Six To Ten Percent Direct Edition In 1979

Slide from Newsstand Rarity Discussion & Estimates; discussion below.

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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 from Chuck Rozanski on the early days of direct edition sales:

“A critical bit of data about newsstand ratios comes from a long conversation on the subject that I had with Jim Shooter, way back in 1979. Jim had been quietly keeping track of Seagate’s sales to comics shops, even though that was not really within the pervue of his role as Editor-In-Chief. What he told me at that time was that approximately 6% of Marvel’s total sales were going into comics shops through Seagate (and a couple of other smaller distributors), but that certain fan-favorite titles (such as X-Men) were over 10%.”

— Chuck Rozanski, Newsstand Editions History

What is particularly interesting to me about this quote is that amidst the broad 1979 direct edition sales percentage of 6% at Marvel, there were also “fan favorite” titles such as X-Men (and presumably Amazing Spider-Man too), where sales were 10% — or over. To me this highlights one of the elements of variability collectors must keep in mind when considering relative newsstand vs. direct edition rarity: that title by title, we may see differences in the sales numbers. Even issue by issue we may see differences, due to each issue’s unique circumstances: one example of this was the division of Amazing Spider-Man issues into three different newsstand UPC codes, where some stores didn’t get all of them despite all being within the Amazing Spider-Man title.

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