Damn, I didn’t know Morning Glories had been cancelled. I’m still waiting on the fourth hardcover to come out.
I really like the Young Animal titles. To a one I think they offer something excellent and different.
Doom Patrol is flatly brilliant.
Same here. If they don’t release one… Well, Mr Fribble will be very annoyed.
I love the book, the sales are awful. I checked and it isn’t even in the top300 chart, which means it is selling fewer than 4,000 copies there.
Vertigo books never sell that well in singles of course and do much better in trade but I think there’s a limit to how much DC can support at that level.
I’m shocked by that. I thought word of mouth would have led to a decent figure.
I can see why it was cancelled then, that’s really disappointing.
Vertigo have produced some great books over the last couple of years, as good as anything published by Image or anyone else - it’s a shame they can’t get the audience for them. I don’t know what the solution is.
Yes and the sad thing is none of their other books like they’re doing much better. Clean Room is just getting past 5k, even the Fables spinoff is at 6k.
I know the monthly sales have never been their focus but typically Vertigo books used to do 8-15k before. I think they’ve really been crowded out by Image offering similar types of books.
Whatever magic with audiences that Vertigo had, it’s fair (but sad) to say it’s gone. Looking at those figures, if you were a creator you’d choose Image every time, wouldn’t you? If DC can’t promise you decent sales, what’s the point?
I was also shocked by the low numbers for Gotham Academy. Apparently that’s safe because Scholastic publishes it books? But still, it’s a great little title and deserves a wider audience.
I don’t really have an opinion on Nick Spencer. I haven’t read enough of his material to form one, although what I have read did not inspire me to read more.
However, his recent Twitter rant against DC is the rant of someone with rudimentary maths skills and pretty poor understanding of business.
He states that a $1 price drop requires a 25% increase in sales to break even. And with 20% returns, most titles are therefore doing worse than they were in the New52.
But, his own source of data clearly contradicts that:
16/ 26 titles show an increase in sales over 1 year ago. 14 of those have more than a 25% increase. 9 of the 14 are shipping twice monthly.
That’s a significant increase in cash flow - the lifeblood of a business.
Now, assuming for a moment that there’s credibility to the 20% return rate. As far as I know, that’s a totally unverified number, but it’s not entirely unreasonable.
That’s a variable rather than fixed cost. With economies of scale in play, printing an extra 20,000 copies of a 100,000 print run book does not in any way, shape or form equate to a 20% increase in cost.
Unless you’ve got a really crappy supply base, and that’s really unlikely in DC’s case.
What does a significant increase in cash flow less a marginal increase in cost give you again?
[details=Summary]HARLEY QUINN #19
Written by AMANDA CONNER and JIMMY PALMIOTTI • Art by JOHN TIMMS
Backup story written by PAUL DINI and JIMMY PALMIOTTI • Backup story art by BRET BLEVINS and J. BONE • Cover by AMANDA CONNER • Variant cover by FRANK CHO
“DEADLY SIN” finale! Harley Sinn’s shown Harley her absolute worst…but she—and you—are not ready to see Harley Quinn’s rage unleashed! This one will shock you to your core! And in the backup story, “Harley Loves Joker” part three, a simpler time in the past for Harley and The Joker becomes much more complicated when they’re forced to mix it up with Batman!
On sale MAY 3 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
THE WILD STORM #4
Written by WARREN ELLIS • Art and cover by JON DAVIS-HUNT • Variant cover by JASON HOWARD—Variant cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
There’s a covert action team out in the wild, and I.O. has proof of it for the first time. This changes everything. The woman who tipped the first domino in this cascade of secrets and lies is on the run. And the other great power of the hidden world is on the scene. Henry Bendix is noticing things from on high, and that doesn’t bode well for I.O., Angela Spica or the planet. The storm is building.
On sale MAY 17 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T+
THE FLASH #23
Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON • Art and covers by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO • Variant cover by HOWARD PORTER
“RUNNING SCARED” prelude! Barry Allen is at a crossroads. He’s lied to the woman he loves about his life as The Flash, and a rift is growing between him and his heroic young partner. Now, his greatest enemy has threatened to strike down everyone close to him! It’s time to make a tough choice that will launch The Flash into his most incredible mission yet: a siege on the 25th century stronghold of Eobard Thawne!
On sale MAY 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
WONDER WOMAN #23
Written by GREG RUCKA • Art and cover by LIAM SHARP • Variant cover by JENNY FRISON
“The Truth” part five! The conclusion to Diana’s search for the truth takes her on a journey into darkness. But the price of understanding may be one sacrifice too many for Wonder Woman…
On sale MAY 24 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
WONDER WOMAN ANNUAL #1
Written by GREG RUCKA and others—Art by NICOLA SCOTT, LIAM SHARP and others—Cover by NICOLA SCOTT
Includes a code for a free digital download of this issue.
The world of the Amazing Amazon expands in a collection of short stories that take Wonder Woman around the globe! In the days after “Year One,” Diana comes face-to-face with Superman and Batman for the first time, as illustrated by “Year One” artist Nicola Scott…and years later, Liam Sharp brings you the story of how their friendship has evolved!
On sale MAY 31 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T
THE KAMANDI CHALLENGE #5
Written by BILL WILLINGHAM • Art by IVAN REIS and OCLAIR ALBERT • Cover by GARY FRANK • Variant cover by IVAN REIS
After the high-octane cliffhanger of the last issue, Bill Willingham and Ivan Reis take us on a unforgettable trek through the jungles of South Asia where Kamandi meets a tiger detective who promises to help him find the clues that will locate his missing parents. Is a family reunion in Kamandi’s near future? This issue ends with the most dramatic cliffhanger to date—you dare not miss it!
On sale MAY 24 • 32 pg, FC, 5 of 12, $3.99 US • RATED T[/details]
It’s probably a lot of things. As has been said a million times they’ve trained people to trade-wait. Readers won’t even consider the floppies anymore. The marketing is terrible…it would shock me none if the average reader even knew the line was still going. I have heard surprise from people who thought it was dead. And as you say Image.
I think this is probably it for Vertigo, which is a shame as I think Clean Room and Unfollow are better than any ongoing at Image.
Yes and I think the two link in (poor marketing and Image’s profile). Image have better marketing and focus on their books. Vertigo is not really being discussed and maybe DC have hobbled themselves a little, by keeping Rebirth books at $2.99 they look the more expensive option. I don’t see any house ads in the back of Hellblazer for example (even though with digital you can put as many as you want in at the back).
I’ve tried specifically to push Unfollow here but I don’t think anyone is discussing it outside the already converted Vertigo or Rob WIlliams fans.
Vertigo was clearly DC’s fourth-biggest priority after their main line, their Hanna Barbara line, and their line by the guy in My Chemical Romance. With a Wildstorm reboot around the corner it probably fell to their fifth-biggest priority.
There just aren’t enough resources to go around to commit to all these imprints.
I spoke to Rob Williams and Mike Dowling yesterday.
They are both pretty gutted about it and 18 was not the planned end point, it was capped by Vertigo.
Rob says they were getting great reviews, even a really big positive article in the US press (can’t remember if it was NYT or WST) and nothing would translate to sales. I get the feeling there’s been a bit of a feeling of hopelessness around it.
I know there’s a few of us been bigging both this and Clean Room up over the last year on Millarworld, and often you can get wee fire lit on here with just a couple of people - Gareth must have mentioned Unfollow about a dozen times in glowing reference - but for whatever reason it’s just not stuck.
Like Robert alludes to upthread, in the last 2 years Vertigo have published books that are as good as, probably better, than Image or anyone else is doing for that matter, and no-one is buying it.
Unfollow should have been the next big thing. It should have been Rob Williams’ Preacher, Fables or Y Tha Last Man - and it should have made Mike Dowling a fucking star. It’s a bit of a travesty really - but what can they do.
I don’t even know if Dowling has anything concrete lined up. Are people fucking blind? Along with Jon Davis Hunt (who has also been routinely ignored until Ellis clearly hand picked him for Wildstorm) he’s the best artist to break out comics in about the last 10 years in my opinion. Its a strange world. Maybe they need to market themselves more and get on social media create a big noise, but Mike seems a really quiet, lovely humble guy and I don’t think he’d by comfortable with that.
This has turned into a rant, I’m just annoyed at the injustice of it.
My worry is that the likes of Mile Dowling get lost to the medium. These guys have bills to pay. So while dozens of identikit artists get constant work, there’s other guys who are far more skilled being ignored.
I bought this page yesterday from Mike. I could have bought at least a dozen more but this had such an iconic image that I had to have it. I had no plans to buy art because I had no means to get it home without it getting damaged. But I felt so much for the guy and the art was so beautiful and delicate that I couldn’t walk away without making a purchase.
Have to agree on both points - personally I didn’t get on too well with Unfollow, just not my kind of story but in technical terms? It was an excellently put together book.
Similarly Dowling, his work on Death Sentence was superb.
When this first image came out for The Wild Storm, I could see why you’d been so supportive of Hunt too:
Yeah the guys at iFanboy loved it and gave glowing reviews for both Williams and Dowling but nothing stuck.
I do know though that the industry can recognise talent even without the sales. Tom King got promoted right up to Batman really after Omega Men at DC, which had great acclaim and lousy sales. So I have optimism Dowling will get another gig soon and be fine.
It’s a shame that they can’t bring it over to Image the way a cancelled TV series sometimes pops up on Netflix. I don’t see why Williams and Dowling wouldn’t be able to do that, even if the other talent and editors could not. But who knows what all those contracts are like.
Without naming names there are some Image series that have gone longer than 18 issues that I never hear anybody talking about (anecdotal, I know) and that look like a mess whenever I check them out. Vertigo did a good job starting these series but if you can’t even promise 24 issues guaranteed then you should just get out of the creator-owned game.
EDIT- I said 24 just because that’s the size of four trades or two deluxe hardcovers, and stories like Fatale and Ultimates have felt epic, satisfying, and complete with that length.
I agree. And I wonder if Vertigo will soon be closed. Not just is it a seemingly wasted effort on behalf of creators, I can’t imagine DC brass are too impressed.
From previous situations it seems like Vertigo requires a few years break before returning full rights. Failed Vertigo books have turned up elsewhere but only after a long time.
I think a big part for DC/Warners is ‘other media’ rights. To be honest none of their comics have ever done that great in monthly sales, both Sandman and Invisibles were threatened with cancellation but there’s an iZombie show and a Losers movie which is the most likely reason they persist with the line.
Unfollow, even as an abandoned concept, could make a great TV show.
Has anyone read Ellis’ piece In The back of Dc books this week? I read it in the back of WW 16. It was an view in his thought process for Wild Storm. Many things are updated but the framework seems true to old school Ws and I am looking forward to the new books even more. There are a couple of mild spoilers though so be warned