Greetings from the surf and turf of Del Mar fellow CBSI members. It’s amazing, we are already ½ of the way home thru 2019! With this, it’s a good time to look back at the second quarter to get an idea of what is hot, and what was not. Is there some consistency in the marketplace or is this hobby and business status quo for the last three months?
*Numbers below are courtesy of Comichron
** When the Q1 article (click here to read it) was written, March data was not available. The same goes for June data as it will be dissected with the Q3 piece coming in a few months.
The month of March was highlighted by the release of Detective Comics 1000 which clocked in with a 500K+ print run. This was of no surprise to any of us with the significance of the issue, and the astronomical number of store variants.
An interesting tidbit however is this book was $9.99. The cost clearly helped the overall market which should be one of the best months of the year financially.
The rest of the Top 10 were filled with the usual suspects including yet another Spidey series. Other books of interest include the facsimile Hulk 181 edition which had a 56.7K print run. This just shows how popular this book continues to be with fans and collectors.
In addition higher publicized titles such as Hotshots # 1 and Age of X-Man Apocalypse and X-Tracts # 1 have print runs which were small (34.9K and 27.8K respectively) and high ratio variants. HS has a 1:50 JSC and X-Man has a 1:50 that has a beautiful Nakayama.
In conclusion, Immortal Hulk, Die Die Die, and Middlewest continued trends with minuscule 2nd prints – all under 1K. If this is part of your respective collections, be all means have at it with those if they can be found.
The month of April was dominated by two of Marvel’s anticipated eye candies with War of Realms and Symbiote Spider-Man. Again, both included a lot of different kinds of variants (shocking!), and had built in reader buzz due to the history of characters involved within the books.
Another interesting note is the Immortal Hulk # 16 print run of 90K. Ah yes, this included the infamous 1:25 wrap around cover. Oh and for you new folks, this is why print runs don’t always matter! Check eBay for those 1:25's, they are rotting, overpriced, and over bloated.
The rest of the Top 10 was followed up by the usual suspects including Batman, and Venom spinoffs. This was also the month of release for Major X (43K run).
While this was met with a lot of different emotions due to Leifeld, there is that saying all publicity is good publicity. Indie books of note include Faithless # 1, White Widow # 1, Little Bird # 2, Orphan Age # 1, and Amber Blake # 1.
It was a strong month for small 2nd print issues which include various Naomi, and Immortal Hulks, Knights of the Golden Sun # 1, and Punchline # 1.
The month of May saw three new titles hit the stores including the much anticipated DCeased, Batman: Last Knight on Earth, and Savage Avengers.
If any of these books lived up to their hype I will leave it for you to decide, but nevertheless the were flagship titles for Q2.
Yet again I would be remiss not to Immortal Hulk with 87K, this titles growth into issue 17 should be commended regardless of 8th print 1:1500 ratio variants.
June – TBD
*Comics and issues below for Q2 courtesy of Jack DeMayo and the BOLO list
Here are all the 1st app for these three months and their respective books –
The Warners – Meet the Skrulls # 1
Good Night – Deadpool # 10
Infernal – Curse of Brimstone # 12
Lord’s of Order – Justice League Dark # 9
Manipulator – Spider-Man / Deadpool # 47
League of Annoyance – Wonder Twins # 2
New Masters of Evil – West Coast Avengers # 9
Full Dark Guardians – Guardians of the Galaxy # 3
Monster Truck – Dial H for Hero # 1
Zoloz – Dr Strange # 12
Smoke – Silencer # 15
World Forger – Justice League # 21
New Dryad – Captain America # 9
Major X, Dreadpool – Major X # 1
Burnback – Nightwing # 59
Lunar – Avengers: Edge of Infinity # 1
The Splitt – Batman # 31
Dok Ondor – Star Wars Galaxy Edge # 1
Laughing Man – Batman TMNT III
Spider Bite – Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man # 6
Mother Shark – Aquaman # 48
Zambado, 1st Costume Naomi – Naomi # 5
New Abomination – Immortal Hulk # 17
Sword Master – New Age of Atlas # 2
Pixel – The Terrifics # 16
The purchases of store covers continues to do well in the marketplace. Shannon Maer and John Gallagher have proven to be hugely popular with various renditions which have been gobbled up as soon as they are made available.
The investments in these books will continue to rise with the art being better than publisher covers in many instances. The caliber of this work would sell even if it was on the back of cereal boxes it’s that good!
Here are a few highlights from Q2:
When you look at Q2 as a whole there were a few trends which were evident in the marketplace:
1. Comics continue to get optioned at a rapid clip – more on that later. The market did not see huge bumps with some titles like last quarter (Ex.Umbrella Academy), it was more of a soft push then forgotten news. The amount of titles truly creates a double edged sword as its great there is a variety of comics that can produce a profit, however it dilutes the market with the sheer mass of books. In addition, the window to maximize is extremely small. You could find them cheap online, get them mailed and up and eBay and the market has already moved on. Be cautious when playing that game. It’s risky no doubt.
2. Q2 was a slower time in general for spec books. This may be post Endgame blues which so much uncertainty of what’s ahead, but there was very little meat on the bones at all with the big two. However, as we move towards SDCC there is sure to be news that will crease the wheel again. This holding pattern per se the last few months has been a good downtime to take stock on what you have, and where you want to go moving forward this year
3. The indie market in Q2 has seen a decrease in quick flip books, yet an uptake in quality writing and art. Buyers seem to be more reserved on buying up weekly “hot” smaller run titles. One that has done very well is Amber Blake, more on that to follow. The quality these publishers are putting out now is creating a loyal reader base, not just a flip pocket of time. Overall, this is great for comics as the inside is more important than the cover on the outside. Although we all forget that from time to time
4. The big two continued their habits of bringing huge arch’s to the market with different twists. Some were given minor praise such as DCeased or War of Realms, while others involving all different symbiotes and spiders were met with lukewarm reception. At the end of the day we as readers agree it’s the quality. It the quantity that matters in this hobby.
5. There has finally been a decrease in movement of the Immortal Hulk series in terms of profit. There is no doubt this has to do with saturation of every issue with ratio variants, multiple printings, etc. Its funny how fickle the market is at times. It likens to Goldie Locks and the three bears story: This porridge is too hot – too many covers. This porridge is too cold – not enough covers. Ah this porridge is just right – when there is harmony in the market and money can be made without too much undercutting. IH was in that sweet spot more than any other title this year to date.
Comic book(s) of the quarter
This quarter there wasn’t a runaway winner as the comic of Q2. That’s a good thing IMO, as it’s spread out and more titles are given some love. Let’s start with this, the book of the quarter that was not one of the big two was, drumroll please …
These books started off with a bang and have continued to hold steady up to this point. That’s the real key with this is it’s not so much the first week, show what you can do the weeks after when it’s not the latest flavor. Undoubtedly, these two proved their staying power.
Okay now the comic of Q2 from the big two we should have seen coming a mile away, but it slipped thru the cracks. This happens right? Somewhere mid issue number, on a title that’s not really hot. Well this book is a big book now for its age. Drum roll please..
Yep, have a gander on eBay of the lack of inventory and subsequent pricing. It’s a beautiful cover and deserves praise. Not to mention look at the guys on there, it’s Wolvie and Moon Knight! Ugh how to so many of us swing and miss on this one?
One more for the road…
If you are indeed using comics as a money maker regardless of payout, please heed the warning of these words. As spoken to previously in this article, there are series that are optioned and series that are green lit.
Pay careful attention to when the news comes out just which bucket it falls under. Quite simply red (optioned) means stop, and green (green lit) means go. Your buying habits should reflect this data.
Don’t get caught up in the “outside noise” of having to get a comic because it’s the next huge hit on HBO. Take your time, let the dust settle. Many people have short term memories when it comes to potential movies or TV shows.
You don’t have to believe me, below is all the comics / graphic novels optioned up to this point of time. How much money and long box space is that to “hopefully” have a show made, then not get canned a season into release.
Smart shopping people, red means stop, green means go!
Dead or stalled spec:
American Flagg!, EuropaCorp
Amped (USA Network)
Astro City, Freemantle Media
Astronaut Academy, with Vivek J. Tiwary
Bad Medicine (NBC)
American Jesus, season one (Netflix)
Jupiter's Legacy, season one (Netflix)
Black Magick, with Groundswell Productions
Briggs Land (AMC)
Brooklyn Animal Control (USA Network)
Concrete, Universal Cable Productions
Crosswind (Piazza Entertainment/Entertainment One)
Darkness Visible, IDW Entertainment
Daybreak, season one (Netflix)
Untitled Deadpool Animated Series, (Marvel Animation)
DC’s Hero Project (Machinima)
The Disciples, Universal Cable Productions
Doctor Mirage (The CW)
Dreadstar, Universal Cable Productions & Benderspink
East of West (Amazon Studios)
Eclipse, Skybound Entertainment
Empire of the Dead, Demarest
Essex County (CBC)
Five Ghosts (Syfy)
Flutter, Universal Cable Productions
Gideon Falls, Hivemind
Grandville, Euston Films
Harrow County, Universal Cable Productions
Hawaiian Dick (NBC)
Heartthrob (Studio 8/Felix Culpa)
Hiding In Time (MGM Television)
Injection (Universal Cable Productions)
Invincible, animated series (Amazon)
Letter 44 (Syfy)
Locke & Key, season one (Netflix)
Lost City Explorers, Universal Television
Metropolis, season one (DC Universe)
Mind MGMT, Univeral Cable Productions
Minnie the Minx, Lime Pictures
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, Marvel Animation
One Piece, Tomorrow Studios
Project 13 (The CW)
Roche Limit (Syfy)
Quantum & Woody, pilot (TBS)
Sam & Twitch, (BBC America)
Scalped, with Warner Bros.
Scarlet Witch (Disney+)
Happy!, season three with Universal Cable Productions
Sex Criminals, with Universal TV
Sin City, with The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films
Sinatoro, Universal Cable Productions & Depth of Field
The Smurfs, IMPS/Dupuis Audiovisuel
Old City Blues, season one (Hulu)
The Normals, Fox 21 TV Studios
Snow Blind (Fox)
Southern Bastards (FX)
Static Shock, Warner Bros.
Transhuman (Amazon Studios)
Untitled Sam Hill: Private Eye live-action series, Archie Comics
Untitled Josie horror animated series, Archie Comics
Untitled Archie humor animated series, Archie Comics
Usagi Yojimbo, Gaumont Film Company
The Wicked + The Divine, with Universal Cable Productions
The Woods (SyFy)
Trees, with NBCUniversal International Studios
Velvet (The Paramount Network)
Wayward, Manga Entertainment
Skin&Earth, with Entertainment One
Warrior Nun, season one (Netflix)
October Faction, season one (Netflix)
Dylan Dog, season one (Bonelli Entertainment)
Nathan Never (Bonelli Entertainment)
Mister No (Bonelli Entertainment)
Dampyr (Bonelli Entertainment)
Dragonero (Bonelli Entertainment)
Il Confine (Bonelli Entertainment)
The Mall, Montecito Pictures
Thief of Thieves (Sony Pictures Television/Skybound Galactic)
Nailbiter (Sony Pictures Television/Skybound Galactic)
The Darkness (Sony Pictures Television/Skybound Galactic)
Think Tank (Sony Pictures Television/Skybound Galactic)
Martin Mystere (Bonelli Entertainment)
Sweet Tooth, pilot (Hulu)
Ice Cream Man (Universal Cable Productions)
Black Hammer (Legendary Entertainment)
Survivor's Club (The CW)
Motor Girl (Hulu)
Untitled Marvel Comedy (ABC)
Untitled Marvel “Jessica Jones-esque” show (ABC)
Untitled John Ridley Mystery Marvel ‘Superhero Reinvention’ Series (ABC)
Untitled Marvel streaming show (Disney)
Judge Dredd: Mega City One, season one (IM Global/Rebellion)
Talent, season one (Fox)
Super Clean (The CW)
Fetch (Sid Gentle)
Woman World (Freeform)
Super Crooks, season one (Netflix)
SPRIGGAN, season one (Netflix)
Rachel Rising (AMC)
Boondocks, Sony Pictures Animation
Hungry Ghosts, Sony Pictures Animation
Weird Fantasy (Hivemind)
I Am Not Okay With This, season one (Netflix)
Thirteen, season one (Amazon)
United States of Murder, Inc.
Makes you scratch your head huh? How many of those respective comics do you have collecting dust? Scary thoughts in a market that is so volatile you have to do everything in your power to protect yourself – including reading CBSI!
That’s a wrap on Q2 2019! Thanks for reading! The back half of the year hopefully will be not too hot, not too cold, but just right.
I see you there SDCC, what tricks do you have in your bag this year?