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Archive for October, 2006
Bye bye, Jim
Image PR and Marketing man Jim Demonakos has officially announced he’s leaving the company.
Bon chance!Posted by Tim Leong on October 31st, 2006 filed in Blog |
MARC MASON’S BUY THE NUMB3RS!!!
Hola! And welcome back to BUY THE NUMB3RS! I’m Marc Mason, owner and Dark Prince of The Comics Waiting Room. Each month in this space, I take a look at a soon-to-arrive comic and attempt to predict how many copies it will sell. This month’s contestant: The return of THE AUTHORITY!.
When THE AUTHORITY first hit shelves back in 1999, it was the first shot fired in a revolution of sorts. Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch created a superhero comic that wasn’t quite like anything else on the market. The storytelling was on a grand scale, told through large, “wide-screen” panels. The characters were wildly flip and sarcastic, reveling in their powers and their status as living weapons of mass destruction. The pacing was very decompressed, leading to a full-fledged movement in mainstream comics that continues anywhere you find something written by Brian Bendis or Mark Millar to this day. But mostly… mostly the book was just damned great. To this day, it holds up as an example of what happens when things go right, and talented creators do career-level work.
Then… it all went to shit. Ellis and Hitch finished their run. Mark Millar and Frank Quitely got off to an interesting start, but it quickly devolved into an exercise of sadism, as Millar used the book as a way to work out some of his more disquieting concepts. Finally, Millar ended his run, and the book was put to bed. And rightly so. There’s only so much that can be done with the characters before the book becomes a brutal self-parody. So, of course, DC/Wildstorm waited little more than a year before resurrecting it. That time around, Robbie Morrison and Dwayne Turner to do the job… this, in 2003, was the equivalent of replacing Lee/Kirby with Don McGregor and Alan Kupperberg. Ugly. So after a year of that, the book was retired again, only to see it given mouth-to-mouth months later by Ed Brubaker and Dustin Nguyen. Better team, but still… the ultimate question was: what’s the point?
Now, DC/Wildstorm is trying again, and for the first time since Millar’s first few issues, there’s a creative team with the perfect potential to make the series return to greatness. The new AUTHORITY #1 is written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Gene Ha. Pure superstar creative talent. But how will it fare in the marketplace? Let’s check some numbers:
Sales for AUTHORITY #1, published in March 1999, written by Ellis and drawn by Hitch: 40,100. Good, strong jump out of the gate, especially considering that Ellis and Hitch weren’t “Ellis and Hitch” at that point. (Sales data from CBG Xtra)
Sales for AUTHORITY #29, published in December 2001, written by Millar and drawn by Art Adams: 40,314. That’s damned astonishing, really. To see that consistency in the number twenty-nine issues later is remarkable, especially considering shipping delays and creative team changes. Plus, this was the final issue of the first series.
Sales for AUTHORITY Vol.2 #1, published in May 2003, written by Robbie Morrison and drawn by Dwayne Turner: 44,351. There was obviously a market for the characters. Unfortunately, this creative team cooked that market a dinner made of poison mushrooms and it died a horrific, vomiting death.
Sales for AUTHORITY: REVOLUTION #1, published in October 2004, written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Dustin Nguyen: 26,572. My case in point. A far better creative team, a writer who was relatively hot at the time… and half as many people gave two shits. For DC/Wildstorm, this was still a decent number… but that’s putting lipstick on the family pig and taking it to the prom.
Sales for SEVEN SOLDIERS #0, published in February 2005, written by Grant Morrison and drawn by J.H. Williams: 53,217. Morrison has taken a Bat-book under his wing, but this was his most recent “audacious” move with characters that had been mostly neglected. Fantastic numbers.
Sales for TOP TEN #1, published in September 1999, written by Alan Moore and drawn by Gene Ha: 55,100. This was Ha’s last major debut work, and remains one of the most consistently beautiful comics ever created. Very solid debut sales numbers, too. (Sales data from CBG Xtra)
So how will this latest edition of THE AUTHORITY do? Even with Morrison’s presence, it’s difficult to believe it will top the Ellis/Millar series in sales. Even though Grant’s profile is huge right now, I don’t see that translating into readers for a series that has the stink of bad previous series to deal with. So I’m going to temper my expectations, and guess that the book will do somewhere a little over 29,000, give or take a few.
Do you buy my numb3rs?Posted by Tim Leong on October 31st, 2006 filed in Story Archive, Blog |
FOLLOWING UP: Column five featured my guess at C.S.I.: DYING IN THE GUTTERS #1. My guess for total orders was 5,500. ICV2 has released final sales numbers for August, and the total pre-orders for the book came to: 8178. That’s the first time I’ve really guessed on the low side, but I’m okay with it. This is really outstanding news for the folks at IDW, and they must have popped a bottle of bubbly when their orders came in. This may just breathe new life into the C.S.I. franchise.
How many times can you say, "Wizard’s new low?"
I just saw THIS POST from Johanna at Comics Worth Reading. To tie in to All-Star Batman and Robin 5 (which has been delayed. Shocker!), Wizard posted an eight-ass mix-and-match gallery. Click the link to see the hubub.
On the Beyond Ridiculous scale, this is only a 4 out of 10 because it’s become expected. Not surprising at all. I’ll save the big words and just sigh.Posted by Tim Leong on October 27th, 2006 filed in Blog | 2 Comments »
Hellboy Animated Debuts Tomorrow
Hellboy Animated: The Sword of Storms premieres tomorrow on Cartoon Network. For all the info and big scoops, be sure to check out Comic Foundry’s video interview with Tad Stones herePosted by Tim Leong on October 27th, 2006 filed in TV, Blog |
Want to see Venom’s head?
Want to see Venom’s head? From an ad sheet for the upcoming Spider-Man 3 movie.Posted by Tim Leong on October 25th, 2006 filed in Movies, Blog |
Want Seven Soldiers? Not so Fast…
If your LCS gets its comics through Memphis, you’re Seven-Soldiers-Shit-Outta-Luck this week.
SHIPPING ADVISORY ON SEVEN SOLDIERS #1 AND SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #23
Due to an error, retailers serviced by Diamond Comic Distributors’ Memphis Distribution Center will not receive SEVEN SOLDIERS #1 (AUG060221) and SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #23 Standard Edition (AUG060226) this week
These issues now are set to reach retailers on November 1. Retailers will be invoiced for them with their November 1 shipment.
However, the SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #23 Variant Edition (AUG060227) will be received on October 24 as previously scheduled. DC Comics recommends that retailers hold these copies until the Standard Edition arrives, one week later.Posted by Tim Leong on October 24th, 2006 filed in Blog |
Denzel is in the House
Movie News:Posted by Tim Leong on October 24th, 2006 filed in Blog | 1 Comment »
The movie American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe is filming right outside my office. I’ll let you know if anything notable happens.
No More Theme Songs
This is not even close to being comics-related, but it’s still interesting.
This article by the AP suggests that TV theme songs are going the way of Speakeasy.
Back in the day, even into the `90s, shows usually had a “main title,” a 40-to-60 second opening montage that introduced the cast and was often set to music written by a composer, said Jon Burlingame, author of “TV’s Biggest Hits,” a history of themes. Songs summed up what a show was all about, whether spinning the tale of how a group of wacky castaways ended up on “Gilligan’s Island,” telling how a spunky single career woman was “going to make it after all,” or describing why six touchy-feely Manhattan singles were there for each other.
But now many sitcoms and one-hour dramas are dropping that device. They dive straight into the action, sometimes flashing the show’s title or logo at various points throughout an episode.Posted by Tim Leong on October 23rd, 2006 filed in Blog | 2 Comments »
Trudeau Profile in WP
The Washington Post has a very nice Garry Trudeau profile up. Please read it. It’s very good reading for a surely slow Monday. It’s Monday, right?Posted by Tim Leong on October 23rd, 2006 filed in Blog |
Leong Time Gone
Sorry, True Believers, it’s been a while since a posting. I just came back from a funeral back home. It was actually pretty cool because the relative was in WWII, so there was this military detail there that did the flag presentation, a gun salute and played TAPS.
I did, however, fall asleep during the funeral ceremony. Three times. It was an accident! In my own defense, I hadn’t slept the night before and was wearing a new suit (looks fantastic) that was just a liiiiiiiiittle bit too tight.
Anyway, I’m back, back in the New York groove.Posted by Tim Leong on October 23rd, 2006 filed in Blog |
From the great editorial/sequential illustrator Kagan McleodPosted by Tim Leong on October 17th, 2006 filed in Blog | 1 Comment »
Build Your Own Pixel Mario
Build you own classic characters!Posted by Tim Leong on October 13th, 2006 filed in Video Games, Blog |
Through Dot-S you can make just about any character you want via a system similar to Lite Brite. I’m holding out, though, until I can recreate A Boy and His Blob.