Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Sales Review: August 2018

Last month we got a new direction and a soft reboot of the Supergirl title. While the numbering remained the same, we waited three months for the Bendis-izing of the super-titles to gel. Now we are back, bold and new. And since the revamp, I have been waiting for the sales numbers for August to drop.

As someone who has been watching sales numbers of Supergirl books closely, I had been pretty impressed with what was happening in the latter stages of the Orlando/Houser/Rocha run book. Sales, most likely boosted by Artgerm variants, were up. Supergirl was nosing around the 31K mark. And the stories themselves were really starting to click. It was as if the creative team had found their groove, concentrating on some of the plots and letting others fade. Suffice it to say, I was very happy with the book's directions and sales were more than healthy.

So how did Supergirl #21 fare? Well, you can look at the top 500 books ordered for the month of August here on ICv2: https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/41375/top-500-comics-august-2018

So after a couple of years living as Kara Danvers, daughter of Eliza and Jeremiah, DEO agent, CatCo intern, and student at National Tech, Supergirl decided she needed to investigate Rogol Zaar's claim that he blew up Krypton.

Basically, the baby of the Orlando Rebirth book was thrown out with the bath water. Healthy sales or no, Kara was going in a new direction, one leading her away from Earth.

So did it bring in new readers?

Well, it landed in the top 100, coming in at 82, right behind cash cow Harley Quinn.

But orders were only at 28507.

It wonder if we would still be up in the 31K range if Artgerm was on the variants. But Amanda Conner on variants is now slouch.

So new direction; lower sales. This bears watching.

I decided to look at the Superman title for another peek into sales.

As I have said in my reviews, I am enjoying Action Comics more that Superman. The whole Phantom Zone and Rogol Zaar stuff hasn't grabbed me yet.

But it is selling!

I was pretty shocked to see it land at #8 with orders of  77,464!

That is pretty amazing. I will say that Ivan Reis and Joe Prado on Superman is fantastic. And I think this book has two variants a month.

I'll never complain about a Superman book being in the top ten.


Anonymous said...

"And since the revamp, I have been waiting for the sales numbers for August to drop."

Hmmmph. I know what you meant, but -- sadly your wait is over. Sales dropped.

I was surprised.

But a new #1 or even a Special #1 in between #20 and #21 might have drawn more attention.

Superman and Action had a whole mini-series of "specials" ("Man of Steel"); Superman then got a new #1; and Action got it's own version of that (#1001, after the historic and super-sized #1000).

Titans and Teen Titans were not renumbered - but their changes were launched with a Special #1.

Justice League got its own "No Justice" mini-series of "specials" and then three new #1s.

"Super Sons" got a new title that starts, naturally, with #1.

Wonder why Supergirl got nothing but a mutiple-month gap?

Can you think of any recent comic that had a multi-month gap like this that then resumed its regular numbering, without having at least a Special - or even Special Series - during the gap?

I don't think you can count Man of Steel as "Supergirl's Special." She was in it, but it wasn't "Man and Girl of Steel."

Wonder how DC decides how to structure these things.

Anonymous said...

I was worried about the hiatus impacting sales negatively.

I was right, but the drop isn't so bad as I feared.

Now, there were a lot of people online complaining about Orlando's run, the CW setting making her way to the comics, and Supergirl's "defanged" characterization. There were fans like yourself complaining about Supergirl's characterization apparently giving one step backwards and her stable setting being ditched for the umpteenth time.

Some people lost interest after the two-month hiatus? Or maybe they didn't find out about the book returning? Or possibly they aren't interested in the new direction? Two thousand people were buying it only for Stanley Lau's covers? Whatever the case may be, the book has lost readers but it still well above of the danger zone. I hope it continues to do so.

At the very least it hasn't been cancelled and renumbered.

"That is pretty amazing. I will say that Ivan Reis and Joe Prado on Superman is fantastic. And I think this book has two variants a month."

That's good. Bendis' direction has issues, but so far it's avoiding two of the main pitfalls regarding Superman and his world's depiction: the cold, distant alien god and the mild-mannered Midwestern farmer obsessed with being human.

Anonymous said...

This is actually better than I expected.

There’s no boost for being a first issue, no continuation of any previous plot lines to convince existing readers to come back, there’s a three month gap where people lose the habit of buying and the book falls off of people’s pull lists, there’s no real promotion or special kick-off issue, and the plot is just an extension of the Superman book story as if Supergirl was Superman’s sidekick. Not to mention that the creators on Twitter seem more excited to be writing for Krypto than Kara.

I’m not trying to be negative, the stories have been just fine, but the book feels a bit like an afterthought. Orlando got off to a slow start, but I loved where he had started taking the book.

I hope sales don’t continue to slide.

Professor Feetlebaum said...

I had anticipated something of a sales dip when ArtGerm left, but that was before the hiatus, the new creative team, and the new direction. I'm sure ArtGerm's departure caused some to drop the book (those who were buying it solely for the covers). The new creative team and the new direction may have lost some readers, but then it may have gained others. Things should become clearer in the next few months.

Just for fun, I decided to find out how Supergirl did compared to other DC titles. Counting only DC comics, Supergirl 21 comes in at number 21. And if you consider just on-going series (no one-shots or limited series), then Supergirl is at number 24.

Meanwhile, what happened with Batgirl that orders dropped from 37,712 for number 25 to 25,947 for number 26?

Professor Feetlebaum said...

OOPS! A correction to the above comment. Counting just the DC titles, Supergirl comes in at number 31, not 21.

And it's good to see that Adventures of the Super Sons did so well. If sales keep up, maybe it will encourage DC to start a new monthly title, after this maxi-series comes to the end.

Anonymous said...

Batgirl #25 was a super-sized anniversary edition and maybe that gave it a bounce. #26 sold in line with #24. The annual in August sold much worse.

All 3 were released in August due to lateness, 2 of them together on 8/29, the slow 5th Wednesday. Still, add them all together and the title sold 79,449 in August.

Anonymous said...

We should be grateful the drop in sales wasn't bigger, I think Supergirl as a comic book franchise has reached a "diminished rate of return" when it comes to abrupt and sudden shifts in setting & supporting cast. But try telling that to DC Comics it's been their Kara Zor El go-to since 1972....