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"Marketplace" radio spot on comics

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

by John Jackson Miller

And the audio and transcript have been posted from today's "Marketplace" show -- Jim Lee, Joe Field, Dave Pifer, and I are interviewed. My line about first issues is accurate, to be sure — though I did try to make some wider points about legacy title numbering throughout comics history, and how  mileage has tended to vary on reboots. In any event, it's fun to be on one of my favorite shows.

The $700 million figure comes from the overall industry totals, newsstand and bookstores included, found here.

I have not remarked yet on the reported numbers that have circulated for some of the first issues of DC's relaunch — 200,000-plus copies for the flagship title, with others over 100,000 — but they seem to be in the range I was expecting. The number of comics shops today tends to impose a certain ceiling on titles — the Obama Amazing Spider-Man, for example, had a half-million copies in sales, which averages out to something near to 200 copies per store, which is astronomical these days. Much higher than that leads into Legends of the Dark Knight territory, which in 1989 posted a number so dizzyingly high that DC added multiple covers to the title after the fact for fear that retailers wouldn't be able to move all that they ordered. By contrast, there's a lot more chance that these books are already spoken for.


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