Robot 6

The star of April’s sales charts: The Walking Dead

Image Firsts: The Walking Dead #1

Image Firsts: The Walking Dead #1

The most interesting thing about April’s direct-market sales chart has nothing to do with DC’s Brightest Day — the zero issue was No. 1, naturally — or Marvel’s Siege tie-ins, but rather with a $1 reprint of a nearly seven-year-old black-and-white comic.

The Walking Dead #1, the debut entry in Image Comics’ “Image Firsts” campaign reprinting the first issues from 10 popular series, sold more than 59,000 copies, seizing the No. 15 spot on the April chart.

A one-dollar comic is difficult to pass by, particularly when $3.99 titles are becoming the norm. However, the performance of the reprint is a testament to the enduring — or is that growing? — popularity of the well-regarded zombie/survivalist series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and, later, Charlie Adlard. After all, as ICv2 notes, the material from the first issue has been available in trade paperback, through many reprints, dating back to May 2004.

What’s more, all 11 of The Walking Dead‘s trade paperbacks landed on April’s graphic novel chart, with the latest edition of the first volume, “Days Gone Bye,” selling more than 1,500 copies. The monthly series isn’t doing too shabby, either: Issue 71 charted at No. 81 with more than 24,500 copies.

And with Frank Darabont’s television adaptation debuting in October on AMC, those numbers are only likely to rise.



The success is well deserved. “The Walking Dead” is one of the best comics on the market.

I definitely support the price. And even though I’m growing tired of the zombie trend, Walking Dead is a good one.

— Nick
from City of Kik

Maybe some prescient retailers are hoping to have a low-cost sampler already on hand for when the show (or commercials for it) hits?

It’s a testament to the quality of the work, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess many retailers ordered heavy and gave them away/had them on the ready for FCBD as well.

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