Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: March 2008

By Paul O’Brien

After a quiet couple of months, March saw Marvel starting to gear up again. In fact, there’s only one really big new title this month – DARK TOWER, which returns for a second miniseries. But there’s also the launch of two new monthly series, CABLE and WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS. And although SECRET INVASION itself won’t show up until the April chart, the first tie-ins are starting to to crop up.

Once again, Marvel dominated the direct market, leading DC by 44% to 32% in units and 39% to 30% in dollars. And this is before the big crossover season even gets under way, remember.

Thanks as always to Milton Griepp and ICV2 for permission to use their figures for these calculations.

1.  DARK TOWER
03/07  Gunslinger Born #2 of 7 - 168,258  (-22.4%)
04/07  Gunslinger Born #3 of 7 - 149,168  (-11.3%)
05/07  Gunslinger Born #4 of 7 - 139,545  ( -6.5%)
06/07  Gunslinger Born #5 of 7 - 132,090  ( -5.3%)
07/07  Gunslinger Born #6 of 7 - 128,336  ( -2.8%)
08/07  Gunslinger Born #7 of 7 - 124,609  ( -2.9%)
09/07  ---
10/07  ---
11/07  ---
12/07  ---
01/08  ---
02/08  ---
03/08  Long Road Home #1 of 5  - 123,839  ( -0.6%)
                                  6 mnth  (  --- )
                                  1 year  (-26.4%)

The first DARK TOWER miniseries was a huge hit for Marvel in 2007, a rare example of a book with obvious mass market appeal which also sold in huge quantities in the direct market. While the first series was mostly an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel WIZARD AND GLASS, the new series is original material. The first issue comes in below the final issue of GUNSLINGER BORN, but only just. Diminishing returns are to be expected with sequels, and besides, 124K for a debut issue is a good performance by any standards. Marvel should be very satisfied with this number.

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Chris Riddell’s illustrations for THE GRAVEYARD BOOK

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More at Neil Gaiman’s blog.

More Artzybasheff

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Much more ad art by the visionary illustrator in the link. Courtesy of Jeff Meyer.

REMINDER: IRON MAN in the comics

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By the by, if you are coming to IRON MAN and want to read more of Ol’ Shellhead’s adventures, Alan Kistler at ComicMix has the story that should have been the lead story on EVERY comics website this week: 10 Must-Read Stories Before You Watch ‘Iron Man’ in Theaters.

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Marvel has repeatedly learned that boffo box office doesn’t necessarily turn into boffo at the comics shop, enjoying only modest upticks in graphic novels sales after their blockbusting movies. This time out, they have a top ten Iron Man Graphic Novel list on Marvel.com. A new Marvel series called THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN by Fraction and LaRocca debuts next week, with variant photo covers.

Anyway, click the links for a welcome reminder that there was an Iron man before Robert Downey Jr.

New Hulk trailer

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Up at Apple.
Image ganked from Pulp Secret. Sorry boys, we’re very pressed for time.

May Day!

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May Day by Eric Drooker.

Garland-For-Mayday Big
May Day by Walter Crane.

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May Day in a traditional celebration around the Maypole.

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May Day, akak Beltane, as it is celebrated in Edinburgh — dancing half naked around a fire.

We tried to find a picture of the traditional Beltane battle between Gwyn ap Nudd and Gwythur ap Greidawl for the hand of Creiddylad, as recounted in the Mabinogion, but came up empty.

Enjoy your May Day no matter how you celebrate it!