ICv2 is up with the actual numbers for January and they aren’t so hot, as we previously guessed; however, the slow January sales have a number of mitigating factors:
* January always sucks
* A lot of top books did not ship from DC
* The number of products shipped in general was down from December.
However, even with all that, things were still not great:
On the graphic novel side the lack of potent titles was even more pronounced. The #1 book, Jack of Fables Vol. 8 posted the lowest number for a chart topper since ICv2 began charting sales back in 2001. Jack of Fables Vol. 8 sold 14% fewer copies than Vol.7, which was released in June of 2010. But it should also be noted that Jack of Fables Vol. 7 was only the 9th bestselling book in June of 2010. It has been suggested that the number of releases in January was down and that is the reason for the decline in monthly sales, but in a hit-driven business, it’s not just the number of titles released that counts, it’s also the popularity of those titles.
Now that the actual sales numbers are available it is clear that the strong sales decline of nearly 22% in comics and 16.5% in graphic novels in year-over-year sales in January 2011 is due in part to a lack of big titles in both sales categories. While the comic book side can boast one strong release, the death-aided Fantastic Four #587, it was the only title over 100,000 and the #2 book in January sold under 73,000 (there were 8 titles over 73K in January of 2010). Plus a number of DC’s heavy hitters including Batman Inc., The Dark Knight, Flash, and Green Lantern didn’t ship, which hurt both the overall sales and DC’s market share in particular.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.