DC Month-to-Month Sales: December 2009

5 Feb

DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales: December 2009
by Marc-Oliver Frisch

It turns out retailers don’t necessarily view content as a major selling point of DC’s comics. Back in the November column, the question was how much of an impact the publisher’s ring promotion had on sales. Now we know, and it’s not flattering.

DC’s average comic-book sales took a dip in December, which can be explained in part by the lack of jewelry, but also by the fact that Diamond decided not to ship any product in the final week of 2009. The latter means that publishers lost a week’s worth of re-orders across the line in December, and in DC’s case also seems to have resulted in a significant chunk of Blackest Night orders not reaching stores to make the chart.

Out of the 16 DC Comics titles that made the Top 50 in December, 11 were part of the “Blackest Night” crossover. At Vertigo and WildStorm, people were basically waiting for 2009 to end; given that it was the worst year yet for the two imprints in terms of comic-book sales, you can’t blame them.

See below for the details, and please consider the small 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.

—–

1 - BLACKEST NIGHT
07/2009: Blackest Night #1 of 8  -- 177,105          [203,866]
08/2009: Blackest Night #2 of 8  -- 146,092 (-17.5%) [155,512]
09/2009: Blackest Night #3 of 8  -- 140,786 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Blackest Night #4 of 8  -- 137,169 (- 2.6%)
11/2009: Blackest Night #5 of 8  -- 144,935 (+ 5.7%) [148,695]
12/2009: Blackest Night #6 of 8  -- 100,651 (-30.6%)

There’s no readily apparent explanation why Blackest Night #6 would suddenly drop by 30 percent after the series’ relatively stable performance to date, so I’m assuming that 30,000 units or so somehow failed to reach stores until 2010. If that’s the case, we’ll find them in the January chart.

As usual, Blackest Night was promoted with a 1-for-100 variant-cover edition as well as with a 1-for-25 one. Also, issues #1 and #5 made the charts again in December, selling another 4,000 units each.

—–

2 - GREEN LANTERN
12/2004: Rebirth #3 of 6    -- 106,523 [126,654]
12/2005: Green Lantern #6   --  88,437
12/2006: --
12/2007: Green Lantern #25  --  90,545
12/2007: Green Lantern #26  --  69,986
--------------------------------------
12/2008: Green Lantern #36  --  64,755 (+ 2.2%) [ 74,005]
01/2009: Green Lantern #37  --  65,556 (+ 1.2%) [ 71,331]
02/2009: Green Lantern #38  --  68,908 (+ 5.1%) [ 77,372]
03/2009: --
04/2009: Green Lantern #39  --  79,792 (+15.8%) [ 84,784]
04/2009: Green Lantern #40  --  76,665 (- 3.9%) [ 84,705]
05/2009: Green Lantern #41  --  81,491 (+ 6.3%)
06/2009: Green Lantern #42  --  84,131 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern #43  -- 109,426 (+30.1%) [117,314]
07/2009: Green Lantern #44  -- 105,063 (- 4.0%) [109,599]
08/2009: Green Lantern #45  -- 102,431 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: Green Lantern #46  -- 103,666 (+ 1.2%)
10/2009: Green Lantern #47  -- 101,349 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Green Lantern #48  -- 100,371 (- 1.0%)
12/2009: Green Lantern #49  --  97,285 (- 3.1%)
-----------------
6 months: + 15.6%
1 year  : + 50.2%
2 years : + 21.2%
5 years : -  8.7%

Green Lantern keeps holding up extremely well with its “Blackest Night” tie-in issues. As usual, there was a 1-for-25 variant-cover edition.

—–

5 - BLACKEST NIGHT: THE FLASH
12/2004: --
12/2005: Flash #229      --  41,459
12/2006: Flash: FMA #7   --  53,600
12/2007: Flash #235      --  43,788
-----------------------------------
12/2008: Flash #247      --  26,498 (-  4.5%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Rebirth #1 of 5 -- 102,429 (+286.6%) [111,515]
05/2009: Rebirth #2 of 5 --  86,183 (- 15.9%)
06/2009: Rebirth #3 of 5 --  83,086 (-  3.6%)
07/2009: --
08/2009: Rebirth #4 of 5 --  78,107 (-  6.0%)
09/2009: --
10/2009: --
11/2009: Rebirth #5 of 6 --  73,875 (-  5.4%)
12/2009: B.Night #1 of 3 --  80,313 (+  8.7%)
-----------------
6 months: -  3.3%
1 year  : +203.1%
2 years : + 83.4%
5 years :   n.a.

Evidently, there’s not much of an additive effect between the draw of Blackest Night and whatever buzz there is for The Flash right now.

Two years back, these figures would have been a major disappointment, but given that even Marvel’s top-selling titles rarely break 70K anymore, I suppose it’s time to re-assess how to look at these numbers.

As usual, there was a 1-for-25 variant-cover edition.

(The Flash: Rebirth #6 is currently scheduled for February, by the way.)

—–

6 - GREEN LANTERN CORPS
12/2005: GLC: Recharge #3 of 5   -- 64,490 [65,669]
12/2006: Green Lantern Corps #7  -- 38,737
12/2007: Green Lantern Corps #19 -- 50,516
------------------------------------------
12/2008: Green Lantern Corps #31 -- 44,033 (+ 0.9%)
01/2009: Green Lantern Corps #32 -- 44,312 (+ 0.6%)
02/2009: Green Lantern Corps #33 -- 44,607 (+ 0.7%) [50,171]
03/2009: Green Lantern Corps #34 -- 54,162 (+21.4%)
04/2009: Green Lantern Corps #35 -- 58,769 (+ 8.5%)
05/2009: Green Lantern Corps #36 -- 61,591 (+ 4.8%)
06/2009: Green Lantern Corps #37 -- 63,574 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Green Lantern Corps #38 -- 82,415 (+29.6%)
08/2009: Green Lantern Corps #39 -- 84,241 (+ 2.2%)
09/2009: Green Lantern Corps #40 -- 83,112 (- 1.3%)
10/2009: Green Lantern Corps #41 -- 81,377 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Green Lantern Corps #42 -- 80,391 (- 1.2%)
12/2009: Green Lantern Corps #43 -- 77,774 (- 3.3%)
----------------
6 months: +22.3%
1 year  : +76.6%
2 years : +54.0%

Sales are still holding up nicely during “Blackest Night.” As usual, there’s a 1-for-25 variant-cover scheme involved.

—–

8 - BLACKEST NIGHT: WONDER WOMAN
12/2009: BN: Wonder Woman #1 of 3 -- 70,758
10 - BLACKEST NIGHT: JSA
12/2009: BN: JSA #1 of 3 -- 68,721

These spin-off miniseries are in the same ballpark as the previous ones, as well as miles ahead of their mother titles.

There were 1-for-25 variants for both, not surprisingly.

—–

11 - JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
12/2004: JLA #109           --  63,791 [ 64,747]
12/2005: JLA #123           --  76,899
12/2006: Justice League #4  -- 136,709 [139,123]
12/2006: Justice League #5  -- 132,460 [133,924]
12/2007: Justice League #15 -- 100,234
12/2007: Justice League #16 --  95,557
--------------------------------------
12/2008: Justice League #27 --  75,803 (- 2.0%)
12/2008: Justice League #28 --  72,728 (- 4.1%)
01/2009: Justice League #29 --  72,116 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Justice League #30 --  69,710 (- 3.3%)
03/2009: Justice League #31 --  68,759 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Justice League #32 --  66,021 (- 4.0%)
05/2009: Justice League #33 --  63,867 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: Justice League #34 --  61,115 (- 4.3%)
07/2009: Justice League #35 --  58,915 (- 3.6%)
08/2009: Justice League #36 --  57,549 (- 2.3%)
09/2009: Justice League #37 --  55,478 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Justice League #38 --  61,012 (+10.0%)
11/2009: Justice League #39 --  89,376 (+46.5%)
12/2009: Justice League #40 --  68,672 (-23.2%)
----------------
6 months: +12.4%
1 year  : - 7.5%
2 years : -29.9%
5 years : + 7.7%

This is the highest-selling of the six Blackest Night tie-in series that were part of DC’s plastic ring promotion in November, so let’s go into that here.

Usually there isn’t much of a drop-off between issues if a title ties in with a big-event series for a few months. And all six books that were promoted with the plastic ring scheme — the others were Adventure Comics, Booster Gold, The Outsiders, Doom Patrol and R.E.B.E.L.S. — still tied in with Blackest Night in December, without any extra promotions attached. (Except Adventure Comics, which came with 1-for-10 variants for both issues.)

So, with the above in mind, we can now make an educated guess about the number of copies that were bought solely because retailers wanted to qualify for the plastic rings. The results: In November, DC sold an estimated 387,409 units total of the aforementioned series. In December, it was 273,488.

Consequently, it seems DC managed to sell in the neighborhood of 100,000 comic books to retailers in November — not because of any big-event storylines or variant-cover schemes, but simply because they sold (not: gave away) bags of plastic rings along with them. And as soon as the promotion was over, retailers took an axe to their orders, cutting them down to the number of books they realistically expected their customers to buy.

In terms of short-term profit, it’s not surprising that DC is planning to repeat the stunt with its follow-up to Blackest Night. In terms of possible longer-term ramifications, though, I’m wondering if this shouldn’t be setting off alarm bells for anyone who’s got a stake in this market.

—–

15 - BATMAN
12/2004: Batman #635 --  60,898 [63,067]
12/2005: Batman #648 --  63,151 [64,760]
12/2006: Batman #660 --  76,967
12/2006: Batman #661 --  75,512
12/2007: Batman #672 --  71,189
-------------------------------
12/2008: Batman #682 --  93,469 (- 9.4%)
12/2008: Batman #683 --  90,272 (- 3.4%) [ 91,885]
12/2008: Batman #684 --  79,953 (-11.4%) [ 82,903]
01/2009: Batman #685 --  72,654 (- 9.1%)
02/2009: Batman #686 -- 111,353 (+53.3%) [128,780]
03/2009: BfC #1 of 3 --  91,619 (-17.7%) [103,913]
04/2009: BfC #2 of 3 --  89,120 (- 2.7%)
05/2009: BfC #3 of 3 --  89,170 (+ 0.1%)
06/2009: Batman #687 --  96,913 (+ 8.7%)
07/2009: Batman #688 --  83,040 (-14.3%)
08/2009: Batman #689 --  78,392 (- 5.6%)
09/2009: Batman #690 --  77,001 (- 1.8%)
10/2009: Batman #691 --  71,431 (- 7.2%)
10/2009: Batman #692 --  70,322 (- 1.6%)
11/2009: Batman #693 --  68,983 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Batman #694 --  65,908 (- 4.5%)
----------------
6 months: -32.0%
1 year  : -25.0%
2 years : - 7.4%
5 years : + 8.2%

Batman keeps sliding down the charts, and rest of the Batman franchise follows its lead — see below. Most of the books are still ahead of the ones they replaced, to be fair, so the makeover is not a failure so much as a problem that needs to be addressed soon.

If there’s a lesson in this, it may be that the direct market’s multitasking capabilities are severely limited right now. Things are going well for Blackest Night, but it seems pretty much everything else is taking the backseat as a result, while excessive stunts like DC’s plastic ring promotion put an additional strain on the market.

Considering all this, I’m very curious about the numbers of Marvel’s Siege miniseries, which doesn’t quite seem to be enjoying the same kind of buzz as Blackest Night.

—–

21 - ADVENTURE COMICS
12/2004: LoSH #1              -- 50,691 [59,944]
12/2005: --
12/2006: SLoSH #25            -- 33,288
12/2007: LoSH #37             -- 45,803
---------------------------------------
12/2008: LoSH #49             -- 22,180 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: LoSH #50             -- 22,327 (+ 0.7%)
02/2009: Adventure Comics #0  -- 32,851 (+47.1%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: Adventure Comics #1  -- 56,706 (+72.6%)
09/2009: Adventure Comics #2  -- 47,296 (-15.9%)
10/2009: Adventure Comics #3  -- 44,431 (- 6.1%)
11/2009: Adventure Comics #4  -- 85,145 (+91.6%)
12/2009: Adventure Comics #5  -- 59,876 (-29.7%)
-----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : +170.0%
2 years : + 30.7%
5 years : + 18.1%

Like Justice League, Adventure Comics was part of November’s ring promotion stunt. The number for the December issue, which still tied in with Blackest Night, reflects the demand retailers expected for the actual comic, presumably.

There were 1-for-10 variant editions for both issues.

—–

27 - DETECTIVE COMICS
12/2004: Detective Comics #801 --  42,775
12/2005: Detective Comics #814 --  37,145
12/2006: Detective Comics #826 --  59,657
12/2006: Detective Comics #827 --  55,031
12/2007: Detective Comics #839 --  62,297 [65,773]
-----------------------------------------
12/2008: Detective Comics #851 --  64,961 (+ 1.2%)
01/2009: Detective Comics #852 --  56,656 (-12.8%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Detective Comics #853 -- 104,107 (+83.8%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Detective Comics #854 --  72,808 (-30.1%) [79,573]
07/2009: Detective Comics #855 --  61,205 (-15.9%)
08/2009: Detective Comics #856 --  58,859 (- 3.8%)
09/2009: Detective Comics #857 --  57,063 (- 3.1%)
10/2009: Detective Comics #858 --  58,599 (+ 2.7%)
11/2009: Detective Comics #859 --  54,392 (- 7.2%)
12/2009: Detective Comics #860 --  52,295 (- 3.9%)
-----------------
6 months: - 28.2%
1 year  : - 19.5%
2 years : - 16.1%
5 years : + 22.3%

The book loses another 2,000 units, despite another 1-for-10 variant edition.

—–

31 - SUPERMAN/BATMAN
12/2004: Superman/Batman #15 -- 119,926 [123,273]
12/2004: Superman/Batman #16 -- 115,657 [120,927]
12/2005: Superman/Batman #23 -- 102,248 [103,726]
12/2006: Superman/Batman #31 --  81,716
12/2007: Superman/Batman #44 --  53,057
---------------------------------------
12/2008: Superman/Batman #54 --  45,968 (- 4.6%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Superman/Batman #55 --  43,962 (- 4.4%)
03/2009: Superman/Batman #56 --  42,464 (- 3.4%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #57 --  41,743 (- 1.7%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #58 --  41,000 (- 1.8%)
04/2009: Superman/Batman #59 --  40,182 (- 2.0%)
05/2009: Superman/Batman #60 --  39,531 (- 1.6%)
06/2009: Superman/Batman #61 --  38,228 (- 3.3%)
07/2009: Superman/Batman #62 --  38,412 (+ 0.5%)
08/2009: Superman/Batman #63 --  37,467 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: Superman/Batman #64 --  36,332 (- 3.0%)
10/2009: Superman/Batman #65 --  34,585 (- 4.8%)
11/2009: Superman/Batman #66 --  52,143 (+50.8%)
12/2009: Superman/Batman #67 --  49,650 (- 4.8%)
----------------
6 months: +29.9%
1 year  : + 8.0%
2 years : - 6.4%
5 years : -57.9%
40 - TEEN TITANS
12/2004: Teen Titans #19 -- 62,585 [66,290]
12/2005: Teen Titans #30 -- 67,155
12/2006: Teen Titans #42 -- 60,165
12/2007: Teen Titans #54 -- 53,790
----------------------------------
12/2008: Teen Titans #66 -- 36,808 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: Teen Titans #67 -- 35,877 (- 2.5%)
02/2009: Teen Titans #68 -- 35,096 (- 2.2%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Teen Titans #69 -- 35,375 (+ 0.8%)
04/2009: Teen Titans #70 -- 35,412 (+ 0.1%)
05/2009: Teen Titans #71 -- 34,110 (- 3.7%)
06/2009: Teen Titans #72 -- 32,512 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: Teen Titans #73 -- 30,990 (- 4.7%)
08/2009: Teen Titans #74 -- 30,380 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: Teen Titans #75 -- 32,808 (+ 8.0%)
10/2009: Teen Titans #76 -- 29,166 (-11.1%)
11/2009: Teen Titans #77 -- 46,239 (+58.5%)
12/2009: Teen Titans #78 -- 43,400 (- 6.1%)
----------------
6 months: +33.5%
1 year  : +17.9%
2 years : -19.3%
5 years : -30.7%

Superman/Batman and Teen Titans tied in with Blackest Night in November and December. Their sales indicate what the sales of the other tie-in books might have looked like without the ring promotion.

—–

42 - JSA ALL-STARS
12/2009: JSA All-Stars #1  -- 42,493
45 - JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
12/2004: JSA #68             --  45,198
12/2005: JSA #80             --  50,862
12/2006: Justice Society #1  -- 102,990 [108,140]
12/2007: Justice Society #11 --  89,613
---------------------------------------
12/2008: Justice Society #21 --  69,662 (-  2.4%)
12/2008: Justice Society #22 --  67,615 (-  2.9%)
01/2009: Justice Society #23 --  61,385 (-  9.2%)
02/2009: Justice Society #24 --  65,207 (+  6.2%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: Justice Society #25 --  65,713 (+  0.8%)
04/2009: Justice Society #26 --  81,200 (+ 23.6%)
05/2009: Justice Society #27 --  56,102 (- 30.9%)
06/2009: Justice Society #28 --  52,673 (-  6.1%)
07/2009: Justice Society #29 --  51,375 (-  2.5%)
08/2009: Justice Society #30 --  49,416 (-  3.8%)
09/2009: Justice Society #31 --  47,436 (-  4.0%)
10/2009: Justice Society #32 --  44,885 (-  5.4%)
11/2009: Justice Society #33 --  43,218 (-  3.7%)
12/2009: Justice Society #34 --  41,734 (-  3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -20.8%
1 year  : -39.2%
2 years : -53.4%
5 years : - 7.7%

The second monthly JSA title is off to a surprisingly good start, at first glance. On the other hand, the second-issue drop is still to come, and considering that there was a 1-for-25 variant for issue #1 but not for #2, it will probably be a steep one.

The mother title shed almost 30,000 units over the last year, meanwhile, which doesn’t indicate that there was much of a demand for more JSA comics to begin with.

—–

47 - BOOSTER GOLD
12/2007: Booster Gold #5  -- 38,228
-----------------------------------
12/2008: Booster Gold #15 -- 26,835 (-  5.0%)
01/2009: Booster Gold #16 -- 25,472 (-  5.1%)
02/2009: Booster Gold #17 -- 24,732 (-  2.9%)
03/2009: Booster Gold #18 -- 23,737 (-  4.0%)
04/2009: Booster Gold #19 -- 23,203 (-  2.3%)
05/2009: Booster Gold #20 -- 22,549 (-  2.8%)
06/2009: Booster Gold #21 -- 23,222 (+  3.0%)
07/2009: Booster Gold #22 -- 22,414 (-  3.5%)
08/2009: Booster Gold #23 -- 22,108 (-  1.4%)
09/2009: Booster Gold #24 -- 21,731 (-  1.7%)
10/2009: Booster Gold #25 -- 21,597 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: Booster Gold #26 -- 57,122 (+164.5%)
12/2009: Booster Gold #27 -- 40,256 (- 29.5%)
-----------------
6 months: + 73.4%
1 year  : + 50.0%
2 years : +  5.3%

Another Blackest Night tie-in, as you may have guessed, now with less plastic ring juice.

——

48 - RED ROBIN
12/2004: Robin #133    -- 35,406
12/2005: Robin #145    -- 28,532
12/2006: Robin #157    -- 30,556
12/2007: Robin #169    -- 48,665 [51,441]
--------------------------------
12/2008: Robin #181    -- 27,891 (-  1.8%)
01/2009: Robin #182    -- 28,684 (+  2.8%)
02/2009: Robin #183    -- 31,682 (+ 10.5%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: Red Robin #1  -- 64,261 (+102.8%) [71,925]
07/2009: Red Robin #2  -- 51,593 (- 19.7%) [54,544]
08/2009: Red Robin #3  -- 50,329 (-  2.5%)
09/2009: Red Robin #4  -- 47,945 (-  4.7%)
10/2009: Red Robin #5  -- 44,776 (-  6.6%)
11/2009: Red Robin #6  -- 42,409 (-  5.3%)
12/2009: Red Robin #7  -- 39,528 (-  6.8%)
-----------------
6 months: - 38.5%
1 year  : + 41.7%
2 years : - 18.8%
5 years : + 11.6%

It seems retailers aimed too high with their orders for the relaunched Batman titles.

—–

51 - THE OUTSIDERS
12/2004: Outsiders #18 -- 40,601
12/2005: Outsiders #31 -- 46,555
12/2006: Outsiders #43 -- 34,243
12/2007: Batsiders #3  -- 40,371
--------------------------------
12/2008: Batsiders #14 -- 32,163 (- 25.1%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Special #1    -- 35,727 (+ 11.1%)
02/2009: Outsiders #15 -- 30,024 (- 16.0%)
03/2009: Outsiders #16 -- 27,977 (-  6.8%)
04/2009: Outsiders #17 -- 27,171 (-  2.9%)
05/2009: Outsiders #18 -- 25,995 (-  4.3%)
06/2009: Outsiders #19 -- 27,485 (+  5.7%)
07/2009: Outsiders #20 -- 24,323 (- 11.5%)
08/2009: Outsiders #21 -- 23,856 (-  1.9%)
09/2009: Outsiders #22 -- 22,775 (-  4.5%)
10/2009: Outsiders #23 -- 21,413 (-  6.0%)
11/2009: Outsiders #24 -- 50,918 (+137.8%) [55,704]
12/2009: Outsiders #25 -- 37,847 (- 25.7%)
----------------
6 months: +37.7%
1 year  : +17.7%
2 years : - 6.3%
5 years : - 6.8%
56 - DOOM PATROL
12/2004: Doom Patrol #7  -- 19,335
----------------------------------
08/2009: Doom Patrol #1  -- 28,267
09/2009: Doom Patrol #2  -- 22,001 (- 22.2%)
10/2009: Doom Patrol #3  -- 20,036 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Doom Patrol #4  -- 53,748 (+168.3%)
12/2009: Doom Patrol #5  -- 35,348 (- 34.2%)
-----------------
5 years : +82.8%

Without the ring promotion to back them up, retailers make significant downward corrections to The Outsiders and Doom Patrol orders for the second month’s worth of Blackest Night tie-in issues.

—–

58 - SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON
03/2009: WoNK #1  of 12 -- 50,050
04/2009: WoNK #2  of 12 -- 44,880 (-10.3%)
05/2009: WoNK #3  of 12 -- 42,153 (- 6.1%)
06/2009: WoNK #4  of 12 -- 41,620 (- 1.3%)
07/2009: WoNK #5  of 12 -- 39,939 (- 4.0%)
08/2009: WoNK #6  of 12 -- 39,218 (- 1.8%)
09/2009: WoNK #7  of 12 -- 37,697 (- 3.9%)
10/2009: WoNK #8  of 12 -- 36,672 (- 2.7%)
11/2009: WoNK #9  of 12 -- 35,286 (- 3.8%)
12/2009: WoNK #10 of 12 -- 33,868 (- 4.0%)
----------------
6 months: -18.6%
60 - SUPERMAN
12/2004: Superman #212 -- 100,244 [103,545]
12/2005: Superman #224 --  63,719 [ 65,300]
12/2006: --
12/2007: Superman #671 --  45,290
---------------------------------
12/2008: Superman #683 --  55,287 (- 0.3%)
01/2009: Superman #684 --  48,489 (-12.3%)
02/2009: Superman #685 --  48,027 (- 1.0%)
03/2009: Superman #686 --  44,976 (- 6.4%)
04/2009: Superman #687 --  43,041 (- 4.3%)
05/2009: Superman #688 --  41,642 (- 3.3%)
06/2009: Superman #689 --  40,366 (- 3.1%)
07/2009: Superman #690 --  39,472 (- 2.2%)
08/2009: Superman #691 --  39,106 (- 0.9%)
09/2009: Superman #692 --  37,695 (- 3.6%)
10/2009: Superman #693 --  35,395 (- 6.1%)
11/2009: Superman #694 --  34,430 (- 2.7%)
12/2009: Superman #695 --  32,482 (- 5.7%)
----------------
6 months: -19.5%
1 year  : -41.3%
2 years : -28.3%
5 years : -67.6%

The Superman books keep plummeting down the charts.

Given DC’s choice for Free Comic Book Day 2010, the school of thought seems to be that not enough people know about the current direction.

World of New Krypton was promoted with a 1-for-25 variant, as usual.

—–

61 - BATGIRL
12/2004: Batgirl #59     -- 31,028 [32,423]
12/2005: Batgirl #71     -- 26,378
----------------------------------
12/2008: Batgirl #6 of 6 -- 20,750 (-  3.9%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: Batgirl #1      -- 51,724 (+149.3%)
09/2009: Batgirl #2      -- 40,626 (- 21.5%)
10/2009: Batgirl #3      -- 37,011 (-  8.9%)
11/2009: Batgirl #4      -- 34,697 (-  6.3%)
12/2009: Batgirl #5      -- 32,482 (-  6.4%)
----------------
6 months:  n.a.
1 year  : +56.5%
5 years : + 4.7%

Another Batman series that hasn’t quite found its level yet.

—–

64 - BATMAN 80-PAGE GIANT
12/2009: Batman 80-Page Giant #1  -- 32,200

This is a great number for a $ 5.99 one-shot.

—–

65 - ACTION COMICS
12/2004: Action Comics #822 -- 38,110
12/2005: Action Comics #834 -- 42,425
12/2006: --
12/2007: Action Comics #860 -- 56,254
-------------------------------------
12/2008: Action Comics #872 -- 57,175 (- 2.3%)
01/2009: Action Comics #873 -- 51,940 (- 9.2%)
02/2009: Action Comics #874 -- 48,360 (- 6.9%)
03/2009: Action Comics #875 -- 47,079 (- 2.7%)
04/2009: Action Comics #876 -- 43,368 (- 7.9%)
05/2009: Action Comics #877 -- 41,772 (- 3.7%)
06/2009: Action Comics #878 -- 40,011 (- 4.2%)
07/2009: Action Comics #879 -- 38,324 (- 4.2%)
08/2009: Action Comics #880 -- 37,588 (- 1.9%)
09/2009: Action Comics #881 -- 36,183 (- 3.7%)
10/2009: Action Comics #882 -- 34,754 (- 4.0%)
11/2009: Action Comics #883 -- 33,386 (- 3.9%)
12/2009: Action Comics #884 -- 31,873 (- 4.5%)
----------------
6 months: -20.3%
1 year  : -44.3%
2 years : -43.3%
5 years : -16.4%

Different Superman title, same problem.

—–

66 - R.E.B.E.L.S.
02/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #1  -- 23,739
03/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #2  -- 16,122 (- 32.1%)
04/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #3  -- 14,442 (- 10.4%)
05/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #4  -- 13,468 (-  6.7%)
06/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #5  -- 12,909 (-  4.2%)
07/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #6  -- 12,349 (-  4.3%)
08/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #7  -- 11,682 (-  5.4%)
09/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #8  -- 11,347 (-  2.9%)
10/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #9  -- 11,284 (-  0.6%)
11/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 -- 51,100 (+352.9%)
12/2009: R.E.B.E.L.S. #11 -- 31,489 (- 38.4%)
-----------------
6 months: +143.9%

Without the plastic ring promotion, R.E.B.E.L.S. loses half of the monstrous increase for its Blackest Night tie-in.

—–

69 - BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM
06/2009: Batman: SoG #1  -- 57,650
07/2009: Batman: SoG #2  -- 44,240 (-23.3%)
08/2009: Batman: SoG #3  -- 40,353 (- 8.8%)
09/2009: Batman: SoG #4  -- 37,888 (- 6.1%)
10/2009: Batman: SoG #5  -- 34,533 (- 8.9%)
11/2009: Batman: SoG #6  -- 32,303 (- 6.5%)
12/2009: Batman: SoG #7  -- 30,290 (- 6.2%)
----------------
6 months: -47.5%
72 - GOTHAM CITY SIRENS
12/2004: Birds of Prey #77  -- 30,303
12/2005: Birds of Prey #89  -- 30,653
12/2006: Birds of Prey #101 -- 29,825
12/2007: Birds of Prey #113 -- 24,717
-------------------------------------
12/2008: Birds of Prey #125 -- 20,161 (- 3.8%)
01/2009: Birds of Prey #126 -- 20,772 (+ 3.0%)
02/2009: Birds of Prey #127 -- 21,424 (+ 3.1%)
03/2009: Oracle #1 of 3     -- 34,081 (+59.1%)
04/2009: Oracle #2 of 3     -- 33,731 (- 1.0%)
05/2009: Oracle #3 of 3     -- 35,328 (+ 4.7%)
06/2009: GC Sirens #1       -- 52,439 (+48.4%)
07/2009: GC Sirens #2       -- 39,518 (-24.6%)
08/2009: GC Sirens #3       -- 36,772 (- 7.0%)
09/2009: GC Sirens #4       -- 34,405 (- 6.4%)
10/2009: GC Sirens #5       -- 33,015 (- 4.0%)
11/2009: GC Sirens #6       -- 30,990 (- 6.1%)
12/2009: GC Sirens #7       -- 29,709 (- 4.1%)
-----------------
6 months: - 43.4%
1 year  : + 47.4%
2 years : + 20.2%
5 years : -  2.0%

Two more Batman books with quickly dwindling sales.

—–

78 - SUPERGIRL
12/2005: --
12/2006: Supergirl #12 --  59,819
12/2006: Supergirl #13 --  56,648
12/2007: Supergirl #24 --  37,922
---------------------------------
12/2008: Supergirl #36 --  45,491 (- 0.1%)
01/2009: Supergirl #37 --  34,060 (-25.1%)
02/2009: Supergirl #38 --  34,225 (+ 0.5%)
03/2009: Supergirl #39 --  33,713 (- 1.5%)
04/2009: Supergirl #40 --  34,080 (+ 1.1%)
05/2009: Supergirl #41 --  33,441 (- 1.9%)
06/2009: Supergirl #42 --  32,705 (- 2.2%)
07/2009: Supergirl #43 --  32,849 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Supergirl #44 --  33,819 (+ 3.0%)
09/2009: Supergirl #45 --  32,240 (- 4.7%)
10/2009: Supergirl #46 --  30,377 (- 5.8%)
11/2009: Supergirl #47 --  29,159 (- 4.0%)
12/2009: Supergirl #48 --  28,176 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -13.9%
1 year  : -38.1%
2 years : -25.7%

Supergirl numbers are back in a steady decline.

—–

80 - WONDER WOMAN
12/2004: Wonder Woman #211 --  24,828
12/2005: Wonder Woman #224 --  47,224
12/2006: --
12/2007: Wonder Woman #15  --  44,628
-------------------------------------
12/2008: Wonder Woman #27  --  32,322 (- 2.9%)
01/2009: Wonder Woman #28  --  32,622 (+ 0.9%)
02/2009: Wonder Woman #29  --  33,237 (+ 1.9%)
03/2009: Wonder Woman #30  --  33,365 (+ 0.4%)
04/2009: Wonder Woman #31  --  31,857 (- 4.5%)
05/2009: Wonder Woman #32  --  33,065 (+ 3.8%)
06/2009: Wonder Woman #33  --  32,755 (- 0.9%)
07/2009: Wonder Woman #34  --  30,131 (- 8.0%)
08/2009: Wonder Woman #35  --  29,657 (- 1.6%)
09/2009: Wonder Woman #36  --  28,806 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: Wonder Woman #37  --  26,972 (- 6.4%)
11/2009: Wonder Woman #38  --  26,265 (- 2.6%)
12/2009: Wonder Woman #39  --  26,152 (- 0.4%)
----------------
6 months: -20.2%
1 year  : -19.1%
2 years : -41.4%
5 years : + 5.3%

Holding level.

—–

81 - TITANS
12/2008: Titans #8      -- 39,154 (- 5.7%)
01/2009: Titans #9      -- 37,693 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: Titans #10     -- 36,361 (- 3.5%)
03/2009: Titans #11     -- 35,240 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: Titans #12     -- 36,014 (+ 2.2%)
05/2009: Titans #13     -- 34,343 (- 4.6%)
06/2009: Titans #14     -- 32,321 (- 5.9%)
07/2009: Titans #15     -- 46,189 (+42.9%)
08/2009: Titans #16     -- 31,408 (-32.0%)
09/2009: Titans #17     -- 30,154 (- 4.0%)
10/2009: Titans #18     -- 28,215 (- 6.4%)
11/2009: Titans #19     -- 27,099 (- 4.0%)
12/2009: Titans #20     -- 25,887 (- 4.5%)
----------------
6 months: -19.9%
1 year  : -33.9%

The book is absent from the April solicitations.

—–

91 - WORLD'S FINEST
10/2009: World's Finest #1 of 4 -- 37,037
11/2009: World's Finest #2 of 4 -- 26,566 (-28.3%)
12/2009: World's Finest #3 of 4 -- 23,295 (-12.3%)

Dropping stiffly for a miniseries.

—–

94 - SECRET SIX
12/2006: Secret Six #6 of 6 -- 35,513
-------------------------------------
12/2008: Secret Six #4      -- 24,657 (- 5.4%)
01/2009: Secret Six #5      -- 24,899 (+ 1.0%)
02/2009: Secret Six #6      -- 24,758 (- 0.6%)
03/2009: Secret Six #7      -- 24,365 (- 1.6%)
04/2009: Secret Six #8      -- 24,338 (- 0.1%)
05/2009: Secret Six #9      -- 27,116 (+11.4%)
06/2009: Secret Six #10     -- 24,272 (-10.5%)
07/2009: Secret Six #11     -- 24,357 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Secret Six #12     -- 24,161 (- 0.8%)
09/2009: Secret Six #13     -- 23,919 (- 1.0%)
10/2009: Secret Six #14     -- 23,345 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Secret Six #15     -- 23,190 (- 0.7%)
12/2009: Secret Six #16     -- 22,638 (- 2.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 6.7%
1 year  : -36.3%

Relatively solid sales.

—–

95 - POWER GIRL
05/2009: Power Girl #1  -- 47,322
06/2009: Power Girl #2  -- 36,756 (-22.3%)
07/2009: Power Girl #3  -- 35,163 (- 4.3%)
08/2009: Power Girl #4  -- 32,140 (- 8.6%)
09/2009: Power Girl #5  -- 29,497 (- 8.2%)
10/2009: Power Girl #6  -- 27,060 (- 8.3%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Power Girl #7  -- 22,533 (-16.7%)
----------------
6 months: -38.7%

As expected, the first issue without a variant-cover edition sees an even steeper drop than usual. More than half the sales of the first issue have evaporated, at this stage.

—–

106 - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
12/2007: The Brave and the Bold #9  -- 43,475
---------------------------------------------
12/2008: The Brave and the Bold #20 -- 25,050 (- 5.1%)
01/2009: The Brave and the Bold #21 -- 24,375 (- 2.7%)
02/2009: The Brave and the Bold #22 -- 23,507 (- 3.6%)
03/2009: --
04/2009: --
05/2009: The Brave and the Bold #23 -- 22,312 (- 5.1%)
06/2009: The Brave and the Bold #24 -- 21,272 (- 4.7%)
07/2009: The Brave and the Bold #25 -- 21,234 (- 0.2%)
08/2009: The Brave and the Bold #26 -- 20,154 (- 5.1%)
09/2009: The Brave and the Bold #27 -- 26,904 (+33.5%)
10/2009: The Brave and the Bold #28 -- 23,176 (-13.9%)
11/2009: The Brave and the Bold #29 -- 21,287 (- 8.2%)
12/2009: The Brave and the Bold #30 -- 20,932 (- 1.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 1.6%
1 year  : -16.4%
2 years : -51.9%

J. Michael Straczynski plans to increase The Brave and the Bold sales significantly. For the time being, the numbers are back at the level he inherited.

—–

110 - FABLES (Vertigo)
12/2004: Fables #32 -- 24,889
12/2005: Fables #44 -- 24,515
12/2006: Fables #56 -- 25,892
12/2007: Fables #68 -- 24,574
-----------------------------
12/2008: Fables #79 -- 22,769 (-2.5%)
01/2009: Fables #80 -- 22,617 (-0.7%)
02/2009: Fables #81 -- 22,517 (-0.4%)
03/2009: Fables #82 -- 22,445 (-0.3%)
04/2009: Fables #83 -- 23,630 (+5.3%)
05/2009: Fables #84 -- 23,634 (+0.0%)
06/2009: Fables #85 -- 23,439 (-0.8%)
07/2009: Fables #86 -- 22,447 (-4.2%)
08/2009: Fables #87 -- 21,876 (-2.5%)
09/2009: Fables #88 -- 21,508 (-1.7%)
10/2009: Fables #89 -- 21,118 (-1.8%)
11/2009: Fables #90 -- 20,882 (-1.1%)
12/2009: Fables #91 -- 20,450 (-2.1%)
----------------
6 months: -12.8%
1 year  : -10.2%
2 years : -16.8%
5 years : -17.8%

It’s not been a particularly good year for Fables sales, on the comic-book side of things. It’s still Vertigo’s top-selling book by a significant margin, of course.

—–

113 - ARKHAM REBORN
04/2009: BftC: Arkham Asylum #1 -- 39,187
05/2009: --
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: Arkham Reborn #1 of 3  -- 31,519 (-19.1%)
11/2009: Arkham Reborn #2 of 3  -- 21,770 (-30.9%)
12/2009: Arkham Reborn #3 of 3  -- 19,580 (-10.1%)
121 - AZRAEL
03/2009: Death's Dark Knight #1 of 3 -- 39,985
04/2009: Death's Dark Knight #2 of 3 -- 36,432 (- 8.9%)
05/2009: Death's Dark Knight #3 of 3 -- 35,916 (- 1.4%)
06/2009: --
07/2009: --
08/2009: --
09/2009: --
10/2009: Azrael #1                   -- 35,311 (- 1.7%)
11/2009: Azrael #2                   -- 21,392 (-39.4%)
12/2009: Azrael #3                   -- 17,757 (-17.0%)

Something went terribly wrong between the Battle for the Cowl one-shots and the launch of the Arkham and Azrael series.

—–

124 - GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY
12/2004: Green Arrow #45  -- 30,997 [32,082]
12/2005: Green Arrow #57  -- 31,778
12/2006: Green Arrow #69  -- 32,234
12/2007: Arrow/Canary #3  -- 40,321
-----------------------------------
12/2008: Arrow/Canary #15 -- 24,526 (- 4.2%)
01/2009: Arrow/Canary #16 -- 24,419 (- 0.4%)
02/2009: Arrow/Canary #17 -- 23,392 (- 4.2%)
03/2009: Arrow/Canary #18 -- 22,699 (- 3.0%)
04/2009: Arrow/Canary #19 -- 21,933 (- 3.4%)
05/2009: Arrow/Canary #20 -- 21,445 (- 2.2%)
06/2009: Arrow/Canary #21 -- 20,807 (- 3.0%)
07/2009: Arrow&Canary #22 -- 20,571 (- 1.1%)
08/2009: Arrow&Canary #23 -- 19,452 (- 5.4%)
09/2009: Arrow&Canary #24 -- 18,780 (- 3.5%)
10/2009: Arrow&Canary #25 -- 18,013 (- 4.1%)
11/2009: Arrow&Canary #26 -- 17,384 (- 3.5%)
12/2009: Arrow&Canary #27 -- 16,904 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: -18.8%
1 year  : -31.1%
2 years : -58.1%
5 years : -31.1%

Slipping down the charts.

—–

126 - CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE (Vertigo)
11/2009: Cinderella #1 of 6 -- 20,337
12/2009: Cinderella #2 of 6 -- 16,598 (-18.4%)

An average second-issue drop-off.

—–

128/131 - BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
12/2006: Batman Confidential #1  -- 61,119
12/2007: --
------------------------------------------
12/2008: Batman Confidential #24 -- 21,470 (- 6.3%)
01/2009: Batman Confidential #25 -- 20,517 (- 4.4%)
02/2009: Batman Confidential #26 -- 20,134 (- 1.9%)
03/2009: Batman Confidential #27 -- 19,934 (- 1.0%)
04/2009: Batman Confidential #28 -- 19,540 (- 2.0%)
05/2009: Batman Confidential #29 -- 18,867 (- 3.4%)
06/2009: Batman Confidential #30 -- 18,443 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Batman Confidential #31 -- 19,225 (+ 4.2%)
08/2009: Batman Confidential #32 -- 18,545 (- 3.5%)
09/2009: Batman Confidential #33 -- 18,140 (- 2.2%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #34 -- 17,097 (- 5.8%)
10/2009: Batman Confidential #35 -- 16,724 (- 2.2%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #36 -- 16,664 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Batman Confidential #37 -- 16,355 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Batman Confidential #38 -- 16,132 (- 1.4%)
12/2009: Batman Confidential #39 -- 15,906 (- 1.4%)
----------------
6 months: -13.1%
1 year  : -25.4%
2 years :  n.a.

Standard attrition.

—–

129 - BATMAN: THE UNSEEN
10/2009: The Unseen #1 of 5 -- 24,887
10/2009: The Unseen #2 of 5 -- 22,653 (- 9.0%)
11/2009: The Unseen #3 of 5 -- 19,169 (-15.4%)
11/2009: The Unseen #4 of 5 -- 17,944 (- 6.4%)
12/2009: The Unseen #5 of 5 -- 16,078 (-10.4%)

Not standard attrition. For some reason, retailers seem to have trouble figuring out how to order twice-monthly books. Or does the schedule really affect sell-through as significantly as the above would suggest?

—–

136 - DC HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2009
12/2009: DC Holiday Special 2009 #1 -- 15,461

Probably tolerable enough sales for a throwaway special.

—–

139 - JONAH HEX
12/2005: Jonah Hex #2  -- 26,227
12/2006: Jonah Hex #14 -- 18,295
12/2007: Jonah Hex #26 -- 14,088
--------------------------------
12/2008: Jonah Hex #38 -- 12,132 (- 3.2%)
01/2009: Jonah Hex #39 -- 11,705 (- 3.5%)
02/2009: Jonah Hex #40 -- 11,631 (- 0.6%)
03/2009: Jonah Hex #41 -- 11,564 (- 0.6%)
04/2009: Jonah Hex #42 -- 11,551 (- 0.1%)
05/2009: Jonah Hex #43 -- 11,606 (+ 0.5%)
06/2009: Jonah Hex #44 -- 11,592 (- 0.1%)
07/2009: Jonah Hex #45 -- 12,588 (+ 8.6%)
08/2009: Jonah Hex #46 -- 12,466 (- 1.0%)
09/2009: Jonah Hex #47 -- 12,231 (- 1.9%)
10/2009: Jonah Hex #48 -- 11,281 (- 7.8%)
11/2009: Jonah Hex #49 -- 11,146 (- 1.2%)
12/2009: Jonah Hex #50 -- 15,131 (+35.8%)
----------------
6 months: +30.5%
1 year  : +24.7%
2 years : + 7.4%

Guest art by Darwyn Cooke and a 1-for-10 variant edition give Jonah Hex sales a modest boost.

—–

145 - THE UNWRITTEN (Vertigo)
05/2009: The Unwritten #1  -- 26,915          [31,081]
06/2009: The Unwritten #2  -- 16,290 (-39.5%)
07/2009: The Unwritten #3  -- 17,028 (+ 4.5%)
08/2009: The Unwritten #4  -- 16,336 (- 4.1%)
09/2009: The Unwritten #5  -- 16,011 (- 2.0%)
10/2009: The Unwritten #6  -- 15,314 (- 4.4%)
11/2009: The Unwritten #7  -- 14,763 (- 3.6%)
12/2009: The Unwritten #8  -- 14,257 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: -12.5%

Sales keep declining faster than you’d hope for, at this stage, but The Unwritten remains Vertigo’s most successful comic-book launch in ages. If it settles down above 10K, it’ll still be doing much better than most of the imprint’s titles.

—–

152 - LOBO: HIGHWAY TO HELL
11/2009: Highway to Hell #1 of 2 -- 18,247
12/2009: Highway to Hell #2 of 2 -- 13,435 (-26.4%)

The Sam Kieth vehicle with added heavy-metal value crashes quite stiffly with its second and final issue.

—–

154 - JACK OF FABLES (Vertigo)
12/2006: Jack of Fables #6  -- 20,950
12/2007: Jack of Fables #18 -- 17,242
-------------------------------------
12/2008: Jack of Fables #29 -- 14,151 (- 2.6%)
01/2009: Jack of Fables #30 -- 13,746 (- 2.9%)
02/2009: Jack of Fables #31 -- 13,586 (- 1.2%)
03/2009: Jack of Fables #32 -- 13,595 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Jack of Fables #33 -- 19,242 (+41.5%)
05/2009: Jack of Fables #34 -- 19,420 (+ 0.9%)
06/2009: Jack of Fables #35 -- 19,571 (+ 0.8%)
07/2009: Jack of Fables #36 -- 15,256 (-22.1%)
08/2009: Jack of Fables #37 -- 14,508 (- 4.9%)
09/2009: Jack of Fables #38 -- 13,790 (- 5.0%)
10/2009: Jack of Fables #39 -- 13,161 (- 4.6%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Jack of Fables #40 -- 12,970 (- 1.5%)
12/2009: Jack of Fables #41 -- 12,559 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: -34.8%
1 year  : - 9.8%
2 years : -26.0%
164 - EX MACHINA (WildStorm)
12/2004: Ex Machina #7  -- 23,172
12/2005: --
12/2006: Ex Machina #25 -- 19,234
12/2007: Ex Machina #33 -- 16,067
---------------------------------
12/2008: Ex Machina #40 -- 14,067 (- 0.9%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Ex Machina #41 -- 13,526 (- 3.9%)
05/2009: Ex Machina #42 -- 13,403 (- 0.9%)
06/2009: Ex Machina #43 -- 13,204 (- 1.5%)
07/2009: --
08/2009: Ex Machina #44 -- 12,796 (- 3.1%)
09/2009: Ex Machina #45 -- 12,832 (+ 0.3%)
10/2009: Ex Machina #46 -- 12,538 (- 2.3%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Ex Machina #47 -- 12,192 (- 2.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.7%
1 year  : -13.3%
2 years : -24.1%
5 years : -47.4%

Two perennial top-sellers of their given imprints keep drifting down.

—–

167 - DAYTRIPPER (Vertigo)
12/2009: Daytripper #1  of 10 -- 12,010

The maxiseries by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá debuts with precisely the kind of figure expected from a Vertigo title these days.

—–

171 - RED TORNADO
09/2009: Red Tornado #1 of 6 -- 20,551
10/2009: Red Tornado #2 of 6 -- 14,383 (-30.0%)
11/2009: Red Tornado #3 of 6 -- 12,331 (-14.3%)
12/2009: Red Tornado #4 of 6 -- 11,009 (-10.7%)
173 - MAGOG
09/2009: Magog #1  -- 26,352
10/2009: Magog #2  -- 16,193 (-38.6%)
11/2009: Magog #3  -- 12,915 (-20.2%)
12/2009: Magog #4  -- 10,700 (-17.2%)

One of these two DC Universe titles is lucky enough to be a miniseries.

—–

179 - HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)
12/2004: Hellblazer #203 -- 15,304
12/2005: Hellblazer #215 -- 14,405
12/2006: Hellblazer #227 -- 13,231
12/2007: Hellblazer #239 -- 12,344
----------------------------------
12/2008: Hellblazer #250 -- 12,478 (+9.0%)
01/2009: Hellblazer #251 -- 11,290 (-9.5%)
02/2009: Hellblazer #252 -- 11,174 (-1.0%)
03/2009: Hellblazer #253 -- 11,132 (-0.4%)
04/2009: Hellblazer #254 -- 11,053 (-0.7%)
05/2009: Hellblazer #255 -- 10,937 (-1.1%)
06/2009: Hellblazer #256 -- 10,898 (-0.4%)
07/2009: Hellblazer #257 -- 10,762 (-1.3%)
08/2009: Hellblazer #258 -- 10,665 (-0.9%)
09/2009: Hellblazer #259 -- 10,813 (+1.4%)
10/2009: Hellblazer #260 -- 10,767 (-0.4%)
11/2009: Hellblazer #261 -- 10,553 (-2.0%)
12/2009: Hellblazer #262 -- 10,334 (-2.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.2%
1 year  : -17.2%
2 years : -16.3%
5 years : -32.5%

Standard attrition.

—–

180 - WORLD OF WARCRAFT SPECIAL (WildStorm)
12/2007: World of WarCraft #2  -- 32,740 [36,340]
----------------------------------------
12/2008: World of WarCraft #14 -- 16,058 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: World of WarCraft #15 -- 14,996 (- 6.6%)
02/2009: World of WarCraft #16 -- 14,177 (- 5.5%)
03/2009: World of WarCraft #17 -- 13,614 (- 4.0%)
04/2009: World of WarCraft #18 -- 13,110 (- 3.7%)
05/2009: World of WarCraft #19 -- 12,536 (- 4.4%)
06/2009: World of WarCraft #20 -- 12,274 (- 2.1%)
07/2009: World of WarCraft #21 -- 12,656 (+ 3.1%)
08/2009: World of WarCraft #22 -- 12,131 (- 4.2%)
09/2009: World of WarCraft #23 -- 11,959 (- 1.4%)
10/2009: World of WarCraft #24 -- 10,442 (-12.7%)
11/2009: World of WarCraft #25 -- 10,067 (- 3.6%)
12/2009: WoW Special #1        -- 10,323 (+ 2.5%)
----------------
6 months: -15.9%
1 year  : -35.7%
2 years : -68.5%

Contrary to what the solicitations say, DC canceled all World of WarCraft comic books for 2010, including a miniseries that was set to start in January.

Looking at these sales figures, you can’t blame them, certainly; then again, with Ex Machina soon concluding, this was WildStorm’s best-selling monthly series.

—–

184 - HOUSE OF MYSTERY (Vertigo)
12/2008: House of Mystery #8  -- 14,273 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: House of Mystery #9  -- 13,739 (- 3.7%)
02/2009: House of Mystery #10 -- 13,098 (- 4.7%)
03/2009: House of Mystery #11 -- 12,785 (- 2.4%)
04/2009: House of Mystery #12 -- 12,636 (- 1.2%)
05/2009: House of Mystery #13 -- 14,358 (+13.6%)
06/2009: House of Mystery #14 -- 12,039 (-16.2%)
07/2009: House of Mystery #15 -- 11,809 (- 1.9%)
08/2009: House of Mystery #16 -- 11,572 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: House of Mystery #17 -- 11,142 (- 3.7%)
10/2009: House of Mystery #18 -- 10,922 (- 2.0%)
11/2009: House of Mystery #19 -- 10,478 (- 4.1%)
12/2009: House of Mystery #20 -- 10,175 (- 2.9%)
----------------
6 months: -15.5%
1 year  : -28.7%
187 - SWEET TOOTH (Vertigo)
09/2009: Sweet Tooth #1  -- 18,657
10/2009: Sweet Tooth #2  -- 11,315 (-39.4%)
11/2009: Sweet Tooth #3  -- 10,363 (- 8.4%)
12/2009: Sweet Tooth #4  --  9,817 (- 5.3%)

Two of Vertigo’s better-selling serials drifting downward.

—–

190 - FREDDY VS. JASON VS. ASH: NIGHTMARE WARRIORS (WildStorm)
11/2007: Freddy/Jason/Ash #1 of 6   -- 23,306 [27,515]
11/2007: Freddy/Jason/Ash #2 of 6   -- 15,291
12/2007: Freddy/Jason/Ash #3 of 6   -- 15,348
01/2008: Freddy/Jason/Ash #4 of 6   -- 17,170
02/2008: Freddy/Jason/Ash #5 of 6   -- 17,120
03/2008: Freddy/Jason/Ash #6 of 6   -- 17,096
---------------------------------------------
06/2009: Nightmare Warriors #1 of 6 -- 21,395
07/2009: Nightmare Warriors #2 of 6 -- 13,938 (-34.9%)
08/2009: --
09/2009: Nightmare Warriors #3 of 6 -- 12,179 (-12.6%)
09/2009: Nightmare Warriors #4 of 6 -- 11,388 (- 6.5%)
10/2009: Nightmare Warriors #5 of 6 -- 10,603 (- 6.9%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Nightmare Warriors #6 of 6 --  9,599 (- 9.5%)
----------------
6 months: -55.1%
2 years : -37.5%

A licensed title doing comparatively well for WildStorm.

—–

195 - WARLORD
04/2009: Warlord #1  -- 17,540
05/2009: Warlord #2  -- 13,390 (-23.7%)
06/2009: Warlord #3  -- 12,283 (- 8.3%)
07/2009: Warlord #4  -- 11,445 (- 6.8%)
08/2009: Warlord #5  -- 10,790 (- 5.7%)
09/2009: Warlord #6  -- 10,331 (- 4.3%)
10/2009: Warlord #7  --  9,892 (- 4.3%)
11/2009: Warlord #8  --  9,547 (- 3.5%)
12/2009: Warlord #9  --  9,102 (- 4.7%)
----------------
6 months: -25.9%
196 - THE GREAT TEN
11/2009: The Great Ten #1  of 10 -- 13,159
12/2009: The Great Ten #2  of 10 --  8,760 (-33.4%)

These two DC Universe books are probably in trouble.

—–

198 - MADAME XANADU (Vertigo)
12/2008: Madame Xanadu #7  -- 10,272 (-16.8%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Madame Xanadu #8  --  9,932 (- 3.3%)
03/2009: Madame Xanadu #9  --  9,798 (- 1.4%)
04/2009: Madame Xanadu #10 --  9,664 (- 1.4%)
05/2009: Madame Xanadu #11 -- 10,179 (+ 5.3%)
06/2009: Madame Xanadu #12 --  9,949 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Madame Xanadu #13 -- 10,009 (+ 0.6%)
08/2009: Madame Xanadu #14 --  9,873 (- 1.4%)
09/2009: Madame Xanadu #15 --  9,733 (- 1.4%)
10/2009: Madame Xanadu #16 --  9,283 (- 4.6%)
11/2009: Madame Xanadu #17 --  8,856 (- 4.6%)
12/2009: Madame Xanadu #18 --  8,686 (- 1.9%)
----------------
6 months: -12.7%
1 year  : -15.4%
204 - NORTHLANDERS (Vertigo)
12/2007: Northlanders #1  -- 19,805
-----------------------------------
12/2008: Northlanders #13 --  9,777 (- 2.7%)
01/2009: Northlanders #14 --  9,467 (- 3.2%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: Northlanders #15 --  9,443 (- 0.2%)
04/2009: Northlanders #16 --  9,323 (- 1.3%)
05/2009: Northlanders #17 --  9,239 (- 0.9%)
06/2009: Northlanders #18 --  8,877 (- 3.9%)
07/2009: Northlanders #19 --  8,722 (- 1.8%)
08/2009: --
09/2009: Northlanders #20 --  8,786 (+ 0.7%)
10/2009: Northlanders #21 --  8,360 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Northlanders #22 --  8,136 (- 2.7%)
12/2009: Northlanders #23 --  8,069 (- 0.8%)
----------------
6 months: - 9.1%
1 year  : -17.5%
2 years : -59.3%

Standard sales attrition for Madame Xanadu and Northlanders.

—–

206 - TINY TITANS (Johnny DC)
12/2008: Tiny Titans #11 --  9,085 (- 1.7%)
01/2009: Tiny Titans #12 --  8,733 (- 3.9%)
02/2009: Tiny Titans #13 --  8,710 (- 0.3%)
03/2009: Tiny Titans #14 --  8,736 (+ 0.3%)
04/2009: Tiny Titans #15 --  9,207 (+ 5.4%)
05/2009: Tiny Titans #16 --  8,844 (- 3.9%)
06/2009: Tiny Titans #17 --  8,640 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Tiny Titans #18 --  8,576 (- 0.7%)
08/2009: Tiny Titans #19 --  8,432 (- 1.7%)
09/2009: Tiny Titans #20 --  8,435 (+ 0.0%)
10/2009: Tiny Titans #21 --  8,259 (- 2.1%)
11/2009: Tiny Titans #22 --  8,100 (- 1.9%)
12/2009: Tiny Titans #23 --  8,017 (- 1.0%)
----------------
6 months: - 7.2%
1 year  : -11.8%

A Johnny DC title. See disclaimers.

—–

207 - THE AUTHORITY: THE LOST YEAR (WildStorm)
10/2006: The Authority v3 #1     -- 58,136
03/2007: The Authority v3 #2     -- 39,886
------------------------------------------
11/2009: The Lost Year #3  of 12 --  8,988 (-77.5%)
12/2009: The Lost Year #4  of 12 --  7,999 (-11.0%)
209 - THE AUTHORITY (WildStorm)
12/2004: Revolution #3 of 12  -- 22,027
12/2005: --
12/2006: --
12/2007: Prime #3 of 6        -- 16,623
---------------------------------------
12/2008: The Authority v4 #5  -- 11,534 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: The Authority v4 #6  -- 10,673 (- 7.5%)
02/2009: The Authority v4 #7  -- 10,553 (- 1.1%)
03/2009: The Authority v4 #8  --  9,990 (- 5.3%)
04/2009: The Authority v4 #9  --  9,748 (- 2.4%)
05/2009: The Authority v4 #10 --  9,531 (- 2.2%)
06/2009: The Authority v4 #11 --  9,204 (- 3.4%)
07/2009: The Authority v4 #12 --  8,918 (- 3.1%)
08/2009: The Authority v4 #13 --  8,648 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: The Authority v4 #14 --  8,394 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: The Authority v4 #15 --  8,174 (- 2.6%)
11/2009: The Authority v4 #16 --  8,066 (- 1.3%)
12/2009: The Authority v4 #17 --  7,829 (- 2.9%)
----------------
6 months: -14.9%
1 year  : -32.1%
2 years : -52.9%
5 years : -64.5%

The Authority is currently the top-selling WildStorm Universe franchise.

—–

210 - GREEK STREET (Vertigo)
07/2009: Greek Street #1  -- 20,422
08/2009: Greek Street #2  -- 11,996 (-41.3%)
09/2009: Greek Street #3  -- 10,628 (-11.4%)
10/2009: Greek Street #4  --  9,246 (-13.0%)
11/2009: Greek Street #5  --  8,610 (- 6.9%)
12/2009: Greek Street #6  --  7,802 (- 9.4%)

Greek Street figures don’t look good. The series shouldn’t be losing 9%, at this stage.

—–

216 - VICTORIAN UNDEAD (WildStorm)
11/2009: Victorian Undead #1 of 6 -- 11,422
12/2009: Victorian Undead #2 of 6 --  7,430 (-35.0%)

The 1-for-10 variant for the first issue explains the steep drop.

—–

218 - THE SHIELD
08/2009: RC: Shield #1  -- 19,088
09/2009: The Shield #1  -- 16,997 (-11.0%)
10/2009: The Shield #2  -- 10,401 (-38.8%)
11/2009: The Shield #3  --  8,546 (-17.8%)
12/2009: The Shield #4  --  7,316 (-14.4%)

The two Red Circle titles haven’t officially been canceled yet, surprisingly. At these figures, DC won’t be able to keep publishing them for long, though.

—–

223 - DMZ (Vertigo)
12/2005: DMZ #2  -- 14,840
12/2006: DMZ #14 -- 13,731
12/2007: DMZ #26 -- 11,027
--------------------------
12/2008: DMZ #37 --  8,823 (-0.3%)
01/2009: DMZ #38 --  8,457 (-4.2%)
02/2009: DMZ #39 --  8,353 (-1.2%)
03/2009: DMZ #40 --  8,167 (-2.2%)
04/2009: DMZ #41 --  8,061 (-1.3%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: DMZ #42 --  7,927 (-1.7%)
07/2009: DMZ #43 --  7,806 (-1.5%)
08/2009: DMZ #44 --  7,654 (-2.0%)
09/2009: DMZ #45 --  7,589 (-0.9%)
10/2009: DMZ #46 --  7,399 (-2.5%)
11/2009: DMZ #47 --  7,187 (-2.9%)
12/2009: DMZ #48 --  6,977 (-2.9%)
----------------
6 months: -12.0%
1 year  : -20.9%
2 years : -36.7%
228 - SCALPED (Vertigo)
12/2007: Scalped #12 --  7,048
------------------------------
12/2008: Scalped #24 --  6,777 (- 1.9%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: Scalped #25 --  6,887 (+ 1.6%)
03/2009: Scalped #26 --  6,866 (- 0.3%)
04/2009: Scalped #27 --  6,950 (+ 1.2%)
04/2009: Scalped #28 --  6,860 (- 1.3%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Scalped #29 --  7,078 (+ 3.2%)
07/2009: Scalped #30 --  7,059 (- 0.3%)
08/2009: Scalped #31 --  6,916 (- 2.0%)
09/2009: --
10/2009: Scalped #32 --  6,905 (- 0.2%)
11/2009: --
12/2009: Scalped #33 --  6,752 (- 2.2%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.6%
1 year  : - 0.4%
2 years : - 4.2%

DMZ sales keep slipping slowly but steadily, while Scalped sticks to its usual orbit around 7K.

—–

231 - THE WEB
08/2009: RC: Web #1  -- 19,535
09/2009: The Web #1  -- 15,507 (-20.6%)
10/2009: The Web #2  --  9,421 (-39.3%)
11/2009: The Web #3  --  7,631 (-19.0%)
12/2009: The Web #4  --  6,653 (-12.8%)

The other Red Circle book. Again, that’s a remarkably low number for a DC Universe title that’s still officially ongoing.

—–

235 - WILDCATS (WildStorm)
12/2005: Nemesis #4 of 9 -- 15,428
12/2006: --
12/2007: --
----------------------------------
12/2008: World's End #6  -- 10,450 (- 7.4%)
01/2009: World's End #7  --  9,539 (- 8.7%)
02/2009: World's End #8  --  9,040 (- 5.2%)
03/2009: World's End #9  --  8,758 (- 3.1%)
04/2009: World's End #10 --  8,460 (- 3.4%)
05/2009: World's End #11 --  8,165 (- 3.5%)
06/2009: World's End #12 --  7,863 (- 3.7%)
07/2009: World's End #13 --  7,609 (- 3.2%)
08/2009: World's End #14 --  7,417 (- 2.5%)
09/2009: World's End #15 --  7,178 (- 3.2%)
10/2009: World's End #16 --  6,883 (- 4.1%)
11/2009: World's End #17 --  6,691 (- 2.8%)
12/2009: World's End #18 --  6,487 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: -17.5%
1 year  : -37.9%
2 years :  n.a.

A new creative team is waiting around the corner.

—–

237 - BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM SPECIAL
12/2009: Batman: Arkham Asylum Special -- 6,414

A $ 5.99 reprint book. Decent sales for this type of thing.

—–

238 - BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (Johnny DC)
12/2004: Batman Strikes! #4    -- 13,257
12/2005: Batman Strikes! #16   --  8,462
12/2006: Batman Strikes! #28   --  7,427
12/2007: Batman Strikes! #40   --  6,492
----------------------------------------
01/2009: Brave & Bold #1       -- 13,935 (+117.3%)
02/2009: Brave & Bold #2       --  8,678 (- 37.7%)
03/2009: Brave & Bold #3       --  8,184 (-  5.7%)
04/2009: Brave & Bold #4       --  8,381 (+  2.4%)
05/2009: Brave & Bold #5       --  7,994 (-  4.6%)
06/2009: Brave & Bold #6       --  7,614 (-  4.8%)
07/2009: Brave & Bold #7       --  7,441 (-  2.3%)
08/2009: Brave & Bold #8       --  7,153 (-  3.9%)
09/2009: Brave & Bold #9       --  7,064 (-  1.2%)
10/2009: Brave & Bold #10      --  6,646 (-  5.9%)
11/2009: Brave & Bold #11      --  6,438 (-  3.1%)
12/2009: Brave & Bold #12      --  6,342 (-  1.5%)
----------------
6 months: -16.7%
2 years : -54.5%
5 years : -52.2%

A Johnny DC series.

—–

243 - UNKNOWN SOLDIER (Vertigo)
12/2008: Unknown Soldier #3  --  9,926 (- 5.9%)
01/2009: Unknown Soldier #4  --  8,711 (-12.2%)
02/2009: Unknown Soldier #5  --  8,348 (- 4.2%)
03/2009: Unknown Soldier #6  --  8,177 (- 2.1%)
04/2009: Unknown Soldier #7  --  8,631 (+ 5.6%)
05/2009: Unknown Soldier #8  --  7,705 (-10.7%)
06/2009: Unknown Soldier #9  --  7,586 (- 1.6%)
07/2009: Unknown Soldier #10 --  7,256 (- 4.4%)
08/2009: Unknown Soldier #11 --  7,070 (- 2.6%)
09/2009: Unknown Soldier #12 --  6,865 (- 2.9%)
10/2009: Unknown Soldier #13 --  6,636 (- 3.3%)
11/2009: Unknown Soldier #14 --  6,359 (- 4.2%)
12/2009: Unknown Soldier #15 --  6,134 (- 3.5%)
----------------
6 months: -19.1%
1 year  : -38.2%
257 - AIR (Vertigo)
12/2008: Air #5  --  8,412 (- 5.6%)
01/2009: Air #6  --  7,607 (- 9.6%)
02/2009: --
03/2009: Air #7  -- 10,290 (+35.3%)
04/2009: Air #8  --  7,216 (-29.9%)
05/2009: Air #9  --  7,115 (- 1.4%)
06/2009: Air #10 --  6,954 (- 2.3%)
07/2009: Air #11 --  6,793 (- 2.3%)
08/2009: Air #12 --  6,589 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: Air #13 --  6,476 (- 1.7%)
10/2009: Air #14 --  6,156 (- 4.9%)
11/2009: Air #15 --  5,921 (- 3.8%)
12/2009: Air #16 --  5,733 (- 3.2%)
----------------
6 months: -17.6%
1 year  : -31.9%

Vertigo’s two lowest-selling comic-book series keep shedding around 200 units a month.

—–

258 - GEN13 (WildStorm)
12/2006: Gen13 #3  -- 30,233
12/2007: Gen13 #15 -- 14,330
----------------------------
12/2008: Gen13 #25 --  8,954 (- 5.4%)
01/2009: Gen13 #26 --  8,341 (- 6.9%)
02/2009: Gen13 #27 --  7,929 (- 4.9%)
03/2009: Gen13 #28 --  7,593 (- 4.2%)
04/2009: Gen13 #29 --  7,313 (- 3.7%)
05/2008: --
06/2008: Gen13 #30 --  6,880 (- 5.9%)
07/2008: --
08/2008: Gen13 #31 --  6,544 (- 4.9%)
09/2008: --
10/2008: Gen13 #32 --  6,044 (- 7.6%)
11/2008: --
12/2008: Gen13 #33 --  5,718 (- 5.4%)
----------------
6 months: -16.9%
1 year  : -36.1%
2 years : -60.1%

You wouldn’t expect from looking at the numbers, but this WildStorm Universe book also gets a new creative team in 2010.

—–

262 - THE MIGHTY
02/2009: The Mighty #1  --  17,956
03/2009: The Mighty #2  --  10,624 (-40.8%)
04/2009: The Mighty #3  --   8,777 (-17.4%)
05/2009: The Mighty #4  --   7,565 (-13.8%)
06/2009: The Mighty #5  --   7,104 (- 6.1%)
07/2009: The Mighty #6  --   6,660 (- 6.3%)
08/2009: The Mighty #7  --   6,292 (- 5.5%)
09/2009: The Mighty #8  --   6,104 (- 3.0%)
10/2009: The Mighty #9  --   5,932 (- 2.8%)
11/2009: The Mighty #10 --   5,728 (- 3.4%)
12/2009: The Mighty #11 --   5,500 (- 4.0%)
----------------
6 months: -22.6%

Canceled with issue #12.

—–

263 - NORTH 40 (WildStorm)
07/2009: North 40 #1 of 6 -- 8,163
08/2009: North 40 #2 of 6 -- 6,523 (-20.1%)
09/2009: North 40 #3 of 6 -- 6,284 (- 3.7%)
10/2009: North 40 #4 of 6 -- 6,068 (- 3.4%)
11/2009: North 40 #5 of 6 -- 5,819 (- 4.1%)
12/2009: North 40 #6 of 6 -- 5,490 (- 5.7%)
264 - DANTE'S INFERNO (WildStorm)
12/2009: Dante's Inferno #1 of 6 -- 5,431
267 - CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2: GHOST (WildStorm)
11/2009: CoD:MW2: Ghost #1 of 6 -- 11,936
12/2009: CoD:MW2: Ghost #2 of 6 --  5,214 (-56.3%)

North 40 is WildStorm’s latest creator-driven miniseries, Dante’s Inferno and Modern Warfare 2 are videogame adaptations.

The numbers speak for themselves, I think.

—–

274 - SUPER FRIENDS (Johnny DC)
12/2008: Super Friends #10 --  5,543 (- 3.4%)
01/2009: Super Friends #11 --  5,500 (- 0.8%)
02/2009: Super Friends #12 --  5,394 (- 1.9%)
03/2009: Super Friends #13 --  5,387 (- 0.1%)
04/2009: Super Friends #14 --  5,792 (+ 7.5%)
05/2009: Super Friends #15 --  5,513 (- 4.8%)
06/2009: Super Friends #16 --  5,548 (+ 0.6%)
07/2009: Super Friends #17 --  5,368 (- 3.2%)
08/2009: Super Friends #18 --  5,291 (- 1.4%)
09/2009: Super Friends #19 --  5,045 (- 4.7%)
10/2009: Super Friends #20 --  5,026 (- 0.4%)
11/2009: Super Friends #21 --  4,879 (- 2.9%)
12/2009: Super Friends #22 --  4,837 (- 0.9%)
----------------
6 months: -12.8%
1 year  : -12.7%
276 - BILLY BATSON & THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM (Johnny DC)
12/2008: Billy Batson #3  --  9,852 (-20.3%)
01/2009: --
02/2009: --
03/2009: --
04/2009: Billy Batson #4  --  8,470 (-14.0%)
05/2009: --
06/2009: Billy Batson #5  --  7,869 (- 7.1%)
07/2009: Billy Batson #6  --  6,771 (-14.0%)
08/2009: Billy Batson #7  --  6,382 (- 5.8%)
09/2009: Billy Batson #8  --  5,858 (- 8.2%)
10/2009: Billy Batson #9  --  5,388 (- 8.0%)
11/2009: Billy Batson #10 --  4,993 (- 7.3%)
12/2009: Billy Batson #11 --  4,795 (- 4.0%)
----------------
6 months: -39.1%
1 year  : -51.3%
290 - SCOOBY DOO (Johnny DC)
12/2004: Scooby Doo #91  -- 5,201
12/2005: Scooby Doo #103 -- 4,490
12/2006: Scooby Doo #115 -- 4,364
12/2007: Scooby Doo #127 -- 4,293
---------------------------------
12/2008: Scooby Doo #139 -- ?
01/2009: Scooby Doo #140 -- 3,800
02/2009: Scooby Doo #141 -- 3,861 (+ 1.6%)
03/2009: Scooby Doo #142 -- 3,863 (+ 0.1%)
04/2009: Scooby Doo #143 -- 4,610 (+19.3%)
05/2009: Scooby Doo #144 -- 4,062 (-11.9%)
06/2009: Scooby Doo #145 -- 4,093 (+ 0.8%)
07/2009: Scooby Doo #146 -- 4,110 (+ 0.4%)
08/2009: Scooby Doo #147 -- 4,111 (+ 0.0%)
09/2009: Scooby Doo #148 -- 4,103 (- 0.2%)
10/2009: Scooby Doo #149 -- 4,005 (- 2.4%)
11/2009: Scooby Doo #150 -- 4,044 (+ 1.0%)
12/2009: Scooby Doo #151 -- 3,906 (- 3.4%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.6%
1 year  : ?
2 years : - 9.0%
5 years : -24.9%

Three more Johnny DC books; see small print for these.

REORDERS:
277:  4,786 -- Outsiders #24
288:  4,003 -- Blackest Night #1 (3rd)
293:  3,760 -- BLackest Night #5

—–

6-MONTH COMPARISONS
+143.9%: R.E.B.E.L.S.
+ 82.8%: Doom Patrol
+ 73.4%: Booster Gold
+ 37.7%: Outsiders
+ 33.5%: Teen Titans
+ 30.5%: Jonah Hex
+ 29.9%: Superman/Batman
+ 22.3%: GL Corps
+ 15.6%: Green Lantern
+ 12.4%: JLA
-  1.6%: Brave & Bold
-  3.3%: Flash
-  4.6%: Scalped
-  4.6%: Scooby-Doo
-  5.2%: Hellblazer
-  6.7%: Secret Six
-  7.2%: Tiny Titans
-  7.7%: Ex Machina
-  9.1%: Northlanders
- 12.0%: DMZ
- 12.5%: The Unwritten
- 12.7%: Madame Xanadu
- 12.8%: Fables
- 12,8%: Super Friends
- 13.1%: Batman Confidential
- 13.9%: Supergirl
- 14.9%: Authority
- 15.5%: House of Mystery
- 15.9%: WoW
- 16.7%: Batman: B&B
- 16.9%: Gen13
- 17.5%: Wildcats
- 17.6%: Air
- 18.6%: Superman: WoNK
- 18.8%: Green Arrow
- 19.1%: Unknown Soldier
- 19.5%: Superman
- 19.9%: Titans
- 20.2%: Wonder Woman
- 20.3%: Action Comics
- 20.8%: JSA
- 22.6%: Mighty
- 25.9%: Warlord
- 28.2%: Detective Comics
- 32.0%: Batman
- 38.5%: Red Robin
- 38.7%: Power Girl
- 39.1%: Billy Batson
- 43.4%: GC Sirens
- 47.5%: Batman SoG
- 55.1%: Nightmare Warriors

—–

1-YEAR COMPARISONS
+203.1%: Flash
+170.0%: Adventure Comics
+ 76.6%: GL Corps
+ 56.5%: Batgirl
+ 50.1%: Green Lantern
+ 50.0%: Booster Gold
+ 47.4%: GC Sirens
+ 41.7%: Red Robin
+ 24.7%: Jonah Hex
+ 17.9%: Teen Titans
+ 17.7%: Outsiders
+  8.0%: Superman/Batman
-  0.4%: Scalped
-  7.5%: JLA
-  9.8%: Jack of Fables
- 10.2%: Fables
- 11.8%: Tiny Titans
- 12.7%: Super Friends
- 13.3%: Ex Machina
- 15.4%: Madame Xanadu
- 16.4%: Brave & Bold
- 17.2%: Hellblazer
- 17.5%: Northlanders
- 19.1%: Wonder Woman
- 19.5%: Detective Comics
- 19.9%: Titans
- 20.9%: DMZ
- 25.0%: Batman
- 25.4%: Batman Confidential
- 28.7%: House of Mystery
- 31.1%: Green Arrow
- 31.9%: Air
- 32.1%: Authority
- 33.9%: Titans
- 35.7%: WoW
- 36.1%: Gen13
- 36.3%: Secret Six
- 37.9%: Wildcats
- 38.1%: Supergirl
- 38.2%: Unknown Soldier
- 39.2%: JSA
- 41.3%: Superman
- 44.3%: Action Comics

—–

2-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 83.4%: Flash
+ 54.0%: GL Corps
+ 30.7%: Adventure Comics
+ 21.2%: Green Lantern
+ 20.2%: GC Sirens
+  7.4%: Jonah Hex
+  5.3%: Booster Gold
-  4.2%: Scalped
-  6.3%: Outsiders
-  6.4%: Superman/Batman
-  7.4%: Batman
-  9.0%: Scooby-Doo
- 16.1%: Detective Comics
- 16.3%: Hellblazer
- 16.8%: Fables
- 18.8%: Red Robin
- 19.3%: Teen Titans
- 24.1%: Ex Machina
- 25.7%: Supergirl
- 26.0%: Jack of Fables
- 28.3%: Superman
- 29.9%: JLA
- 36.7%: DMZ
- 37.5%: Nightmare Warriors
- 41.4%: Wonder Woman
- 43.3%: Action Comics
- 51.9%: Brave & Bold
- 52.9%: Authority
- 53.4%: JSA
- 54.5%: Brave & Bold
- 58.1%: Green Arrow
- 59.3%: Northlanders
- 60.1%: Gen13
- 68.5%: WoW

—–

5-YEAR COMPARISONS
+ 82.8%: Doom Patrol
+ 22.3%: Detective Comics
+ 18.1%: Adventure Comics
+ 11.6%: Red Robin
+  8.2%: Batman
+  7.7%: JLA
+  5.3%: Wonder Woman
+  4.7%: Batgirl
-  2.0%: GC Sirens
-  6.3%: Outsiders
-  6.4%: Superman/Batman
-  6.8%: Outsiders
-  7.7%: JSA
-  8.7%: Green Lantern
- 16.4%: Action Comics
- 17.8%: Fables
- 24.9%: Scooby-Doo
- 30.7%: Teen Titans
- 31.1%: Green Arrow
- 32.5%: Hellblazer
- 47.4%: Ex Machina
- 52.2%: Batman: B&B
- 64.5%: Authority
- 67.6%: Superman

—–

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

DC COMICS
12/2004: 30,589
12/2005: 36,147
12/2006: 34,418
12/2007: 33,138
---------------
12/2008: 26,793 (+ 5.7%)**
01/2009: 24,273 (- 9.4%)
02/2009: 23,080 (- 4.9%)
03/2009: 21,792 (- 5.6%)
04/2009: 27,373 (+25.6%)**
05/2009: 24,386 (-10.9%)
06/2009: 25,880 (+ 6.1%)**
07/2009: 30,905 (+19.4%)**
08/2009: 29,977 (- 3.0%)
09/2009: 28,493 (- 5.0%)**
10/2009: 27,525 (- 4.4%)**
11/2009: 28,913 (+ 5.1%)**
12/2009: 25,445 (-12.0%)**
----------------
6 months: - 1.7%
1 year  : - 5.0%
2 years : -23.2%
5 years : -16.8%
DC UNIVERSE
12/2004: 36,925
12/2005: 44,993
12/2006: 44,641
12/2007: 40,074
---------------
12/2008: 35,050 (+ 5.9%)
01/2009: 32,705 (- 6.7%)
02/2009: 30,224 (- 7.6%)
03/2009: 31,336 (+ 3.7%)
04/2009: 38,150 (+21.8%)
05/2009: 33,163 (-13.1%)
06/2009: 36,329 (+ 9.6%)
07/2009: 41,218 (+13.9%)
08/2009: 37,300 (- 9.5%)
09/2009: 36,725 (- 1.5%)**
10/2009: 34,795 (- 5.3%)
11/2009: 38,488 (+10.6%)
12/2009: 34,752 (- 9.7%)
----------------
6 months: - 4.3%
1 year  : - 0.9%
2 years : -13.3%
5 years : - 5.9%
VERTIGO
12/2004: 14,649
12/2005: 16,320
12/2006: 13,834
12/2007: 11,035
---------------
12/2008: 11,603 (- 2.8%)
01/2009: 10,980 (- 5.4%)
02/2009: 11,353 (+ 3.4%)
03/2009: 10,177 (-10.4%)
04/2009: 10,767 (+ 5.8%)
05/2009: 12,918 (+20.0%)
06/2009: 11,166 (-13.6%)
07/2009: 11,055 (- 1.0%)**
08/2009: 11,369 (+ 2.8%)
09/2009: 11,345 (- 0.2%)
10/2009: 10,551 (- 7.0%)
11/2009: 11,036 (+ 4.6%)
12/2009: 10,583 (- 4.1%)
----------------
6 months: - 5.2%
1 year  : - 8.8%
2 years : - 4.1%
5 years : -27.8%
WILDSTORM
12/2004: 15,693
12/2005: 15,068
12/2006: 17,288
12/2007: 15,601
---------------
12/2008:  9,415 (- 7.9%)**
01/2009:  6,851 (-27.2%)
02/2009:  8,019 (+17.1%)
03/2009:  8,954 (+11.7%)
04/2009:  8,277 (- 7.6%)**
05/2009:  8,579 (+ 3.7%)
06/2009:  8,805 (+ 2.6%)**
07/2009:  8,519 (- 3.3%)**
08/2009:  7,977 (- 6.4%)
09/2009:  8,280 (+ 3.8%)**
10/2009:  9,769 (+18.0%)**
11/2009:  7,111 (-27.2%)
12/2009:  7,260 (+ 2.1%)**
----------------
6 months: -17.6%
1 year  : -22.9%
2 years : -53.5%
5 years : -53.7%

—–
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 traditionally known to be 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. The estimates from March 2001 to February 2003 (marked with an asterisk) were for initial orders rather than actual sales, so they’re only roughly compatible with the subsequent figures.

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Reorders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month.

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after the book’s initial month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in parenthesis 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 will be used.

Titles released under the Johnny DC imprint 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 and some WildStorm 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.

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

—–
Marc-Oliver Frisch writes about comics at his weblog and at Comicgate. You can also follow him on Twitter.

58 Responses to “DC Month-to-Month Sales: December 2009”

  1. Brian Hibbs 05. Feb, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    “There’s no readily apparent explanation why Blackest Night #6 would suddenly drop by 30 percent after the series’ relatively stable performance to date, so I’m assuming that 30,000 units or so somehow failed to reach stores until 2010.”

    Yes, BN #6 was the “Green Christmas” promotion. Stores that signed an affidavit received the books in December to sell during the last week of the month. Those that did not sign did not receive their books until the first week of January.

    This number would imply that some 70% of retailers opted to take part in the promotion — that’s an excellent percentage, and higher than I would have thought…

    -B

  2. Ian 05. Feb, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    Nice to see you still doing the chart-watches, I always enjoy these.

    I realize the sales suggest the ring promotions only made for very brief gains, but none of the series’ sales went all they way down to where they were before. Some of them even sold 2-3 times as many books (Booster Gold, R.E.B.E.L.S.) as they had the month before the ring promotion.

    I’m curious to see how long it will take before they are back to where they were before? Another month? Another two? You could argue that the extra profitablity could help ammortize the production costs and keep these books going exponentially longer. Not a perfect case of a book surviving by it’s own sales/popularity, but with so few books not featuring the biggest characters surviving more than a year or two these days, I think this can be a good thing.
    (Of course DC looks to be going to well too often already though, so clearly it was a slippery slope. I’m waiting for the Jimmy Olsen signal watch myself.)

  3. royd_9 05. Feb, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    Well, to answer two questions raised in the analysis, the January charts have just been released along with the index and we see:

    - Blackest Night #6 charted at #51, so there were in fact 30k or so copies missing in December;
    - Marvel’s Siege #1 was the #1 best-seller for January, and while estimates are not out yet, with the index the books has, it seems it did not crack the 120k copies mark, which is very, very low and probably very bad news for Marvel.

  4. Charles Knight 05. Feb, 2010 at 10:14 am #

    Blimey, those Red Circle books were an amazing flop weren’t they?

  5. Mathieu Doublet 05. Feb, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    “Something went terribly wrong between the Battle for the Cowl one-shots and the launch of the Arkham and Azrael series.”

    Yep, people had to choose which Bat-titles to follow. When there are mini-series, you can take the risk while on an ongoing … I know, I put these titles off my pull-list.

  6. Marc-Oliver Frisch 05. Feb, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Ian:

    “I realize the sales suggest the ring promotions only made for very brief gains, but none of the series’ sales went all they way down to where they were before.”

    Yes, because they all still tied in with BLACKEST NIGHT. I don’t expect much of a sales hangover once that’s over, based on the way these things usually go.

  7. Marc-Oliver Frisch 05. Feb, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    Brian:

    “Yes, BN #6 was the “Green Christmas” promotion. Stores that signed an affidavit received the books in December to sell during the last week of the month. Those that did not sign did not receive their books until the first week of January.”

    Thanks for the info!

  8. Heinz Hochkoepper 05. Feb, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    I’m puzzled by your remarks about the plastic ring promotion. Why should the fact that a promotional stunt was extremely successful “…be setting off alarm bells for anyone who’s got a stake in this market” ?
    Of course retailers expected to sell lots of books in november to people who wouldn’t have bought those books for the BN crossover alone, otherwise the ring promotion would have been a failure, no? If you compare the december sales numbers of the books that participated in the ring promotion to Teen Titans and Superman/Batman, you’ll find that (with the exception of Justice League) they all have bigger climbs relative to their pre-crossover sales (between 15 and 20K compared to 14K on Teen Titans and 15K on Superman/Batman). This means that retailers expected at least a few thousand of those who bought the books for the plastic rings alone to keep buying the titles, at least for the length of the crossover (especially REBELS and Booster Gold with 20 and 19K respectively). So basically the plastic rings didn’t just help retailers to sell lots of books in november, but also helped to increase interest in some books even more than the BN crossover alone would have. Sounds like quite a success to me.

  9. KET 05. Feb, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    “So basically the plastic rings didn’t just help retailers to sell lots of books in november, but also helped to increase interest in some books even more than the BN crossover alone would have. Sounds like quite a success to me.”

    Then you have a pretty strange idea of what ’success’ would really be for an ONGOING series. Especially since several retailers didn’t sell the books with the plastic rings anyway.

    Temporary sales spikes due to monthly gimmicks seldom make significant changes with retailers’ usual buying habits, as this chart is illustrating rather efficiently.

  10. synsidar 05. Feb, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    I’m puzzled by your remarks about the plastic ring promotion. Why should the fact that a promotional stunt was extremely successful “…be setting off alarm bells for anyone who’s got a stake in this market” ?

    Because any publisher or producer wants a stable, predictable market and steady demand for his product. Demand based on promotional stunts declines quickly, and can be hard to gauge in advance of the product’s release. The ring promotion and things like it are aimed at immature buyers. If the audience responding to the promotion is immature, does the publisher try to alter the content of the product to match, or does he try to appeal to adults who have more consistent and predictable buying habits?

    If the content of a publication isn’t much more important as the basis for sales than promotions, especially gimmicky promotions, then the publication isn’t worth putting out or the businessman is in the wrong business.

    SRS

  11. Heinz Hochkoepper 05. Feb, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    To put it another way, retailers obviously expected the rings not just to increase interest in certain titles in november but also in december, otherwise orders on the ring-promotion titles would have dropped as low (relatively) as they did on Teen Titans and Superman/Batman, so the ring promotion alone was undeniably successful. Whether the crossover sales spike vanishes as fast as these sometimes do remains to be seen.

  12. Heinz Hochkoepper 05. Feb, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    SRS, you’re surely right on both counts:
    Only mature buyers should buy books about superheroes fighting undead superheroes. And promotional stunts that result in unpredictable sales spikes are definitely shunned by businessmen, as most businesses prefer steady low sales to surprising successes.

  13. Marc-Oliver Frisch 05. Feb, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Heinz:

    “Why should the fact that a promotional stunt was extremely successful “…be setting off alarm bells for anyone who’s got a stake in this market”?”

    Because it ties up a whole lot of money with a whole lot of product that nobody ever expected anyone to have any interest in on its own terms.

  14. KET 05. Feb, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    “To put it another way, retailers obviously expected the rings not just to increase interest in certain titles in november but also in december, otherwise orders on the ring-promotion titles would have dropped as low (relatively) as they did on Teen Titans and Superman/Batman, so the ring promotion alone was undeniably successful. Whether the crossover sales spike vanishes as fast as these sometimes do remains to be seen.”

    You’re still not getting it, due to your publisher bias. It’s pretty evident that retailers only ordered those usually low-selling books in November in order to get the rings. December’s titles still were connected to Blackest Night, yet they were minus the rings. Hence, these comparatively more modest numbers might actually be a more accurate bellweather in determining whether short-term crossover gimmicks will manage to reverse the sagging fortunes of continuing series. Based on these figures and the usual history with short-term strategies, the numbers on these series will more than likely snap right back to where they were come January. The sales figures for November and December strongly suggest that DC probably ought to cancel most of their current product line, and start manufacturing little plastic rings for their customer base instead of books that nobody wants anyway.

  15. Synsidar 05. Feb, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    And promotional stunts that result in unpredictable sales spikes are definitely shunned by businessmen. . .

    Take a look online, and you’ll find that businessmen do hate spikes. Gauging the demand for a product should be based on the price, quality, etc., of the product, not on peripheral factors that can’t be predicted.

    SRS

  16. Dennis V. 05. Feb, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    synsidarwrote: “The ring promotion and things like it are aimed at immature buyers. If the audience responding to the promotion is immature, does the publisher try to alter the content of the product to match, or does he try to appeal to adults who have more consistent and predictable buying habits?”

    So, for all that bought the Ring promotion issues are somehow supposed to be “immature buyers” and the publisher somehow lowered the maturity level of the Blackest Night storyline? That’s really weird thinking.

    Anyway, from my experience, the BN Ring Promotion caused a lot of excitement and was a rousing success. And the people buying those issues were hardly “immature buyers.”

  17. Synsidar 05. Feb, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    So, for all that bought the Ring promotion issues are somehow supposed to be “immature buyers” and the publisher somehow lowered the maturity level of the Blackest Night storyline? That’s really weird thinking.

    You’re misinterpreting what I wrote. I was posing a hypothetical: If customers buy a publication for the toy packaged with it, does the publisher try to alter the content of his publications to appeal more to people who buy toys, or does he publish on the basis of content? I didn’t assert that DC has altered the content of BLACKEST NIGHT.

    SRS

  18. Alan Coil 05. Feb, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    Synsidar said:

    “The ring promotion and things like it are aimed at immature buyers.”

    How dare you. I’m gonna tell my dad to beat up your dad.

  19. Heinz Hochkoepper 05. Feb, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    Marc-Oliver:
    “Because it ties up a whole lot of money with a whole lot of product that nobody ever expected anyone to have any interest in on its own terms.”

    But couldn’t the same thing be said about any and all promotion? Where does “interest in [the product] on its own terms” begin and end? Should variant covers be criticized the same way? Or even regular covers that do not accurately reflect the contents? What about “event” books in general? Now, it’s not that I’m especially fond of promotion stunts, but this one was undeniably successful, and if it draws some attention to books that are normally at the bottom of the charts, that seems like a good thing to me.

    KET:
    You seem to be a little confused about the proper timeline here. Looking at these figures, we can determine the success of the ring promotion. When we look at next month’s figures, we will be able to determine “whether short-term crossover gimmicks will manage to reverse the sagging fortunes of continuing series”. It’s true that past experience should make us sceptical about that, but that doesn’t diminish the (relative) success of the ring promotion both in november and in december.

    SRS:
    “Take a look online, and you’ll find that businessmen do hate spikes. Gauging the demand for a product should be based on the price, quality, etc., of the product, not on peripheral factors that can’t be predicted.”

    I have some trouble giving a serious answer to that. Do you really think that any business would have a problem with a promotional campaign leading to a sales spike? I would love to find any online sources explaining such an absurd notion.

  20. Tony Bedard 05. Feb, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    I used to enjoy this column and find it informative, but lately it leave me wanting to eat a bullet. I mean, it’s so relentlessly negative. You come away from this feeling like Blackest Night was a terrible failure and there won’t be a comics industry a year from now. Maybe that’s true, but I kinda doubt it.

    I write REBELS and GREAT TEN, and judging from this column, I’d say I’m out of a job. But the truth is just the opposite — the books are well received by those who read them, and I’m picking up more work at DC. Yeah, sales are low on both series, but I’m feeling pretty good about them…except when I read this column. So call me delusional, but I’m outta here.

  21. Heinz Hochkoepper 05. Feb, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Looking at this from another angle, both the ring promotion and the general practice of doing event crossover issues in the hope of drawing attention to low-selling books can certainly be criticized for creating only short-term sales spikes, so even when these practices are successful, they’re only relatively successful. Obviously, publishers would prefer long-term sales increases, but something is better than nothing, right?
    If anybody has a sure-fire strategy for long-term sales increases, I’m sure DC (or Marvel, gotta watch that publisher bias) would love to hear about it. Whenever I read suggestions online what a publisher should do to increase sales, it seems to me like those are based more on the fan’s personal preferences rather than a realistic look at market conditions. In other words, creating short-term spikes through promotional stunts isn’t perfect, but before you dismiss its economic value, show me a marketing strategy with better results.

  22. Eric Rupe 05. Feb, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    I’m curious to know, how can anyone look at these numbers and be anything but negative?

  23. Marc-Oliver Frisch 05. Feb, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    Heinz:

    “But couldn’t the same thing be said about any and all promotion?”

    No, because any and all promotion doesn’t require retailers to buy truckloads of comics nobody wants to receive a bunch of plastic rings that cater to collectors.

  24. BiffordMichael 05. Feb, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    The rings worked for me in one case, I’m now reading Doom Patrol…same thing happened with the back-up features I added Booster Gold to get my Blue Beetle and I’m carrying around Batman: SOG for Manhunter…anything I think in this era that gets you to sample a book is game I think.

    Biff

  25. Marc-Oliver Frisch 05. Feb, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    Tony:

    “You come away from this feeling like Blackest Night was a terrible failure and there won’t be a comics industry a year from now. [...] and judging from this column, I’d say I’m out of a job.”

    I think you’re putting words in my mouth, to an extent that I find offensive.

    “But the truth is just the opposite — the books are well received by those who read them, and I’m picking up more work at DC. Yeah, sales are low on both series, but I’m feeling pretty good about them…except when I read this column.”

    Tony, no offense, but ‘the books are well received by those who read them, and I’m picking up more work at DC’ is not the opposite of anything I’ve ever said in this column.

  26. Ken Raining 05. Feb, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    No, most promotions require retailers to buy truckloads of comics to receive variant covers that they can sell for inflated prices. Well, maybe not truckloads, but the idea’s still the same.

    Tony Bedard is 100% right. I’d be curious to see Paul and Marc-Oliver switch for a month.

  27. Alan Coil 05. Feb, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    My retailer found the promotion to be a good thing. Even non-comics readers were asking for the rings. And he didn’t have enough copies of the comics left over to bother sending in for a variant cover.

    Worse than doing this promotion is doing no promotion at all.

  28. Daniel 05. Feb, 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    I have to agree with Eric Rupe except I don’t think M-O is being negative per se; just realistic. How can you look at these numbers–especially the Average Periodical Sales–and not realize DC is in a chronic decline that shows no signs of abating? How can Wildstorm even still exist? I have to think that when the new Publisher starts work, s/he is going to be making some major changes.

  29. ephraim 05. Feb, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    It’s easy to try and blame Mark for the relentlessly negative tone of his “analysis”—but he’s just an ill-informed bitter fanboy who does what comes naturally.

    The fact that the tonal difference between these three monthly analyses is as frustrating as it is belongs squarely on the management of this site.

    Don’t complain to Marc, complain to Heidi. If enough creators tell her how annoying Marc is, she’ll dump him.

  30. fever 05. Feb, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    please leave!

    i am begging you
    to consider this

  31. KET 05. Feb, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    “It’s easy to try and blame Mark for the relentlessly negative tone of his “analysis”—but he’s just an ill-informed bitter fanboy who does what comes naturally.”

    Oh please…get yourself a mirror for your inane backwoods commentary. You’re not doing fandom any favors by trying to pin a publisher’s continuing failure to connect with its prescribed audience upon a mere messenger.

  32. KET 05. Feb, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    “Tony Bedard is 100% right.”

    Because he’s DC’s designated fill-in ‘go-to’ guy whenever the schedule frequently goes off the rails?

    Sounds more like what several other ‘DC pros’ tend to do all over the ‘net blogs, which is mostly damage control.

  33. Chuck Taine 05. Feb, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    I imagine the tone of the commentary would be more positive if DC made some comics that anyone wanted to read.

  34. KET 05. Feb, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    “Worse than doing this promotion is doing no promotion at all.”

    That’s not really a valid argument for a continuing lack of leadership in marketing. That’s like telling the patient who needs a new heart immediately that they could only come up was the worn-out one they just took out of the last guy a few hours ago.

  35. Synsidar 06. Feb, 2010 at 12:26 am #

    Marc-Oliver’s tone is pretty restrained, given the sales figures and considering that the figures are for copies sold to shops, not to the shops’ customers. The U.S. has a population of about 308 million. Do searches for U.S. magaznes with circulations of 10,000 or 20,000 copies; the result is magazines that, I’d guess, few people have ever heard of or that have controlled circulations. Muslim Hoosier has a circulation of about 20,000 copies. South Florida Adventures has a circulation of 25,000 copies.

    SPIDER-MAN 3 had a budget of $258 million and worldwide revenue of $890 million, despite mixed reviews. The appeal that superhero movies have is so much greater than that of the comics that the comics publishers look relatively pathetic.

    Movies are so much better at depicting what superheroes do than the comics are. . . The situation is just sad.

    SRS

  36. Daniel 06. Feb, 2010 at 12:40 am #

    The fact that South Florida Adventures would rank among the Top 100 comics of the month is a huge indictment of the failure of the entire “mainstream” comics industry.

  37. Marc-Oliver Frisch 06. Feb, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    Ken:

    “Well, maybe not truckloads, but the idea’s still the same.”

    I agree, but I think it’s the “truckloads” that makes the difference, in this case. And variant covers are still part of the comics, at least; judging from the reports, a lot of retailers didn’t even tie the purchase of the comics to the rings.

    What we just saw, plainly, is the biggest disconnect between content and marketing in a decade, in terms of how Marvel and DC have been promoting their comics.

    Is the direct market stable enough to support that type of thing right now, if it should become more frequent? I don’t know. But I think it’s a question that’s worth asking.

  38. Marc-Oliver Frisch 06. Feb, 2010 at 1:32 am #

    Synsidar:

    “Muslim Hoosier has a circulation of about 20,000 copies. South Florida Adventures has a circulation of 25,000 copies.”

    To be fair, a lot of literary journals, even well-established ones, would kill for the kinds of sales we see in the direct market.

  39. Chadldn 06. Feb, 2010 at 5:41 am #

    Okay, but the ring promotion clearly worked. Yes there was a massive initial sales bump (which suggests that retailers were more than willing to purchase more of these lower selling titles in order to get the rings) and, as has been stated by others, ALL of the titles held on new readers, which makes the promotion a success for DC.

    Surely the point of the promotion wasn’t “to sell more crappy underselling books”, but to draw attention to books that were under performing and which DC felt could succeed if they got attention. The test will be if the titles can hold on to these sales over the coming months.

  40. Heinz Hochkoepper 06. Feb, 2010 at 5:53 am #

    “No, because any and all promotion doesn’t require retailers to buy truckloads of comics nobody wants…”

    If that were true, that exchange stunt Marvel tried to pull would have been a huge success. From all I’ve heard, it wasn’t, so it seems people actually wanted those comics, given the additional incentive of the rings. If some retailers didn’t use that incentive in the intended way, that surely isn’t DC’s fault.

    “What we just saw, plainly, is the biggest disconnect between content and marketing in a decade, in terms of how Marvel and DC have been promoting their comics.”

    No, that would be calling a simple slugfest an “event seven years in the making”.

  41. Marc-Oliver Frisch 06. Feb, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    Chadldn:

    “ALL of the titles held on new readers, which makes the promotion a success for DC.”

    I wish the people who disagree with the column would actually read it.

    Case in point, the reason why the books “held on” to large chunks of their November increases is because they were still tying in with BLACKEST NIGHT. As it says in the column, you know.

    That said: Yes, DC’s ring promotion stunt was very successful. I don’t disagree. And now I’m questioning the prudence of trying to repeat its success.

  42. Brendan T 06. Feb, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Honestly, I’m not worried about the repeat, as it’s only 10 copies needed on titles that should frankly be selling above that point anyway. Strapping it onto the relaunched Flash and Green Lantern isn’t exactly puffing up sales of a low seller by artificial means…it’s taking two jumping on points and giving retailers an incentive to stock them in higher numbers, while putting the number of qualifying copies lower. I’ve got no problems with that.

  43. Marc-Oliver Frisch 06. Feb, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Brendan:

    “Honestly, I’m not worried about the repeat, as it’s only 10 copies needed on titles that should frankly be selling above that point anyway.”

    That’s a fair point. After all, BLACKEST NIGHT #5 was part of the promotion as well, and its sales were so high to begin with that the plastic rings had no discernible effect on its sales.

    If promotional incentives like this one are limited — and tied — to that type of book, I don’t see a problem with it. Given the degree of the promotion’s success, I’m not sure we can necessarily expect that kind of restraint from DC (or Marvel, for that matter).

  44. Army of Dorkness 07. Feb, 2010 at 3:57 am #

    “Tony:

    “You come away from this feeling like Blackest Night was a terrible failure and there won’t be a comics industry a year from now. [...] and judging from this column, I’d say I’m out of a job.”

    I think you’re putting words in my mouth, to an extent that I find offensive.”

    I find this response to be funny. You’re offended?! With all the ranting and trash-talk these sales columns create, a comment from one of the people who are actually working on the books you casually analyze about how reading your column makes HIM (or the pluralized form of “you” as he used it) feel is what you find offensive? Amazing.

    “”Tony, no offense, but ‘the books are well received by those who read them, and I’m picking up more work at DC’ is not the opposite of anything I’ve ever said in this column.”

    At the risk of speaking for this guy, I’m gonna say that he wasn’t talking about that quote being the opposite of anything you said. It’s the opposite of the way your column makes him feel and the impression it gives to some who read it including him. Or to make it more simple for you since his plainly worded sentence wasn’t enough for that, Blackest Night (or more accurately his work on his Blackest Night crossover book) isn’t the failure your column illustrates it to be because people like his work, and he shouldn’t be out of a job (which is what your column makes it look like and the reading of it makes him feel like) because he’s getting MORE work as a result of working on his current sales-challenged books which are well-received in spite of their sales.

    So, I don’t care about this argument. I just wanted to point these things out because that guy probably won’t be back to defend himself or maybe even read another column or else he’d need the economy-sized bottle of Prozac which is the doctor-recommended treatment for comics professionals after reading one of these sales columns.

  45. Marc-Oliver Frisch 07. Feb, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Army of Dorkness:

    “It’s the opposite of the way your column makes him feel and the impression it gives to some who read it including him.”

    I’d like to think I’m putting enough words in the column every month so that people who are able to read them don’t need to rely on “feelings” or “impressions” to debate its merits.

  46. Darren 07. Feb, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

    Marc-Oliver said: “… judging from the reports, a lot of retailers didn’t even tie the purchase of the comics to the rings.”

    With all due respect, if anything should set off alarm bells for the market, it’s retailers with no business sense. If you paid for the rings, why wouldn’t you use them as an incentive for your customers to purchase product?

  47. Army of Dorkness 07. Feb, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    “I’d like to think I’m putting enough words in the column every month so that people who are able to read them don’t need to rely on “feelings” or “impressions” to debate its merits.”

    And its merits shouldn’t preclude anyone from talking about the impression it gives and what feelings result from that.

    I don’t know why creators would read these reports anyway. They can get sales figures from their respective companies, presumably.

    And it’s just a sales column. I wouldn’t say it has any merit at all. It just is. I like seeing the numbers, and I understand that the commentary requires some effort…. but intrinsic merit? I don’t see any, but some individuals may value it for personal reasons.

  48. Marc-Oliver Frisch 08. Feb, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    Darren:

    “With all due respect, if anything should set off alarm bells for the market, it’s retailers with no business sense.”

    Well, bingo.

  49. Marc-Oliver Frisch 08. Feb, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Army of Darkness:

    “I wouldn’t say it has any merit at all.”

    You’re welcome, but you’ll note I said “merits,” not “merit.”

  50. Larkin 08. Feb, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    @Ken Raining
    I’d be curious to see Paul and Marc-Oliver switch for a month.

    I think this is a great idea.

  51. Paul OBrien 08. Feb, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Well, I don’t, so it’s not going to happen.

  52. Larkin 08. Feb, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Oh well. I thought it would be nice to have a fresh perspective on the two companies. Of course it depended on willing participation and we don’t have it so consider this idea dead. Paul,thanks for your hard work on the Marvel stuff. I appreciate the amount of time and work that goes into it.

  53. Mark Engblom 08. Feb, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    ” And now I’m questioning the prudence of trying to repeat its success.”

    When has the comic biz ever NOT tried to repeat its successful marketing campaigns? Good or bad, running a good idea into the ground has pretty much been Standard Operating Procedure.

  54. Nate Horn 09. Feb, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    I think trying to be positive about these sales numbers is like looking at someone slowly dying from cancer and saying, “They’re going to live! My proof is they haven’t died yet and can still make a few people happy!” And being upset with Marc-Oliver for the numbers is like being upset with the doctor when he tells you, “No, the patient is still dying….”

    @Mark Engblom
    “When has the comic biz ever NOT tried to repeat its successful marketing campaigns? Good or bad, running a good idea into the ground has pretty much been Standard Operating Procedure.”

    I think that’s one of the best points I’ve ever read about the comic business. I think all those gimmick covers in the 90s pretty much proved that point.

  55. Christopher 09. Feb, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    I don’t know why everyone here is harping on Marc’s analysis of these numbers because, frankly, outside of Blackest Night, they are terrible! Compare the figures on JLA, JSA, Superman, and Action (four franchise titles) in the past two years and you can read all that needs to be known. Their sales have evaporated! Even mid-level titles like Booster Gold and Green Arrow/Black Canary have taken a precarious slide. A large portion of DC’s output at this moment could easily be canceled. That is no good. Something has gone really wrong. Without Blackest Night, DC would be dead in the water. They are now an entirely event-driven brand. If any future event flops, they are in serious trouble.

  56. Army of Dorkness 09. Feb, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    “You’re welcome, but you’ll note I said “merits,” not “merit.””

    You mean the matter-of-fact nature of the column or that you believe the column has multiple values and worth?

    I’ll assume you meant the first part. If facts are all you’re after, then why do you need to comment?

    You’ll note that I said I like seeing the numbers, and I like the way they’re presented on this website. I can do without the commentary because it often doesn’t tell me anything new that the numbers themselves haven’t already said. I understand that putting it in some kind of context is beneficial to some readers, though, and you do a good job of it. I look at the sales reports to see how things are going, and if I were working on some of those books, I might think I should eat a bullet too even without the extra emphasis of the commentary.

    If by merits you meant factual, then yes it should be debated on merits…but then where does that put your commentary because it’s not merely factual.

  57. Micah 10. Feb, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    I appreciate this column, as I look forward to it every month and get agitated when it is late. So thanks Marc and Paul for writing them.

    Regarding Tony Bedard’s reflection, it must be disappointing to read this column. I started reading R.E.B.E.L.S. after the initial critical praise it received and really liked the story and art. Then the first arc took a massive turn to space adventure, introducing a lot of new alien races and characters that I, as a relatively rookie DC reader, had no clue as to who they were. Then the awesome artist went away and the art chores were diminished. Maybe it’ll read better in trade. But writers of the main DCU books seem to expect readers to know the intricate details of continuity and past story lines like Invasion from the late 1980’s. I don’t recall any mention of who the big-point-teeth aliens were. The lack of accessibility is taking its toll.

    That being said, Tony writes an incredible Vril Dox, and can carry a team book well. I say give him a shot at a higher profile team book like JSA or JLA even. I wish him the best though.

    And Scalped is incredible.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Is this the future of the Marvel Universe? | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment - 08. Feb, 2010

    [...] coma. My suspicions deepened when I saw The Beat's DC month-to-month sales analysis number-cruncher Marc-Oliver Frisch point the same thing out on Twitter — the first time I saw anyone talking about it online. Then [...]

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