Emilia Clarke's M.O.M & Mirka Andolfo's Sweet Paprika to Break Records
It's come to my attention that Image's M.O.M: Mother Of Madness by the all-women creative team of Emilia Clarke, Marguerite Bennet, Leila Leiz, Tríona Farrell, and Haley Rose-Lyon, and Sweet Paprika by Mirka Andolfo may be vying for the title of highest ordered launch by a female creative team in comic book stores. Who will break that record and come out on top? Some context of course. Graphic novelists such as Shannon Hale and Raina Telgemeier will get numbers far in excess of these, in bookstores. But for the North American comic book store environment, classically a male-dominated one, a couple of six-figure launches by all-women teams may be a game-changer.
I don't have numbers yet but am told by an Image source that Emilia Clarke's Mother Of Madness has received four times the orders that Image's Monstress #1 received at Final Order Cut Off and three times Bitch Planet #1, the first was Image's previous record for women creative teams. Now, Monstress #1 got a ComicChron-estimated 36,000 orders, though you can usually add another 10-15% for UK orders. So say that was 40,000. If that holds, Mother Of Madness would have had 160,000 orders. Bitch Planet #1 got a ComicChron-estimated 43,000 orders. So say that was 48,000. Triple that is 144,000, orders. So split the difference and say around 150,000? It certainly makes it Image's third-highest launch of 2021 and fifth-highest launch of the last ten years. Impressive, given that Image didn't throw nearly as many bells and whistles on this book as Keanu Reeves… Though I have heard Clarke will make an appearance later this month on Jimmy Fallon to promote it.
While on one side of the ring we have a celebrity like Clarke, who has shown a personal investment in her project and a determination to unleash her dragon's creative side—we have Mirka Andolfo on the other side with the FOCing-today Sweet Paprika #1. I'm told those Sweet Paprika #1 initial orders came in very healthy and that Image expects the Sweet Paprika FOC orders to come in hot. But who's surprised? It wasn't too long ago that we predicted Andolfo might be the next Todd McFarlane, and we're standing by that. Andolfo's got a whimsical storytelling flair and a penchant for steamy sexy characters, it's no wonder her books routinely rank as most reordered month after month. She won us all over with Unnatural, Un/Sacred, Mercy, Merciless, and a sexy soap like Sweet Paprika will probably outsell everything she's done preceding it. And if it wasn't for M.O.M., she would have had the best-selling all-female comic book in the North American direct market, single-handed.