Flash Sales in December

Last week we reported that Flash #4 ranked #8 for the month of December. ICV2 has released its December sales estimates, figuring that the comic sold 77,336 copies. Despite the slight climb in rank, that’s a 14.5% drop from previous issue. Not as big as the the drop from #2 to #3, but still big. And it’s a whopping 40% drop from #1. On the plus side, it’s still above any issue of vol.3 after the first, and above the 55K threshold I pulled out of thin air last year.

What does it mean?

To be honest, I have no idea. The New 52 was an unprecedented event, with all of DC’s books seeing a sales spike. The drop is big, sure, but the numbers are still high, and the ranking is phenomenal for the Flash. Is this just a reflection of the overall market re-adjusting after DC’s line-wide sales spike a few months ago? Is DC worried about The Flash dropping faster than other top-tier titles, or are they glad it’s not dropping as quickly as the lower tier? Obviously they’re not too concerned, because they haven’t changed the creative team — something DC hasn’t shied away from in the short time since the launch.

The more I report on sales figures, the less I understand the implications. And that’s assuming the numbers are consistent enough to analyze to begin with.

Issue Rank Month Units Sold % Change
Flash vol.4
Flash v.4 #1 4 September 2011 129,260
Flash v.4 #2 5 October 2011 114,137 -11.7%
Flash v.4 #3 9 November 2011 90,417 -20.8%
Flash v.4 #4 8 December 2011 77,336 -14.5%

A few key articles covering past sales (with lots of numbers):

*What these numbers measure: US-only sales, wholesale from Diamond to comics retailers. They don’t count sales through bookstores, they don’t count international sales, and they don’t count how many copies were actually bought and read…but they do measure the same thing every month, which means they can be used to spot trends.


4 thoughts on “Flash Sales in December

  1. Kyer

    Doesn’t matter a hill of pinto beans to us unless it means something to the DC bean counters enough to end a book or to create yet another cataclysmic event to end all cataclysmic events (ie slowed sales.)

    1. Kelson Post author

      No, just print sales, and only sales through Diamond. (See the note at the bottom).

      Comics publishers have been very cagey on digital sales, which are believed to still be a lot lower than print sales.

      1. Kyer

        Makes sense if most comic buyers are folks who are used to buying print. Or like me who want to own everything of what they pay for beyond less the actual copyright. Is there a way yet to download an store digital books to your own hard drive/s or is it still stuck in the ‘atmosphere’ unreachable by anything not controlled by a company?


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