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The Walking Dead

edited March 2012 in Site Related

Mind-boggling:

http://blog.newsarama.com/2012/03/02/the-amazing-consistency-of-the-walking-dead/

Hell, even without single issue sales, the trades make enough money to support a small country.

To dream the impossible dream.

 

 

Comments

  • Would really like to see someone else come along with an ongoing and build up to that same level of success. There have to be more Kirkmans out there.

    I'd say that Brubaker and Phillips' three series together (and counting) come closest.
  • Well, a book like CHEW earns more than enough to make a comfortable living.

    THE WALKING DEAD has to easily be earning over a million a year.

    -BCM

  • "THE WALKING DEAD has to easily be earning over a million a year."

    Given how the various trades sell in the bookstore market, including those expensive ass hardcovers, I'd guess (well, an educated guess, I did some of the math) they're bringing in a minimum of five million dollars a year.
  • But, @SteveHorton, Brubaker and Phillips' work doesn't appear to be hitting anywhere near the audience. 

    I do think consistency in the art team has given both Walking Dead and Invincible a leg up on a lot of books.  Walking Dead doing better (pre-TV show) I think just speaks to the zombie fetish crowd. 

    What's interesting to me is that Walking Dead is mostly talking heads.  The cast is so big it's hard to keep track of.  And it's depressing as hell.  The fact that all of these things don't hurt the book... we can sell more comics.
  • It's definitely an interesting beast. It's also interesting that Invincible seems to perform at about half the sales generally but has also has been very consistent and has had the same team for quite a long while. I wish it would get the same sort of exposure some times. Certainly in the bookstore environments. (I've tried ordering it numerous times to tie-in with Kirkman but it never comes. This is more than likely just my buyers shooting it down but nevertheless -- an opportunity exists there for it.

    But yes, curious why a few other titles haven't been able to find the same traction. Next --- Saga maybe?
  • What's very selfishly interesting to me is the sales of TWD last summer.

    Walking Dead #83: 33,686
    Walking Dead #84: 31,930
    Walking Dead #85: 37,552
    Walking Dead #86: 32,187
    Walking Dead #87: 32,126

    See that spike up to 37,500? That was the issue that had the flipbook with WITCH DOCTOR #0. Of course, it was also the issue after Carl got shot in the face, so that could be the reason behind the sales spike — but I can't help but wonder how much of it was retailers ordering it more because our series was debuting inside.
  • edited March 2012
    "THE WALKING DEAD has to easily be earning over a million a year."

    Given how the various trades sell in the bookstore market, including those expensive ass hardcovers, I'd guess (well, an educated guess, I did some of the math) they're bringing in a minimum of five million dollars a year.




    Yes. That's much closer to reality. It's funny that people think the money's in the TV show, when it's really in the books.

    Image is seeing big numbers all over the place, and could own 8-10% of the market by the end of next year.

  • See that spike up to 37,500? That was the issue that had the flipbook with WITCH DOCTOR #0. Of course, it was also the issue after Carl got shot in the face, so that could be the reason behind the sales spike — but I can't help but wonder how much of it was retailers ordering it more because our series was debuting inside.
    For what little it's worth, that's why I bought that issue. :)  I'm going to send my kid to college with the money I get from selling that in 30 years. ;)
  • @JasonAQuest What?  Don't you know college is for snobs?!

    Back to the point - is it any wonder that Tony wants to see the books?  I mean, if there's millions at stake, I'd want a forensic accountant to take a look as well.

    So, 35,000 a month is millions though?  I don't know what the margins are etc. but that's only a mid level selling Marvel book, so I mean, is there money in comics after all?
  • @JasonAQuest What?  Don't you know college is for snobs?!

    Back to the point - is it any wonder that Tony wants to see the books?  I mean, if there's millions at stake, I'd want a forensic accountant to take a look as well.

    So, 35,000 a month is millions though?  I don't know what the margins are etc. but that's only a mid level selling Marvel book, so I mean, is there money in comics after all?




    If you sell 35,00 monthly copies of an Image book, you're set. Remember...Image doesn't take a percentage of your money. They take a flat fee that doesn't change based on sales. So all the profits go straight into your pocket. My rough guess would be that each single issue of TWD generates at least $25,000 for Kirkman and Adlard. And that's nothing compared to the trades and hardcovers.

    That first Walking Dead trade has probably sold...I dunno...250,000 copies by now?

  • That's fucking sexy.

  • @JasonAQuest What?  Don't you know college is for snobs?!

    Back to the point - is it any wonder that Tony wants to see the books?  I mean, if there's millions at stake, I'd want a forensic accountant to take a look as well.

    So, 35,000 a month is millions though?  I don't know what the margins are etc. but that's only a mid level selling Marvel book, so I mean, is there money in comics after all?
    No, it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 360,000 a year, which isn't chump change. But the trades sell like crazy.

    Accroding to bookscan, which surveys about seventy precent of the market and does not include Amazon, "The Walking Dead" books sold 359k copies, a retail gross $8.7 million dollars. That's 9 mill, more or less, which does not include a significant chunk of the market, does not include the direct market (where the trades, ALL OF THEM, are always in the top 300 sold) and does not include sales outside of North America.

    Now, granted, that 9 million is not what Kirkman and Co get, but what they do get amounts to a fuck ton of money. I could be wrong, but if they aren't bringing in 5 million plus for Kirkman/Adlard I'd be really surprised.
  • Even at 30% 3 million a year is respectable.
  • This is mindblowing. And here I am happy that I moved a few grand worth of books at cons last year.
  • edited March 2012
    @ShawnRichison - I think 3 mill a year is a little more than respectable :)
    As Russell said, this is mindblowing and way beyond anything I thought possible
  • Well, bear in mind, it's still going to be beyond anything possible for practically everyone.  This is the comics equivalent of winning the lottery.
  • Well, bear in mind, it's still going to be beyond anything possible for practically everyone.  This is the comics equivalent of winning the lottery.
    And then some.

    I mean, I will make enough money fro my book to live on through 2012 and with us being a brand fucking new bunch of creators ( as far as the public is concerned) THAT is winning the lottery.

    Creating a comic property in modern comics that brings in millions of dollars a year from publishing is something like winning the lottery, using it all to buy loot tickets and winning again, to push the analogy to the breaking point.

    Hehe, I had to explain this to my Mom.

    Mom: "So when will you make that kind of money."

    Me: "Um, never?"
  • This is true in any kind of entertainment.  There are musicians, actors, novelists, songwriters, directors, painters, comedians, athletes, playwrights, preachers, etc. who make a fortune in those jobs.  And for each one who does, there are a bunch who do pretty well, and countless ones who do not.  The good-news-I-suppose is that cartooning is no different.
  • Well, I'd add the caveat that (North American) comic is a tiny industry. If there's a creator other than Kirkman who is currently making millions from the publishing part of it, I'd be surprised. Millar is probably second, and I'd bet he doesn't (although he maybe through things like the Wanted and Kickass movies and such).

    Where as there are quiet a lot of musicians, actors, novelists, songwriters, directors, painters, comedians, athletes that do. Playwrights and preachers might be similar to comics, I don't know.

    On the other hand, there are rather less people trying to get into comics, which might help.
  • The reason Kirkman makes the millions is that he's the perfect storm of comics success:  hit monthly book + huge sales in trades + Image royalty.  That's the jackpot combination.  Somebody with the same sales numbers is not making anything close to the same money through Marvel/DC.
  • The success isn't unfathomable;  easily accessible concept, consistently good art and script, consistent schedule over years.  

    The next closest creators I'd plug into this would be Mike Mignola with Hellboy and Dave Sim with Cerebus -- both falling short of Kirkman and Co.'s perfect mix  -- Hellboy with not being monthly, Cerebus with not being particularly accessible.

    Marvel, DC and many creators don't get this;  the longer they keep a quality team on a book, the more likely they'll have a long-term success.

    I've been thinking about how much Nonplayer damaged its potential audience by only having the one issue with no second in site as we go toward a year after #1 shipped.  
  • The reason Kirkman makes the millions is that he's the perfect storm of comics success:  hit monthly book + huge sales in trades + Image royalty.  That's the jackpot combination.  Somebody with the same sales numbers is not making anything close to the same money through Marvel/DC.
    Unless their last name is Bendis...
  • Well, bear in mind, it's still going to be beyond anything possible for practically everyone.  This is the comics equivalent of winning the lottery.




    That's why I bring up books like CHEW, which makes a ton of money, as well. And that was largely a case of taking the absolute correct approach to putting a book together.

    It's not impossible to make a lot of money.

  • edited March 2012
    Re: Walking Dead

    Did some quick figuring, based on the sales charts here: http://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales/2011.html They grossed about $4 million in the DM last year.

    On JUST the trades.
  • Well, a book like CHEW earns more than enough to make a comfortable living.

    THE WALKING DEAD has to easily be earning over a million a year.

    -BCM

    Yes. We need more like CHEW and MORNING GLORIES. Like, say, a dozen more.
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