Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sales Review: October 2010

Should I take a moratorium on these sales reviews? It seems with each month, the news gets just a little bit sadder and sadder.

In what feels a little early for the month, the sales from October are broken down over on ICv2. Here is the link of the top 300 comics for October:

Again, the overall sales of the top 300 seemed to slip a bit in October, although there is some interesting news out there that sales for the comics below the 300 mark are increasing so maybe overall sales are stable. In what I guess is good news, Superman and Action Comics are selling healthier than they did at the end of New Krypton. And Justice League, starring Supergirl, continues to sell briskly.

There isn't much good news about Supergirl unfortunately. I really loved Supergirl #57. I mean ... I loved it. In fact, in some ways, it just seemed like the culmination of so much Sterling Gates has been dealing with since Supergirl #34. That Supergirl was trying to dealing with all the negativity in her life at that time. Now Supergirl has so much more on her plate. And yet, in this issue, she dealt with it on all levels ... physically, emotionally, psychologically. It just felt like Kara was reborn a little bit there. Those talks with BizarroGirl are such powerful scenes.

And yet, sales continue to drop. The issue, which I think might be the best of the whole Gates/Igle tenure (I know Chang drew this one) sold 23,842. This is the lowest the title sold. And yet, this issue got near universal praise critically. To echo what I say nearly every sales review, it is disheartening.

Could this be some sort of 'lame duck' lag, people waiting for the new team to take over?

Supergirl Annual #2 also came out last month and was an absolute blast. Littered with historical flourishes and reestablishing the Supergirl/Brainy romance as well as stirring the pot a bit with more 'Supergirl death' talk, the Annual worked on a bunch of levels.

I suppose when you compare these sales to the concurrent issue, that the sales aren't bad. The annual sold 21,080. But that is down a staggering 25% from Supergirl Annual #1, which was linked to New Krypton.

What will Supergirl #60's sales be like? Will Nick Spencer reinvigorate sales? I can only hope.

And the underdogs?

Well, I have started to think that I don't need to report R.E.B.E.L.S. anymore. That always sells just north of 11K.

But the Doom Patrol, my latest comic to champion that suffers from great stories and poor sales?

Unfortunately, sales here continue to erode much like Supergirl's. Doom Patrol #15 sold only 10,081. That's a smidge more than Tiny Titans/Little Archie. That can't be good.

Life must be easier for Avengers fans. I keep waiting for the axe to drop on most of my pull list.


LJ said...

I do hope the sales pick up...I love Supergirl...btw, do you know how Superboy 1 did?
By the way, maybe you'll like this, couple of Gates interviews about leaving Supergirl

Anonymous said...

This "near universal praise" is part of the problem with sales. If you only pay attention to the people who wanted this Supergirl and pretend the other voices do not exist and try to force feed this Supergirl down everyone's throats, it is not going to sell.

The Pulse, among other reviews, gave this Bizarro story line very low marks. Other reviews have left this in their "skip" (as in don't purchase) sections. They have faulted Gate's Supergirl for making her into Superman in a skirt (check the Pulse out, he complains that they are not doing what made her interesting/unique under Kelly et al, but instead are making the mistakes that made her a boring character in the 50's and 60's), tying her too closely into Metropolis, and using uninteresting characters like the Bizarros.

You cannot ignore nor shout down/ name call all the Supergirl fans that do not like the direction of Supergirl since issue #20. There was a lot of negative reviews when Gates/Igle took over and many complaints on message boards. These people were called names, shouted down, and just gave up posting. Now they do not buy the book anymore. Supergirl has a very unfriendly/unwelcoming fan base, who will shout the most vile insults at anyone who suggests Supergirl should be as sexy as Twilight males or young male Superheroes in overly tight costumes and she should be allowed to have a personality more like a rebellious teenager than a conservative 1950's idealization of Daddy's girl.

Unfortunately, media go out of their way to provide shirtless males with ripped abs for women young and old, but for the young males who had Supergirl crushes-- the character gets censored into a boring prude and they get called sexist, gender specific epithets.

Benwahbob said...

the Pulse? Who reads the Pulse? No one except shut ins like you, Larry.

mathematicscore said...

Anonymous (Larry?)

I for one never try to pretend that other opinions exist. That said, I DO feel strongly that not only is the Gates Igle take on Supergirl inherently good, but the Loeb/Turner/Churchill Supergirl was an inferior, shallowly written character.

Gates writing felt well thought out, with a realistic feel. Here concerns and reactions felt very true to real women and girls I know... real, teenage girls. That, combined with Igle's more realistic, less over the top imagery, made for a much "sexier," more attractive total package. I can't speak for you, or anyone else, but a personality is as important as, if not more so than, a lithe frame and penchant for nudity.

As to the actual superheroic adventures, Bizarro was written well, Insect Queen was written well, Silver Banshee was written well... A theme seems to be developing about your inability to look past the surface (Bizarro is uninteresting, Supergirl is now a "Daddy's girl) to the actual substance.

And quite frankly, if you're looking for something Un-"censored," just turn of your safesearch on Google. I'm sure you're find what you're looking for.

Anonymous said...

Female characters wearing so much less are selling just as badly if not worse than SG.
C'est le' guerre.
John Feer

Anonymous said...

Benwahbob's comment proves my point. Insult people you disagree with and pretend they and their opinions don't exist/matter.

Mathematicscore, your response is reasonable and is what this fan base needs-- a healthy dialogue between two factions to find out if a Supergirl could work for all of us.

As far as my "inability to look past the surface," I was only reporting others views on the character and stating you need to admit that they exist. I have not read Supergirl since issue 36 or 37. I neither liked nor hated Gate's take on the character (though I disliked the scene where Supergirl had food thrown in her face and she flew off and cried about it). I don't know if his writing improved, but his Supergirl felt bland in those three issues anyway.

The specious blanket statements "everyone likes her and reviews her well" are both untrue and counterproductive. One group likes it another group most certainly does not and those people have been name called off of many message boards for not liking the changes.

I think Palmiotti, Puckett, and Bedard's Supergirl's have all lacked substance and have been terrible. As far as personality, I found the personality of Loeb and Kelly's Supergirl much sexier than the writers to come after. I like a girl who speaks up and has a little fire more than the unintelligent, obedient crybaby that appeared in 20-37. (BTW, what about the many people who care only about shirtless males and abs and not about personality or writing quality).

You guys need to stop presenting your personal preference as a majority preference, everyone's preference, or even the superior preference.

Anonymous said...

If the shorts under the skirt go away for good-- either while retaining the same uniform or switching to a compromise/ Helen Slater version of the costume I would return. As long as the sex appeal of the character feels restricted in ways Power Girl and all the male characters are not and as long as teen girls have their Twilight while teen boys cannot have their Supergirl, I will not buy it.

As far as writing, just detach her from Superman/Metropolis a bit more. I think Spencer writes teen girls better than the little of what I saw in Gates, so hopefully this improves. Give her intelligence (I like the multiple language deal), powers that rival Superman (I don't like age/gender to be presented as handicaps), and giver a little fire and spirit. Let the sexists call her bitch-- just give her some depth.

Anonymous said...

"Female characters wearing so much less are selling just as badly if not worse than SG."

In some cases yes, some no. Still, this is because of the terrible double standards in this country. We shout sexist epithets at a sexy female who shows some skin while ogling males who jog shirtless. Young girls cover their walls with pictures of shirtless guys, young males are embarrassed and hide files of pretty girls on their computers. Twilight has record sales, a similar movie that showcased female sex appeal wouldn't do well because brow beaten men are embarrassed. A women enjoying the sight of a good looking man is considered fine, a guy looking at a female is a "pervert." At some arbitrary age, men are then called "creepy" while women are given the quasi complimentary term "cougar."
A current commercial shows two older women salivating over a shirtless poolboy. This is sexual harrassment based on the women's difference in wealth, employer/employee relationship, as well as age. Still no outcry. Picture if it were two middle aged men looking at the baby sitter in her bikini.

Stop making men embarrassed about their natural attraction to a woman's body, stop shouting sexist epithets at females who try to be sexy and all of that would change.

Anj said...

Well, I feel I need to nip this in the bud.

One of the things that I makes me proud about my site here is that I want to hear differing opinions and have a nice dialogue about any number of topics. I want this to be an open site where conversations can happen. But it has to be healthy and constructive.

Now whether you go by Larry Gardner, or Nomah, or Anonymous, you have the right to your opinion. You have the right to want a sexier Supergirl. And you can decide that anyone who doesn't write a sexy Supergirl isn't doing a good job. And you have clearly made this opinion known on many sites as I have seen your arguments.

But I have seen your insistence on repeating this argument derail any conversation that someone is trying to have, regardless of the topic. I have seen you destroy threads on the DC message boards, seen them reduced to flame wars as you try to convince people you are right while others tell you that you are crazy. And I can't have that here. I just can't.

So I am going to ask you to take your arguments somewhere else. Continue to promote your ideas at the sites you already go to. Or start your own blog where you can argue this point. If as many people agree with you as you say, it would be a better forum than here.

But I can't have every post that I place here get warped into becoming about your perceived shortcomings about how sexy Supergirl should be.

I have never deleted people's comments before (outside of spam) and I don't want to start now. So I hope you will have the courtesy to move on.

Anonymous said...

Why? My posts have been respectful. The problem has always been other people attacking me for having a different view. The name callers derail and ruin threads. I have not called a single person a name nor got personal, just stated my opinion and a desire for a healthy dialogue. Like you, I want a Supergirl that sells better than low 20,000's. I also want to begin buying a book featuring my favorite DC character again.

Anj, look at the posts and see who was disrespectful. Not me. This again proves my point. People who do not beat the drum of the conservative approach are shouted down and not allowed to voice their opinions.

And, again, it is impossible for me to discuss Supergirl anywhere. A samll, loud group who hijacked Supergirl harasses contrary opinions on every mainstream board and the peril/over the top sexy stuff is not for me either.

I'm sorry your site is only open to people who agree with you.

Anj said...

I think if you look back at the 2.5 years I have been doing this that many people don't agree with me. And they all have posted here. And I have discussions with all of them. And I haven't sent them away.

But I am not here to defend myself.

This is clearly more than a discussion about comic books with you. This is a cause for you. This is a crusade. And you should fight it. You should get your argument out there.

But I don't want it here.

This is my blog. This isn't your battlefield. Because it really is just one point you have ... the objectification of men and the toning down of Supergirl's sexiness ... and I talk about more than that here. And yet you have posted about it on posts about sales, and my review of Superboy, and my optimism about Nick Spencer ... three topics that have nothing to do with your concerns. And yet the resulting comments were all about your points. And I don't want that.

I mean it when I say you should start your own blog. You clearly are passionate about the topic. Why not have your own forum?

But I also mean it and will say it again, please move on from here.

Benwahbob said...

Then let me make myself clearer.
Like Anj I have watched you derail threads and hijack entire board conversations on more than one website messageboard for 2+years. what I find insulting is by your own admission you don't read the series, you don't read any DC series. You have no clue how the book is being written how Kara is being characterized in the series as a strong, independent, powerful, intelligent, resourceful young woman. No your hang ups are about a paice of modest fabric that desexualizes a 17 year old female character,and your own apparently body dismorphia issues pertaining men in in the media.
I'm with Anj, I don't want to see it here either. This isn't your personal space to slam the best creative team this series has had since Loeb and Turner.
Every time you post it's the same (I hate bikershorts/Twilight sucks/no muscle bound men) crap. EVERYTIME. You did at the DC board, you did it on Newsarama. It got old 24 months and 27 issues ago.

Anonymous said...

Anyone with such closely and vividly held beliefs ought to start up his own blog and bloviate thereon. Take a chance on creating some dialogue and risk as a consequence on trolls colonizing the discussion. Larry I'm offering an opportunity, offers space for free and it requires zero technical expertise, its so simple even a luddite like me finds it easy.
You should think about that...
Because I'm with Anj on this one...The internet is vast and somewhere there is a venue where you can promulgate your opinions.
Just not here.
John Feer

Dave Mullen said...

Supergirl is probobly the best of the Superman books right now, or at least the most stable and consistent, but her fortunes are clearly tied into what happens with Superman books as a whole and in the context the slippage in sales is not a huge surprise.
Was New Krypton a commercial success or a failure? I think the answer to that should give you an answer as Supergirl was tied so heavily into that arc it partially robbed the book of it's own voice.
But right now with the malaise that is infecting the Superman franchise and the strengh of competition from other Franchises right now (Batman, GL, Thor, Chaos War etc) the relatively unsupported 'Supergirl' is obviously going to be a book that suffers.
It, and Superman, badly need similar heavy marketing & cross promoting as the above and stronger directions storywise.

Hype today is king. It's sad but true.

Anj said...

Was New Krypton a commercial success or a failure? I think the answer to that should give you an answer as Supergirl was tied so heavily into that arc it partially robbed the book of it's own voice.

I think you are right. New Krypton was a double edged sword. It brought people in but may have stunted this book's growth. And then when NK wheezed to it's end, people left.

Plus with 8 Avengers titles, 3 GL titles, many Bat titles, people may be pulled elsewhere.

Let's hope the new team brings in some new readers.

Gene said...

I thought New Krypton was full of potential, but stagnated in the middle before its abrupt ending.

That said, I thought the Supergirl tie in had the best action, drama, and characterization of the entire New Krypton saga. Heck, with some modifications the "Who is Superwoman" arc could be a cool animated movie.

Anonymous said...

Heck, with some modifications the "Who is Superwoman" arc could be a cool animated movie.

Agreed as long as we get some "Kara-tharsis" going on in the end.
For that fact with a few tweaks the Brainiac Mini that set this mishaugas off would make a very good animated movie indeed and serve as a relatively rare Superman-Supergirl co-equal adventurers team up.
Just sayin' thass all

John Feer

valerie21601 said...

I waited a few days before posting this on my view of Anon. and his cry of how women sexually exploit men but men aren't allowed to do it, is full of bull meadowmuffins!

I was born in the early 1960's I remember how it was and the struggle it was for girls and women back then. I remember working in places where men openly had NUDE pictures in their lockers and around their work stations to show their contempt of women who dared to work in their factories at the time. I have witnessed and survived sexual harassment by men of women and so many ugly things men did to women.

While things have gotten better over the years, in many parts of the world for women. It's still mostly a man's world, ruled by men and the desires of men. Where women are still the most heavily exploited sex in the world.

Not sure how to say it, but when I have come across men who cry "women sexually exploit men." From what I have seen and learned is that usually something really bad happened to them in their personal life as teens or adults or it was simply the way they were raised in a family with hatred toward women to believe women always exploit men. When often in their own family the women were ruled with a iron fist and a iron hand across the face and body until her spirit broke.

I feel nothing but contempt when a man boo-hoo's that women endlessly sexually exploit men.