Comic Book Sales Figures for 1966
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 Batman TV show on ABC starring Adam West launched, and there's no doubt that it made a huge difference to the comics immediately, nearly doubling sales for the Caped Crusader's main title. (Click to see cross-time tracking on Batman.) It was the first time, based on everything we know about the Golden Age, that Batman outsold Superman — something which would happen again in the 1980s when Frank Miller took on the character and then become more or less the rule in the years after the 1992 "Death of Superman" storyline.
Looking at the drops in the Superman titles, it appears that the Batman series' coattails in comics seem to have been limited to the character, with no general increase notable in unrelated series. That said, the television series itself would impact how comics were discussed in the mass media for a generation, with "Biff! Pow! Bam!" in headlines about comics of all sorts, and the moment was the harbinger for many later mass-media inspired boomlets in comics, the next of which would impact Archie, Star Wars, Wonder Woman, and The Incredible Hulk.
Also significant about 1966 is that Marvel finally ran its first figures for Fantastic Four and Amazing Spider-Man, in issues #61 and #47 respectively. By this time, both titles were well established, many classic stories having already appeared — and we find Spidey selling over a third of a million copies. We don't know what sales were for these titles between 1962-1965, but it's interesting to note that while they grow throughout the rest of the 1960s, that growth is not dramatic. This year also finds Marvel changing Journey into Mystery's title to Thor.
1966 saw a new publishing name: King. King Feature Syndicate withdrew its titles from Gold Key in an ill-fated attempt to publish on its own. Many of the books would later wind up with Charlton. Data for Phantom in 1966 includes both information from King and from Gold Key's portion of the year.
ACG published Statements for the last time before going away.
Magazines with comics content (like Mad) are sorted separately at the bottom.
—John Jackson Miller
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||530,808|
|5||Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen||DC||523,455|
|6||World's Finest Comics||DC||513,201|
|10||Justice League of America||DC||408,219|
|13||Treasure Chest||Catholic Guild||348,305|
|14||Walt Disney's Comics & Stories||Gold Key||346,250|
|15||Betty and Veronica||Archie||342,295|
|21||Life with Archie||Archie||300,954|
|22||Uncle Scrooge||Gold Key||297,516|
|24||Archie's Pal Jughead||Archie||284,928|
|26||Brave & Bold||DC||279,406|
|27||Bugs Bunny||Gold Key||276,949|
|28||Tom and Jerry||Gold Key||271,920|
|31||Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos||Marvel||268,499|
|32||The Three Stooges||Gold Key||266,701|
|33||Walt Disney's Donald Duck||Gold Key||265,932|
|34||Archie's Pals 'n' Gals||Archie||265,476|
|35||Porky Pig||Gold Key||261,850|
|37||Twilight Zone||Gold Key||259,703|
|38||Tales to Astonish||Marvel||256,145|
|41||Daffy Duck||Gold Key||254,750|
|42||Mighty Samson||Gold Key||254,725|
|43||Lost in Space||Gold Key||253,025|
|44||Archie Giant Series||Archie||252,427|
|45||Tales of Suspense||Marvel||252,239|
|48||Woody Woodpecker||Gold Key||248,199|
|49||Yogi Bear||Gold Key||247,356|
|51||Turok, Son of Stone||Gold Key||245,202|
|52||Little Lulu||Gold Key||245,000|
|53||Our Army at War||DC||243,906|
|59||Mickey Mouse||Gold Key||225,716|
|60||Doctor Solar||Gold Key||224,936|
|65||Kid Colt Outlaw||Marvel||214,555|
|67||Adventures of Jerry Lewis||DC||211,934|
|68||Challengers of the Unknown||DC||210,316|
|69||Our Fighting Forces||DC||207,885|
|74||Adventures of Bob Hope||DC||194,004|
|76||Sugar & Spike||DC||190,515|
|77||Millie the Model||Marvel||190,217|
|78||Tales of the Unexpected||DC||185,650|
|79||House of Mystery||DC||183,934|
|85||Adventures into the Unknown||ACG||155,102|
|87||Fox & The Crow||DC||142,720|
|88||Army War Heroes||Charlton||133,205|
|90||Texas Rangers in Action||Charlton||125,114|
|91||Outlaws of the West||Charlton||124,813|
|93||Strange Suspense Stories||Charlton||123,267|
About a hundred more Statements exist for this year and have been collected by Comichron. They'll appear here soon!