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Are 20-25% Of DC Comics Losing Money? The Hellblazer Hypothesis…

During his sitdown with Borys Kit for the Holywood Reporter, DC Comics Publisher and CCO Jim Lee addressed the rumours about firings and line reduction that Bleeding Cool had been reporting since the previous weekend. And it appears that this will be DC Comics' only public addressing of the situation.

Jim Lee did state, rather surprisingly, that 20-25% of the comic books that DC Comics were publishing were not making money and were to be cut. DC Comics' November solicitations listed a number that were no longer going forward.

But is that true? Now DC Comics has far greater overheads than other comic book publishers, after moving to the purpose-built Warner Brothers headquarters for DC in Burbank, California. As a result, each and every DC Comics title has to justify the time and space it takes up within that building. Which means, it seems, that DC Comics needs greater sales-per-title than Marvel, to keep it in profit. But not only that, it seems that the Warners beancounters are only counting the sales of the initial single publications of the comic book when it comes to making such decisions

Si Spurrier in his blog post about the cancellation of Hellblazer at DC Comics gave a slight insight into the decision process this time around.

That's it, actually. That's all. It didn't make enough money to persuade the right people, whoever they are, to keep it running. To take the risk. To let it grow. To wait – as conventional wisdom might once have dictated – for the first arc to be collected as a trade.

That's their right. That's the business, that's comics in 2020.

Doesn't mean we can't be pissed as all hell about it.

Hellblazer is a title that has traditionally sold well in bookstores, libraries and the like, once it's been collected and provides one of DC Comics' stronger backlist of titles, with sales of the collection selling more than the individual issues did. But that no longer seems to be being counted…

The first John Constantine: Hellblazer trade paperback, Marks Of Woe, will be published by DC Comics at the end of September.  The second – and final – collection will be published in March next year. I'm sure they'll find somewhere for the sixth issue to be included…

Are 20-25% Of DC Comics Losing Money? The Hellblazer Hypothesis...
Cover to Hellblazer Vol 1.

One of DC's most iconic characters — John Constantine, Hellblazer–is back the way you remember him, and now a part of the Sandman Universe, in this brand-new series!

John Constantine is back in London, back to his old tricks–and just in time, as things have become very dark indeed in his old stomping grounds. A small-time gang lord has found himself dealing with a big-time outbreak of supernatural weirdness…and, without any allies to call on and nothing left to call his own, John doesn't have much choice about taking a paycheck from one of London's worst, or accepting the help of one of the gang lord's would-be foot soldiers. But what should be an open-and-shut exorcism turns out to be nothing but…and madness is just getting started!

The original Constantine is back in this series from Si Spurrier (The Dreaming) and Aaron Campbell (Infidel), with nothing to his name but decades of bad memories and an unearned second chance. How, exactly, will he squander it? There's only one way to find out…

Collects The Sandman Universe Presents: Hellblazer #1 and John Constantine: Hellblazer #1-5.

Are 20-25% Of DC Comics Losing Money? The Hellblazer Hypothesis...
Hellblazer Vol 2 cover.

John Constantine, Hellblazer, is back! As one of DC's and the Sandman Universe's most iconic characters, he is just as you remember him, in volume two of this brand-new series!

In London, John Constantine is up to his usual antics. The adventures continue, quite dark and still twisted. Will he protect a group of British fishermen from an ancient merwoman? Or stop a disgraced royal from unleashing a bloodthirsty horror? There's really only one way to find out…

The original Constantine is back in this series from Si Spurrier (The Dreaming) and Aaron Campbell (Infidel), collecting John Constantine: Hellblazer #7-12.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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