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« I always wanted them to make a Secret Wars movie... | Main | Why we are tired today »

Event fatigue

Just recording some data and notes for posterity. In The Beat's October sales analysis, Jason Enright nicely lays out the sales number for recent Marvel mega-event first issues:

05/06 Civil War #1 - 260,706 (-43.6%)
04/08 Secret Invasion #1 - 250,213 (-41.2%)
01/10 Siege #1 - 108,484 ( 36.0%)
04/11 Fear Itself #1 - 128,595 ( 14.3%)
03/12 Av vs. X-Men #1 - 203,181 (-27.6%)
03/13 Age of Ultron #1 - 174,952 (-16.0%)
08/13 Infinity #1 - 205,819 (-28.6%)
05/14 Original Sin #1 - 147,045 ( -5.5%)
10/14 AXIS #1 - 138,966

Somewhat related, Tom Brevoort talks about the "Darwinism" behind the events and the question of event fatigue. I agree with Brevoort where he takes issue with the questioner in the sense that just because *i* don't like something doesn't mean it's not doing well. But i wonder how closely sales really reflect their customer's appetite for the next crossover (if that's the idea; in other words, if Age of Ultron getting good buzz meant that more people picked up Infinity whereas AvX NOT being well received meant less people were willing to try Age of Ultron), given the general collector mentality and especially now that books come out so quickly. For example, by issue #4 i knew that i didn't want to read any more Axis, but the way things worked out i've bought at least up to issue #6 ("at least" due to dependencies relating to how our comic dealer's pull list operates). A lot of people who don't like the series will nonetheless buy it all the way through, because that's what comic collectors do. But those people probably won't buy the next event (assuming everything else is equal; we're just talking about "event fatigue" here. I think the new Secret Wars series will definitely sell better than Axis based on the nature of the event.).

Despite that, another thing i'll want to look at at some point by digging through the Beat's Sales Chart archives is the drop-off rates for each crossover. That's probably a somewhat better indication of how well the series was received, whereas first issue sales are really an indication of how well the concept of the event was received and/or how well Marvel's marketing department hyped it.

Personally i skipped the past few events so i wasn't suffering from event fatigue. I also look at the creative teams behind the events (i.e., this was really a Remender Uncanny Avengers story, and Secret Wars is really a continuation of Hickman's Avengers).

It's also worth looking at the dates of the starting points of those events and noticing that they become more and more frequent, and what's also evident from the sales charts is how much more important they are to Marvel's overall numbers. When Axis doesn't sell as well as Infinity, it also means that the tie-in books aren't selling as well.

Again, no major revelations from me on this. Just capturing some notes for myself.

By fnord12 | December 8, 2014, 1:42 PM | Comics