Sunday, August 9, 2020

Weekend Headlines | August 1991 Comic Book Sales

August saw one of the seminal moments of the comics boom of the early 1990s, as Marvel published the bestselling comic book of all time: X-Men Vol. 2, #1. The comic book had sales across multiple channels of 8,186,500 copies, but the vast majority of it went to Direct Market distributors like Diamond. (Read our special feature for more about the issue's historic sales.)

Marvel's Uncanny X-Men series was already the bestselling series most months in the North American comic book market at that time, but there had not been a regular North American series called simply X-Men since the series took on the "Uncanny" adjective in 1981. There had never been a regular North American series called simply Spider-Man either until Marvel released one in 1990; the sales of its first issue were so astonishing that it made sense for the publisher to try it again with its bestselling title in 1991. X-Men Vol. 2, #1 was the result — but unlike with Spider-Man #1, Marvel made the issue's release into a month-long event by staggering its sales across five different weeks, with a different cover for each one. DC did the same thing with Legends of the Dark Knight #1 in 1989, in part because the printer simply couldn't produce them any faster!

Diamond wasn't indexing its sales charts in this era, so its exact sales are unknown. But Capital City's sales of each edition ranged from a high of 424,800 copies, for the Beast cover, to a low of 332,800 copies for the Magneto cover; the Collector's Edition had sales through Capital of 408,300 copies. Capital's overall sales were 1,874,100 copies, or 23.3% of all direct market sales. Diamond's sales would have been higher than Capital's, and there were at least twelve ordering Direct Market distributors at the time. Still, it was plenty: Diamond founder Steve Geppi wrote in Diamond Dialogue #146 (July 25, 1991) that, "It's scary to think that when all advance reorders have been tabulated, Diamond alone will sell more copies than the entire print run of X-Force #1." Just two months earlier, it had set a modern-era record with what Geppi called sales of 3.6 million copies.

X-Men #1 was printed at Ronald's Printing in Montreal, Canada, significant in that most comics in the previous two decades had come from World Color Press in Sparta, Ill. Geppi noted the fact in Dialogue #147, along with the news that World Color had announced plans to sell itself to its employees.

Top 10 Comic Books From 1991
1 X-Men 1 Cvr E       $3.95                   09/10/91 Marvel
2 X-Men 1 Cvr A       $1.50                   08/13/91 Marvel
3 X-Men 1 Cvr C       $1.50                   08/27/91 Marvel
4 X-Men 1 Cvr B       $1.50                   08/20/91 Marvel
5 X-Men 1 Cvr D       $1.50                   09/03/91 Marvel
6 Uncanny X-Men 281    $1.00              08/15/91 Marvel
7 X-Force 3               $1.00                     09/03/91 Marvel
8 X-Factor 71               $1.00                  08/22/91 Marvel
9 Spider-Man 15       $1.75                      09/03/91 Marvel
10 Infinity Gauntlet 4        $2.50             08/20/91 Marvel

Weekend Headlines | What's It Worth?

Fantastic Four #1 Volume 1

A Fantastic Four #1 CGC 9.4 has just been sold by Metropolis Collectibles for $300,000.  The 1961 comic book by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee marked the beginning of the Marvel Universe and is considered one of the most important comics ever published.

This is the highest all-cash sale of a Fantastic Four #1.   Another copy, the single census-topping and best-known CGC 9.6 copy, changed hands in a cash/trade deal valued at around $450,000 in 2008.  There are currently four copies graded at CGC 9.4.

This particular CGC 9.4 copy previously sold just last year at Pedigree Comics for $210,000, and is just the latest indication of what a strong year it's been at the top of the market — Metropolis themselves sold an Amazing Fantasy #15 CGC 9.6 for 1.1 million this past March, and an X-Men #1 CGC 9.6 for $200,000 just weeks later.  Pedigree sold a Tales of Suspense #39 CGC 9.4 for $147,500 in March as well.

Weekend Headlines | What's It Worth?

Amphoman 1 CGC 9.8 Sig Mike Kaye Manufacturing Error Extra Cover

SOLD FOR $7,500,000
END DATE Jul 21, 2020
START DATE May 15, 2020
START PRICE $7,500, 000

On a Collector radio show hosted by Harold Nicol, Amphoman creator Mike Kaye (member of IAPWE) was compared to Stan Lee for his comic writing and creating.

The late Stan Lee creator of the Marvel Universe (Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Avengers, Hulk, X-men, Wolverine and 100s more). Mike has appeared in published print news since 1995 and more recently his works have sold alongside such artists as Jim Davis of Garfield and Chris Browne of Hagar the Horrible.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Weekend Headlines | Detective Comics #1027 "Friends"

Also yesterday this made made on Facebook. Due to the quirk of Batman somewhat randomly debuting in 1939's Detective Comics #27, DC gets a second bite of the apple promoting 1000 issues of Batman in next month's anniversary Detective Comics #1027.

The special $9.99 issue on sale Tuesday, September 15 follows the recent milestone Action Comics #1000 and Detective Comics #1000.

"Celebrating 1000 issues since the first appearance of Batman, Detective Comics #1027 is the blockbuster comic that's as big as most graphic novels!" reads DC's description. "Containing a gallery of tribute art from some of comics' finest talents, stories from some of the biggest names in comics (including a hint at what's to come for the future of both Gotham City and the DC Universe), this is a must-have book for fans of Batman, his allies and his enemies!"

Detective Comics #1027 will feature a series of what DC calls "highly collectible" variant covers, including a series of "Friends and Foes" covers - five of the 10 of which you can see in our gallery.

"These covers will showcase the Dark Knights allies and enemies that have been at the heart of Batman's quest to protect the citizens of Gotham," says the publisher.

Weekend Headlines | IDW Publishing Fires Publisher Jud Meyers

Well, this broke yesterday as IDW Publishing has terminated its recently-promoted publisher Jud Meyers.

"IDW Publishing has parted ways with Jud Meyers and would like to thank everyone for their discretion," reads the publisher's brief statement on Meyers' termination.

Meyers' termination comes 16 days after his promotion to publisher was announced. Five days after that promotion, he was placed on administrative leave.

"IDW Publishing has decided to put Jud Meyers on administrative leave," IDW's chief executive officer Ezra Rosensaft told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. "President Jerry Bennington will assume his responsibilities as interim publisher at this time."

IDW has not announced whether Bennington, who was promoted alongside Meyers, will continue in the role of publisher or if a replacement has been or will be hired.

Meyers moved into the role following the departure of longtime president/publisher/chief creative officer Chris Ryall, with Ryall's roles being split up.

"To say that the shoes we'll be stepping into will be hard to fill is the mother of all understatements," Meyers tweeted on July 22 after the promotions were announced.

In the press release announcing his promotion, IDW described the publisher position as overseeing "all aspects of production and publication" of IDW's comics.

Meyers joined IDW in August 2019 as global sales director, following a short stint in a similar position at Humanoids.

Prior to that, Meyers had a long track record as a comics retailer, working for Forbidden Planet in London, consulting in Virgin Megastore UK's first comic store, managing (and co-owning) Earth-2 Comics in Los Angeles, and later co-founding an L.A. comic store named Blastoff Comics.

IDW has not commented on the reason for Meyers' administrative leave or subsequent termination.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Friday's Headlines | Black Cat series going on hiatus for "for a (long) bit,"

Marvel Comics' ongoing Black Cat series has been placed on hiatus as of this week's Black Cat #12, which concludes Felicia's heist of a suit of Tony Stark's armor and subsequent fight with Iron Man. The issue ends with the promise "To be continued…" and a full-page ad, seen here, stating "Black Cat will return in King In Black."

However, despite the promise that the character Black Cat will continue, issue #13 of her series has yet to be re-solicited from its original June release date which was scuttled when the comic book industry went on hiatus due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Lily Hollister has been through a lot. Her dad was district attorney, she was engaged to Harry Osborn, she found her future father-in-law's Goblin stash and accidentally turned herself into Menace, sided with the Green Goblin and his Goblin Nation and ended up with amnesia and a leased super hero identity, 'Queen Cat.' Whew. Like we said, a lot. But she’s turning over a new leaf," reads the indefinitely postponed solicitation for Black Cat #13.

"Queen Cat is a super hero, and every good super hero needs an archenemy," it continues. "Her target? Felicia Hardy, A.K.A. the Black Cat."

*Note: Once I heard J. Scott Campbell was done doing the covers for this title, I was done with the series. Let's be honest comic book fans, we love the artwork that Campbell does, who cares about the title now? Agree or disagree Email Me NWCG

Friday's Headlines | Marvel Cancels Dr. Strange Title

The current volume of Marvel Comics' ongoing Doctor Strange comic book series has come to a somewhat surprising end with this week's Dr. Strange #6. The surprise finale was confirmed in a letter from series writer Mark Waid and artist Kev Walker on the final page of the issue.

In the now-concluded volume, Doctor Strange leaned into the first part of his moniker, serving as a doctor in a supernatural hospital, helping aid the ailments of spirits and monsters, while combining both his magical prowess and medical training.

"Dear reader, this arc of Dr. Strange may be coming to a close, but fear not. The Sorcerer Supreme's adventures are far from over," reads the foreword to the statements from Waid and Walker. "And as Doctor Strange embarks on his next chapter, we want to say thank you to everyone who joined us on this journey."

Friday's Headlines | Star Wars: The Mandalorian’s Season Two Trailer Expected Soon

Star Wars: The Mandalorian is the first-ever live-action Star Wars series, and the Disney+ show has been met with a lot of success. Not only is it the most in-demand original series from new streaming services, but it also just received 15 Emmy nominations.

Fans of the show have been anxious to see season two, which is expected to debut later this year. According to LRM Online, there's a chance the first trailer for the new season will debut later this month.

"According to our source, the trailer for the second season of The Mandalorian will drop during the first round of the NBA playoffs," LRM writes. "The date that they are looking at is either August 21st or August 22nd. Those dates are not by accident either.

Remember that Star Wars Celebration was scheduled during that same weekend before it was canceled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Star Wars trailers and sports seem to go hand in hand with multiple movie trailers debuting during Monday Night Football as well as NBA Finals games. The NBA has already resumed play at the Disneyworld Sports Complex in Orlando. The NBA playoffs are expected to begin August 17th barring any stoppage because of the pandemic."

While there hasn't been official confirmation that the first trailer will debut at that time, it definitely makes sense, especially considering the show is still expected to premiere in October as originally planned.

Friday's Headlines | DC Bringing Gen 13 Back!

Wildstorm's Gen 13, which debuted as a massive hit and helped shape the '90s comics marketplace, is coming back into print, at least in part, with a new Deluxe Edition hardcover of much of J. Scott Campbell's run on the series due in 2021.

Despite its success -- and bestselling crossovers with Superman, Spider-Man, The Maxx, and others -- Gen 13 has been largely sidelined since DC shuttered the WildStorm imprint around the launch of The New 52 in 2011. Characters from the comic appeared in some New 52 titles, but have since vanished from the DC Universe again, and Gen 13 is not even available digitally.

The new volume, Gen 13: Starting Over, will reportedly hit store shelves in May of 2021. It will be a reprinting of a previous collected edition released in 2002, but with new trade dress and a new cover.

The new cover, though, won't mark new artwork. It's repurposed from Gen 13 #5 by Campbell and Alex Garner.

Like many WildStorm properties, Gen 13 was originally created while Jim Lee and the WildStorm imprint were at Image Comics. Lee was a founding partner at Image, and the structure of the company was such that each partner had their own studio and maintained full ownership of it. In 1999, Lee sold his studio to DC Comics in exchange for not just a payout, but a role at DC. At the time, he said that he was tired of being a manager and wanted to be an artist again. Ironically, Lee has been one of DC's top executives, and responsible for making managerial decisions over a larger and more demanding corporation than his own ever was, for years.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Top 3 TPB Comic Books

3. Wonder Woman the Last True Hero TPB Book 01 $39.99 DC Comics
In 1992 Wonder Woman moved into a new era courtesy of award-winning writer William Messner-Loebs. Starting with an encounter with Deathstroke and a fight with her old foe the Cheetah, Loebs' run saw Wonder Woman caught in the dark shadow of the Eclipso event and imprisoned on a savage planet. Collects Wonder Woman Special #1 (1992), Wonder Woman #63, #64, #66-75, and Wonder Woman Annual #3 (1992).

2. Ghosted in La TPB Vol 01 $14.99 Boom! Studios
Rycroft Manor may be old. It may be abandoned. It may even be haunted. But Daphne Walters doesn't care about any of that - it has a pool and the rent is free! New to LA, coming off of a bad breakup and having a pretty terrible week, Daphne might need to crash on this haunted couch for a while, but having undead roommates might be more than she bargained for! Collects issues #1-4.

1. Oz Complete Collection GN TPB Ozma Dorothy & Wizard $15.99 Marvel Comics
Dorothy's back, and she's not in Kansas anymore - but she's not in Oz either! This time, Dorothy Gale winds up in the land of Ev, meeting new friends such as Tik-Tok the mechanical man; Billina, perhaps the cleverest chicken you'll ever encounter; and the new Queen of Oz, the lovely Ozma! But can even their combined might return our girl home? But what master plan has the wizard been hiding? Continuing the complete collection of Eric Shanower and Skottie Young's Eisner Award-winning adaptations of L. Frank Baum's beloved Oz books! Collecting OZMA OF OZ #1-8 and DOROTHY & THE WIZARD IN OZ #1-8.

Manga Gem of The Week | My Hero Academia Smash GN Vol 05

My Hero Academia Smash GN Vol 05 $9.99 Viz Communications
By: Hirofumi Neda , Kouhei Horikoshi
News flash! Parody series are pretty embarrassing to the main series' protagonists! And this final volume of the My Hero Academia parody series goes Plus Ultra with its Gag Quirk to explore new horizons of humiliation! If nothing else, you gotta check out Bakugo's pretty boy makeover. But if he's not amused, will anyone get the last laugh?

Top 3 Mange Comic Books

3. Gal Gohan GN Vol 03 $12.99 Seven Seas Entertainment
By: Marii Taiyou
Miku Okazaki is a 'gal': a fun-loving high school student who expresses herself through bleached hair, sexy clothes, and heaps of accessories. Unfortunately, she's also flunking every class! When she asks her Home Economics teacher, Shinji Yabe, to help her bake cookies for her disappointed teachers, she finds a new excitement in that small success - and Shinji is moved by her enthusiasm. Shinji decides to start a cooking club to better connect with his students, and Miku is first in line to join!

2. Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba GN Vol 15 $9.99 Viz Communications
By: Koyoharu Gotouge
Tanjiro finally chases down the main body of the upper-rank demon Hantengu. However, dawn is approaching, and the rising sun is a threat to Nezuko. Tanjiro's concern for his sister is a distraction from the focus he needs to fight Hantengu, and if he hesitates it could be the last mistake he ever makes! Elsewhere, Tamayo ponders the nature of Nezuko's curse and how she could be so different from other demons.

1. Goblin Slayer Side Story Year One GN Vol 05 $13.00 Yen Press
By: Kumo Kagyu , Kento Sakaeda , Various
When Goblin Slayer and Arc Mage continue their goblin research with a dissection of one they killed in the ruins, they discover something new about the creatures. Rookie Warrior also heads into an abandoned mine with a party of inexperienced but fearless adventurers, attempting to master his weakness, but what will he do when they come under attack from yet another new threat?!