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

November 28, 2012

Missed It: Analysts On October 2012 DM Numbers

The comics business news and analysis site has offered up their usual array of lists, estimates and analysis regarding the performance of comic books and graphic novels in the Direct Market of comic and hobby shops, this time for October 2012.

image* Overview
* Analysis
* Top 300 Comic Books
* Top 300 Graphic Novels

My personal favorite numbers cruncher John Jackson Miller at The Comics Chronicles has posted his analysis of the month here and here.

There are obvious twin stories here, one that may make your head nod in recognition and one that might make it do so with an actual smile in accompaniment.

As expected, the Marvel re-presentation of its comics line with a sort-of combination Avengers/X-Men title as the flagship drove a lot of comic book sales, putting Marvel back into the top 10 in a competitive way with its core offerings and driving a significant amount of market-share measurement into their part of the pie charts. One would imagine this was part genuine interest in the new direction, new titles and new creative teams; part aggressive ordering from retailers not wanting to be left behind if this stuff killed with its intended audience (there's a way in which any kind of focused effort by the Big Two is going to get over no matter the level of reciprocal interest); part the flood of variant covers and other gimmick-type strategies that also all but guarantee a significant short-term burst. This League of Extraordinary Sale Tactics should not only make anyone familiar with the shape of the Direct Market over the last quarter-century go, "Oh yeah, all of that stuff usually works," they might give someone a bit of a pause concerning things in the longer term, in terms of just how much these titles will catch with audiences and how much they might provide a jumping off point for a smaller number of readers that will become more apparent when the variant bump fades. These are interesting times.

The second story is the continuing super-strong performance by graphic novels in the Direct Market, this time around led by the latest wave of Walking Dead offerings and the successful "Earth One" bookstore-audience focused material that DC has been doing with its core characters.
posted 5:45 pm PST | Permalink

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