The Wake

ICv2 has released its estimates for comics sales by Diamond Comic Distributors to direct market comic shops in May 2013. Based on Diamond indexes and publisher data, the numbers provided by ICv2 aren't exact, but they do offer a barometer for measuring how print sales of various titles compare to each other. There are a few interesting numbers on this month's list, but one really stood out: The Wake #1, by creators Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy, sold approximately 45,000 copies, making it possibly the best selling Vertigo single issue in over ten years.

That number requires some perspective. As noted on The Beat, Joe The Barbarian #1 -- the first issue of a miniseries written by Grant Morrison and also illustrated by Murphy -- was released in 2010 and sold around 25,000 units, at a cover price of just $1.00. Even with a cover price of $2.99, numbers for The Wake nearly doubled those of Joe The Barbarian, despite the latter being written by one of the most popular writers of the last twenty years, and one who has a long history of success with the DC Comics imprint.

This is a noteworthy moment for Snyder, Murphy and Vertigo. Since the launch of American Vampire in 2010, Snyder has become one of the most popular writers in American comics. His work with artist Greg Capullo has made Batman the most successful series in DC Comics' New 52 era, in terms of both critical praise and sales. And after coming off his work writing and illustrating the critically praised Punk Rock Jesus, Murphy is one of the most sought after artists in the industry.

As for Vertigo, arguably the most important comic book label of the last two decades, this portends a very good showing in the coming year. If promising titles like Jeff Lemire's upcoming Trillium and Simon Oliver and Robbi Rodriguez's Collider can show similar success, and they're certainly capable based on what we've seen, then 2013 -- Vertigo's 20th anniversary -- will be a banner year indeed.

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