We knew last month there would be a downswing of at least 800,000 units in August based on how things looked in the July numbers. Fantastic Four #1 sold strong but that wasn't enough to compensate to the overall loss in sales in August. No doubt we'll see a drop next month of potentially as much as 200,000 units or more just from Fantastic Four. We should see Doomsday Clock return with over 100,000 units which should help compensate for the loss on Fantastic Four. Based on the top items in July, Doomsday Clock #7 could potentially be the only comic selling over 100,00 units in September with Batman: Damned, Heroes in Crisis and Return of Wolverine being the other strong contenders.
Generally speaking, ongoing titles don't tend to sell over 100,000 units per issue. Batman is the noteworthy exception to this in recent memory. It doesn't happen and shouldn't be expected. But titles used to last longer than they do now. Most titles get relaunched ever year or two, often with a new creative team. The constant rotation of creators, titles and approaches to the characters makes it hard for readers to stay with a property than it needs to be.
Two of the metrics I'm tracking are the up-swing and down-swing which measure the net increase and decrease from the various categories. The sum of them is the month to month change in the total of the top 300 comics. The up-swing and down-swing are based on the net change for each category and some categories have both increases and decreases in them. Calculated on a per title basis, the total per title up-swing is 2,518,090 and total per title down-swing is -2,854,468 units. These metrics illustrate the scope of change happening from month to month far better than the average monthly net change in the total for the top 300 comics of a mere 3,948 unit increase. The 3,948 average increase make it seem like sales are going up when it really just reflects the below average sales in early 2003.
For a more in-depth discussion of the sales data, check out the Mayo Report episodes of the Comic Book Page podcast at www.ComicBookPage.com. The episode archived cover the past decade of comic book sales on a monthly basis with yearly recap episodes. In addition to those episodes on the sales data, every Monday is a Weekly Comics Spotlight episode featuring a comic by DC, a comic by Marvel and a comic by some other publisher. I read around 200 new comics a month so the podcast covers a wide variety of the comics currently published. If you are looking for more or different comics to read, check out the latest Previews Spotlight episode featuring clips from various comic book fans talking about the comics they love. With thousands of comics in Previews every month, Previews Spotlight episodes are a great way to find out about new comic book titles that may have flown under your comic book radar.
As always, if you have any questions or co08ents, please feel free to email me at John.Mayo@ComicBookResources.com.