Tag Archives: my friend dahmer

Investigating Informational Comics Part 1: The US Government, World War II and Post-War era

For the past nine years I’ve taught high school English.  And–more important to this article and Graphic Policy’s focus in particular–for the last three years I’ve taught a graphic novel class that I created.  (See here and here for past writings on that experience).

Throughout that time, whenever I’ve seen students read graphic novels in either class, (they read Maus in connection with Night in the non-graphic novel classroom), I saw greater student engagement, greater understanding, and greater confidence from all students.  This was true of fictional comics, but I found that it was truer for nonfiction comics, informative comics.

Students don’t like to read textbooks, complex articles, big biographies and the like: but they would gobble up graphic novels about these same topics. 

Some preferred the dark My Friend Dahmer.

my friend dahmer

Others steered towards comics that were more positive and empowering, like Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World;

brazen gn

and others chose some more theoretical work that made it easier to understand abstract ideas like Logicomix.

logicomix

This interest in informational comics, along with my interest in history, led me to create my own informational comic about the Standard of Ur (found here).  Here’s a short preview of one page.  Yes, it’s not drawn the best–I’m a pro writer and an amateur artist (which shouldn’t be a bad thing, to pursue something for passion, not pay)–but there is some intriguing info here and some innovative designs that make it worth checking out this and the other pages.

standard of ur p 1

The more and more I saw this trend of love for nonfiction comics from my students, and a rising love in myself, the more I wanted to know about this genre within the medium. Sure, I’d read a few bios here, a few memoirs there (something I’m not going to tackle in this series unless there’s a significant amount of information presented). But I hadn’t jumped into informational comics the way I dove and swam through super hero comics, the way I took leaps of faith by following certain creators from project-to-project, from publisher-to-publisher.

I took that plunge, though, and ended up loving informational comics.  More importantly, I came to this realization, the subject of this post: Informational comics have existed for most of comics’ history, and their unique evolution has increased their appeal and audience in a way that other genres of comics haven’t.  

Before we begin our historical journey, though, there are a few important details to note:

  • Even though I am a history major (and English teacher–I try not to limit myself into one field, which might be why I don’t like to limit myself to one genre), I don’t know the whole story.  Even though I’ve done research for this article and paired that with my own background knowledge and historical academics, I am sure I’m missing part of the story.  So–in the comments section–if you note an error, a missing piece that needs to be added, or details that should be downplayed or played up: please let me know.  We’re all learning on this planet and respectful interactions like that help all of us, right?
i read the comments meme
  • Secondly, while political and propaganda comics were around earlier and more frequently (generally speaking) than informational comics, I’m going to start with the rise of informational comics in the US and only touch on propaganda comics of that time period for proper context. This isn’t too downplay any works focusing on the earlier, political and propaganda pieces: it’s just to have a clear boundary to avoid my tendency to digress. These are some examples of what you’re missing out on given those self-imposed guidelines:
punch1
cartoon-book-1918
boston_massacre_s3

Instead, I am going to focus on the first big surge of informational comics in the US, a surge that coincided with World War II and government-backed comics. Seeing the previous use of comics for propaganda–especially in World War I, comics which were partially collected in the above Cartoon Book by the US government–the US government decided to pursue that path again.

But this time they didn’t just use comics for propaganda: they used them to inform their citizens–at home, in basic training, and abroad.  And this time, they brought some of the most popular comics artists of the time to help them create these comics.

Primarily, they were used to inform military members proper procedure, smart tactics, health prevention, and equipment maintenance.   This could cover the simple message–like this comic by Al Avison, co-creator of the Whizzer and noted Captain America artist, from Military Courtesy on how to salute:

gov comics how to salute

It could cover more complex scenarios of life and death–like this comic about bomb safety procedures from Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon creator Milton Caniff:

gov comics bomb control Milton Caniff

Dealing with explosives was a common thread among military comics, and this next example shows a similar content–

gov comics a dud bomb comic

–with a very different artistic style, opting for a more cartoonish and humorous approach (artist credit not found on site I obtained this image):

Others could cover strategic insights that would need to be acted on by instinct when in combat–

gov comics how to spot a jap milton caniff yeah its racist

–like this other piece by Milton Caniff, that has some dated, loaded language. Comics and other media of course were subject to prejudices of the time, reflected in language and stereotypical images.  This was true for all comics, not just military and government funded ones: Walt and Skeezix, great in many other ways, had the stereotypical large lips and noses that artists used to portray African Americans.

Some supported health education, especially new health concerns inherent in that new environment or inherent in activities soldiers commonly do overseas–

–like this cartoon by Arthur Szyk about the dangers of venereal disease and prevention options:

gov comics vd prevention

Even Dr. Seuss jumped on this health bandwagon, although the “comics” he created are more similar to the formats of children books made by him and others like him:

seus gov comics malaria
seus gov comics mosquito

Most of these above comics are pretty boring and straightforward, but many comics of the time created salacious narratives out of their informational agendas.  Some added sexy images (that have since been limited and removed from contemporary military comics) and some added action and humor to engage the soldiers reading the piece, thinking that more excitement would lead to better education.

As a teacher, I’ve found this to be generally true, but–honestly–sometimes work ethic matters more.  That being said, this approach was successful, as seen by characters like Tex Lane–a comic only circulated on the Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska it was created, offering more of a unique and personable approach to its readers:

gov comics tex lane aircraft accidents

And, yes, sometimes these comics mixed the information with some patriotic propaganda–like Charles Biro, creator of Airboy did with this comic about a payroll savings plan, making citizens save smarter for the long haul of the war.  The left two panels push the patriotic agenda heavily and the last panel offers some informational guidance to balance it:

gov comics propaganda mixed with informative Charles Biro creator of Airboy

Sometimes, due to the patriotic appeal taken precedence (and a desire for stronger images), comics would inform in a less direct, more implied way, instead of explicitly offering information like the above ones do.  One such example of this type of comic is from Robert Osborn, showing (without telling) the proper technique to save a fellow soldier from drowning:

gov comics robert osborn propaganda informative mix

And, of course there were comics that were purely for propaganda, like this one by industry great Harvey Kurtzman:

gov comics pure propaganda Harvey Kurtzman

The government even reached out to Marvel and DC comics for help pushing this patriotism, because–after all–who’s more patriotic than Captain America, Wonder Woman, and Superman? And who can so no to that appeal, especially when the creators of these icons were involved, like Siegel and Shuster were in the image below?

gov comics air force enlists comic aid
gov comics superman propaganda

I briefly touch on this propaganda for a few reasons:

  1. To remind us that it still existed and was probably the biggest type of government-funded comics during this era.  While it’s not my focus for this piece, it would be less than honest to give this proper context.
  2. To show that sometimes  propaganda and informational purposes mix.
  3. And to transition into this last example, a piece of propaganda by an artist that would go on to have a drastic impact on military informational comics.

Private Will Eisner, famed creator of The Spirit and, later, A Contract with God arrived at his boot camp in 1942, where he was enlisted to create comics.

gov comics joe dope part propaganda precursor to PS
gov comics joe dope sand in tank PS precursor

Some of his earliest military comics work was for Army Motorsoften starring Joe Dope, a soldier who suffers for not following proper procedure (thus showing the procedure that should be followed and the reasons for following it).

After World War II, Eisner would be responsible for one of the military’s biggest pushes into informational comics.  This time he wasn’t enlisted, though, having left the military to start American Visuals Corporation. AVC was soon contacted to produce PS, the Preventative Maintenance Monthly, the comic that rose from Army Motors’ ashes in 1951.

ps 1

PS–a postscript of sorts for other technical manuals and preventative maintenance guides published by the military–used comics to once again inform the everyman in the military.  Comics showed soldiers how to properly take care of equipment and prevent equipment failures that would be costly, both in bucks and bodies.  And Joe Dope was back to help instruct as the, well, Dope who did everything wrong.

ps infographic

PS often used infographics (infographics being one of the most widely used ways that comics can deliver information clearly and concisely) like the one above.  As many comics and other media of the time period, women were portrayed in a sexualized way to grip the interest of the males reading the comic. Of course that still applies to media today, but PS has moved away from portraying women in this way.

comic burning newspaper

Part of what makes this move so surprising, is that PS was gaining steam just as comics in America were blazing out: Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent and Congressional Committees were portraying comics as corrupters of youth, leading to laws against comics, comic burnings, and the Comics Code Authority.  (All that’s a story for another time, though). Simply put, as many times in the past, the government fought against a media at the same time it was co-opting it for its own purposes.

more comic burnings
PS promo

Not only did PS stick around through the Comic Scare, it has stuck around to today.  Like many paper periodicals, though, it has gone digital. The 771st issue (November, 2017) was the last print copy.  But soldiers can still read comics that inform and entertain them on the PS magazine app, available on smartphones.  The evolution of PS is a story for another article, though.

Before we leave our first foray into informational comics, specifically government-backed informational comics, there is one more topic to cover: government comics that were created outside of the military, available and intended for all citizens.  Seeing the success of the military comics, the US government decided to distribute comics on a bunch of other issues of national concern: health, education, safety, and more.

Smokey Bear (not Smokey the Bear, as he is commonly misidentified) was one of the first public-funded comic characters created, helping spread a message against forest fires that still resonates with today’s citizens, albeit in a different way and for different reasons.  The above slogan–the most familiar to Americans–was created in 1947, but Smokey Bear was created in 1944 by artist Albert Staehle and writer Harold Rosenberg. He was created for a U.S. Forest Service ad campaign and became the longest running PSA character and campaign.

smokey bear ad
youth you supervise comic

Like military comics, the government continued these educational comics even in the midst of the comic scare amplified by Wertham. Trying to help anyone working with adolescents and children–educators, coaches, and parents for instance–the government created a manual that offered comic advice. “The Youth You Supervise” was released in 1954, and, like many military comics, it drew on established comic creators and figures, featuring Al Capp’s Li’l Abner.

blondie mental health comic cover
blondie mental helath comic strip

Most of our focus in this article has been on comics from the federal government, but states jumped on this bandwagon too.  The New York State Department of Health, under the Department of Mental Hygiene, published a comic that focused on tips to maintain positive mental health.  Like with Li’l Abner, they decided to use a popular comic strip character: Blondie and Dagwood.

johnny gets the word splash intro page

The Health Services Administration in the Department of Health in New York also made comics about sexual health a priority, as seen in the Health Department’s comic “Johnny Gets the Word”, published in 1957.  The “word”, in this case, is syphilis. And STDs in general were tackled in infographics like the one below:

johnny gets the word infographic

The sexual nature of this comic–including discussing that teenagers might have mutliple sexual partners–marks a controversial topic that Wertham might have campaigned against; maybe Wertham was more concerned with superhero comics and EC comics, comics that were marketed towards children and made a profit.

PS may 2004 harry potteresque cover

After an onslaught of military comics, the government had decided to use comics for other purposes, a use that would only continue to expand.  And it would expand outside of government: Marvel and DC would join the game, using superheroes to educate their readers; traditional book publishers would also get on the board, giving rise to biographies and other traditional nonfiction graphic novels.  But those are stories for future installments.

A preview of some of those comics that will be studied in future installments.  Note: they don’t represent my views (I was never a fan of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for instance).


CJ Standal is a writer and self-publisher.  He is co-creator of Rebirth of the Gangster, which has been featured in Alterna Comics’ 2017 IF Anthology; he has lettered the webcomic Henshin Man; and he has written for online sites like Graphic Policy and the now-defunct Slant.  Follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@cj_standal), Facebook, and visit his website: cjstandalproductions.com.


Bibliography

Campbell, Colin. “World War II-Era U.S. Army Comics on Display at Baltimore Museum.”

Military.com, The Baltimore Sun, 2019, www.military.com/off-duty/off-beat/2017/03/06/ world-war-ii-era-us-army-comics-display-baltimore-museum.html.

“Don’t Be a Dope! Training Comics from World War II to the Korean War.” Pritzker

Military Museum & Library Chicago, Pritzker Military Museum & Library, 2019, www.pritzkermilitary.org/explore/museum/past-exhibits/dont-be-dope- training-comics-world-war-ii-and-korea/.

“PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Feb. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS,_The_Preventive_Maintenance_Monthly.

Sergi, Joe. “Tales From the Code: Welcome to Government Comics.” Comic Book Legal

 Defense Fund, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, 12 December 2012, 2019, cbldf.org/2012/12/tales-from-the-code- welcome-to-government-comics/.

Sergi, Joe. “1948: The Year Comics Met Their Match.” Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, 12 June 2012, 2019, cbldf.org/2012/06/ 1948-the-year-comics-met-their-match/.

“Smokey Bear.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Apr. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Smokey_Bear.

Solo Slumps But Takes First Domestically While Deadpool 2 Tops the International Box Office

Solo: A Star Wars Story suffered a steep drop in its second weekend at the box office taking in an estimated $29.3 million. That’s a drop of 65.3% from its debut week and put its domestic gross at $148.9 million. The film also earned $30.3 million to bring its international total to $115.3 million and worldwide total to $264.2 million. Compared to the three other Disney Star Wars releases, Solo is far behind at the same point of their runs. After two weekends The Force Awakens had over $540 million, Rogue One was over $286 million, and The Last Jedi was over $368 million. The film isn’t even performing at the 1/3 drop we’ve seen between first and second films in the Star Wars franchise. The recent trilogy saw exactly that but Solo is about 51% of what Rogue One was at this point (and yes, we know they’re not sequels).

Deadpool 2 held steady in second place with an estimated $23.3 million. Domestically the film has earned $254.7 million after three weeks. The film took the top spot at the international box office bringing in an estimated $41.5 million which brought that total to a little over $344 million. Part of that jump at the international box office was the film’s debut in Japan where it earned $5.5 million.

In third place was the debut of Adrift which earned an estimated $11.5 million. The film also earned $350,000 at the foreign box office. The drama has a budget of $35 million and will likely match that when its run is done.

Avengers: Infinity War dropped one spot from last weekend to come in fourth. The film earned an estimated $10.4 million to bring its domestic total to $642.9 million. The film also added an estimated $24.3 million at the international box office to bring that total to $1.322 billion. Together, the film has earned $1.965 billion and is just $35 million short of topping $2 billion which would make it the fourth film to have done so. Expect that to happen in the next two weeks.

Rounding out the top five was Book Club which earned $6.8 million. The film has earned $47.3 million in total domestically so far in its run.

in other comic movie news…

Black Panther came in at #18 with $247,000 to bring its domestic total to $699.1 million. With its $646.2 million at the foreign box office the film has earned $1.345 billion so far in its run.

The Death of Stalin improved to come in at #37, up from last week’s #38. The film added $29,102 to its total to bring that to $7,943,777.

My Friend Dahmer which was released domestically in 2017 opened up in Australia where it earned $8,801 from two theaters.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive in to 2018’s comic releases.

Where the Data Ranks 2017’s (and 2018’s) Comic Book Films. Avengers: Infinity War Crosses $1 Billion While 2017 Wraps Up

Unsurprisingly Avengers: Infinity War won the weekend easily with an estimated $112.5 million a 56.4% drop from the previous weekend. That beat the second place film by almost $100 million.

Avengers: Infinity War has earned $450.8 million domestically after ten days which only paces Star Wars: The Force Awakens which did that in nine.

Internationally the film remained in first place with an estimated $162.6 million from 54 markets. The weekend brought in $275.1 million for the film which has now earned $1.16 billion worldwide.

The film’s 11 day run to $1 billion worldwide is the fastest any film has crossed the line. It’s the sixth Marvel film to cross that mark and 17th for Walt Disney Studios. 34 films have crossed $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

The film is the fifth highest grossing comic adaptation and will likely move up a spot after this week. It’s $50 million behind Iron Man 3 and $175 million behind Black Panther.

Black Panther was #7 for the week with an estimated $3.1 million. Domestically the film has earned $693.1 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $1.338 billion.

The film is still earning far more domestically than the average Marvel film with 51.79% earned versus 41.02% on average. International earnings seem to have slowed down as the percentage has increased for the domestic ever so slightly. The film is an outlier as far as that and we’ll have a deeper dive in a few weeks to see where it over performed and where it might have under performed.

The Death of Stalin improved one spot to come in at #23 for the week. The film earned $181,623 to bring its domestic total to $7.5 million.

I Kill Giants continues to be a weird one when it comes to numbers. Some more numbers have come in. In Russia, the film has earned $163,289, Ukraine, $13,599, Australia it’s $926, United Arab Emirates it’s $85,002, and United Kingdom it’s $805. All together, the film has earned a reported $263,621 at the foreign box office. No domestic numbers have been released. The movie was released on demand at the same time in theaters, so the film has made money it’s just unknown how much.

We’ll have a deeper analysis of 2018’s releases as more are released but lets do the time warp to 2017…


It looks like 2017’s films have wrapped up their earnings as no film has brought in any money over the past week. The last holdover was Thor: Ragnarok. We’ll wait one more week to see if this has completely wrapped up or not.

2017 has been a record year for comic adaptations. The films have earned $2.365 billion domestically beating the previous year’s $1.901 billion. Internationally, films have earned $3.755 billion beating the previous record of $3.215 billion set in 2014. Worldwide comic adaptations have earned $6.120 billion beating the 2016 record of $5.026 billion. “Profits” too have seen a record year with $4.442 billion versus 2016’s record of $3.812 billion.

We’ll continue to report on 2017’s statistics until all dollars are in, at least a few more weeks.

Lets compare how the big two comic companies compare for earnings. Black Panther is included, so Marvel’s totals will increase over time. On average DC films earn $317.6 million domestically while Marvel earns $333.6 million. Internationally, Marvel rules with $495.1 million and DC lags behind with $435.7 million.

2017 has had five clear successes and a whole lot of mixed otherwise. Thor: RagnarokWonder Woman, Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have done well this year. My Friend DahmerJustice LeagueKingsman: The Golden Circle, The LEGO Batman Movie and Smurfs: The Lost Village, and Atomic Blonde are in that debatable area. ValerianWilson, Ghost in the Shell, and Blade of the Immortal are generally disappointments. Marvel’s Inhumans… got no clue and tough to debate since it’s a television show primarily with a limited film engagement.

Here’s where this year’s comic films stand as far as the actual numbers. With a new film opening the averages have dipped.

Total Domestic Gross: $2.365 billion
Total International Gross: $3.755 billion
Worldwide Gross: $6.120 billion
Total Reported Budgets: $1.667 million
Total “Profit”: $4.442 billion

Average Domestic Gross: $147.8 million
Average International Gross: $268.2 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $382.5 million
Average Budget: $128.2 million
Average Profit: $254.3 million

Below is where the films released stand when it comes to being compared to this year’s averages. Those in green are above average while those below are red.

Where the Data Ranks 2017’s (and 2018’s) Comic Book Films. Avengers: Infinity War Lifts Black Panther for a Top Five Team Up

Everyone knew Avengers: Infinity War would open big but the question was, how big? We’ve got that answer with a record opening weekend. The film has opened with a record $250 million domestically which bests the previous record holder Star Wars: The Force Awaken‘s $247.9 million. The film also earned a record $630 million worldwide. Disney has a habit of underestimating these types of things, so it’s possible that number could go even higher.

Addition records include:

  • Largest single Saturday gross
  • Largest single Sunday gross
  • Largest April opening
  • Largest Spring opening
  • Widest PG-13 release
  • Fastest film to $150, $200, and $250 million

Internationally the film opened with an estimated $380 million from 72% of the international marketplace. That’s the second largest. Fate of the Furious holds the record with $442 million but it had the benefit of China which earned $185 million of that. The film will open there May 11th. It was #1 in all territories.

Infinity War received an “A” CinemaScore with audience that was 58% male and 58% over the age of 24. With this opening the 18 Marvel Cinematic Universe films has amassed nearly $15.5 billion combined.

The film is currently #28 in all time grosses for a comic adaptation.

Black Panther improved from last week’s eighth place to come in at fifth for the weekend. The film added $4.4 million to its domestic total and clearly has gotten a boost from Avengers: Infinity War. This is the first time since 2008 that Marvel has had two films in the top ten. The film is $1 million behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi to move in to ninth place for worldwide grosses of all time.

The film is still earning far more domestically than the average Marvel film with 51.68% earned versus 41.1% on average. International earnings seem to have slowed down as the percentage has increased for the domestic ever so slightly. The film is an outlier as far as that and we’ll have a deeper dive in a few weeks to see where it over performed and where it might have under performed.

The Death of Stalin held steady at #21 earning $210,478 to bring its domestic total to $7.2 million after eight weeks.. It debuted internationally last year, with controversy in Russia. It has earned $9.05 million in foreign markets. The film has passed Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and is now #141 when it comes to comic adaptation earnings.

I Kill Giants continues to be a weird one when it comes to numbers. Reported earnings are scarce. In Russia the film opened on March 29and has earned $127,713. In the United Kingdom is listed as having opened April 6th and earned $804. The film has likely earned money elsewhere, so we’ll keep digging.

We’ll have a deeper analysis of 2018’s releases as more are released but lets do the time warp to 2017…


Things have slowed down as 2017 wraps up.

Thor: Ragnarok looks to have earned a few hundred dollars and stands at $854 million. It’s the last film from 2017 that’s still earning money at the box office.

2017 has been a record year for comic adaptations. The films have earned $2.365 billion domestically beating the previous year’s $1.901 billion. Internationally, films have earned $3.755 billion beating the previous record of $3.215 billion set in 2014. Worldwide comic adaptations have earned $6.120 billion beating the 2016 record of $5.026 billion. “Profits” too have seen a record year with $4.442 billion versus 2016’s record of $3.812 billion.

We’ll continue to report on 2017’s statistics until all dollars are in, at least a few more weeks.

Lets compare how the big two comic companies compare for earnings. Black Panther is included, so Marvel’s totals will increase over time. On average DC films earn $317.6 million domestically while Marvel earns $333.6 million. Internationally, Marvel rules with $495.1 million and DC lags behind with $435.7 million.

2017 has had five clear successes and a whole lot of mixed otherwise. Thor: RagnarokWonder Woman, Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have done well this year. My Friend DahmerJustice LeagueKingsman: The Golden Circle, The LEGO Batman Movie and Smurfs: The Lost Village, and Atomic Blonde are in that debatable area. ValerianWilson, Ghost in the Shell, and Blade of the Immortal are generally disappointments. Marvel’s Inhumans… got no clue and tough to debate since it’s a television show primarily with a limited film engagement.

Here’s where this year’s comic films stand as far as the actual numbers. With a new film opening the averages have dipped.

Total Domestic Gross: $2.365 billion
Total International Gross: $3.755 billion
Worldwide Gross: $6.120 billion
Total Reported Budgets: $1.667 million
Total “Profit”: $4.442 billion

Average Domestic Gross: $147.8 million
Average International Gross: $268.2 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $382.5 million
Average Budget: $128.2 million
Average Profit: $254.3 million

Below is where the films released stand when it comes to being compared to this year’s averages. Those in green are above average while those below are red.

Where the Data Ranks 2017’s (and 2018’s) Comic Book Films. Black Panther Continues to Impress, Death of Stalin Nears $7 million

Black Panther remained in the top ten at the box office coming in at #8 this past weekend. The film dropped 19.7% over the weekend adding $4.6 million to its total. The film now stands at $681.1 million. Worldwide the film stands at $1.324 billion. The film is $8 million behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi to move in to ninth place for worldwide grosses of all time. The movie’s domestic run accounts for almost 20% of 2018’s overall box office. So, while the year is only a third of the way done, it looks like Marvel’s dominance will be the story of the year with Avengers: Infinity War likely also earning a billion dollars by the time it’s done.

The film is still earning far more domestically than the average Marvel film with 51.4% earned versus 41.1% on average. International earnings seem to have slowed down as the percentage has increased for the domestic ever so slightly. The film is an outlier as far as that and we’ll have a deeper dive in a few weeks to see where it over performed and where it might have under performed.

The Death of Stalin was #21 earning $340,216 to bring its domestic total to $6.9 million after seven weeks domestically. It debuted internationally last year, with controversy in Russia. It has also earned $9.05 million in foreign markets. The film has passed Josie and the Pussycats and Billy and Buddy and is now #142 when it comes to comic adaptation earnings.

I Kill Giants continues to be a weird one when it comes to numbers. Reported earnings are scarce. In Russia the film opened on March 29and has earned $127,713. In the United Kingdom is listed as having opened April 6th and earned $804. The film has likely earned money elsewhere, so we’ll keep digging.

We’ll have a deeper analysis of 2018’s releases as more are released but lets do the time warp to 2017…


Things have slowed down as 2017 wraps up.

Thor: Ragnarok looks to have earned a few hundred dollars and stands at $854 million. It’s the last film from 2017 that’s till earning money at the box office.

2017 has been a record year for comic adaptations. The films have earned $2.365 billion domestically beating the previous year’s $1.901 billion. Internationally, films have earned $3.755 billion beating the previous record of $3.215 billion set in 2014. Worldwide comic adaptations have earned $6.120 billion beating the 2016 record of $5.026 billion. “Profits” too have seen a record year with $4.442 billion versus 2016’s record of $3.812 billion.

We’ll continue to report on 2017’s statistics until all dollars are in, at least a few more weeks.

Lets compare how the big two comic companies compare for earnings. Black Panther is included, so Marvel’s totals will increase over time. On average DC films earn $317.6 million domestically while Marvel earns $333.6 million. Internationally, Marvel rules with $495.1 million and DC lags behind with $435.7 million.

2017 has had five clear successes and a whole lot of mixed otherwise. Thor: RagnarokWonder Woman, Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have done well this year. My Friend DahmerJustice LeagueKingsman: The Golden Circle, The LEGO Batman Movie and Smurfs: The Lost Village, and Atomic Blonde are in that debatable area. ValerianWilson, Ghost in the Shell, and Blade of the Immortal are generally disappointments. Marvel’s Inhumans… got no clue and tough to debate since it’s a television show primarily with a limited film engagement.

Here’s where this year’s comic films stand as far as the actual numbers. With a new film opening the averages have dipped.

Total Domestic Gross: $2.365 billion
Total International Gross: $3.755 billion
Worldwide Gross: $6.120 billion
Total Reported Budgets: $1.667 million
Total “Profit”: $4.442 billion

Average Domestic Gross: $147.8 million
Average International Gross: $268.2 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $382.5 million
Average Budget: $128.2 million
Average Profit: $254.2 million

Below is where the films released stand when it comes to being compared to this year’s averages. Those in green are above average while those below are red.

Where the Data Ranks 2017’s (and 2018’s) Comic Book Films. Black Panther Drops Out of the Top Five

Black Panther has dropped out of the top give after nine weeks at the box office. The film dropped 38.6% over the weekend adding $5.3 million to its total. The film now stands at $673.8 million domestically and $1.313 billion worldwide. The film is just $20 million behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi for worldwide grosses and there’s a good chance it’ll pass it before its run is over.

The film is still earning far more domestically than the average Marvel film with 51.3% earned versus 41.1% on average. International earnings seem to have slowed down as the percentage has increased for the domestic ever so slightly. The film is an outlier as far as that and we’ll have a deeper dive in a few weeks to see where it over performed and where it might have under performed.

The Death of Stalin held steady at #18 with an estimated $474,692. The film has earned $6.3 million domestically. It’s decreased in theaters now showing in 330 a decrease in 224. It debuted internationally last year, with controversy in Russia. It has also earned $9.05 million in foreign markets. The film has passed Josie and the Pussycats and Billy and Buddy and is now #142 when it comes to comic adaptation earnings.

I Kill Giants still is a weird one when it comes to numbers. So far, only its earnings in Russia have been reported and that was last week. It opened March 29 in that region. The film earned $127,713. Now, the United Kingdom is lsited where it opened April 6th and earned $804 (reported on April 11th). The film has likely earned money elsewhere, so we’ll keep digging.

We’ll have a deeper analysis of 2018’s releases as more are released but lets do the time warp to 2017…


Things have slowed down as 2017 wraps up.

Thor: Ragnarok looks to have earned a few hundred dollars and now stands at $854 million.

2017 has been a record year for comic adaptations. The films have earned $2.365 billion domestically beating the previous year’s $1.901 billion. Internationally, films have earned $3.755 billion beating the previous record of $3.215 billion set in 2014. Worldwide comic adaptations have earned $6.120 billion beating the 2016 record of $5.026 billion. “Profits” too have seen a record year with $4.442 billion versus 2016’s record of $3.812 billion.

We’ll continue to report on 2017’s statistics until all dollars are in, at least a few more weeks.

Lets compare how the big two comic companies compare for earnings. Black Panther is included, so Marvel’s totals will increase over time. On average DC films earn $317.6 million domestically while Marvel earns $333.6 million. Internationally, Marvel rules with $495.1 million and DC lags behind with $435.7 million.

2017 has had five clear successes and a whole lot of mixed otherwise. Thor: RagnarokWonder Woman, Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have done well this year. My Friend DahmerJustice LeagueKingsman: The Golden Circle, The LEGO Batman Movie and Smurfs: The Lost Village, and Atomic Blonde are in that debatable area. ValerianWilson, Ghost in the Shell, and Blade of the Immortal are generally disappointments. Marvel’s Inhumans… got no clue and tough to debate since it’s a television show primarily with a limited film engagement.

Here’s where this year’s comic films stand as far as the actual numbers. With a new film opening the averages have dipped.

Total Domestic Gross: $2.365 billion
Total International Gross: $3.755 billion
Worldwide Gross: $6.120 billion
Total Reported Budgets: $1.667 million
Total “Profit”: $4.442 billion

Average Domestic Gross: $147.8 million
Average International Gross: $268.2 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $382.5 million
Average Budget: $128.2 million
Average Profit: $254.2 million

Below is where the films released stand when it comes to being compared to this year’s averages. Those in green are above average while those below are red.

Where the Data Ranks 2017’s (and 2018’s) Comic Book Films. Black Panther Passes Titanic

Black Panther dropped just 27% in its eighth weekend. The film earned an estimated $8.4 million domestically, the film has earned $665 million. That makes it the third highest grossing domestic release of all-time passing Titanic (not adjusted for inflation). It would have to earned another $95 million to pass Avatar which is in second place.

Internationally, the film added $4.5 million to tat total to bring its international earnings to $635 million for a worldwide total just shy of $1.3 billion.

The film is still earning far more domestically than the average Marvel film with 51.2% earned versus 41.1% on average. International earnings seem to have slowed down as the percentage has increased for the domestic ever so slightly.

The Death of Stalin came in at #18 this past weekend slipping just one slot from last week. The film brought in $1.11 million and added 70 theaters. It’s now showing in 554 theaters. The film has earned $5.6 million domestically. It debuted internationally last year, with controversy in Russia. It has also earned $9.05 million in foreign markets. The film has passed Supergirl, Jonah Hex, and Punisher: War Zone and currently sits at #44 for worldwide earnings for comic adaptations.

I Kill Giants still is a weird one when it comes to numbers. So far, only its earnings in Russia has been reported. It opened March 29 in that region. The film earned $127,713.

We’ll have a deeper analysis of 2018’s releases as more are released but lets do the time warp to 2017…


Justice League looks like it has wound down its run settling at a respectable $657.9 million. Wile the film had the lowest domestic gross of a film as part of the DC Cinematic Universe, it also had the second highest international gross. The film earned a 65.19% internationally, the highest of a DC film. On average, the films earn 58% internationally. That’s the highest percentage of any DCU film internationally.

Thor: Ragnarok looks to have earned a few hundred dollars and now stands at $854 million.

2017 has been a record year for comic adaptations. The films have earned $2.365 billion domestically beating the previous year’s $1.901 billion. Internationally, films have earned $3.755 billion beating the previous record of $3.215 billion set in 2014. Worldwide comic adaptations have earned $6.120 billion beating the 2016 record of $5.026 billion. “Profits” too have seen a record year with $4.442 billion versus 2016’s record of $3.812 billion.

We’ll continue to report on 2017’s statistics until all dollars are in, at least a few more weeks.

Lets compare how the big two comic companies compare for earnings. Black Panther is included, so Marvel’s totals will increase over time. On average DC films earn $317.6 million domestically while Marvel earns $333.1 million. Internationally, Marvel rules with $494.2 million and DC lags behind with $435.7 million.

2017 has had five clear successes and a whole lot of mixed otherwise. Thor: RagnarokWonder Woman, Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have done well this year. My Friend DahmerJustice LeagueKingsman: The Golden Circle, The LEGO Batman Movie and Smurfs: The Lost Village, and Atomic Blonde are in that debatable area. ValerianWilson, Ghost in the Shell, and Blade of the Immortal are generally disappointments. Marvel’s Inhumans… got no clue and tough to debate since it’s a television show primarily with a limited film engagement.

Here’s where this year’s comic films stand as far as the actual numbers. With a new film opening the averages have dipped.

Total Domestic Gross: $2.365 billion
Total International Gross: $3.755 billion
Worldwide Gross: $6.120 billion
Total Reported Budgets: $1.667 million
Total “Profit”: $4.442 billion

Average Domestic Gross: $147.8 million
Average International Gross: $268.2 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $382.5 million
Average Budget: $128.2 million
Average Profit: $254.2 million

Below is where the films released stand when it comes to being compared to this year’s averages. Those in green are above average while those below are red.

Where the Data Ranks 2017’s (and 2018’s) Comic Book Films. Black Panther and Death of Stalin Bring in the Dollars

After six weeks, Black Panther came in third place at the box office with an estimated $11.2 million. The film has now earned $650.7 million domestically, the fifth highest of all time and it will likely wind up in third when its run is over. At the international box office the film added $7.7 million to bring its international gross to $623.2 million and $1.274 billion. It currently places eleventh for all-time worldwide total and will easily move into the top ten passing Frozen.

The film is still earning far more domestically than the average Marvel film with 51.1% earned versus 41.1% on average. Things have been shifting slowly towards the international market now that China has opened. That market tends to be one of the largest for films internationally.

The Death of Stalin expanded in its fourth weekend to 484 theaters from last weekend’s 140. It added $1.5 million to its domestic total to bring that to $3.9 million. It debuted internationally last year, with controversy in Russia. It has already earned $7.6 million in foreign markets.

I Kill Giants still is a no shot in the stats. The film has supposedly opened in theaters though no numbers have been returned. The movies is available on demand digitally and will get a Blu-ray released in May. It’s likely we won’t be getting returns back for this one.

We’ll have a deeper analysis of 2018’s releases as more are released but lets do the time warp to 2017…


Justice League looks like it has wound down its run settling at a respectable $657.9 million. Wile the film had the lowest domestic gross of a film as part of the DC Cinematic Universe, it also had the second highest international gross. The film earned a 65.19% internationally, the highest of a DC film. On average, the films earn 58% internationally.

Thor: Ragnarok looks to have earned a few hundred dollars and now stands at $854 million.

2017 has been a record year for comic adaptations. The films have earned $2.365 billion domestically beating the previous year’s $1.901 billion. Internationally, films have earned $3.755 billion beating the previous record of $3.215 billion set in 2014. Worldwide comic adaptations have earned $6.118 billion beating the 2016 record of $5.026 billion. “Profits” too have seen a record year with $4.442 billion versus 2016’s record of $3.812 billion.

We’ll continue to report on 2017’s statistics until all dollars are in, at least a few more weeks.

Lets compare how the big two comic companies compare for earnings. Black Panther is included, so Marvel’s totals will increase over time. On average DC films earn $317.6 million domestically while Marvel earns $332.3 million. Internationally, Marvel rules with $494.2 million and DC lags behind with $435.7 million.

2017 has had five clear successes and a whole lot of mixed otherwise. Thor: RagnarokWonder Woman, Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have done well this year. My Friend DahmerJustice LeagueKingsman: The Golden Circle, The LEGO Batman Movie and Smurfs: The Lost Village, and Atomic Blonde are in that debatable area. ValerianWilson, Ghost in the Shell, and Blade of the Immortal are generally disappointments. Marvel’s Inhumans… got no clue and tough to debate since it’s a television show primarily with a limited film engagement.

Here’s where this year’s comic films stand as far as the actual numbers. With a new film opening the averages have dipped.

Total Domestic Gross: $2.365 billion
Total International Gross: $3.755 billion
Worldwide Gross: $6.120 billion
Total Reported Budgets: $1.667 million
Total “Profit”: $4.442 billion

Average Domestic Gross: $147.8 million
Average International Gross: $268.2 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $382.5 million
Average Budget: $128.2 million
Average Profit: $254.2 million

Below is where the films released stand when it comes to being compared to this year’s averages. Those in green are above average while those below are red.

Where the Data Ranks 2017’s (and 2018’s) Comic Book Films. Black Panther Passes the Avengers Domestically

After five weeks at the top of the box office, Black Panther dropped to second place at the weekend box office earning an estimated $16.7 million domestically. Domestically, the film has earned $630.9 million. It’s now the highest grossing comic adaptation domestically beating The Avengers which earned $623.3 million. It’s the fifth largest domestic release of all-time and will likely climb higher. The film is about $22 million shy of fourth place Jurassic World and there’s a very good change it’ll pass that as well as third place Titanic which sits at $659.4 million.

Internationally, Black Panther added an estimated $12.9 million to bring its international total to $606.4 million to bring its worldwide total to $1.237 billion. It’s now the twelfth highest worldwide release of all time passing The Fate of the Furious and it will likely pass last year’s Beauty and the Beast. It’s now the third highest grossing comic adaptation passing Iron Man 3.

The film is still earning far more domestically than the average Marvel film with 51% earned versus 41.1% on average. Things have been shifting slowly towards the international market now that China has opened. That market tends to be one of the largest for films internationally.

The Death of Stalin expanded in its third weekend to 140 theaters from last weekend’s 32. It brought in an estimated $1.1 million (almost double the previous week) to bring its total to $2.1 million. It debuted internationally last year, with controversy in Russia. It has already earned $7.6 million in foreign markets.

I Kill Giants debuted this past weekend. The film has supposedly opened in box offices though no numbers have been returned. The movies is available on demand digitally and will get a Blu-ray released in May. It’s likely we won’t be getting returns back for this one.

We’ll have a deeper analysis of 2018’s releases as more are released but lets do the time warp to 2017…


Justice League looks like it has finally wound down its run settling at a respectable $657.9 million. Wile the film had the lowest domestic gross of a film as part of the DC Cinematic Universe, it also had the second highest international gross. The film earned a 65.19% internationally, the highest of a DC film. On average, the films earn 58% internationally.

Thor: Ragnarok looks to have had its earnings adjusted dropping about $300,000 compared to last week. It has earned $854 million worldwide.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle has slowed down and stands at $410.9 million. That’s an increase of $12,000 over the week. It looks to be the last film released in 2017 to still be earning money.

2017 has been a record year for comic adaptations. The films have earned $2.365 billion domestically beating the previous year’s $1.901 billion. Internationally, films have earned $3.753 billion beating the previous record of $3.215 billion set in 2014. Worldwide comic adaptations have earned $6.118 billion beating the 2016 record of $5.026 billion. “Profits” too have seen a record year with $4.44 billion versus 2016’s record of $3.812 billion.

We’ll continue to report on 2017’s statistics until all dollars are in, at least a few more weeks.

Lets compare how the big two comic companies compare for earnings. Black Panther is included, so Marvel’s totals will increase over time. On average DC films earn $317.6 million domestically while Marvel earns $331.2 million. Internationally, Marvel rules with $493.3 million and DC lags behind with $435.7 million.

2017 has had five clear successes and a whole lot of mixed otherwise. Thor: RagnarokWonder Woman, Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have done well this year. My Friend DahmerJustice LeagueKingsman: The Golden Circle, The LEGO Batman Movie and Smurfs: The Lost Village, and Atomic Blonde are in that debatable area. ValerianWilson, Ghost in the Shell, and Blade of the Immortal are generally disappointments. Marvel’s Inhumans… got no clue and tough to debate since it’s a television show primarily with a limited film engagement.

Here’s where this year’s comic films stand as far as the actual numbers. With a new film opening the averages have dipped.

Total Domestic Gross: $2.365 billion
Total International Gross: $3.753 billion
Worldwide Gross: $6.118 billion
Total Reported Budgets: $1.667 million
Total “Profit”: $4.44 billion

Average Domestic Gross: $147.8 million
Average International Gross: $268 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $382.4 million
Average Budget: $128.2 million
Average Profit: $254.1 million

Below is where the films released stand when it comes to being compared to this year’s averages. Those in green are above average while those below are red.

Where the Data Ranks 2017’s (and 2018’s) Comic Book Films. Black Panther Dominates and Death to Stalin Nears $1 Million

Black Panther again won the weekend making it five in a row. It’s the first film to do that since Avatar in 2009. It also crossed $600 million domestically, the seventh film to do so. With an estimated $27 million, the film now stands at $605.4 million domestically.

Internationally, Black Panther earned $30 million which pushes its foreign box office to $577.1 million. Worldwide the film has earned $1.183 billion.

The film is $18 million shy of passing Marvel’s The Avengers at the domestic box office at which point it’ll be the highest grossing superhero movie of all-time. The film still has a bit to go to gain that title for worldwide totals. There it’s $400 million shy. But, the film is currently ranked fourth when it comes to worldwide earnings for a comic adaptation (not accounting for inflation). Over the week it passed The Dark Knight Rises and Captain America: Civil War. It’ll likely move into third place after this week passing Iron Man 3. The film has earned more than every comic adaptation released in 2017.

The film is still earning far more domestically than the average Marvel film with 51.2% earned versus 41.11% on average. Things should shift even more internationally now that China has opened as that market can bring in 20% of a film’s total earnings.

The Death of Stalin expanded in its second weekend to 32 theaters. It brought in an estimated $580,576 to bring its total to $843,967. Per theater the film earned $18,143 a weekend best. The film has a comic adaptation tied with it which was released before the film debuted. It debuted internationally last year, with controversy in Russia. It earned $7.6 million in foreign markets.

We’ll have a deeper analysis of 2018’s releases as more are released (and one more comes out this March) but lets do the time warp to 2017…


Justice League continues to fight at the box office and is still earning money four months after its debut. The film stands at $657.9 million worldwide, an increase of $150,000 since last week. While the film is lagging other DC films, it’s also earning much more at the foreign box office than any other film beside Batman v Superman. The film has earned 65.19% of its dollars from the foreign box office. The DCU on average has earned 58%. The higher percentage is partially due to lower domestic earnings, but the film is definitely not to be counted out at the worldwide box office. The film passed Big Hero 6 and is now #25 for worldwide earnings for a comic adaptation. The film is about $10 million behind Man of Steel so unlikely to pass it as it winds down its run.

Thor: Ragnarok added an estimated $360,000 worldwide to its total. Worldwide the film has earned $854.3 million. The film is about $9.5 million behind Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle has slowed down and stands at $410.9 million. That’s an increase of $16,000 over the week.

2017 has been a record year for comic adaptations. With over a month to go the films have earned $2.365 billion domestically beating the previous year’s $1.901 billion. Internationally, films have earned $3.753 billion beating the previous record of $3.215 billion set in 2014. Worldwide comic adaptations have earned $6.118 billion beating the 2016 record of $5.026 billion. “Profits” too have seen a record year with $4.44 billion versus 2016’s record of $3.812 billion.

We’ll continue to report on 2017’s statistics until all dollars are in, at least another month, if not more.

Lets compare how the big two comic companies compare for earnings. Black Panther is included, so Marvel’s totals will increase over time. On average DC films earn $317.6 million domestically while Marvel earns $329.8 million. Internationally, Marvel rules with $491.7 million and DC lags behind with $435.7 million.

2017 has had five clear successes and a whole lot of mixed otherwise. Thor: RagnarokWonder Woman, Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have done well this year. My Friend DahmerJustice LeagueKingsman: The Golden Circle, The LEGO Batman Movie and Smurfs: The Lost Village, and Atomic Blonde are in that debatable area. ValerianWilson, Ghost in the Shell, and Blade of the Immortal are generally disappointments. Marvel’s Inhumans… got no clue and tough to debate since it’s a television show primarily with a limited film engagement.

Here’s where this year’s comic films stand as far as the actual numbers. With a new film opening the averages have dipped.

Total Domestic Gross: $2.365 billion
Total International Gross: $3.753 billion
Worldwide Gross: $6.118 billion
Total Reported Budgets: $1.667 million
Total “Profit”: $4.44 billion

Average Domestic Gross: $147.8 million
Average International Gross: $268.1 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $382.4 million
Average Budget: $128.2 million
Average Profit: $254.1 million

Below is where the films released stand when it comes to being compared to this year’s averages. Those in green are above average while those below are red.

« Older Entries