Thursday, July 16, 2009

June Sales Review



Comics in general rebounded in sales in June, especially the Bat-family books which are selling quite well. ICv2 does it's usual great job of reviewing sales and their articles are worth a close read ( http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/15340.html ).


GrantMorrison's Batman And Robin sold an impressive 168,000 issues! I found this particularly impressive since Morrison is something of an acquired taste with reviews on Batman R.I.P and Final Crisis quite varied. Here is the link to the list of the top 300 selling comics ( http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/15338.html ).



So how did Supergirl #42 sell? This was the epilogue to the 'Who is Superwoman?' storyline and therefore could be a convenient 'jumping off' point for readers who were unsure about continuing to collect the title. Specifically, there was some mild backlash about the conclusion of 'Who is Superwoman?' in Supergirl #41 and its lack of details about Lucy's Superwoman identity and I wondered if that might drive some people away.



The issue sold 32,705 issues, down 2% from #41's sales of 33,441.


This was the lowest sales total since the Gates/Igle team took over and that somewhat worries me. 'Superwoman' was a chance to create some buzz for the title and bring in readers. Instead the title seems to be treading water.

I really fear that the sudden ending to Lucy with almost no information or exposition about her abilities, etc might be distasteful to the casual Supergirl fan. I know that I sort of felt let down by the sudden ending.


Now I am not worried about cancellation but I have been hoping that sales would be much better than this. My guess is that numbers might rebound transiently during Codename:Patriot and hopefully those new readers will stick around.




The news is a bit worse for my pet project R.E.B.E.L.S.




In June R.E.B.E.L.S. #5 sold 12,909 issues. That might be okay for a niche title like Ex Machina, but I doubt DC thinks that is a healthy number for a mainstream DCU title. And it's a shame because this is such a great comic. The week it comes out, it is the 'bottom of the pile' comic for me, the comic I save to read last because I know I will enjoy it.

I guess I will continue to shout it's praises from the mountaintops in hopes someone is listening.

8 comments:

Nikki said...

It is a jumping off point but also the last 2 months have shown downturns for the title. Remember I was talking about a flood of 'female books' well the intro of power girl has coincided with the downturn and the braintrust at DC thought putting Kara Zor-El and Kara Zor-L on the stands the same week was good idea. Perhaps its a factor, perhaps not (after all that book lost 11,000 readers after one issue)

I'm still baffled how Action Comics is doing so well. I understand Legion fans buying Superman but would people really buy a book starring two nobodies rather than Supergirl? Is masculine pride that bad for some people?

Landry Walker said...

The trick with examining sales is that it must always be remembered that orders do not reflect consumer interest directly. They are filtered through the perception of the retailers. My background is one of comics retail, and I feel like I can say with some small measure of confidence that a percentage of retailers automatically dial down orders after an "event".

Gates and Igle have done well with their series. It's clearly resonated with the general public and the addition of controversy over the shorts isn't really a terrible thing. People are talking about the book. And while some people criticize, considerably more people are issuing praise.

And so the series is treading water? True. Treading water in an unstable market. There are worse things.

But I have to wonder about the benefit of the general public having such direct access to sales. How many readers drop a book with declining numbers because they don't want to risk getting attached only to have the book vanish? Then the book languishes on the shelf and the retailer begins adjusting orders.

I took a theater class in high school. The teacher explained one basic concept to us. Probably the thing I learned in high school that has stuck with me the most. To paraphrase:

"You never speak badly about the show. It doesn't matter if the lead actress is in the hospital and all the props were burnt in a fire. If someone asks how the show is, you say: It's great. Bring all your friends!".

Telling the world your sales are dropping? That's bad marketing. And bad marketing is bad for the books which is bad for the readers.

Anj said...

Remember I was talking about a flood of 'female books' well the intro of power girl has coincided with the downturn and the braintrust at DC thought putting Kara Zor-El and Kara Zor-L on the stands the same week was good idea. Perhaps its a factor, perhaps not (after all that book lost 11,000 readers after one issue)

Thanks for the post.

I didn't even think about Power Girl as a draw away from Supergirl. I really think of them as two completely different characters (probably why I don't cover Power Girl here). BUt it is odd that their release schedules are the same week.

I'm still baffled how Action Comics is doing so well. I understand Legion fans buying Superman but would people really buy a book starring two nobodies rather than Supergirl? Is masculine pride that bad for some people?

Well Thara is one of the stars there so I don't think masculine pride has much to do with it.

I have enjoyed Action because it is a decent story and has a religious/mystical undercurrent.

Anj said...

Gates and Igle have done well with their series. It's clearly resonated with the general public and the addition of controversy over the shorts isn't really a terrible thing. People are talking about the book. And while some people criticize, considerably more people are issuing praise.

Thanks for the post.

I agree that sometimes there is 'no such thing as bad publicity' so the bike shorts thing might intrigue people enough to buy.

And I agree that most of the talk has been positive. I certainly like the book.

And so the series is treading water? True. Treading water in an unstable market. There are worse things.

In retrospect 'treading water' sounds harsher than I want to sound. What I meant was that I think the book deserves better numbers and so I am a bit surprised the numbers are so stable.

But as you say, in this market stability is strength.

Thanks again!

Bee Boy's Killer Sting! said...

Nikki said -
"(after all that book lost 11,000 readers after one issue)"

Just a small correction. The book didn't lose 11,000 readers, it lost 11,000 orders/sales to retailers; not the same thing. Retailers order roughly three months in advance, and automatically cut orders on a second issue before an audience is established.

TalOs said...

Anj said...

I didn't even think about Power Girl as a draw away from Supergirl. I really think of them as two completely different characters
(probably why I don't cover Power Girl here).


Aside from her being more bustier then Kara Zor-El and going by the name Power Girl their the exact same person really. (Even her E-2 cousin Superman states this in Infinite Crisis)

But it is odd that their release schedules are the same week.

I don't find it odd at all but more 2 times the fun of enjoying reading about Kryptonian Karas that week instead heh. :)

Landry Walker said...

"their the exact same person really."

Are they? I mean, in the Earth 1/Earth 2 days, they filled the same role... but does that make them the same character? They've always been portrayed in significantly different manners.

TalOs said...

D'Oh! Meant to have said "they're the exact same person" above instead.

Landry Walker said...

"their the exact same person really."

Are they? I mean, in the Earth 1/Earth 2 days, they filled the same role... but does that make them the same character?

I believe it does. :)

They've always been portrayed in significantly different manners.

With the exception being that Power Girl is more head strong then E-1 Supergirl? :/