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More than 148,400 comic book and graphic novel sales figures online!

Welcome to Comichron, a resource for comic book circulation and other data gathered by

John Jackson Miller and other pop culture archaeologists interested in comics history.

Just added! Comics sales estimates for September 2017!

 

December 15th, 2017

DC's Doomsday Clock helps make November 2017 second best month of year; GN orders grow

by John Jackson Miller


 See eBay listings for this issueDoomsday Clock and its continuing Batman-related event during the Justice League movie's release month combined to give DC its strongest month of 2017 by far in November 2017, outstripping its previous November (which also had five shipping weeks) by 21%. That's a major beat, and a reversal after a long string of comparatives against Rebirth months; we're now into comparisons with the 2016 months where Rebirth issues weren't returnable.

It was enough to give the Direct Market its second-best month of 2017, as retailers ordered almost exactly $47 million in comic books, graphic novels, and magazines from Diamond in the month. It would have been better had DC's strength been matched elsewhere — but orders for the market minus DC were down 15% year-over-year, including, unusually, Image, which had been pacing ahead of its 2016 performance all year. So the overall market was down 5.8% versus the previous November, but that's the lowest decline since we got into the Rebirth comparative months.

It was the first month with no Image graphic novels in the Top 10 since January 2016. It's something that's happened a few times this decade, but not very often. Only 14 new Image GNs were released, against even fewer (9) last November; Image appears to do the bulk of its holiday graphic novel releases earlier in the fall. Still, graphic novels had a good month, up 2.21% over the previous November. With Star Wars: The Last Jedi releasing, the franchise again topped the graphic novel charts with Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 1: Imperial Machine.

 Find this book at TFAW.com
So we now have one positive category, with the others down only in single-digits percentage-wise — with the exception of comic book unit sales, which were off 13.28%. Recall, however, that November 2016 was a significant month for Marvel overship volume. We're going to get into some more months like as the winter progresses.

To get back to another five-week November to compare with before 2016, you have to go to November 2011, the strongest autumn month following the New 52 relaunch. November 2017's sales beat those from that month easily, $47 million to $41.28 million. That's an increase of 14% and demonstrates that, while 2017 has been a definite rough patch, major growth took place in the market following the last market lull, and we're still at a higher plateau.

We're looking now at a year between $525 and $530 million in overall comics, graphic novels, and magazines ordered, likely down 9%; comic book units are looking at around 90 million copies for the year, off around 9%. The latter is lower than recent levels, but, again, higher than 2013 and previous years of the decade.

The comparatives:

DollarsUnits
November 2017 Vs. October 2017
Comics-3.63%-4.73%
Graphic Novels19.29%27.04%
Total Comics/GNs3.11%-2.54%
Toys45.65%39.93%
November 2017 Vs. November 2016
Comics-9.45%-13.28%
Graphic Novels2.21%-1.73%
Total Comics/GNs-5.80%-12.36%
Toys-4.88%-20.66%
Year-To-Date 2017 Vs. Year-To-Date 2016
Comics-9.89%-8.38%
Graphic Novels-9.32%-11.72%
Total Comics/GNs-9.72%-8.65%
Toys-11.01%-18.12%

Among the bright spots, Dynamite's orders were up nearly 50% over the same month in the previous year. That was enough to vault the publisher into fifth place. The market shares:

PublisherDollar ShareUnit Share
Marvel34.29%34.52%
DC33.71%39.37%
Image8.07%8.26%
IDW4.04%3.66%
Dynamite2.20%2.15%
Dark Horse2.08%1.53%
Boom2.06%1.61%
Viz1.34%0.53%
Titan1.31%1.07%
Oni1.23%0.76%

Doomsday Clock's regular and lenticular versions ended 1-2 in the rankings; it's already been reprinted. The promo button appears to have helped, and many of the eBay auctions for the book seem to be going with the button as a package deal. The top-selling comics:

COMIC BOOKPRICEPUBLISHER
1Doomsday Clock #1$4.99DC
2Doomsday Clock #1 Lenticular Edition$5.99DC
3The Batman Who Laughs #1$3.99DC
4Batman Lost #1$4.99DC
5Batman #35$2.99DC
6Batman #34$2.99DC
7Batman: The Devastator #1$3.99DC
8Captain America #695$3.99Marvel
9Batman Annual #2$4.99DC
10Star Wars #38$3.99Marvel

The top-selling graphic novels:

GRAPHIC NOVELPRICEPUBLISHER
1Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 1: Imperial Machine17.99Marvel
2Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe... Again$15.99Marvel
3The Flash Vol. 4: Running Scared$14.99DC
4Wonder Woman Vol. 4: Godwatch$16.99DC
5Rick And Morty Volume 1$19.99Oni
6Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation$19.99Marvel
7Journey To Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Captain Phasma$16.99Marvel
8Superman Volume 4: Black Dawn$16.99DC
9Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son Of Dathomir$15.99Marvel
10Justice League Vol. 4: Endless$16.99DC

And the total number of new items shipped:

PublisherComics
shipped
Graphic
Novels
shipped
Magazines
shipped
Total shipped
DC95360131
Marvel85460131
Image6814082
IDW4326069
Boom2516041
Titan2310841
Viz040040
Dynamite259034
Dark Horse1412026
Oni82010
Other15624430430
TOTAL SHIPPED542455381035

The final estimates will be online here Monday. In the meantime, don't spoil the movie for anyone!

http://amzn.to/2hsu7mtComichron founder John Jackson Miller has tracked the comics industry for more than 20 years, including a decade editing the industry's retail trade magazine; he is the author of several guides to comics, as well as more than a hundred comic books for various franchises.

He is the author of novels including Star Wars: KenobiOverdraft: The Orion OffensiveStar Wars: A New Dawn, and the Star Trek: Prey trilogy. His new Last Jedi prequel hardcover, Star Wars: Canto Bight, releases December 5. Read more at his fiction site.


Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.




November 13th, 2017

October 2017 comics sales estimates: Metal #3 near 159k copies, four over 100k

by John Jackson Miller

October brought the restoration of many Marvel titles' legacy numberings (as well as the creation of several legacy titles through the cobbling-together of multiple miniseries) as part of its Legacy event. The promotion, which required retailers to meet certain thresholds to order special lenticular covers, helped Marvel and the Direct Market's orders increase 5% over September, but paled in comparison to sales from the previous October, the Rebirth-driven second-strongest month of 2016. Click to see comics order estimates for October 2017.

Many fewer new comics were released this October versus the year before, however: 484, down 8% or 52 comics from the year previous. Perhaps owing to Legacy, Marvel's release slate was its smallest in a long time; Marvel released 81 new comic books, its fewest since February 2016 and eight fewer than it released last October. The 7.62 million comic books retailers ordered, while nearly identical to orders from the previous two months, was off 21% from 2016's overstuffed October; that shortfall likely drops to 18% with the Loot Crate book from that month removed. Marvel's Thor #700 was its top seller, in advance of the release of the popular film, Thor: Ragnarok.


Click to see listings for this issue on eBay
The Dark Multiverse event at DC — including Dark Nights: Metal #3 (with North American shipments of 158,700 copies) and various Batman specials — dominated the top 10; orders continued to come in for Dark Nights: Metal #1, bringing it above 271,000 copies. It remains second on the list of top-sellers for 2017. While the Marvel Legacy lenticular covers were priced identically with their normal counterparts and thus combined in rankings by Diamond, two DC issues had different prices and were not. With orders fused, Action Comics #989 and #990 would have placed 9th and 12th respectively.

Mister Miracle, one of September's most heavily reordered books, saw orders off very slightly from its second to third issue.

Image saw its dollar market share climb above 11% thanks to strong performances in the graphic novel category; the Here's Negan hardcover alone had first-month North American orders above 19,300 copies, with a full retail dollar value of nearly $400,000. (Edit: An errant decimal point resulted in an earlier incorrect headline.) Trade paperback and hardcover sales to retailers overall were up slightly over the previous year.

The vital statistics for the month:
Read more »




November 10th, 2017

Metal, Legacy dominate October sales to comic shops; Here's Negan pushes DM graphic novel category to first win in months


by John Jackson Miller

Earlier this week in advance of the release of the Diamond Comic Distributors preliminary sales report for October 2017, I tweeted that the same month last year would be very hard to beat, even with Marvel's Legacy event and DC's Dark Multiverse storyline underway. The second best month of 2016 in the Direct Market, October 2016 had a huge number of new releases: 536 new comics, the most all year, many of which were double-shipped Rebirth issues. And it was further assisted on the unit sales side by several hundred thousand copies of Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1 which went to Loot Crate; it was the largest number of copies Diamond shipped of any comic book all year.


See Dark Nights Metal #3 at TFAW
But while beating last October seemed unlikely, I noted that trajectory mattered — and while Diamond today reported that orders for comics, graphic novels, and magazines were down 11% versus last October, they were up 5% over September 2017, a month which also had four shipping weeks. The month's top seller was Dark Nights: Metal #3, with six other Batman releases making the Top 10; three Marvel Legacy issues rounded out the top 10, including the second-place Thor #700.

Comichron
calculates that retailers ordered $45.58 million in print material at full retail, $2 million more than September and almost tying the total from this August, which had an extra shipping week. While both were down versus last October, Marvel and DC sold retailers more dollars worth of merchandise this October than they did in September — and Image continued to outpace the market, beating its year-ago total by 8% and climbing to an 11.46% market share.

Order Here's Negan from TFAWSpeaking of Image, a positive sign was to be found in Diamond's graphic novel sales to comics shops, which managed to beat their pace from the same month a year ago by more than 2%. That's the first graphic novel year-over-year win since May, the only other month this year in which that happened. Image had six of the top ten graphic novels, including the top-selling Walking Dead: Here's Negan hardcover. The number of new graphic novels that shipped this October is the same as last October: 345.

Meanwhile, many fewer new comics were released this October: 484, down 8% or 52 comics from last October. Perhaps owing to Legacy, Marvel's release slate was its smallest in a long time; Marvel released 81 new comic books, its fewest since February 2016 and eight fewer than it released last October. The 7.62 million comic books retailers ordered, while nearly identical to orders from the previous two months, was off 21% from 2016's overstuffed October; that shortfall likely drops to 18% with the Loot Crate book removed.

The aggregate sales statistics:


DollarsUnits
October 2017 Vs. September 2017
Comics2.84%-1.10%
Graphic Novels9.60%0.08%
Total Comics/GNs4.74%-1.02%
Toys-3.64%-7.22%
October 2017 Vs. October 2016
Comics-15.74%-21.05%
Graphic Novels2.37%-8.02%
Total Comics/GNs-11.12%-20.27%
Toys-16.10%-12.91%
Year-To-Date 2017 Vs. Year-To-Date 2016
Comics-9.93%-7.89%
Graphic Novels-10.55%-12.76%
Total Comics/GNs-10.12%-8.27%
Toys-11.82%-17.78%

The market shares:

PublisherDollar ShareUnit Share
Marvel36.38%38.63%
DC30.58%35.48%
Image11.46%9.84%
IDW4.33%3.31%
Dark Horse2.82%1.74%
Dynamite1.99%1.96%
Boom1.96%1.81%
Oni1.08%0.76%
Titan1.02%0.85%
Archie0.68%0.57%
Other7.70%5.05%

The top-selling comics:

COMIC BOOKPRICEPUBLISHER
1Dark Nights: Metal #3$3.99DC
2The Mighty Thor #700$5.99Marvel
3Amazing Spider-Man #789$3.99Marvel
4Batman #32$2.99DC
5Batman #33$2.99DC
6The Despicable Deadpool #287$3.99Marvel
7Batman: The Drowned #1$3.99DC
8Batman: The Dawnbreaker #1$3.99DC
9Batman: The Merciless #1$3.99DC
10Batman: White Knight #1$3.99DC

The top-selling graphic novels:

GRAPHIC NOVELPRICEPUBLISHER
1The Walking Dead: Here's Negan HC19.99Image
2Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition HC$19.99DC
3Seven To Eternity Volume 2$16.99Image
4Rat Queens Volume 4: High Fantasies$14.99Image
5Super Sons Volume 1: When I Grow Up$12.99DC
6I Hate Fairyland Volume 3: Good Girl$16.99Image
7Redneck Vol 01 Deep In The Heart$16.99Image
8Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel$17.99Marvel
9Batman: Detective Comics Volume 3: League$19.99DC
10Low Vol. 4: Outer Aspects Of Inner Attitudes$16.99Image

The number of new releases per publisher:

PublisherComics shippedGraphic Novels shippedMagazinesTotal shipped
Marvel81410122
DC79391119
Image6722089
IDW4136077
Boom297036
Dark Horse1518033
Titan218332
Dynamite246030
Oni124016
Archie Comics114015
Other10416024288
TOTAL SHIPPED48434528857

While October starts the fourth quarter out behind the same period last year, last October was the market's last peak month, in a sense; eleven out of the next twelve months would see declines. The comparatives get easier from here; there's a good chance that the overall year could end up only off in the single digits. That's not great news, but it would represent a boost over the worst point of the year, and would keep the Direct market ahead of the recession-year 10% drop seen in 2009.

As I noted in the Off Panel podcast which released earlier this week, perspective means a great deal to interpreting the market's position; while Star Wars' return to Marvel and Rebirth posed tough comparatives for 2016 and 2017 respectively, it's worth remembering that through October, the Direct Market is up 29.2%, or nearly $100 million, over its position at the same point of 2011, the year the New 52 helped re-energize sales. Dollar volumes this September and October, in fact, roundly beat those from the first two New 52 months — and while inflation plays a role, it does not account for all of the increases.

http://amzn.to/2hsu7mtComichron founder John Jackson Miller has tracked the comics industry for more than 20 years, including a decade editing the industry's retail trade magazine; he is the author of several guides to comics, as well as more than a hundred comic books for various franchises.

He is the author of novels including Star Wars: Kenobi, Overdraft: The Orion OffensiveStar Wars: A New Dawn, and the Star Trek: Prey trilogy. His new Last Jedi prequel hardcover, Star Wars: Canto Bight, releases December 5. Read more at his fiction site.


Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.




November 7th, 2017

Where Bendis' Marvel successes began: Ultimate Spider-Man, the complete postal sales record

With news everywhere today about writer Brian Michael Bendis's departure from Marvel to an exclusive multi-year contract with DC, Comichron presents a look back to the beginning of his run with the publisher. 

See eBay listings for this issue All the filings Marvel made with the United States Postal Service about Bendis's flagship title can now be found here at Ultimate Spider-Man: The Postal Sales Record.

It's a bit of a complicated series to report on because it's actually under two different postal licenses: the 2000-2009 series was rebooted with a new #1 and a new license. But the rebooted series resumed the original's numbering with #150. There don't seem to be any reports on the third series by that name, nor the Marvel Universe-branded title.

Another unusual element is that Ultimate Spider-Man #1 has many reprints, and those appear to have impacted the first year's report; Marvel's reported sales for average issues in the year are far, far higher than anything anyone else was doing in comics at the time. It's possible to compare those sales, which include most channels, with just the sales to the Direct Market beginning with the first issue in September 2000; remember, however, that in that era reorders were not reported, so you won't see the very large traffic in reprints that followed.




November 6th, 2017

Comichron visits the Off Panel podcast: A look at the numbers game

by John Jackson Miller
This month begins my twenty-fifth year of covering the comics industry professionally (for those counting, that means the actual anniversary is November 2018), and I speak about a number of the datasets that I've been developing over the years on the new Off Panel podcast with David Harper of SKTCHD.

It's a wide-ranging discussion, looking at the difference between distributor shipment figures and overall sales, touching on comic book variants and how they've changed over the years, and getting into the importance of having circulation figures to both retailers and the aftermarket. There's also some discussion of current market conditions — and many references to baseball statistics!




Aftermarket Snapshot: eBay active items

The AVENGERS #1 CGC 5.0 OW/W Pages!!

$1,225.00 (15 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Dec-20-2017 18:00:53 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

Mister Miracle #1 CGC 9.8 - Mitch Gerads Variant Cover - 2017

$69.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Dec-19-2017 19:21:18 PST
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DISTRIBUTOR SALES FIGURE QUICKLINKS

Below are links to the distributor sales figure pages for all the years from 1991 onward here on site, aggregating unit and dollar sales and depicting the top-selling comic book from each month. Links can be found to individual months on most of the annual pages; all of them can be found here. You can also find earlier years in our Postal Sales Record section — and aggregated data from individual years on our Yearly Sales master page. More coming soon!

 

1991 1992 1993 1994 1995
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
2016 2017