Anthologies Question

By | Monday, October 13, 2008 2 comments
Conventional wisdom says that comic book anthologies don't sell very well. I've heard this from any number of sources, including retailers and publishers. But it occurs to me that I've never actually seen numbers to prove/disprove that notion. In fact, if that were true, wouldn't Heavy Metal have gone the way of the dodo? It's been running with some measure of success since 1974. I also understand Kazu Kibuishi's Flight series of books have sold well. And how about Dark Horse's online venture on MySpace? Didn't that warrant a TPB collection?

So does anyone have proof that comic anthologies, as a rule, don't sell? I understand that, if retailers and publishers believe that, it becomes a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, but is that actually based on hard evidence?

Anyone have anything concrete on this subject?
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Brett said...

Didn't Marvel's most recent volume of "Marvel Comics Presents" fall down the sales charts nearing the point of no longer being profitable?

I'd have to check the last few month's of Paul O'Brien's sales figures to be sure, but I know it fell like a stone after the first month.

A quick check on shows that MCP #5, while not a particularly great seller, still outsold several other Marvel titles that month and quite a number of DC, Image, Dark Horse and other indie titles including Howard the Duck, Omega the Unknown, Northlanders, Blue Beetle, Goon, Mice Templar, Star Trek Year Four and Witchblade. It even outsold the debut issues of End League, Evil Dead, Youngblood and BPRD 1946.

MCP #12, while down from #7 and about on par with Blue Beetle outsold everything else listed above.

Granted, it was one of Marvel's worst-selling titles, but I can't see how someone can claim that anthologies don't sell but continue to support books like Goon and Blue Beetle.