Numbers Are My Life: Comic Sales for May 2014


May 2014. Will it be remembered for sales in comics?! Of course not. But the May brought

Original Sin #1 was the top selling comic for Marvel in Mau

Original Sin #1 was the top selling comic for Marvel in Mau

about a few things that are worth discussing.

As usual, let’s list the top 10 books for the month of May 2014

  1. Original Sin #1
  2. Amazing Spider-Man #2
  3. Amazing Spider-Man #1.1
  4. Batman #31
  5. Forever Evil #7
  6. Original Sin #2
  7. Justice League #30
  8. The Walking Dead #127
  9. New 52 Futures End
  10. Batman: Eternal #5

It comes as no surprise that Original Sin is on top of that list. #1 for events brings out the collectors and that bloats sales.  Original Sin#2 lost around 37% of #1s sales and I expect it to stay at that amount. Marvel and DC events sell well no matter what and being slightly below 100K in sales sounds about right. Unless it’s critically acclaimed, and Original Sin doesn’t seem to be bowling over the critics like Infinity did last year.  Coming off the strong critical response for Amazing Spider-Man #1, it’s good to see Spider-Man selling like Batman. The big two’s biggest icons going at it in the sales charts!  A decently sized chunk of the fan favorites at Marvel are on the lower end of the sales chart though. Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, and Black Widow are all in the 90s, which has to worry fans of those series. Marvel has said they are keeping them around though so I’m not too frightened.  If Superior Foes of Spider-Man can’t even make the top 100, then these titles won’t be cancelled.

What generally shocked me was that Amazing Spider-Man #1.1 was even in the top 10. I’ve said on this site multiple times that Spider-Man’s origin NEVER needs to be retold. He’s an icon of pop culture and nearly everyone knows his origin in some shape or form.  Even a retelling of it generally doesn’t change much.  But with Amazing Spider-Man 2 out, it would be a good time to release a book like that for people who are getting into comics.  Also giving it the same name as a title that just launched probably helped as well, as fans might not want to read a miniseries incase it “doesn’t count.”

New 52 Futures End has got to be worrying DC.  It’s only the end of the first month and it’s already bleeding sales.  Bad word of mouth can’t be helping the title either as most reviews have been ok to decent.  Batman: Eternal on the other hand is doing well.  The difference

Batman #31 was the top selling comic for DC in May

Batman #31 was the top selling comic for DC in May

between April and May isn’t that drastic and one that could be ignored.  Forever Evil final issue boosted DC’s numbers and sold better than the previous two issues of the event series.  DC’s share of the market was up over the past few months, which had been losing small percentages to Image.  There is good news for DC though in the trade market, as Batman became the first non Image title to take that top slot in a long time.

Image had a great month, even if it did lost a small percentage from the previous two month’s growth.  The Walking Dead crawled back into the top 10, and Saga had a strong showing at 21.  Taking six months off at a time doesn’t seem to be hurting Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ series.  I hope the same will happen for Black Science and its upcoming break.  Mark Millar’s MPH #1 is at 54, which outsold Wolverine #6 and #7 (even though Wolverine made

more money).  East of West and Southern Bastards continue to stick around in the top 100.  I’m sure we would have seen Sex Criminals if it had been published in May.  The trade market is where Image continues to dominate.  Manifest Destiny’s first trade made the top 10, while Black Science was the top selling trade for Image in May.

Comic sales were down 10% from April of 2014, but Amazing Spider-Man #2 probably skewed those numbers a bit.  Comparing to May 2013, sales are only down 2%, which could be a hell of a lot worse.  Comic sales are down about 1.1% compared to last year while graphic novel sales are up almost 2%.  It’s almost even, but given that trades are cheaper than single issues the industry is still slightly behind last year.

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