Tuesday, 8 October 2013

September IDW comics sales figures: yes, it was a blip!

Cadance close-up from MLP:FiM comic issue #11
Cadance clearly has shares in IDW...
We've reached that point in the month when we look at the sales estimates for IDW's My Little Pony comics. If you remember, last month I was rather concerned at some fairly hefty falls and expressed the hope that it was just a blip. September's Comichron table shows that yes, it was! Possibly this was down to distribution problems, but whatever the cause it's good news. A lot to get through this month, so let's start off with the main series. Issue #11 secured the no. 79 spot (up five places) and shifted:
This is a rise of 33.9% since last time! More sensibly given the above-mentioned distribution problems, it's a fall of 6.7% over July's total. That still sounds a little on the bad side, but the July issue (#9) was tremendously popular. Issue #11 actually sold a very similar number to issues #6, #7 and #8. Next, let's have a look at the micro. This month's featured Celestia, so I wondered how well it would do. In the event, it placed at no. 136 (down 36) and sold:
This actually represents an 8.6% rise on last month's equivalent statistic. The apparently huge fall in the comic's chart placing is almost entirely explained by the fact that DC were in the throes of a gimmick and put out about a billion comics in September, certainly far more than they would usually publish. I suspect the micro would have been around the no. 100 mark again had this been a typical month. So really, no worries at all from me on that score.

For the first time, the MLP comics did not rank first and second among IDW's titles. The reason for that was the success of Powerpuff Girls #1, which sold almost 39,000 copies to propel it to the no. 50 spot. It will be interesting to see how well it does in future months, along with the other all-ages titles that the company is adding to its portfolio this autumn. Even so, nothing else got near Pony: the next best IDW title was Locke & Key Alpha #1, which shifted under 18,000 copies.

I have one more point to make about the MLP monthly figures, but three collections made the graphic novel chart. The most successful of these was the second main-series anthology (collecting issues #5 to #8) which broke into the top ten, charting at no. 9 with sales of 4,169. The first anthology continues to sell steadily, hitting no. 91 with another 1,121 sales (about 8,000 in all now). Finally, there's the first Digest, whose 941 further sales take its total over the 5,000 mark.

Okay, back to the point I promised: there are actually two further entries in the comics chart — because both the previous two issues (#9 and #10) of the main series shifted several thousand extra copies in September. Issue #9 slipped in at no. 325 by adding 5,030 sales, while issue #10 did better at no. 274 with a further 7,385 comics sold. What this suggests to me is that there's still demand for MLP comics even considerably after their publication date. And that's good news for all of us!


  1. Now that is much, much more encouraging. I think we did say last time you mentioned the sales figures that, with luck, it was just a blip. And as I think we also mentioned, there was always the strong possibility that the other comic companies might have had various special editions or spinoffs etc, which would have been a problem if people didn't have enough money to buy all the comics they'd normally want.

    So that's certainly really good to hear, and hopefully things will either improve or stabilise at that sort of level. I'm really pleased that the graphic novels seem to have done quite well too, because that's where a lot of the money can be made, and of course they cost more to print. So the fact they've been selling is certainly good. Considering it's very close to a year since the comics first started, and sales often trail off before that point, that's all looking pretty impressive. :)

    1. It is indeed! The graphic novels are a big plus, no question about it -- and they're being displayed quite prominently in FP, as we've seen, so I guess UK sales are good too. I'll be very interested in January to see how the various publications did overall in 2013.