October 2020 combined charts online, with unit estimates; Marvel, DC split top five

We resumed unit sales estimates with our September 2020 report, introducing several new workflows to the process; for the following month’s report, we’ve added even more as we seek to unlock the limited information released by comics distributors in the months following the Shutdown Split.

Our Combined Comics Sales for October 2020 page is  now online, with estimates, drawing on information from our DC charts for October 2020 page. Meanwhile, sales estimates have been added to our Diamond charts for October 2020 page.

To again be clear: Diamond has yet to resume publishing order index numbers, so the sales levels for each title are estimated by Comichron, using a variety of resources including information provided by publishers, a subset of actual retail orders, and features existing within Diamond’s released data, such as market shares and dollar-sales rankings. Thanks to that information, we’re reasonably sure that Diamond moved 5.5 million units of comics, graphic novels, and magazines in October, which represents an increase over March.

You’ll note that the charts present a range of likely orders, from a low estimate to a high one. We’re confident most titles are between those two levels, and have in fact narrowed the ranges a little for the Diamond books. Meanwhile, we’ve widened them on the DC ones. The likelihood of error is higher on the charts, where there’s less information to define a floor and a ceiling — and we also padded the ranges when it came to comics that have returnability reductions.

While these ranges are inferior in terms of accuracy to what we provided her for most of this century, and will remain so until we get order index numbers again. But our charts in the 1990s frankly could well have come with ranges themselves, as they, too, had a certain amount of variance expected. We’ve gotten more facts each month, so hopefully there’s more specificity to come.

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