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April 22 2008

Buffy #12 takes 6th place for March. ICV2 estimates that the issue shipped 88,930 copies to North American comic book stores. The hype for #12 (which turned out to be the Buffy/Satsu romance) led to an increase of around 900 copies on the previous month. Also in March, Serenity: Better Days #1 came in at no. 26 with 62,300 copies shipped and Angel: After The Fall #5 took 31st place, shipping 49,558 copies.

That's some very healthy numbers for Angel, IDW must be jumping up and down with glee.

Previous figures and chart positions for Buffy season 8 and Angel: After The Fall can be found here and here.

March 2008
26 Serenity Better Days #1 $2.99 62,300

April 2008
32 Serenity Better Days #2 $2.99 56,128
266 Serenity Better Days #1 $2.99 4,311

It's a lot better to have consistent numbers than a random, artificial spike that leads to nowhere, IMO. Very nice to see readership holding up tightly. And, highest ranking so far.
Consistent numbers are good to have but after the shouting and roaring that went on I did expect a bigger spike. Though I reckon we'll have to wait till next month to see if there's significant reordering for issue 12. That'll be the proof in the pudding.

Also the stats for Angel are now up. Great numbers. Did After The Fall #6 ship early in some places as the relevant figures for March are as follows.

31 Angel After The Fall #5 $3.99 49,558
252 Angel After The Fall #6 $3.99 4,399
256 Angel After The Fall #3 $3.99 4,162 *

Wow-great numbers for Angel #5 - does that make it the 3rd month in a row that sales have increased for After the Fall?
The sales figure is made-up. The ranking is the only thing here that's useful - and a jump back into the top ten is pretty good going really.

Simon, given that AATF6 only came out in April, either something iffy is going on with Diamond's chart as a whole, or someone mistyped 4 as 6.
Not to nitpick, but shouldn't this post say "Spoiler" since we're stating "The much hyped Buffy/Satsu romance..." in the posting?
I can't imagine that there's anyone left who hasn't seen it, but you never know...'penguins in Guam' may just now be getting their copies of the issue.
I can see your point and if it was a week after the issue came out I wouldn't mention it but by now it's fair game as far as I concerned.

There's always going to be a minority of readers each day who will get spoiled by items like "Tara's death voted worst death scene ever" and so on.
Good point. Did anyone get the 'penguins in Guam' reference?
I did. Thanks. :)
I'm sorry but I feel mean satisfaction over the fact that the extremely tacky media campaign over Buffy #12 didn't yield much of a result. So maybe next time they wouldn't go spoiling the issue for everyone in major newspapers. What irritated me about all this Buffy/Satsu hype is that it was positioned as a wave when in reality it was a ripple. I mean come on - it's the 3rd time it's happening in Buffyverse alone, nothing to shout about from the rooftops. And Buffy-8 can stand well enough on its own.

And I'm very pleased to see Angel figures climbing up steadily.
Simon, you missed Serenity: Better Days #1, which beat Angel, coming in at 26th with an estimated 62,300 copies sold.

[ edited by littlexander on 2008-04-22 17:04 ]
Thanks for that, I'll add that in.
Consistent numbers are good to have but after the shouting and roaring that went on I did expect a bigger spike.

I dunno, how many people that aren't already reading it are gonna be hooked in by a comic art rendering of two women in bed (given that there's, y'know, the internet ;) ? Any Buffy fans not reading it are probably doing so because of a comics aversion and any comics fans not reading it can easily get far more titilation from full-on T&A books if that's what floats their boat.

Maybe a slight spike for the odd casual fan wondering what the fuss is about but apart from that, I didn't really expect a big surge in sales.

(now watch the re-order figures make a damn liar out of me ;)
(now watch the re-order figures make a damn liar out of me ;)

Yes that's the real test. As all the retailers had to go on when they placed March's order was word of mouth from Dark Horse that something big was going to go down (please correct me if that is not the case). If there were significant re-ordering for April then Dark Horse's media campaign paid off. If not, well they might have to look again at how they promote "special events" in Buffy season 8.
I would think that the cover art alone would be their best marketing campaign. Just imagine browsing Facebook or Myspace and see beautiful Jo Chen's art on the ad sides... wouldn't that make you want to click?
I didn't get the "penguins in Guam" reference, and I'm actually from Guam. Could someone explain please?
I'll give you a hint about the "penguins" comment: Season 6 + Mummy hand. That's all I'm saying.

Sheesh I've got too much time on my hands here at work.

[ edited by toontimer on 2008-04-22 19:56 ]
I'm not sure anyone has linked to that other little Buffy news story on ICV2 so I'll do it here.

Nothing new there, I guess, though the author timeline may be a little solidified.
The numbers, compared to last month, appear to be underestimated. Buffy jumped ahead of a fair few titles and at that level it takes more than 900 copies to do that.
Just to reiterate my theory... I was just on MySpace and I say Mal's beautiful face staring back at me through a banner for Serenity: Better Days. It's good to know that great minds think alike. :)
Well, many of the titles that were above Buffy in the chart for February didn't ship in March. Plus, very weak month in terms of sales. Kinda explains Buffy's jump.
Yes that's the real test. As all the retailers had to go on when they placed March's order was word of mouth from Dark Horse that something big was going to go down

Please tell me someone else giggled at that turn of phrase. Or is my mind just that much in the gutter (in Guam or otherwise)?

I'm not sure what's up with Angel--my local store hasn't had the past two copies *grumble* so I can't say for sure if it's a publisher thing about #6 or what.

As for S8, I think that even "pre-hyped" issues aren't going to sell as well as when Joss writes the arcs himself. I'm buying all of them (both covers, for that matter), but I can see the casual reader only tuning in for the arcs that Joss pens and ignoring everything else. Especially now that there was that thing at PaleyFest where Joss said that S8 could be de-canonized depending on the circumstances.

Gotta say, one thing that Dark Horse has going for it is that they don't play with readers' emotions by screwing with release dates. I think that's going to play a huge role in how S8 fares over the course of all 40 issues.
I know that I was a lot less excited about Runaways when they kept toying with me. Still waiting for Giant Size AXM...should be out by now. *sulks off to work on homework*
Sales have been rather steady, both with Joss at the writing helm of the arcs or not. It's been four months the total of orders have settled at the 88k mark, a sign of stability, and in the world of comics stability is golden news. But yeah, DH has been very well-organized in terms of release dates. They're extremely on time. Runaways, on the other hand.. let's say I read the issues without caring about the story at all at this point. I'm getting them out of faithfulness to Joss.
Nope Band of Buggered, I totally went there too. Especially given the context.

The sales figures are great for ALL of the Whedonverse releases, even assuming that a lot of us who do buy get both covers.

Given that there's a heap of fans who prefer to wait for the TPB, I'm happy that the decision to continue to tell these tales is paying off!
Especially now that there was that thing at PaleyFest where Joss said that S8 could be de-canonized depending on the circumstances.

What was that? I missed that (didn't read all the low-down about PaleyFest, I'm afraid). He's told us it's canon (as he has with Angel: ATF. Surely he can't take that back? Personally, I started buying them because of Joss's direct involvement, and the fact that they are canon. I never bought any of the other comics, unless there was direct Joss involvement. So which is it: are they canon, or not?

I'm not saying I'd stop buying them if they somehow stopped being canon: Joss is still directly involved, and I am enjoying them. But that sounds like a confusing thing to say.
It's nice to see the second Serenity mini-series debuting higher than the first one.
They're canon now Kiddo but Joss said at Paleyfest that, if it came to it, in order to get a Buffy movie made he would "shoot down everything i'm doing in the comics". Everyone has their take on how seriously to treat the comment (a Buffy movie is extremely unlikely IMO and that's the context Joss was talking in i.e. hypothetically) but it seems not unreasonble to now assume that they're lesser in his eyes than the TV show or than any possible future films. Which kind of negates, if not the "letter" then at least the "spirit" of canonicity or "official continuation" IMO, mileage varies though ;).

(or, as various people make a case for here, maybe he just meant "smooth the continuity" as he did between 'Firefly' and 'Serenity', or maybe if it actually came to it he'd try his very hardest to make the comics and film jibe or at least have explicit retcons to explain why the comics never happened)

Maybe the numbers have held because for every casual fan that only buys Joss' issues there's a specific writer fan to plug the gap (Brian K Vaughan fans may pick it up just because it's him for instance, even if they're not big Buffy fans) ? Gotta say though, most people going to the trouble of getting it are surely going to be specifically Buffy fans rather than broader Joss fans and if you're a Buffy fan, why wouldn't you want to read all the stories, whoever they're by ?
Saje - thanks for that. I'd agree that it does kind-of negate the "spirit" of canonicity. I'd also agree, however, that a movie is very unlikely, so if that was the context, I won't be over worried about it.
I thought he said he'd do that if he had to - he didn't say that negating the comic book continuity would be a prerequisite for making such a film. (And I seem to recall that he said this in the context of the question of "bisexual Buffy" being put in a disconcerting way to SMG.)
Nope, the context didn't seem that specific (though they had talked about Buffy/Satsu previously and SMG mentions she only found out about five minutes before). The thread I linked to has a link to a podcast of the reunion and Joss' bit about the comics is about 25 minutes in for anyone that wants to listen themselves.

And I agree daylight, he said if he had to, hence my "if it came to it, in order to get a Buffy movie made he would "shoot down everything i'm doing in the comics"" above ;).
Am I missing something, or has the podcast since been taken down? I went to the page linked to from the Strangely Literal site, and couldn't see anything actually to listen to. It was interesting reading other people's comments and interpretation, but I would have liked to have heard it for myself, to get my own take.

I certainly hope S8 isn't de-canonised. I agree that there is a difference between smoothing continuity and dumping wholesale, and I would be most disappointed if the comics were treated as disposable and dumped wholesale, after we've been told up front that they were official continuation. It would be one thing to make a movie which didn't refer to things or people from the comics (a movie couldn't reference everything from S1-S7, either) but if it contradicted the comics, I would be as miffed as if it contradicted the TV series, having been sold S8 as canon in the first place.

Anyway, as previously said, if we're only talking about it in the hypothetical event of a future movie, I think the likelihood is pretty slim. And everyone else has already had this discussion, so I'll leave it there.
Oops, yep it (now) says the Paley Centre asked them to remove the recording (which they have). Probably should've checked the link before suggesting it Kiddo, soz ;).
I suppose it depends on how you interpret the context - particularly difficult given that we can't see their gestures, and it is difficult to hear what with the audience member giggling loudly followed by Seth Green interrupting with "totally... steamy scenario" (an obvious reference to said context).

Still, in all fairness, Serenity contradicted a few things from Firefly (particularly, I felt, evidence that Simon knew more than he claimed to about River's condition). Most of the logic behind vampires and the Hellmouth had become completely shot to bits by the time Buffy was drawn to a close. So it's not like bad continuity from Joss is unprecedented.

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