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Comichron article in new Overstreet

Friday, March 21, 2008

by John Jackson Miller

The new Overstreet Price Guide is out,  the first with yours truly as an Overstreet advisor — previously I'd worked exclusively for the competition. (Maggie Thompson is in the Overstreet group as well now — things change). My first contribution is a feature on Star Wars comics history, getting a bit into the scope and differentiated manner of its circulation in the 1970s.
It gets further into the copies that Western Publishing commissioned — the so-called "Whitman variants," which is an a propos term despite the fact that the Whitman logo does not appear on the comics themselves. As illustrated in my piece in Comics Buyer's Guide #1609, while these "fat diamond" copies of Marvel comics may at some point have been sold to direct market stores, the existence of this printing seems to spring strictly from Western/Whitman, as evidenced by the fact that the whole Marvel line was dumped by Whitman in late 1977 while they were printing more Star Wars reprints!

Fun stuff, and Overstreet is required reading in any event!

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February 2008 comics analysis online

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

by John Jackson Miller

My Newsarama feature for the month appears here (with lots of cool historical comparatives), and the charts and graphs here are updated, as well. X-Force #1 led the top-selling comics list in February:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
February 2008: 6.26 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: -5%
Versus 5 years ago this month:+7%
Versus 10 years ago this month: -5%
YEAR TO DATE: 13.02 million copies, -2% vs. 2007

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
February 2008: $19.62 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -6%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +19%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +25%
YEAR TO DATE: $40.65 million, -3% vs. 2007

TOP 100 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
February 2008: $4.01 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +7%
Versus 5 years ago this month, just the Top 50 vs. the Top 50: +13%
YEAR TO DATE: $8.14 million, +5% vs. 2007

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 100 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
February 2008: $23.63 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -4%
Versus 5 years ago this month, just the Top 50 TPBs: +18%
YEAR TO DATE: $48.76, -1% vs. 2007

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES
(including all comics, trades, and magazines)
February 2008: $32.53 million ($36.85 million with UK)
Versus 1 year ago this month: +1%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +48%
YEAR TO DATE: $67.09 million, +2% vs. 2007
 
The year-to-date figures are also available from anywhere on the site, on the Comichrometer at upper left.

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British comics sales

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

by John Jackson Miller

Linkworthy: This resource on sales figures for the many weekly British comics series. A lot of stuff I hadn't seen before, and definitely worth a look!

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Maggie Thompson's sales stats from 1967

Monday, March 10, 2008

by John Jackson Miller

One of my various hobby projects has been helping Maggie Thompson get her fanzine library established on her new MaggieThompson.com site. Harbinger #1 and Comic Art #1 from 1960 and 1961 respectively are there — and now, she's posted the first ten issues of Newfangles from 1967 and 1968.

Scan quality varies with the originals — some of the newsletters are faded — but you can see
And relevant to the interest of The Comics Chronicles, issue #7 includes the entry noting when Don and Maggie's obsession with sales figures began. The second page notes the circulation statements from 1967 comics (as seen on Comichron) and speculates on the fate of Batman, both on television and on the racks.

There's a lot of interesting stuff in these old fanzines — check back for more as she gets more posted!

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New estimates for January 2008 result in new #1 book

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

by John Jackson Miller

In a rare move, Diamond has done a full rerelease of statistics for January, addressing some of the curiosities noted in earlier posts below. Click to see my new calculations for January.

It does appear Diamond included some orders in their initial report that aren't in this one; unless they're absolutely phantoms, one possibility is that some February data got into the mix. It's generally the items shipping in the later weeks that have been revised; the first-week data has changed relatively less. There were also a couple of February-shipped items, Uncanny X-Men #495 and Amazing Spider-Man #549, in the earlier file, which also suggests a mixing somehow. In any event, that material is now gone, and the new chart squares up nicely with known orders. These changes affect the overall category unit and dollar values, and also the positioning of several items. This also resulted in some items dropping out of the Top 300, with a handful of new entrants.


Those are not the only changes in the re-run. Diamond seems to have merged some order codes, including joining the previously separate Phoenix Comicon Hulk #1 with the rest of the Hulk #1s — significant because it moved the book into 1st place

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