Sunday, 6 December 2009

Thoughts On: November Sales Rankings

You know what the single most infuriating experience for the purveyor of lesser known comics is? Aside from hearing what horrible shit has been done to characters that made the jump to mainstream of course. That's right, it's seeing where the poor pitiful GOOD comics end up on that bloody top 300 each month. And yet each month we'll go back to it hoping that by some stroke of luck the series we cherish have made the jump up to the top 50.

As such it's time to analyse that crucial top 100 that has been released from Diamond Comics. And... It isn't looking good. No, not at all. Just... There's about 5 good comics in the top 30 that aren't Blackest Night related. That's AWFUL.


It's tempting to just list every bad comic that managed to grace the top 100 and throw my hands in the air, but that would be FAR too long a list. So instead I'll give a general coverage of the good and bad in the unstable non-structure that is my usual method of rambling. Well... with the small difference that I'll actually differentiate between one genre or subgroup and the other.


You know what the highest selling team book was this month? DO YOU?! JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #39. Sure, it's a tie-in to Blackest Night but C'MON THIS IS AWFUL NOWADAYS! I admit I'm looking forward to the new team (mainly because, c'mon, Mon-El, Guardian and Ray Palmer kick arse) but this has been the most unengaging material in a team book since... Well, the next series down the list (not counting the Corps, s'not really a team book to me), New Avengers.

If you read New Avengers you are either one of the most easy to entertain fucks ever, someone who thinks they're being humourously ironic by buying an awful comic (who are also fucks I might add) or people that genuinely enjoy mischaracterisation, bland plots and some of Bendis' worst work of all time. Or just fans of Stuart Immonen, in which case... Well it's better than owning some of his old Rock 'n' Roll comics material like I do so I'll forgive you. How this manages to sell so well each month is beyond me, I mean I can't say the series has ever been THAT good and it's only ever been as much as kinda pretty, even under Immonen's great hands. Perhaps the completely rape-tastic interpretation of Hood is really popular and I just don't see it because I'm stuck in the past with BKV's innovative and entertaining non-villain.

I suppose logically I could continue to deconstruct team books that are too high on the list, like Dark Avengers and Ultimate Comics Avengers, but it quickly becomes me banging my head against the wall going MOLECULE MAN ISN'T A VILLAIN AND HAS A FUCKING WIFE YOU DOLT or UC: AVENGERS IS REALLY BORING over and over, so it can't really be too healthy. That and I feel I'll turn into that fat comic book person from the Simpsons if I'm not careful, so instead I'll focus on the brilliant that isn't where it should be.

The obvious team book for me to lament not being where it belongs is Mighty Avengers. This is not only the best (read as: only good) Avengers title, but also cheaper than its Bendis-written brethren. Placing at #34 is no mean feat though, especially for the end of Slott's first decent sized arc, so with any luck the upcoming MIGHTY/DARK storyline will pick it up to where it belongs in the top 20. As for The Initiative... Well... It might get into the top 50 again at some point.

Finally, I must mention how Guardians of the Galaxy continues to slum out the bottom of the top 100. Is it not awesome enough for you all? Has there not been enough talking raccoons for you? BUY IT ANYWAY! Easily the best cosmic title and it never sells the numbers it should (note to self: you only buy the hardcovers, shut up with the self-righteousness Max).


Well, time to see how low Cornell's Dark X-Men came in to frustrate me fu-....


WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! There is a God! Sure, it helps that it came out close enough after the the Utopia crossover, but that's not the point! The point is that a great comic sold well considering how good it is!... That makes no sense when I read it but shut up it sold good!

... I'll ignore that Uncanny X-Men and X-Force sold better when they're both shits on sticks at the moment.

Also worthy of note is S.W.O.R.D. coming in at #95 with its DEBUT ISSUE. Seriously what the hell?! I know I bought it! I get that it's a long time after Whedon's Astonishing X-Men so it's lost a fair bit of validity and Beast looks unusual but this is one of the best comics of the year and has MOTHER-FUCKING DEATH'S HEAD! You don't see a comic with Death's Head in and not buy it, yes? My GOD comic buyers have let themselves down.

Oh and New Mutants continues a slowish decline/middling situation. Must. Do. Better.


Blah blah Blackest Night doing well Blah Blah Necrosha doing okay Blah Blah Realm of Kings underperforming Blah Blah Blah


... How many of you are paying money for HULK? 'cause you're all idiots. Or kids. It's actually not a bad kids book... I've kinda derailed myself now... Still some people out there are older and think this shit is good. You are all fools and need to switch to Incredible Hulk, which is far lower for some reason. Nonsense!


On a much lighter and less ranty note Dr. Horrible sold fairly well, coming in solidly at #80. Well done. Class dismissed!



  1. Yeah, some people just buy the same old shit. Doesn't really make sense, but it sure does fuel the fanboy fires as the then have plenty to bithc about after wasting their money on garbage.
    I can understand Blackest NIght selling well, hell, I think I can even understand that some people just love Bendis and will follow him anywhere now, even though I cannot think of a New Avengers arc that has wowed anyone and generated any press, it seems only there to serve the events now, but I cannot understand why Hulk is selling so damn well.
    I didn't read Dark X-Men so I guess I'm happy it came so high, but then SWORD got shafted, which sucks, because it didn't have that all important X in it's title.
    People are creatures of habit, which shocks me how poor their habits are.
    I find I am veering more and more towards IMage and away from Marvel, and I never had any DC in me to start with.
    Also, real glad Dr Horrible came in so high, that's a huge coup!

  2. Re: Mighty Avengers - I think the problem with it is the narrative. It reads like a book from the 80's or 90's (not the bad 90's, just pre-00's style writing).

    It's hard to describe, but it lacks that decompressed feel many have. It seems to do more talking or describing, either narratively or through characters, than showing that defines many of the current comics and was something that defined the older books.

    It doesnt go into the whole "I will defeat you with my power that does this and this" power explanation exposition, but it still feels...dense I guess? At least compared to lighter reads that populate the market.

    There's also the lack of any big name players. Put Spider-Man on that team and it would be perfect. He fits with those characters for the most part, would actually be able to fill a role other than "guy who complains all the time" on new Avengers and brings the name recognition that the team lacks.

    Consistent art is a problem, too.

    Final one is the Dan Slott/Hank Pym love affair. He shoulnd't be defined by beating his wife forever, but, come on, it's like Johns Saint Barry or Infallible Hal Jordan complexes. Build him up, but dont just have people scream to the rooftops about how great he is.

    But I've only read some of it, not all, and see various scans for moments of the week and what not, so cant fully comment on it. Those are just some of my thoughts as to why it's not performing as well as other Avengers titles.

  3. @kirk you're not really wrong about the Pym love. I think my personal bias comes from being as much of a Pym fanboy as Slott himself. That and I'm something of a retrohead for the classic feel over the whole overly decompressed style we get nowadays.