Over Half A Million Copies Sold Of Department Of Truth Single Issues

At certain points early on in the runs of both The Walking Dead and Saga the bees went quiet, the birds disappeared from the sky, the general hum and noise of an industry typically consumed by baseless promotional propaganda turned its collective head in awe of a series that had sailed past what we were used to labeling a regular ol' "big hit." These were books so beloved, so notable, so special that they'd taken on a life of their own—even well beyond the comics industry. They'd become bonafide pop culture phenomena. We're calling it right now: it's happening again. This time the series is Image's The Department Of Truth from James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds.

Department Of Truth, Spawn, Ice Cream Man Top Advance Reorders
Over Half A Million Copies Sold Of Department Of Truth Single Issues

Lighting has struck for Image Comics yet again with The Department Of Truth. This is no longer just about buzz and hype, people. We're watching The Department Of Truth out rank book after book and just keep gaining steam. I'm told that ten issues in, the series has already sold well over 500K copies across multiple printings in single issues alone. And that the orders on those reprints are exceeding what many other publishers are trying to launch their first printings at…

As hinted in yesterday's Stray Dogs coverage, Image has been cleaning up lately on reprint orders and The Department Of Truth is yet another example of a series that keeps racing up the reorders. In fact, an inside source at Image revealed that the 6th printing of the first issue alone came in at nearly 45K. Most publishers would celebrate to hit those kinds of numbers with a first printing—to get them on something that's already been printed five times prior is, well, unheard of for most, but seemingly becoming the norm for Image books.

Here's what else we know: We cross-checked this intel with another insider at Image and this 500K+ total number is apparently true. But more than that: they let slip that The Department Of Truth, Vol 1 trade paperback inventory was wiped out in less than a month. One of the publisher's most aggressive print runs was set for it and yet it was cleared out almost immediately. Finito. Apparently, the Image Sales department picked up their metaphorical red phone to Image publisher Eric Stephenson. The alarm was raised: just a few weeks in and the trade paperback inventories was already running dangerously low. They sold thru a robust supply meant to last them a year—in record time. So the TP went back in print and kept selling briskly, but this time with double the print run. Copies sold of volume one have now totaled out at over 30K.

We've also learned that, with regard to both the TP and single-issue markets, the rate at which this series is selling has exceeded what the publisher saw on both The Walking Dead and Saga's trajectories. So The Department Of Truth is arguably The Hottest series on the market right now. Each new issue hitting shelves is a new cause for celebration with comic stores (not to mention an influx of cash). What stands out to us most about this: We're winding down the second arc of The Department Of Truth and yet there's more heat around this series than even when the series first launched. The Department Of Truth #1 orders have since topped 170K.

Image Comics is keeping #1 on shelves—and new printings available for reorders—has allowed the series' reach to spread well into the subsequent issues. And I've heard that orders on each new issue of The Department Of Truth has been going up—in an industry that's been historically plagued with dwindling sales as a series progresses and the collectors market loses interest, The Department Of Truth has been beating the odds every. single. month.

So what's the driving force behind all this? Image Comics seems to be having its best year of sales in over a decade, as we've reported on multiple times before and have been following closely. Gone are the days of "they're the publisher of The Walking Dead and Saga" when we wondered if those were the only two breakout series for Image. But if The Walking Dead amade rich the soil for Saga to spring forth, it begs the question: what will The Department Of Truth's success do for the rest of Image's creators? Who is in line behind Tynion IV and Simmonds to benefit from the contact high of having their book at the same publisher?

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About 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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