Friday, May 02, 2008

"You Know, For Kids"

Is there anyway to track newsstands sales of comics?

I ask because, when analyzing monthly sales figures, The Beat uses Diamond shipments and bookstore sales numbers to calculate sales, with the caveat that this will under report more kid-oriented books, such as the Johnny DC and Marvel Adventure line, that sell better at the newsstands.

So I have a theory, but without newsstands sales figures, I only have anecdotal evidence to back it up.

I think Blue Beetle is the gateway comic.

You know, that mythical beast, the comic you can give to a 10-12 year old, where he or she doesn't have to know the history to jump right in, is age appropriate and yet intelligent and genuinely moving, and might, just might, interest the young reader, or older reluctant superhero fan, to get interested in the rest of the superhero universe.

I think this because, well... That promo piece for the new kid oriented The Brave and the Bold cartoon? There's Blue Beetle. The cover for the Johnny DC Tiny Titans? There's Blue Beetle again. The "Spanish" issue that came out this week is part of an effort to attract more Hispanic readers. Matt Sturges, new ongoing writer, what's the most important part of the series? "I want Blue Beetle to continue to be a book that’s as fun for my twelve-year-old nephew as it is for me and my friends".

Clearly someone thinks that Blue Beetle not only appeals to kids, but that the character is actually an excellent ambassador for the DC Universe as a whole. Certainly sales of the series in the direct market don't support this claim (lower than canceled series Shadowpact and Checkmate, which launched the same month as Blue Beetle).

Which leads me to suspect that Blue Beetle is selling in newsstand market. But I don't have any numbers to back that up, and can't seem to find any.

Can someone help me out?


Will Staples said...

When was Checkmate canceled? I thought it was just handed off to a different creative team.

Steven said...

"Canceled"... "Being written by Bruce Jones"... "tom-may-to"... "to-mah-to"...

I'll fix.