The News Blog of Comics Culture
So basically, it’s a tie between Marvel and DC. The New 52’s sales have gone down since their launch, of course, but I think it’s still impressive that DC nearly ties Marvel’s share with much less titles published. But a win’s a win, and this month goes go to Marvel. But I certainly did not expect DC to get 8 of the top 10 comics.
With the New 52’s sales having presumably stabilized by their 4th issue, and with Marvel having no major projects, I think we will have an identical tie for the shares in January and February, with either Marvel or DC taking the lead by a fairly small margin, before we see Marvel retaking clear dominance in March, what with the launch of their new Bendis ongoing Avengers title and the zero issue of Avengers vs X-Men.
2012 will be an interesting year for shares, because we do know DC have the New 52’s collected editions as of May, as well as new Earth One graphic novels, and of course the rumoured Watchmen prequels and Wave 2 of New 52, while Marvel really seem to put a lot of energy to ensure Avengers vs X-Men is a smash hit.
It’s a bit surprising that Marvel’s first issues still can’t match the sales of DC’s fourth-best-selling #4. I’m sure it’ll change with Avengers v X-Men, but it’s strange that they haven’t really pushed for the top spot these last couple of months (meaningless though it is, it’s the kind of thing comics companies care about…)
That’s a nice pearl necklace Geoff Johns gave Aquaman there.
This is why I hate sales discussions. DC’s “sales” haven’t “gone down” (per se). It’s a very real situation where retailers just need a few months to determine how much of each title they need. For the first month, it was anyone’s guess. So they over-ordered. Rightly so. Second issues bring in people that missed the first month, so it’s still a guessing game. Etc. etc. It’s more that the “numbers” have settled, not gone down. Sure, some titles are going to drop faster. But these numbers are based on retailer orders and THEIR habits more than the habits of their customers.
Also, do they ever publish the actual full dollar amount that all these shares are dividing up? Am I not seeing it? I ask because if last month’s full dollar amount was 1 million, and this month’s dollar amount was 1.5 million, then who cares if DC is in second. The whole pie just grew, meaning DC’s piece of it didn’t necessarily shrink at all. Plus as stated above, Marvel had to put out more content to gain the top spot. Which means their books may not be as profitable.
gotta say that the fifth week of dec was monster for our stores in terms of sales. wish DC had new material out that week, hope they will this coming year, customers were looking to buy new stuff.
There were only 4 Wednesdays in December. The article is wrong there.
Mikael, when I posted DC’s sales have gone down, I meant it in a normal, sales-always-drop-after-a-series-launches way. Actually, I meant it in the way you mean it: sales have settled after the first 2 issues (I should probably have used the term settle instead of gone down). And in this case, like in most cases, to settle, they had to go down. And even after this settling down, DC ties Marvel in the share, with much less titles produced than Marvel. That was the main point I was trying to make.
Charles is right – it was November that had five weeks, of which DC left one mostly blank. December was a normal four-week month.
Time for another REBOOT!
I looked a bit at the GN side of all of this in my post…
Graphic novel units are off 12% but dollars off 5% — the gap created by last year being heavy with Scott Pilgrim and similar smaller-ticket items.
Also looked back and found that December trade orders historically drop an average of 21% from November — retailers stocking up for Christmas. Being off 16% this month wasn’t quite that bad, but it did keep the year from edging into positive territory in the end.
DC is matching Marvel with fewer titles/issues and lower prices.
Hmmm… the next fifth week is February 29th (the last time this happened, 1984), which happens to be Superman’s birthday.
Having heard how Lone Star celebrated Captain Kirk’s birthday, this would be a great promotion for comics shops on a skip week! Order a cake (or better yet, have a cake decorating contest, post the pictures online!) Hold a “Super” sale: any comic or trade with a Supercharacter gets a 10% discount. Maybe commission a local artist to draw Superman at 74! Hold a slumber party where you lock in customers overnight and screen the Superman movies!
Over in a Newsarama interview that seems to have been done in 2011 and timed to “clarify” the new Diamond stats as quickly as possible upon publication, Rood and Wayne imply (but without actually saying it; it’s a very odd article, for a number of reasons) that the market share is affected by Diamond’s returnability compensation, as well — not just the chart and index data, as I’d understood so far.
Interesting now that BATMAN and DETECTIVE are going to be priced at $3.99 (sure added material helps for those getting the series) later this year.
Props to Marvel For regaining the top spot again. But with the amount of titles they had to publish to get it, was it 30 MORE titles than DC? DC without a doubt was more profitable per title. Two number 1s from Marvel, and DC beat them with a slew of issue 4’s!!
Thats what I would love included each month – how many titles each company published. And not just DC and Marvel – the top 5 publishers.
Curious to see how next month goes. Do Marvel have any big launches for January? – If they don’t, it might just swing back.
@Roberto – where did you read about Batman and Tec going up in price? – I don’t buy Tec, but curious what extra content Batman will include. Hopefully another story written by Snyder! If that is the case, Bring it on!! :)
@James, the report came from NEWSARAMA or as I would like to call the site: CRAPARAMA.
Perhaps DC’s beating Marvel’s #1 issues with their #4 issues has something to do with the amount of covers for the #4 issues…?
Almost every comic listed by DC comes with 3 different covers to each issue, some including a 1:200 variant.
Now I know that people used to argue that Marvel artificially inflated their numbers with variants, so could’t it be said that DC is doing the same thing right now?
Marvel= double shipped books to make extra revenue
DC = variant covers to make extra revenue
Maybe one day we will have a month free of double shipping/variant covers/5th week event books, etc. and let the numbers stand for themselves for a while…
..but I doubt it.
“Almost every comic listed by DC comes with 3 different covers to each issue, some including a 1:200 variant.”
Marvel’s two top 10 comics came with oodles of variants… Avengers: X-Sanction #1 had 5 total variants. And Defenders #1 had 4 total variants (and on top of that Marvel shipped retailers 50% free copies).
I’m not sure how much difference variant covers still make. A couple of thousand per issue, perhaps. I’m particularly sceptical about the effectiveness of 1:200 variants – surely most stores would need to up their orders to such a degree that they’d have to charge an outrageous mark-up on the variant cover just to break even on the deal. It doesn’t seem like a particularly attractive deal. My impression from the Marvel sales has been that 1:200 variants are actually less effective at boosting sales than 1:30 variants, presumably because most stores just can’t make the maths stack up.
@Thanks Roberto. Alas, it doesn’t say what the extra content will be just yet. Although if it starts with the next solicited issue, with should know within days :)
I usually complain about the backup features, saying, “I don’t care *what* it is, it’s still an extra dollar I don’t want to spend.” But, I’m totally on board for the Batman one. Relates to the plot, written by Snyder, *drawn by Albuquerque*! I’m there.
Co-written by Snyder, that is. Didn’t fully read the story as I posted, though it shouldn’t matter too much. Batman is the only Batman book I’m reading, so it’s a little of a bummer that this backup is leading to a crossover involving all the Bat books.
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