February 1988 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops
Estimated Comics Preordered by North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors
The second month of 1988 saw the start of DC's experiment with weekly comics in Action Comics Weekly, a move that would prove to be one of the bigger sales blunders of the 1980s. It launched in fourth place at Diamond Comic Distributors and wouldn't see that level again.
There weren't many high-profile launches otherwise: Marvel had Doctor Zero start in 29th place, while DC had Crimson Avenger start in 33rd.
The raw version of the chart below was presumably published in the January 1988 Diamond Dialogue newsletter; it was reprinted in Comics Values Monthly #23, 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 38.6%, DC with a dollar share of 30.58%, and Eclipse at 6.11%.
The dates shown below are the dates the comics shipped from the printer, according to Amazing Heroes #136 (Feb. 29, 1988); these would have come from distributor catalogs. Capital City Distribution 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 October charts include one week's worth of DC comics from November — and are missing the first week's comics, which would have appeared in Diamond's September 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 item on eBay. You can also find the books at your comics shop.
|5||Justice League International||14||$0.75||02/09/88||DC|
|15||Web of Spider-Man||39||$0.75||02/04/88||Marvel|
|21||West Coast Avengers||33||$0.75||02/04/88||Marvel|
|22||G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero||72||$1.00||02/18/88||Marvel|
|27||What If Special||1||$1.50||02/04/88||Marvel|
|34||G.I. Joe Special Missions||11||$1.00||02/04/88||Marvel|
|35||World of Smallville||3||$0.75||02/09/88||DC|
|39||Adventures of Superman||441||$0.75||02/23/88||DC|
|44||Star Trek: The Next Generation||5||$1.00||03/08/88||DC|
|46||New Teen Titans||44||$1.00||02/11/88||Marvel|
|48||Legion of Super-Heroes||47||$1.75||02/16/88||DC|
|57||Firestorm: The Nuclear Man||72||$0.75||02/09/88||DC|
|59||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||14||$1.50||Mirage|
|60||Lone Wolf and Cub||10||$2.50||First|
|61||Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes||3||$1.25||02/23/88||DC|
|64||Cinder and Ashe||2||$1.75||02/09/88||DC|
|72||Groo the Wanderer||40||$1.00||02/11/88||Marvel|
|75||Conan the Barbarian||207||$1.00||02/18/88||Marvel|
|82||Wrath of the Spectre||2||$2.50||02/23/88||DC|
|85||Savage Sword of Conan||148||$2.00||02/11/88||Marvel|
|91||Tales of G.I. Joe||6||$1.50||02/04/88||Marvel|
|92||Marvel Graphic Novel: Shadow 1941||35||$12.95||Marvel|
|98||Uncle Scrooge Adventures||5||$0.95||Gladstone|
|99||Cloak and Dagger: Predator and Prey GN||$6.95||02/25/88||Marvel|
Diamond did not report graphic novel sales separately this month, but some items appeared in the Top 100.