Sunday, January 15, 2017

COMICS SALES: Dark Horse Comics for December 2016


According to data from Diamond Distributers, and the monthly sales charts compiled ICv2.com and Comichron.com, Dark Horse Comics is America’s fifth largest comic book company in terms of dollar sales.

In December 2016, Diamond moved $45.05 million in comic books, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, and magazines to North American comic book specialty shops. Oregon-based Dark Horse accounted for 3.17 percent of that tally, or about $1.43 million in product.

The company solicited 26 regular comic books for sale to specialty comic book shops, placing 19 (73.1 percent) in the Top 300. That was good for 2.11 percent of the Top 300 slots, even though its best-selling title only landed at No. 112.

Let’s take a look at their titles.


112. SERENITY: NO POWER IN THE ‘VERSE ($3.99)

07/2005: (49) Serenity #1 — 38,507[32,607]
08/2005: (47) Serenity #2 — 47,091[11,383] (-17.8%)
09/2005: (42) Serenity #3 — 52,307 [4,874]  (-2.2%)
-----------------------------------------
03/2008: (26) Serenity: Days #1 — 62,282[4,310] (+16.5%)
04/2008: (32) Serenity: Days #2 — 56,117        (-15.7%)
05/2008: (41) Serenity: Days #3 — 52,413         (-6.6%)
-----------------------------------------
01/2014: (29) Serenity: Leaves #1 — 47,285*[13,343](+15.7%)
02/2014: (42) Serenity: Leaves #2 — 38,630* [6,862](-25.0%)
03/2014: (45) Serenity: Leaves #3 — 37,516* [5,535] (-5.4%)
04/2014: (41) Serenity: Leaves #4 — 42,269  [2,305] (+3.5%)
05/2014: (42) Serenity: Leaves #5 — 42,606          (-4.4%)
06/2014: (43) Serenity: Leaves #6 — 42,069          (-1.3%)
-----------------------------------------
10/2016: ( 73) Serenity: Power #1 — 39,492[11,596] (+21.4%)
11/2016: (113) Serenity: Power #2 — 24,186         (-38.8%)
12/2016: (112) Serenity: Power #3 — 21,364         (-11.7%)


Huh. That’s a mite more of a drop that we usually get on the third issue into a Serenity series. In the past, our Big Damn Heroes™ have found their level a lot quicker than this. Could this mean the bottom is finally falling out of the ‘verse, just as FOX executives have singled they are not avers to Joss Whedon rebooting the franchise? This is a six-issue series. So, this will probably end up finishing at around 18.5k in sales for the final issue. At that point, will Dark Horse see enough profit in launching another series down the road? 

The bracketed numbers, by the way, are re-orders placed after the final cut-off date for initial release. It does seem odd to me that the current series would have dropped so far, so fast, given the high re-order activity on #1. Of course, it's possible #2 also saw re-orders, just less than 3,954 copies, which would have placed it outside Diamond's Top 300 for December.


160. PREDATOR Vs JUDGE DREDD Vs.ALIENS ($3.99)

07/2016: (131) PvJDvA #1 — 17,170
08/2016: (169) PvJDvA #2 — 13,854 (-19.3%)
09/2016:  ---
10/2016:  ---
11/2016:  ---
12/2016: (160) PvJDvA #3 — 13,287  (-4.1%)

Considering the three-month layoff between issues, I’d call that a remarkably minimal drop-off. My question though — were those orders placed with the expectation of a September release? This was not on Dark Horse’s December solicitation form. Can retailers cancel orders placed with a book goes late, if the book is never resolicited? Me, I’d be kind up upset if I placed an order for September and didn’t get the book until December, by which time a good portion of the customers for this title had given up and moved on to other things.


164. ALIENS Vs PREDATOR: LIFE AND DEATH ($3.99)

12/2016: (164) AvP Life & Death #1 — 12,881

A four-issue limited series. This will probably close around 8k in sales, which is okay, I guess, if you can tell an Alien from a Predator.


170. BLACK HAMMER ($3.99)

07/2016: (117) Black Hammer #1 — 19,775*
08/2016: (153) Black Hammer #2 — 16,201 (-18.1%)
09/2016: (152) Black Hammer #3 — 13,656 (-15.7%)
10/2016: (171) Black Hammer #4 — 13,320  (-2.5%)
11/2016: (169) Black Hammer #5 — 12,950  (-2.8%)
12/2016: (170) Black Hammer #6 — 12,352  (-4.6%)

As I’ve said before, it’s never a good sign when attrition accelerates four-to-six issues into a run. That signals to me that just as the retailer figured out how many customers actually want this, a fair number stopped wanting it. And I do think that, in the modern era of decompressed storytelling, it takes most actual readers at least four-to-six issues to decide, “Okay, this isn’t going anywhere.”


171. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, SEASON 11 ($3.99)

12/2001: (118) BTVS #40 — 16,874
12/2006: ---
12/2011: ( 61) BTVS Season 9 #4 — 31,157
11/2012: ---
11/2013: ---
12/2014: (151) BTVS Season 10 #10 — 16,448
12/2015: (174) BTVS Season 10 #22 — 13,497 (-2.7%)
-----------------------------------------
01/2016: (160) BTVS Season 10 #23 — 13,121 (-2.8%)
02/2016: (157) BTVS Season 10 #24 — 12,852 (-2.1%)
03/2016: (151) BTVS Season 10 #25 — 12,717 (-1.1%)
04/2016: (163) BTVS Season 10 #26 — 12,570 (-1.2%)
05/2016: (157) BTVS Season 10 #27 — 12,475 (-0.8%)
06/2016: (174) BTVS Season 10 #28 — 12,363 (-0.9%)
07/2016: (175) BTVS Season 10 #29 — 12,255 (-0.9%)
08/2016: (180) BTVS Season 10 #30 — 12,119 (-1.1%)
09/2016: ---
10/2016: ---
11/2016: (160) BTVS Season 11 #1 — 14,855 (+22.6%)
12/2016: (171) BTVS Season 11 #2 — 11,982 (-19.3%)

6 months:  -3.1%
1 year:   -11.2%
2 years:  -27.2%
5 years:  -61.5%
10 years:  ---
15 years: -29.0%

As second issues go, that’s not a bad drop. Generally, I don’t bat an eye at much of anything that comes in less than 35 percent. However, the result is not much above where we might image the title would be anyway, had “Season 10” continued at the average 1.3 percent monthly drop of Issues 23-30.



206./214.. ALIENS: DEFIANCE ($3.99)

04/2016: (132) Aliens Defiance #1 — 16,256
05/2016: (179) Aliens Defiance #2 — 11,089 (-31.8%)
06/2016:  ---
07/2016:  ---
08/2016: (197) Aliens Defiance #3 — 10,459  (-5.7%)
08/2016: (199) Aliens Defiance #4 — 10,012  (-4.3%)
09/2016: (186) Aliens Defiance #5 —  9,719  (-2.9%)
10/2016: (201) Aliens Defiance #6 —  9,346  (-3.8%)
11/2016:  ---
12/2016: (206) Aliens Defiance #7 —  8,434  (-9.8%)
12/2016: (214) Aliens Defiance #8 —  8,084  (-4.1%)

An erratic release schedule probably hasn’t helped this one find its level. It’s an ongoing, but I can’t see this lasting to much past #12, at this rate of attrition.


219. ALIENS LIFE AND DEATH ($3.99)

09/2016 (155) Aliens Life&Death #1 — 13,022
10/2016 (203) Aliens Life&Death #2 —  9,206 (-29.3%)
11/2016 (219) Aliens Life&Death #3 —  8,228 (-10.6%)
12/2016 (219) Aliens Life&Death #4 —  7,692  (-6.5%)

Last of a four-issue series. I dare day Dark Horse has bled the hive dry of Aliens spin-offs.


224. SHADOWS ON THE GRAVE ($3.99)

12/2016 (224) Shadows on the Grave #1 — 7,311*

Richard Corben may be an Eisner Award winner, but that doesn’t seem to matter in terms of sales for the “master of supernatural horror,” as Dark Horse described him in the solicitation copy for this issue. This is supposed to be an eight-issue limited series, but, with this kind of a debut, I’d be surprised to see all eight hit the stands as floppies. Dark Horse might bail halfway and go right to the trade.


236. ETHER ($3.99)

11/2016: (179) Ether #1 (of 5) — 11,720
12/2016: (236) Ether #2 (of 5) —  6,246 (-46.7%)

I have zero idea what this one is all about. With a second-issue drop-off that steep, I’m not sure retailers did either. This looks to finish its run outside the Top 300.


241. BRIGG’S LAND ($3.99)

08/2016: (127) Brigg’s Land #1 — 20,228*
09/2016: (189) Brigg’s Land #2 —  9,487* (-53.1%)
10/2016: (225) Brigg’s Land #3 —  7,757  (-18.2%)
11/2016: (247) Brigg’s Land #4 —  6,635  (-12.5%)
12/2016: (241) Brigg’s Land #5 —  5,947  (-10.4%)

I don’t know anything about this title. It appears to be an ongoing series. But not for long at this rate. Those monthly loses are much bigger than is usual, and while the attrition is slowing, the pace has not abated by nearly enough, I’d say, to keep this on stands for long.


244. HARROW COUNTY ($3.99)

05/2015: (160) Harrow County #1 — 11,759
12/2015: (246) Harrow County #8 —  7,721
-------------------------------------
01/2016: ---
02/2016: (212) Harrow County  #9 — 7,279 (-5.7%)
03/2016: (210) Harrow County #10 — 7,307 (+0.4%)
04/2016: (230) Harrow County #11 — 7,080 (-3.1%)
05/2016: (237) Harrow County #12 — 7,041 (-0.6%)
06/2016: (250) Harrow County #13 — 7,039 (-0.0%)
07/2016: (244) Harrow County #14 — 6,942 (-1.4%)
08/2016: (255) Harrow County #15 — 6,800 (-2.0%)
09/2016: (231) Harrow County #16 — 6,550 (-3.7%)
10/2016: (248) Harrow County #17 — 6,377 (-2.6%)
11/2016: (257) Harrow County #18 — 6,118 (-4.1%)
12/2016: (244) Harrow County #19 — 5,896 (-3.6%)


This one seemed to level off pretty nicely, but monthly attrition is picking up of late. That does not bode well. Meanwhile, the collected editions, see below, may not be selling well enough to keep this above water much longer.


245. DEAD INSIDE ($3.99)

12/2016: (245) Dead Inside #1 — 5,834*

A five-issue series. Don’t look for any subsequent issues to list inside the Top 300.


250. WORLD OF TANKS ($3.99)

08/2016: (224) World of Tanks #1 (of 5) — 8,056
09/2016: ---
10/2016: ---
11/2016: (258) World of Tanks #2 (of 5) — 6,115* (-24.1%)
12/2016: (250) World of Tanks #3 (of 5) — 5,645   (-7.7%)

As low as this one started out, it’s bound to finish up outside the Top 300. It thought it might rank outside the running this month, but it held on.  Still, it’ll likely finish with less than 4.5k.


259. RISE OF THE BLACK FLAME ($3.99)

09/2016: (199) Rise of the Black Flame #1 — 8,442
10/2016: (247) Rise of the Black Flame #2 — 6,379 (-24.4%)
11/2016: (271) Rise of the Black Flame #3 — 5,641 (-11.6%)
12/2016: (259) Rise of the Black Flame #4 — 5,261  (-6.7%)

A five-issue limited series. If this was an ongoing series, and if the initial orders were higher (by several orders of magnitude), I’d call this a pretty decent attrition curve. As is, I question if we’ll see the last issue chart inside the Top 300.


264. TARZAN ON THE PLANET OF THE APES ($3.99)

09/2016: (205) Tarzan/Planet of Apes #1 — 7,983
10/2016: (257) Tarzan/Planet of Apes #2 — 5,974 (-25.2%)
11/2016: (276) Tarzan/Planet of Apes #3 — 5,455  (-8.7%)
12/2016: (264) Tarzan/Planet of Apes #4 — 5,188  (-4.9%)

Also a five issue series. Also a decent attrition curve but for the low, low, low initial orders — which is a real surprise given the high concept.


288. DEPT. H ($3.99)

04/2016: (195) Dept. H #1 —  9,319
05/2016: (262) Dept. H #2 —  6,189 (-33.6%)
06/2016: (???) Dept. H #3 — <5,596
07/2016: (270) Dept. H #4 —  5,697
08/2016: (???) Dept. H #5 — <5,497
09/2016: (278) Dept. H #6 —  5,056
10/2016: (???) Dept. H #7 — <4,931
11/2016: (???) Dept. H #8 — <4,799
12/2016: (288) Dept. H #9 —  4,342

It’s kind of hard to calculate monthly drops for this one as it keeps bouncing out and in of the Top 300. It does appear to have experienced an uptick in orders for #4, but has been otherwise on a steady decline, shedding 52.4 percent of its orders from #1 to #9. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but it surprises me that this is still being solicited.



293. WITCHFINDER: CITY OF THE DEAD ($3.99)

08/2016: (278) Witchfinder: City Dead #1 —  6,116
09/2016: (282) Witchfinder: City Dead #2 —  4,845 (-20.8%)
10/2016: (???) Witchfinder: City Dead #3 — <4,931
11/2016: (???) Witchfinder: City Dead #4 — <4,799
12/2016: (293) Witchfinder: City Dead #5 —  4,204

Last issue of a limited series, peeks back into the Top 300. This appears to be a case of the rest of the market declining fast enough to meet its level.


295. TOMB RAIDER 2016 ($3.99)

02/2016: (191) Tomb Raider 2016  #1 —  8,867
03/2016: (239) Tomb Raider 2016  #2 —  6,039
04/2016: (255) Tomb Raider 2016  #3 —  6,075
05/2016: (269) Tomb Raider 2016  #4 —  5,812
06/2016: (???) Tomb Raider 2016  #5 — <5,596
07/2016: (292) Tomb Raider 2016  #6 —  5,199
08/2016: (???) Tomb Raider 2016  #7 — <5,497
09/2016: (285) Tomb Raider 2016  #8 —  4,761
10/2016: (295) Tomb Raider 2016  #9 — <4,931
11/2016: (295) Tomb Raider 2016 #10 — <4,799
12/2016: (295) Tomb Raider 2016 #11 —  4,154

Also peeking in and out of the Top 300. The collected edition of #1-6 sold 828 copies to retailers in its October debut, landing at No. 136 on Diamond’s books chart. If it moved additional copies in November and December, it did not make the Top 300.

----------------

Among titles that charted in November, LADYKILLER 2 #4 was solicited for December, but has yet to come out, so far as I can tell. The same goes for CONAN THE SLAYER #6. Meanwhile, GROO: FREY OF THE GODS #4, the final issue in that series, was solicited for release in October, but just came out Jan. 11.

----------------

Here now, are the comics solicited by Dark Horse for release in December that did not crack the Top 300 in sales, or else, as with those just above, failed to make their intended release dates:

CALL OF DUTY: ZOMBIES #2 (of 6)
CHIMICHANGA: THE SORROW OF THE WORLD’S WORST FACE #3 (of 4)
DARK HORSE PRESENTS #29
RESIDENT ALIEN: THE MAN WITH NO NAME #4 (of 4)
SPELL ON WHEELS #3 (of 5)
THE STRAIN: MISTER QUINLAN, VAMPIRE HUNTER #4 (of 5)
USAGI YOJIMBO #160

--------------

Now, Dark Horse did place eight items on Diamond’s Top 300 for books (i.e. graphic novels, trade paperbacks, and reprint collections). The ones marked with an asterisk (*) below are hardcovers. I’ve also listed one more Comichron took note of, for whatever reason, though it landed WAY outside the Top 300.

 70. BTVS SEASON 10, Vol. 6: OWN IT ($18.99) — 1,363
103. NEW LONE WOLF AND CUB, Vol. 11 ($13.99) — 1,095
109. CONAN OMNIBUS, V.1: BIRTH OF A LEGEND ($24.99) — 1,037
141. BALTIMORE, Vol. 7: EMPTY GRAVES* ($24.99) — 865
169. BLADE OF IMMORTAL OMNIBUS, Vol. 1 ($19.99) — 749
188. ESSENTIAL KURTZMAN, V.2 TRUMP COMPLETE* ($29.99) — 674
209. HARROW COUNTY, Vol. 1: COUNTLESS HAINTS ($14.99) — 613
257. GUN THEORY* ($24.99) — 521
543. BERSERK, Vol. 1: BLACK SWORDSMAN ($14.99) — 254

And below are books Dark Horse solicited for release in December, which did not chart in the Top 300. In some cases, as with Groo, they have not have actually come out yet.

ANGEL CATBIRD, Vol. 2: TO CASTLE CATULA* ($14.99)
BOUNTY, Vol. 1 ($9.99)
THE EC ARCHIVES: VALOR* ($49.99)
EERIE ARCHIVES, Vol. 23* ($49.99)
ERB’s TARZAN, THE JESSE MARCH YEARS OMNIBUS, V.1 ($29.99)
FATE/ZERO, Vol. 4 ($11.99)
GROO: FREY OF THE GODS ($17.99)
HATSUNE MIKU: RIN-CHAN NOW!, Vol. 1 ($10.99)
HE-MAN/MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: THE COMIC STRIPS* ($29.99)
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE SERPENT’S HEIR ($10.99)
MASS EFFECT OMNIBUS, Vol. 2 ($24.99)
MOBY DICK* ($24.99)
SABERTOOTH SWORDSMAN, Vol. 1* ($17.99)
TOMB RAIDER ARCHIVES, Vol. 1* ($39.99)
TREKKER: RITES OF PASSAGE ($12.99)
VAMPIRE HUNTER D, Vol. 25: UNDEAD ISLAND ($11.99)
WEIRD DETECTIVE: THE STARS ARE WRONG ($17.99)
WILL SAVE THE GALAXY FOR FOOD ($12.99)


Welp, that’s tat! Got comments, questions, alternate theories, awful things to say about my parentage? Don’t be shy, buddy! Hit the comments button, below!








Saturday, January 14, 2017

COMICS SALES: IDW Publishing for December 2016


Hey, gang, I’m back with a look at monthly comic book sales from the smaller U.S. publishers. For our purposes, that means anyone not Marvel, DC, or Image.

We start our look at December sales by drawing back the curtain on IDW Publishing. And keep in mind, by “sales,” we mean sales to North American comic book shops on a (mostly) non-returnable basis, via industry monopoly Diamond Distributors. In other words, these are sales to retailers, not necessarily sales to customers. You might find some of these stuffing dollar bins in a few months.

The numbers below are garnered from sales estimates published by ICv2.com and Comichron.com.

According to their numbers, IDW was the fourth-biggest deal in comics for December, capturing 5.49 percent of the overall dollar share of the $45.05 million in comics, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, and magazines shipped by Diamond to comics shops in December. If you do the math, that’s about $2.47 million in product moved by IDW for the month. Not too shabby.

However, it does appear that a good portion of IDW’s output is bottom list material. Comichron reports the company accounted for just 3.4 percent of the Top 300 comics, good for 3.69 percent of the dollar share for those prime sellers. Taking Top 300 book sales into account, IDW commanded 3.75 percent of the dollar share for both books and comics, behind Marvel (46.01 percent), DC, (32.82 percent), and Image (7.49 percent), while beating out fifth-place Dark Horse Comics (which scored 2.15 percent).

IDW solicited 42 regular comic books or release in December, landing 24 (57.1 percent) in the Top 300. For graphic novels, collected editions, and trade paperbacks, IDW solicited 17 books, placing 11 (64.7 percent) in the Top 300 for that kind of material.

Anyway, here are the reported sales for December 2016:



65. BATMAN/TMNT ADVENTURES ($3.99)

11/2016: (14) Batman/TMNT Advs #1 (of 6) — 75,974 [6,135]
12/2016: (65) Batman/TMNT Advs #2 (of 6) — 38,524* (-53.1%)

How big is the Batman/Turtles team-up for IDW? Well, look at it this way: Re-orders for #1 of this title outsold 26 of 42 titles solicited by the company in December, or 62 percent of the line. And, although #2 tumbled quite a few spots on the sales charts, from 14 to 65, it remains the best-selling comic book not published by DC, Marvel, or Image (although, year, DC is a co-publisher).

The drop of more than 53 percent from #1 to #2 is pretty steep, however. Please note, I am adding in the re-orders when calculating the circulation decrease, since my primary purpose here is to compare the minimum number of issues that are out there in the marketplace, as opposed to looking at initial retailer interest in each given release. If we compare just initial orders, the drop is 49.3 percent, which is still not inconsiderable.

I think what I get out of this is that retailers seem to expect more customers buying multiple covers of #1 as a collectable, and maybe not even bothering with subsequent issues, than sticking with the series as readers.


116. STAR TREK/GREEN LANTERN, Vol. 2 ($3.99)

07/2015: ( 21) Star Trek/GL #1 — 64,052*
08/2015: ( 88) Star Trek/GL #2 — 25,816* (-59.7%)
09/2015: ( 87) Star Trek/GL #3 — 24,688*  (-4.4%)
10/2015: ( 97) Star Trek/GL #4 — 23,184*  (-6.1%)
11/2015: (113) Star Trek/GL #5 — 21,801*  (-6.0%)
12/2015: (135) Star Trek/GL #6 — 20,727*  (-4.9%)
-------------------------
12/2016: (116) Star Trek/GL #1 (of 6) — 20,853 (+0.6%)

Really, a very negligible increase for the first issue of this new series, versus the last issue of the previous run, one year ago. After a step second-issue drop, the remainder of vol. 1 seemed to hold its base fairly well. It looks like retailers chose to believe, at most, those readers will come back for more, rather than speculate on new sales based on a new #1.  The new series is by the same team as the first series, which was collected under the title, “Spectrum War,” so that’s probably a good bet.


146. LOCKE AND KEY: SMALL WORLD ($4.99)

12/2016: (146) Lock&Key Small World #nn — 15,191

For a one-shot published three years after the original series ended, that’s not a bad result, I’d say.


148. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ($3.99)

12/1996: (206) TMNT #6 (Image)  — 13,1229
12/2001: (146) TMNT #1 (Mirage) — 12,361
12/2006: (270) Tales/TMNT #29 (Mirage) — 2,686
12/2011: (102) TMNT  #5 — 19,689
12/2012: (119) TMNT #17 — 16,703 (-15.2%)
12/2013: (137) TMNT #29 — 15,532  (-7.0%)
12/2014: (160) TMNT #41 — 14,970  (-3.6%)
12/2015: (134) TMNT #53 — 17,190 (+14.8%)
---------------------------------
01/2016: (134) TMNT #54 — 16,769  (-2.4%)
02/2016: (109) TMNT #55 — 19,631 (+17.1%)
03/2016: (123) TMNT #56 — 16,332 (-16.8%)
04/2016: (236) TMNT #57 — 6,706  (“+2.3%”)
05/2016: (120) TMNT #58 — 16,792  (+0.5%)
06/2016: (130) TMNT #59 — 16,962  (+1.0%)
07/2016: (136) TMNT #60 — 16,915  (-0.3%)
08/2016: (146) TMNT #61 — 16,747  (-1.0%)
09/2016: (135) TMNT #62 — 15,670  (-6.4%)
10/2016: (145) TMNT #63 — 17,133  (+9.3%)
11/2016: (159) TMNT #64 — 14,875 (-13.2%)
12/2016: (148) TMNT #65 — 14,490  (-2.6%)

six  months: -14.6%
one year:    -15.7%
two years:    -3.2%
five years:  -26.4%

After some recent pendulum rocking, TMNT seems to settle back in to a slow downward glide. As noted last month, I’m working on the assumption that the number given on Comichron for #57 was an error no one ever noticed and/or corrected. More likely it was supposed to be 16,706, not 6,706. I’ve run the percentage changes on the larger number.


153. OPTIMUS PRIME ($3.99)

12/2016: (153) Optimus Prime #1 — 14,332*

Originally solicited for November, the book shows up on the December charts. I believe this is an ongoing series. Following recent patterns for IDW’s Transformer books, I’d expect this to chart about 8,000 copies next month, around 6,000 in February, and then start struggling to maintain a spot in the Top 300. We’ll see what happens.


161. TMNT UNIVERSE ($4.99)

08/2016: ( 85) TMNT Universe #1 — 34,471*
09/2016:  ---
10/2106: (130) TMNT Universe #2 — 19,994 (-42.0%)
10/2016: (158) TMNT Universe #3 — 15,619 (-21.2%)
11/2016: (163) TMNT Universe #4 — 13,769 (-11.8%)
12/2016: (161) TMNT Universe #5 — 13,201  (-4.1%)


After some pretty steep drops, the turtle’s “supporting players” title manages a monthly drop of slightly more than 4 percent. It’s now just 1,200 copies, or so, behind the main title, which actually tells me this has a bit further to drop yet before it settles into true “standard attrition.”


162. G.I. JOE ($3.99)

12/2016: (162) G.I. Joe #1 — 12,968*

I’m not convinced that’s the best possible result for a title IDW solicited as the “crown jewel of the Hasbro Universe.” If I understood readers of last month’s IDW chart correctly, this one spins out of the recent “Hasbro Revolution” cross-over event, and features new characters in a separate continuity from the traditional “Real American Hero” title.


175. MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC ($3.99)

12/2012: ( 15) MLP: Friendship/Magic  #2 — 39,841
12/2013: ( 56) MLP: Friendship/Magic #14 — 22,990 (-42.3%)
12/2014: ( 90) MLP: Friendship/Magic #26 — 17,454 (-23.1%)
12/2015: (158) MLP: Friendship/Magic #37 — 15,759  (-9.7%)
-----------------------------------------
01/2016: (143) MLP: Friendship/Magic #38 — 16,173  (+2.6%)
02/2016: (116) MLP: Friendship/Magic #39 — 18,743 (+15.9%)
03/2016: (132) MLP: Friendship/Magic #40 — 14,530 (-22.5%)
04/2016: (143) MLP: Friendship/Magic #41 — 14,544  (+0.1%)
05/2016: (138) MLP: Friendship/Magic #42 — 15,375  (+5.7%)
06/2016: (154) MLP: Friendship/Magic #43 — 13,844 (-10.0%)
07/2016: (155) MLP: Friendship/Magic #44 — 14,974  (+8.2%)
08/2016: (172) MLP: Friendship/Magic #45 — 13,263 (-11.4%)
09/2016: (157) MLP: Friendship/Magic #46 — 12,750  (-3.9%)
10/2016: (175) MLP: Friendship/Magic #47 — 12,474  (-2.2%)
11/2016: (178) MLP: Friendship/Magic #48 — 11,865  (-4.9%)
12/2016: (175) MLP: Friendship/Magic #49 — 11,360  (-4.3%)

six month: -17.9%
one year:  -27.9%
two year:  -34.9%
three year:-50.6%
four year: -71.5%

I would expect a pretty substantial jump next month for #50. The real question is how quick after that it will take to brake below where it is now.


176. TRANSFORMERS: LOST LIGHT ($3.99)

12/2016: (176) Transformers Lost Light #1 — 11,342*

I would not call that a stellar sales result, especially given that these recent Hasbro titles have been seeing second-issue drop-offs at or near 50 percent. With four Transformer titles out in December (even of two of them were originally solicited for November) I wonder if IDW might have pulled a Marvel and over-saturated the market? That may not work out so well. I mean, Transformers aren’t made of adamantium, ya know. Really, though, if there’s not enough interest in comics shops to support this many Transformer titles, maybe IDW should look elsewhere. I mean, selling Transformer comics at Toys R Us and similar chains seems a natural.


189. TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE — REVOLUTION ($3.99)

12/2016: (189) Transformers: MTMTE Revolution #1 — 9,976*

Like OPTIMUS PRIMW, originally solicited for November. I think IDW really misjudged how much interest there was in a shared Hasbro universe.


190. MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDS FOREVER ($3.99)

01/2014: ( 98) MLP: Friends Forever  #1 — 23,370*
12/2014: (139) MLP: Friends Forever #12 — 15,202 (-35.0%)
12/2015: (175) MLP: Friends Forever #23 — 13,468 (-11.4%)
-----------------------------------------
01/2016: (162) MLP: Friends Forever #24 — 12,623 (-6.3%)
02/2016: (160) MLP: Friends Forever #25 — 12,606 (-0.1%)
03/2016: (160) MLP: Friends Forever #26 — 12,059 (-4.3%)
04/2016: (170) MLP: Friends Forever #27 — 12,075 (+0.1%)
05/2016: (165) MLP: Friends Forever #28 — 12,709 (+5.3%)
06/2016: (180) MLP: Friends Forever #29 — 11,931 (-6.1%)
06/2016: (182) MLP: Friends Forever #30 — 11,747 (-1.5%)
07/2016: ---
08/2016: (190) MLP: Friends Forever #31 — 11,350 (-3.4%)
09/2016: (174) MLP: Friends Forever #34 — 10,614 (-6.5%)
10/2016: (189) MLP: Friends Forever #33 — 10,532 (-0.8%)
11/2016: (195) MLP: Friends Forever #34 — 10,163 (-3.5%)
12/2016: (190) MLP: Friends Forever #35 —  9,765 (-3.9%)

six month: -18.2%
one year:  -27.5%
two year:  -35.8%
from #1:   -58.2%

As I predicted last month, the second Pony title dips below 10k in retailer orders. It’ll be interesting to see how much of a bump, if any, this one gets in January when the main title hits #50.


211. ROM ($3.99)

07/2016: ( 75) ROM #1 — 33,107*
08/2016: (161) ROM #2 — 14,816* (-55.2%)
09/2016: (163) ROM #3 — 11,906* (-19.6%)
10/2016: ---
11/2016: (189) ROM #4 — 11,051*  (-7.2%)
11/2016: (203) ROM #5 —  9,318  (-15.7%)
12/2016: (211) ROM #6 —  8,176* (-12.3%)


It’s not as big a drop as last month, granted, but that’s still a steeper curve than we’d normally like to see at this point. The fact that the decline picked up speed after #4 (about when retailers start placing pre-orders based on actual sales activity) tells me a lot of readers are bailing on this title. Absent an abrupt about-face, ROM probably has about two more months, at most, in the Top 300.


243. MASK: MOBILE ARMORED STRIKE KOMMAND ($3.99)

11/2016: (200) MASK #1 — 9,677*
12/2016: (243) MASK #2 — 5,902* (-39.0%)


I predicted #2 would land outside the Top 300. It’d didn’t, and that’s a relatively decent second-issue drop-off, as these things go. Still, not quite 6,000 issues does not bode well for the future of this series. It would help, I guess, if there was more nostalgia for the toy line this comic is based on. I mean, does anyone out there even remember playing with M.A.S.K. toys as a kid?


207. STAR TREK: BOLDLY GO ($3.99)

10/2016: (160) Star Trek Boldly Go #1 — 14,690*
11/2016: (209) Star Trek Boldly Go #2 —  9,012* (-38.7%)
12/2016: (207) Star Trek Boldly Go #3 —  8,403*  (-6.8%)


You can sort of see the health of the entire industry here. Note that, while the title loses about 600 copies in orders, it actually gains two positions in the overall rankings. It’ll be interesting to see how long this “new crew” series lasts, although TPBs will probably keep it chugging along for a while, if only on impulse speed.



216. BACK TO THE FUTURE ($3.99)

10/2015: ( 27) Back to the Future #1 — 67,015* [8,014]
12/2015: (106) Back to the Future #3 — 25,951*  (+0.8%)
------------------------------------
01/2016: ( 99) Back to the Future  #4 — 22,365* (-13.8%)
02/2016: (102) Back to the Future  #5 — 21,196*  (-5.2%)
03/2016: (109) Back to the Future  #6 — 18,502* (-12.7%)
04/2016: (135) Back to the Future  #7 — 16,123* (-12.9%)
05/2016: (150) Back to the Future  #8 — 13,443* (-16.6%)
06/2016: (170) Back to the Future  #9 — 12,646*  (-5.9%)
07/2016: (171) Back to the Future #10 — 12,850*  (+1.6%)
08/2016: (185) Back to the Future #11 — 11,805*  (-8.1%)
09/2016: (180) Back to the Future #12 —  9,979* (-15.5%)
10/2016: (199) Back to the Future #13 —  9,742*  (-2.4%)
11/2016: (212) Back to the Future #14 —  8,861*  (-9.0%)
12/2016: (216) Back to the Future #15 —  7,963* (-10.1%)

six months: -37.0%
one year:   -69.3%
from #1:    -89.4%

This one has to be on death watch, given how the attrition is picking up speed, despite the name recognition. I have not tried this, is it just not that good? This has probably got about one more month in the Top 300, absent any kind of “stunt casting.”


227. JEM:THE MISFITS ($3.99)

12/2016: (227) Jem/Misfits #1 — 7,205*

I would not call that very encouraging for a first issue. I mean, it’s less that 400 copies above what #21 of JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS sold in November. This was not solicited as a mini-series, but #2 will likely place outside the Top 300, meaning the TPB collection better sale gangbusters in order to keep this series going longer than it takes to fill a single trade.


233. TRANSFORMERS: ‘TILL ALL ARE ONE ($3.99)

06/2016: (219) Transformers TAAO #1 — 8,916
07/2016: (234) Transformers TAAO #2 — 7,602 (-14.7%)
08/2016: (248) Transformers TAAO #3 — 7,190 (-6.5%)
09/2016: (222) Transformers TAAO #4 — 7,000 (-1.5%)
10/2016:  ---
11/2016: (240) Transformers TAAO #5 — 6,935 (-0.9%)
12/2016: (233) Transformers TAAO #6 — 6,558 (-5.4%)


As stated above, I think IDW has over-saturated the market in Transformer comics. This title seems to suffer the most for that, and we have to wonder how much longer it will last. After all, when a title levels off and then begins to drop orders by that large a percentage, it looks to me like a virtual collapse in retailer confidence.


251. MICRONAUTS ($3.99)

04/2016: ( 75) Micronauts #1 — 25,673
05/2016: (154) Micronauts #2 — 12,803* (-50.1%)
06/2016: (202) Micronauts #3 —  9,715* (-24.1%)
07/2016: (202) Micronauts #4 —  9,060*  (-6.7%)
08/2016: (235) Micronauts #5 —  7,667* (-15.4%)
09/2016: (219) Micronauts #6 —  7,226*  (-5.8%)
10/2016:  ---
11/2016: (264) Micronauts #7 —  5,918* (-18.1%)
12/2016: (251) Micronauts #8 —  5,590*  (-5.5%)

six months: -42.5%
from #1:vvv -78.2%

Probably easiest just to repeat my commentary from last month: “Still returnable. Still posting huge monthly drops. Still committing the unforgivable sin of not being the 1970’s Bill Mantlo series.” And as with some other titles, notice how it climbs the rankings (from 264 to 251) while shedding several hundred copies in orders. That does not speak well of the industry as a whole. Oh, and while we often say that “floppies” are just loss leaders for trade paperback collections, especially at the smaller publishers, I’m not sure book sales are going to save Micronauts from the giant ax. MICRONAUTS, Vol. 1: ENTROPY, which collects Issue #1-6 under one cover for $19.99, made its debut on the book list this month, landing at No. 195, with just 647 copies ordered by retailers.


256. THE X-FILES CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 2016 ($7.99)

12/2016: (256) X-Files X-Mas Spec 2016 #0 — 5,298

I don’t mean to be a downer, but that seems pretty pathetic for an X-Files comic, even one priced at $8. I’m not sure why the bean counters in IDW’s front office thought green-lighting this special, when the main title sells so poorly, made a lick of sense.


274. THE X-FILES: ORIGINS ($4.99)

09/2016: (254) X-Files Origins #2 — 5,702*
10/2016: (294) X-Files Origins #3 — 5,065* (-11.2%)
11/2016:  ---
12/2016: (274) X-Files Origins #4 — 4,770*  (-5.8%)

Not really sure what’s going on with this Muppet Babies version of The X-Files. Issue #1 supposedly came out in August, but I can’t find it listed on charts published by either ICv2 or Comichron.


279. UNCLE SCROOGE ($3.99)

11/2015: (150) Uncle Scrooge #1 — 19,922*
12/2015: (254) Uncle Scrooge #9 —  7,376  
-------------------------------------
01/2016: (226) Uncle Scrooge #10 — 6,226 (-15.6%)
02/2016: (236) Uncle Scrooge #11 — 5,863  (-5.8%)
03/2016: (249) Uncle Scrooge #12 — 5,712  (-2.6%)
04/2016: (270) Uncle Scrooge #13 — 5,425  (-5.0%)
05/2016: (280) Uncle Scrooge #14 — 5,469  (+0.8%)
06/2016: (???) Uncle Scrooge #15 —<5,596
07/2016: (???) Uncle Scrooge #16 —<5,069
08/2016: (???) Uncle Scrooge #17 —<5,497
09/2016: (276) Uncle Scrooge #18 — 5,131
10/2016: (300) Uncle Scrooge #19 — 4,931 (-3.9%)
11/2016: (300) Uncle Scrooge #20 — 4,799 (-2.7%)
12/2016: (279) Uncle Scrooge #21 — 4,638 (-3.4%)

six months: -17.1% (at least)
one year:   -37.1%
from #1:    -76.7%

Climbs 21 spots up the chart by virtue of losing only 161 copies in retailer orders. This happens to be the only IDW copy I personally bought that landed in the Top 300. Now, if it were me, considering that IDW’s Disney books are reprints of overseas material, making them presumably less costly to produce than other IDW comics, I’d make them all 80-100 pages on good quality newsprint and for the same price. Not losing anything off the cover price would please retailers, while the package would, I think, be much more desirable to young readers and those buying comics for same.


284. X-FILES ($3.99)

04/2016: (142) X-Files #1 — 14,732*
05/2016: (203) X-Files #2 —  9,077* (-38.4%)
06/2016: (228) X-Files #3 —  8,299*  (-8.6%)
07/2016: (226) X-Files #4 —  7,963*  (-4.0%)
08/2016: (238) X-Files #5 —  7,539*  (-5.3%)
09/2016: (217) X-Files #6 —  7,244*  (-3.9%)
10/2016: (249) X-Files #7 —  6,362* (-12.2%)
11/2016: (262) X-Files #8 —  5,921*  (-6.9%)
12/2016: (284) X-Files #9 —  4,502  (-24.0%)

six months: -45.8%
from #:     -69.4%

If I interpret the charts from ICv2 and Comichon correctly, #9 was the first issue of the series not returnable, and so suffers a huge collapse even when accounting for presumed average returns of 10 percent with previous issues. Given the appearance of three X-Files comics this month, it seems IDW is going the same route as it is with the Transformers and giving the market more of a good thing that it realty wants. This will almost certainly be outside the Top 300 next month, which to my mind is pretty spectacular for a comic based on a well-known television property.


297. POWERPUFF GIRLS ($3.99)

07/2016: (181) Powerpuff Girls #1 — 11,805*
08/2016: (239) Powerpuff Girls #2 —  7,537* (-36.2%)
09/2016: (246) Powerpuff Girls #3 —  5,848* (-22.4%)
10/2016: (298) Powerpuff Girls #4 —  4,981* (-14.8%)
11/2016:  ---
12/2016: (297) Powerpuff Girls #5 —  4,019* (-19.3%)

Still in double digit drops at #5, and picking up speed. Plus, let’s face it, you can’t lost 20 percent of monthly sales for too many months with your moving just slightly more than 4,000 copies. I think IDW may have seriously misjudged the demand for a Powerpuff comic, especially at $4 a pop. Nothing short of a My Little Pony/Powerpuff cross-over event will get this title to Issue #10.

----------------------------------

Okay, now the two following titles charted in the Top 300 this month, and appear to have both solicited and released new issues for December, but are nowhere to me found. With the No. 300 comic (Zombie Tramp New Year’s Eve 2016, from Action Lab) selling 3,954 copies to retailers, that can be taken as an indication each of these titles has dropped below that in sales.


274. COMIC BOOK HISTORY OF COMICS ($3.99)

11/2016: (274) CBHOC #1 (of 6) — 5,573*
12/2016: (???) CBHOC #2 (of 6) — <3,954 (-29.0% at least)

I continue to have my doubts about this publishing all six issues.


298. DONALD QUEST ($3.99)

09/2016: (289) Donald Duck #17 — 4,560
10/2016: ---
11/2016: (298) Donald Quest #1 — 4,886
12/2016: (???) Donald Quest #2 — <3,954 (-19.1% at least)

Without IDW doing something to goose sales, I’m not at all certain Donald will come back in his own title once his Quest is over. Too bad, I was buying the regular book, although I did choose to skip this limited series.

----------------------------------

It’s also worth mentioning that two comics, JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS #22 and G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO #235, did not place on the December chart because, while solicited for that month, neither actually came out until January 2.


Meanwhile, that leaves the following, solicited by IDW for December release, which failed to make the chart, presumably because they garnered fewer than 3,954 in retailer orders, although, I admit, I did not check each one against comiclist.com to verify what came out when.

THE ADVENTURES OF AUGUSTA WIND, Vol. 2: THE LAST STORY #5
ANGRY BIRDS COMICS #12
ATOMIC ROBO AND THE TEMPLE OF OD #5 (of 5)
DIRK GENTLY: THE SALMON OF DOUBT #3
DUCK AVENGER #2
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: FROST GIANT’S FURY #1
THE ELECTRIC SUBLIME #3 (of 4)
GUMBALLS #1
HAUNTER HORROR #25
IDW’S 100-PAGE WONDERS: JOHN BYRNE’S COLD WAR
INSUFFERABLE: HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE #3
JILL THOMPSON’S THE KILLER INSIDE ME #5 (of 5)
MICKEY MOUSE #15
MICKEY AND DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE #2
THE OCTOBER FACTION: DEADLY SEASON #3
POPEYE CLASSICS #53
RAGNAROK #12
REVOLUTIONARIES #1
STAR TREK NEW VISIONS SPECIAL: THE HIDDEN FACE
SUPERF*CKERS FOREVER #5 (of 5)
WYNONNA EARP LEGENDS: DOC HOLLIDAY, #2 (of 4)
YAKUZA DEMON KILLERS #2 (of 6)

 ----------------------------------

And, finally, from the “For-What-It’s-Worth” File, IDW moved the following books to retailers in December (* indicates hardcover):

  1. LOVE IS LOVE ($9.99) — 9,659 copies
 89. MARCH, BOOK ONE ($14.95) — 1,219
100. JACK KIRBY PENCILS & INKS* ($49.99) — 1,130
190. TRANSFORMERS: ‘TILL ALL ARE ONE, Vol. 1 ($17.99) — 667
194. MARCH, BOOK THREE ($19.99) — 647
195. MICRONAUTS, Vol. 1: ENTROPY ($19.99) — 647
218. DITKO UNLEASHED* ($59.99) — 583
245. MARCH, BOOK TWO ($19.99) — 553
251. RETURN OF THE ZOMBIE* ($24.99) — 542
258. STAR TREK VISIONS, Vol. 4 (19.99) — 519
295. TMNT: MEETING OF THE MUTANIMALS* ($12.99) — 451

The LOVE IS LOVE book was a clear crown-pleaser and must’ve netted IDW a nice wad of cash. If we assume the publisher gets the same on a trade as on a regular comic (about 35 percent of the cover price), then IDW raked in nearly $34,000 on initial orders for that book. And, what’s more, it’s a title that promises to remain in print for some time, likely near the top of the GN/TPB chart. And, keep in mind, while these estimates of sales to comic books shops through Diamond Distributors likely captures 85 percent or more of all sales for regular comic books, trade paperbacks and graphic novels sell in significant numbers though many, many other outlets. So, 9,659 is probably nowhere near the actual number of copies of LOVE IS LOVE that IDW moved in December.

And here’s another example: It’s worth noting that on Jan. 14, the same day I wrote this column, a tweet from President-elect Donald Trump that was less than charitable toward Congressman John Lewis, sent his MARCH trilogy — at No. 89, 194, and 245 on the December Diamond chart above — soaring to the No. 1 spot on Amazon.com, the No. 1 retailer of books worldwide. So, we’ll probably see a ripple effect on those books on Diamond’s chart next month, as well.

Well, that’s it for December. Got comments, questions, alternate theories, awful things to say about my parentage? Don’t be shy, buddy! Hit the comments button, below!