Saturday, April 25, 2015

Action Comics #1 - Sales figures and more

As you know here at Comic Book Hunters and Gatherers we are big fans of the history an overall importance on Action Comics #1, just read all our past blogs in Stories of Action Comics #1.

We haven't posted much recently as our team has been doing some reach into the early history of Action Comics #1. Much has been written in regards to Siegel and Shuster trying to sell their idea and the development of Superman. Not much has been written about the actual original sale of Action Comics #1. Yes we all know it started the superhero comic book genre. We also know it had an initial print run of 202,000 copies. The rest of this blog will contain facts you may not know.

The publishers, Jack Liebowitz and Harry Donenfeld, of Action Comics #1 thought they might have something special on their hands so they printed 20,000 promotional poster to be hung on newsstands, in pharmacies and anywhere else the comic might be sold.
House Ad for Action Comics #1

Liebowitz and Donenfeld also pre-arranged for Action Comics #1 to stay on shelfs for six weeks instead of the standard four weeks.
After the issue went on sale the publishers wanted to get a feel for how the issue was selling so rhey provided retailers with a postcard  where they could record the sales fifteen days and then again at the end of the month. Although this wasn't the mat accurate way it did give a snap shot of the sales figures and the figures were GOOD!

Siegel and Shuster, Liebowitz and Donenfeld were all right they did have a hit on their hands. Of the 220,000 copies that were printed 130,000 copies had sold, that's 64% of the print run. Anything over 50% was considered both a success and made a profit.

Following the success of Action Comics #1 Liebowitz and Donenfeld wanted to verify what they already knew, that being that people were buying Action Comics to read about Superman. So in issue  #4 they put in a short survey asking readers to put their five favorite stories in order. 75% put Superman first (404 of 542) with an additional 11% put him second (59).  

The rest as they have said for many years is history. 

In upcoming blogs we will look at the sales figures of other early issues of Action Comics, you know Superman wasn't on every cover back then.

Hope you enjoyed.

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