August 1989 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops

Estimated Comics Preordered by North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors

#1 Most Ordered Issue
#2 Most Ordered Issue
#3 Most Ordered Issue
#4 Most Ordered Issue
#5 Most Ordered Issue

Covers and issue links on this page lead to current eBay listings. This site may be compensated if you make a purchase.

By August 1989, the wave of mass-market attention from the Batman movie was still going. Ticket sales may have finally been on the way down, but merchandise was flowing everywhere. Prince's "Batdance" peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 5. In comics shops, meanwhile, retailers were still receiving preorders that were placed before the movie came out. The order deadline for the August 1989 Previews catalog from Diamond Comic Distributors was June 22; the movie released that evening!

Yet because distributors had responded early to the film's release, retailers had already had much Batman material to sell — and offerings in the August catalog reflected further confidence in the film, with Topps already offering second series of trading cards.

DC, meanwhile, began a new Batman comic story arc, "A Lonely Place of Dying," introducing Tim Drake. August's Batman #440 would edge out June's issues to become the bestselling issues of the series to that point in the Direct Market age; Batman #441, in September, would blow that record away when Drake became the new Robin. DC also saw its Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told and Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told trade paperbacks continue to sell well.

The raw version of the chart below was published in the July 25, 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, the Punisher: Intruder hardcover, making the comics charts. We've retained it in the comics chart but also built a graphic novel chart. Diamond also included a number of non-comics items in its Top 100 chart; these have been included but not counted towards the averages at left.

As the chart below reports preorders, some of the comics ranked did not come out in August 1989; that was the case with Swamp Thing #89, which was delayed.

The dates shown below are the dates the comics shipped from the printer, according to Diamond Previews #120 (August 1989) and subsequently reported in Amazing Heroes. 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.
Title links below lead to current listings for the issues on eBay. As an eBay Partner, this site may be compensated if you make a purchase.

UnitsDollarsComic-book TitleIssuePriceShippedPublisher
27Uncanny X-Men253$1.0008/03/89Marvel
38Uncanny X-Men254$1.0008/17/89Marvel
49Detective Comics606$1.0008/22/89DC
510Detective Comics607$1.0009/07/89DC
917Amazing Spider-Man325$1.0008/10/89Marvel
105Secret Origins Special1$2.0008/17/89DC
1112Punisher War Journal11$1.5008/29/89Marvel
1224Justice League Europe7$1.0009/07/89DC
1325Punisher 26$1.0008/17/89Marvel
1418What If?6$1.2508/17/89Marvel
1527Justice League America31$1.0008/17/89DC
1629Avengers West Coast51$1.0008/03/89Marvel
1833New Mutants82$1.0008/10/89Marvel
1934Iron Man249$1.0008/31/89Marvel
2013New Titans59$1.7508/22/89DC
2135Web of Spider-Man57$1.0008/03/89Marvel
2319Sensational She-Hulk8$1.5008/01/89Marvel
2437Spectacular Spider-Man157$1.0008/31/89Marvel
2520Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update6$1.5008/10/89Marvel
2621Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.4$1.5008/15/89Marvel
2722Star Trek: The Next Generation1$1.5008/29/89DC
2823Star Trek1$1.5008/22/89DC
2940Silver Surfer30$1.0008/17/89Marvel
3041Captain America363$1.0008/03/89Marvel
3131Classic X-Men40$1.2508/31/89Marvel
3244Fantastic Four333$1.0008/24/89Marvel
34n.a.Upper Deck 1989 High-Number Set (not comics)$7.500
3552Incredible Hulk362$1.0008/17/89Marvel
3616Aliens II3$2.25Dark Horse
3730Marc Spector, Moon Knight7$1.5008/29/89Marvel
3866Action Comics646$0.7509/07/89DC
4142Marvel Comics Presents35$1.2508/10/89Marvel
4245Marvel Comics Presents34$1.2508/24/89Marvel
43n.a.Batman Button Set #3 A (not comics)$8.000
44n.a.Adventures of Superman459$0.7508/31/89DC
4549Green Arrow25$1.2509/05/89DC
462Punisher Classics1$4.9508/29/89Marvel
4739Alpha Flight77$1.5008/08/89Marvel
4926Predator3$2.25Dark Horse
5048Doctor Strange, Sorceror Supreme10$1.5008/29/89Marvel
51n.a.Hawk and Dove5$1.0008/22/89DC
52n.a.Nth Man5$1.0008/10/89Marvel
5550L.E.G.I.O.N. '899$1.5008/29/89DC
5638Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles24$1.75Mirage
57n.a.Avengers Spotlight25$1.0008/10/89Marvel
58n.a.Marvel Age81$0.7508/17/89Marvel
59n.a.Wonder Woman35$1.0008/17/89DC
6146Marvel Fanfare47$1.9508/15/89Marvel
64n.a.G.I. Joe A Real American Hero93$1.0008/17/89Marvel
6556Forgotten Realms2$1.5008/22/89DC
67n.a.Groo the Wanderer58$1.0008/10/89Marvel
6854Shadow Strikes2$1.7509/05/89DC
6961Cloak & Dagger8$1.5008/22/89Marvel
7164Forgotten Realms3$1.5009/05/89DC
72n.a.Firestorm the Nuclear Man90$1.0008/17/89DC
74n.a.Captain Atom34$1.0009/07/89DC
7569Doctor Fate11$1.5009/05/89DC
7670Advanced Dungeons and Dragons1$1.5009/05/89DC
78n.a.Punisher: Intruder HC$15.95Marvel
79n.a.Animal Man16$1.5008/29/89DC
80n.a.Suicide Squad34$1.0009/07/89DC
81n.a.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Archie)6$1.0008/08/89Archie
82n.a.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Archie)7$1.0009/19/89Archie
83n.a.Secret Origins45$1.5008/24/89DC
84n.a.New Gods9$1.5009/05/89DC
85n.a.Swamp Thing (resolicited)89$1.5010/03/89DC
86n.a.Mister Miracle9$1.0008/22/89DC
87n.a.Swamp Thing (resolicited)88$1.5008/03/89DC
88n.a.Conan the Barbarian225$1.0008/17/89Marvel
8958Rock 'n' Roll Comics4$1.95Revolutionary
90n.a.Doom Patrol27$1.5008/29/89DC
9159Rock 'n' Roll Comics3$1.95Revolutionary
94n.a.G.I. Joe Special Missions28$1.0008/03/89Marvel
96n.a.Power of the Atom17$1.0008/31/89DC
100n.a.Batman Movie Cards Set 2 (not comics)$29.95Topps
n.a.28Clive Barker's Tapping the Vein3$6.9508/15/89Eclipse
n.a.51Appleseed: Book Three1$2.9508/22/89Eclipse
n.a.53Lone Wolf and Cub28$2.9507/28/89First
n.a.60Black Terror1$3.9508/15/89Eclipse
n.a.64Punisher Magazine3$2.2508/01/89Marvel
n.a.65Savage Sword of Conan166$2.2508/08/89Marvel

August 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. Marvel and DC released new printings of X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills and Watchmen respectively.

UnitsDollarsTrade Paperback titlePricePublisher
11Punisher: Intruder HC$15.95Marvel
n.a.2 Marvel Masterworks Vol. 8: Hulk $24.95Marvel
n.a.3Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told$15.95DC
n.a.4Greatest Joker Stores Ever Told$14.95DC
n.a.6X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills$8.95Marvel
n.a.8Batman Special Edition$9.95DC
n.a.9Grey Vol. 1$16.95Viz