November Gemstone sales and some thoughts

deanmary deanmary at
Tue Dec 19 01:22:09 CET 2006

At this link:

you can find the sales figures for the top 300 comics in North America.  I took a link at how the Gemstone titles did and thought I would share a few thoughts.

Before I go any further though, I realize the Gary has said that these figures may not be very accurate, and also that these sales estimates are just that: *estimates*.  Still, it is all I have to go on.  Here are how the 7 titles sold:

Uncle Scrooge # 360 -- 4600 issues
Donald Duck and Friends #346 -- 4500 issues
Mickey Mouse and Friends # 295 -- 4200 issues
Walt Disney's Christmas Parade # 4 --3800 issues
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories # 674 -- 3700 issues
Donald Duck Adventures # 21 - 2500 issues
Mickey Mouse Adventures #12 -- 2300 issues

A couple things I noticed.  Not counting the "pocket book" titles, the 5 other titles had fairly similar sales figures.  I think that that is a very good thing.  What it seems to say to me is that people who buy the Gemstone titles non-pocket book titles *tend* to buy all of these Gemstone issues.  Yes there is a difference from Uncle Scrooge with 4600 to WDC&S with 3700, but in the scheme of things, that is not a huge difference.  Just look at some the sales figures for DC and Marvel.  It is not uncommon at all for the highest selling DC and Marvel title each month to sell *5* times more than some of their lesser selling titles.  So overall, Gemstone deserves a lot of credit for keeping the sales for all 4 of the regular monthly titles near each other.

Interestingly enough, the lowest selling title, WDC&S, is one of the two Gemstone is keeping.  I understand that though in that it is the longest selling Disney title, it is already a prestige format title, and allows for the widest body of stories of the 4 titles. 

The sales figures also seem to show that it was not the sales of DDAF and MMAF that got them cancelled, but that financially Gemstone could no longer support stories in such a format.  That brings me back to the idea I am perhaps pounding into the ground: how about a *3rd* monthly prestige "Donald and Mickey" title?  The sales estimates seems to support the idea that there would be a market for it, plus since it was in a prestige format, Gemstone could actually make a profit on it each month.  If Gemstone did not want to upset the numbering of DDAF and MMAF, it could easily make each a bi-monthly title, keep the numbering, and still have a 3rd prestige titles coming out each month.  To me, the idea of such a 3rd monthly prestige title seems like a "no-brainer".  I am sure though that Gary or David could explain why it is not such an easy thing though.  I would still love to hear from either of you why you think this might not work and/or why such a 3rd title is not in the works.  Feel free to demonstrate to the whole list how little I know about comic book publishing! :)  And of course, I still would like to hear from more people on the list with their thoughts on a monthly 3rd prestige title.

It looks like there *are* some problems with the two "pocket book" titles.  They were not selling near as well as the other Gemstone titles.  Just speaking personally, I tended to like the stories in these two titles the least.  Not that there weren't any good stories, and of course I liked the Scarpa stories in them, but on the whole I was underwhelmed by them.  So perhaps when Gemstone starts its "Shonen Jump" style B&W title they could focus on some of the classic Scarpa and other stories that have never been printed in North America before.

One other idea for future Gemstone TPBs: collections of Gottfredson stories.  While I am excited that Gemstone is publishing the Mickey "Foreign Legion" story and will be publishing "The Gleam" later on this year in WDC&S, I can't help but think how great these stories would have made for a Walt Disney Treasures TPB.  This way they would have been collected all in one place and you wouldn't A: have to wait 4 months to read the whole story and B: go through 4 separate issues each time you wanted to reread it.  So hopefully we will see some Gottfredson TPBs in the near future.

Dean Rekich

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