Comics Creators

What's biggest-selling new comic of the last 20 years?


My Little Pony and Star Wars are not new franchises. The Q was about biggest orders for a brand new idea. I think Jupiter’s might hold the record in the past 20 years until the MO numbers are taken into account, which is exciting, but curious if there’s any I’m missing.


When I looked around the numbers Saga was actually a grower like Walking Dead. The sales for issue 2 were around the 36k mark and by the teens it was into the 55k range.


As mentioned above Mark. I looked through all the charts and could only see Michael Turner’s Fathom #1 in July 1998 which sold over 250,000 via Diamond. So it just sneaks into the 20 years.


I did the same as you and browsed Comichron for a while. It’s interesting how many of the books we now think of as ‘big’ titles of the era started off reasonably small and then built that audience. Looking up stuff like Saga, Walking Dead, Y: The Last Man etc. they had a similar pattern.


A lot of people forget now some quite classic books were not good sellers to start. Sandman did a crazy publicity drive with house ads and quotes from Alan Moore at #8 because it was on the verge of being cancelled (it worked at least for me as that’s the first issue I picked up).

The Invisibles probably more well known in that respect but was on the brink of being axed several times.


Fathom! Of course! I knew there was one. any others?


Nope. When I checked through 1998 to now that was the only one apart from Spider-Gwen which sold 185k but I doubt that counts in what you consider an original character since Gwen Stacy dates back to the 60s.


I’m shocked that I’ve never heard of Fathom. Any idea why it was so big?


Turner was the super hot artist of the late 90s. I think that was really the selling point rather than the concept itself.

Very sadly he was diagnosed with cancer only 4 years after Fathom launched which restricted his output and he passed away in 2008. He launched Aspen comics before that though which still operates today.


It is interesting how popular that style was all the way through the 90’s even after the sales crashed. Top Cow’s books like The Darkness and Witchblade were always pretty huge sellers with a dedicated fanbase back then.



I knew this was for Mark’s press release! Very correctly worded.


This is, of course, the type of “selling out” we want the Chief to do. It’s almost like previous titles have somehow been leading up to this? Seems to me like figuring out the number of copies to be ordered would have to be done by magic.


Aspen still, somehow manage to release exclusive Turner variant covers to this day.

Fathom was a fun book. It suffered from Turner and his writers cashing cheques that they didn’t have the writing capability to cash, but the overall concept was great, and had lots of potential. And, the art was wonderful - Turner was always one of the better Image artists, prone to the same OTT tendencies as his contemporaries, but with a better storytelling ability.


Turner was also the artist that broke Image. :wink:

I got to meet him a couple times before he passed. He was a super nice guy. I’m sad that he is no longer with us. He and @Mark_Millar would have made a great team up too.