Thursday, July 7, 2011

1985 - Breakdown of Marvel Subscription

Here's the breakdown of Marvel's active subscription in 1985 pulled from

Surprised to see GI Joe with that much of a lead. Alpha Flight did quite well too.


  1. interesting, thanks for posting this. i wonder how that compares to the store sales, and what makes a title sell better in one vs the other.

  2. I'm was surprised to see the numbers. It's sad to see how poor current comic sales are going these days. Estimated sales for May 2011's best seller (Fear Itself #2) were 96,318. Compare that to just the subscriptions from 1985 and to how many copies of Dazzler were sold. This industry is dying.

    It looks like the days of pamphlet comics is nearing the end. At least we'll always have back issues.

    See this link for May's numbers

  3. This sales chart is from right as I was ending my time as a subscriber 1982-1985.
    (I may have ended mail-subscriptions just as 1985 was beginning.)

    I subscribed to:
    Doctor Strange
    Uncanny X-Men
    Marvel Age
    and... maybe something else?

    I'll have to do some searching of the old grey-matter (and longboxes).

    I may have to borrow this sales chart for a future blog post trip down memory lane, but I will give credit to you for finding it.

    Thanks for this little peek into the past.


  4. No worries P. I found it on jimshooter's blog, so he should get the reference. :)

  5. Poor Groo, way down at the bottom. :(

  6. Wow, I knew G.I. Joe was at the height of its popularity then, but those are some massive numbers just on subscriptions alone. When I'm looking through old books from the 70's and 80's, if I run across a statement of ownership form listed in the issue(showing what the circulation was for the past year of the title), I always read it. I've never seen very high numbers in the subscription department. Usually below a few thousand books.



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