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    • CommentAuthorLyons
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2007 edited
     (390.1)
    Hi, I'm in the process of working on a paper for publication on Superman as a myth of American national identity. One line of analysis I'm following looks at the trend in sales on comic books to see what those trends might say about trends in the American social and political ethos. In any event, I'm wondering if anyone here has a good source for sales figures on comic books that spans decades, rather than only the past ten to fifteen years, which are fairly easy to come by.

    Thanks.
  1.  (390.2)
    There's a little bit here, and people who can probably give you other pointers at that site.

    If you have access to a large library, look for old Audit Bureau of Circulation report books. There is published comic book circ data out there from the golden age and beyond. It's grouped by advertising unit rather than individual title, but it's still interesting stuff and may have value to you.
    • CommentAuthorLyons
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2007 edited
     (390.3)
    Thanks, Mark: I've got access to one of the better academic libraries in the hemisphere, and Chicago Public ain't half-bad, so that tip should be a big help. Also, that website looks to be a great help. Thanks again.
  2.  (390.4)
    Best of luck to you. Just happened to think that there's probably people at the Grand Comics Database who could give you pointers also, if you haven't been by there yet.
    • CommentAuthorLyons
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2007
     (390.5)
    Thanks again.

    Also, I am just floored at how well Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane sold in the sixties.
    •  
      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2007
     (390.6)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    It has been a while since I checked but if I remember correctly the current comics sell a lot less per title but there are a lot more titles.
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      CommentAuthorScribe
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2007
     (390.7)
    Contact Diamond. Once a year they are required to publish the national average sales for each monthly comic book, but don't hold your breath on them giving up the numbers on graphic novels.
  3.  (390.8)
    Lyons,

    Have you considered doing the other old fashioned thing and contacting Marvel and Time Warner to see if they have any materials open to researchers/ and or the public?

    Like many business, they might be fairly protective of current trends but could have materials on historic trends they are willing to share.
    • CommentAuthorLyons
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2007 edited
     (390.9)
    @Scribe

    Yeah, the numbers for the last fifteen years are so are pretty easy to come by. I guess that might be something good that's come from the rise of Diamond.

    @JTraub

    The thought's occured to me, but I haven't called them yet: I doubt this is the week to get people.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2007 edited
     (390.10)
    Krause, who publish Comics Buyers Guide, publish the Standard Comics Catalog and Price Guide (or something like that) it's similar to the Overstreet guide but has a ton of additional information - including the annual circulation declarations for every comic they could find for as far back as they could go.

    Currently DC doesn't publish declarations, I'm not sure if they ever did.

    Updated it's the Comic Book Catalog and Price Guide