Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: July 2011

Quite the busy month, July. FEAR ITSELF is still rumbling onwards, but it’s now joined by two other events – the “Spider-Island” crossover, and X-MEN: SCHISM. And there are relaunches of DAREDEVIL, GHOST RIDER and CAPTAIN AMERICA (which spawns a spin-off into the bargain).

Oh, and now that the FEAR ITSELF crossover arcs are firmly underway, this seems a good month to ask: is it really having much of an impact on sales of the tie-in books?

As per usual, Marvel had the largest share of the North American direct market, leading DC by 44% to 35% in unit share, and 39% to 31% in dollars.

Thanks as always to for permission to use these figures.

Disney fires Marvel’s West Coast marketing department

We’re not savvy enough on the West Coast operations of Marvel to know what was behind this, but it’s fairly safe to say that Disney cares much more about Marvel Studios than Marvel Comics. Implementation of the Disney-Marvel relationship has been an odd one — on the one side, you have a corporate juggernaut who wants to reach the boy market for toys and toons. On the other, you have a company that is very much still led by chairman Ike Perlmutter, who, by some accounts, is Disney’s second biggest shareholder after Steve Jobs. Marvel Studios is known for knowing the value of a penny — something Disney also knows. But whereas Disney has controlling costs down to an art, Perlmutter has it down to a science. The relationship is still evolving.

FutureComics: ComiXology launches retailer digital storefronts

ComiXology’s digital storefront for physical comics shops went live yesterday, but not without some bumps. The release has been accelerated in order to get ready in time for DC’s digital day-and-date rollout next week, and some retailers have voiced concerns about the contract, including the fact that retailers cannot use customer data, while comiXology can, use of store logos and so on. The terms have already been emended a bit from the version posted at Bleeding Cool, which was leaked on a private retailer forum, so we won’t run it here. Although the basic agreement is that the stores are affiliates of comiXology, selling digital comics via their own sites, this is not entirely a comfortable idea for many retailers.

Despite all the worries, about 100 stores have signed on for the launch, according to the PR, below.

So what will happen THIS time?

Wow, life in these United States sure is funny. One minute you’re watching dashing rebels storming a tyrants compound while Sara Sidner dodges celebratory, lethal bullets, the next there’s a dinky but baffling earthquake, and then what about that hurricane? And then this happened.