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Old June 28 2010, 12:12 AM   #1
Stevil2001
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Sales of IDW Comics

Unreality SF has published an article by me (or will have tomorrow, thanks to the wonder of time zones) looking at the sales of IDW Comics's Star Trek line since they began back in early 2007. I turn up what I think are some interesting trends, and it also has some charts. Only one graph, unfortunately.

"The Alternative Factors - IDW's Star Trek comics by the numbers"
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Old June 28 2010, 12:48 AM   #2
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

Very cool. I didn't read the whole article yet but I did skim the charts and I have to admit, those are much smaller numbers than I expected. Is that pretty normal for these kinds of comics?
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Old June 28 2010, 01:47 AM   #3
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

Those numbers are fairly typical for a midlist title these days. The comics market is much smaller than it was, say, a decade ago.

The drops between first and second issues are also typical. Countdown is odd in that it picked up readers for the final issue, and that may be due to IDW's success in selling Countdown as an iPhone app.
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Old June 28 2010, 02:40 AM   #4
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

For what it's worth, the average title in the entire Top 300 for April 2010 would have sold about 18,500 copies.

The average IDW title (Trek and non-Trek) in the month sold 7,900 copies, whereas the Star Trek issues sold 5,256 and 7,292, meaning they're slightly below average for the publisher. Star Trek seems to get out-sold by IDW's titles with more established comics bases, like Transformers and G. I. Joe. Their best-selling title is Angel (17,942 copies), but even so, that's all the way down in 104th place!
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Old June 28 2010, 03:15 AM   #5
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

The direct market is geared towards superheroes with the big 2 publishers DC/Marvel holding the majority marketshare.

What are the numbers for the collections in the mainstream bookstores and online outlets?
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Old June 28 2010, 06:15 AM   #6
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

I honestly must admit that I always assumed that comics like Trek sold in at least the hundreds of thousands, and DC/Marvel in the millions.
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Old June 28 2010, 01:23 PM   #7
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

Hound of UIster wrote: View Post
What are the numbers for the collections in the mainstream bookstores and online outlets?
The numbers of anything sold in bookstores is kept closely under wraps, but according to Brian Hibbs, Countdown sold about 18,000 copies in bookstores, and is IDW's best-selling book of any stripe thus far. None of their other Star Trek books placed in the Top 750 for comics, meaning they all sold fewer than 4,000 copies.
JD wrote: View Post
I honestly must admit that I always assumed that comics like Trek sold in at least the hundreds of thousands, and DC/Marvel in the millions.
Even back in the 1960s, when comics sold like hot cakes, Superman was DC's best-selling title with around 700,000 copies sold on average. Nowadays, the top title in any given month tends to sell not much more than 100,000 copies.
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Old June 28 2010, 01:25 PM   #8
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

Hrm. Too many stats for me to comprehend this early without coffee. But I do hope IDW keeps going with Trek stuff. We had a subscription for them at our local comic shop but we had to cancel all that for a while while my husband was stuck working part time.

And then just when I was ready to go over there and restart everything... he gets fired.

Karen
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Old June 28 2010, 02:14 PM   #9
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

Steve Mollmann wrote: View Post
Hound of UIster wrote: View Post
What are the numbers for the collections in the mainstream bookstores and online outlets?
The numbers of anything sold in bookstores is kept closely under wraps, but according to Brian Hibbs, Countdown sold about 18,000 copies in bookstores, and is IDW's best-selling book of any stripe thus far. None of their other Star Trek books placed in the Top 750 for comics, meaning they all sold fewer than 4,000 copies.
JD wrote: View Post
I honestly must admit that I always assumed that comics like Trek sold in at least the hundreds of thousands, and DC/Marvel in the millions.
Even back in the 1960s, when comics sold like hot cakes, Superman was DC's best-selling title with around 700,000 copies sold on average. Nowadays, the top title in any given month tends to sell not much more than 100,000 copies.
Sales were somewhat higher during World War II. Many series sold more than a million copies a month; Superman's, Captain America's, and Captain Marvel's sales were closer to 2 million.
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Old June 28 2010, 03:00 PM   #10
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

Nice piece, Steve. With all this data at hand, it is not at all surprising they have been cutting back on releases. This, unfortunately, has meant the cancellation of my Captain Garrett one-shot. I was really happy with the story, too, but it was not meant to be.
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Old June 28 2010, 03:50 PM   #11
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

Damn, that's awful news, Bob. I was looking forward to it, as I've enjoyed your work and IDW's other anthology titles.
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Old June 28 2010, 04:02 PM   #12
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

Bob Greenberger wrote: View Post
Nice piece, Steve. With all this data at hand, it is not at all surprising they have been cutting back on releases. This, unfortunately, has meant the cancellation of my Captain Garrett one-shot. I was really happy with the story, too, but it was not meant to be.
Damn, that sucks. Did they cancel the whole Captain's Log line or just yours? Either way it sucks just the same, I'm only curious.
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Old June 28 2010, 07:29 PM   #13
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

That is a sobering report. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see IDW wind down its Trek line over the next year or so -- they might hold on through the next movie, but if I were betting, I'd guess they'll bail before then.

Too bad -- I really can't imagine anyone doing a better job with Star Trek comics than IDW has done.
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Old June 29 2010, 01:38 AM   #14
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

JD wrote: View Post
I honestly must admit that I always assumed that comics like Trek sold in at least the hundreds of thousands, and DC/Marvel in the millions.
Not even close. I don't know what the last comic to hit a million copies was -- it may be either Adventures of Superman #500 or Batman #500. John Jackson Miller has a list of the top selling comics going back to late '96; there are comics that have topped 500k (Amazing Spider-Man #583 most recently), but nothing's hit a million in the past fifteen years.
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Old June 29 2010, 02:05 AM   #15
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Re: Sales of IDW Comics

^ At the earliest, Superman vol. 2 #75 sold roughly 6 million copies in November, 1992.

The comic book market had undergone significant contraction by January 1994, so it's unlikely that anything published after the Death of Superman storyline sold 1 million copies or more.
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