The September sales estimates are out. DC had jumps across the board for their Zero Month promotion, so the retailers certainly responded to that. Marvel, on the other hand… well, when they say they’re not broken and they don’t have to reboot, you really have to ask if their non-AVX sales are broken when you look at the sales chart.
Looking at the September estimates at The Comics Chronicles, AVX still rules the roost with 167,327 estimated copies for #11… and then the bottom drops out. The next highest title is Uncanny X-Men with 59,794. From the best selling Marvel to the second best selling Marvel is a drop of over 100K. That is just amazing.
Here’s the sales bands for Marvel books.
And for DC
So prior to Marvel Now! (a decompressed relaunch), the typical Marvel comic was selling 20-39K. Nothing broke 60K except for the Event series. Yes, clearly something needed to be done.
DC’s zero issues were up across the board, but you can still see the weight of gravity pulling their bands down and they’re certainly bottom heavy these days, even if the distribution is a little more even than Marvel. On the plus side, Batman #0 was estimated at 156,561 copies. That’s a big bump and Batman and his sundry titles is pretty clearly the primary franchise over at DC right now.
DC launched a new wave of titles in September:
- Talon – 53,722 copies
- Phantom Stranger – 36,093
- Team 7 – 31,053
- Sword of Sorcery – 26,959
Of that bunch, Talon is the only really strong launch — it’s a Bat-title, so you’d expect that. If you figure a title will typically drop 25% with issue 2 and another 10% with issue 3, that would put Sword of Sorcery at 18,197 by issue three and DC seems to have a more critical eye on titles selling under 20K, so that’s a title that really needs to hold onto its readers.
On the indie side of things, Walking Dead seems to like life on the high side of the 50K barrier clocking in at 53,337 as Kirkman continues his reign as king of the indie creators. Happy by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson had a very healthy debut with 32,977 copies.
Indie comics sales bands:
- 20K+: 6
- 10K – 19K: 42
The independent publishers are really starting to slide into the lower ranges of DC and Marvel sales.
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.