After a day of rest, we’re back to everyone’s favorite topic. Sales Charts! Crazy ass mofo that we are, we prefer to get nuts with actual data as opposed to making snide remarks to back up our own biases, so let’s begin! We had actually meant to dig up Diamond’s graphic novel bestseller list from 2006, but one of our correspondents helpfully dug it up for us. We’ve taken the top 25 books and highlighted the superhero titles, as before. (Click for larger version.)
8 of the top 25 books are superhero. (V for Vendetta is in a grey area, but we’re going with dystopic sci-fi.) The rest are genre heavy, but basically dominated by popular writers: Brian K. Vaughan, Robert Kirkman, Joss Whedon, Alan Moore. People can’t get enough of these guys! Sign them up! The complete lack of manga speaks for itself, of course, but that’s an entirely different matter.
We linked to a post on Tom Brevoort’s blog a while ago where he looked at Marvel sales charts from 1990 (when the average comic sold a more than they do now in the direct sales market) and was surprised to see the diversity in titles. John Jackson Miller’s Comichron site has US mail sales figures and other data for comics, and CBG has more data, but but regrettably sales from the 70s and 80s are still not readily available.
Not here’s where we speculate to back up our own biases: It’s a given that comics sales dipped to all time lows in the period of about 1996-1999 following the distributor war debacle. This is also the period in which sueprhero comics dominated the market as never before.
It would be interesting to plot comics sales against the diversity of the titles available for the last few decades, if such a thing could be done. We think a decent case could be made that years when the comics industry becomes superhero centric are the years in which the fewest comics sell, and the sales and diversity graph would coincide vairly closely.
To us it seems like a no brainer…but what do YOU think?