Topic: Comic Books - New
Last Monday I started blogging about "The State Of Comics Retailing In 2009 Metro San Diego", as told by Jamie Newbold of Southern California Comics in San Diego, (click here for Part I)...
Southern California Comics, a.k.a. SoCal Comics, is owned by Jamie Newbold and is one of the major places in Metro San Diego area that I stop in at for comic book supplies and new comics for myself.
When I stopped there the previous week for the FACTION comic book signing, (click here for that blog), Jamie and I went over what's been going on in San Diego sales wise for comics.
Part I of this series was an introduction to the Store, Store Sales, and New Comics. The following is from Jamie's own words about individual Comic Book Publishers' titles sales at his store:
"MARVEL COMICS: The Dark Reign event is entertaining. I like what’s been played out so far in the storylines. I think “Dark Avengers“, “Wolverine“, and “Invincible Iron Man” have been both well drawn and written. Although these series were enjoyable, some of the limited Dark Reign series and one-shots alternated between necessary and wastes of money. Spider-Man was retooled and continued to succeed even though I lost track of exactly who knows what about Peter Parker/Spider-Man. I was surprised with the return of the clone legend. That old chestnut bore Marvel shame in the 90s. Now, it’s back for reasons unknown and without much fan desire at my store.
Marvel’s concern for its standard bearer titles reflected in the overall quality of art and writing. I sold generous helpings of titles like “The Avengers“, “Hulk“, “Thor“, “Daredevil” and more because they continue to be that good. Brilliant titles like, “The Torch”, “The Marvels Project“, “Doctor Voodoo”, and Icon’s “Incognito” rocked! Marvel’s “Noir” titles sold in small numbers contrary to their potent entertainment value. It’s just hard to push variety onto a money-tight clientele.
Disappointing fans with delivery delays and high cover prices slowed the momentum on heavily publicized “Captain America Reborn“, “The Twelve“, and upcoming movie phenomenon “Kick-Ass“. “Captain America Reborn” ran out of steam so fast that it literally chopped the sales of the regular title in half.
Marvel’s success formula for Wolverine in 2009 = “Old Man Logan”. Formula for a successful Wolverine story in 2010 = repeat the same as above!
DC COMICS: DC titles showed surprising resiliency in an unsteady market. I found a handful of their comics held their own sales weight against Marvel in numbers I don’t usually see. The “Blackest Night” story arc overwhelmed anything Marvel had. Blackest Night had the luxury of promotion at San Diego’s Comic Con and the wealth of Green Lantern merchandising in ‘09. Blackest Night sales began shortly before that show and caught fire with its inception.
I’ve enjoyed the new characters inhabiting the roles of Batman and Robin. The sales figures on the Bat titles remained consistent and I received favorable feedback from my customers. DC failed to produce much splash with the overworked Superman family. Flash and other frontline DC characters waded in shipping delays or uninteresting stories.
Vertigo usually produces several interesting titles each year, one or two which resonate strongly with my readers. “Sweet Tooth“, “Haunted Tank “, and “Unknown Soldier“ were tremendously entertaining. The emergence of Sgt. Rock in the hands of Billy Tucci was a supreme attempt at blending DC fiction with World War Two fact. Ongoing series such as “Northlanders” has sold steadily while former strong sellers (“Y, The Last Man“, “Preacher“, “100 Bullets“, and “Fables“) continue to dominate at trade paperback sales levels.
Wild Storm’s “Ex Machina” continues to be a strong trade paperback seller. “Gen 13” and “Authority” were best sellers in my store. At last, the final issue of “Planetary” arrived. However, their video game-based monthly titles have done less than I anticipated. They have a strong talent pool and many tradesmen to draw from. I’m anticipating that they must have something heavy waiting just behind the curtains.
IDW, IMAGE, DARK HORSE AND EVERYBODY ELSE: IDW works hard to find new subject matter and talent to bring to market. IDW is a company that works hard at their craft and keeps trying new things. It’s always fun to see what they produce next.
Retooled “Transformers” and “GI Joe” comics spotlighted IDW’s licensed titles. Their sales numbers plateaued after this year’s movie releases. A promising “The Ghoul” from Niles and Wrightson looks like fun. The “Angel” TV show comics continue to do real well. Joe Hill’s “Locke & Key” title has also been a store favorite with customers eagerly anticipating the upcoming third series.
Image Comics delivered with “Chew” this past summer. The first 5-issue storyline was great fun and sold extremely well. In fact, it met “Walking Dead” sales numbers quickly! Walking Dead is the king of trade paperback sales and sells constantly. “Back To Brooklyn” is a violent, tough-gangster 5-issue story. Garth Ennis and Jimmy Palmiotti captured a lifestyle that comics rarely engage at that depth (unless you read any Garth Ennis Punisher story!). “Haunt” with McFarlane’s cover art started well and with Kirkman’s writing, it proves to be a big hit with the customers.
Dark Horse has entertaining comics but customers are not purchasing them. Conan’s re-launch as “...The Cimmerian” is a great read and should sell better. “Kull” was exciting, well-done, and should have brought more attention. Even the Star Wars titles have left more unsold copies behind than in the past. “Aliens” and “Predator” were re-launched with little fanfare. I liked both but the franchises as comic books have slowed way down over the years.
Avatar’s “Crossed”, “Chronicles of Wormwood” and “Ignition City” should be avoided unless you really want to be highly entertained!
In my opinion, these companies and other independent publishers have suffered from uneven sales in 2009. It’s clear from a drop in our new comic’s sales that my customers have sacrificed almost everything to satisfy their Marvel and DC demands. That is a shame. Dynamite Entertainment (“The Boys”, “The Boys: Herogasm“, and “Garth Ennis’s Battlefields“), Boom Studios (Various Disney/Muppet titles and “Irredeemable“) and Zenescope (anything from the Grimm Fairy Tales series) make good reads and deserve to sell more copies than I’m currently able to sell."
Jamie went on to talk about Convention Sales / Web Site Sales / and eBay & other Auction Site Sales... I have titled today's blog post as 'Part II'. If YOU would like to read more of Jamie's thoughts on comics retailing in the San Diego Metro Area and world-wide... Please email me, message me, or write on my Facebook Wall that YOU would like to read more and I'll move 'Part III' up quicker in the timeline for posting here! Thanks again to Jamie Newbold for sharing the above with me and giving me permission to post it in my Blog!
For those of you that are looking at visiting the San Diego area soon, be sure to visit Jamie's SoCal Comics store. There is much more to comics in San Diego than just the once a year Comic Con International: San Diego (CCI / SDCC) that over 125,000 people attend!
Here's the direct link to Jamie's store: http://www.socalcomics.com/!
AND... Thanks again to all of YOU reading our current and archived blog posts! We do blog daily on comic book creators, comic book reviews, comic cons, and other pop culture news and events including some TV shows and theatrical films as they are shown!
PLUS... Welcome to ALL of You that were reading the eBay Version of our Blog prior to eBay closing 'their eBay blogs platform'. That version of our Blog had 1.37 MILLION page views before the closure... However, This Blog version is the same Blog that has been published at the same time the eBay version was being published. I've been publishing this version since September 2007, so it has the same Fun Stuff You are used to on the eBay version you were reading!
Speaking of eBay... Be sure to check out our own new listings of comics, graphic novels, Comic Con exclusives and more pop culture items for sale in Our online eBay Featured Store that our blogs are based on! It's due to sales at this online store that keep us going with the ability to post blogs like the one you have read here today!
~ Michael @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com