August 1987 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops
Estimated Comics Preordered by North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors
DC had more comics in Diamond Comic Distributors' Top 100 in August 1987 than Marvel did, and while Diamond was not yet reporting market shares, Capital City Distribution reported that DC had passed Marvel in its dollar shares for the first time.
A couple of graphic novels contributed to that performance. The Batman: Son of the Demon hardcover sold so many copies that it placed 85th among all comics products at Diamond in units sold; priced at $14.95, the hardcover would have had a mammoth impact on DC's dollar share. Beyond that, retailers were also ordering for the first time copies of a book, debuting Sept. 8, that would have an extremely long life-span: the Watchmen trade paperback. Also priced at $14.95, it did not make the Top 100 for units — though Capital City reported it was its #2 dollar product for the month, earning about 75% the dollars of Son of the Demon. (Watchmen also had a 1987 bookstore printing that went through Warner Books, which would have added more to its early totals.)
That said, it isn't known for sure that DC outperformed Marvel at Diamond in dollar terms: DC's titles in August appeared to fare better at Capital, which may have been a function of discounts.
The 'Nam #13 placed fourth, remaining strong as it began its second year. Vietnam stories had been prominent in the mass media since the release of Platoon at the end of 1986, and Tour of Duty would debut on CBS in September. Still buoyed by its own TV series, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #66 placed sixth.
Marvel launched a new Solo Avengers series; its debut issue placed fifth.
The raw version of the chart below was presumably published in the July 1987 Diamond Dialogue newsletter; it was reprinted in Comics Values Monthly #19, 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 32.98%, DC with a dollar share of 27.3%, and Eclipse at 6.13%.
The dates shown below are the dates the comics shipped from the printer, according to Capital City's Orderpak (August 1989) and subsequently reported in Amazing Heroes #124 (Sept. 1, 1987). Marvel Age's shipping date came from Marvel Age #56 (Nov. 1988). 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 unless the dates said otherwise.
Further, in this era, distributor catalog dates for all publishers did not synch up exactly with the calendar month, so Diamond's August charts include two week's worth of DC comics from September — and are missing the first week's comics, which would have appeared in Diamond's July 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.
|6||G.I. Joe A Real American Hero||66||$1.00||08/18/87||Marvel|
|10||Justice League International||8||$0.75||08/18/87||DC|
|13||Web of Spider-Man||33||$0.75||08/04/87||Marvel|
|16||World of Krypton||1||$0.75||08/11/87||DC|
|19||Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe||19||$1.50||08/25/87||Marvel|
|20||Peter Parker The Spectactular Spider-Man||133||$0.75||08/25/87||Marvel|
|21||Alpha Flight Annual||2||$1.25||08/27/87||Marvel|
|22||West Coast Avengers||27||$0.75||08/04/87||Marvel|
|23||G.I. Joe Special Missions||8||$1.00||08/04/87||Marvel|
|28||Iron Man Annual||9||$0.75||08/11/87||Marvel|
|38||Adventures of Superman||435||$0.75||08/25/87||DC|
|41||New Teen Titans||38||$1.75||08/25/87||DC|
|42||Who's Who Update '87||5||$1.25||08/11/87||DC|
|43||Lone Wolf and Cub||4||$1.95||07/31/87||First|
|48||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||12||$1.50||Mirage|
|50||Legion of Super-Heroes||41||$1.75||08/11/87||DC|
|61||Young All Stars||7||$1.25||08/18/87||DC|
|62||Green Lantern Corps||219||$0.75||08/25/87||DC|
|63||Elfquest: Siege at Blue Mountain||6||$1.75||Warp|
|64||Teen Titans Spotlight||17||$0.75||09/08/87||DC|
|70||Firestorm the Nuclear Man||66||$0.75||08/11/87||DC|
|72||Groo the Wanderer||34||$1.25||08/11/87||Marvel|
|78||Conan the Barbarian||201||$1.00||08/18/87||Marvel|
|79||G.I. Joe 3-D||2||$2.50||Blackthorne|
|80||Lords of the Ultra-Realm Special||1||$2.25||DC|
|85||Batman: Son of the Demon HC||$14.95||08/18/87||DC|
|93||Savage Sworld of Conan||142||$2.00||08/11/87||Marvel|
|94||Boris the Bear||13||$1.75||Dark Horse|
August 1987 Graphic Novel Sales to Comics Shops
Estimated Graphic Novels and Trade Paperbacks Preordered by North American Comics Shops Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors
This list includes all graphic novels on Diamond's comics chart.
The links lead to details about each title on Amazon. You can also find the books at your comics shop.
Only one graphic novel made the Diamond Top 100 unit chart, but several other graphic novels were solicited — including, rather importantly, Watchmen, which was announced for a Sept. 8 trade paperback release. Other announced graphic novels included Will Eisner's The Building and New York from Kitchen Sink; their rankings are not known.
|Units||Trade Paperback title||Price||Publisher||Est. units|
|1||Batman: Son of the Demon HC||$14.95||DC||n.a.|