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September Sales Prove Comics Fans Have No One But Themselves to Blame When Companies Focus on Gimmicks Over Stories

Written by Jude Terror on Friday, October 03 2014 and posted in News with Benefits

September Sales Prove Comics Fans Have No One But Themselves to Blame When Companies Focus on Gimmicks Over Stories

Not only did DC see a huge market share boost from September's 3D covers, but Death of Wolverine topped the charts as well.



Have you ever complained about the endless cycle of universe-shattering event comics, meaningless character deaths, pointless series renumbering, and elaborate variant cover gimmicks? Did you buy a single comic published by DC in September, or an issue of Death of Wolverine? If you answered "yes" to both those questions, you are your own worst enemy, and an idiot.

The sales numbers are in for September, and, as expected, DC scored a strong sales victory thanks to its month-long #1 issue 3D cover bonanza. To make matters worse, the only chance Marvel had of fighting back was The Death of Wolverine, which topped the charts, but only saw two of it's expected four issues published because for some reason Steve McNiven can't draw four issues of a comic without delays. In any case, the market has proven, once again, that gimmicks and stunts are what makes money in this industry, which will, in turn, lead to companies relying even more on gimmicks and stunts.

So thanks, you dumbasses. I hope that weapon etched holofoil cover was worth it.

DC was so pleased with its victory it sent out a press release, announcing it had sold 3.5 million comics. 3.5 million. Let's have a look:

BURBANK, Calif. (October 3, 2014) – The future has arrived.

 

And it is dystopian!

DC Entertainment topped the comic book sales charts for the month with a jaw-dropping figure of nearly 3.5 million comic books sold, making the company the No. 1 comic book publisher in dollars and units for September, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest comic book distributor in the world. This is the fourth year in a row DC has been the industry’s top publisher in September.

 

That's the most positive way of phrasing "we lose 11 out of 12 months of the year" I've ever heard of.

The sales were propelled in large part by the record-breaking success of DC Comics’ month-long “FUTURES END” event in which DC Comics–The New 52 flashed forward five years. Each Futures End book featured a standard 2-D cover and an innovative “3-D Motion” cover that showcased both the current and future state of the character or team, becoming instant collectors’ items. Taking the #3 slot was BATMAN: FUTURES END #1 followed by HARLEY QUINN: FUTURES END #1 taking #4.

The #1 book, according to Diamond is BATMAN: DEATH OF THE FAMILY Book & Joker Mask Set– this seminal Batman trade paperback graphic novel is paired with a replica hand-painted vinyl latex mask of Batman’s greatest foe.

 

Is hologram technology that's been around since at least the 1980s really "innovative?" I think my G.I. Joe B.A.T. Battle Android Trooper figure had that same lenticular technology on its chest. Will we see comic covers that change colors in the sunlight like the Zartan figure next?

“Our publishing business continues to be a top priority for DC Entertainment and I couldn’t be more proud of our team’s success this September,” said Diane Nelson, DC Entertainment President. “The excitement behind so many of our titles, including Batgirl, Gotham Academy, Arkham Manor and Catwoman, as well as the upcoming launch of our next weekly series, Earth 2: World’s End, demonstrates the strength of this business when we focus on great storytelling. With the upcoming start of the pivotal new storyline in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman and the innovative “Scent-Ticular” Harley Quinn Annual, 2014 looks to be a record-setting year for the entire DC Entertainment business.”

 

And yet, focusing on great storytelling doesn't bring in the dollars, does it? Look at this, people! DC WANTS to focus on storytelling. But will you fuckheads buy as many regular copies of Gotham Academy and Batgirl as you would if they had innovative 3D motion covers? Nope. So how long before every month is 3D month? Ugh.

They go on to talk about other stuff they've got in the pipeline, and some of it sounds good. I like when companies try new things in terms of the types of books they put out and the types of stories they tell. And from what I see on blogs, in comments, and on message boards and social media, that's what everyone claims to like. I don't know of anyone who says "what I like most about comics are the fucking 3D covers and constant crossover events." And yet, overwhelmingly, it's what you people buy.

Why?

Seriously. Did you buy a 3DNado 2 issue? Did you buy Death of Wolverine? If so, please explain your motivation in the comments. Also, please explain how you sleep at night with the blood of the industry on your hands. Thanks.

Here's the charts, from Diamond:

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

RETAIL MARKET SHARE
PUBLISHER SHARE
DC ENTERTAINMENT 36.58%
MARVEL COMICS 32.04%
IMAGE COMICS 7.49%
IDW PUBLISHING 4.52%
DARK HORSE COMICS 4.11%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.34%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 2.18%
EAGLEMOSS PUBLICATIONS LTD 1.29%
RANDOM HOUSE 1.15%
VIZ MEDIA 0.96%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 7.34%
 
UNIT MARKET SHARE
PUBLISHER SHARE
DC ENTERTAINMENT 40.76%
MARVEL COMICS 34.11%
IMAGE COMICS 8.24%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.30%
IDW PUBLISHING 3.24%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 2.31%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.28%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC 0.71%
AVATAR PRESS INC 0.66%
ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC 0.63%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 4.77%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER COMICS SHIPPED GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED MAGAZINES SHIPPED TOTAL SHIPPED
DC ENTERTAINMENT 124 27 0 151
MARVEL COMICS 80 26 1 107
IMAGE COMICS 57 12 0 69
DARK HORSE COMICS 36 21 0 57
IDW PUBLISHING 35 18 0 53
BOOM! STUDIOS 30 7 0 37
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 34 0 0 34
VIZ MEDIA 0 24 0 24
RANDOM HOUSE 3 20 0 23
EAGLEMOSS 0 0 12 12
OTHER NON-TOP 10 85 110 21 216

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

  DOLLARS UNITS
SEPTEMBER 2014 VS. AUGUST 2014
COMICS 28.33% 23.90%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 12.12% -1.67%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 23.40% 21.86%
SEPTEMBER 2014 VS. SEPTEMBER 2013
COMICS 4.58% -0.12%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 8.49% -1.61%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 5.64% -0.22%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2014 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2013
COMICS 2.69% -2.04%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 4.33% 4.99%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 3.19% -1.51%
THIRD QUARTER 2014 VS. SECOND QUARTER 2014
COMICS 13.59% 13.56%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 0.75% 0.77%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 9.50% 12.51%
THIRD QUARTER 2014 VS. THIRD QUARTER 2013
COMICS 10.30% 6.15%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 7.04% 4.17%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 9.33% 6.01%

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DEATH OF WOLVERINE #1 $4.99 JUN140590-M MAR
2 DEATH OF WOLVERINE #2 $4.99 JUN140601-M MAR
3 BATMAN: FUTURES END #1 $3.99 MAY140318 DC
4 HARLEY QUINN: FUTURES END #1 $3.99 MAY140334 DC
5 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 $3.99 JUL140633 MAR
6 JUSTICE LEAGUE: FUTURES END #1 $3.99 MAY140278 DC
7 ORIGINAL SIN #8 $4.99 JUN140609-M MAR
8 DETECTIVE COMICS: FUTURES END #1 $3.99 MAY140320 DC
9 JUSTICE LEAGUE #33 $3.99 MAY140177-M DC
10 BATMAN/SUPERMAN: FUTURES END #1 $3.99 MAY140316 DC

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 BATMAN: DEATH OF THE FAMILY BOOK & THE JOKER MASK BOXED SET $39.99 MAY140361 DC
2 FOREVER EVIL HC (N52) $24.99 MAY140364 DC
3 YU-GI-OH! 5DS VOLUME 6 GN $9.99 JUL141515 VIZ
4 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2: ANGELA TP $19.99 JUL140730 MAR
5 THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 10 HC (MR) $34.99 JUL140520 IMA
6 HARLEY QUINN: VENGEANCE UNLIMITED TP $19.99 JUN140280 DC
7 SAGA VOLUME 1 TP (MR) $9.99 AUG120491 IMA
8 KICK-ASS 3 PREMIERE HC (MR) $29.99 MAY140918 MAR
9 FATALE VOLUME 5: CURSE THE DEMON TP (MR) $14.99 JUL140483 IMA
10 SAGA VOLUME 3 TP (MR) $14.99 JAN140556 IMA

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DOCTOR WHO: K-9 LIGHT & SOUND FIGURINE & BOOK KIT $12.95 JUL141658 RUN
2 ATTACK ON TITAN GUIDEBOOK: INSIDE & OUTSIDE $24.99 JUL141306 RAN
3 THE OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK MARKETPLACE YEARBOOK 2014 $12.95 JUL141269-M GEM
4 LEGEND OF KORRA: ART OF THE ANIMATED SERIES BOOK 2: SPIRITS HC $34.99 MAY140059 DAR
5 G.I. JOE: COBRA HISS TANK WITH BOOK KIT $12.95 JUL141643 RUN
6 ATTACK ON TITAN: BEFORE THE FALL NOVEL $10.95 JUL141473 RAN
7 THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 87 $14.95 JUL141692 SAN
8 THE OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOL. 44 SC $29.95 APR141239-M GEM
9 LOSE VOLUME 6 SC $8.00 JUL141315 KOY
10 HATSUNE MIKU GRAPHICS VOCALOID SC VOLUME 2 SC $39.99 JUL141469 UDO

TOP 10 TOYS

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY: HARLEY QUINN/BATMAN/NIGHTWING/ROBIN ACTION FIGURE 4-PACK APR140323 DC
2 DC COMICS: THE NEW 52: BATGIRL ACTION FIGURE APR140313 DC
3 DC COMICS: THE NEW 52: SUPERGIRL ACTION FIGURE APR140314 DC
4 INFINITE CRISIS: PAJAMA PARTY HARLEY QUINN ACTION FIGURE MAR140306 DC
5 BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS PLAY ARTS KAI: DEATHSTROKE FIGURE FEB148007 SQU
6 DC COMICS: THE NEW 52: TEEN TITANS RED ROBIN ACTION FIGURE APR140316 DC
7 MARVEL COMICS AVENGERS NOW: CAPTAIN AMERICA ARTFX+ STATUE JAN142026 KOT
8 MARVEL SELECT: ZOMBIE MAGNETO ACTION FIGURE APR141986 DST
9 DANGER ROOM SESSIONS: JUGGERNAUT FINE ART STATUE FEB142240 KOT
10 BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS PLAY ARTS KAI: BATMAN FIGURE FEB148006 SQU

TOP 10 GAMES

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 RISK LEGACY JUN118204 HAS
2 MARVEL HEROCLIX: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY COMIC BOOSTER BRICK JUN142657 NEC
3 MONOPOLY: THE WALKING DEAD SURVIVAL EDITION OCT128266 USA
4 ADVENTURE TIME: CARD WARS PACK 3: PRINCESS BUBBLEGUM VS THE LUMPY SPACE PRINCESS JUN142617 CRY
5 MARVEL DICE MASTERS: AVENGERS VS. THE X-MEN NOV132536 NEC
6 RISK: THE WALKING DEAD SURVIVAL EDITION OCT128267 USA
7 THE WALKING DEAD TV BOARD GAME JUL112137 CRY
8 MY LITTLE PONY LIFE JUN142645 USA
9 DC HEROCLIX: WAR OF LIGHT BOOSTER BRICK WAVE 2 MAY142842 NEC
10 YU-GI-OH! TCG 2014 MEGA-TIN MAR148274 KON
 

 





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About the Author - Jude Terror


Jude Terror is the Webmaster Supreme of The Outhouse and a sarcastic ace reporter dedicated to delivering irreverent comics and entertainment news to The Outhouse's dozens of loyal readers. Driven by a quest for vengeance, Jude Terror taught himself to program and joined The Outhouse. He instantly began working toward his goal of forcing the internet comics community to take itself less seriously and failing miserably. A certified trash eater ruining the pristine field of comics journalism with his sarcasm and goofiness, Jude Terror is secretly friendly and congenial, so if you've got a complaint, why not just bring it up to him instead of subtweeting like a jackass, jackass? You can find him on Twitter or try your luck with an email, but keep in mind that he is notoriously unreliable and may not get back to you right away. Unless you want to send him free stuff, in which case he'll get back to you immediately.


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