Two more recent quotes on DC Comics sales to keep in mind. The first comes from a Newsarama report on a Q&A session at a DC Comics panel at the WizardWorld Los Angeles convention:
A fan identified himself as someone who likes to buy [paperback collections] more than [serial issues], and was wondering how this affected the chances of books he likes not getting canceled. [DC Comics editor Dan Didio] said that most of the time books that don't sell well in monthly [sic] don't sell well [as collections], though there's [sic] some exceptions, citing Jonah Hex specifically.
And a comment on Vertigo sales made by writer Warren Ellis at his Whitechapel message board:
I think it might be instructive to look at how these books are being sold.
High concepts are loathesome [sic]. But if you can't take a top slice, if you like, of a book, and distill its core interest into one or two punchy lines, you're fucked. If you can't put these books in the hands of someone whose name commands attention and get a quote out of them, you're in trouble. This all used to be well understood at DC. DC -- Patty Jeres and Martha Thomases and Peggy Burns -- wrote the playbook on how to sell a Vertigo book. None of them are there any more, and I don't know if the playbook was left behind.
Mind you, I think Ellis is criticizing DC's marketing efforts rather than the books themselves, but I'm not entirely sure.