Welcome to my 12th and final month as your guide through Marvel’s sales numbers. Due to some career changes and advancements that my family and I have made, I can no longer write these articles. It has been fun and a great learning experience, and I thank you for joining me. But enough about me, let’s look at the monthly breakdown.
Wow! So that is a lot of AXIS, Spider-Verse, and Death of Wolverine coming out this month. Spider-Verse topped the charts this month, with Axis and some new debuts close behind, but I can’t help but wonder if these events are starting to cannibalize each other’s sales a bit. AXIS seems to be underperforming a bit, and I wonder if people are just getting tired of event after event.
BY JASON ENRIGHT — Hello Sales Chart Analyzers! In October, there were a lot of books. So to start, let’s break down the numbers a bit. An interesting trend to look at this month is how variant numbers affect the sales. Several titles benefitted from being included in one or more of Marvel’s themed variant programs this month. In October, Marvel had 3 variant themes, the Anti-Bullying variants, Deadpool 75th anniversary variants and Hasbro toy variants. Many of these issues were in the middle of an arc and normally would have suffered standard attrition of -1 to -3%, but due to these variant programs they got a nice +3 to +5% sales boost. Variants are one of many incentive programs that companies use to boost sales. Recently Marvel and DC have been doing these themed variants across multiple books and they definitely seem to be working. Whether or not, they are actually good for comic sales in the long term is another question entirely. What do you think of variants? Let’s discuss it in the comments below. For now let’s dive into the numbers.
By Jason Enright
Hi everyone! My name is Jason Enright and I am going to be analyzing the Marvel sales charts for you. I have a background as a comic book retailer and now a comic book marketing specialist. As we go along I’ll be adding in my thoughts as to why we may be seeing these numbers and what they tell me as a fan, retailer, and marketing guy.
A few things to keep in mind about these charts:
1. The direct market (comic book shops that order through Diamond) does not track sell-through. So these numbers don’t represent what actually sold, but instead represent what retailers ordered. A book can get high orders and sit on the shelf (which often leads to lower orders in later months) and a book can be under-ordered and sell out (see Black Widow further down this chart). These numbers are what retailers estimated would sell in their shops.
2. We currently don’t have any digital sales data so this is only a look at what is selling in stores. Until we somehow convince Marvel and all the other publishers to release their digital sales numbers, we have no clue how well most of these books are really doing, as digital is a very quickly growing marketplace which sees a lot of new first-time comic readers.
Still up and about, with only minimal cramp and voice loss, yesterday I got into the convention floor for an hour of joyous, horrifying, nicely-carpeted comics browsing. And then I realised where Artists Alley was and went there instead.