Is the comics industry be entering a new science fiction revival? Looking at sales figures and the number of sf titles, it feels like the type of sf comic boom not seen since the 1950's.
Consider this range of sf comics from several publishers over the last few months.
Reviewing monthly sales figures for the titles above which showed up in the top 300 shows us a genre that seems pretty healthy.
Guardians of the Galaxy is in the top 10. Albeit, that is more a conventional superhero title than a sf title, but it does open the door for other sf comics at Marvel in some ways.
Saga is in the top 30 (and the August issue may have even broken the top 20) with the trade collections tearing up the charts. East of West is in the top 50 at 42. The third issue of The Wake came in at 82.
Some of the above sold out (like Trillium) but because we haven't seen the August sales numbers, it's difficult to say what sold out means. Still, when was the last time a Vertigo comic sold out? It's beginning to look like DC's decision to increase it's sf comics was a good one.
What's behind this trend? I suspect it's a bit of superhero burnout among current fandom combined with the expanded reach of digital comics bringing in science fiction fans. As it's been suggested, the impact of digital comics is additive, so people who discover Saga or Prophet on Comixology can quickly become trade paperback buyers.
So, will this trend continue? The last time we saw a real boom in science fiction comics was when DC cranked up the Helix imprint in the 90's.
Which is coincidentally the same time that Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy was going through a new incarnation.
The Helix imprint didn't last long, but Transmetropolitan rolled out of into a very successful run. I hope many of the titles I mentioned above can run that long.