There’s been a good bit of spin recently about the performance of Countdown. Here’s the pudding proof of sales numbers from The Beat.
25/26/28/29 - COUNTDOWN
05/2007: Countdown #51 — 91,083
05/2007: Countdown #50 — 83,752 (-8.1%) [85,564]
05/2007: Countdown #49 — 81,484 (-2.7%) [83,188]
05/2007: Countdown #48 — 79,810 (-2.1%) [81,828]
06/2007: Countdown #47 — 77,504 (-2.9%)
06/2007: Countdown #46 — 76,362 (-1.5%)
06/2007: Countdown #45 — 74,918 (-1.9%)
06/2007: Countdown #44 — 73,971 (-1.3%)
07/2007: Countdown #43 — 73,912 (-0.1%)
07/2007: Countdown #42 — 73,116 (-1.1%)
07/2007: Countdown #41 — 72,621 (-0.7%)
07/2007: Countdown #40 — 72,102 (-0.7%)
DC’s big tent pole title of the year barely scrapes into the Top 25, but it’s actually finding its level rather quickly. Taken on its own terms, these wouldn’t be bad numbers by any stretch. Unfortunately, DC turned up the hype to eleven before the book’s debut and went out of their way telling everyone that it shouldn’t be taken on its own terms. And for the blockbuster project this was meant to be, sales are plainly embarrassing.
Faced with mixed reactions and underwhelming numbers, the company has been busy exercising damage control lately, assuring their audience that everything’s peachy, people love the book, it just needs some time to unfold and sales are great. But come on. There are benchmarks for this type of book, and at present, they’re called 52 and World War Hulk. Countdown has been falling short of those books by at least 30,000 units. It’s outsold even by satellite titles World War Hulk: Frontline and World War Hulk: X-Men, which aren’t remotely essential to the plot of the competition’s big crossover. Not to mention that the brand has utterly failed to generate any noticeable sales increases with its tie-in titles to date - see comments on Superman and Action Comics below. This really isn’t a success so far.
On a sidenote, DC had a retailer incentive in place, stating that the first eight issues (possibly more, but I couldn’t find any public announcements on it) of Countdown were going to be returnable under certain conditions. These conditions being (a) that retailers ordered as many copies as they had ordered of specific issues of the book’s predecessor 52 and (b) that they pay a fee of 29 cents per returned copy. Given that sales of Countdown never came remotely close to those of 52, I’m going to presume that the deal didn’t fly with a lot of stores.
Just a friendly reminder about our “Guess Countdown’s final numbers” contest. Enter today! (via Poptown! - The Blog)
Last night’s episode of the best reality show in the world had the final 4 heroes facing their pickiest audience ever -CHILDREN.
The Heroes had to team up with the kids to solve a puzzle that even a 4th grader could solve. In the challenge, the two mistakes made where Parthenon being a jerk and not involving his group of kids in the challenge, and Hyper-strike revealing his real last name (“A Superhero never reveals his secret identity!” - Stan Lee. Stan Lee did not read Civil War)
Later, the evil clone Stan Lee fooled the heroes into acting like idiots in public. I mean, more so than normal. The Evil-Stan then led them into a shipping crate and trapped them. The Defuser looked to be ready to just use brute force to break out, but the point was to use the tools in the crate to get out, which they did.
At elimination, Parthenon, Hygena, and Hyper-strike got called down to the red boxes. This led to the best quote of the entire season, when Hyper-strike explained that he should not go home because “I’ve devoted my life to things that are Awesome! And Superheroes are Awesome!” I am now convinced that Mr. Stork and Mr. Sims are related.
I though for sure that Hygena was gone, since this was like the 3rd week in a row she was up for elimination; but surprise! Parthenon was sent home because the children hated him. In Stan Lee’s world, children must love their superheroes.
Next week’s double sized season finale will feature a giant sized Evil-Stan, which I think is very exciting. (via Poptown! - The Blog)
So word on the street is that someone said I was a hypocrite for liking Comics Foundry, but not Wizard. This made me realize the need for both a review of the magazine and an explanation as to why I liked one book better than the other.
So yes, I liked Comics Foundry a lot. Was it the greatest thing ever? No, it had it’s flaws, which I’ll list below. But I had been lamenting to myself that we really need an Esquire for Comics, and that’s what Comics Foundry is. It touts itself as a lifestyle magazine, and that’s good. I liked look at Fanboy Fashion, the cocktails, and the little goofy articles where comics writers wrote about something other than comics. I liked the little snippets on the sidebar (FUN FACT: Brian K. Vaughn listens to “Dirt Off Your Shoulders” to brush off them haters.)
Also, looking at the contributors, and this shouldn’t matter so much, but they were all mostly in my age bracket. The magazine is pretty much squarely at a mid/late 20s comics fan who likes his superheroes and his indy comics with the same amount of love.
But again, it wasn’t perfect. The interviews were way too short. I was hoping to read more of the Bryan Lee O’Malley interview that was like a page and a half. It was way too short. I think the fact that it was in Black and White hurt it a lot, especially the fashion segments. Like I have no idea how ugly the Voltron shoes are becasue they’re in b&w (word is the next issue should be in color).
I also wasn’t a big fan of the “Life Imitates Art” section, but then I realized that it’s the exact same thing you would see in Esquire or GQ, so I give it a pass.
Now, that said, why did I like it better than Wizard? Not to rehash a old stuff, but Wizard seems to be more hype engine than actual news. The O’Malley interview was short, but at least they asked him some descent questions. The handful of Wizard interviews I’ve read in the past couple of years are not very good. There is also a focus on how collectible a comic can be or what the hot new Marvel crossover is going to be about, verses how much fun comics are and why we love them, something that I think Comics Foundry really showed.
Regarding the movies/TV bit; I wasn’t huge on the whole Kristen Bell interview in Comics Foundry, but at least it was an interview that was promised on the cover. Wizard typically will have something like “Jessica Alba is here on the cover!” and there is no intervew or anything, just a mention of the FF2 movie she’s in.
All that said said, I really did like Comics Foundry, and I think it speaks to an audience that none of the other comic book magazines (Wizard, TCJ, Back Issue, Comic Book Artist) speaks to. (via Poptown! - The Blog)
Phil Looney: Things that Philip and the Hulk have in common - WE ONLY WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE!!! (via Twitter / Phil Looney)
Phil Looney: @Agent_M - You and me both! Any chance of there being an Essential Marvel Comics Presents? (via Twitter / Phil Looney)
Phil Looney: Sleepy, but going to watch some Freaks and Geeks that I’ve been sitting on for a week or more. (via Twitter / Phil Looney)
I was traveling the past couple of days, spending some time at the cross roads of America. So that’s why I’m late. But I wouldn’t leave you hanging in suspense at the light week of comics this week. But I am glad that it’s light, becasue the new Heroclix set is coming out soon, and I need my cash for that.
Ah, Previews. My harsh mistress…
USAGI YOJIMBO #105 $2.99
It’s hard to keep come up with compelling reasons each month to tell you why I buy Usaig Yojimbo. If you’re not reading it, your missing out one of the best comics on the market. Stan Sakai is a master of the craft and a true professional, and it shines through in this book.
HULK AND POWER PACK PACK SMASH DIGEST TP $6.99
99% sure I ordered this. I loved the Power Pack/Avengers book to pieces, and this so probably got this based on that. One day soon, I may do a Power Pack week…
Total Damage: $14.97 (via Poptown! - The Blog)