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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I played a very bad hand very well. There's a distinction"
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October 15 2007

Buffy Season 8 goes from success to success. Issue 6 took eighth place and shifted an estimated 96,500 copies in Diamond's Direct Sales Chart for the month of September.

It's so great that Buffy sales aren't losing steam after all this time.
Really is. Conventional wisdom (which I subscribed to) has been turned upside down when it comes to Buffy season 8. I would have expected some sort of drop off because the title got a new writer but obviously not. The "Buffy" brand name really hasn't lost any of its impact since the show went off the air. Dark Horse must be over the moon and it'll be interesting to see if the Buffy comic book effect will bolster the sales for IDW's Angel: After The Fall miniseries. As I'll go out on a limb and guess that the first issue will shift around 25-30,000 copies.
I was in my local comic store in Liverpool the other day, and they have an entire stand devoted to Buffy now.

It's really very neat. I think it's proof that a good story in the right medium can sell.

[ edited by gossi on 2007-10-15 19:23 ]
It's also nice to see the Serenity TPB still on the chart after all this time.
ICV2 has the estimated numbers up so I've changed the URL to that. Numbers for Season 8 so far can be found here. IDW's numbers here. I have no life.
Dark Horse's Buffy the Vampire Slayer reappeared in the top ten with issue #6 -- and every other issue of the series made the Top 300 list.

Wow, that last bit.

Devil's advocate of course says that the new issue's performance--as the first not written by Joss--is based entirely on retailer guesses about whether their customers will still be interested. Still, confidence is obviously high, and I share in the optimism.
To those of you that don't know a lot about the comic industry, the rest of that list is from the big two (Marvel and DC) and it's pretty damn hard for anything else to break into the top 10 and there's also this general believe that sales will drop off from after the first few issues. So the fact that Buffy #6 is in the top ten is absurd (in a good way) and flies in the face of all comic book sales trends.

[ edited by war_machine on 2007-10-15 21:08 ]
Is "shift" the same as selling?
Is "shift" the same as selling?

I believe these numbers reflect the number of copies that Diamond Distributors sent to the stores, but that is based on stores ordering what they think they need. Possibly they upped the orders because #6 was the start of a new arc... or they ordered more to cover interest.
Yes, these numbers are what was sold to the shops. Unlike regular bookstores, comic stores can't return surplus product, so this is the minimum that retailers expect to actally sell to customers.
Issue 7's numbers will probably tell us more about the trend for non-Joss-written sales (because shops will amend their order based on how #6 sold) but we also shouldn't underestimate the BKV effect. I think retailers will have allowed for the fans that were reading previously minus a few but then ADDED some too for the non-Buffy-fans that'll be taking a look just cos it's yer man Brian.

And even if #7 drops off by 20% (which I really doubt) around 80k is still very healthy monthly sales for a non-big-two title. Great news.
I expect/hope the numbers to stay high since BKV is writing like a veteran enemy mutant.
I'm continuing to buy, and I'll remain firm on the comic as long as Joss stays at the helm. I have faith he'll keep the quality high.

Of course, it'd be really cool to see the Buffyverse in other media too, like a spinoff TV series. It's not impossible. I have my own preferences in that regard (i.e. "Willow and Tara"), but heck, I'd watch dern near anything if Joss put his creativity behind it. I know he's committed to putting quality into everything he does. Not many people in Hollywood have worked as hard as Joss has.

These days, I have visions of a bored Joss sitting by his phone, waiting for Hollywood to call. It makes me sad.

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