DC Comics' July Highlights: "Batgirl," "Nightwing" and a "New Super-Man"
Welcome to “Report Card,” our week-in-review feature. If “Cheat Sheet” is your guide to the week ahead, “Report Card” is typically a look back at the top news stories of the previous week, as well as a look at the Robot 6 team’s favorite comics that we read.
So find out what we thought about The Bunker, Detective Comics, X-Factor and more.
Just a few weeks before their September “Villains Month” comics are scheduled to arrive in shops, DC Comics announced that they will allocate issues to retailers. The comics, which were solicited to cost $3.99 and feature a 3-D lenticular cover, will now also be available in a “2-D” format that will cost $2.99. DC Comics said the allocations will range from about 50 percent to nearly 100 percent on different titles, and are based on an average of the retailer’s orders of each Villains Month titles’ base title over the past few months.
“Because of the time needed to create the 3-D motion covers, we were forced to set September print runs much further in advance than we normally would,” said Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment co-publisher. “As we got close to the [Final Order Cutoff] dates, even though we were very aggressive with our sales forecasts for the 3-D editions, it was clear that orders for these issues were going to be greater than the quantities we had printed. Once we saw from the first 3-D edition FOCs that we were oversold on initial orders, we decided to institute a system across the entire 3-D line that was in accord with previous retailers’ ordering patterns to minimize the impact of fringe speculators.”
Both Brian Hibbs, owner of Comix Experience in San Francisco, and Leo McGovern, manager of Crescent City Comics in New Orleans, offer their opinions on the announcement and how it will likely effect them and their customers.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2011 ruling that Jack Kirby’s contributions to Marvel Comics in the 1960s were work for hire, and therefore not subject to copyright reclamation by the artist’s heirs. The appellate court vacated the New York district judge’s summary ruling against two of Kirby’s children, California residents Lisa and Neal, on jurisdictional grounds; the judgment against Susan and Barbara stands.
The Second Circuit also upheld the lower court’s exclusion of testimony offered by John Morrow and Mark Evanier on behalf of the Kirby heirs, agreeing that “their reports are by and large undergirded by hearsay statements, made by freelance artists in both formal and informal settings, concerning Marvel’s general practices towards its artists during the relevant time period.”
July proved to be the “second-best month for comics sales in [the] 21st century,” according to comics sales analyst John Jackson Miller. He noted that “the comics shop market enjoyed its best summer month in the Diamond Exclusive Era in dollar terms, ordering more dollars worth of comics and trade paperbacks in the month of July than it has in all but one month since 1997.”
Superman Unchained #2 topped the charts in January, followed by Batman #22, Guardians of the Galaxy #5, Justice League #22 and Batman Annual #2. The second collection of the Matt Fraction-written Hawkeye series topped the graphic novel chart, followed by volume five of Dark Horse’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and the first two volumes of Saga. Overall the comics shop market is up 12.71 percent in dollars and 10.35 percent in total units.
After delaying the event due to the Boston Marathon bombings, organizers of the Boston Comic Con “came roaring back, in a new venue and with a new attitude” last weekend, according to Robot 6’s Brigid Alverson.
“This year, it felt less like a local event and more like a big-city con, with a smattering of publisher booths and an array of top-tier talent. The convention has grown quickly, from 1,000 attendees at the first con in 2007 to 15,000 last year. This year, with a bigger venue and more guests, I’m guessing the final number will be even higher,” she said.