Retailers ordered $42.22 million in comic books and graphic novels in December, a sum almost identical to that of November. Less than $9,000, or the sales of a single issue of a 400th-place title, separated November and December’s orders. But last December was weaker than last November, so the result was an uptick in the year-to-year percentage change: the direct market ordered nearly 6% more dollars worth of comics and graphic novels this December than last December.
Orders for the fourth quarter totaled $134.79 million in comics and graphic novels, more than a million dollars better than the third quarter and an improvement of more than $6 million over the fourth quarter of 2012. Since the third quarter was already a record for the Diamond Exclusive Era, the fourth quarter represents the highest dollar value for a quarter, unadjusted for inflation, since the early 1990s.
The resulting sales for the year came in at around $517.66 million, which as reported earlier this week is an increase of 9% over last year’s figure of $474.45 million.
The percentage change statistics:
|DECEMBER 2013 VS. NOVEMBER 2013|
|Total Comics and Graphic Novels||-0.03%||1.76%|
|DECEMBER 2013 VS. DECEMBER 2012|
|Total Comics and Graphic Novels||5.93%||-2.07%|
|YEAR 2013 VS. YEAR 2012|
|Total Comics and Graphic Novels||9.04%||6.58%|
QUARTER 2013 VS. THIRD QUARTER 2013
|Total Comics and Graphic Novels||1.23%||-2.06%|
QUARTER 2013 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2012
|Total Comics and Graphic Novels||5.28%||-0.22%|
IDW had a dollar market share of 8.18%, a record for the publisher; it was good enough to put the company into the third place slot. The previous high for IDW was 7.54%, in April 2013. It’s the only time in 2013 IDW placed third; it did so three times each in 2011 and 2012, first doing so in June 2009. See other Diamond-era records here.
The next three publishers after Marvel and DC had 21.78% of the dollar orders: this is the highest total for that sub-grouping since February 2003, when it was 23.47% (with the CrossGen in IDW’s place). The market shares for December:
Marvel’s Origin II #1 was the top-selling comic book, though since it didn’t appear in Diamond’s year-end top 10, that tells us it wasn’t one of the year’s bigger blockbusters. Once again, only one comic book in the Top 10 was priced below $3.99. The Top 10 comic books for the month:
|1||Origin II #1||4.99||Marvel|
|4||Forever Evil #4||3.99||DC|
|5||Superman Unchained #5||3.99||DC|
|6||Justice League #25||3.99||DC|
|7||Harley Quinn #1||2.99||DC|
|8||Justice League #26||3.99||DC|
|10||Superior Spider-Man #23||3.99||Marvel|
Fables Vol. 19 from DC led the graphic novel charts. The Top 10 graphic novels for the month:
|GRAPHIC NOVELS AND COLLECTIONS||PRICE||VENDOR|
|1||Fables Volume 19: Snow White||16.99||DC|
|2||Adventure Time Volume 2: Pixel Princesses||11.99||Boom|
|3||Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground HC||17.99||IDW|
|4||Deadpool Kills Deadpool||14.99||Marvel|
|5||Star Lord: Worlds On The Brink||7.99||Marvel|
|6||Nightwing Volume 3: Death Of The Family||16.99||DC|
|7||Saga Volume 1||9.99||Image|
|8||Deadpool Volume 3: Good Bad And Ugly||15.99||Marvel|
|9||Saga Volume 2||14.99||Image|
|10||The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye||14.99||Image|
Here’s the list of how many new titles each major publisher shipped. IDW had 88 items on the shelves, contributing volume to that market share record:
The final December report should be along on Monday.
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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