Most people have heard of The Walking Dead – a comic book created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore, first published in 2003. TWD was adapted for the screen and, now entering its sixth season on television, has gone on to set unprecedentedly high Neilsen Ratings for cable/broadcast television in the 18 to 49 year old viewer demographic.
Add the volume and variety of licensed merchandise available to the success of the comic book and television series and you have a super-massive “cash-cow” of a franchise.
Eight or so years after the release of TWD comic, Kirkman paired with Paul Azaceta to work on a new horror project “Outcast” for two years prior announcing it at the 2013 New York Comic Con.
Outcast is a monthly, ongoing, supernatural horror comic published by Image Comics. It chronicles the story of Kyle Barnes, a man whose entire life (and loved ones) have been embroiled in demonic possession.
The first issue, released in 2014, was an instant success – going to five printings. Kirkman stated at the 2013 NYCC reveal that Outcast was the first time he had ever had a clear ending in mind when he began writing. Prior to the release of the first issue, Kirkman had already commenced a screen adaptation for television.
Earlier this year, Cinemax picked up the rights to produce a television show based on the comic, with the first trailer launched at the San Diego Comic-Con:
Given Kirkman’s track record, and the fact this book has a television series in production, it is quite amazing to note that the book is flying under the radar. To date, in 2015, there have been 412 sales of the first issue (graded 9.8), with sale prices ranging between a low of $40 USD and a high of $150 USD. As of the time of writing, the ninety day average of sales in 9.8 grade is $75 USD.
Sales data courtesy of GPAnalysis for CGC Comics
It’s worth noting at this point that the ninety day average for sales of The Walking Dead #1 in 9.8 is $2,291 USD (with an all-time high of $3,750 USD in 2013).
Will Outcast enjoy the same success as The Walking Dead?
There are many variables involved that make it very hard to say. The law of averages would suggest that it is unlikely to be as successful, but the following points are worth noting:
- As a judge for the Ghastly Awards, I have endless streams of horror comics to read and analyse. Outcast is one of the few that I have on my pull-list, actively follow and look forward to reading because the artwork amazing and the story is extremely well written and engaging.
- The concepts of “demonic possession” and the “supernatural” appeal to a wider audience than zombies do.
- The trailer indicates the show may closely mimic the book in terms of story and scenes. It also seems to be well cast with a solid budget.
- Kirkman has one hell of a track record.
Consequently, this book is definitely worth speculating on: