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JohnMcMahon

Vertigo back on the ledge

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James    38

I agree 100% with John.

 

I read issues 2 and 3 of American Virgin and as a little character drama it's actually really good. But the talk of "global sexual ritual" gubbins at the Bristol con makes me worry whether it's actually going to become a whole lot more pretentious before too long. And am I the only one who wants this character to actually remain a Christian?

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JohnMcMahon    595

Seagle, pretentious ? You ever read his House Of Secrets then ?

 

I'd like to see the lead cling onto his religious convictions, aye, he was set-up well in the first issue and we're at the point now where someone remaining true to what they believe qualifies as 'edgy' material (but in a good way).

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dogpoet    497
Seagle, pretentious ?  You ever read his House Of Secrets then ?

 

I'd like to see the lead cling onto his religious convictions, aye, he was set-up well in the first issue and we're at the point now where someone remaining true to what they believe qualifies as 'edgy' material (but in a good way).

I get the impression that part of the point (I admit I still haven't read #3 so I could be completely wrong about this) is that the lad's dug himself into a hole he can't possibly get out of without admitting that his whole value system is completely wrong.

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JasonT    456

DOGPOET:

I get the impression that part of the point ... is that the lad's dug himself into a hole he can't possibly get out of without admitting that his whole value system is completely wrong.

 

Yeah, I'd go with that impression too. I don't see the title being major or long-running, because I don't care for any of the characters; but the first 3 issues were intriguing, albeit bite-sized. Great covers.

 

 

SETHOS:

surprised by the good numbers for Fables, by the way, I figured it was under 20,000 copies a month.

 

Good to see Fables is getting the support it deserves. It's a good read, and accessible without being dumb. Maybe a little "decompressed" for my tastes, but since I'm borrowing the trades from the library, it's not an issue (if you'll pardon).

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Christian    805

I've begun to enjoy "Testament" again.

The first story-arc got bogged down and ended up looking like the whole series was woefully misdirected.

But, issue #6 really brought me back into the story again (which lost me with #3).

Is anyone still reading "Testament"?

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jae    0
I've begun to enjoy "Testament" again.

The first story-arc got bogged down and ended up looking like the whole series was woefully misdirected.

But, issue #6 really brought me back into the story again (which lost me with #3).

Is anyone still reading "Testament"?

 

 

yeah i had issues with three and onward number six was a great story... i actuallywas bored and picked up loveless... i hate how he doesn't represent passage of time is my only issue... both six and seven were good... Fables might jump up even more and Y certainly will with the all the attention it's getting lately....

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JohnMcMahon    595

While we're at it, a look at the latest Vertigo numbers :

 

(79) Y: THE LAST MAN (Vertigo)

04/2003: Y: The Last Man #10 -- 24,853

04/2004: Y: The Last Man #21 -- 26,720

--------------------------------------

04/2005: Y: The Last Man #32 -- 26,914 (+4.2%)

05/2005: Y: The Last Man #33 -- 26,883 (-0.1%)

06/2005: Y: The Last Man #34 -- 26,756 (-0.5%)

07/2005: Y: The Last Man #35 -- 26,449 (-1.2%)

08/2005: Y: The Last Man #36 -- 26,558 (+0.4%)

09/2005: Y: The Last Man #37 -- 26,638 (+0.3%)

10/2005: Y: The Last Man #38 -- 26,535 (-0.4%)

11/2005: Y: The Last Man #39 -- 26,395 (-0.5%)

12/2005: Y: The Last Man #40 -- 26,006 (-1.5%)

01/2006: Y: The Last Man #41 -- 25,931 (-0.3%)

02/2006: Y: The Last Man #42 -- 25,775 (-0.6%)

03/2006: Y: The Last Man #43 -- 25,877 (+0.4%)

04/2006: Y: The Last Man #44 -- 25,985 (+0.4%)

 

 

(82) FABLES (Vertigo)

04/2003: Fables #12 -- 24,929

04/2004: Fables #24 -- 25,464

-----------------------------

04/2005: Fables #36 -- 24,975 (+2.1%)

05/2005: Fables #37 -- 24,477 (-2.0%)

06/2005: Fables #38 -- 24,813 (+1.4%)

07/2005: Fables #39 -- 24,617 (-0.8%)

08/2005: Fables #40 -- 24,952 (+1.4%)

09/2005: Fables #41 -- 25,001 (+0.2%)

10/2005: Fables #42 -- 24,953 (-0.2%)

11/2005: Fables #43 -- 24,659 (-1.2%)

12/2005: Fables #44 -- 24,515 (-0.6%)

01/2006: Fables #45 -- 24,297 (-0.9%)

02/2006: Fables #46 -- 24,134 (-0.7%)

03/2006: Fables #47 -- 24,278 (+0.6%)

04/2006: Fables #48 -- 24,476 (+0.8%)

 

 

(118) BITE CLUB: VAMPIRE CRIME UNIT (Vertigo)

04/2004: Bite Club #1 (of 6) -- 24,043

----------------------------------------------------------

04/2006: Bite Club: Vampire Crime Unit #1 (of 6) -- 17,195

 

 

(119) LOVELESS (Vertigo)

10/2005: Loveless #1 -- 22,483

11/2005: Loveless #2 -- 17,667 (-21.4%)

12/2005: Loveless #3 -- 16,280 (- 7.9%) -- [17,584]

01/2006: --

02/2006: Loveless #4 -- 16,765 (+ 3.0%)

03/2006: Loveless #5 -- 16,704 (- 0.4%)

04/2006: Loveless #6 -- 16,823 (+ 0.7%)

 

 

(124) AMERICAN VIRGIN (Vertigo)

03/2006: American Virgin #1 -- 19,455

04/2006: American Virgin #2 -- 15,780 (-18.9%)

 

 

(126) DMZ (Vertigo)

11/2005: DMZ #1 -- 18,705

12/2005: DMZ #2 -- 14,840 (-20.7%)

01/2006: DMZ #3 -- 14,503 (- 2.3%)

02/2006: DMZ #4 -- 14,778 (+ 1.9%)

03/2006: DMZ #5 -- 14,952 (+ 1.2%)

04/2006: DMZ #6 -- 15,212 (+ 1.7%)

 

 

(133) HELLBLAZER (Vertigo)

04/2003: Hellblazer #183 -- 16,905

04/2004: Hellblazer #195 -- 14,887

----------------------------------

04/2005: Hellblazer #207 -- 15,368 (- 0.6%)

05/2005: Hellblazer #208 -- 15,420 (+ 0.3%)

06/2005: Hellblazer #209 -- 15,149 (- 1.8%)

07/2005: Hellblazer #210 -- 14,801 (- 2.3%)

08/2005: Hellblazer #211 -- 14,727 (- 0.5%)

09/2005: Hellblazer #212 -- 14,714 (- 0.1%)

10/2005: Hellblazer #213 -- 14,688 (- 0.2%)

11/2005: Hellblazer #214 -- 14,766 (+ 0.5%)

12/2005: Hellblazer #215 -- 14,405 (- 2.5%)

01/2006: Hellblazer #216 -- 14,590 (+ 1.3%)

02/2006: Hellblazer #217 -- 14,306 (- 2.0%)

03/2006: Hellblazer #218 -- 14,129 (- 1.2%)

04/2006: Hellblazer #219 -- 14,206 (+ 0.6%)

 

 

(135) 100 BULLETS (Vertigo)

04/2003: 100 Bullets #43 -- 17,273

04/2004: --

----------------------------------

04/2005: 100 Bullets #60 -- 14,882 (- 0.3%)

05/2005: 100 Bullets #61 -- 14,927 (+ 0.3%)

06/2005: --

07/2005: 100 Bullets #62 -- 14,867 (- 0.4%)

08/2005: 100 Bullets #63 -- 14,793 (- 0.5%)

09/2005: 100 Bullets #64 -- 14,708 (- 0.6%)

10/2005: 100 Bullets #65 -- 14,744 (+ 0.3%)

11/2005: 100 Bullets #66 -- 14,425 (- 2.2%)

12/2005: 100 Bullets #67 -- 14,165 (- 1.8%)

01/2006: 100 Bullets #68 -- 13,879 (- 2.0%)

02/2006: 100 Bullets #69 -- 13,708 (- 1.2%)

03/2006: 100 Bullets #70 -- 13,591 (- 0.9%)

04/2006: 100 Bullets #71 -- 13,514 (- 0.6%)

 

 

(139) TESTAMENT (Vertigo)

12/2005: Testament #1 -- 16,893 -- [18,166]

01/2006: Testament #2 -- 13,518 (-20.0%)

02/2006: Testament #3 -- 12,831 (- 5.1%)

03/2006: Testament #4 -- 13,074 (+ 1.9%)

04/2006: Testament #5 -- 12,770 (- 2.3%)

 

 

(148) THE EXTERMINATORS (Vertigo)

01/2006: The Exterminators #1 -- 16,187

02/2006: The Exterminators #2 -- 12,459 (-23.0%)

03/2006: The Exterminators #3 -- 11,678 (- 6.3%)

04/2006: The Exterminators #4 -- 11,342 (- 2.9%)

(This comic is good - honest - try the first trade, due out real soon!)

 

 

(177) LUCIFER (Vertigo)

04/2003: Lucifer #37 -- 13,889

04/2004: Lucifer #49 -- 12,846

------------------------------

04/2005: Lucifer #61 -- 11,771 (- 1.4%)

05/2005: Lucifer #62 -- 13,248 (+12.6%)

06/2005: Lucifer #63 -- 11,694 (-11.7%)

07/2005: Lucifer #64 -- 11,418 (- 2.4%)

08/2005: Lucifer #65 -- 11,347 (- 0.6%)

09/2005: Lucifer #66 -- 11,725 (+ 3.3%)

10/2005: Lucifer #67 -- 11,168 (- 4.8%)

11/2005: Lucifer #68 -- 11,036 (- 1.2%)

12/2005: Lucifer #69 -- 10,881 (- 1.4%)

01/2006: Lucifer #70 -- 10,779 (- 0.9%)

02/2006: Lucifer #71 -- 10,578 (- 1.9%)

03/2006: Lucifer #72 -- 10,436 (- 1.3%)

04/2006: Lucifer #73 -- 10,409 (- 0.3%)

 

 

(176) SWAMP THING (Vertigo)

04/2004: Swamp Thing #2 -- 26,013

----------------------------------

04/2005: Swamp Thing #14 -- 12,057 (- 5.1%)

05/2005: Swamp Thing #15 -- 11,542 (- 4.3%)

06/2005: Swamp Thing #16 -- 10,962 (- 5.0%)

07/2005: Swamp Thing #17 -- 10,345 (- 5.6%)

08/2005: Swamp Thing #18 -- 10,112 (- 2.3%)

09/2005: Swamp Thing #19 -- 9,726 (- 3.8%)

10/2005: Swamp Thing #20 -- 10,209 (+ 5.0%)

11/2005: Swamp Thing #21 -- 9,203 (- 9.9%)

12/2005: Swamp Thing #22 -- 8,892 (- 3.7%)

01/2006: Swamp Thing #23 -- 8,527 (- 4.1%)

02/2006: Swamp Thing #24 -- 8,379 (- 1.7%)

03/2006: Swamp Thing #25 -- 8,076 (- 3.6%)

04/2006: Swamp Thing #26 -- 7,959 (- 1.5%)

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lyra    0

The Swamp thing has some stunning numbers. The scary thing is for a Marvel Comic to get cancelled it needs to sell about 25,000. This would pretty much mean all of these comics would of have been cut a long time agon. There is some benefit to having DC part of a large corporation like Time/Warner. Thanks for the numbers. Glad, to see Hellblazer holding steady.

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JohnMcMahon    595

Vertigo books have always operated on a different scale to mainstream DC/Marvel comics - they're perceived to be reaching an audience that wouldn't otherwise be captured, helps that they tend to do particularly well in trades too.

 

It's not like Marvel is hurting for money these days!

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James    38
04/2005: Lucifer #61 -- 11,771 (- 1.4%)

05/2005: Lucifer #62 -- 13,248 (+12.6%)

06/2005: Lucifer #63 -- 11,694 (-11.7%)

 

Bloody hell, does Coleen Doran really have such a dedicated fanbase?

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Trace    0

I'm sort of shocked at how low the sales are for HB and Lucifer.

 

Still, Vertigo in 2006 is fine by me, though I think Image is putting out the most stuff that I want to buy.

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James    38

Lucifer does really well in trades, though, which kept the series afloat (past tense... *sob*). And I imagine that many of the trade-readers were former monthly types who jumped ship.

 

I think Hellblazer does pretty well in trades, too, although god knows why given the way Vertigo has treated them lately.

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Christian    805

It also makes sense.

A lot of new readers would be scared off by a title that's over issue #200 and not something like X-Men. Also, by this point, I think most people who are going to be loyal to Hellblazer are already reading that book.

 

With Lucifer, it's not the type of series where new readers can just jump on at any point and feel like they know what's going on.

 

Both books would appeal more to a Trade audience.

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dogpoet    497
Vertigo books have always operated on a different scale to mainstream DC/Marvel comics - they're perceived to be reaching an audience that wouldn't otherwise be captured, helps that they tend to do particularly well in trades too.

They like to make a big deal of that reputation, but they've done very little to earn it in the last five years: the amount of series they've launched then made no effort to plug or publicise and left to die a lonely death almost outweighs their attempts to milk the Sandman, which is no mean feat.

American Virgin will be going the same way as The Crusades, The Minx and American Century shortly, but Shelly Bond will still be rabbitting on about how cutting edge, dangerous and avant garde Vertigo is as an imprint at conventions and the occasional self important puff piece in On The Ledge...

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JohnMcMahon    595

I can see where you're coming from, honest, but you may want to look at the order figiures for both Y and Fables again.

 

As much as I love American Virign, I recokon you're right in that it's DOA.

 

Having said that, both DMZ and Loveless are showing signs of being hits in the making.

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Mark    333

While I can see Dogpoet's point, and a lot of Vertigo series launched in the past 5 years or so have failed to grab my attention, one of the things I do like about the line is that they keep on trying new ideas, writers, characters, and the like. Most of them fail (like American Virgin seems likely to), but every so often there's a break-out success like Y, Fables, or (with a bit of luck) DMZ, which both keeps the line ticking over financially, allows them to continue attempting new series, and makes the whole effort worthwhile. In my ever-so-'umble opinion, of course.

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dogpoet    497

They never make any effort to plug them though, Mark. I find this "we launched such and such a series, so we're dead cool even if it stiffs" approach offensive. If they ever actually made any attempt to plug something (besides whatever miniscule fuss they can kick up from the advertising budget, after DC has finished plugging that month's Batman miniseries, for the first issue) the series they're starting would probably last a bit longer because more people would know that they exist. Okay, they're plugging Fables aggressively at the moment, but that had to find an audience through word of mouth before they could be bothered making any effort with it.

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Christian    805

It's not just Vertigo that does this though.

 

Marvel and DC are launching new series all the time, with no word about the series. They just put it on the stands and expect people to come running to the stores and end up buying it, and then they wonder why these books that they felt were "cutting edge" aren't selling worth a damn.

Well, guess what? Putting out a book about "Silver Sable" that does something really different with the character, and you even brought in a critically acclaimed underground comic writer, with no advertisement for the book? No one is going to buy it!

 

It's the way the comic book companies seem to function anymore. The market has gotten too big, and most books are left to fall through the cracks if they aren't "that new Spider title" or "Grant Morrison's book" (which deserves all the hype in the world, don't get me wrong) or "the big cross-over event tie-in title".

I'm really boggled by this mentality. Sure, Neil Gaiman's new comic is going to sell a hell of a lot better than "obscure experimental book by little known creative team of the month", but shouldn't you at least try to sell that book to as many people as possible? Who knows what could be the next Sandman (not that there will ever be another book like that, but you know what I mean)? Are you going to let it die, just because it wasn't The New Sandman when it was first released?

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Abhimanyu    20
Most of them fail (like American Virgin seems likely to), but every so often there's a break-out success like Y, Fables, or (with a bit of luck) DMZ, which both keeps the line ticking over financially,

 

DMZ is good, eh?

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Mark    333

I haven't read it yet - I'll probably be checking out the trade - but the word I've heard from others who've been following it is pretty positive, and it seems to be developing a solid buzz in a few online circles, which seems encouraging.

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JasonT    456

Just read the 4th issue of American Virgin, and I think that'll do me, ta. Awful dialogue in the first half, unconvincing New Zealand idiom throughout, frankly unlikely fight scene at the climax (that rock in the river was badly placed, hey?), art a little rough this time, no Quitely cover, wasted splash page, and this minor headfuck on page 10:

 

post-83-1150592296_thumb.jpg

 

:huh: What was that supposed to be? Is the second panel trying to be an Image-comics-style shot of the mercenary looking cool, but without the wanky Jim Lee art? :)

 

Oh, and this pearl on page 7:

 

post-83-1150592552_thumb.jpg

 

This is all subjective, I suppose, but the issue really didn't work for me.

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JohnMcMahon    595

Couple of interesting little Vertigo bits'n'pieces in this thread.

 

Si Spencer has a new ongoing at Vertigo called Vinyl Underground, covers by Phillips with art by Simon Gane. Si wrote the much unappreciated Books Of Magic : Life During Wartime...which I though was mostly ace, so I'm looking forward to it.

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thanks for the link mr.macmahon,mike carey and jock together on a book could be great.

 

i keep meaning to check out dmz,everyone i hear talk about it gives it a rave review,maybe it's the bleak subject matter.comics are escapism to me and that book is a little too real worldy for me.

 

i've been reading vertigo since that first month back in 1993 and maybe it simply has too much history and will always suffer by comparisons to it's past hits,but i do think they need to shake up the lineup a bit.

 

some of my favorite series of all time are from vertigo.currently all i read from them is hb and 100 bullets.i know everybody loves y and fables,there obviously quality works but there not my cup of tea.part of the problem is that a lot of "vertigo"type books are coming out from other companies.apologies to who first pointed it out(don't remember which one of you it was)books like ex machina and walking dead could easily have come from vertigo,as could queen and country,walkie talkie,and a lot of the stuff published by topshelf.

 

what would you do if you were karen berger for a day?

 

i would have garth ennis write the suicide squad.i would try to create a somewhat permanet anthology that i would team up old pros and new talent.i would try to produce more things like the movie/comic the fountain tie in.stop letting all the other books swipe all the talent.and don't be afraid to have more non horror books like the losers.

 

and i know this may piss off a few here,but please move forward and keep breaking ground.don't feel chained to the idea you have to keep bringing back swamp thing(he could easily be regular dc)three or four more times and not even try to bring back anyone else:animal man,shade the changing man,black orchid,rebis etc.and make grant morrison a consulting editor. oh also sign up the guy who makes walkie talkie-he's gonna win an eisner someday and you can slap the company logo on it.

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Christian    805

Top Shelf and Fantagraphics (etc.) publish comics that Vertigo doesn't want to touch.

That's really Vertigo's biggest problem. They don't take risks anymore.

They are chained to ideas about what Vetigo is and should be.

They're branching out to publish Pekar's "American Splendour". A book which worked for 30 years to etch out a place in the comic industry, and now Vertigo is going to pick it up.

Maybe it's best to play it safe that way, as Vertigo really has its own cult audience.

But, I personally, would love to see Vertigo move in the direction of Top Shelf or Fantagraphics or Drawn & Quarterly.

Those companies are all far and away better than Vertigo.

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