Category Archives: Random

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We can not guarantee anything but your name in the writing credits (perfect for someone building a portfolio), but we will work with you to help you cover and write about the things you’re interested in.

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This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week:  Bedlam

I had stopped into my LCS in the middle of a bit of a winter storm on my way home (depending on where you’re from will depend on how bad you’d have found it. I’m in Eastern Canada, and it wasn’t too bad; I could still see across the street and the snow wasn’t super deep), and my friend had just finished reading the first volume of Bedlam written by Nick Spencer with art by Riley Rossmo and colours by Frazier Irving. He suggested I check it out, so I did and started the trek home.

Bedlam was published by Image beginning in 2012 and ran for 11 issues – which was not enough to tell a complete story, but if you stop reading after the first volume you get a solid open-ended thriller comic.

The book focuses on a villain who is essentially the Joker named Madder Red as he tries to navigate the world after being cured of his evil and sadistic desires. We also get to see how the city of Bedlam has moved on since Madder Red’s three year reign of terror, and we join the story just as a new killer begins to haunt the city. Spencer divides the time between revealing more about who Madder Red was whilst also showing who Fillmore Press is now as he tries to help the police capture a killer by using intuition honed by years of being a homicidal maniac himself.

It’s an interesting story that doesn’t shy away from who Fillmore used to be; Spencer never once tries to make Madder Red sympathetic, though we never see Madder Red without his mask during hiss reign of terror or his rehabilitation which left me wondering whether Fillmore was “cured” of the evil, or if he had simply locked it away.

As with any story about a Joker analogue, there is a Batman-like character here called the First (of many) who actually takes a back seat to the police detective Ramirez and Fillmore Press as they attempt to get ahead of the maniac murdering his way across Bedlam. It’s the lack of focus on the superhero that I enjoyed the most, with Ramirez and Press being the focus of the book that gives us a peek behind the curtain of what it would be like working with a reformed villain.

Riley Rossmo and Frazier Irving give the book a haunted horror style presentation, the world shown primarily in monotones or flat grays with only flashes of red standing as the vibrancy on the pages. Almost as if the comic is insinuating that Fillmore Press was only truly alive before his reformation.

It’s an interesting book, and I read both volumes of the trades in one sitting. For me, it certainly started stronger than it ended – but that’s only because I felt it ended in the middle of the story. But such is often the way with comics.

If you see this book when you’re at your LCS, give it a go. It’s a solid read, and I don’t regret the $15 on the buy one get one sale. It’s certainly worth $10 for the first volume alone, so don’t be afraid to grab this when you see it on the shelf if you’re looking for something to read; if you skip it, then you’ll miss an Underrated gem.

Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Preview: Hawkman #20

Hawkman #20

(W) Robert Venditti (A/CA) Pat Olliffe, Tom Palmer
In Shops: Jan 08, 2020
SRP: $3.99

The Batman Who Laughs has infected Hawkman, and now Carter is drawing on the worst versions of himself from his past incarnations. This evil Hawkman is seeking to access the ancient tomb whence all his powers flow. Meanwhile, the Atom and Hawkwoman are in pursuit, hoping to stop their friend from doing something terrible he can’t undo and potentially bring Carter Hall back to his senses.

Hawkman #20

Join Our Team!

Graphic Policy is always on the hunt for talented contributors. If you’re interested in becoming involved with one of the internet’s most unique, fastest-growing entertainment and pop culture websites, now’s your chance!

Please note that all of the positions offered by Graphic Policy are volunteer positions. Our staff runs this site because we love comics, politics, pop culture, games, movies, television, and geekdom.

We can not guarantee anything but your name in the writing credits (perfect for someone building a portfolio), but we will work with you to help you cover and write about the things you’re interested in.

Graphic Policy will open up its ability to obtain review copies, press passes and more for those who regularly post to the site. Your posts belong to you and you are free to post them here and other sites as well!

All applicants must be over the age of 18 years old and have excellent writing skills.

Please fill out the form below and let us know more about you, and what you’d like to write about and cover.

Underrated: Superman/Batman: World’s Finest

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week:  Superman/Batman: World’s Finest

Fifteen years ago, I picked up this book when I had first moved to Canada and I was looking for something to read that wasn’t Marvel related. Volume one of a series seemed like a good enough place to start, and despite knowing very little about DC’s comics at the time I was more than aware who Batman and Superman was in the general sense from the movies and TV shows that had been released at the time.

The story was also adapted for DVD in 2009 or so under the title Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. Because I’m not talking about the adaption today, I’m referring to the story under the comic book title.

No, today I wanted to revisit a story I hadn’t read in years because my wife picked me up a Batman blind box recently, and this was one of the books within the box. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed reading it until I flicked through the softcover collection again.

Collecting the first six issues of the series, Superman/Batman: World’s Finest was released in April 2004, and was written by Jeph Loeb with art by Ed McGuinness and colours by Dexter Vines. The story features a then President Lex Luthor, the framing of the man of steel for Metallo’s murder and a fantastic twin narrative device that allows Loeb to use the internal monologues of both Batman and Superman to great effect. It is often the source of my laughter when reading the book, as both men have some diametrically opposed viewpoints on things, and their thoughts in the moment are almost mirrored.

It’s honestly worth reading for that alone.

The story itself is largely free of any major continuity trappings from other series, by which I mean at the time I was able to go into this entirely blind about the state of the DC universe in 2004/2005 and still thoroughly enjoy the story. And my introduction to a cast of new characters like Captain Atom, Black Adam, Major Force and others I had never heard of before.

Although there have been a lot of really good Batman/Superman stories since this came out, the writing of Loeb and the way he has the two leads play off each other makes this collection stand out. If you’re not that keen on reading yet more stories featuring two of DC most popular heroes, then that’s fine. But you’ll be missing out on one of the coolest and most underrated aspects of this collection – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it happily again – the dueling monologues of Superman and Batman highlight Loeb’s understanding of the two characters and their relationship.

The only downside is that as my introduction to DC comics, this remains one of the finest examples of that relationship I’ve read to this day.

You can find this collection at your local comic shop; it’s still in print so shouldn’t be too hard to find if you’re looking for it. I highly recommend checking it out when you get a chance.

Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

By The Numbers: November 2019

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 several 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’s hoping we can pretend 2019 wasn’t a thing, we can totally do that right?

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. Tis the season for a Chinese food filled Ray to be rolled down the street making a ‘whooooo’ noise.

We also do a podcast together with longtime buddy, Brandon James on iTunes with Rabbitt Stew or at the link here! Don’t ask, I didn’t pick the name. If you’d like to hear what me and Ray sound like, give it a listen!

Check out the top 500 in full here!

Glenn: Its the final article for By The Numbers in the year 2019 (assuming we get this out in a timely manner. Stupid needs to eat and sleep) as we turn to November to see how things are going in the industry this weather for a very interesting month.

Image result for new mutants 1 2019"

Top seller of the month with over 138.4k in sales is the launch of New Mutants under the Hickman era which is the largest of the spin off books in terms of sales. Its no surprise since this is the one that has Hickman’s name on it (for the moment at least) and its solid right out of the gate. The second issue sells over 60.5k at 14 which again due to Hickman’s involvement likely gives us an indication of where the ceiling is on these spin off books which is very impressive given the X franchises up and down history for the last decade or so. This new era has caught on it seems and if the 70 or so X-Men titles we have coming can all deliver around 50-60k then Marvel will be sitting very pretty indeed.
Ray: This is a pretty strong debut, as I think this one is considered the book most closely linked to the main Hickman book. The second issue sales are great, but there’s a wrinkle here. The third issue is out now, and it’s a completely different story focusing on the next generation of mutant kids. It seems like Hickman will be writing the original class in space and Brisson will be writing the Morrison/Academy X kids on Earth. That could affect sales going forward.
Glenn: Number 2 this month is the main X-Men book which sells over 117.5k so this book solely written by Hickman is being treated as the MVP line…which it is. If this is where it has settles after a monster debut last month, that is Marvel’s biggest success story in quite some time. This could very well be a top ten staple for as long as Hickman is around and be the equivalent for Marvel that Batman was for DC for close to ten years.
Ray: Yeah, that is a fantastic hold and it seems likely this will be the #1 ongoing going forward for a while. The hype here is real and well-deserved.
Glenn: Breaking up the avalanche of X-Men success is the final issue of Absolute Carnage selling over 106.8k at number 3 this month which means a slight uptick in sales for the send off. This mini event has been a monster, outperforming many of Marvel’s bigger events in recent years and puts more stock in Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman than ever.
Ray: Both the main event and the tie-ins for this one did a lot better than War of the Realms and other recent Marvel events. This reminds me of how DC had a lot of success with smaller, line-centric events recently. Marvel would be smart to copy that – as well as giving Donny Cates anything he wants to keep writing symbiotes as long as he wants.
Glenn: Back to X-Madness now with number 4 in the charts being the launch of X-Force which sells over 105.1k. Historically this has been one of the franchises most successful spin off titles so its no surprise it to take the silver medal in the spin off races this month. The second issue this month sells over 53.6k at 18 which is still very good for what has been a once successful franchise long thought past its heyday.
Ray: This one didn’t get a lot of hype in advance, but it seems to be very key to the overall Krakoa status quo. Percy’s one of those few writers Marvel has managed to poach from DC recently, and it seems like they have a lot of faith in him as he’s launching a Wolverine book shortly.
Glenn: More X-Men at 5 with Bryan Hill bringing back the Fallen Angels spin off which launches at over 86.6k in sales with the second issue at 27 selling over 46.8k. Still decent to put it at a mid tier hit if it was sticking around but the book is going on ‘hiatus’ as Hill is off to look into other opportunities. This then can be looked at a very good selling spin off X-Men mini which we’ll be seeing a lot of in the coming months.
Ray: If there’s any proof that the Hickman X-line is bulletproof right now, it’s this. This is a book starring New Psylocke, Kid Cable, and X-23 minus her Tom Taylor character development, by a well-liked writer who hasn’t launched a major hit yet, and it still does great numbers for its content. It’s being replaced by a strange-looking Hellions book in March, so we’ll see if the aura holds till then.
Glenn: Writer Kelly Thompson gets a crack at possibly her biggest property to date in Deadpool with a new relaunch selling over 83k at number 6 in the charts. This is a very good launch but low compared to other recent Deadpool relaunches but since there has been 4 of them in the last few years (including this one) as well as an infinite number of mini’s and spin offs, fatigue is going to set in eventually. I do think its a lot to be said for Thompson and legendary artist Chris Bachalo that they got as much interest for their launch considering how frequently Marvel has gone to the Deadpool well. Lets hope it settles to a level the creative team deserve.
Ray: The addition of Jeff the Land Shark will surely make this a megahit! The character’s a long way from the days he was a franchise headliner for Marvel, partially due to overuse, but this is a good debut and not the only good news for Kelly Thompson on this month’s charts.
Glenn: Crawling (heh, get it?) back into the top ten is Amazing Spider-Man in one of its odd bumps for no reason at spot 7 in the top ten for issue 33 which sells over 77.8k which has been the upper tier of its level not counting crossovers. Its back to normalish levels for this run at the tenth and final top ten spot selling over 67.9k. With the weird fluctuation the book has it indicates that Marvel is playing games with the numbers or retailers don’t know what to do with this run and either is equally possible. Its hard to know where Amazing’s actual level is at the moment and that could be very well be the point.
Ray: *shrug* I got nothing. This is the middle of a 2099 tie-in that has only barely played into the main title, and the larger story involves Chameleon and Doctor Doom. There’s no real reason things should be ticking up now. Wacky Marvel numbers. More on those…laytor.
Glenn: In what we knew was going to be a hit for Image Comics due to the creative team, concept and hype is Undiscovered Country at 8 selling over 73k. I actually expected higher but this is still very impressive for Image and I doubt there will be much decline next month and this could turn into a Walking Dead type monster very quickly. Big kudos to the creative team because this is the biggest Image launch I can recall for several months at least.
Ray: Yeah, this is a monster debut from a pair of top writers and an artist who has been steadily building a very impressive brand for years. It had a good number of covers, but nothing like the wave of Millar or Spawn covers that drove those sales. It’s just a combination of a great creative team and a concept that immediately got people talking. I was sold from minute one, and I think a lot of people were too. We almost definitely have our regular new top Image title.
Glenn: We’re getting to the end of the epic Tom King run on Batman with issue 82 selling over 71.3k for the acetate cover but there was also a stock card cover (cause DC hates us and likes to make us use…ugh….math) at 116 selling over 18.2k which means the book actually sold around 90k which would mean its the number 4 selling book of the month and the subsequent issue charts at 15 selling over 60.3k which is abysmal for this title but then we have another fancy variant version at 92 selling over 21.6k which means it actually sold about 81k which makes it the number 7 selling book of the month so after a lot of redirection its business as usual for the title as it reaches its finale next month. I need to lie down now after all that punching numbers into a calculator.
Ray: This is definitely an impressive uptick as City of Bane winds down, and shows that there’s still some interest in King’s run. I’m not sure what went on behind the scenes there, but it bodes well for Batman/Catwoman when it debuts. 
Glenn: Don’t care how, I want it now!
Ray: Immediately after the latest issue of Venom, we get the debut of Scream: Curse of Carnage at #12. This is an odd one since retailers didn’t even know who would be under the symbiote when they ordered this – but does it really matter? The 64K in sales are more because people love the character design and she saw a surge in interest with her high-selling tie-in mini. The odd thing is that this isn’t written by Bunn, who wrote the mini and created the character Scream is now bonded with. Still a very strong debut that proves anything Symbiote is super-hot right now.
Glenn: Scream is the distant third most famous symbiote but that still counts for something. This will likely settle as a solid middle tier performer which for a book starring a character (kinda/sorta) that hasn’t been referenced that much since the mid 90’s, that’s very good.
Ray: There’s a huge increase for Captain Marvel, as the twelfth issue lands at #13 with sales of 62K. That’s almost a 100% increase from the previous issue for the start of “The Last Avenger”. A mystery “dark future” story, or so it seems, that has a Kree-controlled Carol killing the Avengers, it’s the biggest hit the character’s had in comics and a massive feather in Kelly Thompson’s cap. Marvel fans love their darker takes.
Glenn: Bring on the dark Marvelverse! Seriously this is all it takes to get people interested, good stories and Thompson can deliver that in spades.
Ray: This seems to be where the X-books are going to settle down for now, as we see the second issues of Excalibur and Marauders stay above 50K. Excalibur sells 55K at #16 while Marauders does 51K at #22, which is the opposite of what I would expect based on relevance. Maybe just because one has more history as a title?
Glenn: With that little difference its hard to know but it could easily flip around. Retailers seem to be treating the large majority of the spin off titles the same so this is probably our ‘core’ X-Men fanbase with a few thousand extras while more newer and older fans are coming back in droves to support the main title. This overall puts the franchise in the best situation its been since the Whedon/Morrison era.
Ray: The Murphyverse stays strong for its first spinoff, as Batman: White Knight Presents Von Freeze sells just under 52K at #19. Given that this is a WW2-set dark tale featuring the origins of an alternate version of Mr. Freeze, I’d say that qualifies as a major success. Murphy wrote this but had Klaus Janson do the art, so that’s a big win for him as well.
Glenn: This universe continues to deliver solid numbers and DC are clearly very happy since they’ve already green lit a third chapter. No doubt the first collection did magnificent numbers which doesn’t hurt.
Image result for batman white knight von freeze"
Ray: Spawn stays strong but starts dropping, as #302 sells just under 52K at #20. This is still a world from where it was a year ago, but we might see Undiscovered Country lap it as the months go on.
Glenn: Falling faster than I would have guessed but it was inevitable. Still double where it usually is, we’ll see if it continues to fall or can hold on to some new fans in the new year.
Ray: #22 brings us the debut of Legion of Super-Heroes with sales of 51K. Not a great debut for Bendis and Sook, but better than the tie-in mini (which barely featured the Legion) and well above the characters’ usual level. There’s a reason they haven’t had a regular title since around 2013, and tying them in with a top book is sure to help long-term.
Glenn: Its a hard one because a launch by Bendis no matter what the property was used to be a guaranteed top ten delivery but those days are gone. DC tried to get renewed interest in the Legion many times about 15 years ago before giving up entirely. This is about the same as most of those launches did so we’ll see next month where it goes. It just might be one of those properties that can’t survive the modern day market.
Ray: #25 has the first issue of Morbius from Marvel, selling 50K. There’s normal Marvel sales mischief (multiple variant covers and incentives) and special mischief (doubling sales, etc). This feels like the former, as almost any Marvel title can debut with 50K the way they promote them. The problem is, with standard drops easily hitting 50% or higher, it feels like this could hit choppy waters soon.
Glenn: We’ll see if they can keep it chugging along until the movie. I’m going to wager…no. This is not a character that should have his own book, we learned that back when the last ‘ongoing’ launched around Amazing 700 but Marvel clearly didn’t.
Ray: Batman/Superman is at 45K at #29 for its Acetate cover, but there’s another 13K in sales below, putting it over 59K and into the #16 spot overall. That’s a great result, largely due to the book being one of two core titles for the upcoming Hell Arisen event, alongside Justice League. DC’s done an excellent job of making their regular titles feel like events lately.
The main Star Wars title wraps up its run at #32, selling 42K. There’s a special issue tying the various series together, following a relaunch in January, but the title seems to have lost a lot of its momentum from when it was the biggest thing in comics.
Glenn: Its been five years and still…this is at the very upper end of what the property would deliver with Dark Horse back in the day. Will the relaunch that spins out of the much ballyhooed Empire Strikes Back give it a new lease of life is the question or will it just end up frozen in carbinite sales wise?
Ray: The bridge miniseries between seasons of Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern, titled Blackstars, is basically being treated like the main series despite the art shift. It sells 42K at #33, keeping pace with previous issues. A new season of the main series launches in January.
At #36/37 we’ve got the launch of two new Marvel mini-events no one really asked for, 2099 and Annihilation: Scourge. The former sells 41K and the latter 40K for their “Alpha” issues. The low sales emphasize that it it definitely not this event driving the increased sales on Amazing Spider-Man. 2099 has some tie-ins this month, while Annihilation Scourge begins its main story next month.
Glenn: Side events at a smaller scale that Marvel seems to think will have juice. The only thing they do is bump up the number of comics they can sell us to retain their ever important market share and little else.
Ray: One of the strongest debuts for a Young Animal title as the sci-fi conspiracy Green Lantern title Far Sector debuts at #40 with sales of 39K. This is by sci-fi novelist NK Jemisin, who brings a big audience from outside comics, and Naomi artist Jamal Campbell. This also feels like one that will have great legs in collections.
Glenn: Absolutely but it is a good debut for a new character by a writer that’s unknown to the industry in terms of comic work. Could this be DC’s Ms. Marvel?
Ray: #43 has the debut of one of the oddest Marvel books in recent memory, the Mariko Tamaki/Gurihiru comedy book Spider-Mam & Venom: Double Trouble. This is a body-swapping story where Spider-man and Venom are roommates, and Venom steals Spider-Man’s body so he can go on reality TV. I am not joking. It sells 37K, which makes me think either symbiotes are super-hot right now, or body swap comedies have a hidden audience comics need to tap in on more.
Image result for Spider-Mam & Venom: Double Trouble 1"
Glenn: Why not both?! Yeah so Venom + Spider-Man = money and this will have a YA readers appeal that Donny Cates current run definitely does not have. It’ll do well for its tenure and probably better in collections land.
Ray:More Tales from the Dark Multiverse one-shots this month, both based on 2000s events, as Tim Seeley’s Blackest Night reinvention sells 36K at #46 followed by 35K for the Infinite Crisis tale where Ted Kord goes evil two spots below. Good results for $5.99 What Ifs.
Glenn: I might have expected a tad more for Blackest Night since it was the hottest thing going back in the day but while Grant Morrison has turned Green Lantern into a property worth taking note of once more, its not the powerhouse it used to be.
Ray: The last two Absolute Carnage tie-ins, Weapon Plus and Captain Marvel, sell 34K and 32K respectively at #53 and #55. These were dropped in at the last minute with no real ties to the main event, but the Captain Marvel one does have a Carnagized Flerken. The fact that even the low-rung late tie-ins did this well is a vote of confidence in the main series.
Garth Ennis’ return to Punisher with Punisher: Soviet lands at #60, selling 31K. The Marvel MAX line has hit some rough waters, unlike its Black Label counterpart at DC, but this is easily the most iconic run and Ennis has a strong fanbase.
Glenn: Ennis Punisher will always have its smallish but rock solid fanbase and then sell loads in collections. Marvel is still earning bundles off new versions of collections from his previous Punisher runs from like 15 years ago.
Ray: One of Vertigo’s most popular characters returns to the world of mature readers, selling 30K at #62 for the debut of John Constantine: Hellblazer. His fame as a character definitely made this one of the top Sandman Universe titles, especially with line architect Simon Spurrier on board.
Glenn: My memory isn’t what it used to be but this is around double what the last Hellblazer title was doing before DC moved him over to the ‘proper’ universe so there’s seemingly new interest to see the character go back to his roots. The Sandman universe line is obviously delivering what the company wants if they’re adding new books to it and Hellblazer always sells oodles of collections. By having this and John still pop up in main continuity is the very definition of having your cake and eating it too.
Ray: Tim Seeley’s oddball Hanna-Barbera spin-off He-Man and the Masters of the Multiverse, coming off the Injustice crossover, lands at #64 selling 29K. Apparently there’s quite the audience for Chibi He-Man!
Glenn: Alt realities are hot at the minute I guess? I also wonder if retailers are expecting some back issue hunters when the new Kevin Smith He-Man cartoon gets off the ground.
Ray:  At #65 is Jeff Lemire’s second Black Label book, The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage. It sells 29K, well below what Killer Smile did – but given that it’s been ages since The Question had a series and this will likely do most of its sales in trade, it’s another victory for Black Label. This is one of the few non-Batman properties they’ve done.
Glenn: This is also almost a direct continuation from the brilliant Denny O’Neil series from over 30 years ago. Still, its very good for what it is and will do well in the inevitable collection.
Ray: The Black Cat annual lands at #66 selling 29K, which is about 500 copies above what the main series did three spots below. This is probably the book’s new level, and the slight increase for the annual probably has to do with Spider-man guest-starring for a fake wedding.
Glenn: The bat wedding this was not.
Ray: The next phase of Year of the Villain launches with The Infected – a series of one-shots following the corrupted heroes who are serving The Batman Who Laughs. The highest-selling of them this month is The Infected: King Shazam, which sells 28K at #71. Few of these heroes are A-listers, so I’m not expecting great numbers, but these prequels to the upcoming Hell Arisen may get some reorders. Worth noting this sells within 200 copies of the main Shazam series.
Glenn: I would have expected more since The Batman Who Laughs is so popular but retailers may be seeing the concept being stretched too much too soon. We’ll see how Hell Arisen does in a couple of months.
Image result for the infected: king shazam"
Ray: The first 2099 one-shot, Fantastic Four 2099 by Karla Pacheco, sells 26K at #73. The more popular characters and creators seem to be next month, and this one didn’t actually have any Fantastic Four characters in it.
Punisher 2099 is up next at #78, selling 25K. Most of these should fall in this area, so not a very inspiring performance.
Glenn: Also most of the original versions of these 2099 characters only had a cult audiance to begin with and according to our 2099 Rabbitt Stew Expert Brandon, these one shots are not about those characters.
Ray: At #79 we have the debut of a Yondu miniseries selling 25K. I guess there’s a limited audience for the character despite the scene stealing in GOTG2. He’s Mary Poppins, y’all, but she doesn’t need a solo comic either.
Glenn: Comic fans know any retrofitting to align with the films is often an eyebrow raising moment (see also Nick Fury jr). Marvel fails to realize that we will quite happily love two different versions in two different mediums. Don’t cross the streams!
Ray:  The third 2099 one-shot of the month is Conan 2099 at #82, selling 24K. This is close to what the secondary Conan title sells every month and it had next to nothing to do with the 2099 event, so I think retailers just ordered it like that.
Hey, Glenn! Remember when Amazing Mary Jane sold over 100K last month! That was surely a completely organic debut and not at all Marvel playing numbers games! I mean, just look at its robust second issue sales of *checks* 23K at #86. Never mind. This has apparently been cut back to six issues already. Womp womp.
Glenn: I am shocked, this is my shocked face. At least with the upcoming classic Gwen comic coming up, Marvel are treating it like a mini up front.
Ray:  An additional 23K in sales for Legion of Super-Heroes #1, which changes the picture a LOT thanks to the split covers. Its total sales are 74K, which puts it in the top ten. (You can edit that one together with the Legion entry up top if you want, Glenn)
Glenn: I could…but I’m lazy. So yes, ignore what we said above. Still lower than what I would expect from Bendis back in his heyday but brilliant for the Legion. If it can settle around 40-50k that would be brilliant for the franchise historically speaking.
Ray: We have a few creator-owned titles sneaking into the top 100, starting with Killadelphia, Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander’s black Philadelphia vampire noir. It sells 22K at #90, which is an impressive debut for a book that didn’t seem to get a lot of hype.
Glenn: Vampires are having a moment again it seems, I wonder if any of them sparkle?
Ray: Another big win for Boom, as Matt Kindt’s fantasy conspiracy adventure Folklords sells 21K at #94. This isn’t on the level of Boom’s other recent hits, but Kindt’s been plugging away in creator-owned comics for a long time and this is one of his bigger single-issue hits. Well deserved.
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I was a little surprised to see both of those beat out Jeff Lemire and Phil Hester’s Family Tree, which sells 21K at #95. Lemire is usually gold, but this book has a very creepy concept and was delayed a lot from its announcement. Retailers may be ordering cautiously.
Glenn: Like most Lemire books I think this will find its audience fast and pick up good sales in trades. It is a little more unusual than his usual (which for Lemire is saying something) but no doubt will find its readers, quality always does.
Ray: At #99 we have the debut of The Dollhouse Family, the second Hill House book. This is by the legendary creative team of Lucifer, The Unwritten, and The Highest House, Mike Carey and Peter Gross. It sells 21K, which is roughly in line with what I’d expect this cult creative team to sell if they launched a new Image book. These minis will do most of their sales as evergreen horror trades, but the comparison between this and Basketful of Heads probably doesn’t bode too well for the ones without “name” creative teams.
Glenn:This actually has a card stock variant selling over 9.6k at 193 so this sells around 30k which is brilliant. Especially compared to any of the Vertigo launches we saw before that lines death and this mini may have been retrofitted from that so DC will be very happy.
Ray: There was a promotion called Local Comic Shop Day this month, featuring special reprints of comics. The top-selling outing is a book called Walking Dead: Alien, which appears to be a 2016 crossover comic of sorts written by Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin. This was its first time in print, so it’s not a surprise it picks up a lot of sales at #101, selling just under 21K. 
#103 brings us the second The Infected one-shot, Scarab. This features Jaime Reyes, the second Blue Beetle, and sells 20K. The character has had trouble sustaining a solo series, so these sales are pretty in-line with what I’d expect.
At #110 we’ve got an Umbrella Academy one-shot, Hazel and Cha Cha Save Christmas. It sells 19K, showing the cult property will always have an audience. Maybe the Netflix series boosted it?
Glenn: I would say so. They are very entertaining side characters too who maybe have their own fanbase.
Ray: Mike Carey shows up again at #111, but I don’t think his Fantastic Four: Negative Zone one-shot will be remembered in the same terms as his work with Peter Gross. It sells 19K, pretty standard for a random one-off comic.
Glenn: This might be a repurposed story from the Yancy Street anthology that debuted a while back and has mysteriously vanished. This does better than that so if this is the case then Marvel came out ahead.
Ray: #123 brings us this year’s Supergirl Annual, which sells 17K. I think retailers missed the boat on this one, because it’s essentially her Infected one-shot. I wonder if having this written by a third writer as the creative team changes over made retailers think it didn’t matter? It definitely did and Robert Venditti’s one-shot could be in for some reorders.
It’s a pretty big jump until we see our next comic of note, and it’s the top-selling Big Two reprint of the month. DC gets 16.5K in sales at #128 for a Dollar Comics reprint of Batman #497, which was the famous issue where Bane broke Batman’s back.
Speaking of Bats, at #131 we have the looooooooong delayed final issue of Batman: Creature of the Night from Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon. It sells 16K, not too far off where the series was selling years back. John Paul Leon battled back from cancer to finish this series, so I hope the creative team gets a lot of royalties in trade as it gets the audience it deserves.
Glenn: Absolutely, I think a lot of people missed the boat on this one so I hope much like Secret Identity it goes on to be read and reprinted for years to come.
Ray: The last Future Fights one-shot, Crescent and Io, sells 15K at #132. Pretty standard for this line of video game tie-ins. The core audience is elsewhere.
A shockingly strong debut for a company few have heard of, Ablaze Comics, as Mirka Andolfo’s Unsacred lands at #133 with sales of 15K. This profane, sex-joke filled comic about a horny demon in love with a chaste angel is reprinted from some of Andolfo’s old webcomics, and this kind of debut from a new company shows just how fast her star has risen. She’s going to be one of the hottest names in comics after this.
Glenn: I love Andolfo’s work and although this comic isn’t my taste, I’m thrilled with her success here. I hope she starts getting the work her talent deserves but she seems to be happy doing European comics which are then translated into well selling Image maxi’s which is not a bad position to be in.

The next to points of interest are two second issues from DC comics in the form of Batman Giant at 136 selling over 15.1k and Metal Men selling over 14.8k at 138. I think the former of the two is a good result considering this is material aimed at Walmart so anything they get here in the direct market is a bonus while Metal Men is kind of to be expected. The franchise has never been a hot seller in the modern day and while Shane Davis is certainly an artist with weight to his name, Dan Didio’s books have all a certain identity to them so readers here knew what they were getting and interest was appointed appropriately. It probably won’t last too long.

Decent leveling out for Last God at 143 with sales over 14.5k especially when you consider that this is 4.99. This would have been great for a Vertigo book towards the end of the lines life so clearly Black Label is working, even for new properties that have nothing to do with DC heroes. Another encouraging sign for the book is that it packs in some healthy reorders at 183 selling over 10.5k more copies.
Ray: This is the first original Black Label book, followed quickly by the Hill House books, and I think they’re essentially performing like strong mid-level Image books at the moment. This is definitely one of the more modest hits for the line, but still something to build on.
Glenn: Two fascimilie editions sell very close together with Marvel putting out issue 10 of Tomb Of Dracula in that format resulting in sales over 14.3k at 144 while DC goes with Green Lantern 85 which sells over 14.1k at 145. The former has the first appearance of Blade which likely gives it the edge over the infamous Roy Harper junkie issue. Still, great sales for old titles that include one that’s relatively obscure and one that’s been reprinted to death.
About 7-8k in sales droppage for new Image book Marked on its second issue at 147 resulting in sales over 13.9k,which I think is very good as this makes it the 10th best selling Image book of the month and the rest are released by creators of much bigger renown.
Ray: Hine and Haberlin are creators who hadn’t been heard from in a while, but their hit series Sonata (currently on hiatus until the second arc) has driven up interest in this too.
Glenn: On the cheap reprint side of things, Flashpoint 1 gets a dollar comic rerelease which gets sales over 13.5k which isn’t too bad considering its not too old and was a whole relaunch ago. Another major DC crossover from years past, Blackest Night also gets a cheap reprint at 153 selling over 13.4k. Again a decent result for something that’s not that old and was a major hit back in the day.
Another decent landing for BOOM’s big Buffy crossover Hellmouth which sells over 13.5k at 150 for the second issue. This mini is essentially the main story featuring both Buffy and Angel while their normal books deal with the side characters left behind. Curiously Buffy is still selling 3k more at 130 but the franchise as a whole is doing great compared to the latter Dark Horse Days.
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Ray: This doesn’t seem to have gotten the big buzz for the franchise they were hoping for. It reminds me a little of the reception of Dead No More, where the event miniseries itself got lost in the shuffle.
Glenn: Another real solid result for a new BOOM book in the form of Heartbeat at 153 selling over 12.9k which while it isn’t the runaway successes of Once and Future or Something Is Killing The Children it is worlds and above where the publisher was only a year ago. This book doesn’t have the names that the other two books have so this is even more impressive. Although they’re not scaring off Marvel or DC yet, BOOM has probably made the most headway of any company this year.
Ray: Maria Llovet is very much a cult creator and this is a breakout for her coming from indie comics, so I’d say it’s still a pretty impressive hit for them.
Glenn: Valiant comics delivers Rai at 160 selling over 12.3k which at the upper end of their standard range probably due to the fact that it has known workman Dan Abbott’s name on the cover. Apart from a surprise hit here and there, Valiant are the very definition of established and steady.
Ray: This launched directly out of their event miniseries Fallen World and has the same creative team, so I think retailers ordered more cautiously since they knew the general level.
Glenn: At 162 is a dollar comics for Infinite Crisis which is so many relaunches ago, I lost count. This one isn’t looked too favorably on with hindside so its probably ordered for anyone picking up the Dark Tales one shot who might be curious who didn’t read it back in the day. It sells over 12.2k which is all still bonus numbers for DC.
At 167 is a Giant edition of Super Hero Girls, the cartoon series featuring a large array of female teen versions of DC heroes in high school. Its a fixed audiance that is definitely not primarily in the main market and will do wonders other places but all things considered, sales over 11.8k aren’t too shabby.
Ray: This property rebooted itself for the new cartoon and the current version is sort of controversial, so I think that might have kept this issue from breaking out as well.
Glenn: Your random metal band comic of the month is KISS zombies selling over 11.4k at 172. Its zombies and KISS so…I guess this is what these two things sell when you smoosh them together?
Ray: The Rocking Dead?
Glenn: Boooooo! Don’t make me replace you with Donny Cates mister!
Another DC giant for kids show Teen Titans Go at 176 selling over 10.7k. Everything I said about Super Hero Girls applies here except Teen Titans Go seems to be aimed at a younger audience.
Iffy sales for the debut of Olympia at 185 selling over 10.3k but this is a very personal story for the creator which may not resonate. Its also a super hero comic by and large and people don’t go to Image for that type of thing. I hear its very good so it might sell well in collections.
Ray: Curt Pires isn’t a big name yet, and Kieron Gillen said a while back that anything over 10K for a non-name creator is considered a hit at Image. This is a five-issue miniseries and a passion project, so hopefully it’ll find a bigger audience in trade.
Glenn: We get to the end of one of Marvel’s longest ongoings in recent memory with Unbeatable Squirrel Girl which caps off at issue 50 selling over 10.2k. These aren’t great sales obviously but this book clearly had success somewhere to stay around this long so kudos to the creative team in the regards.
Ray: Much like Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, it must have done 95% of its sales elsewhere to last this long. It’s just a shame Marvel isn’t as aggressive at seeking out this alternate audience like Boom and DC are.
Glenn: Dollar comic edition of Luthor 1, the start of the prestige mini by Azzarello and Bermejo from like 12 or 13 years ago. Its good for another 9.9k at 188 in sales which isn’t too bad considering DC recently reprinted this and their pseudo follow up, Joker under the Black Label line as trades not too long ago.
At 190 is the newest one shot in the brilliant Locke and Key universe, Dog Days which sells over 9.8k at 190. This series never sells what it deserves but look for money to come its way like a tidal wave when the Netflix series hits in Feb 2020.
About standard far for Star Trek comics in terms of the prequel to upcoming CBS On Demand original series Picard at 192 selling over 9.6k. I think the show will be a huge hit but Trek comics have always been a bit of a miss in terms of success.
Ray: This one seems to have direct plot lead-in for the CBS All Access show, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see heavy reorders once it launches.
Glenn: Not to be confused with BOOM’s Heartbeat, Image’s Heart Attack debuts at 196 selling over 9.6k. It sells a little less than most Image’s debuts have been doing as standard recently most likely cause its a super hero book and once again that is most likely the weakest part in Image’s line apart from Spawn.
Ray: No name creator here and a concept that seems oddly similar to a lot of books recently, so I’m not thinking this had much to drive first issue sales. If it gets buzz as the series goes on, we could see some reorders.
Glenn: At 199 we have the second issue of Dead Eyes selling over 9.4k. Look for sales to boost up on this one once the new content starts up but in the meantime this is just full priced reprints of a very recent book so its grand.
At 200 is a new comic for the Magicians tying into the cult TV series selling over 9.4k which along the lines of the BOOM of old. This is something for hardcore fans of the show most likely.
Ray: This series has a lot of fans and a major creator on board in Lilah Sturges, but Boom has been putting out OGNs with these characters for a while and the audience is likely more in that market.
Glenn: We go to 218 for the next book of note, another BOOM offering reminiscent of their old days in B B Free selling over 8.1k. Not sure how this missed the wave of success BOOM is experiencing right now, All I can think of is that it got lost in the shuffle.
Ray: The only previous comic work of the writer, Gabby Rivera, was the short-lived America series at Marvel. This is a clever book with an inventive world, but it’s not the type to have good sales in the direct market.
Glenn: A new Rick and Morty at 221 with Unity selling over 8k. These books apparently do gangbusters in collections and are the main bread and butter for Oni in the direct market. Something is working somewhere.
Gen Lock is an animated series of some sort that randomly DC are putting out a comic in relation to. It sells over 7.9k at 223, its odd to see DC putting out a book like this but I would presume hey’re continuing to try and diversify their options as a publisher. I’m not sure how popular the show is but I assume this will do better in collections for fans of said show.
Ray: This one isn’t as popular as its sister series RWBY, but it still has a loyal audience for its webseries. I think most of these are going to be sold in other markets. It does sell another 5.6K at #265 for its cardstock cover.
Glenn: At 230 is Black Hammer 3 for $1 which reprints three first issues from various Black Hammer mini’s for a dollar. A great way to get new fans hooked on the brilliant universe that sells over 7.5k
At 234 we have Black Stars Above, a new Vault comic which sells over 7,3k. Much like BOOM, Vault has had some break out hits recently but this is more along the lines of their standard level. They’re getting there though.

Ray: This is a Lonnie Nadler period piece supernatural drama set in the Canadian north, so I don’t think it’s exactly a concept that will get immediate sales attention. But it got great reviews and feels like another feather in Vault’s cap as they assemble an impressive lineup.

We make fun of it, but Red Giant Entertainment actually seems to have a legit hit on their hands in White Widow, which sells just under 7K at #244. Sure, it’s a sexy lady boobie comic, but this is impressive for a new publisher I’ve never heard of before this book.
A new Crow series launches from IDW at #248, as Crow: Hark the Herald sells 6.8K. This was penned by Tim Seeley and seems to be a reboot of sorts, which probably boosted its sales.
#250 has the second issue of Money Shot from Vault, selling 6.7K. That’s well above the sales of a usual second issue from the company and the second-highest Vault book of the month. This is every bit the breakout it looked like last month.
Glenn: They just announced more Money Shot (errrr) so Vault must be very pleased, as they should be!
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Ray: #253 has the latest oversized reprint from Marvel, Marvel Tales: Doctor Strange, selling 6.3K. Free sales, but this isn’t the character who would get the most sales.
Some holiday specials in these parts, with the Doctor Who 13th Holiday Special from Titan selling 6.1K at #254, followed two spots later by the My Little Pony Holiday Special selling just under 6K.
Glenn: Titan marketed the Who book as them doing the Christmas Special that BBC doesn’t any more. I wonder if we might get a relaunch to coincide with the new series that starts in a few days.
Ray: The hit IDW all-ages miniseries Canto wraps up its run at #258 with sales of 5.9K, an impressive showing for the company. A second round has already been greenlit by the same creative team, one of the few IDW creator-owned books to get a return engagement.
#263 brings a new Dark Horse creator-owned series, Crone, better described as “Old Woman Sonja”. It sells 5.6K, showing that this company still has trouble launching new creator-owned comics not by Lemire.
Glenn: Image, BOOM and even Vault are showing off as better prospects these days for creators. It’s weird times for Dark Horse.
Ray: At #266 is the launch of Big Hero 6: The Series, selling 5.5K. This book had a lot going against it – long wait between the movie and the comic, lack of buzz for the animated series it spins out of (unlike Tangled: The Series), and a very public spat between the company and creator Hannah Blumenreich. The second issue did not ship in December, so I’m guessing this series’ future isn’t bright.
Glenn: I would say they’re looking for a new writer for starters. I’m sure most people don’t even consider this a comic based property to start with and treat it like every other Disney spin off that is long past the corresponding movie’s release date.
Ray: 5.2K in reorders for the finale of DCeased at #273, proving there’s still life in this undead horror book. The spin-off, The Unkillables, should be huge when it launches early next year.
The latest Frozen miniseries from Dark Horse, True Treasure, launches with 5.1K in sales. This one’s a direct prequel to the new movie, but these comics always don’t do too much in single issues.
Another new Vault launch, Heist: How to Steal a Planet, debuts with 5.1K in sales at #278. This one didn’t catch on despite a major creator in Paul Tobin, and I wonder if it’s because the concept is so similar to other recent launches like Space Bandits.
A spinoff series to the Hellboy franchise, Witchfinder, subtitled Reign of Darkness, launches a new mini from Dark Horse at #279, selling 5K. This is one of the things that keeps the company afloat.
We’ve got some reorders here, with Spawn #300 and the first issues of Marauders and Excalibur each selling about 5K more this month.
The recent Addams Family animated film gets a spin-off comic, The Bodies Issue, from IDW and writer Zoe Quinn at #286. It sells 4.8K, in line with their animated spinoffs.
Glenn: It might do okay elsewhere but the movie seems to have come and gone with little fanfare.
Ray: Red 5 Comics launches a new sexy lady book, but this one’s a sexy cyborg lady book titled Machine Girl! It sells 4.8K at #287.
Glenn: ‘She’s definitely upgraded her enhancements’. I feel dirty now.
Ray: Speaking of sexy ladies, it’s that time of year – Grimm Fairy Tales 2019 Holiday Special sells 4.7K at #289. Tis the season for Rachel Bloom songs, Glenn!
Glenn: Just started Crazy Ex Girlfriend Series 4, thinking of that makes me happier than anything Zenescope related.
Ray: We’ve had a lot of new company launches lately, and next up is a publisher titled Stranger Comics. They launch with a comic titled Niobe: She is Death at #293, selling 4.6K. This is cowritten by teen star Amandla Stenberg, so that probably helped, but a lot of new publishers get lost in the shuffle.
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Glenn: Not bad for a new publisher at all, the name of the lass I’ve never heard of helped I would say quite a bit. I’m sure the company will be thrilled.
Ray: At #296 is the latest Archie mini-digest – Archie & Friends: Travel, selling 4.5K. These are just repurposed original stories from the digest with a specific theme, so any sales are a win for the company.
Hey, there’s Zombie Tramp at #299! She barely outsells the third issue of The Plot at #300. The 300 line is about 4.4K in sales as we exit the normal range and enter the zone of terror…
Glenn: Not the zone of terror! Save me Zombie Tramp!
Ray: Black Mask seems to be winding down production and is one of the easy favorites among the smaller publishers to close up shop in 2020, with the number of series they’ve cancelled and folded into trades to no small amount of anger. Despite that, they manage to launch one new series at #304, the sci-fi punk rock action series Space Riders: Vortex of Darkness, which sells just under 4.3K.
Glenn: They’ve been on life support a good bit now, its a shame they showed promise when they started out but I think invested in some poor properties.
Ray: House of X is still going strong, getting an additional 4K in reorders long after the series has ended down at #308. There are also 3.6K in reorders for Powers of X #1 at #321
At #313 is Robyn Hood: Vigilante, the sexy lady take on the classic Sherwood Forest hero for Zenoscope. 3.7K readers apparently want this.
Glenn: This version has been going for some time, she’s probably one of the companies core characters. I think a modern day take on Robin Hood (especially a female) would be great but not from this company.
Ray: Mad Cave Studios, which hasn’t quite broken out with a signature book yet, launches the assassin comic RV9 at #314. Selling 3.7K, it’s less of a cheesecake comic than the title indicates but hasn’t really caught much buzz.
Selling 3.6K at #318 is the LCSD variant for Super Dinosaur #1. This is one of Kirkman’s less-known books, but I think the Amazon TV series is giving it some new life.
Glenn: First I’ve heard of this Amazon series. Give me Invincible already!
Ray: At #325, we have the conclusion of Curse Words, which sells 3.4K. That’s a lot lower than I would have expected for a creator-owned book by a prominent writer like Soule with a lot of positive buzz, and it makes me wonder if Image as a whole is struggling. But this will be successful in trade, no doubt.
Glenn: Image has had a nightmare of a year, we’ll talk more on Rabbitt Stew about it but Undiscovered Country really saved their bacon from 2019 being a near complete disaster.
Ray: #326 brings us the Grimm Fairy Tales 2019 Armed Forces Appreciation comic. I’m sure our troops are honored by 3.4K in sales for a comic with a sexy lady bursting out of her non-regulation Army uniform on the cover.
Glenn: Non-regulation?! This required a very strongly worded letter. ‘Dear Charles Soule…’
Ray: It’s a big gap to the next #1, which is GLOW vs. the Babyface. The next short miniseries based on the Netflix hit sells 3K at #334.
Glenn: This is one of Netflix’s more cult hits so I doubt many fans are that interested in stories outside the core show. Interestingly enough, this is co-written by former WWE wrestler AJ Brooks (AJ Lee) and actress Aimee Garcia.
Ray: #338 brings us a hundred-page giant for Dungeons & Dragons: Baldur’s Gate, selling just under 3K. This is only $5.99, so I assume much of it is reprinted content. This is definitely one of IDW’s more niche properties.
Glenn: D and D is facing something of a rejuvenation lately so this might do well in gaming stores.
Ray: At #344 is the launch of Dragonfly and Dragonflyman, a spin-off from Wrong Earth from Ahoy Comics. It sells 2.5K, way down from the book’s launch but still the easy class of the line.
Souce Point Press launched a lot of new horror minis and one-shots this month, starting with Touching Evil at #345. This thriller about a woman who gains a death touch from a mysterious prisoner sells 2.5K.
The new Scout Comics future thriller Wretches debuts at #349 with sales of 2.4K. This one kind of got lost in the shuffle.
Archie relaunches one of their more obscure properties with Cosmo the Mighty Martian, selling 2.4K at #350. It has Sonic writer Ian Flynn writing, but the property just has no profile today,
Glenn: First I’ve heard of it to be honest. Isn’t there a Cosmo in the Marvel universe whose a dog? I know there’s an inept super hero who’s overdue for a return.
Ray: Another Source Point book, the afterlife-set thriller Misplaced, sells 2.4K at #351. This is a strange, artistic book that feels like it could get some buzz, but retailers didn’t really invest big early.
Glenn: Source point is getting some traction but not enough to still be largely overlooked. Perhaps their back catalog will find an audience as they continue their slow but steady growth.
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Ray: Remember Alterna? I ‘member! They have a new book out, Void Walker, which sells 2.3K at #355 for a concept that can best be described as “White Spawn”.
Glenn: Well if its something we definitely need as an audience, its more white variants of minority heroes.
Ray: Reorders for some hot titles, as both Basketful of Heads #1 and Something is Killing the Children #1 get 2.2 – 2.3K in reorders down here.
The popular Shades of Magic series gets another comic book adaptation, selling 2.1K from Titan down at #362.
It’s mostly reorders down here, including New Mutants: War Children, House of X #4, and others until we get to #366. There we see the debut of Ogres, the sequel series to Bob Salley’s fantasy adventure from Source Point. It sells 2.1K, likely treated more like the next issue than a new series by retailers.
IDW sells 2K of a Marvel Action: Ant-Man digest at #368. Low sales, but then it is Ant-Man and is likely just there to promote the movies.
Glenn: It’ll also sell better elsewhere. If our thinking is right, Ray and Cassie gets suited up in Ant-Man 3 I could see her comics being popular with young girls outside the direct market which would be awesome.
Ray: The latest of Scout’s new Nonstop! line, the superhero satire Last Stop, sells just over 2K at #372. It doesn’t feel like any of these books in the new format have caught on.
An odd case, as one of Mad Cave Studios’ December books, the wrestling crime drama Over the Ropes, gets a preview for LCSD and sells 1.8K for that edition at #382. That should boost the overall sales of the series when we see how it does next month.
Glenn: This one sounds great, I hope it catches on.
Ray: Hey, it’s almost 1.7K in reorders at #386 for the black bag variant cover of Money Shot #1! Tim Seeley is rolling in the dough for this one. Let’s hope he doesn’t use it to purchase Slug Monster Porn.
Glenn: Please, a writer of Seeley’s notoriety has standards. He’s all for Snail Monster Porn all the way.
Ray: At #387 is the launch of a new Minions series by Titan, selling 1.6K. This book is not meant for the direct market, but it is meant for BANANA!
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Glenn: Don’t let them near any super expensive (also: stupid) art exhibits.
Ray: At #388 we have the launch of a new comic from Antarctic called Dog Eaters, followed immediately by “Vark Wars” from Dave Sim’s company. Both sell 1.6K and are completely non-problematic in every way, I’m sure.
After a bunch of reorders, we get the second issue of Craig Thompson’s Ginseng Roots at #397, selling 1.6K. This is a new company focusing on stand-alone or quarterly titles by cartoonists, and while it hasn’t exploded in sales yet, it feels like it could grow fast as these books get buzz.
Glenn: Thompson’s name should be good for the collection market if nothing else.
Ray: Some niche titles launch around the 400 mark, with the next installment of the Rivers of London series from Titan at #400 followed immediately by the latest Carpenter Tales one-shot, Redhead. Both sell 1.5K in this packed marketplace.

Glenn: At this level its mostly reorder city until we get to 413 and Casper’s Classic Christmas which sells over 1,2k at 413. At this point I’m betting its nostalgic parents buying their kids Casper comics and explaining about how, once upon a time, a friendly ghost was cool and them thinking their parent has lost it.

A very small press company, Uncivilized releases a Jack Kirby bio comic in ‘For Real‘ at 414 which is priced at $6 but sells over 1.2k. Kirby is of course one of the most legendary comic creators ever and his life story in as fascinating as any of his character origins but this seems very much like a specialist item. It’s a labor of love by the creator and may pick up steam once its collected and becomes very well thought of critically.

Ray: This is from the same company as Ginseng Roots, and they launched their first fiction series Breathers in December. They put out oversized books aimed at the indie comics market, so this one should be interesting.

Glenn: At 421 we have the first issue of Badass from Antartic Press which sells over 1.1k. Unknown creator and a small publisher is exactly what delivers a sales results like this.

I’m more surprised by the sales of the second issue of Vampire State building at 422 which drops hugely to selling over 1.1k at 422. This is the Charlie Adlard that took me and Ray by surprise with its strong debut last month. This publisher is so new and so small that this is likely the best they can do despite having Adlard on board. We’ll have to see if they can weather the rough waters of starting fresh and end up on the other side.

Ray: That’s a gigantic drop of over 95% from its first issue sales. The first issue sales were incredible, but I guess it was almost all down to the covers and hype. That’s got to be a massive disappointment for the people involved and the company. Wow.

Glenn: From Cave Pictures Publishing *shrugs* is Shapes an all ages type deal by Jason Brubaker (no relation I’m assuming to Ed) and Rekedel with art by the former of the two. This sells over 1.1k at 423. I’ve never heard of this publisher or these creators so they’re probably thrilled to make it into the top 500 at all.

Ray: This month saw a lot of creator-owned books from small press with no real hype or names behind them. This is what I mean when I talk about “peak comics” and the way many books never get a second look because of the cavalcade of material.

Glenn: The remains of the Edgar Rice Burrows properties that Marvel didn’t scoop up are alive and…not well? Is that a thing? At 429 for Monster Men: Soul Of Bast which sells over 1k from American Mythology. Unless its Marvel or maybe Dark Horse, I doubt many people are interested in what Burrows properties crop up in comic form.

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Ray: My favorite part of this fantastically titled book is that it teases a modern-day sequel to its Visgoth-themed thriller.

Glenn: Keenspot pop up at 432 for Ruwans which sells over 1k. Small publisher, unknown creators, you guys know the story by now.

Ray: This title had some weird, massive delays and apparently just reprinted the first issues to catch people up on this comic about a little girl who gets eaten by a demon and then becomes a demon. The delays were so long, when it first came out Antarctica wasn’t associated with any bad elements yet!

Glenn: Source Point usually averages a little higher than around this are but a one shot which is the first of a series of one shot (why not bundle it as a Crypt Keeper mini some idiot writing an article asked) called Goth: Young Lovers At War sells 971 copies at 437. This is horror too so on paper this should have at least done four digits so not sure what went wrong.

A local comic shop day treasury edition of Invader Zim sells 891 copies at 440 but its priced at 14.99 so I assume its more like a graphic novel? Zim is a cartoon with a very sparce cult following so with this price I’m not sure what else could have been expected.

In a similar vein, Lion Force offers a 9.99 one shot at 443 for Catalyst Prime which sells 854 copies. Its odd since this seems like a format aimed outside the direct market but literally is an edition aimed at comic shops.

Full Moon Comix *shrugs* offers a one shot horror comic in Deadly Ten Presents Necropolis Legion. I tried saying the title ten times fast and lost consciousness, this has been your By The Numbers safety warning. This is an adaption of a script written by the Puppetmaster scribe (good lord) Shawn Gabborin selling 811 copies at 449. Kids ask your parents about Puppetmaster and when they don’t know, just get them to Google it.

At 454 is Apex Predator Cavewoman, more booby comics selling poorly because we’re not all 12 years old. It sells 811 copies.

Antartic Press is back again with a decent horror comic Teether at 459 selling 706 copies but this seems like a republish of an old series so this is small press selling us old comics too I guess? The second issue is here too at 491 selling 498 copies which maybe the closest we’ve ever gotten to the comic selling the same number of units as its sales number so…yay?

This is the land of tiny reorders and small selling indies until we finish at last with 500 selling 472 which is the fourth issue of Boston Metaphysical Society. Considering the entry unit level is so low this may be their first and last time on the charts so grant them a hearty wave. This sales here at the bottom are really low compared to the last few months, really poor month overall.

Ray: This is one of Source Point’s few ongoings, and it’s struggled to maintain momentum. They do better with one-shots and short minis. 

Looking ahead, the last month of the year saved the biggest for last! DC in particular is hitting us with a wave of Black Label books, including the conclusion of Doomsday Clock and Last Knight on Earth, the launch of Daniel Warren Johnson’s Wonder Woman: Dead Earth, and the latest installment in the Dark Knight Returns continuity. There’s also a new main line event in Hell Arisen, as Luthor and the Batman Who Laughs go to war, a new Suicide Squad relaunch by Tom Taylor, the third Hill House book, more Infected and Year of the Villain one-shots, the last Tales from the Dark Multiverse, and the mic-drop of Tom King on Batman.
Marvel won’t be upstaged, starting with the giant-sized one-shot Incoming, which sets up the company’s next event. Also look for more Annihilation and 2099, new titles for Dr. Strange, Spider-Ham, and Cosmic Ghost Rider, more Symbiote Spider-Man, and the conclusion of the first cycle of Marvel Star Wars books. Plus, Jason Aaron mic-drops on his Thor run.
Over at Image, we’ll see how a Mark Millar book does when no one knows what it is – Project X-Mas, now revealed as American Jesus 2. We’re also getting the dark superhero plague thriller 20xx from Jonathan Luna and Lauren Keely, new Hardcore and Old Guard minis, and the PR nightmare that is Lucy Claire: Redemption. Boom launches Jeremy Haun’s Red Mother and a big-stakes TMNT/Power Rangers crossover, plus we get more Klaus. And IDW delivers a new original Joe Hill comic in “Dying is Easy“.
What will rise? What will fall? Find out next month on By the Numbers!
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Underrated: The Highest House

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week:  The Highest House

I had picked this book up prior to going on vacation to read on the plane at the suggestion of my LCS, but never actually got around to reading the book while I was away. Thankfully, I found I had the time this week and decided to sit down and start reading the book in between devouring Andrej Sapkowski’s The Witcher novels. 

I don’t say this lightly, but The Highest House is one of those books you give to people who don’t like comics, or don’t read comics, to show them what the medium can do. Its impact isn’t only felt in the story, but rather that you don’t need to be aware of decades of tropes and nuances to get the most from the book. This is just a really moving and powerful story about change and overcoming the shit life throws at you in order to rise above and become the best version of yourself.

Written by Mike Carey and illustrated by Peter Gross, the trade paperback set me back $30 Canadian, and is worth each and every penny that I paid for it. Without revealing too much about the story, this won’t be the longest column, but I want you to go in blind – just like I did. 

Because this book is worth it.

I usually end this column with a recommendation to check out the book or series or movie in question, but I genuinely can’t recommend this graphic novel to you highly enough If you don’t grab this with both hands when you see then you’ll miss an Underrated gem.

Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

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