Wednesday, 2 January 2019

CIH? 2019 checklist and MORE!


Benjamin Hobbs:

Hello Everyone! Welcome to 2019, an exciting year for CIH?! Because YOU demanded it, here is the OFFICIAL 2019 checklist!

October- January 2020 are tentative, pending Dave's approval.


So how has CIH? been doing thus far?  David Birdsong put together this list of the top three comics of every month CIH? has come out, along with the CIH? ranking:


All sales data based on www.comichron.com

 
 He also made this bar graph that charts the CIH? sales data:

Here is his summation of the findings:

 So there you have it!  Any gleaned information should be left in the comments section!  

Next Week:  Is WILLOW a ripoff of CEREBUS?!!? Dave Sim and Benjamin Hobbs discuss!

36 comments:

Dominick Grace said...

I'd say that the information gleaned is that this is at best an extremely niche comic that is unlikely ever to see a significant uptick in sales. All the stores I know never have issues on the shelves but only order it for customers who pre-order it, so cover design is irrelevant--nobody who doesn't already know about it ever even sees the cover. And the new title every month gimmick makes that very difficult, as it can't even be a standing order (I pre-order it, and for all I know, I have missed one or two because the store missed ordering the latest new-titled version). So, impulse purchase in-store is exceedingly unlikely, which makes sales growth also exceedingly unlikely.

The lesson? Abandon this book and try something else.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Well,

Action #1000 had a number of variant covers, so that total reflects that. Not sure about some of the other titles. Amazing Spider-Man #800 is another.

So, that needs to be factored in to sales analysis.

Matt

Michael Ragiel said...

How about putting Wolveroach on the cover? Maybe with Jim Shooter?

Jeff said...

Dom? Have you *heard* of B. Karloff's Holiday Classic?

'Cause, you're a mean one, Mr. Grace.

Eddie said...

If I could send a copy of CANADIAN VARK #1 to every Canadian politician (and not be charged with a "Hate Crime" for doing so), I totally would. It's my favourite one yet.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Yes, Jeff, Dominick is so mean by using facts. Facts, as it's been said, have a well-known anti-Dave bias. Or are you referring solely to his last sentence?

(And "B. Karloff's holiday classic"? Hm! "Donatello. Who the hell are Kevin and Peter?")

-- Damian

Dominick Grace said...

Jeff,

It may sound harsh to point it out, I guess, but the book is consistently selling below 3,000 copies--only one of the last thirteen issues has surpassed that number, and one issue sold less than half that number. We may be seeing a slight uptick with the last three issues, but not a big one, and there is little reason I can see to believe it will continue to swing upwards. The new number one for every issue shtick is just not working as a sales gimmick and is instead, if anything, impeding sales by preventing an automatic reorder option. The book (in my experience) is NOT getting onto shelves, so the cover parody strategy can't very well draw new readers if the book is invisible in the shops. And even as a long-time comics reader, I find several of them pretty opaque parodies anyway. As a long-term Cerebus reader, I can appreciate Sim's desire to experiment and even respect this book as a genuine experiment in mash-up and collaborative comics. But, frankly, I don't read it. I buy it as a Dave Sim/Cerebus fan/supporter, but I couldn't get through the first issue. Part of that is the format--it's just hard to read, as it is laid out--but part of it is also that the jokes mostly just don't seem that funny to me. I get that this is something of a compromise--bring Cerebus back for those who have clamored for him, but without actually telling new Cerebus stories. Fine, fair enough. But I would submit, respectfully, that the compromise has not been successful. The numbers do not suggest that the book is going to generate a lot of revenue, and the sales trend, as far as can be determined by the data so far, does not look likely to improve. Even if one deemed the book an artistic success (I don't), given that its function (as I understand it) was to be a revenue generator, it does not look to be fulfilling its role.

So, you know, cut bait and try something else. There's no shame in that. And I don't think it's all that Grinchy to say so. (But hey, at least I signed my name when I said it.)

David Birdsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Where does Dave land on the political compass?

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Anon.: Dave is a pre-Enlightenment deist with authoritarian sympathies.

-- Damian

Anonymous said...

Cerebus In Hell is a dumpster fire of a comic bought by speculators and people who long for the good old days. The content is god-awful. It's as funny as a dead dog next to a gravestone.

Anonymous said...

There are 10+ years old letters he wrote to Jeff, published on this blog, in which he described himself as a "conservative".

-Same guy who asked about it.

JLH said...

"The dead dog jumped up and flew around the room" was indeed a hilarious comic, so that's great praise, Anonymous.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Something just struck me: Eddie, why would you be charged with a "hate crime" for mailing comics to politicians? Ontario's premier had the cops tell a constituent to stop phoning him, so maybe you could be charged with harassment.

-- Damian

David Birdsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sigh.

No, I'd really rather you CAME UP WITH YOUR OWN JOKES.

David Birdsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Do what thou wilt."

But, really, try and come up with your own jokes rather than stealing them.

Sean R said...

Not to detract from the productive, respectful dialogue here but...the new issues are (IMHO obviously) very very different from the early ones. Very. And you know, not every Anonymous is going to be won over...but I would strongly encourage all DVS readers out there to throw a read or three at CANADIAN VARK, Giant Size Jingles, Sim City etc.

I say this as someone who has read all of the material written so far (the next years worth at least).

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Sean, David, and the rest of "team CIH?",

I'd suggest naming all new one shots, "Cerebus in Hell Presents:" whatever the one shot is called. That way, they'll be racked under the "C"s every month and would be easier to find.

Just a thought,
Matt

Jeff Beck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

I bought the issue of CiH that had my name in it, 'cause I'm egotistical, but I quickly discovered that the entertainment-value-per-dollar is lower than most comics, so I haven't bothered to pick up any of the one-shots. Seems to be for True Front-Facing Believers only. But that's me; YMMV. I never thought Adam Sandler was funny either.

I think Dominick made some valid points about marketing CiH and expressed an artistic judgement of the comic, and David B. displayed an almost Seileresque butthurtedness. I suggest that Sean R. is perhaps too close to the project to make an objective judgement about how "obviously" (or should that be "self-evidently") different the new issues are.

Matt seems to have come up with a good idea, that might address some of Dominick's criticisms.

As in many other cases, Dave has let his knowledge become out of date. With Cerebus he captured lightning-bugs in a bottle; with Glamourpuss he tried to do the same thing he'd done 40 years before, without taking into account the changes in the comics industry. He made the same mistake with CiH. The rise of the pull-file and the TPB collection, and the fracturing of the comics audience, have vastly reduced the appeal of the "First Issue Collector's Item Classic!!!1!!", especially from a non-Big-Two comic.

There are somewhere between 200 and 400 Cerebus fans in the world, and as many as 4,000 people with a milder interest. I don't think those numbers will ever increase. (Sorry, Dave. For someone who feels Signs From The Universe are real, he's taking a while to absorb the lesson that The Universe is done with him; he had his moment, and now it's over.) Rather than trying to attract an audience that has demonstrated for 15 years that it has no interest in new comics from Dave, he might try the "1,000 True Fans" approach. Making it easier for overworked store owners to fulfill their customers' pull-files would be a step toward that.

-- Damian

Jeff Beck said...

I only have the four issues on comiXology. How are the new ones different from them? And can I get digital versions of the new ones?

Sean R said...

Hello Damian!

I meant that all of the above and below is (obviously) in my humble opinion, which doesn't read particularly well now that I'm spelling it out :) I'm sure other people will disagree with my conclusions even after they've read the issues I'm recommending, but I'm equally certain many people who actually read them will agree.

Jeff-- the new issues are 100 percent written by Dave, whereas for the miniseries and all the online strips, Sandeep wrote half of them. (And Benjamin and myself chipped in on some of the recent issues, including BH's great strips in CRISIS and LEAGUE). And as opposed to just four-panel gags, the newer issues are four-panel gags fit into a single-issue contained format, that is, making reference to each other, telling a continual story, etc.

Which has its downsides, I'm sure, if you really aren't simpatico with that given issue. But again IMHO, makes a much more satisfying read to have an arc to each book (and makes topics or stories that strike you particularly hard really riotously funny. Again, my personal favs being Giant-Size Jingles and Cerebus Woman).

Lastly--a. I have no objectivity on this, for sure! b. Please excuse typos, poor writing etc. Written in haste as I try to get back to some unrelated work.

happy New Year to you all.

Sean R said...

The other real differences are just the cumulative effects of there being a few hundred strips in existence. Characters are more distinct, more of the humor generated specifically from their personalities and desires rather than situational or anecdotal or one-liner etc.

David Birdsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

David B.: Do you have anything other than irrelevance, defensiveness, and insults? Why do you think who you wrote this for or its tone is relevant? Nobody's addressing that. In fact, we're all grateful for your summation of the data. Why do you think my alleged lack of a sense of humour depresses sales of CiH below the 2,000 level? That's just wacko. And where you put your tongue is your business ("Dave saving on toilet paper" joke redacted; after all, I have no sense of humour).

It's your lack of success in "trying to change that" that is the very point of discussion. You're failing to "get the word out" to anyone who isn't already an Inside People. "More of what hasn't worked so far" is not always a strategy for success.

Does anyone else have an opinion about adding "CiH presents" to the title? Good idea? Bad idea? Irrelevant?

-- Damian

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Jeff Beck?

Wait, "Ain't Superstitious" with Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck?

Matt
(God I hope it is, my Dad will beso impressed if it is...)

Eddie said...

Damian: Because of the contents? Although you could always purchase the issue and try to determine how much of my comment was sincere and how much was tongue in cheek. Although I can understand you not wanting to financially support an artist who’s time you feel has passed. Although it does make it a curiosity as to why you post here so often as you do.

Dom: I think the ones that reference or parody an iconic 80s or 90s comic cover sell better, most likely because of the age demographic of the people ordering and buying them.


David Birdsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

David B.: Threatening me with violence? So are a barbarian as well as a doofus. Next time you're in Vancouver, send me an email and we'll arrange a date to meet, and I will read my every comment to you aloud. Doofus.

-- Damian

David Birdsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

David Barbarian: Very brave of you to threaten a stranger over the Internet when you have no intention of living up to it. Is this how it works at your school? Doofus.

-- Damian

Jeff said...

Damian, while I might not agree with David Birdsong about everything he says (sorry, David), one thing I think that he and I (and, I suspect, several others here) can and do agree on is that you are (and I mean this in the worst possible manner), decidedly, a supercilious ass.

Echoing Eddie: Seriously, "why do you bother posting here" if you feel (and demonstrate) so much disdain for Sim, as well as for us?

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Thank you, Jeff, for displaying that respectful and gentlemanly conduct you recently claimed you pride yourself on. I'm afraid that you labour under a misapprehension, though; I find the overwhelming majority of the posters and commenters here are intelligent, witty, incisive, and delightful individuals, even when I disagree with them. I don't have disdain for them; just you and a handful of other adolescent Simcophants who have outsourced their thinking to Dave's tangents.

-- Damian

Tony Dunlop said...

I don't have a dog in this fight, but Damian, your toilet paper crack (sorry) definitely crossed a line better left uncrossed...