Preliminary reporting is available on comics and graphic novel sales in February 2016 from Diamond Comic Distributors, and we see in them another month that is just slightly off from the same month a year ago. But since reported sales that month were supercharged by nearly half a million copies of Orphan Black #1, the vast majority of which went to the repackager Loot Crate, the month may not have been off by that much.
Indeed, Comichron estimates that while total orders were at $41.48 million, down about $700,000 from last February, our retail total from last year was inflated by nearly $2 million by the Loot Crate book. We can also estimate that much of the drop in unit sales came from the Loot Crate issue: half a million copies would equate to about half of the reported 14.62% drop in comics unit sales. And remember that last February also had more Star Wars launches, including continued sales of the first issue from last January.
So the comparisons for the first quarter are the muddle we’d been expecting, and may not say much at all about the health of the market as 2016 began. The aggregate changes:
2016 VS. JANUARY 2016
2016 VS. FEBRUARY 2015
2016 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2015
January’s new comics sales suffered for the absence of a new issue of Dark Knight III, but when it did appear in February, it was the best-seller for the month. The top-selling comics:
|1||Dark Knight III: The
Master Race #3
|2||Star Wars #16||$3.99||Marvel|
|5||Deadpool: The Mercs
For Money #1
|7||Darth Vader #16||$3.99||Marvel|
|8||Power Man and Iron
|9||Amazing Spider-Man #7||$3.99||Marvel|
|10||Justice League #48||$3.99||DC|
Graphic novel sales were the bright spot in the month, and while the split between graphic novel unit and dollar sales suggests that the average price paid wholesale was lower, that may not be due to deep discounting, since many of the top-sellers were low-priced. The third volume of The Wicked & The Divine from Image topped the graphic novel charts:
|1||The Wicked & The
Divine Vol. 3
|2||Star Wars: Chewbacca||$16.99||Marvel|
|3||Lumberjanes Vo. 3||$14.99||Boom|
|4||Batman: The Dark
|5||Batman: Harley and
Ivy Deluxe Edition HC
|6||Sunstone Vol. 4 SC||$14.99||Image|
|7||New Suicide Squad
Vol. 2: Monsters
|8||The Fade-Out Vol. 3||$12.99||Image|
Edge of Spider-Verse
|10||Saga Vol. 5||$14.99||Image|
The market shares:
The number of offerings by publisher grew significantly on the graphic novel side, which may have something to do with how much better graphic novels performed this month:
|New comics||New graphic
|New magazines||New items|
Look for the full estimates for February here 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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