Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Sales Review: September 2019

The sales number for September sales have come out and as usual, ICv2 is a great place to go for a breakdown. Here is a link: https://icv2.com/articles/markets/view/44317/top-500-comics-september-2019

It was an interesting month overall. Spawn #300 came out and broke the 250K number. Spider-Man #1 came out and broke 150K. The Hickman X-titles all came close to 140K. Those are healthy numbers. And Doomsday Clock #11 finally hit the stands and cracked 115K. For comics, which always seem to be fading, that is a solid top 10.

As for Supergirl, it was a rare calendar month where 2 issues hit the stands. Due to some delays to recolor and redraw some Legionnaires, Supergirl #33 was put on pause until the pages were fixed.
And it was an interesting month storywise for the Girl of Steel. Supergirl #33 was the end of the Rogol Zaar epic and tied in closely to the Unity Saga. Supergirl #34 had Supergirl return to Earth and be suddenly thrust into the Event Leviathan and Year of the Villain arcs. Suddenly Kara was plugged into the main DCU again.

Since both issues were tied into bigger events, I wondered if sales would show a bump. Both issues also had 'card stock' covers.

Let's look.

As I said, Supergirl #33 had the wrap-up of the Rogol Zaar and Empress Gandelo arc.

Supergirl suppresses her rage and brings Zaar to justice. She teams up with her cousin Jon.

The book was beautifully drawn by Kevin Maguire.

The issue, between covers, sold 24795 units.

This was an increase from the month before by about 2000 units.

It would be impossible to break it all down. But I wonder how much of Unity Saga and how much of card stock covers led to the bump.

Supergirl #34 was a return to form.

Kara comes back to Earth, heads to National City, runs into her father and fights Leviathan.

This issue sold 24209 units. That's pretty stable for sales.

I did wonder how much of these sales were based on Leviathan vs. just Kara heading home vs. again the novelty cover.

Still, Supergirl selling 24K. That is something to celebrate.

As for Event Leviathan, my comic obsession, the mini-series has sort of dwindled a bit in sales despite my interest rising.

Event Leviathan #4 continued to mystery. It ended with Superman facing off against Leviathan finally.

Shockingly, it only sold 34K.

That is probably exceedingly healthy in this market. But this book has been so compelling I thought it would be more around 60K.

I wonder how the trade will sell.


Anonymous said...

Well thats nice I guess, the book will survive into 2020. I'll be curious to see how the sales hold up when Supergirl gets jobbed out as a zombie-clown pixie or whatever the hell the plan is...


Anonymous said...

Despite being $1.00 more, I'd say the Derrick Chew card stock variants are the largest factor responsible for Supergirl's bump in sales.

Of course the sales represent retailers' purchases, so they really went all in on these. #33 must have done so well that they repeated the order size for #34.

The #35 variant, which features the "DCeased tie-in theme," is not card stock, so the sales won't be broken out. Supergirl doesn't appear at all on the main cover, so the variant might still do well, but we'll never know for sure.

#36 will be hard to judge - the main cover will be the special acetate cover featuring the full Villain Takeover month, featuring 2 cover layers for the price of 1, and gimmick sales do well. But in Supergirl's case it has strong competition with another compelling card stock variant effort from Derrick Chew. That will be an interesting sales contest.

#37 looks to me like another Derrick Chew card stock variant winner. You can pick Chew's dynamic illustration of a powerful Supergirl flying right at the reader, or you can pick the main cover that features what looks like a skinny, underfed Infected Supergirl, staggering as if drunk or crippled by arthritis. You can tell which one I think it better!

Looking at all the other titles that had card stock variants that month, there is just one title where the variant sold more copies than the main cover, and it was a dramatic case: the Artgerm cover of Catwoman #15 sold around twice as many copies as the main cover.

That's it. In all other cases except Supergirl, the main cover sold from around 2 up to even 4 times as many copies as the variant. The most extreme example of that trend: Batman sold 80K and the card stock variant sold just 23K.

Less striking Supergirl variants would likely have sold many thousands fewer copies in line with the standard pattern. But generally the Supergirl variants have been so far superior to the main covers that this trend is likely to continue. DC has been assigning excellent portrait artists to all the woman-led variants - Catwoman, Wonder Woman, and Supergirl have benefited. Batgirl is in transition from Joshua Middleton on the variants, to the Dodgson's, and during the transition has had fairly mediocre variant covers.


Professor Feetlebaum said...

Event Leviathan #4 also sold 13,179 card stock variants, bringing total sales to 47,364-more in line with the sales on issues 2 and 3.

It's always good to see Supergirl's sales up...for whatever reason. It will be interesting to see what happens when the new creative team comes on. It's just too bad they have to begin their run with the Supergirl infected storyline. Hopefully, it won't be long. This book needs a break from all the tie-ins and events.

Anj said...

Thanks for Event Leviathan correction.

These split sales based on cover are maddening.

Anonymous said...

Since comichron.com does the math to merge the sales of the card stock and regular covers, that's what I use. Then I don't have to think about which titles have card stock covers that month (DC is continually rotating which books get regular vs. card stock variants).


The most recent month is a link on the left side where it currently says "Comic shop sales estimates for September 2019".

Then in the table, click the column heading labelled "Fused" to see merged numbers for the regular and card stock variants.

So for the month, Event Leviathan would be #29, Supergirl #33 would be #85, and Supergirl #34 would be #89.