June 1987 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops
Estimated Comics Preordered by North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors
June 1987 was noteworthy for a story event in comics that would have implications for many years: the wedding of Peter Parker to Mary Jane Watson, which took place in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. It was a major milestone in the life of the character, and one Marvel would later re-evaluate several times. It was also a media event, as
Marvel further advertised the development with a mock wedding ceremony that took place before a New York Mets game in Shea Stadium.
It also was an early moment in the history of variant covers as a sales tactic, as the issue was delayed and resolicited when Marvel decided to publish different newsstand and Direct Market covers. The issue ultimately did not spawn a speculator wave, the way that several later variants did; newsstand sales were still occasionally topping 100,000 copies for the regular Amazing Spider-Man title in 1987, which would have been a significant part of the run in that era.
The Direct Market version (featuring Spider-Man) placed ninth at Diamond; the newsstand version (featuring Spider-Man) placed 26th.
Diamond was not indexing sales yet, but we know from Marvel's internal records that the Direct Market version of the annual would likely have had total sales of more than 160,000 copies, while Direct Market orders for the newsstand variant would have been over 90,000 copies. With the two covers combined, we'd estimate that the issue likely would have placed first for the month at Diamond both in units and dollars; that's what it did, combined, at rival Capital City Distribution, which was reporting indexed sales by that time. Capital also found much greater parity between the two variants than Diamond did.
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21's release date is listed in the June Capital Orderpak and Amazing Heroes #119 as May 19. The Mets game in question was on June 5, and the New York Times reported the issue released the following week, which would put it at June 9, 1987 — but the Times may have been referring to the newsstand date, which June 9 appears to have been. We'll revise the dates below if more solid evidence appears.
Diamond's top five varied from Capital's in that Punisher #3 was second at Capital, and Silver Surfer #4 was fourth.
The raw version of the chart below was presumably published in the May 1987 Diamond Dialogue newsletter; it was reprinted in Comics Values Monthly #18, where we found it. We've added publishers and ship dates. Diamond did not yet report market shares; Capital City this month found Marvel with a dollar share of 32.04%, DC with a dollar share of 27.56%, and Eclipse at 6.28%.
Diamond only included one graphic novel in its report, a Spider-Man graphic novel — but it appears to have not been released, either this month or later. Solicitation records say it was to have been featured Kingpin, and been written by Alan Zelenetz, Larry Lieber, and Vince Colletta.
The dates shown below are the dates the comics shipped from the printer, according to Capital City's Orderpak (June 1989) and subsequently reported in Amazing Heroes #120-122 (July 1, July 15, and Aug. 1, 1989). Capital reported almost all dates as Tuesdays, which corresponded to when the printer Ronald's released its comics — but World Color Press wasn't releasing its books until 12:01 a.m. on Thursdays. It's not clear which books came from that printer, however, so we've kept everything on Tuesday.
Further, in this era, distributor catalog dates for all publishers did not synch up exactly with the calendar month, so Diamond's June charts include a week's worth of DC comics from July — and are missing the first week's comics, which would have appeared in Diamond's May charts. This would continue until March 1995, when DC would realign its solicitations with the Direct Market's calendar month (that chart only included three weeks of DC sales). Because Diamond did not report indexed sales, there is no way to know where those comics would have landed in this month's chart.
—John Jackson Miller
This list includes all items on Diamond's Top 100 chart.
Distributor charts are regional commodity reports, not measures of a work's total reach. Read our FAQ.
The links lead to current listings for each issue on eBay. You can also find the books at your comics shop.
|8||G.I. Joe A Real American Hero||64||$1.00||06/16/87||Marvel|
|9||Amazing Spider-Man Annual||21 Direct||$1.25||05/19/87||Marvel|
|15||G.I. Joe Special Missions||7||$1.00||06/02/87||Marvel|
|16||Action Comics Annual||1||$1.25||06/16/87||DC|
|18||Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe||18||$1.50||06/23/87||Marvel|
|19||Web of Spider-Man||31||$0.75||06/02/87||Marvel|
|20||Green Arrow: Longbow Hunters||3||$2.95||07/07/87||DC|
|25||Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man||131||$0.75||06/23/87||Marvel|
|26||Amazing Spider-Man Annual||21 Newsstand||$1.25||05/19/87||Marvel|
|28||West Coast Avengers||25||$0.75||06/02/87||Marvel|
|38||Web of Spider-Man Annual||3||$1.25||06/09/87||Marvel|
|39||Adventures of Superman||433||$0.75||06/23/87||DC|
|46||Who's Who Update '87||3||$1.25||06/09/87||DC|
|47||New Teen Titans||36||$1.50||06/23/87||DC|
|53||Star Brand Annual||1||$1.25||06/16/87||Marvel|
|55||Marvel Age Annual||3||$0.75||06/02/87||Marvel|
|57||Swamp Thing Annual||3||$2.00||07/07/87||DC|
|60||Legion of Super-Heroes||39||$1.50||06/16/87||DC|
|62||Legion of Super-Heroes Annual||3||$2.25||06/30/87||DC|
|65||Fury of Firestorm Annual||5||$1.25||06/30/87||DC|
|66||Teen Titans Spotlight||15||$0.75||07/07/87||DC|
|67||Green Lantern Corps||217||$0.75||06/23/87||DC|
|71||Psi Force Annual||1||$1.25||06/23/87||Marvel|
|73||Groo the Wanderer||32||$1.00||06/09/87||Marvel|
|74||Elfquest: Siege at Blue Mountain||5||$1.75||06/01/87||Warp|
|77||Superman IV Movie Adaptation||$2.00||07/07/87||DC|
|78||Lone Wolf and Cub||2||$1.95||05/29/87||First|
|80||Conan the Barbarian||199||$1.00||06/16/87||Marvel|
|83||Fury of Firestorm||64||$0.75||06/09/87||DC|
|88||Spider-Man Graphic Novel||$5.95||06/23/87||Marvel|
|99||Jonny Quest Classics||3||$2.00||07/01/87||Comico|
Diamond did not have a graphic novel list in this era.
The linksto May 1987 is not currently live, but will be if a Diamond chart for that month is found.