2018 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops
Estimated Comics Shipped to North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors
OVERALL North American Dollar Sales for Diamond's Comics,
Graphic Novels, and Magazines for the year (through JULY)
around $296.09 Million
(down 2% year-over-year)
A fifth shipping week in January helped the month to the smallest year-to-year decline in Direct Market sales seen since the previous spring, just under 2%. DC had a strong opening to the year, with dollar sales up 15% over its total from the previous January, aided by the chart-topping Doomsday Clock #3 and Dark Nights Metal #5. No Doomsday Clock issue in February made for a slow month in comics shops. But whereas comics and graphic novels were equally responsible for 2017's overall shortfall, a lackluster graphic novel slate was the main culprit in February's decline, with periodicals nearly, but not quite, holding their own. Graphic novel sales continued to be weak in March, a month which further saw nearly 100 fewer comics release than the same month in the previous year — but the comics that did come out sold relatively better, including the finale issue of Dark Nights Metal. The first quarter finished down a little less than 9%.
April was a big month for the Direct Market, thanks to a comic book 80 years in the making: Action Comics #1000, which shipped with ten variant covers and had orders worldwide exceeding 500,000 copies; the North American first-month portion accounted for 450,000 copies. Dan Slott's Amazing Spider-Man #800 topped 410,000 copies in May, and at $9.99 it both helped the month beat the top month of 2017 — while also driving the average weighted cover price for comics up to $4.40 for a month. June didn't have the same huge landmark issues, though a new Justice League #1 did top 200,000 copies. While the month was unable to beat the second-best month of 2017, the quarter finished higher, ending a year-and-a-half run of quarterly declines.
July opened the second half of the year strongly, thanks to Batman #50's July 4 midnight release, a new Amazing Spider-Man #1, and the surprise-shipped Die! Die! Die! #1 from Image. (The latter does not appear below, because its 80,000-or-so initial copies were sent to retailers for free.) Batman #50 and Catwoman #1 were later announced to be returnable, but those adjustments have not been made to the figures below.
Unit sales comparisons during the year are much distorted, due to Marvel's overships in January 2017 and Image's 25-cent anniversary issues, as well as the fact that the reported million-copy selling 25¢ book DC Nation #0 was not counted in Diamond's comparative charts.
The chart below projects Diamond's end-of-year sales by collating the known sales for each month. Since most titles do not reappear on the charts after their first month, it underestimates final orders for each title to some degree — but where reorders are known, those have been added to the first month's totals. Now that the Top 500 comics are being reported each month, odds are better that the below list will capture a greater portion of any given comics' sales; final, all-inclusive figures for the year will appear here in early 2019 when Diamond releases them.
The below captures everything reported through June. But there is reorder data for July that can be examined.
— John Jackson Miller
The chart below collates known information from Diamond's monthly charts for the year.
Items marked with asterisks [*] had their reported orders reduced by 10% due to returnability.
Items marked with daggers [†] received
a large portion of their orders from outside the comic shop market.
The links lead to listings for each issue on eBay. You can also find the books at your comics shop.
|Units||Comic-book Title||Issue||Price||On sale||Publisher||Est. units|
|9||Dark Nights Metal||6||$4.99||03/28/18||DC||190,671|
|12||Dark Nights Metal||5||$3.99||01/31/18||DC||166,536|
|17||Hunt For Wolverine||1||$5.99||04/25/18||Marvel||143,274|
|19||Tony Stark Iron Man||1||$4.99||06/20/18||Marvel||137,349|
|34||Dark Knights Rising The Wild Hunt||1||$4.99||02/14/18||DC||102,301|
|48||Cosmic Ghost Rider||1||$3.99||07/04/18||Marvel||92,327|
|51||Justice League No Justice||1||$3.99||05/09/18||DC||89,119|
|53||True Believers Venom Vs. Spider-Man||1||$1.00||03/07/18||Marvel||88,010|
|55||Oblivion Song By Kirkman & De Felici||1||$3.99||03/07/18||Image||85,135|
|61||Man of Steel||1*||$3.99||05/30/18||DC||78,942|
|62||Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man||300||$5.99||02/28/18||Marvel||77,841|
|64||Batman White Knight||4||$3.99||01/03/18||DC||77,571|
|66||Batman White Knight||5||$3.99||02/07/18||DC||77,373|
|69||Batman White Knight||6||$3.99||03/07/18||DC||76,157|
|72||Life of Captain Marvel||1||$4.99||07/18/18||Marvel||74,298|
|74||Batman White Knight||7||$3.99||04/04/18||DC||73,964|
|76||Batman White Knight||8||$4.99||05/09/18||DC||73,616|
|77||Justice League No Justice||2||$3.99||05/16/18||DC||71,966|
|78||Mr. and Mrs. X||1||$3.99||07/25/18||Marvel||71,396|
|80||Justice League No Justice||4||$3.99||05/30/18||DC||70,186|
|81||Justice League No Justice||3||$3.99||05/23/18||DC||69,990|
|83||Man of Steel||2*||$3.99||06/06/18||DC||69,174|
|87||Infinity Wars Prime||1||$4.99||07/25/18||Marvel||67,175|
|90||Man of Steel||3*||$3.99||06/13/18||DC||66,550|
|91||Amazing Spider-Man Venom Inc Omega||1||$4.99||01/17/18||Marvel||64,243|
|92||Man of Steel||4*||$3.99||06/20/18||DC||63,565|
|94||Man of Steel||5*||$3.99||06/27/18||DC||62,468|
|95||Batman and the Signal||1||$3.99||01/03/18||DC||62,394|
|98||Batman Prelude to the Wedding Harley Vs. Joker||1||$3.99||06/27/18||DC||61,458|
|99||Man of Steel||6*||$3.99||07/04/18||DC||61,248|
|100||Justice League Dark||1||$3.99||07/25/18||DC||60,318|
2018 Graphic Novel Sales to Comics Shops
Estimated Graphic Novels and Trade Paperbacks Shipped to North American Comics Shops Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors
This list includes all items on Diamond's end-of-year chart.
The links lead to details about each title on Amazon. You can also find the books at your comics shop.
Infinity Gauntlet, drafting off the Avengers movie, is the year's bestselling graphic novel to date. As with the comics estimates above, this collates the known data as reported in Diamond's monthly top-seller lists. It underestimates sales by any copies shipped in months when reorders did not make the charts.
My analyses of orders from Diamond Comic Distributors for individual months can be found below. Covers for later months depict some of the top advance-reordered books for each month: