It Occurs to Me:
When looking at Marc-Oliver Frisch's analysis of DC sales over at The Beat, that there's a very easy snapshot of the comics market to be had. The vast majority of the market, sadly, is only interested in superheroes and don't have much interest in branching out. Because the easiest, most accessible diversion from superheroes for adult readers is probably DC's Vertigo line, which features high quality, the same production values and even elements that make it similar enough to superheroes for an easy transition, but the numbers are just miles apart. Witness:
Justice League (the top-selling DC book for the month)? 160,000 readers
Fables (the top-selling Vertigo book for the month)? 27,000 readers
Now, it's not hard science or anything, but it's probably fair to say, looking at this, that the audience for superhero comics is over five times larger than the audience for non-superhero comics. At best.
That's a shame, and probably as good an indicator as any of what the small press is up against these days. They're competing for a pool that is, at its strongest, maybe 30,000 readers strong. You know, just slightly the level where DC and Marvel generally start thinking superhero books aren't doing well and need cancelling.
Of course, there's the bookstore market, which hopefully is a large, new pool of readers that are probably more interested in non-superhero stuff, but still... kind of depressing.
It also occurs to me I've mostly been bitching on this site for the last few posts, so the next one will definitely contain good news and good stuff. Certainly there's been plenty of that fairly recently as well.