Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sales Review: May 2013

The sales numbers for May 2013 came out recently and ICv2 does it's usual great job of breaking things down over on their site. Here is the link to the list of the top 300:

Now I was waiting for the numbers to come out regarding Supergirl #20. The Mike Johnson era had ended. Michael Allan Nelson had taken over on writing and had a fair amount of publicity heading into the series. The book guest-starred Power Girl, so maybe her fans would come over. And, frankly, it had this eye-popping cover. Would any of that translate to more sales?

Unfortunately, the book sank a little lower.

Sales dropped about 2000 units from last month (which had a MAD variant to boost things). And the book ranked 81st.

Could people have felt that this issue was a jumping off point given the change in writer? I can't imagine so. This wasn't necessarily a *bold new direction* as Nelson picked up right where Johnson left off, even picking up from a cliffhanger.

Is there simply erosion of sales on a mid-level book. Probably. But it makes me feel like I am simply watching something I love die slowly. Is this simply the natural progression of comics these days? Or can there be a 'boost'?

Hopefully ... somehow ... Supergirl is able to latch onto the media blitzkrieg that Superman is getting right now. Supergirl #20 was a very good issue, fun and dark, with the right mix of angst and sorrow. That is a tough stew to get right.


valerie21601 said...

I wonder if it's too little too late where it concerns Supergirl. As in Johnson and Green taking the long decompressed story telling route. Nearly a year and half of issues and Supergirl was only in the 52 universe less than a couple of weeks. While other series were well into their stories by several months or years for their characters. Kara's series moved at a turtles pace.

Another factor I noticed is the "new" readers who got into this version of Supergirl in the forums. Many of these newbies praised how dark, angst filled, angry Supergirl was their new anti-hero.
Yes many called Supergirl their new favorite anti-hero. A anti-hero.
For us true Supergirl fans know Kara isn't about morose, self -pity, anger. She is about the positive things hope, never give up attitude, she has her bad times too but she never gave up while burnt she worked her way through it and kept going forward with life.

So its not a real surprise when the series hit a major bump between the H'el on Earth crossover event and the writer change over these weren't the type of true fans to stick with Supergirl thick and thin. Many readers views a writer change over as a good jumping off point.
Plus a crappy fill-in issue didn't help the series too.

I get the feeling even if Michael Nelson does great Supergirl stories the ship has gotten too full of water even with a last second patch up job on it, it will keep on sinking.

BTW Anj while I remember it, in the MoS prequel with Kara when she crashes on Earth. The people are Eskimos not Neanderthals who see her ship crashing.

I also noticed Kara even Dev-Em didn't know how or why their ship went to the Earth solar system instead of the red sun world they were expecting. Maybe Jor-El had a hand in it?

Count Drunkula said...

I enjoyed issue #20, and I thought it was Nelson's way of concluding the Johnson/Green story elements. Now, with Sanctuary out of the picture (for however long that lasts), maybe Kara can move forward in the real world and more fully establish herself and her identity in Metropolis or Smallville or elsewhere.

Hopefully, the series will get a look-in boost after MAN OF STEEL comes out. I doubt this book will ever be in the Top 50, but if Supergirl can't at least stay in the Top 100 sellers, something is seriously wrong.

Anonymous said...

Too bad the former readers didn't stick around to see that the new writer is actually an improvement. Michael Allan Nelson's writing was actually sharp and funny, something that most DCnU books lack in this age of darkness and angst (and ironically, it's Justice League Dark that's a fun book).

Oh well, at least I'm enjoying Kara's appearance in Smallville Season 11; that series seems to survive quite well despite its low sales - most likely due to digital sales.

Anj said...

Thanks for the comments.

I am hoping that 'word on the street' about Nelson's first issue and the buzz around Man of Steel will bring people around.

I also am hoping that the book doesn't descend into darkness. Supergirl doesn't work there.

Gear said...

A late comment, but...

It's important to remember that these sales numbers are the sales to the retailers, not to the readers. Because of that they represent the retailer's estimation of how many books they expect to sell based on the previous months. If the numbers for #20 are lower it's because retailers expected it to sell through at a lower rate because of the sales of the previous months, where they may have found themselves with a bunch of unsold copies still sitting on the shelves.

If #20 had low numbers it's almost certainly because the retailers still have lots of copies of #19, with it's bait-and-switch cover credits, and the previous H'El crossover books. We'll know more about how well #20 did when we see the numbers for #21 next month.