July 2014 Best Month for Comic Books in Recorded History

StewShearerOld

Geekdad News Writer
Jan 5, 2013
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July 2014 Best Month for Comic Books in Recorded History



Comic book readers bought $53 million worth of product in July 2014.

You might not think it considering their important role in pop and nerd culture, but comic books usually aren't big sellers. There are successful comics, to be sure, but when you look at a movie like Guardians of the Galaxy which was seen by millions and raked in millions, it might come as a surprise to learn that the latest issue of Rocket Raccoon is considered a big success for selling a mere 300,000 copies.

That in mind, you might also be amazed to discover that this same issue of Rocket Raccoon was the best selling book of July, a month that industry monitors are now calling the most profitable in recorded history. Granted, Diamond Comic Distributors, the company <a href=http://www.diamondcomics.com/Home/1/1/3/597?articleID=148511>recording these figures, has only been tracking comic sales 1997, which leaves out more than a few years. Even so, you'd be hard pressed to turn you nose up at the $53 million in comic sales the industry raked in last month, riding in part on the strength of books like Rocket Raccoon.

Alongside Rocket Raccoon other popular titles like Batman, Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 also delivered solid sales that helped drive up the month's overall numbers. On the graphic novel front meanwhile, the latest volume of The Walking Dead captured the top spot, something that we feel safe saying probably surprised nobody. Let us know what you read last month and be sure to take a look at <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comicsandcosplay/11887-Rocket-Raccoon-C-O-W-L-Thor-and-Superman-Comics-Collection-for-J>July's Comic <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comicsandcosplay/11964-Archie-Dies-and-Ragnarok-Rocks-Comics-Collection-for-July-24th-2>Collection round-ups to get a peek at the titles we bought.

Source: <a href=http://www.blastr.com/2014-8-11/rocket-raccoon-spinoff-leads-best-selling-comic-month-history-53-million>Blastr


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Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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[quote/]You might not think it considering their important role in pop and nerd culture, but comic books usually aren't big sellers[/quote]
actually no....this doesn't surprise me at all....comics have a slightly higher barrier of entry than most other media do

I didn't even know people still read comics less than 4 years ago....
 

Ratty

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Jan 21, 2014
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The interesting thing to see now will be how much of that readership will still be following Rocket Raccoon in 2 years. My guess is significantly less than half. But even if it's just a fraction it would be an impressive long term bump in profile.
 

klaynexas3

My shoes hurt
Dec 30, 2009
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*clears throat* You're welcome. I spent probably over half the money I made last month on comics alone.
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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klaynexas3 said:
*clears throat* You're welcome. I spent probably over half the money I made last month on comics alone.
last friday I went out to get a DVD on my lunchbreak...and decided to scoot over to the comicbook store where I bought $70 worth of comics

then I went to another store and bought denaryes from Game of thrones and an Ironman bust...

....then today I spent $40 on old sci fi paperbacks....because I liked the covers...
 

SilverBullets000

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Apr 11, 2012
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This reminds me, I need to renew my subscription soon.

This is cool to hear regardless. I'll wager that all the movies coming out are helping these along. [sub]Now to go state the obvious elsewhere![/sub]
 

Hyperstorm

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Nov 27, 2013
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I am sceptical regarding the headline's claim since comics sold almost double the recorded Rocket Racoon sales in the 90's AND let's not forget that MacFarlane's Spider-man, Jim Lee's X-men and Liefeld's X-force all had first issues that sold in excess of a million copies each.

It may be right though since there are more companies with more titles these days so the total number may be higher even though individual titles sold a fraction of what they did back then.
 

Dimitriov

The end is nigh.
May 24, 2010
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StewShearer said:
July 2014 Best Month for Comic Books in Recorded History
Are we uncertain about the number of comic book sales in pre-historic times? :D

I don't really think that qualifier is necessary!

Anyhow, that's kind of cool, and I can't help but wonder how much of aneffect the recent Marvel movies and shows like the Big Bang Theory have had in increasing comic readership.
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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Hyperstorm said:
I am sceptical regarding the headline's claim since comics sold almost double the recorded Rocket Racoon sales in the 90's AND let's not forget that MacFarlane's Spider-man, Jim Lee's X-men and Liefeld's X-force all had first issues that sold in excess of a million copies each.

It may be right though since there are more companies with more titles these days so the total number may be higher even though individual titles sold a fraction of what they did back then.
I don't think anyonmes disputing this....they didn't call it the comicbook crash of the 90's for no reason

Dimitriov said:
Are we uncertain about the number of comic book sales in pre-historic times? :D

I don't really think that qualifier is necessary!
I think "Bisons on a cave wall" held the record for some time...

[quote/]Anyhow, that's kind of cool, and I can't help but wonder how much of aneffect the recent Marvel movies and shows like the Big Bang Theory have had in increasing comic readership.[/quote]
I imagine it helps some...but I still can't imagine that many casual movie goers picking up a comic, I thourght of it in terms of "could your mum do it?"
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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The thing that actually surprises me about it is that they printed 300,000 copies of the comic to sell... unless of course this is including digital which makes it less surprising.

That said, with all the movies, and growing awareness, it doesn't shock me that the movie success is trickling down to the various books. The big question in terms of prolonged success is if the comics industry can avoid it's previous mistakes such as underprinting issues so people following the comic eventually get tired of missing parts of it, stop buying it, which leads to smaller print runs until it dies.. etc.. What's more given the amount of space needed to seriously carry comics another big question is whether or not we'll see enough specialty shops (or regular stores dedicating the needed space) appearing to feed, and/or encourage the demand.
 

yellost

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Nov 7, 2011
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Skottie Young deserves it. His art is fantastic, especially when he gets to do it in his own style. His run on the Wizard of Oz with Eric Shanower remains a favourite of mine.
 

youji itami

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Jun 1, 2014
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200,000 - 250,000 copies of Rocket Racoon issue 1 were sold to Loot Crate (http://www.lootcrate.com/)

So that's the reason for the surprisingly high numbers.

There was a bit of a flap about it in comic circles with some claiming they were given away free to Loot Crate for promotional use and shouldn't be counted in sales numbers.

Still August's numbers will get the distinction of having one of the highest ever issue to issue drops.
 

youji itami

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Jun 1, 2014
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Therumancer said:
The thing that actually surprises me about it is that they printed 300,000 copies of the comic to sell... unless of course this is including digital which makes it less surprising.

That said, with all the movies, and growing awareness, it doesn't shock me that the movie success is trickling down to the various books. The big question in terms of prolonged success is if the comics industry can avoid it's previous mistakes such as underprinting issues so people following the comic eventually get tired of missing parts of it, stop buying it, which leads to smaller print runs until it dies.. etc.. What's more given the amount of space needed to seriously carry comics another big question is whether or not we'll see enough specialty shops (or regular stores dedicating the needed space) appearing to feed, and/or encourage the demand.

This is physical copies only and over 200,000 copies were sold to 1 customer Loot Crate months before it was printed so that's why it's print run was higher than normal.
 

StewShearerOld

Geekdad News Writer
Jan 5, 2013
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Dimitriov said:
StewShearer said:
July 2014 Best Month for Comic Books in Recorded History
Are we uncertain about the number of comic book sales in pre-historic times? :D

I don't really think that qualifier is necessary!

Anyhow, that's kind of cool, and I can't help but wonder how much of aneffect the recent Marvel movies and shows like the Big Bang Theory have had in increasing comic readership.
Hahaha. I dropped it in there just because Diamond's records only extend back to 1997 and there was a period in a ways before now where comics sold like crazy.
 

WarpedLord

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Mar 11, 2009
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kat-pottz said:
wait there still doing spider-man 2099? when did that come back?
Issue #1 came out last month. He got "stuck" in the modern day several months back, and now he's got his own ongoing. 1st issue was fairly solid. It's still somewhat related to his 90's book, as Liz Osbourne and Tiberius Stone have founded what will eventually go on to become Alchemax.
 

The Bucket

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May 4, 2010
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youji itami said:
There was a bit of a flap about it in comic circles with some claiming they were given away free to Loot Crate for promotional use and shouldn't be counted in sales numbers.
I can see the argument, buying them in such massive bulk would make it so they got each individual issue for practically nothing.
 

Right Hook

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May 29, 2011
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Vault101 said:
klaynexas3 said:
*clears throat* You're welcome. I spent probably over half the money I made last month on comics alone.
last friday I went out to get a DVD on my lunchbreak...and decided to scoot over to the comicbook store where I bought $70 worth of comics

then I went to another store and bought denaryes from Game of thrones and an Ironman bust...

....then today I spent $40 on old sci fi paperbacks....because I liked the covers...
Comics get expensive quick, one of my biggest issues with the medium. It wouldn't be such a bigger deal if every series wasn't stitched together from every possible angle with tie-ins, forcing you to buy outside you usual pulls if you want the "full" story.

Still always good to hear success from something I've enjoyed for for years but I have to admit it would be really strange to see comics get true mainstream success, I really don't see it happening.
 

Cowabungaa

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Feb 10, 2008
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Oh man, I want to read that new Rocket Raccoon comic so badly. Almost makes me reconsider only buying trades, almost.

But no, I'll be patient. I hope we'll get to see the first Rocket Raccoon trade this year.
Right Hook said:
Comics get expensive quick, one of my biggest issues with the medium. It wouldn't be such a bigger deal if every series wasn't stitched together from every possible angle with tie-ins, forcing you to buy outside you usual pulls if you want the "full" story.
Yeah that's the reason why I go for trades. I decided to get into the New 52 Batman comics because I really liked the art of it, and I found out soon that they have bits and bobs of the story all over the freakin' Bat-family. But if you're patient they usually publish a trade, like Batman: Night of the Owls, that neatly picks all the bits from all the different comic lines and puts them in one book. Saves so much money.