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1. How do I maintain my originality?

Question: I am trying to write a young-adult, fantasy, romance type of novel. It's first person POV. The girl is the main character who is a vampire. And

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2. Portside Grill Fire and Why are People Afraid of Good?

First off, I need a disclaimer: I am not a good person. I screw up all the time. I lose my temper. I make huge mistakes. I am impatient. I ignore people if they use me too much instead of just embracing the fact that at least I am good enough to be used.

And I am writing that disclaimer because I am totally okay with letting everyone know how flawed I am. This blog post isn't about me saying I'm a wonderful person. I know I'm not. I'm just a person. What this blog post is really about is me trying to figure out why people are so afraid of being good, being kind; why so many people rejoice in putting other people down.

So before I went on vacation, I wrote a blog post about the tremendous community response to a fire at a local restaurant that also provided housing upstairs. Link here: http://carriejones.livejournal.com/371399.html

IMG_6921 There is no way to go "over the top" when your post is about volunteers and professionals doing dangerous things for others.

Today, a man told me that the post (which reran in our local newspaper) was "over the top" and that it was "schmaltzy."

There was no point in him telling me that. It wasn't good-natured kidding. It wasn't kind. It was meant to make me feel badly.

To make it even better, he then asked me, a writer, if I knew what schmaltz meant.

And I wanted to say, "Yes, it is chicken or goose fat used for frying," but I thought that would be showing off so instead I just tried to joke it off and say, "Yes. I am good at schmaltz."

"That's an oxymoron," he said.

I gave up. I just wanted him to go away.

The thing is, I don't mind being good at being sentimental, which isn't an oxymoron. I'm actually the least sentimental person in my family, not counting my daughter. So, my sentimental threshold is pretty high.

What he saw as schmaltzy, I saw as seeing good in people and applauding them for it. I don't mind acknowledging that while people can suck, that they can also be self-sacrificing and brave and kind. That the drug dealer in the trailer down the street can be the same guy who runs into a burning building to wake everyone up before the fire department comes. And in the case of this specific blog that Mr. I Love to Be Mean was mentioning, I REALLY didn't mind embracing how brave the firefighters in so many communities were that night, or how great the people in our community were about coming together and helping those who were now jobless and homeless.

But that didn't matter to him. What mattered to him was making me feel low. And he did.

IMG_6883 The people that I talk about in that post deserve all the kudos they can get. They deserve more kudos that I can hope to give them.

I helped him find his name button (We were at a meeting) and he said, "Well, at least you're good for something."

Lovely.

And I thought for a second, "I am not good for anything."

And I thought for a second, "Why is he so mean? Why does he love hurting other people?"

And I thought for a second, "I must deserve it."

I laughed. As soon as I could, I went into the bathroom and hid for awhile (two minutes) because I didn't feel like I was good enough to be there any more. All the brave in me vanished with his word.

IMG_6777 One fireman holds a ladder, surrounded by smoke. Another is on the roof. This man is the support for the other. He will not let go of that ladder until the other guy is down and safe.

But even though I am so far from being a good person, a perfect person, a mistake-free person, I don't deserve random acts of meanness anymore than anyone else does. And he doesn't deserve to be able to do that to me, to other people, to anyone.

Later on when people were eating, and I was going from table to table doing random official duties, he turned to the man next to him and said, "Did you read that bullshit she wrote?"

And I whirled around and spat out, "You need to be nice."

Thrilling, brilliant come-back, I know. And yes, I was shaking. And yes, I finished what I needed to do and left the meeting early. And yes, I am easily hurt and sensitive and all that stuff. I am a big wuss. I am the first to admit it.

The thing is? That "bullshit" that I wrote? That was part of my heart. And he stabbed right through whatever invisible forecefield I might occasionally have and pierced me.

Every time we write or speak honestly about how we see the world, we open ourselves up to hurt. We are vulnerable to the meanness. And that's why it is so much easier to be mean. When you are mean, you build a wall. When you are mean, you can't be vulnerable. When you are mean, you hide, you attack, and you make that first strike because seeing good? Applauding people for their good parts and not just bitching about their bad? That's what makes you vulnerable. You're vulnerable because you open yourself up to the possibility that people can be good, that you can be good, if you try harder, if you love harder, if you care more.

Sometimes when you do that? People who are supposed to exemplify bringing good will and friendship to others (as bode by their club affiliation) will strike at you.

Because the truth is that if you try to see the good in others or your community, you might make others realize how much meanness has clouded their own sight, their own hearts.

If you pride yourself on taking other people down? If you are the type of person who tells others to "toughen up," or who thinks bigotry is funny, or who thinks that seeing good is "schmaltz?" I am sorry for you. I hope some day you can learn to be consistently kind, to others, and to yourself. I hope that you don't spend your life making other people upset, shake, or cry, or just freaking avoid you. Because you are missing out in the good that is in this world, in other people, and even in yourself. 

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3. The Last Waltz Considered

The Last Waltz was a revolutionary documentary. It was the first concert movie shot in 35 mm, the record of a celebration of the Band’s last concert on the site of their first show as The Band. It is the visual evidence that more than thirty years ago Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel had the good sense to go out on top. There are many examples of actors, politicians, athletes and rock stars who didn’t. The movie itself, I hour, 37 minutes, was directed by Martin Scorsese. No matter what you think of Hollywood, his credentials as a director are undisputed. His list of credits, accomplishments and awards means that Scorsese is a serious director, not one to waste energy. At the time, 1976, a time when the underground half of the 60's generation was realizing that the other half was following in the footsteps of their parents, embracing the values that their governments, their elders and betters, praised and promoted, Scorsese was in the middle of directing NEW YORK, NEW YORK, a huge, expensive Hollywood project. Unbeknownst to the New York, New York producer who would have had a heart attack if he’d known, Marty (as he is referred to by almost everyone in the movie) took a weekend off, filmed the concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, put together the rest of it in a week and filmed three more songs on a Hollywood sound stage a few months later. It was edited and released in 1978. The sets, lighting, photography, sound and all the myriad details that go into movie creation were taken care of by hook or by crook, often improvised by world renowned experts in their fields. The project took on a life of its own. It was not made for profit and grew into an important cultural event. Before Scorsese made The Last Waltz, there was WOODSTOCK (where he worked as an assistant director and editor and learned what not to do), GIMME SHELTER, SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL and an Elvis film, but no other single concert had been as carefully choreographed, as meticulously set and photographed as this. There were seven cameras shooting at times, each run by a professional and, in many cases, a world famous cinematographer. Bill Graham’s lawyers forced Scorsese’s assistant to negotiate each camera movement because he controlled the stage and insisted that nothing impair the sight lines of the live audience. It is best to mention here that the DVD of The Last Waltz is available cheap at your local DVD purveyor. This one only cost ten Canadian dollars to buy, a great bargain for musicians, writers and anyone else interested in rock ‘n roll and the making of movies. The “Special Features” additions on the DVD contain a lot of comical and serious comments by the movie makers, Mac Rebenak, Ronnie Hawkins, Mavis Staples and the band members which can be listened to as the movie plays. As each band member, song and guest performer appears, someone talks about them. The story of The Band’s creation and growth through sixteen years of living on the road unfolds through a series of interviews with band members interspersed among the songs, mostly answers to questions posed by Scorsese himself, questions provided by a professional screenwriter. Many of the answers are funny, some ironic, some poignant, but one feeling permeates the whole movie, a sort of good natured humour, an amused observation of the world at large and a sincere appreciation of the music. The Band were aware that the odds of survival for such a long time in such a high risk lifestyle, were against them. Robbie Robertson says, at the end of the movie, “The road has taken some of the great ones” and “You can push your luck”. Three of the Band’s songs were filmed on an MGM sound stage where Scorsese could control everything and was free to use a crane and a camera as in normal movies. The Weight, in which Pop and Mavis Staples sing verses and all four harmonize on the choruses with members of the band, Evangeline, which is filmed in stunning colour with Emmy Lou Harris doing an achingly sweet call and response with Levon, and The Last Waltz theme song which is a waltz written by Robertson who is playing a double necked acoustic guitar as he performs it with the Band, were all filmed on sets designed by Boris Leven, a friend of Scorcese and the production designer on The Sound of Music and New York, New York. It was Leven who was responsible for renting the San Francisco Opera’s set for La Traviata and setting it up in the beat up, spruced up, old Winterland Ballroom for the concert. His original idea was to fill the place with chandeliers but they couldn’t afford more than three. It’s fitting that while the rest of their generation was trying to deal with the post Vietnam world, the plan for The Last Waltz was hatching and growing between Robbie Robertson and Martin Scorsese in a couple of months of creativity and hard work. At first, there was no budget, just an idea. It was cobbled together by the seat of its pants, almost an afterthought. The Last Waltz began, in a way, underground, and became the standard by which all concert movies are measured. When the concert was over, Scorsese and Robertson agreed that through all the craziness and frenetic activity, through the power of the music and the personalities, maybe, just maybe, they might have produced a gem. The movie begins with Rick Danko telling Martin Scorsese that the game is “Cutthroat” and breaking the balls on a pool table. Then, in a way which makes sense only when you’ve watched the whole thing and listened to the commentary, The Band returns to the stage for an unplanned encore after the concert’s over. They play Don’t Do It and Robbie Robertson’s lead guitar places the viewer in a car travelling through a beat up neighbourhood of San Francisco to the Winterland Ballroom where crowds are lined up and the huge vertical sign above the entrance has half of its lights burnt out. A young couple waltzes gracefully across the screen against the backdrop of The Last Waltz logo as the names of the guest performers appear: Dr John, Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Emmy Lou Harris, Muddy Waters, The Staples, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Paul Butterfield, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood. In the first interview Marty asks Robbie if they’re really “just friends” who showed up. Robbie tells him that no, the musical guests aren’t just friends, they’re probably the biggest influences in music to a whole generation. Michael McClure, the poet, appears on stage in a spotlight where he recites a short piece of Canterbury Tales in olde English, smiles and walks off. Lawrence Ferlinghetti appears at the end of the show, just before Dylan, with a quick, cool poem. They are the connection to the Beats, their presence welcomed. Kerouac’s spirit. As Robbie says, it isn’t about the audience so they don’t appear except for a few reverse shots which Scorsese loved. The concert itself is a mixture of Band originals beginning with Cripple Creek, interwoven with guests who play only one song each. Dr John displays that New Orleans piano style, slow drawl and dazzling smile on What a Night. Joni Mitchell’s strumming and phrasing make the room feel like everything’s in motion as she stands golden haired and innocent singing the naughty lyrics of Coyote. The floor shakes to the beat of everyone stomping to Muddy’s Mannish Boy. In the Special Features section there is a hilarious commentary on Van Morrison’s sequined outfit as he steals the show with his tour de force performance of Caravan and almost cracks a smile. He had lived in Woodstock when The Band lived there and was an old friend. Scorsese manages to get Joni’s profile in shadow when she sings an ethereal harmony to Neil Young’s Helpless. Garth Hudson’s head is suddenly illuminated as he stands to play a sax, trading solos with Robbie’s guitar in It Makes No Difference. Clapton trades licks with Robertson on Further On Up The Road after his guitar strap comes undone and Robbie picks up the solo without missing a beat. Neil Diamond, a companion from their Tin Pan Alley days, sings a song looking like he’s ready for Vegas. Paul Butterfield pulls off an amazing physical feat when he plays along with Muddy. Ronnie Hawkins, Muddy and Van the Man all exit the stage the same way, deliberately, with a flourish. In the commentaries Ronnie Hawkins tells the story of each band member as he was brought into The Hawks, Ronnie’s backup band which later became Dylan’s backup band, then The Band. He says he hired Robbie Robertson, the kid, to be a roadie as a favour to the boy’s mother. Robbie was hanging out with some guys who might end up in the penitentiary. Richard Manuel, quiet and gentle, always reminding me of The Furry Freak Brother comics in the interviews, roars the lyrics to The Shape I’m In with a strong singing voice made for the blues and slow dancing, rough and smooth at the same time. Levon Helm’s performance vocally and on the drums is hypnotizing . The physical energy required to play and sing that long and that hard is clear in the movie. Rick Danko’s voice is “mournful and strange with off the wall harmonies” as Mac Rebenak put it. It is sweet and harsh with power and feeling. Dylan (another funny commentary in the Special Features section) sings Forever Young and leads his former band into Baby, Let Me Follow You Down. The finale, with everyone onstage, is Dylan’s, I Shall Be Released. Robbie Robertson’s guitar playing is unique. He can play like a lot of people but no one ever plays like him, no one’s got his style , it’s really unique. Ringo and Ronnie Wood appear playing in an out take of a jam until, after 6 hours of filming, the cameras and people take a break. There may be better bands at some things but only these musicians could have pulled this off. A concert which requires a backup band for a variety of performers can be accomplished technically, but the life which The Band injected into the songs, the huge variety of styles they had to adapt to, could only have been done by them. They were a perfect backup band as well as the stars of the show. The sex is in the music. Understated and hinted at, never openly mentioned, the sex is in the music. In the interviews Scorsese asks about women on the road. The answers are, for the most part, as vague and euphemistic as the references to “fun” and other bad habits. Garth Hudson states with certainty that the greatest priests on 52nd street in New York were the musicians. Songwriters were the low men and women on the totem pole but the street musicians were the greatest healers. Thirty years after the movie was made, Martin Scorsese has done another concert film with The Rolling Stones called Shine a Light. Waiting to borrow my copy of The Last Waltz are a twenty year old drummer and a seventeen year old bass player. It means that Martin Scorsese and Robbie Robertson and everyone involved in the movie did produce a gem. And it means that all is not lost.

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4. The Habit of Getting Ideas and Turning Them into Story

I no longer dread the question “Where do you get your ideas?” That’s because I finally figured out the answer.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve answered it a million times over my more than ten year career as a writer. I’ve nattered on about brain monkeys, ends of rainbows, stealing ideas from Maureen Johnson, ideas not being that important, blah blah blah.

The actual answer does not involve light bulbs or muses or brain monkeys or Maureen Johnson. Well, not directly. My true answer involves lots of work. I apologise for the lack of glamour.

Here’s what I realised: I’ve been practising getting ideas and turning them into stories for most of my life. Just as an athlete develops the muscles and reflexes necessary to be able to play their sport by training and playing for many, many years, so do writers develop their story-creating muscles.

I started when I was little. As I suspect many novelists do. I was one of those kids who was forever coming up with whatif scenarios.

My Parents: “Don’t answer the door if we’re not home.”

Me: “What if it it’s someone saying the house is on fire?”

MP: “They’d shout through the door.”

Me: “What if they’re mute?”

MP: “Aaaaaarrrggghhh!”

As you can see I’m already building a story. There’s a child at home alone, there’s a fire, and the only one who can warn the child cannot speak. What happens next? Will the parents get home in time? Will the child survive?

MP: “Don’t hit your sister!”1

Me: “But what if hitting her is the only way to kill the tiny alien that’s attempting to crawl in through her pores?”

MP: “There is no excuse for violence under any circumstances.”

Me: “But what if . . . ”

MP: “What if we say no more books for you until you turn 30?”

Me: *side eyes parents*

Here we have a world in which there are nano-aliens who can get inside us through our pores but who can also be destroyed by squashing them. What happens if they get inside us? Do they eat us? Turn us into pod people? How did they get here? Have they been here all along? Are they only after little sisters?

I played at what ifs almost every day of my childhood. When I wasn’t tormenting my parents and teachers I was making up stories for my sister and then for my friends.

If I lost a book before I’d finished it I’d make up the ending. Ditto for movies and tv shows I didn’t get to watch all of.2

It becomes a habit to start extrapolating possible stories out of, well, pretty much anything. Why is that banana peel on the ground directly outside a jewellery store? Genetically enhanced monkey jewel thief. Obviously.

When I overhear odds snatches of conversation I extrapolate the rest of the conversation and the story it’s part of. It’s fun to imagine whole lives and adventures for the people I overhear on the tram.

Having done this every day for decades now it’s no surprise I get ideas for novels many times a day. I see a fantastic tweet like this one:

BwK_T5jCEAAo08X

And I start thinking about writing a novel where a kid does that on their first day of school: walks in dressed very fine, holding a big sign that says FEMINIST. The rest of the novel would be them slaying the evil trolls, defeating the misogynist school board and principal, and saving the world.

When you get a bunch of writers together they often do this, bounce ideas off each other, extend them into a story. Whatif-ing each other for hours. It’s how collaborations often begin. That’s how Sarah Rees Brennan and I wound up writing Team Human together.

Of course, I pretty much never write the novel if I’ve already figured out how it ends. When ideas really spark for me I have to start typing. But even then I have oodles of half sketched out beginnings of novels, sometimes several chapters, sometimes just a paragraph or two, sometimes no more than a few lines. A very small percentage of these ever become novels. All that practise turning ideas into story pays off every time I finish another novel.

There is, alas, a huge distance between coming up with ideas, extrapolating a story, and turning them into a fully fledged novel. The first two are a matter of moments; the latter a matter of months, if not years. But without the ideas the novels never happen.

Finally, to tie this into Scott Westerfeld’s marvellous series on how to write YA, extrapolating about other people’s lives is a great way to build empathy, which Scott argues is one of the most important functions of a novel.

  1. I was a truly awful older sister. I’m not kidding. It speaks volumes as to what a fabulous sister I have that she forgives me.
  2. Punishment meted out by parents. Possibly for asking a few too many what ifs.

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5. HarperCollins to Help Indie Bookstores With Express Shipping During Holidays

harpercollins-304HarperCollins Publishers has revealed plans for a new Holiday Express Shipping program to help support independent bookstores across the country during the holidays.

As part of the program, the publisher will ship all qualifying orders from participating stores that have been placed by 1:00pm (EST) out the next business day. If the titles are in stock, the books will be delivered within two business days. Reorders for HarperCollins and HarperCollins Christian Publishing titles are all eligible for this program.

Here is more from the press release: “New title laydowns will continue to ship by the established on-sale date for each title. November 3, 2014 and running through January 16, 2015.”

 

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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6. preheat

It was too hot a night for it, but I did it anyway: turning the knob on the oven, lighting the stove, oil slicked on the bottom of a pan. Set the table for two. Sweated. Sat down: double ice waters, a quick kiss, then dinner.

I am so tired, and I don't want to move. A dog named Charlie barks from behind a closed bedroom door. I lick peanut butter off a knife. I read articles about sad women who write, who want to understand writing, who want to be heard, who want to die.

Things that are close in my mind: my great-aunt Dorothy, my great-aunt Norm, here is a photograph:

"I don't know much, but I know I love you" is apparently a line from a song, but I didn't know that when I said it.

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7. DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: August 2014 – Multiversity Selfies

Batman 34 195x300 DC Comics Month to Month Sales: August 2014   Multiversity Selfiesby David Carter

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

It’s month three of DC’s new variant cover ordering scheme, where retailers can order as many of the month’s themed variant covers as they want at the regular price. As previously suspected, the Selfie variants do not attract as many additional orders as the Bombshell or Batman 75th variants did. It’s hard to tell if that is because of a perceived lack of interest in the covers, or an adjustment based on the previous months, or a combination of factors. Next month DC will have round two of the 3D motion covers, hoping to recapture some of the magic of last year’s 3D cover stunt.

This was a down month for DC. Several of their top sellers did not ship in August: Justice League, Superman Unchained and Sandman Overture. Vertigo sales are particularly moribund: the average Vertigo sales of 9,082 per title is the second lowest since Diamond started reporting actual sales back in 2003. (The lowest month was November 2010, at 9,034.) With The Wake over and Sandman Overture shipping sporadically, Vertigo’s top seller this month is short-timer Fables.

DC is having some amount of luck with recent relaunches; so far Grayson, New Suicide Squad and Teen Titans are doing decently. But besides Harley Quinn, they are not having much of a go with regular series launches. Two of their most recent, Infinity Man and the Forever People and Star-Spangled War Stories featuring G. I. Zombie, are already in the cancellation zone on their third and second issues respectively.

Next month is the third anniversary of The New 52, so this month gives us an opportunity to look at the state of sales compared to the final pre-New 52 month, August 2011. For several of the books below you’ll see a special, one-time only statistic, the New 52 Differential. For comics that existed pre-New 52 and were relaunched in September 2011, and that have survived all the way to issue #34 in August 2014, you’ll see a comparison of how well they are selling three years out compared to how they sold just before being relaunched (rounded off). They range from a whopping +60K increase for Batman (which has never sold below 100K for the entirety of its New 52 existence!) to a depressing -30K for Green Lantern, and pretty much the gamut in between. In both of those extreme cases you could say that it was the creative teams that played as much of a role: the Snyder & Capullo combination on Batman has been extremely popular, and the departure of Geoff Johns from writing Green Lantern has resulted in a marked decrease over the entire line of Green Lantern comics.

It would be foolish to say that The New 52 was anything but a sales success for DC; especially in its debut months DC sold many many copies of comics that they in no way would have been able to sell otherwise except for the huge marketing push that the line-wide reboot afforded them. And three years out the average sales for the DCU are about 9K higher than they were back in August 2011. But it does kind of feel like we’re back to where we started from, and the only ways that DC can boost sales are by crossover events, variant covers, and individual title relaunches. It is extremely rare for a book to grow steadily because of reader interest in the comic. (This is a problem that comics in general have, not just DC.)

There one arena that this fretting leaves out is one that is invisible to us, sales wise: digital. Along with the New 52 relaunch, DC also went day-and-date with digital releases, and over the past three years have instituted a robust digital-first program as well. While an (assumed) average of digital sales being 15% of print sales means that we are a long way from the day that digital will replace print for DC (though compare to the early days of direct sales vs. newsstand…), that’s still a nice bonus layered on top. And digital makes for a possibility of a nice long tail, without the need to keep comics in print and warehoused.

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!

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 ($3.99)
08/2004: Batman #631 --  72,287 [74,830] 
08/2009: Batman #689 --  78,392 
08/2010: Batman #702 --  73,414
08/2011: Batman #713 --  51,760
08/2012: Batman #12  -- 125,249 
-------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Batman #30  -- 108,998 (-  6.8%)
05/2014: Batman #31  -- 107,499 (+  0.2%) [109,170]
06/2014: Batman #32  -- 130,077 (+ 19.2%) 
07/2014: Batman #33  -- 117,996 (-  9.3%) 
08/2014: Batman #34  -- 112,186 (-  4.9%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  3.2%
1 year  : - 12.5%
2 years : - 10.4%
5 years : + 43.1%
10 years: + 49.9%
Since #1: - 49.8%
New 52 Diff: +60K

Once again, Batman is DC’s #1 comic in units sold. “Zero Year” ended last month so this was a transition issue tying in to the ongoing Batman Eternal story. The Self-Bat variant cover differential issomewhat less than 6K, some of which may be attributable to the interim-ness of this issue.

4 - THE MULTIVERSITY ($4.99)
08/2014: The Multiversity #1  --  90,551

The new Grant Morrison series-of-one-shots exploring DC’s multiverse opens under 100K, but due to its $5 cover price it is the top revenue-generating comic of August. Each issue will be a #1 with a different subject and different artist, making it hard to predict what will happen to sales numbers over the coming months. (There were a plethora of order incentive covers, but no standard Selfie variant.)

7, 13 - HARLEY QUINN ($2.99)
11/2013: Harley Quinn #0  -- 114,212           [141,580]
12/2013: Harley Quinn #1  --  92,153 (- 10.8%) [120,312]
01/2014: Harley Quinn #2  --  66,363 (- 26.9%) [ 82,031]
02/2014: Harley Quinn #3  --  63,967 (- 18.6%) [ 72,820]
03/2014: Harley Quinn #4  --  63,120 (-  5.5%)
04/2014: Harley Quinn #5  --  63,155 (+  0.1%)
05/2014: Harley Quinn #6  --  62,467 (-  1.1%)
06/2014: Harley Quinn #7  --  93,266 (+ 49.3%)
07/2014: Harley Quinn #8  --  76,827 (- 17.6%)
08/2014: Harley Quinn #9  --  71,522 (-  6.9%)
08/2014: Harley Quinn #10 --  58,500 (- 18.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 10.7%
Since #0: - 58.7%

DC ships two issues of one of the best-selling books this month–because hey, why not?–and the results are highly illustrative. Issue #9 had a freely-orderable Selfie variant (for a Self-Bat differential of more than 5K), while issue #10 had a 1:25 order incentive variant but no Selfie cover. The difference? 13K! Issue #10’s sales of 58.5K are just about exactly where we’d expect them to be given standard attrition based on what the title was selling before DC started their new variant ordering scheme.

10, 14, 15, 16 - BATMAN ETERNAL ($2.99)
04/2014: Batman Eternal #1  -- 105,754           [110,916]
04/2014: Batman Eternal #2  --  84,566 (- 20.2%) [ 88,468]
04/2014: Batman Eternal #3  --  79,703 (-  4.8%) [ 84,183]
04/2014: Batman Eternal #4  --  78,009 (-  1.7%) [ 82,743]
05/2014: Batman Eternal #5  --  73,475 (- 11.2%)
05/2014: Batman Eternal #6  --  70,983 (-  3.4%)
05/2014: Batman Eternal #7  --  68,251 (-  3.8%)
05/2014: Batman Eternal #8  --  68,523 (+  0.4%)
06/2014: Batman Eternal #9  --  68,295 (-  0.3%)
06/2014: Batman Eternal #10 --  67,203 (-  1.6%)
06/2014: Batman Eternal #11 --  65,770 (-  2.1%)
06/2014: Batman Eternal #12 --  65,374 (-  0.6%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #13 --  63,828 (-  2.4%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #14 --  63,138 (-  1.1%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #15 --  62,137 (-  1.6%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #16 --  61,149 (-  1.6%)
07/2014: Batman Eternal #17 --  60,013 (-  1.9%)
08/2014: Batman Eternal #18 --  58,998 (-  1.7%)
08/2014: Batman Eternal #19 --  58,368 (-  1.1%)
08/2014: Batman Eternal #20 --  57,906 (-  0.8%)
08/2014: Batman Eternal #21 --  57,525 (-  0.7%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 48.1%

Batman Eternal numbers drop below 60K. There are a couple of ways to look at these figures. On the one hand, they’re dropping an average just a bit over 1% per issue, which is a very light attrition. On the other hand, that works out to a little over 4% per month, which is a bit on the high side. If it keeps up at the current rate, Batman Eternal will drop to around 40K by the time it ends in March.

11 - DETECTIVE COMICS ($3.99)
08/2004: Detective Comics #797 -- 50,695 [52,811]
08/2009: Detective Comics #856 -- 58,859
08/2010: Detective Comics #868 -- 38,682
08/2011: Detective Comics #881 -- 39,729
08/2012: Detective Comics #12  -- 75,998
-----------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Detective Comics #30  -- 56,149 (+  1.2%)
05/2014: Detective Comics #31  -- 54,518 (-  2.9%)
06/2014: Detective Comics #32  -- 72,988 (+ 33.9%)
07/2014: Detective Comics #33  -- 62,856 (- 13.9%)
08/2014: Detective Comics #34  -- 58,812 (-  6.4%)
-----------------
6 months: +  3.9%
1 year  : -  4.3%
2 years : - 22.6%
5 years : -  0.1%
10 years: + 11.4%
Since #1: - 62.7%
New 52 Diff: +19K

A Self-Bat differential of about 4K.

18 - SUPERMAN ($3.99)
08/2004: Superman #208 -- 129,256
08/2009: Superman #691 --  39,106
08/2010: Superman #702 --  50,023
08/2011: Superman #714 --  35,919
08/2012: Superman #12  --  53,326
---------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Superman #30  --  37,316 (+ 11.0%)
05/2014: Superman #31  --  40,534 (+  8.6%)
06/2014: Superman #32  --  89,140 (+136.8%) [95,972]
07/2014: Superman #33  --  62,998 (- 34.4%)
08/2014: Superman #34  --  56,568 (- 10.2%)
-----------------
6 months: + 64.9%
1 year  : + 34.2%
2 years : +  6.1%
5 years : + 44.7%
10 years: - 56.2%
Since #1: - 62.3%
New 52 Diff: +21K

A 10% drop is pretty typical for a third issue, but then that also includes the Self-Bat differential (6K), so actual reader interest may be holding stronger. The variant cover effects are really messing up any cogent analysis of the effect of the new creative team.

19 - GRAYSON ($2.99)
08/2004: Nightwing #95  -- 44,558 [47,479]
08/2012: Nightwing #12  -- 47,484
---------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: --
05/2014: Nightwing #30  -- 43,923 (+ 19.3%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: Grayson #1     -- 81,433 (+ 85.4%)
08/2014: Grayson #2     -- 56,486 (- 30.6%)
-----------------
6 months: + 52.9%
1 year  : + 39.4%
2 years : + 19.0%
10 years: + 19.0%
Since #1: - 30.6%

Thirty percent is a bit on the high side for a second issue drop, but since that also includes the Self-Bat differential it is pretty much in line with what is typical. Grayson will likely end up as a decent-performing mid-list book for DC.

20 - BATMAN/SUPERMAN ($3.99)
08/2004: --
08/2009: Superman/Batman #63 --  37,467
08/2010: Superman/Batman #75 --  34,324
08/2011: Superman/Batman #87 --  26,425
---------------------------------------
08/2013: Batman/Superman #3  --  87,337 (-13.6%)
09/2013: #3.1: Doomsday      --  92,290 (+10.4%) [96,453]
10/2013: Batman/Superman #4  --  82,990 (-14.0%)
11/2013: Batman/Superman #5  --  77,198 (- 7.0%)
12/2013: Batman/Superman #6  --  68,857 (-10.8%)
01/2014: Batman/Superman #7  --  61,074 (-11.3%)
02/2014: Batman/Superman #8  --  59,138 (- 3.2%)
03/2014: --
04/2014: Batman/Superman #9  --  56,223 (- 4.9%)
05/2014: Batman/Superman #10 --  54,844 (- 4.9%)
05/2014: Batman/Superman #11 --  53,504 (- 4.9%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: Batman/Superman #12 --  68,345 (+27.7%)
08/2014: Batman/Superman #13 --  55,954 (-18.1%)
-----------------
6 months: -  5.4%
1 year  : - 35.9%
5 years : + 49.3%
10 years:   n.a.
Since #1: - 63.0%

Somehow last month I neglected to include Batman/Superman in the analysis. I swear I proofed that puppy, but I was running so late with the column that I must have rushed and just missed my skipping it. And in my defense, Batman/Superman ‘s schedule has been kind of erratic as of late. Mea culpa, and I’ll recommend to Heidi that she dock my pay for this error.

Anyway, like Justice League (which did not ship in August due to yet more lateness), Batman/Superman is running behind and thus in August had its Batman 75th variant cover, with a Bat-Bomb differential of over 14K.

24 - BATMAN AND... ($2.99)
08/2009: Batman and Robin #3  -- 110,594
08/2010: --
08/2011: Batman and Robin #26 --  52,704
08/2012: Batman and Robin #12 --  63,993
----------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: and Wonder Woman #30 --  44,832 (+  3.6%)
05/2014: and Frankenstein #31 --  42,150 (-  6.0%)
06/2014: and Ra's al Ghul #32 --  56,311 (+ 33.6%)
07/2014: Batman and Robin #33 --  56,269 (-  0.1%)
08/2014: Batman and Robin #34 --  53,403 (-  5.1%)
----------------
6 months: + 23.1%
1 year  : -  4.1%
2 years : - 16.5%
5 years : - 51.7%
Since #1: - 54.0%
New 52 Diff: +0.7K

A Self-Bat differential of just under 3K.

27 - SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN ($3.99)
10/2013: Superman/Wonder Woman #1  -- 94,859
11/2013: Superman/Wonder Woman #2  -- 60,185 (- 36.6%)
12/2013: Superman/Wonder Woman #3  -- 51,357 (- 14.7%)
01/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #4  -- 47,350 (-  7.8%)
02/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #5  -- 44,847 (-  5.3%)
03/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #6  -- 43,308 (-  3.4%)
04/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #7  -- 45,157 (+  4.3%)
05/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #8  -- 47,803 (+  5.9%)
06/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #9  -- 62,659 (+ 31.1%)
07/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #10 -- 50,254 (- 19.8%)
08/2014: Superman/Wonder Woman #11 -- 50,550 (+  0.6%)
-----------------
6 months: + 12.7%
Since #1: - 46.7%

Actually gains a few sales this month, no doubt due to the continuing strength of the “Superman Doomed” crossover story. The only title this month with a positive Self-Bat differential.

(I suspect that we’re missing some amount of re-order activity on all of the “Superman Doomed” installments, due to Diamond not reporting beyond the top 300 and that threshold being relatively high over the past couple of months.)

31 - ACTION COMICS ($3.99)
08/2004: Action Comics #818 -- 43,257
08/2009: Action Comics #880 -- 37,588
08/2010: Action Comics #892 -- 36,401
08/2011: Action Comics #904 -- 39,323
08/2012: Action Comics #12  -- 71,203
--------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Action Comics #30  -- 37,809 (+ 10.5%)
05/2014: Action Comics #31  -- 41,081 (+  8.7%)
06/2014: Action Comics #32  -- 55,400 (+ 34.9%)
07/2014: Action Comics #33  -- 49,457 (- 10.7%)
08/2014: Action Comics #34  -- 46,746 (-  5.5%)
-----------------
6 months: + 32.4%
1 year  : +  9.7%
2 years : - 34.3%
5 years : + 24.4%
10 years: +  8.1%
Since #1: - 76.7%
New 52 Diff: + 7K

But then Action Comics is in the same boat crossover-wise as S/WW , but it takes a more typical Self-Bat drop of 2.5K. So maybe something else is going on with S/WW ?

34 - GREEN LANTERN ($2.99)
08/2004: Green Lantern #180 --  36,425
08/2009: Green Lantern #45  -- 102,431
08/2010: --
08/2011: --
08/2012: Green Lantern #12  --  77,187
--------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Green Lantern #30  --  44,483 (-  2.9%)
05/2014: Green Lantern #31  --  43,769 (-  1.6%)
06/2014: Green Lantern #32  --  56,315 (+ 28.7%)
07/2014: Green Lantern #33  --  47,279 (- 16.0%)
08/2014: Green Lantern #34  --  43,846 (-  7.3%)
-----------------
6 months: - 14.9%
1 year  : - 25.9%
2 years : - 43.2%
5 years : - 57.2%
10 years: + 20.4%
Since #1: - 74.1%
New 52 Diff: -30K*

I am amused that issue #34 ranks at #34 this month. (It does not take much to amuse me‚Ķ) A Self-Bat differential of over 3K. (The New 52 differential uses the July 2011 figures, as GL didn’t ship in August 2011.)

37 - JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED ($3.99)
04/2014: Justice League United #0  -- 68,431 
05/2014: Justice League United #1  -- 64,209 (-  6.2%) 
06/2014: Justice League United #2  -- 62,928 (-  2.0%) 
07/2014: Justice League United #3  -- 47,919 (- 23.9%) 
08/2014: Justice League United #4  -- 42,504 (- 11.3%) 
-----------------
Since #0: - 37.9%

A Self-Bat differential of over 5K.

38 - SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN ANNUAL ($4.99)
08/2014: Superman/WW Annual #1 -- 42,094

One of two annuals that slipped from last month. Another chapter in “Superman Doomed.” Comes in over 8K below the parent title, but that’s without the benefit of a Selfie cover.

39, 41, 42, 44 - The New 52 – Futures End ($2.99)
05/2014: Futures End #0  -- ?????? 
05/2014: Futures End #1  -- 77,867 
05/2014: Futures End #2  -- 62,862 (- 19.3%) 
05/2014: Futures End #3  -- 59,148 (-  5.9%)
05/2014: Futures End #4  -- 58,496 (-  1.1%)
06/2014: Futures End #5  -- 53,645 (-  8.3%)
06/2014: Futures End #6  -- 51,543 (-  3.9%)
06/2014: Futures End #7  -- 50,266 (-  2.5%)
06/2014: Futures End #8  -- 49,138 (-  2.2%)
07/2014: Futures End #9  -- 52,083 (+  6.0%)
07/2014: Futures End #10 -- 46,001 (- 11.7%)
07/2014: Futures End #11 -- 45,222 (-  1.7%)
07/2014: Futures End #12 -- 43,228 (-  4.4%)
07/2014: Futures End #13 -- 42,803 (-  1.0%)
08/2014: Futures End #14 -- 41,185 (-  3.8%)
08/2014: Futures End #15 -- 40,541 (-  1.6%)
08/2014: Futures End #16 -- 40,077 (-  1.1%)
08/2014: Futures End #17 -- 39,750 (-  0.8%)
-----------------
Since #1: - 49.0%

The previous three month’s worth were returnable, but this month was not. And lo and behold the non-adjusted figures for August fall right in line with the adjusted numbers for the previous months.

Falls below 40K for the first time, which must be a bit worrying since next month’s big Futures End stunt is tying in to this series. This has not turned into the linchpin series that DC was probably expecting it to be. If I were running DC, I’d take this as a sign that readers are becoming increasingly weary of the top-down imposition of cross-title continuity, and that multiple weekly titles may not be the best publishing strategy.

40 - TEEN TITANS ($2.99)
08/2004: Teen Titans #14  -- 63,894
08/2009: Teen Titans #74  -- 30,380
08/2010: Teen Titans #86  -- 24,971
08/2011: Teen Titans #99  -- 23,756
08/2011: Teen Titans #100 -- 27,459
08/2012: Teen Titans #12  -- 42,817
-----------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Teen Titans #30  -- 25,709 (-  1.0%)
05/2014: --
06/2014: --
07/2014: Teen Titans #1   -- 52,358 (+103.7%)
08/2014: Teen Titans #2   -- 40,687 (- 22.3%)
-----------------
6 months: + 52.2%
1 year  : + 28.2%
2 years : -  5.0%
5 years : + 33.9%
10 years: - 36.3%

A typical second issue drop.

46 - ACTION COMICS ANNUAL ($4.99)
10/2012: Action Comics Annual #1 -- 50,485 
10/2013: Action Comics Annual #2 -- 34,668 (- 31.3%)
08/2014: Action Comics Annual #3 -- 38,504 (+ 11.1%)

An increase of nearly 4K more than last year’s Annual, due no doubt to interest in the “Superman Doomed” crossover.

47 - NEW SUICIDE SQUAD ($3.99)
08/2012: Suicide Squad #12     -- 28,302
-----------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: --
05/2014: Suicide Squad #30     -- 22,063 (-  0.4%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: New Suicide Squad #1  -- 49,260 (+123.3%)
08/2014: New Suicide Squad #2  -- 38,477 (- 21.9%)
-----------------
6 months: + 68.2%
1 year  : + 73.6%
2 years : + 36.0%

A typical second issue drop.

50 - EARTH 2 ($3.99)
08/2012: Earth 2 #4  -- 67,393
------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Earth 2 #22 -- 34,970 (-  0.9%)
05/2014: Earth 2 #23 -- 34,531 (-  1.3%)
06/2014: Earth 2 #24 -- 47,277 (+ 36.9%)
07/2014: Earth 2 #25 -- 39,726 (- 16.0%)
08/2014: Earth 2 #26 -- 37,396 (-  5.9%)
----------------
6 months: +  4.7%
1 year  : -  8.4%
2 years : - 44.5%
Since #1: - 63.5%

A Self-Bat differential of under 3K.

52 - FLASH ($2.99)
08/2004: Flash #213       --  41,363
08/2009: Flash Rebirth #4 --  78,107
08/2010: --
08/2011: --
08/2012: Flash #12        --  51,779
-----------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Flash #30        --  33,300 (+  5.8%) [35,157]
05/2014: Flash #31        --  34,240 (-  2.6%)
06/2014: Flash #32        --  47,188 (+ 37.8%)
07/2014: Flash #33        --  39,669 (- 15.9%)
08/2014: Flash #34        --  37,109 (-  6.5%)
-----------------
6 months: +  9.6%
1 year  : -  4.5%
2 years : - 28.3%
5 years : - 52.5%
10 years: - 10.3%
Since #1: - 74.9%

A Self-Bat differential of around 2.5K.

60 - BATGIRL ($2.99)
08/2004: Batgirl #55 -- 39,469 [43,494]
08/2010: Batgirl #13 -- 27,247
08/2011: Batgirl #24 -- 22,695
08/2012: Batgirl #12 -- 43,804
----------------------------------
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 #29 -- 33,223 (-  3.9%)
04/2014: Batgirl #30 -- 32,698 (-  1.6%)
05/2014: Batgirl #31 -- 31,522 (-  3.6%)
06/2014: Batgirl #32 -- 47,304 (+ 50.1%)
07/2014: Batgirl #33 -- 37,186 (- 21.4%)
08/2014: Batgirl #34 -- 34,590 (-  7.0%)
-----------------
6 months: +  0.1%
1 year  : -  8.3%
2 years : - 21.0%
10 years: - 20.5%
Since #1: - 67.7%
New 52 Diff: +12K

A Self-Bat differential of about 2.5K. The new creative team arrives in October with issue #35.

65 - AQUAMAN ($2.99)
08/2004: Aquaman #21 -- 23,486
08/2012: Aquaman #12 -- 61,210
------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Aquaman #30 -- 32,859 (-  3.1%)
05/2014: Aquaman #31 -- 32,076 (-  2.4%)
06/2014: Aquaman #32 -- 44,853 (+ 39.8%)
07/2014: Aquaman #33 -- 36,140 (- 19.4%)
08/2014: Aquaman #34 -- 33,380 (-  7.6%)
-----------------
6 months: -  4.5%
1 year  : - 24.4%
2 years : - 45.5%
10 years: + 42.1%
Since #1: - 69.2%

A Self-Bat differential of under 3K.

75 - SENSATION COMICS FEAT WONDER WOMAN (Digital-First) ($3.99)
08/2014: Sensation Comics #1 -- 29,640

The debut print version of the digital-first comic featuring Wonder Woman comes in a just under 30K, which this month is good enough to make it the highest-selling non-DCU title. That debut is just over 1K fewer that what its brother title, Adventures of Superman , debuted at, and AoS has its final issue next month with #17. Can Sensation stick it out longer? It will likely depend on how well the digital version sells, and if DC can effectively drum up publicity on a continuing basis for the title’s constantly changing creators.

76 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS ($2.99)
08/2009: Green Lantern Corps #39 -- 82,241
08/2010: Green Lantern Corps #51 -- 67,124
08/2011: Green Lantern Corps #63 -- 53,372
08/2012: Green Lantern Corps #12 -- 41,778
------------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Green Lantern Corps #30 -- 26,640 (-  4.0%)
05/2014: Green Lantern Corps #31 -- 28,449 (+  6.8%)
06/2014: Green Lantern Corps #32 -- 40,734 (+ 43.2%)
07/2014: Green Lantern Corps #33 -- 32,877 (- 19.3%)
08/2014: Green Lantern Corps #34 -- 29,471 (- 10.4%)
----------------
6 months: +  1.1%
1 year  : - 18.7%
2 years : - 29.5%
5 years : - 64.2%
Since #1: - 68.9%
New 52 Diff: -12K

A Self-Bat differential of over 3K, and just 1K more than the pre-variant sales. A new line-wide crossover begins in October.

82 - SINESTRO ($2.99)
04/2014: Sinestro #1  -- 46,480 
05/2014: Sinestro #2  -- 34,640 (- 25.5%) 
06/2014: Sinestro #3  -- 30,422 (- 12.2%) 
07/2014: Sinestro #4  -- 28,095 (-  7.6%) 
08/2014: Sinestro #5  -- 26,867 (-  4.4%) 
-----------------
Since #1: - 42.2%

No variant covers here…

85 - SUPERGIRL ($2.99)
08/2009: Supergirl #44 -- 33,819
08/2010: Supergirl #55 -- 25,891
08/2011: Supergirl #67 -- 19,764
08/2012: Supergirl #12 -- 30,420
---------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Supergirl #30 -- 23,410 (+  2.3%)
05/2014: Supergirl #31 -- 22,783 (-  2.7%)
06/2014: Supergirl #32 -- 22,481 (-  1.3%)
07/2014: Supergirl #33 -- 22,802 (+  1.4%)
08/2014: Supergirl #34 -- 26,510 (+ 16.3%)
-----------------
6 months: + 12.5%
1 year  : +  7.1%
2 years : - 12.9%
5 years : - 21.6%
Since #1: - 64.3%
New 52 Diff: + 7K

Supergirl gets a nice boost by joining the “Superman Doomed” crossover, which is working out better than crossing over with Red Lanterns . One has to wonder why there wasn’t a Selfie variant this month, as a Selfie cover would seem to make perfect sense for a comic starring a teenage girl‚Ķ

89 - JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK ($3.99)
08/2012: Justice League Dark #12 -- 30,754
-------------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Justice League Dark #30 -- 27,695 (-  5.2%)
05/2014: Justice League Dark #31 -- 25,337 (-  8.5%)
06/2014: Justice League Dark #32 -- 38,219 (+ 50.8%)
07/2014: Justice League Dark #33 -- 28,297 (- 26.0%)
08/2014: Justice League Dark #34 -- 25,258 (- 10.7%)
-----------------
6 months: - 17.2%
1 year  : - 66.7%
2 years : - 17.9%
Since #1: - 69.2%

A Self-Bat differential of 3K, which is enough to bring sales down below issue #31, before DC’s new variant program.

92 - BATMAN '66 MEETS THE GREEN HORNET (Digital-First) ($2.99)
06/2014: Batman 66/GH #1 of 6 -- 32,983
07/2014: Batman 66/GH #2 of 6 -- 25,392 (- 23.0%)
08/2014: Batman 66/GH #3 of 6 -- 24,409 (-  3.9%)

That’s a drop of under 1000, which at this stage is a very light drop indeed.

96 - SECRET ORIGINS ($4.99)
04/2014: Secret Origins #1  -- 38,742 
05/2014: Secret Origins #2  -- 32,966 (- 14.9%) 
06/2014: Secret Origins #3  -- 28,351 (- 14.0%) 
07/2014: Secret Origins #4  -- 37,181 (+ 31.1%) 
08/2014: Secret Origins #5  -- 24,126 (- 35.1%) 
-----------------
Since #1: - 37.7%

Without Harley Quinn headlining, sales drop right back down.

98 - CATWOMAN ($2.99)
08/2004: Catwoman #34 -- 37,033 [42,098]
08/2012: Catwoman #12 -- 34,117
-------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Catwoman #30 -- 20,968 (-  5.7%)
05/2014: Catwoman #31 -- 20,144 (-  3.9%)
06/2014: Catwoman #32 -- 33,694 (+ 67.3%)
07/2014: Catwoman #33 -- 18,945 (- 43.8%)
08/2014: Catwoman #34 -- 23,497 (+ 24.0%)
-----------------
6 months: -  2.0%
1 year  : - 38.5%
2 years : - 31.1%
10 years: - 44.2%
Since #1: - 68.9%

Exhibit N in the effects of DC’s new variants program: After skipping the Batman 75th variant last month, Catwoman returns with a Selfie variant and sales pop up another 4.5K.

101 - GREEN ARROW ($2.99)
08/2004: Green Arrow #41  -- 32,269
08/2009: Arrow/Canary #23 -- 19,452
08/2010: Green Arrow #3   -- 46,308
08/2011: Green Arrow #15  -- 23,883
08/2012: Green Arrow #12  -- 23,126
-----------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Green Arrow #30  -- 23,577 (-  0.5%)
05/2014: Green Arrow #31  -- 23,475 (-  0.4%)
06/2014: Green Arrow #32  -- 23,602 (+  0.5%)
07/2014: Green Arrow #33  -- 23,452 (-  0.6%)
08/2014: Green Arrow #34  -- 22,927 (-  2.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 14.2%
1 year  : -  9.9%
2 years : -  0.9%
5 years : + 17.9%
10 years: - 29.0%
Since #1: - 68.3%
New 52 Diff: -0.2K

Dips just a few hundred copies, but that’s enough to push sales under 23K. The new creative team arrives in October.

103 - RED LANTERNS ($2.99)
08/2012: Red Lanterns #12 -- 35,070
-----------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Red Lanterns #30 -- 24,350 (-  3.2%)
05/2014: Red Lanterns #31 -- 24,307 (-  0.2%)
06/2014: Red Lanterns #32 -- 23,720 (-  2.4%)
07/2014: Red Lanterns #33 -- 23,355 (-  1.5%)
08/2014: Red Lanterns #34 -- 22,761 (-  2.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 55.8%
1 year  : - 23.2%
2 years : - 35.1%
Since #1: - 74.5%
107 - GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS ($2.99)
08/2012: New Guardians #12 -- 42,479
---------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: New Guardians #30 -- 24,727 (- 2.2%)
05/2014: New Guardians #31 -- 23,886 (- 3.4%)
06/2014: New Guardians #32 -- 23,142 (- 3.1%)
07/2014: New Guardians #33 -- 22,797 (- 1.5%)
08/2014: New Guardians #34 -- 22,052 (- 3.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 19.0%
1 year  : - 36.0%
2 years : - 48.1%
Since #1: - 77.2%

The line-wide crossover starts in October.

109 - BATMAN '66 (Digital-First) ($3.99)
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%)
04/2014: Batman '66 #10 -- 17,917 (- 4.7%)
05/2014: Batman '66 #11 -- 18,642 (+ 4.0%)
06/2014: Batman '66 #12 -- 17,286 (- 7.3%)
07/2014: Batman '66 #13 -- 17,264 (- 0.1%)
08/2014: Batman '66 #14 -- 21,456 (+24.3%)
-----------------
6 months: +  8.4%
1 year  : - 42.2%
Since #1: - 57.5%

There was a selfie variant this time out, and it appears to work just as well for the digital-first titles as it does for the DCU books. I wonder when Vertigo will start to get freely-orderable variants?

114 - JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 ($2.99)
12/2013: Justice League 3K #1 -- 57,726
01/2014: Justice League 3K #2 -- 41,423 (-28.2%)
02/2014: Justice League 3K #3 -- 33,308 (-19.6%)
03/2014: Justice League 3K #4 -- 30,127 (- 9.6%)
04/2014: Justice League 3K #5 -- 27,529 (- 8.6%)
05/2014: Justice League 3K #6 -- 25,738 (- 6.5%)
06/2014: Justice League 3K #7 -- 24,172 (- 6.1%)
07/2014: Justice League 3K #8 -- 22,604 (- 6.5%)
08/2014: Justice League 3K #9 -- 20,974 (- 7.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 37.0% 
Since #1: - 63.7%

Continues to shed readers at an unsustainable rate.

117 - RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS ($2.99)
08/2012: Red Hood #12 -- 34,439
-------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Red Hood #30 -- 21,718 (-  2.7%)
05/2014: Red Hood #31 -- 21,257 (-  2.1%)
06/2014: Red Hood #32 -- 33,081 (+ 55.6%)
07/2014: Red Hood #33 -- 20,669 (- 37.5%)
08/2014: Red Hood #34 -- 20,069 (-  2.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 13.6%
1 year  : - 30.4%
2 years : - 41.7%
Since #1: - 71.4%

Drops just 600 copies.

119 - WORLDS' FINEST ($2.99)
08/2012: Worlds' Finest #4  -- 39,629 
-------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Worlds' Finest #22 -- 21,485 (- 16.3%)
05/2014: Worlds' Finest #23 -- 21,118 (-  1.7%)
06/2014: Worlds' Finest #24 -- 20,900 (-  1.0%)
07/2014: Worlds' Finest #25 -- 19,957 (-  4.5%)
08/2014: Worlds' Finest #26 -- 19,772 (-  0.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 28.4%
1 year  : - 18.2%
2 years : - 50.1%
Since #1: - 71.6%

Drops fewer than 200 copies.

123 - AQUAMAN AND THE OTHERS ($2.99)
04/2014: Aquaman & Others #1  -- 34,056 
05/2014: Aquaman & Others #2  -- 26,198 (- 23.1%) 
06/2014: Aquaman & Others #3  -- 23,109 (- 11.8%) 
07/2014: Aquaman & Others #4  -- 20,520 (- 11.2%) 
08/2014: Aquaman & Others #5  -- 18,639 (-  9.2%) 
-----------------
Since #1: - 45.3%

Drops below 19K.

124, 126 - INJUSTICE: YEAR TWO (Digital-First) ($2.99)
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%)
04/2014: Injustice Y2 #4  -- 20,310 (- 1.9%)
05/2014: Injustice Y2 #5  -- 19,834 (- 2.3%)
06/2014: Injustice Y2 #6  -- 19,353 (- 2.4%)
07/2014: Injustice Y2 #7  -- 19,811 (+ 2.4%)
07/2014: Injustice Y2 #8  -- 18,931 (- 4.4%)
08/2014: Injustice Y2 #9  -- 18,397 (- 2.8%)
08/2014: Injustice Y2 #10 -- 18,068 (- 1.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 19.7%
1 year  : - 27.8%
Since #1: - 26.9%

DC’s best-selling-in-digital-form digital-first title is still above 18K in its print incarnation. Year Three starts in October.

128 - SWAMP THING ($2.99)
08/2004: Swamp Thing #6  -- 19,973
08/2012: Swamp Thing #12 -- 36,696
----------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Swamp Thing #30 -- 18,458 (- 2.0%)
05/2014: Swamp Thing #31 -- 18,249 (- 1.1%)
06/2014: Swamp Thing #32 -- 18,483 (+ 1.3%)
07/2014: Swamp Thing #33 -- 17,905 (- 3.1%)
08/2014: Swamp Thing #34 -- 17,570 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -  8.2%
1 year  : - 22.6%
2 years : - 52.1%
10 years: - 12.0%
Since #1: - 76.2%

Writer Charles Soule announced that he’s going Marvel exclusive; will DC use his departure as an opportunity to revamp Swamp Thing , or just put it to bed?

129 - BATMAN ESSENTIAL DARK KNIGHT RETURNS SPECIAL EDITION #1 ($1.00)
08/2014: Batman Essential DKR #1  -- 17,518

A bargain-priced reprint of the first issue of Frank Miller’s mid-80s classic sells a good deal more than other recent DC Essentials.

132 - BATWOMAN ($2.99)
08/2012: Batwoman #12 -- 38,980
--------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Batwoman #30 -- 19,204 (-  2.8%)
05/2014: Batwoman #31 -- 18,463 (-  3.9%)
06/2014: Batwoman #32 -- 33,538 (+ 81.6%)
07/2014: Batwoman #33 -- 23,922 (- 28.7%)
08/2014: Batwoman #34 -- 16,909 (- 29.3%)
----------------
6 months: - 18.2%
1 year  : - 35.5%
2 years : - 56.6%
Since #1: - 80.8%

No variant this time, and sales drop to their lowest level yet. This was the ‘break-up’ issue. In an alternate universe, the highly-publicized wedding issue includes an awesome Selfie variant of all of the wedding guests, and sells much, much better.

141 - CONSTANTINE ($2.99)
08/2004: Hellblazer #199 -- 14,768
08/2009: Hellblazer #258 -- 10,665
08/2010: Hellblazer #270 --  9,928
08/2011: Hellblazer #282 --  9,372
08/2012: Hellblazer #294 --  9,396
----------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Constantine #13 -- 18,454 (-  8.0%)
05/2014: Constantine #14 -- 17,422 (-  5.6%)
06/2014: Constantine #15 -- 16,704 (-  4.1%)
07/2014: Constantine #16 -- 16,235 (-  2.8%)
08/2014: Constantine #17 -- 15,647 (-  2.8%)
-----------------
6 months: - 23.2%
1 year  : - 37.8%
2 years : + 66.5%
5 years : + 46.7%
10 years: +  6.0%
Since #1: - 58.3%

The TV show is scheduled to debut on October 24.

145 - BIRDS OF PREY ($2.99)
08/2004: Birds of Prey #71 -- 32,298
08/2004: Birds of Prey #72 -- 31,835
08/2010: Birds of Prey #4  -- 46,149
08/2011: Birds of Prey #15 -- 26,043
08/2012: Birds of Prey #12 -- 26,587
-------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Birds of Prey #30 -- 16,358 (-  2.6%)
05/2014: Birds of Prey #31 -- 15,947 (-  2.5%)
06/2014: Birds of Prey #32 -- 16,397 (+  2.8%)
07/2014: Birds of Prey #33 -- 15,379 (-  6.2%)
07/2014: Birds of Prey #34 -- 15,397 (+  0.1%)
-----------------
6 months: - 14.9%
1 year  : - 20.5%
2 years : - 42.1%
10 years: - 52.0%
Since #1: - 76.8%
New 52 Diff: -11K

Adds 18 copies for the final regular issue.

146 - INFINITE CRISIS: FIGHT FOR THE MULTIVERSE (Digital-First) ($3.99)
07/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #1 -- 26,096
08/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #2 -- 15,340 (- 41.2%)

Ouch, that’s a very hefty second issue drop.

Oh, while I’m at it (and since perhaps someone is wondering), a typical 2nd issue drop is around 25%, while a typical third issue drop is around 10%. Standard attrition, once a title has settled in, is around 2-3%.

150 - BATMAN BEYOND UNIVERSE (Digital-First) ($3.99)
08/2012: Unlimited #7  -- 21,219
---------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Universe #9   -- 13,807 (- 2.1%)
05/2014: Universe #10  -- 13,869 (+ 0.4%)
06/2014: Universe #11  -- 14,068 (+ 1.4%)
07/2014: Universe #12  -- 14,419 (+ 2.5%)
08/2014: Universe #13  -- 14,215 (- 1.4%)
----------------
6 months: -  1.5%
1 year  : - 39.1%
2 years : - 33.0%
Since #1: - 39.1%

After three straight months of small growth, BB drops down again.

154 - SUPERBOY ($2.99)
08/2011: Superboy #10 -- 20,563
08/2011: Superboy #11 -- 20,317
08/2012: Superboy #12 -- 27,518
--------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Superboy #30 -- 15,382 (-  2.5%)
05/2014: Superboy #31 -- 14,795 (-  3.8%)
06/2014: Superboy #32 -- 14,451 (-  2.3%)
07/2014: Superboy #33 -- 14,004 (-  3.1%)
08/2014: Superboy #34 -- 13,785 (-  1.6%)
-----------------
6 months: - 16.2%
1 year  : - 31.9%
2 years : - 49.9%
Since #1: - 80.1%
New 52 Diff: -16K

The final regular issue drops below 14K.

155 - FABLES (Vertigo) ($2.99)
08/2004: Fables #28  -- 25,076
08/2009: Fables #87  -- 21,876
08/2010: Fables #97  -- 19,625
08/2011: Fables #108 -- 18,390
08/2012: Fables #120 -- 16,704
------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: --
05/2014: Fables #140 -- 13,977 (+ 0.3%)
06/2014: Fables #141 -- 13,997 (+ 0.1%)
07/2014: Fables #142 -- 13,831 (- 1.2%)
08/2014: Fables #143 -- 13,672 (- 1.1%)
----------------
6 months: -  3.1%
1 year  : -  8.2%
2 years : - 18.2%
5 years : - 37.5%
10 years: - 45.5%
Since #1: - 37.9%

With The Wake now over, Sandman Overture not shipping this month, and American Vampire on a skip month, Fables is the top Vertigo title of August, in what is a very soft month for the imprint.

160 - ASTRO CITY (Vertigo) ($3.99)
08/2004: Supersonic #1   -- 27,982
08/2009: Dark Age 3 #4   -- 14,684
08/2010: Silver Agent #2 -- 12,486
08/2011: --
08/2012: --
---------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Astro City #11  -- 13,909 (- 1.3%)
05/2014: Astro City #12  -- 13,795 (- 0.8%)
06/2014: Astro City #13  -- 13,419 (- 2.7%)
07/2014: --
08/2014: Astro City #14  -- 13,069 (- 2.6%)
-----------------
6 months: -  8.5%
1 year  : - 30.5%
5 years : - 11.0%
10 years: - 53.3%
Since #1: - 51.6%

Standard attrition.

162 - INFINITY MAN AND THE FOREVER PEOPLE ($2.99)
06/2014: Infinity Man & FP #1 -- 24,907
07/2014: Infinity Man & FP #2 -- 15,903 (- 36.2%)
08/2014: Infinity Man & FP #3 -- 12,390 (- 22.1%)

Dropping fast. Ties in with the Green Lantern books starting in October.

171 - ALL STAR WESTERN ($3.99)
08/2009: Jonah Hex #45 -- 12,588
08/2010: Jonah Hex #56 -- 13,441
08/2011: Jonah Hex #68 -- 10,224
08/2012: ASW #11       -- 23,572
--------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: ASW #30       -- 12,285 (- 1.7%)
05/2014: ASW #31       -- 12,023 (- 2.1%)
06/2014: ASW #32       -- 11,675 (- 2.9%)
07/2014: ASW #33       -- 11,488 (- 1.6%)
08/2014: ASW #34       -- 11,758 (+ 2.4%)
-----------------
6 months: - 13.2%
1 year  : - 25.3%
2 years : - 51.3%
5 years : -  8.7%
Since #1: - 79.1%
New 52 Diff: +1.5K

Sales rise a bit for the final, Darwyn Cooke-drawn issue.

Before we move on, let us pause and reflect on the fact that, when you include ASW and its prior incarnation as Jonah Hex , DC published over 100 issues (and one OGN) of a Western comic, and they were (IMHO) darn fine comics at that.

172 - STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES FEAT GI ZOMBIE ($2.99)
07/2014: SSWS GI Zombie #1 -- 18,762 
08/2014: SSWS GI Zombie #2 -- 11,724 (-37.5%)

A perfect example of how not to launch a new series, as SSWS received not a lot of promotion, and what little there was didn’t give a sense of the actual content of the comic. Since the New 52 relaunch, none of the DCU titles in the form of Classic Series Title feat. Obscure Classic Character have done well (the most successful being All Star Western , which ended this month). I’m not sure what DC was thinking.

So here, I’ll do their job for them with this simple elevator pitch: G. I. Zombie is a topical espionage thriller starring a ex-solider who is now a zombie, drawn expertly by Harvey Award-winner Scott Hampton.

It’s a solid title; give it a chance, won’t you?

173 - HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ($2.99)
08/2012: -- 
------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: He-Man & MotU #12 -- 12,718 (- 2.8%)
05/2014: He-Man & MotU #13 -- 12,430 (- 2.3%)
06/2014: He-Man & MotU #14 -- 12,144 (- 2.3%)
07/2014: He-Man & MotU #15 -- 11,905 (- 2.0%)
08/2014: He-Man & MotU #16 -- 11,721 (- 1.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 15.2%
1 year  : - 30.6%
2 years :    n.a.
Since #1: - 53.6%

Looks like it’s maybe set for a relaunch in December?

174 - BODIES (Vertigo) ($2.99)
07/2014:Bodies #1 of 8 -- 17,500 
08/2014:Bodies #2 of 8 -- 11,283 (-33.8%)

Unlike issue #1, #2 was not returnable.

177 - FAIREST (Vertigo) ($2.99)
08/2012: Fairest #6  -- 19,446
------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Fairest #25 -- 11,801 (- 0.6%)
05/2014: Fairest #26 -- 11,493 (- 2.6%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: Fairest #27 -- 11,329 (- 1.4%)
08/2014: Fairest #28 -- 10,989 (- 3.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 11.0%
1 year  : - 18.7%
2 years : - 43.5%
Since #1: - 65.4%

Slips below 11K. Can Fairest remain above 10K all the way until it ends sometime next year?

179 - TRINITY OF SIN: THE PHANTOM STRANGER ($2.99)
08/2013: ToS: Phantom Stranger #11 -- 26,986 (+30.8%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: ToS: Phantom Stranger #12 -- 19,732 (-26.9%)
11/2013: ToS: Phantom Stranger #13 -- 17,779 (- 9.9%)
12/2013: ToS: Phantom Stranger #14 -- 18,649 (+ 4.9%)
01/2013: ToS: Phantom Stranger #15 -- 17,435 (- 6.5%)
02/2014: ToS: Phantom Stranger #16 -- 17,012 (- 2.4%)
03/2014: ToS: Phantom Stranger #17 -- 16,395 (- 3.6%)
04/2014: ToS: Phantom Stranger #18 -- 14,788 (- 9.8%)
05/2014: ToS: Phantom Stranger #19 -- 13,641 (- 7.8%)
06/2014: ToS: Phantom Stranger #20 -- 12,720 (- 6.8%)
07/2014: ToS: Phantom Stranger #21 -- 11,682 (- 8.2%)
08/2014: ToS: Phantom Stranger #22 -- 10,882 (- 6.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 36.0%
1 year  : - 59.7%
Since #1: - 72.9%

The final regular issue drops below 11K.

180 - ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (Digital-First) ($3.99)
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%)
04/2014: Adventures of Superman #12 -- 10,130 (- 8.8%)
05/2014: Adventures of Superman #13 -- 10,045 (- 0.8%)
06/2014: Adventures of Superman #14 -- 11,144 (+10.9%)
07/2014: Adventures of Superman #15 -- 10,004 (-10.2%)
08/2014: Adventures of Superman #16 -- 10,758 (+ 7.5%)
----------------
6 months: - 12.4%
1 year  : - 48.6%
Since #1: - 67.7%

Adds a few hundred copies for the penultimate issue. I’ll certainly miss this title; it was the most consistently enjoyable Superman title I’ve read in a long while.

181 - SMALLVILLE SEASON 11 CHAOS (Digital-First) ($3.99)
08/2004: --
08/2012: Smallville S11 #4     -- 19,861
--------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Smallville Lantern #1 -- 12,391 (+17.2%)
05/2014: Smallville Lantern #2 -- 11,372 (- 8.2%)
06/2014: Smallville Lantern #3 -- 11,401 (+ 0.3%)
07/2014: Smallville Lantern #4 -- 11,243 (- 1.4%)
08/2014: Smallville Chaos #1   -- 10,716 (- 4.7%)
----------------
6 months: -  3.1%
1 year  : - 26.8%
2 years : - 46.0%
10 years:    n.a.

No sales bump for the first issue of Chaos .

182 - TRINITY OF SIN: PANDORA ($2.99)
08/2013: ToS: Pandora #3  -- 34,563 (- 2.3%)
09/2013: --
10/2013: ToS: Pandora #4  -- 25,708 (-25.6%)
11/2013: ToS: Pandora #5  -- 21,267 (-17.3%)
12/2013: ToS: Pandora #6  -- 20,563 (- 3.3%)
01/2014: ToS: Pandora #7  -- 18,984 (- 7.7%)
02/2014: ToS: Pandora #8  -- 17,703 (- 6.7%)
03/2014: ToS: Pandora #9  -- 17,032 (- 3.8%)
04/2014: ToS: Pandora #10 -- 15,337 (-10.0%)
05/2014: ToS: Pandora #11 -- 13,859 (-10.9%)
06/2014: ToS: Pandora #12 -- 12,540 (- 8.2%)
07/2014: ToS: Pandora #13 -- 11,299 (- 9.9%)
08/2014: ToS: Pandora #14 -- 10,651 (- 5.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 39.8%
1 year  : - 69.2%
Since #1: - 74.4%

The final regular issue drops below 11K.

216 - TINY TITANS: RETURN TO THE TREEHOUSE (All-Ages) ($2.99)
08/2009: Tiny Titans #19   --  8,432
08/2010: Tiny Titans #31   --  7,987
08/2011: Tiny Titans #43   --  7,534
---------------------------------------
06/2014: Treehouse #1 of 6 -- 13,021 (+ 55.7%)
07/2014: Treehouse #2 of 6 -- 11,387 (- 12.5%)
08/2014: Treehouse #3 of 6 --  8,929 (- 21.6%)
-----------------
5 years : +  5.9%
Since #1: - 31.4%

Returnable, and adjusted accordingly.

After a mild second issue drop, Return to the Treehouse takes a surprising large drop for its third issue. A correction perhaps?

221 - TEEN TITANS GO! (Digital-First) ($2.99)
08/2004: Teen Titans Go! #10 -- 14,609
--------------------------------------
12/2013: Teen Titans Go! #1  -- 13,441 (+82.0%)
01/2014: --
02/2014: Teen Titans Go! #2  --  9,038 (-32.8%)
03/2014: --
04/2014: Teen Titans Go! #3  --  8,185 (- 9.4%)
05/2014: --
06/2014: Teen Titans Go! #4  --  8,667 (+ 5.9%)
07/2014: --
08/2014: Teen Titans Go! #5  --  8,688 (+ 0.2%)
-----------------
6 months: -  3.9%
10 years: - 40.5%
Since #1: - 35.4%

Returnable, and adjusted accordingly.

Another twenty-one copies are added, which while tiny small (and no doubt within a margin of error…) is the second straight issue with positive growth.

214 - BATWING ($2.99)
08/2012: Batwing #12 -- 18,279
------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Batwing #30 --  9,313 (- 5.6%)
05/2014: Batwing #31 --  8,941 (- 4.0%)
06/2014: Batwing #32 --  8,664 (- 3.1%)
07/2014: Batwing #33 --  8,380 (- 3.3%)
08/2014: Batwing #34 --  8,223 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: - 30.2%
1 year  : - 29.0%
2 years : - 55.5%
Since #1: - 84.7%

The final regular issue manages to stay above the 8K line.

225 - COFFIN HILL (Vertigo) ($2.99)
10/2013: Coffin Hill #1  -- 24,129
11/2013: Coffin Hill #2  -- 14,472 (-40.0%)
12/2013: Coffin Hill #3  -- 12,337 (-14.8%)
01/2014: Coffin Hill #4  -- 11,306 (- 8.4%)
02/2014: Coffin Hill #5  -- 10,435 (- 7.7%)
03/2014: Coffin Hill #6  --  9,982 (- 4.3%)
04/2014: Coffin Hill #7  --  9,547 (- 4.4%)
05/2014: --
06/2014: Coffin Hill #8  --  8,764 (- 8.2%)
07/2014: Coffin Hill #9  --  8,396 (- 4.2%)
08/2014: Coffin Hill #10 --  7,710 (- 8.1%)
-----------------
6 months: - 26.1%
Since #1: - 68.0%

The unhealthy drops continue.

255 - THE UNWRITTEN V2 APOCALYPSE (Vertigo) ($3.99)
08/2010: The Unwritten #16 -- 12,778
08/2011: The Unwritten #28 -- 10,731
08/2012: The Unwritten #40 --  9,127
------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Unwritten vol2 #4 --  7,652 (- 3.0%)
05/2014: Unwritten vol2 #5 --  7,267 (- 5.0%)
06/2014: Unwritten vol2 #6 --  7,133 (- 1.8%)
07/2014: Unwritten vol2 #7 --  6,575 (- 5.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 20.7%
1 year  : - 27.2%
2 years : - 28.0%
Since #1: - 45.1%

Limping towards the ending in December.

266 - HINTERKIND (Vertigo) ($2.99)
10/2013: Hinterkind #1  -- 23,516
11/2013: Hinterkind #2  -- 13,994 (-40.5%)
12/2013: Hinterkind #3  -- 11,659 (-16.7%)
01/2014: Hinterkind #4  --  9,693 (-16.9%)
02/2014: Hinterkind #5  --  8,948 (- 7.7%)
03/2014: Hinterkind #6  --  8,306 (- 7.2%)
04/2014: --
05/2014: Hinterkind #7  --  7,487 (- 9.9%)
06/2014: Hinterkind #8  --  7,212 (- 3.7%)
07/2014: Hinterkind #9  --  6,686 (- 7.3%)
08/2014: Hinterkind #10 --  6,283 (- 6.0%)
-----------------
6 months: - 29.8%
Since #1: - 73.3%

Another 400 copies drop away. Issue #13, solicited for December, starts a new story arc.

268 - FBP: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS (Vertigo) ($2.99)
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%)
04/2014: FBP #9      --  7,619 (- 3.0%)
05/2014: FBP #10     --  7,242 (- 4.9%)
06/2014: FBP #11     --  6,958 (- 3.9%)
07/2014: FBP #12     --  ????? (< 6,594)
08/2014: FBP #13     --  6,189
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 50.6%
Since #1: - 69.6%
277 - DEAD BOY DETECTIVES (Vertigo) ($2.99)
12/2013: Dead Boy Detectives #1 -- 21,478
01/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #2 -- 12,276 (-42.8%)
02/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #3 --  9,889 (-19.4%)
03/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #4 --  8,872 (-10.3%)
04/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #5 --  7,957 (-10.3%)
05/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #6 --  7,305 (- 8.2%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #7 --  ????? (< 6,594)
08/2014: Dead Boy Detectives #8 --  5,968
-----------------
6 months: - 39.7%
Since #1: - 72.2%

A couple of low-selling Vertigo titles return to the top 300 this month, but that’s because the floor fell lower, not because of a sales improvement.

+301 - 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%)
04/2014: Scribblenauts Crisis #4 --  6,467 (- 4.0%)
05/2014: Scribblenauts Crisis #5 --  6,045 (- 6.5%)
06/2014: Scribblenauts Crisis #6 --  5,833 (- 3.5%)
07/2014: Scribblenauts Crisis #7 --  ????? (< 6,594)
08/2014: Scribblenauts Crisis #8 --  ????? (< 5,357)
----------------
Since #1:   ???%

The penultimate issue doesn’t make the chart.

+302 - SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? (All-Ages) ($2.99)
08/2004: Scooby-Doo #87                -- 5,436
08/2009: Scooby-Doo #147               -- 4,111
08/2010: Scooby-Doo #159               -- 4,092
08/2011: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #12 -- 4,686
08/2012: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #24 -- ?????
----------------------------------------
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%)
04/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #44 -- 4,650 (+0.6%)
05/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #45 -- 4,840 (+4.1%)
06/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #46 -- ????? (< 4,560)
07/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #47 -- ????? (< 6,594)
08/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #48 -- ????? (< 5,357)
-----------------
6 months:    ???%
1 year  :    ???%
2 years :    ???%
5 years :    ???%
10 years:    ???%
Since #1:    ???%

I really wish that Diamond would go back to releasing the top 400, as we are also likely missing a good deal of data on reorder activity.

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

DC COMICS
08/2004: 29,318
08/2009: 29,977
08/2010: 23,331
08/2011: 25,632
08/2012: 33,500
---------------
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%)
04/2014: 29,202 (+  9.1%)**
05/2014: 31,764 (+  8.8%)
06/2014: 32,834 (+  3.4%)**
07/2014: 32,760 (+  0.2%)**
08/2014: 29,295 (- 10.6%)**
-----------------
6 months: +  8.2%
1 year  : -  5.0%
2 years : - 12.6%
5 years : -  2.3%
10 years: -  0.1%

DC UNIVERSE
08/2004: 34,018
08/2009: 37,300
08/2010: 33,411
08/2011: 27,761
08/2012: 38,047
---------------
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%) 
04/2014: 36,447 (+ 13.9%) 
05/2014: 39,555 (+  8.5%) 
06/2014: 42,733 (+  8.0%) 
07/2014: 40,945 (-  4.2%) 
08/2014: 36,645 (- 10.5%) 
-----------------
6 months: + 10.0%
1 year  : +  9.1%
2 years : -  3.7%
5 years : -  1.8%
10 years: +  7.7%

VERTIGO
08/2004: 18,298
08/2009: 11,369
08/2010:  9,094
08/2011: 10,147
08/2012: 11,764
---------------
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%) 
04/2014: 11,214 (- 41.5%) 
05/2014: 11,778 (+  5.0%) 
06/2014: 11,372 (-  3.4%) 
07/2014: 15,803 (+ 39.0%)** 
08/2014:  9,082 (- 42.5%)
-----------------
6 months: - 31.3%
1 year  : - 35.7%
2 years : - 22.8%
5 years : - 20.1%
10 years: - 50.4%


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

+ 68.2% - New Suicide Squad (Suicide Squad)
+ 64.9% - Superman
+ 52.9% - Grayson (Nightwing)
+ 52.2% - Teen Titans
+ 32.4% - Action Comics
+ 23.1% - Batman and Robin
+ 12.7% - Superman/Wonder Woman
+ 12.5% - Supergirl
+  9.6% - Flash
+  8.4% - Batman '66
+  4.7% - Earth 2
+  3.9% - Detective Comics
+  1.1% - Green Lantern Corps
+  0.1% - Batgirl
-  1.5% - Batman Beyond Universe
-  2.0% - Catwoman
-  3.1% - Fables
-  3.1% - Smallville Season 11
-  3.2% - Batman
=  3.9% - Teen Titans Go!
-  4.5% - Aquaman
-  5.4% - Batman/Supeman
-  8.2% - Swamp Thing
-  8.5% - Astro City
- 10.7% - Harley Quinn
- 11.0% - Fairest
- 12.4% - Adventures of Superman
- 13.2% - All Star Western
- 13.6% - Red Hood and the Outlaws
- 14.2% - Green Arrow
- 14.9% - Green Lantern
- 15.2% - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
- 16.2% - Superboy
- 17.2% - Justice League Dark
- 18.2% - Batwoman
- 19.0% - Green Lantern New Guardians
- 19.7% - Injustice
- 20.7% - Unwritten Apocalypse
- 23.2% - Constantine
- 26.1% - Coffin Hill
- 28.4% - Worlds' Finest
- 29.8% - Hinterkind
- 30.2% - Batwing
- 36.0% - Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger
- 37.0% - Justice League 3000
- 39.7% - Dead Boy Detectives
- 39.8% - Trinity of Sin: Pandora
- 55.8% - Red Lanterns

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

+ 73.6% - New Suicide Squad (Suicide Squad)
+ 39.4% - Grayson (Nightwing)
+ 34.2% - Superman
+ 28.2% - Teen Titans
+  9.7% - Action Comics
+  7.1% - Supergirl
-  4.1% - Batman and Robin
-  4.3% - Detective Comics
-  4.5% - Flash
-  8.2% - Fables
-  8.3% - Batgirl
-  8.4% - Earth 2
-  9.9% - Green Arrow
- 12.5% - Batman
- 18.2% - Worlds' Finest
- 18.7% - Fairest
- 18.7% - Green Lantern Corps
- 20.5% - Birds of Prey
- 22.6% - Swamp Thing
- 23.2% - Red Lanterns
- 24.4% - Aquaman
- 25.3% - All Star Western
- 25.9% - Green Lantern
- 26.8% - Smallville Season 11
- 27.2% - The Unwritten
- 27.8% - Injustice
- 29.0% - Batwing
- 30.4% - Red Hood and the Outlaws
- 30.5% - Astro City
- 30.6% - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
- 31.9% - Superboy
- 35.5% - Batwoman
- 35.9% - Batman/Superman
- 36.0% - Green Lantern New Guardians
- 37.8% - Constantine
- 38.5% - Catwoman
- 39.1% - Batman Beyond
- 42.2% - Batman '66
- 48.6% - Adventures of Superman
- 50.6% - FBP
- 59.7% - Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger
- 66.7% - Justice League Dark
- 69.2% - Trinity of Sin: Pandora

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

+ 66.5% - Constantine (Hellblazer)
+ 36.0% - New Suicide Squad (Suicide Squad)
+ 19.0% - Grayson (Nightwing)
+  6.1% - Superman
-  0.9% - Green Arrow
-  5.0% - Teen Titans
- 10.4% - Batman
- 12.9% - Supergirl
- 16.5% - Batman and Robin
- 17.9% - Justice League Dark
- 18.2% - Fables
- 21.0% - Batgirl
- 22.6% - Detective Comics
- 28.0% - The Unwritten
- 28.3% - Flash
- 29.5% - Green Lantern Corps
- 31.1% - Catwoman
- 33.0% - Batman Beyond
- 34.3% - Action Comics
- 35.1% - Red Lanterns
- 41.7% - Red Hood and the Outlaws
- 42.1% - Birds of Prey
- 43.2% - Green Lantern
- 43.5% - Fairest
- 44.5% - Earth 2
- 45.5% - Aquaman
- 46.0% - Smallville Season 11
- 48.1% - Green Lantern New Guardians
- 49.9% - Superboy
- 50.1% - Worlds' Finest
- 51.3% - All Star Western
- 52.1% - Swamp Thing
- 55.5% - Batwing
- 56.6% - Batwoman

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

+ 49.3% - Batman/Superman (Superman/Batman)
+ 46.7% - Constantine (Hellblazer)
+ 44.7% - Superman
+ 43.1% - Batman
+ 33.9% - Teen Titans
+ 24.4% - Action Comics
+ 17.9% - Green Arrow
+  5.9% - Tiny Titans
-  0.1% - Detective Comics
-  8.7% - All Star Western
- 11.0% - Astro City
- 21.6% - Supergirl
- 37.5% - Fables
- 51.7% - Batman and Robin
- 52.5% - Flash
- 57.2% - Green Lantern
- 64.2% - Green Lantern Corps

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

+ 43.9% - Batman
+ 42.1% - Aquaman
+ 20.4% - Green Lantern
+ 19.0% - Grayson (Nightwing)
+ 11.4% - Detective Comics
+  8.1% - Action Comics
+  6.0% - Constantine (Hellblazer)
- 10.3% - Flash
- 12.0% - Swamp Thing
- 20.5% - Batgirl
- 29.0% - Green Arrow
- 36.3% - Teen Titans
- 40.5% - Teen Titans Go!
- 44.2% - Catwoman
- 45.5% - Fables
- 52.0% - Birds of Prey
- 53.3% - Astro City
- 56.2% - Superman


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

DCU: Average: 36,645. Median: 37,109. 

3.1 - Batman
2.5 - Multiversity
2.0 - Harley Quinn (9)
1.6 - Batman Eternal (18)
1.6 - Detective Comics
1.6 - Harley Quinn (10)
1.6 - Batman Eternal (19)
1.6 - Batman Eternal (20)
1.6 - Batman Eternal (21)
1.5 - Grayson
1.5 - Superman
1.5 - Batman/Superman
1.5 - Batman and Robin
1.4 - Superman/Wonder Woman
1.3 - Action Comics
1.2 - Green Lantern
1.2 - Justice League Unlimited
1.1 - Superman/Wonder Woman Annual
1.1 - Futures End (14)
1.1 - Teen Titans
1.1 - Futures End (15)
1.1 - Futures End (16)
1.1 - Futures End (17)
1.1 - Action Comics Annual
1.0 - New Suicide Squad
1.0 - Earth 2
1.0 - Flash
0.9 - Batgirl
0.9 - Aquaman
0.8 - Green Lantern Corps
0.7 - Sinestro
0.7 - Supergirl
0.7 - Justice League Dark
0.7 - Secret Origins
0.6 - Catwoman
0.6 - Green Arrow
0.6 - Red Lanterns
0.6 - Green Lantern New Guardians
0.6 - Justice League 3000
0.5 - Red Hood and the Outlaws
0.5 - Worlds' Finest
0.5 - Aquaman and the Others
0.5 - Swamp Thing
0.5 - Batwoman
0.4 - Constantine
0.4 - Birds of Prey
0.4 - Superboy
0.3 - Infinity Man and the Forever People
0.3 - All Star Western
0.3 - Star-Spangled War Stories
0.3 - Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger
0.3 - Trinity of Sin: Pandora
0.2 - Batwing

Vertigo: Average: 9,082. Median: 7,710

1.5 - Fables
1.4 - Astro City
1.2 - Bodies
1.2 - Fairest
0.8 - Coffin Hill
0.7 - Unwritten Apocalypse
0.7 - Hinterkind
0.7 - FBP
0.7 - Dead Boy Detectives

Digital First & Other: Average: 14,467*. Median: 12,968*.

2.0 - Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman
1.7 - Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet
1.5 - Batman '66
1.3 - Injustice Year 2 (9)
1.2 - Injustice Year 2 (10)
1.1 - Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Mutliverse
1.0 - Batman Beyond Universe
0.8 - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
0.7 - Adventures of Superman
0.7 - Smallville Chaos
0.6 - Tiny Titans Return to the Treehouse
0.6 - Teen Titans Go!
0.4 - Scribblenauts Unmasked
0.3 - Scooby-Doo Where Are You?

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

The Fine Print (Disclaimers, et cetera)
The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.
ICv2.com’s estimates are somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month.
Bear in mind that the figures measure sales of physical comics to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass-market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Re-orders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial calendar month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month. Keep in mind that sales for some titles may include incentives to acquire variants and not every unit sold is necessarily even intended to be sold to a customer.
If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after a book’s initial calendar month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in brackets behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]“). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average between them will be used.
Titles which are returnable have their numbers artificially adjusted down by Diamond. To make up for that this column increases the reported numbers for those titles by 10%. Which is likely also wrong, but it’s a different and likely less wrong kind of wrong, and experience has shown that this leads to sales figures which are more consistent.
Titles released under the All-Ages line and magazines, such as Mad, mostly sell through channels other than the direct market, so direct-market sales don’t tell us much about their performance. For most Vertigo titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well. To learn (a little) more about Vertigo’s collection sales, go right here.

Please keep in mind that raw sales numbers do not tell us about how profitable a book is for a publisher or for the creators.
Above all, do not allow sales numbers to dictate your purchasing and enjoyment of a particular comic. If you enjoy reading a comic series then go right on buying and reading that comic, no matter what the sales figures say.
** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300/400 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300/400 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales are likely to be less than that.
Opinions expressed in this column are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, Heidi MacDonald or anyone at The Comics Beat, the Comic-Con International Organizing Committee, or my neighbor’s dog Miles.
The author of this column does weekly snapshots of Amazon comic sales charts at http://yetanothercomicsblog.blogspot.com/ and tweets about comics and related subjects on Twitter at @davereadscomics (PM me there is you need to contact me).
As always, we welcome your comments and corrections below. Please try to keep things civilized.

11 Comments on DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: August 2014 – Multiversity Selfies, last added: 9/17/2014
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8. Selling Your Picture Book

Here are some things to think about as you try to find a publisher for your picture book.

http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/how-to-sell-your-picture-book

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9. Has My Husband Read It?

My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in different magazines and anthologies as short stories. Those three chapters are highly representative of the book — meaning there's a lot of sex, drugs, and unhappiness. Marie, the book's [...]

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10. Le système est cassé


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11. More Publishers Join No-DRM Movement at ComiXology

DRM protest 300x225 More Publishers Join No DRM Movement at ComiXology

By Bruce Lidl

A number of comics publishers today joined comiXology’s no-DRM initiative, and will start offering their titles without digital anti-copying technology. Comixology’s announcement at San Diego in July that publishers could now distribute DRM-free focused on a small group of early enthusiasts, including Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Zenescope Entertainment, MonkeyBrain Comics, Thrillbent, and Top Shelf Productions. From conversations at San Diego, it was clear a number of publishers at San Diego would be embracing DRM-free digital comics soon, and  IDW Publishing, Valiant Entertainment, Oni Press, Fantagraphics Books, Aspen Comics, Action Lab Entertainment, Th3rd World Studios, A Wave Blue World, Blind Ferret Entertainment, Caliber Comics, Creative Impulse Entertainment, Devil’s Due Entertainment, GT Labs Comics and Kingstone Media have just made it official.

It is not clear to what extent the publishers will be extending DRM-free backup capabilities to the whole range of their titles, or to back issues that were previously distributed with DRM. In a quick scan of offerings Fantagraphics has already made some titles available, including today’s release of Cosplayers #2 and Jim Woodring’s Jim. IDW has made today’s Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye Ongoing #33: Dawn of the Autobots DRM-free but Godzilla: Cataclysm #2 is not. It may be that it will take time to implement the DRM-free option, or it may be that particular deals with license-owners or individual creators do not allow it. Time will tell how far DRM-free gets extended by these publishers.

As a trend, though, the indications are clear that more and more publishers are embracing a flexible approach, giving their customers increased options and autonomy over their comics purchases. The movement is strong among small to medium publishers, but should put some pressure on the Big Two (and Dark Horse) that have so far resisted the call for less restrictions on their crown-jewel intellectual properties.

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12. United Through Reading



What an honor it was to help United Through Reading with their mission today. United Through Reading videotapes service men and women reading books to their children, and that DVD is then delivered to the child at home. United Through Reading has 200 stations worldwide—on ships deployed, in forward operating locations in places like Afghanistan. at military hospitals... I recorded PSAs about how important it is to read to your child—it creates such an important bond between parent and child. I'm lucky enough to read to my kids every night, and United Through Reading helps bridge the gap of separation for those who serve in our military.   Learn more at unitedthroughreading.org

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13. If My Dream is all about Me, Can I Help Someone Else in a Dream?

We can dream for ourselves and we can dream for others.

Dreaming for Another

It is often said by dream experts that the dream is all about the dreamer so when we work with a dream we use methods that help the dreamer see each part of the dream as being a part of herself or himself. When this is done and the dream is worked through, the dreamer receives gifts of insight, solution and healing. If I can help myself through my dreams, can I use them to help other people—even though they are about me?

The answer is a definite “Yes!” In fact, studies done by Henry Reed, Ph.D. of the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies have shown that dreams are very effective when they are intended to help another person. Dr. Reed has even demonstrated in The Dream Helper Ceremony that a group of dreamers can intend to have a dream that will help a member of their group—and can even do so without that member even conveying the nature of his or her issue! The group of dreamers report dreams that can give more helpful information, often diagnose the issue, or possibly provide a solution for the member seeking help. These dreams also, at the same time, offer an important message solely for the person who dreamed the dream. On doing this exercise in my dream classes I found the same results among the class participants.

Why? It seems that empathy is at work here on the part of the dreamer. The intuitive dreaming mind is naturally, and all along, creating problem-solving solutions for the dreamer. This is its nature. In order to keep helping the dreamer and to answer the request to help another, the dreaming mind apparently creatively comes up with a dream scenario that will match the needs of both the dreamer and person being dreamed for. The dreaming mind thus intuits both the needs of the dreamer and the person being dreamed for! So, don’t be shy. Ask for a dream (Dream Incubation) that will not only help you with an issue but will help someone you know who has a problem.


1 Comments on If My Dream is all about Me, Can I Help Someone Else in a Dream?, last added: 9/17/2014
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14. Cybils 2014

cybils logo

It’s that time of year again: Cybils Award season. The judge announcements went out this morning. I’m delighted to be serving on the First-Round panel for YA Fiction. My last stint on this panel was in 2010, aka The Year I Read a Million Books. (I’m sure it’s a TOTAL COINCIDENCE that that was also the year I began to need reading glasses.)

My appointment to this panel spurred me to make a move I’ve been considering for some time, which is to dust off my tumblr (again) and try using it for my YA-related content. I’ve got a new YA of my own coming out next year, and tumblr seems a better fit for connecting with teen readers. I’ll add a link to the sidebar, or if that topic interests you enough to want to follow it in a feed reader, here’s the RSS. (I also use tumblr for reposting interesting articles and art I’ve come across, so fair warning.)

Disclaimer: I consider all platform changes to be experimental until they’ve proven themselves convenient, so this may or may not be a long-term shift. I just really like keeping things in different boxes. But if you’ve seen my garage, you know there usually comes a point where I get annoyed by the clutter and dump everything into one big container. (Believe me, you don’t want to see my garage.)

I believe this post may have set a new record for ending paragraphs with parentheticals. (Yeehah!)

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15. Varmint variants: A whole month of Rocket and Groot in November

Superior Iron Man 1 Tom Fowler RRG Variant Varmint variants: A whole month of Rocket and Groot in November

Superior Iron Man #1 by Tom Fowler. (I love this.)

Can’t get enough of Rocket Raccoon and Groot, the dynamic duo that busted 2014 wide open? Marvel thinks you can’t and in November will present no less than 20 comics with Rocket and Groot variant covers, by artists including Chip Zdarsky, Ulises Farinas and Tom Fowler.  And Marvel SVP sales and marketing David Gabriel agrees. “People everywhere can’t seem to get enough Rocket & Groot! As soon as we came up with the concept to do Rocket Raccoon & Groot variants, the ideas just started pouring in. We couldn’t wait to get our hands dirty creating some really fantastic cover homages. This program is really the best of both worlds and we know it will really excite old and new fans everywhere.”

 

Here’s the line-up:

· All-New Captain America #1

· All-New X-Men #34

· Amazing Spider-Man #9

· Amazing X-Men #13

· Avengers #38

· Avengers World #15

· Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #2

· Captain America & The Mighty Avengers #1

· Deadpool #37

· Guardians 3000 #2

· Guardians of the Galaxy #21

· Hulk 8

· Legendary Star-Lord #5

· New Avengers #26

· Rocket Raccoon #5

· Spider-Verse #1

· Spider-Woman #1

· Superior Iron Man #1

· Thor #2

· Uncanny X-Men #28

Marvel didn’t give the names of the variant artists but using our deductive powers and the file names, we’ve made some guesses.

Avengers 38 Chip Zdarsky RRG Variant Varmint variants: A whole month of Rocket and Groot in November

Avengers #38 by Chip Zdarsky

 

Hulk 8 Tom Fowler RRG Variant Varmint variants: A whole month of Rocket and Groot in November

Hulk #8 by Tom Fowler

Guardians of the Galaxy 21 Dustin Nguyen RRG Variant Varmint variants: A whole month of Rocket and Groot in November

Guardians of the Galaxy #21 by Dustin Nguyen

Captain America  The Mighty Avengers 1 Ulises Farinas RRG Variant Varmint variants: A whole month of Rocket and Groot in November

Captain America and The Mighty Avengers #1 by Ulises Farinas (be still my heart)

Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier 2 Sandford Greene RRG Variant Varmint variants: A whole month of Rocket and Groot in November

Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier #2 by Sanford Greene

Thor 2 James Stokoe RRG Variant Varmint variants: A whole month of Rocket and Groot in November

Thor #2 by James Stokoe

 

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16. 25 years of Katie’s Picture Show: Then, Now and changes in between

Over the five years I’ve been writing Playing by the Book I’ve had the chance to meet many authors and illustrators, but one who has a special place on my bookshelves, and indeed in my heart is James Mayhew. I’ve always admired and been inspired by his passion for storytelling across the arts; so much of his work is about opening horizons beyond the pages of a picture book to encourage curiosity and foster delight in art, dance and music.

jamesmayhew

This year is a very special year for James. It’s hard to believe, but it is 25 years since the publication of his first picture book, Katie’s Picture Show. Katie and her adventures inside paintings (and across landscapes and cityscapes) are known the world over. A new edition of Katie’s Picture Show has been published, to mark its Silver Anniversary but what’s especially interesting to me is that this new edition, whilst still very much Katie’s Picture Show, contains entirely new illustrations and new text.

The original front cover

The original front cover

The front cover for the Silver Anniversary edition

The front cover for the Silver Anniversary edition

I’m fascinated by the changes that have been made and so I took the opportunity to talk to James about it. This is a long interview, but I do encourage you to savour it. What James has to say is fascinating and thought-provoking.

Zoe: Ah, hello James! It’s always great to talk with you. I’ll dive in straight away with a big question though: How do you feel your style has changed in 25 years?

James: I don’t believe I’ve ever had a very identifiable style, and although I’ve sometimes worried about this, because it’s obviously important to have an identity that people recognise, I am also of the opinion that it is dishonest to just fabricate a “style” and apply it to my work in a contrived way. Any identity found in my work has grown naturally out of the way I instinctively draw, and make marks, and how I see the world.

It’s the old adage: be true to yourself. I believe strongly in that. An illustrator’s work should be genuine and honest, a reaction to the text, and response to how we see the world around us, or imagine the world we can’t see. You are sharing a little piece of yourself with the world, why dilute that but trying to be predictably commercial or merely generic?

The irony is that the Katie books are all about imitating famous paintings, and so the argument becomes more complicated. In the very first book, I illustrated in a fairly uncomplicated way, and the world of the paintings becomes closer to the world of Katie (ink line and wash). However, in later books, my ability to pastiche and pay homage to these artists has grown. And as my proficiency at capturing the effects and learning from the techniques of these great masters has increased, my own identity as an artist – or my “style” – has become, I think, increasingly hidden. And that is how it should be with these books. They are not bought because of my name but because people want their children to encounter Monet and Botticelli and Van Gogh etc. So it’s right for the books. But for me, as an artist, it can be frustrating to be honest. Sometimes I sit down to draw and think, “Who am I? How do I – James Mayhew – create images?” it’s hard to forget these artists and just be me. What I must say though, is that I have truly approached the studies of these paintings with real love and integrity. It was a never a gimmick, but always done out of a love and respect and admiration for these artists and a real desire to share that passion.

Original illustration from Katie’s Picture Show. Click to see larger image.

Original illustration from Katie’s Picture Show. Click to see larger image.

25th anniversary edition of Katie' Picture Show

25th anniversary edition of Katie’s Picture Show. Click to see larger image.

Although I‘m describing a very particular project and situation, I think this quest for an identity is something a great many illustrators concern themselves with. Certainly at Cambridge School of Art where I teach students on the Masters in Children’s Book Illustration, this is the most common discussion.

And so, to answer your question, my style (such as it is) has changed according to my changes as a person, as an observer and draughtsman and recorder of the world around me, over many years of practise and experience, and according to the artists I have studied. And actually as a tutor as well – I learn as much from my students as they learn from me. As my knowledge of techniques and materials has advanced, so my approach has changed. As my knowledge of picture books and publishing has increased, so has my approach to the craft of utilising those 32 pages to maximum benefit. The whole last 25 years feels like one colossal apprenticeship.

Right now I feel I am at a crossroads. There is a whole side to me as an artist or illustrator that isn’t seen and isn’t published. And I feel very strongly, after a quarter of a century of trying to paint like other artists, that it’s time to be me! So I am hoping to put Katie to one side for a while to find time to begin experimenting and playing with different techniques and materials to see what happens.

Zoe: Do you have any examples of this work that you would be willing to share?

James: I suppose a lot of the Noye’s Fludde art is a case in point [Click here to see a slide show of this project, part of the 2013 Cheltenham Music Festival/zt]. I WAS seen, but only for two days! Then it was gone.

Otherwise, I do sometimes paint in oils, and sometimes use lino, for little one-off pieces.

Bright Tree by James Mayhew (oil painting). Click to see larger image.

Bright Tree by James Mayhew (oil painting). Click to see larger image.

North Essex Stream by James Mayhew (oil painting). Click to see larger image.

North Essex Stream by James Mayhew (oil painting). Click to see larger image.

Zoe: What skills/techniques have you developed the most (or adopted anew) in the past 25 years?…I’m really interested in this from an educational point of view – how we are all lifelong learners…

James: Although I studied Illustration, only one short project looked children’s books, which was when I first created a rough dummy book for Katie’s Picture Show. This was in 1985, and I sorely lacked the necessary skills to make an ideal book. I had very little idea, even when I graduated, about the world of children’s picture books. It was very unfashionable in the 1980s to show an interest in that area of illustration. Besides, “teaching” as such was largely absent. We were left very much to our own devices. Despite my degree, I feel largely self-taught.

In 1987, to my never-ending surprise, my book was taken on by Orchard Books, the first publisher to see it. It was THEN the real learning began.

I must say, they were very patient, steering me carefully through difficult waters, although I think the original student dummy changed relatively little. I guess I had good instincts. But I had no knowledge of how colours reproduce, of the best papers to use, I didn’t know how inks fade with time… and I knew nothing about how to create a character, how to show expression through faces and body language… How to pace a story, or use sequential images…

I learned so much on that first book. It was a wonderful, terrifying, tentative time, and I can now look back at the very first edition with amusement and nostalgia. But I also see so many things I am unhappy with.

I suppose the principle learned skills have been practical ones, like drawing children over and over to get a character right, and finding tools, nibs, inks, paints etc that I feel confident about using. Every artist or illustrator will find tools that suit them and tools that don’t. I’m not a pencil person particularly. I fell in love with ink quite early on, but had to develop how I use it over many years. I get quite fixated about nibs (I buy boxes of antique nibs on ebay), and different inks, which I mix, dilute and play around with.

katiebooks

More recent Katie illustrations are very mixed media. I’ve developed quite particular methods, especially for scenes where Katie is inside a painting. To replicate the effects of oil paint, I use emulsion paint, which dries matt, waterproof and is and good surface for many other tools, like pastels or pen and ink and watercolour. The illustrations are built up in many complicated layers over some time.

But there are other less tangible skills too… the ability to let go of ideas, to self edit texts that are too long, to appreciate better the inference of words to children, to ruthlessly recognise a failing illustration and just do it again. And the ultimate ongoing chimera: self-confidence! I am incredibly critical of everything I do – it’s just a bad personality trait (although I see it in a lot of illustrators!). I suppose I will never ever be entirely happy with anything I do, but I hope I might get a little closer as I get older. The learning never stops, and I think you need that to motivate you. If I had all the answers, what would I do tomorrow? Some very successful illustrators do come up with a technique – a “style” – that they feel confident about and they use that all their lives. It’s commercially sensible as they are instantly recognisable. But it’s not for me. This is a journey and I’m always searching, evolving, exploring and experimenting. I feel I still have so much to learn, and I’m glad of it. There are materials and techniques that I would love to explore more, printmaking most especially. I would love to illustrate a picture book in lino cuts!

Zoe: Why does printmaking particularly appeal to you?

James: With printmaking there are always little mistakes, mis-registered things, or unexpected results that really push an artist in new ways.
It’s the opposite of how I work on illustrating a book with ink and wash, where one has so much control and a particular expectation (ie, to produce something in a particular way for publication; there is little room for serendipity).

With lino, for example, I need to think entirely differently. I need to think in terms of shape and layers rather than just colouring in a line drawing. And because it looks so different my expectations of myself change. I find that incredibly liberating. I can surprise myself.

Peter and the Wolf by James Mayhew (Lino cut). Click to see a larger image.

Peter and the Wolf by James Mayhew (Lino cut). Click to see a larger image.

Having said all of this, I rarely have to time to play and print. I’m usually tied up with Katie or Ella Bella, where the established methods mean I have to return to my usual tools…

There are many forms of printmaking – screen printing, lithography – that I’ve never tried. I admire what others achieve with it and I hope I’ll find the time one day.

Zoe: And are there other techniques /materials you’d like to try out?

In general, I am very attracted to traditional methods of all kinds. I’m very keen to explore collage too, having dabbled recently for the Birmingham Festival Sword in the Stone poster and for Noye’s Fludde. I am sneaking a tiny bit of collage into the new Ella Bella book (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream – after Mendelssohn) and I think I will take it further in the future.

The Sword in the Stone poster for the Festival of Children's Literature, Birmingham, 2013.

The Sword in the Stone poster for the Festival of Children’s Literature, Birmingham, 2013.

Zoe: Talking about being in control, and also about creating spaces (physical, emotional, mental) to try new things… this makes me think of your events where you illustrate live to music – something I think is incredibly special to witness…

James: Yes, in relation to experimenting, the events with music challenge and push me also, of course. Partly because of the speed, but also because I use materials and methods I wouldn’t ever have tried otherwise. The transitory nature of painting live and moving on is absolutely the opposite of the psychology behind making a book, especially a series, where everything is about “getting it right for posterity”. Painting live is about that moment. Nothing is preserved.

Zoe: Perhaps this is a good point to ask about the new text in Katie’s Picture Show. Was as the decision to change the text yours and what was the rationale for doing so?

James: The new edition of Katie’s Picture Show was triggered by the dissatisfaction I always felt for my very first book. Because I learned so much in the process, and other books benefited from that knowledge, I always felt it didn’t match the series so well. When Orchard proposed a new bigger format for the series, I was unhappy to begin with, as I knew those early illustrations would look even more coarse and crude when enlarged. And so I requested to illustrate it again, for no fee, just for the love of it.

Original illustration from Katie's Picture Show

Original illustration from Katie’s Picture Show. Click to see larger image.

25th anniversary edition of Katie' Picture Show

25th anniversary edition of Katie’s Picture Show. Click to see larger image.

In the process, I changed the page turns, in relation to the story, to make better use of the pages in narrative terms. At least, I think that’s what I’ve achieved. I wanted each painting, when coming alive, to be a double page spread. This necessitated some text changes. Also, certain updated information had to be incorporated – changes to painting titles (‘Tropical Storm with a Tiger’ is now ‘Surprised’), spelling or artists names (Kasimir is now Kazimir). Beyond that, as a more experienced storyteller, there were just a few things that didn’t really feel right to me now. Reading the story out loud in schools, there was always a sentence or two I winced at, some turns of phrase that felt a bit dated to my ears now. I am absurdly self-conscious about my writing. So I tried a few slight changes. It was really hard to feel I had “permission” to do this. I agonised. Then Orchard Books emailed me with changed THEY wanted, and I suddenly thought: yes, it’s OK. I can let go. If it is a change for the right reasons, it’s allowed. I wanted the text to be newly minted for another generation.

Zoe: How do you think the role of being an illustrator has change in the past 25 years?

James: When I graduated, children’s book illustration was scorned upon. No-one else on my course was interested in pursuing it. It was considered beneath them. Art schools had no time for it at all. Back in the 1980s everyone wanted to work in advertising where there was big money. My lack of a “style” and my traditional methods and temperament meant I simply wasn’t suited for the advertising world. I wasn’t trendy enough. I loved books, so I was the odd one out really.

The latest Katie book! (September 2014)

The latest Katie book! (September 2014)

Now, there are many courses that focus on children’s book illustration. The MA in Cambridge is the most celebrated and expands year on year, but there are several others. There are more prizes, more publishers, more festivals than ever before. There are dedicated centres (like Seven Stories) and galleries now. I think, despite all the prophecies of doom about the publishing industry, that this is a new golden age. Books are become more beautiful than ever before to justify being in print.

This new age of celebrating children’s book illustration, and the advantages of the internet, provide a great spring board for illustrators today. 25 years ago one simply had to trudge the streets of London and knock on doors. It was time consuming and expensive especially if, like me, you lived in the country. Now with emails and websites and so on, you can easily follow and contact publishers, send work, keep in touch and hopefully get the chance you are hoping for. I think it’s simply a more recognised area of specialisation now and that illustrators are more pro-active. Perhaps the next generation are just a bit more confident. They all seem to go to the Bologna Book Fair to try their luck. Do you know, I’ve never once been to Bologna?

On the other hand, with children’s illustration now a rather fashionable career, it does mean it’s very competitive, and publishers take fewer and fewer risks these days I think. The way books are acquired has changed too. Once upon a time a publisher would fall in love with, and then just publish, an idea. Now it has to go through a long acquisitions process and be approved by committee. It’s much harder in that respect. Publishers are always looking for a commercial artist they can develop as a “brand”. I’m not interest in that side of things, Money doesn’t motivate me in the least. Never has.

Original illustration from Katie's Picture Show

Original illustration from Katie’s Picture Show. Click to see larger image.

25th anniversary edition of Katie' Picture Show

25th anniversary edition of Katie’s Picture Show. Click to see larger image.

As for the role of the illustrator, I think that the fundamental need to serve a text (either your own or someone else’s) should not have changed, but I think the need to promote, market and sell yourself as a brand most certainly has, and for the worse. This is now a big part of the illustrator’s role. Through events, social media and websites we are expected, by publishers, to tell the world how wonderful we are. It’s a development I personally feel very ambivalent about. Of course it’s great to be able to meet your readers – I enjoy events very much. And one needs to tell people an event is taking place. It’s great to share information about materials etc. with colleagues and students online. But the endless self-promotion I see is really quite off putting. I guess I come from an earlier generation, with different ideas about social interaction, decorum, good manners. And the boundaries have shifted. I’m finding it hard to adjust to that.

I think it is also worth mentioning digital media, as that has definitely influenced the general look and style of books being produced and our expectations of illustrators. There is some sensational stuff being produced digitally, and the computer can be a marvellous tool (although I always remind my students that it will never make a silk purse out of a sows ear!).

Publishers now expect that about 80% of books submitted will be created digitally. Certainly at Cambridge School of Art the huge majority of students use digital media at some level. I suppose the danger is that we move away from the sense of hand crafted imagery, and expect a level of perfection (whatever that means) in the work. No blemishes, no happy accidents; we have complete control at our finger tips. I think a lot of digital illustration is outstanding on its own terms. But just sometimes it lacks the personal touch. Then, there is no humanity. It can feel a little cold. The flaws of something made in the real world can be inspiring. In the same way I know many who prefer the stop motion effects of Ray Harryhausen to the CGI of modern cinema, the analogue world, for me, is important, because – to a child – it can be an inspiration. I grew up believing I could make dinosaur movies. It was a tangible possibility. I grew up believing I could paint. But if everything is passed through a computer, it rather takes that away. Certainly, for the Katie series, it’s important for the illustrations to be real paintings, with a real sense of mark making by a real person.

In any case, I enjoy the process. I like to get my hands dirty!

Original illustration for Katie's Picture Show

Original illustration for Katie’s Picture Show. Click to see larger image.

25th anniversary edition of Katie' Picture Show

25th anniversary edition of Katie’s Picture Show. Click to see larger image.

Zoe: If you could step inside any painting (anywhere in the world, not limited to those you’ve included in the Katie books), which one would it be, and why?

James: So many paintings! It is tempting to choose something famous and wonderful, like a Turner painting perhaps. I could experience a shipwreck, a volcano, all sorts of things that way. But actually I will choose a painting I’ve never used in a Katie book, by Samuel Palmer: The Gleaning Field. I love his visionary work, with moons and stars and curious, living breathing trees, and voluptuous hills. This is less rhapsodic, but I find it incredibly comforting: the harvesting, the welcoming light in the window of the cottage. It reassures me, welcomes me, and I have an almost pantheistic response to it: the spirituality of nature, harvest and ritual.

Zoe: Apart from reading the Katie books with our kids, what other top tips do you have for instilling a curiosity and excitement about art in our children?

James: I actually think there is too much emphasis on looking at artists and not enough on being an artist – one of the reasons the final pages of the Katie books, which used to have info on the artists, now invite children to be creative. In schools too much of the curriculum is about copying artists. I know that is ironic, given the nature of the Katie books, and obviously it IS important to look at art. But that is only part of the learning journey, and is really “Art History”. I think to really instill a love of art, children need to be encouraged to have a go and be creative themselves, and I don’t see enough of that happening, in general, at school or in the home.

James Mayhew at the National Gallery

I am desperately saddened at what I see in many schools. Partly this is to do with the curriculum, and here I must emphasise that there ARE some fabulous teachers and brilliant schools that rise triumphantly above the routine and DO get fantastic results. But in very many schools I see the same old projects repeated. And I must also mention the quite disgraceful lack of materials. Very often I have turned up to run a workshop to be confronted with cheap copy paper, tired old tins of watercolours that look as though they’ve been stuck in the back of a cupboard since about 1967, and useless brushes like startled hedgehogs, messy mixed up pastels. It’s absolutely disgraceful. How children are expected to get good results with such tools is beyond me. It’s a national scandal, quite frankly.

I implore teachers and parents to go into an art shop and buy some decent materials. It needn’t cost the earth. In terms of a school budget it would be a very small investment. For a parent, make it a Christmas or Birthday treat. The best Christmas present I ever got was a box my father made (I still have it) filled with paper, paints, brushes, transfers, stickers, pens, pencils… everything an artist could want. Now THAT’S how to encourage an interest in art!

Beyond that – visit a gallery or museum. Show children what art CAN be. It’s not all just pretty pictures. Modern art can be liberating, or confusing. Or look at really old art – medieval images are often fascinatingly dark and peculiar, full of narrative.

And that’s what works for many children – the story in the picture.

Zoe: Thankyou, James, thank you. What an enthralling insight into Katie’s 25 years, and your wonderful work. Here’s to the next 25 years!

James Mayhew’s website: http://www.jamesmayhew.co.uk/
James Mayhew’s blog: http://www.jamesmayhew.co.uk/blog
James Mayhew on Twitter: @mayhewjames

James has some very special forthcoming events:

“Come to the gallery with Katie”
A 25th anniversary exhibition of the original Katie art, from the first pictures to the latest at the Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh. Opens November 4th. (As yet there is no web link but rest assured, it is taking place!). The exhibition will be free, and there will be linked events taking place in November and December.

“Scheherazade”
Illustrated concert featuring music by Rimsky-Korsakov performed by the Saffron Walden Symphony Orchestra. October 19th @3pm. Part of the Words in Walden festival.
http://saffronhall.com/events/words-in-walden-2/

“Heroes & Villains”
Illustrated concert featuring music by Grieg, Rossini, Copland performed by The de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra. November9th @ 2pm and 4.30pm. Weston Auditorium, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield: http://www.herts.ac.uk/about-us/arts-and-galleries/whats-on/music

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17. The Problem of Mike Peterson: Thoughts on Agents of SHIELD and Race

[Note: This post is the result of thoughts that I've been having since the end of Agents of SHIELD's first season in the spring, and which I haven't seen addressed elsewhere.  I held off on writing and publishing it because I wasn't certain that I had the proper grounding to do justice to the issues it discusses, and because I wasn't sure that it was my place to discuss them at all.  Nevertheless

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18. Books Just Ruin Everything

Books have a way of wrecking a person’s life. Well, okay, not wrecking, that’s far too strong. Ruin maybe. Well, no not ruin either. Let me try again. Books have a tendency to keep a person from being settled in her opinion of things. The opposite could be true too, books could serve to always confirm a person’s opinions and beliefs. I guess it all depends on what sorts of books a person reads. For me, the first one tends to hold sway.

Most recently my opinion of Andrea Dworkin has been ripped to shreds. I am reading a book of essays called Icon edited by Amy Scholder to review for Library Journal and I just finished an essay in it by Johanna Fateman on Andrea Dworkin. I can’t say that I have ever read Dworkin. I have read bits and pieces, passages, quotes, never an entire book of hers. By the time I came along to college and took a women’s literature class, Dworkin had already pretty much been written off by feminists because of her anti-porn and, purported, anti-sex, stance. I wasn’t especially concerned with porn, but when you are twenty, the thought of being anti-sex, even if you weren’t having any, was preposterous. So I wrote off Dworkin too as a kooky feminist who had gone way too far. I was all, feminism yay! But I just didn’t see the reason it had to go to such extremes.

But this Fateman essay is forcing me to re-evaluate my opinion of Dworkin. To be sure she did go way out there, but she had reasons. And now, from the perspective of 20+ years, I can also understand that sometimes one needs to go to extremes in order to get any sort of attention on an issue that people don’t think is a problem or refuse to believe is anything to be concerned with.

And did you know Dworkin wrote novels? A couple of memoirs? And some supposedly excellent literary criticism? I certainly had no idea. And now this (not) stupid essay has made me want to go and dig some of those things up, especially the criticism, to discover for myself just what made her so known and influential before everyone turned on her.

If I hadn’t agreed to review this book for Library Journal, and if there hadn’t been an essay in it about Dworkin then I could still be going on my merry way with not a thought about the woman. But now, blast it all, I am not going to be able to let it go. I will have to investigate further. Darn books, why can’t you just let me be ignorant? I don’t have time for this. Books have to go an ruin everything.


Filed under: Books, In Progress Tagged: Andrea Dworkin

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19. THIS SAT 9/20 BOOK FAIR!

Just learned of the HUGE Book Fair in Princeton this Sat.  So if you can get there, and like book fairs, (who doesn’t) this one is a must!….lots of BIG names…including our very own Melissa Iwai and Anne Rockwell with their TRUCK STOP (from Viking).  stop and say hello!

http://bookfestival.princetonlibrary.org/

 


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20. On-location watercolor sketches

Painted the top piece at Point Reyes at Marin county.  
The original is avaible at my on-line store:
Below set are quick sketches from my recent Hawaii trip.

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21. A New Orleans Pop Up Travel Book is Featured On Kickstarter

Artist Jamie Hayes hopes to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter for New Orleans Pops Up. The funds will be used to cover the cost of printing this travel guide book.

With this book, Hayes will share history, personal stories, restaurant recommendations, and secrets about New Orleans. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“There will be lots of new illustrations designed specifically to ‘pop up.’ It’s going to be fantastic. It is not only a labor of love but quite different from printing a ‘regular’ book.”

(more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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22. Disney Is Sticking It To Marvel Comic Buyers -And They Just Take It (again)

Now, when I publish this sort of thing people ask if I am joking. However, I am not.  Disney saw how much money they could make out of the Avengers movie and comics with anything "Avenger" in/on them.  So, amassing £370m in world-wide box office takings from Guardians of the Galaxy, Disney executives stopped flagellating themselves over the sales figures and came up with an exploitation idea.

And it is exploitation but I've gone over this before.

Anyway, two of the stars of Guardians Of The Galaxy-Rocket Raccoon and Groot will be taking over the covers of the releases for November, featuring art from some the premier artists working today. Yes, in November they will appear with NINETEEN VARIANT COVERS!


Marvel’s press release…
Build Up Your Variant Collection With Marvel ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT Variants!
New York, NY – September 17th, 2014 – The breakout comic book characters of the year are taking over the covers of your favorite Marvel titles this November! That’s right True Believer, ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT VARIANTS are coming, featuring some of the best and brightest talents in the industry! Not only will you get to see so many great artists putting their own spin on Rocket & Groot, but 20 of your favorite Marvel comics will feature these one-of-a-kind variants depicting some of the most classic of covers!
  • All-New Captain America #1
  • All-New X-Men #34
  • Amazing Spider-Man #9
  • Amazing X-Men #13
  • Avengers #38
  • Avengers World #15
  • Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #2
  • Captain America & The Mighty Avengers #1
  • Deadpool #37
  • Guardians 3000 #2
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #21
  • Hulk 8
  • Legendary Star-Lord #5
  • New Avengers #26
  • Rocket Raccoon #5
  • Spider-Verse #1
  • Spider-Woman #1
  • Superior Iron Man #1
  • Thor #2
  • Uncanny X-Men #28
“People everywhere can’t seem to get enough Rocket & Groot!” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “As soon as we came up with the concept to do Rocket Raccoon & Groot variants, the ideas just started pouring in. We couldn’t wait to get our hands dirty creating some really fantastic cover homages. This program is really the best of both worlds and we know it will really excite old and new fans everywhere.”


Marvel urges retailers to check their orders on these hotly anticipated variant covers as they hit comic shelves through the month of November. No fan will want to miss the chance to see these fan-favorite Marvel characters in a whole new way when the ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT VARIANTS hit store shelves worldwide this November!


Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier #2 (variant cover, Sandford Greene)
Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier #2 (variant cover, Sandford Greene)
Captain America & The Mighty Avengers  #1 (variant cover, Ulises Farinas)
Captain America & The Mighty Avengers #1 (variant cover, Ulises Farinas)
Guardians Of The Galaxy #21 (variant cover, Dustin Nguyen)
Guardians Of The Galaxy #21 (variant cover, Dustin Nguyen)
image - Hulk #8 (variant cover, Tom Fowler)
Superior Iron Man #1 (variant cover, Tom Fowler)
Superior Iron Man #1 (variant cover, Tom Fowler)
Thor #2 (variant cover, James Stokoe)
Thor #2 (variant cover, James Stokoe)
Avengers #38 (variant cover, Chip Zdarsky)
Avengers #38 (variant cover, Chip Zdarsky)


And do you know something?  Fan-boys and girls are already counting their pennies in anticipation.  They are Disneys "Money Bitches".  This is just a sheer insult to Marvel fans.
I'm pretty sick of explaining all this to people. You stupid? Go buy ALL the books!

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23. Jon Pertwee being hilarious

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24. Doctor Strange...yes, The 'secret' movie I was talking about a while back.

Doctor Strange Release Date Set For 2016

Marvel are in “advanced negotiations” to film ‘Doctor Strange’ in the UK next year ahead of a planned July 2016 release date, according to reports.

Screen Daily believe that Marvel Studios is in the process of assembling a crew - led by director Scott Derrickson - which will move into Shepperton in late 2014 or early 2015 for a shoot tentatively pencilled in for May.

The 8 July, 2016 release date Marvel announced for an unnamed project has long been assumed to belong to ‘Doctor Strange’ given that it is the only forthcoming Marvel film beyond 2015’s Ant-Man and April 2016’s ‘Captain America 3’ with a known director.

'Doctor Strange' will tell the story of Marvel's sorcerer supreme, a neurosurgeon whose life is torn apart by an injury, but who soon becomes well-versed in the ways of magic and mysticism.

image

Oscar-nominee Joaquin Phoenix has been linked to the starring role multiple times as Marvel continue their pursuit of a leading man. 

While not yet officially announced by Marvel, the ‘Doctor Strange’ film has been public knowledge since Variety broke the news of Derrickson’s hiring back in June. Since then the director has made numerous references to the film on social media, even mentioning it in his Twitter bio

The film’s script is being written by Jon Spaihts, who is working from previous drafts by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer.

'Doctor Strange' is set for release on 8 July 2016. 
Doctor Strange Movie Gets Sinister Director

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25. Marla Frazee, wipe that smile off your face!

The story below is one reason we love Marla Frazee. Find out many more by reading her Talks with Roger interview.

I was once a clown, in high school. A bunch of us were nominated to be on the homecoming court — twenty-five or thirty people — and I did not want to be one of those. Not interested in that at all. There was this assembly — we were supposed to appear before the entire student body — so I wore this head-to-toe clown costume. Full-on, with the ruffle and the big shoes and the red nose. I worked on the makeup for a really long time. I drove to school in my ’67 Mustang, smoking a cigarette, and then I had to hide before the assembly because we weren’t allowed to wear costumes to school. So the curtains opened and we were all there, introduced to the students, and then as I was walking off the stage in the dark, I felt this hand grip my upper arm. It was the girls’ vice principal, who hauled me outside, walking me to her office. I’m slapping in my clown shoes, you know. She’s saying to me, as we’re walking side by side, “How dare you disrespect the school this way? How dare you disrespect” the whole homecoming-whatever-it-was. And then she wheels me around and stares at me and goes, “Wipe that smile off your face.” I’m laughing behind this smile. It took me about forty years — I don’t know if there’s something in this book [The Farmer and the Clown] about that, the “Wipe that smile off your face” line, but it definitely has stayed with me my whole life.

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here.

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