One-Third Of ‘Rocket Raccoon’ #1’s 300,000 Orders Came From One Subscription Service
In the year 2014, a single comic book selling 300,000 copies in a single month is a very big deal. For perspective, the top comic from March was Batman #29, which sold just about 117,000 copies. April's top seller was Amazing Spider-Man #1, which managed a jaw-dropping 532,000 thanks in part to numerous retailer incentives tied to variant covers.
The first issue of Skottie Young's new Rocket Raccoon series is a bit of an anomaly, though. A far less commercial affair than a new #1 issue of a Spider-Man comic, Rocket Raccoon has still sold 300,000 copies according to Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, and without much in the way of arcane retailer incentives. But it seems that about 100,000 of those comics were all ordered by one source: Loot Crate, a service that sends subscribers monthly boxes of "geek and gamer" merchandise.
Past crates have included comics -- a digital version of Bravest Warriors #1 was in the February box and an Attack on Titan manga collection was in March's -- but Loot Crate doesn't seem to have had nearly as much of an impact on one issue's sales as it did with Rocket Raccoon #1.
That may be because Loot Crate has been growing pretty rapidly -- 20 percent per month, according to ICv2. Last month, the service hit 100,000 subscribers, and it's up to about 110,000 now. It could also be because digital issues and manga sales aren't counted the same way that print issues are.
Certainly a debut with 200,000 copies sold would be a big deal for a Guardians of the Galaxy spinoff series featuring a character who's best known as a member of a team --though we should certainly note that Rocket Raccoon is poised to become a major movie star very soon -- but it's hard to deny that 100,000 in guaranteed additional sales is huge. One has to wonder whether Loot Crate gets any sort of discount for ordering in bulk, though.
Rocket Raccoon #1 will reportedly be part of the July Loot Crate offering. The issue hits stands July 2, and the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, in which Rocket Raccoon will be voiced by Bradley Cooper, opens in theaters August 1.
Get ready for other publishers to start angling for that Loot Crate bump.
About Rocket Racoon Co-Creator Bill Mantlo
If you enjoy the Guardians of the Galaxy comic books and plan to see the movie, consider making a donation to the continued healthcare costs of disabled Rocket Raccoon co-creator Bill Mantlo, whose insurance provides only the most minimal level of care for someone with his needs. You can read more about Mr. Mantlo’s life and plight in this in-depth article by Bill Coffin.
Mantlo is just one of numerous veteran comic book creators in need. You can learn more about artists like him and their lives at the Hero Initiative, the comic book industry’s non-profit organization that offers aid to the men and women who created the industry and work which now fuels Hollywood’s biggest success.