Friday, June 17, 2011
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics!
CBR just posted the new comics sales chart for May, and because I'm weird this is an exciting thing for me. Here's what I discovered while crunching the numbers.
The Hat Is About Out Of Rabbits
Well, we were told by the Marvel brass that the world had been allowed to breathe long enough, and that we were all secretly dying for another Can't Miss Change Everything Forever Super Event.
Nobody cares any more. Nobody could possibly care any more. These Can't Misses are already known frauds. Brevoort's talking about next year's Big Thing in the summer. Flashpoint is around not because it's awesome, but because something needed to create the Big Thing in September, and those things will exist only to promise the Next Big Thing. (Something "Dark", if the early press is to be believed)
It's all a sham, there's never any narrative money in the account, and I think May's sales numbers are demonstrating that the powers that be had better start looking at another hat. Because empty hype just aint cutting it any more.
Movie Bumps Are Bullshit
Speaking of hats empty of rabbits, can we finally now put to bed forever the idea that every comic movie needs 1,000 junk titles on the racks? Mighty Thor # 2 is 31,598 issues from last month, or 38.5%. Thank Christ we gave that mass of movie civilians a "clear jumping on point". whew! That was a close one, huh?
Captain America: 1st Vengeance clocks in twice on a double ship for 13,689 and 12,116 copies. Wow, really capitalizing on the movie buzz there. How about Cap: Hail Hydra checking in at an embarrassing 9,637 units? What is the point of that? Are you going to make it back with the 800 copies of the trade paperback you'll sell later? Good luck with that.
Let me assure you that Marvel will in no way learn anything from this, by the way. When the Avengers movie hits, do expect a glut of material that will literally drive civilians away from the comic racks. Don't believe me? Let me show you how it's done.
Walking Dead Is A Golden God
Walking Dead # 85 sits like a shining beacon of hope in the 40th position. It sold 5,622 more issues than it did last month. Think about that for just a moment.
It's up 5,622 issues this month.
Why is that? Because Kirkman knows what nobody at Marvel or DC know - keep it simple, stupid. Walking Dead comes in a lot of sizes. You've got six issue trades, 12 issue hardcovers, phone book sized compendiums. But it's the same product.
There are no spin-offs, no re-numbering gambits, no re-boots, no bullshit. Here's an ass kicker of a story every month that you can follow and understand. Sound good? Good. See you next month!
Where do I start? I don't know, how about at # 1? Cool. Then keep reading. Is anybody out there paying attention? Marvel thinks the world wants 11 Captain America books because a movie is coming out. Wrong. It wants ONE. Walking Dead is a golden god, it's handing out all the answers, and nobody is noticing. Pity. But you know, we'll definitely have four Lantern books coming out, so we've got that going for us.
Butcher Baker Spiked Hard
Image had a few books with increases this month. Carbon Grey took on a few more readers. Green Wake added some. This is encouraging. Nobody gains 1,300 copies at issue # 3. And for the record, this is all word-of-mouth, and Butcher deserves it. I get more out of the back matter of that comic than I do in the meat of most other comics.
Don't be afraid to join the party, is what I'm saying.
Kids Books Are Ramping Up
Another positive trend for Mays chart - "all ages" titles trending upwards. Nothing extraordinary, mind you. But in an age when everything goes down month-to-month, even a one copy increase puts you way ahead of the competition.
I don't know what to attribute this to - Free Comic Book Day, maybe? I saw a lot of kids at my local shops for FCBD. Maybe this is a trend, and shops were filling re-orders for May after the first weekend saw some new blood asking for copies of their favorite characters?
I don't know what did it, but it's damn promising, in its own small way. We need some more Tiny Titans, so that someday we can poison them all with Crossed. Yeah, baby!