How Marvel Comics first overtook DC Comics in 1972

Today, America’s best-selling comic book publisher is Scholastic. The second is Random House. But in the second half of 1972, it was suddenly Marvel Comics for the first time. One of the first comic book retailers and comic book historian Bob beerbohm (author of Comic book store wars) created the California Comic Bookstore and the first comic book chain. He has a lot of stories to tell, including showing the flyer printed to mark the occasion, from his friend Brian kane. Bob Beerbohm writes on Facebook, with permission to repost;

During the latter half of 1972, Marvel announced that its company had finally overtaken DC Comics to become America’s premier comic book publisher. Marvel claims on this flyer “… in the world…” but that’s hyperbole on their part. Reason How was this accomplished? Not because of the quality of the story, etc., but some underhanded tactic of initially agreeing with DC to increase the price of the cover to 25 cents with DC. go down to 20 cents the following month. Catch and blind DC in this process

Marvel was starting to sell more than DC was and is based on customers seeing 5 Marvels for a dollar VS only 4 DC for a dollar. I saw the customer buying move from DC to Marvel for this very reason, up close, up close, and in a personal way. We had just opened our first of our many Comics & Comix stores in the Bay Area.

Marvel Comics would remain the leading seller of comics in American newsstands and comic bookstores, until the supercharged Image Comics and Death Of Superman DC Comics briefly pushed them back. However, DC Comcis has always performed better in bookstores than Marvel – and still does. Although Scholastic, Penguin Random House, Viz Media, and Kodansha have both pushed them to the bottom of the list in recent years.

Lisa M. Horner