Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sales Review: January 2012

Comics in general rebounded in January 2012, as sales seemed to be overall up from the previous year. While I certainly haven't felt more foot traffic in my local comic store, I do realize that my own pull list is about as bloated as it has been in the last several years. That means good stories are being made as I don't stick around otherwise.

As always, ICv2 is my favorite 'go to' site to pick apart sales numbers. I advise everyone to go there. Here is the link to ICv2's article detailing the January's Top 300 Comics:

So how did Supergirl do?

Well, Supergirl #5 ranked at #49, down 7 spots from the prior month. It sold a calculated 37301 issues. That was down 6% from the prior issue's 39,762.

I'm sort of done trying to understand attrition like this. I suppose it means that stores are ordering less so there are fewer back issues on the shelf. That also means fewer issues the casual reader can pick up on a whim.

I also have started to look sales as more about the company the comic keeps. Supergirl sold just below a Matt Fraction/Pascual Ferry Mighty Thor book. It beat out X-Men Legacy. And it is ranking with the other Justice League comics. That is a pretty good group of comics.

The other big news was that DC swept the top 10 comics for the month. It is a crazy month for sure!

So four Batman books beat all X-Men, Avenger, and Spiderman books. Aquaman beat all Marvel books. DC has to feel pretty good about that. As for me, it's great to see Superman back up there as well. Action is worthy of 100K sales.

Still, the tenth best selling book only sold 65K? And both Legion books were in the 20K range. Man, we need to get more people buying comics!


Dave Mullen said...

Still, the tenth best selling book only sold 65K? And both Legion books were in the 20K range. Man, we need to get more people buying comics!

Those figures are relatively good but do poke a hole through DCs hype machine. There's a lot of massaging of figures and chess moves relating to shop incentives that are warping those charts and when gravity finally kicks in I think a bubble will burst quite loudly.
The Legion books being so low is a real worry for me given we're barely up to issue six, the signs are not looking good. I think the cancellation line is set at around the 17 thousand mark and if you bear that in mind then the gap between the lower top ten there and the bottom (Legion's figures for example) is ridiculously small.

When you look at it that way the 'success' of the new 52 in rejuvenating comics is very questionable.

Anonymous said...

If the plan is to drive more people to your local and get them to buy floppies, well I dunno, I have my doubts as to whether or not you can do that via content alone.

I just don't see good long term prospects for floppies, that having been said I"ve been reading about the impending demise of the comics industry since 1978.

What does seem clear is that the DCNU has not necessarily expanded the customer base, not when key books are dropping in sales like this.

I'll be intensely curious to see where we are sales wise come August 2012.


Anonymous said...

According to yesterday's DCU blog they did a survey which, amongst other thigs, found the following: "DC COMICS: THE NEW 52 appealed mainly to avid fans and lapsed readers. More than 70% of those surveyed categorized themselves as avid fans who visit the comic book store every week. More than a quarter of in-store consumers were lapsed readers. The survey indicates that 5% of those polled identified themselves as first-time, new readers."

They also said that "the majority of titles generated strong interest and likely reader retention."

So, basically, what they really meant was ONLY 5% of those polled were new readers. Hmmmm. OK, so they got some lapsed readers back too but for how long? "Likely" is just speculation and I wouldn't call 5% especially good considering the cost of this whole exercise, not only in monetary terms but in terms of scrapping everything and starting again. In fact, I'd go so far as to say "Who's getting fired first then?"