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January 20 2006

Diamond Comics Distributor's final numbers for 2005. Astonishing X-Men sales not as strong as one would expect with all the hype surrounding that title. None of the Spike or Angel comics registered nor did Serenity.

Issue by issue Top 100 list:
19. Astonishing X-Men #10
23. Astonishing X-Men #8
30. Astonishing X-Men #12
32. Astonishing X-Men #9
37. Astonishing X-Men #11

Trade Paperbacks Top 100:
12. Astonishing X-Men Vol.1: Gifted
36. Astonishing X-Men Vol.2: Dangerous

Top 25 Toys
17. Angel, Spike and Darla AF ASST

Top 10 Cards
5. Serenity prem T/C Box
6. BTVS Spike Complete Story premium T/C Box

(edited to add Serenity trading card box)

Hmm, if these numbers are based on quantity sold that would explain why none of the Spike, Angel or Serenity made it on the list - there weren't that many in print. However, the limited quantities available seem to sell out.

[ edited by killinj on 2006-01-21 01:26 ]
I don't think those are bad positions for Astonishing X-Men, given the high profile series and events over the last year. Looking at the titles that came in higher i can't say i'm surprised, especially as we are talking the last few issues of the first volume of AXM.

No, i think those positions are pretty respectable.
Best selling X-Men title, Marvel's 2nd best selling series (House of M being a mini-series). Yeah I'd say they sold pretty darn well. I think Joss and John can be proud of their comic book title.
Very good year for Astonishing in what generally was very much a DC year. It really outsold all DC monthly's as well except for All Star Batman and Robin which only had 3 issues. Obvious to see though that Infinite Crisis and the crossovers were more successful than House of M and its counterparts.
None of the top 100 comics are from any publisher other than DC or Marvel, who together have 70% of the market by dollar sales and 78% by unit sales, according to that page. The Serenity comic was put out by Dark Horse, which only has 5.59%/3.76% of the market share (by dollar/unit), and the Angel and Spike comics are put out by IDW, which only has 1.33%/1.02% of the market share. So a really huge seller for them still wouldn't have much of a chance of getting on the top 100.

BUT, not only did the BtVS "Spike: The Complete Story" reach #6 in the trading card sales, you missed that "Serenity" reached #5, and these are the only two trading card titles from Inkworks to rank in the top 10, and only one other title is from any company other than Topps, and it ranked lower. So Serenity and Spike are the two highest-selling series of trading cards this year from any company other than industry-leader Topps. That's pretty damn good, really.

And Angel: Spike and Darla (not "Angel, Spike and Darla" since Angel was only part of the "Angel: Angel, Fred & Illyria" set) is the only entry on the top 25 toys from DST, meaning that it was their top seller for the year. Yay. And 18 out of 25 of the top toys are DC characters, which means that Spike and Darla were the 6th best selling toy not based on DC superhero characters. Which is also pretty damn good. I wonder how the Buffy: Anya & Tara, Angel: Wesley & Lorne, Deluxe Buffy: Buffy & Faith, Serenity: Mal, Jayne & Reaver, and the Buffy: Willow & Tara set ranked, since they also came out last year, and were apparently outsold by blond(e) vampires.

[ edited by deanna b on 2006-01-21 13:56 ]
Very good year for Astonishing in what generally was very much a DC year. It really outsold all DC monthly's as well except for All Star Batman and Robin which only had 3 issues. Obvious to see though that Infinite Crisis and the crossovers were more successful than House of M and its counterparts.

What is more interesting is the contradiction it highlights in the fans.

Taking a quick look at the top 40 in that list shows that DC was only able to crack Marvel's domination with event issues. Big highly publicised new series launches like Green Lantern (whose later issues fell well below it's first issue's position) and crossovers like Infinite Crisis. The rest of the top 40 were either House of M or just normal monthly Marvel titles including AXM and New Avengers.

I find that ironic because comic fans are always making the claim that Marvel are the ones that depend on the big events for sales whilst DC just put out good comics. How many times i have read complaints from people recently about House of M being yet another difficult to understand, pointless crossover and then say how much they are enjoying Infinite Crisis, probably the most complex and continuity confused crossover in the history of comicbooks.

These statistics would seem to prove that there is very little difference between the two companies but that it is Marvel's monthly titles that sell whilst DC are depending more and more on the events to sell their books.

All that said though, i have no problem with DC using these event type promotions to sell more books in the same way i accept Marvel doing the same thing. I just wish that the fans wouldn't condemn Marvel for doing it when DC is clearly no different, especially as Marvel are still outselling DC anyway. Definately a pot/kettle/black situation, i reckon.

It is a good thing that the balance is more apparent between the two top publisher these days though. I don't read DC but it has some of the most iconic superheroes known to the world. The company deserves to be holding it's own again against Marvel at last.
DC's event issues and restarts might have beat Marvel's, but for the last 18 months or so DC has been better. Marvel is still king of sales with their big titles, but DC's second tier has also come up. Marvel has been the best for so long that DC readers have been slow to come back, but many of Marvel's titles did nothing for me. Daredevil, AXM and Capt. Am. were superb but most of the rest of the Spidey/X-men titles (including Avengers) were not as good as they have been in the past.

[ edited by rockchalkwatcher on 2006-01-21 16:40 ]
Oh, i'm not talking about individual fans opinions of titles where they have actually taken the time to read the stories. Marvel and DC do things very differently and every fan is entitled to choose which style suits their personal tastes best. I prefer Marvel myself but i can fully accept that DC create equally good characters and stories and deserve to be up there with Marvel as the top two.

It just annoys me that Marvel are constantly being berated (not here at Whedonesque, i should point out. This is something that goes on at the majority of comic related boards, as you probably know) for doing the events and crossover series when their regular non-event comics still outsell DC and when DC are only able to start matching the success Marvel have had by copying them with said big events. It annoys me even more when i read these comments from people who then admit that they haven't actually read a Marvel title in years, merely making their minds up based on fan speculation and media hype.

Again though, Rockchalkwatcher, my comment wasn't directed at your opinion, which is fair enough. It was simply that your first comment raised this train of thought in my mind.
I buy more Marvel titles than DC. I find the majority of DC's stuff lacking. Though their Vertigo and Wildstorm labels do produce some very good stuff.
If I stopped to think about it I'd probably have more comics from Marvel than I do from DC... but I also probably have more from Image than I do from DC. I'm becoming slightly peeved that Green Arrow is steadily declining. No more than a year ago it was one of the ones I looked forward to reading each month. :(

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