Tireless John Jackson Miller, ever busy peering thrugh the tomes of years past for nuggets of information, find some circulation information from 1959 on what various comics publishers sold per month:
Here’s what the 1960 edition has, which means the numbers are coming likely from the end of 1959:
American Comics Group • 650,000 copies monthly
American Romance Group • 325,000 copies monthly
Archie • 3,216,979 copies bimonthly
Charlton • 5,000,000 copies bimonthly
Dell • 9,686,424 copies monthly
Dennis the Menace • no figures cited
Harvey • 5,029,759 copies bimonthly
Marvel • 2,253,112 copies monthly
National (DC) • 6,653,485 copies monthly
We’d caution against drawing too many conclusions about current comics based on any of this, BTW — not too many businesses have the same dynamics that they did 50 years ago, after all. However it does prove, once again, that comics once sold a heck of a lot of copies in these here United States.
Although Miller cautions that Fawcett is among the publishers missing from the listing, it is an interesting note that DC was such a strong publisher at the time. Superheroes were not the dominant genre at the time — but they did hold their own, as other figures from Miller’s site show.