Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Come In Number 8, Your Time Is Up?

I tend not to worry about where the comics I'm reading place on the top sellers lists that Diamond produce - after all, other people have a greater interest in where their comics are placing, not least the creators and publishers. Me, I'm happy to read what I enjoy each month.

Having said that (you knew that was coming, didn't you?) this article over at Newsarama where two of DC's sales execs talk about December's figures got me thinking.

In it, they talk about DC not leading the market share for the first time since the New 52 launch which, to be fair to them, they knew was coming at some point and they've never been interested in getting it. At least that's what they've been saying.

There's talk in there (which Erin over at Exploring the Time Lab mentioned back in December) about the possibility of cancelling series, maybe around the issue #8 mark which are the next batch of solicitations we're going to see in a couple of weeks. Obviously, DC (or indeed any other company) aren't going to keep on publishing titles that lose them money, that's just bad business.

That possibility, though, had me thinking about the titles that I get so for the first time in ages I tracked down (honestly, I just followed this link) the list of top 100 selling comics for December and compared them to the titles that I'm getting, concentrating on those from DC.

Of the top ten, I'm getting two, Justice League and Green Lantern. After that, they start to get a little more spread out: Aquaman, Teen Titans, the two companion GL titles New Guardians and Corps and Justice League International all make the top fifty so there seems little chance of them going belly up around issue #8.

After that, there's Green Arrow, Stormwatch and All-Star Western which get into the top seventy, but it's the titles below that line that give me some cause for concern. Savage Hawkman at 74 doesn't worry me that much as I'm considering dropping it soon unless it starts to improve, but Demon Knights at 75? Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men at 87? Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. and Resurrection Man at 87 and 99 respectively? These are among the titles I enjoy the most, the fun ones, the ones that are genuinely interesting. It would be a real shame, I think, to lose Demon Knights or Frankenstein... particularly as not only are they damn good comics, they're a brave experiment in doing something other than mainstream superheroes.

And then, of course, there's the handful of titles I get that I haven't mentioned but which are dotted about through this post, the ones that didn't make the top 100 at all.

Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, Mr Terrific and Voodoo don't get a listing along with six other New 52 titles: Blackhawks, Hawk And Dove, I, Vampire, Men of War, O.M.A.C. and Static Shock. I can't speak for the others but I'd certainly miss Captain Atom and Voodoo, and Blue Beetle's shown a lot of promise as well. Mr Terrific? Really, I'd love to say it's great but at the moment it's just not quite there.

I know there's a creative change coming for Voodoo so maybe that'll buy it some time, and I hope that Captain Atom and Blue Beetle survive along with Mr Terrific improving but which, if any of these, will be cancelled around issue 8? Who knows.

The top 100 is a completely arbitrary number I know that; the four titles I get that didn't make it could be numbers 101 to 104 inclusive for all I know. And maybe DC's making enough on these books that they won't cancel them but, if I had to put my money on one book I'm getting that won't make it to a number 12 . . . I guess I'd have to offer up Mr Terrific.

I don't want it to go, I think it has a lot of potential, but . . .


  1. I'm reading Blue Beetle, I Vampire, Green Arrow which are all soild books and would be unhappy if they were cancelled. I cannot believe that the excellent Demon Knights and Frankenstein are so low down in the sales chart, as books are a breath of fresh air to what was becoming a superhero only world. I thought the idea of the new DCU was to bring diversity to the universe which in fairness I think they have, lets hope they (DC) don't dump diversity in favour of another Batman or Superman related title due to sales numbers.

  2. There were so very many new books at once, and so many of them superhero titles, that they weren't all going to stick. Turns out you were correct about Mr Mediocre.


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