Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Sales Review: April 2014
It is that time again where we look at the comic sales from the month prior and things just don't look good for DC.
I have to say that it is something of a nightmare for me to be a DC fan. I feel like all I have been doing recently has been complaining about the company and their direction. While I have praised titles in my reviews, it just feels that the company as a whole has sort of lost its way. The tone of the company, the 'events' that drag on and seem to have no lasting effect, the inability to have superstar books like Superman Unchained come out on time leading to cancelations, the snarky responses from some creators - it all feels wrong. I complain because I care about these characters. And it just feels like they are being mistreated. And I can't help but feel that the sales mirror reader dissatisfaction.
As always, ICv2 does a great job covering the market. Here is a link:
Of all the images and information that should shake DC to the core, it is this pie chart breaking down sales by company. Thanks to Diamond Distributors.
You don't necessarily need to see numbers to see that Marvel's red pie slice is gigantic to DC's dwindling blue slice. Can we even say 'Big Two' any more. Marvel simply dominates dollar share over DC by around 10%. Some of this month could be explained by the 500K Amazing Spiderman #1. But the truth is, these monthly gaps are a trend that is worsening.
Maybe .... just maybe ... DC needs to do something to bring readers back. New titles with varied tones? New creators? Maybe reach out to the top creators they alienated? Maybe shake-up the 'leadership'?
Supergirl #30 continued to Red Daughter arc and Kara's supposed redemption story. I have been pleasantly surprised with this story as both writer Tony Bedard (and Red Lanterns writer Charles Soule) have shown hidden depth in Supergirl as she deals with her depressing back story.
But, as I have said, the purpose of this story needs to be to redirect Supergirl's energy back to heroism and the S-shield. Let's hope that's true.
The story has been publicized and praised.
So I was pleasantly surprised to see sales increase on Supergirl, even is just a bit. 527 more issues sold. But in a world of comic erosion, any growth needs to be lauded.
I hope that DC doesn't look at this blip and think that Kara should be in the Lantern uniform longer.
I always try to help bring a spotlight to a title I have been enjoying whose sales are less than stellar.
Batwoman is a title that I have really been enjoying since the new creative team of Marc Andreyko and Jeremy Haun took over. When JH Williams was on the title, the book sure was pretty to look at. I mean Williams is really a visual genius. But I thought the stories were somewhat muddled and lacked a nice narrative flow.
The feel of the book has remained stable since the new team came on. But the stories are much more comprehensible. And Haun brings a nice clean style to the book.
But I fear this is another title which is suffering from DC administrative nonsense.
Williams left in a huff blaming (probably rightly) the editors for squelching the stories he wanted to do. DC backpedaled but it still looked like the usual nonsense that has plagued the New 52. And, my guess is, readers left the title in droves. It is true that I originally got the book simply to look at Williams art. Maybe he was all that was keeping people coming.
But this book is better than a 19K selling book. Andreyko and Haun are doing great work here. If you left Batwoman when Williams did you should come back and give it another shot.