It's the big one you've all been waiting for -- Brian Hibbs shows you the numbers for 2008 graphic novel sales in book stores with indepth analysis. DC did gangbusters all around, leading off with "Watchmen."
Full article here.
Great work as usual.
The DC story is the really big news. The Long Halloween numbers are not a surprise to me as we have used that as a gateway Batman story for years, and in relation to Dark Knight, it is the Two-Face Origin (and the Heroes angle plays well too).
Did Death of Captain America make an impact? Premiere HCs of Marvel Universe series?
Thanks for doing the heavy lifting.
I'm surprised by this one line in the article, which refers to the Watchmen GN sales:
"One can only imagine these numbers will be higher in 2009 once the movie and the DVD drops."
I sold comic books for many years, and the best sales of any comic that had a major media appearance (esp. TV show or movie) were always in the month leading up to said media tie-in. Sales always tanked after the release of the new, much wider-focused, media. I always guessed that the same thing was true for prose, but if anything could prove otherwise, it would be Bookscan. Sales of anything from "Lord of the Rings" to "Brokeback Mountain" were probably greater the month leading up to the release of the respective films than the month after.
This is a minor quibble, but for someone who does such a phenomenal job of analyzing sales data (your own stores and things like Bookscan), I'd be interested to know if there is any data to support the theory above.
Thank you for another great column.
Death of Cap v1 in HC is about 7k, or #404 on best-sellers list. V2 is about 5200, or #561. v1 is TP is about 4100 (#785). That they made the Top 750 would show some kind of an impact, certainly -- but clearly that's a tiny fraction of the number of periodicals sold.
Originally Posted by Earth-2 Comics
I'm not really sure the best way to calculate Prem HCs direct impact? If you ask the question more specifically, maybe I can do a smidge more research in the next few days.
One problem with how I receive the data is that it is just a once-a-year data dump -- I don't see month-to-month fluctuations at all.
Originally Posted by Joshua Leto
So, nationally, the answer is "maybe?"
Anecdotaly, yes, by and large my individual store's sales patterns would reflect something similar, with a couple of caveats: 1) the second wave of awareness generated by a DVD release can create a second wave of interest (I think we sold more copies of WANTED during the DVD release than during the Theatrical release, for example), and 2) the quality of the work has some sort of bearing upon sales, whether that's the quality of the FILM or of the COMIC.
WATCHMEN, I think, is a unique work in a lot of ways, and may end up very differently than other works... depending on the reaction to the film.
Fair enough. Watchmen is certainly a unique work, but I think the main difference is that it will continue to sell for years and decades to come, and that while quality will ultimately cause this to be true, it will continue to get its biggest bumps from "larger" media references. (Time magazine's list, a DVD release, an Entertainment Weekly cover, etc.)
Thanks again for the column. I always enjoy reading it, even when I don't necessarily agree with the opinions.
I had my entire staff read the column.
They now know what we are losing in sales to juggernauts like Barnes & Nobles, and I think it will help them be better able to make suggestions to the casual customer, as well as the hardcore regulars we see daily.
Another tip of the hat sir!