How DC printed Villains month

The Sep sales charts are out, and we can make some very interesting observations: (Under the jump, though)

Normally, we have no idea how many comics are printed. Like none at all.  That's because all that the Diamond sales charts report is what is ordered by retailers, but that could be every copy printed, or it could be 1/10th of what is printed. No way to know.

BUT, for Villain's Month, DC sold out 100% of the 3-d covers, and, in fact, ALLOCATED each and every one, so there were NO reorders.  Therefore, it is logical to say that the number that appears on the chart is the number printed (with the sole caveat that this doesn't include Diamond UK)

So, how much faith did DC have in their own promotion?

Well, the previous "normal" issue of BATMAN (#23), ICv2 reports 128,230 copies ordered for the four "Batman" issues of VM?  ICv2 reports:

Joker: 107,680

Riddler: 107,413

Bane: 95,298

Penguin: 89,850


So, therefore, DC expected to sell no more than 85% of Batman on JOKER, and 70% on Penguin.... despite giving it the same series code (the mechanism that triggers Point-Of-Sale system to pull subscription preorders) -- and that's WITH the 3d covers!


JUSTICE LEAGUE #23: 104k (I'm going to round from here on, look to those links in previous paragraph for "real" numbers)

Darkseid: 78k

Secret Society: 44k

Lobo: 36k

Dial E: 26k


Those last two are insane, as the 2D VERSION HAS HIGHER ORDERS FILLED -- 39k on Lobo, and 34k on Dial E. DIAL H #15 (the August issue) was 11k.



Doomsday: 68k



Cyborg Superman: 50k

Zod: 50k

Lex Luthor: 50k

Metallo: 43k


Note that those are in chart order -- while it is by within hundreds of copies, Diamond is reporting more sales of Cyborg Superman than Lex frickin Luthor. Bizarre!


BATMAN AND (Nightwing) #23: 56k

Two Face: 50k

Ras al Ghul: 50k

Court of Owls: 50k

Killer Croc: 48k



Black Adam: 50k

Deadshot: 32k (Suicide Squad #23 was 22k)

Killer Frost: 32k

Shadow Thief: 32k


DETECTIVE #23: 62k

Poison Ivy: 50k

Harley Quinn: 49k

Scarecrow: 49k

Man-Bat: 47k



Sinestro: 49k

Relic: 37k

Mongul: 36k

Black Hand: 36k


SUPERMAN #23: 42k

Parasite: 44k

Brainiac: 37k

Bizarro: 36k

HEL: 36k


AQUAMAN #23: 44k

Black Manta: 37k

Ocean Master: 36k


EARTH 2 #15: 41k

Desaad: 32k

Solomon Grundy: 32k


FLASH #23: 39k

Grodd: 32k

Rogues: 31k

Reverse Flash: 31k



Ventriloquist: 32k

Mr. Freeze: 31k

Clayface: 31k

Joker's Daughter: 30k



TEEN TITANS #23:  32k

Trigon: 32k

Deathstroke: 31k



Cheetah: 32k

First Born: 27k


GREEN ARROW #23: 25k

Count Vertigo: 27k


JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #23: 64k  ("Trinty" crossover, #21 was just 25k)

Creeper: 27k

Eclipso: 27k


SWAMP THING #23: 23k

Arcane: 26k


So, do you see? WHY were these books being pounced on by the speculators?  Because, in most cases, DC PRINTED FEWER COPIES than the baseline orders that THEY established. And, where they DID go up (mostly at the bottom of the chart), it was generally within just 10%.

Some of these are truly crazy -- WW FIRST BORN, for example, may as well be a normal, regular issue of WW, from a plot POV, and it's about 20% UNDER the parent book.  Same with REVERSE FLASH.  And RELIC and HEL might as well be the first chapters of family-wide crossovers... and they're printed well below the parents.

So that's why these books disappeared so fast -- DC absolutely printed far too few of them; even if they were normal covers!



Wait, What? Ep. 135: Err Travel

 photo ff9a19c9-84df-4801-b3c1-dc6e69684582_zps10706f49.jpgFrom the entertainingly wrong-headed Secret Society of Super-Villains trade paperback.

I am so bummed I made that reference to the opening of "Don't Believe The Hype" a few weeks back, because now that I've got a trip coming up I could've made a "I've got so much travel on my mind" pun...but now, no, I can't.

Anyway, after the jump, show notes for this late-to-bed, early-to-rise episode of Wait, What?

Yes, well, once again, under the gun, you know how it goes.  Got less than 48 hours to hop on a plane and have easily 48+ hours worth of chores, so:

0:00-4:28: Greetings! And greetings! And greetings! A plan thwarted, and more non-comics talk. 4:28-25:32: Comics--we do remember to discuss them relatively quickly into the process.  We start with DC's attempted homicide of Graeme via Villains Month comp copies.  (If you listen carefully around the 6:34 mark, you can hear the strange corduroyesque whiffle of comics with the 3-D covers being pushed around).  Discussed: Darkseid, Reverse Flash, The Court of Owls, H'el, Cheetah, Lobo, Harley Quinn, The Riddler, and more. 25:32-33:19: Graeme re-read Forever Evil #1, and then read the deluxe edition of JLA: Earth Two; the Black Manta Villains Month issue; and what the fuck is up with Aquaman's villains, generally. 33:19-44:33: Jeff asks Graeme about Infinity since that is a thing he can do.  Graeme moves very quickly from there to Mighty Avengers by Al Ewing and Greg Land--you may be surprised by which member of that team we spend the most time talking about!  Also, for those of you, like Graeme, who were not aware of the Hungarian suicide song Jeff references, you can check it out here. 44:33-48:17: Jeff can't talk about Mighty Avengers by Al Ewing, but he can talk about Mars Attacks Judge Dredd by Al Ewing and John McCrea. 48:17-1:04:28: Also covered from the amazing week of comics that was our week off:  Murder She Writes by John Allison; 2000AD Prog #1850, featuring Damnation Station by Al Ewing and Mark Harrison; what is happening with the Megazine; and the differences between what sells in American comics as opposed to British comics; whether or not a bi-monthly book might work in the  direct market; and more! 1:04:28-1:29:01: Jeff purchased and took delight in the very consistent awfulness of The Secret Society of Super-Villains trade paperback, by Gerry Conway, Pablo Marcos, David Kraft, Bob Rozakis, Rich Buckler, Bob Layton and more.  Hopefully, I have the wherewithal to put up the photos I took of some of these pages because they are pretty amazing. Oh wait, here are a couple that we do indeed reference in our talk:

 photo 6522928B-8837-4386-8EA6-E3016F03BEAB-1614-000001024CB9C765_zps78c7e31a.jpg Darkseid, his dramatic potential fully realized by Pablo Marcos, Ernie Chua, and Vince Colletta;

 photo 740d2889-acd2-4683-b9d7-6047947e0568_zpse1134fac.jpg Face forward, true believers! I think this is a deliberate spoof of Kirby poses; Graeme was thinking Gil Kane (by Rich Buckler and Bob Layton);

 photo a980a79f-01dd-4a8c-a1d9-26e37938d850_zpsa1a416fd.jpg And speaking of True Believers, Funky Flashman is in most of these issues and by the end, the visual reference used is, uh, pretty darn direct (by Rich Buckler and Bob Layton)

Also included: an all-too-brief discussion of Marvel's similarly addled Super-Villain Team-Up (no accompanying visuals, alas). 1:29:01-1:49:32:  One book that both Graeme and I read this week (and--spoiler!--enjoyed) the first issue of Zero by Ales Kot, art by Michael Walsh, colors by Jordie Bellaire.  And Jeff thinks Graeme would really enjoy the "jam" issue of Prophet by Brandon Graham and everybody else.  Leads to a discussion about comic book writers, writers who write visually, and writers who are interested in created uniquely visual works.  How does this lead us back to the discussion of the ads in the Villains Month 3-D books as opposed to the 2-D books?  I'm editing this, and even I don't know. 1:49:32-2:01:04: That does lead us into a discussion of the ads in Batman '66, which are different. The advantage to this is, we get to talk about all the delightful stuff Jeff Parker and assorted artists are doing on Batman 66. Also covered: the Top Shelf sale that was going on while we recorded, and is still going on as this first gets posted. And that leads us to talking about the stuff available digitally for 2000AD, and comparing the prices for day-and-date-DRM'd digital subscription, and the DRM-free direct from the digital store stuff. 2:01:04-end:  Closing comments!  We are very confused about our recording schedule since Jeff will be traveling to New York.  We…think we will be back next week?

Anyway, that's the name of that tune, as Robert Blake used to say back in the days when he was quaint and not utterly terrifying.  You can find the ep. on iTunes and you can find it here.  The yours!

Wait, What? Ep. 135: Err Travel