Comics Creators

Comics Sales - May 2015


Okay so the Boom comic is a LootCrate special outlier. While fans lament the dying comic industry though those sales are actually a pretty spectacular turnaround. In early 2011 at quite a low for the industry, the best selling book was Green Lantern at around 75k, that would just scrape it into the top 20 in this one.

How did A-Force manage that? Saying that there’s a definite undeniable trend of female led comics not just scraping along anymore but making the top sellers, that and Gwen and Harley Quinn.


It’s no wonder the Big 2 have pushed toward event books. It looks like over half the books listed would fall in that category with #9-12 all being Convergence, a placeholder story used to help DC move offices.


Yes and that is the cautionary tale for us old ones, especially as the main Convergence book was pretty badly reviewed (Secret Wars did much better in that aspect).

However that is pretty impressive, there seemed to be a ceiling on even first issues and event comics of 200k, now we’re seeing 500k breached a few times.


I almost wonder if we’re at the point where we should just become comfortable with the idea that there will be a Secret War / Crisis event every summer. Maybe things to should move toward making that model work as best as possible.


Well the event circus has been going on since Civil War and the gap has been far shorter than 12 months in most cases. It doesn’t just need that though, Amazing Spider-Man #1 did over 500k and Star Wars #1 topped a million.

There’s no doubt a lot of gimmick and the like in there but it is interesting that further down books are doing well too. I know it’s probably illegal to say this on a comics board but the numbers and the style of some of the books hitting them suggest there are new readers coming in. If I look back to the chart from May 2001 the comic at position 300 sold 612 copies, today it is 4,462.


I agree. I think there are new readers coming in and that’s encouraging. It’s great that not every book on the stands is aimed at me.


I had no idea Saga was so successful in floppies – BKV and FS must be making a mint! Good for them.

I’m surprised to see Ant-Man doing that well, I guess that’s thanks to movie hype? After Superior Foes of Spider-Man, I’m on board with any Marvel silliness Nick Spencer produces


This is the larger things enthusiasts in many markets struggle with. At some point, you may no longer be the audience that is being aimed for whether that’s in content or format. Despite your protestations that the industry needs X, it may in fact need Y.


I think that has been a bigger revelation for me. I think it’s part of what Kirkman was pushing for in his manifesto all those years ago.


Yeah, given that these are annual events and they usually run at least six or seven issues, that only leaves five or six months between them (and that’s assuming that issues ship on time, which isn’t always the case).

With the recent chain going back to (I think) House of M, at least for Marvel, that pretty much means we’ve been on this treadmill for ten years now.


Vaughan has publicly said as much, that it’s the best paid gig he’s ever had.

It’s also very consistent. Something Image and other indies seem to manage better, either retaining or growing sales instead of a drop off until they relaunch somehow. I shared the top 30 because that’s as much as the picture would fit and we do tend to focus only on the top end but when we’re talking about maintaining a living the bottom end is more important. .


Maybe not just the fans. Lee and Didio at DC recently said they are working more on the assumption that they don’t necessarily need to like every book they release. It’s more important that there’s a significant number that do.

There has been a circular argument that comics only appeal to 30-40 year old men, because comics are aimed at 30-40 year old men and written largely by the same demographic. You won’t break that cycle unless you make an effort to do so and those people that may get upset about that are dicks because there are more comics aimed at that area than anyone is willing or able to buy. Marvel and DC between them put out over 100 books a month, nobody here is reading anywhere near that number. Even with a Marvel Unlimited account where I could read them all for the same price I don’t have the time or enthusiasm.


Marvel and DC (and Vertigo and the others) could do those million-plus numbers if they had titles that were tied to film and TV properties. Directly, I mean, not like Smallville came out to continue the series. Marvel needs direct ties to SHIELD and AoU, DC needs a bunch including a new title for Legends of Tomorrow.

Interesting to see The Walking Dead still going strong. This ties to the TV show. iZombie is doing well on TV, now that the title is cancelled. (?) The Star Wars books are all connected to the movies, and more so to Clone Wars. See a trend?


Correct. Through diversity of content - I’m not talking only race and gender, but religion, art style, format, etc - you’re more likely to find that new formula for success. I read the hell out of DC’s weekly digital-only books. I’m perfectly cool with continuing some of these Secret Wars/Convergences universes in ongoing, unattached format. Books like Spider-Gwen and Ms. Marvel are showing that there are viable audiences that were previously being under-served. More is good for a healthy industry.


I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to keep the new Runaways team going in some manner. The concept already involves them being from different worlds; it could be an Exiles-style thing.