Bunn does harrow county, one of dark horses top sellers. I think the plan is to attract bunn's audience to Conan, and considering that harrow county's a good seller that's not a bad idea. From what I know of his bibliography he's primarily a horror writer so I have no doubt he'd do devil in iron just fine.
Guess the attitude is "Red Sonja's selling better? Go get the people who work on Red Sonja!" At least art-wise anyway. It's definitely a step back towards more traditional Conan art. Don't know any of Bun's work, I'll look forward to hearing what his approach will be. Also looking like we'll be heading towards Devil In Iron then People of the...hey wait...
Hey, I like your style, could we really see a proper version of black coast :-)
People of the Black Circle, the one Fred just did. Now if someone wants to conflate People of the Black Coast and Queen of the Black Coast, that would be...wait, Roy did that too!
216 CONAN THE AVENGER #23 6,898 (last month-6,984, down 86, -1.3%)
Another rounding error slightly larger than last month's rounding error.
222 KING CONAN WOLVES BEYOND THE BORDER #3 6,544 (last month-6674, down 130, -2%)
Normal drop, looks like the mini should end just south of 6500.
As a comparison, the last Red Sonja #2 came in at 7292, so it's not as healthy as it was either (but not to this extent). The new Dejah Thoris series starts off at 9762, fairly good for that group of titles.
124 CONAN TP VOL 18 DAMNED HORDE 908
Well, it's better than the 592 for the last trade, but it's still not great to have a trade below 1000 pre-orders. Marvel put out a $100 collection for the short lived 70s series The Champions and it scored in the mid 1200s. Maybe not an apt comparison, but it's what I got this month!
Last Edit: Mar 7, 2016 13:44:06 GMT -5 by johnnypt
There was a good analysis over on Comics Beat that the direct market is topping out around 100k readers a month for the Big Two but generally sales over 40k are considered best-sellers -- a number that would've been considered mid-list as recently as five years ago. With that in mind, these Conan sales suddenly look a lot rosier. The King Conan sales, in particular, are very healthy. If they can wrap up around 6,500 that would be a big win for Truman & Giorello (and almost guarantee further minis from them). The main title has obviously suffered severe attrition so I'll be curious to see what the new creative team brings sales-wise. Can Conan re-launch in the 8-10k realm before drifting down again? That would be huge.
Don't worry about Red Sonja outselling Conan. Her latest re-launch is a creative mis-fire and will drift down to the 6k mark by issue #5. Dynamite mis-judged how much of RS's audience was made up of Simone devotees. Without her, RS has a similar sales ceiling/floor as Conan does now.
Judging the TPBs is trickier. Conan has a robust shelf life at bookstores.
It's a very tricky market these days, it's difficult to gauge what's selling OK and what's on the chopping block. It definitely looks like everyone has had to reassess their expectations to this lower level. I still think Conan sales are on the lower side, but as Yam has mentioned, for DH titles, they're practically top of the list for them.
The Marvel trades have generally been solid sellers, but the DH series has really dropped off. Trades should be in the low to mid 1000s on pre-orders.
I think the floor-ceiling ratio for Conan right now is between 6k-10k, maybe higher if you could land the right creative team. Perhaps with Bunn we'll see a 8k-12k ratio. As a licensed property, it is harder to gauge profitability due to additional rights fees. My guess is that Conan is profitable at its current sales rate, and, as you mentioned, it is a top seller for DH now (more by attrition than anything), which gives then some additional rope.
Here are the three things we need to look for in the coming months:
1) How much of a boost does the title get with the launch of Conan The Slayer? 2) How quickly does the title drift back down to the 6k level? (If its there by issue #3, that's a bad sign) 3) What happens after the Marvel re-prints finish up?
Last Edit: Mar 9, 2016 11:35:31 GMT -5 by televiper
The Conan titles were #7 & #8 for DH last month, biggest seller was Fight Club at just under 30K. Then you have a couple of Buffy books, a BRPD book, a new Tomb Raider book (coming in under 9K, not too hot) and a couple of others.
If CTS has the same general trajectory as CTA (10.5K drifting down to 6.5K) I guess that's all DH is looking for these days. If Bunn can bump it up by a couple of thousands, hopefully that buys it more time.
Now that we know DH is still going to do Conan for a while and the CTC series ending soon, I have to think they'll find something else to reprint. The graphic novels seem to be a good place to go, put 2 or 3 in a trade, you'll get some decent sales. I'll still bang the drum for the long awaited, fully colored complete Hour of the Dragon/Conan the Conqueror by Roy, Gil & Big John.
Man, DH has been hurting since losing Star Wars. They used to be the solid #3 comics company in terms of sales. But since the second-wave Image revolution behind Walking Dead and IDW taking over a lot of popular licenses, DH struggles to consistently place 4th or 5th. Tough times for them. Makes me wonder why they don't pump a little more marketing into Conan.