Monday, March 9, 2009
One of the few major publishers still shipping comics to subscribers Periodical Class — and thus filing Statements of Ownership with sales figures — is Archie. Seeing the Statements for it is always particularly useful, as Archie owes more of its sales to the newsstand and thus direct market numbers are not very meaningful. As in past years, Johanna Draper Carlson has a batch of 2008 figures online here.
Regard only the "average" column; the "most recent issue" data invariably covers issues for which returns have yet to be fully reported. Looking at publisher Statements over the years, you'd see almost all comics sales seemingly trending upward for that exact reason; but it's apples and oranges, or rather, apples versus apples that haven't been reported to the publisher as unsold yet.
I have Statement figures for 39 out of the 50 years for the main Archie title included sales figures (the earliest Statement yet found is much earlier, #31 from March 1948). Currently, I'm looking for forms in Archie for 1960, 1971, 1978-1983, 1999-2000, and 2006 — if you run across them, please send them to the address on the sidebar. I also have a number of holes to fill in the other titles, but here's an opening request...