One of the primary questions that got asked from last month was: What makes up these numbers? These numbers are made up of the physical copies that comic shops ordered from Diamond Distributors during the month in question. It has become common practice for these numbers to be shared with the general public, but digital comics is a fairly new venture and the powers that be have decided that they want to keep this data hidden for now.
Seeing as how I personally find comparing the data from month to month more interesting than just looking at a top 50 chart from a single month, we’re going to start off with that first this time. Below you will find a chart detailing 26 comics that this site reviews along with the totals for this month and several previous months. Numbers displayed are in the thousands.[table “5” not found /]
It is pretty standard for comics to slowly bleed off readers each and every month. Typically, increases are seen as huge numbers whenever a new creative team comes on board and then they slowly bleed back down till the next huge surge of readers jumps on board at the introduction of the next team. This is a result of the sampling that people partake in to decide if what the book has to offer is something they want to stick with or not. While comparing smaller incremental increases isn’t as exciting, it actually says a lot more about the comics quality. It is when a book slowly rises that you know something is worth checking out. In this instance, it isn’t a gimmick or promotion from the company that is increasing readership, but usually word of mouth. This could be in the form of reviews, comic shop talk, or a recommendation from a friend. Seeing these small increases means the comic itself is drawing in more readers, not the ad campaign. In November, only 4 of the 26 comics we review went up, and all 4 are the slow kind of increase that point to something worthwhile being created. The titles in question are Harley Quinn, Detective Comics, Batman & Robin, and Catwoman (I’m sure Josh is happy about that).
While increases from a new creative team/new series are initially huge, you will often see huge decrease in the first 2 or 3 issues afterward as well (while the initial rubber neckers disappear). Grayson illustrates that phenomenon pretty well: from the first to the second issue, Grayson lost 25,000 readers; then 4,000 every month. On average, Nightwing’s comics have hovered around the 40,000s, so we should start to see the bleed get smaller and smaller at this point. Knowing this simple pattern can help us figure out what the approximate final resting place will be for several other books that are going on right now.
Back in October, we were introduced to 2 new books and one new creative team. I am referring to Arkham Manor, Gotham Academy, and Batgirl. With all three, we can see that between 12,000 and 15,000 of the initial new readers have already left. Applying what we have learned from the Grayson book we can assume that Arkham and Academy will end up being 22-25,000 range books while Batgirl will most likely end up being in the high 30s to low 40s. Granted, this isn’t taking any mitigating circumstance into account, but it is still a good indicator of how we can expect these new books to perform. Gotham by Midnight is another new one that had its premiere in November. From the initial performance, I’m going to bet it ends up being a mid to low 20s book.
Batman Beyond just had its last issue, and Batwoman and World’s Finest are having their last issues in March (and I am sure Josh is happy again!). In the last Sales Report article I mentioned that anything around 15,000 is in the danger zone. Didn’t take DC too long to prove my point.
November 2014 – Top 50