Ms Marvel Volume 1

John Jackson Miller’s preliminary October sales analysis is up and the month was a Doozy. In my earlier piece I didn’t not that sales were up substantially, and it was a five week to five week comparison.

Comichron projects the comic shop market will complete the year with orders totaling around $535-540 million; the smaller figure is reached if November and December are completely flat, the larger if sales are up 5%. Either one would bring the year-to-year increase to around 4%, the smallest year-to-year gain of the three up years. “Gravy Day” — the point after which any new sales are an increase over last year’s sum — should fall in the second week of December this year.

Back to October, that $56.09 million figure remains impressive; it is more than double the $27.9 million sold exactly 10 years earlier in October 2004. That was a four-week month back then — and there is far more material available for ordering today. But it should be apparent that inflation alone does not account for the increase in sales. The market has grown larger. Is it because of demographic changes (as the graphic-novel chart-topping title this month, Ms. Marvel, might suggest), because existing customers are simply able to buy more, because digital and movies have expanded readership, or simply because of a change in the number of accounts? I suspect there’s something of all of these in the answer (along with the much larger number of graphic novels available now, and the sales charts alone don’t tell us for sure.



  1. I’m not completely sure, but I believe the average DC and Marvel prices in 2004 were $2.25 to $2.75 as compared with today’s 3.99 to 4.99 pricing. Right off the top that feels like a pretty decent amount of inflation. Couple that with more product and publisher sales gimicks.( Making books returnable or free to retailers or offering larger discounts or incentives if retailers base their orders on numbers of other titles previously purchased.) and it seems hard to make an accurate statement concerning the reasons for the increased dollars without more detailed analysis. I guess, it’s because I work in engineering that I think this way.
    One thing I personally can state is that there are more entertaining titles to pick from nowadays, than there were ten years ago!

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