§ January 2nd, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

I was thinking about Heidi MacDonald’s comment from her excellent year-end wrap-up that Powers is selling 10,000 more copies now that it’s published by Marvel instead of Image, and whether 10,000 more people are reading it only because it’s Marvel. I thought I’d discuss our experience with this particular comic.

At our store, yes, we did bump orders up on the new Powers #1, for two reasons. First, it is a number one for a relatively popular series by a name writer, and it gets a great deal of press. We thought maybe people would use this new series as a jumping-on point.* And second, it’s a Marvel first issue…whether anyone wants to admit it or not, there are comic buyers who buy all Marvel #1s**, if not all Marvels period. (There is a third reason, I suppose…the fact that Marvel no longer supports reorders, requiring dealers to bump orders up just in case there is excess demand.)

Although the first couple issues of Powers did sell through for us, even at the higher orders, it has since gone back down to its Image numbers and we have adjusted our orders accordingly. (And yes, we do carry and prominently feature the Powers trade paperbacks, and we were trying to keep some of those new readers on the title.) I think we’ll probably see that “10,000” number diminish over the next few months, if other retailers are having the same experience that we’re having with this comic.

Marvel’s other ICON book, Kabuki, has gone through a similar rise and decline, though I’m pretty sure sales have even dropped to lower than pre-Marvel levels for us.

On a slightly related subject, has anyone noticed any increased demand for Marvel’s Amazing Fantasy title? Both pal Dorian and I have noted that Marvel’s promotion for this title includes how it’s being covered by the mainstream press in regards to its Latina lead, but none of this coverage has appeared to translate to sales. It’s selling to the same people who buy Marvel comics, and not to anyone new. It’s also being cancelled and restarted with a new #1 and a new name (Arana), which tells me that our sales situation isn’t unique.

In other news:

In my half-baked year-end round-up, I forgot to note Eightball #23 as one of my favorite comics from 2004. Please forgive me, Alan!

Scott at Polite Dissent lists his awards for Comic Book Medicine in 2004. Who else could have made such a list? Who else would dare?

Congratulations to Fred Hembeck on the two year anniversary of his fine site.

EDIT: Oh, right, the Swamp Thing Bad Seed contest…winners will be announced this week!

* I know this flies in the face of previous experience regarding series restarts by Marvel, in which just as many (if not more) people jump off, but we had high hopes, apple pie in the sky hopes.

** Which was the only way we were able to move any copies of Spider-Man: India, for example.

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