Super Hero comic book sales soared in July with SUPERMAN: UNCHAINED #2 and BATMAN #22 continuing their reign atop the comic book sales charts at the #1 and #2 positions, respectively, moving DC Entertainment up the ranks as the month’s top publisher in dollars, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest comic book distributor in the world. Additionally, JUSTICE LEAGUE #22 – the first part of “Trinity War,” a crossover that sees the three Justice League teams at odds – took the #4 spot.
The sales figures closed out a historic July for DC Entertainment (DCE), as the company rolled on after a momentous Comic-Con International: San Diego 2013. The show kicked off with the unveiling of a customized JUSTICE LEAGUE-inspired KIA Sorento—the final car in a series of 8 featuring each member of the Justice League—and launched a charity auction on eBay benefitting the We Can Be Heroes giving campaign. To date, the campaign has raised nearly $2.4 million.
Thousands of fans swarmed DCE’s massive booth, an all-star collection of Superman costumes from the character’s various film and TV incarnations, leading up to a star-studded celebration of Superman’s 75thAnniversary, which featured a special guest star: an original issue of ACTION COMICS #1 – the comic book that started it all and made Comic-Con International: San Diego possible. Warner Bros. Interactive (WBIE) also had a great Comic-Con International: San Diego 2013, offering fans hands-on playable stations featuring upcoming games Infinite Crisis, Scribblenauts Unmasked and Batman: Arkham Origins.
The news that was the talk of the town and beyond came courtesy of Man of Steel director Zack Snyder, who made a surprise appearance in Hall H to confirm that the next DC Super Hero movie is in pre-production, slated for a Summer 2015 release. Snyder also teased a potential storyline featuring two of DC Comics’ most iconic Super Heroes – Superman and Batman – together on the big screen for the first time!
“Superman and Batman are icons, pure and simple. Their popularity stretches across all media,” said Diane Nelson, DC Entertainment President. “Having them paired together on the big screen is something fans are extremely excited about, and seeing both heroes – and their team, the Justice League – topping the comic book sales charts is further proof of that.”
“Batman: Zero Year,” re-telling the origin of the Dark Knight in DC Comics – The New 52, continues to be a dominant force in terms of sales and critical acclaim, with the work of writer Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo raking in the accolades. As if that weren’t enough, Grant Morrison’s own, epic Bat-saga came to a close in July with the touching, shocking and always engaging BATMAN INC. #13, marking an end to the beloved seven-year tale with a major cliffhanger and press coverage including USA Today and The New York Post.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #22, the first part of the summer “Trinity War” crossover that pits the three Justice League teams against each other, pairs A-list writers Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire with the best artists in comics, including Ivan Reis, Doug Mahnke and Mikel Janin. The story leads into this September’s FOREVER EVIL #1, by Johns and superstar artist David Finch – the first line-wide event in the history of DC Comics – The New 52. For a primer on “Trinity War” and FOREVER EVIL, fans can check out a special “Justice League 101” video – narrated by Johns himself – that gives fans a crash course on all things Justice League.
Over at Vertigo, issues #1 and #2 of THE WAKE by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy have sold out and gone back to press along with other key new launches like TRILLIUM and COLLIDER, making for an impressive 2013 for the genre-defying imprint. Writer/artist Jeff Lemire’s sci-fi love story TRILLIUM weaves together the lives of two souls separated by thousands of years and hundreds of millions of miles in a phenomenal, oversized flip book. In Fabletown, bestselling author Lauren Beukes – whose new novel The Shining Girls has been tabbed as a key summer read – hit the top 10 in graphic novel sales with FAIREST Vol 2: THE HIDDEN KINGDOM, revealing the story of Rapunzel in Japan.
“The second half of 2013 is going to be an exciting, innovative and important few months for us,” said Nelson. “From Neil Gaiman’s return to the world of Sandman, the fantastic 3-D Motion covers adorning our Villains Month titles and the epic crossover that is FOREVER EVIL, we hope fans are ready for a fun ride.”
July digital sales saw continued dominance of Digital First title INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US (ranking #1-4) while newly launched Digital First title BATMAN ’66 also scored strong sales during its first month of release, with three digital chapters ranking in the top 20 for the month (ranking #6, 13 and 17) . As the Trinity War event heats up several related Same Day Digital titles were popular in July including JUSTICE LEAGUE #22 (ranked #5), JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #6 (ranked #8), JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #22 (ranked #11) and TRINITY OF SIN: PANDORA #1 (ranked #18). On the eBook front, following the dramatic Comic-Con film announcement there was a huge jump in month-over-month sales of Frank Miller’s BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.
Fans visiting the DC Entertainment websites before Comic-Con International: San Diego 2013 were dazzled by newly-designed video sections, which featured an across-the-board switch to YouTube as the online video player for the site. The redesign and player switch helped bump up traffic for the site’s regular “Con Away From Con” coverage by 67 percent over the prior year.
DC Collectibles also had a great showing in San Diego with its “Con Exclusive” products including new “Super Best Friends Forever” figures and a Man of Steel variant statue posting strong sales.
On the book trade side, SOLO: THE DELUXE EDITON, BATMAN Vol. 2, BATMAN AND ROBIN Vol. 2, SUPERMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE Omnibus Vol. 1, BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN/SILK SPECTRE, BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS/CRIMSON CORSAIR, SUPERMAN Vol. 2 appeared on The New York Times Hardcover Graphic Book Bestseller list while RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS Vol. 2, AQUAMAN Vol. 2, Vertigo’s SWEET TOOTH Vol. 6 all landed on The New York Times Paperback Graphic Book Bestseller list.
MAD Magazine had a very strong presence at Comic-Con International: San Diego 2013, where Editor John Ficarra highlighted the upcoming release of INSIDE MAD – the follow-up to last year’s #1 New York Times bestseller, TOTALLY MAD. The week after the convention, MAD released issue #522 while also preparing for the August release of issue #523, which will feature Spy vs Spy depicted as major figures on the cover for the first time. Meanwhile, THE IDIOTICAL blog continued their daily spoofs, including “A Public Service Announcement to the New Royal Parents.”