Friday, October 31, 2008

Ultimate Comics Walk-Up Sales For Oct 22nd, 2008

From Lee Newman of Ultimate Comics, the list of top-selling books at one of their locations in North Carolina for what was released on 10/22/08. Pull lists are not included, as this is meant to capture what is being bought off the shelf.

  1. Final Crisis: Submit
  2. Secret Invasion #7
  3. Final Crisis #4
  4. Superman: New Krypton Special #1
  5. Aetheric Mechanics
  6. Unknown Soldier #1
  7. Hulk #7
  8. Amazing Spider-Man #575
  9. Invincible #54
  10. New Avengers #46


1 - Um... this is why walk up sales are more interesting, shear numbers wise Secret Invasion and Final Crisis CRUSHED this book, but for folks who didn't commit to something this sold better. Part of the reason is the nature of the FC tie-ins themselves. Most of them seem so periphial to the book itself that a one off would seem undesirable. However, this is where working in a chain or really big shop gets a hand up. I get to read a number of books Tuesday night. I am no dummie, so I read books that aren't going to sell them selves, I can check out Final Crisis and Secret Invasion in the quiet hours of the morning at the shop to avoid spoilers, but knowing that Submit was a bridge into FC #4 allowed me to tell people and get the book to walk out the door. Product knowledge is key.

1,2,3,4,7,8,10 - event books... hmm event fatigue huh? If it actually existed I would see other books creep into the top ten. I include Hulk and Spidey in this category because they are buzz books which in the end is just as good as an event or crossover.

5. Warren Ellis. We love him here at Ultimate Comics.

6. Unknown Soldier was a bit of a surprise for us. There is a genuine disconnect, I feel, in the marketing of comics. If you follow my comments around the intrawebs, you will see that I think Kids books are being woefully mismarketed. I think the downfall of Minx was evidence of this. The comic book industry markets to itself and as a result, it stays a niche market.

Now this book was handled quite the way I think it should be. It was previewed in House of Mystery, certainly the most successful of the Vertigo books in the last few years. There was quite a bit of buzz in the market and outside it about this book and its social consiousness. While I was excited about the return of the concept and interested in this new take, the customers did not respond in kind. Instead, the same two guys were on the card for the book, so we ordered conservatively.

However, all that marketing worked and the demand was bigger than our supply. I don't know how to correct this disconnect between marketing correctly and getting the customer to say they want the book.

A few weeks ago, I talked about the success of No Hero #1 and how people wanted this book before it arrived. Would a zero issue have helped this book? I don't know, all I know is that there was demand here that we could not meet because it was not expressed. Maybe bagslicks like Ellis did with Doktor Sleepless, I don't know. I certainly hope that the folks who read this have some ideas, because I would dearly love to know how to tap into what happened here.

9. I think this is a result of kind of a lite week overall. Sure there were big books and it was an average sales week overall, but there was not a large amount of titles like this current week or the previous week.

Well, it looks like either Lee perfectly called it on the demand for the Presidential Materials books or he just didn't have enough left in stock for it to crack the Top 10. ;)

Amazing Spider-Man still doing noticeable walk-up numbers, but it drops to 8 this week where it had two entries in the Top 6 last week. This seems to suggest that Paul C (a reader of SCHWAPP!!!) may have been right to say the book got the Colbert Bump last week. At the same time, any week where ASM is in the Top 10 of walk-up sales has to be a positive sign that sales might be going back up for the title.

I only read Unknown Soldier #1 this morning, but I believe it merits every bit of attention it has gotten. Like any book with a completely brown skin cast, it makes me happy & sad at the same time. Happy for the diversity it brings to the shelves, sad for the potential of a cancellation clock already ticking in a market with a customer base that rarely seems to reward this sort of diversity.


  1. Oh, Presidential Materials is still selling at a brisk pace and I did have one last reorder out, but as opposed to selling 5 a day, it is down to one a day. The Flip Book was number 11 though. I expect I will have one or two of each left when I decide to pull it off the shelf sometime in the next month.

  2. Also, Aetheric Mechanics and Unknown Soldier are interesting because they were both sell outs. (Submit was as well). Sell outs are not what I like to see - SUbmit sold out rather late in the week. AM sold out the first day with no copies to replace it until this week and Unknown Soldier actually saw me restock from the other stores three times last week. This may be part of the dynamic of the new store, I am seeing more indy stuff move (as a percentage of sales) then I have at the other stores.

  3. Correction, Sell Outs are what I want to see in the third or fourth week when demand is diminished. Sell Outs the first day or before the next Wednesday are frustrating.

  4. Why aren't the more recent Hotlists posted on the Ultimate Comics Webpage? So far the only ones I see date back to August.

  5. Is Hulk considered a "buzz book" because people want to see if it as bad as everyone says? Or because it had two cracking artists on it?

  6. If you want the hotlists on the site, I can do that...
    Hulk is a buzz book because of the creative team(s) and the fact that the intrawebs are abuzz with the book.
    Now off to update the website, per the reader's request!

  7. and here is the link to this week's hotlist:


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