Archie Sales Figures for 2009

Archie Comics logo

Continuing a yearly tradition, here are the Archie sales figures based on the Statements of Ownership, Management, and Circulation Archie Comics is required to file in their publications. This is my third year of posting: here are the figures published in 2009 and those printed in 2008.

These are the Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation figures that Archie files with the government. The first number is the Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months; the second is No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date. These figures appeared between January 13 and March 3. Unfortunately, I don’t have the Sonic figures this year; it typically sells the best of any Archie Comics publication.

Here are the single issues, all cover priced at $2.50.

Archie Comics logo

Title Issue Average Nearest Issue % Change
Archie #605 11,493 13,201 15%
Archie & Friends #139 8,099 9,810 21%
Betty #184 8,314 9,772 18%
Betty & Veronica #246 11,283 12,742 13%
Veronica #199 7,981 10,178 28%
Jughead #199 7,823 9,876 26%

All of the numbers increased in the most recent issue, which indicates … maybe that the change in management is having a positive effect, or the increased publicity (due to stunts and content experiments) is working? Alternately, maybe sales tend to increase in the spring and summer.

Note that sales for Veronica #199 wouldn’t be included in these figures. That’s the issue where she meets President Obama, and he appears on the cover. Although that trend peaked last year, it should still bring a sales bump. And the upcoming Jughead #200 has gotten a bunch of publicity, relatively speaking.

Let’s look at the digests, which always do better than the comic issues, selling six to eight times the single sales. The standard digests cost $2.69, while the doubles are now $3.99.

Title Issue Average Nearest Issue % Change
Archie Digest #261 59,616 71,547 20%
Archie’s Double Digest #206 87,860 103,639 18%
Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals Double Digest #138 69,277 78,582 13%
Betty & Veronica Digest #201 51,148 53,339 4%
Betty & Veronica Double Digest #178 83,032 85,767 3%
Jughead & Friends Digest #36 47,190 52,649 12%
Jughead’s Double Digest #157 71,570 78,924 10%
Tales From Riverdale Digest #37 49,666 54,357 9%

Here we see our first non-double-digit increases, but they’re still positive, so I’m not sure it matters. Let’s move on to ranking, arranging titles from best-selling to worst based on last year’s average.

  1. Archie’s Double Digest
  2. Betty & Veronica Double Digest
  3. Jughead’s Double Digest
  4. Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals Double Digest
  5. Archie Digest
  6. Betty & Veronica Digest
  7. Tales From Riverdale Digest
  8. Jughead & Friends Digest
  9. Archie
  10. Betty & Veronica
  11. Betty
  12. Archie & Friends
  13. Veronica
  14. Jughead

This is the first year in which Archie outsells his girlfriends — usually, Betty & Veronica Double Digest takes the #1 slot.

Last year, the worst sellers were Betty & Veronica Spectacular, Betty, Veronica, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The year before that, they were Jughead, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Betty, and Betty & Veronica Spectacular. Sabrina has been cancelled. Veronica and Jughead are coming up on special anniversary issues. Spectacular has gone digital-only. Watch for the Betty comic to get some kind of promotional effort in the coming year.

If compare the average sales figures from two years ago to this set, the message isn’t good. Archie sells 40% of what it did then, even with the marriage story boost. The digests have maintained 80% and up of the earlier sales (with Jughead & Friends actually improving on those figures slightly — it’s the only title to do so), but issues are selling 55-65% of those earlier averages.

Again, note that the “most recent issue” sales are greatly improved over the averages, which is a positive sign. Otherwise, I’d be worried about Archie & Friends, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica. All sell under 8,400 copies average an issue, and Betty & Veronica Spectacular was axed at an average of 8,800. (The “most recent” numbers for the issues are all over that number, though.) Then again, maybe they’re worth keeping around as cheap feeders for the better-selling digests. Also, the cover price for issues is going up to $2.99 shortly, so maybe that will help cover costs as well.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *