Ahead of Vertigo’s big launches this month – Four new series all debuting, in what feels like the biggest push the DC imprint has seen in some years – Marc-Oliver Frisch looks at January’s Diamond sales and points out why everyone at the imprint should be hoping that the push succeeds:
For Vertigo, it’s a particularly bad month. Viewed over the 107 months we have consistent data on, January 2012 brought both the lowest total unit sales and the lowest total dollar sales for the imprint. The previous low point was November 2003, with estimated total Vertigo comic-book sales of 108,050 in units and $297,858. In January 2012, it’s a total of 89,957 units and $268,971, respectively.
I’m one of those people who thinks that Vertigo is something to be protected and treasured within DC, with the material it publishes something with a longer shelf-life (and longer-tail when it comes to sales, too) than the New 52 line; Vertigo, increasingly, is where the new IP for DC comes from, and in order for DC to be anything more than an exercise in nostalgia to differing levels of success, I think the publisher needs Vertigo or something similar. But looking at those numbers, especially in comparison with the New 52 books, is just heartbreaking and tough to argue with from a business perspective should DC decide to put the resources elsewhere. In January, for example, Vertigo as a whole was outsold by any one of the top five superhero comics put out by DC. That’s just horrible.