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November 16, 2004 Releases October Direct Market Sales Analysis: Better Than September, Worse Than 2003 has released their usual battery of top-notch comic book direct market numbers crunching and analysis, this time for October 2004.

They feature a summary article, an article about October 2004 versus October 2003, a listing of the direct market's top 100 graphic novels and a listing of the top 300 comics overall. Their sales estimates are provided whenever they are appropriate.
First impressions:

1. The suggestion that differences between 2003 and 2004 may be due in part to a couple of very briskly selling comics special to last year should be noted, sure, but can't we tell how much an effect those books had by looking at the estimated numbers? It's not like the Big Two lack for event comics right now.

2. The fall-off after the top twenty looks as scary to me as ever. My positive side feels a strategic shift to book-format sales is responsible in part for the poor performing lower-end of the periodicals market. The negative side of me just thinks there's a massive disconnect between what the publishers are providing and what retailers feel they can sale past a few big names, and that there's little concerted effort beyond those big titles for various, stupid reasons. The companies that are up seem up on the strength of several books, not just a few.

3. The high volume of manga titles, and the relatively low sales for manga makes me wonder if any of the bigger stores have been ordering this stuff on a returnable basis.

4. Image being down 65 percent is just brutal, way past the joke stage.

5. Plot-based stunts like killing characters and various mysteries seem to me to play right into a increased desire for illegal downloads.

posted 9:04 am PST | Permalink

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