Isn't it the case that most new books have a drop in sales by a significant percentage over the first few issues?
It's true there's often a big drop in order numbers between the first and second issues as retailers try to assess what the demand will be for a title. You really can't tell what the market demand proved to be until the fourth or fifth issue.
So yeah, a drop isn't uncommon.
In this instance, though, DC hyped the holy living crap out of BEFORE WATCHMEN, and retailers, responding like Pavlov's drooling dog, ordered 120,000 copies, which is -- in 2012 -- a huge seller. It's a major deal. Very few comics hit 120,000 anymore. And DC used that to further hype the project.
Now we're learning what market demand was.
Less than half that.
And I predict demand will continue to fall.
My own local retailer, who devoted an entire display at the front of his store to BEFORE WATCHMEN, is sitting unhappily on a shitload of unsold comics, destined to rest in a 50-cent box by year's end.
He fell for it, hook, line and sinker, sucker.