I imagine that most people read articles about comic book sales in a darkened room, in a enclosed and private space – perhaps curtained off – so nobody can see their shame. But comics sales aren’t just for predicting cancellations – in the case of IDW’s forthcoming My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the sales are a way to celebrate the superiority of ponies to everything else.
Pre-order estimations for the first issue of this new series, written by Katie Cook and drawn by Andy Price, are currently sitting at around 90,000. That makes the book one of the most successful books of the year — during a time when DC have their New 52, Walking Dead has a TV series, and Marvel NOW is launching. It’s also great news, because My Little Pony is an all-ages title which actually lives up to the ideal that all ages can read it. Whereas the other top-selling comics of the year so far feature baseball bat bludgeoning and brain stealing (which has it’s place in comics! I’m not saying it’s bad!), My Little Pony is a book where characters learn about friendship and have a great time doing so. And are ponies.
So hurray for a comic that does that! That’s the first thing I’m celebrating. Hurray for a comic with a good nature doing well. Also hurray for an IDW title stepping into the spotlight. The main story for this year has been Image’s rise to match DC and Marvel, but now we’re seeing IDW push themselves into the public eye alongside their competitors. It can only be good for the comic book industry that we have strong competition at the top of the sales charts, and the early success of this title is a promising sign that readers are still interested in a diverse range of titles, from a range of different companies. IDW are surely going to be thrilled by the gigantic early sales for their new series.
Much has been made of the “Brony” culture, but just as important is the original demographic for My Little Pony: young girls and their mothers, who buy the toys and watch the TV series. There’s no way yet of knowing how exactly the IDW sales break down in terms of age or gender, but every new reader picking up the series is a new person becoming a fan of comics. If that spark of interest then flickers over to, say, Snarked, Takio, Bravest Warriors, or any other all-ages comics, then suddenly going to the comic-book store becomes a weekly fixture for new fans. And that’s without taking into account the doubtlessly huge digital interest in the series, which has not yet been measured.
My Little Pony: over 90,000 copies sold. Katie Cook: now best-selling author Katie Cook. Ponies: ruling the world.
Success all round, you guys!