Vignettes on Commercial Stationery, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Courtesy of The Biggert Collection of Architectural Vignettes on Commercial Stationery, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Whether through local collections or collaborative projects like the HathiTrust, JSTOR, and the DPLA, libraries and publishers are bringing a terrific breadth of important materials online. As content becomes more accessible, I think researchers will select online resources based on the caliber of their material and on the functionality provided the platform. Even as publishers’ brands may fall further behind the façade of library discovery services, I believe scholars will continue to value sources they can trust to maintain high standards of quality.

Art has always been an interdisciplinary field, involving history, politics, economics, and cultural exchange. In the coming years, I think it will be important to emphasize how art connects with these other fields. With the current national focus on careers in science and technology, art is sometimes cast as an academic luxury, but it is not. Its study involves issues fundamentally relevant to all of us. In the words of Albert Einstein: “All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual toward freedom.”

Alodie Larson is the Editor of Grove Art and Oxford Art Online. Before joining Oxford, she studied the architecture of Georgian England at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and worked for Random House and JSTOR.

Libraries are a vital part of our communities. They feed our curiosity, bolster our professional knowledge, and provide a launchpad for intellectual discovery. In celebration of these cornerstone institutions, we are offering unprecedented free access to our Online Resources, including Oxford Art Online, in the United States and Canada to support our shared mission of education.

Oxford Art Online offers access to the most authoritative, inclusive, and easily searchable online art resources available today. Through a single, elegant gateway users can access — and simultaneously cross-search — an expanding range of Oxford’s acclaimed art reference works: Grove Art Online, the Benezit Dictionary of Artists, the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, as well as many specially commissioned articles and bibliographies available exclusively online.

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The post A conversation with Alodie Larson, Editor of Grove Art Online appeared first on OUPblog.

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30. Are you a tax expert?

Tax calculator and penToday is 15 April or Tax Day in the United States. In recognition of this day we compiled a free virtual issue on taxation bringing together content from books, online products, and journals. The material covers a wide range of specific tax-related topics including income tax, austerity, tax structure, tax reform, and more. The collection is not US-centered, but includes information on economies across the globe. Be sure to take a moment to view this useful online resource today.

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

Oxford University Press has compiled a new virtual issue on taxation that brings together content from books, online products, and journals. Start browsing this timely and useful resource today!

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Image credit: Tax calculator and pen. © Elenathewise via iStockphoto.

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31. The Genre-Bending World of Hinterkind (Reviewing the V. 1 TPB, “The Waking World”)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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32. Nice art: RUN DMC by Ed Piskor

BlRnFP9IMAAAXFH.jpg

Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree NOW EISNER NOMNATED history of rap/hip hop has been a huge sales success or Fantagraphics, with Volume 1 going back to press three times. It’s like that! Volume 2 is out in August!

Via HipHopGoldenAge:

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33. Pulitzer Prizes

       They've announced this year's Pulitzer Prizes.
       The fiction prize went to The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which beat out The Son by Philipp Meyer and The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis.

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34. Happy Birthday Emma Watson!

Today Emma Watson is celebrating her 24th birthday! Ms. Watson is currently shooting her first takes of Regression, today, as it is the first day on set. According to Emma's tweet, the first day of shooting is "a very cool birthday present". Please join us in wishing Emma Watson a very happy birthday!

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35. PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN.

Olivia kidneyFrom Reuters:

Moonbot Studios announced today that it will acquire film rights to the Olivia Kidney trilogy of young adult books by award-winning author Ellen Potter. The series is published by Philomel (a division of Penguin/Putnam). Moonbot plans to develop Olivia’s Alice in Wonderland-like adventures as a live action film with significant animation sequences. The film rights deal was handled by David Lipman and Michael Siegel for Moonbot and for Ellen Potter by Alice Tasman and Jennifer Weltz of Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency.

If the movie happens, hopefully the books will finally get the attention that they deserve. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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36. Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan from Grove Art Online

In celebration of World Art Day, we invite you to read the biography of Ludovico Sforza, patron of Leonardo Da Vinci among other artists, as it is presented in Grove Art Online.

(b Abbiategrasso, 3 Aug 1452; reg 1494–99; d Loches, Touraine, 27 May 1508).

Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. Sforza Altarpiece, 1495

Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. Sforza Altarpiece, 1495

Son of (1) Francesco I Sforza and (3) Bianca Maria Sforza. In 1480, several years after the death of his brother (4) Galeazzo Maria Sforza in 1476, he succeeded in gaining control of the regency but did not become duke in name until his nephew Gian Galeazzo Sforza died in 1494. His commissions, both public and private, were divided between Lombard and Tuscan masters. Milanese architects were responsible for many of his most important projects, including the construction of the Lazzaretto (1488–1513) and S Maria presso S Celso (begun 1491 by Giovanni Giacomo Dolcebuono) in Milan, and a farm complex, known as the Sforzesca, outside Vigevano. Several prominent Lombard sculptors, in particular Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, were commissioned to work on the façade of the Certosa di Pavia. Of the artists Ludovico encouraged to come to Lombardy, an undated letter reveals that he was considering Botticelli, Filippino Lippi, Perugino and Ghirlandaio as court artists. About 1482 Leonardo da Vinci arrived in Milan, where he remained as an intimate member of Ludovico’s household for 18 years. As court painter, Leonardo is documented as having portrayed two of Ludovico’s mistresses, Lucrezia Crivelli and Cecilia Gallerani. The latter may be identified with the painting Portrait of a Lady with an Ermine (c. 1490–91; Kraków, Czartoryski Col.). Much of his work was for such courtly ephemera as the designs for the spectacle Festa del Paradiso, composed in 1490. Another commission of which nothing survives was for a bronze equestrian statue honouring Ludovico’s father, which Leonardo worked on in the 1490s. A surviving work by Leonardo for the Duke is the Sala delle Asse (1498) in the Castello Sforzesco, Milan, where motifs of golden knots are interspersed among vegetation and heraldic shields.

Other Tuscans at work in Milan during the 1490s included Donato Bramante. As a painter, Bramante produced an allegorical figure of Argus (1490–93) in the Castello Sforzesco (in situ). The development of the piazza, tower and castle at Vigebano in the 1490s, one of the most important campaigns of urban planning in the Renaissance, was the work of Bramante, working perhaps with Leonardo, under Ludovico’s supervision. Ludovico also took day-to-day responsiblity for projects financed by his brother (6) Cardinal Ascanio Maria Sforza, for example Bramante’s work on the new cathedral in Pavia and the monastic quarters (commissioned 1497) at S Ambrogio, Milan. The illuminator Giovanni Pietro Birago was also active in Ludovico’s court, producing, among others, several copies (e.g. London, BL. Grenville MS. 7251) of Giovanni Simonetta’s life of Francesco Sforza I, the Sforziada.

Ludovico’s plans were destroyed by the invasion of Louis XII, King of France, in August 1499. Ludovico escaped, to return in February 1500, but following his final defeat and capture in April that year, he was confined to a prison in France for the remainder of his life.

Bibliography

E. Salmi: ‘La Festa del Paradiso di Leonardo da Vinci e Bernardo Bellincioni’, Archv Stor. Lombardo, xxxi/1 (1904), pp. 75–89
F. Malaguzzi Valeri: La corte di Ludovico il Moro: La vita privata e l’arte a Milano nella secunda metà del quattrocento, 4 vols (Milan, 1913–23)
S. Lang: ‘Leonardo’s Architectural Designs and the Sforza Mausoleum’, J. Warb. & Court. Inst., xxxi (1968), pp. 218–33
A. M. Brivio: ‘ Bramante e Leonardo alla corte di Ludovico il Moro’, Studi Bramanteschi. Atti del congresso internazionale: Roma, 1970, pp. 1–24
C. Pedretti: ‘The Sforza Sepulchre’, Gaz. B.-A., lxxxix (1977), pp. 121–31
R. Schofield: ‘Ludovico il Moro and Vigevano’, A. Lombarda, n. s., lxii/2 (1981), pp. 93–140
M. Garberi: Leonardo e il Castello Sforzesco di Milano (Florence, 1982)
Ludovico il Moro: La sua città e la sua corte (1480–1499) (exh. cat., Milan, Archv Stato, 1983)
Milano e gli Sforza: Gian Galeazzo Maria e Ludovico il Moro (1476–1499) (exh. cat., ed. G. Bologna; Milano, Castello Sforzesco, 1983)
Milano nell’età di Ludovico il Moro. Atti del convegno internazionale: Milano, 1983
C. J. Moffat: Urbanism and Political Discourse: Ludovico Sforza’s Architectural Plans and Emblematic Imagery at Vigevano (diss., Los Angeles, UCLA, 1992)
R. Schofield: ‘Ludovico il Moro’s Piazzas: New Sources and Observations’, Annali di architettura, iv–v (1992–3), pp.157–67
L. Giordano: ‘L’autolegittimazione di una dinastia: Gli Sforza e la politica dell’ immagine’, Artes [Pavia], i (1993), pp. 7–33
P. L. Mulas: ‘”Cum apparatu ac triumpho quo pagina in hoc licet aspicere”: I’investitura ducale di Ludovico Sforza, il messale Arcimboldi e alcuni problemi di miniatura Lombarda’, Artes [Pavia], ii (1994), pp. 5–38
V. L. Bush: ‘The Political Contexts of the Sforza Horse’, Leonardo da Vinci’s Sforza Monoument Horse: The Art and the Engineering, ed. D. C. Ahl (London, 1995), pp. 79–86
A. Cole: Virtue and Magnificence: Art of the Italian Renaissance Courts (New York, 1995)
L. Giordano, ed.: Lucovicus dux (Vigevano, 1995)
G. Lopez: ‘Un cavallo di Troia per Milano’, Achad. Leonardo Vinci: J. Leonardo Stud. & Bibliog. Vinciana, viii (1995), pp. 194–6
E. S. Welch: Art and Authority in Renaissance Milan (New Haven, 1995)
L. Giordano: ‘Ludovico Sforza, Bramante e il nuovo corso del Po 1492–1493′, Artes (Pavia), v (1997), pp. 198–205
G. Cislaghi: ‘Leonardo da Vinci: La misura del borgo di Porta Vercellina a Milano’, Dis. Archit., xxv–xxvi (2002), pp. 11–17
E. McGrath: ‘Ludovico il Moro and his Moors’, J. Warb. & Court. Inst., lxv (2002), pp. 67–94
L. Syson: ‘ Leonardo and Leonardism in Sforza Milan’, Artists at Court: Image-making and Identity: 1300–1550, ed. S. J. Campbell (Chicago, 2004), pp. 106–23
L. Giordano: ‘ In capella maiori: Il progetto di Ludovico Sforza per Santa Maria delle Grazie’, Demeures d’éternité: églises et chapelles funéraires aux XVe et XVIe siècles, ed. J. Guillaume (Paris, 2005), pp. 99–114

E. S. Welch

Oxford Art Online offers access to the most authoritative, inclusive, and easily searchable online art resources available today. Through a single, elegant gateway users can access — and simultaneously cross-search — an expanding range of Oxford’s acclaimed art reference works: Grove Art Online, the Benezit Dictionary of Artists, the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, as well as many specially commissioned articles and bibliographies available exclusively online.

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37. Kindle Daily Deal: Strange Chemistry title.

I love this press, and I make a point of buying their stuff whenever it's on sale.

SO HERE YOU GO, AMAZON. TAKE MY $1.99 AND GIMME MY COPY OF ROSIE BEST'S SKULK.

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38. FIVE YEARS LATER, Grant Morrison’s MULTIVERISTY is finally coming out

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

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

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

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

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

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

How safe is YOUR head?

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


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

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7 Comments on FIVE YEARS LATER, Grant Morrison’s MULTIVERISTY is finally coming out, last added: 4/16/2014
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39. The Phantom of the Maine State Library.

Since I was super-popular in high school*, I spent a lot of time hanging out at the Maine State Library.

I did a lot of browsing and reading and so on, but because of this story—which broke when I was a freshman—I also spent a good amount of time just staring at the ceiling:

In the fall of 1991, employees at the Maine State Library in Augusta wondered if there was a ghost among the aisles.  Odd things, like flashlights, extension cords, and food from the break room refrigerator (mainly pudding cups), were disappearing on a daily basis. At first, security thought the culprits could be some of the workers hired to remove asbestos from the building. But their suspicions changed when, overnight, two refrigerators and a candy machine were nearly cleaned out, and a handwritten note of apology was left behind. As the thefts continued without any signs of a break-in, it became clear that someone was living in the library. 

It's so appealing to the Claudia Kincaid in me.

_________________________________

*AHAHAHAHAHAHA, just kidding.

 

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40. The 2014 Oklahoma Book Awards...

Mojo...have been announced.

The YA prize went to MOJO, by Tim Tharp.

Which, YAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Click on through for the other winners!

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41. What is it like to be a man in comics?

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

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

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

 

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


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

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

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

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

 

• And you know, that’s fucked up.

So two things:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Comments on What is it like to be a man in comics?, last added: 4/16/2014
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42. 2014 Eisner Nominations: It was the DeFractions year…and a lot of other great things too

Hawkeye 011 000 e1372785848612OKay I had to only take a quick look at these but wow…looks like the (one nomer or great work) rule was in effect thius year. Great to see works hat flew under the rader like Graha,m Chafee’s Good Dog get a nom; and some old friends whose names I see here that personally I’m really hapy for. Also, a special congrats to Beat alum Zainab Akhtar for her nom for Comics and Cola!

The DeFraction household is the overall winner with Hawkeye, Sex Criminals and Pretty Deadly getting a bunch, including for artist Emma Rios.

Really a great fresh list of comics well worth exploring.

Three titles lead the list with more than 3 nominations each: Marvel’s Hawkeye, Image’s Saga, and DC/Vertigo’s The Wake. Hawkeye is nominated for Best Continuing Series, Best Writer (Matt Fraction), and Best Penciller/Inker and Best Cover Artist (David Aja). Saga has received nods for Best Continuing Series (which won the category in 2013), Best Writer (Brian K. Vaughan), and Best Painter and Cover Artist (Fiona Staples). And The Wake is nominated for Best Limited Series, Best Writer (Scott Snyder), Best Penciller/Inker (Sean Murphy), and Best Cover Artist (Sean Murphy/Jordie Bellaire). Bellaire is also nominated in the Best Coloring category, for her work on The Wake and on numerous titles for other companies.

Titles garnering 3 nominations include Fantagraphics’s Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 (Best Short Story, Single Issue, Writer/Artist for Jaime Hernandez), Top Shelf’s March: Book One, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Best Publication for Teens, Reality-Based Work, and Penciller/Inker), and Candlewick’s Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Best Publication for Teens, Graphic Album–New, and Writer/Artist).

Other titles with multiple nominations are East of West (Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta, Image), Nowhere Men (Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde, Image), Pretty Deadly (Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos, Image), Sex Criminals (Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, Image),Hip Hop Family Tree (Ed Piskor, Fantagraphics), Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life (Ullie Lust, Fantagraphics), The Adventures of Superhero Girl (Faith Erin Hicks, Dark Horse), The Fifth Beatle (Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker, Dark Horse), Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground (Darwyn Cooke, IDW), Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth (Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell, LOAC/IDW), Rachel Rising (Terry Moore, Abstract Studio), The Art of Rube Goldberg (Abrams ComicArts), The Encyclopedia of Early Earth (Isabel Greenberg, Little, Brown), Watson and Holmes (New Paradigm), The Complete Don Quixote (Rob Davis, SelfMadeHero), When David Lost His Voice (Judith Vanistendael, SelfMadeHero), Hilda and the Bird Parade (Luke Pearson, Nobrow), and High Crimes (Monkeybrain).

Among publishers, Image and Fantagraphics top the list with the most nominations. Image has 17 plus 3 shared. In addition to the nods for Saga, East of West, Nowhere Men, Pretty Deadly, and Sex Criminals, nominated Image titles include Lazarus (Rucka and Lark) and Rat Queens (Wiebe and Upchurch). Fantagraphics’s 18 nominations—besides Love and Rockets, Hip Hop Family Tree, and Today Is the Last Day)—are spread among such titles as Good Dog (Graham Chaffee), Julio’s Day (Gilbert Hernandez), Goddam This War (Tardi and Verney), The Heart of Thomas (Moto Hagio), and several archival collections.

Dark Horse ranks third with 12 nominations (plus 1 shared), including 2 for publisher Mike Richardson (Best Anthology for Dark Horse Presents and Best Limited Series for 47 Ronin with Stan Sakai). IDW’s 9 nominations include 5 in the archival categories, with 3 of Scott Dunbier’s Artist’s Editions up for Best Archival Collection–Comic Books and 2 of Dean Mullaney’s Library of American Comics collections up for Best Archival Collection–Comic Strips. Mullaney has 4 nominations in all.

DC and its Vertigo imprint are next with 8 nominations plus 2 shared, the majority going to The Wake. Ranking next is SelfMadeHero with 7 nods (including 3 for When David Lost His Voice and 2 for The Complete Don Quixote), followed by Marvel’s 6 (plus 4 shared), led by Hawkeye. Drawn & Quarterly’s 6 nominations include books by Peter Bagge, Tom Gauld, Rutu Modan, and Art Spiegelman.

Other publishers with multiple nominations include First Second, Nobrow, and Top Shelf (4 each) and Abstract Studio, BOOM!, Candlewick, and TOON Books (3 each). Eleven publishers have 2 nominations each, and another 31 companies or individuals have 1 nomination each.

Individual creators with the most nominations are David Aja, Matt Fraction, Gilbert Hernandez, Sean Murphy, Matt Phelan, Nate Powell, and Fiona Staples, all with 3. Nineteen creators can boast of 2 nominations.

Named for acclaimed comics creator the Will Eisner, the awards are celebrating their 26th year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels. The 2014 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of comics retailer Kathy Bottarini (Comic Book Box, Rhonert Park, CA), author/educator William H. Foster (Untold Stories of Black Comics), reviewer Christian Lipski (Portland, OR Examiner), Comic-Con International board member Lee Oeth, library curator Jenny Robb (Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum), and Eisner Award-nominated cartoonist/critic James Romberger (Post York, 7 Miles a Second).

Voting for the awards is held online, and the ballot will be available soon at www.eisnervote.com. All professionals in the comic book industry are eligible to vote. The deadline for voting is June 13. The results of the voting will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 25 at Comic-Con International.

The voting in one Eisner Awards category, the Hall of Fame, is already completed. The judges chose the nominees earlier this year, and voting was conducted online.

Best Short Story
“Go Owls,” by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #13 (Drawn & Quarterly)
“Mars to Stay,” by Brett Lewis and Cliff Chiang, in Witching Hour (DC)
“Seaside Home,” by Josh Simmons, in Habit #1 (Oily)
“Untitled,” by Gilbert Hernandez, in Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
“When Your House Is Burning Down, You Should Brush Your Teeth,” by Matthew Inman, http://theoatmeal.com/comics/house

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Demeter, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)
Hawkeye #11: “Pizza Is My Business,” by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
Love and Rockets: New Stories #6, by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
Viewotron #2, by Sam Sharpe (self-published)
Watson and Holmes #6, by Brandon Easton and N. Steven Harris (New Paradigm Studios)

Best Continuing Series
East of West, by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta (Image)
Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
Nowhere Men, by Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde (Image)
Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)

Best Limited Series
The Black Beetle: No Way Out, by Francesco Francavilla (Dark Horse)
Colder, by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra (Dark Horse)
47 Ronin, by Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)
Trillium, by Jeff Lemire (Vertigo/DC)
The Wake, by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy (Vertigo/DC)

Best New Series
High Crimes, by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (Monkeybrain)
Lazarus, by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark (Image)
Rat Queens, by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch (Image/Shadowline)
Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)
Watson and Holmes, by Karl Bollers, Rick Leonardi, Paul Mendoza et al. (New Paradigm Studios)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)
Benjamin Bear in Bright Ideas, by Philippe Coudray (TOON Books)
The Big Wet Balloon, by Liniers (TOON Books)
Itsy Bitsy Hellboy, by Art Baltazar and Franco (Dark Horse)
Odd Duck, by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon (First Second)
Otto’s Backwards Day, by Frank Cammuso (with Jay Lynch) (TOON Books)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)
The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
Hilda and the Bird Parade, by Luke Pearson (Nobrow)
Jane, the Fox, and Me, by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault (Groundwood)
The Lost Boy, by Greg Ruth (Graphix/Scholastic)
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, vol. 2, edited by David Petersen, Paul Morrissey, and Rebecca Taylor (Archaia/BOOM!)
Star Wars: Jedi Academy, by Jeffrey Brown (Scholastic)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
Battling Boy, by Paul Pope (First Second)
Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
Boxers and Saints, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
Dogs of War, by Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox (Graphix/Scholastic)
March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
Templar, by Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham, and Alex Puviland (First Second)

Best Humor Publication
The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)
The Complete Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes and Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
The (True!) History of Art, by Sylvain Coissard and Alexis Lemoine (SelfMadeHero)
Vader’s Little Princess, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)
You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Anthology
Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)
Nobrow #8: Hysteria, edited by Sam Arthur and Alex Spiro (Nobrow)
Outlaw Territory, edited by Michael Woods (Image)
Smoke Signal, edited by Gabe Fowler (Desert Island)
Thrilling Adventure Hour, by Ben Acker, Ben Blacker et al. (Archaia/BOOM!)

Best Digital/Webcomic
As the Crow Flies, by Melanie Gillman, www.melaniegillman.com
Failing Sky, by Dax Tran-Caffee, http://failingsky.com
High Crimes, by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa, http://www.monkeybraincomics.com/titles/high-crimes
The Last Mechanical Monster, by Brian Fies, http://lastmechanicalmonster.blogspot.com
The Oatmeal by Matthew Inman, http://theoatmeal.com

Best Reality-Based Work
A Bag of Marbles, by Joseph Joffo, Kris, and Vincent Bailly (Graphic Universe/Lerner)
The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson, and Kyle Baker (M Press/Dark Horse)
Hip Hop Family Tree, vol. 1, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf)
Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust (Fantagraphics)
Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story, by Peter Bagge (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Album—New
Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan (Candlewick)
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, by Isabel Greenberg (Little, Brown)
Good Dog, by Graham Chaffee (Fantagraphics)
Homesick by Jason Walz (Tinto Press)
The Property, by Rutu Modan (Drawn & Quarterly)
War Brothers, by Sharon McKay and Daniel LaFrance (Annick Press)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium
The Castle, by Franz Kafka, adapted by David Zane Mairowitz and Jaromír 99 (SelfMadeHero)
The Complete Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, adapted by by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)
Django Unchained, adapted by Quentin Tarantino, Reginald Hudlin, R. M. Guéra et al. (DC/Vertigo)
Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground, by Donald Westlake, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
The Strange Tale of Panorama Island, by Edogawa Rampo, adapted by Suehiro Maruo (Last Gasp)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
The Creep, by John Arcudi and Jonathan Case (Dark Horse)
Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories, by Ben Katchor (Pantheon)
Heck, by Zander Cannon (Top Shelf)
Julio’s Day, by Gilbert Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
RASL, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)
Solo: The Deluxe Edition, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
Barnaby, vol. 1, by Crockett Johnson, edited by Philip Nel and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
Percy Crosby’s Skippy Daily Comics, vol. 2: 1928–1930, edited by Jared Gardner and Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
Prince Valiant vols. 6-7, by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)
Society Is Nix: Gleeful Anarchy at the Dawn of the American Comic Strip, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)
Tarzan: The Complete Russ Manning Newspaper Strips, vol. 1, edited by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch, edited by Jonathan Barli (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
Best of EC Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Canteen Kate, by Matt Baker (Canton Street Press)
In the Days of the Mob, by Jack Kirby (DC)
MAD Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
Will Eisner’s The Spirit Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
Adventures of a Japanese Businessman, by Jose Domingo (Nobrow)
Goddam This War! by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney (Fantagraphics)
Incidents in the Night, Book One, by David B. (Uncivilized Books)
Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Ulli Lust (Fantagraphics)
When David Lost His Voice, by Judith Vanistendael (SelfMadeHero)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
The Heart of Thomas, by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
The Mysterious Underground Men, by Osamu Tezuka (PictureBox)
Showa: A History of Japan, 1926–1939, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Summit of the Gods, vol. 4, by Yemmakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
Utsubora: The Story of a Novelist, by Asumiko Nakamura (Vertical)

Best Writer
Kelly Sue DeConnick, Pretty Deadly (Image); Captain Marvel (Marvel)
Matt Fraction, Sex Criminals (Image); Hawkeye, Fantastic Four, FF (Marvel)
Jonathan Hickman, East of West, The Manhattan Projects (Image); Avengers, Infinity (Marvel)
Scott Snyder, Batman (DC); American Vampire, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
Eric Stephenson, Nowhere Men (Image)
Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)

Best Writer/Artist
Isabel Greenberg, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth (Little, Brown)
Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories #6 (Fantagraphics)
Terry Moore, Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio)
Luke Pearson, Hilda and the Bird Parade (Nobrow)
Matt Phelan, Bluffton: My Summers with Buster (Candlewick)
Judith Vanistendael, When David Lost His Voice (SelfMadeHero)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
Nate Bellegarde, Nowhere Men (Image)
Nick Dragotta, East of West (Image)
Sean Murphy, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
Nate Powell, March (Book One) (Top Shelf)
Emma Ríos, Pretty Deadly (Image)
Thomas Yeates, Law of the Desert Born: A Graphic Novel (Bantam)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
Andrew C. Robinson, The Fifth Beatle (Dark Horse)
Sonia Sanchéz, Here I Am (Capstone)
Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)
Ive Svorcina, Thor (Marvel)
Marguerite Van Cook, 7 Miles a Second (Fantagraphics)
Judith Vanistendael, When David Lost His Voice (SelfMadeHero)

Best Cover Artist
David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
Mike Del Mundo, X-Men Legacy (Marvel)
Sean Murphy/Jordie Belaire, The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
Emma Ríos, Pretty Deadly (Image)
Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel)
Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)

Best Coloring
Jordie Bellaire, The Manhattan Projects, Nowhere Men, Pretty Deadly, Zero (Image); The Massive (Dark Horse); Tom Strong (DC); X-Files Season 10 (IDW); Captain Marvel, Journey into Mystery (Marvel); Numbercruncher (Titan); Quantum and Woody (Valiant)
Steve Hamaker, Mylo Xyloto (Bongo), Strangers in Paradise 20th Anniversary Issue 1 (Abstract Studio), RASL (Cartoon Books)
Matt Hollingsworth, Hawkeye, Daredevil: End of Days (Marvel); The Wake (DC/Vertigo)
Frank Martin, East of West (Image)
Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, Baltimore: The Infernal Train, BPRD: Hell on Earth, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy: Hell on Earth, The Massive, The Shaolin Cowboy, Sledgehammer 44 (Dark Horse)

Best Lettering
Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground (IDW)
Carla Speed McNeil, Bad Houses; “Finder” in Dark Horse Presents (Dark Horse)
Terry Moore, Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio)
Ed Piskor, Hip Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphics)
Britt Wilson, Adventure Time with Fiona and Cake (kaBOOM!)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
Comic Book Resources, produced by Jonah Weiland, www.comicbookresources.com
The Comics Journal #302, edited by Gary Groth and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
Comics and Cola, by Zainab Akhtar, www.comicsandcola.com
Multiversity Comics, edited by Matthew Meylikhov, www.multiversitycomics.com
tcj.com, edited by Dan Nadel and Timothy Hodler (Fantagrapahics)

Best Comics-Related Book
Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary, by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen (Bloomsbury)
The Art of Rube Goldberg, selected by Jennifer George (Abrams ComicArts)
Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps, by Art Spiegelman (Drawn & Quarterly)
Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, by Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell (LOAC/IDW)
The Love and Rockets Companion, edited by Marc Sobel and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)

Best Scholarly/Academic Work
Anti-Foreign Imagery in American Pulps and Comic Books, 1920–1960, by Nathan Vernon Madison (McFarland)
Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation, edited by Sheena C. Howard and Ronald L. Jackson II (Bloomsbury)
Drawing from Life: Memory and Subjectivity in Comic Art, edited by Jane Tolmie (University Press of Mississippi)
International Journal of Comic Art, edited by John A. Lent
The Superhero Reader, edited by Charles Hatfield, Jeet Heer, and Ken Worcester (University Press of Mississippi)

Best Publication Design
The Art of Rube Goldberg, designed by Chad W. Beckerman (Abrams ComicArts)
Beta Testing the Apocalypse, designed by Tom Kaczynski (Fantagraphics)
Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, designed by Dean Mullaney (LOAC/IDW)
The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme: A Panorama, by Joe Sacco, designed by Chin-Yee Lai (Norton)
Little Tommy Lost, Book 1, designed by Cole Closser (Koyama)

9 Comments on 2014 Eisner Nominations: It was the DeFractions year…and a lot of other great things too, last added: 4/15/2014
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43. Leonardo da Vinci from the Benezit Dictionary of Artists

In celebration of World Art Day and Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday, we invite you to read the biography of da Vinci as it is presented in the Benezit Dictionary of Artists.

Italian, 15th – 16th century, male.

Active from 1515 in France.
Born 15 April 1452, in Anchiano, near Vinci; died 2 May 1519, in Clos-Lucé, near Amboise, France.
Painter, sculptor, draughtsman, architect, engineer. Religious subjects, mythological subjects, portraits, topographic subjects, anatomical studies.

Leonardo da Vinci was the illegitimate son of the Florentine notary Ser Piero da Vinci, who married Albiera di Giovanni Amadori, the daughter of a patrician family, in the year Leonardo was born. Little is known about the artist’s natural mother, Caterina, other than that five years after Leonardo’s birth she married an artisan from Vinci named Chartabriga di Piero del Veccha. Leonardo was raised in his father’s home in Vinci by his paternal grandfather, Ser Antonio. Giorgio Vasari discusses Leonardo’s childhood at length, noting his aptitude for drawing and his taste for natural history and mathematics. Probably around 1470, Leonardo’s father apprenticed him to Andrea del Verrocchio; two years later,Leonardo’s name appears in the register of Florentine painters. Although officially a painter in his own right, Leonardo remained for a further five years or so in Verrocchio’s workshop, where Lorenzo di Credi and Pietro Perugino numbered among his fellow students.

signature da vinci

In 1482, Leonardo went to Milan to work in the court of Duke Ludovico Sforza and remained there until 1499, returning to Florence after brief visits to Venice and Mantua. During his second Florentine period, Leonardo gained notoriety, primarily as the result of two cartoons he worked up and put on public display. In 1508, Leonardo returned to Milan to work for the French rulers there and complete an altarpiece commission he had begun during an earlier stay. The artist made his first trip to Rome in 1513 and was involved there with military projects for Giuliano de’ Medici (the duke of Nemours and brother of Pope Leo X). Through the pope, Leonardo may have met the French king Francis I, who was Leonardo’s patron in the last few years of his life. The artist died near Amboise and was buried there, in the church of St Florentin. Because of these circumstances, several of Leonardo’s most treasured works, including the Mona Lisa, ended up in the French royal collection and are now preserved in the Louvre.

A few works can be attributed to the period of Leonardo’s training with Verrocchio: a landscape drawing dated 1473 and part of Verrocchio’s Baptism of Christ (both Uffizi Gallery), namely the angel at the far left of the composition. In January 1478, now an independent painter, he was commissioned by the city of Florence to paint an altarpiece for the S Bernardo Chapel in the Palazzo Vecchio, which he did not complete. The following year, Leonardo made a drawing of the hanged body of an assassin involved in the Pazzi Conspiracy to overthrow the Medici government, which may have been connected with another state commission. In March 1480, he was retained to paint an altarpiece for the main altar in the monastery of S Donato a Scopeto, most likely the unfinished Adoration of the Magi, a dynamic reimagining of the subject. It appears that around this time he also produced numerous Madonna studies and his Portrait of Ginevra dei Benci, the first of his many captivating portraits of women.

In 1481, Leonardo wrote a letter to the new ruler of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, asking for a position at court. It is almost entirely devoted to his knowledge of military engineering and ideas for new weapons; the last paragraph briefly mentions that he is an able painter and can also assist in the completion of an equestrian monument of Ludovico’s father, Francesco, which had been planned but not begun. Leonardo arrived in Milan by 1483, perhaps with Medici assistance, and was contracted to paint an image of the Virgin for an altarpiece for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception’s chapel in S Francesco Grande. This commission resulted in a protracted legal battle and two versions of the painting, the so-called Virgin of the Rocks; the first version, painted between 1483 and 1486, is in the Louvre, and the second, painted primarily in the 1490s, is in the National Gallery, London. The history of the two paintings and the authorship of the later version are much disputed.

During this period, Leonardo received commissions across a wide spectrum. He built stage equipment and devices used for the marriage ceremony of Gian Galeazzo Sforza; he travelled to Padua to supervise construction of the cathedral; he designed costumes for the festivities arranged to celebrate the marriage of Ludovico Sforza to Beatrice d’Este; and he drew a design for the crossing tower of the Milan Cathedral (1487). He made two portraits of women supposed to be Ludovico’s mistresses, Cecilia Gallerani (or Lady with an Ermine) and Lucrezia Crivelli (or La Belle Ferronnière).

Around 1495, Leonardo set to work planning decorations for the Castello Sforzesco. At the start of 1496, Leonardo and Ludovico, by that time the duke of Milan, quarrelled, and the duke repeatedly tried to entice Pietro Perugino as a replacement for Leonardo. Some two years later, the duke andLeonardo reconciled, and Leonardo started working again on the ducal palace and supervising fresco decorations for the Sala delle Asse. While out of favour with the duke, Leonardo had occupied himself with painting a monumental fresco of the Last Supper for the refectory of the Milan monastery of S Maria delle Grazie. In his life of Leonardo, Vasari asserts that execution of this fresco was fraught with difficulty. Leonardo’s use of an experimental medium in order to achieve the naturalistic effects of oil painting caused the fresco to deteriorate rapidly, with much of the original composition quickly being lost. By 1545, it was reported to have already been partially destroyed; three centuries later it was evident that years of neglect, humidity, and inept restorations (attempts at complete restoration were recorded in 1726 and 1770) had only served to make matters worse. A further and more successful attempt at restoration was undertaken in the early years of the 20th century, and the spirit of the original was recaptured, at least partially. The most recent restoration, begun in 1979, was completed in 1999. Fortunately, the original appearance of the Last Supper survives in the form of excellent copies made by students of Leonardo, possibly under his supervision. Among these is a copy reproducing the dimensions of the original (15 by 28 feet [4.5 by 8.60 metres]), painted around 1510 by Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli for the Carthusian church in Pavia and now in London’s Royal Academy. Another detailed reproduction was made by Marco d’Oggiono, commissioned by Connétable de Montmorency for the chapel at the castle of Écouen and now in the Louvre. Despite the fresco’s condition problems, it is one of Leonardo’s best-known and most influential works. The painting is admired for the variety of expressions and poses, the mastery with which Leonardocaptured the most dramatic moment of the biblical story, and the mathematical clarity and regularity of the space, which is conceived as an extension of the refectory (dining hall) it decorates.

Although in 1483 Leonardo had made a clay model of an equestrian sculpture of Francesco Sforza that was erected for the wedding celebrations of Bianca Maria Sforza and Emperor Maximilian, he did not begin work in earnest on the bronze Sforza monument until the 1490s. In fact, Ludovico wrote in a 1489 letter to Lorenzo de’ Medici that he feared Leonardo would not be able to cast the sculpture and requested Lorenzo to provide him with expert bronze sculptors as replacements. Although no finished sculptures by Leonardo have been identified, his training in Verrocchio’s workshop meant he would have received some degree of instruction on techniques of bronze casting; during the 1470s and 1480s, Verrocchio was occupied with various projects in bronze, including an equestrian monument in Venice. Later, during a stay in Florence in 1506–1507, Leonardo may have been involved the design of Giovanni Francesco Rustici’s bronze group St John the Baptist Preaching for the exterior of the Florence Baptistery. In any case, the Sforza monument was never cast, and the largest clay model that Leonardo completed suffered serious damage when French troops entered Milan in September 1499 and archers elected to use it for target practice. However, many drawings, both studies for the composition and technical designs for the casting, survive. The monument, if completed, would no doubt have been a major achievement, both artistically and technically.Leonardo planned a dynamic and highly innovative composition with a rearing horse and a fallen enemy beneath its forelegs, and the statue was to be colossal in scale. The project was abandoned when Leonardo fled the French invasion.

In December 1499, Leonardo went to Mantua with the mathematician Fra Luca Pacioli. There,Leonardo produced a highly finished drawing for a portrait of Isabella d’Este that was either never executed or has been lost. He then spent a short time in Venice before returning to Florence in April 1500. That same month, he finished a cartoon for a major work entitled Virgin and Child with St Anneand displayed it to adoring crowds at SS Annunziata. The cartoon is untraced but is thought the have been related to a drawing now in the National Gallery, London, and a painting of the same subject now in the Louvre. It was around this period (1500-1503) that Leonardo also began painting the portrait of Mona Lisa (or La Gioconda), generally believed to have been the wife of the Florentine merchant Francesco del Giocondo. According to Vasari, Leonardo worked on the Mona Lisa for the better part of four years, but he never delivered it to its patron, bringing it with him to France and perhaps working on it intermittently into his late years. He also made studies for Leda and the Swanthat were copied by his students and Raphael; the final painting is untraced and may have been finished much later, during Leonardo’s sojourn in Rome.

The end of 1502 saw Leonardo inspecting fortifications in the Romagna in his new capacity as senior military architect and general engineer in the service of Cesare Borgia. He was abruptly removed from this post in October of the same year when a rebellion broke out in the duchy. April 1503 foundLeonardo back in Florence and, in July of that year, the Republic of Florence dispatched him to an encampment near Pisa to conduct a survey on how the Arno River could be diverted behind Pisa (so that the city, then under siege by Florence, could be deprived of access to the sea). Later that year, in October, he embarked on a major decorative composition for the new Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the Five Hundred) in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The chosen theme was the victory of Florence over Milan at the Battle of Anghiari in 1440. This monumental work, like its intended complementary painting by Michelangelo of the Battle of Cascina, remained unfinished. Leonardowas commissioned to paint the mural in 1502 and was working on the fresco by 1504. Once again, technical problems frustrated him, notably the poor state of the wall surface he painted and again another experimental technique using oils, and he abandoned the project in 1506. Both the cartoon and the mural were avidly studied by younger artists and some of its appearance can be surmised from drawn and engraved studies. In 1563, Vasari covered the ruinous painting with a new fresco. A project to discover Leonardo’s painting beneath the later fresco using infrared and laser technology was launched in 2005, in the hopes that Vasari preserved it by leaving a gap between the Battle of Anghiari and the plaster for his own fresco.

Leonardo then spent a short time in Milan, perhaps to settle his long-standing commission for theVirgin of the Rocks, before returning to Florence, where he painted a Virgin and Child commissioned by a secretary of the French king Louis XII. At the insistence of Chaumont, the French governor of Milan, Leonardo returned to the Lombard capital and remained there until 1507, when he was obliged to return to Florence to assert his rights of inheritance under the terms of an uncle’s will. During this time, he painted two Madonnas that he took with him on his return to Milan. Leonardo was still in Milan when Louis XII arrived in that city after his victory at Agnadello. Based on a manuscript sketch, he probably also painted around this time the St John the Baptist now in the Louvre. Not least, he is believed to have painted around this date (and possibly in collaboration with one of his pupils) theVirgin and Child with St Anne, also in the Louvre. His preparatory sketches for the work strongly suggest that his initial intention was to paint an intimate ‘family portrait’, but that he subsequently elected for a composition that became widely acclaimed for the innovative contrapposto technique whereby Leonardo twisted a figure on its own axis, with a movement to the left counterbalanced by an equal and opposite movement to the right. The result is a pleasing dynamic symmetry.

During this period, Leonardo also began designing another equestrian monument, this one to commemorate Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, the governor of Milan under the French. When the Sforza returned to power, the project was abandoned. Leonardo remained in Milan after the withdrawal of the French in 1512 and it has often been speculated that Massimiliano Sforza may have been displeased and bitter at Leonardo’s decision to work there for the French occupiers. Whether that was the case,Leonardo recorded in his journal on 24 September 1513 that he was about to leave for Rome in the company of his pupils Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, Francesco Melzi, Lorenzo, and Il Fanoia. In Rome, he was made very welcome by Pope Leo X and duly housed in the Belvedere. Demand for his services proved slight, however, and his output during this period seems inconsiderable. He may have worked there on his Leda and the Swan, together with a Madonna and Child and a Portrait of a Young Boy. There was also a rumour that his preoccupation with scientific studies, notably anatomy, did not endear him to the pontiff.

July 1515 saw Leonardo in the train of the papal army commanded by Giulio de’ Medici, and there are indications that he travelled with the army as far as Piacenza and that he was in Bologna in December 1515 for the signing of the concordat between the pope and Francis I of France. Shortly afterwards, Leonardo’s services as ‘first painter, architect and mechanic of the King’ were retained by Francis I in exchange for a pension amounting to 700 gold crowns and a private residence at Clos-Lucé (Cloux) near Amboise. After settling in Clos-Lucé, Leonardo’s artistic output came to a virtual standstill. He drew up plans for the canal and gardens at the palace of Romorantin and for the construction of a palace near Amboise; he was also credited with having had a major hand in the plans for the Château of Chambord. Much of Leonardo’s time in France seemed to have been devoted to scientific studies and writings in his notebooks.

Leonardo was an avid and highly skilled draughtsman, and the large quantity of his surviving drawings (approximately 4,000 sheets) and notebooks far outweigh his finished paintings and sculptures. These drawings reveal the breadth of Leonardo’s intellect, his innovative mind, and his artistic process. In addition to many technical drawings for machines; anatomical, zoological, and botanical studies; sketches; and figural studies, Leonardo also made architectural drawings of centrally planned churches, many of them contemporary with Donato Bramante’s remodeling of S Maria delle Grazie and Leonardo’s execution of the Last Supper at the same complex. The notebooks also include fragments of a planned treatise on painting, which were compiled by Leonardo’s student Francesco Melzi after his death (Codex Urbinas) and first printed in 1651. Leonardo’s practice of writing backwards has been proposed as either motivated by secrecy or, perhaps more plausibly, a practical solution to the difficulty of writing left-handed.

Leonardo da Vinci’s genius extended across many fields: painting, sculpture, architecture, and various complex scientific research disciplines, including not only anatomy and physics but also highly specialised areas such as military technology and civil engineering. One might have expected that such a technically oriented mind would have been reflected in an artistic style that was precise, not to say meticulous. In effect, quite the contrary is true. Leonardo preferred to render the subtleties and vagaries of light and shade and the mysterious sfumato that is the basis of his style. He strove to create the effect of light not in terms of colour but rather as form so there is no sharp contrast between light and shade but, instead, a long and sustained transition from light towards shade. His figures are bathed in an ‘atmosphere’ that has a presence of its own; they emerge and merge back into the whole without sacrificing the constructive value of their form. In addition to his rendering of spontaneous movement and his ability to capture the serenity of facial expression, Leonardo achieves monumentality by often eliminating detailed settings. Leonardo’s commitment to naturalism in his painting goes hand in hand with his intense scientific study of all aspects of the natural world. Although he is considered the first of the ‘high’ Renaissance artists, in his scientific approach to painting he is quite distinct from his contemporaries, whose naturalism was so often tied to antique precedents.

Group Exhibitions

1979, From Leonardo to Titian: Italian Renaissance Paintings from the Hermitage, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Knoedler Gallery, New York
2001, Virtue and Beauty: Leonardo’s Ginevra de’ Benci and Renaissance Portraits of Women, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
2004, Painters of Reality: The Legacy of Leonardo and Caravaggio in Lombardy, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Solo Exhibitions

1989, Leonardo da Vinci, Hayward Gallery, London
1989, Leonardo da Vinci: Studies of Drapery, Louvre, Paris
1996–1997, Leonardo’s Codex Leicester: A Masterpiece of Science, American Museum of Natural History, New York
1997, Leonardo da Vinci: Scientist, Inventor, Artist, Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen, Museum of Science, Boston
2000, Leonardo da Vinci: The Codex Leicester, Notebook of a Genius, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
2002, Leonardo da Vinci: Inventor (Léonard de Vinci: l’inventeur), Pierre Gianadda Foundation, Martigny, Switzerland
2003, Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsman, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2003, Leonardo da Vinci: Drawings and Notebooks (Léonard de Vinci. Dessins et Manuscrits) Louvre, Paris
2006, The Treatise on Painting: Manuscripts and Editions between the 16th and 19th Century, Castello Sforzesco, Milan
2006–2007, Leonardo da Vinci: Experience, Experiment, and Design, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
2007, The Mind of Leonardo: The Universal Genius at Work, Uffizi Gallery, Florence
2011, Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan, National Gallery, London

Museum and Gallery Holdings

Cambridge (Fitzwilliam Mus.): A Rider on a Rearing Horse (c. 1481, metalpoint reinforced with pen and brown ink/pinkish prepared surface)
Edinburgh (Nat. Gal. of Scotland): Studies of Paws of a Dog or Wolf (c. 1400-1495, silverpoint drawing)
Florence (Gal. dell’Accademia): Vitruvian Man(c. 1487, pen and ink with metalpoint on paper)
Florence (Uffizi): Adoration of the Magi (c. 1480, oil/wood); Annunciation (1470s, oil/wood)
Krakow (Czartoryski Mus.): Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (or Lady with an Ermine)
London (British Library): Arundel Codex
London (NG): Virgin of the Rocks (or Virgin with the Infant Saint John Adoring the Infant Christ Accompanied by an Angel) (c. 1491-1508, oil/wood);Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist (c. 1499-1500, black and white chalk/brownish paper/canvas)
London (Victoria and Albert Mus): Forster Codex
Madrid (Biblioteca Nacional): two codices
Milan (Ambrosiana): Portrait of a Musician (c. 1485, oil/wood); Codex Atlantico
Milan (Biblioteca Trivulziano): Trivulziano Codex
Milan (S Maria delle Grazie): Last Supper
Holy Family
Munich (Alte Pinakothek): Madonna with the Carnation (1470s, oil/wood)
New York (Metropolitan MA): several drawings
Oxford (Christ Church College): seven drawings
Paris (Institut de France): Codices A through M; Ashburnham Codex
Paris (Louvre): La Gioconda (or Mona Lisa);St John the Baptist;Virgin and Child with St AnneVirgin of the RocksLa Belle Ferronnière (Lucrezia Crivelli?)Virgin Offering a Bowl of Fruit to the Infant Jesus (drawing); Isabella d’Este(drawing)
Parma (NG): Female Head
St Petersburg (Hermitage): Virgin and Child (Litta Madonna); Benois Madonna
Turin (Royal Library): Study for the Angel for ‘The Virgin of the Rocks’ (drawing)
Vatican (Pinacoteca Vaticana): St Jerome(1480s, tempera and oil/wood); Urbanis Codex
Washington, DC (NGA): Ginevra de’ Benci (c. 1474-1478, oil/panel, two-sided portrait)
Windsor (Windsor Castle, Royal Collection): Study for St James the Elder; notebooks

Auction Records

Paris, 1742: St Jerome, FRF 1,900
London, 1773: Christ and the Virgin with St Joseph, FRF 7,075
London, 1801: Laughing Infant, FRF 34,120
London, 1811: Female Portrait, FRF 78,700
Paris, June 1825: Leda and the Twins Castor and Helen, Pollux and Clytemnestra, FRF 175,000
Paris, 1850: La Colombine (Mistress of Francis I), FRF 81,200; Various Saints: Study for ‘The Last Supper’ (red and black chalk) FRF 16,600
Paris, 1865: Virgin Stooping towards Her Son, FRF 83,500
Paris, 1875: Initial Study for ‘The Adoration of the Magi’ (pen drawing) FRF 12,900; Study for ‘st Anne’ (black chalk, Indian ink, and wash) FRF 13,000
London, 1881: Virgin of the Rocks, FRF 225,000
London, 1888: Virgin in Low Relief, FRF 63,000
Paris, 1900: Draperies (study), FRF 12,500
Paris, 26-27 May 1919: Head of Old Man (silverpoint drawing heightened with white) FRF 6,000
London, 22 May 1925: Infant Jesus and Saint with a Lamb, GBP 1,890
London, 29 June 1926: Hermina: Emblem of Purety (pen) GBP 800; Study Folio (pen) GBP 760
London, 15 July 1927: Virgin with Flowers, GBP 2,100; Head of Leda, GBP 1,785
Paris, 25 Feb 1929: Profile Study of Old Man (pen) FRF 15,400
London, 10-14 July 1936: Wild Horse (pen) GBP 4,305
London, 23 May 1951: Head of the Virgin (charcoal, heightened with colour, study for the painting in the Louvre of The Virgin and St Anne) GBP 8,000
London, 26 March 1963: Head of an Old Man (caricature) (ink drawing with bistre wash) GNS 44,000
London, 21 May 1963: Virgin and Child with a Dog (pen drawing and wash) GBP 19,000
Paris, 12 June 1973: Horse (patinated bronze) FRF 160,000
New York, 17 Nov 1986: Three Child Studies and (recto) Three Lines of TextStudies: Child, Head of Old Man, and Machine with (verso) Several Lines of Text (black chalk, pen, and brown ink, 8 × 5½ ins/20.3 × 13.8 cm) USD 3,300,000
Monaco, 1 Dec 1989: Draperies with Kneeling Figure Facing Left (brush and brown-grey wash, heightened with white gouache, 11¼ × 7¼ ins/28.8 × 18.1 cm) FRF 35,520,000; Draperies: Study with Figure Standing and Facing Right(brush and brown-grey wash, heightened with white gouache on canvas prepared with grey gouache, 11 × 7¼ ins/28.2 × 18.1 cm) FRF 31,080,000
London, 10 July 2001: Horse and Rider (silverpoint, 5 × 3 ins/12 × 8 cm) GBP 7,400,000

Bibliography

Bode, Wilhem von: Studien über Leonardo da Vinci, G. Grote, Berlin, 1921.
Sirén, Osvald: Leonardo da Vinci, G. Van Oest, Paris, 1928.
Suida, Wilhem: Leonardo und sein Kreis, F. Bruckmann, Munich, 1929.
Verga, Ettore: Bibliografia Vinciana 1493-1930, Zanichelli, Bologna, 1930.
Richter, Jean Paul: The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci, Oxford University Press, London and New York, 1939.
Goldschieder, Ludwig: Leonardo da Vinci, Phaidon, London: Oxford University Press, New York, 1943.
Popham, Arthur Ewart: The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, Reynal and Hitchcock, New York, 1945 (2nd ed., Jonathan Cape, London, 1946).
Heydenreich, Heinrich Ludwig: Leonardo da Vinci, 2 vols., Holbein-Verlag, Basel, 1954.
Freud, Sigmund: Leonardo da Vinci: A Memory of His Childhood, Routledge, London, 1957 (reprinted2006).
Chastel, André (ed.)/Callmann, Ellen (trans.): The Genius of Leonardo da Vinci: Leonardo da Vinci on Art and the Artist, Orion Press, New York, 1961.
Huard, Pierre/Grmek, Mirko Dražen: Léonard de Vinci. Dessins scientifiques et techniques, R. Dacosta, Paris, 1962.
Pedretti, Carlo: A Chronology of Leonardo da Vinci’s Architectural Studies after 1500, E. Droz, Geneva,1962.
Gombrich, Ernst Hans: ‘Leonardo’s Methods of Working Out Compositions’, in Norm and Form: Studies in the Art of the Renaissance, Phaidon, London, 1966.
Clark, Kenneth: The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle, Phaidon, London, 1968–1969.
Panofsky, Erwin: The Codex Huygens and Leonardo da Vinci’s Art Theory, Greenwood, Westport (CT),1971.
Pedretti, Carlo: Leonardo da Vinci: A Study in Chronology and Style, Thames and Hudson, London, 1973.
Kemp, Martin: Leonardo da Vinci: The Marvellous Works of Nature and Man, Dent, London, 1981 (2nd rev. ed. 1988).
Calvi, Gerolamo: I Manoscritti di Leonardo da Vinci: dal punto di vista cronologica, storico e biografico,Bramante Editrice, Busto Arsizio, 1982.
Clark, Kenneth/Kemp, Martin: Leonardo da Vinci: An Account of His Development as an Artist,Harmondsworth, Middlesex; Viking, New York, 1988 (new rev. ed.).
Batkin, Leonid M.: Leonardo da Vinci, Laterza, Rome, 1988.
Viatte, Françoisee/Pedretti, Carlo/Chastel, André: Leonardo da Vinci: les études de draperies, exhibition catalogue, Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris, 1989.
Maiorino, Giancarlo: Leonardo da Vinci: The Daedalian Mythmaker, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 1992.
Turner, Richard: Inventing Leonardo, Alfred A. Kopf, New York, 1993.
Frère, Jean Claude: Léonard de Vinci, Du Terrail, Paris, 1994.
Cole Ahl, Diane (ed.): Leonardo da Vinci’s Sforza Monument Horse: The Art and the Engineering, Lehigh University Press, Bethlehem (PA), Associated University Presses, Cranbury (NJ) and London, 1995.
Letze, Otto/Buchsteiner, Thomas/Guttmann, Nathalie: Leonardo da Vinci: Scientist, Inventor, Artist, exhibition catalogue, Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen; G. Hatje, Ostfildern-Ruit, 1997.
Arasse, Daniel: Leonardo da Vinci: The Rhythm of the World, Konecky and Konecky, New York, 1998(French ed., Hazan, Paris, 1997).
Zöllner, Frank: La ‘Battaglia di Anghiari’ di Leonardo da Vinci fra mitologia e politica, Giunti, Florence,1998.
Zwijnenberg, Ribert: The Writings and Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci: Order and Chaos in Early Modern Thought, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1999.
Chastel, André: Leonardo da Vinci. Studi e ricerche 1952-1990, Phaidon, London, 1999.
Villata, Edoardo/Marani, Pietro C.: Leonardo da Vinci: i documenti e le testimonianze contemporanee,Castallo Sforzesco, Milan, 1999.
Farago, Claire: Leonardo da Vinci: Selected Scholarship, 5 vols, Garland, New York, 1999.
Brown, David Alan: Leonardo da Vinci: Origins of a Genius, Yale University Press, New Haven (CT), 1998.
Desmond, Michael/Pedretti, Carlo: Leonardo da Vinci: The Codex Leicester, Notebook of a Genius, exhibition catalogue, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; Powerhouse Publishing, Haymarket (Australia),2000.
Nuland, Sherwin: Leonardo da Vinci, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 2000.
Léonard de Vinci: l’inventeur, exhibition catalogue, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, 2002.
Goffen, Rona: Renaissance Rivals: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian, Yale University Press, New Haven (CT), 2002.
Bambach, Carmen C. (ed.), and others: Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsman, exhibition catalogue,Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2003.
Zöllner, Frank/Nathan, Johannes: Leonardo da Vinci, 1452–1519: The Complete Paintings and Drawings, catalogue raisonné, Taschen, Cologne and London, 2003.
Kemp, Martin: Leonardo, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004.
Kemp, Martin: Leonardo da Vinci: Experience, Experiment and Design, exhibition catalogue, Princeton University Press, Princeton (NJ), 2006.
Bernardoni, Andrea: Leonardo e il monumento equestre a Francesco Sforza: Storia di un’opera mai realizzata, Giunti, Florence, 2007.
Farago, Claire (ed.): Re-reading Leonardo: The Treatise on Painting across Europe, 1550–1900, Ashgate, Burlington (VT) and Farnham (England), 2009.
Syson, Luke, and others: Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery, London, 2011.

Oxford Art Online offers access to the most authoritative, inclusive, and easily searchable online art resources available today. Through a single, elegant gateway users can access — and simultaneously cross-search — an expanding range of Oxford’s acclaimed art reference works: Grove Art Online, the Benezit Dictionary of Artists, the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, as well as many specially commissioned articles and bibliographies available exclusively online.

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44. Diversity in YA: A round-up of links and some thoughts on the silence surrounding the discussion.

At Book Riot:

It’s hard not to wonder why some of the largest voices in the YA world and kid lit world more broadly aren’t speaking up and out in visible ways. They have far less at stake than any author of color (and most women, white or not) would have doing the same thing, in part because their privileged position affords them them their platform. They do not succeed simply because they work harder; they have more advantages. This isn’t just pointed at authors with power. It’s pointed equally toward librarians, toward booksellers, toward major media outlets, and to anyone with a position to say something.

There’s no expectation for anyone to talk about everything. That would be impossible. But in a week where an announcement of an all-male, all-white panel coincides with a wealth of well-written, thought-provoking, and important conversations about diversity and there’s nothing but silence?

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45. The 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize winners...

Boxers and saints...have been announced.

The YA winner is: Boxers & Saints, by Gene Luen Yang.

Click on through for the other winners and finalists.

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46. DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: March 2014 — Forever Unchained Overture

201404141332.jpg
by David Carter

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

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

Warning: The commentary below may contain reasoned analysis, speculation (unfounded and otherwise), opinion, and/or snark. Those looking for a more straightforward analysis are directed to John Jackson Miller’s excellent Comichron analysis, posted earlier this month right here at The Beat! All of the opinions expressed in this column are my own and do not reflect those of my employers, Heidi McDonald or anyone at The Beat, the Centers for Disease Control, or my neighbors’ dog Miles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The spin-off debuts next month.

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

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

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

The new creative team debuts next month.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Green Lantern crossover is needed, stat!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red Lantern Supergirl falls right back into standard attrition.

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

Well‚Äîthat’s now over.

—-

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

Creative team changes in the near future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The last drop is also the tiniest.

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

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

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

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

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

Penultimate issue.

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

Final issue.

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

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

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

Still part of Forever Evil; still not cancelled.

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

No more “Gothtopia”; still dropping.

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

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

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

Still part of Forever Evil. Still not cancelled.

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

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

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

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

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

Settling in around 14K for the time being.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The end is nigh.

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

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

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

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

A bit of steeper percentage drop than usual.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The final issue drops below 10K.

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

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

Declines continue.

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

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

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

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

—————–
Since #1: – 64.7%

Declines continue.

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

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

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

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

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

But.!

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

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

The penultimate issue drops below 8K.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Returnable (and adjusted accordingly).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales of physical comics to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass-market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Re-orders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial calendar month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month. Keep in mind that sales for some titles may include incentives to acquire variants and not every unit sold is necessarily even intended to be sold to a customer.
If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after a book’s initial calendar month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in brackets behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]“). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average between them will be used.

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

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

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

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

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

15 Comments on DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: March 2014 — Forever Unchained Overture, last added: 4/16/2014
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47. Webcomic alerrt: Sam Alden debuts his new “MS Paint” comics

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

1 Comments on Webcomic alerrt: Sam Alden debuts his new “MS Paint” comics, last added: 4/15/2014
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48. 25 recent jazz albums you really ought to hear

By Ted Gioia


Jazz Appreciation Month gives us an opportunity to celebrate musical milestones of the past. But it also ought to serve as a reminder that jazz is a vibrant art form in the current day. Here are 25 recordings released during the last few months that are well worth hearing.

Ambrose Akinmusire1. Ambrose Akinmusire – The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier To Paint
Akinmusire is one of the most talented young trumpeters on the jazz scene. This release also represents a ‘return to its roots’ for the Blue Note label, which has increasingly strayed from mainstream jazz in recent years, but shows here that it hasn’t forgotten its heritage.

2. Greg Amirault – East of the Sun
Many of the most interesting new jazz albums are self-produced or issued by small indie labels. Montreal guitarist Amirault’s new CD is a case in point. He is hardly a household name in the jazz world, but this is one of the best guitar albums released in recent months.

3. The Bad Plus – The Rite of Spring
Stravinsky has been inspiring jazz artists for decades, but this ranks among the most creative reinterpretations of his work that I’ve heard.

4. Jeff Ballard – Time’s Tales
Check out the funky 9/4 groove that opens this leader date for drummer Jeff Ballard—joined byguitarist Lionel Loueke and saxophonist Miguel Zenon.

5. Joe Beck5. Joe Beck – Get Me
Guitarist Joe Beck died in 2008, but this posthumous release (coming out in a few days) is likely to reignite interest in a very talented and underrated artist.

6. George Cables – Icons and Influences
I’ve been a fan of Cables’ piano work since I was a teenager. He has been in poor health in recent years, but this new albums finds him playing at top form.

7. Regina Carter – Southern Comfort
Carter combines jazz with traditional Southern music on her latest release. Even listeners who don’t think they like jazz might find themselves enjoying this appealing album.

8. Matt Criscuolo – Blippity Blat
This is another self-produced album that merits close listening. Criscuolo is formidable saxophonist with a sweet tone and supple phrasing.

9. Karl Denson's Tiny Universe9. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe – New Ammo
With this high-octane funk-oriented release, Denson proves that jazz can still work as dance music. This album might make a good entry point into jazz for rock fans who want to broaden their tastes and expand their ears.

10. Nir Felder – Golden Age
The recently revived OKeh label is releasing a number of outstanding jazz albums, but this CD from up-and-coming guitarist Nir Felder may be its most ambitious project of 2014, pushing beyond conventional boundaries of jazz and popular music.

11. Craig Handy – Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith
Handy mixes elements of New Orleans party music and Hammond organ soul jazz in a very exciting hybrid. In a fair and hip world, this album (and the Denson release mentioned above) would be generating lots of radio airplay.

12. Vijay Iyer – Mutations
Iyer’s debut album with the ECM label is one of his best to date, revealing his maturity not just as a jazz player but also as a composer of jazz-oriented chamber music.

13. Christian Jacob13. Christian Jacob – Beautiful Jazz
Here’s another smart self-produced jazz album that you could easily miss. Pianist Jacob is a master at updating and reharmonizing the traditional jazz repertoire.

14. Erik Jekabson – Live at the Hillside Club
Jekabson is one of the most promising young trumpeters on the West Coast, and continues to impress with this new album.

15. John Lurie – The Invention of Animals
John Lurie has never gotten the respect he deserves for his jazz work with the Lounge Lizards. He subsequently abandoned music to focus on painting, but these rediscovered tracks testify to his brilliance as a jazz improviser.

16. Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra – Strength in Numbers
I have heard several outstanding jazz big band albums this year, but this one is the best of breed.

17. The North17. The North – Slow Down (This Isn’t the Mainland)
Fans of mid-period Keith Jarrett and E.S.T. will enjoy this trio album. This band is still a well-kept secret in the jazz world, but their music has clear crossover potential.

18. Danilo Pérez – Panama 500
Pérez has long ranked among the leading Latin jazz artists. Here he draws on the Panamanian music tradition for a theme album commemorating the 500th anniversary of Balboa crossing the Isthmus of Panama.

19. Matthew Shipp – Root of Things
Pianist Shipp possesses an expansive vision of jazz that, over the years, has encompassed everything from hip-hop to electronica. In his latest album, he returns to the acoustic trio format, where he is joined by bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey.

20. Revolutionary Snake Ensemble – Live Snakes
This Boston-based band is a throwback to the earliest roots of jazz, when hornplayers often performed in parades and brass bands entertained at social gatherings.

21. (718) – Sputnik
The group’s name comes from its phone area code, and the album title honors a 1950s spacecraft. But the music here is rock-oriented funk jazz in the spirit of the best 1970s fusion bands.

22. Helen Sung – Anthem for a New Day
I’ve been following Sung’s career with interest for a number of years, but this is her best album to date.

23. Daniel Szabo23. Daniel Szabo – A Song From There
Daniel Szabo is one of the most impressive young pianists on the scene today, but even in jazz circles most won’t recognize his name. I suspect they will soon. I highly recommend his new album.

24. Norma Winstone – Dance Without Answer
Norma Winstone has been a major force on the British jazz scene since the 1960s. At an age when many jazz singers start showing wear and tear in their voices, Winstone is recording some of her finest work.

25. John Zorn – Psychomagia
It’s easy to take John Zorn for granted. He records prolifically, and puts very little effort into marketing and promoting his projects. But this 2014 release deserves your attention.

Ted Gioia is a musician, author, and leading jazz critic and expert on American music. The first edition of his The History of Jazz was selected as one of the twenty best books of the year in The Washington Post, and was chosen as a notable book of the year in The New York Times. He is also the author of The Jazz Standards, Delta Blues, West Coast Jazz, Work Songs and The Birth (and Death) of the Cool.

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49. Clip: The Fault in Our Stars.

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50. Bone gives Shades of Grey a run as one of the 10 Most Banned Books of 2013

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

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

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

Here’s the complete Top Ten:

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

According to the CBLDF,

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

5 Comments on Bone gives Shades of Grey a run as one of the 10 Most Banned Books of 2013, last added: 4/15/2014
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