Why I love the new DCnU sales numbers of September 2011

… and why I think you are missing the mark, Mr. Johnston, …

Anybody who keeps up on comicbook news is already aware that the relaunched DC line is selling pretty well. Okay, that is an understatement. The line is selling really, really well with some of the flagship titles such as Batman and Action selling over 100,000, and the Jim Lee and Geoff Johns JLA #1 reportedly selling over 200,000 copies.

  Okay this is impressive and I don’t want to waste any time making any observations about ‘yeah, but where will they be in sales in six months from now?” because that is just too obvious: of course there will be a drop off in sales, but really so what? The meat of this news/this info is that these high numbers were actually even reached at all in this day and age of shrinking sales and readership numbers. Of course the numbers will drop down, but what we will all be waiting to see (or at least we should all be waiting to see) is the readership retension down the road. I for one think that higher numbers in comic sales is always a great thing for the hobby I love and I hope that I am pleasantly surprised a few months from now.

 Rich Johnston over at Bleeding Cool felt compelled to point out that the high sales numbers for JLA 1 were not as record breaking for 2011 as DC liked to claim, claiming that other books such as Teen Monica’s Gang (from Brazil) routinely sell in the hundreds of thousands each issue. Okay, that’s nice but really, so what? So what if a book aimed at a teen market in Brazil (which last time I checked was not quite in North America) sells more than that regularly? I think that the point being missed here was how a book in North America was selling really well for at least the time being.  Johnston’s comments felt to me like they were ill presented and ended up coming off as an attempt to throw a wet blanket over some genuine good news.

Here is how it is: for fans of comics in North America, what matters is the sales of books in North America – not books in Japan or Brazil or even England. If the books we love here dont sell here they will eventually no longer be published here or anywhere.

On a side note, I have to wonder if at this point Marvel could really match DC for short term sales for their line if they really wanted to? Even if they trashed their current continuity and relaunched their line with a lower total of books all starting with a new #1 issue and with top creators on them at least at the start, I suspect that because of all of the recent reboots and relaunches that Marvel has done, they would be very hard pressed to match the initial success of DC and their line of new 52 books. Of course that’s just my own feelings on the issue. I kind of hope that we dont see something like this from Marvel too soon because it would really just come off as another case of Marvel being oh so unoriginal…

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