Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boom! Sales: The First Six Months (more or less)

Since a statistical graph is always worth three thousand words... plus or minus a margin of error of 500 or so... I've created a line graph to illustrate Kneon Transitt's data log on the number of Boom! "Duck and Mouse" titles that Diamond has sold to comic-book shops. Here, "Boom! Issue Number" refers to the first, second, etc. issues of each title released under Boom!'s auspices. The abbreviations in the legend should be obvious. (Sorry I didn't include HERO SQUAD, but Kneon had only one data point for that title. For the record, HERO SQUAD #1 sold 4557 copies.)

The one spike in the MICKEY MOUSE AND FRIENDS graph indicates the switchover from MM&F to WIZARDS OF MICKEY. WOM #2 sold about 1300 copies less than WOM #1, which might be due to the "collector's item" reflex but is still bothersome, given that MM&F and WOM have been telling a continuing story.

Kneon includes links to some information on Gemstone sales as well. Boom! appears to be holding its own reasonably well relative to Gemstone's later sales figures, but the downward trend is nonetheless worrisome. I'm especially disappointed in the figures that Kneon reported for the hardback and softcover collections. The first volume of LIFE AND TIMES OF SCROOGE McDUCK barely cleared the 1000-copy mark, and it's the only collection to have done so to date. WALT DISNEY'S VALENTINE'S CLASSICS scored a paltry 383 copies, a real shame given the high quality of that collection. MICKEY MOUSE CLASSICS did better (785), but only slightly better than CHRISTMAS CLASSICS. Hopefully, bookstore sales will help pump up these figures a bit, especially on the collections that merely reprint material that has already appeared in the monthly titles.


Chuck Munson said...

Maybe I'm just being a middle-aged cynic, but to me, regardless of sales figures not added, the lack of an ISBN number, the fact that for a relatively small press effort these numbers are actually not half bad, etc., there is just nothing indicating any revival in the enjoyment of comics printed on paper. I suppose that this is a somewhat broader phenomenon than being isolated just to Disney. It is flabbergasting compared to what is still true in Europe. Yes, figures are down there as well and it sounds like the Spanish and Portuguese readerships have completely evaporated worse than here, but if you take an even 5000 copies (wishful thinking) and divide over the 300mil Americans, does that not give us a statistically ridiculous one comic being read for every 60,000(!) Americans? (Please elaborate Professor Barat.) Uncle Scrooge needs to take a few turns in his worry room over that one!

GeoX said...

That's a hair-raising chart, for sure. It appears to me that, no matter how much thrashing around Boom or any other publisher does, the market simply isn't there. Then again, I suppose it's also partially my fault--I'd like to support any Disney publisher, but I'm not going to purchase these fantasy/superhero/secret agent things that I have zero interest in just so they can produce...more fantasy/superhero/secret agent things that I have zero interest in.

Chris Barat said...

One factor that may need to be considered here is Boom!'s decision to release EVERYTHING it has published in hardcover/softcover form. Are people now waking up to the fact that, if they are patient, they can buy all of Boom!'s material in a more convenient format? I'll be interested to see if the collected works show an uptick in sales in coming months, while sales of the regular books continue to fall. There may well be a connection.


GeoX said...

That's a good point--perhaps irrationally, I find that I'm much more open to the possibility of at least checking out softcover trade paperbacks than I am to buying the individual issues.

Kneon Transitt said...

Thanks for that, Chris.

I hate being the bearer of bad news, but I'm just posting numbers. Things were off to a promising start early on, then nosedived as months went on.

If anyone from Boom or Disney has some figures from other markets (bookstores, newsstands, Amazon, etc.) then feel free to post some good news. By all means, I don't think anybody would be disappointed to hear that while the hardcovers are selling under 1000 copies in the direct market, they're really selling like gangbusters elsewhere! I just don't have access to that data.