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Friday, October 22, 2010 

Comic sales drop 12 percent

ICV2 looked at September's sales, and even they have to admit that they're scraping bottom:
Now that the third quarter of 2010 is over, it’s clear that the negative trends that comic stores have been bucking for the last two years have finally taken their toll: sales of comics and graphic novels were down a combined 12% for the quarter. Comic sales were down 14% and graphic novel sales down 6%. This is the largest year over year quarterly decline we’ve seen since we started tracking these numbers in 2004.

September sales were a continuation of negative trends for the quarter, with a 12% decline in comic sales and a 2% decline in graphic novel sales.

[...]

Pricing may be part of the problem, but the real issue is a dearth of major hits. Like all entertainment businesses, the comics category rises and falls on the strength of its strongest titles, and the strongest titles just aren’t that hot right now, especially in the core superhero lines of the Big Two. Marvel took a break from major events this year (see “Interview with Marvel’s Dan Buckley, Part 1”) and hasn’t had any big PR successes for a while, and DC has seemed like it was moving through molasses for much of the year as its New York staff waited for the other shoe to drop in the company’s ongoing reorganization (it recently hit the floor, see “DC’s Move West to Affect 80”).
And why aren't they "hot"? Simply put, because they've enslaved their products to horrific editorial mandates and favoratism for specific writers (Bendis, Johns, to name but a few of the worst writers littering up their houses today), and I'm not sure they've abandoned crossovers altogether (the War of Kings "event" may still be waiting around the corner). But even if they have, they've already succeeded in turning off more than enough people with their pointless tactics and sensationalism, and as I've said before, Quesada and DiDio's names alone are likely what's scaring many away from associating themselves with the big two.

Here's the master list of last month's sales, and again, it looks very dire.

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I've said it before but I'll say it again because it needs to be said again: DC and Marvel have pretty much dug themselves into twin holes by focusing on "name" writers to sell the characters instead of vice versa, because once the writer leaves the title, readers generally have no reason to continue reading the book featuring that particular character.

I've said it before but I'll say it again because it needs to be said again: DC and Marvel have pretty much dug themselves into twin holes by focusing on "name" writers to sell the characters instead of vice versa, because once the writer leaves the title, readers generally have no reason to continue reading the book featuring that particular character.

Whoops! I wanted to say what I said again, but I didn't mean for it to be printed twice!
My bad

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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