Bleeding Cool Bestseller List 26th February 2017 - "I Wish Marvel's Best Comic Could Be As Good As Their Worst Movie Or Netflix"

Bleeding Cool Bestseller List 26th February 2017 – “I Wish Marvel’s Best Comic Could Be As Good As Their Worst Movie Or Netflix”

Posted by February 26, 2017 Comment

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This is the Top Ten Bleeding Cool Bestseller List, as compiled by a number of comic stores from their sales on Wednesday and Thursday. It measures what are known as the “Wednesday Warriors”, those who can’t wait to the weekend to get this week’s comics. We salute you, and the keenness you bring to your passion.

Black Panther is Marvel top charting comic last week. Amazing Spider-Man didn’t even make it on. But most of the Justice League did…

  1. Justice League of America #1
  2. Detective Comics #951
  3. Flash #17
  4. Teen Titans #5
  5. Action Comics #974
  6. Black Panther #11
  7. Wonder Woman #17
  8. IVX #5
  9. Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #15
  10. Suicide Squad #12

Thanks to the following retailers,

Who had this to say,

It’s no longer news when Marvel fails to place a book in our store’s Top Ten—it’s such a rare occurrence, in fact, that’s only news when they DO publish a book that readers want to buy! Marvel’s total Wednesday unit sales are approximately 1/3 DC’s unit sales in our store, and that’s with Marvel publishing significantly more titles. There’s no sign that things are getting in better in the near future–we can only hope that someone is hard at work on a Marvel Rebirth!

Strong interest in pre-New-52 Superman and Batman, as well as 1980s and 1990s Marvel Punisher.

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DC dominated again, but Marvel surprised by getting 3 books in the top ten. I suspect we’re several months (and perhaps a relaunch) away from Marvel fighting back to the top. The upcoming crossovers for Batman/Flash and Superman/Action have people talking way more than X-Men and Inhumans relaunching or Secret Empire. I hope they figure it out soon. Also noteworthy: if trade paperback sales could chart, Snotgirl Volume 1 would’ve cracked the top ten.

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Detective Comics was the #1 book for the week along with JLA.Elektra however gave them a run for their money. IVX since doing great and most of the DC titles are sitting at the same #’s week in and week out.

Marvel continues to dominate the back-issue market with anything Mutant and now with some life into Amazing Spider-Man…even the new volume…whichever one we are on for this year.
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Not a bad week. Leanest invoice I have had for a long time. Marvel sneaks in one for the top ten. Captain America Steve Rogers makes it. Amazing Spider-man is bleeding readership badly. Clones and Spider-man just don’t seem to mix. Supergirl Being Super surprises with it being a more expensive title and not a Rebirth book yet still makes it into the top ten. Flash takes the top spot, even beating out Justice League of America 1. Batgirl needs a shake up on the creative team. It is now getting out sold by Hellblazer.
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Monstress is still going strong here coming in the #2 slot. It was inevitable that Justice League of America was going to be #1. We have plenty of customers that love Batman and love “The Main Man” even more. I suspect that the love of those two characters will not be enough to keep readers onboard with the title, but what do I know since IVX is still a top 5 seller here.
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DC is still selling insanely strong numbers here at FFF with 8 of the top 10 (and 12 of our top 20) being from the publisher. Our full top ten list is JLA #1 at the top followed by Detective Comics, Outcast (quarter issue), Flash, Action Comics, Hal Jordan & GLC, Wonder Woman, Old Guard #1, Suicide Squad, and Teen Titans. It’s great to see the other two books are Image titles even if one was a number one from an solid writer with an established fanbase and the other was 25 cents. As for the other half of the Big Two, Marvel only had 3 books in our top twenty with Amazing Spider-Man at 12, Extraordinary X-Men at 18, IVX at 19, with Thanos almost making the top 20 at spot 21. Curse Words has been a big hit for us, outselling every Marvel title with it’s second issue as our 11th bestseller so far this week! It’s off to a strong start with a talking koala gaining more traction than Peter Parker. #TeamMargaret

Marvel has still not found it’s place with the only books that are selling being established characters and teams. Even then, they’re just not selling the numbers they should or could be if the publisher could actually get itself on a clear focused path that lasts longer than six months. Thanos has the benefit of being in a highly talked about sequel as well as being a generally popular villain and his book got beat out by a week old and a three week old issue of Walking Dead (one of which was a only a quarter, but still). The House of Ideas needs to get their selves sorted or they’ll have to think of new ways to blame the system for their failings. When we have Future Quest and Kamandi Challenge at spots 16 and 17 beating out Extraordinary X-Men and IVX at 18 and 19, there’s something that needs to change for the long term health of the industry, or at least if Marvel wants to still be considered as half of the big two in my store or many other stores. Right now, the big two are DC and Image for myself and a lot of retailers. My top book of the week is usually selling over triple the amount of copies of my highest selling Marvel book. I can’t remember the last time that didn’t happen, as it’s been going on for months.

On the indie side of things, we have 5 books (all from Image) in the top twenty with two in the top ten. Walking Dead #164 and #163 took the 14th and 20th place respectively. Kirkman’s jumping on points seem to be working the way they were meant to. Hopefully Invincible and Outcast (which hasn’t been doing great sales wise) can benefit as well. The Old Guard being in the top ten isn’t a surprise as Greg Rucka has his fans who will read whatever he writes and he usually delivers some great stories.

I did notice another retailer commenting that retailers should just shut up, and how we’re not helping the industry by commenting on what’s selling and what’s not or writing articles about what’s doing well at their stores. I read pretty much any article I can to see what’s working for other retailers and I’m always happy to borrow an idea if they’ve come up with something clever I’ve missed, just as I’m happy to pass along what works at our store. Just because we didn’t write a bunch about what we do to go above and beyond for customer service doesn’t mean we’re not working insane hours to get all our customers everything they want on the rare occasion we don’t already have it. It just means our stores would be in even better shape if our biggest potential business partner wasn’t blaming their direct competition for having their books too cheap and “hurting” retailers, when almost all retailers and fans will rather buy or sell $2.99 comics, for the long term health of the industry, instead of overcharging $5, $6 or even $9.99 for a single issue. No wonder sales are so low on so many household name characters’ titles right now.

Every store should concentrate on what does work for them, but it doesn’t mean we should be silent just because another retailer disagrees with what we have to say. Any store that’s made it through the recent crazy ups and downs of the industry is obviously doing something right, especially if we’re up every month vs the same month last year for over two years in a row. Our total sales are up, profits are up, spending is down, even with a larger than ever staff, but it could always be better if we could sell more comics of the characters that bring out millions of people to see their movies on opening weekend. Just because we’re not thrilled with Marvel’s current output doesn’t mean we don’t sell a crazy amount of comics and graphic novels. Some of the money that used to go to comics is now heading towards toys, Pops and other merchandise, but diversity is the strength of any store and what makes this industry so unique. Every store is different and I think that’s a great thing.

I’ve said a few times lately that I wish Marvel’s best comic could be as good as their worst movie or Netflix series, and while they have a few real gems in their lineup right now, even some of the best books are lost in the shuffle with just too many books that aren’t going to make it past issue 6 because of how crowded their own market is. Crowding out the competition may have worked in the past, but right now, almost any time someone drops a book to add a new Marvel title to their list, they’re almost assuredly canceling another Marvel title. Honestly, most dropped books are coming from Marvel right now, no matter what company my customers are adding. Price resistance is a big part of that, lack of interest in the main characters (or their replacements) is another.

No matter what you’re reading, keep voting with your wallet and let your retailer know what you want. Subscriptions are only about 43% of our total comic sales, and we order very aggressively for the shelves, but even we’re starting to cut down on our already low numbers on some titles if we’re stuck with 6 copies of the same book 3 months in a row, if we used to have 1 or 2 left (our ideal situation). I barely want to sell out of any books we believe in, but even I’m taking a harder look at what’s still on our shelves a month or two after they’ve shipped and adjusting to put that money to better use elsewhere. I don’t think the sky is falling, but it could be brighter.

Wildstorm’s release last week caused a surprising uptick in customer interest in the older back issues from the company. One customer came in and bought the first ten issues of old school Gen13. As we get closer to Logan, we’ve also been selling a good amount of both Wolverine, Old Man Logan and X-23 related comics. The True Believer comics are doing more for trades than back issues, but at least they’re getting people to read (old) Marvel. Also selling a decent amount of Spawn, Punisher and Walking Dead back issues lately.

(Last Updated February 26, 2017 12:13 pm )

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About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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