July sales for comics were in general down in comparison to both the prior month as well as to the year before. As always, ICv2 does a great job covering all aspects of the comic market and I highly recommend going to their site to look things over. Here is the link to the list of the top 300 selling comics for July 2011: http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/20795.html
There are so many reasons for comic sales to continue to erode. Yes, there is the instability of the print market. And comics represent a niche of that world, sequestered in their private stores, away from casual readers.
But on top of that, there was/is the uncertainty of the American economy. Comics are basically luxury items. Sure people will always pick food over comics. But what about the luxuries in life - internet or comics? Cable television or comics? These are what comics are battling in tight times. And comics will probably lose that battle every time.
And, of course, I think comics sometimes are their own worst enemy. If you flood the market with big 'event' comics and crossovers (like Flashpoint mini-series) which will be essentially meaningless in a couple months, I don't know if people will pay out more money to purchase them. Now I buy comics for entertainment first so stories will always win out. But in tight times, I am probably less likely to purchase new comics especially mini-series for a self-contained story.
Or the reverse might happen. Readers might step away from a monthly to get an event mini-series and then never return to the monthly book.
So let's see that how that all would effect the sales of Supergirl #66. Now this has been a fun story by Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by ChrisCross. There is a real 'fun' feeling to this arc, one that I have enjoyed.
Supergirl has been selling around 22-23K for a while.So this drop to 20K has been the most precipitous drop on the title in a while. Why?
Well, every Flashpoint mini-series outsold it.Every one. Could some people who would normally have bought Supergirl instead bought a Flashpoint book? Probably.
And this Supergirl is going away in 2 months. Was the relaunch the time that some people decided to jump off rather than jump on? Maybe.
And could people have a few less dollars in their pocket and Supergirl was a fringe title in their collection. Sure.
Will more people come on board for the relaunch? I guess we have to wait and see.