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Strange Suspense Stories/Captain Atom Sales Figures

Circulation as Reported in Publishers' Statements of Ownership
Filed with the United States Postal Service

Few titles saw so many name changes as the series that spent its longest duration as Strange Suspense Stories.

Unrelated to a five-issue series by the same name from Fawcett in 1952-53, Strange Suspense began as the Charlton crime comic Lawbreakers — and changed its name annually in the early 1950s. Famous for Steve Ditko art, the series fared a little better than some other Charlton titles dwelling at the bottom of the 1960s sales charts.

Captain Atom — the character who would inspire Watchmen's Doctor Manhattan — migrated into this title from Space Adventures and took it over completely in 1965. Sales figures at right are for both the forerunner title and Captain Atom. 

—John Jackson Miller

 

 

19601961196219631964
Issue Statement appearing in:#53 May#58 April#64 April#70 May#75 Jun
Date of filing:9/30/619/30/619/29/629/30/6510/30/64
Issues published during year:66666
Annual subscription price:$0.60$0.70$0.70$0.70$0.70
Cover price during year:$0.10$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.12
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):221,507226,251
Sales through DEALERS (avg):133,788130,475
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):1720
Total PAID circulation (avg):122,257126,598127,740133,805130,495
Samples by MAIL (avg):2525
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00
Total FREE circulation (avg):2525
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:133,330130,520
Copies not distributed (office):
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):88,17795,731
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:39.8%42.3%
Copies existent:122,257126,598127,740133,830130,520
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:60.4%57.7%
19651966   
Issue Statement appearing in:#80 Apr-May#86 June
Date of filing:9/30/659/30/66
Issues published during year:66
Annual subscription price:$0.70$0.70
Cover price during year:$0.12$0.12
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):260,959238,100
Sales through DEALERS (avg):131,317123,200
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):3367
Total PAID circulation (avg):131,350123,267
Samples by MAIL (avg):2525
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00
Total FREE circulation (avg):2525
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:131,375123,292
Copies not distributed (office):
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):129,584114,808
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:49.7%48.2%
Copies existent:131,375123,292
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:50.3%51.8%

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Statement history
Statements of Ownership did not include sales figures until 1960, so no figures exist for the previous incarnations of the series. Subscribers followed over into Captain Atom, so the form printed in Captain Atom #80 is actually referring to sales of Strange Suspense before the name change. There is no 1967 Statement.