What I Learned at the Comic Book Store

As monetary funds are low at this point in time, my regularly scheduled string of reviews has been pushed back until I have money, and the store is open. That being said, I have decided to serenade you with the insight my shop owner provided me on the retail side of comics.

I initially asked him what had been selling, and you might be surprised as to the top three sales at my comic store.

Walking Dead Volume 1 and 2 (no shit).

Saga Volume 1 (good to see it sell).

and the highest selling thing at my store is……

Adventure Time Volume 1.

While odd, it makes sense given where I live. I live in a college town, and as well as being very popular amongst younger kids, it is extremely popular amongst the stoner crowd. Hipsters too enjoy comics, and the hipster community at my university is very familiar with drugs. Thus it makes sense that this community of stoners and hipsters would combine with the target reader base to inspire such strong sales.

In addition to that, I asked him his thoughts on monthly comic sales. As we all know, Marvel killed October sales. I questioned the validity of those numbers, as Diamond only counts based on transactions between them and retailers. There is no method to actually counting how much people are buying. However, my retailer offered me fascinating insight. Companies will play games with sales. While my owner might want to purchase 40 of a specific title, certain incentive’s actually make it cheaper for him to purchase 80. If 80 costs less than 40, you’ll take it. Diamond then counts those sales, even though my retailer bought double what he needed. He cited Marvel as being the biggest offender. Additionally he said that Marvel NOW! is the only thing really keeping Marvel sales up. #1’s sell, everything else does not. He said he would by much less of non #1 issues.

Let me put it this way. My store sells more copies of the $15 Adventure Time TPB a month than it does of any $2.99 or $3.99 Marvel titles.

I’m not trying to peddle any ideas, I just find the retailing aspect of comics almost as fascinating as the comics themselves. So next time you go to your retailer, ask them their thoughts on the market. What sells at your stores. I told you the biggest selling comics from my store, I’d love for you to share your opinions and any insights you have.

Until the next time,



4 thoughts on “What I Learned at the Comic Book Store

  1. I always love how open my guys (and gal) at my comic book store are. I’ve been recommended comic books across the spectrum across multiple different publishers. You don’t usually see that from those that read. They usually stick to one core line up or so.

    • I love my shop because the three main employee’s all have their specific look into the industry. Time shares my thoughts on Marvel vs DC, but generally stays objective enough to push what gets critical buzz. Rebecca is more of a DC fan, specializing in Constantine and Bat-Family. While Travis associates himself with Marvel, he directed me to Thief of Thieves, Manhattan Projects, and Saga. Two of which are among the best new comics of 2012.

    • I wasn’t trying to dis Adventure Time, nor the comic. Merely rationalize why it outsells any other comic at my retailer. And I do not read the comic, I have never seen more than 4 episodes of the show, and have no vested interest in either the show nor the comic to read it. Again I was not trying to criticize those that do either.

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