Thursday, November 01, 2007

Legion sales charts, 1960-2007

Last time I did a sales chart review was back in May, so here's the update (but I do have some good info there, so please re-read). Going from the micro to the macro view:

1. Sales of v5

The good news is that it looks like sales are finally stabilizing. However, all of the sales boost from the "One Year Later" event have evaporated, but to be fair, that's pretty much the case across the DC line. Average sales are now back to what they would have been prior to the OYL event. The big spike in Dec. '06 was for the alternate Adam Hughes cover.

2. Sales, 1996-2007

I used 1996 as the starting point here because that's the point at which reliable data starts. Prior to this, the only way to estimate sales figures are by multiplying sales as tracked by Capital Cities (which was only a fraction of the entire print run) and using a fudge factor developed for the entire DC line for that calendar year, and applying it to every title equally, to show what that fraction scaled to. This point in 1996 happens to pick up at the Final Night storyline, so you can see all the other DC company-wide crossovers that followed, like Genesis and DC 1,000,000. What's interesting is that sales were falling pretty consistently until Abnett and Lanning took over, and then sales rose until the series was cancelled in late 2004. Compare those to the present series' sales, and things don't look so bad. Sales of the main title now have finally dipped back to the point where they were in late 1996. To look at it another way - sales are still the highest they've been in 12 years.

3. The big picture

Looking at this one, you can see how whacked-out things were in the 1960's, and how much the Batman TV series really skewed everything. You can also see sales bumps from the Bates/Cockrum era, and each of the Levitz scripting eras, plus the sales drop from the Conway issues. You can also see how messed up the data is from 1986-96, I chose to put in the fractional data that Capital Cities had (accurate numbers, but not the whole story) rather than put a bogus fudge-factored number that makes the plot look even worse. And look at some of those huge sales drops from year to year - 79,000 drops between 1966-67, for example, or the 88,000 lost sales from 1971-72. It's obvious the newsstand market of the Silver and Bronze Ages is much different from the direct market today.

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