By Todd Allen
All praise Great Kirkman. Yes, once again, Kirkman has done the highly improbable. Oh, sure… we’d been hearing about Walking Dead #100 selling 383,612 copies. This is an excellent opportunity to compare the estimates with the number that’s being floated. The July estimates have come out at The Comics Chronicles and here’s what they say:
Walking Dead#100 (regular) = 335,082
Walking Dead #100 (chromium) = 30,969
That gives us a total of 366,051 estimated copies. If the actual number is 383,612, that means the estimates are under-reporting by a little over 5%. If the 383,612 number being floated was NOT supposed to include the chromium edition, then it would be under-reporting by about 12.6%. I’ve always said the estimates ought to fluctuate between 10-15% low in most cases. This can be thrown off by heavy re-orders (which isn’t always possible), and #100 was announced as a sellout, so there is that tying it down, but there’s our spot check on accuracy. If you figure the chromium was a separate figure, then it’s right where it normally ought to be. If not, it was only 5% off — which is very accurate for an estimate.
That said, what are we seeing? Walking Dead paid for Kirkman’s and Adlard’s early retirement this month. (Just kidding… probably…) AVX looks to have peaked last month and is *slightly* down in July, but still the best selling thing Marvel has publishing in a few years. Before Watchmen has a good drop in month #2. The Ozymandius #1 is tops at 88K. At the bottom of that spectrum is the second Silk Spectre issue at 61,563. That’s a bit more of a drop than you’d like to see.
Marvel’s top non-mini-series is Uncanny X-Men with 66,114 — yes, back down under 70K. The top non-cross-over book is Amazing Spider-Man at 59,859.
DC seems to be having a little slippage below the Batman/Justice League line, too. Tell you what. Let’s do a little title count by sales level for DC and Marvel, broken down by 10K bands (i.e. 60K = estimated sales from 60K to 69,999)
DC Marvel 100k+ 2 2 90K 0 0 80K 1 1 70K 3 0 60K 6 7 50K 3 3 40K 7 7 30K 8 19 20K 14 18 10K 23 7
Now, figure that 60K band for Marvel is Event crossovers and could easily down into the 50K band with the Event and that’s something to keep an eye on. With DC, you’ve got Before Watchmen sprinkled in the 80s-60s range, but gravity seems to be setting in and pulling the line average down. Marvel has a lot of books selling in the 30ks and 20Ks. DC has clusters in the 20Ks and the 10Ks (teens, if you prefer). With the 10Ks, you see a mingling of Vertigo with the lower regions of The New 52.
I’m looking at this and thinking that maybe 40K isn’t a mid-tier book anymore. That might be the end of the top list.
What’s the best selling non-Kirkman indie? Saga at an estimated 40,556. Next highest selling non-Kirkman book? Bloodshot #1 at 29,224.
Other notable debuts:
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: 27,665
- Adventure Time Marceline Scream Queens: 21,182
- Crow: 18,689
- Revival: 18,039
- Space Punisher: 17,446
- Infernal Man-Thing: 17,132
- Wonderland: 16,909
- Danger Girl G.I. Joe: 16,649
- Chew Secret Agent Poyo: 15,982
- Punk Rock Jesus: 14,571
I’m increasingly uncomfortable with all the clustering of sales between 10K and 30K. On the other hand, you can always count on Kirkman to give the market a big bump. Figure the 30K of his $9.99 chromium edition of Walking Dead #100 is really like dropping 100K copies of a $2.99 comic on the market. Hard to over-emphasize how a big a book that was.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.