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

March 11, 2011

Analysts: February 2011 Direct Market Estimates

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 February 2011.

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

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

Two things leap out. The first is that the top-selling comic book sold a tad over 70,000 copies, which is a really, really low number. The second is that no one's rioting, which indicates there is news to ameliorate that dismal top-of-charts number. And there is: the overall market isn't as bad as those top figures, and they indicate that last month's more dire overall numbers were the anomaly that John Jackson Miller though they were.

I'm still not sure what to do with those top of market figures, or exactly what they mean. My hunch -- and it's only a hunch, and not a very informed one at that -- is that they indicate conservative buying habits due to general disenchantment with/lack of excitement over the top of the line offerings at both mainstream companies. So there's a likelihood that could change with Marvel's upcoming event and whatever DC has planned to coincide with its Green Lantern movie. No matter what the strength is indicated on down the line at each major publisher I can't see these figures as good news. I would hope that this meant that there was enough concern at these companies to ensure good behavior of the kind that might lead to another slow build; recent history tells me that it won't engender much of anything except late-night bar talk about outside gigs in case the whole thing goes even further south.

Not a lot of individual comics pop out to me. That's a fine chart placement and raw number for the Morning Glories, DMZ and Daytripper titles over on the graphic novels chart. It's nice that Adrian Tomine can sell a couple of thousand books into that market -- likely to be more because some of the retailers will buy Scenes From An Impending Marriage from their book distributor.
posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink

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