Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Top 10 Tuesdays - Top 10 Writers by the Numbers for August 2009

Back before the internet, when Wizard was the only source for comics related news, I always enjoyed their monthly Top 10 Writers and Artists sections.  They were entirely arbitrary, from what I could tell, but it was always neat to see how many "I was buying".  As the sales data for August 2009 was released recently, I decided to take a look at the Top 10 Writers (Artists are pretty much one issue a month these days, which is just the top 10 books and you get the Top 10 Artists, so I didn't bother doing the artists) based on how well their comics sold for the month.  The results are actually quite surprising in some cases.

For instance, neither Grant Morrison nor Mark Millar make the list, despite Morrison's Batman and Robin #3 being released and Millar's big, shiny #1 on the cover of his Ultimate Comics Avengers.  Another shock is how high mid-tier writers ranked compared to these bigger names, such as Fred Van Lente, Peter Tomasi and James Robinson compared to the Brian Bendis's and Jeph Loeb's.

Remember, these rankings are not personal preferences and are based entirely on the most recent Diamond sales data for August 2009.  I've included notes, average sales per issue and average gross per issue, along with the relevant sales data for each.  You can view the full list after the jump.

Top 10 Tuesdays - Top 10 Writers by the Numbers for August 2009


#1 Geoff Johns
Ongoings: Green Lantern, Adventure Comics
Average Sales Per Issue (excludes reprints): 81,323 units
Average Gross Per Issue (excludes reprints): $306,191.41
Average Cover Price Per Issue (excludes reprints): $3.79
Books & Sales for August 2009:
Blackest Night #2 - $3.99 x 146,092 units sold = $582,907.08
Green Lantern 45 - $2.99 x 102,431 units sold = $306,268.69
Flash: Rebirth #4 - $2.99 x 78,017 units sold = $233,270.83
Adventure Comics #1 - $3.99 x 56,706 units sold = $226,256.94
Blackest Night #1 (2nd printing) - $3.99 x 7,965 units sold = $31,780.35
Superman Secret Files 2009 #1 - $4.99 x 23,373 units sold/4 writers = $29,157.82
Green Lantern #44 (2nd printing) - $2.99 x 4,536 units sold = $13,562.64
Green Lantern #43 (3rd printing) - $2.99 x 3,577 units sold = $10,695.23
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2 (2nd printing) - $3.99 x 4,954 units sold/2 = $9,883.23
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #3 (2nd printing) - $3.99 x 4,488 units sold/2 = $8953.56
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1 (2nd printing) - $3.99 x 4,444 units sold/2 writers = $8,865.78
Notes: Blackest Night clearly drove Geoff Johns's numbers, bolstering them even further with numerous second and third printings.  Add the hype surrounding Flash: Rebirth and a #1 on Adventure Comics, straight off the Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds miniseries, and it was a foregone conclusion that he'd be our top pick.

Total - $1,461,602.15



#2 Ed Brubaker
Ongoings: Daredevil
Average Sales Per Issue (excludes reprints): 95971 units
Average Gross Per Issue (excludes reprints): $407,420.95
Average Cover Price Per Issue (excludes reprints): $4.32
Books & Sales for August 2009:

Captain America: Reborn #2 - $3.99 x 125,366 units sold = $500,210.34
Daredevil #500 - $4.99 x 73,486 units sold = $366,695.14
Marvels Project #1 - $3.99 x 89,062 units sold = $355,357.38
Notes: Ed Brubaker came up big this month thanks to events and anniversaries.  I was surprised at how well Marvels Project did, but more with how well Daredevil did with that $4.99 price tag.  Marvel's higher prices made all of these issues money makers for Brubaker, making him the number two man with ease.

Total - $1,222,262.86


#3 Matt Fraction
Ongoings: Uncanny X-Men, Dark Avengers, Invincible Iron Man
Average Sales Per Issue (excludes reprints): 79,430 units
Average Gross Per Issue (excludes reprints): $298,997.04
Average Cover Price Per Issue (excludes reprints): $3.66
Books & Sales for August 2009:
Dark Avengers #8 - $3.99 x 94,191 units sold = $375,822.09
Uncanny X-Men #514 - $3.99 x 90,316 units sold = $360,360.84
Invincible Iron Man #16 - $2.99 x 53,782 units sold = $160,808.18
Uncanny X-Men #513 (2nd printing) - $3.99 x 4,183 units sold = $16,690.17
Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men Utopia #1 (2nd printing) - $3.99 x 3,625 units sold = $14,463.75
SDCC 2009 Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men Utopia #1 (Variant) - $2.25 x 5,699 units sold = $12,822.75
Notes: Headling a mini-event between Dark Avengers and Uncanny X-Men, both at $3.99 pricepoints, makes for some big money for Matt Fraction.  At some healthy sales of second printings and he's just shy of a cool million.

Total - $940,967.78



#4 James Robinson
Ongoings: Superman
Average Sales Per Issue (excludes reprints): 40,351 units
Average Gross Per Issue (excludes reprints): $150,626.68
Average Cover Price Per Issue (excludes reprints): $3.85
Books & Sales for August 2009:
Blackest Night: Superman #1 - $2.99 x 76,899 units sold = $229,928.01
Justice League: Cry for Justice #2 - $3.99 x 54,553 units sold = $217,666.47
Superman Annual #14 - $3.99 x 32,258 units sold = $128,709.42
Superman #691 - $2.99 x 39,106 units sold = $116,926.94
Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen Special #2 - $4.99 x 17,051 units sold = $85,084.49
Superman: World of New Krypton #6 - $2.99 x 39,218 units sold/2 writers = $58,630.91
Superman Secret Files 2009 #1 - $4.99 x 23,373 units sold/4 writers = $29,157.82
Notes: All things Superman pushed James Robinson into the number four spot.  Blackest Night tie-ins and what looks like a lot of banked one-shots and specials make the difference here.  Be interesting to see where he ranks without the extra help.

Total - $866,104.06


#5 Fred Van Lente
Ongoings: Amazing Spider-Man, Incredible Hercules, Incredible Hulk
Average Sales Per Issue (excludes reprints): 47,354 units
Average Gross Per Issue (excludes reprints): $158,448.39
Average Cover Price Per Issue (excludes reprints): $3.32
Books & Sales for August 2009:
Amazing Spider-Man #602 - $2.99 x 71,532 units sold = $213,880.68
Amazing Spider-Man #603 - $2.99 x 71,051 units sold = $212,442.49
Incredible Hulk #601 - $3.99 x 64,120 units sold/2 writers = $127,919.40
Dark Reign: Mister Negative #3 (of 3) - $3.99 x 17,248 units sold = $68,819.52
Incredible Hercules #132 - $2.99 x 32,680 units sold/2 writers = $48,856.60
Incredible Hercules #133 - $2.99 x 27,491 units sold/2 writers = $41,099.05
Notes: Some big asteriks by Fred Van Lente due to the number of collaborations.  The numbers are adjusted for co-writing duties, but there's also the fact Amazing Spider-Man gets double shipped for him this month when the writers all take turns writing it.  For reference, he doesn't show up again on the book until winter.

Total - $713,017.74


#6 Brian Michael Bendis
Ongoings: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, New Avengers
Average Sales Per Issue (excludes reprints): 88,002 units
Average Gross Per Issue (excludes reprints): $351,128.00
Average Cover Price Per Issue (excludes reprints): $3.99
Books & Sales for August 2009:
New Avengers #56 - $3.99 x 89,996 units sold = $359,084.08
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 - $3.99 x 86,008 units sold = $343,171.92
Notes: Light month for Bendis.  For a guy that's usually writing half a dozen books at a given time, it's odd to see him with only two for the month.  Powers is being banked for the relaunch, Dark Avengers passed to Fraction for the Uncanny X-Men mini-event and it's obvious he's banking even more issues for the upcoming Siege/Cabal stuff showing up in solicits.  Expect him to make some big jumps in the money making in coming months.

Total - $702,256.00


#7 Peter Tomasi
Ongoings: Green Lantern Corps, Outsiders, The Mighty
Average Sales Per Issue (excludes reprints): 50,163 units
Average Gross Per Issue (excludes reprints): $149,985.88
Average Cover Price Per Issue (excludes reprints): $2.99
Books & Sales for August 2009:
Blackest Night: Batman #1 - $2.99 x 86,261 units sold = $257,920.39
Green Lantern Corps #39 - $2.99 x 84,241 units sold = $251,880.59
Outsiders #21 - $2.99 x 23,856 units sold = $71,329.44
The Mighty #7 - $2.99 x 6,292 units sold = $18,813.08
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2 (2nd printing) - $3.99 x 4,954 units sold/2 = $9,883.23
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #3 (2nd printing) - $3.99 x 4,488 units sold/2 = $8953.56
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1 (2nd printing) - $3.99 x 4,444 units sold/2 writers = $8,865.78
Notes: Blackest Night gives Tomasi a bump while his creator owned The Mighty and the low-selling Outsiders brings his averages down quite a bit. Interesting tidbit, he's one of two top 10 writers without a $3.99 title, Daniel Way being the other one. DC's moving Tomasi off of Outsiders in favour of Dan DiDio, so it looks like he'll have room for a higher profile book in the future, giving him a steady position on this list, Blackest Night or not.

Total - $627,646.07


#8 Jeph Loeb
Ongoings: Hulk
Average Sales Per Issue (excludes reprints): 74,412 units
Average Gross Per Issue (excludes reprints): $296,903.88
Average Cover Price Per Issue (excludes reprints): $3.99
Books & Sales for August 2009:
Hulk #14 - $3.99 x 77,455 units sold = $309,045.45
Hulk #13 - $3.99 x 71,369 units sold = $284,762.31
Notes: Hulk sells books these days.  Loeb cashes in on it with big name artists, high profile guest appearances, like Wolverine and X-Force, and a $3.99 price tag props the low output up.

Total - $593,807.76


#9 Daniel Way
Ongoings: Dark Wolverine, Deadpool, Wolverine: Origins
Average Sales Per Issue (excludes reprints): 54,817 units
Average Gross Per Issue (excludes reprints): $158,016.80
Average Cover Price Per Issue (excludes reprints): $2.99
Books & Sales for August 2009:
Deadpool #13 - $2.99 x 55,442 units sold = $165,771.58
Deadpool #14 - $2.99 x 50,263 units sold = $150,286.37
Wolverine: Origins #39 - $2.99 x 44,968 units sold = $134,454.32
Dark Wolverine #77 - $2.99 x 68,593 units sold/2 writers = $102,546.54
Deadpool #11 (2nd printing) - $2.99 x 3,058 units sold = $9,143.42
Notes: Deadpool sells comics.  He's the new WolverineDaniel Way writes both Wolverine AND Deadpool comics.  Pretty easy way to rank on this list, especially on double ship months for Deadpool.

Total - $562,202.23


#10 Greg Rucka
Ongoings: Action Comics, Detective Comics
Average Sales Per Issue (excludes reprints): 57,832
Average Gross Per Issue (excludes reprints): $171,859.00
Average Cover Price Per Issue (excludes reprints): $3.99
Books & Sales for August 2009:
Detective Comics #856 - $3.99 x 58,859 units sold = $234,847.41
Action Comics #880 - $3.99 x 37,588 units sold = $149,976.12
Superman: World of New Krypton #6 - $2.99 x 39,218 units sold/2 writers = $58,630.91
Superman Secret Files 2009 #1 - $4.99 x 23,373 units sold/4 writers = $29,157.82
Notes: Rucka has the highest cover price per issue for any DC writer on the list, clocking in at $3.99 per issue.

Total - $472,612.26


Conclusion

With that, you have your Top 10 Writers based on sales for the month of August, 2009.   Technically, the money totals would be split with artists, inkers, editors, production costs, etc, but I opted to put the emphasis on the writers for ease of calcuting and the rankings would be the same with percentages or other metrics.  It's interesting that the big names, like Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison and Mark Millar, failed to make a big enough impact to place on the list.  However, Millar and Morrison ranked in at 11th and 13th, respectively, with only one book each for that month, so that's not too shabby with the limited output.  What do you think?  Anyone surprise you? Anyone you expected to be on the list that didn't make the cut? 


Related Posts


17 comments:

altonralston said...

Awesome post. Great idea to look at rankings this way. This is why I check the weekly crisis several times a day for updates.

thanks,

alton

Ryan K Lindsay said...

First up, have you dont this before? This is an insanely awesome idea. I love wacthing each month's stats, numbers and stats are another nerd outlet for me. This is great and I would love to see it come up every month. But maybe that's just me.

Yeah, this basically came in the way I would have figured. Though I figure Bendis would normally come in higher, with more output. Millar doesn't surprise me, he's not doing much, and he's always late. I'm not a fan. Morrison does surprise me, maybe it was an off week, though does he do anything else big besides Batman. To make this list you obviously have to make a fair few 50k selling titles.

Stoked to see Van Lente here, he's a dude and puts out some great stuff. Very interesting to see how much each writer is worth to their company, not to discredit the artist, I just follow authors.

I'd love to see someone like Duane Siewczynski in here, or maybe watch Jonathon Hickman slowly climb up it. Also, Jesus I only just thought about him, where's Jason Aaron. He'll be up here soon for sure. Someone like Robert Kirkman won't make it, but he probably gets more of the actual money from each issue than these guys do. Would Andy Diggle be far off, or Remender?

Again, love this idea, wish I had thought about it. Keep it coming!

Kirk Warren said...

@Ryan K Lindsay - This is the first time I've done a post like this. Depending on responses, it may return for future iterations of the monthly sales data.

"not to discredit the artist, I just follow authors."

That's pretty much how I view my purchases as well.

Re; other Writers

Hickman actually came in at about a little under $300k for Fantastic Four and Secret Warriors.

Siewczynski only writes Cable I think and the odd Immortal Weapons back-up/co-writer nod, so probably wouldn't come close to cracking the list.

Abnett & Lanning co-write everything together (Van Lente and Pak do not, so I seperated their numbers when calculating) actually came in at #12.

Millar and Morrison are 11 and 13 as I stated in the article.

Yost ranked in there somewhere, too, with his solo work on DC titles to go with X-Force.

Kirkman, as you siad, ranks low due to Image titles/no top 10s, but probably takes home more of the earnings.

Jason Aaron actually falls off a bit with Wolverine Weapon X not nearly as high, saleswise, as Dark Wolverine. Delays probably hurt that book (assume theyre delays and not a every second month schedule). His other work (Scalped, Ghost Riders, etc) doesn't earn enough to push him up to the top, though he might make a fair profit from Scalped.

Andy Diggle & Remender are probably long shots for the list. They have a few books each, but a top 10 title makes a lot more than a couple of mid-level books usually due to the huge drop off in sales after the first 10-15 comics.

GLSpotlight said...

Nothing surprisingly here. Geoff puts out a new book every three months, while Grant Morrison for example puts out one book a month and manages to stay a top the monthly sales.

I prefer the monthly book sales more than this. This kind of seems logical, but the stats involved are interesting.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@ Kirk
Yeah, I don't expect Swierczynski to make it, which is a shame, I dig his work. I want my Iron Fist back, with him, but no Travel Forman, he just can't keep up with Swierczy. Swierczy also had Punisher and Werewolf by Night runs, but he's not doing much now, but he does have a new novel out, and one due next year, so I guess he splits his time.

Jonathon Hickman will hopefully only go higher, his FF has really surprised and impressed me.

I figured Jason Aaron would be higher, didn't realise Weapon X was under Dark Wolverine, that shocks me, but I hear Dark Wolvie is very well written, so that's probably cool. He'll do well once he's got Weapon X and PunisherMax working under him, with Scalped assists.

I also figure Remender will come up with Punisher and Voodoo might do okay, and he seems to crop up in other places, so saturation should add up, but not sure it will be enough.

Dan Slott on a Spidey month, with Mighty Avengers, will come up for sure.

I hope word on this is good, I love it. Otherwise, I'll just do it. Looks like a stack of data to source through, but man, look at those stats. Just gorgeous, cheers.

Daryll B. said...

Great Gatsby!!! I only found one mistake with this. I think Van Lente could have been higher...you neglected the first issue of Marvel Zombies Reborn which was released at the end of August I believe...

But there is no doubting the quality sales of these writers and that folks buy their stuff...

Quality of the material however....

PMMJ said...

Another conclusion: Matt Fraction has the coolest picture, despite Brubaker's "GIANT JACK KIRBY HAND."

Matt Ampersand said...

Great article!

Also, I had no idea what Peter Tomasi or Daniel Way looked like.

Van said...

Just to throw my two cents in, this was a really interesting article. Regardless of how I feel about the rankings, I'd like to see this monthly.

Christine said...

Great post! I'm heavily into numbers and stats and check the sales data every month, so this post was right up my alley. Also great to see pictures of all of the writers. I knew what most of them look like, but there were a couple of new faces up there.

Red She-Hulk said...

I expected Loeb to be higher, boy is my face red...

Matt Ampersand said...

Hahaha, best comment ever.

Flip The Page said...

Good to see FVL do well, man deserves it when he's not doing Zombies stuff post-3.

oakleyses said...

replica watches, oakley sunglasses, nike air max, michael kors outlet online, jordan shoes, chanel handbags, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet, nike outlet, christian louboutin shoes, christian louboutin, oakley sunglasses wholesale, burberry handbags, prada handbags, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin uk, coach purses, polo outlet, michael kors outlet, longchamp outlet, gucci handbags, michael kors outlet online, nike free, true religion outlet, tory burch outlet, coach outlet store online, christian louboutin outlet, tiffany and co, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet, prada outlet, coach outlet, michael kors outlet store, coach outlet, ray ban sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet online, tiffany jewelry, kate spade outlet, longchamp outlet, kate spade

oakleyses said...

sac hermes, converse pas cher, timberland pas cher, jordan pas cher, mulberry uk, michael kors outlet, true religion outlet, north face uk, new balance, nike air force, michael kors pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, vans pas cher, north face, ray ban uk, louboutin pas cher, hollister uk, guess pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike air max uk, air max, true religion jeans, nike free uk, ray ban pas cher, nike air max uk, nike free run, true religion outlet, polo lacoste, hogan outlet, michael kors, nike blazer pas cher, longchamp pas cher, nike air max, burberry pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, nike tn, oakley pas cher, polo ralph lauren, nike roshe, ralph lauren uk, hollister pas cher, lululemon canada

oakleyses said...

chi flat iron, hollister clothing, north face outlet, ferragamo shoes, mont blanc pens, nike roshe run, jimmy choo outlet, mac cosmetics, nfl jerseys, asics running shoes, baseball bats, hermes belt, new balance shoes, wedding dresses, nike trainers uk, mcm handbags, beats by dre, valentino shoes, babyliss, p90x workout, lululemon, bottega veneta, oakley, hollister, herve leger, nike roshe run uk, insanity workout, vans outlet, ghd hair, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, giuseppe zanotti outlet, timberland boots, abercrombie and fitch, longchamp uk, soccer shoes, nike air max, iphone 6 cases, nike huaraches, reebok outlet, instyler, celine handbags

oakleyses said...

swarovski, coach outlet, ugg uk, vans, replica watches, uggs outlet, uggs outlet, hollister, links of london, pandora uk, ralph lauren, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, marc jacobs, ray ban, toms shoes, uggs on sale, supra shoes, pandora jewelry, lancel, wedding dresses, thomas sabo, converse outlet, louboutin, hollister, ugg pas cher, pandora charms, ugg boots, montre pas cher, swarovski crystal, ugg, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture outlet, karen millen uk, nike air max, converse, gucci, ugg boots

Post a Comment

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Crisis - Comic Book Review Blog. Comments are always appreciated. You can sign in and comment with any Google, Wordpress, Live Journal, AIM, OpenID or TypePad account.