July 1989 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops
Estimated Comics Preordered by North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors
The Batman movie took the world by storm in the last week and a half of June 1989, and retailers in the comic-book Direct Market were ready for it. With July's comics offerings, they built on those gains, thanks to many more Batman-related offerings.
Diamond Comic Distributors' Previews #119 (May 1989, for July-shipping material) had an order deadline of May 20, a month before the film's release — but publishers and retailers were continuing to plan for the days after it. DC followed up its Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told trade paperback with The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told, while Mayfair offered the Batman Role-Playing Game.
For the second month in a row, the main Batman title topped Uncanny X-Men, though one thing was different:
DC raised the price of Batman comics to $1, leaving only the Superman titles below the dollar barrier. Diamond did not index its sales in this era, but known totals from its rival Capital City Distribution show that Batman #438 and #439 sold slightly fewer copies than the two issues from June — a consequence, perhaps, of the issues being the later parts of a storyline. Detective Comics #604, meanwhile, started a new arc, and its sales nearly doubled, launching the book into fourth place.
The raw version of the chart below was published in the June 26, 1989 Diamond Dialogue. It was still a newsletter, at that point; only issue names and prices appeared. We've added publishers and ship dates, and have integrated dollar rankings that appeared in a different table. Diamond did not yet report market shares.
Diamond also did not have a separate graphic novel category yet, with the top-selling graphic novel, Wolverine/Nick Fury: The Scorpio Connection, making the comics charts. We've retained it in the comics chart but also built a graphic novel chart.
As the chart below reports preorders, some of the comics ranked did not come out in July 1989, or at all. The Punisher movie wouldn't release for another year, so its adaptation would be delayed; it would appear as a single special rather than the miniseries solicited here.
The dates shown below are the dates the comics shipped from the printer, according to Diamond Previews #119 (July 1989) and subsequently reported in Amazing Heroes #168-169 (July 1 and July 15, 1989). Diamond 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, and Diamond's catalog seems to have grouped everything together under the earlier day, regardless of which printer a comic came from. (Capital's Advance Comics uniformly announced dates that were two days later. Its dates appeared in Comics Buyer's Guide and Comic Shop News.) We've adjusted the dates on the comics known to have come from World Color Press to Thursday. Specific on-sale dates were rarely announced in advance for smaller publishers' titles as they could seldom guarantee printer times.
Further, in this era, distributor catalog dates for all publishers did not synch up exactly with the calendar month, so Diamond's July charts include two week's worth of DC comics from August — and are missing the first two weeks' comics, which appeared in Diamond's June 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.
Click to skip to the Top Graphic Novels for the month.
—John Jackson Miller
This list includes all items on Diamond's Top 100 chart, plus items that appeared in Diamond's dollar sales table.
Items marked (resolicited) were offered in an earlier month but never shipped; disregard any previously reported figure, as earlier orders were canceled when the books were resolicited.
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.
|9||3||Detective Comics Annual||2||$2.00||08/03/89||DC|
|14||5||Avengers West Coast Annual||4||$2.00||07/06/89||Marvel|
|15||17||Punisher War Journal||10||$1.50||07/27/89||Marvel|
|17||11||Fantastic Four Annual||22||$2.00||07/20/89||Marvel|
|18||29||Avengers West Coast||50||$1.00||07/06/89||Marvel|
|21||32||Justice League Europe||6||$1.00||08/03/89||DC|
|26||39||Justice League America||30||$1.00||07/20/89||DC|
|28||46||Web of Spider-Man||56||$1.00||07/13/89||Marvel|
|30||27||Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.||3||$1.50||07/20/89||Marvel|
|32||28||Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update||5||$1.50||07/13/89||Marvel|
|38||60||Punisher Movie Comic||1||$1.00||Marvel|
|41||22||Aliens II||2||$2.25||Dark Horse|
|42||33||Marc Spector, Moon Knight||6||$1.50||07/25/89||Marvel|
|45||68||Punisher Movie Comic||2||$1.00||Marvel|
|49||52||Marvel Comics Presents||32||$1.25||07/13/89||Marvel|
|50||55||Marvel Comics Presents||33||$1.25||07/27/89||Marvel|
|51||41||Captain Marvel Special||1||$1.50||07/13/89||Marvel|
|53||n.a.||Adventures of Superman||458||$0.75||08/03/89||DC|
|58||77||Hawk and Dove||4||$1.00||07/27/89||DC|
|62||62||Doctor Strange, Sorceror Supreme||9||$1.50||07/25/89||Marvel|
|66||38||Star Trek V: Final Frontier Special||$2.00||06/20/89||DC|
|67||58||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||23||$1.75||Mirage|
|70||45||Wonder Woman Annual||2||$2.00||07/27/89||DC|
|72||n.a.||Green Lantern Special||2||$1.50||07/11/89||DC|
|75||n.a.||G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero||92||$1.00||07/20/89||Marvel|
|78||n.a.||Nick Fury & Wolverine: Scorpio||$16.95||07/11/89||Marvel|
|80||n.a.||Groo the Wanderer||57||$1.00||07/13/89||Marvel|
|82||30||Doctor Fate Annual||1||$2.95||07/25/89||DC|
|84||79||Advanced Dungeons & Dragons||10||$1.50||08/08/89||DC|
|88||40||Rocketeer Adventure Magazine||2||$2.75||Comico|
|90||n.a.||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||5||$1.00||08/08/89||Archie|
|92||n.a.||Firestorm the Nuclear Man||89||$1.00||07/20/89||DC|
|100||n.a.||Power of the Atom||16||$1.00||08/03/89||DC|
|n.a.||69||Lone Wolf and Cub||27||$2.95||06/30/89||First|
|n.a.||70||Nightmare on Elm Street Magazine||1||$2.25||07/04/89||Marvel|
|n.a.||75||Lum Uresei Yatsura||3||$2.95||Viz|
|n.a.||79||Savage Sword of Conan||165||$2.25||07/11/89||Marvel|
|n.a.||81||Big Black Kiss||1||$3.75||Vortex|
July 1989 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
Diamond released no Graphic Novel list in this month; this chart amalgamates relevant reported data.
The links lead to title details on Amazon (paid links). You can also find the books at your comics shop.
Diamond did not publish graphic novel charts in this era, but it did include better-selling graphic novels in its overall dollar rankings. The list below is cobbled from those charts and is ranked by dollars and not units.
|Units||Dollars||Trade Paperback title||Price||Publisher||Est. units|
|1||1||Nick Fury and Wolverine: Scorpio||$16.95||Marvel||n.a.|
|n/a||2||Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told||$14.95||Marvel||n.a.|
|n/a||3||Elektra Saga TPB||$16.95||Marvel||n.a.|
|n/a||4||Making of Batman: The Official Book of the Movie||$7.95||Bantam||n.a.|
|n/a||6||Lt. Blueberry: Chihuahua Pearl||$12.95||Marvel||n.a.|
|n/a||7||Further Adventures of Batman (prose)||$3.95||Bantam||n.a.|
|n/a||8||Gladstone Album Special #1||$9.95||Gladstone||n.a.|
|n/a||9||Mai the Psychic Girl Vol. 3||$16.95||Viz||n.a.|
|n/a||10||Art of Katsuhiro Otomo HC||$35.00||Kodansha||n.a.|