Friday, February 25, 2011

Sales In Crisis?

While reviewing this blog's entries the other night, I noticed something that I thought I needed to follow up. You see, I discussed the book Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 5 a couple of times. I also discussed the sales of previous volumes in the series. But I never looked into the sales of Crisis Vol. 5. I cannot say whether it slipped my mind, or if I was too nervous at the time to research it. Still, it seemed like info I should post.

I sojourned over to the Comic Chronicles page for April 2010 sales data and looked at the trade paperback lists. The pre-orders for the book were 2,422, which placed it at 19 on the list. Ouch. This is the poorest showing for the series by far, and ranks Vol. 5 even below the two spin-off Team-Ups books. It's also the weakest placement on the chart for any book with this name.

The silver lining, if there is one, is that the pre-order numbers at this level are very tightly bunched together. The separation between #19 and #16 (Power Girl: A New Beginning) is only 72 copies, and the Power Girl book collects a current ongoing series. Crisis Vol. 5 is also the highest-ranking "classic" (pre-1990) material on the chart. By way of comparison, Showcase Presents: Dial H For Hero pulled in pre-orders of 2,121 (#27), and it was almost 300 (black & white) pages for $9.99.

Still, it's hard to spin this showing as a good thing. I have to think this jeopardizes the likeliness of DC continuing the brand as I suggested here. If the law of diminishing returns comes into play, would Volume 7 get enough orders to justify the cost of putting it together? That's a question the folks in charge would have to answer. They certainly seem open to publishing books from that time period and taking chances, and there's also the fact that much work is already in the can as far as producing further volumes. However, there is a new regime in charge since this enterprise began, and they might be more inclined to put their own personal stamp on the material by repackaging it.

Whatever ultimately happens, it's been a heck of a ride with the Crisis on Multiple Earths series, and I'm glad I have those books in my collection. They sit proudly on my shelf as some of my essential comic book reading. I'm looking forward to enjoying them for many years to come.


  1. I'm sure sales will go up once I order mine. LOL. these are nice, and I'd like a complete run of them in color.

    but if they don't, the Showcases will still at least give us the stories.

  2. The next one is currently in the second PĂ©rez JLA hardcover (another book I need to discuss), and I'm pretty sure I have reading copies at the least for all the rest. Still, a full set will be nice.

    Even if the Showcase books continue indefinitely, it will be a long time before they would reach the 1983/84/85 era.