Follow Ninja Pizza for
the best reading experience!


Monday, January 19, 2009

The End of "Tales of the TMNT"?

It has been made widely known that the Tales of the TMNT comic book title exists on the whim of Peter Laird, who has continued to publish the book, for the most part out of his own pocket, even though it doesn't sell enough copies to support itself. As such, TMNT fans head toward each new year wondering if Tales will still be around. As of right now, there is no confirmation for Tales' existence--or non-existence--in 2010; however, it seems that Diamond Comic Distributors may have made that decision for Mirage already.

Newsarama is reporting today that Diamond has raised its purchase order minimum from $1,500 to $2,500. This means that in order for Diamond to list and distribute a title, it would need to generate $2,500 of revenue for Diamond (not total). The break down of this is basically that "a typical $3.00 comic would have to sell over 2,100 copies to meet the benchmark." Tales currently sells for $3.25/book.

The most recent sales data available, for November 2008, lists estimated sales of 2,381 for Tales. In comparison, the January 2008 estimated sales were 2,684. In the months in between, at least the ones where Tales was ranked in the top 300, a steady decline in sales can be seen. Thus, it can be concluded that Tales hangs dangerously close to being below Diamond's newly required threshold.

There are about three possibilities for titles that do not currently meet the new threshold:
  1. Raise the cover price.
  2. Find different means of distribution.
  3. Cancel the title
Some titles are likely to move to Web-only, but as we've seen with TMNT Vol. 4, TMNT fans want their Turtles on paper, making that an unlikely option for Mirage. It appears that this new change is immediate, although a grace period to allow publishers to achieve the newly required numbers is likely. This will make it extremely difficult for Tales to even get to the end of 2009, and, given Mirage's publishing history, makes cancelation come 2010 nearly certain.

That said, nothing is set in stone. And if you don't pick it up already, now is the time to go to your comic book shop and let them know that you want Tales of the TMNT!


  1. I suggest Trying an alternative distributer. There are a few out there. If all else fails, go with the Dave Sim Method.

  2. They could definitely make it work if they put effort into finding such a solution (or, god forbid, actually put more effort into selling copies). But as you said on the Technodrome, this will likely just be the excuse Gary's been waiting for to shut it down completely.


    Can't keep relying on damm T-shirts to make people say .. " O hey there is still comics about these guys ??"

    NO ..WE NEED MORE COMICS / Trades !!



  4. Given Mirage's almost total lack of competence and attention to marketing this title, I doubt they're going to go through the effort of finding a new means of distribution. It's a very hard thing to do, and would take a lot of effort and attention. I predict an end to Tales. I would love for them to prove me wrong.
    Also, I do think that if Tales is on the cusp, there's a chance that Diamond might keep them around just for the name recognition.

  5. I am going to hit the bottle again...

  6. Hmm, just found this blog for the very first time. Glad I know about it now...

    Interesting post, Rose. As always, you're well informed.

    As a regular of Tales of the TMNT, I would be devestated if the series ended, or even just if it became web based (I like others want the hard copy).

    I am sure Peter Laird and the rest of Mirage is aware of the danger, and I know that he is commited to the success of the series. If they keep the series alive by finding a new distributor, or through other means, I'm sure they will. But MrColinP has a point. Marketing the title could go a long way, and the best thing Mirage can do for themselves is get more readers.

    For what it's worth, I'm not going anywhere.

  7. Getting new readers is really an hard option imo. It may succeed given time, but for this Mirage must have the will and resources to spend on it for a period of time ( which we know they do not )
    I am ok with a cover price increase ( does not matter color or b&w, Marvel is selling lots of crappy books , printed on low level crappy thin paper with lots of stupid ads such as Reed Richards with a milk moustache or such.
    I am still trying to be optimistic cause TMNT is still my number 1 waited comic each month. Maybe not the best comic i buy, but it is the one i wait most and read as soon as i get.
    Hope we see a nice solution to make us all happy.