Robot 6

Comics A.M. | How stable are sales of DC’s New 52 titles?

Justice League #1

Justice League #1

Publishing | Todd Allen analyzes the sales of DC Comics’ New 52 titles from their September 2011 launch to the past month. Sales of any series tend to drop off from one issue to the next — Allen compares it to radioactive decay — and when the numbers drop below 18,000 for a couple of titles, DC tends to cancel them in batches and start up new titles to replace them. That plus crossovers and strong sales of some flagship titles has kept the line fairly stable until recently, but as Allen notes, the replacement titles tend to crash and burn pretty quickly, and overall sales have dipped a bit. [Publishers Weekly]

History | David Brothers has a great column for Black History Month, featuring Krazy Kat, All-Negro Comics and other titles by black creators. [Comics Alliance]

Manga | Ed Chavez, marketing director for the manga publisher Vertical Inc., is at India Comic Con, and he says manga publishers are in talks to bring manga to India. [The Economic Times]

Uncanny X-Force #5

Uncanny X-Force #5

Creators | Andy Khouri talks to Sam Humphries about the next run of Uncanny X-Force, which will feature artist Adrian Alphona — his first series since Runaways: “Adrian’s got great emotional range for his characters, and that’s great for a book like Uncanny X-Force where there’s a tendency for characters to be spiky and snarky. But Adrian’s also got a fantastical side (if you’ve seen his gorgeous sketchbooks, you know). So I’m excited to flex that side of his artistic ability as well.” [Comics Alliance]

Creators | Jim Rugg, Jason Lex and Ed Piskor interview Gary Groth for the “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know” podcast. [Boing Boing]

Graphic novels | Architecture critic Martin Filler gives his insider’s take on Chip Kidd’s Batman: Death By Design, including mapping some of the characters to their real-world counterparts. [New York Review of Books]

Star Wars #1

Star Wars #1

Comics | Travis Gray posts some thoughts after reading all the Star Wars comics in chronological order. [Metro Pulse]

Retailing | Edinburgh, Scotland, gets its own anime and manga specialty shop. [The Scotsman]

Retailing | Here’s something you don’t see too often: Shadow Walker Cards & Comics of Battle Ground, Washington, is a comics shop run by a mother-daughter team. [The Reflector]

Retailing | Jetpack Comics of Rochester, New Hampshire, has been chosen as Rochester’s 2012 Downtown Business of the Year. [Foster's Daily Democrat]

Fandom | Dr. Harold Finch explains how his love of superhero comics led him to a career as project director for the Apollo program — and how Kansas City BBQ inspired his solution to a logistical problem. [KCTV]

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Comments

24 Comments

So, the New 52 fever’s showing signs of discontent.

Alas, it seems that DC’s strategy of trying to do something new with its overall line isn’t working as well as one would hope. I guess this means we can look forward to a whole slew of JLA books.

That article doesn’t say much that any fan who isn’t deluding themselves didn’t already know: DC’s well-written titles sell, their poorly written ones or obscure ones don’t, and Justice League makes money b/c people like Geoff Johns.

in b4 at least five people say they don’t, and assume the internet is the entire comic buying public

DC needs a larger talent base though, because they’re about to lose Johns on GL…and everyone else too, for that matter. DnA could write GL no problem, but will DC ask, or just give it to some subpar writer?

DC seems to have basically gone to the “throw it at the wall…” formula with the New 52. In starting so many titles no one demanded with creators no one is going to follow, they’ve essentially been killing their line since the beginning…

They had such a neat opportunity to reboot the universe…put some spectacular names in front of everything and instead of restricting creativity with an über-strict continuum, let everyone go nuts…i honestly believe creators would have climbed all over each other to truly be able to reinvent the DCU…instead, we got this…

at this point I’m reading Action for one more month, Wonder Woman monthly, and Flash hardcovers…and that’s it…I don’t doubt by the 2 year mark that I’m simply down to the Flash stuff til Manupal (sp?) leaves…

Marvel is a better group of characters and book.

Avengers
X-Men
Spider-Man
Thor
Captain America
Iron-Man
Hulk

DC wishes it had that many outstanding properties. They don’t. The only books that DC can sell are ones that have Batman in it.

Batman
Justice League

No one buys anything else from them because outside of Batman, people don’t find the other characters interesting, because they aren’t interesting. For that reason, it can never pass up Marvel.

Alphona on X-Force? I was there already, but if I wasn’t, I would be now.

Also, Alphona actually did the better part of forty issues with Vaughan. There were TWO volumes of Runaways.

Well, do we really need 12 or 13 different Bat books coming out each month? I’m sure many of them sell just fine… but as someone who reads only one of them, I don’t think so. Give the writers on these too-big-to-axe books a chance to pitch something original…

@Jarrod: It isn’t that one company has better properties. It is that one company knows how to constantly get new readers with so relaunches (Marvel has had two line-wide relaunches in two years), one company knows spoils their readership, and one company that has their popular characters in every book so people actually pick up the books. The books without a popular character nine times our of ten fails. If DC put JUSTICE or BAT in front of every title, I’m sure their books would do better too.
And now with all of the movies, they’re getting even more attention.

Is it because of properties? No. Is it because of scheming and plotting? Yes.

@Jarrod: Sooo…we’re just going to pretend like the two months AQUAMAN outsold all the Marvel titles didn’t happen?

This is the problem with DC and the sweeping launches. They go all in on the perceived value of clearing the decks with the reboot initiatives.. It really only proved sustainable the first time they did it. The others have only had a shelf life of 18 months (One Year Later) or around three years. Now here we are 18 months into New 52 and the cracks are showing already.. I suspect if not for digital working into the sales equation, it would be even worse. The big sellers are the titles they didn’t reboot and Justice League.. Not because its been stellar, it hasn’t.. (and I’m a huge supporter of Geoff Johns) but because everyone wants to see the big guns together.. So now what? Superman’s kind of a mess again and you’ve put armor on him and you changed an entire line for one big break out title: Aquaman…(maybe Shazam?) Which did not require a line wide re-boot. And the other hits like Swamp Thing are great but you had already just rebooted him to his current status quo 2 months prior to the big reboot… Actually, 18 months in I’m having a hard time pointing to any one thing that truly required a line wide reboot.. And now you’re stuck with it unless you plan to reverse it all with Trinity.. I don’t like everything Marvel does, but I think, teenage Tony Stark 15 yrs ago aside. they’ve been very smart not to do line wide reboots.

I’m waiting patiently for “Crisis in Infinite Underpants” where the red trunks are restored to their rightful place.

On the one hand, it’s kind of fun that DC is trying out these wacky ideas for books instead of launching a new Robin title, a Batman/Superman book and/or “Superman’s Girlfriend, Wonder Woman.” But, on the other, it’s just too many titles. Might they not be better off by dropping the whole “New 52″ tagline and letting the line shrink by, say, five titles?

Charles J. Baserap

February 14, 2013 at 9:30 am

SageShinigami: Do you honestly believe, even for a second, that if it wasn’t written by Johns and was written by, say, Lobdell, the sales of Aquaman would have been nearly as high?

Aquaman and JLA have ABSOLUTELY benefited from Johns. I think Aquaman, however, warrants the acclaim it’s getting (much like Green Lantern did). His JLA continues to unimpress me, and yet his new take on Captain Marvel (aka Shazam) is awesome. Problem is, those two books are one of the few that’s maintained a stable creative team. A lot of the other books, not so much (I mean He Man was 6-issue mini, for God’s sake and we went through 2 writers and what, 3 artists?).

I don’t know how DC does it’s business, but it feels like JLA is run completely separate from the individual books. I feel no connection between the Superman we see in Action with the Superman we see in JLA or the Superman we see in Superman. That’s just an outsider’s observation though. I fully admit I don’t know all the internal goings on at WB/DC. But I can say, as a fan of the DC universe, my interest in that universe has waned quite a bit over the last couple years to the point where even books I considered “nonnegotiable” (in terms of whether or not I’d buy them) have downgraded to “maybe” status. That makes me sad.

“ONE MORE DAY” *drops mike and walks off*

Geoff Johns is great at building up a floundering character or taking secondary characters and making them work(JSA where are you?)The only main character he seems to have trouble writing is Wonder Woman. The Issue I had with him and the Green Lantern Universe(other than not getting rebooted) is there’s little down time and ever cross over event he does doesn’t seem to end it just leads to the next one.

So glad I don’t read DC anymore

@Charles: Irrelevant. Supposedly, DC could only market Batman and JLA. But that’s not true. There’s GL and Aquaman. Any title can sell if its good and has great art, let’s not act like one stable of characters is just inherently superior.

18K as the ‘Mendoza Line’ for DC?

Those who live by the Diamond Comic Distributors-reported numbers… will die by the Diamond Comic Distributors-reported numbers.

The new 52 was mainly a publicity stunt/hype generator. The result was very predicatble. Talented people produce a good product. Gimmicks and cheap publicity stunts will give you short term success but that’s about it.

Looking back, I’d say this new 52 stuff was pointless. It got some extra attention but things kinda went back to the same old, same old. They got rid of the history/canon but then write versions of old stories back in? Just odd and a bad idea. I stay away from DC and most Marvel stuff.

Yeah, sick DnA on Green Lantern and tell Bendis and Loeb to stick it with their crap books.

Between the first 5 psuedo literate wannabees commenting on the Publishers Weekly website.Another commenter noticing an incorrect date on one graphic.As well as all the graphics being completely unreadble.This link was totally useless to me.I realize Brigid was trying to cover as much material as possible in this edition of Robot 6,but sometimes the source material needs to be double checked.This only confirms what all the Gloom and Doomers have said about New52 from the start.To me DC’s publishing model reminds me of a pyramid scheme.Potential new capital brought in at the bottom end to offset losses at the top.

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