Civil War Sales?

While acknowledging the problems in Civil War #4, retailer Mike Sterling says, “it’s still gonna sell like crazy.”

I hope he’s not right. I hope that the delay and the less-than-successful return issue have made customers take a second look. Then again, comic fans are known to keep buying things they dislike.

So which is it? Are Civil War sales still topping the chart at your comic store?

24 Responses to “Civil War Sales?”

  1. Barry Says:

    Sadly, he’s probably right. While they may bitch about this or that, comics fans will still shell out the cash if it’s something “hot”.

  2. Mikester Says:

    One thing I am curious about is how the normal autumn sales slump is going to impact Civil War sales. Will the traditional sales dip drag it down, or will fan interest in Civil War be enough to keep the money coming in (assuming the disappointing fourth issue doesn’t turn ‘em off…not that I think it’s going to for most folks).

  3. Lisa Lopacinski Says:

    The thing with Civil War is that the first couple of issues really hooked people in. Then Marvel cranks up it’s hype machine (like the “someone big dies” where if you read the issue you get the REAL meaning of the quote) and people can’t wait for the issue to hit shelves. We sold a TON of #4 already this week-over 60% of everyone who came in on Wednesday picked it up. It was our top seller on Wednesday, almost doubling the sales on the next top seller, Astonishing X-Men. In fact, we cut back on some of the tie-in issues on our order, figuring we’d see some drops in those, if not in the regular title, and we sold out – selling more than we’d sold on those books in the issues previous. The delay actually seems to have turned people even more “rabid” for the book, making them want just about anything that says “Civil War” on it. Ultimately, it will take a few weeks to see if there was any actually fall out from the lateness – because the ones most likely to not continue to pick it up are the people that already don’t generally come in on Wednesday, or even every week. So, while the initial sales were very strong, those people are the fans, and the casual readers might have lost interest, but that won’t be obvious for another few weeks.

  4. Johanna Says:

    Barry, one of my questions is “is this still hot?” How much, if any, did the delay and the resulting negative publicity affect the title and its many tie-ins? Lisa suggests that it actually helped, which is a possibility I hadn’t considered.

    I guess I’m really asking which proverb applies: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” or “Out of sight, out of mind”.

  5. Jer Says:

    What were sales of Identity Crisis like as it followed the same trajectory (i.e. initial positive responses despite characterization issues progressing into outraged screams over the direction of the plot and characterization)? I’d expect a similar reaction, but there’s always the possibility that Marvel fans are more/less forgiving than DC fans are.

  6. Michael Rawdon Says:

    The store I patronize sure ordered a buttload of them. They still had two big stacks of them at end-of-day Wednesday, but I have no idea what fraction of their original order that represented.

    I’ve been thumbing through it in the store, as it’s sort of like watching a plane crash in slow motion. But as it’s written by Mark Millar, I haven’t been buying it.

  7. jnscott Says:

    If anything “Civil War” has convinced me that I will not only no longer be buying this title but ANY Marvel comic or spend any of my money on any MEG production. I’m not at all a fan of Mark Millar’s constant reinterpretations of Marx/Engle’s “The Communist Manifesto”.

  8. Phil Says:

    Not actually relevant to this post, but I was just looking for somewhere to say that this is my favourite comics blog. Your level of interest and reportage on comics internet “scandal” – Meeley, Bourgeois, that kind of thing – coincides exactly with mine, and your reviews are always well-thought-out and “worth reading”, like it says at the top of the page. Thanks for putting this stuff out there.


  9. Mostly Muppet Dot Com Says:

    No Civil War

    I suppose if I were a more political blogger (I am political, I just don’t blog it much) I’d make some crack about Iraq. This isn’t that post.
    Instead, I’m upset about Marvel Comics “Summer Event” Civil War.
    You see…

  10. ~chris Says:

    My non-purchasing of Civil War will not be affected by the delay.

    Quitting bad comics is good. But if you quit ALL Marvel comics, you’d miss out on some very good comics like Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane.

  11. Alan Coil Says:

    My comment to the local comics manager was that a few of the customers that I had seen buying the book in the past had not even been in this Wednesday. I think that is because college is back in session. Maybe they will show up on the weekend.

  12. Rob Barrett Says:

    I’m enjoying Civil War, but then I prefer to treat my comics continuity the same way that medieval romancers treated the Arthurian story: a pool of characters to be used again and again in often radically different contexts with a fairly minimal attention to character consistency.

    I also want to echo the comment by ~chris: there’s a lot of good Marvel stuff out there right now. Brubaker’s stuff (Daredevil, Uncanny X-Men) is almost completely untouched by Civil War, Slott’s She-Hulk has used the registration issue in much the same way that Marvel Comics used Surtur’s invasion back in 1985 (i.e., as a secondary plot element that leaves the main plot intact), Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane isn’t even in continuity–nor are Ultimate FF and Marvel Adventures Avengers. And, while I’m waiting for the trades, it sounds like Planet Hulk is going gangbusters.

    Quit what you can’t stand, of course. But why throw the baby out with the bathwater?

  13. jnscott Says:

    I look at it this way. I see no reason why I should patronize a company that employs a person that routinely insults my country and my fellow citizens. I personally do not care what his feelings are towards the President and he can call him whatever he wants. He can say and write whatever he wants but I have the right to rebut and take my business elsewhere. I’ve long had a disagreement with Mr. Millar and with certain practices that Marvel continues to take, “Civil War” was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me is all.

  14. Johanna Says:

    Yeah, I’m not looking to give up X-Factor or Nextwave any time soon.

    JNS, I don’t know what you’re specifically talking about, but you’re right, you can buy or not buy whatever you want for whatever reason you want. Sometimes it just takes a tipping point.

    (And thank you very much, Phil!)

  15. Augie De Blieck Jr. Says:

    I can tell you this much — my review of the book on Tuesday set an all time one day hits record for Pipeline. Someone still cares about the book. . . Whether that translates into sales or not is a whole ‘nother thing.

  16. Randy Lander Says:

    We got in about 120 on Wednesday. We have 20 left now. Still sellling like hotcakes for us. And that’s with an entire staff that hates the book. We don’t deliberately down-talk it, of course, but nobody’s putting any hand-sell behind it. So yeah… still selling. 52 is selling about half that, which is still great numbers in our shop. So big hyped events are an easy sell, even if everyone at the store actively dislikes the book.

  17. Bruce Meyer Says:

    After House of M wound up/wound down (whatever), I was ready to by the HoM Omnibus, and found a zillion TBPs in its place. Hmmph! Then before I can catch my ready-to-return-to-the-House-of-Ideas breath, this new Civil War thing happens. Lets see, is this the same thing as Secret War, no, that’s already out, and Secret War II has been disowned by reviewers, and what was that about Avengers Disgruntled? or whatever it was called?
    At least I can trust good ol’ DC to keep their feet on the ground and, oops, …wasn’t Infinite Crisis just a dream? And why is Stronger-than-Dirt Hal Jordan having anonymous sex, now that he’s come back all repentant and everything?

    I’m not buying anything much anymore. Except Justice, once every other month–maybe.

  18. Rich Johnston Says:

    Selling well. Deservedly so, it’s a wonderful superhero comic book.

    Taken back at those who seem to be boycotting based on a perceived take on the writers’ politics and beliefs. Especially since Millar is an Americophile of the highest order.

  19. jnscott Says:

    The comic is a success, Marvel should be happy. it will continue to sell well despite peoples misgivings about the title. I for one, as stated above, won’t be giving marvel any more of my money. While I have pinpointed Millar specifically I think the issue that I have is more endemic to the company as a whole. As for Millar being an Americophile I have no clear indication of that. I don’t know him personally. All I know of his attitude of and about America and Americans are in is interviews.

    “My feeling is that over the next year some kind of incident will happen or be arranged that prompts a nationwide call for the draft and pre-emptive strikes on Syria, North Korea, Iran and all the world hot spots. This isn’t such a conspiracy theory here in Europe. Many mainstream politicians are very skeptical of what happening and worried about even the short-term consequences for the world. In the name of oil, this administration is stirring up a hornet’s nest and, even though I’m a huge optimist, I think we’re heading for some kind of Armageddon. I just can’t see a good way out of this situation and, after decades of seeing Britain try to deal with the IRA, I know you don’t defeat terrorists by killing their families. My own belief is that there’ll be a couple of nuclear attacks in the States, the multinationals will move elsewhere, the American economy will completely collapse and make the 30s look like the 80s and the Middle East will be occupied by drafted teenagers from your home town. But don’t get me started. I hope I’m completely and utterly wrong. I suspect we turned a corner on November 3rd and America just has to live with the consequences of that now.” -Mark Millar (2004-12-07)

  20. Johanna Says:

    I don’t see how one man’s global predictions (from someone known for being exaggerated and usually wrong, to boot) are anti-American or insulting to that country.

  21. jnscott Says:

    Then consult the body of his work as well as other interviews. In retrospect I should not have placed the quote in the body of the comment, it will only serve as an object to be cherry picked. I will end my particular comments on this thread with this last post as any further commments will not change my opinion nor anyone else’s.

  22. Johanna Says:

    That’s a fine plan, so long as there are no hard feelings on anyone’s side. As I said before, buying or not buying is your choice for any reason you care to use.

  23. Lyle Says:

    Actually, considering the blogosphere reaction to Civil War #4, I’m more curious about how the next issue sells.

  24. Johanna Says:

    Good point, Lyle. (I get tired of saying that to you, you know.)

    But given that we’re now on the downhill side of the series (unless it suddenly becomes “of 8″), I suspect many people will just hang on to continue viewing the car wreck.




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