Titan Comics announced their upcoming Conan the Barbarian #1 by Jim Zub and Roberto De La Torre became the most sold comic in Titan Comics’ history.
In a press release, the publisher proclaimed, “Confirmed sales of the initial print exceeded 80,000 making Conan #1, the largest selling issue in Titan Comics’ history. With a second printing planned and third printing probable, final sales for this debut issue are expected to exceed 100,000 copies.”
Titan Publishing Director Ricky Claydon celebrated, “We are so thrilled with the numbers on issue #1! Our staff and partners at Heroic Signatures worked extremely hard to make the best Conan comic ever and I think we have achieved that.”
He added, “Jim (Zub)’s and Roberto (De La Torre)’s creation is barbarically perfect! This masterpiece combined with the unbelievable support of our distribution (Diamond Comics) and retail partners made this launch a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us.”
These sales numbers come after Heroic Signatures moved the Conan the Barbarian license from Marvel Comics to Titan Comics.
Heroic Signatures President Fredrik Malmberg explained the decision to move to Titan Comics back in April to Midnight’s Edge Andre Einherjar, “It sort of started leaking out that we were not going to be with Marvel for much longer and we were approached by a number of publishers who then wanted to collaborate, co-publish, or take out a license. But at that point we were already, ‘Nope, we’re not going to do another license. We’ll do this ourselves. We want to be true to Robert E. Howard. We don’t want to be bound by any comics code or anything like that.”
“So we very quickly ended up actually with Titan Comics,” he continued. “I know the owner and founder, Nick Landau, and his wife Vivian very well. When I ran the tradition game stores in Sweden, Nick Landau and Titan Distributors were the go-to distributor for all of mainland Europe for sci-fi books and stuff. So we’ve known each other a long time.”
“And we had entered the year before into an agreement where we would be publishing new Conan novels, books, short stories, eBooks through Titan for the English language. And so it was actually a very quick discussion with them where we needed to sort out the financial details, but they really wanted to come in heavily on our publishing plans so we made an agreement with them very quickly,” Malmberg explained.
In the same interview, Zub explained what the series was about, “We’re not doing serialized in the sense that we’re going to have Conan at the start of his career and then just every single moment from his early days into every single moment of his prime into the king. We are going to move around quite a bit, but there’s going to be kind of these bigger, broader kind of stories that we’re going to tell.”
“Conan’s life is a series of these kind of cool, echoing patterns where things that happen to him in his younger days have an effect on him in his prime and potentially have an effect on him later, you know, as the king. So we wanted to kind of explore that stuff,” he elaborated.
From there, Zub discussed how the story arcs jump around in Conan’s life, “The very first story is — I don’t even think we’ve named the story arc yet so I’m going to keep that close to my chest — but the stuff that happens in the first story arc is self-contained. It’s an adventure that you can read and enjoy from start to finish, but then the second story, even though we jump ahead a little bit in the timeline, there’s connective tissue there, plot wise. And the same thing will happen with our third story arc.”
“That if you read the entire first year of Conan the Barbarian, the new series at Titan, you’re going to get this really cool, epic adventure. And it’s all going to kind of round out and be really, really enjoyable from start to finish, and yet, you can also read kind of each one, each arc on its own and not feel completely lost. There is sort of a nice demarcation point of okay a new adventure begins. If you’ve been reading along you’ll enjoy it, you’ll know these bigger kind of picture things that we’re doing, but you’re not going to be left out in the cold if you haven’t been reading the entire series,” he proclaimed.
Zub would also be asked if there is a difference in restrictions under Titan and Marvel. He revealed that Marvel does indeed restrict the violence depicted in a Conan series.
He explained, “I don’t think the Marvel book was necessarily restrictive in the sense that Marvel’s got their broader kind of expectation in terms of violence that you can put on the page. Titan’s even looser in that way. It’s much more like the classic Savage Sword. We’ve got violence in the book that I never would have been able to get away with at Marvel, right in the first issue.”
“The violence is intense. We’re lopping off limbs. The women are absolutely stunning,” he continued. “It’s pretty classic kind of pulp fantasy in that way. There is big love, and big violence, and big everything. It is intense.”
The official description for Conan the Barbarian #1 states, “Years after the battle of Venarium, a weary CONAN returns to his homeland to seek rest and solitude. However, a mysterious scout rides in to warn the Cimmerians of an imminent threat on the march from the Pictish wilderness. Will CONAN and his new ally be able to hold off this new horde of invaders?”
The first issue will feature covers by Dan Panosian, Roberto de la Torre, Argerm, Patch Zircher, Mike Mignola, and E.M. Gist. Other covers include a wraparound Hyborian Age map, a virgin foil Conan movie replica, and a blank sketch cover.
The first issue arrives in comic book stores on July 26, 2023. It will retail for $3.99.
What do you make of Conan the Barbarian #1 breaking sales records at Titan Comics?