Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

May 14, 2014

Big Numbers: Humble Bundles, Spider-Man Comics

* I wanted to briefly note a couple of big-number stories out there this morning. Apparently the Humble Bundle offering that Image Comics did featuring a bunch of its key trades sold to about 40,000 customers at an average of about $10 each -- part of the proceeds go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. This is worth noting for the story itself but also for the fact that publishers are going to start wielding their giant libraries like clubs. That is a tremendous resource of material for nearly ever big publisher out there, and they should do very well in a variety of offering settings, like this one, which is a promise of pay-what-you-will and focused incentives. Heidi MacDonald covered that whole thing more closely than I did for sure; her report is here.

* I haven't seen all of the sales charts yet, but the hobby business news and analysis site reports that the first issue of the latest re-launch of Amazing Spider-Man sold over 500,000 copies into shops. I don't even know how to process what the hell that means, but there's something super not right about number like that when comics' mid-list sales are tumbling. It's not even like you have to hate or whatever descriptive people use to dismiss criticism on sales hitting that point -- that's a nice payout for those creators, and it's not like a few hundred thousand more comic book issues isn't a wonderful thing to have in the world. But with the rigid expectation that future issues of this very comic will eventually find themselves down the charts to some extent, you have to think this is driven by factors other than demand for story content. And traditionally in comics, when there are other factors driving sales, there's trouble.
posted 1:45 am PST | Permalink

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