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Semper Finance

Well, lookie at what came skittering across my desk today.  It's Diamond's list of how many copies the top 300 comic books sold.

I love sales charts, and I can parse the video game ones with the best of them.  I never knew one existed for Diamond.  This is new to me, but it is fascinating because of what it portends.

Okay, before the big 90's explosion the created Image, you had comics achieving sales of a million copies.  X-Men #1 holds the record for biggest sales in history with 6 million copies moved.  Long before that, if your comic sold 125,000 copies, you were considered Big Time.  So, using this as a refractor, what do we learn about the comic biz?

They are in some seriously hot water.

The number one seller for December was Blackest Night #6.  It clocked in with 100,651 copies sold.  Holy crap, d00d!

#2 is Green Lantern #49 with 97,285.  #3 is the first appearance of a Marvel book, Captain America Reborn #5, with 91,790.

The first book not from the Big Two is the Willow (from Buffy, not George Lucas) one-shot from Dark Horse.  #38 with 45,136 copies moved.  You don't find your next book not published by the Big Two until you reach #76.  Image's Haunt #3 moved 28,390 units.  Image United #2, the massive project with all the Image artists drawing their own characters in each book, lands at #79 with 27,469.  Oh, how things have changed....

Archie #604 is on the list.  #83, 25,058.  I didn't know it sold that much.  Power Girl is at #95 with 22,533.

The rumored cut-off point, where Marvel will sack an ongoing title, is somewhere around 18-20K.  X-Men Forever, the much ballyhooed Chris Claremont alternate timeline, is hovering between 18 and 19K each.  Black Panther and War Machine are limboing under the bar.  Star Wars makes its first appearance on the list at #137, 15,445 copies moved.  Dark Horse spent a LOT of money to hold on to that license, this does not bode well.  Chew, the Image title that Vertigo passed on and supposedly regrets, is getting a movie version greenlit.  However, it is on the list at 156 (12,902).  The only other Archie titles I see on the list are Sonic The Hedgehog (#202, 8,198) and Sonic Universe (#230, 6,697).  Tiny Titans by Chicago talent Art Balthazar (a really swell guy, if you get a chance to meet him, buy his Patrick The Wolf Boy books) is at #206 with 8,017 (the young readers line seems to have more leeway as far as sale, so hopefully, his gig is safe).

The first appearance of a Star Trek title is at #233, where Deep Space 9 -- Fool's Gold moved 6,623 copies.  Beasts Of Burden, a Dark Horse series I rather like by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, has #4 coming in at #255, selling 5,777 copies (they said after the four issues finish, Dark Horse will let them know if the series can continue.  I'm not holding my breath).  Stalwart Usagi Yojimbo is at #269 with 4,980 copies.  Mice Templar, another of my faves, is at #272 with 4,890 copies.  It's still the middle of the story, I hope they finish it.  The last title on the list is Anchor #3 from BOOM!, 3,403 copies.

I think to myself, "Maybe Sound Waves can crack the list eventually."

Myself says back to me, "You have to crack triple digits in sales first."

To which I respond, "Details."

Comments

mongrelheart
Jan. 18th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC)
That's the spirit! Keep plugging away & you will get there.
sinetimore
Jan. 18th, 2010 11:41 am (UTC)
I am a compulsive overachiever. It is my blessing. It is my curse. ;-)

But seriously....

That's part of what made the indie comic field so wonderful originally -- if you had drive and talent, you could be a success. Diamond is doing everything it can to kill off indies and make publishers the only game in town.

I've always been anti-establishment. Translation: I'm not scared of Diamond. ;-)

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