Tuesday, 10 September 2013

August IDW comics sales figures: a nasty surprise

Big Mac bucking at the fair
If you humans don't start buying this comic again, there's going to be trouble...
It's time once again for us to take a look at how the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic and its associated Micro-series have been selling. As usual, the stats come from Comichron and cover North American comic shops. Last month, I was in buoyant mood after being able to note increased sales. This month... afraid not. Actually, on the face of it the figures are eye-openingly bad. Main series issue #10 came in at no. 84 — down 18 places since last month — and sold a mere:
This represents a huge drop of over thirty per cent since last month. (30.3%, in fact.) I certainly didn't expect that, especially given that we're in the middle of an extremely well-received story from the Cook/Price/Breckel all-star team. It was released very late in the month, which may have had some bearing, but no previous issue has sold less than 32,000 copies. The CMC micro didn't fare all that well either. It did creep back up to no. 100 (up three) but sales were only:
Again, a big decrease since July. At 14.3%, it's not as precipitous as the cliff that main-series sales have fallen off, but it's hardly good news even so. Again, this is substantially the worst performance by any of the seven Micro-series comics published so far. I didn't think the CMC micro was all that brilliant, but it was solid enough, on a par with the AJ issue, so it would have been nice to have seen it do better. The next issue stars Celestia, not the biggest fan favourite, so my expectations are limited.

There are some good-news stories to report, most notably that Digest #1 hit no. 6 on the graphic novels chart with sales of 4,067 beating Deadpool #2. In more conventional trade-paperback territory, the anthology collecting main-series issues #1 to #4 is still a steady seller, with another 659 this month taking the total near to 7,000. Also, the Cover Gallery made no. 240 on the main chart despite not being a comic in the usual sense. It sold 6,859 copies.

But back to the main point of this month's stats: the enormous fall in the main-series' sales. I hope nobody panics too much about this: the Pony comics remain IDW's top two sellers. And August was a fairly poor month for the industry all round, as can be seen from the micro increasing its chart position despite the fall in numbers. We'll have to wait another month to see whether this is a blip, though. I hope that I'll be able to report somewhat happier news then!


  1. Ouch! Those are certainly not the kind of figures we'd hoped for. As you say, it's not cause for panic and it's still pretty impressive sales figures, compared to what they probably expected originally. But it's certainly a warning that they can't take any of it for granted.

    At one time I was... well, definitely no expert, but I was fairly up on the comics world, and I used to keep track of why a comic may have done badly one month and better the next. Sometimes a comic would be up against a particular new release from a larger company, or another comic would have a major new storyline and loads of alternate covers, which meant other comics suffered from poor sales as the fans spent their money on the other stuff. But I've no idea what the competition was like for that issue 10 and the CMC spotlight, from other comics and other companies.

    I thought the issue 10 was a very strong issue - not *quite* on a par with #9, but it was still very good. And I enjoyed the CMC issue. Not an amazing issue, but still enjoyable enough. I don't know... maybe a lot more fans are waiting for the graphic novels, but that's a total guess.

    1. It's strange, isn't it? The only other big thing that's happened recently was the release of the Equestria Girls film -- and that was *better* received than most people expected. So it really is a mystery. Of course IDW's break-even figure is a little under 10,000, so there's plenty of leeway yet. I'd like to see the main-series number in particular bounce back next time, though.

    2. Which could happen of course. Comic sales figures tend to be up and down all the time. So there's no reason why things shouldn't improve. If only they could find a way to put Discord into the *main* comic rather than a spotlight, somehow. That would be an almost guaranteed way to boost the sales.

    3. He's in this one... sort of. Take a closer look at some of those terrible figures Spike is selling at the fair. :P

    4. Yipe! So he is. I never noticed that, and I didn't notice that there's a Luna (I think) in the last of those panels with Spike. I wonder what he spent all the money on. Hopefully a figure making course...

      I just spotted the baby Phoenix in the corner of that page too, which I'd never noticed before. :)