Monthly Comic Book Sales Report: October 2014

Starting this month, I will be featuring a monthly post that details the rankings and sales of top comics.  This is something I have always done for myself in order to keep track of a book’s popularity, potential for cancellation, or to weight the effectiveness of a stunt/creative team switch being used to boost a title’s sales.  Personally, I find analyzing data to be very interesting and wanted to share it with the community, here, at Batman-News in case there are any like-minded individuals among the readership.  Other than just throwing out numbers for you to look at, I will try to provide some commentary on what we can infer from the information at hand.  While I don’t intend for these articles to be quite as entertaining as the ones critiquing a comic, I still feel that the evaluation of numbers can be just as telling as a review.

Here, we have the sales of the top 80 comics from October 2014.  The chart is slightly thrown off by the inclusion of several miniseries/first issues.  Many times, a #1 issue or new series will have an initially huge number of readers while people decide whether or not they wish to continue frequenting the title based on the contents.  You also have those individuals who will buy anything with a #1 on it, just in case somewhere down the line it becomes worth money.   In order to give you an idea of what an average month would look like, I have thrown in a chart for the sales of August 2014 below this one.  I’m not using last months sales chart as the average, because it also includes too many uncontrollable variables, in the sense that it was DC’s Futures End month.

October 2014

August 2014

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Seeing as how these charts don’t show all the books we review on this site, since some of them fall below the 35,000 mark, I’m throwing this chart together so you can see where all the titles this site reviews fall (if I missed some, just tell me so I can add them in the future).  It shows the month of October along with several previous months so you can see the change in sales.  Numbers represent sales in thousands. The numbers for Batman Eternal and Futures End are the averages for the month in question, since they are weekly issues.

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Injustice, Justice League 3000, Red Hood, Batwoman, Batman Beyond and Batman 66 are all in the Danger Zone!  A couple months back Catwoman was in the danger zone as well but managed to pull out of a nose dive.  Lets see if these books pull any crazy stunts or bring a new creative team on board in order to draw in new readers! Batgirl’s 62,000 should be seen as an initial increase due to the creative team change.  I expect it to drop back down to the 30s within 2 months to 3 months.  Even with numbers in the 30s it would still be doing better than pre52 Batgirl, so I will count that as a win.

Now let us look at a fun little chart detailing, what I like to call, “How is the New52 doing?”  It features several title that appeared both before and after the New52.   The columns represent sales numbers in the thousands 10 years ago (October 2004), pre52 (August 2011), post52 (September 2011) , and then each consecutive year afterwards (October 2012-2014).  NA means that the comic wasn’t around at that exact time. Also, the 2014 number for Nightwing is the newest issue of Grayson.

Real name
Amanda WallerN/A
AtomAdam Cray
Atom SmasherAlbert Rothstein
Baby Boom
Big SirDufus P. Ratchet
Black AdamTeth-Adam
Black MantaDavid
Black OrchidSusan Linden
Black SpiderEric Needham
BlackguardRichard Hertz
BlackstarrRachel Berkowitz
BlockbusterMark Desmond
BoltLarry Bolatinsky
Bronze TigerBen Turner
BulldozerHorace Nichols
Cameron ChaseN/A
Captain BoomerangGeorge "Digger" Harkness
Captain Boomerang IIOwen Mercer
Captain ColdLeonard Snart
CheetahBarbara Ann Minerva
ChronosDavid Clinton
Clock KingWilliam Tockman
CluemasterArthur Brown
Col. Rick Flag Jr.N/A
Copperhead"John Doe"
Count VertigoWerner Vertigo
CrowbarMalcolm Tandy
DeadshotFloyd Lawton
DeathstrokeSlade Wilson
Doctor LightArthur Light
Double DownJeremy Tell
Dr. Hugh EvansN/A
El DiabloChato Santana
ElectrocutionerLester Buchinsky
EnchantressJune Moone
EnforcerMica Love
FirehawkLorraine Reilly
General ZodDru-Zod
Harley QuinnDr. Harleen Quinzel
HavanaOdalys Milagro Valdez
HawkmanCarter Hall
IcebergCharles Murray
IcicleCameron Mahkent
James Gordon Jr.N/A
Jeon Jungkook
Jess BrightN/A
Joker's DaughterDuela Dent
Juan SoriaN/A
Karin GraceN/A
KarmaWayne Hawkins
KatanaTatsu Yamashiro
KGBeastAnatoli Knyazev
Killer CrocWaylon Jones
Killer FrostCaitlin Snow
Killer Frost IILouise Lincoln
Killer SharkN/A
King FaradayN/A
King SharkNanaue
Lady Liberty?
Lord SatanisSatanis
Mad DogUnknown
Major DisasterPaul Booker
Major VictoryWilliam Vickers
Manchester BlackN/A
Manhunter/PrivateerMark Shaw
MaserHarold Lawrence Jordan
Master JailerCarl Draper
MerlynArthur King
MindbogglerLeah Wasserman
Mirror MasterEvan McCulloch
ModemWesley Percival Sloan
Mr. 104John Dubrovny
Multi-ManDuncan Pramble
MultiplexDanton Black
NemesisTom Tresser
NightshadeEve Eden
OracleBarbara Gordon
OutlawJohn Henry Martin
ParasiteRudy Jones
ParasiteJoshua Michael Allen
PenguinOswald Chesterfield Cobblepot
PersuaderCole Parker
PlasmusOtto Von Furth
PlastiqueBette Sans Souci
Poison IvyPamela Isley
Power GirlKaren Starr
Power GirlKara Zor-El
PsiGayle Marsh
PunchClyde Phillips
Rag Doll
ReactronBen Krullen
Reverse-FlashDaniel West
Rick FlagRichard Montgomery Flag
Sam MakoaN/A
SavantBrian Durlin
Scream Queen
Sgt. Frank RockN/A
Shade, the Changing ManRac Shade
ShrapnelMark Scheffer
ShrikeVanessa Kingsbury
Silent Majority?
Silver SwanValerie Beaudry
SlipknotChristopher Weiss
Solomon GrundyCyrus Gold
SpeedyRoy Harper
SportsmasterVictor Gover
StalnoivolkIvan Illyich Gort
Star-Spangled KidCourtney Whitmore
SteelJohn Henry Irons
Tao Jones
Tattooed ManAbel Tarrant
The GeneralWade Eiling
The Hunky PunkDorian Ashemore
The Unknown Soldier?
The WriterGrant Morrison
ThinkerClifford DeVoe
Thinker IICliff Carmichael
TwisterTheresa Zimmer
VelocityMelissa Allen
VixenMari Jiwe McCabe
WeaselJohn Monroe
White DragonWilliam Heller
WildcatTed Grant
WindfallWendy Jones
Yasemin SozeN/A
Yo-YoChang Jie-Ru

So, how are things going?  For the most part, it is doing just as good or better.  Batman & Robin and Catwoman, after their initial sales increases, have evened out to where they were before the 52.  Nightwing and Detective also received a healthy boost in sales from the New52 that seem to have held up rather well after the decrease from initial sales.

Batman is somewhat of a special case.  While 118 is way more than 51, it falls short of 149. Such high numbers have become somewhat uncommon occurrences within your standard running titles due to “specials” and all the diversity that currently exists.  Back in the 80s and prior, if you had a story to tell, you just told it in the regular running series.  Now, if something is deemed special, it gets a mini series or a prestige format book to highlight the excellence of the story.  So while it is not at all odd to see huge numbers today, you just don’t see them in the regular titles, as the stories that pulled the larger numbers have been mitigated to specials.  The other thing that has contributed to dropping the numbers is all the diversity:  back in the day, Batman would sometimes pull in 250,000 to 300,000!  This was due to the fact that you only had a certain number of titles to choose from.  With a greater selection of books being published, the numbers end up getting spread over a larger variety of titles, rather than just a few.

As this is my first time throwing together an article like this, I welcome feedback on what you might be interested in seeing that wasn’t shown here, or any other thoughts you might like to share.