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Wednesday, June 17, 2009 

Again, sales drop below 100,000

ICV2 reports that May once again saw a noticeable drop in sales, and not just for pamphlets, but also for graphic novels:
After rebounding in April, comic sales dropped a staggering 19% in May versus May 2008, while graphic novel sales declined by 13%, leading to an overall drop-off for the month of 18%. A lack of potent #1 issues as well as the absence of Dark Avengers certainly didn’t help comic sales this May, a month in which no single title even came close to breaking the 100K barrier.
Yep, I see what they mean, but even when there was a "rebound" in April, it was just barely: the Battle for the Cowl crossover and the Flash: Rebirth issues then sold as little as 104,000 and 102,000 copies, respectively. It's interesting that Flash: Rebirth only came in second at the time, and now that it's taken a noticeable drop down to 86,000, I think that's a sign of how this will not be the second coming of a Silver Age, especially if they're only going to darken the focus as much as Geoff Johns has. This may even be Johns' first real flop in his writing career, and if he's going to soil Barry Allen's background so badly, he deserves it.

As for the drop in graphic novel sales, if they're referring to trade paperbacks, I can come up with a partial guess why: neither Marvel nor DC have much to offer now, with a lot of their compilations either being of bad stories published in the past year or so, or of worthless crossovers and publicity stunts that could discourage buyers even in trade format. Indeed, what's the use of buying all those worthless trades Marvel's put out compiling all the Brand New Day nonsense they published over the past year, or even the constant parade of Civil Wars, World War Hulks and Secret Invasions? What's the use of buying all the 52s, Countdowns, Final Crises that DC has put out over the past year? I looked in my LCS, and they had very noticeable stacks of these, taking up precious space that would've been better reserved for some of the more classic stories of the yesteryear. No wonder trades might soon be failing; what's the use of buying either weak stories, stories built from weak premises, and company-wide crossovers that cost money even in trade format?

And that's one more reason why mainstream comics are likely to fail soon. Because they're not fixing mistakes that hinder everything, and they're crowding out the shelves with worthless x-overs.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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