Thursday, December 15, 2016

COMICS SALES: Boom Studios for November 2016


Continuing our look at November 2016 sales (to retailers) from the smaller publishers in the North American comic book market, it’s time to turn our attention to Los Angeles-based BOOM Studios.

The company released 23 regular comics book issues last month, but the majority — 14, or 60.9 percent — placed outside Diamond Distributors Top 300 for the month. The nine titles that did make the measured ranking represented 1.06 percent of the $39.32 million in retail revenue represented by all books in the Top 300. Keep in mind, that’s sales by Diamond to comics shops, not of shops to customers. Still, that 1.06 percent runs to $310,792. Given that the publisher generally gets 40 percent of the cover price, we can presume BOOM made about $124,317 on the titles we’ll track below. How much it made off titles that placed outside the Top 10, or on comics sold oversea and via channels other than Diamond, who can say?

Even so, here we go . . .


127. MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS ($3.99)

01/2016: ( 39) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 — 41,042 [18,015]
02/2016: ---
03/2016: (  2) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 — 119,536 (+160.8%)
04/2016: ( 22) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #2 — 58,786 (-50.8%)
05/2016: ( 42) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #3 — 38,537 (-34.4%)
06/2016: ( 75) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #4 — 33,845 (-12.2%)
07/2016: ( 81) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #5 — 28,505 (-15.8%)
08/2016: (108) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #6 — 25,161 (-11.7%)
08/2016: (137) MMPR 2016 Annual #1 ($7.99) — 18,036
09/2016: (102) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #7 — 23,244 (-7.6%)
10/2016: (126) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #8 — 20,563 (-11.5%)
11/2016: (127) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9 — 20,298 (-1.3%)


I’m tempted to say this book has finally found its level, with a 1.3 percent drop last month, but it’s been plunging like a rock from the outset. Typically, I’d expect a book to shed about 25-30 percent of its first issue order for #2, then another 10-15 percent for #3. At #4 it should register a single digit decline, and then by #5 settle in at standard attrition of 2 percent or less per month. But this one has seen big declines all the way down to #8. So, the plateau at #9 somehow feels more like a breather that a full stop to the hemorrhaging.

Still, one recent review called Boom’s Power Ranger book “one of 2016’s best comics.” Did somebody finally get the memo? Issue #9 is not a new storyline jumping-on point, and has no more that the usual number of variant covers, at four. I really can’t see any definitive reason why retailers seemed to have finally figured out how many copies they can move of this title each month, except that, if this is it, I’d have expected them to discovered that number much sooner.

At this rate, I’d expect Boom to soon nix the whole ongoing series plan and turn this title into a revolving set of limited series, with a new #1 every few months.


171. WWE: THEN. NOW. FOREVER. ($3.99)

11/2016: (171) WWE Then Now Forever #1 — 12,925

Wrestlers are a kind of super-hero. I guess. I have to wonder how many of these will end up in the dollar bins, though. However, if BOOM was somehow able to sell this comic at WWE events . . . well, then it wouldn’t need LCS sales, would it?


224. LUMBERJAMES/GOTHAM ACADEMY ($3.99)

06/2016: (106) Lumberjanes/G. Academy #1 (of 6) — 20,695
07/2016: (170) Lumberjanes/G. Academy #2 (of 6) — 12,972 (-37.3%)
08/2016: (191) Lumberjanes/G. Academy #3 (of 6) — 11,280 (-13.0%)
09/2016: (188) Lumberjanes/G. Academy #4 (of 6) —  9,507 (-15.7%)
10/2016: (209) Lumberjanes/G. Academy #5 (of 6) —  8,574 (-9.8%)
11/2016: (224) Lumberjanes/G. Academy #6 (of 6) —  7,919 (-7.6%)

These do not seem like real great numbers for a crossover with a DC Comics book. But then, I bailed on Gotham Acadamy the second Damian showed up, so I really have to sense of what’s going on in that book. Even so, these numbers indicate to me that retailers over-ordered on just about ever issue, and are probably sitting on their fair share of dollar bin fodder.


235. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA/ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK ($3.99)

10/2016: (  1) Big Trouble/Escape #1 (of 6) — 421,625†
11/2016: (235) Big Trouble/Escape #2 (of 6) —   7,144 (-98.3%)

So, here’s the thing. It always seems to be this big secret what comic might be getting the Loot Create treatment. Everyone in the know is mum until one comics suddenly posts an unexpectedly huge percentage above Batman on the Diamond Index. Only then is everyone like, oh, sure, that must be packed into the next Loot Crate. Now, I get that the whole secret-package-is-supposed-to-be-secret thing, but if I was a retailer, I’d be kind of pissed. I mean, how many of more than 400,000 people who got the first issue of this comic might enjoy it enough to seek out a local comics shop in order to continue following the story? Half maybe? One-quarter? Hell, even if it’s only 10,000, you’d think retailers would want to take advantage of that possible inflow of new customers. But it seems pretty clear they ordered #2 of this series have absolutely no idea #1 was going to get packed into a Loot Crate. That just seem to be poor, short-sighted judgment on the part of publishers who are able to land a Loot Crate deal.


237. STRANGE FRUIT ($3.99)

07/2015: (163) Strange Fruit #1 — 14,513
10/2015: (179) Strange Fruit #2 — 10,268 (-29.2%)
11/2015: ---
--------------------------------
12/2105: ---
01/2106: ---
02/2106: ---
03/2106: ---
04/2016: (215) Strange Fruit #3 — 8,124 (20.8%)
05/2106: ---
06/2106: ---
07/2106: ---
08/2106: ---
09/2106: ---
10/2106: ---
11/2016: (237) Strange Fruit #4 — 7,139 (-12.1%)

I bought the first two issues of this series, then forgot about it. You can kind of see why. The long gap between issues certainly did not seem to be help retailer confidence in this title. Is there going to be a #5 someday? If so, I’d expect to never know, as it’ll likely land outside the Top 300.


250. SLAM ($3.99)

11/2016: (250) Slam #1 — 6,518

A comic about roller derby would seem to have some appeal. Hell, I’m surprised Marvel didn’t have a roller derby comic during the late ‘70s! But this kind of an order for a first issue has to be a huge disappointment, especially after artist Veronica Fish is coming off a huge bounce in name recognition from her recent Archie work. Maybe she should have stayed in Riverdale?


275. ADVENTURE TIME ($3.99)

02/2012: (153) Adventure Time #1  — 12,392 [8,523]
11/2012: ( 94) Adventure Time #10 — 23,656 (+13.1%)
11/2013: (127) Adventure Time #22 — 16,905 (-28.5%)
11/2014: ---
12/2014: (192) Adventure Time #35 — 11,138 (-34.1%)
11/2015: (201) Adventure Time #46 —  8,537 (-23.3%)
---------------------------------
12/2015: (245) Adventure Time #47 — 7,739 (-9.3%)
01/2016: (201) Adventure Time #48 — 7,429 (-4.0%)
02/2016: (213) Adventure Time #49 — 7,184 (-3.3%)
03/2016: (188) Adventure Time #50 — 8,391 (+16.8%)
04/2016: (233) Adventure Time #51 — 6,958 (-17.1%)
05/2016: (241) Adventure Time #52 — 6,888 (-1.0%)
06/2016: (264) Adventure Time #53 — 6,627 (-3.8%)
07/2016: (250) Adventure Time #54 — 6,498 (-1.9%)
08/2016: (263) Adventure Time #55 — 6,482 (-0.2%)
09/2016: (236) Adventure Time #56 — 6,200 (-4.4%)
10/2016: (264) Adventure Time #57 — 5,711 (-7.9%)
11/2016: (275) Adventure Time #58 — 5,566 (-2.5%)

This comic seems to follow a trend line I’ve noticed with a lot of the long-running books from the smaller publishers — namely, a significant drop toward the end of last year, followed by a gentle downward glide but for stunt issues (such as a variant cover package or, as above, an anniversary issue), with the pace of decline picking up over the last few months. Do comics sales always dip in the fall and early winter? Spring and summer sales might have been the rage back in an age when comics mostly sold to kids riding bikes to the corner market, but today’s comics sell mostly to middle-aged dudes, who I would presume buy in equal measure all the year round.


277. NAMESAKE ($3.99)

11/2016: (277) Namesake #1 (of 4) — 5,425

Having read the solicitation, it seemed a little high concept for BOOM. This might have sold better as a DC/Vertigo book, or as one of the countless new titles Image is flooding the market with. These numbers have to be a real disappointment. Will it move even 1,000 copies by its last issue?


282. LUMBERJANES ($3.99)

04/2014: (208) Lumberjanes #1 — 13,129
11/2014: (191) Lumberjanes #8 —  9,543
11/2015: (208) Lumberjanes #20 — 8,012 (-16.0%)
------------------------------------
12/2015: (250) Lumberjanes #21 — 7,667 (-4.3%)
01/2016: (210) Lumberjanes #22 — 7,079 (-7.7%)
02/2016: (215) Lumberjanes #23 — 6,952 (-1.8%)
03/2016: (221) Lumberjanes #24 — 6,890 (-0.9%)
04/2016: (240) Lumberjanes #25 — 6,575 (-4.6%)
05/2016: (252) Lumberjanes #26 — 6,406 (-2.6%)
06/2016: (274) Lumberjanes #27 — 6,436 (+0.5%)
07/2016: (256) Lumberjanes #28 — 6,263 (-2.7%)
08/2016: (277) Lumberjanes #29 — 6,139 (-2.0%)
09/2016: (248) Lumberjanes #30 — 5,833 (-5.0%)
10/2016: (272) Lumberjanes #31 — 5,461 (-6.4%)
11/2016: (282) Lumberjanes #32 — 5,253 (-3.8%)

So, yeah, I really don’t know much about the Janes. But the Gotham Academy crossover numbers look much better when compared to the regular title, don’t they?


And now, here are the comics solicited by BOOM for sale in November that failed to make Diamond’s Top 300:

Adventure Time Comics #5
The Backstagers #4 (of 8)
Giant Days #20
Goldie Vance #7
Jonsey #8
Joyride #7
Kong of Skull Island #5 (of 6)
Lucas Stand #6 (of 6)
Mega Princess #1 (of 5)
Munchkin #23
Over the Garden Wall #8
Skybourne #3 (of 5) (this was was just late, I think)
Sons of Anarchy: Redwood Original #4 (also late?)
Warlords of Appalacha #2 (of 4)
The Woods #27


So, that’s that. Frankly, from these numbers, BOOM seems to me like it might be in a little bit of trouble, unless its really piling up the Benjamins on trade paperbacks and such.

Of course, your mileage may vary. Let me know what you think in the comments below.







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