NUMBERS GAME: October 2013

SMWW-Cv1-B-WW-93ccaThe Overall Top 10

  1. The Walking Dead #115 (310,584)
  2. Batman #24 (124,652)
  3. Infinity #4 (113,003)
  4. Forever Evil #2 (112,944)
  5. Infinity #5 (106,567)
  6. Justice League #24 (98,491)
  7. Superman/Wonder Woman #1 (94,859)
  8. Sandman Overture #1 (93,301)
  9. Superior Spider-Man #20 (85,309)
  10. Superior Spider-Man #19 (83,671)

October 2013 was a good month for comics, but most importantly this month saw the highest dollar volume for retailer orders since Diamond became the exclusive distributor, a great statistic illustrating how strong the market currently is. Marvel and DC continue their battle for market share, with Marvel squeaking out a small victory in overall units, but losing in overall dollars. It’s interesting to note that despite the fact that DC gained a narrow victory in overall dollars, they had more than 10 more books than Marvel in the top 300 overall, including the high profile launch of Superman/Wonder Woman. The vast majority of DC’s sales went back to normal after their Villain’s Month takeover, save for…

CTW_Cv24_k6c4kqqovc_Catwoman, converted criminal.

Catwoman #23 – (24,262)
Catwoman #24 – (35,134)

Catwoman is a middle of the pack DC title that gets a boost from being part of the Batman family. As a (somewhat) reformed villain, she didn’t earn her own title during Villain’s Month, and instead was part of a Batman book. But how does a title that takes a month off wind up with sales more than 10,000 copies higher for the next issue? The answer is the daughter of the biggest Bat-villain ever, The Joker. While it’s doubtful it will maintain these sales over the long haul, there is no question that the interest in Joker’s Daughter helped this book sales-wise, and should help Catwoman maintain similar sales levels as long as Joker’s Daughter appears in the title.

Sandman-Overture-CV1_SOLICIT_sxvqsdoynu_The Gaiman effect.

Sandman Overture #1 – 93,301

Guardians of the Galaxy #5 – 110,372 (July 2013)
Guardians of the Galaxy #6 – 69,030 (September 2013)
Guardians of the Galaxy #7 – 68,647 (October 2013)
Guardians of the Galaxy #8 – 63,494 (October 2013)

Neil Gaiman is a great writer and many people were turned on to comics based on the success of his Sandman run for Vertigo. After a lengthy time away from the character, Gaiman returns to write a new mini-series, and as expected, the demand is high. Over at Marvel, when he brought his character Angela to the Guardians of the Galaxy, the demand was high for that as well, the biggest difference is that he was simply credited as a story consultant on Guardians of the Galaxy and that book immediately returned to numbers similar to where it was before. Sandman Overture will certainly experience a drop in sales, but being a mini-series should certainly help to ensure strong numbers throughout. Gaiman’s name carries a lot of weight in the comic book world, but never more than when it is attached to Sandman.

MIGHTAVN2013002-DC11-LR-93125The Mighty has fallen.

Mighty Avengers #1 – 101,921
Mighty Avengers #2 – 54,862

Crossovers bring forth new titles, as it’s always one of the easiest ways for a company to introduce a new book and give it some setup. The Mighty Avengers is a team cobbled together during Infinity, and the sales of issue #1 certainly show interest in it being a part of that crossover. While the sales for issue #2 are not bad, the almost 50% drop between issues is quite massive. Despite the fact that Mighty Avengers #2 is still an Infinity tie-in, the interest in the book isn’t there, and I think that much of that can be attributed to the team that the book is comprised of. As a general rule, comic fans like their teams to be relatively stable, with the same heroes as a part of the team. Captain America will always be an Avenger. Luke Cage, despite having been one for a long time, will never be truly associated with the Avengers. As it stands currently, Mighty Avengers simply seems like a way to put a bunch of characters together that they want to use, but don’t really have a good place for them (and put Superior Spider-Man on a team).

walking-dead-cover-115Walking into history.

The Walking Dead #114 – 70,440
The Walking Dead #115 – 310,584

The Walking Dead comics always have a sales spike when the new season premieres on television, and this issue is no exception. The Walking Dead #115 currently has the most copies sold in a single month and will almost certainly be in the top 2 highest selling comics of the year (It may get nudged out by Justice League of America #1). Celebrating its tenth anniversary with the start of the ‘All Out War’ storyline, The Walking Dead proves how much comics have to offer. While many titles see waning interest after 10 years (Spawn anyone?), The Walking Dead is still shambling along as popular as ever. Though not quite as hot as issue #100, it’s still great to see an independent comic book even in the conversation for highest selling book of the year, a worthy tribute to a fantastic series.

ALWArchie1FFvarZombies! Zombies everywhere!

Afterlife With Archie #1 – 41,533
Life With Archie #42 – 2,182

Archie doesn’t seem like the kind of company that goes bandwagon hopping, but with Afterlife With Archie, they’ve added zombies to the mix with America’s favorite teenagers. Life With Archie provides a more realistic view of the characters, and while much of Archie Comics’ sales still has to be attributed to the newsstand, it lacks a massive following in the direct market. Afterlife With Archie has proven to be a hit in the direct market, selling 20x what Life With Archie does. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the book is well written and drawn, and realistically (as much as that can apply with zombies) introduces the concept to the Archie universe. I’m not sure how it will fare as a regular series, but it is certainly a step in the right direction for a company that hasn’t gained a lot of traction through the direct market.

 

Special thanks to Comichron for having more stats than any comic fan can imagine!

 

 

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