Walking Dead No. 115 Expected to Hit High Sales Numbers

Posted by at 10:40 am on September 26, 2013

Cover115The blockbuster Walking Dead TV series returns to AMC for its fourth season Oct. 13 just as The Walking Dead comic that the show is based on releases its 10th-anniversary issue. The Walking Dead No. 115 is expected to sell more than 300,000 print copies, a seldom-hit number for comics, when it goes on sale Oct. 9. Digital downloads could reach 45,000 or higher, according to estimates by publisher Image Comics.

For comiXology, the confluence of events represents a chance to bring new audiences to the genre, pushing comics further into the mainstream.

“We get tons of people who have seen The Walking Dead TV show and then heard it’s a comic book,” said CEO David Steinberger. “We get much more of the casual pop-culture-consuming audience [than comics shops get] that doesn’t necessarily know about comics shops or know that their favorite shows are in comic books.”

Those new readers help explain why double-digit digital sales may be helping rather than hurting the print comics business. In 2012, the North American comic-book-shop market grew 6%, to $680 million. And this year, sales through August were up 9%, putting the business on track to have its best year since 2000, according to Milton Griepp, CEO of industry website ICv2.com, who will deliver a report at Comic Con New York. (Kicking off Oct. 10, the pop-culture fest this year will max out the Javits Center with a record 120,000 guests.)

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