Event Comics: Good For Business… Until They’re Not

Since 2006 comics have been on a pretty consistent event cycle at both DC and Marvel. Any cycle has its boom and its bust period. Are we currently in the bust period for comic book events? Lots of people sure seem to be tired of them, many of them expressing their exasperation while they hand their money over to their comic store guy in exchange for the latest issue of Siege or Blackest Night which they will read and then come over to iFanboy to make their Pick of the Week.

The fact of the matter is that big time company-wide events are good for business. And not just for the comic book companies:

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But nothing lasts forever! Marvel and DC will ride the event money train until it goes off the rails, lay low for a while, and then start that train back up again. This is how it has always been, and thus it always shall be. The only question for us right now is: Is the train about to go off the rails, or are we still chugging along at a healthy clip?

There has been lots of talk on the comics blogs this past week about comic sales being down across the board, and sales of the big event books being down. Are they? Let's take a look:

Sales By Unit*

Civil War #1 – 260,804
Secret Invasion #1 – 250,263
Siege #1 – 108,484

Infinite Crisis #1 – 249,265
Final Crisis #1 – 144,826
Blackest Night #1 – 205,500

Those are the sales numbers for the first issues of the last three big events at DC and Marvel Comics. With DC we can see that there was a big drop off between the first issues of Infinite and Final Crisis, but that sales numbers shot back up for the first issue of Blackest Night. Does this mean that event comics are still strong at DC? More on that in a bit. The more interesting numbers are the Marvel sales. The drop between the first issues of Civil War and Secret Invasion is pretty negligible. But man, that's a big drop in event sales for Siege. Those numbers are kind of shockingly low. Personally, I think that the reason for the low sales numbers for Siege is the seemingly pervasive negative reaction to the Dark Reign status quo.

We all know that first issues tend to sell a lot and then there is a drop in sales with each subsequent issue. How much of a drop is usually a good indicator of how much real interest there is in a series. Here is how the first two events sold in their final issues:

Civil War #8 – 265,935
Secret Invasion #8 – 152,429

Infinite Crisis #7 – 198,442
Final Crisis #7 – 109, 400

Civil War's sales actually went up! That's amazing! Secret Invasion's sales dropped by almost 100,000; Infinite Crisis's sales dropped by a little over 50,000; Final Crisis only shed a little over 35,000 sales. Considering all of the people who complained about Final Crisis, that last number is pretty surprising.

As we noted above, the sales for the first issue of Blackest Night were very strong, especially as compared to the first issue off Siege. Have the sales held up? Here are the numbers for the most recent issue:

Blackest Night #6 – 100,700 135,695 (UPDATED with additional January sales. Thanks to uvayankee1.)

That's a drop in sales of almost 70,000 for Blackest Night which puts it on pace to have the biggest drop in sales after Secret Invasion. If you ask DC Comics they will say, quite rightly, that Blackest Night has been a runaway success from a business point of view. Even with the huge drop in sales since the first issue, selling over 100,000 copies of a book is not something that happens all that often these days, and the spill-over is helping the core tie-in books: Green Lantern #50 sold 106,444 books, or almost as much as Siege #1.

What does this all mean? Let's return to the original question posed at the top. Is the event train about to go off the rails, or are we still chugging along at a healthy clip? To keep this particular metaphor going, there are actually two trains, not one. I think the DC train is still chugging along, but at a much slower clip. It's probably got one more story in it (Brightest Day) until it runs out of steam. On the other hand, i think that Marvel's train is out of steam (man, those Siege numbers are low). Marvel has seemingly acknowledged as much when they announced that after Siege they are going to take a break from big, company-wide events for a while. But make no mistake, the Marvel event train will be back on the track before too long. There is too much money at stake because, ultimately, big company-wide comic book events are good for business.


*Sales figures courtesy of iCv2. Standard disclaimers apply: Sales numbers that are reported on-line are not always 100% accurate. The ratio between the differences in sales is usually fairly constant and thus useful for the purposes of comparison. Sales reflect comics purchased by stores, and not by readers.


  1. Damn you Templar! I almost got the most comments on this list!

    Anyways, I hope the event trend is over after all of this. Marvel, as you pointed out, has completely lost any momentum to keep it going. Seige might be an improvement, or at least from what I hear, with Marvel events…..But that isn’t good enough. Same goes for DC, cause even though Blackest Night is now back on the good graces with me, it felt like Johns wasn’t fully 100% on all cyclinders.

    Brightest Day seems to just be a 52/Trinity idea of a weekly series. So hopefully DC stops their event train too.

  2. I don’t want anymore events though I do think Siege and Blackest Night are fantastic. Give me a three-year break. Please.

  3. I’m tired of hearing people bitch about tie-in’s and events and then watching some minor tie-in book have 3X more pulls than a quality book like . . . Jonah Hex.

    Economic troubles are probably a huge reason why sales are down overall.


  4. The premise of Civil War is a much more provocative idea than say the premise of Siege.

    People who haven’t read comics in years were planning on following that event.

  5. I was talking with the guys at my comic shop and they told me about all the hoops you had to jump through to get Blackest Night #6 in December.  Thinking that those hoops could have an effect on the Blackest Night sales, I jumped over to icv2 and poked around.

    "Also the last issue of the miniseries, Blackest Night #6, which was the best-selling comic in December when it sold 100,351 copies, sold an additional 35,344 copies in January, the majority of which probably came from retailers who didn’t participate in DC’s “Green Christmas” promotion.  This puts the total sales for Blackest Night #6 at 135,695…" <http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/16812.html>

    While it still seems to be the largest drop of the recent events, it does appear to be a bit less drastic than it does at first glance.

     Great analysis, I love playing with numbers and seeing how these stories are selling.

  6. @ScoprionMasada: I agree. I think the real story is the drop from SECRET INVASION to SIEGE.

  7. @Conor – I don’t feel like Marvel promoted Siege as much as Secret Invasion. I could be wrong but I feel like the marketing campaign for Secret Invasion was better. At that time I wasn’t a comic book reader and knew about Secret Invasiont. But with Siege I did not even know about the event until the week Siege Cabal came out and I have been following the comic book industry religiously since  Wondercon 2009.

  8. "Since 2006"? I’m pretty sure things like Identity Crisis and House of M were before that. In my opinion, the constant event cycle started in earnest with Avengers Disassmbled.

    As far as events go, my philosophy is that it’s really up to the readers. Especially at DC–and in general at Marvel too–these events BARELY affect the regular titles we like anyway. As far as I’m concerned–Peter David, take note–having to do a measely TWO ISSUES of tie-ins every few years do not matter. And as an X-Men fan who simply didn’t care about Secret Invasion, I was free NOT to read the Secret Invasion: X-Men mini. Did Superman’s role in Final Crisis, or the Beyond 3D mini, affect the Superman titles? No. Have the Spidey titles been obsessed with Osborn’s role in Dark Reign? No. 

    Events only matter if we think they matter. This is very freeing as a reader. In fact, the impact of events on other MU or DCU titles is so minimal sometimes that it almost seems like a disadvantage: the shared universe seems less shared. It’s to the point that, other than the titles that say "Blackest Night" on them, you wouldn’t even know that the event was happening. Ditto with Siege. Ditto with Final Crisis. The most you ever get, maybe, are passing mentions of these events, sometimes.

    I think the frustration some people have is that they’re just too invested. They gotta let it go. But they’re frustrated because they WISH they could believe in the hype more than their rational mind will let them anymore, in lieu of all the past disappointments and in lieu of the obvious facts that these events will hardly matter in the grand scheme of things.

    I just take ’em as they come. I have no interest in Siege. People are having a good time with it? Cool.

    Cool to see that Final Crisis basically held it’s numbers throughout the run. It definitely had some flaws toward the end, but I think that across a decades worth of comics events, there was really no event series as innovative or "different" (for worse and better) than Final Crisis. I don’t think it’s as consistently entertaining or as well-orchestrated a production has Blackest Night has been, but for my time and money, FC was the best value, the most interesting, and the one that bears the most rereading.

  9. I wonder how many of those that dropped the events left because of ignorance to the history and storyline.

  10. I think it will be interesting to look back in a couple of years to compare trade sales.

  11. @amircat The advertisements were definitely more recent, but they did market Siege pretty heavy.  ‘An event 7 yrs in the making’.  That’s a pretty catchy slogan if you ask me.

  12. Siege isn’t as marketable of a concept as say Civil War, Secret Invasion or Blackest Night.

    It is about a bunch of bad guys attacking a castle.

    Loved the Secret Invasions two page spread with the kids eating ice cream. Makes me wish that the Skrulls would have won.

  13. @vadamowens – That is a catchy title, I agree. But I still don’t feel like there was much of a build-up.

    I do have to say though, the slogan somewhat dissuated me from picking up the issues because I had not read Avengers or Marvel for the past 7 years, nor did I want to go back and do it just for Siege. I only picked up the issues because of the buzz they were receiving on ifanboy and the net.

  14. "I think the frustration some people have is that they’re just too invested. They gotta let it go."

    Completely agree with this.

    It always amazes me that people will tell me how bad something is and will continue to buy it and continue to bitch about it.

    Drop them books!

  15. Does anyone know if JMS left Thor because he didnt want to accommodate Siege?

  16. @scorpion I understand about dropping books.  X-Men, in general, has been awful recently.  Regardless, I can’t give up hope that soon things will get better.  X-titles have been about the only thing that I’ve been faithful to in the short time that I’ve been collecting.  Loyalty goes a long way with a lot of us.

  17. I like events in general I like the big all-encompassing stories that have impact on the universes

    be it the MU or the DCU, I don’t mind tie-ins as I’m quite happy with leaving them on the shelf if theydon’t interest me. I like that Siege is only 4 issues and the new Superman event will be done in a month as 9 months is too long to tell a story you end up with books set post your event 

  18. Thanks for this, Conor – great analysis.  I love big event books but I agree that there is a bit of event fatigue going on.

    For me, I was happy that Marvel let the idea of Dark Reign act, not so much as an event, but as a theme for the current status quo.  I admit, it has run on just a bit too long, though, and I’m looking forward to seeing Norman crash and burn. 

    I’d rather see the publishers set up a year long "theme" for their titles like Dark Reign was rather than event after event after event.  Too bad DC didn’t do the same with a year of Darkseid in charge after Final Crisis and the heroes working underground to topple him.

  19. Everyone knows we’re all sick of Dark Reign’s status quo. What we all crave are fresh books that don’t feature all the same characters and storylines, like SWORD, Doctor Voodoo, and Captain Britain. That’s why starting Captain Britain with a Secret Invasion tie-in was such a sales disaster.

  20. Out of all the X-books a couple should be good.

    I’m loyal to writers but not titles. Peter David and Mike Carey are great writers.

    Only X book I read is X-Factor. It is a good book.


  21. @scorpion I agree, but I was referring to the X-titles in total.  But, I’m aiming more towards loyalty to creators as you.  I’ve just not quite gotten to that point yet.

  22. @Jim: None of those points are related.

  23. @conor, People can talk all they want about being sick of events. I see the event sales– even when they’re dropping– and I see the sales of the books that have nothing to do with events, and there is no contest.

  24. I’m curious to know how the Big Two count their advertising and marketing dollars for these event books. The ring promotions, the variant covers, ads in gaming magazines, the Internet, etc. – how do these expenses impact the bottom line success of the event comic?

    Do all the Blackest Night crossevers and minis help or hurt sales? Do they improve sales of titles after the event?

    These numbers are out there and Marvel/DC brass have to know them. I wonder how much these numbers influence creative? 

  25. Looks like Marvel’s "Civil War" is truly the king of all events with 266,000 on it’s last issue.

    This article does not include graphic novel sales of the same stories.  It’s been rumored that "Civil War" is one of Marvel’s best sellers in graphic novel.  Those numbers count as well.

    Siege numbers don’t include the second months sales like Blackest Night does.  That’s a skewed view as well.

  26. Great article, Conor. Some interesting food for thought here. I’m shocked that Siege #1 is being out-ordered 2:1 (near enough, rather) by Blackest Night #1. The drop off figures are interesting to. (Or in Civil War’s Case… Add on!) Good stuff.

  27. @KickAss: There are two different sales figures for BLACKEST NIGHT because it was ordered by some stores on that "off week" in December and then by other stores in January. No other book has that split.

  28. @Conor Tell’im Steve Dave

  29. The length is what kills me about events. Does Blackest Night really have to be 8 issues long over 9 months?  The one thing I love about Siege is that it’s only 4 issues long.

  30. I got caught up in the event hype of Civil War and grabbed as much as I could. Most of it was rubbish so when Secret Invasion came around I didn’t buy as much. It’s your choice.

    I agree with @flapjaxx in that it’s up to the reader to judge what is a worthy part of the story.

    It’s interesting to see the different methods of event releases. Over at DC you have Blackest Night running in it’s main book and also in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corp. You also have one shots or minis of Batman and Wonder Woman where a story gets told but doesn’t spill over into the narrative thread of the character’s main title.

    DC could easily have put these issues into the regular run of books like Wonder Woman and Batman but they elected not to. You can argue that it just means more money because there’s more books but it also means that an event isn’t derailing an existing creator’s story.

  31. Great analysis of the numbers Conor.  The Siege dropoff IS remarkable.  I think there is some Brian Bendis event fatigue here also.  Secret Invasion pushed me off his events and all the Avengers books.

    It is freeing to not feel like you have to read these events.  I haven’t been reading Blackest Night because I tried it and it wasn’t my cup of tea.  But it seems a lot of people like it.  Great!  But comics readers everywhere need to remind themselves that they should only read stuff they like.  Period.  Believe me, it is the only way to not burn out on the hobby.  DC and Marvel put out great books that don’t intersect the events (or barely), enjoy ’em I say. 

    Especially with message boards like IFanboy, you can always find out what happened in other books anyway.   I appreciated a Darkseid scene in Batman and Robin recently that was a Final Crisis reveal, even though I never read Final Crisis.  Look ma, no hands! 

  32. Numbers, numbers, numbers.  I love them.  Thanks for sharing.

  33. I personally think that Avengers number one is going to sell better that secret invasion…..

  34. I would think comparing the tie-ins would also be interesting. I mean what’s the difference between the people who buy Blackest Night Flash versus, say Siege Embedded. That’s not exactly a perfect example, but you know what I mean.

  35. I think Marvel did promote Secret Invasion more than Siege.  I got back into comics because of Secret Invasion.  I had heard about Civil War but it had already started. Then I heard about Secret Invasion through advertising months before it happened.  It allowed me to ease myself back iinto the medium before the event struck.  I like to think alot of people were affected the same way (as well as with Civil War before it). 

    Also both Civil War and Secret Invasion felt like events you could jump on with.  Siege…not so much.  If I was a new reader I would feel overwhelmed by Dark Reign as well as Secret Invasion before it. 

    @Gabe I think it will outsell Siege as well

  36. I am somewhat event fatigued, but in the case of Marvel, I just stopped buying most of their books during Dark Reign.  Despite that, I think that the main Siege series has been really strong, and I’m looking forward to buying Marvel books that are fun and not necessarily linked together by some company wide mandate. 

    As always, I like DCs approach in that if you wanted to completely avoid Blackest Night, you can because none of the other main books are affected.  For me personally, Blackest Night has been great as I’ve enjoyed the story proper plus all of the tie-in series.  So long as DC continues that approach to their events, I’ll be a happy consumer.

  37. @TNC: i’m pretty sure you received of those comments because you wrote something that was confusing and annoyed people. But, Hey, that’s what makes you the man you are!


    It’s crasy that infinate crisis sold more copies than blackest night. there really is no relationship between quality of work and sales, is there? 

  38. @Jim: I think you’re talking about a different issue, which is the sales of books starring new and /or not-as-popular characters. Of course when those books are tied into an event they sell more because, obviously event tie-ins sell more, but then when the event is over you are left with books starring characters that cannot sustain a book in the current climate (Brother Voodoo, S.W.O.R.D., etc.). That’s an entirely different discussion.

  39. Let’s not count Marvel and Siege out just yet. A lot of people who panned #1 loved #2, so sales for #’s 2 and 3 may be up from this point. As for why Blackest Night is doing better, DC put out an extremely popular issue #0 on FCBD, and it stemmed out of one of its most popular ongoing series. These factors are bound to help. Meanwhile, Marvel’s main promo for Siege was printing the first five pages of #1 in umpteen titles. Also, when this was rolled out at the retailers’ summit last year, my LCS guy said most folks yawned. Reason? “Nothing will ever be the same”. This is the same line Marvel used for Disassembled, House of M, Civil War and Secret Invasion. At some point, it loses impact. A similar point could be made with Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis. The word “crisis” in a DC title means something, but not when it gets overused. Too, Infinite Crisis had George Perez (at the beginning), which gave it a nostalgia factor, while Final Crisis had Grant Morrison, one of the most polarizing figures in comics.

  40. I think these are some pretty interesting numbers. I think the huge drop between Secret invasion #1 and #8 was a very important stat: People will give events a chance, but if the story isn’t executed properly, they don’t really NEED to see how it ends. After several issues of seemingly nothing happening, people got tired of it. 

    I think Siege is selling far less because it isn’t really being promoted as a universe-wide event. It’s coming across as more of a Thor centric story, with an Avengers tie-in, so only fans of those books are picking it up. Civil War and Secret Invasion touched on almost every book, so pretty much everybody had some kind of stake in the story. If your horse isn’t in the race, you probably aren’t going to follow the event. I don’t read Thor, and i dropped Avengers a few months back, so i have zero interest in SIEGE. Just my theory. 

  41. As long as they take a break for a decent time in between,

  42. @CountAbyss I totally agree. Not just for financial reasons: what is the point of setting up a new status quo if you don’t take enough time to explore all the story possibilities it provides?

  43. @JohnVFerrigno: Money.

  44. I really feel that Blackest Night has been stretched pretty thin. Nothing really happens in most of the Blackest Night issues except for a couple. Most issues is basically some Black Lanterns trash talking and some heroes trying to kill them. That’s it. Pretty thin story.

  45. I’m suprised with the low numbers of Siege #1.  I would have thought since the event is only for four months/issues that more people would commit to the title and other tie-ins.  I guess I am suffering from "event fatigue" like many fans, however, if it’s a good story then I’m fine with it.  The one complaint I have is that I wish companies wouldn’t stamp the event tag on a book if that issue has nothing to do with the event. I understand it is to get more sales but that is dishonest and wrong.

    Is Brightest Day a full blown event?  I know that it has its own bi weekly series but are there a bunch of tie-ins?

  46. I do wonder how many (though I’m sure a small small amount) of people pick up the first issue of an event and then decided "I’ll get the trade" or "I’ll wait to hear how it ends". Again I doubt it’s 50,000 plus, but I do wonder about the number of people that take that approach. 

  47. I think we’re only brushing up upon the biggest reason why sales on these books have dropped, and I’m a perfect example of it: money.  I’m not reading comics anymore.  Any.  It’s not because I dislike them, or because I wanted to stop.  It’s because of the economy.  The bottom dropped out of the economy a year and a half ago, more Americans are unemployed than at any point since the Great Depression… and the comics industry responded by raising their price point from $2.99 to $3.99, all while staying married to an outdated distribution model.  

    Case in point: up until a month ago, I WAS buying select books (X-Factor, UC Avengers, USM, Siege, Avengers, Kick-Ass, ASM).  But then, I went to one store on a Wednesday on my commute from one job to the next… and the store was closed for "five minutes", inexplicably.  Then, I went to another store two days later, on Friday, and they were already sold out of anything I wanted to buy.  Then, the following week, I went back to the first store on Wednesday late in the afternoon and they hadn’t gotten their shipment yet.  (It was at this point I figured the universe was trying to tell me something.)

    The point?  To buy comics regularly, one must A.) have more disposable income than they had a year ago, which very few Americans have, and B.) be part of a semi-secret society that knows WHERE comics can found, and WHEN they can be found.  For the industry to expand, they have to let go of their outdated business model, say "good-bye" to the specialty stores and limited distribution, and really make an effort to reach a new market and expand the comic-buying public.  Until then, sales will drop on events, as well as on every other book.

    Final analysis?  It’s time for digital comics and an iComics store. 

  48. While we’ve been toing and froing about this issue for some time, it’s fascinating to see what it’s all led to, and what the numbers actually break down to. I think that Civil War and (to a lesser extent)Secret Invasion had the kind of hook that Siege doesn’t, which will at least account for some of those extra numbers – they were kinda "must read" stuff, whereas Siege is predicated on the actual ongoing storyline of the Marvel U.  I actually think that kind of makes Siege a positive idea, even if the numbers might prevent something like this happening again. 

    I think it’s also worth noting that Siege is the only one of these crossovers that began in the middle of winter (I believe).  Much like the event movies, I think each of the others at least put out their first issue in a summer month, even if they then continued into the winter.  Could that account partly for the drop?

  49. The last company wide event I bought was Civil War.  I think the crossover model that works the best for me is what DnA have been doing with the cosmic books.  Realm of Kings for example had a one-shot opener, two minis and crossovers with two regular books.  What the one shot did was establish a new status quo (or a challenge to the status quo) and then write separate stories about how different groups are reacting to that.  The key factor is that you don’t need to read all th books to appreciate the "crossover" but can pick and choose among the groups of characters that interest you most without really missing plot development.  Then, if there is a "regular series" ala War of Kings you can jump on for that without over-commiting to buying dozens of tie-ins.

  50. Maybe its been said already, but I think the Siege #1 and #2 numbers are more of a reflection of how hurt retailers are (economy) and how little room they have for taking risks at this time (ordering more than they think they can sell). The other factor is the order date itself. I am certain that every Event listed here except Siege were events launched in the late Spring/early Summer period. These were post FCBD and Blackest Night, being so heavily ordered, was specifically geared with a FCBD issue. This is also a point where businesses could deal with their possible tax refunds and , more specifically, their customers’ tax refunds (more disposable income).

    I think the order numbers for Siege can also reflect how the retailers gauge the fan reaction to the most previous big event from Marvel. After all, these numbers for Siege are set BEFORE customers have even read Siege #1. You’re only as good as your last event, so to speak. DC were smart to use FCBD and the success of Green Lantern as an ongoing to promote Blackest Night without the "baggage" of Final Crisis. It also helps that the foundations for Blackest Night were really set in the conclusion of the very successful Sinestro Corps War. There was a base of fans waiting for Blackest Night and retailers had to see this. Siege obviously didn’t present itself in such a manner when retailers went to order and, hence, what risk they were going to take in placing those orders.

  51. Again, you have to look beyond the numbers. A lot of people did not like Secret Invasion, and Bendis was the central creator there. He’s also the central creator on Siege. Probably some correlation here. If it was being written by someone else, if it wasn’t the umpteenth status quo change in the last few years, if there had been more and/or better promo, the numbers would likely be higher. Blackest Night isn’t being positioned as a massive status quo change; it’s mainly a Green Lantern book involving most of the DCU. It’s also being written by DC’s golden boy Geoff Johns. While economics has a role, that wouldn’t totally explain the drop from IC to BN while BN still beat Siege. IC was the sequel to one of the most fondly remembered event comics in mainstream history; if it didn’t pull huge numbers then something would have been out of whack. Without a deeper look, the numbers only tell half a picture.

  52. BC1,

    IC had that very successful selling $1 prelude issue backing it. It also well connected with 4 prelude minis that were 3 for 4 well recieved. Villains United (now Secret Six), Day of Vengance (which got a monthly in Shadowpact for just over 2 years),  the OMAC Project, and the Rann-Than War. As well as the successful Wonder Woman/Superman crossover (death of ML)

    Final Crisis had to carry the baggage that was "One Year Later" and "Countdown" (weekly). It was forunate that FC even had the numbers that it did. Plus, this is a writer with a heavily polorized audience. Johns is, at worst, a writer viewed as "okay."

    Blackest Night’s numbers being higher than Final Crisis, is huge victory showing better support based around Johns’ books and his setup in the making for over 2 years (Corps War)

    In terms of numbers, IC to BN isn’t something I can undertand properly without accessing FC and the events just prior to FC.

  53. I think people are overanalyzing here.  The truth is, those who are most critical of "Events" and other various storylines in comics, like Secret Invasion or Civil War, are those most likely to buy everything that comes out anyway.  I think there’s something to the idea that "Siege" is out in the winter as opposed to the summer… and that it’s 4 issues and not 6 or 7 or 8.  It seems to be positioned to be marketed as more of a "mini-event" than an actual event, and I would assume that Marvel adjusted their expectations for it as such.

    The bottom line, again, to me is so painfully obvious that some people might be avoiding it for the fun of looking for more complicated theories: the economy is bad and people are buying less stuff.  Simple enough, really.

    I posted about this article on my blog; it’s basically a repeat of what I said here, but you can check it out if you like: http://ploopet.blogspot.com/

  54. @Race: BLACKEST NIGHT doesn’t fit into your theory of sales being down entirely because of the economy. When it started the economy as worse than it is now and it sold tons. Is the economy a factor? Yes. Is it the only factor? Definitely not.

  55. I am really liking Blackest Night and Siege, but after they wrap up I could easily go a year or more without a new event coming out or even announced and I’d be peachy. It seems like since I got back into comics (right before the start of House of M and the Countdown to Infinite Crisis stuff) that since then books have been just building up from one event to the next, and that does get tiring. I don’t mind spending time in a status quo for at least a little while before things are "shaken up" again. Bottom line, give me an event from Marvel and DC every couple years and I’m happier than one leading right into the next, but that’s me 🙂

  56. I personally think that the low sales on Siege are due to not a ton of people caring about the Asgard side of the Marvel Universe. The Thor title doesn’t sell all that well, and Asgard hasn’t been mainstream for awhile.

    Personally as a reader I wanted Osbourne’s downfall to come as a result of things he has already done(murder, steal identities, make villains in to heroes etc..), not as a result of the next thing he did (take on Asgard). It sort of reminds me of some of the later Soprano episodes when a character would be constantly doing things that would get him whacked, then he ends up dying of cancer. Yes, the character got his comeuppance, but it was not as satisfying as when the victim gets his revenge.

    The other reason that I think it isn’t doing quite as well, is that The List seemed haphazard. I was still waiting for it to begin, and didn’t realize it was over. Some stand alone issues mixed with issues with the banner and I was totally unaware that it had come and gone. Same thing happened with Siege, I had to go back to the comic store the next week after the review ifanboy.

    All that aside, I tried Siege and happen to enjoy it, but I can see why 100,000 less copies are floating around out there.

  57. I think with Siege it’s the law of diminishing returns.  Marvel has just gone to the well too many times with so-so ‘Event’ stories and people are sick of getting burned (Despite this being a great story many aren’t touching it because the othere simply weren’t).  Blackest Night is just a good story and people want to read it.  The drop in sales has NOTHING to do with a bad economy because (As Conor points out) why are other titles still doing fine?

  58. Are those page views on the reviews Unique or just total views?  If they are Unique that is impressive…

  59. @Hawkboy: Page views, not uniques.

  60. Jeezus.  That was a reactionary review on my part that wasn’t particularly impressive (imo).  Musta been the discussion that followed that resulted in it being 4th-most read review on that list.  It had 15 comments so i figured it had been viewed 15 times…

  61. I’d like to chime in on this, if I may. I think one of the biggest reasons event books have been dropping is because we’ve all been burned by bad experiences.


    I was a DC fan, who occasionally liked Marvel, but once I heard about Secret Invasion and the build up to it, I couldn’t help but check it out. So I picked up the main series, and some Mighty Avengers and New Avengers that helped fill in the gaps between issues. And with every issue of the main series, I started noticing there wasn’t much story. There were hints of story, but if I wanted to see what Maria Hill was up to, or if I wanted to know what happened in between the panels of the Savage Land, I had to pick up other titles to get the whole story. You wanted to know what "He loves you" meant? You had to pick up Incredible Hercules to understand that. It became more and more apparent the infiltration/spy storyline I wanted was never going to come. So, with that uninspired final issue, I washed my hands of a Marvel event for a VERY long time. It’s gotten to the point where I’m only picking up the Noir titles from Marvel. 


    Events are only as good as their stories. The problem is, because they’re money makers, they end up overstaying their welcome. So, after a few years of that, we’ve become like rats in a cage with an electrified pellet machine. We want the goods, but we’ve been hurt so many times in the past for trying that we’re hesistant these days to hit the food bar. 

  62. @conor – Re-read my posts.  I didn’t the economy was the ONLY factor in sales being down, but I believe it’s the BIGGEST factor.  I also went on to say that I think "Siege" being positioned where it is (winter) and only four issues long is leading to a depression in the sales for that book, as well.  It’s more a "World War Hulk" level even than a "Secret Invasion" level event.  "Blackest Night" was a summer even with a stronger marketing push than "Siege". (Was it a summer event?  I don’t even know anymore.)

    And I’ll be willing to concede that the hits that I personally have taken in this down economy have led to my putting more weight in the recession as a factor in the downward trends of comic book sale numbers… but the undeniable truth exists that in a recessed economy people have less disposable income for things like comic books than they do in a stable economy, and the $3.99 price point + economic conditions, in my mind, could only serve to hurt the overall sales of comics.  Do the numbers show me to be wrong? 

    Either way, I’ll end with this: to have a posting about sales numbers on any product declining, and not at least mention that the economy is in a severe downturn and that might be a factor, that’s just sloppy reporting.  "Civil War" sales went up.  "Blackest Night" sales have had a severe drop off.  I think that you could make the case that people are less patient now with a book they might not love.  While in the past they may have stuck with a title out of habit, now any title that had a down issue or two, or any title that is not a "must-read" for that individual consumer, probably gets the ax faster than it might have two or three years ago. 

  63. @RaceMcCloud: I disagree that the economy is the biggest factor. I think you’re extendeding your personal situation to everyone else.

  64. This is probably too late, but I am interested in seeing what the overall (main book+ tie-in) numbers are. Nonethless, I think it’s a combonation of marketing campaigns,the economy, and of course people getting  tired of cross-overs (event fatigue). I for one want individual books outside of each other.