Monday, August 31, 2020

COVID-era sales data: take 1

Our good friends over at Comichron have crunched the numbers with their mighty number crunching machines and have come up with, well, something for the missing sales data for April through July 2020. You'll recall that LSH v8 #5 was the last issue released on a normal schedule, coming out literally the day before the comic shops shut down around the country (where I live, DC authorized the sales on Tuesday March 17, the day before New Comic Book Day, because things were going to be shut down starting Wednesday March 18).

Back in the olden days BC (Before COVID), Legion was a solid seller for DC. Here's what it looked like up through issue 5:

LSH v8 sales and rank

Issue

Total sales

(all covers)

overall #

DC #

#1 book

1

75,611

10

3

138,434

2

35,653

50

17

117,926

3

34,732

44

15

167,377

4

30,675

51

18

190,568

5

29,058

59

18

142,089


For the moment, the important column is the DC #, meaning that's what rank it had compared to all of the other DC books published that month. Outside of issue 1 with its #1-ness and 5 different covers, issues 2-5 were remarkably consistent relative to the rest of DC's output. When DC announced its cutbacks (titles such as Constantine, Hawkman, and Suicide Squad), it was the titles selling under 20,000 copies that went on the chopping block.

But COVID-19 changed the comics world with the shutdowns across the industry, and DC took the opportunity to switch from Diamond to Lunar and DCS as distributors. That one-two punch led to upheavals in the marketplace and a sense of "we're not quite sure exactly which title sold how much anymore", at least to the public. What they do have now are relative sales, at least for the time being. What that means is that we don't know how many copies of issue 6 were sold, but we do know how many issues were sold relative to that month's issue of Avengers or Justice League (which Comichron is calling the "index book", and it has less volatility in sales due to special issues or events).

Combined sales charts for June 2020 and July 2020 from Comichron, plus read this that explains just what the hell happened from April to July.

What we see is that when LSH v8 #6 came out in June, it was the overall #23 book for the month (remember, though, Marvel only had a handful of books out) and the #17 DC book, selling 85 copies (combined, that includes 63 regular covers and 22 cardstock covers) for every 100 of Justice League #46. The overall top-selling book in June was Dark Knights Death Metal #1, with 544 copies sold for every 100 copies of Justice League. Higher selling books included 8 Batman family, 2 each of Green Lantern and Justice League, and 1 each of Death Metal, Strange Adventures, Batman/Superman, and Superman.

July 2020 was the first month where Lunar/UCS were completely split from Diamond, which had some DC books in June. The top-selling book, Batman #95, sold 490 copies for every 100 copies of Avengers #34. LSH v8 #7 sold 105 copies (78 regular, 29 cardstock), was the #41 book overall and the #18 DC book. This was the Gold Lantern sellout issue. Books ahead include 8 Batman family books, 2 Justice Leagues, 2 Supermans, and one each of Death Metal, DCeased, Strange Adventures, Superman/Batman, and Green Lantern.

So here's what our table looks like now, with the limited insight into sales:

LSH v8 sales and rank

Issue

Total sales

(all covers)

overall #

DC #

#1 book

1

75,611

10

3

138,434

2

35,653

50

17

117,926

3

34,732

44

15

167,377

4

30,675

51

18

190,568

5

29,058

59

18

142,089

6

TBD

23

17

TBD

7

TBD

41

18

TBD

Starting with issue 2, it has been AMAZINGLY consistent in terms of where it sits on the relative DC chart.

More data as it comes in.....


Friday, August 07, 2020

Five Years Later, annotated

Here's a chronological listing of the annotations for the entire Legion of Super-Heroes volume 4 "Five Years Later" series (or it will be when we're done) that I've been putting together in support of the weekly Legion of Substitute Podcasters episodes. This will eventually include the "LSH v4" series plus the "Timber Wolf", "Legionnaires", and "Valor" series that weave in and out, as well as odd bits that were in the same time period. This series began five years after the end of Paul Levitz's "LSH v3" (aka "Baxter") series in late 1989 and ends at Zero Hour in mid 1994. This will be pinned over on the left side of the blog.


And if you don't have the issues, you can buy the upcoming Five Years Later Omnibus vol. 1 (out now!) and follow along by re-listening to the podcasts!

Each week (more or less), the Subs recap and discuss an issue of the series. Some of us are fans, others not so much so. There are some good things and some not so good things, some drinking games, and shenanigans (as much as five guys can chime in and shenanigate). We also recap the new Bendis issues and have an occasional interview (Phil Jimenez, Mark Waid, Steve Lightle, Paul Levitz, Tom Bierbaum, and more), but I'm not tracking those here.

The links below take you to my annotations, and in each entry has a link to the relevant podcast episode as well as Tom Bierbaum's recollections on each issue (which are required reading as he explains what was going on behind the scenes for each issue, from what DC Editorial wanted to who created who to why certain things happened to certain characters). If you don't see a cover below, we haven't done that issue yet.

Since the comics often give a real date, I am tracking that as well, supplemented by the 2995 Sourcebook. That's the colored section at the bottom. If you are new to the series, be forewarned that there are spoilers in there!

Cover
LSH v4 Annual #3
LSH v4 #33
LSH v4 #34
LSH v4 #37
LSH v4 #38 LSH v4 #39 LSH v4 #40 LSH v4 #41
Legionnaires #1 LSH v4 #42 Legionnaires #2 LSH v4 #43
Legionnaires #3 LSH v4 #44 Legionnaires #4 LSH v4 #45
Legionnaires #5 LSH v4 #46 Legionnaires #6 Valor #11
LSH v4 #47 LSH v4 Annual #4 Legionnaires #7 Valor #12
LSH v4 #48 Legionnaires #8 Valor #13 LSH v4 #49
LSH v4 #50 Legionnaires #9 Valor #14 LSH v4 #51
LSH v4 #52 Legionnaires #10 Valor #15 LSH v4 #53
Legionnaires #11 Valor #16 LSH v4 #54 Legionnaires #12
Valor #17 LSH v4 #55 Legionnaires #13 Valor #18
LSH v4 #56 Legionnaires #14 Valor #19 LSH v4 #57
LSH v4 Annual #5 L.E.G.I.O.N.
Annual #5
Legionnaires #15 Valor #20
LSH v4 #58 Legionnaires #16 Valor #21 LSH v4 #59
Legionnaires
Annual #1
Legionnaires #17 Valor #22 LSH v4 #60
Zero Hour #4 Legionnaires #18 Superboy v3 #8 Valor #23
Zero Hour #3 Zero Hour #2 Zero Hour #1 LSH v4 #61
Zero Hour #0