Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sales Review: October 2014

Sales numbers for October have been released over on ICv2 and, as usual, there are some interesting things to notice. Here is the link to the sales chart, definitely worth reviewing in total:

This was the last hurrah of Doomed in the super-titles and that may have effected the sales. But these were Doomed tie-ins in trade dress only. Maybe tangentially we hit upon that crossover but otherwise these 'aftermath' issues weren't crucial.

Supergirl #35 was not only a Doomed Aftermath issue but was also the last issue of Tony Bedard's run on the title. After two plus years of wandering, wallowing in anger, and essentially being lost, Bedard redeemed the character, putting her back on Earth and making her heroic.

In this last issue, we see Supergirl embrace her new attitude, reject 'the bad boy', and find a little romance. It was a better epilogue to Bedard's run than it was an aftermath of Doomed.

So how did it sell?

The issue sold 26,371 units, another solid month for the book. Supergirl #35 sold  26,510, essentially the same amount.

Now pre-Doomed, the book was drifting into the 22K range in sales, making me a little nervous about cancellation.

And let us not forget, next issue is a bold new direction by K. Perkins and Mike Johnson. Will sales go up? Stay steady? Go down? Certainly, DC has done the publicity to pump this up.

Thanks again Tony Bedard!

Given the upcoming bold new direction of Supergirl, I thought I would look at a real bold new direction.

Batgirl #35 came out last month, the upheaval and soft reboot of the Barbara Gordon character by Cam Stewart, Brandon Fletcher, and Babs Tarr.

Now this book got a major push by DC and the publicity went viral. The change in costume was a nice way to mark this as a new direction as well. And just that seemed to set the net on fire. We had comic artists drawing Batgirl in this new outfit. Cosplayers were posting pictures. People were asking where they could buy yellow Doc Martens.

Seriously, never before had I seen a creative shift like this be so universally embraced and explode across fandom. And this was a team replacing Gail Simone! And sort of de-aging Barbara a bit, putting her back in school, and luring in new readers. I thought for sure this would sell 100K.

It didn't hit that mark. But it sold just under 63K! Amazing.

I do wonder if DC saw the buzz of Batgirl and pushed the Supergirl direction through faster.

I can only imagine how happy I would be if Supergirl sold 62K. But even the 'Hogwarts in Space' tagline didn't grab the buzz this new Batgirl direction did.


Thomas Hayes said...

Yeah, Batgirl was almost guaranteed to do well as soon as the cover picture went viral on social media. We started seeing people making cosplay of that costume within days of the cover being revealed. Supergirl's new direction came unannounced and the publicity didn't ramp up until after Bedard's final issue had been released, and they didn't preview any art of Kara's new design until two weeks ago, so there's been no major response to it on social media. It's not going to have the same effect, I think at best the jump Catwoman got is what we can hope for (you can see Catwoman there enjoying better sales than it has in months as it got its new creative team).

To be honest though, I expect #36 to sell worse than #35 and #34 did. With the Doomed tie-in gone and very little fanfare for the new run, I think retailers will order fewer copies and it'll probably end up closer to where issues 28-33 sold. I do have to give Bedard, Soule and DC some credit, whatever you think of RDoK the storyline did give the book direction and that seemed to halt the ongoing sales decline. But they're going to have to do more if they want to expand the book's audience further.

The presence of the Lego variant cover might offset some of those lost sales, but I still think it's going to be down this month. It's going to be up to post-release word of mouth to publicise this run. And thinking further ahead, they'd better have a good plan for how to kickstart books in this position after the 2-month pause for Convergence.

Bartiemus said...

She has a TV coming up I don't see the book going any where in a hurry.

I think after convergence DC is going to relaunch everything at number 1 again much like Marvel Now this will give the book a shot in the arm.

Anj said...

Interesting thoughts Thomas. I do wonder if shops will assume the next issue will be in the standard 22K range for this title recently.

Imagine if it sold out!!

And Bartiemus, I agree that the show coming up is a bonus and hopefully will keep the book rolling. But I think the real boost from the show is probably more than a year from now.