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Friday, February 20, 2009 

January sales: 9 percent decrease

ICV2 reports that sales of pamphlets are still in down (via The Beat):
DC’s Final Crisis was one of only four titles that picked up circulation in January, and absent ASM #583, it would have finished a close second to Marvel’s Dark Avengers #1, the key book in Marvel’s Dark Reign event in which Norman Osborne takes over the Avengers (aka his Thunderbolts playing Avengers). After the Dark Reign-aided New Avengers #49, sales of subsequent titles dropped off quickly and remained weak down the list (see “Comic Sales Drop in January” for an analysis how the #10, #20, #50, #100, and #300 titles dropped versus similarly positioned comics in January of 2008). How long will it be before someone notices that the top five titles all have a $3.99 cover price, and start blaming the higher cost of the top tier of titles for the drop-off of the downlist books?
Better still, how soon will it be before someone blames the poor quality of the writing, as well as the publicity stunts and company-wide crossovers, for bringing it down to this point and spoiling things for even books that were written better than others?

Sales of graphic novels, on the other hand, did better:
Sales of the top 100 graphic novels were up 4%, an increase that brought the overall decline in sales of both the top 300 comics and top 100 graphic novels down to 7%.
In the future, graphic novels and compilations are where comics are likely headed. The good news there is that Marvel and DC wouldn't be able to force company-wide crossovers on their products as easily.

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