NUMBERS GAME: Independents — August 2013

sidekick01_coveraThe Indie Top 10

  1. (12) The Walking Dead #113 (70,273)
  2. (22) Saga #13 (55,372)
  3. (44) Star Wars #8 (38,792)
  4. (51) East of West #5 (36,345)
  5. (69) Sidekick #1 (27,832)
  6. (71) Overtaken #1 (27,246)
  7. (82) Lazarus #3 (24,961)
  8. (84) My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #10 (24,475)
  9. (100) My Little Pony Micro Series #7 (20,868)
  10. (101) Satellite Sam #2 (20,752)

Not a lot of movement on the Indie Top 10 chart from last month, except to beg the question, “When was the last time nearly 10% of the Top 100 Diamond Chart was non-DC or Marvel?” I’m not sure it’s ever been that way, but certainly not since I began number crunching — which speaks to an incredibly healthy market for a wide variety of series. You truly can find anything to like if one looks hard enough.

This month’s stand-out new entry is J. Michael Straczynski’s Sidekick #1, a launch that compares unfavorably with his other recent title, Ten Grand, which hit the chart with a 57,216 initial offering. With that book resting at 19,017 with its fourth issue, one has to ask whether Sidekick will fall to the same relatively healthy place, or plummet at the same percentage. Time will tell.

Saga-013-000The Saga unfolds.

#13 – August 2013: 55,372 (+4%)
#12 – April 2013: 53,339 (+7%)
#11 – March 2013: 50,023 (+3%)
#10 – February 2013: 48,388

What other book can take a four month hiatus and STILL continue to add readers with every issue? Keep in mind, Saga only launched at 37,641 back in March of 2012, making this book the Cinderella story of independent titles for all time. The Walking Dead may outsell it, but it took nearly 100 issues to do what Saga has done in 13. That’s comic market magic, baby.


sw8_7df141c2472c94bf3f2d60c40fb078f7The saga continues.

44. Star Wars #8 – 38,792
132. Star Wars: Legacy II #6 – 15,394
140. Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin #5 – 14,258
151. Star Wars: Dark Times — A Spark Remains #2 – 12,559
169. Star Trek Ongoing #24 – 10,886

It seems like readers really only want the real thing, as Brian Wood’s Star Wars series continues to outsell all other Dark Horse offerings in the expanded universe by more than two to one. True enough, the stories are beautifully crafted, wonderfully illustrated, and capture a sense of the time and place perfectly — but one can’t deny the overriding power of the original Trilogy to beat out any later competitors. Heck, as a proud fan of Star Wars going back to my earliest childhood, I’m also a little bit pleased to see how much it outsells Star Trek. We really did have to choose when I was a youngling. You couldn’t be fans of both, and apparently the comic market agrees.

ThunderAgents01-cvrA-copyThe Thunder down under.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents
#1 – August 2013: 10,737 (IDW)
#1 – November 2011: 14,794 (DC)
#1 – November 2010: 16,122 (DC)

Lots of properties shift from comic company to comic company, particularly ones that were at one time or another creator-owned and those originally in charge have moved on or closed their doors. There’s lots of talk these days, in fact, about the fate of the Milestone Universe if or when the rights pass out of DC Comics’ hands. Let’s hope the promise for them is better than it seems for the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. With each relaunch over the past three years, the title has sold less and less as a #1, to the point where one may have to begin asking: is there really a market for new stories of these characters? The Agents, in particular, seem very tied to the times in which they were conceived, a late sixties counter-culture/James Bond type of storytelling that doesn’t play as well in the 21st century. Here’s hoping IDW can grab a little more interest for these treasured characters in the months to come. Otherwise, it might be their last chance for a new start.


Special thanks to Comichron for having more stats than any comic fan can imagine!



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