Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sales Review: June 2013

The sales number for June 2013 are out and as always, I will point folks to ICv2 for the best coverage of the market. Here is a link:

Superman Unchained #1 with major star power and multiple covers ran roughshod over the market selling over a quarter of a million books. How much of that is driven by super-rare variants is hard to know. And with many more super-variant covers expected for this book, I suppose this will continue. It is nice to see Superman leading the pack. But I know that right now he is in a movie where he kills, a comic based on a video game where he kills, and a current mainstream comic where (while controlled) he kills.

Someone somewhere needs to do something about this trend in his character.

On to sales.

The super-family books recently had some creative changes with Michael Alan Nelson taking over writing on Supergirl. At first I was a bit concerned about that change, but his first two issues have been very strong with an apparent understanding of the core of her character.

DC did a decent job with publicity with interviews with Nelson all over the internet.

Unfortunately, sales continue to slide.

Supergirl #21 sold only 25,856 units, down 6% from last issue. I'm not panicking quite yet but this is a disturbing trend. September's 'month off' for the title will only be another jumping off point ... despite the fact that Action Comics 23.1 Cyborg Superman is written by Michael Alan Nelson and is Supergirl 23.1 in my mind.

Fans of the book should start talking it up!

Things are necessarily rosy over on Superboy either.

Justin Jordan seemed to do a bit of an about face on the book, acknowledging the angsty parts of the early adventures and making it a more humorous adventure buddy book. As with Supergirl, I have very much enjoyed these last couple of issues.

I don't have prior sales in front of me but Superboy #21 sold just north of 20K units. I think of 20K as a sort of yellow alert on sales. 15K is my red alert when I start looking for the 'Final Issue' tagline.

Time for some publicity and word of mouth?

Okay, enough gloom and doom.

I have loved the anthology Adventures of Superman book, feeling they are perfect short stories capturing a more classic Superman feel. Some of the stories have been absolutely stellar.

Is there a market for a red-trunked, noble, heroic Classic Superman?

Adventures of Superman #2 sold 22,407 print units. Who knows what it is selling digitally?

But this is a great book selling strongly! Fantastic.

Despite that nugget of good news, overall I felt pretty depressed after reviewing these numbers. Is there a silver lining I am missing?


Anonymous said...


Just a quick question -- these sales numbers do not include the digital sales, or do they? I have been reading the Super titles for a couple years now, but exclusively on my smartphone. I wouldn't dream of buying them in print, and I'm willing to bet that is a trend.

Anj said...

Thanks for the post and question.

Definitely just print sales. I don't know if digital sales are released anywhere to track.

They must be known though because Jimmy Palmiotti recently said that Ame Comi sales were low both print and digital ... so somehow he knew.

Dave Mullen said...

It does seem that despite it not yet being two years old the New 52 experiment hasn't really sustained its initially impressive influx of readers, these sales figures are comparable with where DC was before the reboot. When you look at the antics going on behind the scenes and the terrible books put out and quickly (and deservedly) cancelled DC is in a very apparent downward spiral. The tragedy is that it is mostly their own doing.

With Superboy and Supergirl I can understand why readers have drifted, Superboy has not been good at all while Suergirl never seems to grow beyond her superior attitude and petulance. I read the latest issue and was slack jawed to see a plot near identical to the H'el on Earth one - Supergirl being offered the chance to resurrect Krypton by some anonymous scary looking nutter with an S on his chest, and her appearing to be all for it! Strewth. Is this her only plot?

Noteworthy that Legion of Super-heroes is just a smidge below 15'000 despite the serving of the cancellation notice, while Stormwatch is still an ongoing concern at 12'000?!

LJ-90 said...

Adventures of Superman is in #37 right now in Comixology, but it's understandable because it last number came out Monday, I think that it's pretty strong.

Smallville in the other hand (another great digital-first Superman book) is in #57 and it latest issue went out yesterday! And in print it's selling just one spot above Legion of Super-Heroes, I don't think that means the book is really safe.

Anonymous said...

Yeah these are not good numbers, where are all these new readers the new DCu was supposed to pull in? 25K is a very worrisome number for Supergirl it starts edging towards that "We've Got To Doooo Something" sales figure...and whenever DC reaches this point they inevitably make bad decisions watch for it.


valerie21601 said...

The top of the DC food chain, Didio, Lee and a few others above, are at fault for the 52 implosion about to happen, IMHO. On the scale of Marvel's Heroes Reborn level.

It was doomed from the get-go because too many people responsible for the Marvel implosion, are in charge of the DC 52 universe.

The worst signs was when Didio and Lee did a bait and switch on Flashpoint, where it was suppose to be a soft reboot, to sweep some really bad stories and continuity errors away, while sprucing up the characters for the current times. Into a hardcore reboot that isn't a reboot announcement.
Along with the awful, in general, Flashpoint stories for almost all of their mini-series.

It became a really dark, grim, very violent, over sexed and a too REALISTIC real world.

So many things are wrong with the 52 universe, IMO Didio and Lee are backed into a corner and are getting a bunker mentality mind set and are doing their best to believe the ship isn't sinking when it is even with the water being up to their necks.

Anj said...

I agree Val that the DCU right now feels like a place without joy.

I wish there were just a couple of books with a different tone.