Comic Book Sales Figures for 1969
Average Total Paid Circulation as Reported in Publishers' Statements of Ownership and Filed with the United States Postal Service
This list includes only those titles which offered subscriptions via the USPS Second or Periodical Class, and which published their sales reports in their titles.
The same way the Batman TV show helped Batman sales, another extraneous event helped propel a title to the top of the charts. The Archie Show debuted on CBS's Saturday morning line-up in September of the previous year, and Don Kirshner, who had manufactured a multimedia phenomenon with The Monkees, did so again by organizing a bubbblegum pop band, The Archies. It was pure sugar (sorry — it couldn't be helped) for the comics sales, and Archie went to first place.
DC and Marvel each increased their cover prices by 20% to 15¢ — with starkly different results. Painful declines hit Superman and Batman, and even mid-range titles like Green Lantern were off 20%. Marvel, meanwhile, switched its prices later in the year and saw less dramatic drops. Amazing Spider-Man sales were nearly flat, but in this market that still allowed it to reach the Top 10 for the first time. Spidey's own cartoon show was on its second (and last) season on ABC.
So while the 1960s close with the super-heroes of the Silver Age in ascendance, it was really only ascendance relative to the other genres in the field. Marvel, with a slate increasingly devoted to super-heroes, was better positioned than other publishers to enter the 1970s — but all publishers would find it one of the tougher decades in the history of comics.
Links lead to current listings for these titles on eBay. Further detail may be found in our Title Spotlights.
|Title||Publisher||Average Copies Sold|
|4||Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane||DC||397,346|
|5||Betty and Veronica||Archie||384,789|
|8||World's Finest Comics||DC||366,618|
|11||Archie and Me||Archie||345,869|
|13||Life with Archie||Archie||326,488|
|14||Reggie and Me||Archie||276,275|
|15||Walt Disney's Comics & Stories||Gold Key||272,672|
|16||Archie Giant Series||Archie||271,699|
|20||Archie's Pals 'n' Gals||Archie||253,206|
|23||Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos||Marvel||242,897|
|24||Brave & Bold||DC||242,501|
|27||Justice League of America||DC||233,000|
|28||Treasure Chest||Catholic Guild||231,531|
|29||Reggie's Wise Guy Jokes||Archie||222,732|
|35||Turok, Son of Stone||Gold Key||209,813|
|41||Adventures of Jerry Lewis||DC||174,125|
|42||House of Mystery||DC||173,206|
|43||Sugar & Spike||DC||171,227|
|47||Tales of the Unexpected||DC||155,110|
|51||Challengers of the Unknown||DC||140,238|
|52||Texas Rangers in Action||Charlton||136,378|
|Average for comics||252,202|