By The Numbers July 2021
Like in any industry, comic books and their companies listen most to one thing and that’s your money! What does your money tell them? What does it tell us as fans? What series do people say they adore but can’t seem to catch a break and what books to people hate that sell out? What are the trends? What looks good? What looks rough?
All these questions and more will be answered here, every month in ‘By The Numbers’ by comic writers, editors and fans, Glenn Matchett and Ray Goldfield.
Glenn Matchett is a comic writer and editor. He’s worked in the industry for many years but grew up reading comics. He’s had work published with various small press publishers and has is own comic now available on Comixology in Sparks: The Way I Was from Yellow Bear Comics! He is very ashamed he forgot to put in gags last month and will never live it down.
Ray Goldfield is a fan of comic books for going on 25 years, starting with the death of Superman. He is a writer and editor and has released his first novel. Ray also does a weekly roundup of DC comic reviews for website Geekdad and they’re brilliantly entertaining. He’s hugging his custom made Jeff plushie rocking back and forth, waiting for sanity to return to Spider-Man.
Full sales here: https://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales/2021/2021-07.html
Glenn: Summer is here and the sales charts are heating up! Since we left the charts for our unplanned break (I went to the Bahamas and Ray went to Spain) it seems the battle for placement in the top ten has become a little more vicious.
We start the fight this month with the launch of X-Men 1, this time its by Gerry Duggan as Jonathan Hickman focuses on other things for the moment. Hickman’s work on the franchise for the last few years has really surged new life and interest into X-Men as this newest book launches at sales over 248k. We’ll see how we go long term following Hickman’s departure but the franchise is the main title and the line overall is in a far better position than before he came along for sure.
Ray: A new X-Men #1 is always guaranteed to be a big sales hit. Now that people know this is essentially the replacement for Hickman’s run, I think enthusiasm might lessen a bit, but Marvel promoted it well and Gerry Duggan’s X-books have been well received. I expect it’ll settle down solidly in the top 20.
Glenn: A surprise entry at 2 with the new Moon Knight ongoing launching with sales over 235k. The last time I believe Moon Knight had a title it sold a lot less and this is by Jed MacKay who with all due respect isn’t exactly a sales powerhouse. The sales here seem suspect and while I have little doubt people are excited for the Disney+ show I really don’t think its enough to account for this launch. I would say we’ll see a sharp drop next month.
Ray: Congrats to Jed McKay on propelling his second random Marvel ongoing starring a B-list street-level hero to a ridiculous sales debut! This isn’t quite as ridiculous as the numbers on Black Cat, especially given the coming series starring one of the hottest actors alive. But I suspect Marvel just doubled the sales here and called it a day.
Glenn: I think it’s a bit more reasonable that Extreme Carnage Alpha does find itself at 3 with sales over 126.8k. Given that the Venom franchise is in the best position its been well…ever following Cates run and there’s a movie coming (eventually) the sales here make all the sense here in the world. We’ll see how long the franchise stays hot now that Cates is gone but Marvel is smart to strike while the iron is hot in the meantime.
Ray: Symbiotes gonna Symbiote. With the main Venom book taking a break for a few months, this is where people can get their Venom fix, and these numbers are about what I’d expect. But spoiler alert, we’ve got two tie-in books continuing this story that we’ll get to lay-tor, and they don’t do anywhere near this number.
Glenn: DC finally enters the mix with 4 and its usual top seller Batman delivering 125k in sales. Superstar writer James Tynion is leaving the book but not before Fear State likely dominates the charts prior to him going.
Ray: It’ll be interesting to see how big the one-shot at the end of August is.
Glenn: If it’s not number one I’d be amazed.
At 5 is Sinister War, the much hyped mini tying into the final arc of the current Amazing run. It sells over 122.5k which is where the ongoing would have lived before it all went to pot. The Amazing tie-ins to this sell at 15 for issue 71 and 16 for issue 70 delivering sales of over 77.2k and 74.9k respectfully. It’s a good bit lower but we saw a similar effect for Clone Conspiracy a few years ago, although that was the other way around. Put ‘War’ in a Marvel book and it’ll do well but we’ll see how well it all settles once the initial hype dies down and people start reading the story.
Ray: They hyped this up like an event and retailers bought it. This run seems to get a boost every time there’s one of these, which explains why they happen so often. I imagine this arc will never be talked about again after it’s over.
Glenn: 6 is Boom’s Brzrkr which sells over 117.3k which is just astounding. Ignoring the usual noise from launches this is the second highest ongoing in the charts right now.
Ray: The power of Keanu!
Glenn: Seeing that celebrity + comic=$$$$$ is Emilia Clarke who co-writes MOM Mother Of Madness which sells over 103.7k on launch at 7. I doubt this will have the staying power that Brzrkr has had but that’s Image’s best non-Spawn related launch in a long time. I wonder how long it’ll be before other companies trie to woo top celebrities to write their bo…oh wait never mind, DC already got Danny DeVito.
Ray: It’s the only explanation for how a three-part mini with an oddball concept lands this high. I wonder how much Clarke actually had to do with the book, but I’m very happy to see Marguerite Bennett get the biggest hit of her career.
Glenn: Partnering up with the top video game in the world continue to benefit DC as the sixth issue of
Batman/Fortnite Zero Point at 8 which sells over 93k. Here is a reference to the floss so you all think we’re cool.
Ray: Pfft. Fortnite. I only play Super Smash Brothers as Pikachu.
Glenn: I hear Kirby is the one to go for. I barely know what a smash brothers is. Now silence while I play my copy of E.T. on the Atari.
9’s an unusual one in some ways. Its an anthology mini from Image celebrating 10 years of Robert Kirkman’s line of comics from the publisher, Skybound X. The title features a collection of stories from various Skybound books ranging from hot ones like the Walking Dead to new starts. The title is also apparently never going to be collected as of this typing and last I read. The involvement of Walking Dead characters (even if its an alternate reality featuring aliens) was going to get this one attention but given its an anthology I’d say the sales over 87.2k are very impressive.
Ray: Three other issues land this month as well – all selling just around half this number at #47, #52, and #64. That makes me wonder if the real draw for the first issue was Tillie Walden’s Clementine story, serving as a prequel for the upcoming YA Walking Dead OGN.
Glenn: That makes a lot of sense. Still not bad numbers overall for an anthology that essentially acts as a promotion for the entire publishing arm.
Last entry in the top ten is Joker, the other mega hit from James Tynion that sells 84k AT 10. A big hit but the future following Tynion’s departure on this one seems a little more unclear. Batman will always find a new creative team but this one seems more writer focused and a case of lightning in a bottle. I doubt it’ll last past Tynion’s departure with issue 14 but I wouldn’t be surprised if DC tries their luck.
Ray:And right below this is Tynion’s next DC book this month, Nice House on the Lake, selling 83K for its second issue! That’s incredible numbers and shows how he’s basically in a different league from everyone else right now.
Glenn: I’ll be curious how the break after 5 will effect sales. In years gone past it didn’t tend to go well for creative owned. I wonder if DC will encourage other creators to do more creator owned horror project’s under Black Label since this has sold just as much as any of the 20 billion or so Batman books the line does.
Ray: We’ve got three Star Wars books in a row next, including the Jabba the Hutt one-shot at #14, selling 78K. While Jabba is probably the most popular character in these one-shots, it’s still a great number for the War of the Bounty Hunters event. We’ll see how 4-Lom and Zuckuss hold up next month.
Glenn: Wait…they’re actually getting one shots? I thought that was a joke…
Ray: Superman: Son of Kal-El launches at #17, selling 68K from Tom Taylor and John Timms. I would have expected a little more, but given that the original Superman is still around, I suspect retailers may have treated it a bit more like a Superboy book. By those standards, it’s a great launch and we’ll see how it holds up.
The next book of note is at #23, with the launch of Sweet Paprika from Mirka Andolfo. This is another of her translated, offbeat comics involving sexy demons and angels, so not quite the original hit she saw with Unnatural. Still, a debut of 57K is nothing to sneeze at and she’s all over the place – with two new launches coming in August and September alone!
Glenn: I would say given the quirky/saucy nature of the title and that it is a translation of a series from a while back, this is a really good number. Andolfo is a hot name in indies right now and it doesn’t matter how offbeat she gets, it seems to do well if she’s drawing it.
Ray: The new Wonder Girl, Yara Flor, seems to be a hit with her second issue charting at #29 with sales of 53K. That’s well above what most new heroes do, so the hype is paying off – although we’ll see what happens now that Joelle Jones is off art.
Glenn: Very good stuff considering where the Diana led Wonder Woman is selling and this is a new character. Hopefully the interest here continues on.
Ray: The oddest story of the month is definitely the resurgence of Stray Dogs, which got massive reorders for all five issues this month. It starts with #1 landing at #31 with shocking sales of 52K, followed by 44K for the finale and the other three issues getting 29-27K. What could explain this? The oddball cartoon-style doggy murder mystery hasn’t been optioned for a movie yet, but it’s well deserved.
Glenn: I think people just…like it? It’s a rare occurrence that something, especially a new property just explodes in interest organically but it seems to have happened here. The various other printings featuring ridiculously good parodies of various classic horror movies likely helped cause that was a big help with DCeased too. I think writer Tony Fleecs said their will be a sequel and with this level of interest, I’m not surprised.
Ray: We’ve got two issues of Extreme Carnage, Phage and Scream, down at #32 and #33. Written by Steve Orlando and Clay Chapman, they both sell 52K – exactly 37 copies apart. This will probably be the level for the event. Glenn, what’s a Phage?
Glenn: The only Phage I know of is the fictional disease featured in Star Trek: Voyager and jussssst a second *flips through binder seven of the ‘S’ section of properties Disney owns* nope they don’t have Star Trek yet so I’m guessing its some sort of Symbiote person. There are a lot of them aren’t there?
Ray: We rarely see Dark Horse up this high, but they manage just under 51K for the launch of Masters of the Universe: Revelation. Impressive, and probably due to a combination of the Netflix hype and Kevin Smith’s name on the cover. Booooo not in continuity with the She-Ra reboot booooooooooooo.
Glenn: It’s not nearly gay or disastrous enough to be the version of the property we know and love. It seemed that when he was doing random stuff like Bionic Man and Green Hornet that Kevin Smith’s pull as a comic writer had diminished but this is very encouraging. I guess retailers thought the show would help get some customers in.
Ray: At #37 we’ve got the Amazing Spider-Man annual. It sells 50K, tying into the Infinite Destinies storyline and pitting Spider-Man against Star. I’m guessing a lot of people were very happy it had nothing to do with the main series.
Glenn: Again this is kinda baseline ‘Here’s a Spider-Man comic!’ sales that people will buy regardless of who’s doing it or what its about I think.
Ray: Rorschach stays rock-solid with three issues to go, selling 50K at #39. It’ll be off to collections immortality soon enough.
Infinite Frontier holds pretty well for its second and third issues, selling 50K and 46K. That indicates that retailers probably under-ordered for the first, and I imagine we’ll see the series continue to play out pretty strong.
On that same note, I expected more for Superman and the Authority from Grant Morrison. 50K at #41 isn’t bad, but Morrison has a huge fanbase. Maybe retailers just assumed this was an irrelevant Future State book? I assume it’ll also hold very well.
Kaare Andrews is another creator with a cult audience, and it paid off for him with the launch of Amazing Fantasy at #44. This odd time-hopping Marvel adventure has some brilliant art and an all-star cast, and retailers were interested to the tune of 48K.
The one-shot Aliens: Aftermath, which follows up on the second movie and debuts a new Xenomorph, lands at #48 with sales of 47L. That’s only 2K below the main series, so this is probably the level for Alien content from Marvel right now. I wonder if we’ll ever get that Predator comic.
Glenn: Maybe we have got it and it’s the Predator invisible edition and none of us can see it. Hey if NFT’s can work…
Ray: The Thor annual written and drawn by Aaron Kuder lands at #51, selling 46K. This is another Infinite Destinies book, and the main title is hot enough that retailers are going to make sure they have enough of any content related to him.
Glenn: ‘Ya’ll got any more of them Donny Cates books?’
Ray: This is an odd month of reorders, and naturally, James Tynion IV is included. His megahit The Department of Truth lands another 43K in sales for its first issue at #57. How long before we get a TV series announced?
Glenn: No wonder Substack threw money at him to the point where he didn’t want to do Batman instead. It seems the industry is finally rewarding his over a decade of high quality work with sales.
Ray: Boom has really raised their game across the board lately, with almost all their books launching much higher than they used to. That’s the case with Dark Blood, an original superhero drama rooted in the African-American experience. It launches at #61 with sales of 42K, one of the best creator-owned launches of the month.
Glenn: An original superhero property is always a hard sell from an indie company so that is unbelievably good. It seems that very swiftly, Boom has established a very strong level of trust with their overall brand with retailers.
Ray: Booster and Beetle were always cult characters, so I don’t think anyone was expecting their new series to be a megahit. Written by Booster’s creator Dan Jurgens, it launches at #65 with sales of 41K. I expect it’ll hold pretty steady over the run.
Glenn: I’d agree. I doubt they expected much more than this and I’d actually say this is a little on the high side, maybe because of the involvement of Ryan Sook who is seen as a top tier artist.
Ray: We’ve got a new Symbiote Spider-Man miniseries launching at #67 with sales of 39K. I think with the slim gap between the minis, retailers are starting to order this like an ongoing series.
The second issue of Batman Secret Files, starring Huntress, is down at #68 with sales of 39K. This one is essentially a continuation from Detective Comics and had David Lapham on art. I think this series will fluctuate quite a bit, and next month’s Clownhunter one-shot might sell much better.
Glenn: I’d say so but I’m surprised this didn’t do closer to Detective given its by the same writer and featuring one of that title’s regular supporting characters.
Ray: After a whole lot of ongoings, we’ve got the Flash Annual at #77. This one actually sells 2K more than the main series at 35K, mostly because it was hyped as the resolution of the ongoing Wally West storyline. This is a rare case where an annual was treated as a key storyline issue, and it paid off, although the main Flash book never got a renumbering and sales have suffered.
Glenn: I’m sure one will be around when the next big writer comes along. I think DC are just waiting for that latest Stephanie Phillips clone to finish.
Ray: #87 brings us the launch of Shazam, which is a spin-off of Teen Titans Academy by the same writer. It sells 33K, which is well below what the previous run by Geoff Johns was doing. I imagine it’s way too early for a spin-off from a title with weak sales.
Glenn: Outside of Johns, Shazam books have always kind of had a base level around this number regardless of what other books it might be tying into. DC may have hoped for more because of Teen Titans and the Johns series prior to this.
Ray: The second Milestone relaunch, Icon and Rocket, has a fairly muted start at #91, selling 32K. But I think this is sort of expected – unlike Static, Icon never had any revivals and very little mainstream media profile, and the McDuffie run is more of a cult hit. I hope more people pick this one up as it goes on – it’s great.
Glenn: I would say that’s still very good given all the things you mentioned. Certainty better than characters that do have a lot more exposure and notoriety. I would say that if it settles here, DC will keep it going as long as they see fit.
Ray: Image didn’t really promote Kyle Higgins’ new book Ordinary Gods that much, and it shows with a debut of 31K at #92. A bit surprising for a guy riding a real hot streak with his hit Radiant Black, but this is a less accessible concept. We’ll see if we get some hefty reorders in the coming months.
Glenn: At this point you have to wonder if books like this would have done better at Boom…the times they are a-changin’
Ray: Another book holding really well is Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow at #97. It sells 31K, which is about 3/4ths of what it sold last month. I think King’s getting into that groove where retailers know anything he does will be a prestige hardcover and sell more in that form.
The second issue of Batman: The Adventures Continue Season II sells around the same as the launch of Justice League Infinity, which does 30K at #104. While I don’t think there was as much hype for a revival of this cartoon due to it getting a proper finale, this is still a good number for an animated tie-in.
Glenn: Justice League and JLU doesn’t have the mass love and adoration that Batman: The Animated Series does so I would say this is very good all things considered. I would almost suspect that a Batman Beyond series might be next but we’ve kind of already been there.
Second issue of the newest Cullen Bunn nightmare offering, Basilisk from Boom has its second issue sell over 29k at 108 settling it amongst DC and Marvel’s mid tear. This is one of Bunn’s biggest selling indie projects if this is its level going forward.
Speaking of which, a different Bunn nightmare offering Last Book You’ll Ever Read from Vault launches at 111 selling over 28.8k. Really impressive launch from Vault who continue to impress with their output and much like Boom are making a rep based on consistent high quality across the board and turning it into sales. What a concept!
Ray: Vault isn’t rising quite as fast as Boom, but close. And Bunn’s having a great few months all around.
Glenn: One of Marvel’s facsimilie editions, the 32nd issue of Werewolf By Night sells over 28.5k at 112. This features the first appearance of Moon Knight so obviously retailers are wanting this on hand to tie in with the new ongoing and TV show to comes. As usual these things are free money to Marvel and this is very good.
The final issue of the first arc of Gillan’s Eternals sells over 28.1k at 113 as the ongoing goes on a break to make way for some one shots. This is likely the give big time artist Esad Ribic some time to start drawing the next part of the story and it’ll be interesting to see how the ongoing does when it returns and how the one shots perform sales wise during the period of the movies release.
Second issue of the new Static sells 28k at 116 which puts it towards the bottom of the middle tier. I’d consider this a good result for a cult character that has had a lot of stops and starts over the years.
The Action Comics annual sells about 3k less than the ongoing at 118 with 27k. That’s not a bad drop off for an annual.
Some of Valiant’s output has been spiratic over the last few months but it’s a decent launch for Ninjak for them at 125 as it sells over 24k. This will likely drop to the usual Valiant level next month onwards.
Ray: Ninjak had a lot of hype and has Javier Pulido on art, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hold a little better than the other (counts on fingers) two books Valiant has at the moment.
Glenn: The next issue of DC Horror’s The Conjuring tie-in sells 24k at 126 which is very good for a movie tie-in. I think it really helped to have some of their regular writers do back ups but the franchise does seem to be one of WB’s strongest so that likely helps.
24k at 127 isn’t too bad for a Checkmate book especially after the delays it had. I doubt any creative team could’ve done much more.
Final issue of Cable sells over 23.2k at 130 which is still pretty good but lower than a lot of the other x-books so that’s probably why it didn’t last much longer.
The Signal also known as Duke Thomas is one of the many Bat kids running around. He seems to have had a lot of focus pulled away from him however so while his Secret Files one shot at 132 selling 23k might be on the low end for a Batman title, I don’t see how DC could have expected much more since he’s been a background player the last couple of years. Hopefully his return to prominence will be long term.
Ray: Yeah, this is essentially a follow-up to Duke’s short solo mini from several years back which was co-written by Scott Snyder. No Snyder and such a big gap means this is going to be an odd one to catch up with. Like I said about the Huntress one above, I suspect these Secret Files books are going to vary in sales quite a bit from month to month.
Glenn: Fight Girls is a Frank Cho title from AWA and it may be the most Frank Cho comic ever featuring scantily clad sexy ladies and dinosaurs. Cho is another creator with a loyal audience and his work will always get support. This is a pretty good launch for AWA at 133 selling over 22.6k likely because of all the reasons I mentioned.
Ray: For good or bad, Cho does have a loyal audience that will pick up anything he does, and this book plays to his *ahem* strengths.
Glenn: Just under it at 134 is Crush and Lobo’s second issue selling 22k. Pretty standard for a DC mini starring a lesser known character. It seems to be getting a lot of praise so it’ll likely get some good sales in collection land.
Second issue of the colour themed anthology for Wondar Woman (Black & Gold) sells just a few slots below the 5th issue of Superman Red and Blue with 20k at 139. The lowest of the three, yes but still putting in quality work and likely another one that will do better in collections.
Selling only about 300 copies less than the main title, the TMNT annual at 144 sells over 18.9k. This is a very loyal audience which is important with a franchise like this so good stuff overall.
Ray: This was also the return of original series writer Tom Walz to the TMNT franchise, and sets up an upcoming event in the title. So I would expect some reorders.
Glenn: A new Top Cow mini, Syphon sells over 17.8k at launch. I’m not sure if this is a new character or not and I don’t recognize the creators but I think this is very good all things considered.
New Boom series Mamo seems to be a harken back to the type of all ages but stunning looking content they built their house on. It sells over 17.5k. at 150 likely because retailers know that Boom does not deliver bad all ages content. Given the ever greens that stuff like Giant Days and Lumberjanes is, I would say that this might be another hit in the making.
Ray: Much like Wynd, this really reads like it was designed for a graphic novel. Without James Tynion IV on board, it might not get the same buzz, but I suspect it’ll find its audience. Gorgeous book.
Glenn: The second issue of Jupiter’s Legacy Requiem sells over 17.2k at 152 which is pretty standard fare for Millar’s various comic projects. This franchise tends to be a very good collection seller for Image so I doubt anyone is particularly concerned here.
Remember Barberella? She’s back! Selling over 17.2k at 153 from Dynamite. This seems very high for a property that’s a shade above those top shelf magazines your mother told you were for grown ups but who am I to judge?
Ray: They relaunch her every few years like they do with their lesser properties. This seems to be a less bizarre version than the one from a few years ago, so it might get slightly better sales.
Glenn: A new take on the Robin Hood legend (yes another one), Nottingham from Mad Cave sells over 16.4k at 159. This seems to be a darker, noir take on the old familiar tale and has caught some interest, this is a very good number for Mad Cave. The second issue released this month sells over 12.7k at 187 and the third is at 193 with sales over 12.1k which aren’t bad drop offs. Odd strategy to release the whole thing in one month.
Ray: This book was basically The Mist meets Lilo and Stitch! Aftershock does seem to be slowly but surely building some buzz for its line and getting a lot of top talent.
Glenn: Some reorders for the mega hit Venom 35/Venom 200 as it picks up another 16.3k+ in sales at 160. At 9.99 this would be very good if this was just on its own but its just a cherry on top of a sales sundae. Mmmmm sundae.
Ablaze continues to put out their own Conan related stuff with Cimmerian Man-Eaters of Zamboula at 162 selling over 16.2k. The additional exposure that the character is getting from Marvel is helping out here it seems.
Aftershock seems to have a small hit on their hands with the second issue of Bunny Mask selling over 15.9k at 163. I don’t remember them selling this after a launch since Aminosity.
Although 165 does see a good launch for Beyond The Breach selling over 15.3k. This is from writer Ed Brisson so this is likely on his prominence at Marvel over the last few years. We’ll see how it holds up next month.
It’s a good premise and a solid creative team for Bermuda but it only manages to get sales over 15.2k at 168. IDW isn’t known for their creative owned stuff and I think that’s the main factor here. I’m sure at Boom, Image or Vault this would have been a good bit higher.
Ray: This is also sort of an all-ages book, which rarely does well in single issues. I think it’s only four issues, so IDW is likely hoping for evergreen sales in an affordable trade in a few months.
Glenn: A new Dune title, Blood Of The Sardaukar sells over 15.2k at 169. Pretty standard to a wider universe/movie piece. The main Dune audience that exists already or may come after the movie are probably more likely to read this one in collections.
Not one to miss out on a trend, Dynamite launches its own colour themed title for Red Sonja at 171 selling over 15.1k. Very good for an anthology for this character, especially since this is now her third title.
Ray: It’s hilarious how all the companies are jumping on DC’s trend. These are decent sales, so should we be expecting Vampirella’s blood-themed one any day now?
Glenn: Godkiller Tomorrow’s Ashes seems to be a follow up series from a few years ago from Black Mask so retailers likely knew what to expect here. It sells over 14.6k at 174 which is within the companies usual levels.
At 175 we have the second issue of Norse Mythology II selling over 14.1k which is pretty much where the previous series was. This adaption of Neil Gaiman’s novel will be one that’ll do better in collections but its decent enough.
Pretty standard Vault numbers when it comes to non-horror stuff with the second issue of Barberic selling over 13.5k at 178.
After much delay the theme park ride tie-in mini WEB Of Spider-Man sells over 13k at 186 which is a very low number for a Spider-Man related book even if its so fringe I don’t have a clue what it is. It drops like a stone with the second issue this month selling only 4,331 at 311. I think this is for something to sell at the park and not really meant to gain really much notice in singles.
Ray: While I don’t think this is a direct cause, the ride it’s designed to promote hasn’t been received very well – people are saying it’s essentially a Toy Story Mania port with Spider-characters. So a tie-in comic that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere isn’t going to get much buzz.
Glenn: Now is the part of the charts where we go ‘standard stuff for Hellboy!’ with 192’s Hellboy & BPRD Secret Of Chesbro House selling over 12.3k. One of these months, I’m going to make a bingo card so we can check off all our usual chart highlights as you go. Fun for all the family.
Given how the property is on a hot streak, I would have thought a $1 reprint of Spawn 1 might have done better at 12k selling over 194 but this comic has been reprinted numerous times. Its free money so its no big.
The second issue of Vinyl from the quite possibly insane team of Plastic sells over 11.8k at 196. This is pretty much what I would expect from an odder Image offering.
IDW’s series of Canto mini’s continues with the launch of Canto III Lionhearted at 197 selling over 11.6k. Retailers will know exactly who is coming in for this book and likely just ordered it like an ongoing.
Ray: This is basically one long series with different titles, but if you haven’t started Canto yet, jump on board. Fantastic book.
Glenn: Dejah Thoris Vs. John Carter Of Mars sells over 11.5k at 198 which is pretty much what I would expect from a property like this from a company like Dynamite.
200 see’s a continuation of the odd Man-Eaters with Cursed selling over 11.4k. This series is again one of Image’s more unconventional ones and seems to have become somewhat erratic with its release so I don’t think these sales are much of a surprise.
Ray: Between the long layover, the lack of hype, and the controversy, I think Image is lucky it did this much.
Glenn: Some reorders for the Infinity related Iron Man annual at 204 with 11k additional sales. If this isn’t some fast turnover stock dumping that actually indicates some interest in this odd side, side event.
Ray:Lot of reorders and standard books down here, until we get to the very offbeat Groo Meets Tarzan, launching at #210 with sales of 10.5K. A collaboration between legendary cartoonist Sergio Aragones, acclaimed writer Mark Evanier, and artist Thomas Yeates, it’s a meta tale involving the two heroes and a bizarre subplot involving the adventures of…Sergio Aragones. This is as niche a project as it gets, but one loyal fans will be very happy to see.
The second issue of Black Hammer Reborn manages to stay above 10K at #215. I’m wondering if the long break for the main story and the many short miniseries has sent some regular readers to trades. Either way, Lemire can keep this going as long as he wants.
Glenn: Given that there are so many Black Hammer projects going on, people may have switched to trades for the most part. This is pretty much the usual level for the universe though and they keep happening so they’re selling somewhere.
Ray: Another Aftershock launch, Clans of Belari, sells 9.9K at #219. Not much of a pull from creators or hype from the company here for this planet-hopping space found family adventure, but it does seem to have gotten overall good reviews.
The Spare Parts one-shot from Behemoth lands 9.6K in sales at #222. I don’t know what this is, but Behemoth is a company that keeps climbing the charts more and more every month.
Glenn: Another contender is always good to see.
Ray: Speaking of long-running series coming back, Tales From Harrow County: Fair Folk launches with 9.6K in sales at #223. With the main series over and spin-offs coming fitfully, I imagine many people have moved to trades and retailers are ordering cautiously.
Remember Trailer Park Boys? Devil’s Due does! The comedy pranksters get a comic, titled “Trailer Park Boys Get a F*ing Comic Book” which launches at #224 with 9.5K. Takes all kinds, I guess.
Glenn:I don’t remember them actually. I don’t think it really was a thing here? I wonder if this will have more appeal outside the direct market…I doubt it but it’s possible
Ray: A lot of reorders down here, including 9.2K for the oversized Spawn Universe at #228. I remember we used to think the Spawn revival would fade away soon. How foolish we were. The spinoffs are apparently going to be contenders for the top of the charts in coming months.
Glenn: It does seem so yeah. I’m still not quite sure what has prompted the ‘let’s party like its 1992’ type hype we’re seeing for Spawn recently but its become one of the hottest comics in the industry again.
Ray: The cult Black Mask/Kickstarter book Black, about a world where only black people have superpowers, returns for its next volume titled “White” at #238. It sells 8.6K as the company continues to mount a small comeback. I’m sure the discourse over this book will be reasonable all around.
Glenn: I can imagine. I’m not sure if this ran a Kickstarter like the previous story did. If that is the case then these sales are just a bonus. It seems that Black is one of the few Black Mask properties to have received any attention whatsoever.
Ray: Speaking of Wynd, the eighth issue is down here at #240 selling 8.4K. I’m sure this is only a tiny fraction of what its trade sales will be like.
Glenn: No doubt.
Ray: Remember Lady Death? She’s still around! Her new title, subtitled “Treacherous Infamy” sells 7.7K at #247, The 90s never die.
Glenn: The Neil Gaiman character? I love her she…*googles* gah!
Ray: Oddly, Mirka Andolfo’s Sweet Paprika gets another 7.3K in sales this month at #251. Variant cover, maybe?
Glenn: This is a dollar more than the other version so I assume it includes some extra incentive. The difference in price likely explains why we have it split from the regular issue. Remember when DC comics used to be all split sales? Good times.
Ray: It’s easy to forget that Boom has the WWE license because it’s so different from their usual stuff, but they have a new one-shot subtitled “New Day: Power of Positivity” at #254. It sells 7.3K, about what we could expect from this oddball brand.
Glenn: I think this might be a two parter. WWE related comics are not going to have a great deal of appeal in this market. It also hurts the product that everything in comics has to be done so far in advance and the wrestling world moves so fast, the New Day shown in this comic have been split for months.
Ray: You never know what you’ll find here. Random 7.2K in reorders for a Black Panther issue from 2017 at #256? Sure!
Glenn: This issue features the return of Klaw but that seems to be the only notable thing about it. A stock dump perhaps? Odd either way.
Ray: Rick and Morty continues to be Oni’s bread and butter, with the new one-shot, Hotel Immortal, selling 7K at #259.
After a lot of reorders and low-selling regulars including 6K+ reorders for the Captain America Annual at #266 and the Black Cat annual three spots below it, we come to the next book of note at #277. Savage Hearts, an oddball barbarian romance from controversial creator Audrey Sitterson, sells 6.2K. This is very low for Dark Horse, but they apparently like to be in the Sitterson business – he has a total of three books coming out for them in coming months.
Glenn: You’d think Black Cat would be the highest or among them for these annuals given that I think she’s at the centre of the story.
Also, oh Dark Horse. You have Snyder collections coming. You don’t need the hassle.
Ray: 6.1K in reorders of the first issue of The Boys from over a decade ago at #278. Almost like there’s a TV show to tie into or something!
Glenn:Remember when DC booted this franchise? I’m sure they don’t lose any sleep over it but still.
Ray: The Nightmare Before Christmas mangas haven’t gotten much attention over here yet, but Tokyopop launched a new one this month. Subtitled Mirror Moon, it sells 5.9K. This has really been one of Disney’s long-standing cult hits.
Glenn: This will also no doubt do better numbers elsewhere. The Disney loving goth’s have to have their fill.
Ray: The new series Never Never from Heavy Metal lands at #291 with sales of 5.4K. The long-time British publisher has been trying to get into single issues, but they haven’t found the book to give them that momentum yet.
Glenn: You thought that given they gave Donny Cates his start that maybe some retailers would be taking a risk to maybe land something from the next hot creator.
Ray: Another cult hit, the video game Life is Strange, launches a new series subtitled Coming Home from Titan at #292. It sells 5.3K, pretty steady for one of the company’s few big franchises.
Glenn: The video game has a very passionate fanbase but I’m not sure how much of them will be interested in a comic. The video game is decision based where the player gets to drive the narrative and obviously that’s not the case in a comic. Still people live the characters and will want to see more of them.
Ray: Hey, there’s Zombie Tramp at #293, selling 5.3K! We missed you, Zombie Tramp! She’s also at #298! I think she missed us too.
Glenn: We did! One of Action Lab’s top properties but no longer. After Action Lab has decided that its optional to you know…publish people’s comics that they’ve paid for, Zombie Tramp will be looking for a new home. Its never been a big seller but for what it is, it is a steady performer that has a large back catalogue (80 issues!) so I’m sure it’ll find a home somewhere.
Ray: Ahoy is one of those companies that’s trying to build momentum but doesn’t really have much luck with their limited output. Their newest title, the black-and-white supernatural noir Black’s Myth, launches at #299 with sales of 4.9K.
And after the third issue of Helm Greycastle at #300, it’s time to descend…into the depths. Glenn, hold on to this rope and whatever you do, don’t let go. Not even if the ice cream truck comes.
Glenn: I don’t want to go! *Doctor Who fans reading have trauma flashbacks instantly*
Ray: This is Scout’s usual location, and their new anthology “Tales Told in Technihorror” sells 4.4K at 309. They’re growing slowly as a company, but I think they still have an awareness issue.
Oh, look, it’s the Grimm Fairy Tales Swimsuit Edition, selling 4.3K at 313. Glenn, strike up the band!
Glenn: Wow, that’s not even trying to hide they love the huge booby ladies.
Ray: This is where we get some….weird books, including the horror title Possessive from Zenoscope, the sexy lady superhero book Patriotika United, and the new Heavy Metal launch Swamp God about confederates summoning a demon. All three sell 4K in the early 420s.
Glenn: Confederates summoning a what now?
Ray: The viking horror book Runes (with a much longer full title) sells just under 4K at #326 from Source Point, another company struggling to break out.
A lot more Scout books down here, including the historical thriller No Ghosts in Hiroshima, and the heavy-metal mythological comedy Gods of Brutality, all selling somewhere in the 3K range.
Glenn: Scout puts out a lot of product that all seem to sell about the same. They keep hoping for their own break out hit no doubt.
Ray: Oni launched their new sci-fi comedy book Orcs in Space with an oversized two-in-one issue. I think this confused a lot of people, because the book bombed hard selling only 2.6K at #354. The $6.99 price tag probably didn’t help either.
Glenn: That is a big price to pay for such a small publisher, even if the content warranted it. Orc’s In Space starring Batman? Sure it can charge 6.99 but otherwise, no.
Ray: Oh, hey, it’s the Unethical Spider-Vark at #379, selling 1.9K. No one ask him his opinion on women.
Glenn: These pun titles are going to be the death of me.
Ray: It’s almost all reorders down here, with 872 copies of Heroes Reborn #1 rounding us out at 3450.
Looking ahead to August, we’ve got quite a lot coming our way. Over at DC, they end the month with a bang with the launch of Fear State with an oversized one-shot. They’ve also got Jace Fox’s present-day debut as Batman in I Am Batman #0, an oversized one-shot for Aquaman, and a Superman vs. Lobo Black Label series from the Money Shot writing team and Mirka Andolfo. Plus, the hotly anticipated Batman ’89 and Superman ’78 comic book series.
Marvel will be countering with…a whole lot of Sinister War. Whee. There’s also the launch of The Trial of Magneto (My man is innocent), a Kang the Conquerer mini, and Deadpool’s own Black, White, and Blood mini. Plus Kyle Higgins taking on Darkhawk, and a whole lot more War of the Bounty Hunters.
Some big indie books this month as well, including the new JH Williams III/Haden Blackmun series Echolands, the launch of King Spawn, and a new Skottie Young horror romance. Plus, the very bizarre Trover Saves the Universe, and the next Black Hammer series over at Dark Horse.
What will rise? What will fall? Find out next month on…By the Numbers!
Liked what you read here? Have any questions, comments or concerns? Let us know here or on Twitter @glenn_matchett and @raygoldfield