That’s right, seven printings. It’s nice to see expectations exceeded so drastically, but one has to wonder if all the expectations are the ones DC would want to exceed. Justice League #1 (2011) was the most successful of the “New 52″ books, which weren’t just meant to reinvent the DC Comics universe, but were meant to introduce the “same-day digital release” business model.
So… how are those digital sales? DC Comics has released sales rankings among their titles, which placed Justice League all over the top ten list last year and recently put it second to Batman. But that’s a no-brainer. The real question is, how many downloads are there? Is DC forging a digital market that will ensure its future, and if so, how quick will the shift away from print be?
It’s understandable that DC isn’t too quick to answer these questions, which could upset either retailers or investors or both, depending on the answers. Still, one thing’s for sure: it didn’t expect to be printing nearly so many Justice Leagues. Nu52, old medium.
The latest Green Arrow TV pilot star has been revealed: Colin Donnell, who will be playing “Tommy Merlyn,” a playboy trustafarian who– stop me if you’ve heard this one– “assumes the good times will roll again now that Oliver has returned, only to learn Oliver is a changed man” (Nellie Andreeva, Deadline). Donnell’s a talented actor, so it’s a shame that his role depends on everybody forgetting Jeff Bridges’ performance in Iron Man. (Update: Jordan DesJardins points out the existence of a Merlyn in Green Arrow’s existing rogue’s gallery, with a very different, and frankly much more interesting, origin.)
Comic-Book Collecting: The best-case scenario and worst-case scenario for collectors played out almost simultaneously today. Michael Rorrer discovered a collection valued at $2 million while cleaning out the personal effects of his late great-uncle, Billy Wright. You can follow the auction, running now through Thursday, here. On the other hand, a less valuable collection played a role in the disgusting death of Homer Marciniak from a heart attack during a robbery, previously reported on this site but given more detail at this link.
Comic Strips: Barney Google reappeared this week, to the delight of ancient comic-strip nerds everywhere. Yes, both of us. The rednecky Snuffy Smith has been running so long that many of its readers have no idea it was once Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, and before that, Barney Google, the tale of a would-be sophisticate in the Roaring Twenties. (The strip debuted in 1919.) Nowadays, “Google” means something else entirely (and yes, the strip has already made the obvious joke), so Barney’s stay may be brief, but the presence of a character who’s been mostly mothballed since 1954 is still something to celebrate.
Elsewhere, The Elderberries is closing its retirement-home community as the strip prepares to end, presumably because retirees are too young a demographic for current newspaper audiences.
Archie Comics’ latest stab at relevance is “Occupy Riverdale,” to be written by Alex Segura and drawn by my close friend Gisele Lagace. That conflict of interest makes me reluctant to discuss this one in detail, but the name of the story tells you pretty much all you need to know.