Amazing Spider-Man 361 Print Run
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I believe it was hoarded to an extent. I bought 8 copies the day it came out as it was touted as the son of venom by the LCS I was going to before the issue came out. I know 8 copies may not seem like a hoard to others, but it was known prior to hitting the stands. I was in Flagstaff at the time.

 

Did you keep those 8 copies, or did you sell/trade them fairly quickly after they were released?

 

Hoarding, as I'm using it, means buying and keeping them, perhaps for the purposes of investment, or just because one likes to hoard.

 

In the case of books like this, Superman #50, #75, Batman #457, #492, and others, these books were worth something fairly quickly, and the temptation to sell them was too great, too soon, for people to hold on to their multiples.

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The print run wasn't that large, comparatively.

 

Numbers for Cap City:

 

#359 - 60,600

#360 - 57,300

#361 - 68,700

#362 - 76,800

#363 - 102,600

#364 - 72,000

#365 - 221,700

 

The statement of ownership for the year lists an avg. print run of 660,958 copies printed, with a sell-through of 554,900....keeping in mind that that average includes the monster run of #365, probably the only issue of Amazing Spiderman to ever have a print run of 1,000,000 copies (with the possible exception of #375.)

 

Should be possible to estimate based on these numbers. hm

 

The statement of ownership says 660,958 average for 12 issues. That's 7.93 million.

The statement of ownership sell-through was 554,900 for 12 issues. That's 6.66 million.

 

We've got Capital City orders of 659,700 for the eight issues (#359-#365) shown above.

If the other four issues averaged about 70,000 copies from Capital City, then the Capital City number would be 939,700.

 

The multiplier for the Capital City numbers would be 7.93 million divided by 939,700. That's 8.44.

 

That would mean the actual print runs are approximately:

 

#359 - 60,600 x 8.44 = 511,464 copies

#360 - 57,300 x 8.44 = 483,612 copies

#361 - 68,700 x 8.44 = 579,828 copies

#362 - 76,800 x 8.44 = 648,192 copies

#363 - 102,600 x 8.44 = 865,944 copies

#364 - 72,000 x 8.44 = 607,680 copies

#365 - 221,700 x 8.44 = 1,871,148 copies

 

That totals 5.57 million. The statement of ownership has 7.93 million, so there would be about 590,000 copies of the other four issues.

 

Sell-through was 84% according to the statement of ownership.

 

Assuming 16% were actually destroyed, the existing copies (around 1993) would have been:

#359 - 60,600 x 8.44 = 511,464 copies * 84% = 429,630

#360 - 57,300 x 8.44 = 483,612 copies * 84% = 406,234

#361 - 68,700 x 8.44 = 579,828 copies * 84% = 487,055

#362 - 76,800 x 8.44 = 648,192 copies * 84% = 544,481

#363 - 102,600 x 8.44 = 865,944 copies * 84% = 727,393

#364 - 72,000 x 8.44 = 607,680 copies * 84% = 510,451

#365 - 221,700 x 8.44 = 1,871,148 copies * 84% = 1,571,764

 

IF the Capital City orders for the other four issues averaged 100,000 copies, rather than the 70,000 copies we've used in these estimates, you can take about 10% to 11% off these estimates.

 

That would put #361 at 433,000 instead of 487,055.

 

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The print run wasn't that large, comparatively.

 

Numbers for Cap City:

 

#359 - 60,600

#360 - 57,300

#361 - 68,700

#362 - 76,800

#363 - 102,600

#364 - 72,000

#365 - 221,700

 

The statement of ownership for the year lists an avg. print run of 660,958 copies printed, with a sell-through of 554,900....keeping in mind that that average includes the monster run of #365, probably the only issue of Amazing Spiderman to ever have a print run of 1,000,000 copies (with the possible exception of #375.)

 

The rule of thumb is always this: if the publisher goes to an immediate reprinting of the book, it means that it sold out at at least the distribution level. That was true not only of #361, but #362 as well. Books that go into immediate reprintings didn't have enough copies printed in the first place to satisfy demand.

 

This book was an instant sellout across the country. The numbers were up over #359 and #360, but only because they printed that cover in the back of #359. If they hadn't done that, that might have had a good 10-15% fewer orders.

 

Look at me, bringing zero value again. lol

 

so, plenty of copies out there

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The print run wasn't that large, comparatively.

 

Numbers for Cap City:

 

#359 - 60,600

#360 - 57,300

#361 - 68,700

#362 - 76,800

#363 - 102,600

#364 - 72,000

#365 - 221,700

 

The statement of ownership for the year lists an avg. print run of 660,958 copies printed, with a sell-through of 554,900....keeping in mind that that average includes the monster run of #365, probably the only issue of Amazing Spiderman to ever have a print run of 1,000,000 copies (with the possible exception of #375.)

 

Should be possible to estimate based on these numbers. hm

 

Yes, but these are necessarily rough estimates, for the reasons stated above.

 

I did the same calculations here, but...the Cap City numbers are direct only, and do not account for the newsstand issues. Why does this matter? Because the print runs for newsstands disproportionately skew the numbers.

 

Example: Diamond lists ASM #361 as the 207th top selling book of the year, while Hard Corps #1 was the 258th.

 

But, at Cap City, it was virtually tied. Hard Corps #1 was Direct only, so there are no newsstand numbers to skew.

 

The Cap City numbers for the year look like this:

 

#357 - 76,500

#358 - 98,400

#359 - 60,600

#360 - 57,300

#361 - 68,700

#362 - 76,800

#363 - 102,600

#364 - 72,000

#365 - 221,700

#366 - 89,100

#367 - 77,700

#368 - 71,700

#369 - 71,100

#370 - 67,000

#371 - 66,400

 

Or 1,277,600 total issues ordered through Cap City, for an average of 85,173 copies per issue.

 

If we take the 68,700 and figure it back in, ASM #361 sold about 80% of the average number of copies for the year. If we plug that back into the total copies sold, that would be about 435,000 total copies, after returns.

 

But again...those are extrapolations based solely on Cap City data, and that data may be inaccurate. It's possible, for example, that the majority of Direct market orders of this book came from Cap City, which would skew the print run/extant copy number down. Without Diamond's numbers (and there were other distributors at this time, too), only broad estimates can be made.

 

There were 15 issues published during the year, as the title was bi-monthly in the fall.

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I agree that the HARDCorps #1 data doesn't tell us much... except perhaps if we try to calculate the number of direct editions vs the number of newsstands (since HARDCorps #1 didn't have newsstand as you noted).

 

I'm only (mathematically) interested in the Capital City numbers by issue and the Marvel statement of ownership for the year.

 

The statement of ownership has a sell-through of 554,900, which is Capital City, Diamond, and newsstand (and everything else), right? (I hope that's right because it's what I'll be using...)

 

554,900 over 15 issues (didn't realize it wasn't 12 in my earlier calculations) means 8,323,000 copies sell-through.

 

We're only using the Capital City numbers to estimate the portion of the 8,323,000 that goes with each issue... so as long as Capital City didn't significantly fluctuate in its percent of ASM sold during that single year (why would it fluctuate per issue?)... then it doesn't matter how many Diamond or newsstands had separately because we've got the whole number from the Marvel statement of ownership.

 

#361 was 68,700 from Capital City which is 5.38% of the 1,277,600 for Capital City. (Keeping it all in the Capital City family so that we're not biasing toward anything else.)

 

5.38% of the 8,323,000 sell-through number is 447,777 copies for #361.

 

My earlier estimate, based on at least one guess that we don't have to guess anymore (thanks to the 15 Capital City numbers) and using 12 issues instead of 15 resulted in a guess of 433,000 to 487,055.

 

It's probably safer to use the 447,770 estimate, call it 450,000 (easier to remember)... and without additional reference information... it'll be the best we can do with the math of the available info.

 

I don't have my SCCB handy at my office, so thanks for the assist on the 15 numbers. (thumbs u

 

450,000 copies estimate for ASM #361. What's our next mystery? :whee:

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But if 361 was a sell out then presumably there were many fewer newsstand returns than normal as collectors would have chased them down at the newsstand if they weren't at their shops. i know i did that occasionally. although i guess we are talking about print-runs, not circulation, because who the heck knows where the newsstand returns actually wound up?

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And no, this book wasn't hoarded from day one. Books that sell out quickly enough to have a second printing aren't hoarded....they are distributed far and wide.

 

Um..what?

 

Books that sell out quickly to have a second printing means they sold out quickly regardless if people were buying 1 copy or 10 - 20 copies at a time of the release. This is a book that was scarfed up because people were buying multiples. I remember at Comiccon that year dealers had boxes being opened up at the spot selling through them.

 

Of course if you want to argue the technicalities of "hoarding" and buying large quantities of the same book go right ahead...

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But if 361 was a sell out then presumably there were many fewer newsstand returns than normal as collectors would have chased them down at the newsstand if they weren't at their shops. i know i did that occasionally. although i guess we are talking about print-runs, not circulation, because who the heck knows where the newsstand returns actually wound up?

540,000 printed, with 450,000 assumed sell-through. (thumbs u

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And no, this book wasn't hoarded from day one. Books that sell out quickly enough to have a second printing aren't hoarded....they are distributed far and wide.

 

Um..what?

 

Books that sell out quickly to have a second printing means they sold out quickly regardless if people were buying 1 copy or 10 - 20 copies at a time of the release. This is a book that was scarfed up because people were buying multiples. I remember at Comiccon that year dealers had boxes being opened up at the spot selling through them.

 

Of course if you want to argue the technicalities of "hoarding" and buying large quantities of the same book go right ahead...

 

No technicalities involved. You're going to have to think a little deeper about this than usual.

 

You need to understand the dynamics of the market, or, at the least, the dynamics of the market as it existed in 1992. Despite what some have said, buying multiple copies of brand new books was still a relatively new and isolated thing. Nobody knew what books would "hit" and what would miss, which is why I still have all 20 or so of my original owner copies of Silver Sable #1..,and my 80 copies of X-Force #1.

 

Yes, there were the "sure bets", like Spiderman #1, X-Men #1, X-Force #1, that everyone loaded up on and tucked away to send their kids to college (aside to those who weren't in comics in the early 90's: this was really what happened, and people realty believed this, which is why you have print runs in the millions for many of these books. It was utter madness.)

 

Now. There were the books that everybody saw coming....and then there were the books that no one saw coming. ASM #361 was one of those latter books. Yes, they printed the cover on the letter's page of #359....and it certainly explains why the Cap City orders were up about 20% over #360...but it was only 20%.

 

This book was clearly underordered, based on subsequent demand, which is why both it and #362 went to immediate second printings, and why the Cap City orders for #363 (which were turned in about the time #361 was on the shelves) were an astonishing 50% greater than the numbers for #361, and an even more amazing 80% greater than #360...all in the span of three months.

 

Result? Instant sellout, and intense market demand, which immediately drove up prices. By that weekend, it was a $10 book. By the next month, it was a $25 book.

 

Were people buying multiple copies at $1.25? Of course. Were they hoarding them? Absolutely not. There was far too much upward pressure on the book's value to do that. Once it crossed the $10 threshold, people started trading them, and then outright selling them.

 

Remember: this was before the internet, and communication among collectors was spotty, at best. There wasn't much of an outlet for the average person to sell multiples, except to dealers...which is generally what happened.

 

What does hoarding mean? It means people buy multiple copies to SET ASIDE for the FUTURE (or, whatever else they want to do; the point being that they have no intention of selling the books any time soon.) And after all, why does one buy multiple copies of anything that is new? Because they are speculating; hoping the item goes up in value. If and when that happens, their goal is achieved, and they sell.

 

If they are buying multiple copies for immediate resale (or close to immediate), then they are just behaving like a retailer, and not hoarding at all. And, those that are paying the aftermarket price for the item usually aren't buying multiple copies, in the hopes that the book will achieve another round of appreciation, which means there isn't further "hoarding" going on.

 

So....a book that has such demand that it goes to an immediate second printing is going to have tremendous pressure to sell in the days, weeks, and months following this, with the end result being that such books end up being distributed far and wide, wider than the average book, and much, much wider than the "event" book that everyone has speculated on.

 

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I believe it was hoarded to an extent. I bought 8 copies the day it came out as it was touted as the son of venom by the LCS I was going to before the issue came out. I know 8 copies may not seem like a hoard to others, but it was known prior to hitting the stands. I was in Flagstaff at the time.

 

Did you keep those 8 copies, or did you sell/trade them fairly quickly after they were released?

 

Hoarding, as I'm using it, means buying and keeping them, perhaps for the purposes of investment, or just because one likes to hoard.

 

In the case of books like this, Superman #50, #75, Batman #457, #492, and others, these books were worth something fairly quickly, and the temptation to sell them was too great, too soon, for people to hold on to their multiples.

 

I kept them up to 1.5 years ago.

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Remember: this was before the internet, and communication among collectors was spotty, at best. There wasn't much of an outlet for the average person to sell multiples, except to dealers...which is generally what happened.

This is mostly what happened with me. When my books started going up in price, I started trading them back to my comic shop for store credit. I think the few books that I actually traded or sold were one copy of Superman #75 (black bag) to my boss for $20 (who thought he was getting an amazing investment), and one copy of UXM 266 which I traded for a copy of UXM 24.

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Me and my brother had over 20 copies of ASM 361 at release point, and we were teenagers. I can only imagine what those with true disposable income amassed back then. To try to sit here and claim that people didn't hoard books in the 90's is highly subjective. My cousin and many others use to pick off Byrne X-Men, Miller Daredevil by the dozens in the late 70's, early 80's.

 

The spawn of Venom was a big deal from day one. Once that book hit the stands and people saw the cover it was a snapped up by everyone in bulk. There is no way to know if they were going to resell them in a week or in 20+ years.

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Exactly. ASM #361 was definitely speculated on and hoarded when it came out.

 

I know of another boardie that bought up as many he could find the week it came out at stores and newsstands. A collection I snagged last year had a stack of newsstand and regular #361-363s in it (sadly, I did not move them as sets so I am sitting on a large stack of #362s and #363s now lol ). I snagged a SA Marvel collection three years ago and the owner added in six copies of #361 for free in the end as "he had plenty of them in the basement". The reason - his file LCS told him it was the next Venom so he loaded up. lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Me and my brother had over 20 copies of ASM 361 at release point, and we were teenagers. I can only imagine what those with true disposable income amassed back then.

 

If you sat on "over 20 copies" of a book that was selling for $25 a month or so after it came out, you were doing it wrong. What were you hoping...the book would go to $50? $100?

 

What is the purpose of buying multiple copies to sit on, if you have no intention of selling them when the iron is hot? (Leave aside the "I buy multiple copies because I like having multiple copies" folks. They are rare, and very much the exception to this discussion. Most people who buy multiple copies do so to SELL/TRADE.)

 

And if you paid $1.25 a copy, then it's not hard to spend $30 on "over 20 copies." That you were teenagers tells me much. Those with "disposable income" were flipping the books.

 

Common sense alone tells you that this is true.

 

To try to sit here and claim that people didn't hoard books in the 90's is highly subjective. My cousin and many others use to pick off Byrne X-Men, Miller Daredevil by the dozens in the late 70's, early 80's.

 

You're not paying attention. I didn't say people didn't hoard books.

 

I said people didn't hoard books like ASM #361, that came out of nowhere and were instantly hot.

 

There have only been a handful of such books: Thor #337, Spiderman #252, Superman #50, Robin #1, Ghost Rider (1990) #1, ASM #361.

 

Yes, people hoarded Miller DD and Byrne X-Men...AFTER those creators became popular. People didn't hoard X-Men #108. Nobody really knew who John Byrne was in 1977.

 

People DID hoard X-Men #141. And this is borne out in part by the census numbers....nearly 3 times the number of copies as #108, and nearly 7 times as many in very high (9.8) grade.

 

People didn't hoard DD #158. They hoarded DD #181. That's why #181-191 are common as dirt, while #158-175 are relatively more difficult to find, especially in high grade.

 

The spawn of Venom was a big deal from day one. Once that book hit the stands and people saw the cover it was a snapped up by everyone in bulk.

 

Very true.

 

There is no way to know if they were going to resell them in a week or in 20+ years.

 

If they were smart, they sold them quickly. If they were stupid, they held on to them, if the point was speculation.

 

I have little doubt there were stupid people who missed the window of opportunity. However...that doesn't negate the fact that most people knew how to act in their best financial interests, and quickly distributed the books to others while the price was good. That's basic human nature at work.

 

Exactly. ASM #361 was definitely speculated on and hoarded when it came out.

 

Speculated on? Absolutely. That cover blew the collective panties off the market.

 

HOARDED...?

 

No.

 

Unless you (the generic "you") were stupid.

 

I know of another boardie that bought up as many he could find the week it came out at stores and newsstands.

 

How much did he pay for them?

 

A collection I snagged last year had a stack of newsstand and regular #361-363s in it (sadly, I did not move them as sets so I am sitting on a large stack of #362s and #363s now lol ). I snagged a SA Marvel collection three years ago and the owner added in six copies of #361 for free in the end as "he had plenty of them in the basement". The reason - his file LCS told him it was the next Venom so he loaded up. lol

 

 

I missed out on ASM #361, for some odd reason. I don't know, maybe I had dropped the title by then, because the "Round Robin" story was terrible. I got maybe 2-3 copies from my usual sources the week it came out, but that was it.

 

I have over 30 copies now.

 

How?

 

I bought them over the intervening decades, when the book became virtually worthless. How do you know those copies didn't come the same way?

 

And again...the Cap City orders AND the immediate second printing tells us that, anecdotes aside, ASM #361 was very clearly underordered.

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I snagged a SA Marvel collection three years ago and the owner added in six copies of #361 for free in the end as "he had plenty of them in the basement". The reason - his file LCS told him it was the next Venom so he loaded up. lol

 

While I don't doubt that there were a few people who did just this...bought multiple copies, and then sat on them...it's important to recognize perspective.

 

In February of 1992, when ASM #361 came out, ASM #300 was a roughly $30 book (it was $32 in the OPG.)

 

Not even VENOM was "Venom" when this book came out. In fact, in the 1991 OPG, #300 was simply listed as "last black costume" and "1st Venom" was listed as #298 (which is, technically, correct.)

 

From 1988-1993, ASM #298 was either the more expensive book, or worth the same, as #300. It wasn't until the Venom mini-series of 1993 (which debuted in Dec of 1992, about 10 months after ASM #361 came out) that Venom became a breakout character.

 

Further...up until ASM #361, Venom had only appeared in 8 full stories (ASM #300, 316, 317, 332, 333, 346, 347, Darkhawk #13) with brief cameos in a few others (ASM #298, 299, 315, 330, 331, 344, 345, Quasar #6, and incidental, non-story appearances elsewhere.)

 

So...you'll forgive me if I question the "my LCS told me this was the next Venom" anecdote, because at that point, even Venom wasn't Venom. It was actually this story, in ASM #361-363, that propelled Venom to wider popularity, and Marvel began to expose the hell out of him.

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When was the newsstand edition of Amazing Spider-Man #361 released? Two weeks after the direct edition?

 

It depended on the distribution policies of the local and regional newsstand distribution centers, but usually about 1-3 weeks after the direct edition.

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