Posts Tagged ‘Dial H’

The Winners And Losers In DC Comics’ Zero Month

October 10, 2012

When I write up my Wonder Woman sales report each month, I track a lot of DC’s other books so I can get a sense of how Wonder Woman is doing comparatively.  This month, DC put out #0 issues for most of their series as a one year anniversary of the New 52 celebration, and I thought it would be fun to take a look at who did the best and who did the worst in terms of improving upon their past numbers.

There were 51 titles that came out in August and got the #0 treatment in September.  There were 55 zero issues overall, but 4 of them were new so there’s nothing to compare them to.  I decided on two criteria for these rankings: change in overall percentage of sales from last month and change in number of issues sold from last month.  I tabulated the numbers for both categories, ranked each list from 1 to 51, and then added the two rankings together.

So let’s look at the winners and losers for DC’s zero month!!  First up, the winners:

#1) Batman: 7 points, +31,312 (1st), +25% (6th)

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman is just a behemoth right now.  These gains are MASSIVE, and the book might even end up higher in October when the new Joker storyline starts.  It was already DC’s bestselling book, and it sold even better in September.

#2) Green Arrow: 19 points, +5,282 (10th), +22.8% (9th)

The top of the list is sort of surprising, and I was shocked to see Green Arrow so high.  Maybe people were jazzed to have Judd Winick back writing the character or something, but whatever the reason it really jumped up.

#3) Green Lantern: 20 points, +12,772 (2nd), +16.5% (18th)

Green Lantern is less surprising.  It’s been a strong performer for DC for years now under Geoff Johns, plus they introduced Simon Baz, the new Muslim, Arab-American Green Lantern.  That got some attention.

#4) Savage Hawkman: 24 points, +4,005 (22nd), +27.2% (2nd)

Another surprise!!  Apparently the book is selling so low that ordering four thousand extra copies will give it the second best jump in percentage out of all 51 issues.  Or retailers were just super jazzed there wasn’t a Rob Liefeld cover again, so they ordered a lot.

#5) Batgirl: 27 points, +6,637 (6th), +15.2% (21st)

Batgirl surprised me initially, but then I figured a) the book has some excellent word of mouth buzz, b) people would probably be curious about Barbara’s past seeing as that’s one of the bigger mysteries of the New 52, and c) all of the Bat-books had a great month, maybe due to everyone loving Bat-things or maybe in anticipation of the Joker story starting next month.  Whatever the reason, it’s great to see that a female-led book did so well!!

Since this is a Wonder Woman blog and all, let’s take a pause for Wonder Woman #0 before we get to the losers:

#21) Wonder Woman: 44 points, +5,194 (12th), +11.6% (32nd)

The middle would be #26, so Wonder Woman came in the top half of the chart.  It was also the third highest female-led book on the chart, with Batgirl at #5 and Catwoman at #19.  Interestingly, Birds of Prey, Voodoo, and Supergirl were the next three books after Wonder Woman, and all six of these female-led titles were on the top half of the chart!!  That’s nice to see.

Now, onto the bottom of the chart:

#47) Ravagers: 92 points, +1,707 (48th), +8.2% (44th)

It really speaks to the success of zero month that the fifth lowest book was still up almost 10%!!  DC must be over the moon with these sales numbers.  Ravagers was a Second Wave book, and this is only its fifth issue, and as we’ll see momentarily the Second Wave books didn’t fare so well in September, comparatively.

#48) Earth 2: 96 points, +1,718 (47th), +2.5% (49th)

Earth 2 has been doing fantastically, saleswise, since it debuted in May, and September was no exception.  It just didn’t change all that much from August.  So compared to last month, it’s #48 on the chart, but in terms of overall sales the book is actually #8.

#49) Dial H: 96 points, +1,337 (49th), +5.9% (47th)

Technically, Dial H is tied with Earth 2, but I gave Earth 2 the higher rank because its overall sales are better.  And really, when you’re down the list this far, what difference does one spot make?  Anyway, this is a bummer because I LOVE Dial H and because it’s zero issue was fantastic and did exactly what a zero issue should (and what most of the zero issues didn’t): Provide new, surprising backstory for the series.  But again, Second Wave books didn’t get much play in September.

#50) Aquaman: 100 points, +17 (50th), +0% (50th)

This was a shock.  Aquaman’s been killing it since the relaunch, but it seems that of the many thousands of comic shops across North America, retailers thought only 17 new people might want to try out the book.  Part of this might also be that Aquaman had a big jump in August for no apparent reason, so maybe retailers found that increase was unwarranted but kept the book at that level in case of zero issue interest.

#51) Batman, Incorporated: 102 points, -608 (51st), -0.9% (51st)

Batman, Incorporated was the lowest book in both categories, and the only book of the 51 titles that went down in sales.  And I have no idea why!!  It’s a solid seller, and seems fairly popular among people who like that sort of thing.  Again, it’s a Second Wave book, and this is only it’s fourth issue, so maybe retailers are still feeling out how to order this one.

Overall, zero month was a complete success for DC.  Of the 51 returning titles, 50 had improved sales, plus there were an additional 4 series that premiered decently.  Before Watchmen is still falling fast, and various minis are dropping like minis tend to do, but all told this was a great month for DC.  These gimmicks really do work, it seems.

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One Year Later: My Top Five New 52 Titles

September 6, 2012

It’s been an entire year since DC’s “The New 52” premiered, and with a year of new comics under our belts I thought it might be fun to take a look at my five favourite titles, one year later.  Originally I was going to do a Top Ten list, but it turns out I’m not even buying ten DC books right now!!  I’m barely buying five.  So “Top Five” could also read “the five books I actually buy”.  Let’s get to the list:

5) Dial H

Yes, it’s part of the Second Wave, but again, I’m not buying a lot of these books.  I’m very surprised by this, honestly… I assumed I was getting more.  Anyway, Dial H has been very fun so far!!  It’s weird and random, but a good time all around.  It’s fun to have China Mieville doing comics (have you read Perdido Street Station or The Scar?  If you haven’t, stop reading this article and go check them out now!!), and Mateus Santoluoco’s art has been great as he draws a variety of bizarre heroes each month.

4) Supergirl

The story is fun, albeit a little bit slow, but the reason I like Supergirl so much is because when Mahmud Asrar is on his game and can pencil and ink the entire book it’s just absolutely gorgeous.  The dude has skills.  Plus there’s been some cool villains with that weird alien gang and the Silver Banshee and such.  I do like the story, it’s just all about the art for me.

3) Batwoman

I am pleasantly surprised by how well J.H. William III and W. Haden Blackman are doing writing this book.  The first arc was great, and while the second arc went off the rails a bit with the weird time breakup and such it was nonetheless impressively ambitious.  Greg Rucka is a hard act to follow, and they’re doing a really good job.  And the book looks amazing… whether it’s Williams or Reeder or McCarthy, Batwoman’s been consistently beautifully drawn.

2) Batman

This is just a ridiculously good comic book.  Scott Snyder knows how to write a killer Batman story, and Greg Capullo is starting to grow on me as an artist (I like his Batman but not his Bruce Wayne, if that makes any sense).  The whole “Night of the Owls” storyline was great, and that issue where Batman was trapped in the Owls’ labyrinth was just amazing, both in terms of art and story.  Plus Becky Cloonan did a fill-in issue!!  I hope she, and Harper Row, are back soon.  Batman is the best it’s been in years now.

1) Wonder Woman

This is probably not a surprise, but a) it’s been AGES since Wonder Woman was even a Top Five book at DC, much less their best one, and b) it was touch and go for me for a while there with the whole Amazons murdering and raping dudes situation.  However, after the last few issues the book is back on track and firing on all cylinders.  Brian Azzarello is building a crazy, fantastic story and Cliff Chiang is drawing the hell out of it, along with Tony Akins sporadically.  New characters like Hermes and Strife are some of my favourites now, and the reveal at the end of Wonder Woman #12 is just all sorts of fun.  I’m so happy that Wonder Woman is good, and that Cliff Chiang is drawing it.  Chiang makes everything better.

So that’s my Top Five!!  It’s so weird to be getting only five mainline books.  When the New 52 started, my best friend and I picked up at least 20 of the new titles, but we really pared it down over the months.  Part of it was the freedom from what I’d always bought, I think.  I used to buy Batman, Detective Comics, Action Comics, Superman, and some other books because I’d ALWAYS bought those books, even when I didn’t like them, but now that completism is gone for me with the renumbering and the new universe.

Another part of it is the sheer number of awesome new books that came out this year from other publishers.  My budget is only so big, and books like Saga, Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, and others have bumped a lot of DC books from my pull list.  I used to get 10-12 DC books and 2-3 books from other publishers, but now it’s around 5 DC books and 7-8 others.

I know the New 52 has been pretty decent for DC in terms of increased sales, but I’m getting a lot less than I used to.  However, what I do get I really like, which is fun.  When I used to get more DC books, I didn’t actually dig a lot of them.  So while I may be a worse customer saleswise, I’m a much happier customer with the books I do get.

Please feel free to leave your Top Five in the comments.  Are there books I’m crazy for not reading?  Let me know.

Women In Comics Statistics: Previews And Predictions For DC’s Second Wave

May 3, 2012

Now that DC’s Second Wave has launched this week with Dial H, Earth Two, GI Combat, and World’s Finest, I got to wondering how that might affect their women in comics stats for May.  Luckily for me, I’m the guy that tabulates them, so I dug into my numbers.  I haven’t got the new books yet, and there are two more yet to come, but I do have a lot of data for the old books.

By looking at the six books that got cancelled (Blackhawks, Hawk and Dove, Men of War, Mister Terrific, OMAC, and Static Shock), we can see what effect their departure will have.  Tallying up their stats for the last four months, they have some interesting totals:

  • The books had 196 credited creators over 4 months, 184 men and 12 women.
  • The overall percentage of female creators for the 6 cancelled titled was only 6.1%.
  • The 6 books combined for 3 female creators a month, 1 editor and 2 assistant editors.

With DC’s average percentage of female creators fairly steady at 11% each month, the cancelled titles’ 6.1% is a real bring down for the overall total.  We don’t know how the new titles break down yet, creatorwise, but the loss of the cancelled titles is only going to help things.

Though not by a lot… it’s only 6 books.  For example, if we take those six titles out of March’s numbers (which are coming soon!), then DC’s overall percentage of female creators jumps from 11% to a whopping 11.3%.  It’s not super exciting, but it’s certainly better than nothing.  If the books are at least in the average range, then things should be up a tick at DC.

The 6 cancelled series were also putting up goose eggs on the creative side of the charts, so a) DC’s not losing anything with their cancellation, and b) there’s only room to grow.  Nicola Scott’s drawing Earth Two, so the new books are already one up on the creative side of things.  And Karen Berger’s editing Dial H I think, so there’s another lady.  Plus, based on information from previews for two issues (only two books had full credits in their previews), Rosemary Cheetham is colouring World’s Finest and Kate Stewart is the assistant editor on GI Combat.  With only partial information, we’ve already topped the 6 cancelled titles’ combined 3 female creators!!  And there could be even more once we have full credits for everything.

Overall, DC’s Second Wave should be nothing but a plus in terms of women in comics!!  The 6 cancelled titles were a combined drag on the numbers, so it looks like things will be going up.  The May numbers won’t be up for a while, but I’m optimistic.

FINAL FUN FACT: In case you were wondering why 4 of the 6 new series debuted all at once this week, it’s because DC’s trying very hard to have their titles come out on the same week every month.  Hawk and Dove, Men of War, OMAC, and Static Shock all came out at the first of the month, so that’s four holes for DC to fill with four of their new titles.  Now that I think about it, “Fun Fact” might not be the best title for this tidbit… I might be the only one that finds this sort of fact to be fun.


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