Diamond Comic Distributors has released its initial sales report for November 2010, a month in which it appears that dollar sales on collected editions including TV-boosted Walking Dead jumped nearly 12%, while comics dollar sales dropped nearly 5%. Combined dollar sales were slightly up, by less than 1%. Last November was boosted in part by the ring promotion DC did for Blackest Night, so it was a pretty strong month to be comparing against; comics sales were up 12% in dollars that month versus November 2008.
Batman: The Return scored the top spot for DC, which accounted for eight of the top ten comic books. (The list can be seen here.) Walking Dead Vol. 13 led the top collections list, which included a repeat appearance for last month’s chart-topper, Superman: Earth One. It continues to look like a challenging year for comics, one in which the bright spots really stand out.
Diamond releases the new market performance information in a grid that includes a lot of data, which I have sought to simplify by separating things out here. (12/28 update: Diamond initially transposed unit and dollar reports; all have been corrected here):
Total comics unit sales:
Versus 1 year ago this month: -10.2%
Year to date: -5.79%
Total comics dollar sales:
Versus 1 year ago this month: -4.86%
Year to date: -4.64%
Total trade paperback and graphic novel unit sales:
Versus 1 year ago this month: +14.84%
Year to date: -4.35%
Total trade paperback and graphic novel dollar sales:
Versus 1 year ago this month: +11.70%
Year to date: -3.22%
Total comic, trade paperback and graphic novel unit sales:
Versus 1 year ago this month: -8.28%
Year to date: -5.66%
Total comic, trade paperback and graphic novel dollar sales:
Versus 1 year ago this month: +0.24%
Year to date: -4.18%
I’m still in the process of revising and refining the estimate for Overall sales in October, which would thus impact the estimates of how much of the market fell outside the Top 300 charts. It looks that while the market may have moved as much product as my estimates expected, the discount rate increased, meaning publishers took in less money for them — and as the Diamond market shares on which the Overall sales are based on wholesale dollar revenues, the Overall total for the month is lower than I initially projected. The change won’t mean much to the year-to-date totals, but it does impact the other projections. I expect that as we continue to work with the new Diamond figures, it’ll become easier to see when discounting has come into play.
There are now 191 months of Diamond data online at The Comics Chronicles; check them out from the beginning of our posted data, here. And don’t miss our Flashback Friday piece, today delving into the sales of Vampirella in the 1970s.
Comichron founder John Jackson Miller has tracked the comics industry for more than 25 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, Star Wars: A New Dawn, Star Trek: Discovery – The Enterprise War, and his latest release, Star Trek: Discovery – Die Standing. Read more about them at his fiction site.
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