The Mid-Market Top 10
1. (21) The Walking Dead #108 (67,423)
2. (33) Saga #11 (50,023)
3. (35) East of West #1 (49,518)
4. (44) Star Wars #3 (45,522)
5. (55) My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #4 (41,541)
6. (65) My Little Pony Friendship is Magic #5 (36,354)
7. (78) Shrugged Vol. 2 #1 (30,657)
8. (91) My Little Pony Micro Series: Rainbow Dash #2 (25,473)
9. (96) Hellboy in Hell #4 (23,982)
10. (98) Sex #1 (23,630)
The Top 10 is now being appropriately title ‘The Mid-Market Top 10.’ After two straight months, there were 10 non Big-Two titles in the Top 100 of all comics sold and 4 in the Top 50. Image Comics continues its strong presence on the charts, and should feel even better that the two #1 issues in the Top 100 are ongoings (East of West and Sex).
March marks the fourth straight month that The Walking Dead is the best selling Mid-Market comic. It’s no surprise at this point, but it will be interesting to see if the growth can continue during the television show’s off season, after a ho-hum season finale.
East of West scores big
East of West #1 – 49,518
A not so huge surprise for Image and Jonathan Hickman is the success of East of West. Hickman’s name has become one of the hottest in comics after being put into the spotlight with his Avengers books and recent Marvel success. The book was also a critical darling, scoring an average of 9.1 with critics and even managing a perfect 10 from Comicosity.
Just to show how quickly his stock as risen in the past year, in March 2012 Hickman put out issue #1 of The Manhattan Projects and it only sold 17,955.
Peter Panzerfaust breaks the barrier
Issue #10 – 10,989 (+146%)
Issue #9 – 4,456 (-0.5%)
Issue #1 – 4,481
One of the best stories of the year for comics. Strong word of mouth and a never say die attitude from the series creator, Kurtis Wiebe, has finally paid off and the series is on a very strong uptick. Enough can’t be said about Wiebe, who did everything in his power to promote the comic through podcasts, advanced reviews, and interviews for any site who requested it.
Don’t expect sales to go down anytime soon, as the recent motion comic announcement — which will feature voice work by Elijah Wood and Ron Perlman — will keep Peter Panzerfaust in the forefront for quite a while.
A Titan of Industry practically gone
March 2013 – 16,355 (+0.07)
March 2012 – 16,343 (-22%)
March 2008 – 21,098 (-49%)
March 2003 – 41,491 (-68%)
March 1998 – 131,783
The comic book industry is a far different place now than it was in the 90’s. Some may argue that we are seeing a few 90’s trends sneak back (I’m looking at you variant covers!), but one character that was a former pillar of the comic book sales world is now a minor blip on the radar.
Sales have pretty much plateaued in the past few years, but no franchise in recent memory has suffered the dramatic drop off that Spawn has gone through (although a case could be made for the Ultimate Universe’s collapse of the 2000’s as competition). To put it in perspective a little bit more, the stats for 1998 are when the book was 6 years old. Spawn was a Top 10, 100k+ book for almost a decade, which is basically unheard of in this day and age.
There are plenty of reasons why the collapse in numbers occurred — namely the book has been almost unreadable for years and the talent that was put on the book has not done much to create any excitement for the title. Things are slowly starting to come around for Spawn though, as the return of Todd Mcfarlane for covers and creative input has helped the book gain word of mouth. The recent homage covers have gotten plenty of attention as well.
As a kid who came into this hobby in the 90’s, I can only hope this title regains some form of its previous success — however long that may take.
Special thanks to Comichron for having more stats than any comic fan can imagine!