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  • Circulation Figures Show Archie's Sonic Comic in Decline

    The circulation numbers have been published for Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic run, and they make for some interesting reading. Comparing the sales, print and return figures between 1999, 2000 and 2001 offer some decent context for the health of the series, and while the numbers show that circulation is clearly decreasing year-on-year, Archie seems to have slowed down the rate of the comic's readership decline.

    There are potentially many factors behind the below statistics - the leadership at Archie, readership reception to the current era stories and artwork, and the lure of technological advances pulling some away from print entirely - but for now we get to see the raw numbers in Archie's Sonic performance.

    Ron Bauerle provided the following figures to The Sonic Foundation, which is where we sourced the below.


    First number is the average for the filing period (issues 87-99);
    Second number is for the issue nearest the filing date (11/7/00 (sic)):

    Number of Copies:
    Sonic 1999: 133908/118024
    Sonic 2000: 103044/80607
    Sonic 2001: 73201/68555

    Dealer Sales:
    Sonic 1999: 40716/41227
    Sonic 2000: 32424/33815
    Sonic 2001: 26983/29594

    Dealer Sales - Mail Subscriptions:
    Sonic 1999: 5338/4338
    Sonic 2000: 4257/4870
    Sonic 2001: 3682/3158

    Total Sales:
    Sonic 1999: 46054/45615
    Sonic 2000: 36681/38685
    Sonic 2001: 30665/32752

    Free Distribution By Mail:
    Sonic 1999: 290/291
    Sonic 2000: 296/298
    Sonic 2001: 293/292

    Free Distribution, Non-Mail:
    Sonic 1999: 197/198
    Sonic 2000: 147/147
    Sonic 2001: 141/144

    Total Free Distribution:
    Sonic 1999: 487/489
    Sonic 2000: 443/445
    Sonic 2001: 435/436

    Total Distribution:
    Sonic 1999: 46540/46154
    Sonic 2000: 37124/39130
    Sonic 2001: 31100/33188

    Office Use / Leftovers / Spoiled:
    Sonic 2001: 6767/6217

    Non-Distributed Copies:
    Sonic 2000: 3583/1198
    Sonic 2001: 2187/2176

    Returns From Agents:
    Sonic 1999: 80601/64473
    Sonic 2000: (62337/40279)
    Sonic 2001: (39914/33191)

    Sonic 1999: 133908/116844
    Sonic 2000: (103044/80607)
    Sonic 2001: (73201/68555)

    I see they don't have to report the returns from agents any more; I subtracted the total distribution from the total copies to get the number above.

    (Percentage Change in Sales):
    Sonic 1999: -29.8/-30.5
    Sonic 2000: -20.3/-18.0
    Sonic 2001: -16.4/-15.3

    (Percentage Change in Total):
    Sonic 1999: -19.0/-21.6
    Sonic 2000: -23.0/-31.7
    Sonic 2001: -29.0/-15.0

    (Percentage Change in Subs):
    Sonic 1999: -19.4/-31.0
    Sonic 2000: -20.3/+12.3
    Sonic 2001: -13.5/-35.1

    (Percentage Returns Total):
    Sonic 1999: 60/55
    Sonic 2000: 60/50
    Sonic 2001: 55/48

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