Favorite Quotes

"The fact that you think you are a person is a socially induced hallucination. There is not such thing as a person."
- D. Chopra, Playboy March 2011 interview

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Box Score Reprise 1: Lev Gleason

Mark Twain said there are 3 kinds of lies:  Lies, Damn Lies, & Statistics.  You can add marketing to that.

Crime Does Not Pay (December 1947) [Lev Gleason Publications Inc.]

Note that this cover says "6 Million Readers Monthly".  That may be a lie and it may not be as studies at the time found that kids did trade and pass around their comic books in the late 1940s.  But we can guesstimate how many kids had to read each copy.

During the last 6 months of 1947, Lev Gleason Publications Inc., was publishing just 4 titles, Boy, Crime Does Not Pay, Daredevil, and Horse Feathers.  According to the SM News Box Score I posted not long ago, Lev Gleason had 9 issues and a total circulation of 6.48 million with an average sale per issue of 720,000.  So its impossible that each issue of Crime Does Not Pay sold 6 million copies as it had six issues during that time.

The issues covered by that time frame may have been three issues of Boy (#35-37)  and six issues of Crime Does Not Pay (#53-58).  But three issue of Daredevil Comics (#43-45) were also out in the last half of 1947.  The indicia name in Daredevil is Daredevil Publishers Inc. even though it is at the same 114 East 32nd St. address as Lev Gleason.  So maybe it was treated separately by SM News even though it was all one company.

Also coming out in this time period was Horse Feathers #1 (Nov. 1947), which also does not seem to have been counted.  It could be that not all the titles or issues were submitted to The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).  Its odd that some titles omitted from the SM News numbers, but its possible at least Horse Feathers wasn't submitted to the ABC since it's second issue didn't come out until April 1948.  Maybe it was intended to be a one-shot.

In any event, if the 6 million number has any validity, every child that bought a copy shared it with more than other 8 children for each of those 9 issues that were published.  Or maybe shared it with more than 10 others, if it is just referring to Crime Does Not Pay.  But it obvious that the 6 million is not referring to actual sales.

This exercise does demonstrate some of the limitations of the SM News Box Score and the way publishers conducted business.  Too much extrapolation from a single set of data can sometimes be misleading.

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