Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sales Review: February 2013

The sales figures for February have been released over on ICv2 and thanks to the '50 states of the JLA' and continued strong Batman titles, DC seemed to be doing okay. The list of the top 300 titles are available here: As always, ICv2 does a great job breaking everything down.

For me, despite the news that the 50-covered JLA topped the charts and sold 300K, a quick perusal of the sales charts is intriguing. In the top 30 books (#30 being Marvel's Fearless Defenders #1 which sold north of 55K) DC has 11 books. Basically 1/3 of the top 30. Of those 11, 6 are Batman books and 2 are Justice League books. Aquaman slides in at #22 and may have been helped by the Throne of Atlantis crossover. Green Lantern is there. And Action Comics is #25, the only Superman book in the top 30, selling 56K.

Is DC worried that there is such a disparity in their top selling books. Are they worried that it seems fans are only coming out in droves for Batman? I suppose Marvel isn't worrying about the glut of XMen and Avengers books up there. Of course, they hold 18 of the top 30 and that includes some new titles - Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy.

But when you get past the top 30, I just see a bunch of DC titles that seem to have lost the blighted momentum of the New 52 launch. And new books did not fare as well as Marvel's. Katana and Vibe sold just south of 30K, not the best beginning.

Supergirl #17 was the #73 title on the list. Sales basically stayed same with the book selling a couple of hundred units less than the last issue. Unfortunately, this was the penultimate chapter of the super-family crossover. I would have hoped for a blip in sales rather than standard erosion.

I suppose I should look at the upside. Sales are stable around 30K which, in this current market, is very strong. But I see lots of other books sales dropping faster than I would anticipate.

Will H'El on Earth ending and a new writer invigorate the title? Will sales drop faster? Or will Supergirl fans stick around ... all thirty thousand of us.


Anonymous said...

Where it concerns the nu52 sales, there is a article I wished I had saved. It showed how if it wasn't for the pre-Watchmen series the sales stats for DC have quite a different look to them.

They had a theory news of the pre-Watchmen mini-series came out lapsed fans came back in to buy the series to take a trip down memory lane and picked up some other DC series while they were there. I took my own look at the sales stats during this time and after it.
From what I can tell DC sales did pretty good while this "event" was going on, then started to slip down steadily since then.

Looking back on it, DC used the sales stats during the Watchmen mini's to heavily imply their whole nu52 line was a success. When the Watchmen kept their sales from bottoming out faster.

Kim said...

There is one interesting thing about Supergirl sales. I kept up with the charts for Supergirl #17 on Comixology, and it was ahead of multiple titles that sold better than Supergirl #17 according to ICV2(Supergirl was ahead of Wonder Woman for one). So, I wonder if Supergirl #17 missed sales due to not enough orders.

Dave Mullen said...

DC pulled in all its chips for the NEW 52 ralaunch, every possible money maker was roped in to make it a (sales) success. Banking on the Watchmen prequels, merging with the Wildstorm universe, recalling John Constantine and the Vertigo heavy hitters, every stop was pulled to make this a splash.
But, and remember this reboot was all Dan Didio's personal ambition, the gamble staked it all on readers accepting & wanting such a line wode reboot.

In my view the only part of this reboot which has worked reasonably well is Superman. For it's ups and downs the retooling of his world is a lot better than what came out of Infinite Crisis, shame about Supergirl of course...
But against that is the disaster that has been Wildstorm, trainwrecks like Hawkman, Green Arrow and Firestorm, the controversy over Before Watchmen, and the unpalatable retcons going on in Wonder Woman.

The DCU is an immensely confusing and fractured place today where no one in the readership quite knows what's going on and DC is apparently more interested in grabbing cheap headlines than working on the longterm sustainability of characters.

I do wonder if the basic problem is readers are sensing that, that DC is only concerned with gimmicks rather than substance... after all rebooting your entire line is the ultimate in sales gimmick. Now it's back to killing off characters in graphic and 'shocking' ways to service event storylines...