Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Sales Review: January 2019

The comic book sales numbers for January 2019 were released last week and as always, ICv2 does a good job of breaking them down. Here is a link:

I was a bit interested in seeing these numbers in the context of recent news regarding DC's number of titles. There were rumors that DC was going to slash their number of titles to 22 but this proved unfounded. Ultimately, the news broke that DC was paring down by about 10-15% of titles but also adding new 100 page spectaculars, making those books available in places other than Walgreens, and probably breaking even in total books solicited.

So that was much ado about nothing in a way. But when I hear that ongoing titles are going to be pruned, I always have to wonder and worry about the Girl of Steel.

We are in the middle of a space arc, one with a vengeful and surprisingly violent Supergirl. And sales have been a bit all over the place. (And yes, I know by sales I actually mean orders through Diamond,)

Supergirl #26 was released in January. It sported an Artgerm variant of Supergirl in a classic costume holding Streaky.

The book also saw the return of Kevin Maguire on art.

How did it sell?

The book landed in the #73 slot of the top 300 books released that month.

It sold surprisingly well, with 29,499 units being shipped to store.

I can't say that I am surprised. The issues with Artgerm variants definitely get more units ordered. The month prior, Supergirl #25 and it's rather excellent Amanda Conner variant only shipped 21,546. That's a 37% increase.

Surely DC can see the writing on the wall.

In case they can't here is the breakdown of sales with those issues with Artgerm covers noted.

The bottom line is this Andreyko run seems to be a 21K seller without these variants.

Now I doubt Supergirl will be one of the titles dropped in spate of cancellations. But it would be good to know that for sure.

I usually spotlight the sales of another Super book in the back half of these posts.

But I figured I would talk up one of the more fun comics I am reading these days, Mr. & Mrs. X, written by Kelly Thompson with art by Oscar Bazaldua.

The book is pure entertainment, joking about X-Men continuity while sending these two star-crossed lovers from one wild adventure to the next.

Alas, it is only selling about 18K.

People are missing out on a great little book. And the art is sumptuous.

Give it a shot!


Martin Gray said...

I shall give Mr and Mrs X a shot - my stumbling block is my hatred for Gambit, cher!

Anonymous said...

Clearly, Artgem's covers sell.

It helps that cover is absolutely gorgeous.

Unfortunately, we can't keep Mr. Lau chained to a drawing board illustrating Supergirl covers forever. The book needs a good hook. Something to draw new readers and keep the old ones.

Unfortunately, most of long-timers have run out of patience at this point, I suspect. Too many reboots and restarts.

"So that was much ado about nothing in a way. But when I hear that ongoing titles are going to be pruned, I always have to wonder and worry about the Girl of Steel."

Agreed on all points. There was much panic and worry about nothing, generated by a clickbait site. Buuuut it wouldn't be the first time DC has cancelled a Supergirl book.

Admittedly, they also appear to allow SG books a little more leeway than other titles and characters get.

Anyway... It isn't only Supergirl that is selling poorly. Sales in general are in the toilet and keep dropping. Staple titles as Green Arrow and Titans have been cancelled, Wonder Woman is selling in the 30,000 range and Superman is back to nearly pre-Rebirth levels (I think).

At the very least, DC is looking for other avenues to push their product. It doesn't fix other issues like quality and high prices, but it is a necessary first step.

Anonymous said...

Yah without Artgem we are in trouble...

Me? I'm trying to get into "Shazam" up to issue two, not sure where I am with it, the storyline is a departure to say the least...


Anonymous said...

This Artgerm cover looks to me like it's basically the Rebirth costume - boots, waistband style and skirt length are the Rebirth designs - but with an added gold trim along the neckline that I haven't seen since the Supergirl (2004) era. I guess you could say it's classic to the extent that Rebirth uses the "Matrix era" colors.

Overall It's very similar to his variant for #12.

I wonder if shops decide to order more issues because of his name, or only if subscribers request them after flipping through Previews or reading the solicitations online.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find it sad that a cover that has zero to do with the ongoing story is all it takes for a sales bump? If it had an accompanying story, it'd make more sense. But this story has been a chore.

Anonymous said...

Most current DC variants seem to be portraits or pin-ups rather than related to the interior content.

It's frustrating to me, because their best artists are assigned to the variants, and I'd rather see that talent applied to drawing interesting scenes on the covers - with the same quality, of course, because all the variant artists are incredibly talented.

It's the Rebirth style - main covers are often montages, variant covers are portraits. Go to New 52 or before to see normal covers.

(Those montage main covers rely totally on the cover colorist to make work - they blend completely unrelated cover content into a semi-coherent whole.)

DC is probably producing fewer variants than any other publisher, thought it's still too many. Marvel puts out on obscene number, and the smaller publishers put out like a dozen covers for each issue. It's madness!