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February 26 2007

Buffy #1 poised to be a huge seller. Curious to know how the comic book will sell? Well Dark Horse are quoted as saying "initial orders for the first issue are 80,000, and sales should easily go above the 100,000 mark".

For a comic book not being published by Marvel or DC, this is a huge success. With a little bit of luck, Buffy #1 should enter the top ten best selling comic books for March and if we're very lucky, it'll make the top five.

More coverage of the Dark Horse panel at the New York Comic Con can be found in this Whedonesque thread.

That's terrific news but I think it's fairly safe to say the first issue is gonna blip a lot higher than the ongoing will. 80-100k are almost 'event' issue numbers so I just don't see it continuing for 30+ issues though obviously it'd be great if it did (seeing how 2 and 5 - the first non-Joss one - sell will be more indicative IMO).

(still, raising the profile of the Buffyverse makes other projects - in whichever medium - all the more likely so it's all good)
First issues also got higher collector value, especially first printings.
Well...Dark Horse is the fourth largest publisher...and aside from the Batman/Superman/Spiderman franchises, most of your big franchises and the ones that are most often praised for being original are your indie comic and graphic novel publishers.

Btw, who is third? Marvel and DC are first and second.

I'm wondering if this is one of those "oh my gosh, I have to pre-order right now otherwise I won't get it on Wednesday!" things -- btw I'm one of that camp and am pre-ordering it now.

Oh and PW also reported that graphic novel sales have hit $300 million.

[ edited by Browncoat on 2007-02-26 15:30 ]
Browncoat: Image Comics is third, usually about a half-percent ahead of DH.

[ edited by jlp on 2007-02-26 15:39 ]
How does 80k-100k compare to, say, Astonishing X-Men? Or other, non-Marvel comics? The Angel series? Is there a nerd here who can share the wisdom?
IDW sales for the Angel range average around the 7,000 - 7500 mark these days. Astonishing X-Men sells around 120,000 copies.

Estimated sales figures for the IDW Angelverse comics
80-100K is quite good for any book, but especially for something that's not on DC or Marvel. You shouldn't have any trouble finding the issue if your comic book shop ordered enough. That being said you might want to get them to have a pull list for you or order it on the net if you want to be sure.
Any chance that all ... twenty-two of these will get published in a single bound volume?
I think we are going to see the typical sales figures for any big comic event. And yes, we should see a sales drop from number 1. But...I wouldn't be surprised if the trade paperback of the entire series (one of those nice hardcover's or something like "Absolute Buffy") sells the way the Buffy DVD's have sold, consistently and for a really long time!

There are plenty of casual viewers out there that would love to see what the Buffster is up to but are not able to easily pick up a comic monthly. I believe that once that trade hits the stores, it's going to be popular for a long time. Hopefully it will become a permanent resident on the comic store shelf like Kingdom Come or Watchmen...which can be found in every comic store on the planet. Yes, I am being kind of optimistic but what do you expect? I'm a comic fan and a Buffy fan, what can be better than this??? Excited isn't a strong enough word.
I did some checking and found what Buffy #1 from the first series debuted at back in September of 98.

28 Buffy The Vampire Slayer 1 $2.95 Dark Horse 61,400

The big difference for the new Buffy #1 is that Joss is personally writing it,he's overseeing the whole thing and this is the official canon continuation of the verse.

Here are the sales for the next few issues of the old series.

53 Buffy The Vampire Slayer 2 $2.95 Dark Horse 43,700

43 Buffy The Vampire Slayer 3 $2.95 Dark Horse 46,100

38 Buffy The Vampire Slayer 4 $2.95 Dark Horse 51,800

37 Buffy The Vampire Slayer 5 $2.95 Dark Horse 48,300

The first issue of the Buffy:Origin miniseries came out the same month(January 99) as issue 5 of the regular series.

33 Buffy The Vampire Slayer Origin 1 $2.95 Dark Horse 50,000
When I tried to reserve a copy of #1 at my local comic store, they told me not to worry because they were ordering a ton of them. With the numbers that DH thinks it will sell, I hope the comic store was right.

Buffyfantic, those are interesting numbers for the original comics. They somewhat held consist over time. With the new comics, something that is Joss penned should definitely add to the number sold than the original had.
Any chance that all ... twenty-two of these will get published in a single bound volume?

Well, they're talking about more than 22 issues anyway (maybe 30, maybe even more) but that'd be a lot for one volume (the Runaways hardcovers are 18 issues, Ultimate Spider-Man is 13 issues IIRC). Seems more likely they'd release each story arc in paperback as usual and maybe a couple of hardback volumes for the entire 'season' afterwards.

I can also see the trades selling well alexreager for the reason you mention. Over here (UK) the bigger bookshops already carry some of the Buffy trades and it'd be fantastic to see 'season 8' sat alongside the likes of 'Watchmen' or DKR.

And those sound like reasonable numbers BuffyFantic though IIRC by the time the Buffy comics were winding down they were selling more like 20,000. But once the hullabaloo's died down i'd settle for 50k a month consistent sales very happily, anymore would be gravy.
Yeah,the sales for the Buffy comics were declining towards the end of the first run.The sales for the Angel comics at Dark Horse were never too great to begin with.That's probably why Dark Horse dropped the rights to Angel after Ats ended.
It'll be interesting to compare the sales figures for plot arcs written by the likes of the big comic book names (Loeb, Meltzer etc) versus the former Mutant Enemy writers (Goddard, Espenson etc). I have a feeling the comic book guys will win out.
80,000? That's huge--it's probably been a long time since a non-Marvel/DC title charted that high.

Yeah, there will be a drop-off (I believe a drop-off by a third is not uncommon), but considering that Dark Horse's bestselling title in Januari was Star Wars: Legacy #7 estimated at 34,249 copies, I think we can consider the Buffy sales very, very healthy.

Anyone remember in which thread we were guessing how high on the best-seller list #1 was going to end? (At least I'm pretty sure that was on Whedonesque.) I remember I was pretty optimistic, and this makes it sound like that was justified.

I agree with Saje, a complete, single-volume collection is not very likely. Although my Uncanny X-Men Omnibus collects 40 issues, so it is possible, but the biggest books I've ever seen from Dark Horse are the Omnibuses coming out now. (Seven Omnibus volumes planned for all the pre-Season 8 Buffy comics, it was said at the NYCC.)
Telltale, I think it was this thread.
That's probably why Dark Horse dropped the rights to Angel after Ats ended.

Yeah, Scott Allie has said that. Even the Joss-written Angel mini just didn't sell great for them. The Buffy comics, on the other hand, always sold well enough to continue--they just had to wait on Joss. :-)

Thanks, Simon. Top 20ish, I said. That should be easy--lowest book in Jan. to sell over 80,000 was Uncanny X-Men, at number 17 (ICV2).

[ edited by Telltale on 2007-02-26 19:10 ]
Yep, remember the other thread now. There I was being sceptical about it reaching 70-80k and it turns out initial orders are already 80k. Probably just as well i'm not really a gambling man ;).

I have a feeling the comic book guys will win out.

Makes sense Simon, not only will the Buffy fans buy those issues, you'll also have the comics readers who just buy anything by Brian K Vaughan or Jeph Loeb irrespective of subject matter (reckon Jane E, Petrie etc. also - deservedly - have fans like that but obviously they'd overlap very heavily with the Buffy fans who're already buying).

ETA: Oh, cool, it's on the shipping list. Now it's real. I almost feel like saying "Yeehah!". I won't of course, wouldn't be proper ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2007-02-26 19:20 ]
That's an impressive figure, but as has been stated, the first issue of any such high-profile project is going to have a big print run. And 100,000 issues sold to dealers does not, of course, mean 100k sold to readers. Many dealers could be stocking up with extra copies, anticipating an immediate value rise in the months ahead; some unscrupulous shops could even be planning to under-stock the issue on their shelves, then offer it at "collector's prices" shortly thereafter (a sad but true tactic in the business).

The numbers to watch will be the sales of subsequent issues. These days, a comic published by one of the big companies can be considered a success if it moves around 30,000 per issue. In the case of this particular title, I think we could anticipate regular sales of at least double that.

I also think the project can look forward to very strong sales of the trade paperback reprints, particularly among fans who are perhaps a bit uncomfortable buying a single comic book, but who have no such qualms heading down to Borders and picking up a 'graphic novel'.

At any rate, if you want that first issue right away and you haven't already ordered your copy and had it reserved through your friendly neighborhood comic shop, I suggest you get yourself down there on that Wednesday and snag one from the shelf, because in a lot of stores, I think there may not be any left come Thursday (but don't fret...Dark Horse will doubtless do a second run quickly, to meet demand).
I go with the comic book pros winning out too.I've already seen it with the IDW line.Some people at my shop picked up Peter David's Spike comics and Illyria one-shot just because it was Peter David writing it and not for any great love of the verse.Guys like Loeb,Meltzer,Vaughan,and David are superstars in the comic book world.There names here will help sell issues to people who never even seen an episode of either series.
I'd like to implore all of you that are considering it to NOT tradewait on Season 8.

Go out and pick up at least the first few issues from the comic book store if you can afford to do so, and then when you see how fun serialized sequential art narratives are, you might just keep doing it.

Similar to television, the continuation of the story depends on the audience's willingness to purchase the individual episodes... uh...issues. The trades can be in print forever, but they will only collect a story that sells well enough to justify its continuation. The book has to be able to afford the (while amazingly and excitingly gifted...probably also very expensive) talent.

sooooo...woman or man up and get thee to the comix rack! I know c0mixfanz are scary, but a fully realized and well executed Season 8 depends on it!
Saje, they could fit the entire run of these Buffy comics into one book. My copy of The Walking Dead Omnibus is around 900 pages, and I think the Invincible one is longer. However, Grant Morrision is the winner, with a whopping 40 issues fit into one book!
The soon to be released Amazing Spidey omnibus is going to be bigger than 40 issues. I don't remember how many issues frank miller did on daredevil, but it's going to be close to that 40 number.
I just wanted to add that The Sandman Volume 1 is 20 issues + extras, and it's a whopper of a book. I don't really know if I would want to buy such a huge thing... I'd rather get the issues individually.
Does anyone have the Betty and Veronica stats?

Hey, it's the only comic I ever read as a kid.
Afraid not, kerfuffle. :-)

Doesn't track on the Top 300. 'Archie' is at 291 with 2501 copies and 'Archie & Friends' at 300 with 2197 copies, though. (Which is comic specialty stores only. I suspect Archie Comics lives on its supermarket etc. sales.)


Still, it's the heaviest of all of these volumes, and thus, in hardback at least, could undoubtedly be used to stun a burglar; which has always been my definition of real art.
--Neil Gaiman, afterword to Sandman vol.9: The Kindly Ones

(And that big book is the oversized 'Absolute' edition. The regular first trade just has 8 issues.)

[ edited by Telltale on 2007-02-26 21:53 ]
Archie comics are still selling? To whom and WHY?
This is fantastic news, with sales like these Buffy will be by far the best selling title at Dark Horse.
I don't care what the numbers show, for me nothing can replace my beloved Spike comics at IDW.
Does anyone know where this can be pre-ordered in the UK, please?
Initially I was going to wait for the trade, as I do with every series I read. I read everything... you know... not *ahem* on paper, and then I buy it in TP or HC form.

For Buffy, I broke my rules for the first time in three years. I'm still gonna D/L it because it will take something like two weeks for the actual issue to come to Greece, but then I'm buying that and the inevitable trade.

I guess I'll reserve the singles so that I can spread the love. :)
My friends and I apparently have some competition next Wednesday when it comes out. My one friends' mom went into our local Comic vendor and asked how many copies they were going to get in, I don't remember the number exactly, but the clerk said we might be out of luck because there is this psycho fan who goes in and buys out every Buffy and Angel item in their stock. So, if you're going to plan to buy all the copies from a store, don't because other people want to enjoy Buffy too.
If someone bought up all the Buffy and Angel stuff I ordered for my store, I'd order a whole lot of Buffy and Angel stuff. Just to see where that guy's upper limit is.

(Of course, they could also just limit the number of copies anyone can buy.)
We all KNEW this would be huge. This is JOSS and this is BUFFY.
We're almost there now. Woo Hoo!
Yeah but we all "knew" 'Serenity' was going to be huge too. It's just nice when what we all "know" and what actually happens are the same thing ;).

heb, not sure but it might be a bit late to pre-order a comic coming out next week (by this point most places will let you buy it and just send it out when it arrives). If you have a Local Comic Shop you can just phone them up and ask them to keep you one (best solution IMO - support your LCS folks !) or Comics Domain are pretty good, quick despatch and cheap postage. Failing that, Forbidden Planet are gonna have it in stock (they're a big chain) but you'll get hammered on postage (it'll be the cost of the comic again).

(interestingly on their website Forbidden Planet have this notice under Buffy #1
Customers please note: We cannot provide a subscription to this comic alone, we require that you order a minimum of three ongoing monthly titles to qualify for a subscription. Please see our terms & conditions for more information.
which is a clear indication to me anyway that they're getting a lot of interest from people that don't normally buy comics - or singles at least)
(interestingly on their website Forbidden Planet have this notice under Buffy #1
Customers please note: We cannot provide a subscription to this comic alone, we require that you order a minimum of three ongoing monthly titles to qualify for a subscription. Please see our terms & conditions for more information.
which is a clear indication to me anyway that they're getting a lot of interest from people that don't normally buy comics - or singles at least)

I certainly wanted to just order and subscribe to the Buffy comics - I've never bought a comic in my life before, and chances are I won't again. Now I have to actually brave a comic shop!
the things that you had not ought to
you do because you ve gotto
wotthehell wotthehell
I certainly wanted to just order and subscribe to the Buffy comics - I've never bought a comic in my life before, and chances are I won't again. Now I have to actually brave a comic shop!

Mehitabel! They have improved so much over the years! They have sections for kids, female readership and lots for the spandex (superhero readers) Just enjoy! Don't forget to look at all the Graphic Novels! I bet you'd be delighted!
Exactly so, woo & hoo, and I'll be toujours gai while doing it!

Moonliter - I have been reassured they're not all like the comic shop in Spaced. Who knows, i might become a comics convert!
Mehitabel- Oh, please define Spaced? Is that from Buffy ? Or a movie...(goes off to search in Google for reference....
Sorry - Spaced is a cult comedy show in the UK, with a terrifying comic book shop in it - a bit like the one in the Simpsons.

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