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To the main issue, I don't think that Marc Oliver-Frisch is always down on DC. However, I would agree that he seemed especially pessimistic this month. I think he was trying to counter those who were claiming that this was a spectacular month because of their success at the top of the list. But from reading the column, one would likely come away with the impression that this was a below average month when in actuality it was an above average month that fell short of certain record-breaking heights.
I'm not sure if he has it in for DC, or just a bias in favor of books he likes, against books he doesn't, and he's not wild about DC's, but I definitely have noticed disparities. A lot of books with similar sales figures, and he'll call one of them a catastrophe, the other "standard attrition."

That "standard attrition" in the numbers, in itself, is kind of depressing. It really looks like there's very little chance of a good book gradually building an audience these days.
It's not just "these days," it's always been thus for comics. Big boost followed by slow attrition, big boost followed by slow attrition. The tricks publishers use to create the big boosts have changed over the decades, but the trends have not.

There have always been titles that buck the trends, but those are few and far between.

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suedenim said:
My reactions are somewhat similar to Charlie's. I really like the stuff that's actually on New Krypton and/or involving the Kryptonian characters directly. I was kind of dubious about this whole storyline as it was first introduced, but it's really good stuff that has actually benefitted from such a long buildup.

The Earth-based stuff, though, has ranged for me from just OK to kinda awful. Mainly the General Lane stuff, which is mostly another recycling of long-overused Eeeevil American Military Man tropes, and usually showing little to no knowledge of how the American military actually works (e.g., Lane has apparently absolute and unfettered power, military officers who follow crazy orders without question, etc.)

I tend to agree with the Super-analysis going on here. I enjoyed the whole shebang initially, and still am interested in the New Krypton stuff from a pure fanboy perspective (as it establishes the status quo of old Krypton as well as new for the post-Final Crisis universe), but the effect of "nobodies" in the Earth books is beginning to hurt. (And that's a failure of the writers IMHO; the names Mon-El, Nightwing and Flamebird are storied, but these new versions are still nobodies to me, because they don't seem to have personalities and/or no one's made me care about them.) Also, the problems that cropped up with the first "diamond" Super-books (the first time the Super-books were interrelated) are beginning to show again: No single writer can tell his or her own story; some books (like Supergirl) are being forced to run in place to let other books catch up; the overall story moves at a snail's pace; and so forth. Plus, the entire production has to be timed to end at the same time, therefore the natural pacing of each book is altered to adapt to unseen (to the average reader) forces. It all reads awkwardly.

Also, I agree enthusiastically that Gen. Lane is such a fierce cliche that I skim over the parts he 's in. Who thought that another William Stryker/Gen. Eiling/Sarge Steel/head of S.H.A.D.E.guy/amoral black-ops superpatriot was a good idea? Note to DC: His last name isn't enough to make him interesting.

Further -- and maybe this is just me -- I'm tired of the host of unpleasant, one-note psychopaths running around. Reactron, Codename: Assassin, Superwoman, some Kryptonians ... all that we've seen of their personalities (until Lucy Lane's backstory was revealed) was an eagerness to kill. Really, what else do we know about Reactron? Is that enough to care about a character? Actually, it's enough (compounded by similar scenes with Codename: Assassin, Superwoman, et al) that my eyes begin to glaze over every time he appears and launches into the predictable speech about how much he's going to enjoy killing the protagonist. Ooo, scary.

No, boring.
Question: Would it behoove me to start reading the existing Superman: New Krypton collections before reading the inevitable Superman: WoNK (had to get in on the fun) collection? Or could I pick the latter up on its own?
It would be helpful.

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

Check out the Secret Headquarters (my store) website! It's a pretty lame website, but I did it myself, so tough noogies

Listen to WOXY.com, it's the future of rock-n-roll!


suedenim said:
I'm not sure if he has it in for DC, or just a bias in favor of books he likes, against books he doesn't, and he's not wild about DC's, but I definitely have noticed disparities. A lot of books with similar sales figures, and he'll call one of them a catastrophe, the other "standard attrition."

That "standard attrition" in the numbers, in itself, is kind of depressing. It really looks like there's very little chance of a good book gradually building an audience these days.

I think the difference is based on what he believes DC was hoping the sales would be. James Robinson's and Bagley's Justice League mini he calls a success, but their taking over the regular series as the new creative team is troubling since their first issue was only a 10% bump in sales. You (or more probable DC) would hope they would keep and maybe even build on that when the "Blackest Night" issues come out. When that is over then sales will start slipping again as is the norm, and they will (probably?) be back to were they were before, or dipped even lower.
I often wonder what kind of sales level should be considered successful. According to John Jackson Miller's estimates, in October three issues sold over one hundred thousand, and two in the eighty-something thousands. I think that means that a title selling in the seventy-something thousands should be considered a top title now. Marvel's top-selling title was New Avengers #58, which sold an estimated 76,610.

DC's fourteen highest-selling titles were as follows:

Blackest Night #4
Batman and Robin #5
Green Lantern #47
Blackest Night Batman #3
Green Lantern Corps #41
Blackest Night Superman #3
Batman #691
Batman #692
Blackest Night Titans #3
Justice League of America #38
Detective Comics #858
Justice League: Cry for Justice: #4
Batman Annual #27
Superman Secret Origin #2

I've continued this one list down to the first title that doesn't fall into one of four groups: (1) Blackest Night minis (2) Green Lantern titles (3) Bat-books (4) Justice League titles. To be fair, the Blackest Night minis include titles linked to other franchises (Superman and the Titans). On the other hand, the Green Lantern franchise is bound up with the Blackest Night crossover right now. This list doesn't include all the Batman titles for the month. Superman Secret Origin #2 sold an estimated 46,812.

In assessing declines Frisch takes into account whether sales are being inflated by variant covers, and the rate of decline. The rate of decline is very relevant: 2,000 units is a more significant loss for a title selling in the twenty-something thousands than a title selling in the eighty-something thousands.

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