With just one issue released, “Wytches” looks like a legitimate hit for Image Comics. CBR News has learned that the first issue of the series, released last month, has passed the 90,000 mark in combined orders. Image has confirmed that the issue has reached 92,131 copies between its first two printings, with the first printing netting 81,083 in initial retailer orders.
For the sake of comparison, Image shared that Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta’s “Outcast” #1, released in late June of this year, launched with 84,992 in initial orders and has reached 103,551 over six printings. Image expects “Wytches” #1 to eventually hit a similar number.
“Jock and I were both stunned at the numbers, honestly,” Snyder told CBR. “‘Wytches’ is a pretty uncompromisingly personal and dark book. Both of us talked about it that way, we made that as clear as possible. It wasn’t superheroes and it wasn’t going to be for everyone, by any stretch. It was emotional, psychological horror, pure and simple.”
“I think we were both hoping it’d do well enough to make it through a handful of arcs, but we were concerned or at least very alert when it came to sales,” the writer continued. “In fact, I remember us talking about how amazing it’d be to hit the 50 range — that was our golden ring, really. So to have the book do as well as it did… Really, we’re both overwhelmed.”
In Diamond’s sales numbers from the previous month (September 2014), eight releases topped 80,000 in initial orders, all from Marvel and DC Comics. The highest-selling Image Comics release that month was “The Walking Dead” #131, at No. 13 with 69,810 in orders.
“It speaks volumes about the appetite of readers, who are clearly happy to support creator owned books as much as company led monthlies,” Jock said of the numbers. “It’s a great balance!”
“Wytches,” a modern-day exploration of witch mythology, was first announced this past January at Image Expo and is the first creator-owned work from Snyder and Jock, who worked together at DC on “Detective Comics.”
“It’s a testament to readers’ support for both the indie comic world, and creators in general,” Snyder said of the numbers. “It means you guys out there are following creators from big established licensed books to the creators’ passion projects. And in doing so, you’re changing the way the industry works. You’re causing this sea change that allows for robust sales on exciting licensed work, but also allows for similarly robust sales creator owned projects, and there’s no overestimating the power in that.”
Along with success in comic book sales, “Wytches” has already been optioned as a film — it was announced last month during New York Comic Con that the series has been picked up by production company New Regency, with plans to partner with Brad Pitt’s Plan B. “Wytches” #2 is scheduled for release on Nov. 12.