I hate linking this, but here you go. Short story: J. Michael Straczynski posted a graph that shows the declining sales of "Amazing Spider-Man," implying that it was due to his departure and (by extension) the current creative team/direction failing to live up to his prodigious skill.
Naturally, the people who actually work on the comics--namely, Steve Wacker--responded in kind. Now, maybe it's just goodwill from "52," or maybe it's that I'm enjoying the current Amazing Spider-Man series a lot more than I enjoyed JMS's after a couple of arcs, but I'm willing to take Wacker at his word that the graph is, at best, misleading. After all, the economy's in a pretty nasty downturn since JMS left the title back in 2007 or so, and I imagine you could find a similar graph for most of the industry.
But I did a little quick Googling, and while it looks like JMS's Amazing sure was a pretty good seller (especially around the end, with the One More Day hype), even a partial picture of the sales show a more complicated picture, with sales of ASM just a year earlier in the 80,000 range--only a fairly small amount higher than where the graph puts Slott's ASM now. Taking into account the economic downturn--and the availability of digital comics (whose sales don't appear to be reflected in the graph), and the switch to a bimonthly release schedule, that doesn't seem like a huge drop. Also, the graph shows no comparison with JMS's run at all, and strangely omits the first two issues of Slott's run for some reason, which add to its shadiness. Just sayin'.
And I wonder what a similar graph would look like for Superman or Wonder Woman. Especially if we casually omitted the fact that the rising New 52 tide raised all boats. Heck, I wonder if the inflated sales for One More Day were just casual observers tuning in to see the landmark event of J. Michael Straczynski actually finishing something. Just sayin'.
But I agree with Mark Waid (who also had the best comment): this was a dick move. I just don't know why anyone was surprised.
Bitter sniping from the guy who jabbed at the originality of DC in the pages of "Amazing Spider-Man," during a story where he created Molten Man II? Unprofessionalism from the guy whose history in comics is littered with chronic lateness and unfinished projects? Who could have foreseen it?