Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

May 21, 2014

DC Comics Lops Off Lower-Selling Titles For Usual Palate-Cleaning September Sales Promotional Hitch

imageThere's a short, to-the-point article up at the hobby business news and analysis site here about DC making what that site describes as a now-expected clearing of the decks headed into the Fall publishing season. Those kinds of moves are always a little fluid, so I would imagine there's a chance for additional movement there: that one of the listed books eventually survives or two or that two or three titles join the ones listed or the features get folded into one of the weeklies -- that should eventually work itself out. What's astonishing if you don't follow these kinds of sales figures, or even if you do, is how low those books are selling.

It certainly isn't the 1950s any longer, and the switch to the more efficient (in terms of non-returnable comics) Direct Market system made lower-selling titles possible, which is a good thing because by the late 1990s that was a reality for all of these companies. What we have now, actually, are any number of factors that play into whether keeping comics like these alive is a good idea or a bad one: talent development, overall market share, in-house character work with respect to cross-media possibilities and trade sales all being factors that might come into play. I'm sure there are others. Still, it's amazing how much the Direct Market can look top heavy even when the top isn't what it used to be, either.

I don't know the DC books in terms of the content to tell you if this is a particular blow to the line's overall narrative, although it strikes me that the Pandora character hasn't turned out to be an effective one for them. I have enjoyed those All-Star Western comics when I've seen them, and despite their adherence to DC continuity particulars and an odd lack of character agency in the few issues I read, it was nice to see a title with a different kind of feel to it from the relentless grim superheroes of that comics line.
posted 1:55 am PST | Permalink

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