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

November 18, 2010

Go, Read: John Jackson Miller On X-Men #1 And Record-Setting Sales Figures

imageNumbers guru John Jackson Miller uses the occasion of the listing of Marvel's X-Men #1 in the Guinness Book Of World Records to look at different sales records across format and how much cultural stock we might wish to place in each one. The only disappointment I had reading that artice is that Miller didn't engage Asterix, which has I think about 325 million in sales worldwide and offers both a cumulative sales figure and the millions of sales that come with new volumes for comparison purposes. I'm not saying Asterix leads any sales category, but it's up there and it's ongoing.

As for those comics that Miller does examine, I think X-Men #1 is actually a more fascinating object for the divorce of its sales from one-to-one desire to consume that work. For one thing, it's like a film box office record-holder where the number of tickets bought by people who wanted empty seats all around them were a significant factor. It's also fascinating to note that the fact many of these books were sold to a box isn't all that important for people that are really excited about all those copies being sold. Also, can you imagine owning 5000 of any one thing? The mind boggles.
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