John Jackson Miller, author and master number collater, alerts us to the fact that Diamond’s May 2009 comics sales charts have been released, and contain a new “Top 50 Small Press” chart.
The new element this time out is that Diamond, which began releasing a Top 50 Independents list at the end of last year, added a Top 50 Small Publishers list this time out. (Or “Small Press” — I’m not sure what they’re calling it.) The Top 50 Indies list, in practice, just wound up reiterating items in the existing Top 300, since once you remove Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse, you almost always still have 50 books left. Only one time did the 301st place item materialize in the Top 50 Indies list.
The Top 50 Small Publishers list has a few of the same items on that Top 50 Indies list — MOUSE GUARD from Archaia, SONIC from Archie — but it extends downward to capture 15 more items not in the Top 300 list, finishing with CASTLE WAITING Vol. 2, #15 from Fantagraphics at 334th place. It’s not clear what qualifies a publisher for the Small Publishers list (especially as some also make the Indies list); my guess is that they’re all publishers with dollar market shares below one percent, or something similar. I have a query in with the distributor.
Jackson has more in the link, including the main charts and some analysis, so you number junkies might want to check it out to get your weekend discussion group primed and ready to go.
This is as good a place as any to bring up the “Indie Sales Chart” that a lot of people have been asking about. Steve Horton, author of several books, comics and games, did the chart once as a test, and of course, it would be a very popular feature here, but I was concerned that indie publishers would be upset by it. It’s no secret that a pretty strong faction of folks associated with the Big Two think that the Marvel and DC Sales Charts are gradually killing periodical sales, and although I’ve never heard anyone on the retail end back up this theory, I do take it seriously enough that I wanted to make sure that running an Indie Sales Chart wasn’t going to strangle a bunch of titles in their crib.
In the end, publishers I spoke with were ambivalent about a potential chart. None of them jumped for joy at the idea, but no one thought it was the sure hoof beat of the Apocalypse, either. I felt the charts would be useful — transparency is generally a good thing, and I thought it might point out some interesting trends.
However, for now, this chart is on hold. Steve is just too busy with his freelance career for this to work out for him right now. So, we imagine a lot of creators are breathing a sigh of relief right now. As for ongoing indie sales analysis, The Mayo Report over at CBR does look at the entire top 300, and is a great addition to what Paul and Marc-Oliver do here.
So, that’s the latest on charts and what not. Back to our nap. Have a great weekend!