Last Year By Comparison

As Mrs Earth-Prime or any of my friends and work mates will tell you, I have something of a fondness for spreadsheets. Most of the YouTube channels I subscribe to are primarily Excel based and I can happily while away the time learning about the latest functions and new features – it’s a simple thing that makes me happy.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share a look at how my collection has been going in the last ten years in terms of numbers of issues by publisher. Regular readers may remember that my 100 Issues Ago posts are up to 2013 and the majority of my monthly haul back then was DC, but I have mentioned things changing as we head into 2014 and beyond.

Here’s a breakdown by publisher and year in terms of percentages:

That light blue bar dominating the left-hand side and into the middle represents DC Comics and if I’d bothered to chart that before 2012, you’d see the same picture. As you can see, it wasn’t until 2014 that things started to change, that I started to reach out to other publishers – principally Image (the dark red at the top) with titles like FATALE, BIRTHRIGHT and NAILBITER, along with Dark Horse (the purple at the bottom) with the latest GHOST series. DC would get squeezed over the later years but always maintain roughly 50% of my purchases until this year where Image almost drew level.

But that’s percentages. In terms of actual numbers of issues bought, the chart looks like this:

DC just haven’t been doing it for me the last couple of years. GREEN LANTERN and JUSTICE LEAGUE are my only on-goings from them at the moment (though I’ll be picking up AQUAMEN next year) with everything else being mini-series and one-shots. I’ve never been a Batman or Superman on-going reader (I have a bunch of trades but don’t bother with the monthlies) so a huge amount of DC’s output is instantly off my radar and there’s not been a lot to tempt me elsewhere, either.

Dynamite’s had some healthy numbers over the last couple of years but that’s mostly down to the Barsoom/John Carter/Dejah Thoris titles and as there’s nothing coming out in that line any time soon, I think those numbers are going to fall next year. Similarly Dark Horse is the home of BLACK HAMMER for me and I think that’s heading to a conclusion as well. After Shock do a good run on mini-series so I’ll probably pick some of those up. Outside of all that, I think most of my intake next year is likely to be from Image.

Anyone else notice a similar trend in their collection?

2 thoughts on “Last Year By Comparison

  1. Seeing as how I no longer buy comics but read them online, I’m not really much help there, but I will say I’m reading more Marvel and Indy (even back issues) than I am DC or any other publisher.

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  2. I’ve got records back to ’06 thanks to the Year in Review posts. Total number of new comics has been dropping (2006 – 199; 2021 -107), but most of that was done by 2008. Only dropping ~3 comics/year since then. Marvel peaks at the start and it’s mostly been dropping since then (total Marvel comics around the mid-50s in 2018, 2019, 2021). Still, it’s always #1, and almost always over 50% (except 2012 and 2018-2020). No other publisher has come closer than ~20 percentage points (DC in 2011/2012 and 2020.)

    DC peaked around 2010. 2011 is about when I started buying stuff from other publishers in any significant amount, since that’s the first year non-Marvel/DC stuff tops 10%. Total number of publishers was usually 6 or less up through 2016. The last three years it’s 11 or 12, so a bunch of people getting really small pieces of the pie. None of the smaller publishers have broken 20% in a year, though Boom! came close in 2018 (thanks, Giant Days, Coda, and Smooth Criminals!)

    ’06 and ’07 are outliers, only years the total’s above 150, only years Marvel’s above 105 or 80%. I was still figuring out I didn’t have to keep buying a book I didn’t like just because it had Spider-Man in it. 2020’s an outlier the other way, real low total, though the reason for that’s pretty obvious,.

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