November comics orders strong; 2014 sales projected to finish up 5%

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Retailer orders for comic books and graphic novels in November 2014 were reported this morning by Diamond Comic Distributors, and the preliminary report finds overall sales were up for the sixth month in a row. Comic shops in North America ordered $45.7 million in print product in the month, up about $3.5 million, or 8.36% over last November. Both this November and last November had four shipping weeks.

Both comics and graphic novels were up year-over-year in units and dollars. Comic book unit sales had been running slightly behind last year overall; November’s strong comic book sales brought the category almost to parity with last year’s total. A similar performance in December would mean all categories in 2014 would finish ahead of 2013.

The month-to-month numbers were down from October’s blockbuster figures, though that month had one more sales week. The comparative sales statistics for November:

DOLLARS UNITS
NOVEMBER
2014 VS. OCTOBER 2014
Comics -22.73% -22.12%
Graphic
Novels
-8.49% -3.21%
Total
Comics & Graphic Novels
-18.40% -20.73%
NOVEMBER
2014 VS. NOVEMBER 2013
Comics 5.47% 5.84%
Graphic
Novels
14.44% 21.00%
Total
Comics & Graphic Novels
8.36% 7.03%
YEAR-TO-DATE
2014 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2013
Comics 3.80% -0.11%
Graphic
Novels
6.16% 6.52%
Total
Comics & Graphic Novels
4.52% 0.39%

Marvel led the market shares in both units and dollars in a month in which Image, boosted by a new Walking Dead collection, crossed into double digits in both categories. The market shares for November:

PUBLISHER DOLLAR
SHARE
UNIT SHARE
Marvel 34.88% 37.82%
DC 27.47% 31.64%
Image 10.62% 11.06%
IDW 5.65% 4.53%
Dark
Horse
4.85% 3.58%
Dynamite 2.84% 2.54%
Boom 2.73% 2.68%
Random
House
1.20% 0.49%
Viz 0.97% 0.36%
Eaglemoss 0.77% 0.18%
Other 8.01% 5.13%

After October’s thousand new releases, the amount of new material dropped in November. But even as the number of new graphic novels released was essentially unchanged from last November, the number of new comics released ballooned, from 406 last November to 499. The number of new items shipped by each publisher in the month:

PUBLISHER Comics
shipped
Graphic
Novels shipped
Magazines
shipped
Total
shipped
DC 95 29 0 124
Marvel 76 37 0 113
Image 74 13 0 87
IDW 46 27 0 73
Dark
Horse
36 27 0 63
Boom 41 6 0 47
Dynamite 33 10 0 43
Viz 0 31 0 31
Random
House
4 24 0 28
Eaglemoss 0 0 7 7
Other 94 97 25 216
TOTAL 499 301 32 832

Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man #9 took the top slot in a month in which every item in the Top 10 was priced at $3.99 or above. The Top Ten Comics:

COMIC
BOOK
PRICE VENDOR
1 Amazing Spider-Man #9 $4.99 Marvel
2 All-New Captain
America #1
$3.99 Marvel
3 Batman #36 $3.99 DC
4 Amazing Spider-Man
#10
$3.99 Marvel
5 Spider-Woman #1 $3.99 Marvel
6 Thor #2 $3.99 Marvel
7 Superior Iron Man #1 $3.99 Marvel
8 Avengers And X-Men:
Axis #4
$3.99 Marvel
9 Avengers And X-Men:
Axis #5
$3.99 Marvel
10 Justice League #36 $3.99 DC

As mentioned above, Walking Dead Vol. 22: A New Beginning led the Top Ten Graphic Novels:

GRAPHIC NOVEL PRICE VENDOR
1 The Walking Dead Vol.
22: A New Beginning
$14.99 Image
2 Teen Titans: Earth
One Volume 1 HC
$22.99 DC
3 Saga Deluxe Edition
Volume 1 HC
$49.99 Image
4 The Wicked & The
Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act
$9.99 Image
5 Saga Volume 1 $9.99 Image
6 Serenity: Leaves On
Wind HC
$19.99 Dark Horse
7 Avatar: The Last
Airbender Vol. 9: Rift Part 3
$10.99 Dark Horse
8 Batman Eternal Volume
1
$39.99 DC
9 The Wake HC $24.99 DC
10 Deadpool Volume 6:
Original Sin
$17.99 Marvel
Year-to-date sales for the market reached nearly $497 million with this month’s report, meaning only $21 million needed to be shipped in December in order for 2014 to beat 2013. That mark was likely met this week, and Comichron now projects that the sales for the year will land around $542 million, up a little less than 5% over 2013.
Look for the full estimates to appear on Monday.
 
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