angelophile: (Kitty & Lockheed)
ICv2 have now posted the estimated sales figures for July.

Bad news for fans of Runaways, but before that...

For the second month running, sales appear to be up, which gives a positive indication that the market has indeed bottomed out and is finding its level. Captain America Reborn was the big winner, with sales of 193k. That's a decent total and the first comic topping the charts to get near the 200k mark for a while. Blackest Night does well, with DC's event picking up seven of the top spots. It ties with Dark Reign, which picks up another seven.

On Amazing Spider-man, only two issues shipped this month and the issue 600 anniversary issue picks up sales of 116k while #599 72k, so well ahead of the magic figure this month. Again, its whether any of those readers stick around which is going to be telling.

Now on to the titles I've been tracking:

Read more... )
angelophile: (Blackadder magnifying glass)
ICv2 have Diamond's estimated comic sales for June up, which means it's time for analysis again. It's rolled around quickly. At some point I might even finish writing up the reviews for comics I've actually been reading.

Just before we start on the floppies, a quick glance at the Trades and Graphic Novels chart reveals that returns from the Watchmen consignment program outweighed new sales, leaving Watchmen off the Top 300 Graphic Novel list. It seems that in addition to the movie flopping, DC are seeing a lot of returns of the graphic novel, which was reprinted in bulk, expected to fly off the shelves with a successful movie behind it. I guess Watchmen is the new Tank Girl.

In general it's been swings and roundabouts. While, after last month's slide, there's a recovery on dollar sales (up 6% on this time last year) in the comics market, trades are a massive 35% down. It seems like retailers aren't prepared to splash out on expensive editions which may sit gathering dust until someone wants them.

Now onto individual titles. Runaways readers be warned. )
angelophile: (Spiderman is watching you masturbate)

I only just realized that Diamond's estimated sales figures were released while I was away on holiday and I missed them. Which makes this month's rundown a little late. So I'll be skimming through more briefly than normal. New Mutants debuts this month, so it'll be interesting to see how that does.

May saw a huge crash in the comics market, down 19% on this time last year. Despite staying ahead so far this year, that sudden and major downturn's attributed to both the lack of huge "name" titles hitting the streets this month, but also the rising cover prices seeing a large number of people deciding that an increased financial drag isn't justified in the current financial times.

Not one title broke the 100k mark and that's a bad sign that will most likely see the big two cutting back. In the long term it's likely to see more of those big flashy crossovers to pull people in, rather than focusing on smaller books, and also (and perhaps wisely) less obscure spin-offs.

Speaking of spin-offs, last time I mentioned Wolverine: Weapon X debuting at #3 with sales of 98k. The second issue sees a huge drop off, down to 59k. That's kinda steep for a second issue drop, but understandable if sales are dropping across the board. It'll be interesting to see if it levels out, however. Ahead of it, the parent Wolverine title shipped #92 and #93 to sales of 87k and 83k respectively.

Read more... )

angelophile: (Doctor Who - Malcolm)

The estimated sales figures for April have been released. Again I'll be looking at a few of the ongoing Marvel titles (since that's all I'm reading at the moment) to see what trends there are for those titles.

First off, looking at the top five, there's a new arrival at number 3 - namely the first issue of Wolverine: Weapon X. I didn't think there was the market for a third Wolverine ongoing but apparently I have egg on my face there. Debuting at 98k the title's probably been helped by the Wolverine movie coming out in April, but even so, colour me surprised. It'll be interesting to see how big the second issue drop is and if all three Wolverine ongoings stay healthy(ish in the case of Origins). Apparently the market for Sniktbub isn't as saturated as I thought.

Read more... )

angelophile: (Death's Head - Just Business)

The estimated sales figures for March have been released, so I'll do my usual thing of looking at a few of the ongoing Marvel titles (since that's all I'm reading at the moment) to see what trends there are for those titles. As usual, note that as usual, they're just based on domestic estimates and don't include any sales outside of the Diamond channel such as newstands, book stores or overseas markets.

One thing to note, before we start looking at the regular titles, is that top five with Wolverine weighing in at number 4, ahead of Uncanny X-men at number 6. Millar's "alternative future" run on Wolverine might be suffering from the usual Millar scheduling but it's been consistently edging out the main X-men titles, which is worth a mention. Apparently the choice not to schedule this story as a stand-alone mini-series was the right one, in terms of sales. Although I suppose it would have given them a chance to shift another Wolverine title in a month. It'll be interesting what happens when the next creative team start on the book - amusingly before Millar's final issue comes out, meaning that issue #73 will be released before #72. Fun.

Read more... )

angelophile: (Emma Frost - Cheesecake)

February's comic sales figures have been released in estimated form. This may differ from the final Diamond sales charts, but they're normally in the same ballpark, so I'll take a peek.

The general downward trend continues, but for some of the titles I've been tracking, the decline is... extreme. It's not unusual to see drops of 5% as the recession starts to bite hard, but some titles are well above that. Interestingly, the line wide Ultimate universe crossover seems to be paying off in the short term (Ultimate Spider-man's rock steady, Ultimate Fantastic Four's jumped 9% in sales) but those are the exceptions.

Read more... )

angelophile: (Toy Story Aliens - OOoooooooh!)

Month to month comparisons for Marvel's sales are up again, so time to take a quick peek and see just where things stand. Obviously the latter end of 2008 saw a decline in sales as economic troubles started to bite at people's pockets. However, some titles have held steadier than others and 2008 still only saw a slight decline in market sales over all, although individual titles may have dipped. However, across the month of January, sales were down again across the board about 9% in all.

Read more... )

angelophile: (Death's Head - Just Business)

A couple of months ago I did a blog on comic sales, particularly the sales of the X-men line. Looking at the sales figures of November and (the top 10 in) December, let's see if there's been any turn arounds.

Young X-men: Well, I said in November it seemed likely this book would dip down below it's fairly steady levels under Kyle and Yost (who had actually improved sales during their run). And it seems I was right. Apparently it's cancelled after issue 12, at which point there's hints that a book starring the original New Mutants will be spinning out of X-men: Infernus. At this stage, I have to wonder whether the young X-men concept is dead in the water. It shouldn't be. There should be a market for young characters, but Marvel don't seem to be able to get it right. Or when they do and have a book that sells steadily, if not groundbreakingly, they mess with the format because they want more. Maybe eventually they'll twig that a young X-men book is never going to match the sales of Uncanny and the others.

Uncanny X-Men: Speaking of which... As I said, pre-Messiah Complex, sales were around 80-90k. Last time I mentioned it, sales were around the 82k mark. I consider Fraction's writing on this title to be unforgivably awful and given the 5,000 readers who ditched this book since then, apparently I'm not alone. Sales are at 77k and still sliding. That's pretty much the worst level Uncanny X-men has been at since... um... well, the sales became trackable in 2003 and they haven't dipped to 77k in all that time. Marvel's flagship X-men title is bombing. Ouch.

EDIT: I checked further. There's figures going back to 1996. And the November sales figures on Uncanny are the lowest ever for that book. Congratulations Fraction.

Astonishing X-men is on a sabatical, so no way of telling how that's doing.

X-Factor continues to slide. A fact that Peter David seems well aware of and he recently publicly recognised that the book had lost its way and vowed to do something about it. Certainly sales have dropped considerably since Messiah Complex. From averaging around the 40k mark, taking a jump around issue 25 and before down to half that now. In fact, it's dropped from 44k down to 35k in the space of two issues. That's worrying. I think the horrible art over recent issues hasn't helped, but is there any way David's gonna be able to tempt readers back to this book now? I'm not sure. I think the slide has been allowed to go on for too long now. A year of indifferent storytelling means it's gonna be hard to spark people's interest again. But David's set out his stall to turn things around, so let's see how he does with that.

X-men: Legacy - Back when it was plain old Adjectiveless X-men, it was selling a steady 85k and occasionally jumping up to the 100k+ mark for crossovers. Now it's a Professor X solo title. Sales of 65k have slid further, to 63k. Not a huge drop, but taking into account that the last couple of issues have seen boosts from a crossover with Wolverine: Origins, the book is on rocky ground. Something Marvel and Carey are apparently aware of as they keep making vague comments about a new direction on the cards. I'm one of the drops as I just couldn't be bothered picking this book up again after the crossover, especially with the Juggernaut issue. A serious misjudgement on the part of the editorial team, I think. Uncanny and Astonishing remain team books, but, along with Carey, they've insisted on using Emma, Scott, Hank and other characters over and over, while other favourites are shuffled into limbo or obscure spin offs. The brave new direction has resulted in a major drop in sales for what should be core titles.

Captain Britain & MI-13: Sales have slipped further, down to 22,000, which officially puts this book in trouble. It's solicited through to, I think, issue 15. But I can't see it going beyond that unless there's a major turn around. I honestly can't understand it. The book's a joy to read, yet it's dropped half its readers since the first issue. There's no justice. I guess the book needs more "star power" in terms of characters that it has. It's the only explanation I can think of, because it's certainly not down to the quality of the writing or art. That said, the book's probably selling well in the UK, but those figures aren't included in this chart. But still...

X-Force is a book I'm not reading, but was one of the few success stories of the post-Messiah Complex relaunches. However, it's dropped 8k in two months and is now down to 57k. Still better than a lot of X-titles, but the drops don't speak well for the book making it beyond issue 18 or so.

Elsewhere in Marvel, and amongst the books I'm reading, Daredevil's holding steady at its regular level of around 40k+. Runaways has slipped from Whedon's lamentable run, but is pretty much at the levels the book held steady at during Vaughan's run and actually up on the first run. New Warriors slumped to 17k and is already axed. A shame, as there was potentially a good book here. But it never emerged. Most disappointing is Incredible Hercules, which is now only just above X-Factor, having slid from its initial sales levels of between 45k and 55k down to 35k. I can't see why, as the book's as good as ever and the 17% drop between the last two issues is hard to explain.

Anyway, as far as the X-titles go, expect a major relaunch soon. There's no way they'll let those sales figures continue to slide.

angelophile: (Columbo - Just one more thing)

Just browsing the Marvel and DC month to month sales figures, after the announcement of Blue Beetle being cancelled. I was curious what level it was cancelled at and glancing at the figures, I see they've dropped to 12,000 a month. That's significantly low, even by DC standards (who, with their Warner Brothers backing are able to run to lower figures than independent Marvel, whose cut off is usually about twice that.)

So, hardly a surprise to see it cancelled, even though it's a popular title on [ profile] scans_daily. I picked up the first trade and enjoyed it well enough, but it never clicked enough for me to continue reading regularly. I'm surprised, though, as the character will be a major player in the new DC Brave and the Bold cartoon. But then, I guess, that's no guarantee.

Browsing through the Marvel charts, it's now got to the point where it's possible to judge the effect of the line-wide X-men relaunches from a few months ago.

And it's not good. When the relaunches came into effect, I gave each of the titles a try for a few issues, but now X-force, Uncanny X-men have both been dropped and X-Factor is hovering on the drop list. X-men Legacy has been dropped for a couple of issues while there's a crossover with Wolverine. And it seems like I'm not alone.

Of course, to judge the figures fairly you have to go back to pre-Messiah Complex levels. Currently, the figures show a few things:

Pre-Messiah Complex, New X-men was pretty steady, with sales figures actually rising from around the 40,000 mark, up to about 50,000 during the Magik storyline and people stuck around afterward for the few issues before MC kicked in. The book was cancelled and relaunched as Young X-men. After an initial boost for issue 1, issue 6 was down to sales of 38,000 with a variant cover. Chances are this has dipped below even the pre-Magik levels. Hard to see this as anything other than a failure.

On the other hand, Marvel did launch the X-Force title with the writers from New X-men and some of the same characters and it seems to be surprisingly successful giving it extreeeeeeeme nineties stylings. Sales are sliding, but still around the 65,000 mark. Personally, I gave up on this title, even though I enjoyed the writers and almost stuck around for Cho's artwork, but this was simply trying too hard to be grim and gritty.

Then there's Uncanny X-men, the flagship title. Pre-MC sales were around 80-90k and issue. Post, and after a boost from an anniversary issue 500, they're down to 82k and, if others are following my example, they're likely to drop lower. Personally, I consider Fraction's run to be the worst run while I've been reading, worse even than Chuck Austen, and it's hard to see this as anything other than a flop as a relaunch.

Then there's Adjectiveless X-men, relaunched post MC as X-men Legacy - essentially a Professor X solo title with guest stars. Now, there's no secret of my considering Carey to be the best X-men writer for quite some time, but even I've struggled with this book. I don't care enough about Professor X to churn through this every month. I can't imagine that the crossover with Wolverine Origins will do much to halt a steady decline - the book's dropped from 85k as a team book to 65k and I can't see how they're gonna pull readers back on board without a big relaunch. Carey got the short end of the stick here. And as a relaunch, this has been nothing less than abysmal.

X-Factor's a book that's been crippled by the relaunches, losing a chunk of the cast, a status quo that seems to change every month and dragged into crossovers that do little to ensure the stability of the book, along with an artist who's soundly hated. As such, it's down 10k on previous levels, down to 44k. Not cancellation level yet, but something needs to be done to stop the rot. Personally I think this book has lost its way. Maybe David can turn it around, but I forsee cancellation in the new year unless something significant happens.

Astonishing X-men's seen another drop since the relaunch, but that's hardly surprising. Ellis isn't as big a draw as Whedon, although the book's still doing well, down from 105k for Whedon's last issue to 95k. I wonder how it might have done with an artist who was a bigger draw, but not too bad. A new creative team was a necessity for this title, rather than a choice to try and boost sales, so this could be seen as a success for retaining much of the readership.

Captain Britain and MI:13 is a disappointment for me. Personally I'd have wanted it to be up significantly on sales for the New Excalibur series it replaces - it deserves to be. But sales are pretty much identical as the book's slid to around 32k, only slightly higher than the level New Excalibur was holding steady at. It could be that the title's going against it, making it sound more like a solo title than a team book. Either way, I'd hoped the book would do better with the great word of mouth. But it's not really surprising.

Looking at these figures it's hard to see the relaunch of the X-men line as a success. While they've been able to launch some successful titles, such as Deadpool and X-Force off the back of it, there's been a decline in one of the main titles and the flagship title is slipping as well. With another X-men event apparently on the horizon, I wonder whether plans will now be changed to once again significantly reboot the X-men universe. In my opinion, they need to. I've gone from thinking the titles were the best they've been in years pre-MC and during to disinterest or active dislike after. And it seems like I'm not the only reader to think the same.

July 2013


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