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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: DC, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. SDCC ’15: Our Animation and Comics Creator Interviews in Audio-form

Here’s where I finally release what’s left of our SDCC audio content…as a follow-up to last week’s set of DC and Marvel Television interviews, here are our chats on the animated side of things including discussions with Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland, Bruce Timm, Andrea Romano, Ike Barinholtz, Seth Meyers, and more! Additionally, here are the audio […]

0 Comments on SDCC ’15: Our Animation and Comics Creator Interviews in Audio-form as of 8/3/2015 12:09:00 AM
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2. DiDio: DC is done relaunching and rebooting

As we all know, DC is now a west coast company, and there’s a lot of changes happening. Co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee have been doing the press rounds with a series of interviews conducted at SDCC for various outlets, and in the Comic Book Resources edition it seems like stability is the new […]

6 Comments on DiDio: DC is done relaunching and rebooting, last added: 7/31/2015
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3. Check out these new ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ stills

Why wait for the September issue of Empire when you can meticulously critique some fresh Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice images right now on your phone? I’m sure there will be more images of the highly anticipated Warner Bros. film in the print edition, but this is the best we can for now. Here’s a glimpse of the handsome […]

0 Comments on Check out these new ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ stills as of 7/29/2015 5:51:00 AM
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4. EXCLUSIVE Preview: DC’s Gotham by Midnight Annual #1

This Wednesday, July 29th, DC’s Gotham by Midnight Annual #1 will hit store shelves.  This title, written by Ray Fawkes with art by Christian Duce Fernandez, promises to take readers on “a tale of love and vengeance in this centuries-old mystery” featuring the Gentleman Ghost.   The Comics Beat has an exclusive preview.    

0 Comments on EXCLUSIVE Preview: DC’s Gotham by Midnight Annual #1 as of 7/27/2015 6:30:00 PM
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5. SDCC ’15: We talk cape snaps, controversy and cons with the Batgirl of Burnside team

At SDCC '15 I talked with the Burnside Batgirl crew about their creative origins, how the look that launched a thousand cosplays came to be, how to handle creative criticism, and their earliest con experiences.

0 Comments on SDCC ’15: We talk cape snaps, controversy and cons with the Batgirl of Burnside team as of 7/24/2015 9:02:00 PM
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6. Cyborg #1 (Review): Reis, Walker and Horror?

CYBORG.01.cover.v02.600-COLOR-Blue

Writer:

David Walker

Artists:

Ivan Reis

Joe Prado

The machine that gives Cyborg his powers is evolving! The only problem is that machine is his body and he has no idea what’s causing these changes!

Can an ongoing series set in the New DC world really work for Cyborg? It’s a question that Ivan Reis and David Walker tackle in the first issue of the hero’s ongoing series. When he graduated from the Teen Titans and became an MVP in the Justice League world, Victor Stone took on new life. We’re closer to seeing the hero on-screen than ever before — as one of the fabled “seven” players in the JLA, now seems as good a time as any to spend intimate time with one of the newest characters on the League.

It may require a double take from the reader, but it is worth mentioning that Cyborg recently underwent a fairly massive redesign. While it is a little sad that the previous outfit, with its machine emblem and mostly black-and-white suit, has been retired, the new one by artist Ivan Reis is both slim and sleek. It is dismaying that the only artist that may actually be able to draw this correctly is Reis, as the new outfit is one of the most complicated and effective character designs featured in the DC You.

This directly ties into what might be the greatest strength of the comic: the intensive detail in Reis’ art. This story has incredible levels of polish that really shows the nuance demanded by a character shortchanged like Victor Stone. The initial splash recognizes Cyborg’s costumes and outfits from the New 52 to now, documenting just how much change Victor Stone has gone through over the years. Reis has had defining runs in the New 52 for quite some time on titles like Justice League and Aquaman, and even previously served to simplify Cyborg’s hulking Jim Lee design in the first couple of pages of his run on Justice League. I’m glad to see the artist put such great time and detail into this comic.

David Walker, writer of acclaimed Dynamite’s series Shaft, is the writer of Cyborg #1 and is someone who seems to understand the complicated tightrope he’s walking between the original Marv Wolfman version of Cyborg and the new version of this hero, who comes with a simplified backstory courtesy of the New 52. This new Cyborg is still hung up on some of the same things that the original version was. To be honest, it’s kind of nice to see him go through some of his previous struggles again, as it’s often easier to relate to the problems that younger characters go through.

Not to worry though, this Cyborg isn’t too young… he seems to be in his 20s. We mentioned it above, but this story makes Victor Stone’s newly redesigned body into a key plot point of the series. This is refreshing, as Cyborg has had a large number of previously unexplained costume redesigns in an extremely condensed period of time.

It’s really refreshing to to see frightening horror elements in a book like Cyborg as well.  Aquaman, another book drawn by Reis contains similar elements of terror. Not only that, but this first issue of Cyborg also gives the titular man-machine a brand new supporting cast, setting the series up for the long haul.

Ultimately, the creative team on this book attempts to tackle a lot in their first issue.  They have to introduce Victor to new readers while acknowledging his condensed history for the sake of established fans.  They set up his new team of sidekicks, lay down groundwork for a completely original villain, and ensure that that villain is one that only Cyborg can face.   The road Walker and Reis have chosen to take isn’t going to be an easy one — that being said, this first issue of Cyborg is a more than confident approach to the solo exploits of Stone. Here’s to a long run to come.

1 Comments on Cyborg #1 (Review): Reis, Walker and Horror?, last added: 7/24/2015
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7. New Black Lightning Archive: DC, Tony Isabella Reconcile

Black Lightning 4“Dogs and cats, living together!” – that’s what immediately popped into my mind yesterday when I read Tony Isabella praising DC on Facebook for how it was treating him in regard to Black Lightning.I’ve never seen the original contract between DC and Isabella in regard to Black Lightning so I have nothing to say of substance in regard to the property’s legal status, but as anyone who has followed Tony’s online writing over the years can tell you, Isabella’s statements about DC’s treatment of him and his landmark creation have not exactly been complimentary. That changed, however, yesterday, when Isabella called attention to an Amazon listing of the April 2016 release of Black Lightning, volume 1, the first of what could be a series of collections featuring DC’s first African-American superhero to star in an an eponymous book.

According to Isabella, the rapprochement is the result of outreach by Dan Didio and Geoff Johns, and Isabella is confident that DC will treat him fairly in regard to the payment of royalties. He also raised the possibility of doing more work for DC given sufficient reader demand; the prospect of Isabella working with, say, the creators of the revived Milestone line on a multi-generational crossover is particularly intriguing, given certain thematic resonances with Milestone’s nuanced reflections on creative identity.

To say that Isabella’s announcement is the most unexpected Facebook post of the year is an understatement — it’s one of the most dramatic turnarounds I’ve seen in decades of reading about comics-related disputes, and kudos to all involved for bringing about what I hope will be a truly lasting peace in our time.

3 Comments on New Black Lightning Archive: DC, Tony Isabella Reconcile, last added: 7/25/2015
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8. DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: May 2015 – Ready, Set, Converge!

335160_20150506034024_large.jpg

by David Carter

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

After last month’s large (with an asterisk) sales in the first month of Convergence, things calm down somewhat in May. Nothing that wasn’t expected as the second half of the weekly and the second issues were bound to sell less than the first, and the drop-offs were fully within expectations.

The biggest difference is that in the DCU there were only the Convergence books in May, unlike in April when there were Annuals and several regular titles that had slipped from April, including their strongest sellers Batman, Justice League and Harley Quinn. As a result DC shipped only 70 titles in May, compared to 87 in April, and sold over a million fewer comics than the previous month: Roughly 2.2M vs. 3.3M in the market served by Diamond N.A. (Marvel may want to consider sending DC a nice fruit basket to thank them for freeing up room on store owners’ shelves and balance sheets to order all of those first month Secret Wars titles…)

Over at Vertigo the appearance of the penultimate issue of Sandman Overture boosted their per title average over 10K (from down near 7K the previous months), but the per title median fell to just 5.4K, the lowest it has been since I took over this column in early 2014 (and thus likely the lowest ever.) While it’s admirable that Vertigo not immediately canceling low sellers like FBP, Hinterkind and Coffin Hill and letting them play out to some semblance of closure, the line’s expected forthcoming reinvigoration is sorely needed.

On the good news front, the second volume of the Batman Earth One OGN took first place on the graphic novel chart with first month sales through Diamond N.A. of nearly 17K (more than the #2 & #3 entries combined)–very healthy sales for a $25 hardcover.

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.)

9, 10, 12, 11 - CONVERGENCE ($3.99/$4.99)
04/2015: Convergence #0 -- 157,358 
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 146,022 (-  7.2%)
04/2015: Convergence #2 -- 122,936 (- 15.8%)
04/2015: Convergence #3 -- 120,327 (-  2.1%)
04/2015: Convergence #4 -- 116,744 (-  3.0%)
05/2015: Convergence #5 -- 113,541 (-  2.7%)
05/2015: Convergence #6 -- 111,525 (-  1.8%)
05/2015: Convergence #7 -- 109,417 (-  1.9%)
05/2015: Convergence #8 -- 109,508 (+  0.1%)

All four issues were listed as returnable on the Diamond chart, so their figures are adjusted up 10% from the reported numbers (see the disclaimers at the end of this column for why we make this adjustment).

There are anecdotal reports out there that some retailers vastly over-ordered what they thought they could sell due to the returnability, though as always one should take caution in generalizing a trend from one data point.

But in looking at the numbers provided to us, there’s nothing on the surface odd or strange happening here; after a couple of adjustments in the first couple of issues it falls into a steady standard attrition and then pops up just slightly for the final issue.

We’ll likely never know how many of these end up in the hands of readers, but then that’s pretty much the case for every book on the chart in these days of variant covers and order incentives, especially those reported as sold through Diamond by the Big Two.

24 - CONVERGENCE HARLEY QUINN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 69,838 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 61,308 (- 12.2%) 
27 - CONVERGENCE JUSTICE LEAGUE ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 62,916 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 55,455 (- 11.9%) 

Last month’s top two Convergence tie-ins are also this month’s top two Convergence tie-ins. Twelve percent is a perfectly reasonable drop from a #1 to a #2 issue.

29 - SANDMAN OVERTURE (Vertigo) ($3.99)
05/2014: -- 
06/2014: -- 
07/2014: Sandman Overture #3 --  72,563 (- 21.0%) 
08/2014: -- 
09/2014: -- 
10/2014: -- 
11/2014: -- 
12/2014: Sandman Overture #4 --  64,508 (- 11.1%) 
01/2015: -- 
02/2015: -- 
03/2015: -- 
04/2015: -- 
05/2015: Sandman Overture #5 --  58,776 (-  8.9%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  :    n.a.

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

The final issue has been scheduled for September and the hardcover collection for November. No doubt the collection will be a huge seller for the holiday shopping season, though if the book had kept to its original bi-monthly schedule the collection could have been a huge seller for last year’s holiday shopping season.

30 - CONVERGENCE BATMAN & ROBIN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 56,720 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 50,271 (- 11.4%) 
32 - CONVERGENCE BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 58,693 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 48,204 (- 17.9%) 
33 - CONVERGENCE DETECTIVE COMICS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 56,522 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 47,783 (- 15.5%) 
34 - CONVERGENCE SUPERMAN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 51,823 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 46,900 (-  9.5%) 
39 - CONVERGENCE NIGHTWING/ORACLE ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 50,621 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 44,883 (- 11.3%) 
43 - CONVERGENCE BATGIRL ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 46,891 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 41,356 (- 11.8%) 
45 - CONVERGENCE GREEN LANTERN/PARALLAX ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 46,539 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 40,347 (- 13.3%) 
46 - CONVERGENCE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 46,111 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 39,818 (- 13.6%) 
47 - CONVERGENCE FLASH ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 45,414 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 39,707 (- 12.6%) 
48 - CONVERGENCE SPEED FORCE ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 42,977 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 39,612 (-  7.8%) 
49 - CONVERGENCE WONDER WOMAN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 44,959 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 38,874 (- 13.5%) 
51 - CONVERGENCE ACTION COMICS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 45,189 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 37,916 (- 16.1%) 
52 - CONVERGENCE SUICIDE SQUAD ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 43,518 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 37,609 (- 13.6%) 
53 - CONVERGENCE NEW TEEN TITANS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 43,547 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 37,513 (- 13.9%) 
54 - CONVERGENCE BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 44,078 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 36,702 (- 16.7%) 
55 - CONVERGENCE TITANS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 40,518 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 35,877 (- 11.5%) 
59 - CONVERGENCE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 40,337 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 33,191 (- 17.7%) 
60 - CONVERGENCE SHAZAM ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 39,587 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 32,984 (- 14.7%) 
61 - CONVERGENCE JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 38,579 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 32,924 (- 14.7%) 
63 - CONVERGENCE AQUAMAN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 37,749 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 32,552 (- 13.8%) 
65 - CONVERGENCE GREEN ARROW ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 37,303 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 32,156 (- 13.8%) 
66 - CONVERGENCE CATWOMAN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 37,215 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 31,994 (- 14.0%) 
67 - CONVERGENCE GREEN LANTERN CORPS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 37,437 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 31,979 (- 14.6%) 
68 - CONVERGENCE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 38,911 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 31,619 (- 18.7%) 
69 - CONVERGENCE SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 37,093 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 31,521 (- 15.0%) 
72 - CONVERGENCE THE QUESTION ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 34,446 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 30,192 (- 12.3%) 
73 - CONVERGENCE SUPERGIRL: MATRIX ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 34,634 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 30,124 (- 13.0%) 
78 - CONVERGENCE SUPERBOY ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 33,739 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 29,195 (- 13.5%) 
80 - CONVERGENCE SWAMP THING ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 33,424 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 28,923 (- 13.5%) 
83 - CONVERGENCE BOOSTER GOLD ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 34,191 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 28,865 (- 15.6%) 
85 - CONVERGENCE SUPERBOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 33,605 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 28,327 (- 15.7%) 
86 - CONVERGENCE THE ATOM ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 33,154 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 27,908 (- 15.8%) 
88 - CONVERGENCE CRIME SYNDICATE ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 33,891 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 27,609 (- 18.5%) 
89 - CONVERGENCE HAWKMAN ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 32,985 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 27,008 (- 18.1%) 
90 - CONVERGENCE WORLD'S FINEST COMICS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 32,635 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 26,961 (- 17.4%) 
94 - CONVERGENCE BLUE BEETLE ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 32,172 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 26,357 (- 18.1%) 
98 - CONVERGENCE PLASTIC MAN AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 30,460 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 24,993 (- 17.9%) 

And here are (almost all of) the rest of the Convergence tie-ins. Most dropped in the 5K – 6K range for their second issue. The percentage drops tend to increase as you go down the chart, owing to the fact that 5K is a much larger chunk when you start from a smaller baseline.

I’ll note that there were freely-orderable variant covers for all of the Convergence books this month, though that’s so much par for the course these days it hardly seems mentioning anymore.

99 - WONDER WOMAN '77 SPECIAL (Digital-First) ($7.99)
05/2015: WW 77 Special #1 -- 24,621  

The top non-DCU, non-Vertigo comic of the month. Pretty decent sales for an $8 comic.

Coming in at #100 on the chart are another 24,562 copies of last month’s Batman #40, the first time in a while that a DC comic has made noise on the re-order side, and at quite an impressive level. Presumably these are mostly for the second and third printings.

103 - CONVERGENCE INFINITY INC. ($3.99)
04/2015: Convergence #1 -- 30,114 
05/2015: Convergence #2 -- 24,441 (- 18.8%) 

And one final Convergence tie-in. At one point back in the 80s Infinity Inc. was my favorite comic, which makes its last-place level here a bit sad.

117 - BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT (Digital-First) ($3.99)
03/2015: Batman Arkham Knight #1  -- 73,266 
04/2015: Batman Arkham Knight #2  -- 25,479 (- 65.2%)
04/2015: Batman Arkham Knight #3  -- 23,370 (-  8.3%)
05/2015: Batman Arkham Knight #4  -- 21,083 (-  9.8%)

Still looking for its level, which appears that it it will be around 20K.

122 - BATMAN '66 (Digital-First) ($2.99)
05/2014: Batman '66 #11 -- 18,642 (+  4.0%)
06/2014: Batman '66 #12 -- 17,286 (-  7.3%)
07/2014: Batman '66 #13 -- 17,264 (-  0.1%)
08/2014: Batman '66 #14 -- 21,456 (+ 24.3%)
09/2014: Batman '66 #15 -- 16,842 (- 21.5%)
10/2014: Batman '66 #16 -- 15,923 (-  5.5%)
11/2014: Batman '66 #17 -- 15,585 (-  2.1%)
12/2014: Batman '66 #18 -- 15,409 (-  1.1%)
01/2015: --
02/2015: Batman '66 #19 -- 14,770 (-  4.1%)
02/2015: Batman '66 #20 -- 14,525 (-  1.7%)
03/2015: Batman '66 #21 -- 14,238 (-  2.0%)
04/2015: Batman '66 #22 -- 14,135 (-  0.7%)
05/2015: Batman '66 #23 -- 20,045 (+ 41.8%)
-----------------
6 months: + 28.6%
1 year  : +  7.5%

I’ve been wracking my brain to come up with a good reason for the huge jump, but all I’ve got is that there was a Black Sketch Variant and I can’t see that have this large of an effect. But absent any better explanation that’s what we’ll have to go with.

129, 138 - INJUSTICE: YEAR FOUR (Digital-First) ($2.99)
05/2013: Injustice #5     -- 25,215 (+16.4%)
-------------------------
05/2014: Injustice Y2 #5  -- 19,834 (-  2.3%)
06/2014: Injustice Y2 #6  -- 19,353 (-  2.4%)
07/2014: Injustice Y2 #7  -- 19,811 (+  2.4%)
07/2014: Injustice Y2 #8  -- 18,931 (-  4.4%)
08/2014: Injustice Y2 #9  -- 18,397 (-  2.8%)
08/2014: Injustice Y2 #10 -- 18,068 (-  1.8%)
09/2014: Injustice Y2 #11 -- 18,086 (+  0.1%)
09/2014: Injustice Y2 #12 -- 17,829 (-  1.4%)
10/2014: Injustice Y3 #1  -- 19,307 (+  8.3%)
10/2014: Injustice Y3 #2  -- 17,884 (-  7.4%)
11/2014: Injustice Y3 #3  -- 17,243 (-  3.6%)
11/2014: Injustice Y3 #4  -- 16,741 (-  2.9%)
12/2014: Injustice Y3 #5  -- 16,611 (-  0.8%)
12/2014: Injustice Y3 #6  -- 16,141 (-  2.8%)
01/2015: Injustice Y3 #7  -- 15,796 (-  2.1%)
02/2015: Injustice Y3 #8  -- 15,816 (+  0.1%)
02/2015: Injustice Y3 #9  -- 15,345 (-  3.0%)
02/2015: Injustice Y3 #10 -- 15,417 (+  0.5%)
03/2015: Injustice Y3 #11 -- 15,526 (+  0.7%)
03/2015: Injustice Y3 #12 -- 15,322 (-  1.3%)
04/2015: --
05/2015: Injustice Y4 #1  -- 17,958 (+ 17.2%)
05/2015: Injustice Y4 #2  -- 15,653 (- 12.8%)
----------------
6 months: -  1.1%
1 year  : - 15.3%
2 years : - 33.3%

Gets a bit of a boost as Year Four starts, but by issue #2 we’re right back to the level where Year Three had settled into.

143 - MORTAL KOMBAT X (Digital-First) ($3.99)
01/2015: Mortal Kombat X #1  -- 21,062 
02/2015: Mortal Kombat X #2  -- 13,277 (- 37.0%) 
02/2015: Mortal Kombat X #3  -- 12,581 (-  5.2%)
03/2015: Mortal Kombat X #4  -- 14,038 (+ 11.6%)
04/2015: Mortal Kombat X #5  -- 14,741 (+  5.0%)
05/2015: Mortal Kombat X #6  -- 14,603 (-  0.9%)

After a couple of months of corrective rises MKX appear to have found its level.

162 - MAD MAX FURY ROAD (Vertigo) ($4.99)
05/2015: Nux & Immortan Joe #1 -- 11,569 

One-shot tying in to the movie, and the top non-Sandman Vertigo title for May.

164 - HE-MAN: ETERNITY WAR ($2.99)
05/2013: He-Man & MotU #2   -- 19,410 (- 23.1%)
-------------------------------------
05/2014: He-Man & MotU #13  -- 12,430 (-  2.3%)
06/2014: He-Man & MotU #14  -- 12,144 (-  2.3%)
07/2014: He-Man & MotU #15  -- 11,905 (-  2.0%)
08/2014: He-Man & MotU #16  -- 11,721 (-  1.5%)
09/2014: He-Man & MotU #17  -- 11,756 (+  0.3%)
10/2014: He-Man & MotU #18  -- 11,501 (-  2.2%)
11/2014: He-Man & MotU #19  -- 11,022 (-  4.2%)
12/2014: He-Man Eternity #1 -- 18,884 (+ 71.3%)
01/2015: He-Man Eternity #2 -- 12,104 (- 35.9%)
02/2015: He-Man Eternity #3 -- 11,700 (-  3.3%)
03/2015: He-Man Eternity #4 -- 11,746 (+  0.4%)
04/2015: He-Man Eternity #5 -- 11,625 (-  1.0%)
05/2015: He-Man Eternity #6 -- 11,426 (-  1.7%)
----------------
6 months: +  3.7%
1 year  : -  8.1%
2 years : - 41.1%

Very steady, dropping just a couple hundred copies.

166 - ASTRO CITY (Vertigo) ($3.99)
05/2005: --
05/2010: Dark Age 4 #4     -- 12,900
05/2011: --
05/2012: --
------------------------------------
05/2014: Astro City #12    -- 13,795 (- 0.8%)
06/2014: Astro City #13    -- 13,419 (- 2.7%)
07/2014: --
08/2014: Astro City #14    -- 13,069 (- 2.6%)
09/2014: Astro City #15    -- 12,660 (- 3.1%)
10/2014: Astro City #16    -- 12,480 (- 1.4%)
11/2014: Astro City #17    -- 12,055 (- 3.4%)
12/2014: Astro City #18    -- 11,985 (- 0.6%)
01/2015: Astro City #19    -- 11,734 (- 2.1%)
02/2015: Astro City #20    -- 11,603 (- 1.1%)
03/2015: Astro City #21    -- 11,492 (- 1.0%)
04/2015: Astro City #22    -- 11,359 (- 1.2%)
05/2015: Astro City #23    -- 11,215 (- 1.3%)
-----------------
6 months: -  7.0%
1 year  : - 18.7%
5 years : - 13.1%
10 years:    n.a.

Also very steady.

168 - THE FLASH: SEASON ZERO (Digital-First) ($2.99)
10/2014: Flash Season 0 #1 -- 23,501 
11/2014: Flash Season 0 #2 -- 14,287 (- 39.2%) 
12/2014: Flash Season 0 #3 -- 12,247 (- 14.3%) 
01/2015: Flash Season 0 #4 -- 10,806 (- 11.8%) 
02/2015: Flash Season 0 #5 -- 10,450 (-  3.3%) 
03/2015: Flash Season 0 #6 -- 10,188 (-  2.5%) 
04/2015: Flash Season 0 #7 -- 10,152 (-  0.4%) 
05/2015: Flash Season 0 #8 -- 11,037 (+  8.7%) 
----------------
6 months: - 22.7%

Rises nearly 1K copies, for no other reason I can figure except for demand?

173 - SENSATION COMICS FEAT WONDER WOMAN (Digital-First) ($3.99)
08/2014: Sensation Comics #1  -- 29,640
09/2014: Sensation Comics #2  -- 22,085 (- 25.5%)
10/2014: Sensation Comics #3  -- 17,996 (- 18.5%)
11/2014: Sensation Comics #4  -- 16,573 (-  7.9%)
12/2014: Sensation Comics #5  -- 14,323 (- 13.6%)
01/2015: Sensation Comics #6  -- 12,927 (-  9.7%)
02/2015: Sensation Comics #7  -- 12,115 (-  6.3%)
03/2015: Sensation Comics #8  -- 11,399 (-  5.9%)
04/2015: Sensation Comics #9  -- 11,007 (-  3.4%)
05/2015: Sensation Comics #10 -- 10,565 (-  4.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 36.3%

Still trending downward.

189 - SUICIDERS (Vertigo) ($3.99)
02/2015: Suiciders #1  -- 18,275 
03/2015: Suiciders #2  -- 10,585 (- 42.1%) 
04/2015: Suiciders #3  --  9,891 (-  6.6%) 
05/2015: Suiciders #4  --  9,316 (-  5.8%) 

The first issue that was not returnable, and lo and behold the trend holds without the adjustment.

197 - ARROW: SEASON 2.5 (Digital-First) ($2.99)
05/2013: Arrow #7            -- 10,017 
--------------------------------------
10/2014: Arrow Season 2.5 #1 -- 17,364 (+113.1%) 
11/2014: Arrow Season 2.5 #2 -- 11,121 (- 36.0%) 
12/2014: Arrow Season 2.5 #3 --  9,862 (- 11.3%) 
01/2015: Arrow Season 2.5 #4 --  9,302 (-  5.7%) 
02/2015: Arrow Season 2.5 #5 --  9,060 (-  2.6%) 
03/2015: Arrow Season 2.5 #6 --  9,055 (-  0.1%) 
04/2015: Arrow Season 2.5 #7 --  8,671 (-  4.2%) 
05/2015: Arrow Season 2.5 #8 --  8,644 (-  0.3%) 
----------------
6 months: - 22.3%
2 years : - 13.7%

Drops just a handful of copies.

205 - FABLES: THE WOLF AMONG US (Vertigo) (Digital-First) ($3.99)
01/2015: Fables: TWAU #1  -- 13,620 
02/2015: Fables: TWAU #2  -- 10,224 (- 24.9%) 
03/2015: Fables: TWAU #3  --  9,352 (-  8.5%) 
04/2015: Fables: TWAU #4  --  8,793 (-  6.0%) 
05/2015: Fables: TWAU #5  --  8,378 (-  4.7%) 

Settling in around 8K.

237 - SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP (All-Ages) ($2.99)
05/2014: Scooby-Doo Team-Up #4  --  8,159 (- 3.5%)
06/2014: --
07/2014: Scooby-Doo Team-Up #5  --  9,042 (+10.8%)
08/2014: --
09/2014: Scooby-Doo Team-Up #6  --  8,333 (- 7.8%)
10/2014: --
11/2014: Scooby-Doo Team-Up #7  --  7,530 (- 9.6%)
12/2014: --
01/2015: Scooby-Doo Team-Up #8  --  6,678 (-11.3%)
02/2015: --
03/2015: Scooby-Doo Team-Up #9  --  6,780 (+ 1.5%)
04/2015: --
05/2015: Scooby-Doo Team-Up #10 --  6,566 (- 3.2%)
-----------------
6 months: - 12.8%
1 Year  : - 19.5%

Also holding fairly steady.

239 - WOLF MOON (Vertigo) ($2.99)
12/2014: Wolf Moon #1 of 6 -- 15,865 
01/2015: Wolf Moon #2 of 6 --  8,747 (- 44.9%) 
02/2015: Wolf Moon #3 of 6 --  7,789 (- 11.0%) 
03/2015: Wolf Moon #4 of 6 --  7,124 (-  8.5%) 
04/2015: Wolf Moon #5 of 6 --  6,722 (-  5.6%) 
05/2015: Wolf Moon #6 of 6 --  6,496 (-  3.4%) 

Final issue, finishing its run with every issue charting, which these days is something of a win for a Vertigo title.

Charting at #252 are 6,112 copies of The Multiversity Pax Americana Director’s Cut, a $9.99 comic.

257 - INFINITE CRISIS: FIGHT FOR THE MULTIVERSE (Digital-First) ($3.99)
07/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #1  -- 26,096
08/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #2  -- 15,340 (- 41.2%)
09/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #3  -- 13,884 (-  9.5%)
10/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #4  -- 11,348 (- 18.3%)
11/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #5  --  8,920 (- 21.4%)
12/2014: Infinite Crisis FftM #6  --  7,809 (- 12.5%)
01/2015: Infinite Crisis FftM #7  --  7,231 (-  7.4%)
02/2015: Infinite Crisis FftM #8  --  6,498 (- 10.1%)
03/2015: Infinite Crisis FftM #9  --  6,236 (-  4.0%)
04/2015: Infinite Crisis FftM #10 --  ????? (< 6,352)
05/2015: Infinite Crisis FftM #11 --  5,959 
----------------
6 months: - 33.2%

The floor for the Top 300 this month is nearly 2K lower than in April, so this is the first of several DC titles that didn't chart last month that show up this month.

---

267 - COFFIN HILL (Vertigo) ($2.99)
05/2014: --
06/2014: Coffin Hill #8  -- 8,764 (- 8.2%)
07/2014: Coffin Hill #9  -- 8,396 (- 4.2%)
08/2014: Coffin Hill #10 -- 7,710 (- 8.1%)
09/2014: Coffin Hill #11 -- 7,422 (- 3.7%)
10/2014: Coffin Hill #12 -- 7,136 (- 3.9%)
11/2014: Coffin Hill #13 -- 6,752 (- 5.4%)
12/2014: Coffin Hill #14 -- 6,410 (- 5.1%)
01/2015: --
02/2015: Coffin Hill #15 -- 5,933 (- 7.4%)
03/2015: Coffin Hill #16 -- 5,785 (- 2.5%)
04/2015: Coffin Hill #17 -- ????? (< 6,352)
05/2015: Coffin Hill #18 -- 5,423 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 19.7%

Returns from its mystery month right about exactly where you'd expect it to be. Ending with issue #21.

---

287 - SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? (All-Ages) ($2.99)
05/2005: Scooby-Doo #96                -- 4,718
05/2010: Scooby-Doo #156               -- 3,857
05/2011: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #9  -- 4,838
05/2012: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #21 -- 5,269
05/2013: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #33 -- ????? 
-----------------------------------------------
05/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #45 -- 4,840 (+4.1%)
06/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #46 -- ????? (< 4,560)
07/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #47 -- ????? (< 6,594)
08/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #48 -- ????? (< 5,357)
09/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #49 -- ????? (< 6,262)
10/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #50 -- ????? (< 6,298)
11/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #51 -- ????? (< 5,214)
12/2014: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #52 -- ????? (< 5,053)
01/2015: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #53 -- 4,703 
02/2015: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #54 -- ????? (< 4,804) 
03/2015: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #55 -- ????? (< 4,917) 
04/2015: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #56 -- ????? (< 6,352) 
05/2015: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? #57 -- 4,794  
-----------------
6 months:    ???%
1 year  : -  1.0%
2 years :    ???%
5 years : + 24.3%
10 years: +  1.6%

Appears to be one of DC's most steady selling titles, even though many months it falls below the Top 300 cutoff.

---

297 - THE NAMES (Vertigo) ($2.99)
09/2014: The Names #1 of 8 -- 17,266 
10/2014: The Names #2 of 9 --  9,056 (- 47.6%) 
11/2014: The Names #3 of 9 --  6,926 (- 23.5%) 
12/2014: The Names #4 of 9 --  5,918 (- 14.6%) 
01/2015: The Names #5 of 9 --  5,312 (- 10.2%) 
02/2015: The Names #6 of 9 --  4,965 (-  6.5%) 
03/2015: The Names #7 of 9 --  ????? (< 4,917) 
04/2015: The Names #8 of 9 --  ????? (< 6,352) 
05/2015: The Names #9 of 9 --  4,516
-----------------
6 months: - 34.8%
299 - THE KITCHEN (Vertigo) ($2.99)
11/2014: The Kitchen #1 of 8 -- 14,066 
12/2014: The Kitchen #2 of 8 --  7,403 (- 47.4%) 
01/2015: The Kitchen #3 of 8 --  6,328 (- 14.5%) 
02/2015: The Kitchen #4 of 8 --  5,153 (- 18.6%) 
03/2015: The Kitchen #5 of 8 --  ????? (< 4,917) 
04/2015: The Kitchen #6 of 8 --  ????? (< 6,352) 
05/2015: The Kitchen #7 of 8 --  4,473 
-----------------
6 months: - 68.2%

Two more Vertigo limited series show up this month due to the lower floor.

---

+300 - STRANGE SPORTS STORIES (Vertigo) ($4.99)
03/2015: Strange Sports #1 of 4 -- 9,003 
04/2015: Strange Sports #2 of 4 -- ????? (< 6,352) 
05/2015: Strange Sports #3 of 4 -- ????? (< 4,462) 
+300 - EFFIGY (Vertigo) ($2.99)
01/2015: Effigy #1  -- 11,656 
02/2015: Effigy #2  --  6,408 (- 45.0%) 
03/2015: Effigy #3  --  ????? (< 4,917) 
04/2015: Effigy #4  --  ????? (< 6,352) 
05/2015: Effigy #5  --  ????? (< 4,462) 
+300 - HINTERKIND (Vertigo) ($2.99)
05/2014: Hinterkind #7  --  7,487 (- 9.9%)
06/2014: Hinterkind #8  --  7,212 (- 3.7%)
07/2014: Hinterkind #9  --  6,686 (- 7.3%)
08/2014: Hinterkind #10 --  6,283 (- 6.0%)
09/2014: Hinterkind #11 --  ????? (< 6,262)
10/2014: Hinterkind #12 --  ????? (< 6,298)
11/2014: --
12/2014: Hinterkind #13 --  5,080 
01/2015: Hinterkind #14 --  4,810 (- 5.3%) 
02/2015: Hinterkind #15 --  ????? (< 4,804)
03/2015: Hinterkind #16 --  ????? (< 4,917)
04/2015: Hinterkind #17 --  ????? (< 6,352)
05/2015: Hinterkind #18 --  ????? (< 4,462)
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  :   ????%
+300 - FBP: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS (Vertigo) ($2.99)
05/2014: FBP #10     --  7,242 (- 4.9%)
06/2014: FBP #11     --  6,958 (- 3.9%)
07/2014: FBP #12     --  ????? (< 6,594)
08/2014: FBP #13     --  6,189
09/2014: --
10/2014: FBP #14     --  ????? (< 6,298)
11/2014: FBP #15     --  5,288
12/2014: FBP #16     --  ????? (< 5,053)
01/2015: FBP #17     --  4,707
02/2015: FBP #18     --  ????? (< 4,804)
03/2015: FBP #19     --  ????? (< 4,917)
04/2015: --
05/2015: FBP #20     --  ????? (< 4,462)
-----------------
6 months:   ????%
1 year  :   ????%

Four Vertigo titles that don't make the Top 300 cut, including the final issue of Hinterkind.

---

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

DC COMICS
05/2005: 34,801
05/2010: 27,785
05/2011: 24,561
05/2012: 38,708
05/2013: 31,412 
---------------
05/2014: 31,764 (+  8.8%)
06/2014: 32,834 (+  3.4%)**
07/2014: 32,760 (+  0.2%)**
08/2014: 28,951 (- 11.6%)**
09/2014: 46,869 (+ 61.9%)**
10/2014: 31,598 (- 32.6%)**
11/2014: 28,654 (-  9.3%)**
12/2014: 29,047 (+  1.4%)**
01/2015: 24,289 (- 16.4%)
02/2015: 24,537 (+  1.0%)**
03/2015: 23,466 (-  4.4%)**
04/2015: 38,318 (+ 63.3%)**
05/2015: 31,237 (- 18.5%)**
-----------------
6 months: +  9.0%
1 year  : -  1.7%
2 years : -  0.6%
5 years : + 12.4%
10 years: - 10.2%
DC UNIVERSE
05/2005: 43,505
05/2010: 37,463
05/2011: 27,745
05/2012: 35,264
05/2013: 32,015 (+  1.9%)
---------------
05/2014: 39,555 (+  8.5%) 
06/2014: 42,733 (+  8.0%) 
07/2014: 40,945 (-  4.2%) 
08/2014: 36,645 (- 10.5%) 
09/2014: 63,401 (+ 73.0%)** 
10/2014: 39,978 (- 36.9%)
11/2014: 36,710 (-  8.2%)
12/2014: 34,882 (-  5.0%)
01/2015: 30,680 (- 12.0%)
02/2015: 32,403 (+  5.6%)
03/2015: 28,559 (- 11.9%)
04/2015: 49,845 (+ 74.5%)
05/2015: 42,635 (- 14.5%)
-----------------
6 months: + 16.1%
1 year  : +  7.8%
2 years : + 33.2%
5 years : + 13.8%
10 years: -  2.0%
VERTIGO
05/2005: 14,520
05/2010: 11,756
05/2011: 10,668
05/2012: 11,102
05/2013: 20,860 
---------------
05/2014: 11,778 (+  5.0%) 
06/2014: 11,372 (-  3.4%) 
07/2014: 15,803 (+ 39.0%)** 
08/2014:  9,082 (- 42.5%)
09/2014: 10,022 (+ 10.4%)**
10/2014:  9,066 (-  9.5%)**
11/2014:  8,511 (-  6.1%)**
12/2014: 13,195 (+ 55.0%)**
01/2015:  8,361 (- 36.6%)
02/2015:  8,612 (+  3.0%)**
03/2015:  7,055 (- 15.6%)**
04/2015:  7,257 (+  2.9%)**
05/2015: 10,616 (+ 46.3%)**
-----------------
6 months: + 24.7%
1 year  : -  9.9%
2 years : - 49.1%
5 years : -  9.7%
10 years: - 26.9%

---

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

+ 28.6% - Batman '66
+  3.7% - He-Man Eternity War (He-Man and the MotU)
-  1.1% - Injustice
-  7.0% - Astro City
- 12.8% - Scooby-Doo Team-Up
- 22.3% - Arrow Season 2.5
- 22.7% - Flash Season Zero
- 33.2% - Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse
- 34.8% - The Names
- 36.3% - Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman
- 68.2% - The Kitchen
1 year comparisons
===================

+  7.5% - Batman '66
-  1.0% - Scooby-Doo Where Are You?
-  8.1% - He-Man Eternity War (He-Man and the MotU)
- 15.3% - Injustice
- 18.7% - Astro City
- 19.5% - Scooby-Doo Team-Up
- 19.7% - Coffin Hill
2 year comparisons
===================

- 13.7% - Arrow
- 33.3% - Injustice
- 41.1% - He-Man Eternity War (He-Man and the MotU)
5 year comparisons
===================

+ 24.3% - Scooby-Doo
- 13.1% - Astro City
10 year comparisons
===================

+  1.6% - Scooby-Doo

---

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

DCU: Average: 42,635. Median: 34,534.

2.7 - Convergence 5
2.6 - Convergence 6
2.6 - Convergence 8
2.6 - Convergence 7
1.4 - Convergence Harley Quinn
1.3 - Convergence Justice League
1.2 - Convergence Batman and Robin
1.1 - Convergence Batman Shadow of the Bat
1.1 - Convergence Detective Comics
1.1 - Convergence Superman
1.1 - Convergence Nightwing/Oracle
1.0 - Convergence Batgirl
0.9 - Convergence Green Lantern/Parallax
0.9 - Convergence Justice League of America
0.9 - Convergence Flash
0.9 - Convergence Speed Force
0.9 - Convergence Wonder Woman
0.9 - Convergence Action Comics
0.9 - Convergence Suicide Squad
0.9 - Convergence New Teen Titans
0.9 - Convergence Batman and the Outsiders
0.8 - Convergence Titans
0.8 - Convergence Adventures of Superman
0.8 - Convergence Shazam
0.8 - Convergence Justice League International
0.8 - Convergence Aquaman
0.8 - Convergence Green Arrow
0.8 - Convergence Catwoman
0.8 - Convergence Green Lantern Corps
0.7 - Convergence Justice Society of America
0.7 - Convergence Superman: The Man of Steel
0.7 - Convergence The Question
0.7 - Convergence Supergirl: Matrix
0.7 - Convergence Superboy
0.7 - Convergence Swamp Thing
0.7 - Convergence Booster Gold
0.7 - Convergence Superboy and The Legion of Super-Heroes
0.7 - Convergence The Atom
0.6 - Convergence Crime Syndicate
0.6 - Convergence Hawkman
0.6 - Convergence World's Finest Comics
0.6 - Convergence Blue Beetle
0.6 - Convergence Plastic Man and The Freedom Fighters
0.6 - Convergence Infinity Inc.
Vertigo: Average: 10,616*. Median: 5,423*

5.5 - Sandman Overture
1.1 - Mad Max Fury Road
1.1 - Astro City
0.9 - Suiciders
0.8 - Fables: The Wolf Among Us
0.6 - Wolf Moon
0.5 - Coffin Hill
0.4 - The Names
0.4 - The Kitchen
0.4 - Strange Sports Stories *
0.4 - Effigy *
0.4 - Hinterkind *
0.4 - FBP *
Digital First & Other: Average: 13,281. Median: 11,426

1.9 - Wonder Woman '77
1.6 - Batman: Arkham Knight
1.5 - Batman '66
1.3 - Injustice Year Four 1
1.2 - Injustice Year Four 2
1.1 - Mortal Kombat X
0.9 - He-Man Eternity War
0.8 - Flash Season Zero
0.8 - Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman
0.7 - Arrow Season 2.5
0.5 - Scooby-Doo Team-Up
0.4 - Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse
0.4 - Scooby-Doo Where Are You?

---

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 Shark Research Institute, or my former 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.

2 Comments on DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: May 2015 – Ready, Set, Converge!, last added: 7/21/2015
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9. SDCC ’15 Interview: Marguerite Bennett talks DC Comics’ “Bombshells”

DC Comics Bombshells writer Marguerite Bennett

DC Comics Bombshells writer Marguerite Bennett

By Nick Eskey

DC Collectible’s popular Bombshells figures have recently been green lighted for its own comic, written by Margurite Bennett with art by Margurite Sauvage and set in an alternate reality of WWII where Super Heroes exist. Bennett talks about her experience with the book at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con 2015.

How did you get into comics?

Batman the Animated series actually, and I was on a panel today sitting next to “Paul Dini” and my heart was going like crazy the entire time. I came off as a huge flake I’m sure… But Batman the Animated series, I was five years old and saw it in this after school program. And it’s actually sort of funny. With that iconic opening sequence, I wildly misinterpreted what Batman was about. From the gangsters, and the zeppelins, and this wonder rich noir feel, I um… thought Batman was a bad guy. You saw these villains and these gangsters, and what really caught my attention was how dark it is. So often in children’s television, especially things that are presented to girls, are these hyper-saturated, very, very bright, abundantly pink things. So Batman stuck out because how different it was.

So in that opening sequence you see these “bad things, bad things, bad things,” and then you see Batman who is clearly king of the bad things in Gotham. And I assumed he was a bad guy. When I watched the episode, he was fighting these people. So I thought he was this bad guy who felt guilty of being a bad guy and then decided to then turn [them] all in and clean up the city that he was responsible for making this evil and dark. I operated off of that for like a year before I was six. I didn’t know what the murder of the Wayne’s had to do with this… So I really misinterpreted this. But because of this, and creating my own wrong canons from the very beginning, it really started it as something creative. Something I could enjoy watching, but also putting my own mark on even from a very young age.

Newest Bombshell addition: Cheetah

Newest Bombshell addition: Cheetah

How did you get involved with the “Bombshells” project?

Oh gosh. Our wonderful editor, “Jim Chadwick,” approached me last September (that’s how long I had to keep secrets about this). He knew I was a huge fan of the series. I’m very vocal on Twitter about how much I loved it and I collected all manner of things form it, and because of the attention that those August variant covers got, DC was like “There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for this. What about… we’ve essentially got this whole world waiting to have these stories told, maybe there’s something to this?” And there was that Katniss like, Hunger Games moment where I said “I volunteer!” And as soon as he offered, I was all over it. We’ve hit the ground running, and going ever since.

They’re introducing this as a digital download comic right?

Yes. The digital version, which is in these ten page increments, will be every Saturday of the month. These ten page chapters will feature a different heroine for our first arc. And then for our second arc, their paths start to cross. That starts July 27th I believe. The first print comic is going to be August 12th on Wednesday.

What kind of research did you have to do for a story taken place in WWII?

It’s almost always been a preoccupation of mine even at a young age, and I come from a military family. So it was something that you grew up knowing and learning a lot about. And it’s not precisely World War II. We’re doing an alternate history. But it was something where I was able to incorporate these story telling elements.

Newest Bombshell addition: Killer Frost

Newest Bombshell addition: Killer Frost

Scaling back for a minute, when people try and look at an event that massive, a lot of the times we get caught up in things that are almost too big to tell a story about. Or like when you visit a new country or culture, you’ll go to like the “Great Wall,” or you’ll go to the “Eiffel Tower.” But the thing that you remember coming away from it aren’t these giant vistas. They’re small interactions. They’re small stories. Like the “Eiffel Tower’s” one thing, but the thing that I took away from Paris was that “Spongebob Squarepants” is called “Bob L’eponge.” That sticks with you for some reason, and so it was the smaller stories, the more intimate human stories, that always stayed with me with learning about war as a child. Something that’s so far removed from my generation and my birth, they were always the stories that were too big to hold here in my head. But it was the small stories that were the ones that could stay.

Small stories are what influence the world of Bombshells more than outside events. We’re not trying to tell the battle of the bulge, but we’re trying to tell the stories of human courage and human compassion.

Which one of the Bombshells is your favorite to write for?

Batwoman. Batwoman is my favorite DC hero, period. I think that every DC hero in particular is so iconic. Each one can be boiled down to a single virtue or element. Batman is about justice, or obsession depending on your read. Or Batgirl is about recovery. And I feel like Batwoman is about service.

Where it’s the element of military service, or giving yourself to a larger cause. I think she’s inherently a very selfish person, so it’s something that she struggles with. She had a tendency to really hurt the people that she loves, but she still wants to do this, she still wants to be this thing that can provide for other people, and care for other people. It was so interesting because she comes from a place where she’s flawed. She fails so often, in trying to do this, and trying to be this. And it felt like this really perfect moment of crisis that’s going to define the coming century. Her failings and her strengths are going to be the heart of that story.

What was the most challenging part of writing for Bombshells?

You know, we have so many wonderful heroines. So I do worry about being able to give each of them their do. There are so many people I want to incorporate. The first heroines you’re going to see are the ones that already have their own statues, but there are a lot of ones that I want to hurry and get to. But we do need to do that first and establish them first. Coming from the DC Collectibles needed to be our priority. And so I’m hoping the public will bear with me, because they’ll be times when you’ll see character, and you might not see or hear from them again for a few months… I’m just impatient, and I want all my toys at once, and I want to share them with everyone all at once.

Look out for DC Comics Bombshells releasing on digital starting July 27th, and the physical book releasing August 12th.

1 Comments on SDCC ’15 Interview: Marguerite Bennett talks DC Comics’ “Bombshells”, last added: 7/18/2015
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10. SDCC ’15 Interview: Brenden Fletcher Gets in Depth about Miyazaki, Music, and Continuity in his Books

Black Canary #2 (on sale 7/15)

Black Canary #2 (on sale 7/15)

By Harper W. Harris

The Fletcher-Verse: this is what superfans like to call the little corner of the DC Universe that’s penned (or co-penned) by Brenden Fletcher, including Batgirl, Gotham Academy, and the new Black Canary series. I got a chance to sit down with Brenden to discuss his inspirations, approach, and general disregard for continuity in Gotham Academy and Black Canary.

 

Gotham Academy #8 (on sale now)

Gotham Academy #8 (on sale now)

Harper W. Harris: I’ve heard that Miyazaki is a big influence on what you’re doing with Gotham Academy. What parts or aspects of those movies did you want to bring into Gotham Academy and the tone?

Brenden Fletcher: I wouldn’t say that my love of Miyazaki is something that I’m trying to put on the page of Gotham Academy, or of any of my books. But discovering Miyazaki at a young age and his Studio Ghibli films really transformed my view of what it meant to tell a story, and how to approach character and drama. I think that’s what I’m trying to bring to all of this, I’m just trying to be mindful of his approach. These books are completely different from anything he’s done. So I’m hoping that when people are examining what we’re doing with that in mind, they’re not trying to look for specific elements or anything. I will say this however: I believe that what we have in common more than anything is the fact that we seem to be drawn to tell stories about female protagonists. If you look at most of Miyazaki films…[A saxophone plays in the distance] I’m sorry, that’s “Careless Whisper” on the saxophone being played at San Diego Comic Con. You don’t expect Wham on a Friday morning.

HH: No, it’s a little early for that!

BF: But yeah, I think I haven’t really figured out why it is I’m drawn to telling stories with female protagonists, but this has always been the case. Since I started writing, every story that I’ve felt connected to has had a female protagonist. I don’t do it on purpose, it’s just what interests me.

HH: So switching over to Black Canary for a second, that obviously draws from a very different creative pool than Gotham Academy, one that you have some personal experience with. How does your experience as a rock musician inform the way you write that book and formed that character?

BF: Yeah I’ve been playing music all my life. I’m primarily a singer; I went to school for music, studied voice and classical singing. I ended up doing musical theater for years, and on the side I was always playing in bands. At one point in my life I decided I didn’t like the formal aspect so much, so I wanted to get out of classical. I wasn’t really into the musical theater scene; I liked the jobs, but it wasn’t really me. So I spent more time writing music and playing music, and working on being a better instrumentalist and that turned into some touring and getting involved in the business of music. This was never something that I could make a living out of, I didn’t become a world famous musician, but I experienced enough of the life to inform this new world I’m building for Dinah Lance in the new Black Canary book.

HH: With Gotham Academy you’re co-writing with Becky Cloonan. With co-writing, I’m always curious about the process–what is the process like writing with Becky?

BF: It’s interesting: I think we could talk about it in terms of how Becky and I work, but this is a full team effort and Karl [Kerschl] is in on the story building at every phase of the project. We start usually by going out for a coffee–I’ve got some ideas, Becky’s got some ideas, Karl’s got some ideas. We turn that into a look at where the story should be going, and at that point Becky and I create a breakdown of the issue, what the twenty pages will roughly look like. We give that to Karl, he tells us we’re wrong and we have to back and retool it until he’s happy with it. From there we give it to the editors who sometimes tell us we’re wrong. Eventually we get to scripting, and that’s another stage where Karl will fix things or tell us things are wrong–or sometimes he just doesn’t, and I’m not even kidding you, he’ll just change things on the page, just draw where he thinks it should go, and 100% of the time he’s right. Karl is an extremely gifted storyteller, great writer, an Eisner award winning writer/artist. What we have is this incredible merging of visions–actually I think we share a vision, but we merge our talents and abilities and our individual ideas to become this wonderful thing that’s Gotham Academy.

Gotham Academy #9 (on sale 8/12)

Gotham Academy #9 (on sale 8/12)

HH: It sounds like Gotham Academy is a really collaborative effort, that’s great. So when you’re writing a script for different artists, so for example writing for Annie Wu on Black Canary, how is your scripting style different?

BF: Totally different. The only reason I’m writing full scripts for Gotham Academy is because I’m collaborating with Becky and because the office requires it–they like to see a full script. With Karl, we can pretty much get on the phone and say, yeah, page twenty looks like this, and he’ll deliver it and it’ll be perfect. Annie and I had a talk early on about how she likes to approach things, and she had been working with Matt Fraction on Hawkeye for a while and wanted a script that was closer to what Matt was doing. So this is the first time that I’ve written closer to what is known as the Marvel Style. Annie wants a looser breakdown of what the pages looks like with some script beats in there. She can push and pull those things as she wants, she adds beats, moves beats, but ultimately the core of the story I’m trying to get across, the core of the movement of the characters is all there on the page.

HH: When you first started out with Black Canary, were you able to pick and choose what aspects of her past you wanted to use? Given that it’s not your average superhero story, have you found it challenging to tell the story you want to tell within the confines of continuity?

BF: I have a relatively clean approach to continuity, which is just that I ignore everything that I don’t like. I will never contradict it to the best of my ability, but if something feels off to me I’ll try my best to avoid it. I am playing into a lot of the New 52 continuity for Dinah Lance, but using it for very specific reasons which you’ll see over this first arc. I’m trying to bring it all together and make it make sense in a way that makes Dinah feel like the iconic version of the character that we know and love.

HH: She’s a welcome member to the ever-growing Fletcher-verse!

 

Black Canary #1 and Gotham Academy #8 are on shelves now, with new issues coming in the next few weeks!

0 Comments on SDCC ’15 Interview: Brenden Fletcher Gets in Depth about Miyazaki, Music, and Continuity in his Books as of 7/17/2015 2:22:00 PM
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11. Adam Copeland to Play Atom-Smasher in CW’s The Flash

atomsmasher-144694Today, comicbook.com broke the news that WWE veteran Adam Copeland has been cast as Al Rothstein, aka Atom-Smasher in CW’s TV adaptation of The Flash.  The second season, which premieres this fall, will feature the super-strong size-changing character as a villain, even though he has primarily been portrayed as a hero in the comics.

 

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12. J.H. Williams III Shows off Sandman: Overture Finale Art

After an interminably long time (two years, to be precise), Neil Gaiman‘s and J.H. Williams III‘s Sandman: Overture is finally coming to an end.  Issue #6, currently scheduled for release on September 30th, will wrap up the prequel mini-series.  Over the past few days, Williams III has been tweeting out some panel artwork from the book:

overture overture2 overture3 overture4

1 Comments on J.H. Williams III Shows off Sandman: Overture Finale Art, last added: 7/17/2015
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13. SDCC ’15 Interview: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, and Chad Hardin talk Power Girl and Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn #17

Harley Quinn #17

By Harper W. Harris

Down in the bustle of the DC booth, I got a chance to talk with Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Chad Hardin, the team behind the ever popular Harley Quinn series, as well as newer books Harley Quinn and Power Girl and Starfire.

 

Harper W. Harris: When you wrote issue #12 of Harley Quinn, did you always plan on expanding that story into its own series or story?

Amanda Conner: Jimmy did.

Harley Quinn and Power Girl #2, out 7/22

Harley Quinn and Power Girl #2, out 7/22

Jimmy Palmiotti: Yeah, when we writing it, I said, it would be great if we could just make it a couple weeks later when they came out of the ring, and if this team up does okay, maybe they’ll let us tell that story. And it did do okay–it did better than okay! So when we pitched it to Dan [Didio], we said, well, we’d like to take what happened during those two weeks, how Power Girl got in a wedding dress, why these three eyed cats, and make it into six issues. He said, “If you can figure out all that, then go for it.” So we did. And we had Stephane Roux that wanted to draw it–we got lucky getting Stephane, so it all came together. It was sort of not a plan, but I left the door open in case something happened.

HH: What has it been like to return to Power Girl, a character that you had such a big impact on several years ago?

AC: We actually love Power Girl so much, and we miss working on that character, so we just said lets put Power Girl and Harley together, why not!

HH: They’re a good pairing so far! So speaking of Harley Quinn, the character has obviously gotten immensely popular in the last year or so. Has that level of fan involvement or popularity changed the way you view the character or the way you aim to tell her story?

AC: Not really–I mean we always loved the character. We wanted to make her the truest Harley that we knew how. I think it’s just resonated with a lot of people, because they feel like it’s very Harley-ish. I think that might be one of the reasons people love it so much, she feels like Harley. She’s wacky, she’s crazy, a little homicidal, but lovable.

JP: We like to say it’s because of Chad’s artwork too that’s sucking everybody into the book. I mean we got lucky–again a lot of things were just timing. The timing was right for the book, the tone that we thought may or may not work actually worked. It’s always a hit or miss when you’re going to change things up a little bit. We got lucky this time, I could tell you about the 40 other times we didn’t get lucky, but that would take up a whole other interview. We’re happy this worked out!

HH: Yeah, I think a big part of its success is the fresh, funny approach to a superhero story. What is your process in writing it as a comedy? Is there a lot of throwing out ideas, sketching them out, then seeing visually a way to make the situation funnier or add a new joke?

JP: We don’t really write it so much as a comedy as this is the story, and then we find the funny, absurd moments in it. All superhero comic books could easily be done like this with everything they do, everything from the capes to how ridiculous it is, if they can do all this, then why aren’t they doing that situations. So with Harley we actually try to lay out the story very grounded, like a regular comic format, this is what’s happening. As a matter of fact, as absurd as it is sometimes, she’s actually more based in the real world than some other characters because she goes through the motions: she’s on the street, she goes from this place to that place–there’s no jump to scenery, she has to get somewhere. We have whole scenes with car services and cabs–

Chad Hardin: Or she’s at work, or eating.

JP: She’s trying to do three jobs…it’s actually really grounded. But in that, it’s sort of like our own lives, right? There are these absurd moments that we see every day and we giggle and then we forget about. With Harley we have these absurd moments and we take it to a hyper sense of reality. And then we hand it over to Chad.

CH: Whenever they hand me the script, it’s like, how can I make this…more. You know, take the football across the goal line so to speak.

AC: And you always do!

JP: We like to think of it, whether it’s perceived that way or not, as a very grounded in reality story. We could be completely wrong and be just getting by on what we think, but that’s how we see it.

AC: You can have a very grounded story, but when Harley gets involved, everything just goes upside-down.

CH: She’s the touch of chaos that spins the universe into this chaotic motion, and that’s where the absurdity comes in.

From Harley Quinn #12, which led to the Harley Quinn and Power Girl mini-series

From Harley Quinn #12, which led to the Harley Quinn and Power Girl mini-series

JP: I also think it’s why people like the book. It’s one of the few books–we know the procedure of a superhero book is that it’s going to have the fight and then the cliffhanger–with Harley, you actually have no idea what’s going to happen on the next page. We throw random things–like all the sudden there are 800 birds on her–like we just go randomly in places and it should be that way, because that’s how her brain acts, so it shouldn’t be so linear in that way. It seems to work and we’re always happy when we get Chad’s pages back and we’re all laughing at things that we didn’t even write that are in the background. We’re like, that’s a really good working team when everybody’s putting their best into it. And with Alex Sinclair on colors, it’s one of the most fun books I’ve ever worked on.

HH: You guys definitely have an awesome team going, a great collaboration. Chad, how is the process different drawing for writers that are very talented artists in their own right?

CH: I don’t know how to explain this so much, but it is different in that it’s the most challenging book I’ve ever been on, but I don’t know why. It just is. But I think it’s because I don’t dare dial anything in.

AC: We know where he lives.

CH: Everything’s got to be perfect, perfect, perfect. We’re crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s. But I think the fans really respond to that.

JP: I harass him once in a while.

CH: If Jimmy doesn’t like something, I can tell immediately. He’ll give me like a one word note, like “cool” or “awesome”–if I don’t get that, I’m like, okay, something’s wrong.

JP: Like, “Staten Island has more trees.” He drew a scene, and he doesn’t know Staten Island, it has more trees.

AC: There is no island off the coast.

CH: Oops! I actually did go to New York, I walked around Coney Island and took a million pictures. But off the coast, I have no idea. Across the Brooklyn Bridge, I have no idea.

JP: We’re dealing with a real city, there are 4 million people in Brooklyn that might have something to say if we completely turn everything away.

HH: You can’t really fake that geography.

JP: Yeah. Even with the scatapult on the roof, Amanda kind of figures out where it is using Google Maps, where it would go over buildings.

CH: We have a map of the building, the floors. I know which way it faces, we’re pretty anal about it.

AC: Oh, we’re so anal about it–I downloaded all these apps so I can know what degrees it needs to be pointed at to hit any J Train that might be going over the Williamsburg Bridge–Oh no that’s the L Train, nevermind!

Starfire #3, out 8/12

Starfire #3, out 8/12

HH: I wanted to talk about Starfire–how did you get attracted to that character?

AC: They asked us to write it. [Laughs]

JP: They ask, how do you feel about Starfire, I’m not sure how I feel about Starfire. Amanda definitely has more history with her.

AC: I read all the Wolfman Perez Teen Titans, so I liked the character a lot. And I’ve seen her go through a lot different incarnations.

JP: They sent us the New 52 trades, and we read those, and I was like, okay, that’s that, but we also like the cartoon a lot. We laugh our asses off at the cartoon. There’s got to be a way we can make this work for us, in order for us to have interest in writing it. Dan said, alright, then pitch how you would want to do it and we’ll see if it works with what we’re thinking. We pitched the book you have. We said it’s a new town and she doesn’t want to be a superhero so much, like a new start. And they went for it. I think they had confidence with us doing Harley that maybe we could handle that. I don’t think we would’ve been offered it if we weren’t doing Harley. I don’t think it would’ve been a book they would have come to us with, so we hard to earn that book.

 

Harley Quinn #17, Starfire #2, and Harley Quinn and Power Girl #1 are all in stores now, with new issues coming soon!

2 Comments on SDCC ’15 Interview: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, and Chad Hardin talk Power Girl and Harley Quinn, last added: 7/17/2015
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14. SDCC ’15 Interview: Tom King and Tim Seeley Chat About Grayson

Grayson #9 (on sale now)

Grayson #9 (on sale now)

By Harper W. Harris

Among the DC books that sparked a sort of revolution for the publisher in terms of new kinds of stories is Grayson, the espionage comic by Tom King, Tim Seeley, and Mikel Janin. In a nice and surprisingly quiet corner of the convention, I was able to sit down and have a chat with King and Seeley about the former Robin that they have brought to such exciting new heights.
Harper W. Harris: Grayson kind of paved the way for a lot of the genre books…

[Tim and Tom do a fist bump]

HH: Yeah! And it kind helped start a cool revolution for DC in terms of what kind of books they were putting out. What do you feel are the challenges or advantages of telling a more genre story within a superhero universe?

Tim Seeley: Inherently superheroes are always really flexible and always have been. You’re sort of making a hero that’s bigger than an idea, bigger than one person, and you can put it into so many different things. Obviously Batman is sort of more of a  detective story, Superman is more of a science fiction story, but they all are superhero stories. So I think our approach to this was, let’s do an espionage style genre story, but let’s firmly embrace its superhero roots. You kind of get that wonderful fusion that makes superheroes the most popular genre on earth at this point, they’re so flexible and available to embrace new things while still being stories that are aspirational and colorful and fun and crazy.

Tom King: The approach was never for us to just write in the spy genre, it was let’s write the best Dick Grayson story we can. Like, growing up I didn’t realize I was reading different genres.  I didn’t realize when I was reading [Walt] Simonson’s Thor that I was reading a huge fantasy epic. It still felt like a superhero story to me.

TS: Yeah, sure.

TK: Or like I didn’t read the noir detective stuff of [Batman] Year One, like I didn’t get that he was using all those tricks. I think we’re taking the spy genre and using that to tell the best superhero stories. We’re stealing some tropes to inject some energy. We’re superhero writers, we want to write frickin’ awesome superhero stories. Am I allowed to say that? I’m saying it.

HH: I think you’re entitled to that! One of the other cool things about the book getting started is that we know Grant Morrison always gives us tons of great characters and ideas with his books, and most of those never get used again. How did you decide to follow up on some of those threads from Batman, Inc.?

Grayson #10 (on sale 7/22)

Grayson #10 (on sale 7/22)

TK: My main approach to that was to throw away my part of the pitch and take Tim’s.

TS: [Laughs] That’s exactly how I’ve always thought of Grant’s stuff, he blows in with a bunch of crazy ideas and then just drops the mic and walks out, and a lot of people don’t pick up on that stuff because it’s too weird or so Grant Morrison. I feel like I’ve been reading his stuff for so long and recognize how great these ideas are, and it’s frustrating that nobody picks them up, so I was going to rectify that wrong. I’m going to use this amazing thing he left behind called Spyral, it has to be used because it’s so weird and so fun. When DC said make Dick a spy, I couldn’t think of anything for my first pitch, and Chris Burnham sat in my studio and he was drawing the Batman, Inc. stuff and he had left a Spyral symbol on the table and I was like, “That’s it! I’ll use Spyral.”

TK: I’ve never heard that story! That’s an exclusive story, I’ve been on every interview with him and I’ve never heard that before.

TS: Chris designed that symbol. It helps to be around comics dudes all the time so you can steal their ideas. It seemed so appropriate for the character, because Dick is such a black and white guy, there’s good and bad and he’s always going to do the right thing, but he’s going to work for somebody that’s completely gray. Therein lay the conflict of our issues.

HH: Seems like Kathy Kane showed up at the end of issue eight…do you have plans to further her story?

TK: In this series, nothing is what it seems. We keep saying this and we’re going to keep saying it: our goal is 100% to surprise you. We never want you to be relaxed and to be like, okay I know where this is going, I’m going to sit down and read another villain of the month–I don’t like those kinds of comics. I want the stakes to be high, I want you to be blown away by what you’re reading. So I can’t spoil what’s going to happen, but it’s not what you think is going to happen.

TS: Keep in mind that Spyral’s whole thing is spreading disinformation and mind control, and sometimes we may be playing the Spyral game on the readers. That’s how we keep ourselves entertained: by being the villains that we portray in the comic book.

TK: You need to put lipstick on then.

TS: It looks very nice. [Laughs]

HH: When you first started out, did you always plan to move Helena to where she is now? Was that a longform plan?

TS: I think one of our ideas was to always change it up, that their relationship is always changing: she’s his partner, she’s his boss, he’s her boss, they’re romantically involved, they’re not. What makes it fun is as a reader you’re constantly second guessing what the plan is, you know? That was definitely part of the deal.

TK: We’d introduced this character, The Tiger, Agent One, as sort of the best spy in the DCU. He’s this Afghani, the Tiger king of Kandahar, he’s such a frickin’ great character. As soon as I put him on the page I wanted him to be Dick’s partner, I loved the chemistry between them and I loved where they could go together and I wanted to elevate him. The idea of having them as partners and Helena above him is just too appealing. As soon as I said it, I was like, “Alright.”

TS: It changes up Dick’s relationships with the other characters too, because Helena was a very understanding but firm partner, Tiger’s just always telling him he’s an idiot. Their relationship changes, and it keeps allowing us to keep making a book about all kinds of different things.

HH: So there have been some hints here and there that Dick Grayson might be bisexual, is that something that you guys plan on expanding?

Grayson Bow Tie

“Am I Straight?”

TK: Who said that?

TS: No, I mean…

TK: He was talking about his bow tie.

TS: He was talking about his bow tie, for sure. I mean for us there’s some fun in the sexy aspect of the spy genre, but I think to us the character is a very flexible guy. I don’t know if its our job in this particular story to do anything that changes his sexuality, but I think it’s fun to play around with it because part of his job is to be the seducer. It also involves playing parts that are not necessarily who he is, and part of it is him sometimes discovering things about himself as he plays parts. It’s just another of our ways of keeping you guessing, that’s the fun, right? And he was talking about his tie! I don’t know what you guys are talking about.

HH: You guys have a unique collaboration in how you co-write, alternating scripts. What do you think makes your partnership and method a good one for this book?

TK: I come from this school of superhero comics where I sort of worship Frank Miller and Alan Moore, if you read my other stuff like Omega Men you’ll see that. I want to tell dark dirges and philosophical stories, and that is not who Dick Grayson is. There is a Dick Grayson story out there, that it’s always tempting to be like, he was raised by Batman and he hates it, and Batman sort of abused him and put him in this situation and he’s sad and thinks about it while he looks into his belly button. I would probably write that story–I wrote a whole novel for Simon & Schuster that was about that concept. Tim’s here to say, “Tom, no, this is fun and exciting and amazing, let’s do a supercool adventure comic!”

TS: I mean yeah, I’m the lighter of the two as far as our approach to superheroes goes. But what Tom brings is his interesting perspective in that he’s been in the field and he’s done that sort of thing and knows the emotional weight of it. And I think the way the book works is that you feel this sort of back and forth that is kind of like what Dick’s life is probably like, where it could be very complex and dark, and you get an issue like #3 that’s very much a Tom story with Agent Eight, but we can also do an issue like #4 that’s somewhat lighter and sort of about the youthful aspect of Dick Grayson. I think when Tom and I first started talking about this book, we would just have this long conversation about what it means to be Dick and what his place in the DCU is. In the end we batted around a lot of stuff and some of it was the same and some of it wasn’t, but when we got down to it we totally agreed on what he is. So what kind of book he’s in can change, but who he is I think we agree 100%. I think that’s why we get a book that people respond to; I wouldn’t have wrote the book the way it is without Tom, and Tom wouldn’t have wrote the book the way it is without me. And neither of us could’ve written it the way it is without Mikel Janin or Jeromy Cox. It’s all about that collaboration, and that’s why the book is what it is. It’s a lot of voices melding into one solid voice.

Grayson, Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral (on sale now)

Grayson, Vol. 1: Agents of Spyral (on sale now)

HH: What real or fictional spies are your inspirations for Dick Grayson?

TS: Go ahead, real life spy.

TK: My buddy Fred, my buddy Jane…

TS: All the sudden the sniper light is on your head…

TK: Can I give like the stupid avoiding answer? Dick Grayson of Spyral, that character, he doesn’t need another character to be laid over him. He’s got 75 years of history, he’s older than James Bond. James Bond was inspired by him!

TS: Suck it Ian Fleming!

TK: I’m not trying to write a book that’s James Bond in the DCU, I’m trying to write a book that is Dick Grayson in the DCU.

TS: I think that’s the answer, yeah. The job of the book is to play with the tropes that you’re familiar with in the spy genre, to play with the kind of story that you’re used to, but to do it differently and to add this character who is the heart of the story. Dick, being who he is, and his history–that’s really the core of the book. We know as people who have seen a lot of movies and read a lot of books and read a lot of comics what a spy story is and what those characters are, but to us it’s about playing against them or playing with the tropes. It’s about Dick Grayson, first. That was a good answer Tom, that wasn’t a cheesy answer that was a good answer!

TK: The trade just came out, it’s the hardcover, and we’re so proud of it. It’s the first volume and it has my Future’s End issue in it, which was the weird backwards one which I can’t believe how proud I am of that issue. Please check it out!

 

Grayson #9 is on shelves now, with #10 coming out on 7/22, and the hardcover first volume is also out as well!

1 Comments on SDCC ’15 Interview: Tom King and Tim Seeley Chat About Grayson, last added: 7/17/2015
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15. SDCC ’15: Drawing with Jim Lee – “Do You Know the Difference between Law and Justice?”

JimLee001

Jim Lee

By Nick Eskey

One of the happy-highlights of San Diego Comic-Con is when DC Comics co-publisher, writer, and artist Jim Lee just sits down and draws. Well he doesn’t just draw. The talented artist also has the chops to be a regular comedian. Every year on Sunday, his “Drawing with Jim Lee” is a highlight of the convention.

The panel this year had a slight hiccup however. From what we were told, he had it on his schedule that it would start at 3pm to 4pm, not 1:30pm to 2:30pm. We wouldn’t have to wait till 3pm, but he wasn’t going to be there till 2:15pm. A number of people left, but a majority stayed the extra forty-five minutes.

When Mr. Lee did show, a wave of applause went through the room. He took to his chair, and looking out at the crowd said, “Thanks for staying. It’s a real testament to your guys’ love of a free sketch.” Everyone erupted with laughter.

He continued to thank the crowd as he pulled pencils, “Pigma” pens, inks, and brushes out onto the table. “Now, you see this? It’s a Pigma marker. It gives you a fine tip and you can go thicker. You can use it for defining, or shadowing… They always send me a bunch of these, so I use them. I’m still waiting on this year’s crate.” More laughter. “You’ll have to excuse me, it’s Sunday at Comic-Con, so I’m not all here. But really guys, I do enjoy this panel a lot. Compared to the other days, this one is just very intimate, and a fun atmosphere. So thank you.”

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He proceeded to trace the lines on a “Wonder Woman” sketch that he had started earlier. “I thought I would get some drawings done beforehand so I had more to pass out to you all. So I… I got ONE. Yay!”

As he put the finishing touches on, he addressed the convention staff. “Is there anyone in here that works for Comic-Con? Do you know the difference between ‘Law’ and ‘Justice?’ Well, Law is what should be done. Justice is what needs to be done. So I know there’s some sort of rule forbidding panelists from handing out food to attendees in the room. But I got all these ‘Twix’ bars I want to give out.” Low and behold, Twix bars were passed out to everyone in the room. “We did an ad campaign back in June that took up a whole page… So yeah. That’s Law and Justice.”

While he finished his Wonder Woman, he had the crowd ask him questions. One person asked if he still did personal drawings from his Marvel days. “I’ll occasionally draw Marvel things for friends who like Marvel… It’s fun to draw these characters every now and then.” He was then asked if he would draw one. “Fine, I’ll draw Wolverine… but he’s got to wear the Batman suit.”

Jim gave out the first sketch, and then began on the second. He began with a circle, and built upon it. “Trace basic shapes. They are like the blue print.” With the skeleton of the drawing done, he started the detailing. “Wolverine is like Batman. But smaller nose, bad breath, and… 2.8 billion dollars.” As he began the lining, he added “Batman is a lot like Wolverine, but less feral in nature… DC has less angry characters.”

It’s obvious how much Jim Lee enjoys his art, and sharing it with others. The amount of care he puts into his work looks effortless. It comes from years of practice. As he’s working on Wolverine’s nose, he smiled and said, “Add the nose and the teeth that make him look like he’s going to drop a deuce.” The room erupts again in laughter. “No, see? He’s kind of hunched over. He’s about to sit on the toilet.”

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“Add the nose and the teeth that make him look like he’s going to drop a deuce.”

Finished, he gave Wolverine away, and took the request of doing “Harley Quinn.” As he drew, an attendee asked, “With nine kids, what do you do to relax?” Jim Lee looked at him, and laughed a little. “I make nine kids… No really. What do I do to relax? I draw. When I draw, time goes by. I fall into my pocket dimension, which is full of shirtless, muscular men.”

As he finished the drawing and was going to give it out, another person asked, “Who’s your least favorite character to draw?” Without hesitation, he answered, “Spiderman. I do believe he’s one of the best creations of Jim Lee, but I don’t like drawing Spiderman. He has all that webbing…The webbing, it creates the form of the costume. And when it moves around and curves, it’s just hard to plot.”

For his last drawing, he asked who he should draw next. A flurry of responses came through. But the one he latched on to was “Aquaman.” “Look, this girl is putting her hands together and pleading! That’s the international sign of ‘I have to draw this.’”

While he drew the last sketch, the question of “What’s your favorite part of the costume to draw” came up.  And this was probably my favorite response of the night. Jim Lee answered, “Oh you’re not going to trick me with that.”

The Jim Lee Sunday panel is probably the favorite of many. The fun and playful atmosphere is one that can be greatly appreciated on a Comic-Con Sunday. Though it doesn’t really explain much of the techniques in his drawing, it does allow everyone to see one of comic’s greats make wonderful art. Let’s all hope it continues for a years to come.

1 Comments on SDCC ’15: Drawing with Jim Lee – “Do You Know the Difference between Law and Justice?”, last added: 7/17/2015
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16. August Batman: Arkham Knight DLC Revealed

Warner Bros. gives details on what Arkham Knight owners can add in August.

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1989 Movie Batmobile Pack: Battle through the streets of Gotham City with this pack that includes the Batman skin and Batmobile from the 1989 Batman film, as well as two tracks inspired by the film’s sequel.
The Bat-family Skins Pack: Included in this pack are six character skins based on the alternate timelines – – 1990s Catwoman, One Year Later Robin, Arkham Origins Batman, Iconic Grey & Black Batman, 1970s Batman and the Original Arkham Nightwing.

 

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That’s not all; more story missions for Batman will also be available featuring “legendary super-villains invading Gotham City,” the supporting cast will also have their own quests. The August DLC will also be the first content, post launch, built by the main game’s developer, Rocksteady. More details will be announced in the next few weeks.

Don’t forget today the Batgirl: A Matter of Family DLC is available for season pass holders on Xbox One and PS4.

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17. Suicide Squad’s Sizzle Reel in Glorious 1080p!

With a huge frown on their collective entity’s face and a couple of stiletto-wearing foot stomps to boot, Warner Bros. has released an official copy of the Suicide Squad sizzle reel that leaked after being shown at a panel during SDCC.  The trailer comes with a statement:

“Warner Bros. Pictures and our anti-piracy team have worked tirelessly over the last 48 hours to contain the Suicide Squad footage that was pirated from Hall H on Saturday. We have been unable to achieve that goal. Today we will release the same footage that has been illegally circulating on the web, in the form it was created and high quality with which it was intended to be enjoyed. We regret this decision as it was our intention to keep the footage as a unique experience for the Comic Con crowd, but we cannot continue to allow the film to be represented by the poor quality of the pirated footage stolen from our presentation.”
– Sue Kroll, President Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures

Deadline and a few other outlets have speculated that the leak of Suicide Squad and Deadpool footage meant exclusively for SDCC attendees could mean the end of the media practice.  Deadline characterizes this type of footage as a “gift,” and it is.  However, the reality of the internet is that information can be disseminated far and wide at increasingly rapid speeds.  There’s no way to stop this sort of thing from happening in the future, and not showing any promotional material at all seems like an emotionally driven reaction that ultimately hurts all parties, movie studios like Warner Bros. included.

It doesn’t make sense for companies to fight the future.  There’s plenty of room for innovation left in the internet.  Corporations simply need to embrace that.

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18. SDCC ’15: Exclusive Batman Vs. Superman Signing Footage

Today the DC Entertainment booth hosted a signing featuring the stars of Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  DC All Access had exclusive footage from the event:

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19. SDCC ’15: NEW Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer from Hall H Panel!!!!

Check out full panel coverage here.

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20. SDCC ’15: CW’s The Flash Casts Jay Garrick & Patty Spivot, Zoom to be Main Villain

Today, Warner Bros and The CW confirmed some news about the upcoming second season of The Flash.  First off, they’ve announced that Zoom will be the premiere villain of the arc.

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Shantel VanSanten has been cast as Patty Spivot, a “police officer and science enthusiast who catches the eye of Barry Allen.”

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Finally, Teddy Sears has been cast as Jay Garrick, the first hero to call himself The Flash.  His official character description says he’s “a mysterious figure who arrives in Central City to warn Barry Allen and his team at S.T.A.R. Labs of an impending danger that he alone cannot hope to stop.”

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21. SDCC ’15: CW’s Arrow Gets a Wardrobe Upgrade

Tonight, the CW debuted a new look for Stephen Amell’s Arrow.  The Green avatar of justice will be rocking some sweet new gauntlets and showing off those biceps for season four.

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No word on whether or not his wardrobe is a junkie.  Season four premieres on October 7th.

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22. SDCC ’15: CW Seed Debuts Animated “Vixen” Trailer, Series Set in Network’s Flash/Arrow Shared Universe

Today, we got our first look at the trailer for Vixen, an animated series that will share a chronology and characters with the live action The Flash and Arrow series currently airing on the CW.  Megalyn Echikunwoke will voice the titular character while The Flash’s and Green Arrow’s actors crossover from the realm of physical acting to give voice to their animated counterparts.

For more info on the series, check out CBR’s first look.

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23. SDCC ’15: DC Announces ANOTHER Earth One Title, AQUAMAN!

To follow up on our earlier announcement that Joe Michael Straczynski would be penning Flash: Earth One, DC just announced that Francis Manapul would be writing AND drawing Aquaman: Earth One.  The news comes from DC’s Meet the Co-Publishers Panel, and the book will be released in 2016.

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24. SDCC ’15: DC Announces Flash: Earth One Graphic Novel

Joe Michael Straczynski, author of several Before Watchmen titles and Superman: Earth Vol. 2, just announced that he was signed by DC to write Flash: Earth One.  This will be the fifth entry in the Earth One series of books.

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25. SDCC ’15: Bruce Timm and cast discuss the darkness, risks, and rewards of Justice League: Gods & Monsters

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Traditionally, films starring Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman start off with an imbued sense of goodwill towards the team’s protagonists. But Alan Burnett, the writer and producer of Justice League: Gods & Monsters, has just one concern about the heroes of this film.

“They are not likable in the beginning,” he said. “I don’t know how the audience is going to respond to that.”

Mind you, the names are the only thing these characters have in common with the versions we know and love. Justice League: Gods & Monsters features an alternate version of the characters, including a vampiric Batman and a Superman who is the son of Zod.  Executive Producer Bruce Timm, who said he’d actually pitched the idea of a vampire Batman during Batman: The Animated Series and was denied, noted the upshot to losing those built in personas was the chance to take the characters to new places.

“With these characters, because they’re all new characters…we get to make the rules from ground zero,” he said. “It’s really seductive to know I can take them down weird paths that are shocking and unpredictable and weird in a way that I can’t really do with the traditional characters.”

Burnett, who describes the film as a mystery rather than a typical action/thriller, echoed those sentiments.

“One of the things we talked about, we’ve talked about off and on for years, is that its kind of frustrating that these major superheroes that we work with, if they get in a fight, they can’t really hurt the other guy,” he said. “We sort of wanted to do a character who, if he felt like he had to kill in a fight, it would happen. So that’s the main difference between what we’ve been doing before and this.”

The film also marks Timm’s recent return to the DC animated world.

“I took a little bit of a breather,” he said. “I developed a couple of different properties, original ideas that weren’t superhero related. I developed them, pitched them, and nobody bought them. And I was like, OK, well I’ve got to do something, because I like having food, and I like having a roof over my head. And it was around that same time that I came up with this idea.”

Paget Brewster and Tamara Taylor, who play Lois Lane and Wonder Woman, each said they were surprised and even confused by the marked difference in the characters compared to their traditional portrayals.

“I kept going back and thinking why am I not understanding this, and they explained that this is an alternate universe,” Taylor said. “I had to let everything go and go with this sort of upside-down town we were in.”

Dialogue director Andrea Romano cast Dexter alumn Michael C. Hall, who she’s been trying to cast in various roles for years, in this new take on Batman.

Dexter was wrapping, and I thought, let’s try one more time, and it just lined up perfectly,” she said. “This is a very different Batman. This is a Batman who is, first of all, quite young – we meet him in a flashback where he’s a college student – and he’s kind of frail, in fact. He’s ill. He’s not strong and robust like Bruce was. He just made it his Batman.”

Justice League: Gods & Monsters will be available for purchase on July 28.

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