Robotech's Place in the Comics Market

Diamond Comic Distriubtors has put out their list of the top 300 comics for October. As there were two issues of Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles in October, it's on there twice. Here are the two listings, courtesy of Comic Book Resources:

152 132 16.77 ** AUG050265 ROBOTECH PRELUDE TO SHADOW CHRONICLES #1 (Of 5) $3.50 DC

163 141 15.45 ** AUG050266 ROBOTECH PRELUDE TO SHADOW CHRONICLES #2 (Of 5) $3.50 DC

That is ...

1) The two books were 152nd and 163rd place overall in unit sales.

2) The two books were 132nd and 141st by dollar value (it IS, after all, a $3.50 title in a market where most books are $2.95 or $2.99).

3) The two books sold, respectively, 16.77% and 15.45% of what this month's issue of Batman sold. (Batman is always used as a benchmark in the Diamond top 300. If you're curious, it was #18 on the list by unit sales.) The top selling comic for the month, DC Comics' Infinite Crisis #1, sold 356.22% of Batman. As Infinite Crisis is a major event designed to affect every single title in DC's superhero universe, this shouldn't be surprising.

4) I have no clue what the two asterisks mean. The information after that, though, is the Diamond Comic Distributors item number for the book (if you bring this number to your local comic shop, they can order a copy of the book for you, if it's not sold out at the distributor level), the title, the retail price, and the publisher.

These are not what you'd call good numbers. When Marc-Oliver Frisch makes his monthly analysis of the numbers at Comicon Pulse, he's probably going to say something dismal about these numbers. Teen Titans Go!, the tie-in book to the Cartoon Network Teen Titans animated series, did better than both issues of Prelude, and in his column Frisch constantly has to excuse its performance on this chart by saying that, "Well, it's a cartoon tie-in book, and presumably it does better outside the comic shops, on the newsstands and spinner racks in book stores and grocery stores." The current incarnation of Doom Patrol is being cancelled and it was #131. There were only twenty-four DC Comics titles below Prelude #2 on the top 300 list. Of these, six were cartoon tie-ins, which traditionally fare poorly at the comic specialty shops. Four were ongoing books that are either confirmed as cancelled or are widely believed to be cancelled shortly. Thirteen were reorders of previously released books, most of them part of DC's big Infinite Crisis event. The last one was the latest installment of a dismally selling limited series.

For comparison, the final issue of Robotech Invasion back in May 2004 was #147 in units shipped, #149 in dollar value (still only $2.95), and sold 14.69% of what Batman sold that month. The first of two issues of Batman that month -- the one used as the benchmark -- was #13. The top-selling comic book that month, the first issue of the Joss Wheadon-written Astonishing X-Men, sold 272.34% of Batman.

If Robotech were being published elsewhere, numbers like this wouldn't be considered quite so bad, I don't think. However, DC's probably going to compare this to the rest of their line and shake their heads and, since comics always trend down as each series wears on, I don't think the news is going to get much better as the months wear on. I'm beginning to get the feeling we're not going to see a trade paperback of this series, unless Tommy Yune manages to pull some sort of Jedi mind trick on the bean counters at DC. I also wonder about the future of Robotech comics at DC, and in general.


  • If I've done my research right, there were 14 WILDTORM comics this month. Prelude #1 ranked as #10, and Prelude #2 ranked as #12.


    By Blogger Darkwater, at 13 November, 2005 21:28  

  • Diamond's numbers from icv2:

    MAY 2004 - Est.Qty. - (Index)
    Batman #627 - 76,885 - (100.00)
    Robotech: Invasion #5 - 11,294 - (14.69)

    OCTOBER 2005
    Batman #646 - 69,975 - (100.00)
    Robotech: Prelude #1 - 11,735 - (16.77)
    Robotech: Prelude #2 - 10,811 - (15.45)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20 November, 2005 08:16  

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