Transformers Breaks Records, Mark Millar Mulls DC Or Marvel Return, Graphic Novel Wins National Book Award | Comic Book Club News For November 23, 2023

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Transformers reportedly sells 200,000 copies. Mark Millar is mulling over a return to DC or Marvel. For the second time ever, a graphic novel has won the National Book Award. All on Comic Book Club News for November 23, 2023.


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Episode Transcript:

Transformers keeps breaking records.

Mark Millar mulls DC or Marvel return.

Graphic Novel wins National Book Award.

This is Comic Book Club News for November 23, 2023.

Transformers Reportedly Sells 200,000 Copies:

It’s Thanksgiving here in America, but Image Comics and Skybound’s Transformers is no turkey. Though initial numbers for the first issue — as well as Comic Book Club’s interview with writer/artist Daniel Warren Johnson — put the sales at north of 150,000, it’s grown even bigger.

As reported by Bleeding Cool, it seems like Transformers #1 may have sold more than 200,000 copies to comic book stores. That’s no huge surprise, as Skybound has sent the issue, which sold out at the retailer level, back for multiple printings. The question, though, is how much bigger the Energon Universe will get.

While Transformers is in the 200k range, Void Rivals, which kicked off the new Hasbro comics universe, has sold 150k for its first issue. And the upcoming Duke #1, a miniseries that introduces G.I. Joe to the books, is expected to do similar numbers. That said, it’s tough to sustain interest in any universe over time. And in this case, once you have a bunch of Transformers show up, and all the G.I. Joe characters and Cobra characters in place after next year’s Cobra Commander miniseries… What’s next? Dungeons & Dragons? My Little Pony? Or may we humbly suggest a dark, gritty reboot of Mr. Potato Head?

Mark Millar Mulls DC Or Marvel Return:

In a shocking turn of events given Mark Millar’s recent comments about how Marvel and DC should pay creators a ton of money, Mark Millar is floating the idea of returning to Marvel or DC for a new miniseries.

In a post earlier this month on X (formerly Twitter), Millar said the following in response to a fan who wants to see him on Superman. “Thanks! But just to clarify, I’d only be able to a short Superman mini due to other commitments. My plan is to do one single Marvel and one DC mini at some point over the next few years. Just to scratch my massive fanboy itch and because I love ’em.”

To be clear about the continuity, this is an older post from Millar before he threw out the idea that anyone selling over 60,000 copies of a comic should get a 50/50 split with the publisher.

However, it’s pretty clear Millar’s playing some sort of four-dimensional checkers with the Big Two publishers. A more recent post from November 21 highlights the discussion about page rates we reported on yesterday, about how they’ve gotten lower over the past few decades. Says Millar, “I can’t speak for other companies, but I’m pleased to say that Millarworld asks what Marvel and DC pay talent and then we crush it.”

This is a negotiation technique that back in the early 2000s we used to call “negging.” Will it work? Millar certainly seems to be posting through it, whether it does or not.

Graphic Novel Wins National Book Award:

For only the second time in history, a graphic novel has won the National Book Award. As reported by ICv2, A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat has nabbed the prize for Young People’s Literature for 2023.

The book, published by First Second, is described as “A middle grade graphic memoir based on bestselling author and Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s awkward middle school years and the trip to Europe that changed his life.”

The only previous graphic novel was March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, which won the same category in 2016.

For Comic Book Club News, I’m Alex Zalben. And in all seriousness, I’m thankful for you listening to this podcast. A happy holiday if you celebrate, and a happy regular day if you don’t.

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