Basically Everybody in Comics is Selling Out

I don’t really repost “this book sold out the print run” press releases, because I have a dislike for sales figures – and the fact they are public – in general. Sales figures seem to exist mainly so people online can look dismissively on all the books which aren’t selling well. In actuality, it feels like people who most often buy actually buy comics in stores don’t care about sales figures much, and so neither do I.

One thing which is becoming quite noticeable, though, is how many of these press releases I’m starting to get sent. Not just from companies like Image, where on certain titles (anything by Mark Millar, for example) it might be expected, but also from companies like Oni Press. Their new series Letter 44 from Charles Soule and Alberto Jiménez Alburqurque just sold out last week, it seems. This is a story about an incoming American President who finds a letter in the desk of the Oval Office which says “hey, this is the last Prez – by the way, aliens are coming. Good luck! lol”
That’s paraphrased, I’m sure Soule’s script doesn’t throw a lol in there. Oni Press only run a few ongoing series at a time – Wasteland and The Sixth Gun are their two other big ones. So it’s quite notable for this new series, from a fresh writer like Soule, is doing so well. It probably helps that his work at Marvel and DC has been big and popular over the last couple of months, but still.
Image continue to also sell out of most of their big launch books – this week saw Pretty Deadly and Velvet both sell out, following on from titles like Sex Criminals prior. Again, here are big name creators like Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, Ed Brubaker and others all pitching up at Image, but the fact they’re dragging their Marvel audience across to creator-owned books (and subsequently selling out their high print orders) is fantastic news. That’s not something you tended to see before on such a typical level.
Afterlife with Archie sold out too, the first book from the publisher which was labelled as being for mature readers only. Here we see, I would say, the success of zombie stories in general align with the power of artist Francesco Francavilla to sell out the first print run on the book. Incidentally, Walking Dead sells out with every single issue – the power of television.
Not every company sends out press releases about sell outs. But as far as I’ve seen, every single company who DO tell the world about which of their comics have sold out? Have seen a drastic increase in that occurrence over the last year. Alternate media and the internet seem to be working together to push selected areas of the comics market, and get people into stores to pick up physical copies of creator-owned comics.
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