This slide is part of my post entitled Newsstand Rarity Discussion & Estimates where I have collected quotes and graphics related to the discussion of relative newsstand rarity over the years, compared to direct edition copies. In this slide, I am discussing a quote by Chuck Rozanski about how Image Comics sold only 1% of their comics on newsstands:
“Another consideration about newsstand editions is that different publishers produced them at different times. Image, for example, had a vigorous newsstand program right from the beginning, but still sold 99% of their comics through the Direct Market.”
— Chuck Rozanski, Newsstand Editions History
What is particularly interesting to me about this quote, is the idea that Image did in fact produce newsstand editions as opposed to being exclusively direct market sales (in another slide I show a book quote where Image is said to have been believed to be exclusive to the direct market!). The notion that fully 99% of Image’s comic book sales were direct edition copies sold to comic shops, would therefore give Image’s newsstand comics an extreme level of comparative rarity to direct edition copies, at just 1% newsstand. Presumably within this Image-wide estimate we’d see variation where less popular titles may have done more poorly, and the most popular titles such as Spawn, may have done better. (Along these lines, a quote from another slide says that in 1979 Marvel did 6% direct edition sales but over 10% for the popular X-Men, showing that the popularity of a given title may have effected its sales levels within the more broad “publisher-wide” numbers).
Equally interesting is that there are CGC-recognized newsstand variants for those Image newsstand comics where there were manufacturing differences between the direct edition and the newsstand copies. By having distinct variants for some of these, we can examine how many copies of each type CGC has graded, and what the relative rarity ratio is — in another slide I provide 10 such examples, where as of this writing in 2016, a total of 3359 direct edition copies have been graded, versus 107 newsstand variants (that’s 97% direct edition versus 3% newsstand appearing on census).