January 14, 2012

Speed Reading

Category: Round-Ups — By

Weekend linkblogging. First the Flashy stuff…

More comics stuff…

January 13, 2012

Flash Sales in December

Category: Flash News — By

Last week we reported that Flash #4 ranked #8 for the month of December. ICV2 has released its December sales estimates, figuring that the comic sold 77,336 copies. Despite the slight climb in rank, that’s a 14.5% drop from previous issue. Not as big as the the drop from #2 to #3, but still big. And it’s a whopping 40% drop from #1. On the plus side, it’s still above any issue of vol.3 after the first, and above the 55K threshold I pulled out of thin air last year.

What does it mean?

To be honest, I have no idea. The New 52 was an unprecedented event, with all of DC’s books seeing a sales spike. The drop is big, sure, but the numbers are still high, and the ranking is phenomenal for the Flash. Is this just a reflection of the overall market re-adjusting after DC’s line-wide sales spike a few months ago? Is DC worried about The Flash dropping faster than other top-tier titles, or are they glad it’s not dropping as quickly as the lower tier? Obviously they’re not too concerned, because they haven’t changed the creative team — something DC hasn’t shied away from in the short time since the launch.

The more I report on sales figures, the less I understand the implications. And that’s assuming the numbers are consistent enough to analyze to begin with.

Issue Rank Month Units Sold % Change
Flash vol.4
Flash v.4 #1 4 September 2011 129,260
Flash v.4 #2 5 October 2011 114,137 -11.7%
Flash v.4 #3 9 November 2011 90,417 -20.8%
Flash v.4 #4 8 December 2011 77,336 -14.5%

A few key articles covering past sales (with lots of numbers):

*What these numbers measure: US-only sales, wholesale from Diamond to comics retailers. They don’t count sales through bookstores, they don’t count international sales, and they don’t count how many copies were actually bought and read…but they do measure the same thing every month, which means they can be used to spot trends.

January 12, 2012

Quick Thoughts: The New 52, Wave 2

Category: Opinion — By

DC has announced the second wave of the New 52, with more details at USA Today. They’ll be adding six new series in May, and dropping six after #8 to keep the total at 52. Update: CBR interviews Bob Harras about the focus of the new books.

First off, I don’t think keeping it at 52 is a great idea, because the first time they change their line-up to feature 51 books, or 52, or anything else, people will read way too much into it.

Anyway, the canceled books:

  • Men of War and Blackhawks. War books are a tough sell these days. No surprise.
  • Mister Terrific. A gamble from the beginning, and the only praise I’ve heard about it is from the skeptic community for portraying an atheist in a positive light.
  • Static Shock. After all the effort DC went to to get Static (the only Milestone character they seemed interested in), what went wrong?
  • Hawk & Dove. The series’ biggest selling point was Rob Liefeld. Make of that what you will.
  • O.M.A.C. This always seemed to me as a — I don’t want to call it a vanity project — but basically, a chance for Dan Didio to have fun writing something. My guess is they didn’t really expect it to sell, but positioned it as an ongoing just in case people liked it.

And the new books, after the cut. Read the rest of this entry »

January 11, 2012

Wayback Wednesday: Origins are Only as Complicated as You Want

Category: Opinion — By

It’s easy for us as fans to look at a character concept and decide that it’s too complicated for new readers. But that’s because we’re fans, and as fans, we like to include every detail instead of focusing on the most critical ones needed to bring someone up to speed. (And it’s not just comics fans, either. I once asked a family friend what Les Miserables was about, and she spent at least twenty minutes describing the plot of the three-hour stage version. And consider this tribute to “excrutiatingly detailed” movie plot summaries on Wikipedia.) I don’t know if it’s our attention to detail, or our love of storytelling, but it’s just so easy to pile things on that a new reader doesn’t really need to worry about until a story warrants it.

You can make a lot of these “complicated” origins awfully simple. Even Wally West.

And yes, even Bart Allen.

Read the original article to see how.

This Week: Dastardly Death of the Rogues TPB

Category: Out This Week — By

Previously available in hardcover, the first (and IMO better) half of Geoff Johns’ post-Rebirth run on The Flash is now available as a trade paperback.

Flash: The Dastardly Death of the Rogues

Written by GEOFF JOHNS; Art by FRANCIS MANAPUL and SCOTT KOLINS; Cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL

The Fastest Man Alive must solve the murder of one of his greatest foes and protect his other foes from an elusive killer in this title collection THE FLASH #1–6 7 and THE FLASH SECRET FILES 2010!

Racing out of BLACKEST NIGHT, The Flash returns to his life in Central City – but when one of his Rogues Gallery of foes turns up murdered under mysterious circumstances, it’s up to The Fastest Man Alive to solve this bizarre crime and protect those who are targeted by the killer.

DC Universe 228pg. Color Softcover $14.99 US

An odd note: The hardcover also included The Flash #7, the Captain Boomerang one-shot. Usually DC tends to collect the same material in the hardcover and softcover releases, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see that the inevitable softcover of The Road to Flashpoint starts with #7 instead of #8.

It also wouldn’t surprise me if this is a copy-paste misprint, and this book does include #7, since the solicitation text for the hardcover also listed only Flash #1-6. Update: It’s a misprint, as Jason points out in the comments.

January 10, 2012

Skelanimals presents The Flash

Category: Collectibles — By

Yesterday afternoon the Skelanimals Facebook page announced that they would be joining forces with DC Comics to bring us Skelanimals based on our favorite DC super heroes. Now you can have your very own Flash Skelanimal:

Read the rest of this entry »