That’s the bad news. However, ICV2 attributes it to the fact that so many top titles were absent in November.

The top comic titles were AWOL in November, leading to a weak month over-all. Six of the top ten comics in October (Secret Invasion, Final Crisis, New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, Astonishing X-Men, and Justice League of America) had no corresponding issue in November. So it’s not surprising that the dollars of the Top 300 Comics dropped 11% in November 2008 vs. the year ago period.

Marvel’s Ultimatum #1 and DC’s Batman #681 (the final chapter in the RIP storyline) were the only two titles with sales to comic shops of over 100,000 in November, the lowest number of titles over that threshold since March. The top two titles in October were the Big Two’s event books, Secret Invasion and Final Crisis, neither of which shipped an issue in November.

Yet the report notes that “An unusually high seven titles in the top 25 sold more in November than they did of their previous issues (the corresponding number in October was two), with 12 dropping and seven new #1s.” So that’s the good news.

More: Top 300 Comics Actual–November 2008

Of some note: The #300 titles on November’s list was Oni’s WASTELAND at 2,230. In October the #300 book was UNCLE SCROOGE #380 at 4,230. This indicates that a LOT of higher-selling books didn’t ship in November, as in November Uncle Scrooge #382 ranked at #236 with 4,306 copies sold. There’s a lot of movement down below.


  1. How do the Graphic Novel sales (of which titles are constantly in flux) compare to last month?

    Ah… ICV2 will post those later today.

  2. Bill Cunningham:

    While you have a good point, I think it might be a slippery slope. If you don’t count the crossovers, then you can’t count the alternate covers. And then you have to eliminate the #1 issues, since so many people buy that just because it’s a #1. And then you eliminate the issues where a new hot writer or artist started, since people were just jumping on at that point and might not hang around.

    In other words, determining “normal” levels of sales might be hard to do.

  3. I’m getting sick of the periodicals though, really. I only get my comics once every three months or so, and for Secret Invasion and whatever, I can’t figure out which to read first. What issues coincide with the main Secret Invasion book? Same goes for Final Crisis, although I’m not getting as many of those. It’s too much of a pain, so I may just ditch them altogether. They always shoehorn these events into the regular series to bad results anyway.

  4. Crossovers and variant covers are so common nowadays, and take up so much of the year, that it’s highly questionable whether they can truly be regarded as “abnormal” so much as “seasonal.”


    Paul – I would say this pretty much disproves your assertion that the title has “leveled out” at 69K, wouldn’t you?


    Is there a point at which Marvel has to pull the plug on this? After their big Venom event or whatever it was, the book has immediately settled back into the 2nd lowest number of Amazing Spider-Man readers ever. Yeah, they’re buying it three times a month…but what happens when 66K becomes 58K or 49K?


  7. i don’t know what’s the reason behind it (one of the issues being longer than usual, perhaps?) but there are only 2 spider-man issues solicited for March ’09..

  8. MBunge –

    Paul O’Brien, with whom I actually do agree a lot of the time, asserted that around about the 63K mark would be when NuSpidey would be selling less per month than the three previous titles a month combined.

    Of course, Paul also asserted that it was unlikely that sales would sink anywhere near that low, so while his math on the first point is probably accurate, his forecast of how willing readers were to put up with a Brand NuSpidey was probably not.

  9. > Paul O’Brien, with whom I actually do agree a lot of the time, asserted that around about the 63K mark would be when NuSpidey would be selling less per month than the three previous titles a month combined.

    That was based on the “old” ASM only having shipped nine issues though – which was a direct knock-on from McNiven’s glacial pace on Civil War, rather than anything intrinsic to ASM or its’ creative team.

    And, given Dan Slott’s infamous “80k” bet (which, as far as I am aware, he welched on – please link to his “Ode” if I’m wrong), one presumes Marvel & the BND writers never expected to fall to 66k and counting…