October 1989 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops
Estimated Comics Preordered by North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors
The true top seller for October 1989 was really Legends of the Dark Knight #1, which went on sale on Oct. 10, but this was still in the era when DC's solicitations overlapped into the next month. Hence the top seller in Diamond's October chart, Legends of the Dark Knight #2, really went on sale on Nov. 7. Diamond wasn't yet publishing indexed sales figures, but known sales at Capital City Distribution suggest Diamond moved more than a quarter million copies.
It was invariably a smaller month than September, since that month had not just Legends #1 in the charts, but also the colossal dollar-earner Arkham Asylum. But one of the major events from the summer hit its climax, with Batman #442 debuting Tim Drake as the third Robin.
October saw the end of Gladstone's first run as publisher of Disney's comics; Disney would publish on its own for several years, before getting out of the comics business and returning its titles to Gladstone.
The top graphic novel was Superman Archives Vol. 1, first of a new line of hardcover collections; DC promised in its initial solicitation that it would not later be released as a softcover. It went on sale Oct. 24. The book's $39.95 price tag signified increasing publisher confidence that consumers were willing to spend for big-ticket items.
The raw version of the chart below was first published in the Sept. 27, 1989 Diamond Dialogue. Dialogue 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, but we counted up the number of issues from each publisher in the table at left.
The dates shown below are the dates the comics shipped from the printer, according to Diamond Previews #122 (August-for-October 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 August charts include two week's worth of DC comics from September — 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.
|1||1||Legends of the Dark Knight||2||$1.50||11/07/89||DC|
|11||9||Punisher War Journal||13||$1.50||10/31/89||Marvel|
|12||17||Avengers West Coast||53||$1.00||10/05/89||Marvel|
|13||24||Web of Spider-Man||59||$1.00||10/05/89||Marvel|
|18||35||Justice League Europe||9||$1.00||11/09/89||DC|
|21||40||Justice League America||33||$1.00||10/19/89||DC|
|25||16||Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update||8||$1.50||10/12/89||Marvel|
|26||12||Dark Horse Presents||36||$1.95||10/31/89||Dark Horse|
|29||18||Marc Spector Moon Knight||9||$1.50||10/24/89||Marvel|
|30||54||Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn||1||$1.00||11/02/89||DC|
|31||38||Marvel Comics Presents||38||$1.25||10/05/89||Marvel|
|34||42||Marvel Comics Presents||39||$1.25||10/19/89||Marvel|
|35||43||Marvel Comics Presents||40||$1.25||11/02/89||Marvel|
|36||28||Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.||6||$1.50||10/17/89||Marvel|
|37||57||Damage Control II||2||$1.00||10/26/89||Marvel|
|43||30||Legion of Super-Heroes||2||$1.75||10/17/89||DC|
|44||n.a.||Adventures of Superman||461||$0.75||11/02/89||DC|
|46||46||Doctor Strange Sorceror Supreme||12||$1.50||10/31/89||Marvel|
|47||8||Deadman: Love After Death||1||$3.95||11/07/89||DC|
|49||55||Star Trek: The Next Generation||3||$1.50||10/31/89||DC|
|50||5||Clive Barker's Hellraiser||1||$4.95||10/17/89||Marvel|
|53||50||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||26||$1.75||Mirage|
|57||n.a.||Hawk and Dove||7||$1.00||10/26/89||DC|
|58||29||Cloak & Dagger||9||$2.50||10/24/89||Marvel|
|60||n.a.||G.I. Joe A Real American Hero||95||$1.00||10/19/89||Marvel|
|61||20||Christmas with Super-Heroes Special||2||$2.95||10/26/89||DC|
|64||n.a.||Groo the Wanderer||60||$1.00||10/12/89||Marvel|
|68||n.a.||Firestorm the Nuclear Man||92||$1.00||10/19/89||DC|
|69||21||Shadow Strikes Annual||1||$3.50||10/24/89||DC|
|76||61||Rock 'n' Roll Comics||6||$1.95||Revolutionary|
|81||n.a.||Advanced Dungeons & Dragons||2||$1.50||11/07/89||DC|
|83||n.a.||Conan the Barbarian||227||$1.00||DC|
|85||n.a.||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||8||$1.00||Archie|
|96||n.a.||Overstreet's Price Update||10||$3.95||Overstreet|
|n.a.||59||Lone Wolf and Cub||30||$3.25||09/29/89||First|
|n.a.||70||Appleseed Book Three||3||$2.75||10/31/89||Eclipse|
|n.a.||73||Savage Sword of Conan||168||$2.25||10/10/89||Marvel|
|n.a.||74||Nausicaa Valley of the Wind Part Two||2||$2.95||10/24/89||Viz|
September 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 details about each title on Amazon. You can also find the books at your comics shop.
Diamond published a top ten for graphic novels in the November 1989 Previews; we were able to append additional items from the dollar rankings list.
|Units||Dollars||Trade Paperback title||Price||Publisher|
|1||1||Superman Archives Vol. 1||$39.95||DC|
|2||3||Squadron Supreme TPB||$9.95||Marvel|
|3||2||Marvel Masterworks Vol. 10: Spider-Man||$29.95||Marvel|
|5||n.a.||Gladstone Album #23: Donald Duck||$5.95||Gladstone|
|6||10||Gladstone Giant Album Special #2||$8.95||Gladstone|
|7||5||Art of Moebius||$14.95||Marvel|
|9||9||Appleseed Book 1||$12.95||Eclipse|
|n.a.||6||Amazing Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt||$19.95||Marvel|
|n.a.||7||Complete Little Nemo in Slumberland||$29.95||Fantagaphics|
|n.a.||8||Revenge of the Living Monolith||$9.95||Marvel|
|n.a.||11||Elektra Assassin TPB||$12.95||Marvel|
|n.a.||12||Epicurus the Sage||$9.95||DC|
|n.a.||13||Batman Year One TPB||$9.95||DC|
|n.a.||14||Beauty and the Beast: Portrait of Love||$5.95||First|
|n.a.||16||Death of Groo||$7.95||Marvel|
|n.a.||17||Grey Vol. 2||$16.95||Viz|