Johanna does the heavy lifting of checking out the postal statements in some Archie comics. You can see the whole list in the link, but the best seller is Archie’s Double Digest #185 with 104,056. That’s less than Archies used to sell, at least anecdotally. We would love to find the actual figures. John Jackson Miller has some 60s sales figures up which show, for instance, Archie’s Madhouse selling 209,897 copies. It’s pointless to compare 60s sales to now, however; surely someone else has been compiling those postal records over the years?

UPDATE: Well ask and ye shall receive: Johanna runs down several sources of more recent Archie sales figures via postal statements, including this marvelously titled thread from Usenet, c. 2001 reporting on figures from 1997:

Comic Books, R.I.P.?:

JUGHEAD DOUBLE DIGEST
Total Paid Circulation (average past 12 months): 106,257
Total Paid Circulation (most recent issue): 114,769

BETTY & VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST
Total Paid Circulation (average past 12 months): 140,086
Total Paid Circulation (most recent issue): 144,000

Steve Rowe posted a more recent sales figure to Comicon.com in April
(presumably for 2000)

ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST
Total Paid Circulation (average past 12 months): 143,250
Total Paid Circulation (most recent issue): 155,437

According to the Archie website (www.archiecomics.com

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1 COMMENT

  1. I used to love that digest format. Lots to read, easy to carry. As a kid/teen in the 60’s and early 70’s, I read the Dennis The Menace digests, Walt Disney digests, and if memory serves right, Gold Key digests (?)

  2. gee, it sure is odd to see oneself quoted –
    my files are in disarray, but i see
    Archie (1983) 69, 697
    (84) 64, 781
    (91) 45, 960
    (92) 47, 530
    (93) 44, 547

    I recall the digests being at one point in the 300,000 – but obviously that is further back than I thought it was.
    How are Heavy Metal’s sales?