PDA

View Full Version : Comic sales discussion


Pages : [1] 2 3

Commander Shockwav
2006-03-17, 07:04 PM
Collected data — http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/sales.php

* * *

Transformers Comic Sales for February 2006

Ranking in Top 300:

53 TRANSFORMERS INFILTRATION #2

58 TRANSFORMERS BEAST WARS (IDW) #1 (Of 4)*


That's a drop from issue #1 of Infiltration of more than 20 spots, with #2 estimated at selling around 33,000 copies. Ouch.

An estimation for Beast Wars #1 sales would be around 32,000 copies.

Jaynz
2006-03-17, 08:01 PM
Sadly, not surprised. TF comics are a double niche... as good as the series may (or may not) be, it's got a pretty limited audience to it. :S

Now, if they did a manga-style paperback...

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-17, 08:27 PM
Considering how much everybody seems to be whining about Infiltration on the boards, it's not shocking to me at all. Personally, I like the story so far--since I realize it's the "set-up" to something bigger.

What does surprise me is Beast Wars. Thought this was going to be much bigger!

They really need to have better promotion--still feel strongly that they should do toy tie ins. It's a no brainer. JUST promoting in a comic book store with minimal traffic or on an independent website isn't going to bring the big numbers.

I wouldn't mind doing some freelance marketing for them;)

Cliffjumper
2006-03-17, 08:54 PM
Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
Considering how much everybody seems to be whining about Infiltration on the boards, it's not shocking to me at all.

Yeh, everyone's whining because we aren't buying all 97 covers and some of us can read it without masturbating. People whining isn't a bad thing; it's when they stop whining and either a) happily accept whatever dross is slapped between the covers, no offence or b) stop whining because they've dropped the book. People don't have reservations about Infiltration randomly out of spite - Hell, enough people think they can't do any wrong simply because they're not Dreamwave. The sales drop is likely to be partially to do with people who started out with a "collect them all" mentality, and partly due to the usual drop from a #1 to #2, with less random buyers prepared to gamble $2.25 (or whatever, I'm not getting up to find the thing for pedantry) on a future collector's item.

They're healthy sales, tbh, as long as they stabilise thereabouts. The DW series benefitted from what was basically a decade's anticipation and a totally clear board (lots of casual fans, because not all are plugged into Ver Intarweb, probably didn't really take in whether anything's changed... why should Infiltration be any less disappointing than, say, that crap with the Insecticons?) to get their sales figures - they also went for hype over long-term plans, and had Lee's sizeable following behind them, plus the peak of the nostalgia bubble.

BW - I'm pleased and surprised it's actually done so well. It's a small market within a small market within a small market... it's the comic buyers who buy Transformers comics who like Beast Wars and want a comic of Beast Wars... comic sales have nothing to do with quality.

I'm very skeptical about the idea of toy cross-promotion. It'd snare only a small amount of buyers, probably not enough to warrant the effort. What toys would you pack in a smaller comic with? Alternators? How many would you lose after one purchase when they realise it's not about Alternators? Maybe neo-G1 would be a possible, but again I seriously think most of those who would be interested in a Transformers comic are aware of it. Those are respectable figures, as a nostalgia/toy tie-in title is never going to consistently rock long-established DC/Marvel superhero titles.

Osku
2006-03-17, 09:29 PM
The upcoming Beast Wars 10th anniversary Primal and Megatron toys (which have very little to do with the characters those are supposed to present) will have some kind of comic book included. Too bad those weren't released before "Beast Wars: Gethering".

I'm nowadays quite picky with the comics I read, and I'm glad that to notice that I could have bought Infiltration even if it hadn't been a Transformers comic. It also helps that now I can even recommend the series for my friends.

-> I know few Finnish comic collectors/readers who have bought the #0 and #1 issues after reading good reviews for the series. And these are actually people who weren't ready to give the series a change, after disappointment for Dreamwave material. I hope there are or will be more of this kind of customers for IDW.

Denyer
2006-03-17, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
20 spots This is relative to whatever else is causing a stir -- given a few more issues we may have buying trends, but there's very little to be gained from initial months stats. First of all, those are store pre-orders, not sales to customers. Stores order ahead of time, and will order more of a #1 -- if they they then sell out of #1 and #2, it's another couple of months before they put in a larger order for later issues.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-17, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Yeh, everyone's whining because we aren't buying all 97 covers and some of us can read it without masturbating.

Are you saying that you are looking forward to an issue that you CAN masturbate to? Personally, I think that is rather severe, but hey, to each his own. As for me, I prefer p*rn--the non transforming kind. *grin*

Originally posted by Cliffjumper

BW - I'm pleased and surprised it's actually done so well. It's a small market within a small market within a small market... it's the comic buyers who buy Transformers comics who like Beast Wars and want a comic of Beast Wars... comic sales have nothing to do with quality.

It appears to be general consensus that Beast Wars was far superior to G1, in terms of its associated cartoon. Most fans from the 80's seem to even prefer Beast Wars for the most adult stories. I would actually argue, there should be MORE fans for Beast Wars, than G1, since those that grew up on Beast Wars only later on discovered G1--assuming they discovered it at all. Whereas G1 fans graduated from G1 to Beast Wars--thus making the Beast Wars fans base larger.


Originally posted by Cliffjumper

I'm very skeptical about the idea of toy cross-promotion. It'd snare only a small amount of buyers, probably not enough to warrant the effort. What toys would you pack in a smaller comic with? Alternators? How many would you lose after one purchase when they realise it's not about Alternators? Maybe neo-G1 would be a possible, but again I seriously think most of those who would be interested in a Transformers comic are aware of it. Those are respectable figures, as a nostalgia/toy tie-in title is never going to consistently rock long-established DC/Marvel superhero titles.

We have to remember there is a HUGE difference between the casual fan, children, teens, and adult segments in the martketplace. The average kid isn't even going to know there is a new Beast Wars or Transformers comic out. They don't know "release dates"--rather they go to the store when their parents' take them--and when their parents' give them money. The average teen right now did not grow up on either G1 OR Beast Wars. They grew up on Armada/Energon/Cybertron--and the first two were kids towards CHILDREN. So unless they have discovered the toys or possibly Cybertron, the likelihood of them discovering the G1/Beast Wars comic is small. Again I'm speaking of "casual fans"...not those that visit comic book stores weekly.

Now the FANS...we tend to know release dates out months in advance. LOL. We're a little nuts. We're a SMALL percentage of the total fan base for Transformers.

What I am advocating are advertisements like you see in DVD cases promoting relating merchandise available for purchase. (ie...new comics available at comic book stores) This would raise awareness with CASUAL consumers that there even ARE new Tranformers/Beast Wars comics available to purchase. Otherwise their only shot of discovering the new comics are 1. going to a comic store w/o any guidance or expectations 2. recommendation from a friend who has discovered 3. Hearing about it online. (Again...most CASUAL consumers don't know of these boards/sites).

Also I'm NOT saying put a mini-comic in with the toy. Merely an ADVERTISEMENT to go to the comic store. :)

This all being said, I believe with the coming movie in July 2007, IDW (and Hasbro) has a GOLDEN opportunity to REALLY promote the toys (cross promotion with the movie) and the comics (cross promote with the movie AND toys). To better understand what I'm saying...look at Happy Meal toys. Happy Meal Toys are not "freebies" randomly thrown in. They are cross-promotional advertisements to go to the toy store and buy the full-size toy. :) Same concept.

Just a thought. :)

But you also bring up a pretty nifty point...an Alternator comic would be very cool. But what if...just follow me for a moment...what if the CURRENT IDW comic IS the new Neo G1 comic...and eventually it's going to lead up to the story of the Alternators? That would be pretty cool. That way, they could incorporate Unicron--logicallly--into the continuity--the Alternators into the continuity--logically--the rest of G1 & G2--logically and then wait for it....wait for it...give me what I really want....the gap from G1 to Beast Wars written about.

:D

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-17, 11:59 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
This is relative to whatever else is causing a stir -- given a few more issues we may have buying trends, but there's very little to be gained from initial months stats. First of all, those are store pre-orders, not sales to customers. Stores order ahead of time, and will order more of a #1 -- if they they then sell out of #1 and #2, it's another couple of months before they put in a larger order for later issues.

Completely Agree!

Cliffjumper
2006-03-18, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
Are you saying that you are looking forward to an issue that you CAN masturbate to? Personally, I think that is rather severe, but hey, to each his own. As for me, I prefer p*rn--the non transforming kind. *grin*

No, but those leaps of logic and literal interpretations are sure going to help this discussion, suit, so keep 'em up :) NPI, of course...

It appears to be general consensus that Beast Wars was far superior to G1, in terms of its associated cartoon. Most fans from the 80's seem to even prefer Beast Wars for the most adult stories. I would actually argue, there should be MORE fans for Beast Wars, than G1, since those that grew up on Beast Wars only later on discovered G1--assuming they discovered it at all. Whereas G1 fans graduated from G1 to Beast Wars--thus making the Beast Wars fans base larger.

...wow. Erm, that's a pretty sweeping generalisation there. BW sold to a lot of kids who then went pretty much straight off it, thanks to BM. However, it outright enraged a lot of the old school fans (http://tfarchive.com/community/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=4 - especially the older stuff). The difference is that people who grew up watching G1 are now largely 20-somethings with disposable incomes. Those who grew up watching BW are generally younger, with less disposable money, and lots of them are at the sort of 15-16 age where they're only just coming round to the idea that its okay to like something they did when they were 6/7.

As I said in my post, it's a subset of a subset... G1 is pretty inarguably the most popular part of Transformers, through accumulation if nothing else. Lots of BW's success at the time was that it sold beyond being Transformers to general kids, just as Armada and Energon and Cybertron have done... it doesn't necessarily mean 10 years later all those kids are going to want a comic. It's not old enough to be a nostalgia property and suck in the more casual buyer.

We have to remember there is a HUGE difference between the casual fan, children, teens, and adult segments in the martketplace. ............... Again I'm speaking of "casual fans"...not those that visit comic book stores weekly.

echo echo echo.

Also I'm NOT saying put a mini-comic in with the toy. Merely an ADVERTISEMENT to go to the comic store. :)

Which would help how? Most people are aware comic stores exist, they just chose not to go to them. Comics are a shrinking market, and leaflets in toys aimed at kids for comics that seem to be aimed squarely at fans (in the case of BW... even people with relatively decent working knowledge of the BW series aren't necessarily going to pick up the BW comic and enjoy it, especially when most of the ones they recognise aren't in it)

Happy Meal Toys are not "freebies" randomly thrown in. They are cross-promotional advertisements to go to the toy store and buy the full-size toy. :) Same concept.

Wow, I think everyone knew that. The big stumbling block is there's not a lot of money in the comic for Hasbro. It's a bit of extra profit margin for them something low-risk - as long as IDW keep paying for the license and don't totally sh*t on the property, there's ntohing that can go wrong for them. They have no reason to promote the comic when the TV series and line itself are doing well enough... the license is a product they sell to someone else. This is why companies chase the license, rather than Hasbro going from company to company with a begging bowl.

Also, I'd seriously ponder how many kids would be interested in a comic that doesn't feature anyone from the TV show they watch.

Seeing as you're going on about release dates and weekly visits to comic stores, what would these flyers consist of? I'fd imagine a generic cover with "Get IDW Transformers comics monthly... please...". The ideas of release dates and weekley visits would still be there unless the flyer was changed to promote each new issue, which wouldn't even remotely work.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-18, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
No, but those leaps of logic and literal interpretations are sure going to help this discussion, suit, so keep 'em up :) NPI, of course...

:wall: Of course...what was I thinking? How could I think for a moment that you'd be wrong *eye roll*

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
...wow. Erm, that's a pretty sweeping generalisation there. BW sold to a lot of kids who then went pretty much straight off it, thanks to BM. However, it outright enraged a lot of the old school fans (http://tfarchive.com/community/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=4 - especially the older stuff). The difference is that people who grew up watching G1 are now largely 20-somethings with disposable incomes. Those who grew up watching BW are generally younger, with less disposable money, and lots of them are at the sort of 15-16 age where they're only just coming round to the idea that its okay to like something they did when they were 6/7....

Yes, of course it's a "sweeping generalization"...if I had EXACT market data, I'd be working at Hasbro. And to be fair, your comment above was a "sweeping generalization" as well. Also, I don't know how it is in Europe, as I've only been there a few times, but in the States, pretty much every cent a 15-16 has is disposable. They don't pay rent or have a mortgage. They don't buy their own food. Etc. Etc. Of couse this is a "sweeping generalization" and I'd like to preface this as saying, "of course there are poor people in the States where young unfortunate 15-16yo's with jobs have to help support their family and I feel bad for them" for for the sake of this "sweeping generalization" let's just assume that most 15-16yo's don't have a lot of responsibility outside of attending school and picking on their siblings. :)

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
...Lots of BW's success at the time was that it sold beyond being Transformers to general kids, just as Armada and Energon and Cybertron have done.....

Of course you are right. What late 20's/early 30's man doesn't love the hard-hitting action and social commentary in Armada and Energon. The animation is top-notch. The actors playing the human characters have won award after award for their talents and they oddly enough annoy NO ONE in fandom. It created yet another continuity which fans LOVE. Seriously, every single person I know adored Armada and Energon. I had to beat down 6 year old boys and 40 year old men at Toys R US just to get that LAST Transformers they had available to sell. Most of time they wouldn't let us get so close to the merchandise--security was very tight....

Just so we're clear...I'm being a total smart a$$. Armada & Energon for the most part was crap and we all know it. The toys sucked (with the exception of a few). Watching the cartoons was the equivalent of having sand poured into my eyes. And I at one point honestly feared that if watched one more minute of it, I was going to break down and go insane. It was like Pokemon that transformed.


Originally posted by Cliffjumper
...Which would help how? Most people are aware comic stores exist, they just chose not to go to them. Comics are a shrinking market, and leaflets in toys aimed at kids for comics that seem to be aimed squarely at fans (in the case of BW... even people with relatively decent working knowledge of the BW series aren't necessarily going to pick up the BW comic and enjoy it, especially when most of the ones they recognise aren't in it).....

Dude you're killing me here. I don't know where you live, but advertising works pretty much everywhere. In the States, Target is HUGE...and everyone knows who they are...but EVERY Sunday they have a nice big pull out full-color glossy expensive ad in the paper. In the UK, they know what Virgin is, what McDonald's is, pretty much everything that we have in the States (but admittedly I wish I lived in London) but they STILL get advertising out there. It's brand retention. Keeps things fresh in consumers mind. Consumers have a SHORT attention span. Yes, they know comic books exist, but ask some people that aren't fans "What comics titles do you think are in such and such store" and they'll either say, "Batman and Superman" or "I don't know."

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
...The big stumbling block is there's not a lot of money in the comic for Hasbro. It's a bit of extra profit margin for them something low-risk - as long as IDW keep paying for the license and don't totally sh*t on the property, there's ntohing that can go wrong for them. They have no reason to promote the comic when the TV series and line itself are doing well enough... the license is a product they sell to someone else. This is why companies chase the license, rather than Hasbro going from company to company with a begging bowl.).....

Naivite. Licensing is HUGE to a company's bottom line. It's as simple as that. Those that think otherwise, have never had a marketing class. "No reason?" It's call MONEY. That's the ONLY reason. Companies are NOT altruistic. In case you haven't figured it out, the CARTOON exists to PROMOTE THE TOYS. Which is why when whatever cartoon at the time is shuffled off to the 5am slot, people get mad, toy executives get pissed off, and I just laugh, because again Armada/Energon sucked.

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
...Seeing as you're going on about release dates and weekly visits to comic stores, what would these flyers consist of? I'fd imagine a generic cover with "Get IDW Transformers comics monthly... please...". The ideas of release dates and weekley visits would still be there unless the flyer was changed to promote each new issue, which wouldn't even remotely work.

Well the current issue of a comic (tends to be) is monthly. So you have one month at a store to sell something that is "current". As an advertiser, I wouldn't be inclinded to promote individual issues, as we all know some toys end up being shelf sitters. The flyer only has to be 3" x 3" at most. "Read about the further adventures of the Transformers".... Show the current cast of characters from Cybertron promoting them, so kids could relate. Promote Beast Wars as, "What if your favorite animal, had a little surprise inside?" (younger kid advert.) or "Evolution Has a New Name--The Transformers: Beast Wars" I don't know...I don't have a full advertising creative team with me in bed at the moment while I type this, but you should be able to see my point.

:wall: But like I said, of course you are 100% right and this is just my humble opinion, but with you being absolutely right, that just means that I'm wrong.

Cliffjumper
2006-03-18, 07:32 PM
Wow, y'know, I thought you were someone who could debate, but no, you're another guy who has a tizzy when someone argues back. Wonderful...

Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
Yes, of course it's a "sweeping generalization"...if I had EXACT market data, I'd be working at Hasbro. And to be fair, your comment above was a "sweeping generalization" as well. Also, I don't know how it is in Europe, as I've only been there a few times, but in the States, pretty much every cent a 15-16 has is disposable. They don't pay rent or have a mortgage. They don't buy their own food. Etc. Etc.

They also generally don't earn too much, i.e. don't have much of an income... paper-rounds and whatever their parents give them. But feel free to act like a **** if it turns you on.

Just so we're clear...I'm being a total smart a$$.

And I don't think anyone would have argued had you not typed out a ****ing huge paragraph showing you're a total ass, but nevermind.

Armada & Energon for the most part was crap and we all know it. The toys sucked (with the exception of a few). Watching the cartoons was the equivalent of having sand poured into my eyes. And I at one point honestly feared that if watched one more minute of it, I was going to break down and go insane. It was like Pokemon that transformed.

Which is possibly why it sold so well. When you're marketing a toyline, you don't tend to aim it at people in the marketing industry, that's elemental. Now, what does that have to do with my point of Beast Wars selling, at the time, mainly to the same demographic that Cybertron does today? Bugger all. Absolutely **** all. I'm tempted to type different ways of saying that for nine lines, but there'd be little point. The only difference is Beast Wars went over a little better with the older fans... it's still not the mostaglia property G1 is. It's as much about social pressures as it is income, as I said.

Dude you're killing me here. CAPITALS CAPITALS ASSUMPTIONS ETC Yes, they know comic books exist, but ask some people that aren't fans "What comics titles do you think are in such and such store" and they'll either say, "Batman and Superman" or "I don't know."

I think everyone knows how basic marketing works, and you'd do yourself a massive favour by not ignoring the bulk of what I'm saying in order to act like you're giving some insider black knowledge. Hell, I keep on having to scroll down to see which bit of my post you've quoted and used as a springboard for a random tangent, that's how irrelevant most of what you're saying is.

Comics are a shrinking market... It needs much more than cross-promotion, which is largely evidenced by the way sales for titles like X-Men and Spider-Man have consistently fallen despite things like movies and Happy Meal toys. It's generally because those who've seen the movies have picked up a comic afterwards, and found it largely unrecognisable, and I think the same would happen with Transformers. Sure, it's worth a shot, anything that'd help out IDW would be great really. It didn't really help Armada's sales having pack-ins, though.

Naivite. Licensing is HUGE to a company's bottom line. It's as simple as that. Those that think otherwise, have never had a marketing class. "No reason?" It's call MONEY. That's the ONLY reason. Companies are NOT altruistic. In case you haven't figured it out, the CARTOON exists to PROMOTE THE TOYS. Which is why when whatever cartoon at the time is shuffled off to the 5am slot, people get mad, toy executives get pissed off, and I just laugh, because again Armada/Energon sucked.

Did I say licensing isn't huge? No I ****ing didn't, you ignorant fool. That's half of that quote written off as pointless dirge because you're spazzing out on words you've decided to put in my mouth.

If the cartoon exists to promote the toys, the comic exists why? Because if that's also to promote the toys, why should the toys then promote the comic?

I just meant that sales of one licensed comic book title isn't something Hasbro built their house on. Especially when those comics do not directly promote the toys. Unless Infiltration (or whatever subtitle it is by the time the thing hits the shelves) ties into neo-G1, it's only broadly promoting the Transformers name. Beast Wars, so far, doesn't even have the 10th Anniversary lines. Therefore it's not direct toy promotion, as none of them have been avaliable since about 1997-98 outside of clearance stores.

I'd actually wager that the poor sales of Armada and Energon, and the lack of any sign of a Cybertron title from IDW, is in some way linked to the comics being pretty minor on Hasbro's radar. It doesn't make much difference to the toy sales. The comic sales are a bonus to Hasbro - more money for them, fantastic, great. But they survived without a comic for five years, and they didn't go belly up inbetween DW and IDW. It's a bonus for them. An extra 10,000 copies sold a month would be good for them, but it's nothing that keeps their execs up at night.

I don't have a full advertising creative team with me in bed at the moment while I type this, but you should be able to see my point.

That you need four or five people to give you ideas? ;)

Look, basically, you seem like a great bloke who can really debate. Just try replying to what I've posted rather than the marketing dogma in your head though, okay? And don't expect everyone online to go "oh, right" and roll over just because you're employed in a certain field.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-18, 07:40 PM
Nevermind. I give up. You aren't open to other viewpoints, so there is no point responding again.

Angelophile
2006-03-18, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
This is relative to whatever else is causing a stir -- given a few more issues we may have buying trends, but there's very little to be gained from initial months stats. First of all, those are store pre-orders, not sales to customers. Stores order ahead of time, and will order more of a #1 -- if they they then sell out of #1 and #2, it's another couple of months before they put in a larger order for later issues.

It's a drop of 12,000 though, which is 25% (ish) of the readership and down to Dreamwave levels.

However, when Dreamwave were on the 30,000 mark for their ongoings, they only had one cover.

How many did IDW's issue 2 have? Six?

Given the amount of completist collectors bumping up this figure, that looks pretty disappointing to me.

Still bette than most IDW stuff but I suspect they pay less for the licensing of Angel and CSi than they paid Hasbro.

tahukanuva
2006-03-18, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
Nevermind. I give up. You aren't open to other viewpoints, so there is no point responding again.

Wow.
Ford DeceptiFocus, (clever) You are not open to other viewpoints, such as Cliffjumper's, who, in actuality, is correct anyway. And what's with this crap about the average teen growing up on Armada/Energon/Cybertron? The average teen is seven years old to you? I'm 14 and I grew up with G2 and Beast Wars. I plan on buying the new Beast Wars comic. I plan on buying the new G1 series as well. Quit with the generalizations.

Cliffjumper
2006-03-18, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
Nevermind. I give up. You aren't open to other viewpoints, so there is no point responding again.

Because I'm the one stomping out of a topic like a spoilt little girl because someone doesn't just accept what I say. You coulda been a contender.



I really don't think, if the numbers stabilise, IDW are in trouble. I think DW probably gave a little too much weight to the license cost being prohibitive, or I don't think small companies would even think of taking it on. The title could surive nicely if it stays at that level.

Of course, it does, as you say, depend on whether the multiple covers are significantly inflating the figures. If, say, 25% of the sales are to the same customers and they then stop having the inclination or money to buy several copies of the same comic, well, that wouldn't be good at all :(

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-18, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by tahukanuva
Wow.
Ford DeceptiFocus, (clever)


Thanks. It's after my car, which has a Decepticon symbol on its hood and next to my license plate in the back.


Originally posted by tahukanuva
And what's with this crap about the average teen growing up on Armada/Energon/Cybertron? The average teen is seven years old to you? I'm 14 and I grew up with G2 and Beast Wars. I plan on buying the new Beast Wars comic. I plan on buying the new G1 series as well. Quit with the generalizations.

Armada/Energon/Cybertron has been on roughly 4-5 years. ROUGHLY. If you're 14, subtract 4-5 from that and you're going to get 9-10. Hence, you grew up on this cartoon as your "current" Transformers program on the air. I should also say that I probably should have said "young teens" have grown up on the Armada/Energon/Cybertron-verse, whereas, yes, you are correct, "older teens" were raised first on Beast Wars. I'm not saying younger people don't discover the older cartoons--many do, and I'm glad that they do--what I was getting at is that since most fans seem to think that Beast Wars was the best cartoon, I was a little surprised that it didn't have the biggest readership. Also, I am only referring to the United States, as my knowledge of releases dates, etc. in Europe & Japan is minimal at best.

tahukanuva
2006-03-18, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
Armada/Energon/Cybertron has been on roughly 4-5 years. ROUGHLY. If you're 14, subtract 4-5 from that and you're going to get 9-10. Hence, you grew up on this cartoon as your "current" Transformers program on the air. I should also say that I probably should have said "young teens" have grown up on the Armada/Energon/Cybertron-verse, whereas, yes, you are correct, "older teens" were raised first on Beast Wars.

Armada/Energon/Cybertron has been going on three years, not 4-5. 5-12 is when most people usually stop watching Nick-jr to when thay stop watching children's cartoons. So I grew up with Beast Wars-Armada, though I still watch Transformers now.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-18, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by tahukanuva
Armada/Energon/Cybertron has been going on three years, not 4-5. 5-12 is when most people usually stop watching Nick-jr to when thay stop watching children's cartoons. So I grew up with Beast Wars-Armada, though I still watch Transformers now.

Let's just compromise and say nearly 4--according to this site, the first toys from Armada emerged July 2002

http://www.tfarchive.com/toys/checklists/armada_micron_legend.php

But you're not going to convince me that 10-12 year olds are watching Blue's Clue's or Dora the Explorer on Nick Jr. LOL. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you meant kids start watching cartoons about 5 years old...but even then, kids usually start younger than that.

optimusskids
2006-03-18, 09:22 PM
Personally I don't think an Alternator comic would work that well. The toys are excellent and all but the idea that a few car companies who have been building cars for a maximum of approximately 100 years or so can do a better job than a race of transforming robots who've been around for a minimum of 4 Million years doesn't really fly with me.

It would be like a Ford Exec going

"you know who would be perfect to design our new car, that tribe of Natives on the Amazon who haven't had contact with civilisation."

Although it might explain the Fiat Multipla which is probably modelled after some kind of squashed frog

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-18, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by optimusskids
Personally I don't think an Alternator comic would work that well. The toys are excellent and all but the idea that a few car companies who have been building cars for a maximum of approximately 100 years or so can do a better job than a race of transforming robots who've been around for a minimum of 4 Million years doesn't really fly with me.

It would be like a Ford Exec going

"you know who would be perfect to design our new car, that tribe of Natives on the Amazon who haven't had contact with civilisation."

Although it might explain the Fiat Multipla which is probably modelled after some kind of squashed frog

:laugh: That made me laugh so hard. I like the little short stories that that one guy that submits to Binaltech has been producing. I just wish I could have more of those and longer. But I DO see your point.

Denyer
2006-03-18, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
This is why companies chase the license, rather than Hasbro going from company to company with a begging bowl.).....
Originally posted by FDF
Naivite. Licensing is HUGE to a company's bottom line. It's as simple as that. Those that think otherwise, have never had a marketing class. "No reason?" It's call MONEY. That's the ONLY reason. Companies are NOT altruistic. In case you haven't figured it out, the CARTOON exists to PROMOTE THE TOYS. IDW comics are not promoting toys; the cost of the license itself (and any associated percentage) represents what Hasbro get out of the comics. Hasbro have no incentive to push disposable income towards another company from whom they see a smaller percentage on the dollar.

Originally posted by Angelophile
25% (ish) of the readershipExcept neither figure represents readership. These are pre-orders by stores, made before either #1 or #2 was published.

Brief summary by a first-time creator: http://jenniebreeden.livejournal.com/321.html

(The comic's also worth checking out. But, like it suggests, pre-orders for issues 4 and 5 are going in and I only just got #1 through the mail. IDW won't be that staggered, but there'll still be a two-issue lag. Stores decided on big orders of #1 based on #0 sales or whatever, and didn't decide on as big orders for #2. With a book that's in any way popular, this tends to create a situation where buyers are forced to wait for trades because issues after #1 aren't easily available.)

Commander Shockwav
2006-03-19, 01:10 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
Except neither figure represents readership. These are pre-orders by stores, made before either #1 or #2 was published.


Yeah, but come on. How often have we seen sales actually go up from these preorder numbers later on? Despite the multiple covers strategy, sales have not been anywhere near stellar.

If you want a good estimate of how things are going, you only have as far to look as the comic racks in the comic stores. I would have no problem walking into my local comic shop and still be able to buy #1. That runs counter to the hope that these preorder figures are not representative of how things are really going.

Dead Man Wade
2006-03-19, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
Yeah, but come on. How often have we seen sales actually go up from these preorder numbers later on?

Actually, preorder sales rarely represent the actual sales. Stores order based on how well they think it's going to sell, so, being as retailers might be a little gunshy following the Dreamwave disaster, they may well have ordered fairly conservatively.

I know the store I work at has run through several reorders of #1 already, and it's looking to be about the same for #2. The same holds true for our two sister stores.

If you want a good estimate of how things are going, you only have as far to look as the comic racks in the comic stores.

Depends on how aggressively a store tends to order.

For example, the shop I work at was once 1,000,000 Comix. The former owner would over-order just about every book on the shelves no matter how well it sold (thus explaining why we're now stuck with thirty copies of Spawn #132).

My boss, who bought the store a couple of years ago, keeps meticulous records regarding weekly sales (in fact, that's pretty much all I do on Mondays), using said figures to order from month to month. If sales have slumped in the past, he orders very conservatively. Pretty much the only books he tends to order massive quantities of are the books he knows are going to sell (Infinite Crisis, New Avengers, etc.).

Bringing this back around to something resembling a point, one store's selection (or even the buying habits of one city) is hardly representative of the entire industry.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-19, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
IDW comics are not promoting toys; the cost of the license itself (and any associated percentage) represents what Hasbro get out of the comics. Hasbro have no incentive to push disposable income towards another company from whom they see a smaller percentage on the dollar.

Yes and no. I can see your point if the comic is not selling well. And personally, I think it's too early to say if it is or not. BUT if the comic DOES end up selling well over the longer term, it IS in their interest to promote the comic, as it keep brand awareness of the toy at higher levels. Hasbro could simply view the comic as another piece of advertising for the toys. Also, how much money would it take to add a small graphic with a few words to Transformers.com advertising the comic? Not much.

But I do agree with you--Hasbro would not be doing it for altruistic reasons.

(On a completely unrelated matter--sorry--I notice that under my name is said "protoform" then "micromaster" and now "seeker" What does that mean in relation to my name and this website? Is that like my rank on the site? Just curious. :)

tahukanuva
2006-03-19, 02:04 AM
Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
But you're not going to convince me that 10-12 year olds are watching Blue's Clue's or Dora the Explorer on Nick Jr.

I didn't say that, I said that five was usually when they stop watching Nick-jr. I know they watch cartoons earlier than five.

And yes, that is your rank under your name. After 1000 posts and one year, you can make your own rank.

Denyer
2006-03-19, 03:45 AM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
I would have no problem walking into my local comic shop and still be able to buy #1. And when #4 or #5 is out, would you be able to do the same with issues #2 and #3? Copies of #1 will likely still be around, but the store can't sell issues it doesn't have in stock.

All I'm saying is that the quoted figures mean nothing more nor less than the number of pre-orders. Stores ordered their copies of #1 and #2 ahead of on the same sales data -- either #0 or their track record in selling TF comics.

Aggregate sales data later in the year will be far more meaningful, if available.

Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
if the comic DOES end up selling well over the longer term, it IS in their interest to promote the comic, as it keep brand awareness of the toy at higher levels.The most support you can expect from Hasbro is commissions for pack-in toy comics, (possibly paid) adverts for toys in the back of regular issues, and a little blurb in their investor literature about Transformers being a very diverse property.

That's based on their past actions, rather than speculation. It's conceivable they might bother to link stuff related to their original series characters when the Classics line shows up, although a couple of years of Alternators also featuring those characters hasn't produced that.

I wouldn't be surprised if there's a standard policy for web design staff at Hasbro's end to avoid linking external sites wherever possible.

Just as an idea of where their priorities are with the brand:
http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/default.cfm?page=history

Originally posted by fort_max
I know the store I work at has run through several reorders of #1 already, and it's looking to be about the same for #2. The same holds true for our two sister stores.Reorders through Diamond? What would be the cut-off dates for these?

Dead Man Wade
2006-03-19, 04:15 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
Reorders through Diamond? What would be the cut-off dates for these?

The only reorders that have cutoff dates are advance reorders. After that, you can order it up until the day they run out.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-19, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by Denyer


Just as an idea of where their priorities are with the brand:
http://www.hasbro.com/transformers/default.cfm?page=history


Wow. Just Wow. As always Denyer, you are the voice of reason. Wow. That was just so telling. *Sigh*

Cliffjumper
2006-03-19, 08:48 AM
Tissue for that nose?

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-19, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Tissue for that nose?

I have a big nose....I'm going to need more than one. ;)

Cliffjumper
2006-03-19, 06:08 PM
I'm sure you can get a team to help you.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-19, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I'm sure you can get a team to help you.

Well here's hoping. haha

Commander Shockwav
2006-03-20, 07:59 PM
Official February numbers:

53 TRANSFORMERS INFILTRATION #2 35,828 copies
58 TRANSFORMERS BEAST WARS #1 34,047 copies


http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/8384.html

Looks like I underestimated by about 3,000 copies for Infiltration and 2,000 copies for Beast Wars.

I like underestimating more than overestimating.

:)

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-03-20, 08:18 PM
That's good news!

Sociopathic Autobot
2006-03-20, 08:24 PM
Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
That's good news!

Those sales are cursed.

Denyer
2006-03-20, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
53 TRANSFORMERS INFILTRATION #2 35,828 copies
58 TRANSFORMERS BEAST WARS #1 34,047 copies Looks like the previews for BW have been paying off...

Cliffjumper
2006-03-20, 09:42 PM
Though it may have the same drop waiting for it come #2...

Still, hanging in there. I reckon top75 minimum is where the thing wants to stay. I just hope the Stormbringer thing doesn't throw too many readers off the scent.

Commander Shockwav
2006-03-20, 10:03 PM
If Beast Wars is included in the cost of the Transformers license, then one could say that they are raking in dough from 70,000 copies sold for the Transformers. That's quite a bit in todays market.

Worth the investment? I guess that would depend on how much the license actually costs IDW. At 70,000 copies sold at $3.00 a pop, that's a gross sales of around $210,000.

Now I don't know what this might indicate, but DW owed Hasbro for royalty costs in the amount of $494,442.00 when they went bankrupt. Was this for one year? Many years? Did Hasbro charge the same amount to IDW? Was this a percentage of revenues? Again, these figures may mean nothing, but its something to think about.

Denyer
2006-03-20, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
DW owed Hasbro for royalty costs in the amount of $494,442.00 when they went bankrupt. Was this for one year? Doubt it, given the sums withheld from everyone else, but that's pure spec. DW were active for what, three years in total? I'd say that's for a bit over a year. It wouldn't be for three years unless Hasbro had a very trusting initial contract drawn up.

Hmm... would anyone more up on publishing costs care to put forward a projection for the net income from a $3 comic sale?

Commander Shockwav
2006-03-20, 10:31 PM
Originally posted by Denyer

Hmm... would anyone more up on publishing costs care to put forward a projection for the net income from a $3 comic sale?

I would imagine that would depend on overhead? I mean, IDW brought on board Simon, Don, E. J., Raiz, Guido, Josh, etc., so staffing costs certainly would have gone up for IDW.

Let's say that royalty cost for IDW are the same as they were for Hasbro. And let's give IDW a worst case scenario where the $494,000 is for one year (doubt it, but just for the sake of argument).

So per month, the license would cost roughly $41,000 (worst case scenario). Subtract this from the $210,000, and we are left with $169,000 with which to cover the other montly overhead costs. Given Simons passion for Transformers, I doubt he played hardball and he likley accepted an average salary. Hell, he'd probably do it for free. Others share that love, and likely they too accepted average salary for colorist, penciller, etc. I would guess that $169,000 would cover monthly staffing cost and leave plenty for publishing costs.

Even in a worst case scenario situation with the TF license costing this much, if sales stay as they are, things should be pretty positive for us.

Dare I make a suggestion to IDW that might get me raked over the coals. How about a return to DW strategy of other TF titles? Licensure costs would remain the same, and if IDW were clever in their contracts with their staff, regardless of the number of titles produced, salaries should stay the same.

In other words, with new titles that might appeal to more TF fans, the only costs that would increase would be publishing costs (ink, colors, paper, etc), and not licensure and staff costs.

Am I right in this Stu, or have I missed the boat?

Denyer
2006-03-20, 10:32 PM
http://www.newsarama.com/marketreport/Feb06charts.html

Right, so we've got not one but two titles outselling Exiles, Green Arrow, LotDK, Spawn, Y The Last Man, Fables, Neverwhere, Wildstorm's current "event", Star Wars, Neverwhere, Hellblazer, IDW's other titles, etc.

Denyer
2006-03-20, 10:36 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
if sales stay as they are, things should be pretty positive for us. I think so, yes.

Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
if IDW were clever in their contracts with their staff, regardless of the number of titles produced, salaries should stay the same. From what I gather this isn't typically how contracts are worked in the industry, especially with independent companies and staff who aren't part of a core team. Furman and all artists will be on a per page / per issue basis, plus a possible retainer.

edit: I also don't think saturating with monthlies and miniseries is a way to win people over. IDW are producing a lot of optional material (DW trade reprints, the monthly Marvel series) that shouldn't be costing them too much to do but will elicit interest from fans drawn towards completism.

Commander Shockwav
2006-03-20, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
I think so, yes.

From what I gather this isn't typically how contracts are worked in the industry, especially with independent companies and staff who aren't part of a core team. Furman and all artists will be on a per page / per issue basis, plus a possible retainer.

Hmm.. If this is the case, then it would do IDW best to see who fans like the most, and stick with them. Unless they can clearly afford all these guys.



Dare I make a suggestion to IDW that might get me raked over the coals. How about a return to DW strategy of other TF titles? Licensure costs would remain the same, and if IDW were clever in their contracts with their staff, regardless of the number of titles produced, salaries should stay the same.


Oh God, I can't believe I'm quoting myself. I actually talking to myself! Oh well. At least I found someone who can agree with me.

Anyway, regarding the above, I forgot about Evolutions. That is going to really boost sales even more!

Denyer
2006-03-20, 10:47 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
At least I found someone who can agree with me. Yes. I suspect McDonough et al would disagree -- it certainly isn't normal to be asked to do an entire separate miniseries under the heading of "promotional materials" in a contract, and judging by Micromasters it doesn't produce good quality material to exploit employees in this manner.

Creators likely to be on a retainer if at all: Furman, Su, Figureoa. The cover work will almost certainly be on a bespoke basis.

Commander Shockwav
2006-03-20, 10:56 PM
Another positive I see with the rankings is this:
STAR WARS KNIGHTS O/T OLD REPUBLIC #2, which has to be a costly license itself , is selling at 21,203 a month from Dark Horse.

Granted, Dark Horse has twice the market share of IDW, but still, Star Wars has to be costly and yet the 20,000 copies are supporting the license.

Denyer
2006-03-20, 11:00 PM
Hang on... skimming the bottom of that ICv2 page... They do not include sales made by Diamond UK, orders on these titles placed after the end of February, or copies purchased by Diamond but held in inventory at the end of February.So no re-orders if stores order low and sell out (presumably carried to the next month?) and it doesn't include the UK... heck, it doesn't seem to include Europe:Most of the titles on this chart are also distributed to Europe by Diamond UK, which can account for significant sales for the publisher, ranging from 3-20% of the US numbers.

Dead Man Wade
2006-03-20, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Hang on... skimming the bottom of that ICv2 page...So no re-orders if stores order low and sell out (presumably carried to the next month?) and it doesn't include the UK... heck, it doesn't seem to include Europe:

Psh. Europe doesn't count. ;)

They may not even carry re-order numbers to the next month (at least, for those figures). Since re-orders are available as long as the book is in stock, it may just be too much work to constantly be updating the numbers.

Commander Shockwav
2006-03-21, 04:16 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
and it doesn't include the UK... heck, it doesn't seem to include Europe: [/B]

This is great news! :)

I wish there were a way to determine sales in the UK. With Furman writing this sucker, it may be double what is on ICV2's list. No?

Denyer
2006-03-21, 04:55 AM
I'm not naturally that optimistic, but there are a hard core of TF fans in the UK and on the fiction side of things that isn't based on the original show -- it simply wasn't available enough, and we had better in the form of the UK comics.

It's certainly a situation in which the overage could exceed the 20% upper average they suggest.

An exact list of countries supplied by Diamond UK rather than Diamond would be useful, although the UK itself is probably the major recipient. :)

Fireflight
2006-03-21, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
Hang on... skimming the bottom of that ICv2 page...So no re-orders if stores order low and sell out (presumably carried to the next month?) and it doesn't include the UK... heck, it doesn't seem to include Europe:
Re-orders are included in next months chart if they sell enough to get into it (in January number 300 sold 929, in February it was 1562, so if a titles re-orders aren't getting onto the chart then it's not selling much extra), as the charts are simply the top 300 comics sold by Diamond that month.

Two other things worth pointing out is that IDW apparently don't overprint much (though they'd be more likely to overprint a high profile launch like Transformers) and I think that the asterix next to the title indicates that it has sold out at Diamond, so only Infiltration #2 is still in stock.

No idea how much net income there is on a comic, though there's an educated guesss on the percentage Marvel take here:
Retailer column (http://www.newsarama.com/pages/Tilting/Tilting9.htm)
A little back-of-the-envelope math here: even including Diamond’s cut, the least that Marvel makes on a comic is around 35% of cover (Their top discount is 59%, and let’s say they give Diamond an additional 6% [though I think it is lower than that, actually]). On a $2.25 comic that is around $0.79. Given that Marvel offers “promotionally priced” comics (like the 25-cent experiments, or Free Comic Book Day) for under 19 cents it’s probably safe to say that a $2.25 comic costs them under a quarter to print. That’s a 216% profit margin.

For an idea of the percentage of international orders, Ellis mentions in this thread, near the bottom (http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=36;t=004887) that NextWave #1 sold approximately 40,000 copies, but the estimates only come to 31,715, which is more than 25% over. Like Transformers, this is probably a book that does relatively better outside of the U.S. than in it, so it's a figure that could be expected for Infiltration and Beast Wars.

Angelophile
2006-03-21, 12:24 PM
Oh well, I don't find these numbers as positive as some other people do, apparently.

Dreamwave launched their first issue with sales of around 150,000 copies with multiple covers. They declined to sales of around 30,000 with single covers.

IDW LAUNCHED to the same level of orders as Dreamwave went bankrupt on. WITH multiple covers.

That doesn't strike me as being that healthy.

But it just depends on IDW's expectations. If they were expecting to shift about 25-30k of their comics WITH the multiple covers, fair enough, for them. But still, not exactly drawing in the crowds.

Cliffjumper
2006-03-21, 01:47 PM
DW's launch is a bit of an unfair comparison... it really was just phenominally high sales (most comics flat-out don't sell that well these days), with a huge amount of anticipation - there hadn't been a Transformers comic since 1994 for one, and that one hadn't been a road accident... IDW have to rebuild the more casual fan's trust in the brand as a comic title following the rape done upon it by DW, and that'll take word of mouth. DW's problems weren't really in their sales, however much they dived (though their seeming belief that they could attain six-figure sales again possily didn't help) - it had more to do with them not paying various parties as they went along. If DW's sales had stabilised there and they'd had everything sorted out they could easily have continued successfully for a while. IDW have better financial management it seems, and they also have better support - things like Angel and CSI may be selling less than TF, but I'll bet they have solid fanbases to some degree, and they're probably closer to it than most of DW's other titles were.

The sales are lower, for sure, especially considering the covers thing. But that doesn't mean they aren't good. IDW probably didn't buy the thing to have a flash-in-the-pan smash like DW did, especially as they probably don't have a plan to hit the wall in three years.

All that said, we're not going to have a clue until we have some idea how readers are hanging in for the back end of Infiltration and beyond.

Denyer
2006-03-21, 02:05 PM
Cheers to Fireflight for all that information. :up:
Originally posted by Angelophile
IDW LAUNCHED to the same level of orders as Dreamwave went bankrupt on. Dreamwave didn't go bankrupt on comics sales. This seems counter-intuitive, but is nevertheless true.

Look at IDW sales figures on other licensed titles -- and bear in mind they're a company with a stable financial background.

I'm actually loathe to directly accuse DW ex-owners of embezzlement, but their having run other licenses into the ground and exchange rate issues seem to be a small part of the puzzle -- the only credible explanation, in my opinion, is that money was being siphoned out of the company. This appears to be particularly likely in light of the way Pat tied up assets by attaching them to family members; the death of the company (and non-payment of creditors) was planned for.

IDW are currently selling (per TF book) over half the numbers of Batman -- which is the title the entire list's worked out on the basis of.
We are estimating actual sales by Diamond U.S. (primarily to North American comic stores), using Diamond's published sales indexes and publisher sales data to estimate a sales number for Batman (the anchor title Diamond uses in its calculations), and using that number and the indexes to estimate Diamond's sales on the remaining titles.
To say that these sales figures are far from exact is being overly kind.

Angelophile
2006-03-21, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Cheers to Fireflight for all that information. :up:
Dreamwave didn't go bankrupt on comics sales. This seems counter-intuitive, but is nevertheless true.

True, but they had a stable audience around the 30,000 mark. I'd have hoped IDW could better that with their multiple covers and fan favourite writer. They should really should have been able to take that core readership and add to it with people who read comics but didn't dig Dreamwave's take (which, let's face it, was a LOT of fans).

I'm not saying sales figures of this level are gonna run IDW into bankruptcy - they're a lot more business minded than DW ever were - but it's disappointing that the fanbase has actually dwindled rather than grown since Dreamwave's last issues. You'd have hoped a big relauch could have picked up SOME of the 120,000 missing sales who tried Dreamwave's first issues.

Ozz
2006-03-21, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by Angelophile
They should really should have been able to take that core readership and add to it with people who read comics but didn't dig Dreamwave's take (which, let's face it, was a LOT of fans).

Do you know for sure that people who read DreamWave comics (the core readership, as you put it) are reading IDW series? What if, say, half of them didn't even try to get into it?

Denyer
2006-03-21, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by Angelophile
They should really should have been able to take that core readership and add to it with people who read comics but didn't dig Dreamwave's takeHonestly, if I didn't keep up with events online, I wouldn't be bothering to pick up new Transformers comics that appeared on the shelf -- it'd be "Oh. Good. More Dreamwave sh*te." If I didn't talk to people about the comics, I wouldn't have read the G1 title past the start of volume two. Both of the complete TWW titles I enjoyed at the time, but that's all DW offered me as a reader in three years, and even that was tainted by editorial/art interference and it linking into DW's bigger continuity. From three years, one year's worth of monthly comics.

With apologies to anyone who was enjoying DW titles, the main title (in both advertising and writing) was heavily aimed towards a lowest common denominator. Bearing in mind that the majority of comics on sales charts are superhero fare, this can realistically be assumed to represent a fair chunk of the market for fiction stemming from a toy license.

We also aren't in a nostalgia bubble any more. Like most people outside the US, I ordered DWG1v1 without having read any of it, hyped by the fact it was being withheld from us by licensing issues. I'd still have gone on to do the same with IDW's title, but I think a lot more people would be cautious this time around. Still others quite possibly feel that Transformers comics have had their shot with them. They could be sitting on dozens of issues without any real ending.

Those who remain, on the other hand, will respond to quality -- even if takes them a while to come onboard. I do believe that.

However, I sure as hell wish IDW had come along first.

Originally posted by Angelophile
it's disappointing that the fanbase has actually dwindled rather than grown since Dreamwave's last issues.
Almost half a decade since they started, the fandom as a whole is probably shrinking. This time there aren't other 80s titles hitting the shelves, there aren't reissues in the local TRU that tie in, etc. The next "event" that will draw casual fans and nostalgics out will be the 2007 film. (Plus the Classics line, possibly.)

Cliffjumper
2006-03-21, 03:50 PM
The other thing is the nostalgia bubble seems to have burst a little bit... there seem to be fewer people wearing Decepticon t-shirts around and that sort of thing. DW Vol. 1 came out right in the thick of it.

IDW seem to have purposefully played the launch as a low-key thing, IMO.

Basically, it's a bit like comparing the sales of, say, New X-Men #114 to those of X-Men #1 (erm, the one in 1991). There are lots of differing factors to consider...

The other thing is that DW did still attract lots of multiple purchases...

[unrelated question]

Can anyone quickly say how many of IDW's covers for #1 were actually "full" comics, i.e. not incentives, exclusives, limited edition etc?

I'd like to state that I started that post 50- minutes ago, and that excuses it's total irrevelance :)

Cliffjumper
2006-03-21, 04:10 PM
I think the amount DW cheesed off buyers towards the end can't really be overestimated. As Denyer says, anyone who bought all their stuff was left with three unfinished arcs (not to mention all the random dangling threads McMicktyk's "Right, let's just lob in someone else then!" style of writing left). They had to put up with an unreliable company whose books rarely shipped on time. They had to put up with fanboy-placating nonsense and subtle-as-Bolton injokes. People pumped as much as £20~ (very low estimate) into stories that literally went nowhere, and considerably more into stories that took far too long to get there (basically, if it's going to take a year-plus to resolve a plot point, that's pretty slow).

Most people buying the DW books aren't hardwired into comic news sites and TF discussion boards. They don't know all the behind the scenes crap - a lot probably didn't hear about the mooted Sarracini relaunch, they just gave up on a title which failed to keep to schedule (Hell, if Ultimates can lose readers for that reason...)... I think DW's sales had they got #11 out would have been lower, and they'd have continued to decline. I wonder how many readers were hanging in there in the hope that #12 gave some sort of resolution (I've often kept buying a title until the end of a plot arc).

I wonder how many actually realise the license has even switched to a new company. Even the names are a bit similar.

Commander Shockwav
2006-03-21, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
-- the only credible explanation, in my opinion, is that money was being siphoned out of the company. This appears to be particularly likely in light of the way Pat tied up assets by attaching them to family members; the death of the company (and non-payment of creditors) was planned for.
[/B]

I have come to this same conclusion. There is no doubt in my mind that Pat Lee is nothing more than a thief who took advantage of others dreams. Fans like Don and Simon, they were content just doing their job. When you do something you love, the product of that work, money, gets less emphasis, less attention. Pat Lee took advantage of this.

Commander Shockwav
2006-03-21, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
[B]The other thing is the nostalgia bubble seems to have burst a little bit... there seem to be fewer people wearing Decepticon t-shirts around and that sort of thing. DW Vol. 1 came out right in the thick of it.


I loved Dreamwave, but people should realize that IDW does not have this advantage that DW did. The nostalgia bubble was huge, and included the very same fans who bought Batman, X-men, etc on a regular basis.

It is unfair to judge IDW in the same context as DW. The climate was completely different in DW's time and they had much to benefit from outside of their own competency.

As I said prior to IDW releasing their first issue, we should be aiming for sales in the ballpark of 40,000, not the 120,000 of DW, because this number more accurately represents the number of TF fans out there. The remaining 80,000 were nothing more than nostalgia freaks.

So we should not be afraid now. When should we be? If we start to see that same steady decline in sales we saw towards the end of DW's run. If that happens, we're in trouble.

Angelophile
2006-03-21, 05:29 PM
Originally posted by Ozz
Do you know for sure that people who read DreamWave comics (the core readership, as you put it) are reading IDW series? What if, say, half of them didn't even try to get into it?

That was kinda my point. Why has the franchise dropped so many readers between then and now?

I don't really believe that the stories the series ended on were much of a draw.

Denyer
2006-03-21, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
quickly say how many of IDW's covers for #1 were actually "full" comics, i.e. not incentives, exclusives, limited edition etc?Four. Doing a bit of marketing 101 (i.e. someone explained it slowly to me with example figures) this seems to generally be the cut-off at which variant covers see a worthwhile return. The incentives are more to encourage retailers to round purchase quantities up than they are for stimulating lots of fan interest. Enough hardcore collectors exist to want roughly the amount of incentive covers produced, but they're not exactly numerous by any stretch of the imagination.

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I wonder how many actually realise the license has even switched to a new company. Even the names are a bit similar. Indeed, that was one of the conclusions some people here came to immediately after the news was released -- that the Lee brothers had totalled one company but carried over their freeloading selves and the license. As it turned out the first part (slight rename, but they'd not retained the license) was true, and IDW thankfully have no connection.

I honestly don't think IDW are doing themselves a favour with the DWG1 reprints -- at least in terms of keeping public mindshare unconfused -- and I suspect it has more to do with agreements with Hasbro.

Originally posted by Angelophile
Why has the franchise dropped so many readers between then and now?The really cynical answer? A lot of it hit thirty. There aren't so many of us at the good end of twenty left. For at least some of those, the reissues and Dreamwave were a last gasp or distraction from mortgages and similar other priorities.

Originally posted by Angelophile
I don't really believe that the stories the series ended on were much of a draw.Indeed much the opposite -- the point Tom reiterated about people enduring long waits and forking out a reasonable sum only to get an incoherently open mess is sound, IMO.

Open-ended is good when you throw readers a bone every so often. Look at the progression in the DWG1 series, though. A first volume that was all but retconned out. A second volume that halfway through switched plans to an ongoing, then a third ongoing volume that ditched the volume two plot in favour of an extended fight scene with an orange jet.

Cliffjumper
2006-03-21, 09:26 PM
That, for me, was the biggest problem... the storytelling seemed to cover for a lack of any idea where it was going by just pouring new points on... considering the planned issues were also planning to throw in Cyke and the Bitchbots, plus bringing Optimus Prime and the Dinobots into things... the promotional copy makes no attempt to say "big smackdown issue!!!" which could well have meant we had another four-five issues of stuff that felt improvised.

I personally think IDW should have held back the DW reprints until they had at least one TPB of their own material to offset it. Like you say, Hasbro must have been nudging them. There's no way any sensible company would put out another's material which contradicts their own near-simultaneously with their first work on the license as part of their business plan... It's not like demand for the first two volumes is insanely high (Hell, I could point you to three comic stores in this country at least where you can pick the first two minis up at 50p/issue) or anything.

Also, I'd tally with the age thing. Lots of the Vol. 1 readers would have been students, who have since graduated and don't have student loans/grants to buy that sort of thing now they're in the real world. I know my comic buying's gone down because a book is a day's food. The only books I buy are the IDW stuff and Planetary.

DW's series probably didn't bring in many new readers. It was the first new G1 fiction widely avaliable in the West since, well, the end of the Marvel comic (or the G2 comic, to be fair). It was just about the right time in relation to both the nostalgia boom and the age of the potential readership. I don't think a massive amount of people got into Transformers though the DW comic - it was either the retro gang or the TF fans, boosted by Lee's cult following and probably a fair chunk of Otakus.

Of those four groups, who probably made up a fair percentage of sales, the break in momentum and the timing of the new series has been enough to lose the retro crowd (not to mention the non-retro style of the material), lots of TF fans have had their fingers burnt (and apathy grew with DW's material once the novelty wore off... read some of the reaction threads at the time, everyone was so glad the thing even existed they lauded it as a masterpiece... two years down the line, the exact same people joke about how poor it was), Lee's following went with him, and the Otakus probably don't like humans with sensible eyes.

That doesn't leave a huge amount for IDW.

Angelophile
2006-03-21, 10:08 PM
Valid points on all counts. I guess I was just haping and maybe even expecting this to do better. With Furman on board, the movie coming up, I thought there'd be more of an audience for it. I don't know WHY I sould care, it's not my business, but I guess I'd hoped for better for Furman. It's sad for him that his decent stories aren't pulling in more readers than the dross DW were tossing out.

And I guess like with most TF stuff I wanted it to be a success, strengthen the fandom and all that jazz.

But I guess I feel that way about a few comics that deserve to have larger audiences. Why Runaways isn't topping the best seller list every issue is beyond me.

inflatable dalek
2006-03-21, 10:17 PM
In the end i imagin that IDW will do everything they can to keep the TF comic going even if it runs at a loss because when the movie comes out- even if it's a trainwreak- intrest in the franchise as a whole will be bolstered and sales will rise substantialy (as Patrick MacNee said before The Avengers movie came out he wasn't bothered if it was going to be good or not as either way he'd get an increase in royalty payments from sales of the original show on video). And if the movies good and a hit then the ongoing and various film tie in comics should be raking in a tidy profit.

It's just a question of keeping the liscence for another year or so to enjoy the real benefits.

Denyer
2006-03-21, 10:47 PM
It's not a magic wand, but it is exposure -- and IDW should have an introductory trade collection of their own out to capitalise on the fact. :)

Probably two, plus Beast Wars as an adjunct.

Fireflight
2006-03-22, 12:18 AM
Trades tend to do quite well (in and out of the direct market) when films are released (though oddly single issues aren't affected), if, as Amazon suggests, Infiltration is released as a standard TPB and a manga sized one it could do rather well around the time of the movie, the trade can sell to the older, lapsed fans and the manga sized one to kids.

T.V.
2006-03-22, 12:57 AM
Originally posted by Fireflight
Trades tend to do quite well (in and out of the direct market) when films are released (though oddly single issues aren't affected). That's not odd.
For the casual comic buyer, trades are far more interesting because your get complete stories or story arcs in one go. You don't have to track down each issue or wait for the story to develope over months an end.
It's also tougher to get in a story when it's well advanced.
In that case it's also preferable to pick up a trade instead of hunting for back issues.

If I didn't catch on to Infiltration due to my involvement in the online fandom over the last few years, I'd never known about it.

DW's TF went right over my head, because I was a lapsed TF fan at the time and not a comic buyer.
It's my exposure to the internet fandom that steered my towards IDW's comic.

Angelophile
2006-03-22, 09:41 AM
Also a damn sight easier to get your hands on a trade - pretty much every large bookshop chain carries them, whereas finding a local comic store for individual issues is sometimes imposible. It's true some companies rely on trade sales for the bulk of their profit - for example, Marvel's Runaways only sells around 25,000 copies a month (still better than it used to be, around 19,000), but the book has sold so well in Digest form - topping the sales charts - that it continues to be published because Marvel know they're gonna make a big profit on the digests to set against average comic sales.

Whether the same will be true of Transformers is hard to tell. It depends how eager to order trades from a small company stores are - obviously larger publishers have an advantage getting their product out there.

It's really hard to tell how IDW trade MIGHT do because Dreamwave's trade policy was so lamentable - there seemed to be higher demand than they ever met and their trades were near impossible to find anywhere.

Angelophile
2006-04-14, 07:23 PM
Sales for March are out:

Looks like Infiltration's slipped a long way down the chart. Down to 74, 20 or so slots.

How that translates in terms of sales I'm not sure.

http://www.newsarama.com/marketreport/mar06sales.html

Denyer
2006-04-14, 07:37 PM
Big event month for both Marvel and DC... I'll be interested in the actual sales, but the chart itself means pretty much bugger all.

Angelophile
2006-04-14, 10:49 PM
Fairly big, but I wouldn't have thought i was 20 spots big. Seems to indicate some more lost sales, although hopefully it's levelling out.

Beast Wars barely clinging in the top 100 though.

Denyer
2006-04-14, 11:06 PM
Reactions are generally becoming more favourable amongst those who weren't keen initially, but the next opportunities for influx are Stormbringer and #7 with a new story arc -- people generally don't start reading stories four issues in, they'll wait for a trade. And possibly stick to trade buying.

Methinks BW can't have been helped by parts of the UK (and possibly other places) only being distributed small quantities of stock for #3 -- Diamond seem to have ****ed up somewhere.

Commander Shockwav
2006-04-14, 11:28 PM
Here we go for March:

74 TRANSFORMERS INFILTRATION #3 Estimated 30,000 copies
89 GI JOE VS TRANSFORMERS VOL 3 ART O/WAR #1 (Of 5)* Estimated 25,800 copies
94 TRANSFORMERS BEAST WARS (IDW) #2 (Of 4) Estimated 24,900 copies
104 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS (IDW) #1* Estimated 23,700 copies


Wow. That's awesome for reprints. :)


Infiltration dropped about (gulp) 20 places from #2. We're not oozing here folks, we're hemorraging.

Beast Wars #2 dropped almost 40 (!) spots. Ouch.


http://www.newsarama.com/marketreport/mar06sales.html

EDIT: OOPS. Didn't see this discussed in other thread.

Commander Shockwav
2006-04-14, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Reactions are generally becoming more favourable amongst those who weren't keen initially, but the next opportunities for influx are Stormbringer

I hope its not too late.

Regardless of how good the quality of work is, I have no doubt that the human focus of this initial run has played some role in the declining sales.

Now just hear me out. I enjoy the story thus far as much as most here, but there are many fans out there who are, shall we say, less patient than others.

A focus on Verity Carlo will not help sales. The bottom line is people want to buy Transformers mostly for the warring robot aspect, and this element has been lacking to some degree.

Its a shame, because as much as I like the grand scale war, once in a while, this kind of take by IDW is refreshing.

We can only hope that Stormbringer will attract more fans to stem the tide of decline we have seen with each issue.

Denyer
2006-04-15, 12:10 AM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
there are many fans out there who are, shall we say, less patient than others. Undoubtedly. I have a decent amount of faith in IDW's business plan, though -- opinion is generally warming towards rather than turning on the ongoing, and getting the first trade out is going to count for more than individual issue sales bringing people onboard with the second part of a story arc.

Big robot fights soon, too.

The point, I think, is that IDW couldn't do the inverse -- start off with in-your-face battles and then do an Ultimate TF origin.

edit: Er, I'm gonna try to keep the sales stuff together in one thread, since we've got a decent ongoing conversation. :)

Commander Shockwav
2006-04-15, 12:37 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
Undoubtedly. I have a decent amount of faith in IDW's business plan, though -- opinion is generally warming towards rather than turning on the ongoing, and getting the first trade out is going to count for more than individual issue sales bringing people onboard with the second part of a story arc.


I hope you're right in this.

I have to agree, like you, with my own eyes I have read upbeat after upbeat review of Infiltration in every TF message board I frequent. The sales figures just don't jive with the feedback I'm reading.

Which leads me to this question. Is it possible that somehow those more inclined to IDW's style story are more likely to post on message boards, while the in-your-face action aficianado is less likely to surf through TF sites and post their opinion?

Just a thought.

Denyer
2006-04-15, 01:11 AM
The average in-your-face-action costumed hero comic buyer can barely be called a reader, so it's quite probable some casual offline interest has dropped off from this quarter with TF comics.

On the other hand, what we're now seeing (apart from Diamond apparently not bothering to send out BW#3 to some retailers, which I'm more than a bit pissy about) is, I think, the number of actual readers versus those who started off collecting multiple covers. Upwards of 30K including foreign sales -- continuing to outsell some pretty big names and critically acclaimed series. What the multiple covers have primarily achieved is a foot in the door with comics stores that primarily order DC and Marvel.

From what I recall, Stormbringer will have a cover per issue and those will join up rather than going the lots-of-variants route, which should be even more indicative of the real situation. And I doubt we'll be seeing as many covers on the second part of the ongoing.

Tracking month-by-month will be a more worthwhile endeavour later in the year.

inflatable dalek
2006-04-15, 10:18 AM
It's good to see it's not just me having trouble with finding BW issue three...

Cliffjumper
2006-04-15, 10:32 AM
I have absolutely no idea whether I ordered the thing from Steve Bax or not...

inflatable dalek
2006-04-15, 10:37 AM
You should really keep track of these things you know, a unscrupelous person could take advantage of you.

Denyer
2006-04-15, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I have absolutely no idea whether I ordered the thing from Steve Bax or not... Well, it's currently Alex processing orders (Steve's back start of next month) but it appears Diamond didn't bother to send them any, and this has been reflected by other places. Drop him a mail, seems friendly...

Denyer
2006-04-15, 08:41 PM
http://www.transfans.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5181

Originally posted by KingMob
I'd recommend you read Paul O'Brien's monthy analysis of the Marvel figures and the similar analysis of the DC figures by The Other Guy; you can find the old ones on google groups or some of the comic boards. These include calculable re-order sales which are normally several thousand copies. Also, CBG has a great archive of previous figures, going back years. They aid in following the market trends, which are normally rather predictable after a while, and the commentary made by the peeps going over the figs can be quite interesting/funny.

Mini's appear to normally lose half of their sales figures over their run. Series books (normally) take continual sales losses until an artifical spike is introduced - which can come in many forms - and after which the pattern resumes. There's no predictable set drop, although the drop between 1 and 2 is almost always the largest unless the book is not supported by the publisher and goes into freefall. 20% or more drops are not uncommon, and you regularly see books like the X-Men titles lose 8 or 9 percent every month. A "stable" book drops about 4% every month and a "rock solid" book loses 1-2%. The percentage drop is more helpful than straight numerical placing.
In this case, I am guessing that Stormbringer is intended to cause a spike in the sales for the G1 market.

Regardless TF is turning in great sales figs for IDW and I don't think there's any reason for any punters to be worrying over it. The nostalgia boom is over so stratospheric sales figs like DW started with are simply not going to happen. TF is a niche-market book put out by a small, highly competent company and the figs have to be looked at with that in mind IMHO.

Cliffjumper
2006-04-15, 09:04 PM
More happens in sales discussions than it the actual damn comic...

Cyberstrike nTo
2006-04-16, 02:37 AM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
More happens in sales discussions than it the actual damn comic...

My thoughts exactly.

Angelophile
2006-04-16, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Well, it's currently Alex processing orders (Steve's back start of next month) but it appears Diamond didn't bother to send them any, and this has been reflected by other places. Drop him a mail, seems friendly...

My comic shop said the same. They'd been sent a single copy of BW3 with a note on the shipping list from Diamond that there was more to follow.

I snatched the one copy, but it seems like a widespread distribution problem.

Commander Shockwav
2006-04-16, 05:50 PM
Now here's some encouraging news:

104 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS (IDW) #1* Estimated 23,700 copies


Wow. That's awesome for reprints. :)

Updated above

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-04-16, 07:29 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
Now here's some encouraging news:

104 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS (IDW) #1* Estimated 23,700 copies


Wow. That's awesome for reprints. :)

Updated above

That just blows me away. Granted I bought one copy of each reprint since it was a #1 in the new "series", but still that seems crazy high for a reprint series. Not that I doubt the validity of those numbers--it just defies current though that the "nostalgia" over Transformers is over. Still, I am encouraged by those numbers.

Yet, at the same time, Generations #1 was BARELY beat out by Beast Wars. As much as I am loving the new Beast Wars series and hoping that it is turned into a series, that doesn't seem good that a 20+ year series of reprints would outsell something current.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-04-16, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
http://www.transfans.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5181

Originally posted by KingMob
I'd recommend you read Paul O'Brien's monthy analysis of the Marvel figures and the similar analysis of the DC figures by The Other Guy; you can find the old ones on google groups or some of the comic boards. These include calculable re-order sales which are normally several thousand copies. Also, CBG has a great archive of previous figures, going back years. They aid in following the market trends, which are normally rather predictable after a while, and the commentary made by the peeps going over the figs can be quite interesting/funny.

Mini's appear to normally lose half of their sales figures over their run. Series books (normally) take continual sales losses until an artifical spike is introduced - which can come in many forms - and after which the pattern resumes. There's no predictable set drop, although the drop between 1 and 2 is almost always the largest unless the book is not supported by the publisher and goes into freefall. 20% or more drops are not uncommon, and you regularly see books like the X-Men titles lose 8 or 9 percent every month. A "stable" book drops about 4% every month and a "rock solid" book loses 1-2%. The percentage drop is more helpful than straight numerical placing.
In this case, I am guessing that Stormbringer is intended to cause a spike in the sales for the G1 market.

Regardless TF is turning in great sales figs for IDW and I don't think there's any reason for any punters to be worrying over it. The nostalgia boom is over so stratospheric sales figs like DW started with are simply not going to happen. TF is a niche-market book put out by a small, highly competent company and the figs have to be looked at with that in mind IMHO.

Nice info--thanks! :cool: And I completely agree--there isn't anything to worry about at the moment with the movie coming out in July 2007. Sales WILL spike with Stormbringer. Sales WILL spike in the months leading to the movie (because of trailers, toys leading up to the movie, etc.) and they will definitely spike once the movie comes out--and I would imagine they would spike yet again when the movie is released on DVD. :)

Cliffjumper
2006-04-16, 08:35 PM
It'll just be how big the spike will be... I believe DW still managed a spike for each new plot arc, and each new mini. If each spike adds a few thousand readers, but overall figures drop steadily, that's still not good - sadly, it might even force IDW into attempting to create too many spikes, which I think is what DW tried to do with Vol. 3's "chuck in a returning well-known character every issue" mentality.

I really don't think the movie will have that much of an effect on individual issues - it hasn't for Spider-Man or X-Men, which is why Marvel attempted to make "movie" comics to try and nab some money that way... Unless the movie is the same as the IDW stuff is at the time, or IDW try to spin a series off the end of the film, the cast and backstory would just be too alien. Public awareness of Transformers is still very, very good (I'd wager for a 20+ year old toyline, there're few better worldwide), just not that many seem to be interested enough to go looking for a comic. It's been the same with many of Marvel franchises, with successful animated series often co-existing with a struggling book (Iron Man and Fantastic Four ran as an animated series in 1994-1995, with both books in deep trouble). These things don't really crossover in any consistant pattern.

Angelophile
2006-04-18, 09:25 AM
Yes, I wouldn't be relying too much on the movie. It's a year til it comes out and the title has to continue making money until then. Even then the spike is not gonna be huge. If the readership continues to dwindle it could be worrying.

If it settles at the steady 25-30k level of Dreamwave then it's probably sustainable, but so many multiple covers contributing to that figure too is still worrying.

Denyer
2006-04-18, 01:34 PM
Variants do make it difficult to estimate actual readership with precision, but you're assuming several copies are still being bought by a large number of individuals.

Angelophile
2006-04-18, 01:39 PM
Not a large number, but there certainly are completists. And selling the same numbers as DW did with one cover when you're producing 6 (or however many) certainly translates as a drop off. Though how many people buy more than one copy of the comic is, as you say, hard to judge.

Commander Shockwav
2006-04-18, 03:03 PM
Beast Wars #2 sold out.

http://www.seibertron.com/news/view.php?id=7110

(Credit KingMob from transfans.net)

Looks like IDW is selling out of many titles. That's great news.

The way I interpret this, IDW has a good sense of how many issues should see print. This accurate estimation drives the cost of production down because few issues are being unnecessarily printed. DW, on the other hand, likely printed so many copies, fooled by the initial 80's nostalgia boom, that they likely severely overestimated how many would sell.

The more I read, the better I feel about IDW getting the TF license.

Cliffjumper
2006-04-18, 03:22 PM
Personally, I've never really doubted they had the business brains, but then the most competant company in the world can create a failing book. If even 10% of sales are due to multiple covers, that's a worry. I'm pretty hopeful that after some people getting their fingers burnt by hoarding DW variants, we won't have many people buying multiples as an investment... In a way, it's a bit harsh comparing DW sales figures to IDW, as the DW material had built up a bit of momentum - who knows how low the figures might have gone... if IDW are selling out, that's a good thing... DW never seemed to accept that the book wasn't going to bounce back and have Vol. 1 size scales, and I'm pretty sure overprinting would be very costly - especially considering they were probably overprinting crap like Mega Man as well.

Angelophile
2006-04-18, 03:41 PM
Well, sales naturally drop off for any title. Comparing a brand new title to one thats popularity has faded should put the new title in front. You don't get books picking up readers during a run unless something really exceptional happens.

Denyer
2006-04-18, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by Angelophile
Not a large number, but there certainly are completists. And selling the same numbers as DW did with one cover when you're producing 6 (or however many) certainly translates as a drop off. Only if a large number of multiples are being bought. The math's fairly straightforward for the exclusives -- only a few hundred of each retailer incentive cover end up being produced, because most stores order fewer copies than are required to get them. Most stores, in fact, work week-to-week on a re-order basis with anything except guaranteed sellers. They can't afford to be left with dust-gathering stock. This extends to a lot of independent titles that actually sell very well initially -- copies can't be found a few issues in, because the retailer automatically dropped its preorders a couple of months ago in line with sales trends for falloff after #1 and #2. Comics have to be in-store for people to purchase them.

People realise very quickly that they can't be completists and that it's not possible for more than a handful to track down everything. Add to that the expense of doing so, and I fail to see how by issue #3 or #4 any sizeable fragment of the customer base is going to try.

Originally posted by Angelophile
Comparing a brand new title to one thats popularity has faded should put the new title in front.
If DWG1v1#1 hadn't been an aberration at the height of 80s fever, outselling big names from established publishers. The window of opportunity for Transfandom to wank over putting The Ultimates further down a chart closed way back. The DVDs are out of print, the t-shirts are in the sale bins, TRU finally managed to flog the reissues off at far less than RRP -- the revival fad is over. It's an ex-parrot.

Originally posted by Angelophile
You don't get books picking up readers during a run unless something really exceptional happens.
Ongoing books that stick around get spikes in which they pick up readers. And unless you call a team getting a new uniform, a revived character being added to the roster, a new story arc starting, or a change in artist/writer "exceptional", it's entirely the norm.

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
DW never seemed to accept that the book wasn't going to bounce back and have Vol. 1 size scales, and I'm pretty sure overprinting would be very costly
This might explain why those waiting for trade paperbacks were continually disappointed by low print runs -- if DW had sunk funds into unsold original issues and print runs of other bombed licensed titles, they'd a) be less likely to have the cashflow to set up lots of trades, and b) still be trying to push reorders through Diamond. They sold out of a couple of early issues and the second printings had different covers -- they may have been presuming this could continue long past it doing so.

Cliffjumper
2006-04-18, 05:54 PM
Word of mouth has saved comics before - Captain Marvel and Black Panther both gathered a few thousand readers through good notices, certainly enough to survive.

I still don't think it's valid to compare IDW and DW figures, even those for, say, G1 #10 and Infiltration #1. For a start, we've had a year or so inbetween, during which time Transformers has slipped from the consciousness of many. DW's ongoing lost readers hand over fist, with no sign it wouldn't have gone much, much lower. they started with a considerable fanbase and lost the majority of it for one reason or another... IDW are building a lot of it from scratch - they may have six covers (not all of which are freely avaliable), but they also have to deal with a lot fo people pissed off with the mess they ended up with the last time they bought a Transformers comic.

There's absolutely no reason anyone who bought the ongoing is automatically going to buy Infiltration beyond Transformers fan completists... Beyond the both featuring "G1" Transformers, everything else between the books is different - different writers, different artists, different companies, different continuities, different cast, different climate...

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-04-18, 06:43 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav


The more I read, the better I feel about IDW getting the TF license.

Amen.

Commander Shockwav
2006-04-19, 08:31 PM
Here we go, official March numbers:

74 TRANSFORMERS INFILTRATION #3 30,344 copies
89 GI JOE VS TRANSFORMERS VOL 3 ART O/WAR #1 26,561 copies
94 TRANSFORMERS BEAST WARS (IDW) #2 25,737 copies
104 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS (IDW) #1* 24,104 copies


http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/8516.html

Aardvark
2006-04-19, 09:05 PM
I actually thought Generations would be a lot lower than that.

Angelophile
2006-04-20, 08:35 AM
Yeah, that is positive for a reprint title. Surprising when you consider how readily available the trades collecting Marvel stuff are.

Angelophile
2006-04-20, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
Only if a large number of multiples are being bought. The math's fairly straightforward for the exclusives -- only a few hundred of each retailer incentive cover end up being produced, because most stores order fewer copies than are required to get them. Most stores, in fact, work week-to-week on a re-order basis with anything except guaranteed sellers. They can't afford to be left with dust-gathering stock. This extends to a lot of independent titles that actually sell very well initially -- copies can't be found a few issues in, because the retailer automatically dropped its preorders a couple of months ago in line with sales trends for falloff after #1 and #2. Comics have to be in-store for people to purchase them.

People realise very quickly that they can't be completists and that it's not possible for more than a handful to track down everything. Add to that the expense of doing so, and I fail to see how by issue #3 or #4 any sizeable fragment of the customer base is going to try.

Define "sizable"?

10% seems a pretty sizable chunk to me - that would be an extra 2000 copies. I imagine that's fairly conservative.

I'm not saying half the sales are people buying all the covers, but most comic shops have at least 3 covers - I'm not talking about the rarer stuff, which probably doesn't make much of an impact, just the basic trio of alternative covers for each issue.

Are the majority gonna buy all three? Certainly not. I'm happy with whatever copy gets slipped into my pile when I pick up my issues from my local store. But there ARE a lot of Transformers completists out there who'll pick up the three covers, just because.

I wouldn't say it's a MASSIVE amount percentage wise, but even 10% is a big drop if they ever return to one cover. Until they do I guess we won't know one way or another how large the percentage is.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-04-20, 06:51 PM
I am guilty of having purchased all regular varient covers for Infiltration, Beast Wars, Generations & GI Joe vs Transformers.

I need help. :laugh:

Commander Shockwav
2006-04-22, 12:55 AM
From Prime Directive through the ongoing:

ISSUE#
Prime Directive
1. 119,251 copies
2. 115,653 copies
3. 131,586 copies
4. 126,124 copies
5. 122,829 copies
6. 119,533 copies
War and Peace
1. 111,355 copies
2. 74,322 copies
3. 67,211 copies
4. 64,886 copies
5. 61,587 copies
6. 62,947 copies
G1 Ongoing
0. 53,081 copies
1. 57,537 copies
2. 44,714 copies
3. 41,194 copies
4. 43,083 copies
5. 37,710 copies
6. 36,211 copies
7. 34,756 copies
8. 31,942 copies
9. 31,272 copies
10. 29,682 copies

War Within Vol. 1.
1. 99,522 copies
2. 82,174 copies
3. 73,385 copies
4. 59,253 copies
5. 61,847 copies
6. 50,878 copies

War Within The Dark Ages
1. 62,548 copies
2. 43,253 copies
3. 39,958 copies
4. 34,347 copies
5. 32,448 copies
6. 31,109 copies

War Within Age of Wrath
1. 33,502 copies
2. 23,943 copies
3. 22,928 copies

More Than Meet the Eye Profile Books
1. 20,519 copies
2. 19,467 copies
3. 19,063 copies
4. 23,368 copies
5. 24,219 copies
6. 24,253 copies

Micromasters
1. 29,743 copies
2. 26,052 copies
3. 24,199 copies
4. 22,517 copies

Summer Special May 2004
27,109 copies

Armada More Than Meets the Eye
1. 18,925 copies
2. 17,470 copies
3. 16,907 copies

Poster Book
6,454 copies

Even more stats courtesy of Primal at tfw2005.com., like Armada, Energon, GiJoe/TF, etc. http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/showpost.php?p=640083&postcount=97


For comparison, IDW figures:

Infiltration:
1. 45,468 copies
2. 35,828 copies
3. 30,344 copies

Beast Wars:
1. 34,047 copies
2. 25,737 copies

Generations:
1. 24,104 copies

Denyer
2006-04-22, 01:24 AM
Those increases in bracketed capitals, incidentally... the #6 and #4 are most likely stores variance between orders and re-orders, and the Volume 3 #1 is up from the preview, rather than Volume 2 #6 (a new volume should be a spike...)

Commander Shockwav
2006-04-22, 02:06 AM
EDITED AND UPDATED FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-04-22, 02:08 AM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
From Prime Directive through the ongoing:



thanks man. I had NO IDEA that Dreamwave sold that high. How does the top selling DW numbers compare to current top Marvel/DC titles. I guess what I'm saying is what is a typical #1 rated comic book selling numbers wise?

Do you have any idea(s) that fans could do to ensure good sales numbers so we can continue to get Transformers comics. (grass roots marketing I mean)

Also, Denyer, do you think you could post these sales numbers in the comics review sections for FUTURE easy reference? That'd be really cool of you man.

Commander Shockwav
2006-04-22, 04:02 AM
Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
thanks man. I had NO IDEA that Dreamwave sold that high. How does the top selling DW numbers compare to current top Marvel/DC titles. I guess what I'm saying is what is a typical #1 rated comic book selling numbers wise?

DW's early run would easily put it into the top ten even today. For example, Infinite Crisis #5, the top seller last month, sold 201,855 copies followed by the number two selling comic for the month, The New Avengers, which sold 121,098 copies. The number 10 ranked comic was Infinite Crisis Secret Files 2006 which sold 78,740 copies.

Do you have any idea(s) that fans could do to ensure good sales numbers so we can continue to get Transformers comics. (grass roots marketing I mean)

There is no way possible to ever achieve sales like DW did in its early run. Those astronomical sales were secondary to the nostalgia craze at the time and to make those numbers the target today is being quite unrealistic. You can do what I do, which is essentially buy every IDW TF comic out, regardless of whether or not I think it will be of good quality. For example, I just bought Generations #2. Why? Just to help IDW out some and maybe read a story I was familiar with a long time ago but had forgotten. We should accept the fact that Transformers is now a cult classic of sorts, albeit, a large one. Its a niche franchise now. The goal should be to keep those who make up this diehard fanbase rather than add new fans, as it is very unlikely to happen.

Also, Denyer, do you think you could post these sales numbers in the comics review sections for FUTURE easy reference? That'd be really cool of you man.

If you do Stu, be sure and site ICV2 as the reference.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-04-22, 07:39 AM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav



For example, I just bought Generations #2. Why? Just to help IDW out some and maybe read a story I was familiar with a long time ago but had forgotten.


HAHA--that is EXACTLY why I bought Generations#2. I just want to buy the TPB's and be done with it. I don't want to wait 80+ months to get something that I can get with a few clicks on eBay. Although, if IDW would just release the Marvel one's in TPB, I would buy those instead.

Commander Shockwav
2006-05-20, 02:20 AM
Aprils TF comic sales rank in from Newsarama:http://www.newsarama.com/marketreport/apr06sales.html

Rank
68 Transformers Infiltration #4- estimated 27,500 copies sold
87 TF Beast Wars #3- estimated 23,000 copies sold
98 GIJoe/TF #2-estimated 20,900 copies sold
112 TF Generations #2 copies sold ?

We're seeing the same phenomenon now that we saw with DW's sales the last year of its run. Namely, a slow loss of a couple thousand fans with each issue.

I expect to see Stormbringer give us a spike in sales, as well as Evolutions and the upcoming one-shot series.

Neuronutter
2006-05-20, 04:04 PM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav

We're seeing the same phenomenon now that we saw with DW's sales the last year of its run. Namely, a slow loss of a couple thousand fans with each issue.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So if every issue there is a drop off of a few thousand at what point do IDW say "that's enough" and drop the series completely?

Why do so many people drop off each issue? I'd have thought that most would at least finish the miniseries and then not collect the next. That's what i'd do if i ever stopped collecting the comics (no chance!).

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav

War Within Vol. 1.
1. 99,522 copies
2. 82,174 copies
3. 73,385 copies
4. 59,253 copies
5. 61,847 copies
6. 50,878 copies

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I find it incredible that War Within had a drop of 50,000 by the time the 6th was published. A drop of almost 50%!

Also Amazon.co.uk has listings for the following:

DW's Ongoing TPB #3 release date december
IDW's Infiltration release date September
IDW's stormbringer release date November
IDW's beast wars release date December

Why is Beast wars out after Stormbringer which hasn't even started yet?

I read somewhere that IDW may be being pushed into releasing the DW books as its unlikely they'd wanna publish stuff that conflicts with their continuity. Does anyone know if there is any chance that IDW will publish any of the DW stuff that never got printed? Is there any word on that? Also is Pat Lee and DW getting any money out of the sales of their books through IDW? It should be going to pay for all those that got screwed over in the DW fiasco? But is it?

Also how well do the TPBs sell compared to the comics?

Commander Shockwav
2006-05-20, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by Neuronutter
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav

We're seeing the same phenomenon now that we saw with DW's sales the last year of its run. Namely, a slow loss of a couple thousand fans with each issue.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So if every issue there is a drop off of a few thousand at what point do IDW say "that's enough" and drop the series completely?

Why do so many people drop off each issue? I'd have thought that most would at least finish the miniseries and then not collect the next.

Well, actually, this is a trend that many miniseries follow, with each issue losing some ground, and then bouncing back with the start of a new mini, which then proceeds to follow a similar trend.

Now if Strombringer or Evolutions did not begin with an initial pop in sales and continued where Infiltration #6 left off, we'd have more cause for concern.

Angelophile
2006-05-20, 11:10 PM
Losing a couple of thousand readers every issue wouldn't be considered healthy at that sort of level normally. Up in the high reaches of the chart, to drop a few thousand between issues isn't so bad. But down near the bottoms things get more desperate and you'd hope the books would find their readership and start to level out after a few issues.

I wonder if the Stormthingie storyline brings people on board because there's no humans or turns people off because it seems to be mostly about obscure characters only fans are into...

Denyer
2006-05-21, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by Neuronutter
So if every issue there is a drop off of a few thousand at what point do IDW say "that's enough" and drop the series completely? Look at sales for Beast Wars. And even Generations. Yeah, typical lifecycle.

(Speaking of which, retailers will be keen to see Escalation form a second volume. Fingers crossed for clear identification of story and part numbers if that happens.)

inflatable dalek
2006-05-21, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by Neuronutter
I read somewhere that IDW may be being pushed into releasing the DW books as its unlikely they'd wanna publish stuff that conflicts with their continuity.

I imagin it's the case that the contract Hasbro gave them included rights to the old TF comics, so they've decided to make as much money as they can from what they've paid for.

Commander Shockwav
2006-05-22, 03:04 AM
Can't believe how well Transformers Generations has performed. Generations #2 placed at #112.

That's amazing for a reprint! I mean, its beating out so many other comics in the 300 that I would not have thought possible.

Definitely the most pleasant of surprises for IDW.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-05-22, 05:02 AM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
Can't believe how well Transformers Generations has performed. Generations #2 placed at #112.

That's amazing for a reprint! I mean, its beating out so many other comics in the 300 that I would not have thought possible.

Definitely the most pleasant of surprises for IDW.

Amen. This could help keep the other titles afloat. :)

jhlucas
2006-05-22, 04:10 PM
I'm gonna step out on a limb here and say that the reason Infiltration is dropping in readership is because (so far, at least) Furman's story/dialogue, Su's art, and Rauch's colors have made for a less than stellar combination :(

Don't misunderstand, I think Furman did some great stuff (comparatively) in the last 15 or so issues of the original Marvel run, and he's got some good plot ideas going for Infiltration. However, his current pacing and dialogue reeks :wall: What he's stretched into 4 comics could have easily been retooled into 2 much tighter (and dare I say, more interesting) books, max.

As for Su's art, the black-and-white pages I've seen of his work look outstanding--at least the pages that focus on the 'bots look outstanding. His people, however, come off as overtly manga and cartoonish. This, combined with Furman's weak writing, have created some humans that I really don't give a damn about. Also, his backgrounds range from convincible, to sparse, to empty (see Infiltration #4 p. 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.)

Notice above that I said Su's black-and-white pages look good? Rauch's color schemes are so muted and monotonous, the comic literally looks better in pure b & w. What else can I say, except :eyebrow:

Many people, fans included, have said that Transformers has a limited lifespan as a comic. I disagree. Look at Batman. JSA. Superman. Spiderman. Fantastic Four. Avengers. Captain America. X-Men. Need I go on? A comic series can last for decades. However, with the mediocrity we've seen in the first 4 issues of Infiltration, IDW's TF series will be lucky to make it as long as DW's lasted. Come on IDW! Light a fire under your so-called talents' asses, and get us more than a mediocre book! :rant:

Denyer
2006-05-22, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by jhlucas
What he's stretched into 4 comics could have easily been retooled into 2 much tighter (and dare I say, more interesting) books, max.
I'd like to see you (or anyone) break this down into panels and script for two issues. The most I think I could reasonably trim as an editor would be about an issue-worth of pages.

Originally posted by jhlucas
Rauch's color schemes are so muted and monotonous, the comic literally looks better in pure b & w. I'd rather see Josh on the title, certainly -- I don't mind Rauch overmuch, and I appreciate that he's not using artificially bright Fisher Price palettes like early Dreamwave stuff, but parts of some issues have been sloppy.

Originally posted by jhlucas
Look at Batman. JSA. Superman. Spiderman. Fantastic Four. Avengers. Captain America. X-Men. Need I go on? A comic series can last for decades. And be continually recycled crap heavily invested in retcons and trivialising resurrections, in most cases. Not anything I'd want the titles I read to be striving for...

Transformers still has a few shreds of originality left in it as a science fiction series rather than a toy promotion vehicle. Newish things in cape books? Miracleman, Planetary, Watchmen, Kingdom Come, etc. -- and most of that stuff is a decade or more old. Marvel's now attempting with Civil War what grown-up comics have been doing for years, whilst DC responds by tweaking its archetypes with yet another "cosmic" Crisis series.

jhlucas
2006-05-22, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
I'd like to see you (or anyone) break this down into panels and script for two issues. The most I think I could reasonably trim as an editor would be about an issue-worth of pages.


Hmmm...let's see, three issues (counting #0) of one long, repetitive car chase, with a few token panels of true plot development. Uh, yeah, I'm thinking that can be edited slightly. The entire first issue should have been enough room to resolve the whole chase sequence begun in #0. It's like I tell my students: cut the crap and get to the point. Granted, "crap", or filler (which ever you prefer), is fine and dandy (and even needed ) to flesh-out a story and make it more believable--when it is well-written.

As for Infiltration #4, we get 3 pages of real plot development (p. 6, 7, and 22; and perhaps panel 3 on page 10, depending on how you interpret it), a snippet of backstory on Verity, several pages of boring exploration (in an alien bunker, no less; this should not be "ho-hum") by the humans, and several pages of a poorly written/directed battle. The exception to the bunker exploration was of course the 3rd panel on page 10 and the full-page spread at the very end. This entire series has, to date, felt quite "loose" and wandering. The pacing needs to tighten up.

Originally posted by Denyer -- I don't mind Rauch overmuch, and I appreciate that he's not using artificially bright Fisher Price palettes like early Dreamwave stuff, but parts of some issues have been sloppy.

No doubt. I thought Blitzwing in Infiltration #4 was actually Thundercracker until Rachet said his name!

Originally posted by Denyer Marvel's now attempting with Civil War what grown-up comics have been doing for years...
Originally posted by Denyer And be continually recycled crap heavily invested in retcons and trivialising resurrections, in most cases. Not anything I'd want the titles I read to be striving for...

Guess you haven't been keeping up with the Ultimates Vol. 1 and 2, huh? :) <----Please note the smile. I'm not trying to start a fight here!


I know comics recylce themselves. For better or worse, it's the nature of the business. My point is, even with recycled stories , the books can still be a lot of fun--even groundbreaking, occasionally--for years to come...if the writers and artists are talented. It's not the characters or IDW's overall reinterpretation of the TF universe that's holding Infiltration back. It's the stinky storytelling and hit-or-miss presentation.

Of course, this is all just one ranting fan's opinion. What do I know?:D

Denyer
2006-05-23, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by jhlucas
Guess you haven't been keeping up with the Ultimates Vol. 1 and 2, huh? :) <----Please note the smile. I'm not trying to start a fight here! Or "hey, I know what would be fresh, let's hire the guy who played second string writing The Authority after its creator wore out the concept." Yeah, positively revolutionary -- for a Marvel universe. (I did enjoy volume one, more than any other Avengers stuff I've read. Volume two seems to be character-cramming and Millar turning in standard shock fare, as well as being revelation-based with the consequence it'll stand up badly to successive reads.)

Originally posted by jhlucas
I know comics recylce themselves. For better or worse, it's the nature of the business.Nothing wrong with paying homage to past literature (LoEG, Planetary, heck, even Tom Strong) -- but the better writers seem to know when to put characters back into the box. It's only the nature of the business as done badly.

The thing is (he said, shuffling back in the direction of the thread topic) a lot of Transformers have little or no sustained characterisation in strip material. They exist as profile text, due to mandated character-cramming, and there's room to develop rather than simply feature them. To do something new and consistent.

I think there'd be far fewer complaints if #1 and #2 had been published as a double-size issue, or that piece of story had otherwise been told in one installment. With that reservation, this is the first time I've not wanted squishies in a TF series permanently consigned to a VVH... and Bumblebee gets more development from a few lines in two issues than any character in the Beast Wars miniseries.

jhlucas
2006-05-23, 01:16 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
I think there'd be far fewer complaints if #1 and #2 had been published as a double-size issue, or that piece of story had otherwise been told in one installment.
Originally posted by Denyer
... and Bumblebee gets more development from a few lines in two issues than any character in the Beast Wars miniseries.

I totally agree!

I think part of my problem is that after I finish a $2.99 book--which most of them are these days (if not more)--I want to feel like I've read something...I don't know...monumental, I guess. Maybe this is asking too much from Transformers specifically, and the industry in general. Perhaps, however, it does explain the drop-off in readership from issue to issue.

As for IDW's and Furman's Beast Wars...uhgghh :nonono: ...I'll take Infiltration any day!

DCJosh
2006-05-23, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by jhlucas
Come on IDW! Light a fire under your so-called talents' asses, and get us more than a mediocre book! :rant:


*coughstormbringercough*



xD!!!

i tell ya, when you read stormbringer its gonna make Infiltration seem so much cooler xD

Denyer
2006-05-23, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by jhlucas
I think part of my problem is that after I finish a $2.99 book--which most of them are these days (if not more)--I want to feel like I've read something...I don't know...monumental, I guess. Likewise -- and I'd be very interested to poll how many Transformers fans picking up the comic regularly buy other comics in issue form (and what the cape:non-cape ratio is) and how many have mostly moved over to trade paperbacks. I'm the latter, personally, and adjusting to monthlies that aren't self-contained stories can be a bit heavy-going.

That #1/#2 bridge was definitely the weak point to me -- with the narration at the end of #2 things clicked into place and everything became about what other interesting angles a new continuity can bring. I'm fairly easily pleased if the ideas in a book catch my imagination, since that's the other thing I'm reading for after "what happens next?"

To some extent I view Infiltration as a necessary and deserved introductory arc -- it's Ultimate Transformers, and needs grounding on Earth -- so as long as there's exposition coming regarding Starscream in #5/#6 I'll be very happy with it. I do think Escalation will need to be and be faster-paced, though... and SB may prove that Furman works better with story arcs shorter than six issues.

Gouki
2006-05-23, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by DCJosh
*coughstormbringercough*



xD!!!

i tell ya, when you read stormbringer its gonna make Infiltration seem so much cooler xD

You shouldn't need to though.

Denyer
2006-05-23, 11:26 AM
He's not saying that SB is essential to enjoy Infiltration, just that stuff is more enjoyable or meaningful with extra context.

Gouki
2006-05-23, 11:29 AM
Ah, my mistake. The world of Infinite Crisis has twisted my views badly.

Denyer
2006-05-23, 11:32 AM
Plus, expect him to really like SB because he's the colourist. :)

Cliffjumper
2006-05-23, 03:26 PM
And thankfully not the writer...

I'm pretty sure I could hack an issue out of Infiltration so far... if there were text scripts online, I'd probably have a crack, but I frankly can't be arsed to sit down, retype the five scripts and then do so to try and make a point that'd just get debated about anyway. Thing is, I've been reading monthly comics for best part of five years (I think i have something like a dozen TPBs, not counting the Titan TF trades, and I do have a very good reason why those don't count), and I personally didn't find even G1 V1 such a constant frustration month by month. But I think a lot of my misgivings are because of Furman, and his broadly crap work over the past few years...

It'll be easier to judge once we see how exactly Infiltration ends - and some sort of ending rather than "Buy the next issue of this title to find out what the **** the last six issues have been about! It's out in three months or something!", but I've basically suffered four or five Furman arcs that have been pretty good for the much of their length, and then suddenly fallen apart in the last issue or so, and I've seen nothing from Infiltration to say any different. That's not so say I think it's going to turn out that way, but just that I'm being cautious and cynical about it, based on past experience.

I do think that if Infiltration has simply been about establishing ground-rules (which I can't personally see much change to anyway), it should have been a lot shorter. It needs some weight to it, and I personally feel Furman's writing style isn't suited to TPB-friendly comic writing. You put the guy under any sort of pressure to tie things up, and he ****s it up, basically. I also don't think he'll work too well long-term on self-consciously trying to turn Transformers into a modern post-widescreen comic.

DCJosh
2006-05-23, 06:40 PM
bah

i'm not THAT biased


xD

Commander Shockwav
2006-05-23, 09:19 PM
Official tally from Newsarama: http://www.newsarama.com/marketreport/apr06charts.html

APRIL
68. INFILTRATION - 28,835 (down 1,509)
87. BEAST WARS - 23,966 (down 1,768)
98 G.I. Joe Vs Transformers Vol. 3 Art of War #2 21,400
112. GENERATIONS - 18,718 (down 5,386)

Denyer
2006-05-24, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
It'll be easier to judge once we see how exactly Infiltration ends
Mmm -- as mentioned, I'm expecting the Starscream subplot to come to the fore now, and if it doesn't shall be rather disappointed. That said, I've enjoyed everything else so far. It's different, and I like the new characters...

Furman's approach to endings, whilst dictated by publishing schedules a lot in the past, has been like this for years -- going back to the one page wrap-up in Time Wars, similarly quickfire end of the original US comic, and probably other stuff I'm not immediately recalling. We don't know if Last Autobot was written before the deadline came in, but he does have a habit of making tangents, and given six issue arcs of modern comics seems to overwrite/hedge by about an issue (eg, TWW) -- hopefully we got that at the beginning of Infiltration (where a measured unfolding is appropriate to the plot) rather than the end.

Angelophile
2006-05-24, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
Likewise -- and I'd be very interested to poll how many Transformers fans picking up the comic regularly buy other comics in issue form (and what the cape:non-cape ratio is) and how many have mostly moved over to trade paperbacks. I'm the latter, personally, and adjusting to monthlies that aren't self-contained stories can be a bit heavy-going.

That #1/#2 bridge was definitely the weak point to me -- with the narration at the end of #2 things clicked into place and everything became about what other interesting angles a new continuity can bring. I'm fairly easily pleased if the ideas in a book catch my imagination, since that's the other thing I'm reading for after "what happens next?"

To some extent I view Infiltration as a necessary and deserved introductory arc -- it's Ultimate Transformers, and needs grounding on Earth -- so as long as there's exposition coming regarding Starscream in #5/#6 I'll be very happy with it. I do think Escalation will need to be and be faster-paced, though... and SB may prove that Furman works better with story arcs shorter than six issues.

Yeah. I do agree with what people are saying. Furman's recent work has all been written in... arcs rather than stories. It seems to be the standard modern style of telling stories in 5-6 issue arcs rather than just telling the story you want to in the number of issues you want to. Everyones too busy looking at that lucrative trade market.

But really, you look at Furman's old Marvel UK where he was able to accomplish in 11 pages or even 5 pages, a complete story. Even an absolute epic like Target 2006 was a lower page count than the current arcs. Compare that to the current Infiltration arc and I can't help but feel cheated. Considering each issue is the equivilent of a double issue story from the UK it feels empty.

Cliffjumper
2006-05-24, 02:13 PM
That's basically where I think he's lost it. Sure, Time Wars and Target 2006 both have pretty poor conclusions ("Target" sees Furman suffering from creating a genuinely great villain, not being able to think of a single decent way of having the Autobots actually beat Galvatron, and them being basically forced to pull something out of his arse because Galvatron can't be allowed to kill the Autobots and rule Earth), but then the whole thing wouldn't be quite so utterly dependant on a conclusion in the first place... the UK, and alter the US, comics he did generally revelled in their "rolling" narratives. Aside from Matrix Quest, the US material wasn't presented as a single story, which affects the reading of it as you aren't conscious of any forthcoming conclusion (segue ~ I do think Furman tied up the Unicron thing nicely in the US series, even if the broad elements of the plot wrote themselves... I still honestly feel it's a bit of a shame the series didn't end at #75~), and while you can argue that US #61-80 are really one big arc, that's really just a retrospective tag, and the looser formatting allowed Furman a lot more space to tell his stories. In the TPB packaging era, I think there's too much focus on how it's all going to tie up in six issues, which stifles Furman's biggest strength.

And I've lost my original point somewhere in there. Furman's work has lost a lot of pace. I'm genuinely not being simply a bastard when I say a lot fo his writing is trying to be Warren Ellis or Grant Morrison. He's trying to reinvent the Transformers from top to bottom, and I simply don't think he's up to it.

Target 2006 had a poor conclusion, but that was on the back of, what, 10 or 11 decent installments? 5 or 6 US comics, shall we say (which also makes it a fair comparison to a modern mini-series). That the conclusion was something of a cock-up was irritating, but there's basically so much other good stuff crammed into the storyline, that at the end of it you're left with a list of positives as long as your arm (Geoff! The Wreckers! Magnus! That fight! Scourge! Factions turned upside down! The Decepticons getting somewhere! Etc.)... Whereas if Infiltration goes pretty much nowhere, I'm not sure I'll be able to say the same.

Of course, it's slightly unfair to compare the opening story of a continuity to one that had been going for a couple of years, but then it's also unfair to compare a weekly kids' comic with a quota of toys to introduce to a mini-series produced for older comics geeks, so there we go.

Angelophile
2006-05-24, 02:27 PM
What's interesting is that the toy line mentality may not have been a bad thing for Furman's writing. He's FAR more interesting when effectively being forced to push the evelope by introing a slew of new characters within the space of a couple of issues and foorced to come up with ways to make them new and interesting. Whereas familiarity to the characters in Infiltration seems to have led to the conclusion that they don't really need to be properly debuted or expanded on because people will know who they are anyway.

Although he seems to have attempted that approach with Beast Wars and it was a major disappointment. Intro, intro, intro, everyone fights. Perhaps it's a skill that's deserted him, although War Within III seemed to be heading in the right direction, but there was still a matter of pace.

There did seem to be comments about pacing before IDW started running with the ball and I seem to remember some reassurance from them that there'd be action packed storylines and decompression was a thing of the past...

Guess that wasn't the case.

inflatable dalek
2006-05-24, 02:35 PM
I think the conclusion to Target: 2006 only really suffers in retrospect- The idea of convincing Galvatron he's in a parellel universe and that he wouldn't want to stay there both make sense in the context of that story and what it tells us about him. Unfortunetly when Galvy comes back and clearly has no qualms about living in the past and changing the future the original appearence starts to make less sense.

I still like the ending though as it's a rare example of the Autobots out thinking the villain rather than out shooting him (though I now expect someone to prove me wrong on that count with a long list of issues that do).

Cliffjumper
2006-05-24, 02:39 PM
Yeh, part of my problem (admittedly as a long-term TF comic fan) is that I'm not finding out anything "new" about any of the characters. It's bit difficult to explain, but even if there's been no actual instance of Ratchet acting in such-and-such a way, it's not difficult to imagine Furman's old Ratchet doping exactly the same thing. It doesn't bother me that much because at the end of the day I doubt someone with hundreds of TF comics is the main audience, and I'm old enough to appreciate that that's the way things are... but at the same time, I can't pretend that I find having a certain amount of recycled material something to be elated about - it's not really doing that much I admire that hasn't been done before... Bumblebee and Ratchet as moderately tough warriors only works as a cosmic shift if you haven't seen it before, and if we're not going to get anything particularly new, I'd rather we got something with a little bit more pace.

I feel very much like I'm reading an Ultimate Transformers comic so far. You know, that first arc the Ultimate titles always do that's basically the origin, but with more cellphones and laptops and less radioactive spiders?

@ Dalek: My main problem with the ending of Target is that, if he's in a parallel universe where Unicron can't really get at him, why not simply stay there? Why return to the future having made absolutely no progress?

jhlucas
2006-05-24, 02:44 PM
I just read the ashcan preview of Stormbringer Denyer linked to in another thread. Good stuff, so far. Furman's dialogue seemed tighter and more developed than anything we've seen in Infiltration. (Oh, and Josh, the colors are nice, too! :) )

I'm genuinely looking forward to it. Here's hoping that Stormbringer kick-starts the entire series! <----This is assuming, of course, the first 11 pages are indicative of the whole miniseries.

Like some of the other posts have mentioned, hopefully, Infiltration sales will get a nice boost (even a modest gain would be a good sign, I think) from Stormbringer.

Angelophile
2006-05-24, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I feel very much like I'm reading an Ultimate Transformers comic so far. You know, that first arc the Ultimate titles always do that's basically the origin, but with more cellphones and laptops and less radioactive spiders?

Well, that's pretty much how they pitched it. So fair enough.

Denyer
2006-05-24, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I feel very much like I'm reading an Ultimate Transformers comic so far.Yup. That's the basis I'm taking it on and enjoying (for the first arc) and really how things seemed they'd run since we got the preview...

Originally posted by jhlucas
Furman's dialogue seemed tighter and more developed than anything we've seen in Infiltration. Mmm, and it's been planned since at least the end of 2005, so it's not just being sketched in now -- the pacing of Infiltration seems deliberate, even if not warmly received in all quarters; it's not simply that he's filling time, there's an intention of adding emphasis to the first transformation, first meeting of the Autobots, etc.

Like I say, I've got expectations of a larger cast and faster-moving story after this arc -- which isn't a criticism of the current title, just that the average Transformers fan isn't necessarily going to have patience with the current formula past an intro. They won't make the transition from Stormbringer back to a title with the pace of Infiltration, so Escalation will necessarily be faster...

Commander Shockwav
2006-05-25, 12:43 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
the pacing of Infiltration seems deliberate, even if not warmly received in all quarters;


Well, in all honestly, whether patient or not, Infiltration has been at least a issue to an issue and a half unnecessary. I like the story, but some of the fat should have been cut out and replaced with story that actual moved things along.

Commander Shockwav
2006-06-17, 04:09 AM
May 2006 TF Sales Rankings in:

83 TRANSFORMERS INFILTRATION #5 estimation 25,650 copies

100 TRANSFORMERS BEAST WARS #4 estimation 21,327 copies

109 GI JOE VS TF VOL 3 ART O/WAR #3 estimation 19,520 copies

150 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS #3 estimation 13,091 copies

(estimation based on last months index figures by IDW)

Note the drop in sales of Generations with the price increase. If you run the numbers, you see that IDW likely lost money with this strategy. The price hike in sales X the number of units sold likely brought in less than the lower price X thousands of more copies sold. Might be better to drop the price back down, no?

Overall, though we don't have the final tally, pretty stable figures of all other TF titles, with the slow oozing of a thousand readers here and there.

Aardvark
2006-06-17, 08:21 AM
I don't need to point out the shortcomings of Rock and Roll Out, however it is considerably superior to Shooting Star. I doubt the price increase had much of an effect though I do imagine it left some readers questioning the value they're getting for their money.

I'm still pretty much baffled in regards to who's buying Generations let alone the sheer amount of sales.
I'd say a contributing factor to the fall in sales would be the stories that they've reprinted. For new readers, surely the horror of Shooting Star would be enough to put them off the comic entirely and skimming through RARO in the store would simply compound the horror even more so. Those who have read the comics but have been out of the Transformers loop for years probably won't be deterred from buying it due to the nostalgia factor and whatnot (Though for some, the horror of the two aforementioned comics may still be fresh in their minds)

I really can't see a strong, let alone viable market for this, but it's evidently there. Fans that still own the comics and/or have acquired the TPBs would have to be completests to buy either of the last two issues, given the dismal quality of them. Which leads me back to the value for money jive. I don't think a cover should be the only incentive for buying this comic - surely they could have added something to give it a little more of the "umph factor".

It will be interesting to see the sales for The Smelting Pool as it's a highly regarded and much loved issue (Though that statement is only based on reviews and opinions that I've read on the net, personally I think its a tad bit overrated)

inflatable dalek
2006-06-17, 10:45 AM
I just love how they block out the Marvel logo on the reproduction of the original cover on the first inside page- That's all I'm buying it for.

I also see there was only one new cover for []I]Plight of the Bumblebee[/I] (by the artist who does the "less bad" ones)- Cutbacks or did the "more bad" artist not have time this month?

Denyer
2006-06-17, 10:51 AM
Generations... yeah, and #3 sales are from retailers after they've received #1 and #2, which strongly suggests the things are actually selling. Maybe it was worth soliciting #7 after all.

Next point of interest will be what figure Stormbringer #1 debuts at.

edit: And the Evolutions book.

Aardvark
2006-06-17, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
Generations... yeah, and #3 sales are from retailers after they've received #1 and #2, which strongly suggests the things are actually selling. Maybe it was worth soliciting #7 after all.

Next point of interest will be what figure Stormbringer #1 debuts at.
Probably in or around the same as Infiltration #1. I suspect that most of the people buying Infiltration will be buying Stormbringer too and I'd a fair amount of those who did not find #1 of Infiltration to their liking and subsequently dropped the title will return for Stormbringer (As the all robot, all action type slogan seems to be trying to enthral them back to the series)

Fireflight
2006-06-17, 11:55 AM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
Note the drop in sales of Generations with the price increase. If you run the numbers, you see that IDW likely lost money with this strategy. The price hike in sales X the number of units sold likely brought in less than the lower price X thousands of more copies sold. Might be better to drop the price back down, no?
Doubt it, there'd have been another big drop even if the price hadn't increased, they're probably making more money this way.

Dalek, according to the solicitations there should have been two covers, but I have noticed IDW do appear to be cutting back on the cover budget for future Transformers releases, Stormbringer and Hearts of Steel both only have two covers, one of which uses sketch/concept art (presumably a lot cheaper than doing an original piece). Which suggests to me that they've been disappointed with sales for Infiltration.

I also wonder if the Shockwave one-shot being priced at $3.99 is a sign of thing to come (Denyer's question about that still hasn't been answered on IDW's boards) and with sales not levelling out there might come a time when they'll have to hike the price on the main titles.

Aardvark
2006-06-17, 12:03 PM
http://www.tfarchive.com/comics/covers/index.php?dir=IDW&gal=Generations

Commander Shockwav
2006-06-18, 03:10 AM
Originally posted by Aardvark
I'd a fair amount of those who did not find #1 of Infiltration to their liking and subsequently dropped the title will return for Stormbringer (

I hope you're right about this. Because if you're not, we are in trouble.

Aardvark
2006-06-18, 10:47 AM
Hopefully but I doubt it will bring in much "new" attention. Its far more crucial that the damn thing is good. If Stormbringer is a disaster I imagine sales for Escalation will be badly affected


Edit:;)

Denyer
2006-06-18, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Fireflight
IDW do appear to be cutting back on the cover budget
I'd hazard a guess it's more to do with deadlines and recently expanded operations -- as said since the beginning, it's more offering choice and opportunity to put some work the way of artists than an expectation people will be trying to buy up all the covers.

Would like an answer on the page count for one-shots, so I'll mail later... two of those at UK prices plus shipping is basically the cost of a trade paperback, so I don't in all honesty think they'll drag many fans along if that price is ever applied to regular series issues. And even the suggestion of a financial problem is sufficient to move buyers to trades (which people then forget to pick up) in the post-Dreamwave market. It'd be sensible to clarify things now...

Commander Shockwav
2006-06-19, 05:21 AM
http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/8855.html

Actual tally in:

May 2006 TF Sales Rankings in:

83 TRANSFORMERS INFILTRATION #5 27,264 copies sold (-1571 copies from last issue)

100 TRANSFORMERS BEAST WARS #4 22,590 copies sold (-1376 copies from last issue)

109 GI JOE VS TF VOL 3 ART O/WAR #3 20,612 copies sold (-774 copies sold from last issue)

150 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS #3 13,844 copies sold (-4874 copies from last issue)

Aardvark
2006-06-19, 09:25 AM
I wonder if the small fall in "The Art Of War" sales is due to the fact its sales were already comparatively smaller. Perhaps it's to do with its fan base; from what I can gather from various forums that I've skimmed through, it would appear to have a greater Joe following than Transformers.

Despite its shortcomings and hilariously bad art, it does have a certain mindless "fun factor" which Infiltration may be lacking.

Edit:;) Yes I fixed an ancient typo

Commander Shockwav
2006-07-17, 10:38 PM
June 2006 TF Comic Sales:

107 GI JOE VS TF ART O/WAR #4 (Of 5)* 18,772 copies sold
132 TF GENERATIONS (IDW) #4 12,986 copies sold
272 TF Generations (IDW) #3 1,592 copies sold

Denyer
2006-07-17, 11:12 PM
Cheers. I'll add 'em here (http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/schedule.php). I'm impressed Gen #3 qualified for follow-up sales.

Originally posted by Aardvark
it would appear to have a greater Joe following than Transformers. In theory it should be clawing sales from both fandoms, although DDP slid down the same curve of expiring nostalgia interest that DW did...

http://tfarchive.com/comics/dreamwave/guide/sales.php#ddp

(Assuming we can take it as a given DW G1 Vol. 3 was of superior quality to G1 Vol. 1, etc. and still haemorrhaged sales over the time period Vol. 2 was released. Which I think we can.)

Aardvark
2006-07-17, 11:32 PM
At any rate the Joe fans appear to be a lot more impressed by the crossover than their “bedfellows”.

Though there's only so much you can ascertain from lurking.

Commander Shockwav
2006-07-18, 01:03 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
Cheers. I'll add 'em here (http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/schedule.php). I'm impressed Gen #3 qualified for follow-up sales.

In theory it should be clawing sales from both fandoms, although DDP slid down the same curve of expiring nostalgia interest that DW did...

http://tfarchive.com/comics/dreamwave/guide/sales.php#ddp

(Assuming we can take it as a given DW G1 Vol. 3 was of superior quality to G1 Vol. 1, etc. and still haemorrhaged sales over the time period Vol. 2 was released. Which I think we can.)

This decline in sales of all things Transformers is scaring me.

I mean, should we be frightened?

As you say Stu, the G.I.Joe/TF title should be deriving their sales from two fandoms, yet the sales consistently drop with each issue.

I do notice, though, that of all the Transformers titles in the shops I go to, the G.I.Joe crossovers are the ones that remain on the shelves in bulk numbers.

Could it be that we have come to our senses and decided after this, what, fifth, installment that this crossover is no longer worth pursuing?

Denyer
2006-07-18, 01:18 AM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
I mean, should we be frightened? Not anytime soon. Partly because there's new exposure coming up, and partly because if sales steady in the 2x,000 range for main titles, Hasbro is likely to come to its senses in the couple of years after the movie for what the comics license is worth -- and IDW keeps their head respectably above water with a wide range of titles that don't sell as well as Transformers. The worst that's likely to happen is TFs being priced the same as all of their other books.

Depends whether you're most concerned about TFs being a big popular thing with the general public (or the comic-buying portion of it, at least) or with getting original stories in your hands each month. :)

What's really depressing is how few copies there are between most of the comics on those ICv2 lists. Only fifteen titles are around the 100,000 mark -- a tiny fraction of what used to be the case as we were growing up.

jhlucas
2006-07-18, 01:41 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
What's really depressing is how few copies there are between most of the comics on those ICv2 lists. Only fifteen titles are around the 100,000 mark -- a tiny fraction of what used to be the case as we were growing up.


Wasn't the advent of GUI Internet browsing and modern video game consoles a wonderful thing? I'm joking, of course. I love the 'Net and triple-A games, but I hate to see another medium like comics (and arguably movies) suffer as a result.
:(

Dead Man Wade
2006-07-18, 09:12 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
What's really depressing is how few copies there are between most of the comics on those ICv2 lists. Only fifteen titles are around the 100,000 mark -- a tiny fraction of what used to be the case as we were growing up.

For that matter, any book selling "only" 100,000 copies was cancelled immediately and labeled an absolute failure.

Commander Shockwav
2006-08-14, 09:10 PM
TF Sales in for July (Estimations based on ICV2 numbers last month)

88 TRANSFORMERS INFILTRATION #6
93 TRANSFORMERS STORMBRINGER #1
104 TRANSFORMERS EVOLUTIONS HEARTS O/STEEL #1
155 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS (IDW) #5

Cliffjumper
2006-08-14, 09:38 PM
I suspect more sales for SB#1 will be tacked onto that figure... didn't it only ship a week from the end of July?

All that said, I honestly wouldn't be shocked if there was a genuine drop-off, from people who didn't like Infiltration, weren't convinced SB would be better, but wanted a complete arc. And then there's IDW cutting alternate covers for SB down from the usual 20,000 to only a few hundred.

But, yeh, the first one.

Fireflight
2006-08-14, 10:44 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
I.....don't understand.

Discuss. :(
Simple, you've assumed the value of the index number (Index number is the percentage a title sold compared to Batman that month) in the June and July charts are the same, when due to the July issue of Batman selling alot more (being the first by Morrison and Kubert, plus there was at least one variant cover for it) they'll be wildly different, so you can't compare the two.

Easy way to guess sales is find a consistent seller (like Y: The Last Man) and compare it's index to that of the Transformers titles. Y tends to sell just under 26,000 and as its just above Infiltration #6 this month then that gives Infiltration and Stormbringer sales of around 25,000 each.

Stormbringer shipped in the penultimate week of July, though as it apparently sold out in it's first week there shouldn't be any more sales to come. Stormbringer's performance suggests to me that retailers are just treating it like a continuation of Infiltration, though the reasons Cliffjumper mentioned are no doubt are playing a part.

Denyer
2006-08-14, 11:36 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
I.....don't understand. I think we should wait for the actual figures (which'll be here (http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/1850.html) in a while, as I understand it) and probably for the month that contains reorders -- the issue sold out, and I doubt IDW would've only had printed the same number of copies as Infiltration #5 or #6 when they had retailer exclusives pitched at higher block orders and they know sales dip for the latter end of miniseries.

Hang on... as Fireflight's just managed to revive a few of the still-sparking neurons I have left...

Estimations based on ICV2 numbers last month
The estimates are based on chart position in relation to the top-seller, aren't they? Which would make these figures worse than wrong, into FUD territory.

Final figures should be the byword.

edit:

And I've just managed to reiterate what Fireflight put far better and more informatively. Excuse me, I'm tired and wish I was still drunk.

One question: where did these numbers come from? "Stormbringer" currently returns no hits on ICv2's site. And this (http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=transformers+18800+comics+sales&btnG=Search&meta=) is Google.

Originally posted by Fireflight
Simple, you've assumed the value of the index number (Index number is the percentage a title sold compared to Batman that month) in the June and July charts are the same These figures did come from a site, right?

edit:

http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=80277

And I'm still not following... how does Batman get an index of 109.3?

Commander Shockwav
2006-08-15, 12:49 AM
I went ahead and deleted the estimated figures based on ICV2 as some on other boards are saying this month is somehow skewed based on the performance of Batman this month.

I hope to they are right and I am wrong.

Denyer
2006-08-15, 01:17 AM
Not just performance... Newsarama cite Batman with a non-100 index, which either means the scale is wrong or they've switched to a different one.

http://www.newsarama.com/marketreport/july06sales.html

109.3 = BATMAN #655*
100.1 = UNCANNY X-MEN #475*

* * *

100 = BATMAN #654

http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/8989.html

100 = BATMAN #653

http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/8855.html

Commander Shockwav
2006-08-15, 01:20 AM
Yeah, I see that now.

Don't know what that means, aside from the fact I just made a total ass of myself on every other TF website and have every member of IDW out to kill me.

I mean 18,300 copies just didn't seem right.

Denyer
2006-08-15, 01:39 AM
To be fair, Newsarama and ComicBookResources have both published figures without checking them at all, assuming that "Batman is the 100 index" rule holds true. And someone at Diamond made the initial mistake of sending out the data in the first place.

But yeah, I like the ICv2 final figure data sets. They still don't include overseas sales, but they draw from more information.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-08-15, 04:14 AM
IDW....you were doing great at the $1.99 price point for Generations--GO BACK TO IT!!!

Really expected Stormbringer #1 to do a lot better sales wise. I take solice in the fact that it's the best thing EVER to come from IDW. It's pure brilliance! And it will draw in new fans eventually.

Even the really big comic-snob at my comic store said he really enjoyed it.

Denyer
2006-08-15, 04:23 AM
I think we'll see additional re-order figures in the 300 chart for Stormbringer, if the ranking bit is actually correct -- assuming reprinting to take more than a few days, that chronology would fit. Currently we don't know which parts of that list are correct or in the right ballpark area.

Haven't picked it up [print rare UK stuff, dammit] but didn't the price increase for Generations involve a card cover rather than a paper one? If so, that may have been due to retailer request; paper covers mark more easily.

Cliffjumper
2006-08-15, 12:36 PM
I've said it before, and it looks like I'll be saying it again for a good while yet... I have absolutely no idea what IDW are trying to do with Generations. The closest thing I've come up with for a rational reason for much of what they've reprinted is some insane idea that they're trying to make their own stuff look really good. Nothing else fits...

If they'd launched with the proper (i.e. none of that Yomtov toss) full-colour version of Man of Iron, across two issues, not only would they have had a decent solid opener and some decent sales, but also a storytelling approach that would have complemented Infiltration nicely. Wait, I can't believe I just dissed Man of Iron...

Commander Shockwav
2006-08-15, 02:04 PM
Actual numbers in. :) http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/9143.html


88 TRANSFORMERS INFILTRATION #6 25,303 copies
93 TRANSFORMERS STORMBRINGER #1 24,542 copies
104 TRANSFORMERS HEARTS O/STEEL #1 20,533 copies
155 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS #5 11,141 copies

Ahhhhhhh.


That's better. And Stormbringer is likely an underestimate, as August will include more reorders of #1 in all likelihood.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-08-15, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
Actual numbers in. :) http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/9143.html


88 TRANSFORMERS INFILTRATION #6 25,303 copies
93 TRANSFORMERS STORMBRINGER #1 24,542 copies
104 TRANSFORMERS HEARTS O/STEEL #1 20,533 copies
155 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS #5 11,141 copies


That's better. And Stormbringer is likely an underestimate, as August will include more reorders of #1 in all likelihood.

Not that I'm trying to be smart or anything, but wasn't everyone saying that with each story arc they would get a bump the first few issues? Am I missing something?

Commander Shockwav
2006-08-15, 03:42 PM
Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
Not that I'm trying to be smart or anything, but wasn't everyone saying that with each story arc they would get a bump the first few issues? Am I missing something?

I think before we make any final conclusions regarding Stormbringers performance that we should wait for August sales numbers.

I had estimated a performance of around 40,000 copies for Stormbringer #1. I think that will still be an overestimation.

I think it will sell more than Infiltration #6, but probably not by much.

So there will likely be a bump, albeit a small one.

Denyer
2006-08-15, 03:58 PM
Anyone who was on the fence would've waited for reviews, by which time the original stock had sold out. Reviews of #1... well, I haven't seen a non-favourable one so far, which should help a bit.

Cliffjumper
2006-08-15, 04:08 PM
G2 was hugely well-received.

No, I think this exposes what a stupid idea it is putting four issues between Infiltration and Escalation... SB is probably being treated as a side-story by much of Infiltration's readership. And a nice big V-sign (the non-Churchill version) to anyone who thought Infltration's storytelling was a step in the right direction - it shouldn't be forgotten that a fair chunk of Transformers fans find Furman's usual style clunky and melodramatic...

Denyer
2006-08-15, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
G2 was hugely well-received. By us, quite a while after the fact, certainly... what were contemporary responses like in '93? There were favourable letters page responses, but they're not exactly hard to come by.

Escalation is going to have to work at pulling people back to Earth, and with fewer slow-burning plotlines if the title is a series of minis. Having more characters active doing stuff is the biggest plus in terms of pace.

inflatable dalek
2006-08-15, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
No, I think this exposes what a stupid idea it is putting four issues between Infiltration and Escalation...

Agreed, reading SB I've no idea why it isn't numbered issue seven (Unless they're really serious about the whole "All arcs in the ongoing have to have titles ending in "Tion" thing...). As it stands I'm not sure if the big gap betwen the actual issues six and seven is going to help things sales wise.

Haven't picked it up [print rare UK stuff, dammit] but didn't the price increase for Generations involve a card cover rather than a paper one?

Covers for the recent issues have been the same as far as I can tell.

Cliffjumper
2006-08-15, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
By us, quite a while after the fact, certainly... what were contemporary responses like in '93? There were favourable letters page responses, but they're not exactly hard to come by.

Hmm, there's not really a lot more to judge on, and they were very positive, and often a lot more thoughtful than the bull**** DW/IDW print. I'd say it's about the best avaliable indicator, and anecdotal evidence suggests enthusiastic responses.

I really can't stress how much of a bad idea splitting the title up into minis is in my eyes. I mean, sure, call G1 #7 "Stormbringer - 1 of 4", but sadly I think the promotion and content have given the impression it's War Within IV - a bit of a fan-fest, loosely connected to the overall plot, but a bit skippable. I mean, we all think it's great, for sure, but then it seems to be actively aimed at fans.

Denyer
2006-08-15, 05:34 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
reading SB I've no idea why it isn't numbered issue seven
"we'll probably renumber from 1, since retailers have asked us for that"

Direct quote from an email in May.

Retailers don't like handling ongoings that don't have a big publisher attached. In the US (can't speak for more than the handful of UK stores I've been in, but we seem to be better in this respect) some retailers are DC/Marvel only, nothing else except maybe a Diamond Previews spotlighted title. Getting titles into a store for people to pick up is the first hurdle, so whilst the big two can afford to piss off retailers and work them with Civil War covers that Wizard presell of $180 (http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2006/07/31/when-a-sea-of-unsold-copies-are-good-for-retailers/)... everyone else responds to requests where possible.

(Should probably add that I'd prefer an ongoing as well, even though I know why it's not. I like the handling of 90s books such as Hitman, with "2 of 4" next to a big story title on the cover. Newsagent reprint books do the same in the UK.)

inflatable dalek
2006-08-15, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
"we'll probably renumber from 1, since retailers have asked us for that"


But the first part of Escalation is going to be number 7 isn't it? Or has that plan changed/never actually was as I was misinformed? Surely if retailers are put off by a number 7 published imediately after number 6 then they'll be even less interested in one published several months latter?

Denyer
2006-08-15, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
But the first part of Escalation is going to be number 7 isn't it? No. Stormbringer's marked 7 next to the barcode. I'm not just making sh*t up in the comics section (http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/)...

inflatable dalek
2006-08-15, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
No. Stormbringer's marked 7 next to the barcode. I'm not just making sh*t up in the comics section (http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/)...

Ah, I see somewhat. They're trying to have their cake and eat it.

Denyer
2006-08-15, 05:47 PM
They're trying to give the fans who wanted ongoing numbering ongoing numbering, which should at least make it clearer which story reads after which.

Ozz
2006-08-15, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
G2 was hugely well-received.

Aside question, is it true that issues of G2 sold around 200,000 copies? I think I read it somewhere, and while I know that comic books sold much better 20 years ago, it's still insanely big number.

inflatable dalek
2006-08-15, 05:56 PM
I recall reading (possibly in Cliffy's comic guide) that it initialy sold very well but sales drastically droped off due to delays/general lack of interest in the line.

Denyer
2006-08-15, 06:07 PM
Originally posted by Ozz
it's still insanely big number. Yeah. Unfortunately for an American comic at the time it doesn't seem to have been any great shakes after a few months and amidst lots of other stuff getting cancelled.

{Semi-related; can anyone dig up sales figures for the 60s/70s Lois Lane comic? I'm sure we've talked about this one before...}

Cliffjumper
2006-08-15, 06:51 PM
I've heard six-figure numbers quoted for G2 #1, certainly - but largely because of the Collector Whore mentality at the time - lots of people were still sitting on piles of early 1990s variant covers, having not found out yet they were effectively worthless. I did read somewhere that the foil-stamped cover was printed in very large numbers, and that sold out... But due to the market mentality at the time, I'd bet lots of people bought five of them (in contemporary Marvel comics, there are adverts actually offering bulk packs of 5-10 new #1 comics as an investment) and never read the thing, hoping to sell them on. Sales from then onwards must have been disastrous - I'm pretty sure Tokar said the book was effectively cancelled by about #6 or #7.

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-08-15, 06:51 PM
I still have high hopes that IDW can produce big numbers for Stormbringer and Infiltration/Escalation/Devastation. SB is obviously a step in the right direction--almost makes you wonder if it should have come first--and then had Infiltration follow. I think a lot more people "get" Infiltration now that they see the larger picture fleshed out more.

Really wish they'd change Generations' price back to $1.99 so it'd be a steady revenue stream for them to weather "bumps" in the sales cycle.

I've really been talking up Stormbringer at my comic book store in L.A. If we could just get a little promotion or a comic book store advertising display or something to get the word out maybe it'd lift sales--and become more of a top-shelf item instead of getting lonely on the bottom rack in the back of the store.

Cliffjumper
2006-08-15, 06:53 PM
Well, as long as IDW don't stupidly overprint or do anything else daft, I think we can all agree the sales figures are fairly healthy and consistent... the title's in no real danger of cancellation, which is a plus. Stormbringer's done well to be close to/just ahead of Infiltration, all things considered. It's got to be remembered that a new arc is as much an opportunity to draw a line as to start again (I'm hugely skeptical as to how many people would pick up, say, Infiltration #4, think "Wow, this is pretty great. But I'll wait three months for a new storyline, what with back issues being so insanely hard to find and all").

Denyer
2006-08-15, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
Really wish they'd change Generations' price back to $1.99 so it'd be a steady revenue stream for them to weather "bumps" in the sales cycle.
IDW should kill it at 12 and replace it with a Generations UK title, in my opinion -- even if it doesn't contain any unreprinted stuff, there's more for collectors in the UK material.

Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
If we could just get a little promotion or a comic book store advertising display or something to get the word out maybe it'd lift sales--and become more of a top-shelf item instead of getting lonely on the bottom rack in the back of the store. Stormbringer posters have been sent to most places (I got one off eBay from a retailer who sells online and wouldn't be using it; it's a big version of the ad that ran in the comics) -- it's more likely that the store simply doesn't want to promote TF stuff. Civil War, for example, is currently very lucrative.

(And unless you're particularly friendly with the store staff, you probably won't get a straight answer out of them. Too many in my experience routinely lie to customers -- especially about stuff "not shipping / it didn't turn up" (="we ordered low, or not at all") -- or point them towards what titles they've ordered in the most of and will struggle to shift.)

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-08-15, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
IDW should kill it at 12 and replace it with a Generations UK title, in my opinion -- even if it doesn't contain any unreprinted stuff, there's more for collectors in the UK material.

Well the "Generations" line from what I understand never specifically said it was a US 80's line. I remember reading it was a best of TF comics line--which I imagine could include the UK stories.

Originally posted by Denyer
Stormbringer posters have been sent to most places (I got one off eBay from a retailer who sells online and wouldn't be using it; it's a big version of the ad that ran in the comics) -- it's more likely that the store simply doesn't want to promote TF stuff. Civil War, for example, is currently very lucrative.

See that's a problem--if they don't even put up the promotional stuff.

Originally posted by Denyer
(And unless you're particularly friendly with the store staff, you probably won't get a straight answer out of them. Too many in my experience routinely lie to customers -- especially about stuff "not shipping / it didn't turn up" (="we ordered low, or not at all") -- or point them towards what titles they've ordered in the most of and will struggle to shift.)

I hear horror stories of "bad comic stores" all of the time. I guess I'm pretty lucky. My local store is really cool, great staff, and the owner is a really nice guy. (Comic Inc. in Culver City, CA) They've really helped me get into comics (and not just TF stuff) by pointing out things they think I'd like and helping me "catch-up" on continuity and things like that.

Denyer
2006-08-15, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
Well the "Generations" line from what I understand never specifically said it was a US 80's line. Oh, it isn't. I just think it'd be sensible to highlight the change.

jhlucas
2006-08-15, 11:01 PM
Originally posted by Ford DeceptiFocus
I hear horror stories of "bad comic stores" all of the time. I guess I'm pretty lucky. My local store is really cool, great staff, and the owner is a really nice guy. (Comic Inc. in Culver City, CA) They've really helped me get into comics (and not just TF stuff) by pointing out things they think I'd like and helping me "catch-up" on continuity and things like that.

I have to drive 2 hours to the nearsest comic shop. In fact, there are two shops almost side by side there (one's excellent, the other is run by a near psychotic maniac--no joke!). Anyway, 6 years ago there was a great shop just up the road from me, but the owners sold out and moved on to better things.

Comics is not an easy hobby to support in rural Mississippi. :wall: :(

I'm glad to see the earlier numbers for Stormbringer and Infiltration were incorrect. So far (I know it's early to say with only 1 issue out), Stormbringer makes Infiltration seem a lot like...well, filler .

I hope Su and Furman step things up in Escalation!

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-13, 03:25 AM
Somebody asked how Dark Horse could survive with a license as big as Star Wars, and IDW potentially struggle with the TF license, which should cost less, one would think.

Looking at the sales figures from ICV2 for BOTH comics and trades from last month, here is how both companies performed:

Dark Horse about $800,000 worth of sales for July
IDW about $437,000 worth of sales for July

So Dark Horse had nearly doubled the revenue as IDW. I didn't realize Dark Horse performed so well with the Star Wars TPB's, but they really do quite well with those.

That was with the 2.99 price tag on IDW's TF books. Going up to 3.99 will add an extra dollar, which would have added around $70,000 extra buckaroos. Still vastly underperforming in comparison to Dark Horse though.

Denyer
2006-09-13, 11:00 AM
Like Image "underperforms" in comparison to Marvel. Different-sized companies, different scale of operation. And you're having a laugh if you expect TFs to outsell Star Wars in any respect -- maybe in ten years, unless Lucas comes up with a big new thing. Right now the comics are pretty much the only major fiction for that series and fans have turned their attentions to it. TFs has series, movies, toys, reprints and other things competing for dollar.
which should cost lessYou'd also expect Hasbro wouldn't have a long list of restrictions on what advertisers they'd allow in a comic licensed from their properties.

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-13, 12:40 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Like Image "underperforms" in comparison to Marvel. Different-sized companies, different scale of operation.

Are we sure that there really is that big a difference in scale of operations between the two?


TFs has series, movies, toys, reprints and other things competing for dollar.

So does Star Wars, probably more so.

Star Wars also has toys, but more importantly, novels. Star Wars novels likely catch a good deal of the SW dollar. And right now, the Star Wars DVDs are being rereleased (sigh). Add to that posters and other paraphanelia that SW fans go gaga over, like that monthly Star Wars magazine that comes out (the name escapes me). Oh, and how could I forget the new Lego Star Wars II video game.

I hate to be negative, but I'm going to anyway. If Hasbro doesn't adjust the cost of their license to IDW, it will no longer be in IDW's interest to have a TF comic, and likely, it will find the same end it has the past three attempts to keep one going.

I think if fans want their TF comics, then we probably should become less demanding on IDW. Stop asking for such and such writer, or artist. Unless its a cheaper option. IDW may need to go with Simon, Don, and Josh, and leave it at that. Unless, like I said, it doesn't make a difference costwise.

T.V.
2006-09-13, 06:49 PM
Seeing the comparison figure between Darkhorse and IDW, I'm waiting to see what the TF:Infitration and onwards TPBs will add to the total figure.

Dark Horse already has TPBs out, while IDW has not.

Also, Star Wars is IMO a vastly more reckognized and popular brandname than Transformers is.
For one, it doesn't have so many itterations and was primarely intended for a mainstream cinema audience, while TF has their origin as a kids show and comic.

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-13, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by T.V.
Seeing the comparison figure between Darkhorse and IDW, I'm waiting to see what the TF:Infitration and onwards TPBs will add to the total figure.

Dark Horse already has TPBs out, while IDW has not.

Also, Star Wars is IMO a vastly more reckognized and popular brandname than Transformers is.
For one, it doesn't have so many itterations and was primarely intended for a mainstream cinema audience, while TF has their origin as a kids show and comic.

Hence, the cost of the Star Wars license must be higher than Transformers. Running the figures, Dark Horse is financially generating more revenue though.

Neuronutter
2006-09-14, 02:28 PM
Does anyone know if there any stats for the sales of the Beast Wars TPB yet? How well do TPBs usually sell relative to the comics? My local FPI had loads of copies of the TPB, priced way too high, but they seem to have shifted well. How well do Publishers do from these sales compared to the monthlies and do they see an increase in sales of Monthlies as a knock on from the TPBs?

Denyer
2006-09-14, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
Are we sure that there really is that big a difference in scale of operations between the two?
As far as I'm aware, Dark Horse has a bigger roster of ongoing properties -- including a lot of manga. As someone else mentioned, DH also already has SW story arcs complete and TPBs in print (and plenty of their own material, not putting out those of a previous company. I recall reading about SW comics when I was in college, so they've had the license for some time.)

Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
Star Wars also has toys, but more importantly, novels. Star Wars novels likely catch a good deal of the SW dollar.
It's a franchise many times the size of Transformers, with a much larger degree of cross-generational appeal and distinct demographics. (Sidenote: I'd lay you good odds that Transformers couldn't support a line of novels in the same way and to the same extent as SW, even if the people who patched together the three existing official full-lengthers were replaced with competent writers.)

A percent of adult SW fans buying SW comics is a lot more than a percent of adult TF fans buying TF comics. Additionally, books and comics are the way the fiction continues, and from what people I know who read them have said there's a fairly tight continuity. With TFs, the primary current fiction is whatever supports the latest main product line, and there's a great deal of subdivision: 'G1', BW, UT, separate comic/show timelines, etc. It's a process of constant fragmentation designed to keep successive series distinct and get people buying the toys. The "point" of SW for its right-holders is the fiction and merchandising. The "point" of Transformers for Hasbro is simply the toys.

Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
the cost of the Star Wars license must be higher than Transformers.I'd expect it to be, but then I'd expect a license such as 24 with millions more adult eyeballs on it than TFs to as well. I don't think the reality necessarily matches up with what's intuitive.

Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
If Hasbro doesn't adjust the cost of their license to IDW, it will no longer be in IDW's interest to have a TF comicPossibly. Look at it another way, though -- IDW's first priority is to pay off the initial one-off cost of the license; the more rapidly they can do that, the more secure their cashflow and the more likely the license will have a long future with them.

I think it's very likely artists/colourists will be on a standard per-page rate, and Simon probably gets a consultation sum (for promo material, etc) as well as a per-page/per-book rate. Trialling different artists is one flexibility the company does have.

Originally posted by Neuronutter
Does anyone know if there any stats for the sales of the Beast Wars TPB yet?Sales through speciality comics shops aren't very useful -- as far as I'm aware, they don't include either online stores such as Amazon or brick-and-mortar bookstores. Speaking personally, I've only ever bought a couple of trades from comic stores, because they're significantly more expensive on a lot of stuff than Amazon.

DC has a long history of supporting books as singles (particularly in the Vertigo line) that they recoup cost/profit from as trades. Their demographics generally don't buy cape books, and don't even tend to frequent comics stores -- walking into B&N/Waterstones/etc or ordering online is much more common.

TFs attract a lot of fans that buy cape books, but anecdotally there's a sizeable minority that only tend to buy TFs and no other type of singles. I'm one of them; I much prefer trades, but I buy TFs as singles for the conversation.

Cliffjumper
2006-09-14, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Sidenote: I'd lay you good odds that Transformers couldn't support a line of novels in the same way and to the same extent as SW, even if the people who patched together the three existing official full-lengthers were replaced with competent writers.

I'd say the lack of Hardwired and those other two being continued is actual solid proof... from what I gather from talking to a few SW fans who aren't mad completist bastards, lots of the novels are very poor and written by hacks of a similar level to Ciencin - jobbing franchise types, basically - the Star Wars hardcore fandom is big enough to basically keep lots of these books (NOTE TO ANY INDIGNANT AND VERY STUPID SW FANS - I'M NOT SAYING ALL THE BOOKS ARE CRAP OR ANYTHING), whereas hardcore Transformers fans couldn't keep one series going... I mean, SW fandom have managed to support series based around an obscure comedy-named plank like Biggs Darklighter; could Transformers do the same for, I dunno, Overdrive?

If the fandom was big enough, the poor quality of the three official novels wouldn't have stopped them from continuing.

That said, I'm not sure how much trades will supplement IDW's issue sales... the figures quoted on the site for DW really aren't especially impressive. I know TPB sales are cumulative rather than "mainly within a month", but I just don't think hardly anyone who owns the issues will be buying them in that form, and can't see the readership growing enough to generate a significant number of people going back and buying previous trades. Paper quality of original issues is so good (and most people look after their comics so well nowadays) that many people won't be fussed about the advantages of TPBs over issues, and it could well be very easy to track down reduced back issues and save a bomb over the TPB cover price (which I would guess happened a lot with the DW stuff).

Denyer
2006-09-14, 10:12 PM
Happened -- I got a few MTMTE issues for a quid apiece at a convention and made a decent profit on eBay later -- but prices for early DW issues have crept back up from what I've seen.

A main market for trades is people who weren't prepared to lay down for another comics series sight-unseen after what happened with DW. Infiltration's likely to look a bit more attractive with the way the continuity ties together, the trades will have supplanted Titan reprints on bookstore shelves when Transformers is a big name next year -- not a huge boost but some, and there's some interesting speculation with the small-size B&W volumes -- I'm really curious how they'll do over the course of, say, a year.

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-16, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by Denyer

A main market for trades is people who weren't prepared to lay down for another comics series sight-unseen after what happened with DW. Infiltration's likely to look a bit more attractive with the way the continuity ties together, the trades will have supplanted Titan reprints on bookstore shelves when Transformers is a big name next year -- not a huge boost but some, and there's some interesting speculation with the small-size B&W volumes -- I'm really curious how they'll do over the course of, say, a year.

Well, now that the trade for Infiltration is out (which I can't seem to find as my comic guy didn't order any), it will be interesting to see where it places in Septembers Top 100 TPB's list.

Incidentally, does anyone know if IDW generates revenue from any other venture aside from comic and TPB publishing?

Cliffjumper
2006-09-16, 06:23 PM
From what I can gather, any real Transformer fan just sends them money for existing ;)

Posted by the Denyer, a bit up

A main market for trades is people who weren't prepared to lay down for another comics series sight-unseen after what happened with DW. Infiltration's likely to look a bit more attractive with the way the continuity ties together

Genuine befuddlement here... Are you saying someone's going to be more willing to pay £15 to sample a story than £2 for a smaller sample? I can think of very, very few things I've done this for (erm, Watchmen and V for Vendetta is the list) and I don't see the logic applying for something that received as lukewarm a reception as Infiltration did (it'll get the Prime Directive treatment given a year, mark my words...).

As for the continuity tying together, surely there's just as much potential for the IDW continuity to come apart from the seems after 20~ issues - on top of which, I'm not sure how many problems the more casual fan would have with the DW continuity either. Or are you talking about Inactivation, Stormbringer, Escalation, the spotlight books etc. will be easier to market as one continuity than the DW stuff that shared a continuity (G1, War Within)?

Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

Denyer
2006-09-16, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Or have I got the wrong end of the stick? Mostly. I'm saying that people will wait until they can stroll along to Amazon (or other convenient place) and read reviews, with the added bonus that trades for a six/seven issue story are cheaper than the issues.

it'll get the Prime Directive treatment given a yearBy not including wall-to-wall stupidity, it's probably side-stepped that.

Those who've read Stormbringer have a few additional handles on Infiltration as it's the same timeline; those who've picked up Stormbringer on the strength of reviews it's received will probably ultimately pick up Infiltration, particularly if they find they like Escalation. It fits into place and makes more sense as more material ties into it.

It's possible that the DW ongoing spurred a few people to pick up TWW with McDonough's unheralded flashbacks, but I think it less likely -- there wasn't any particular effort by Pat's company to tie things together until the Datatracks Annual, which never got published.

Cliffjumper
2006-09-16, 08:19 PM
RE: Prime Directive comparison... I'm not talking so much the quality of it, I mean more the reception... Lots of people were so damned pleased Vol. 1 even existed (if you read a lot of the contemporary threads, the negative views were very much in the minority, and several of the defence team have since made a habit of slagging the thing off, without wanting to name any names), they gave it an easy ride, before slagging it off when later material came along, and I think with some people the same will happen with Infiltration, and if Escalation's any good, Infiltration's going to be held up to show how much it's improved, even though the same people were lauding it first time around.

But I get what you're saying about the TPBs now. I mean, there must be only a fistful of sites even attempting to review Infiltration as it comes out (and that's probably even counting "efforts" like my cross-posting antics), and even if there were I'm not sure how many more casual fans would accept Transformers site reviews as much of a barometer - without wanting to suggest TF site reviews are lacking, let's just say that if I wanted to find out which Star Trek film to buy on DVD, I wouldn't check out a Star Trek fan site to find which one.

I'd argue with cheaper, though - that's only on cover, and many shops reduce back issues after only a few months - even then, it's usually a matter of a bit of change. And lots of trades have bonus features along the lines of "foreword from some guy who has nothing to do with the material inside" too - have IDW announced anything particularly spiffy for the Infiltration TPB? Anything that's going to appeal beyond the converted?

That said, IDW have the distinct advantage of being able to number the "G1" TPBs, as they follow linearly along...

I think I get it now, but I'm afraid I just can't see trades being a massive help :) Thankfully, IDW seem to be doing alright on single-issue sales as long as there's no drastic drop in sales. I just don't think, even with the movie (a discussion we've all had many times elsewhere), this book is ever going to be a smash, but then it doesn't need to be - I doubt the Marvel book made many waves sales-wise after the first mini, and that ran for 80 issues, probably with a smaller "hardcore" fanbase to boot (and without any significant overseas sales). I know circumstances are different and the license is probably much more, but IDW have experience with this sort of thing.

Denyer
2006-09-16, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
if Escalation's any good, Infiltration's going to be held up to show how much it's improvedNot personally, because I've cottoned on to the the fact "different" and "better" mean different things. The parts of Inf that excited me probably weren't the things that excited other people, though. The parts that pissed me off most were the production values.

I'd agree some people will render comparisons of the form "this one has gun battles in it and Megatron is in lots too and they hold a race to see which Prime is real like I remember". That's fair enough -- most classics are routinely outsold by Harry Potter, and the average joe reviewing both would likely claim the latter is objectively better.

In the same way I take Ben Yee's reviews with a bit of salt because he's so goddamn nice, people probably take some of mine in a similar manner for running counter to their opinion.

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
if I wanted to find out which Star Trek film to buy on DVD, I wouldn't check out a Star Trek fan site to find which one.I'd wait until I'd seen them, personally -- but for stuff where this isn't possible, I generally google (getting specific film sites) and cross-reference with Amazon. The former tend to be more biased, the latter more ill-informed. Consistently high ratings tend to indicate something decent, though friend reviews still count higher.

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
many shops reduce back issues after only a few monthsStores actively keeping back issues on-site seems to be an increasingly rare situation.

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
have IDW announced anything particularly spiffy for the Infiltration TPB? Anything that's going to appeal beyond the converted?Haven't seen any announcement of contents for any of them. Page counts suggest some production material.

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
That said, IDW have the distinct advantage of being able to number the "G1" TPBsYes. Separate series may be good for retailers, but it's confusion for readers.

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I think I get it now, but I'm afraid I just can't see trades being a massive helpTaking a quick glance along the shelf nearest to me: Invincible, Planetary, LoEF, Fables, StormWatch, Authority, Sandman, Transmet, GenX -- I've never bought any of those as singles, and the largest reason is that I wasn't around for issue one. Once someone's bought a trade of something, the probability is that they'll stick to trades for that title in future. Walking into the nearest comic store to me -- there are floor-to-ceiling shelves of trades upstairs, and a smattering of issues going back a month or two downstairs. It generally isn't possible to easily lay hands on the start of a six-issue series in a store if you aren't there from the beginning.

I honestly think that with an aging comics-buying population, for many series the singles (and scans of singles, for the slightly more tech-savvy) function as adverts for the trades, for a lot of customers. More than a few comics professionals seem to have arrived at the same conclusion -- in fact, at the smallest publisher end of the scale, producers such as the Foglios have quit singles altogether in favour of online publishing and TPB collections. Trades being available is also a vital situation for readers coming to a title a few issues into the run, since most people don't actively hunt for back issues. (Partly a behavioural change -- they expect trades now.)

Singles will probably always have a future of some kind, but at the very least there's now a major division of publisher income between the formats on a lot of titles.

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-17, 03:11 AM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Or are you talking about Inactivation

:laugh:


Thankfully, IDW seem to be doing alright on single-issue sales as long as there's no drastic drop in sales. I just don't think, even with the movie (a discussion we've all had many times elsewhere), this book is ever going to be a smash, but then it doesn't need to be

Except I think Hasbro's perspective on Transformers is that it IS a smash hit, and sales should reflect that. Likely, the cost of their license does too.

This price hike by IDW doesn't bode well, IMO. Others can say it's status quo for IDW to charge that much, but it ain't going to fly with the fickle TF fanbase. I trust that IDW knows what they are doing, but let's pray this is the end of such aggressive adjustments.

Why do I have concerns?

First sign: Decreasing sales. Stormbringer #1 should outsell Infiltration #6 by a mile. Hopefully, the reorders will show this. If not.....

Second sign: Price hike. Something that strikes me as a somewhat desperate move, but probably a necessary one. Chris Ryall himself has said that if we want our TF comics, it is a necessary move.

But who here thinks this "necessary move' will be the right move?

Given the character of IDW, I don't see the other signs coming to pass. Namely, unpaid or late paid employees. IDW ain't DW, that much is certain. If the TF comic is on tenuous ground, IDW will let us know about it.

IDW has done the best they can. My finger is pointed squarely at Hasbro if they aren't fair with IDW regarding the licensure costs.

It will be my middle finger.

Denyer
2006-09-18, 10:59 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
Stormbringer #1 should outsell Infiltration #6 by a mile. It won't be a mile. Hopefully will be some.

Don't think the pricing reflects desperation, per se, but I doubt very much that IDW intend to be (or will be) paying off an initial downpayment past the point projected in the business plan. They might like a joke as much as anyone, but they're professionals rather than trying to make it all up as they go along and getting distracted by shiny cars...

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-18, 11:45 PM
Sales rank in for August. And yes, I'm daring to give sales ESTIMATES based on last months ICV2 numbers:

104 TRANSFORMERS STORMBRINGER #2 24,000 copies
114 TRANSFORMERS EVOLUTIONS HEARTS O/STEEL #2 22,000 copies
116 G.I.JOE VS TRANSFORMERS VOL 3 ART O/WAR #5 (Of 5) 21,500 copes
120 TRANSFORMERS EVOLUTION HEARTS O/STEEL #3 20,200 copies
160 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS #6 12,100 copies
257 TRANSFORMERS INFILTRATION COVER GALLERY 3,200 copies


Not a single title in the top 100.

And no increased sales from reorders from Stormbringer #1 in the top 300.

Denyer
2006-09-19, 12:09 AM
What was the estimate for the 300th title?

The market in general has a block of titles on an upswing if 24,000 doesn't enter the top hundred. For the last three "confirmed" months, that spot was 94/95, 89/90, 92/93.

Hearts of Steel has done okay on the basis of those estimates, outselling #1 with #2. Generations would also have risen slightly.

edit:

The general settling at ~20K for original non-main books suggests that the best way to increase overall sales might be to offer more titles per month, ideally core continuity. The spotlights should be a good thing as long as they're consistently as attractive to readers as the Shockwave one.

Which I still haven't got thanks to my store's order (~100 copies) being erased by Diamond rather than their data-entry gimp query a number on the order form.

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-19, 01:00 AM
Originally posted by Denyer

The general settling at ~20K for original non-main books suggests that the best way to increase overall sales might be to offer more titles per month, ideally core continuity. The spotlights should be a good thing as long as they're consistently as attractive to readers as the Shockwave one.

Ah yes, the Dreamwave 'saturate the market' strategy. I have been proposing this since day one, but most were thinking this would be a bad thing. The more TF titles, the better IMO, as long as expenses can be minimized (don't overprint, don't hire too many writers, artists, etc

Which I still haven't got thanks to my store's order (~100 copies) being erased by Diamond rather than their data-entry gimp query a number on the order form.

Dude, that sucks. :wall:

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-19, 01:05 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
What was the estimate for the 300th title?


Well, the 300th title last month sold 1,681 copies.

The 300th title this month, with the same estimate method, would place it at last months 273 ranked position.

Denyer
2006-09-19, 01:14 AM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
Ah yes, the Dreamwave 'saturate the market' strategy.Not really saturation -- we've gone from "one main, one out-of-continuity" to "two main, one out-of-continuity" starting up this month, which seems a good ratio and one I'd be keen to see maintained; ~40 pages a month of story.

Broadening the appeal of Generations would be a good move; I can only suppose that the main reason for US stories first as a block is because the title wouldn't transition very well from UK-->US, but vice versa is more do-able.

Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
as long as expenses can be minimized (don't overprint, don't hire too many writers, artists, etcI think only Furman's on a retainer, so overhiring shouldn't be a factor. IDW don't seem inclined to overprint and get stuck sitting on stock.

300<-->273 is a pretty big swing.

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-19, 01:15 AM
oops, double post

Fireflight
2006-09-19, 09:18 AM
Estimates look high again (There's no way Hearts of Steel has increased it sales on the second issue), I doubt Stormbringer will be higher that 21,000.

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-20, 03:27 PM
104 TRANSFORMERS STORMBRINGER #2: 20,415
114 TRANSFORMERS HOS #2: 18,573
116 GI JOE/TF ART of War #5: 18,208
120 TRANSFORMERS HOS #3: 17,085
160 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS #6: 10,203

I think these figures might be telling of something.

I'm starting to believe that there actually were nonTF fans buying Infiltration. It outperformed any of the "fanboy" titles like Stormbringer or Hearts of Steel. That last Infiltration issue actually outsold Stormbringer #1. Huh.

I hope the strategy of raising the price to $3.99 doesn't kill the TF comic. My fear is that move could be the nail in the coffin.....again.

Licensur....er, licensing costs. That's the real issue.

IDW should meet with Hasbro to discuss lowering these costs.

I really feel its our only hope of having this sucker last beyond two to three years.

Another frustrating thing is to see Conan, for example, consistently sell 30,000 copies month in and month out. Red Sonja as well.

I mean, hell man, there has to be more TF fans out there then Conan, surely?

Denyer
2006-09-20, 03:45 PM
Invincible's an excellent title (the only cape book I really follow at all) that doesn't sell singles strongly by comparison with a lot of books -- but I'd guess a lot of buyers are, like me, picking it up in trades. Really huge nice hardback trades.
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
That last Infiltration issue actually outsold Stormbringer #1. Maybe. There's variance of 1500-2000 copies due to the cut-off; it has to be a slow month (eg, June, when 1592 registered for Generations #3) for reorders to show up.

I don't think that minis help for a main storyline; but if they have to run minis to get stores to stock the books in the first place, a company is over a barrel.

Taking a break between Infiltration and Escalation for Stormbringer probably won't help the casual buyer, who sees the story they were picking up disappear for four months. On the plus side, it's explained in the back of the issue with the concluding part of Infiltration.

Trade paperback sales are going to be important, and there's no way of tracking them because most are made through bookstores and online.

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-20, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by Denyer

Trade paperback sales are going to be important, and there's no way of tracking them because most are made through bookstores and online.

Well, I can tell you one thing.

I've never seen a Transformers TPB break Diamond's Top 100 list.

I've seen four or five Dark Horse Star Wars TPB's in the top 100 selling at $17.99 a pop everytime though.

Denyer
2006-09-20, 07:15 PM
This illustrates that SW fans buy trades from comics shops. But not a lot else.

Cliffjumper
2006-09-20, 07:59 PM
I seriously think at this stage a large number of fans are buying IDW single isssues simply so they can be involed with discussion , and thuis won;'t buy the TPBs becuase they like alreadyhave the stuff (apart from the mad comepxoletisy bastards, the3y by all kinds of junk) so I reckon the TPBs will probaly start off selling alrgely to more casual fans - which for something that cpsts sort of 415 wion't be many. Who knows, thourhg, maybe ti might changeonce we've gotten past the novelty state of new transformers comics aww hell I got outbif on that combinator thing oasses. I also think series like Hearts of Steel and Beast Wars mgith do alrioght on TPBS furyther down the line, as fans were a bit more trepiditious (is that even a word? I mean really, wat the Hell am I on about) about selling out, concentrating more in filtintration.

Sorry, reedit when sober, drunk serious discusion confusion, preceding most may e bollockksk.

Denyer
2006-09-21, 12:31 AM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
I seriously think at this stage a large number of fans are buying IDW single isssues simply so they can be involed with discussion
That's a hundred or so people buying a hell of lot of duplicate issues each.

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-21, 02:07 AM
And that's one ****ed up post by the drunkard.

Cliffjumper
2006-09-21, 01:17 PM
I'll retype when I work out what the Hell was going on in my head at the time. I think the gist was.... Well, maybe we should just leave whatever I was on about well alone :(

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-24, 04:47 AM
Here are DW numbers at the end:
74 TRANSFORMERS GENERATION 1 VOL 3 #10 29,682 copies
100 TRANSFORMERS WAR WITHIN VOL 3 #3 22,928 copies
134 TRANSFORMERS ENERGON #30 16,777 copies

Compare to IDW figures now:
104 TRANSFORMERS STORMBRINGER #2: 20,415
114 TRANSFORMERS HOS #2: 18,573
120 TRANSFORMERS HOS #3: 17,085
160 TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS #6: 10,203

IDW sales will have to improve to meet the costs of the license. DW had three titles at the end, outperforming four of IDW's saleswise. Personally, I feel its not IDW''s fault, as the whole DW fiasco left a bad taste in TF fans mouths. They weren't willing to get bitten twice, so many just passed IDW by.

To deal with this, Hasbro needs to understand the situation better , and lower the cost of the license.

Cliffjumper
2006-09-24, 08:13 AM
Thing is, we don't know whether IDW's business plan takes those sort of sales into account, or even whether Hasbro have dropped the price of the licence. We don't know how many unsold DW issues were contributing to their losses.

I'd say the way DW were run was a contributing factor to their bankruptcy (they had hardly any other titles anyone bought to absorb any losses, plus I expect they were being served with writs and winding down orders), and I'd bet the cost of running Generations is minimal - small royalty payment to those who wrote the original comics (possibly even just a percentage, cover commission, printing costs (probably for a relatively small run) and that's probably about it - I seriously don't think IDW would have started the title if it wasn' quids-in big time. Hell, it might even make enough to absorb some theoretical losses on other titles.

Commander Shockwav
2006-09-24, 03:44 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
[B]Thing is, we don't know whether IDW's business plan takes those sort of sales into account, or even whether Hasbro have dropped the price of the licence. We don't know how many unsold DW issues were contributing to their losses.

I'd say the way DW were run was a contributing factor to their bankruptcy

True, we don't know what deal IDW has with Hasbro.

But I think the raising of the comic price is a bit telling, as is Ryall's admission that if we are to continue publishing TF comics, such a price hike is necessary.

I read that as being a last ditch effort to make having the TF license worth it.

Hope I'm wrong.

Commander Shockwav
2006-10-14, 09:40 PM
September TF sales rankings in.

109 Stormbringer #3
113 Shockwave Spotlight
117 TF Evolutions: Hearts of Steel #4
152 TF Generations #7


TPB Rank

57 TF/GIJoe Art of War Crossover
60 TF Infiltration


If we take last months ICV2 figures, we get some estimations.......uh......I'll pass this time.

But it likely comes out to around between 60 and 70 thousand copies for the four titles together. :eyebrow:

Ford DeceptiFocus
2006-10-14, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
Ah yes, the Dreamwave 'saturate the market' strategy.

I don't think this is any different the DC having 20-25+ books feeding into one continuity. I just started reading DC stuff (well actually comics as a whole) this summer...and was rather surprised that I had to buy so many books just to know what the heck was going on. Like one Batman book had like 8 individiaul comics feeding into one story. Makes the story move along more quickly, but at the same time, without a chronilogical timeline, can make things confusing.

Denyer
2006-10-15, 01:28 AM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
TPB Rank

57 TF/GIJoe Art of War Crossover
60 TF Infiltration
Do those usually come with sales estimates later on, like the singles? On the one hand, TPB sales can't be tracked accurately (Amazon, Borders, and other bookstores don't get stock through Diamond) but it certainly wouldn't be unwelcome to see them sticking around in the Diamond chart.

Commander Shockwav
2006-10-15, 02:16 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
Do those usually come with sales estimates later on, like the singles?

Yes, they do.

inflatable dalek
2006-10-15, 06:49 PM
Inflitration got pawned buy the Art of War... Oh the humanity.

Cliffjumper
2006-10-15, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Inflitration got pawned buy the Art of War... Oh the humanity.

No doubt PLIDWC did it on purpose for the fans or something, probably involving not buying more than one Porsche to ship the TPBs and having to detour to give the petty cash to a busking Guido Guidi.

inflatable dalek
2006-10-16, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
probably involving not buying more than one Porsche

Can any comic company get by with just one Porsche in this day and age?

Oh, and for the person (Cliffy?) who was asking about extra's in the trades I had a flick through Inflitration and Beast Wars in the Forbiden Planet in Brum and all you get in a new intro by Furman- Which is so stock Furman Cliffy could have written it as a spoof- a cover gallery and a few charecter scetches. Nothing to blow anyones skirt up.

Commander Shockwav
2006-10-17, 12:31 PM
Final tally

September TF sales rankings in.

109 Stormbringer #3 18,792 copies
113 Shockwave Spotlight 16,865 copies
117 TF Evolutions: Hearts of Steel #4 15,659 copies
152 TF Generations #7 9,455 copies


TPB Rank

57 TF/GIJoe Art of War Crossover 1,517 copies
60 TF Infiltration 1,398 copies

Nothing TF broke 20,000????

Enjoy the comic while you can, folks.

Denyer
2006-10-17, 04:22 PM
I am. Several things...

a) None of the titles that are already underway miniseries will be expected to gain on their previous issues. Hearts of Steel and Stormbringer are both at expected points based on #2 and #3 of those series respectively.

b) The only title there that could've broken 20K was the Shockwave, and the spotlights won't be heavily ordered because they aren't considered a main series. It's unfortunately possible that this also happened with Stormbringer. Escalation should be looking to make up some ground -- the only worry is the cover price.

c) If sales successfully transition to trades, I'd say things will be safe as long as the singles cover [a decent chunk of] initial costs -- but sales will be virtually untrackable.

edit:

Weighted for cover price, Shockwave overtook Stormbringer #3.

Commander Shockwav
2006-10-17, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by Denyer


Weighted for cover price, Shockwave overtook Stormbringer #3.

Weighted for cover price, the Shockwave spotlight sold about 22,000 or so Stormbringers.

Denyer
2006-10-18, 10:42 AM
Some side discussion from elsewhere, or "gosh, issues were pulling in 30K not long ago / uh, no not exactly..."

http://www.allspark.com/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=17019&view=findpost&p=359971

"not to long ago the issues were selling 30k+)"

http://tfarchive.com/comics/dreamwave/guide/sales.php

In April 2004, Dark Ages being the last TF series to finish with its last issue over 30K that I can spot...

Final figures for each DW title:

119,533 (G1 Volume 1, September 2002)
64,108 (G1 Volume 2, November 2003)
29,682 (G1 Volume 3, December 2004)

28,066 (Armada, December 2003)
16,777 (Energon, December 2004)
16,907 (Armada MTMTE, May 2004)

54,124 (War Within, March 2003)
31,109 (Dark Ages, April 2004)
22,928 (Age of Wrath, December 2004)

24,593 (More Than Meets the Eye, December 2003)
22,517 (Micromasters, November 2004)

With that customer base to work with, IDW have had four regular (i.e. not $0.99) issues that sold over 30K.

All in all, the expectation of 30K+ selling books seems... a little farfetched?

Also, there's a general pattern there... at the end of 2002, there were possibly 120,000 people who'd pick up a main TF title (maximum, assuming that DW sold no multiple issues to each customer.) At the end of 2003, there were about 60,000 (averaging the 55K and 65K figures for WW and G1 there.) At the end of 2004, there were about 30,000.

So sure, 30K is something to aim for, assuming none of those people have been turned off buying TF comics because of cancelled series. What's astounding is that a company that lost 90,000 sales over two years is being touted as the way to handle a comics series, versus one that's trying to rebuild from where the previous license holder left TF comics.

"You know, McDonough gets a lot of crap thrown at him around here, but he has outsold Furman constantly."

Give or take a decade of comics, and by being writer of a flagship title -- had McDonough been on War Within, Furman on Generation One, does anyone here doubt that Furman books would've outsold McDonough's?

Cliffjumper
2006-10-18, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by Denyer


"You know, McDonough gets a lot of crap thrown at him around here, but he has outsold Furman constantly."[/i]

Aye, I don't see how anyone can really say that... I'd say nobody bought McDonough's comics for his name, seeing as he was nobody. G1 was just always going to be the "essential" book for DW. Sad but true, a lot of the sales for the first two series' were for Pat's name. Like it or not, he had (and possibly still has) a considerable following. That said, I never could work out why Furman wasn't switched to G1 after Sarracini was dropped. Possibly to avoid Lee?

And even if we were to follow that 'logic', the answer would be to call in Chris Sarracini. And to conclude that Fabien Nicieza (who I do like, don't get me wrong) is a far superior writer to Warren Ellis.

Denyer
2006-10-18, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
never could work out why Furman wasn't switched to G1 after Sarracini was dropped. Possibly to avoid Lee?
I'd imagine so. IIRC, after the news broke, DW were going to use Furman for a short interlude (still with Figueroa, though there were signs he was already baulking at the non-payment issue, as he wasn't down to do #14) then switch back to Sarracini and Lee.

Commander Shockwav
2006-11-21, 12:09 AM
115 TF STORMBRINGER #4 $2.99 17,449 copies
122 TF ANIMATED MOVIE ADAPTATION #1 $3.99 15,483 copies
130 TF SPOTLIGHT NIGHTBEAT $3.99 13,404 copies
155 TF GENERATIONS #8 $2.49 8,678 copies

http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/9647.html

The trickle continues.

If you breakdown IDW's titles into TF and non-TF, taking into consideration the TPB, the non-TF titles as a whole are now generating more revenue than the TF titles.

Denyer
2006-11-21, 12:48 AM
TPD?

The spotlights and offshoots (Evolutions, old movie adaptation) are never going to be best-sellers. In particular: most people, if they're going to get the movie miniseries, it'll be the TPB, especially with the editing snafu.

Meanwhile, Stormbringer's basically where it was last month (18,792).

Generations might get a small boost from recently displayed cover art, and another when there's UK material.

Turnout as expected.

edit: Should I put this in the comics forum (http://tfarchive.com/community/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=60)?

Osku
2006-11-21, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by Denyer

edit: Should I put this in the comics forum (http://tfarchive.com/community/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=60)?
Thread, you mean? Propably better place. Easier to find if someone is interested in.

inflatable dalek
2006-11-21, 05:37 PM
The Spotlights at least seem to have meet expectations or they wouldn't be doing a sixth (compare the announcement on Soundwave to the company's "Errr, yeah, we'll do some more Evolutions one day sometime" when HOS finished).

Neuronutter
2006-11-23, 07:32 PM
So anyone's guess as to how much longer they'll keep the TF comics alive given the slow trickle? If Stormbringer is only at seventeen and a half thousand by the end of its run, what's the betting we'll get to see the end of the Escalation and Devastation runs?

Think it'll last till the movie comes out next year?

Denyer
2006-11-23, 08:01 PM
Yup. I think we're good for at least the first three-part major story arc, plus a bunch of tie-in stuff.

The only disappointment is that Stormbringer's slipped to next year in trade, which is going to put some people off picking up Escalation (parts of the Stormbringer print run having sold out, making it difficult to catch up unless people find scans in the interim.)

Neuronutter
2006-11-23, 10:41 PM
So how do the other comic company's maintain interest in their comics and keep their numbers up if they constantly are in free fall?

How do DC keep the numbers up for something like 52 and what can IDW do to get their sales up?

Did the sales go up with the release of Stormbringer and is it likely they will with Escalation #1?

Also is Escalation #1 out next week?

Denyer
2006-11-23, 11:07 PM
52 is a bit of an aberration -- a weekly comic, running in arcs, and something people are likely to pick up if they have any interest in DC and happen to stop into their local store and find not much on their pull list has come in. If it was a sales tactic liable to work for its owned smaller imprints (Vertigo, Wildstorm) DC would've done it by now.

The main thing IDW can do to keep sales up is to convince stores to keep stocking, which will be a bit easier next year. If stuff isn't in stores, people can't see and try.

Sales didn't rise from the end of Infiltration coming into Stormbringer -- which we can only speculate about. Some fans may decide to switch to trades and wait to see reviews, in which cases sales may be underpinned by trade volumes. The first issue did sell out, so it hit whatever immediate target IDW were aiming for.

We still don't know what the initial license costs were, nor what ongoing costs might be, but the company deals with bigger licenses than TFs and is extraordinarily unlikely to have gotten itself into a situation like Dreamwave's. Whilst comics remain viable I've no doubt we'll see them.

I am expecting it to end at some point, though -- personally, I don't see there being much of an audience for TF comics in five years time... already, there's less of one than five years ago, with DW going into freefall after the 80s nostalgia kick began to end.

If Hasbro accepts that and negotiates a viable price for the license as a comics property, all will be good. If not, I don't think we'll be left hanging in the middle of a big arc, because IDW are competent.

Escalation should be out next week -- Diamond haven't added it that I've noticed, but it's due according to Ryall. Diamond have a very bad track record for adding to their "expected" lists mid-week, so shipping confirmation will be Sunday/Monday.